OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #5

OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #5

For this report, we will let the pictures tell the story. Hopefully you can enjoy our amazing experience through these photographs. Because we cannot use flash photography at night, and because most of our loggerhead turtle nests boil at night, we have few photos of a sea turtle boil. In this boil, eighty-five little turtles raced to the sea. The closer they got to the water, the faster they went. They were really moving as they slid down the ramp Joe had made for them.

(Above is a sequence of photos taken at the Nest #5 boil at Duck NC. To view the photos as a filmstrip, simply click on the arrows on the left or right margins of the filmstrip. Those using a computer may also zoom-in on one or more photos by simply clicking the appropriate image; tablet users must click/hold a particular image to view a full-size version.)

Since we had to move this nest after the mother laid it too close to the water, we knew there were more turtles to come. There were 106 eggs in this nest. We decided maybe more would come out at 10:00PM. Once again, Sarah talked to the nest and, sure enough, at 10:00 on the dot four more emerged.

That completed our action for the night. We swept the runway. NEST volunteer Kent Zimmerman was doing the ATV patrol at dawn. If he saw any little flipper prints we would know that more turtles had emerged. But, it poured down rain about 3:00 in the morning so, if any turtles had emerged between midnight and 3:00AM, their little trails were washed away by the rain.

I guess we will just have to wait for excavation to know for sure how many turtles began their life’s journey at sea. We usually excavate 72 hours after the boil, but that is a Saturday and the traffic in Duck in the summertime on Saturday is awful. We will wait four days before excavating.