Friday, May 29, 2009

More nesting on Alagadi and signs of life out west.

An early rise this morning and by 9.00 the four of us were in Akdeniz village on the West coast. Our 4x4 vehicle having survived the winter seemed in good order. Wayne took the helm and steered us North of Akdeniz through drifting sand and over bare rock to some of the most remote beaches on the island, fondly known to us as Lost, Message in a Bottle, West 1 and West 2. We painted the marker posts and checked for activities but found none. We did however find a nest that had not been excavated during the previous season and analysed its success, which was good training for the newbies. A green nest from which 38 eggs had hatched (38 empty fragments counted) at the remaining 44 had not, but after almost a year rotting in the sand, reasons for the failure of these were impossible to distinguish. Ainslie took note of the routes to take and routes to be avoided between beaches, as it is likely that she will head up the base in Guzelyurt this season. We only had to get out and push on one occasion. After sarnies in Akdeniz and a brief catch up with resident and friend of the project Mr Mustafa we continued to the Monster beach south of Akdeniz. You can see why they called it Monster when Glasgow University Turtle Conservation Expedition (GUTCHE) first surveyed this beach in 1992. It is a big and ugly beach. But despite this our loggerheads do frequently dig through its stony surface to lay their eggs in the sand below. We saw 2 loggerhead U-turns and one attempt, a good attempt with three body pits. So surely a nest will await us when we return in a few days time and hopefully the beaches North of Akdeniz will also be showing signs of life. Relocating and marking all of the marker posts along this beach was quite a challenge. We found a number of deceased turtles of various maturity stages, not uncommon at the begining of the season. We also made note of the new beach bar that has appeared at the end of the track from Akdeniz.

Pictures to follow tomorrow as Ainslie had the camera and is now catching some well earned Zs. Tomorrow we will stay close to home, just checking Alagadi and focusing work on the Goatshed garden, info centre, sleeping house and beach. Tom having arrived at midnight last night and being woken up to slave away in the sun all day, is also rather pooped.

Brendan, Annette and their children Ellie and David kindly checked Alagadi and the North coast to Kaplica for us this am and found two loggerhead nests on Alagadi. So that's 4 loggerhead and 1 green nest on the North coast now.

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