Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Walk #16

Today was our 16th turtle walk of this season, at first light we were on our way to the beach. The hatch date for the only sea turtle nest left in our zone, was yesterday. I went off with high hopes that there might be hatchlings on their way out of that nest.

This photo looks very dark, but if you will click on it to enlarge it, you will see why I took it.

The temperature during the night had gone down to 73, so it was still cool and a little windy. It was a nice change, but later in the day it was 89.

There was a big change in the amount of people walking on the beach when we first got there. As the sun came up, more people were coming out, but not anywhere near as many as there has been this summer. I've noticed that there is hardly any traffic on the streets and some of the business owners have already noticed a drop in their sales. The island will probably be pretty quiet for a while now, since kids have gone back to school and summer vacations are over. This is a great time to plan a visit. :-)

This ghost crab hole caught my attention because the sand that it dug out was a pile of little sand balls. It doesn't usually look that way; I guess it is because the sand there was wet.

Three Men In a Tub, came to mind. So, what do you think this was; Three Babes In a Bowl?


This one is self-explanatory.

Very artsy, I think.

An example of 'The Sanibel Stoop'.

Viewable in HD on YouTube.

This was laying all alone. Diver down! ???

Sea Anemones , I think. I saw about 10 of these mixed in with the sea weed at the tide line.

The Snowy Plovers were busy running around as they gathered their breakfast. There was a large group of them again this week.

Now, I had a problem here. I knew someone who used to leave something at the walkway of the condo they were staying in, so that when his wife got up and walked out to the beach, she would know which way he went. This was laying about half way up on the beach and looked like sand had washed over it......but it was pointing. I looked in that direction and didn't see anyone, so that and the plastic bag, went in with the other trash I had picked up.

There wasn't great shelling here this morning. This is the way it looked through much of the one mile strip.

Somebody definitely blew out a flip flop. I just hope they didn't step on a pop top.

This group of laughing gulls didn't seem too happy, they were all just standing very still as I walked by.

Some small shells were scattered here. I saw a couple of very small paper figs, but they were broken.

I spotted this little sandman taking it easy, next to a sea horse.

I just happened to notice two Bubble shells and as I reached for them, I saw a lady walking pretty close to me. I asked her if she had found any Bubble shells this morning. She looked at them and said that she hadn't. She thought all the shells that were on the beach were called Tulips. I told her that there are many different kinds and gave her the Bubble shells. She thanked me and went away happily looking for more shells. Just after that, I found one more; that being the only one I carried away.

Someone I know has a real thing about feathers. So, this photo is for you. :-) I've also heard a discussion about whether it is illegal to pick up bird feathers and take them. In the US, it is illegal to collect bird feathers. All native migratory bird species are protected by federal law and it is illegal to have in your possession any protected bird, its nest, its eggs, or even its feathers, without the required federal and state permits. Penalties upon conviction can be severe. Even if a sympathetic jury finds that you meant no harm in picking up and taking a feather. There are legal fees and there is no way to prove how you got it. Seems to me that it is best to take a hands off approach...look but don't collect.

What's left of the big whale shark, sand masterpiece, is still there. :-( The tide hadn't been high enough to wash any of it away yet. But, it served a purpose during the last couple of days. There was a pile of small shells that got caught there.

This walk was uneventful. The sea turtle nest still looked perfectly intact. There were no surprises today.

Next stop was the Sanibel Cafe. I mentioned before about the island being a quiet place now. As we drove in to Tahitian Gardens and walked toward the Cafe, there sat the owner waiting to welcome us. Yes, they know this is a ritual for us on Tuesday mornings. :-) If you have plans to come to Sanibel, don't forget to drop by the Sanibel Cafe for one of the best breakfasts or lunch, you will find here. Be sure to say 'Hi' to Richard and Bonnie, who will no doubt be there to personally take care of you.


Steve said...

Great post this morning Tootie. I'm sorry to hear that you've only got one nest left in your zones to watch for. Does that mean your tracking season is coming to an end?

We've still got 12 nests in our zones - one of which is quite new so we'll watching over them until mid-October.

Your picture and description of the Sanibel Cafe made me wish that Julie and could stop there after our Turtle walks.


Snowbird said...

I'm so glad to hear that traffic is down. I love it when the island is "ours" again. Love the picture of Bonnie and Rich. I haven't had breakfast there for a long time. Guess we'll have to give it a try!

BTW, see you guys in about 3 weeks!! Yay!

Tootie said...

Steve, I think my post was confusing you. I didn't make it clear that there was only one nest left in our particular zone, which is Zone 2.

There were no new nests or false crawls last week. Also last week....

Nest 8 was dug on 8/12 with these results: 80 empty eggshells, 18 unhatched and 1 live in the nest.

Nest 9 was dug on 8/16 with these results: 106 empty eggshells, 5 unhatched and 1 dead in the nest.

There are still a total of 17 nests left to hatch, between the Eastern tip of the island and Tarpon Bay Beach access, which is divided into 6 zones. From that point to the Western tip of the island, SCCF uses their beach vehicle to monitor that area. I don't have their numbers in front of me at the moment, but they usually have more nests in that section.

Thanks for visiting. :-)

Steve said...

Ah, thanks for clearing things up for me. It sounds like you've still got a lot of activity ahead of you for this turtle season.

Thanks as well for the links back to our blog - we both appreciate it!