Waties Island Nest Count

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nest #7

The Monday walkers braved the elements today and found our
seventh nest!!At the entrance no less!! Steve Huggins probes and finds
nest easily. It was a beautiful crawl and well placed nest.

The Monday walkers with guests Heather and Stuart Jameson (family of Janice Kirk)

Stranding today

This turtle was found today above marker #3. It was quite decomposed. We painted the shell with red paint after recording data for SCDNR.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Action

Finally, some turtle activity on the beach today.  The tide overnight was very high, but none of the nests were washed over which was good news.  We got to see the Supermoon setting over Cherry Grove and when you turned around, the sun rising over the dunes.

Moon setting over the pier in Cherry Grove

On up the beach to Marker 8 where we found the first crawl of the day.  The turtle went high up in the dunes and turned around without laying a nest.

First false crawl of the day
Then on up past Marker 9 where we found the second crawl of the day - again, not a nest, but this time the turtle not only crawled up the dune but over the top and down the back side!  Then she returned to the ocean once more.
She was over the top
And finally on to the third crawl - looked very promising right from the start, even several ghost crab holes in the soft sand.  Sarah got a lesson in how to probe for the nest.  It took two tries, but we found the eggs.  The nest was above last night's high tide, so we didn't need to relocate it.

Now we are 6!
Sarah locating Nest #6

Check out this huge stone crab claw that was on the beach today --

We are still overdue for a few more nests - maybe this week will be a busy one.

Barb and Steve

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nests are Overdue

Light showers this morning and we all got a little damp, but it wasn't cold or windy.  Just as we were entering the beach, there was a ghost crab with his "catch of the day", more likely good for a couple of days.

Ghost crab with a ribbon snake

He wasn't going to give up his prize 

Last week there were some interesting things that washed up after the tropical storm - 

An anemone attached to a piece of seaweed

When we put it back in the water, it opened up like a flower

Remnants of a gar fish

Some sort of marine animal backbone
And towels by the dozens!  Along with the usual sunglasses, clothing, and plastic "stuff" -

Thanks to all you wonderful volunteers for keeping that beach clean !!

Barb and Steve

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TTT-NNF   Terrific Turtle Tuesday - Nest # 5
What a day!!!!
It was a blustery day out on the Island today. Steve headed south and Jeannie and Christine headed north. Within minutes Steve came running after us - yup you guessed it - he had found a beautiful set of turtle tracks. As we all hurried back to the site of the tracks we knew that this was going to be the BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!!

Turtle tracks leading to Nest #5

Steve locating the nest - Eureka Turtle Gold!!!!!!!!

Steve, Paulette & Christine marking nest #5
Steve, Christine & Jeannie - Nest #5  What a way to start the day
 Our adventure was not over yet. We hopped into Steve's truck and headed to the upper end of the Island and what do we see - Turtle Tracks - can it be? No - Drat!!!!
False crawl #1 located between marker 3 & 4
 Back into the truck and off we go - until - yup you guessed it - more tracks. Really, so much excitement for one walk.

False crawl #2 - Maybe Maybe not

 Not sure if this is a false crawl. Looks like Mrs. Turtle came up right where nest #3 is and laid, or tried to lay, a nest in the same spot.

Steve carefully probing for a "Possible Nest" near nest #3

Steve probed carefully around the possible nest site but was unable to find eggs. All the while being careful not to probe too close to Nest #3.  Feeling pretty sure that this is a nest we have labeled it as a "POSSIBLE NEST"

What will next Tuesday bring?

Thanks for a great day!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Sunday Highlight - Nest #4

Wow, two days in a row...

Right up at the rock jetty at the top end of this island we found not one, but two sets of tracks.  It was the same turtle:  it looked like she came up first and tried to dig a nest and found rocks below the surface.  She headed back toward the ocean, down the beach about 30 feet, and back up again, this time laying her nest where the rock jetty starts.  It was dry there today, but it was an area of the beach that usually gets covered by high tides.

The starter crawl into the rocks

We made the decision to move the nest down the beach to a more suitable spot.  Check this nest just to the right of the entrance in front of Marker 2.

Thanks to Diane and Sarah for doing the move this morning!

Sarah and Diane looking for the eggs

This is where it was - taking the GPS reading

Digging a new nest by Marker 2 - those cockle shells work great

The egg shells can be tough to tear sometimes

Got it

Paulette, Diane, Steve and Sarah - Nest #R4
Barb and Steve

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Number 3 This Morning

Started out as a quiet morning; not even a lot of debris from yesterday's storm to see.

Just when the group had almost given up on the idea that there could be something on the island this morning, voila!  There it was:  a crawl up above Marker 9.  And the fact that it was a nest was quickly confirmed.  While there isn't a lot of beach at that end of the island, this nest seemed to be located high enough on the dunes that it didn't need to be moved.

Missing some our regular Saturday walkers, but the subs did a great job.  Thanks, everyone.

Tom, Melanie and Linda look on as Steve probes the site

Nest #3!
Barb and Steve

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea

We had a wet and windy morning on Waties, but turtle nests, #1 & #2, were high and dry.  The tide did not reach the nests.  Those mama turtles knew what they were doing when they laid their nests.
Nest # 1

 Nest #2
Alyssa and Linda (in picture) and Valerie and Dave all made it through the morning.  We made our decision to walk in stages.  First, there was no thunder or lightning, so we started out.  Next we worried about the fallen trees.  We only hit a few branches that we could move to the side of the road.  Next was whether the tide would be too high.  We had no trouble.  A few deep puddles, but nothing we could not get through.  Then we got to the beach and it looked like it was a go.  We thought at first we would just check on the nests, but when we got there we decided to go all the way.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Nest #2 !!

Seems like we're off to a good start to the nesting season on Waties - the second crawl of the season turned out to be the second nest of the season.  I can get used to this after all those false crawls last summer.

This nest was only about 30 feet down the beach from Nest #1.  We found the eggs fairly close to the surface too, only about 8" deep.  It will be interesting to see whether this nest emerges before Nest #1 which was much deeper.  That nest was about 18" deep, about average for a loggerhead nest.

Classic - up to the dune, lay a nest, back to the water

Steve showing Jeanne how to probe

Found it!  Arlene, Jeanne and Pat 

The egg for the DNA sample

New folding shovel is easier to carry

Nest 2 is on the board

Barb and Steve