Gulf Shores 2011

Gulf Shores 2010

Gulf Shores 2009





Alabama Sea Turtles - Share the Beach

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge







Gulf Shores - 2011

Because of the Deepwater Horzion drilling disaster, 2010 was a very tough year for sea turtles on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  This year promises to be better!  As of May 1, 2011, volunteers from Share the Beach organization are once again walking the beaches each morning looking for "crawls."   I am posting tweets under @Turtle_Watcher if you want to keep up with the latest.  You can reach me at


Here is a link to the best video I have found about Loggerhead Turtle tracks and the nesting process.                  


The following entries are in reverse chronological order, i.e. the most recent entries are first:


On July 21, 2011, a little before midnight, Nest B1 at Laguna Key in Gulf Shores began to hatch.  There was a very impressive boil about 12:15 am (July 22).  In all, 86 beautiful baby turtles were escorted to the Gulf of Mexico without mishap.  A good crowd was on hand and they were remarkably well behaved.  It was a great hatching!



This same nest was excavated on July 24, 2011.  Fifteen baby turtles were saved with this excavation.  The video is below: 



On a very noisy evening of July 4, 2011, with fireworks blazing, a mama turtle was spotted on the beach in Laguna Key.  We scurried over there and arrived just as she had completed depositing her eggs in the clutch.  The next morning, we relocated the eggs a little further inland to protect them from tropical storms which can easily flood the beach.  The video below starts at 9:15 pm just as she is patting her nest and beginning her return to the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are some pictures of the same turtle taken by tourists:





On June 6, 2011 researchers, funded by US Fish & Wildlife and NOAA, put a radio transmitter on a Loggerhead Turtle.  They waited until she had completed her nesting, then installed the transmitter and sent her on her way.  This is the first "tagged" Loggerhead on Alabama beaches!  The researchers named her, "Ella."

Say "Hi!" to Ella


Ella's tracks


This Mama T apparently got disoriented and went for a
very long walk in her search for the best place to nest



She crawled over 1500 feet







The researchers placed a wall around Ella to calm her


Installing the tracking transmitter


The transmitter is attached with waterproof epoxy


Ella is released from the temporary barrier







It is a long way to the Gulf and she is really tired
so volunteers and researchers carry her


Ella is loaded onto the back of a UTV for a ride to the water


Ella is stabilized by researchers during the ride to the water



She is unloaded from the UTV


She knows which way to go - to the water!


She is sniffing the salt air


Ella is tired.  She takes a break.





She is moving now!


On her way.  Good bye Ella!