Egmont Key Update September 16, 2020

Black Skimmer and Gopher Tortoise on Egmont Key
Gopher Tortoise and Black Skimmer on Egmont Key

The Black Skimmer kids are now all flying so the twine marking the closed area has been removed.  The parents somehow realize people aren’t supposed to be in the marked area and keep the kids safe in there till they are older.  The birds are now enjoying the full west beach.  The birds all tolerated the super high tides this summer and were very successful.  The sea oats and grasses on the west beach were an inch tall when the Oystercatchers and Skimmers first picked that spot.  It’s now over 2’ tall.  These birds love a beach with no vegetation so next year they may go north of the power plant but still on the west beach.

There are a few young pelicans still hanging around on the beach now but should be off on adventures soon.  All the gulls and terns from the south beach fledged and did well prior to most of the storms.

This adorable fella was rescued from the bottom of one of the nests and sent on his way!

Loggerhead Turtle Hatchling
Loggerhead Turtle Hatchling – Nancy Whitford

Sea Turtle nesting was impacted by four tropical storms this year.  TS Cristobal, TS Hanna, Hurricane Marco, and Hurricane Laura brought very high tides to the beaches and washed over many nests.  So far 27 nests have hatched.  This is way below what we have other years, but given the extraordinary weather, we’ll take it as a win.  There will be more information on the nesting success in our October newsletter.