ATV riders have been working hard since May searching for any signs of nesting turtles early in the morning.  We’ve heard reports of surfers and fishing piers sighting turtles in the water but still not nesters on our beach.  Until…

Loggerhead on the beach in Nags Head at 11PM.

Friday night at 11 PM, a large visitor emerged from the water on the beach in South Nags Head near Limulus St.  The large loggerhead wandered around the beach amongst an unknowing crowd who were just so excited to see a turtle on the beach.  Several photos were taken and she was guided back to the water with flashlights.  They only discovered later, after calling NEST and telling them what they observed, that she could have been trying to nest.  So unfortunately our first turtle of the season turned out to be a false crawl but the opportunity was an educational one for our beachgoers and they now know what do do if they see her or her friends again.  The NEST education team is busy at work, trying to get the message out that if you see a turtle on the beach at night, the best thing to do is to keep a distance, keep voices low, and turn off all lights.  And if you’re really luck and the mom feels comfortable, you may have a chance of a lifetime watching her nest! (And of course, don’t forget to call NEST 252-441-8622)

The crew generously shared photos with NEST so that we could document the event.  I would have liked to have gotten this story out to you sooner but I just wanted to make sure we were looking at a possible nesting female (versus a stranding turtle, as we had one the very next day, I wanted to rule out that it wasn’t the same turtle before getting everyone excited!).   Photos arrived just today and she sure enough looks like a mature loggerhead, so hopefully any day now, we should see our first nest.