January 10, 2012

Black Turtle at Dawn!

Some rare event has happened last night.
Don Bernardo and I (Chris) were patrolling by ourselves from midnight to five in the morning, when a black turtle came up at around 1.30. Not so rare this. She took her time (also not unusual) and started to dig an egg- chamber.  But she aborted the first egg-chamber, and started a new one, which she also aborted. 
Don Bernardo counting eggs.
The spiel repeated itself for four more egg-chambers, up until she dug her fifth and final egg-chamber, by then it was already 4.30 in the morning. Since we had to cover the entire beach nonetheless, one always stayed with her and the other one was running down the beach and back. I can tell you, we were drenched in sweat.
She finished laying eggs around 5.15, and went back to the water at 6.30. By then she had already attracted quite some attention by the local community, who was out on the beach early to scare away voltures and with this helping the Olive Ridely babies to make it safe to the water.
And also three ladies from the United States were lucky enough to see our beautiful Black turtle female while covering and camouflaging her nest and take pictures. The pictures shown here a partly taking by them (Sandi Peskin and Linda Gerson). 

Don Bernardo's back being abused for equipment storage.

Female camouflaging her nest.

Heading back to the water.

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