Photo Log: Island Turtle Team

Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island

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The Season Officially Ends With a Thank You Party

Oct. 1, 2019 

 

A record breaking year for IOP and Sullivan's

 

 

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Nest # 13 Inventoried on Sullivan's

Sept. 21, 2019 

 

A good ending to a good season on Sullivan's for Nest #13. There were only 6 undeveloped eggs (plus our DNA sample egg) out of the 90 laid on July 27. There were also 9 healthy hatchlings down in the nest who were released by Paula Brady. Hatch Success was 93.3% and Emergence Success was 83.3%. Thank you all for a wonderful summer with so many successful nests.

 

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Nest # 56 Inventoried

Sept. 18, 2019 

 

We inventoried the next to the last IOP nest which was moved from 4th Ave to 30th Ave on July 26. Out of 93 eggs laid, there were only 2 (plus the DNA sample) that did not develop. There were also 3 live hatchlings that were released to crawl to the water by Sue Harris and Susan Lipsey.

Hatch Success was 96.7% and Emergence Success was 93.5%. 

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Only Two Nests Left for This Season

Sept. 15, 2019 

 

. Nest #56 south of 30th Ave produced hatchlings in the wee hours this morning with dozens of beautiful tracks going to the water. Only one more nest left to go on the Isle of Palms, Nest #57.

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Three More Inventories on IOP

 

Three more good inventories at 30th Avenue despite the coyotes digging into the nests post emergence and pre-inventory. Nests #54 and #55 were disturbed by them two nights before the inventories but no damage was done. We are now more aggressively treating the last two nests there with wolf urine and it seems to be helping. Only one more nest left to go on the Isle of Palms. Nest #57

Nest #50 had only 69 eggs laid and 11 of them failed to develop No hatchlings were left in the nest this morning. Hatch and Emergence success were 82.6%

Nest #54 was a large one at 143 eggs out of which only 2 did not develop. There were 2 live ones left in the nest that were released by Jane Solomon and Trisha Hoff to the delight of a large crowd of onlookers and photographers. Hatch success was 97.9% and Emergence was 96.5%.

  

Nest #55 contained 132 eggs out of which 6 did not develop. We always have to add in that one egg did not develop because it was a genetics sample. There were no hatchlings here dead or alive. Hatch and Emergence success were 94.6%.

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Three Inventories on IOP

Sept. 09, 2019 

 

Today’s inventories were good but only one live hatchling out of three nests at 30th.

Nest #49 had 18 undeveloped eggs out of 124 laid with no hatchlings alive or dead. Hatch and Emergence Success were 84.6%.

Nest #51 had 6 undeveloped eggs out of 117 laid also with no hatchlings left in the nest. Hatch and Emergence Success were 94%.

Nest #52 also had 6 undeveloped eggs out of 109 laid with one live hatchling and one dead hatchling. Hatch Success was 93.5% and Emergence Success was 91.7%.

Only 6 more nests remaining on the Isle of Palms.

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Busy Morning After the Storm

Sept. 06, 2019 

The Shell Seekers After the Storm on IOP

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Nice Surprise to See Nest #51 Had Emerged After the Storm

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So happy to report that we did not have any nests wash away during Hurricane Dorian. We inspected all of them and found that all were present and accounted for.

   

However, the bad news is that Nest #48 found at 30th Ave by Susan Chagrin and Jennifer Martin on July 12 had been dug into overnight by coyotes. Fortunately the coyotes did not find the egg chamber and pull out any hatchlings. But we did find that the hatchlings had apparently drowned in the nest either from heavy accumulation of rainwater during the hurricane or from rising ground water either from the recent King Tides or from Dorian. There were 58 dead hatchlings and 12 undeveloped eggs and 88 empty egg shells with no live hatchlings. This means that 89 eggs were laid (counting the DNA sample) and Hatch Success was a good 87.9% but Emergence Success was a poor 29.7%.

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Another nest that had no hatchlings in it was Nest #46 found by Lewis Gregory, Michelle Ziegler and Kevin Farley at 21st Ave on July 9. We found hatchling tracks and an emergence crater there on Monday before the hurricane but were unable to do an inventory because of Dorian. There were 89 eggs in this one as well with 6 undeveloped eggs and one dead hatchling. It was a nice 92.6% Hatch Success and 91.5 Emergence Success.

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On Sullivan's Island, at Station 16.5, we checked on Natalie Podnar's Nest #11 which is due very soon. Since it was blocked by a newly accreted dune, we put lawn edging around it to guide them out to the beach. But getting there was a real challenge since the long Station 16 path had trees down on it and was also flooded from the hurricane. We are happy that it is ready now for the turtles to come out.

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Three Inventories and Prep for Dorian

Sept. 03, 2019

Three more good inventories at 33A before the hurricane:

Nest #44 had 6 undeveloped eggs and 2 live hatchlings for a 92.7% Hatch Success and a 90.9% Emergence Success.

Nest #45 had 7 undeveloped eggs and 1 live hatchling for nother 92.7% Hatch Success and a 91.8% Emergence Success.

Nest #47 also had 7 undeveloped eggs, with one dead hatchling and a 4 live ones for a 93.4% Hatch Success and 89.4% Emergence Success.

These hatchlings were released by Sue Googer and Sue Hogan.  

 

 

Seven little guys that will hopefully beat the storm

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We still have 11 unhatched/unemerged nests and 2 nests that have emerged but cannot be inventoried before Hurricane Dorian. For all 13 of these which include two on Sullivan’s Island, we put a 4’ stick in the dunes 10 feet behind the egg chamber and took photos of the locations hoping to be able to locate any clutches of eggs that remain after the storm surge on the beach. Sometimes the orange signs wash away but the egg chamber is not destroyed. We hope and pray that the beach will not be washed away and that our nests will survive. Time will tell.

   

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SURPRISE ! ! Nest #15 for SI

Aug. 30, 2019  

 

 

Wild (Undetected) Nest #15: Just as we were getting home from these inventories Kristin Zeaser-Sydow called and reported that there was an exposed loggerhead nest about 40 yards south of the Station 16 Path. Her friend Heather had noticed that on the eroded dune there with about a 10” scarp caused by last night’s King Tide, an egg chamber was visible and that several eggs had been seen floating in the water. Ghost crabs took advantage of the situation and dug into the nest. When we got there, along with Karen Britton and her Boykin puppy, Lula, we counted what was left of the nest which were 58 empty egg shells, 20 unhatched and/or pipped eggs (these had hatchlings coming out of them when they died) and 10 dead hatchlings that were free of their shells. This nest looked as if it had not done well because of its location low on the beach where ground water had possibly gotten into it. It is likely that the nesting turtle’s tracks just above the high tide line were erased before turtle team volunteers could find it the next morning. We would have moved it higher to a safe place if we had known about it when it was laid. It does count as Nest #15 which ties the SI all time record, but the results do not get averaged into the database since the clutch was partially washed away. It is recorded in the category of “Final Results Unknown.”

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Thanks to Bill Brumley for these pictures  

  

 

 

 

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Nests 9 & 10 Inventoried on SI

Aug. 30, 2019  

 

 

Nest #9 at Station 28 1/2 produced hatchlings on Tuesday night. Here are the results: 97 empty egg shells, 8 undeveloped eggs, and 1 live hatchling that was released by Karen Britton. Hatch Success was 91.5% and Emergence Success was 82.3%.

Nest #10 which was relocated to the same dune a day later but boiled over before #9 on Sunday night produced 129 empty egg shells, 5 unhatched eggs, 4 dead hatchlings and 9 live hatchlings which were released to crawl to the water by Natalie Podnar and Andrea Kelly. Hatch Success was 95.5% and Emergence Success was 85.8% Aug. 29, 2019

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Two Successful Inventories

Aug. 29, 2019  

Nest #43 at 28 1/2 Avenue had 127 eggs laid. There were 111 empty shells and 15 undeveloped eggs with no hatchlings live or dead. Hatch and Emergence Success were 87.4%.

Nest #42 at Ocean Point had 114 empty shells, 8 undeveloped and no hatchlings alive or dead. Hatch and Emergence Success were 92.6%

 

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Four Successful Inventories

Aug. 25, 2019  

 

 

NEST #38 at 4th Avenue had a good inventory with 104 empty shells found, 9 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings alive or dead. Hatch and Emergence Success were 92%.

NEST #8 at Station 14 had 17 undeveloped eggs, 3 dead hatchlings and no live hatchlings this morning. There had been 119 eggs which were moved higher on the dune at that location. Hatch Success was 84.8% and Emergence Success was 82.3%

NEST #39 (145 Eggs) at 28th Avenue had 10 undeveloped eggs and one dead hatchling. Hatch Success was 92.4% and Emergence Success was 91.7%

NEST #41 (113 Eggs) had 5 undeveloped eggs and one dead hatchling. Hatch Success was 94.6% and Emergence Success was 93.8%.

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Two Successful Inventories

Aug. 21, 2019  

 

At the Inventory of Nest #7 at Station 17 we found 19 undeveloped eggs, 107 empty shells no dead hatchlings and one live hatchling which was released by Natalie Podnar. Hatch Success was 84.2% and Emergence Success was 83.4%. 

 

Nest #40 at 28th Avenue was very successful. Out of the 130 eggs laid, we had 125 empty eggshells, 4 undeveloped eggs (5 including the DNA sample egg), 1 dead hatchling and 3 live hatchlings for a 96.1% Hatch Success and a 93% Emergence Success – an excellent result. The 3 live hatchlings were released by Stan Schwab.

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Another Beautiful Morning on the Beach  

  

 

 

 

 

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Three Inventories for IOP

Aug. 18, 2019  

 

 

Three more good inventories this morning with no rain. Here are the results:

Nest #33 at 28th Avenue - Out of the 130 eggs laid there were 17 undeveloped ones and one dead hatchling with none to release. Hatch Success was 86.1% and Emergence Success was 85.3%. It was a relief not to find anymore dead ones after carpenter ants attacked the nest and caused the death of 9 turtles when they emerged at 8 pm on Monday night.

Nest #36 at 28th Avenue had 9 undeveloped eggs in the nest with no dead and three live hatchlings. They were released by Kristin Ayers and Christel Cothran. Hatch Success was 88.2% and Emergence Success was 84.7%.

Nest #37 at the 7A Access Path - Sand had built up making the egg chamber very deep in this nest. We found 67 empty shells, 5 undeveloped eggs and 5 live hatchlings that were released by Penny Huebsch. Hatch Success was 91.7% and Emergence Success was 83.5%.9  

What are these folks waiting for?...hatchlings!

 

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2 Inventories for Sullivan's Island

Aug. 16, 2019  

    

With a rainstorm just offshore we were under the gun to get the two Sullivan’s Island inventories done. At least there was no lightning. Here are the results:

Nest #5 at Station 26 had one tiny hatchling track coming out of it and going to the water this morning after 4 days since the rest of them came out. And there were no more in the nest, just 92 empty eggshells, 9 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings dead or alive. Hatch and Emergence Success was 90.1%.

Nest #6 at Station 13 had 87 empty shells, 10 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings dead or alive. Hatch and Emergence Success were 88.7%.   

     

    

 

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3 Inventories for the Turtle Team

Aug. 14, 2019  

    

Nest #34 at 28th Avenue had 99 eggs laid with 5 eggs undeveloped, no dead hatchlings and 4 live ones in the nest which were released by Stan Schwab. Four eggs had been found broken in the clutch when it was relocated on June 22nd. Hatch Success was 91.0% and Emergence Success was 87.8%.

Nest #35 at 28th Avenue had 130 eggs laid with 11 eggs undeveloped no dead hatchlings and one live hatchling which was released by Peggy Klimecki, Trisha Hoff and Jane Solomon. Hatch Success was 90.7% and Emergence Success was 90%.

Nest 32 which was laid at the 36A path on June 20 had a ghost crab in the nest that Tee bravely removed. In this one we found that 89 eggs were laid, 4 did not develop and there were two dead ones and no live ones left in the nest for Sue Googer and Debi Magee to release. Hatch Success was 94.3% and Emergence Success was 92.1%.

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Surprise Nest Emergence Just at Sunset

Aug. 13, 2019 

  

    

Stan Schwab, Turtle Team Volunteer, was checking nests at 28th Ave. He called Mary Pringle to tell her there were hatchlings on the beach. We quickly got out to the beach, to find Nest #33 was emerging. Usually this is great news, but we found hatchlings acting strangely and found large ants in and around the nest. We helped a large number of hatchlings get to the water, but they were acting strangely...perhaps from being attacked by ants. 

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3 Inventories for the Turtle Team

Aug. 11, 2019 

  

Two good inventories at 32A this morning on two very large nests.

NEST 30 relocated from 202 Ocean Blvd which contained 149 eggs had 138 empty eggshells, 10 undeveloped eggs, 2 dead hatchlings and 7 live hatchlings. These were released by Alice Williams and Joanne Robinson to crawl to the water and swim away. Hatch Success was 92.6% and Emergence Success was 86.5%.

NEST 31 relocated from the 3rd Avenue Path contained a whopping 163 eggs and had 159 empty eggshells, 2 undeveloped eggs, 2 dead hatchlings and 1 live hatchling. This tiny loggerhead was released by Jennifer Snyder and her daughter Laurie. What a great outcome for this one! Hatch Success was a wonderful 97.5% and Emergence Success was 95.7%

 

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We were so happy to find that Natalie Podnar's Nest #4 near the Sand Dunes Club path had a healthy outcome in spite of the fire ants and ghost crabs. We had relocated 132 eggs minus our genetics sample egg there on June 18th. We found today 119 empty eggshells, 12 undeveloped eggs and one dead hatchling with no live ones left in the nest. Hatch Success was 90.1% and Emergence Success was 89.3%.

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Our morning on the beach wasn't quite over. After the inventory on Sullivan's, we moved some lawn edging to a nest that was laid behind a dune. We are worried that when this nest emerges the hatchlings would go back towards the "jungle path" and they would have no way to make it to the water.

 

 

 

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5 Inventories on Isle of Palms

Aug. 9, 2019 

   

Nest #25 at 21st Avenue: 103 eggs laid, 66 empty eggshells, 36 undeveloped eggs, no hatchlings dead or alive. Hatch and Emergence Success was 64%.

Nest #26 at 21st Avenue: 142 eggs laid, 136 empty shells, 5 undeveloped eggs, 3 dead hatchlings and one live hatchling which was released by Shawn Dracwicz and Linda Thompson Hatch Success 95.7% and Emergence Success 92.9%.

Nest #27 at 312 Ocean Blvd: 117 eggs laid, 112 empty eggshells, 4 undeveloped eggs, and one dead hatchling. Hatch Success 95.7% and Emergence Success 94.8%.

Nest #28 at 32A Path: 127 eggs laid, 108 empty shells, 11 undeveloped eggs, one dead hatchling. Hatch Success 85% and Emergence Success 84.2%.

Nest #29 at 32A Path: 99 eggs laid, 72 empty shells, 18 undeveloped eggs, one dead hatchling and 7 live hatchlings which were released by Louise Martin. Hatch Success 80.8% and Emergence Success 72.7%.

   

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Finally a Few Hatchlings to Release at SI Inventory

Aug. 7, 2019

 

 

Nest #3 at Station 13 Fort Moultrie was very successful. There were 83 empty egg shells and 5 undeveloped eggs with 3 live hatchlings left in the nest. These were released to crawl to the water by Bob and Laurie Snyder. Hatch Success was 93.2% and Emergence Success was 89.8%.

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Ocean Point Inventory This Morning

Aug. 7, 2019 

 

Nest #21 at Ocean Point did not do very well. It only got washed over once during the last King Tides but 33 hatchlings were found dead in the nest. There were 49 unhatched eggs and no live hatchlings. However the egg shells were still very white and not discolored as if they had not been damaged by rising water or water washing over the nest. Hatch Success 62.1% and the Emergence Success 37.1%.  

 

 

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Two Inventories This Morning

Aug. 1, 2019 

 

The King Tides did not quite reach our Nest #14 at Station 16.5 . We did the inventory of this false crawl which turned out to be a real nest when Alex and Jenn found the tracks 3 days ago on July 29. We found that 88 eggs had been laid and 75 of them hatched successfully. There were 13 eggs that failed to develop and one lone hatchling left in the nest. Jan Booth and Deirdre McMurtry released him to swim away. Hatch Success was 84.2% and Emergence Success was 83.1%.

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The inventory of Nest #20 on Isle of Palms which was moved from Seascape in Wild Dunes to 23rd Avenue on June 2 revealed 16 undeveloped eggs out of the 113 laid. There were 3 dead hatchlings and no live ones left in the nest. Hatch Success was 84.9% and Emergence Success was 82.3%. 

 

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Hatchlings on the Beach

July 31, 2019 

 

At 9:30 this morning the DNR office in Columbia and the IOP Police called to say that turtles were coming out of a nest. When we got there we saw a large hole in Nest #20 which boiled two days ago at 57 days of incubation and also in Nest #23 which is only 52 days old. People on the beach said that crabs had dug into both nests. These people had already gotten 4 of them into the water. Seven more came out immediately. We got them closer to the water because the sun was high in the sky and it was already hot. They had a hard time orienting themselves to the water because they kept following the bright sun in the sky, but finally they swam away in the surf.

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Nest #57 for IOP & Interesting False Crawl for SI

July 31, 2019

 

Gina and Doug McQuilken found tracks and a body pit on the flat washed over beach at Ocean Club Villas in Wild Dunes where 109 eggs were found and relocated to near the 30A Access Path.

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And on Sullivan's Island Laurie and Bob Snyder found some tracks very close to the rocks on the harbor side of the Station 13 path at Fort Moultrie. These tracks looked to be several days old. We probed in the most likely spot but the only soft spot was where we found a buried shorebird and are thinking that there were no eggs laid. This was documented at False Crawl #21 for Sullivan's. We enjoyed seeing the container ships that were coming in and out of the harbor very close by.

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Three Inventories on IOP

July 30, 2019

 

We are doing multiple inventories now since so many nests were laid in late May and early June.

Nest #14 at Ocean Point laid on May 27 had 143 eggs laid, 138 empty shells, 4 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings dead or alive. Hatch and Emergence Success was 96.5%.

Nest #16 laid on May 30 on Dunecrest Lane and relocated to 51st Avenue had 118 eggs laid, 110 empty shells and 7 undeveloped eggs with no hatchlings. Emergence Success was 93.2%.

Nest #19 at 406 Ocean Blvd laid on June 1 had 100 eggs laid with 95 empty shells, 4 unhatched eggs and again no hatchlings for a Hatch and Emergence Success of 95%.

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Record Breaking Nest 70 for Turtle Team

Nest #14 for Sullivan's

July 29, 2019

 

False Crawl #6 at Station 16.5 on May 30 was found by Deirdre McMurtry and Jan Booth. The dry sand had blown away all of the normal field signs. We probed extensively that day and failed to find the eggs. But we marked it with a plain stick with orange tape to watch the last week of July. Sure enough this morning Alex Garcia and Jen Gragg found an emergence crater with hatchling tracks coming out of it near that stick. So this is now Nest #14 for Sullivan's Island. What a great year for nests there.

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While we were on Sullivan's the Turtle Team put up some lawn edging

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Four Inventories on IOP This Morning

July 29, 2019

  

 

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Nest #17 at 49th Avenue: 142 eggs laid, 16 did not develop, 2 dead hatchlings, 0 live hatchlings Hatch Success: 87.3%, Emergence Success: 85.9%

Louise Martin and Debbie Kurtz released one hatchling from this nest. Nest #19 at 49th Avenue: 115 eggs laid, 2 did not develop, 4 dead hatchlings, 1 live hatchling Hatch Success 97.3%, Emergence Success 93%

Nest #12 at 23rd Avenue: 80 eggs laid, 9 did not develop, 1 dead hatchling, 0 live hatchlings Hatch Success: 87.5%, Emergence Success: 86.2%

Christel Cothran and Mary Michels released 12 hatchlings from this nest. Nest #13 at 23rd Avenue: 150 eggs laid, 5 did not develop, 1 dead hatchling, 12 live healthy hatchlings released Hatch Success 96%, Emergence Success 87.3%  

 

 

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Nest #13 on Sullivan's

July 27, 2019

Paula Brady reported tracks and a body pit near Station 16.5 . We found 90 eggs there, but they were laid in a low spot below the spring tide line. They were moved to a good dune at Station 28.5 for incubation and won’t hatch until September. 

 

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Inventory of Nest #1 on Sullivan's

July 27, 2019

A busy day for Sullivan’s Island. We inventoried Nest #1 at the lighthouse and found 77 empty eggshells and 5 undeveloped eggs with one dead hatchling and no lives ones to release. Hatch Success was 92.7%.

 

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Nest #56! on IOP

July 26, 2019

  

During the night John Garrels, the contractor who empties the trash barrels on the beach, saw a nesting loggerhead surrounded by people who were harassing it. He had them stop and drew a circle around the body pit. By the time Alice Williams, Eileen Dulany, Joanne Robinson and Cindy Teeter patrolled the beach, they could barely see the nest because the wind had obliterated the tracks except for a 2 foot long section. The body pit was undistinguishable except for John's circle. We were able to find 93 eggs laid there down in the part of the beach that will flood late in the season. They were relocated to a safe dune between 29th and 30th Avenues to incubate.

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Inventories of Nest #10 and #15 on IOP

July 26, 2019

 

 

Inventory of Nest #10 at 304 Ocean Blvd yielded 80 empty eggshells, 6 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings. Hatch and Emergence Success was 91.9%

Inventory of Nest #15 at 620 Ocean Blvd produced 72 empty eggshells, 8 undeveloped eggs and also no hatchlings. Hatch and Emergence Success was 88.8%,

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Inventory of Nest #5 on IOP

July 23, 2019  

It was a great inventory this morning at Nest #5 at 33A. Amazingly there were no unhatched/undeveloped eggs in the nest where we relocated 149 of the 150 eggs that were laid lower on the beach on May 18. There were two dead hatchlings in the nest and five live ones who were healthy and released by Sis Nunnally and Aelecia Rideout to crawl to the water and swim away.

Hatch Success was 99.3% and would have been 100% if we had not been required to take one egg for DNA analysis when they were laid. Emergence Success was 94.6%. 

 

  

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Inventory of Nest #12 on Sullivan's

July 22, 2019 

The sand had built up on the Wild Nest #12 at Station 17 burying the egg chamber very deeply. We had a hard time finding and then reaching the empty egg shells for the inventory. But at least that large crab had vacated the premises. Here is what we found: 64 empty shells, 9 undeveloped eggs (including one very large double egg that failed to develop), two dead hatchlings and no live hatchlings. Hatch Success was 87.6% and Emergence Success was 84.9%

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Nest #55 for IOP

July 21, 2019 

 

A loggerhead laid Nest #55 just outside one of the beach volleyball courts at the Windjammer at 10th Avenue this morning. Kathy Kowalchick discovered tracks in the damp sand that went up to the dry sand and disappeared. We don't like it when the wind blows away the body pit and other field signs making it very difficult to find her eggs. There were only two spots that looked any different from the smooth flat dry sand. Barb Gobien saved the day by finding the eggs which were 132 in number. They were quickly relocated to a spot between 29th and 30th Avenue since we had 3 more inventories scheduled a few minutes later. We definitely did not want them to get trampled by volleyball players.

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Three Inventories on IOP

July 21, 2019 

Nest #8 at 35A Access Path had 34 undeveloped eggs and two live hatchlings which were released by Sissy Harris who found the nest on May 22 along with the Elias family. Hatch Success here was 69.7%

Nest #11 near the 2A Access Path found by Susan Lipsey on May 26 way up in the sand fencing had 85 empty hatched eggshells, 23 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings. Hatch Success was 77.9%.

Nest #9 found by Annie Vola on May 23rd near Breach Inlet and relocated to 6A had 71 empty eggshells and 21 undeveloped eggs and no hatchlings left in the nest. Hatch Success was 76.3%.

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No New Nest But a Surprise at #5 on IOP

July 20, 2019

   

  Sis Nunnely reported a large crab hole in Nest #5. When Barb Gobien got there to take care of the crab, the hatchlings were making their way out of the nest. The Turtle Team stayed around to make sure the crab didn't come back and that the little hatchlings made it safely to the water.

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Nilla was ready to go home for breakfast 

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SURPRISE!!! Nest #12 on Sullivan's

July 19, 2019

    

A "Wild Nest" is one that was undetected when it was laid. That is what happened at Station 17, the "Jungle Path" sometime during the third week of May. This would have been Nest #1 if the tracks had been reported, but it is now Nest #12.

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Kristin Zeasor-Sydow and Karen Britton discovered tiny ribbonlike hatchling tracks streaming down to the ocean from a dune at Station 17 this morning along with 2 dead hatchlings. A large ghost crab had gone into the emergence crater, but he was not found in there.

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Inventories of #4 & #6 on IOP

July 19, 2019

  

  

Two good inventories of Nests #4 and #6 this morning but no live hatchlings to see except for one little guy in Nest #4 who still had an external yolk sac and had to be reburied in the nest to come out when he was strong and ready.

   

Nest #4 at 35A had 112 empty eggshells, 4 undeveloped eggs and 3 dead hatchlings for a 95.7% Hatch Success and 93.1% Emergence Success. Nest #6 at 33A had 10 undeveloped eggs of the 122 that were laid and the Hatch and Emergence Success were both 91.7%.

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Nest #7 Inventory on IOP

AND New Nest #54 Nearby

July 18, 2019

  

 

We had a surprise when we went to inventory Nest #7 at 55 Ocean Point. There were more sets of loggerhead tracks nearby. The inventory was a good one with between a dozen and two dozen hatchlings found in the nest. A few were stuck in egg shells. But when we examined them carefully, we saw that they were not just coming out of the shells but were mature with fused plastrons and no remaining yolk sacs on their bellies. So Kristen Ayers and her son and daughter released them to crawl to the water. Unfortunately there were also eleven dead hatchlings down in the nest. Hatch Success was 90.5% and Emergence Success was 85.5%

 

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Everything can be a barrier for a little hatchling

 

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Nest #54 for IOP

 

   

Michelle Blackstock and Billie McRae were on patrol at the north end this morning and reported tracks farther toward the inlet also in the row of Ocean Point houses which led to a body pit. She laid in a wrack and ant infested spot which might have also flooded later in the season. We are a little more careful about where we leave nests that will emerge during hurricane season such as this one. So we excavated and relocated a very large clutch of 143 eggs which were moved to a safer spot south of 30th Avenue. Billie had also reported tracks at Shipwatch Villas which turned out to be a false crawl. Then a runner told us that there were tracks way around in Dewees Inlet at Cedar Creek. Cindy,Tee, and Jo investigated these and saw that this very large loggerhead (whose tracks measured the same as the ones at the new nest) had climbed up on the beach, over and down into Cedar Creek, and back over again several times wandering extensively looking for a spot to lay eggs.

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Nest #53 on IOP

July 17, 2019

 

  

Linda Dunne, Ramona Parish and Linda's friend Paula Mead found tracks between 22nd and 23rdAvenues this morning. The medium sized turtle crawled up on the beach but never reach the dunes. She turned around and started back toward the water and laid her nest below the spring tide line in the path of the trash collection truck. We moved her 92 eggs up onto the primary dune at that location.

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Nest #2 on IOP Inventoried

July 16, 2019

 

There were two live hatchlings for Elaine Schupp and Jane Solomon to release at Nest #2 at 6A this morning. We discovered that there were 111 eggs laid and that 44 of them failed to develop. But there were 67 empty shells from successful little loggerheads. Hatch success was 59.8% and emergence success was 58%.

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Nest #52 on IOP

July 16, 2019

Gillian and Richard Ellis reported a false crawl between 50th and 51st Avenues and Nest #52 laid near 7 Dunecrest Lane. It's too bad that we cannot leave nests in this area where there are no dunes and the tide will hurt them. There were 109 eggs in the clutch which was relocated to a dune at 30thAvenue.

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Nest #11 on Sullivan's

July 16, 2019

 

Natalie Podnar found yet another nest this morning near Station 16.5. Seems like she always find a nest on Tuesdays at the south end of Sullivan’s Island. This turtle laid up on a dune, but it's a little hard to see from down on the beach because the spot is down a little behind some dune grasses. We did not move the eggs, and we will need to put some lawn edging behind it to guide the hatchlings from going the wrong way when it is time for them to go to the ocean.

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Nest #3 Inventoried

July 15, 2019

The inventory of Nest #3 at the 17th tee in Dewees Inlet went much better than we expected. In spite of the deaths of 30 hatchlings from fire ant stings, the hatch success was 95.7% and 85.5% emerged. This is because the ones that were killed actually did hatch and the database is not accounting for them in the hatch/emergence numbers. However, these losses were recorded in the online entry for this nest. Heavy gloves and long sleeves were used by those performing the inventory in anticipation of encountering fire ants, but they were not a problem after all. What a relief.

This nest was found by Christel Cothran, Kristen Ayers and Mary Michels on May 13. Kristen and Christel were there to release the 8 hatchlings that were alive in the nest.

Many thanks to Lori and Tony Santiago for the continued use of their driveway in Ocean Point. It was great to have them join us for this inventory.

 

 

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Nests #50 & #51 for IOP

July 15, 2019

Nest 50

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Jane Solomon, Peggy Klimecki, Trisha Hoff and Aubrey Schmidt along with a little help from Susan Chagrin found Nest #50 this morning. Susan is on a roll after finding #48 on Friday. This nest was laid low on the flat beach near Access 5A right in the path of the truck that empties the trash cans. We relocated the small clutch of 69 eggs to a dune just south of 30th Avenue. This might be this turtles final clutch because they do reduce the numbers at the end of their season.

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Nest 51

 

 

And Sue White had a nest at Beachwood East on the renourished beach. There were 117 eggs in this one which also had to be moved to a safer place. So they were taken to the same dune near 30th Avenue and was marked as Nest #51.

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Nest #1 on IOP

July 14, 2019

  

Nest #1 at 6th Ave. had a hatch rate and emergence rate were both 60.5% with 46 empty eggshells and 29 undeveloped eggs. There were no live hatchlings to be released to the ocean.

 

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Nests #48 & #49 for IOP

July 12, 2019

Nest 48

 

Nest 49

 

Windblown sand make today's nests rather difficult because they erase tracks between the damp sand and the body pit. Susan Chagrin and Jennifer Martin with her dog Cheerio had tracks just south of 30th Avenue at the end of their walk this morning. This was a small loggerhead and the body pit up in the soft dry sand was not connected to the tracks at all. We did not need to move the eggs, so we don't know how many were laid.

In Wild Dunes between Beachwood East and Dunecrest Lane Debbie Kurtz, Patti Fournier and Louise Martin reported another set of windblown tracks and body pit. The tracks showed this to be a much larger turtle than #48. This nest was in the section with no dunes which will flood in the late summer storms, so the 124 eggs were moved to 30th Avenue to incubate.

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Nests #47 for IOP

July 10, 2019

 

 

Marilyn Markel and Penny Huebsch with her dog Deku had a nest at the north end of the 100 block of Ocean Blvd this morning. It was laid on a steep erosional dune close to Breach Inlet in front of Claire Richardson's house. There were 123 eggs that were moved to a safe spot near the 33A Access Path.

Shawn Drackwicz and Linda Thompson also reported False Crawl #45 near 57th Avenue in Wild Dunes.

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Nests #46 for IOP

July 9, 2019

 

This morning Lewis and Aixa Gregory as wellaas Michelle Ziegler and her husband Kevin Farley patrolled from 9th to 30th when tracks were spotted 4 doors north of the 21st Avenue Access Path. We believe this is probably the same loggerhead who crawled up yesterday between 29th and 30th Avenues but did not lay any eggs. She appears to be missing her rear flipper claw on the left side. Instead of a sharp V mark from the claw, there was just a depression that would be made by a clawless flipper. She laid her eggs high enough on the dune so that relocation was not necessary.

Three false crawls were documented in Wild Dunes. They were at Dunecrest Lane, Shipwatch Villas and at the south end of Ocean Point. 

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Nests #44 & #45 on IOP

Nest #10 for Sullivan's

July 8, 2019

Lots of interesting tracks led to a LONG morning on the beach

 

 

This morning the first call came from Madelaine Hairrell who found a beautiful long set of loggerhead tracks halfway between 29th and 30th Avenues. The turtle climbed up on the primary dune to a perfect nesting spot, BUT she failed to dig a body pit and lay any eggs. What a disappointment for all of us. This was recorded as False Crawl #41 for the Isle of Palms.

But WAIT, There's MORE! Christel Cothran and Mary Michels scored a double nest find at the north end. Their first one was at the Ocean Point houses where a nest of 111 eggs was found. Including two eggs that were found on the outgoing tracks.This was Nest #44 and the eggs were taken to a dune at the 33A Access Path. Then they had another nest of 110 eggs on the flat washed over renourished beach between Port O' Call and Seascape. These were taken to 33A as well to incubate next to Nest #44 at the 33A Access Path.

Just as we thought it was safe to go home, we got a call about an unmarked nest from Kim Furr who was staying with a family group at 1107 Middle Street at the far end of Sullivan's Island beyond Fort Moultrie. Fortunately they had picked up one of our Turtle Team brochures at Town Hall. Station 11 is out of our patrol area because turtles do not normally nest that far into Charleston Harbor. But this was the largest nest of the day containing 134 eggs making it Nest #10 for Sullivan's. This area would have flooded frequently and there was already very wet sand in the bottom of the egg chamber. So it was definitely good that we took it to the dune at Station 28.5 where we had put Karen Britton's Nest #9 yesterday to incubate.

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Busy Morning 2 Nests & 2 False Crawls

July 7, 2019

 

Nest #43 for IOP....... &.....Nest # 9 for Sullivan's

  

Nest at 6A on IOP

On the Isle of Palms Susan Lipsey and her husband Mark found a false crawl near 5th Avenue and a nest at 606 Ocean Blvd between the 6th and 6A paths. This one contained 127 eggs and was relocated to 28th Avenue. They were lucky enough to see the nesting turtle returning to the ocean.

On Sullivan's Island Karen Britton found a false crawl at Station 17 and then a nest at the Lighthouse at Sta 18.5. She also reported a small dead green sea turtle near Station 14. Since the 106 eggs were too low on the beach, we relocated them to a safe dune at Station 28.5.

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Nest #42 for IOP

July 5, 2019

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In spite of the noisy and bright fireworks and multiple people on the beach during the night, one loggerhead laid eggs at Ocean Point this morning. Diane Mullins, Maryalice Morro and Arlene Southerland found tracks not far north of the boardwalk and after a genetics sample was taken, the nest was left to incubate in situ.

And on Sullivan's there were three false crawls in Richard Hanf's section and another where Kristin Zeaser-Sydow and Karen Britton patrolled down by Fort Moultrie. Eve Gentieu was also on the beach lending a hand and picking up trash. The one at the rocks by the fort nearer Station 13 than Station 12 was the most likely. But there was no distinct body pit and despite covering the area very well with probing, no eggs were found. We did see what looked like a coyote den dug in under the rocks.(Look over Tee's Shoulder)If there had been a nest there, we would have had to move the eggs because it was obvious that this spot floods often. The tracks from all four of these crawls all measured 21-22" between rear flipper claws. It is possible that the same turtle came ashore four times.

 

 

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Nest #41 for IOP

July 3, 2019

After two days without a nest or even a false crawl, a loggerhead laid 113 eggs in Dewees Inlet not far from the high tide line. Gina and Doug McQuilken reported the tracks. This was a nice surprise for Doug on his birthday. And it is Jo Durham's birthday as well. For a safe incubation the eggs were relocated to a spot just north of the 28th Avenue Access Path.

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Happy Birthday Jo Durham and Doug McQuilken

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Nest #8 for Sullivan's

June 30, 2019

 

 

Joanne Lingerfelt made a good find this morning near Station 14 about one block northeast of Fort Moultrie. This loggerhead had laid her 119 eggs right at the high tide wrack line. When the tide came in the tracks were all but erased by the water and only a body pit and a very short track were visible. This would have been easy to miss, but Joanne spotted it. The eggs were moved onto a dune at that same location, not far from Nests #3 and #6. There were canine tracks that might have been from a coyote there, so we treated the new location with granulated wolf urine just in case.

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Coyote Tracks ?

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False Crawl in Wild Dunes - Great Panoramic Shot by Barb Gobien

  

 

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Nest #40 for IOP

June 29, 2019

 

Lots of activity between 49th and the Wild Dunes Property Owners' Beach house during the night. Loggerheads seem to love that section. We only wish they could find some suitable dunes for nesting. April Nesbitt and Stan Schwab along with his wife and son were on patrol. The nest was laid at 4 Dunecrest Lane low on the wide flat renourished beach where it would have been flooded. A man named Ryan whose family was visiting from Bloomington, Indiana also reported the tracks because they had gotten a Turtle Team brochure in their rental house. The clutch count was 130 eggs and they were relocated near yesterday's nest at 28th Avenue.

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Beautiful Morning on the Beach

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Nest #39 for IOP

June 28, 2019

Nest #39 was laid at 212 Ocean Blvd, just north of the 2A path during the night. It was discovered by Eileen Dulaney, Joanne Robinson, Cindy Teeter and Alice Williams. It was low on the flat beach and would have been flooded by a King Tide, so it was relocated to 28th Avenue. It was a very large turtle by her track measurements and she laid 145 eggs, a very large clutch. This was likely the same large turtle who laid nest #30 very close to this spot two weeks ago on June 14th with 149 eggs. It will be interesting to see if she comes back again on July 12th.

 

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Arlene Southerland reported tracks at the 17th tee in Dewees Inlet, but that turned out to be a false crawl. Maybe there will be a nest there tomorrow.

 

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Nest #38 for IOP

June 27, 2019

 

Ed Peyser and Dan Vola covered the south end of the Isle of Palms this morning and Ed discovered tracks just north of the 4th Avenue path. People did see the turtle crawling back into the water at dawn and she left her eggs high enough between 400 and 402 Ocean Blvd so that they were not relocated. Congratulations, Ed !

 

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And on Sullivan's Island Heather Harden and Sheri Scarlett had two false crawls, one near the tide line at Station 28 and another at Station 29 where the turtle ran into the rock wall below the high tide line and turned around. Maybe she will come back tomorrow?

 

 

 

 

 

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Nest #37 for IOP

June 26, 2019

 

 

This morning Penny Huebsch was on patrol with her dog Deku when she found tracks at the 7A Access Path. This turtle did it just right and got to the perfect spot on the dune to lay her eggs. We found them easily, took the DNA sample, and marked the nest to incubate where it was laid. This is Nest #37 for the Isle of Palms. We did not mark the tracks with X's because they lead right to the sign .

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Nest #7 for Sullivan's

June 25, 2019

 

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Sullivan's Island is really seeing some turtle action lately.

This morning Natalie Podnar and her friend Beth Renninger found tracks at the well hidden "Jungle Path" at Station 17. The eggs were located and the nest was marked there for incubation at Nest #7 Tita Massie and Carol Lowman also found tracks between Station 28.5 and 29, but these led up to the rock wall and turned around without a body pit, so this is False Crawl #13. We're so glad our nesting loggerheads are using Sullivan's this season.

 

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Busy Morning Two Nests for IOP

June 24, 2019 

 

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Nest #35

Another very busy night for our loggerheads. They left 6 sets of tracks on our beaches last night, three of which led to nests. The nesting female that we suspect keeps leaving 22-23' tracks near the south end of the Isle of Palms came ashore at the 5th Ave. path early in the night, then again near the 5A Access Path, and then finally laid eggs near the 2A Access Path. Peggy Klimecki, Jane Solomon, Trisha Hoff and Aubrey Schmidt were lucky enough to see her on the beach as the sun was coming up. What a special morning. She laid 130 eggs that were relocated to 28th Avenue.

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Nest #36

 

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Then Kristin Ayers, Mary Michels and Christel Cothran found tracks at Summer Dunes Lane, a busy part of Wild Dunes where the least terns are nesting and the umbrella and chair rental trucks are always unloading. This nest was low on the flat beach and contained 85 eggs which were also taken to a safe and quiet dune near 28th Avenue. There was another false crawl at 55th Avenue in Wild Dunes.

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Nest #6 for Sullivan's Island

 

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Meanwhile on Sullivan's Alex Garcia and Jennifer Gragg had tracks near Fort Moultrie at the south end of the island. These eggs were on a newly accreted and very soft dune where our probe sticks went in almost to the hilt in lots of places. But we were able to find eggs which were left right where they were laid, not very many feet northeast from Nest #3 found by Alex's parents, Laurie and Bob Snyder, on June 12. There was also a small dead green sea turtle found by Linda Hughes near Station 22. It had been killed by a boat propeller and was buried there after a stranding report was written and submitted.

 

  

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No New Nests Today But This is a Fantastic Reason to Get Out on the Beach Early in the Morning

June 23, 2019 

 

 

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Nest #5 for Sullivan's

June 22, 2019 

 

This morning's thunderstorm and downpour couldn't have come at a worse time. A loggerhead had made tracks at Station 26. A beachgoer had photographed the tracks before the storm and sent the photo to Anne Cooke (who forwarded it to the Turtle Team). After the heavy deluge there was hardly a trace of them. Madeleine McGee patrolled after the rain and the tracks had been all but erased. We headed out to the beach with a very hard to see photo in hand and located the tracks. There was a faint disturbed place with a couple of ghost crab holes in it and sure enough that is where the eggs were. The clutch of 102 eggs was moved higher at that location to a safe dune.

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Nest #33 & #34 for IOP

June 22, 2019 

 

Nest #33

It started out as a "dark and stormy" morning, but our volunteers were on the job. Penny Gorby found tracks in Dewees Inlet at the north end which were moved to 28th Avenue. This nest contained 130 eggs

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Nest #34

And Stan Schwab with his dog Murphy and April Nesbitt and her dog Cooper covered the section from POBH to 49th Avenue where Stan spotted tracks near the 58 Access Path. Since these needed to be moved, they were also taken to 28th Ave to incubate next to #33. This turtle laid 99 eggs. Stan has wonderful turtle tattoos and was comparing them to Christel's this morning

 

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Nest #32 for IOP

June 20, 2019 

 

Linda Bettelli, Debbie Magee and Sue Googer found loggerhead tracks at the 36A Access Path on their walk this morning. The high wind overnight had blown away the tracks in the dry sand but they were still partially visible closer to the water. When this happens, it makes it difficult to find the spot where the eggs were laid or to distinguish a nest from a false crawl. Fortunately we were able to see some broken and buried green vegetation. Using this clue, we were able to find the spot where the eggs were laid. Since she got up high enough on the primary dune, the nest was marked where it was laid.

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Nest #4 for Sullivan's

June 18, 2019 

 

Natalie Podnar found tracks near Station 16.5 this morning which were below the spring tide line, and 132 eggs were found in the body pit there. Since they needed to be moved, we took them to a small dune about 2 doors south of the Sand Dunes Club between Stations 17 and 18 to incubate. There used to be very high dunes there, but most of them have been washed away. We hope that this location will be safe. There was also a 10" long juvenile green sea turtle washed up near Station 14 reported by the police. It had been killed by a boat propeller and had been floating for a while by the appearance of its decomposition. We did a report for DNR, marked it with orange spray paint, and buried it in the dunes.

   

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Nest #31 for IOP

June 15, 2019 

 

Jennifer Snyder, Lauren Bauk and Anne Royall found a nest this morning which is what usually happens on Saturdays for them. Jennifer had her husband Richard and her two little daughters with her this time and it was a beautiful morning. This extra large loggerhead laid an extra large clutch of 163 eggs right at the high tide wrack line at the 3rd Avenue path. This is the largest clutch of eggs we have relocated this season. Since they had to be moved to a safer place away from flood tides anyway, we relocated them to 32nd Avenue at the 32A path.

  

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Three Nests and A Lot of Running Around the Island !

June 14, 2019 

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Nest #28 for IOP 

  

 The first call came from Louise Martin. She was patrolling along with Patty Fournier and her friends Ann Thompson and Jeannine Davis and found tracks at 24 Beachwood East. The turtle crawled for a very long distance toward the houses, but didn't make it all the way since this beach is so very wide. The renourished sand here is very coarse and full of sharp shells. Unfortunately it was hard to probe with compacted sand on the top and a very soft layer of sand and shells just below it. Because of this we broke several eggs during the process. The total clutch count was 127 eggs laid, and the broken ones contributed to our genetics research project.

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Nest #29 for IOP

  

 

Sue Widhalm's group covered the north end into Dewees Inlet, but Penny Gorby and Mary Stork reported tracks at the north end of Mariner's Walk near Shipwatch Villas. This is almost the same spot as Nest #25 on Tuesday of this week. But there were more eggs here again today. This nest contained 99 eggs.

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Nest #30 for IOP

This one was reported by Alice Williams, Eileen Dulany and Joanne Robinson and was located at 202 Ocean Blvd, just north of 2nd Avenue. All of the field signs were good, but probing failed to reveal any eggs when we responded to their call. When Barb was doing the website, a photo of the crawl at 2A showed obivious thrown sand, a positive field sign. We knew there had to be eggs, so we went back out a little after 10 am and probed more until we found them very deep in the sand. With the deep clutch of 149 eggs and the sand that the turtle mounded up, we almost could not reach all the way down to get them (up to our shoulders and necks). At this same spot last season, about 40 hatchlings ended up in the swimming pool at 202 Ocean, so we decided to place these eggs with the other two nests at 32A for a safer incubation and emergence.

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Rain, Rain and More Rain - Three Nests and Maybe a 4th

June 12, 2019 

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Nest #26 for IOP 

 It was a very stormy rainy morning and we appreciate all of the Turtle Team members who went out in the bad weather. When we head out we never know if there will be nests or false crawls. At Beachwood East Shawn Drackwicz and Linda Thompson were wearing their new Turtle Team shirts under their rain gear and found a nest at last. This was Nest #26 and it was a big one with 142 eggs laid. Since there are no dunes there, they were relocated to 21st Avenue. 

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Nest #3 for Sullivan's

Meanwhile on Sullivan's Island Laurie and Bob Snyder reported tracks near Station 13 at Fort Moultrie. This turtle got up onto a dune and laid eggs while destroying some of the dune grass in the part of the beach that is marked off for shorebirds such as Wilson's Plover's to nest. So even though we were not supposed to go there, we marked Nest #3 to incubate where it was. Congratulations, Laurie and Bob, after all of those false crawls.

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Nest #27 for IOP

The third call came from the Radio Room of SCDNR in Columbia SC. Someone had reported a "nest" on the beach at 312 Ocean Blvd. We were heading back from Sullivan's after running out of signs, but even though the tracks were totally erased by wind and rain, eggs were located there and marked. This will be Nest #27. A sign will be there by the end of the day. Mary marked the nest, in a driving rain, with what she could find, driftwood, and returned this afternoon with our normal sign and sticks.

 

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Maybe a Nest at 804 Ocean Blvd. IOP

And finally, Russell Schulz reported more tracks on the beach at 804 Ocean Blvd while walking his dog, Jetty. This was the same MO and measurement of the false crawler who repeatedly goes up and over the berm in that section. She wandered all around. There were two disturbed areas which we probed thoroughly, again in the pouring rain, but no eggs were found. Since the field signs were promising but hard to see under these conditions, we left a plain stick there and will check in August for hatchlings emerging from the sand.

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Nest 25 for IOP

June 11, 2019 

 She started to nest several times and then stopped and moved further along before finding a spot that suited her. 

Nest #25 was laid between Shipwatch and Mariner's Walk this morning and found by Cindy Bergstrom, Patti Horton and Tristi Lowther. There were eggs laid very shallowly, only a about an inch below the surface in this flat washover area and they were relocated to 21st Avenue on a high dune.

There were also false crawls at 18 Beachwood East and 56th Avenue found by Gillian and Richard Ellis.

And kudos to Tracey Pourmoghadam who found two very hard to see false crawls on Sullivan's Island this morning. The tide had washed away the tracks in the damp sand, the wind had made some of them very faint, but they were still visible up in the soft dunes just south of Station 17 and also near Station 15. These locations are difficult to report because the white sign for Station 17 AKA the "Jungle Path" is set way back in the trees of the maritime forest and Station 15 has no path and no marker, so we just estimate that location. We were very impressed that Tracey found and reported these two crawls. Good job!

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Nest 24 for IOP

June 10, 2019 

A busy morning for the Turtle Team with 3 more false crawls. One at Breach Inlet, one between 204 and 206 Ocean Blvd, and a third just north of the Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan's Island. This is False Crawl #9 for Sullivan's Island and was reported by Jennifer Gragg.

The first early word came from Elaine Schupp and Jane Sorenson about tracks that were at the 9th Avenue vehicular access path on the Isle of Palms. This was a dangerous place for the 127 eggs that we found there with trucks driving out, sometimes at night. The IOP umbrella and chair people had set up their chairs which they had left out on a boardwalk right on top of the tracks before we left. Since it was between the two patrol sections, there were lots of people there including Aubrey Schmidt and her mother Cindi, Trisha Hoffa, Peggy Klimecki, Jane Solomon, Elaine Schupp, and Sue Harris. Madelaine Hairrell and Jane Sorenson are not pictured but were out there as well.

This was Nest #24 and was relocated to a better place just south of the 21st Avenue path where yesterday's nest was laid

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Nest 22 & 23 IOP and a Fantastic False Crawl

June 9, 2019

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Nest 22 for IOP

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Kathy Kowalchick, Wendy Thiel and Kristina Ostergaard were patrolling from 9th to 30th Avenues this morning. Kathy reported loggerhead tracks at 21st Avenue. The tracks were all over the place and a beachgoer saw the mother loggerhead wandering around before finding the ocean after nesting at dawn. The eggs were found right up against the base of the primary dune, marked as Nest #22 and left in that spot.

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Nest 23 for IOP

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Meanwhile Dottie Stubel and Cathy Harris saw tracks near the Ocean Point boardwalk. This turtle laid her eggs well below the spring tide line, so they had to be relocated to avoid flooding. There were 112 eggs laid and they were taken to a safe spot near 23rd Avenue and marked as Nest #23.

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Fantastic False Crawl at 5th Ave.

Elizabeth Rast found False Crawl #17 at 508 Ocean Blvd. This turtle crawled up and over the very high bulldozed primary dune and could not find a spot to dig. She barely made it back over the steep incline at the boardwalk near the swimming pool crushing some dune grasses on her way. We suspect from the track size that she also has crawled several times in the last week without laying eggs – at 908 Ocean Blvd, at 618 Ocean Blvd, at 34th Avenue and at 24th Ave. If it is the same turtle, we hope she will be able successful soon.

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Nest 21 for IOP and our 16th False Crawl

June 8, 2019    

Christina Willson and her son Ty reported tracks in the 900 block of Ocean Blvd this morning. This turtle made it all the way up the very steep tall dune and went down behind it without digging a nest. She did some damage to the dune plants and must have struggled to get back up and out. This is false crawl #16 for IOP.

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Nest 21 for IOP at Ocean Point

Nancy Evans and Penny Gorby also found tracks not far from the Ocean Point boardwalk. This is nest #21 and was laid far enough above the wrack line to be left in situ to incubate.  

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Nest 2 for Sullivan's

June 4, 2019   

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We always know that if anyone is going to find a loggerhead nest, it will be Karen Britton. She went out of her way to go all the way down to Station 8 at the very end of the island today picking up litter and found tracks between Station 12 and Station 11. We have only documented ONE nest beyond Station 12 in all the years we have been patrolling on Sullivan's although there are many strandings there near the harbor where all species of sea turtles wash up dead after being struck by watercraft. This loggerhead laid 108 eggs in the spartina wrack where the tide often covers all of the sand. So we knew this one had to be relocated to a safer place. In addition to the 108 eggs, there were two marble sized unyolked eggs similar to the spacer eggs that leatherbacks lay. Nest #2 was moved to near the Station 28.5 path where it will incubate safely. Congratulations, Karen!

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Nest 20 for IOP

June 2, 2019   

Diane Troy walked the north end today alone and found loggerhead tracks that extended all the way from the north end of Seascape to the south end. This turtle must have been looking for an elevated dune but failed to find one and laid her eggs not far above the high tide line in the very wide flat flood prone renourished area and then crawled 100s of yards parallel to the ocean before returning to the water. There were 113 eggs laid and they were taken to a good spot at the 23rd Ave beach access path.

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Nest 19 for IOP

June 1, 2019   

The loggerheads must really like Anne Royall. For the last three Saturday mornings she has found a nest in her section. Today she and her little dog Ginger Snap found tracks on the beach at 406 Ocean Blvd near the sign for the 4A path which is turned the wrong way so it cannot be read from the beach. This turtle's incoming tracks were windblown and she nested before high tide possibly early in the night. She climbed up high enough on the dune for the eggs, which were buried very deep, to be left there. So we marked the nest there.

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Nests 17 & 18 for IOP

May 31, 2019  

Lots of tracks were found today but only two nests were confirmed and both relocated. The first call came from Patty Fournier who was walking with her friends Ann Thompson and Jeanine Davis at 49th Avenue. Soon after Carol Jaworski also saw these tracks which were right at the 49th Street path - the boundary between the two sections. Sue Hogan was patrolling at the other end of Carol's section. And Debbie Kurtz and Louise Martin came down to 49th from the Property Owners' Beach House in Wild Dunes. So it was indeed a group effort this morning. This first nest was laid low on the beach and 142 eggs were moved higher on a dune nearby, just south of the path. Two of them were cut open by the shells in the coarse renourished sand that has drifted down the beach. These were used for our genetics sampling project. This nest was marked as #17 on the back of the sign. Then Arlene Southerland, Diane Mullins, Sue Widhalm and their new walking partner Mary Alice Morro reported tracks at the Property Owners' Beach House at the south end of their walk. This was a smaller nest with 115 eggs laid on the very flat washover-prone beach. So Nest #18 was moved to incubate next to #17 at 49th Avenue.

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Nest 16 for IOP

May 30, 2019  

This morning Deborah Johnson, Gayle Woodward and Mary & Dennis Frazier along with their grandson Max were out on patrol from 49th Avenue to the Property Owners' Beach House in Wild Dunes when Deborah and Gayle spotted tracks on the beach near 4 Dunecrest Lane. The nest contained 118 eggs which had to be relocated and were taken to a spot just north of the 51st Avenue access path. This is the first nest in that section of the beach and now there is at least one in each of the five Isle of Palms patrol sections.

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Three False Crawls on Sullivan's

May 29, 2019  

This morning Laurie and Bob Snyder discovered tracks 3 times on their walk. One was between Sta 16 and the Sand Dunes Club path. The turtle crawled up and over the small primary dune and down in a trough behind the dune without making a body pit. Her tracks measured 23".

The next one they found looked as if it was a day old, probably made night before last and it was about 100 yds NE of the Dangerous Currents sign near Sta 13. These tracks were very dry and blown over, not looking as fresh as the others. Again no eggs here. And the third crawl was about 50 yards NE of the Dangerous Currents sign with no eggs. We were so hoping for at least one nest for Laurie and Bob, faithful Turtle Team members. It is interesting that all three of these crawls and the one at the lighthouse yesterday were the same size but from two different loggerheads. Perhaps she will return tonight and succeed in laying. 

 

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SURPRISE ! - Nest 1 for Sullivan's

May 28, 2019  

Sometime before high tide two doors north of Station 18 at the Lighthouse a loggerhead crawled up and nested. It wasn't until almost 2 pm that the Turtle Team got word from DNR in Columbia that someone from Mt. Pleasant had reported tracks and a nest there. We went out in the scorching heat and saw tracks that extended from the high tide line up almost to the primary dune, about 60 feet. There was a body pit and there were eggs. After finding the eggs and taking a DNA sample for our genetics research project, we marked the nest with sticks and a sign. So Sullivan's Island is on the map now. It is the very first time in Turtle Team history that a nest has been recorded in May on Sullivan's.

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Nest 15 for IOP

May 28, 2019  

Nest #15 was spotted by Jackie Taylor with her dog Sully who was patrolling with Frannie Bryan this morning as the sun was rising. This turtle laid her eggs near dune walkover steps and then looped around for a long distance before going back into the water. Even though the eggs were not quite up on the dune, we decided that they were just high enough and marked the nest at that spot. Today's nest it located one house south of 7th Ave. path.

 

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Nests 12, 13, & 14 for IOP

May 27, 2019  

 

 

Christel Cothran hit a triple in finding loggerhead eggs today. She was on patrol at the north end and first came upon small tracks just north of the Property Owners' Beach House in Wild Dunes. This turtle only laid 80 eggs. Then she found more tracks just north of Ocean Club Villas at the south end of Ocean Point Drive. This turtle was slightly larger and laid a larger than normal clutch of 150 eggs. Both of these nests needed to be relocated out of the sure to be washed over recently renourished beach in Wild Dunes. So they were both taken to 23rd Avenue where the dunes are perfect for nests and the hatchlings can find their way to the ocean without any help. But wait, there's more! Christel continued up to Ocean Point where yet another nest was laid. This one was in a suitable spot, so it was not moved. These are marked as Nest #12, #13 and #14.

In 2017 we had 14 nests in May for the very first time. Looks like we might have a chance of breaking that record this season, but it's still too soon to know if it will be a very heavy nesting season or just a very early one

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Nest 11 for IOP

May 26, 2019  

Another nest in the Breach to 9th section today. That means 6 out of the first 11 nests have been laid in that section. We don’t know why it’s so popular since the houses are tall and close to the beach with lots of lights. This one was laid between sections of sand fencing at 210 Ocean Blvd. It was discovered by Susan Lipsey who had picked up lots of trash this morning, and the nest was left to incubate there.

 

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Good Morning IOP  

 

 

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Nest 10 for IOP

May 25, 2019  

 

Another nest found by the Saturday morning group at the south end of IOP this morning after they found Nest #6 last Saturday. This was a very small loggerhead by the size of her tracks and she laid her eggs between the sand fences 3 lots south of the 3A access path. We don't know how many eggs because they were not relocated. This group consisted of Anne Royall with her sweet dog Ginger Snap, Jennifer Snyder and her daughter Sophie who was busy helping by discouraging ghost crabs, and Lauren Bauk whose mother Joan was visiting for the holiday weekend. Happy Birthday to Mary Alice Monroe (Kruesi)!

 

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Nest 9 for IOP

May 23, 2019  

 

 

Annie Vola with her dog Treeva found beautiful tracks at 114 Ocean Blvd in Breach Inlet this morning. We were worried because someone's private tent was right where the tracks came up on the beach. However, the owners of the tent, visiting here from Asheville for the 12th year, assured us that they had taken it down overnight and their son had put it back up very early this morning. They were aware that it is illegal to leave obstructions out overnight.

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The turtle not only nested in the inlet, a dangerous place for emerging hatchlings, but she ran into and nested at the base of a badly eroded dune there where the nest was likely to be flooded with the next King Tide. For this reason her 93 eggs were relocated to a spot near Nest #2 laid on May 13th not far from the 6A path for a safe incubation spot.

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Nest 8 for IOP

May 22, 2019   

 

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Another nest was found at 35A this morning only 5 days after Nest #4 was laid there on Friday. Sissy Harris and Jon and Pooja Elias along with young helpers, Kiran and Ian Elias and their friend Frannie Young were happy to have their first nest of the season and to help count the eggs which were relocated to a small dune nearby after being laid in a flat spot prone to tidal flooding. The turtle laid 114 eggs in all and one that was found broken in the bottom of the clutch was used to collect the mother's DNA. 

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Nest 7 for IOP

May 21, 2019

Tristi Lowther, Cindy Bergstrom and Patti Horton discovered loggerhead tracks near the Ocean Club Villas buildings at the north end of the Isle of Palms. The 127 eggs were laid on the very flat washover beach of renourished sand in Wild Dunes and had to be relocated. They were taken to a suitable spot near 55 Ocean Point a few doors north of the boardwalk for incubation.

Meanwhile on Sullivan's Island Mark and Carol Lowman along with Tita Massie found tracks just south of Station 25. So we hope it won't be long before Sullivan's gets it first nest of the season. The turtle did not crawl above the high tide line before turning around and returning to the ocean. Her tracks were measured and given a GPS location for our online reporting at Seaturtle.org

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Nests 5 & 6 for IOP

May 18, 2019

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Nest 5 at 33rd Ave.  

The Turtle Team was busy this morning with Nests 5 and 6. The first call came from Sis Nunnally, Aelecia Rideout and Paul and Rita Koisch with their canine turtle patrol, Nilla Nunnally and Daisy Koisch. The nest was below the spring tide wrack line and was laid near 3308 Palm Blvd. This turtle had very wide tracks and laid an extra large clutch of 150 eggs. It was relocated to a nice dune just north of the 33A Access Path.

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Nest 6 at 3rd Ave.

Anne Royall, Jennifer Snyder and Lauren Bauk were patrolling the south end of the island and found loggerhead tracks well below the spring tide line in the middle of the 3rd Avenue Access Path. There were 133 eggs, another large clutch. Since they needed to be moved higher on the beach anyway, we decided to take them to the location of the first nest of the morning at 33A where the dunes were better and the houses set far back and not visible from the beach.

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Nest 4 for IOP

May 17, 2019

Sue Hogan and Dave Stein found loggerhead tracks at the 35A Access Path on Isle of Palms this morning. This turtle was seen laying eggs by the IOPPD on patrol a little after 3 am. She picked a spot right in the middle of the entrance to the access path on a small rise. She destroyed some dune plants while digging and covering up. Since it was on a slightly elevated spot and not a place where a King Tide would cause standing water in the egg chamber, we decided that this spot was all right for the eggs to incubate.

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Big Morning for Daisy and Rosie

Nest 2 and 3 for IOP

May 13, 2019

 

Elaine Schupp and Jane Solomon were on patrol at the south end of Isle of Palms this morning with their friend Terry Beech and Jane's dog Rosie. Elaine spotted loggerhead tracks in the sand between the two dune walkover stairways at 612 and 614 Ocean Blvd. This turtle crawled a little farther up on the primary dune/berm and laid her eggs than at Nest #1. So they were left to incubate here in situ. This is not very far from Nest #1 at 604 Ocean and is marked as Nest #2.

Meanwhile Mary Michels, Christel Cothran(with Daisy) and Kristen Ayers saw tracks almost as soon as they got out on the beach near the Links Course 17th tee at Dewees Inlet. The tracks measured the same as the false crawler at 53rd in Wild Dunes yesterday, so perhaps she was successful this time. This nest was also in a suitable spot before the end of the sand fencing and was not moved. It was marked as Nest #3

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Nest # 1 for Isle of Palms

May 7, 2019

Our nesting season officially began this morning with Nest #1 being found by Ellen Gower, Jackie Taylor and Frannie Bryan. Jackie's sister, Jodie, was also with them and got to see it. It was the very first walk for Frannie, so we told her that she must have brought them beginner's luck. The turtle was on the small side for a loggerhead with 21in. between rear flipper claw marks in her tracks. She laid her eggs between the steps of two dune walkovers at rental houses not far from the 6th Avenue path on the Isle of Palms. The nest was left in situ.

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Meanwhile there was a false crawl reported by Gillian Ellis at #6 Dunecrest Lane in Wild Dunes. So maybe we will have a nest up there tonight?

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No New Nest But a Terrapin Rescue

May 9, 2019

This morning Heather Hardin and Sheri Scarlett did not come across a loggerhead or sea turtle tracks, but they did find a live diamond backed (marsh) terrapin. Usually when these little 6” or 8” guys are found on the beach it is because they are dead. But this one was alive. It needed to go back into the marsh on the back of the island. So Heather and Sheri offered to do this rescue and relocation. As you can see in the pictures, they found a nice spot along the Intracoastal Waterway marsh to release it where it crawled into the water in its new home.

 

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False Crawl at 53rd on IOP

May 12, 2019 

 

A loggerhead crawled ashore above the high tide line at the 53rd Avenue Path this morning but then turned around without laying eggs. From her track measurements she appeared to be a rather small female at 21 inches between rear flipper claw marks. We are hoping she will return and lay a nest. Thank you Valerie, Jeanne and Susan for reporting the tracks.