Waties Island Nest Count

Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 Season is Officially Over

 A final visit out to Waties Island was made today by the Waties Island lead volunteers (those on the SCDNR permit).
 The group emptied all the trash cans and picked up trash off the beach including some of the larger items that we couldn't haul while walking.
Many thanks to Paulette, Bill, Nancy, Steve H., Flossie, Barb and Steve D. for their dedication to running the Waties Island sea turtle monitoring program!

Monday, October 20, 2014

10/18/14 Final Inventory for 2014 - Nest #8

A big bang this morning on Waties Island for the final nest inventory of the season. 72 hatched eggs, 22 unhatched, 8 dead hatchlings and 1 live hatchling. THANKS everyone for all your help with the Waties Island Sea Turtle Monitoring Program!

Karen Fuss

Reminder, we had a total of 10 successful nests this season. One emerged from what we originally thought was a false crawl, and the other was a complete surprise. Nest #8 was the last posted nest to emerge.


Final nest of the season to emerge

 The depression noted on Sunday, 10/12/14

Our first little hatchling was found stranded on the 12th and helped on its way.

video
Good luck little one!


 Saturday, 10/18, Inventory begins










  Live hatchling found on the day of inventory


 I may be slowww, but I'm sure!

 This is why we do what we do - saving the Loggerheads!




 Last live hatchling of the season making its way to the ocean.

 Thank You Volunteers!

See you next year!

Join the Waties Island Turtle Patrol Facebook page for more updates and photos throughout the season. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waties-Island-Turtle-Watch/182846128434586 



Photo journal by RHeilmann

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Spooky Walk On Waites


The first rays of rosy sunlight were just peeking over the horizon when we drove down to the beach.


Still no signs of activity on nest 8, however there were these unusual animal tracks dotting the sand over and around it.




The sun finally mounted to the sky giving us this magnificent view!


And that's when things got creepy. These animal hands were poking up out of the dirt accompanied by a nice flurry of flies...zombie raccoons, anyone?


And then we found this...ear?...and screamed for a good two minutes. 

Chances are, it's something else. At least we hope so. But it was still a very spooky walk today.

However, there is nothing spooky about this:

A mother deer's tracks are here, running alongside the smaller tracks of a baby.

All in all, it seems even Waites is getting ready for Halloween.






Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NEST #10

With every intention of opening up the false crawl near MM 2, below the entrance, we headed for the beach.  As we started to cross the causeway, we were rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise.   



We split up.  Joe and Nancy and Bobby and Debbie went to check on nest 8 and later reported that there still was no sign that anything was happening with it.

Steve H., Truman and Shirley, Dave and I and Karen Huntley went to see if the depression Dave had spotted awhile back below the entrance was something more than a ghost crab hole with some sand blown in it. 





Shirley and Karen donned their gloves and started to dig.  What a surprise!!!! 

Shirley pulled up an egg!!  We shouted, "We have another nest!"  We were excited.  The No-see-ums were jumping all over us.
Quickly, we counted the eggs:  103 hatched and 3 unhatched totaling 106 eggs.  No hatchlings.  We started to put the shells back in the nest and remembered the shell for DNA.                       
This cactus washed up on the beach awhile back during one of the many rain storms we had this summer.  We noticed today that it has started to grow.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A beautiful morning on Waties
On Friday, October 3, we walked for what might be our last time this year.
We found two egg shells near the pole marking the spot where some possibly
viable eggs were buried after last Friday's inventory of nest 7, between markers
3 and 4. Is that a depression near the pole?
We had a little trash fun with the Mom and Dad Coke cans that Jingle picked up.
A beautiful morning with much laughter and joy.






Friday, September 26, 2014

NEST #7's INVENTORY

 CCU Turtle Club members joined us for the inventory of nest #7 this morning.  Before getting to nest 7 we found a dead hatchling on the beach.  The result of one of the many dangers these hatchlings face as they make their way to the Sargassum sea weed some 40 miles off our coast.    
Here Karen explains what we will be doing.
Three of the Turtle Club members put on their gloves before opening up the nest as Karen Fuss, of CCU, and Sean Miller, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, looks on.
A smaller than usual egg is found.  Barb Demusz explains to the students that Leatherback Turtles will often lay small eggs, called spacer eggs when laying their nests.  This is unusual for our Loggerhead Turtle nests.
Looking on as the eggs are counted are Linda, Steve D., Paulette, Sean Miller of SCDNR, and Karen Fuss of CCU.
As the turtle club members pull out the eggs, Barb D. and Jingle sort and count the hatched and unhatched eggs. 
One barely alive hatchling is pulled from the nest.   He made it to the waters edge, but  for as long as we watched him, he was never able to make it beyond the surf.
Barb and Jingle give us the final count:  93 hatched, 20 unhatched + 1 for the DNR study for a total of 114 eggs.  One live hatchling.