Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turtle Walk #16

It was a nice morning for a turtle walk. :) 
Cool and breezy!  The temperature last night got down to 75 degrees. :)

We had a nest about due to hatch, and two nests already hatched, that were going to be dug this morning.

A shark?

Seeing this on the beach, reminded me
of my little great grandson,
who was just here visiting,
and made me miss him even more.

No hatches this morning. :(

This nest is marked with shells around the opening made by the little turtles as they crawled out, after hatching 3 days ago.  The shells are put there to help the Permittee find the opening so that he knows where to dig into the egg chamber.  The empty eggs will be counted and also the eggs that didn't hatch, and any turtles that were not able to make it out, will be rescued and released.
(As you can see, the wind had blown sand over that opening and it could have been a little difficult to find it easily.)

We wanted to see this nest dug, but were there 30 minutes before the planned dig, and needed to get back home to take a friend to the airport this morning.  Our Permittee was kind enough to send us an email to let us know what he found. 
There were 73 eggs in this nest near Tarpon Beach Condos and 36 made it out. There were 5 live babies-all in good shape and released.
Right after that, he also dug another nest in our zone, near Ocean's Reach.  There were 122 eggs with 92 that made it out. There were fire ants in the nest and they had killed one poor little turtle that had been left in the nest. 

I doubt this bird could find
a better gulf view anywhere.

Shells and shell crumbs,
scattered by the waves.

This little bird was having a morning bath
 in a tidal pool. 
It was splashing water all over itself.

Then joined by a friend. :)

A crab left over from yesterday, perhaps?

The shore birds seemed to be having
a great time this morning.

In some places there were hardly any shells at all, only what had been left from days before at some really high tide lines.

A bright yellow balloon that would possibly have been food
for some sea creature.

A Golden Apple Murex??? :)

By the time we had finished our walk, the clouds had all turned white.

I believe that out of the 16 nests in our zone,
we have 7 left to hatch.

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