SC Nest Counter

Waties Island Sea Turtle Monitors

Waties Island is a 2.7 mile private undeveloped barrier island at the border of North and South Carolina. Under a permit from SC Department of Natural Resources to help protect the sea turtle, we are at it again this season! The site will be updated often, so please feel free to bookmark us and visit us again to see what's new!

Waties Island Nest Counter

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Love Of Waties

Sat. Oct. 27th was suppose to be our fall clean up. 'Sandy' postponed that. So on a rainy da I put together some of my favorite pictures, (too many to post). Follow the link, click 'slide show', and enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trip on the DNR Boat Discovery

On Thursday, October 7, the Waties Island Sea Turtle volunteers were treated to a trip on the DNR boat "Discovery" with naturalist Katie and Captain Tom. We left from the Silver Coast Marina in Little River and headed out toward the ocean.

It was a beautiful day on the water...

Once we were near the mouth of the inlet, a trawl net was dropped into the water. There are so many different animals in the water here: in the first trawl, Katie gathered several fish, including a Hog Choker (got to love that name) and plenty of shrimp. She explained a lot about each animal, even how to tell if you are eating male or female shrimp.

On the second trawl, she brought in a medium to large female horseshoe crab. We learned how to tell the difference between males and females and also heard how their blood is used in the medical field for testing for impurities.

Forked tail fish (faster swimmers), fan tail fish, trout with "buck teeth", eyes that migrate to the top side of flat fish in one day (the Hog Choker) and lots more. Katie also passed around two sting ray barbs; they were nasty looking things - don't step on one of these animals in the water.

All in all, a really great trip. Thank you, Karen, for making this all possible.

And a very big THANK YOU to all the wonderful volunteers who spent so many hours on the beach this summer monitoring for turtle crawls, protecting the two nests we did find, and collecting data at the inventories. Not to mention the tons of trash you all collected over the summer; your help in keeping the island clean make it a beautiful and pristine seashore.

See you all in the spring!

Barb and Steve

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Waties Nest 2 Inventory

This morning we did the inventory on our last nest of the season. The Thursday walkers found the tracks and several dead hatchlings at the nest site - and they are the same group who found the original crawl back on July 15.

We had some help this morning from a budding naturalist, Miles. He was interested in everything - from helping take down the poles to digging up the nest contents.

When we inventoried the contents, there were 88 hatched eggs, 21 unhatched eggs (which included one almost fully formed turtle) and 4 dead hatchlings (no live hatchlings). This gave us a "Hatch Success" of 80% as calculated by, and an "Emergence Success" of 76.3% - about average.

Looked like some racoon prints in the dunes behind the nest.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Barriers Behind Nest 2

Nest #2 is 45 days old today, and while most loggerhead nests emerge between 55 and 65 days, there have been some that have emerged as early as 44 days (a little unusual) and several nests on NMB have emerged this year at 53 days. So, it will be soon!

This morning, a barrier of plywood boards was placed behind this nest which should prevent any hatchlings from accidentally making their way down the back side of the sand dune where the nest was laid.

Weekend traffic on the beach is almost as heavy as Hwy 17 - the dune buggies were out in force.

We also "domed" the nest this morning (loosened the hard packed sand below the surface). This hard layer, which is caused by heavy rains compacting the sand, can make it much harder for hatchlings to make their way to the surface.

There is a black line on the barrier boards which indicates the level of the sand this morning. When checking the nest, if you notice significant accumulations of sand, please try to remove it to bring it back to the original level.

Barb and Steve

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nest #1 Inventory

Last night, about 20 volunteers, visitors and Jenna from SCDNR met to conduct the inventory on Nest #1. This nest emerged on Day 56 and four live hatchlings were found and released on Day 60 when the cage was removed.

Last night in very, very windy conditions, Valerie, Nolan and Steve dug up the contents of the nest and found 61 hatched eggs, 44 unhatched eggs and one dead hatchling. When we add in the one egg taken by a ghost crab last week plus the one taken for the genetics study, it makes for a total clutch of 107 eggs. The emergence hatch ratio was 57%.

We had a turtle visitor (a tortoise actually) on the beach too!

Thanks to all who came out last night to witness the event.

Barb and Steve

Thursday Visitors

On Thursday morning, we had visitors from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, VA on turtle patrol. The kids discovered a "Ryan" crab (named after the discoverer yesterday) which turned out to be a stone crab minus the large front claws. They also had fun with the ghost crabs.

It was wonderful to have them visit and hope they'll come back again!
Inventory results from Nest #1 will be posted soon,
Barb and Steve

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday Morning Picture

Yesterday, Nest 1 had a large sunken hole in the center of the nest and a ghost crab hole to the right. This nest may have emerged as early as last Monday evening (a dead hatchling was found on the beach last Tuesday morning).

When we checked the nest the morning, we found one dead hatchling in the ghost crab pile and also what sure looked like some new hatchling tracks: only a few inches of tracks here and there, surrounded by lots of ghost crab tracks.

One thing is for sure - every nest is different!