We had a turtle-filled night walk on Saturday. We had a very small night walk group of only 5 participants, as the storms earlier in the afternoon must have caused hesitation to sign-up. Thankfully all of the storms had moved on and we had a beautiful night for a walk.
As soon as we got on the beach, we had a turtle start to make her crawl out of the surf. Unfortunately, individuals walking from the other direction did not know what it was and when they approached closely, she turned around and left.
We continued on down the beach and found a set of tracks almost a mile down the beach. This time the turtle was well above the tide and back in the dune grass. At the same time we had another turtle way down the way start emerging. We were hopeful that one of these turtles would successful lay a nest! Unfortunately the one we were at crawled all the way back to the primary dunes and seemed to be fed up with all of the vegetation. We witnessed her as she crawled back into the ocean. In the morning, I did confirm that this was a false crawl. The second turtle also decided to turn around. So although we had turtle activity we had not yet seen one lay a nest.
On our way back from the inlet we finally got the chance to witness a nesting sea turtle! She was way up in the dunes at the campground. We are grateful for the beach goers that witnessed her that they kept their distance and kept their movement to a minimum so she would not be disturbed.
We saw her just as she finished laying her eggs and then watched as she covered them back up, keeping them protected down below.
In the morning we found 8 new nests and 3 false crawls (not including the ones we saw already washed away by the tide). The turtle we saw successfully nest is marked as nest 135 on our beach!
See below for pictures taken from the dawn patrol!
Sea Turtle Specialist