Well KC got lucky and was right again! She jokingly told some NESTers that the slow start to the season was because the turtles knew about the hurricane and that things would pick up after. Sure enough this weekend brought three back-to-back nests and two false crawls! The Nags Head team was finally given a break as Loggerheads went north to nest for the weekend. Nest number 5 was found in Southern Shores where she was first discovered at 11:00PM by beachgoers who called the N.E.S.T Hotline. They watched mama lay the eggs and after she returned to the ocean, marked the site which was extremely helpful as it was a tricky nest.
Mother turtle had to climb a steep escarpment left by the storm in order to find the ideal position for her nest. Unfortunately, the tide erased evidence of her crawl making it nearly impossible to find on the morning ATV run. Luckily, they had help from the beachgoers who had left a blue flag marking the nest site for them! As the team arrived, Jackie O and Louise quickly pounced into action digging in the planned area. After much sand moving and sweaty palms, Jill found the first egg! The eggs were in an unusual placement based on the crawl, but that didn’t stop this team from finding them.
The nest was staked off and measurements taken. Two stakes were also placed in the dune in line with the nest site so that no matter how many more storms we get, we can relocate the nest if the posts ever wash out. In about two months, we’ll have attentive volunteers sitting out at night waiting for these little guys to emerge.
No rest for the Duck ATV riders as on Monday, Nest#06 discovered! Our lucky rider this time was Barbara (better luck next time Jonny!). Just like our previous nest, mama Loggerhead was very determined to find the perfect spot for her babies. She climbed another large escarpment to place her lovely eggs up high enough to stay out of the tide’s deadly grip.
The Response Team was put into action with Jonny in the lead to discover the eggs in the very first hole dug! After much negotiation Jonny decided not to satisfy his hunger and handed over the first egg to be used for the DNA Research Project. As the team put the date on the sign, KC realized that this was a special nest… left just for Jill on her birthday. What a great present! Suddenly, the team remembered two years ago we had a Loggerhead nest in the same neighborhood on the same date (Jill’s birthday turtle!)… could this be her again?! Looks like a mission for the DNA Research Project!
After recording a chorus of Happy Birthday for Jill on her voicemail, the team got to work measuring and staking off the site to weather for the next two months. Now the only problem seems to be that we’re running out of nest stake sets! Slow down turtles! (Nah, never mind… keep on crawling!).