One of our hard working N.E.S.T. hotline operators got two calls about sea turtles being spotted on the beach late last night. Turned out it was the same turtle!  At 9:56 pm Nancy got a call from a woman, who from her balcony, could see a group of visitors on the the beach with flashlights watching a sea turtle. The turtle was headed to the ocean at what seemed to be a pretty good clip. After all, sea turtles are used to the peace of the ocean and can be spooked by bright lights and beach activity. At 2:04 am Nancy got another call, this time from a man who was making his way down the steps of a beach access, who had spotted a big turtle headed to the ocean.

Mother sea turtle making her way back to the ocean after the second call and after she had laid her nest. Photo was given to the nesting response team this morning.

Nancy send a text message to today’s Nags Head ATV rider, Lynn P, after each call to alert her to the sightings. Sure enough on her ride this morning Lynn found the nest and the aborted crawl on the beach. After looking at the crawls Lynn could tell the crawls were both made by green sea turtles. We have so few greens on the OBX, it meant that the crawls were very likely to have been made by the same turtle.

This is what Lynn saw this morning at around 630 am. A sea turtle nest with a huge body pit and a crawl with opposing flipper marks typical of a green sea turtle. Congratulations Lynn!!

John Cece, NEST president, lies in the body pit to give you an idea of how big it is. Green sea turtles weigh around 300 lbs.

The response team Led by Pam and Bob M arrives and analyzes the nest to look for eggs. Bob is on the right.

The hunt begins in this big messy nest.

The eggs are found and preparations are made to install the data loggers.

Congratulations Team 25! Sharon, Greg, Mary, Tyler, Bob, John and Pam.

  • nest number: 25
  • town: Nags Head
  • date eggs laid: 08/06/2021
  • actual emergence date: 10/7/2021
  • live hatchlings: 43
  • total eggs: 61

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