OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #9
Nest #9 – 4 July 2015 – Kitty Hawk NC
What a great way to begin our Independence Day celebration! Kenny Lubosch, the Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills ATV driver, found the first sea turtle nest laid in Kitty Hawk NC in several years. Luckily, the female loggerhead laid her nest up close to the dunes, as this beach is prone to erosion if storms should hit.
It could not be moved any further from the ocean but, just to ensure the location of the nest in the event of a major storm, we take many measurements. If a storm washes out the stakes and does not take the eggs, we can then find the nest. We measure the depth of the nest to the first egg, then we place a fishing bobber with a string attached in a hole dug to the same depth about a foot behind the nest. If a storm comes, we dig to the bobber, tie fishing line to it, and then rebury it and the line, tying the other end of the line to our stake up high in the dune. We hope for a quiet summer with no major storms but, if they come, we are prepared. After losing several nests to storms we have devised this method to help in our search after a storm.
We have found that GPS readings cannot dependably pinpoint the location. If the GPS reading is off by even 15 feet we will dig forever trying to find the nest. Our simple method works for us.