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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nest #1 Major Boil!!!

Nest #1- Friday, May 13,  12AM.  A very early nest. 

Wednesday night, June 6-Day 54.   

Just before 7PM, movement is detected in the sand.  Turtles?

Soon, one little head is showing

 Darkness starts falling, two little heads have been peeking out of the sand for over 1 hour

All of a sudden, both turtles bolt out of the sand and head for the water.  Changing tide but the water line is still over 300 yards, with a tide pool in front.  Turtles reach tide pool, one crawls in, swims across and come out other side.  Stops for a moment, turns and goes back into the tide pool.  Turtle is helped out of tide pool and put closer to the ocean.  This time the turtle heads forward and soon disappears into the waves!!

More heads soon appear as it gets darker and darker.  Then around 10PM.  many hatchlings boiled up and out and headed for the ocean.

Hard to count or estimate in the dark.  But, around midnight, more heads appeared and more hatchlings ran out of nest and toward the ocean.

8AM the next morning, all is quiet.  All that remains are the little tracks coming from the depression in the sand.

Thursday night around 11PM at least 4 more hatchlings come out of the nest.  A little girl came up with her family and said  "There are turtles."  Two little guys were just coming out of the cage and running  to the ocean.  Two more were then found closer to the water.  One was stuck in a shallow hole someone had left just above the high tide line.

Big thanks to all the NMB Sea Turtle Volunteers!  John and Betty discovered this nest on Friday, May 13 as the mother came ashore to lay her eggs around midnight.  Since then, many have watched over the nest, making sure it was not disturbed.  Many Patrol Volunteers gave up their 4ht of July night celebration to sit near the nest to make sure it did not emerge when the beach was packed with people watching the Cherry Grove firework.  Thank you Melanie for some of the pictures you were able to get before darkness fell.   Thank you Marla and WMBF News for filming this great event.  It required time and patience to be there when these little guys come out.  The hatchlings came out in stages and many times left us wondering.

And again thanks to all the Patrol Volunteers who spent two nights talking to interested spectators and then kept the hatchlings safe as they ran to their new home in the ocean.

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