Waties Island Nest Count

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Ghost Crab Trap, Prints and Diamondback Terrapin

Nest #6 lost another egg today for a total of six eggs.  We are trying a new type of Ghost Crab Trap.  A PVC pipe about 12 inches long and closed on the bottom end;  installed away from the nest site and dug in so that it is even with the sand.  It is hoped that the crab will fall in and not be able to get out.  This has been used in Garden City.  Hopefully this will work.

 Eggs were visible from the surface and the Ghost Crab was still there this morning.


These prints have been visible along the whole beach.  At times three sets can be seen together.  The prints of a dog and coyote are very similar so we have not been able to positively identify these although a coyote has been spotted.




This shell was spotted on the beach yesterday and was identified as a Diamondback Terrapin.  Terrapin is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal tidal marshes of the eastern and southern United States and in Bermuda.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

NEST #7 AND THIS TIME WE BEAT THE GHOST CRABS!

Saturday seems to be the day for nests.  Looks like this mamma turtle tried two times to nest before finally depositing her eggs.  At the second site, we saw three Ghost Crab holes but they did not find the eggs this time! 


 The eggs were found by Pat and Jackie almost 2 ft. down.  Hopefully their deep enough to prevent the crabs from getting them.  Again, this nest was laid between the high tide line and the dune.
 Those pesky Ghost Crabs did get back into nest #6 again.  They managed to get one more egg for a total of 5 eggs lost so far.  They must be extra hungry this year!

We also saw the remains of a pretty good size fish.
 Check out the size of those gills!
And the size of that spine!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Under Attack!

Both Nest 1 and 2 had ghost crab activity yesterday, but this morning, Nest 1 was under major attack by those predators. A new larger ghost crab trap has been put in place and we'll see if it works. Let the battle begin!

Nest #1

Testing a new larger ghost crab trap

Barb and Steve

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nest #6

We had no trouble identifying this as a nest.  Unfortunately as soon as we got to the nest there was a Ghost Crab hole with an egg on the surface.
 As a result of this we did not have to probe and only had to dig a few inches to find the nest.  This nest is similar in many ways to nest 3 in that the crawl had a drag mark, it is located between the high tide line and the dune and it is a very shallow nest.  It will be interesting to see the DNA results between Nests 6 & 3.


 Note the drag marks between the flipper prints.

 We also saw what looks like a mole was tracking under the sand.
 Foot print shows the size.
 It looks like what ever it was, came out and went back in.

We also have Ghost Crabs at Nest #1 & #2.
 Emily found an egg shell near one of the Ghost Crab holes.  We need to be watching the nests and reporting changes.  Pictures are great!!  Thanks Emily.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The crab is back at nest #3

 The crab trap is back on nest #3.  We lost another egg.  Please continue to check the trap for the Ghost Crab.



Another dune is being undermined on the lower end.


Snowy Egret getting breakfast. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Got Him!!

Wednesday morning, a bit of a rain delay, but we really need to check on the ghost crab trap that was put in place yesterday. And (somewhat to our surprise), we got him!! He's in the jug and scrabbling around. And not munching on sea turtle eggs anymore.

A BIG ghost crab!




We took him all the way down to Hog Inlet before dumping him out. Hope they don't have a homing instinct!

Shaking him out



There is the troublemaker

And boy, did he scurry away


This was also a morning for sand dollars - saw 5 whole ones

Two chairs at Marker 5 now in case you need to take a break on your walk

Photos and post by Steve and Barb