Rich and I are enjoying our morning walks with the sea turtles this summer! This is a high count year for the nesting Green Sea Turtles, who tend to be very active on alternate years. We discovered morning turtle walks in 2017, then started anticipating the fun of 2019. This morning in mid-July didn’t disappoint. We found several Loggerhead hatchlings along with a nesting Loggerhead mom.
The sky started out very promising for a good sunrise. I had visions of finding a turtle and silhouetting her against the rising sun. Alas, the sky clouded up. It was dark enough that my camera had trouble focusing on our first hatchling of the day, a tiny Loggerhead who had dragged himself down the beach. You could see the tracks of his nest-mates nearby. The last guy has the hardest race to the water. I didn’t like my photos of the hatchling (think ISO 25600!) but I did like my photo of the trail he made in the sand…
Rich and I walked a long way before seeing any more turtle activity. Then I spotted a dark mass moving towards the water. I ran towards the nesting mother, getting there just in time to get a few shots of her entering the water. I think this is only the second Loggerhead adult I’ve photographed to date at Archie Carr. I have more Green Sea turtle adults, probably because Rich and I tend to go later in the year when the greens are more active than the loggerheads. So seeing the adult Loggerhead was a a treat.
Our last turtle of the morning was another Loggerhead hatchling. The baby was about to enter the water as we spotted it, and I got a few quick shots as the hatchling walked into the waves. The little guy got washed back up onto the beach twice before the waves swept him off to sea. Safe travels, little hatchling!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge?
Check out my Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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What an awesome experience! The fact that you produced such beautiful photographs is icing on the cake. Thank you so much for sharing these very special moments!