Went for a walk on my beach today to inspect the damage from the tropical storm that blew by in the Bahamas earlier this week.
A lot of debris had washed ashore with the sargassum.
Some turtle nests had been compromised by the high tideline. Luckily turtle nesting season is almost over.
So I was ready to call it a day when I came upon this little guy. He (or she!) was laying flat on his back, and wasn’t moving.
I picked him to get a closer look, when suddenly he started wiggling his little flippers, and opened his eyes. He had obviously just hatched out, and the surf had driven him back.
I put him down on the sand, but he was too tired and confused to crawl back into the surf. Plus, tt was broad daylight. The sandpipers and seagulls would make short work of him if I didn’t do something.
So I picked him up again, and, as gently as possible, threw him as far as I could back into the ocean.
I waited about five minutes to see if the current would bring him back.
That was the last I saw of him.
When I went back home, I googled baby sea turtles to see what kind of turtle he was.
My best guess is that the hatchling was a hawksbill turtle — a critically endangered species.
I hope he makes it.
Addendum: I went to beach at sunrise the next day and happened to see a marine biologist in her ATV. So I briefly discussed this event with her. It turns out hawksbills have not been seen here in many years, for all the usual reasons, and that this hatchling was most likely a green turtle. Here is what the beach looked like that day. Winter must be coming early up North this year. A lot of seashore birds were flying South overhead in large groups.
© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016