A snowy plover sits on its nest in Holmes Beach May 6. captured by Roy Wilson, a birdwatcher and photographer vacationing on Anna Maria Island from the United Kingdom, captured the photo. The nest hatched May 10.
Snowy plover hatchling. Islander Photo: Courtesy Glenn Wiseman
Claudia Wiseman stakes off the island’s first turtle tracks. Islander Photo: Courtesy Glenn Wiseman
The first sea turtle to lay it eggs on Anna Maria Island appropriately arrived on Mother’s Day.
Suzi Fox, executive director of the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, said the first loggerhead nest was found early May 11.
A large area around the tracks and the nest between 24th and 25 streets in Bradenton Beach was marked off and will serve as a training site for AMITW volunteers.
Fox demonstrated the marking procedure for volunteers May 12.
Fox also received a false crawl report May 11 from the beach at Silver Surf in the 1300 block of Gulf Drive North. The false crawl is logged when a sea turtle comes to shore but does not nest.
Fox and AMITW coordinator Glenn Wiseman found another snowy plover nest May 2 near 79th Street in Holmes Beach.
The nest was roped off the same day.
Meanwhile, Manasota Key marked off its first sea turtle nest and saw several false crawls May 2.
Also, walkers with Mote Marine Laboratories found the first sea turtle nests of the season on Longboat and Casey keys. Mote monitors 35 miles of beaches during the nesting season, including all of Longboat Key and working south on the barrier islands.
Mote reported loggerhead nesting activity.
Mote officials also are not concerned over the slow-arriving sea turtles.
“We’re not too surprised that the turtles here got a slower start this year — nesting is influenced by water temperature, and the waters along our coasts have been cool,” said Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist with Mote’s sea turtle conservation and research program.
The Mote Marine Sea Turtle Patrol and AMITW patrol in the morning for signs of new nests and hatching activity May 1-Oct. 1.