Waties Island Nest Count

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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday, 9.12.17 The Day after Hurricane Irma

This morning, the turtle patrol set out to check  the last three nests for activity, but due to the wind and rain from Hurricane Irma, any activity was not visible. It started out as a calm morning, but quickly turned into a light rain that soaked everyone to the skin.

Although we did not see any turtle activity, we did see changes to the landscape due to the hurricane and was surprised to see the sailboat is slowly being consumed by the surf and sand. There also was surprisingly little trash and zero sea treasurers.

More drift wood trees added to the landscape

This one was full of barnacles. Found on the south side of the island. 
Barb said she remembered this being on the north side previously.

Sand falling from this high dune

The force of the waves have freshly stripped the bark from these downed trees.

These ghost crabs have escaped to the top of the dune.

This edge looked very unstable. Note that this is low tide, but the water is now high into the island. We have been unable to see this part of the island this season due to the below debris piling up at the turn, however the storm had moved the debris around the turn allowing us to see past it. 

Imagine how the shoreline looked before, You could almost draw a straight line. 
At low tide, it has still greatly encroached onto the island. 

On the drive back to the shed, you will notice 
the many reeds that have washed over the causeway. 

Blog by Regena Heilmann

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Nest 11 Inventory

It was a long walk up to the jetty this morning (but very enjoyable!) to inventory Nest 11. This was the nest that emerged on Labor Day with lots of tracks seen at the site.

No problem finding the eggs: final count was 108 hatched and only 5 unhatched, for an emergence rate of almost 95% - very good! And this mother turtle nested last year AND this year - two consecutive years which is a first for us. Usually loggerheads nest every two to four years.

Kaela and Elaine digging up the nest
Sharon handing over the egg shells

Leslie sorting hatched from unhatched

Only five unhatched out of 113 eggs!

The boat is still there, but maybe not for long! Irma's coming...
In preparation for possible beach erosion, we have removed the numbered markers to prevent any more plastic from entering the ocean. Plans are also in place to replace the plastic poles marking the three remaining nests. Hoping for the best!

Thanks to Bill and Paulette for sharing their photos.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, September 4th - Labor Day

Happy Labor Day - the Monday Walkers were blessed with a beautiful sunrise, and excited to see that Nest #11, the nest by the jetty emerged.  Very nice crater, and lots of tracks to the ocean.  There was a hatched egg sitting on top of the nest.  Per the tracks, it looks like there were many ghost crabs who may of witnessed this emergence - the ghost crabs were either giving them an escort or attempting to herd them.  There were also lots of gulls and skimmers close to the nest, so we are hoping our turtles hit the surf under cover of darkness.

This was a relocated nest by the Sunday Walkers on 7/9/2017, so we know the nest contained 113 eggs.  The nest emerged on day 57.

Many thanks to the Monday walkers; Donna, Sherry, Maddy, Kim, Leslie, Sandy, and Nancy

Pictures and text by Leslie

Beautiful Sunrise

One eggshell at the top of the nest

 Tracks to the ocean . . .

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pleasant Morning & a Definate Depression at Nest 10

We had a cool pleasant morning with just a mist as we headed off the beach.
Nest 10 had a definite depression with two Ghost Crab holes.  No visible tracks.

There were, what appeared to be, Box Jelly Fish along the beach

I did a quick check in my bird book, but was unable to identify the bird we saw on the lower end.  He wasn't bothered by us at all and let us take all the pictures we wanted.