Tuesday, February 8, 2011

02/02/11 Turtle Mayhem Madness

Ok, so we didn’t have to wait ‘til this week for an extra special event(s) to happen…On Friday (28th Jan) we experienced ‘Fricking Fantastic Friday’ and today (31st Jan) we experienced ‘ ’mazing Monday’!!

We had done our usual patrol and were taking five, watching some bumphead parrot fish swimming with their pectoral fins out of the water. Quite amusing I swear they look like seal flippers!!

Anyhow, at 9.25am I was off down the beach ‘just in case’ and as I was meandering along enjoying the morning warmth and wondeful view, when there, smack bang in front of me was the fresh track of the Hawksbill Turtle.

I found her up over the bank and already digging, I sprinted down the beach to get the guys off their backsides, equipment in tow (camera, turtle book and tape measure!)!

We quietly made our way up towards her, though this was slightly painful as it was over these nasty little round pine cones! On finding good spots for us to observe I really thought she was going to give in and return to sea, the sand was very dry and kept slipping back in the chamber she was so carefully digging. Also, I could see a number of roots in the chamber that might have made her change her mind. She did not (thankfully!) and laid approx 150 eggs.


Due to the ‘maybe she won’t’, I decided that I would do another beach patrol back up to where we had been sitting, the tide was coming in and they are more likely to emerge then.

With the end of the beach in sight, and as I was about to turn tail and head back to the guys, there in the corner of my eye I spot a flick of sand, ‘No fricking way, two turtles on the same beach, digging at the same time’!

She was not concerned by my prescence and as I got closer I realised it was the same turtle from the 14th Jan, our first laying turtle. I was so happy that she was back on the same beach, laying again. Now named ‘Marge’, due to a chunk missing from her marginal scutes (the plates around the edge of the shell)! She laid approx 120 eggs.

What a Friday morning that was, and a great way to end the week! Well it was the cherry on the cake this afternoon when, within 100yds onto our last beach… TRACKS lead to TURTLE!!! OH YEAH!!!

She had obviously been on the beach a while as she’d tried one spot before reaching her final destination and within minutes of us observing she was well on her way to laying. She was a cracker and laid over 200 eggs!!!

Well there you have it, what a blog!

Here’s to a great week of surveys and sightings!!