Waties Island Nest Count

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Inventory of Nest 5

On Sunday, August 13, Nest 5 had incubated for 70 days without showing signs of
emergence. According to DNR guidelines, the nest may be inventoried at that point.
Robert, Todd and Jiarong dug deep into the sand to find the egg shells. Great news!!
Though a small nest, a good result!! 45 hatched shells and only 3 unhatched eggs. There
were no live or dead hatchlings. 92 % hatching success!! 
Post and Pictures by Paulette


Walkers and spectators

Todd and Robert finish the dig

A very deep hole

Samantha sorts and counts

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Inventory of Nest # 3

Nest # 3 was laid on May 27 and emerged on Day 65, July 31. This nest was
located just below the entrance in the edge of the dunes. It was a shallow
nest plagued by ghost crabs. The turtle who laid this  nest  also laid nests in
2011 at Surfside and North Myrtle Beach-five total. In 2013 she laid one at
Myrtle Beach and four at Briarcliff Acres. In 2016 Briarcliff had one of her
nests and Waties had three!! We hope she has laid more nests on our beach,
and hopefully better ones than this one.
48 hatched and 68 unhatched.
And, on a personal note, a fond farewell to Emily-who will graduate tomorrow
and begin looking for a job with the sea turtles!! The best of luck to a great
volunteer and student!!
Post by Paulette
Pictures by Regena,
Barb and Paulette
Regena captured the sunrise reflecting off the high rises of NMB


The digging begins

A once shallow nest became very deep!

Our guests help


Sorting the eggs

Emily's mom counts the eggs

The sail boat remains on our beach

Karen brought out a lock for our gate!! Thank You!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Hatching Season Now!

Nesting is slowing down but hatching season is heating up! Nest #3 just below the entrance emerged overnight at 65 days.

Emergence hole and hatchling tracks

One lone turtle was left at the nest site when the volunteers arrived.

But progress is being made...
Left flipper still a little weak



And YES, the ocean!!

Thanks to Nancy M for sharing her pictures today; post by Barb

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Inventory of Nest 2, Saturday, July 29

Nest # 2 was laid in the middle of the beach between marker 4 and 5 on May 20. It was caged for
the incubation period due to ATV traffic nearby. This nest was shallow when located,
but was deep when inventoried. The hatchlings emerged on July 26, day 67. After
finding some eggshells, five very lively hatchlings were discovered!! Then, more
egg shells and more hatchlings!! All the hatchlings were eager to find the ocean.
127 eggs laid. 100 hatched. 26 unhatched. 1 for research. 12 live hatchlings and no
dead hatchlings. 78.7 % hatch success!! Another good nest!!
Emily digs up the shells as Kaela prepares to sort.

Egg count


heading for the ocean

Four little guys running for the water
Post and Pictures by Paulette
Emily's friend Caroline took these two pictures.

Three marching along

Nest #1 Inventory

Nest #1 didn't generate the greatest results with 31 unhatched eggs and 5 hatched with 1 live turtle found. However, it was quite exciting to watch the live turtle swim away! On the way back over the causeway, we saw a bunch of wood storks, too!



Friday, July 28, 2017

More Pictures from Inventory of Nest 4 on July 28

Teresa shared these photos.
These eggs were buried deep

Keela hands the eggshells to Gail as Linda sorts

Sorting

We had several guests and families today


Inventory of Nest # 4

Nest # 4 was laid high on the dunes at Marker 6 on Saturday, May 27. 
It emerged on Day 59, July 25.
We dug up the nest today and what a great way to start our inventory phase!!
This turtle was "in the system". She had laid nests in 2011, 2013, 2015 on Sunset Beach,
Ocean Isle and North Myrtle Beach. This year she laid her first nest on our beach!! I
hope she has laid several more with us!! Her nests are large, ranging from 104 to 163 eggs.
Today we found 143 hatched eggs, 17 unhatched eggs and 3 dead hatchlings. 89 % hatching
success!! This is a very good result and a good mama turtle!!
Keela and Jingle dig for the eggs

This nest was high up!!

Results

What a great sight!!
Pictures by Karen and Becky
Post by Paulette

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

And We Found Them!

The eggs, that is. Yesterday the group worked on a crawl near Marker 6 for almost an hour. Surely looked like a nest with all the classic signs. So this morning, we gave it another try. Steve really had to work for this one; several soft spots were probed and dug up before finding the nest near the very front edge of the body pit. Certainly not where you would expect it.

But Nest 14 for the season!
Brooke's got the egg!

Pretty deep nest




In addition, Nest #2 emerged overnight with hatchling tracks heading toward the ocean. This nest was 67 days old, a slightly longer incubation than usual.

Big crater where the turtles made their exit

Tracks heading to the ocean
Barb and Steve



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

There Have to be Eggs Somewhere!

Just after nest #5 and before MM 6 our walkers came across another crawl.  A beautiful nest sight.  Disturbed/buried vegetation, thrown sand, scarping, and a big difference in the incoming and outgoing track, but we were not able to find the eggs.  We probed for 50 minutes.  We probed the mound, we probed the area as she entered, thinking she could have gone back over the nest site, we probed thinking she may have turned and then nested.  We checked and probed where we found soft sand.  We could not find those eggs.  We saw a Ghost Crab hole and even though it did not look like she would have nested there, we checked anyway.  Sand was hard in that area.

There are eggs there somewhere!

 Now for what is happening with the other nest sights.  the PN laid on 6/3/17 (52 days ago)  has a Ghost Crab hole that needs to be checked.  If I remember correctly, this was a long crawl along the dune.
 Nest #2:  We found a Ghost Crab hole and an egg on the surface.
 Nest #13:  Had 4 Ghost Crab holes.  We put a trap in the far left side away from the nest and where the tracks came from/led to.  We covered up the holes.
 Nest #4:  This took a lot of studying/analyzing.  It was not your normal looking emergence sight.  But after awhile we determined that we had an emergence.  This was verified when we saw about 12 hatchling tracks that were made when the tide must have been going out last night.

 Nest #8 below:  Another Ghost Crab hole.

A big thank you to Hunter's family who was very patient with all we had to do this morning.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nest 13 Sunday, July 23

The Sunday walkers found a well defined crawl at Marker 6.
A ghost crab beat us to the nest and emptied 3 eggs. We
found the rest of the eggs after some digging!!  Nest # 13
Post by Paulette
Pictures by Paulette and 
Leslie
A beautiful crawl to dunes.


Notice the drag marks. Possibly that barnacle on
the belly again!!


Well defined body pit

The eggs were deep.

Our Sunday walkers with guest.