Waties Island Nest Count

Monday, June 30, 2014

DeeDee's Nest on June 22

Thanks to the Sunset Beach/Bird Island Turtle Team, we now have more information on our special needs turtle. As reported, she was finally able to nest on their beach (not sure exactly where) on June 22. The last time we saw her on Waties was June 16 when she took that BIG walk around the beach at the Hog Inlet end of the island.

Here she is! Carapace looks really clean, but right rear flipper is missing

Seems healthy otherwise

Another photo of the missing appendage
She laid a total of 126 eggs which their turtle team relocated to a safer spot. There are even a few more photos on the Sunset Beach Turtle Team Facebook page:


Scroll down a bit to see pictures from this nest.

What we can't quite figure out is why she has returned to Waties so soon - she made false crawls on both June 27 and June 29 - no real nesting attempts - normallty there is at least a 10-14 day interval between nests. Just goes to show you that more research still needs to be done. Of course, we know this is one exceptional turtle!

Thanks to Maddy's friend for sharing these photos ---

Barb and Steve

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27 - False Crawls #21 and #22

June 27 brings back DeeDee, our turtle with the bad rear
flipper. Two false crawls today at marker 6.
These were well defined crawls, but no nest
was found.
Thank you, Arlene for the pictures.
The first picture is
FC# 22
The second and third are
FC# 21

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nest #4 on June 23 and Nest #5 on June 24!

Nest #5  Tuesday, June 24

Two lonely and soaked walkers, Steve Huggins and Dave Way,
braved the deluge and now we have another nest!!
High in the dunes near marker #6, this turtle laid a beautiful nest!!

Thank you, Steve and Dave!!

Nest #4, June 23, 2014
Just a few feet above Marker 4, the Monday walkers found a beautiful crawl - straight in and straight out with a nest site up on the dunes. Lovely to see this after so many false crawls this season. Perhaps the season is just getting off to a late start and now things will be picking up. Anyone with photos, please post here.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6/18/14 Low tide - All is quiet on the turtle front!

Today we had a small skeleton crew of only three walkers. (Regena, Harry and Linnea) The tide was amazingly low and people were out early on the Cherry Grove side of Hog Inlet. It was a beautiful morning, but we did not see any sign of a crawl nor did we see the injured turtle that was seen on the other side of Hog Inlet yesterday. Keep an eye out for this one.

 No, it's not the Three Amigos. It the Three Lone Walkers

 Who can identify these tracks?

 People on the other side of the inlet watching the sunrise.

 We saw a lot of Egrets.

Playing in the tidal pool


Report of Turtle Stranding by NMB near Hog Inlet

The following stranding was reported to Barb via email by Linda of the North Myrtle Beach Turtle Patrol  on 6/17/14:

I just got back from a stranding call at the 53rd Ave Boat Ramp in Cherry Grove. A turtle got caught up in a fishing line off the Pier along side the boat ramp. A kayaker quickly came over; the turtle was stranded on thee bank, he cut the line wrapped around the turtle's neck. While cutting the line, he noticed that the turtle was suffering from a boat strike and had at least 3 deep gashes on it's carapace. Not knowing what else to do, he pushed the turtle back into the water (ugh), it swam away and then he called his friend who is a NMB STP volunteer. I was called down but of course the turtle was long gone. I was given the following picture.

I spent about an hour over at the boat ramp, talking with people and hoping the turtle would strand again but no such luck. This turtle is severely injured. Little change, but I wanted to give you a heads up in case it strands somewhere on Waties. I would assume around Hogs Inlet.

Thanks, Linda


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Dee Dee, our special needs turtle, did not make an appearance this morning.  She was probably exhausted from the looks of the photo from Barb in the next blog. 

Due to a high tide, nest #3 had a wash over.  The picture below shows that it wasn't a complete wash.

We had a good group of walkers this morning thanks to Shirley and Truman's visitors, Sharon and Allan, from Virginia and their daughter, Amy.



The following is from Barb's e-mail yesterday of Dee Dee's 20th false Crawl and I thought that it needed to be posted - this photo was taken by Monday walker Kim and it is absolutely amazing.

Our special needs turtle was around the bend at the lower end of the Island at Hog Inlet.  She was on the beach for quite awhile.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

False Crawls #18 & 19

We thought DeeDee was gone for a while, but she's still trying.

Up in front of Marker 9 we found two false crawls, the first one showed that she was on the beach for a while - the incoming and outgoing tracks were quite different in length. Steve probed where she attempted a nest but found nothing.

The second crawl about 10 feet west of the first one was her again. This crawl was newer; the tracks covered her outgoing tracks from false crawl 18. This time, no attempt was made to nest; just up to the "wall of sand" and back to the ocean.

The tides were very high the last two nights and Nest 2 and 3 did get overwashed, but they should be fine.

Recognize these tracks?

Barb and Steve

Friday, June 13, 2014


Paulette, Sarah and Linda found lots of crab holes around nest #3 when checking it this morning.



The moon was setting

at the same time the sun was rising this morning over Waties Island as we were making our way to the beach.

And it was windy when we got there.
Saw this big hole blown into the dune below mm#2.

This guy is not a Blue or a Ghost Crab, but he was enjoying the water.
The crab that dug this hole sure could fling the sand!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nest #3 and False Crawls #15, 16 & 17 - It was an Extraordinary day!

Today is exactly two weeks since the Thursday walkers discovered Nest #1. Nest #3 found today, by those same walkers, may even be the same turtle; the interval is about right.  This nest is between Marker 8 & 9 and well above the high tide line so it should be fine. In addition, we also found three additional false crawls, at least one of which was our special needs turtle, DeeDee. (She is still desperately determined!)  These additional crawls bring the number of false crawls to 17.

More exciting news for our area: North Myrtle Beach had their first nest of the season. Donna (our Monday walker) came upon the turtle still in the process of finishing up her nest near the swash at 48th Ave S.

It was a very productive day for all!
 (Barb and Steve)

 The day started out threatening rain, this rainbow showed us that we were in for a glorious day!

 The high tide made us walk a little faster to get around the bend before losing ground.
There are always beautiful things to photograph! 

We get the call that four crawls are discovered and quickly get to work.

 This one is empty.

 This is probably DeeDee

 Probing each one
 Found one promising to be a nest!

It is storming hard in Little River, but we remain dry!

 This Ghost crab was nestled in a turtle track, trying to be invisible!

 But not for long!

 This turtle had a very distinct "S" swirl in her crawl.

 Another false crawl
 Confirmed eggs in a nest!
 Carefully extracting one egg for DNA testing
 Unearthed by Elaine (r) and Sarah Glenn (l)

 Today was Sarah Glenn's first day with our group

 The yolk of the sacrificed egg.

 The egg shell packaged and ready to be submitted for DNA testing

 Final measurements

Waties Island Nest #3 - Documented!

(Photo journal by Regena)