Waties Island Nest Count

Monday, July 28, 2014


 Monday 7/28/2014..........Nest #1 has released her bounty onto the sands of Waties Island

Kim holding the hatchling (nicknamed "Willy") that was rescued from the grasp of  a ghost crab.
Sandy watched over Willy and had to fend off hungry birds as Donna, Kim and Jeannie finished the the walk.
Willy had a tough start to his/her life. HOPE YOU MAKE IT!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is Something Going On With Nest #1?

The rain we have had just might be camouflaging the depression.  When we have rain, the top layer of sand forms a crust.  If the depression signifying activity started after the rain, it may cause the crust to sit over the depression.  Only time will tell if this is so.   
 There is no reed to show where the nest is, but the marker always goes in the same place in relationship to the nest.  The next picture shows this location.

As we headed back to the truck through the dunes after our walk, I noticed this animal print. Raccoon?
A big thank you to who ever cleared the road in!!!!   GREAT JOB!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A New Nest!

Nest #7 was found this morning just above Marker 3. We are guessing that this is the same turtle who has come up the last several nights without laying any eggs - the track width was the same: 33 inches.

Neat in and out tracks

Steve can find it 
 All the other nests look fine. Nest #1 is 52 days old today and it should be showing signs of activity in the next week or so.

Taylor's got the DNA sample
The "family photo" from Nest 7 taken at the shed

And the BIG NEWS of the day: the driveway in now resembles a "parkway" - extra wide now that it has been mowed!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday, July 18. The marsh birds were extraordinary today. Numerous wood storks and
other waders. Thank you, Jingle.
We found a false crawl between Marker 1 and 2. This appears to be the same turtle that came on the beach yesterday - same track width of 33". She went high in the dunes and made several attempts to nest as she did the night before.
False crawl # 26.
Thank you, Arlene for the pictures.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014 False Crawl #25

(Email Report incorporated)
We had a report this morning of a crawl up around Marker 7 - a bit of a surprise because there hasn't been any activity lately - but a good surprise. Unfortunately there was no nest found today; we've labeled today's activity as a false crawl. Unlike the many, many false crawls by our special needs turtle (DeeDee), this one needs to be checked. It might actually be a nest even though we weren't able to find the eggs. Look for the sign labeled "FC 25" and a date of 7/17.

The North Myrtle Beach Turtle Patrol reported a false crawl two days ago; it is possible that this is the same turtle but it may be another animal entirely - hope she will come back to one of these beaches and lay a nest soon.

Beach Action Soon: Nest #1 at the top of the island is 49 days old and Nest #2 is only two days behind. The first nest of the season historically take a bit longer to emerge (60+ days), but this summer has been exceptionally warm, so expect the unexpected.

Barb and Steve

(From the Thursday Turtle Patrol)
Today was a gorgeous morning. We had hoped to find baby turtle activity at Nest #1, but not yet. However, we did find what was determined to be a false crawl near Marker 7. It was high on the dune and looked promising, but we were not able to locate any eggs. (But we did find 15 pairs of sunglasses and other interesting items!)

It appeared as if she stayed quite a while trying to dig a nest on the steep dune.

Steve found what felt promising, so Karen and Elaine started to search.

Flossie and Lu taking measurements of the tracks
Just in case, Steve probed a little higher, but determined this as a false crawl
Flossie recording the data of the false crawl
Heading back to the Shack
Our work is done for the day

An egg case, known as a mermaid's purse or devil's purse, is a casing that 
surrounds the fertilized eggs of some sharks, skates, and chimaeras. 
This one has been around a while as it has barnacles starting to form on it. 
 We saw quite a few of these casings, but could not identify. 
If you know what it is, please write in the comments below. 
 Mr. Ghost Crab, as much as we don't care for you, you sure are a beauty.
 Very unusual find of the day.
 Fun finds. We probably found 30 sea urchin shells. Excited about that!
 Heading out, we stopped for a few nature photos

 Such a pretty little shack

Photo Blog by Regena Heilmann

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Nest #6 -- July 5th, 2014

July 4th Celebration!!!  We found some creative sand-art.
Happy Birthday USA!

View from the top.
A crawl below marker #7

Uncovered the sacrificial egg for DNA testing.

Kayla from Atlanta got to hold the egg.
Waties Island Nest #6 for 2014


Taking measurements and data from the nest.

Steve & Barb record data on false crawl #24
 Some Saturday team members with friends from Atlanta

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th! :)

First of all I want to apologize if this post is accidentally blogged above the awesome find of the July 5th walkers (YAY FOR ANOTHER NEST!) but I had trouble with my signal yesterday and couldn't post the photos from Friday's walk.

 The most important news is the fact that all nests survived the storm with little if any washover. The most damage was the rain washing the numbers from the sign posts, which was a problem easily solved (with the help of Sarah's sharpie pen).

 The only nest with any signs of washover was Nest number 3 (shown above). The reeds that mark the tide line had been pushed behind the sign post, however they weren't so far back that they had reached the location of the nest chamber. With the wisdom of our turtles and our astute volunteers at play, it seems none of the nests were damaged in the slightest. Arthur couldn't hope to compete. ;)
 The final sign of a storm cleared away was this beautiful double rainbow, a promise of brighter days ahead. I suppose that day came quicker than we thought! Congratulations to the Saturday walkers for finding yet another turtle nest! Again, sorry for the delay on the pictures, but I hope you can all enjoy them now. I wish you all a belated Happy Independence Day!

^^^^Way better than fireworks.