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Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area

First Nest of 2002 — 07 June 2002

Liz Moon arrived from the mainland this week to work the diamondback terrapin nesting season in the Land of Ooze.  Today marked the first day, weather permitting, we were able to patrol nesting sites throughout Wellfleet Bay.  And, following the release of Terrapin 1270 captured in Chipman’s Cove during last night’s storms, we hit the major nesting grounds along the east coast of the bay from Indian Neck in the north through Lieutenant Island to Sunken Meadow in the south.

At our very last stop in North Sunken Meadow, at a nesting site initially discovered on 3 November 2001, Liz found the first terrapin nest of the season.  On a costal bank along the south shore of Hatches Creek, and immediately opposite the Goose Pond Trail of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, she saw a hole dug by a predator overnight.  That hole held a preyed-upon nest — probably laid on 6 June — and the remnants of 15 nice size terrapin eggs.

With today’s find, nesting patrols will begin in earnest. The first nesting activity in 2001 had not been observed until 10 June (see Turtled Turtler and First Nesting).