Waties Island Nest Count

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday October 1 Inventory of Nest 13 additional pictures

Here are more pictures from our inventory today.
Thanks, Abby for the picture of the hatchling.
Hope he makes it!!
Paulette
This nest was shallow when laid, but very deep when inventoried


Sam and Todd  helped by Sharon and Kim

One live hatchling marches to the sea!!

THANK YOU!

☺JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU BARB AND STEVE FOR TAKING THOSE FIRST STEPS ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.  IF NOT FOR THE TWO OF YOU, WE WOULD NOT HAVE A WATIES ISLAND TURTLE MONITORING PROGRAM.  I AM IN AWE OF YOUR QUIET DEDICATION, THE HOURS YOU HAVE PUT IN AND YOUR PATIENCE IN TEACHING US ALL.  I'VE GONE FROM NOT KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GHOST CRAB TRACK AND A HATCHLING TRACK TO UNDERSTANDING THAT WHAT WE DO EFFECTS OUR ENVIRONMENT.  YOU HAVE ENRICHED MY LIFE! 
VALERIE

The Last Inventory - Nest 13

This morning we set out to inventory our last nest of the season and it was a strange one!  (And also a cool one; it was 57 degrees this morning!)

Sam and Todd did the digging and it was one of those nests where we felt we were "digging to China" again.  Lots of sand got moved before anything happened. Then a live hatchling was found on the side of the hole. But still more and more digging before the first egg was found. Finally!


Sam and Todd digging and digging
After it was all said and done, there were only 4 hatched eggs and 13 unhatched. Those, plus the 4 lost to DNA and ghost crabs, makes this the smallest nest we have ever had.

In the end, almost 30 inches deep


The whole nest contents


Burying the nest contents
There were four eggs that were possibly viable, so we reburied them closer to the surface.



Maybe they will hatch
Heading home

We'll check those last 4 eggs over the next several days to see if anything happens.

Barb and Steve

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nest 14 - Waties First Green Turtle Nest

We were anticipating the inventory of this nest because we strongly suspected that it was laid by a Green Turtle.  We had never had a Green Turtle lay a nest, that we know of, since we have been tracking nests here on Waties.
Ghost Crab had opened the nest before us.

With the help of the Turtle Club from Coastal Carolina University, we started our inventory.  Nest is deep.


The finding of this hatchling confirms our suspicions.  The dark color and white trim with the white underside was our confirmation.  WE HAD OUR FIRST GREEN TURTLE NEST ON WATIES.  YAHOOOOO!!!!

As the eggs came out we could all see that they were larger than the eggs laid by the Loggerhead Turtle

This little guy was struggling, but did make it to the water.  Hopefully, one day in the future, if not this little guy,  one of his siblings will return to the island


The final figures for Nest 14:
 73 Hatched
35 Unhatched
2 dead
1 live

Not the greatest percentage which was disappointing.

Paulette, Robert and Barb take a measurement of the egg.


A chart showing the difference in the size of the eggs laid by the different turtles. 

Some information on a Green Hatchling vs a Loggerhead Hatchling which is the turtle we usually have on Waties.

This was a morning to celebrate!!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Interesting Morning

Though we did not see any action with the two remaining nests, it was a wonderful morning and way to start the day!!
 
Wood Storks in the marsh

Calm seas

Florida Horse Conch

These can grow to 18 inches.

Is the Florida state shell

Angel Wing. 

Pelicans flying into the sunrise


Such beauty.  Hard to believe that in other parts of the east coast the waters are raging from Hurricanes' Jose and Maria. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Inventory of Nest 12

Nest 12 was laid at marker 6 on Tuesday, July 11. It emerged on Saturday, September 16, day 67!!  Today, we dug up the shells for a count. 45 eggs were laid. 1 was used for DNA research. 39 hatched and 5 whole unhatched eggs were found in the nest. . And, we had one live hatchling deep in the nest!!  87 % hatch success. This turtle laid five nests on our beach this year, all small. Four of them have been very successful.
Post by Paulette
Pictures by Paulette,
Lorraine and Leslie
Thank You!!
Robert helps the students dig
Egg Count
Little one is on his way
Beautiful sight

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Nest 12 Has Emerged

It was an absolutely beautiful and calm morning with a fantastic sunrise.
 But what a surprise, Nest 12's hatching at 67 days.  Just three days before it would have been inventoried anyway.   It was good to see it had hatched as it had been washed over with the high tide from hurricane Irma last Tuesday.  What might have saved it was the fact that this nest was a good 18 inches below the surface when we first found it.  The inventory of this nest will be interesting.