Waties Island Nest Count

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Waties Nests #1, #6 & #4

The storms this morning were North East of us.  We could hear no thunder.  Was concerned about Nests #1, #6 & #4 so we decided to walk.  We did encounter some rain early on.  But it did clear up.    
We searched the area around Nest #1 and saw no indication that anything happened since yesterday. Today is the third day since the depression was spotted.  The depression was not as deep as yesterday. Checked the area around the dunes and towards the water.  No signs that the nest hatched, but we have had two days with lots of rain and wind.   May have missed it.

Nest #6 was quiet, no crabs in the trap, just sand which we emptied out.

Nest #4 on the other hand was opened up again.  This time we saw a very small crab no bigger than an inch in the nest.  Tried for 15 minutes to get him and couldn't.  

Found a piece of shell at the entrance to the nest.  Again today, there were lots of flies in the nest.
We released a crab in one trap and took sand out of the other trap.

We covered the nest up and packed it down good this time

Searching the area again before leaving we found another egg up in the dune.  

Linnea and Harriette found a message in a bottle.  Water still got in the bottle even though this one had a cork and the top was wrapped in tape.  They had an awful time getting it open.  Turned out to be a memorial to someone.

It was fun opening up the bottle together to find out what was in it.  We had a good morning, rain and all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NESTS 1, 4 & 6

Outside of the depression which was bowl like,  there were no signs that Nest #1 had hatched.  If anything did happen from yesterday when the depression was first noticed, it would have been difficult for us to see because we had a lot of rain and wind overnight which could have obliterated any tracks.                                                                                             

Nest #6  shown in the picture to the left did not have any crab holes today.  We did manage to catch a crab which we released up the beach.   

Robert reset the crab trap at Nest #6

Nest #4 did have a crab hole and the top of the nest was open exposing an egg and an egg shell.  Kinsey put on a glove and removed the piece of egg shell that was next to an egg at the top of the nest and buried it along with the small piece we found on the surface.  There was also a crab hole to the left of the exposed nest.  Very unusual to see an opened nest like this with a crab hole next to it.This nest also had flies around the nest.  See one on the egg below.

Better picture of the crab hole at nest #4

 Picture of nest #4 showing egg shells (larger one we removed from nest), crab hole, exposed top of the nest and one of two crab traps we placed around the nest. We did bury the egg shells, fill in the crab hole after checking to see if there was a crab in it, and covered the nest back up, adding additional sand to the top of the nest and a new reed to mark the site.

We had a full truck this morning.  Jenny, a former CCU graduate, and her family.  They enjoy walking on Waties whenever they are in town.  Dave, Susan and Connie were in the cab.  We had a partial rainbow this morning.  The interesting part of this rainbow was that the end of it was between the horizon and the beach.  Unfortunately my picture did not come out.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday, July 15th Another beautiful morning,sharing our pictures

We had another beautiful sunrise over the marsh and beach this morning.  On our way back to the shed, eagle-eyed Sharon spotted deer close to the road, we stopped, and were able to take pictures. They seemed to enjoy posing for us.  Take a close look at the pictures, you will see 3 bucks.  There were does in the trees behind them, but too far away for good pics.  A wonderful way to start the morning.

Enjoy - Leslie
Never get tired of looking at this view

So proud, all bucks had velvet on their antlers
Three bucks - the proud one in the center, left -one peeking around the tree, and the third is right peeking around a bush behind the rump of the buck in the center

Loving the poses

Karen's Sunrise Pic

This buck loves to pose - Karen's pic

July 15 Nest #12

Nest #12 was found very close to the inlet.The turtle tried to climb a steep dune,
then laid the eggs at the base of the dune. This is an area that is often under water
during high tides. We moved 100 eggs up the beach above marker 1 near nest #8.
Post and pictures by Paulette
The incoming and outgoing track is one track.

This is the only track found.We had to convince
ourselves she wasn't over the dunes!!

Can you see how she tried to crawl up that wall??

No real body pit but plenty of clues

Eggs easily found but cavity full of tangled roots

The nest was small and narrow with eggs stacked on each other.
But 101 laid!!

The sign post has been corrected with the right date and
the R for relocated. This spot will stay nice and dry.
Sharon, Karen, and Leslie

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018 Nest #11

It was humid and very windy when we arrived on the beach! Karen had joined our team for the day.
Bill and I had gotten about half way down the short side when we got a text from Karen saying that a crawl had been found right before marker 4. She believed it was a nest due to the shape of the crawl but that the tracks in the loose sand had been nearly obliterated.  Finding the nest was going to be a problem.  We would probably have to mark it possible nest and watch closely.  We all continued our walking knowing we would probe afterwards.
The in track

The out track

The crew came back and we took crawl width, probed where we thought appropriate, found approximate latitude and longitude, and were ready to label it a false crawl/possible nest.  But...Sheri and Kinsey were not ready to give up.  Sheri had spotted THE spot.  Kinsey probed and thought she had a definite maybe and then Karen quite speculatively took the probe...and down it went.  We all were overjoyed.
The heroes

nest #11
The team!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nests 4, 6 & 10

It was another photo op morning on Waties.  Always so many beautiful sunrises. 

We went a whole week with no crab holes at nest 6 only to find one yesterday.  Today, there were lots of crab tracks, but none had dug into the nest.  We did catch and release three crabs.

We are still having a problem with the crabs getting into nest 10.  We found crab holes yesterday and  again this morning.  

 Covered the holes again and added more sand to the top of the nest using the handle of the probe.  Forgot the crab trap this morning.

Looked like a crab showed interest in Nest 4, but either we interrupted him or he changed his mind.  There were no crabs in the trap.  We smoothed over the top of the nest and left the crab trap just in case.                                 

Nancy's granddaughter, Taylor, joined us this morning.  She was full of wonderful questions.  Said she would like to walk again with her grandmother when she comes back.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday, July 9th, Nest #10

 The morning started with a beautiful sunrise over the marsh and beach.  Monday Walkers discovered a very nice crawl between Markers 7 and 8. She crawled right to the base of the dune to dig her nest.  Lots of sand piled, and thrown sand.  It was problematic in probing due to so much loose sand and the nest is over a large amount of wrack, but we were not giving up and found the egg chamber.  Leslie had company, so they were thrilled to be included in this find.  The crawl was 33 inches across.  All walkers were able to help with the crawl.

We did find one large ghost crab in the first trap, and he was carted off to a place fair away from the nests.  All other nests were fine.

What a beautiful morning

Incoming crawl
Outgoing crawl

Body Pit, right at the base of the dune
Kim and Skylar helping with the poles

Skylar, Leslie's great niece, helping, she was thrilled
Monday Walkers, Maddy, Skylar, Leslie, Sherry and Kim.  Stacie, Leslie's neice behind the camera