Last Turtle Walk of 2019

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Our late August turtle walk turned out to be our last of 2019. A week later, Hurricane Dorian thankfully spared Florida from the worst of its Category 5 winds, although the storm surge washed away a number of turtle nests. The UCF Marine Turtle Research group reported that 21% of the Loggerhead nests and 44% of the Green turtle nests were destroyed along the Archie Carr refuge. But on this beautiful morning before Dorian, the beach was empty and we enjoyed a sunrise walk.

This turtle track photo is a little different than the ones I’ve been posting all summer. It features not just one track, but many. Look closely at the foreground and you’ll see the tiny tracks made by dozens of turtle hatchlings who followed the same path as the adult turtle. The beach was full of hatchling tracks that morning.

Turtle Tracks at Sunrise - Adult and Hatchling
Turtle Tracks at Sunrise – Adult and Hatchling

We didn’t see an adult turtle that morning. Rich spotted one Loggerhead hatchling who made the furious crawl down to the water’s edge. I finally achieved my goal of photographing the tiny hatchling and the track he left in the sand. The waves grabbed him and drew him home as Rich and I looked on with smiles. We can’t wait for April and the start of the next turtle nesting season!

Loggerhead Hatchling Tracks
Loggerhead Hatchling Tracks

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!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!

2 thoughts on “Last Turtle Walk of 2019

  1. Your superb series of photographs has activated one of those internal magnets so don’t be surprised next April if you find an old guy laying in the wet sand looking like a beached whale trying to get his old eyes to focus on tiny turtle tracks! It will be your fault.

    Superb, as usual, Jess! Talk about “leading lines” – wow – right into the sun and the sea.

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