Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Rangers and volunteers were watching over nests from Perdido Key to Navarre Beach last night due to increased activity within nests across the island. Our recent rains may have excited the little hatchlings into making an appearance, including 86 tiny loggerhead hatchlings who emerged from the nest I've been sitting on Pensacola Beach.
More hatchlings emerged in other locations, but I don't have any specifics yet. Be sure to check out Traveling Turtle Girl's blog for more details as they become available, and also to read about her harrowing night in the storm.
[The photos in this post were not taken at last night's hatching since it was after dark and we do not use flash. These are from an unusual daytime loggerhead hatching I captured last year near the Calle Hermosa neighborhood. You may view the original photos and post by clicking HERE.]
The nest I attended last night contains a few stragglers that still had not emerged as of this morning, so I will be returning to screen the nest and sit with it again tonight.
My thanks to Kate Deblander who kept me company past midnight. And congratulations to all the observers who witnessed this magical event, especially our visitors from California who were so hopeful the hatchlings would appear before they had to go back home today.
Turtle fact: Did you know that hatchlings go into a "swim frenzy" when they enter the Gulf of Mexico, swimming continuously for 24 - 48 hours to get into deeper water where they are less vulnerable to predators. Some small amount of yolk is retained in their abdomen, providing food (energy) for this amazing marathon!
If you want to know more about sea turtles, click HERE to read a great article I discovered online today.