I did a "second shift" run to check on some of our screened nests on Pensacola Beach and Santa Rosa between 10 and 12 p.m. last night, but the little turtles were hunkered down, and out of seven nests I only heard the slightest scratch from one.
I believe we ended up with 77 nests this year. Counting the ones which hatched over the weekend and a few at Perdido Key and Ft. Pickens which were assessed without hatching (probably impacted by T.S. Debby storm surge), we still have around 40 nests left.
With the hurricane forecasted to go farther west now, nests that are higher in the dune line may still have a chance. It all depends on the height and duration of a storm surge on our beaches.
Hopefully we will get one last report from our morning patrols. Although Ft. Pickens has closed, Monday is the regular patrol day for Mark Nicholas, our head biologist, so it will be completed. Santa Rosa and Pensacola Beach sections should also be ok for a last run, though the patrollers will be sandblasted. Like Ft. Pickens, Perdido Key has also closed, so unless one of the bio-techs is assigned to try it, we won't know anything about their situation until after the storm.
I'll update my blog followers later if I get an final update.