The wavy center drag surrounded by the heavily pushed comma-shaped flipper marks indicated this was a loggerhead turtle.

Our southern beach Nesting Response Team woke with news they’ve been waiting for all summer, “Good morning NESTers, it’s KC… we have a crawl in Nags Head and it looks like there’s a nest site.”  With all the activity on the northern end of our beach, some of southern responders were beginning to petition for a little share in the action.  That made for two nests this morning, one on the north end one on the south end, plenty of choices for everyone!

Al begins digging the nest site.

Jerry and ATV rider Jason measure track width measurements.

 

Jason was lucky to be subbing in on the ride this morning when he came across the beautiful crawl of a loggerhead turtle.  She crawled up the beach and climbed up a small escarpment before continuing her journey to the mid beach where she made her nest site.

NESTers began digging the nest site to confirm that she had laid eggs.  They had a bit of a challenge as it appeared mom had crossed over her own incoming tracks normally seen going into the nest site making it harder to follow her path toward the possible egg chamber.  They persevered and finally uncovered the most beautiful ping-pong ball looking eggs!

Intern Lia removes an egg for DNA.

Susan helps Lia collect the DNA sample.

After assessing the nest site, the team determined that baring any early hurricane storms, this nest should be survive in situ, at the location mom choose.  So the team left the nest where it was at, and posted off the area to protect it for the next two months.

Nest #11 Nesting Responders