Sunbathing turtle makes rare appearance on beach

Normally nocturnal nesting turtle appears in daylight

Sea turtles normally nest at night, but this one was seen in broad daylight on Seven Mile Beach last week. - PHOTO: MARK ORR

Beachgoers got a rare treat last week when a large sea turtle dragged herself out of the ocean and on to Seven Mile Beach.

Normally, nesting female sea turtles only come on to the beach at night to lay their eggs in the cool and the dark, away from potential dangers.

Mark Orr, the Department of Environment’s chief enforcement officer who was called to the scene, said it was extremely rare to see nesting turtles on the beach in daylight.

“I have been on the job 17 years and this is only the third time I have seen a turtle come up and nest during the day,” he said.

“It was pretty amazing to see it in the daylight like that.”

Researchers took measurements and tagged the turtle as part of the Department of Environment’s ongoing monitoring of the islands’ nesting turtles.

Mr. Orr said the turtle had made its nest and returned, hot and tired, to the ocean.

It has been a busy month for the research team, though the mood was dampened by reports of a discovery of a dead hawksbill turtle entangled in fishing line, discovered by divers off West Bay. The large male was found discarded with the net still wrapped around its neck, according to researchers.