Waties Island Nest Count

Thursday, May 12, 2016

NEST #1 - Thursday, May 12, 2016

The first nest of the season was discovered this morning between Markers 5 and 6 on Waties Island! This is the earliest that we have found a nest on the Island over the last 10 years. It contained 110 eggs. Of the 110 egg, 107 were relocated (3 were found broken and 1 of the 3 was used for DNA sampling.) The eggs were relocated near Marker 2 because the nest was laid next to the high tide line (where frequent wash overs could prevent the eggs from developing or possibly wash the entire nest away).

In the last 10 years, this is the earliest nest that we've ever found on Waties Island! Prior to 2016, the earliest nest on the Island was discovered on May 21st. Back in 2011 when we had two early false crawls (May 10th and May 12th), North Myrtle Beach had their first nest on May 13th, Looking forward to seeing the generic info on this turtle to see if she is the same one who nested on Waties five times after laying the May 13th nest on North Myrtle Beach in 2011, and then again returned to Waties and laid five nets in 2013.

We're off to an exciting sea turtle season on Waties Island!

Karen, Blogger
Regena, Photos

 The Crawl


Skirting along the dunes

to her nesting spot

Outgoing crawl - hope to see her back in two weeks! 

The search begins

Maddy and Susie measure her width. 
She measured approximately 35" wide, flipper to flipper. 

Donning the gloves, preparing to search for the eggs. 

Didn't have to go too deep to find the first egg.

Paulette gave instruction that we needed to relocate the eggs 

Maddy carefully moves the eggs to the bucket

  The broken eggs contaminated surrounding eggs which were carefully rinsed off.

 The eggs were relocated to Mile Marker #2. A hole had to be dug approximately two feet deep to closely resemble the one that was dug by the mother turtle. Maddy and Paulette made sure that the chamber was perfect.

Ready to place the eggs

Harry had the honor of carefully placing each one into the new chamber.  After about 80 repetitive moves, Steve completed the process of placing the final 27.

 It was recommended that we add the sand that was in the bucket to the eggs 
since it would have traces of the Mother's DNA that  may benefit the nest.

Final location stats recorded by Paulette

Steve marks the identification marker

WooHoo! Nest #1

Thursday volunteers - l-r
Susie, Regena, Harry and Maddy

The photographer is always behind the scenes

Photos and photo comments by Regena 

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