Hi All - since it was going to be our last day, the LOAs went out together to the island for the first and last time this year - social distancing was practiced.
The first action was to dig and inventory Nest 16R, which was located right at the access road. This nest was 70 days old today, it was laid on July 30th, we had not seen any evidence of hatching or emergence, and the nest was caged for protection. Val and Bill started the digging and we were hoping for the best, but after much digging and others taking turns, it was decided to call time on this effort, so the nest will be logged as lost. This was a relocated nest, so we know there were 92 eggs moved, but lost.
Our next action was to dig up and inventory Nest #18. This nest EMERGED on Monday, October 5th, and Barb reported lots of tracks. This nest had been caged and various actions were taken to deter our canine friends on the beach. Thank goodness some good news! The inventory results were 73 hatched eggs, 15 unhatched, 0 dead hatchlings - AND - we had 8 live hatchlings! This nest was laid right after Hurricane Isasias, August 3rd. This nest was also deeper than we thought, and it had been washed over by the August King Tide. This nest had a 73% emergence rate. We watched the little ones head out to sea, they were very determined. Thank goodness for some good news!
We also picked up all poles, markers and cages, our season comes to an end. What started out as a challenging season, with the COVID pandemic, only LOAs walking, the hurricane, loss of all poles and DNR signs marking our nests, the coyotes patrolling our beach and digging up our nests, we ended with a happy ending with Nest #18. In total we had 20 nests, 2 which were first recorded as false crawls, only 6 emerged, 14 were considered lost and 11 False Crawls.
I am happy I was able to write some good news for a change. We hope to see everyone next year, but only time will tell.
Just in case you missed the news of the helicopter (actually an ultralight) crash on Waties, you can read about it - https://www.wbtw.com/news/grand-strand/helicopter-down-on-waites-island-in-horry-county/
May the Turtle Force be with you all
Pictures compliments of Bill, Sharon, and Leslie