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
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
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
Installing the tracking transmitter
The transmitter is attached with waterproof
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