Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My first nest!!!

It finally happened! I finally found my very own sea turtle nest this morning!

This is what it looked like as I came upon the loggerhead crawl about half a mile east of Opal Beach around 6:00 a.m. The photo above is her trail from the nest, back to the spot where she re-entered the Gulf of Mexico.

The loggerhead came ashore sometime during the overnight hours and circled over the nesting area a couple of times before being satisfied it was the right place for her. After laying her eggs and covering them with sand, she headed west, back into the Gulf of Mexico.

If you click on the photo above to enlarge it, you will see an area of tossed sand at the top of the circle of tracks. That is the loggerhead nest.

A closer angle of the nest and the loggerhead's tracks. The nest was slightly over 70 feet from the water and the distance from where she came ashore to the spot she returned to the Gulf of Mexico was over 200 feet. Just imagine how much energy it took a 200+ lb. sea turtle to pull herself across that much sand with her flippers!

Aren't they splendid tracks!

I immediately called Monica Cain, a Bio-Tech with the Gulf Islands National Seashore. She arrived to mark the nest, GPS its location, and make sure I did the report and measurements properly. She even got to see me do the joy-dance! Hopefully I can be a bit more subdued and professional next time.

A closer look at the loggerhead's tracks.

The very first 'DZ' nest!


Justbetwenfriends said...

I'm so happy for you and your first nest! Yeah!!!! I wish Kristin were still here to share it with you. You've been kind of quiet lately ~ so much going on in Pensacola... praying for the family...

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!! I know you are very excited and so are we.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations DJ! I'm excited along with you!

Tony Miller said...


Very proud of you.

Peggy said...

Awesome DJ!! I have been waiting with baited breath for this day to happen. Would've loved to see the "happy dance"!!

Lou in Denver said...

Me too to all the above..
so happy and proud for you!

rek said...

That is so cool! And your pictures are great!

Anonymous said...

Hi DJ, Congratulations, You are the Best.

Any idea when the nest might hatch?

I would love to be there.

Scottie and The Dougal

BaysideLife said...

Patience pays off again!! I'm so glad you found your nest. You must be thrilled and definitely deserved a dance of joy. Congratulations!!

jerilynn said...

Love these! Thank you, again, for taking the time to show us the nest and share your Turtle Knowledge! We will follow to see any photos of the hatching!

~the Beatties

Annie Patterson said...

Yay!!! You rock!!! Thanks for the photos.