Waties Island Nest Count

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nest 14 - Waties First Green Turtle Nest

We were anticipating the inventory of this nest because we strongly suspected that it was laid by a Green Turtle.  We had never had a Green Turtle lay a nest, that we know of, since we have been tracking nests here on Waties.
Ghost Crab had opened the nest before us.

With the help of the Turtle Club from Coastal Carolina University, we started our inventory.  Nest is deep.

The finding of this hatchling confirms our suspicions.  The dark color and white trim with the white underside was our confirmation.  WE HAD OUR FIRST GREEN TURTLE NEST ON WATIES.  YAHOOOOO!!!!

As the eggs came out we could all see that they were larger than the eggs laid by the Loggerhead Turtle

This little guy was struggling, but did make it to the water.  Hopefully, one day in the future, if not this little guy,  one of his siblings will return to the island

The final figures for Nest 14:
 73 Hatched
35 Unhatched
2 dead
1 live

Not the greatest percentage which was disappointing.

Paulette, Robert and Barb take a measurement of the egg.

A chart showing the difference in the size of the eggs laid by the different turtles. 

Some information on a Green Hatchling vs a Loggerhead Hatchling which is the turtle we usually have on Waties.

This was a morning to celebrate!!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Interesting Morning

Though we did not see any action with the two remaining nests, it was a wonderful morning and way to start the day!!
Wood Storks in the marsh

Calm seas

Florida Horse Conch

These can grow to 18 inches.

Is the Florida state shell

Angel Wing. 

Pelicans flying into the sunrise

Such beauty.  Hard to believe that in other parts of the east coast the waters are raging from Hurricanes' Jose and Maria. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Inventory of Nest 12

Nest 12 was laid at marker 6 on Tuesday, July 11. It emerged on Saturday, September 16, day 67!!  Today, we dug up the shells for a count. 45 eggs were laid. 1 was used for DNA research. 39 hatched and 5 whole unhatched eggs were found in the nest. . And, we had one live hatchling deep in the nest!!  87 % hatch success. This turtle laid five nests on our beach this year, all small. Four of them have been very successful.
Post by Paulette
Pictures by Paulette,
Lorraine and Leslie
Thank You!!
Robert helps the students dig
Egg Count
Little one is on his way
Beautiful sight

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Nest 12 Has Emerged

It was an absolutely beautiful and calm morning with a fantastic sunrise.
 But what a surprise, Nest 12's hatching at 67 days.  Just three days before it would have been inventoried anyway.   It was good to see it had hatched as it had been washed over with the high tide from hurricane Irma last Tuesday.  What might have saved it was the fact that this nest was a good 18 inches below the surface when we first found it.  The inventory of this nest will be interesting.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday, 9.12.17 The Day after Hurricane Irma

This morning, the turtle patrol set out to check  the last three nests for activity, but due to the wind and rain from Hurricane Irma, any activity was not visible. It started out as a calm morning, but quickly turned into a light rain that soaked everyone to the skin.

Although we did not see any turtle activity, we did see changes to the landscape due to the hurricane and was surprised to see the sailboat is slowly being consumed by the surf and sand. There also was surprisingly little trash and zero sea treasurers.

More drift wood trees added to the landscape

This one was full of barnacles. Found on the south side of the island. 
Barb said she remembered this being on the north side previously.

Sand falling from this high dune

The force of the waves have freshly stripped the bark from these downed trees.

These ghost crabs have escaped to the top of the dune.

This edge looked very unstable. Note that this is low tide, but the water is now high into the island. We have been unable to see this part of the island this season due to the below debris piling up at the turn, however the storm had moved the debris around the turn allowing us to see past it. 

Imagine how the shoreline looked before, You could almost draw a straight line. 
At low tide, it has still greatly encroached onto the island. 

On the drive back to the shed, you will notice 
the many reeds that have washed over the causeway. 

Blog by Regena Heilmann