Waties Island Nest Count

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 10 Beach Sweep

It was another beautiful South Carolina day on the beach! Blue skies, sunshine and pleasant temperatures too - can't ask for more than that.

Thank you all for helping out today; as the poster says "every tiny piece matters"

Some pictures from this morning --

How does stuff like this wash up? Looks like a water heater

Ed, Elaine, Flossie and Val

A message in a bottle with momentos to a lost loved one.
This one will be returned to the ocean to make another journey.

Ed, Elaine and Flossie taking a break

Filling out the form. How many (......) did we collect? A LOT!

Thank You All!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Last Nest...

What a wonderful turnout this morning for the inventory of Nest 14, our last nest of the season! We had volunteers from every day of the week there and some new friends too. Great to see you all.

The outcome for this particular nest wasn't the best we've seen but we do know that 31 eggs did hatch. There were 40 unhatched eggs, several of which were "pipped" meaning the hatchling started the process of exiting the eggshell but didn't quite make it all the way out. We don't know exactly why this happens. (Students; more research needed here!) No live turtles this morning but there were three dead ones.

Beautiful sunrises out there

Digging up the contents

Sorting and categorizing the contents

The one really unusual thing we saw this morning was a juvenile snapping turtle on the beach. These turtles are fresh water reptiles and we guessed it may have been washed out by the storm. Luck was with him/her today as Kaela bagged it and took it on to a new home. Thanks, Kaela!

Thanks to Leslie and Kaela for sharing photos,

Barb and Steve

Just a few more from Bill.

There were quite a few of us on the beach.

Before and after of our sailboat.  It reemerged after Florence.

Our last sunrise of the season.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Final Nest of the Season Emerged

Our final nest of the 2018 season on Waties emerged overnight. It was 58 days old and fortunately was not affected by Hurricane Florence. Not even washed over!

Nest 14 emerged

Lots of tracks !

But those pesky ghost crabs were there too...

Opportunistic critters

Kaela was checking out the tracks.

Inventory on Tuesday; details to follow.

Barb and Steve

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