Waties Island Nest Count

Saturday, September 21, 2013

INVENTORY OF NEST #13

Part of Waties Island is an environmentally sensitive area with restricted access given to Coastal Carolina University by Anne Tilghman Boyce.

As we arrived on the island this morning we saw two deer at the waters edge that appeared to be drinking from the ocean.  I know in the north, I have heard of people putting out "salt licks" for the deer, but hadn't thought that deer actually drank from the ocean.  

 Because we got to the beach prior to sunrise this morning, we got to see another beautiful sight as the sun came up over the horizon. 
This lady felt that I was intruding as she stomped her hoof and snorted at me.

As I waited for the inventory to start I wondered along the tide line picking up shells and checking the area around the nest. 60 feet north of the nest, I found a hatchling that did not make it.

Nest #13 was laid on July 19th and hatched on September 17th.  The inventory was done yesterday, Friday September 20th.
 
 Karen and Flossie arrived with students from Coastal Carolina Universities Turtle Club to help with the inventory of Nest #13.

 While Karen and Flossie watched, the students started their dig.

One young lady was very excited as she lifted a live hatchling out of the nest and was able to carry it closer to the waters edge and watch it make its way to the ocean.

As the eggs shells were pulled from the nest, other student brought them to Flossie to separate and count.

Here, Flossie explains to the students how she counts and inventories the nest.  The results:       86 hatched, 4 un-hatched, plus one taken when the nest was found for the DNA study, for a total of 91 eggs laid in this nest.  A very successful nest!

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