Waties Island Nest Count

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tuesday, September 11th, Nest 12 Inventory

A small group this morning, Steve, Barb, Paulette, Leslie and Connie. The beach was beautiful and so peaceful this morning.

Nest 12 was found by the Sunday walkers on July 15. It was laid up against a sheared dune very close to the dead trees below marker 1, very close to the inlet. This was one of our relocated nests, the nest was moved because it was originally in an area that is flooded during some high tides and the potential for over washes was high. 100 eggs were moved, and buried above marker 1. One egg was broken in the nest and used for DNA research. The nest emerged on Saturday, Sept. 8, day 55 of incubation.

We uncovered 96 hatched eggs and 4 unhatched eggs, with great results, 95% hatching results.

With the coming of Florence, the large powerful storm in the Atlantic, and whether you are traveling or staying in the area, please stay safe.

Our last nest was unchanged as of this morning. Hoping for the best!!

Beautiful sun rise

Beautiful clouds

Evidence of a really high tide

Nest 12

Barb and Connie digging up the nest

Lots of hatched eggs, only 4 unhatched 

Nice neat nest - our Sunday ladies dug this nest, nice job 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thursday, September 6th

Short but beautiful walk.  Everything was silvery today.  The waves were curling perfectly.

Nest #12 has a slight depression.  They're moving around down there.  

Nest #14 was quiet.  Our inventory nest #11 had a huge ghost crab hole!

Our season is coming to an end. Treasure every moment!

And we walk off into the sunrise for one of the last times this year!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - Two Nest Inventories and Nest 11 Emerged!!

This morning we had quite a large group attend these two inventories - lots of volunteers, Coastal Sea Turtle Club members, marine science grad students and several guests. Great turnout!

As we headed up the beach this morning, our first stop was at Nest 11 (55 days old) where we found lots and lots of hatchling tracks heading toward the ocean. It appears that they emerged near the high tide so their trek wasn't quite as long as it could have been. We'll inventory this last nest on the upper end of the island on Saturday morning.

Inventory Results
Nest 9 which was 59 days old when it emerged was the first one we came to. (Because the group was large enough, about half proceeded up to Nest 10 to conduct that inventory.) The final count for this nest was 70 hatched eggshells, 9 unhatched, 2 dead and no live hatchlings. This make for a total of 80 eggs laid by the mother when you include the one taken for the DNA sample.This nest had a 88% hatch success ratio which is about average.

Nest 10 which emerged at 55 days was a little different: It was a larger clutch with 121 eggs laid. One was removed for the DNA sample, 106 hatched and 14 were unhatched. The hatch success ratio here again was 88%. BUT this nest also had 5 live hatchlings trapped in the packed sand. These hatchlings were escorted by the group down to the ocean. Some excitement when the digging began, one of our diggers came across a large ghost crab, and she did not miss a beat, she just pitched the ghost crab up into the dunes.

Lots of hatchling tracks
Nest 11 Emerged

Nest 10 Inventory

Three of the five hatchlings discovered in the nest

To the ocean, to the ocean!

The sun was giving them issues, Linnea blocking the sun

Almost there!

The last one  . . . safe travels

Jewel did a good job sorting

Final results

Blog - Barb and Pics by Leslie

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday, September 3rd Labor Day

Pleasant start of the day, sun behind the clouds when we started and a nice breeze off of the ocean. The sun did show itself, and it got hot fast.  There was evidence that more hatchlings emerged from both Nest 9 and Nest 10.  There are ants in the depression at Nest 9.  There was no changes to the remaining nests.

We walked to the jetty today, not a whole lot of trash, and we came across the sea turtle shell from our recent stranding.

The island is constantly changing, beautiful and peace way to start the day.

Exciting siting - we did see two young Wood Storks sitting on the railing over the causeway on our way back to the shed.

Post and pictures by Leslie

Another beautiful morning

Half in or half out?

Beautiful Sea Oats

We were amazed at this design on the sand

Sea Turtle Shell remains from our recent stranding - ghost crabs had a feast, located close to Marker 8, above HTL

Sunday September 2 Emergencies and Inventory

Sunday was an exciting day on Waties!! The walkers found that Nest 9 and Nest 10
had emerged overnight! The tide was high at midnight so the run to the sea would
have been optimal time!
Nest 9 was laid on Thurs. July 5 below marker 5. The Thursday crew had two false crawls and this
nest that day-and the nest was very hard to find. A depression had formed on Thur.
August 30. The nest emerged on Sunday, Sept. 2, day 59.
Nest 10 was found on Monday, July 9 near marker 8. A depression was seen on Saturday. The nest emerged Sunday, Sept. 2, day 55.

Both these nests will be inventoried on Wednesday, Sept. 5. All are welcome to join the walkers that morning at 6:30 to walk to the nests.

Our inventory of Nest 7 was well attended by a large group of students from Coastal Carolina, led by Erin and Mario. They did a great job digging up and sorting the eggs. This nest was laid in the dunes below marker 1 on Sunday, July 1. It had shown signs of emerging on Thurs. August 30, day 60 of incubation. Even though new sea oats had grown over the nest site, we found 72 hatched eggs and only 11 unhatched!! There was one dead hatchling and one pipped egg. An 85.7% hatch success!! Another good nest for Waties!!
Pictures by Leslie and Post by Paulette
Nest 9 sits in the middle of the beach. See the tracks?

Nest 10 lots of tracks to the sea!!

Inventory of Nest 7

Erin, Mario and students

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thursday's walk and inventory of #8 nest

Nice walk today.  #9 did not emerge.  Depression still there.  Lots of ghost crab tracks.  #7 did emerge.  Barb will be following up with the details on that inventory.  All the other nests were relatively quiet with a few ghost crab trappings.

The inventory of #8 was held after our walk.  The group of walkers present worked together and all went well.  Our Coastal students worked to dig the eggs out, many of which were in the roots of the sea oats that had grown around the nest.  Getting some of the eggs out was not easy!  When all was done and accounted for we counted 68 hatched eggs and 24 unhatched.

And then there is the usual beauty of our island!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29

Had a lovely walk with the Wednesday crew.  Lots going on.  On the short end there was a dead headless hatchling in front of nest 8, our inventory for tomorrow. 
Nest 7 had a large hole that looked like a ghost crab hole.  We will know more tomorrow.

Nest 14 had one ghost crab in the trap which was disposed of.
There also were tracks that Barb guessed might be a bobcat.

On the upper end at nest 9 there is a depression so we may have a couple of things going on tomorrow.  The other nests were quiet.

We walked up to marker 8 to see if the stranded turtle had made it back to the ocean.  There were no remains so I think s/he had a proper burial at sea!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday, August 27th - Nest #6 Inventory - Nest #8 Emerges

A foggy start to the morning which made for an unusual sunrise - always something different out there!

This morning we conducted an inventory of Nest 6 which emerged last Friday. This nest was originally found by the Wednesday team back on June 27 and several members of the team were on hand this morning to see the outcome. Also with us this morning were several members of the CCU Sea Turtle Club and a videographer from Coastal to record the event, and some visitors from the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol.

The final outcome was very good: we found 103 hatched eggs and only 17 unhatched. Early on we did lose one egg for the DNA sample and four more to ghost crabs. This made for a total of 125 eggs in the nest which is just a bit above average. To the delight of the crowd, a lone but lively hatchling was recovered in the nest. It was carefully escorted down the beach and into the ocean.

The other exciting news this morning is that Nest 8 just below the entrance had hatchling tracks this morning. There has been a hole/depression for two days now but no tracks. But now we can call it "emerged" after seeing the tracks. An inventory will be conducted on Thursday morning.

CCU Sea Turtle Club members start the digging 

A lucky hatchling . . .

Jewel and Phyllis working on the sorting of egg shells

Finished the sorting

Final results - 103 hatched

Assisted to the ocean

The other exciting news this morning is that Nest 8 just below the entrance had hatchling tracks this morning. There has been a hole/depression for two days now but no tracks. But now we can call it "emerged" after seeing the tracks. An inventory will be conducted on Thursday morning.

Foggy Sunrise

Nest #8 Emergence Hole

Hatchling tracks
Blog update - Leslie P,  photos Linnea Knecht & Leslie P