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Friday, June 19, 2015

NMB False Crawl #4

Call came in around 10PM, Thursday night....We just saw a turtle on the beach.

A family from Ohio were walking close to the dunes, looking for ghost crabs.  Shining his light u close to a dune, a young boy was surprised to see something really big object laying at the base of the dune. Certainly a lot bigger than a ghost crab.  Further inspection, it was a sea turtle.  She seemed just as startled as the boy was, she started crawling up the dune.  The family, realizing that it was a nesting turtle, quickly turned off their lights and walked further down the beach.  When they returned about 1/2 hour later, they saw the turtle crawling down the beach, back into the water.

This was fairly small turtle, width of crawl was less than 30 inches.  But she made a big mess out of two adjacent dunes.  She crawled up the beach probably between 8:30 and 9PM.  Went across and up one dune, the sand was very deep and soft.  She slipped and slide all the way up, tearing up and mowing down sea grass as she crawled.   She appeared to try to dig at the base of the dunes and then again near the top, but the sand was so deep and soft, she could not make a good hole.  She slide back down the dune, rested near the bottom where the boy may have first encountered her and the crawled up an adjacent dune,

Both dunes were probed and probed, two ghost crab tunnels were found, but no eggs.  Given the short amount of time the turtle was on the beach and the amount of climbing and crawling, it is doubtful she nested.


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