Yesterday morning our driver called sort of confused by the crawl he came across.  We train them to identify a false crawl as a crawl with no nest site and a nest as a crawl that has a distinct nest site (the incoming crawl leads into a pile of thrown sand and the outgoing crawl leaves from a body pit). But… he asked, what about this?

False Nest: Mama turtle cleared sand and started to excavate the egg chamber but then abandoned her mission and left the beach.  (Incoming crawl is on the right, outgoing crawl is on the left.)

False Nest: Mama turtle cleared sand and started to excavate the egg chamber but then abandoned her mission and left the beach. (Incoming crawl is on the right, outgoing crawl is on the left.)

He had a pile of sand and a body pit but also a a gaping hole dug right in the middle of the site. Diagnosis?  A false nest.  That’s a special category of false crawl where the turtle comes up and actually starts to excavate a site but leaves before laying eggs and covering everything up. Looking at the hole, she seemed like she was maybe 3/4 finished too!  Maybe we will see her back tonight.

And what about Nests #17 and 18?

Well… we were slammed and I hoped no one would notice!  They both came in on July 1st, No. 17 in Corolla and No. 18 in Duck. So for those counting, we really are up to 20 nests and another good solid month and a half of the main season left.