All interns have left and turtles keep rolling out so sadly, this is the first chance I’ve had to give you an update. We’re gearing up for another round of emerging nests so before that happens, I wanted to make sure you were up to date on the last round.
A few nests set us up for surprise. Nest #9 (laid exactly 4 weeks and 1 day after Nest #1) turned out to be another nest full of undeveloped eggs! Seeing as we know turtles typically come back and lay nests in approximately two-week cycles, it could be that this is the same mom on her third attempt of the season. It will be interesting to see DNA results and to see if she nested with the same results elsewhere.
Nest#11 left us with a pleasant surprise. Foster mom Stephanie (but don’t let that fool you, she gave as much time to that nest as a “real” mom!) and her team dillegently sat waiting for little hatchlings to emerge but to no success. So at Day 70, we peaked into the nest to find nearly 90 eggshells with no one home. They had all snuck off and headed to the Gulf Stream.
Our best guess is that on the evening of Day 58 (around the length of time that all the other nests were emerging), the team was driven off by heavy rains and lightening. It was enough that it smoothed out the entire site and nothing was seen. Then the next couple of days the nest was overwashed so any little stragglers were also disguised. While we would have liked to have seen the hatchlings on their way, there couldn’t be any better news than what we found during the dig 93% success rate!