Waties Island Nest Count

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday's crew

We thought we had one!  Saw the tracks which are right by marker #3, kept on walking to check out the rest of the island, and when we came back realized it was a false crawl.  Exciting and disappointing!

The width of the crawl span was 31".  So she was pretty small.  We all were thinking about the leatherback span of 80" and were incredulous.  She just walked up and walked right back out.  Bill did probe but she did no digging.  Wasn't there long.  The crawl going in and coming out were same size and the incoming crawl had not been washed away at all.
Elaine and Kinsey at the convergence

The nest?



Wednesday, May 30, 2018


We started our walk with a beautiful breeze.  Temperature was perfect.  No bugs.
 Lots of garbage mixed in with the Sargassum these last few days.  It's amazing what manages to get into the ocean.

 The green bottle is anti-freeze!!  

 A crab trap?  Not so unusual.  Unfortunately, the crabs were already dead.

 "Fifteen more minutes and we would have made it!"  But on the bright side, how many times does an adult get to walk in the rain!  

Friday, May 25, 2018

No turtle action today, but we had a close encounter with a great blue heron when we arrived on the beach and a glass lizard (not a snake!) as we were leaving the beach.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Small Animal Jaw/Teeth?

Not sure what this is.  It is only two inches in length.  The part that looks like a jaw is not hard like a bone, but more like "grizzle".  What looks like teeth are round on the bottom as though they have been worn down.  They look like little mushrooms from the top.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Our first 2018 Nest

The Sunday team got lucky on this rainy Sunday morning.  This was not a text book crawl or nest, we had to work hard on finding the body pit, nest, and her eggs. 

We first saw the exit crawl, and from the tracks, we just missed the momma turtle going back into the ocean.  Her tracks were still raised in the sand as the tide was heading out.  It took us some looking to find her incoming tracks, there was some distance between the incoming and exiting crawls.  She had slid down on the backside of the dunes, dug her nest and laid her eggs.  Many thanks to Paulette and Sharon in being persistent in finally finding the eggs. 

After laying her eggs, she crawled allover the place on the backside of the dunes.  There were many paths she took, and many places you can see she turned herself around trying to find a way over the dunes, and back to the ocean, not an easy task for her. 

We relocated her nest to the front side of the dunes, where she should of laid them, and moved 114 eggs.  The new nest is about 25 feet from original nest.

Many thanks to Paulette, Sharon, Karen and Leslie

 Her incoming crawl -note the tide line, she came in on high tide.


She left at low tide, and we think we just missed her.  She had been wondering on the backside of the dunes for awhile.

She tried going up the hard way, did not make it

The body pit on the backside of the dune

Digging out the eggs
Original Nest, 116 eggs removed

New relocated Nest
 Sharon displays an egg,shaped more like a chicken than sea turtle
Success, Leslie, Sharon, Karen, photo byPaulette

Friday, May 18, 2018

False Crawl on May 18, 2018

The Friday walkers found a beautiful crawl as soon as they entered
the beach. She came up and moved around a couple of times and
then left!!The crawl was just up from the entrance.Hopefully she will return tomorrow. Our first action of the season!!
Paulette, Arlene, Milton, Teresa, Mario and Erin

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Stranding on May 11, 2018

The Friday walkers found a dead juvenile Kemp's Ridley near
Marker 6 washed up overnight. We documented the find for
DNR. The turtle had no signs of trauma, injury or disease. It
was about 20 pounds and measured 18.5 inches across the shell.
Always hard to find a dead sea turtle-and the Kemps is the one that
is commonly found this time of year in our area. They like to hang out
near the piers and eat the fishermen's bait. Hopefully, this will be the
only one for us!!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Turtle on Waties!!

Well, maybe it's not a SEA turtle, but it is a turtle: a diamondback terrapin! They are sometimes found in the marsh behind the island but this one was found out on the beach. It was still alive too. Thank you Flossie for sharing your photo.

South Carolina had two nests reported as of yesterday with many more to come soon!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018


We had a cool and uneventful walk this morning.  At first glance the beach looked clean.  But as usual we always find trash and something interesting.
Like the very large jelly fish above next to Hunter's size 5.5 shoe
We also noted the white boat that is above MM7 has almost been totally buried.  
Some of the "Mile Markers" were turned to the East as a result of the heavy winds we have been having lately.  MM7 was blown over completely.
And we found a dock above MM 9.  As you can see in the picture the tide goes very close to the dune on the upper side of the island.

Robert, Leslie, Hunter, Dave and Valerie