Terrapin Nesting Tracks @ Aucoot Cove, Buzzards Bay
Diamondback terrapins began nesting on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts today on the afternoon high tide. The Turtle Journal team scoured the Aucoot Cove barrier beach this morning for signs of terrapin nesting, such as tracks. Nothing was found. Yet, shortly after the PM high tide, we searched again and discovered tracks from two separate nesting runs … including several false nests. We also received a report from Broadmoor Marsh in Wareham that a female terrapin had been observed returning to the bay after a nesting run. Today’s start date is a full week earlier than last year’s start of the terrapin nesting season.
Twenty-One Snapper Eggs
Within the last 24 hours, Turtle Journal found three freshly laid snapper nests. On Sunday, we followed snapper tracks to a large disturbed sandy area, roughly smoothed over. Careful excavation revealed 49 ping-pong shaped eggs. This morning, we discovered two additional snapping turtle nests. One held 21 intact eggs (see above) that averaged 11.8 grams weight a piece. Four additonal eggs had been broken by the mother as she tried to tuck them tightly into this steeply inclined nest.
Snapping Turtle Eggs
The other nest held 29 perfectly shaped snapper eggs for a total of 99 snappers-in-waiting.
Rufus Discovers Nesting Painted Turtle
Painted turtles have been nesting on the SouthCoast for almost two weeks and they continue to do so. And Rufus the Turtle Dog continues to find female painteds as they secretly and quietly tuck eggs into the ground. Over the weekend, Rufus alerted us to three more nesting painted turtles.
Female Eastern Box Turtle on Nesting Run
On Saturday, during our local patrols, Turtle Journal found a female Eastern box turtle on a nesting run off Converse Road in Marion. This beauty hit the scales at a whopping 649 grams.
Female Eastern Box Turtle Play Peek-A-Boo
After her release she played peek-a-boo with the camera before disappearing into the underbrush.
Spotted Turtle Aggregation — How Many Can You Spot?
Later than we usually observe, spotted turtles remain active in aggregation sites on the SouthCoast. Turtle Journal discovered a new spotted turtle location this spring and has been following its activity for several weeks. We have counted at least 20 spotted turtles ranging from tiny yearlings to mating adults basking in this dense swampland. How many basking spotted turtles can you find in the picture above. Click on the image for an enlargement. Hint: Two is too few and three is never crowded enough.