Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just missed it...

When you think you have the turtles worked out on Crab Island, you are normally brought back to a sudden realisation that….well…. it’s more complicated than it seems. The cues that initiate nesting are fascinating, but unclear. Last night was no exception with what has been the biggest nesting night during the trip – and it came as a big surprise! Story goes… We were expecting some nesting just before dark, so we went out early and headed south. Normally we see a fair bit of nesting in this area. With a midnight high tide we expected to see turtles nesting on the build up right through to this time. However there were hardly any turtles and we headed north, driving long distances between the odd turtle nest. Thinking that the night had been a bit of a dud, it wasn’t until we got to the extreme north of the island that we realised that, in fact, it had been one of the most amazing nesting events since we have arrived…. And we had missed it all!!! There were turtle tracks criss-crossing one another as far as we could see… 700m with not one piece of clean sand, all churned up from turtles crossing the beach. The odd turtle was still up, but it seemed the turtles had nested just before dark. It also seemed they had all come up together and all concentrated in the one area. At least 350 turtles nesting in ther one spot! Bugger me! But how amazing! have a close look at the video and photo in this post - while it doesn't do the spectacle any justice, it gives you an idea of the density we are seeing..

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