Waties Island Nest Count

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nest #7 Update

Quite a morning on the island - first, a message in a bottle - and a beautiful sunrise.  Lots of shells on the beach too.

Then some beautiful endangered wood storks were feeding in the marsh.  Lyndsey took some great photos and was kind enough to share them.

The most exciting discovery this morning was finding a hatchling just struggling out of the nest.  There was one set of tracks leading out of the cage (or maybe two sets, hard to tell).  We could see more hatchlings in the nest, but they were just resting.  Thought they would emerge overnight.

BUT -- we told Merrill Boyce about the event as we were leaving the island.  He came upon the scene of a major hatch!  The first photo shows lots of the hatchlings spread out over the beach - if you click on the photo you can see more details.

All spread out on the way to the ocean

No ghost crabs in sight...

No birds either....

These little turtles picked a good time to make their way out.
On the way - still sand covered

Heading out to sea

Big crater and lots of tracks

Merrill wrote describing them as "scrappy little rascals making their way down the beach, carefully separated so as not to all get eaten at once and moving with such determination on those oversized flippers" - sound just right!  Thank you for sharing these great pictures!

Barb and Steve

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