We had an interesting find a few days ago. Musca was found nesting on Jupiter Beach. Musca was just here last year and nested seven times throughout the season. This was the first time that we've seen her this year. Like Sugaree, we are surprised to see a turtle that nested so many times last year come back to nest again this season. It's not at all unheard of however. There is no predictable pattern to the remigration interval of each individual. Some will nest consistently every other year and then skip two years. Others will nest on consecutive years and not return for three or four years. There are many factors that contribute to the variations in remigration interval so it's always interesting to see which turtles show up each season.
The weekend offered us very little in terms of leatherback encounters but we did just wrap up a three-turtle Sunday night. We saw Palm and Patty as well as a new turtle. There are now 72 leatherback nests on Juno, Jupiter, and Tequesta beaches. This is less than half of last year's 167 nests by this date but exactly even with our total in 2008. 2008 was followed by our record 2009 season that ended with 340 leatherback nests so we'll keep our fingers crossed for next year. The numbers presented for Juno, Jupiter, and Tequesta represent just a portion of the beach that we are surveying at night when we look for leatherbacks. At night, we also tag leatherbacks on MacArthur Park and Singer Island but there are separate organizations that do the morning nest monitoring. Throughout this season, on our full nightly survey area, we have documented 74 leatherback encounters with 42 females (many of these have been seen more than once). 16 of these 42 females were untagged turtles. Our most frequently seen turtle is Pumpkin with 5 nests. Zoey, Gisli, and Lacy have each laid 4 nests on our survey area.
The loggerheads are starting to show up in bigger numbers now. We've got 867 loggerhead nests on Juno, Jupiter, and Tequesta. This is about 70% of last year's nest count. We are expecting our first green turtle any day now.