Waties Island Nest Count

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Final Event of the Season

Yesterday, we had our year end celebration of this record breaking year. A picnic on our favorite beach!

Everyone brought a dish to share and Karen brought a BEAUTIFUL cake - Cakes by the Sea does amazing things with sugar and flour.

Karen gave a summary of the nesting season on Waties followed by the partial DNA results that have been reported to far. Ten of our 28 samples have been completed and when they are all finally in, we'll share the whole picture with everyone.

After lunch (some really yummy dishes!), people had a chance to check out what changes Hurricane Matthew made to the island. The lower end certainly looks different now.

Some trees no longer have anything covering their roots - 

These last two pictures are from a OLLI beach sweep that was conducted last Friday. Hurricane Matthew sure made changes to the upper end of the island too. Some dunes are totally missing now. But the island may look entirely different by next spring; we will see what Mother Nature has in store when we return for the next sea turtle season.

Thanks to Regena for sharing her photos from the picnic.

Look forward to seeing everyone again next season!

Barb and Steve

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday, September 23 Inventory

Friday, September 23, our last nest is inventoried!!
Nest 25 was laid on July 26 just below marker 5.
This nest emerged on Tuesday, September 23,
day 56. We found 55 hatched, 42 unhatched eggs,
a 56% hatch success. We had one triple egg, and
three double eggs!! The doubles were all hatched,
the triple had two hatched chambers and one
unhatched chamber!! Very interesting!!
Another wonderful day on Waties!
Pictures by Karen Fuss and Paulette
Post by Paulette
CCU students help Jingle dig


Watching the excavation

A pipped egg

Look at these!! Double and triple eggs!!

Close up of the oddities

Final count

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, September 16 Inventory Nest 17

Today we inventoried Nest 17 located at Marker 6. This nest was laid on
July 3 and never showed signs of emerging. So, on day 75 we dug up the
nest. Students from Coastal Carolina assisted. We found 16 hatched eggs
and 88 unhatched eggs in a very deep nest.  There were no live or dead

Students from Coastal Carolina -thank you!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday, September 12 Inventory Nest 21

Monday, September 12 inventory of Nest 21
This nest was laid on July 12 near marker 4 and
emerged on September 9, day 59 of incubation.
The Monday walkers dug up the nest and counted
the eggs. 110 hatched and 4 unhatched, 2 dead 
hatchlings. Almost 96 % hatch success!!
Our best nest yet!! Good work, Monday Walkers!!
Pictures by Leslie
Post by Paulette

Sandy and Kim dug deep!!

Shirley sorted and counted

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nest #22

Although we often see beautiful sunrises, today's was absolutely stunning (thank you Leslie for sharing).

Red sun in the morning...

Nest #22 near the overturned boat was inventoried: just below the surface we found a hatchling. It had a deformed right flipper and wasn't able to make it out of the nest. With a little help from friends, it was finally able to make it to the water and start the big swim.

Right flipper undersized

Hard work pays off

Of the 119 eggs originally laid, 92 were hatched, 26 unhatched and one was taken as the DNA sample. No dead hatchlings and two live ones were counted for a 71% hatch success ratio. Not bad!

Thanks, Leslie for sharing your pictures.


Friday, September 9 Emergence

Friday, Sept. 9 Nest 21 emerged!!
The Friday walkers were delighted to see tiny turtle
tracks leaving Nest 21!! Day 59 of incubation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday September 7 activity

Wednesday, September 7
Nest 22 emerged!! Day 52!!
Nest 21 has a ghost crab hole
over the nest cavity. We found
a single hatchling track leading
away from the hole. More tomorrow!!
 Pictures by Leslie and Paulette
Post by Paulette
Nest 22 crater and tracks

Tracks in wet sand

Can you see them?

Nest 21 has a single track.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday, September 2 Inventory Nest 19

Our Friday walkers braved the rain to check nests and
inventory Nest # 19 before the rain became too heavy.
Nest # 19 emerged on August 30, Day 53 of incubation.
We found 55 hatched eggs
44 unhatched eggs, two of those were pipped. No hatchlings
dead or alive.  54% success.
We didn't make many pictures due to the rain. 
Steve H., Arlene, Leslie, Keela, Jingle, Larry and our
guest SCDNR rep, Caitlyn, were thoroughly soaked!!
Thanks for the two pictures, Leslie
Posted by Paulette
Inventory Nest 19

Nest # 20 with crab hole and two empty shells

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hold on to Your Hat!

Another new nest this morning - Nest #28 of the season was discovered at Marker 9. This was originally marked as a "possible nest" but last night, there was an emergence -- and now that we know exactly where it is, it is marked with a PVC pole.

Nest 28

The other discovery was that Nest #19 also emerged overnight - as we approached the nest, there was one turtle still crawling out of the hole. It easily made it to the ocean while we all watched.

Nest 19

 Can't quite see the turtle but that's where it came from.

Then on to the main event of the morning, the inventory of Nest #27 which was found on Saturday. It too was a possible nest which became a reality when tracks and a crater were discovered. Hatched eggs were 112, unhatched only 12 and one dead turtle which we used for the DNA sample. A very good outcome!

Sorting the pieces

 More inventories in the next few days!

Thanks to Valerie and Steve for sharing their photos today,


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Nest 16 Inventory and a New Nest!

The record breaking continues with Nest #27 discovered today - This was previously labeled a "possible nest" (PN) and this one was right by Marker 8. This morning, we were only a few feet away getting ready to inventory Nest #16 when hatchling tracks were found at the PN.

Next, the inventory of #16 - as we've seen this summer, a good bit of sand had accumulated over the nest, but we found 114 hatched eggs, only 10 unhatched, along with two dead and one live turtle. The Coastal Sea Turtle Club was on hand to dig and photograph at the event. 

Coastal Sea Turtle Club members on hand today

It was pretty deep and a little hard to find

On the lower end, more excitement -- Nest #20 (the last one on the island) had a ghost crab hole and also a dead hatchling on the surface. Bet they've hatched and are just waiting for the right time to come out. Maybe tonight??

Nest 20

Thanks to Valerie, Leslie and Jeanne for sharing their photos.

Barb and Steve

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24 Another Emergence!!

On Wednesday, August 24, we discovered that Nest # 16
had emerged overnight, Day 53 of incubation. This nest is
at Marker 8, and the hatchlings were smart and made their
run during high tide!! Lots of miniature tracks!!
Pictures by Leslie P.
Post by Paulette


Lots of hatchling tracks

This was a major emergence

Another beautiful sunrise on Waties

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Inventory of Nest #10

There we were again this morning, "digging to China" - Nest 10 was 41 inches deep (beat the last really deep one which was only 39 inches).

But a surprisingly good outcome with 79 hatched eggs and only 5 unhatched. One dead and six live hatchlings were also recovered.

See how deep the sign post is

Starting the excavation

Some live ones!!
Swimming away

Watching them enter the ocean
Still digging

And digging...

And sorting...

This one was "pipped" - didn't make it out of the shell

Thanks to Valerie and Leslie for sharing their photos from this morning!