And they're off! First turtle nest appears
SUBMITTED | SUN
Glenn Wiseman, a volunteer with Anna Maria Island
Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, with the
first loggerhead sea turtle egg of the 2012 season
on Anna Maria Island.
ANNA MARIA – Anna Maria won the lottery for the first loggerhead sea turtle nest of the 2012 season on Anna Maria Island, with a nest laid the night of Thursday, May 3, at Bean Point.
The nest came a day after the first false crawl of the season in Bradenton Beach, where, judging by its tracks, a mother sea turtle came up on the beach, changed her mind for some reason – perhaps lights or obstacles on the beach – and returned to the sea without laying her eggs.
A second false crawl also occurred last week; there is no way to know whether the turtle that nested is also the turtle that made the false crawls.
It's good news for Suzi Fox, of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, whose volunteers discovered the nest in their daily just-after-dawn beachcombing walks.
Turtle tracks give away the location of the nest, but volunteers have to start early in the morning to spot them before the tides, winds and beach walkers obscure them.
After the nest was discovered, volunteer Glenn Wiseman verified that it had eggs by digging down and carefully pulling out an egg. The nest was covered up with sand and staked off to keep people from pitching their beach camps over it while it incubates for the next two months.
Last year, the first turtle nest of the season was laid on April 27. The season runs from May 1 to Oct. 31, but can start early, especially with the unusually warm winter the Island experienced this year.