Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"The Nest That Needed a Beach" by Nancy Fahey (6/14/11)

Good Evening WB Turtlers,

A mid-day phone call from Matthew revealed some of the strangest turtle news, ever:  A gentleman from Southport had called to report that he saw a huge loggerhead sea turtle nesting on the bank of the Cape Fear River near his home last night.  At first, the man thought it was a deer thrashing around in the brush, but a closer look for the source of the noise brought him face to face with a tired loggerhead turtle emerging from the sea grass and slowing making her way back to the water's edge.

Say what?  My thoughts:  this must have been the work of one humongous snapping turtle!  Matthew, however, went on to say that another sea turtle nest had been found a little over two weeks ago near the very same area on the river.  Hmmmm.....very interesting!  Next, he asked if I would be interested in going down to relocate the nest to a more sea turtle friendly environment.  Really?  No kidding?  You bet ya....I've got just the place for some beautiful sea turtle eggs!!

A quick call to Kathleen and Morgan Britton elicited a similar response of, "Heck yea.....we would love to go help relocate a nest!"  And we were off!

Once reaching the river, I could hardly believe my eyes!  Sure enough, the faintly imprinted tracks of a sea turtle had been left behind on the sand.  This turtle had drug herself up the bank of the river through debris of all kinds: rocks, trash, construction materials, you name it.

 How could a nesting mother turtle choose such a place for her precious clutch?  However, in the grass at the top of the bank were the distinct signs of a successful nesting site; buried grass, broken roots, and piles of displaced sand.

For reasons we may never understand, this turtle appeared to have nested in this less than desirable place, after all.  One thing was immediately clear: left in this place, the hatchlings would be doomed.  We had to find that clutch!

Finding the eggs was no easy task, but after a few hours of digging, find them we did!!  There nestled in the sand was the lone gleaming egg that would lead us to the others.  Wha-hoo!!

 Quickly, but carefully, we placed the soft eggs one by one into the bucket.  One hundred and two eggs later, we were ready to head back to Wrightsville Beach.

Thinking of our One-derful Nest Number One of a few years ago, we decided on the perfect spot for the
safe keeping of our booty.

Nestled on the north end between Wrightsville Dunes and Shell Island Resort, you will find one very special nest for Wrightsville Beach; our first adopted nest ever.  A nest that needed a beach for a beach that needed a nest.  I just love happy endings! :)

Congratulations and many thanks to the nest parents, Kathleen and Morgan Britton.  I really do not know what I would have done without your help, unwavering dedication, and enthusiasm for the great nest relocation effort today.  You are both more than awesome, and the turtles are ever so lucky to have you on their side!

Hope you enjoy the beautiful pictures courtesy of Kathleen and Morgan.

Happy Turtling!


1 comment:

  1. This is such an amazing and inspiring story!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE :D