What is it about new volunteers and first day on the job?
For the second time this season, a new volunteer has seen turtle tracks on their training patrol. How convenient!
Jaclyn’s first day luck included actually seeing a sea turtle leaving the beach (see story below) AND finding tracks AND relocating eggs to a safer nest site.
It’s an understatement to say we’re mighty happy she showed up for work!
Cindy B and Bob helped Jaclyn get acquainted with field signs and procedures. She’ll soon be teaching others! Thanks, Everyone, for taking care of Nest #3.
Rarely seen; never forgotten: a sea turtle on the beach.
As often happens, the story unfolded in many layers as people’s experiences were shared.
Visitors saw the turtle on the beach facing inland about 1 a.m. Concerned that they might disturb, they didn’t stay to watch.
Early morning dog-walkers and our volunteer saw the turtle facing the ocean about 6 a.m.
A small, respectful crowd gathered as word spread.
Finally, after many rest stops along the way, the turtle finally disappeared into the ocean about 7:15 a.m.
No nest found.
Why was she on the beach for 5 hours? There was no wandering, no signs of being disturbed.
She did have an unusual crawl pattern — very close-to-the-body flipper strokes. Perhaps a problem with her front flippers? Just fatigue?
We’ll be thinking about her for a long time to come and watch for her return.
Allison and Teri found tracks that ended in a body pit too near the tide line. They carefully removed the 122 eggs from the original site and relocated the eggs to a safer spot. Their very efficient teamwork made quick work of settling Nest #2 in for its continuing development.
Tracks! What luck Sarah brought to her first Folly turtle patrol!
The turtle had crawled above the bumpy lines of wrack along the inlet beach and made a classic turn on a low sandy knoll. Under Nancy’s guidance, Sarah probed the nest site, but no egg chamber was found. Bob followed up; still no eggs. A little disappointing, but still a thrill to find Folly’s first tracks.
On hearing about the tracks and field signs, Michelle offered to come out and take another look. That’s all that was needed — she found the eggs in about 3 minutes!
Hurrah! Nest 1 confirmed! Nesting season is officially underway on Folly Beach!
Please join us for a morning of FREE, fun, educational activities for kids as we celebrate the Homecoming of Folly’s turtles and the start of sea turtle nesting season on Folly Beach.
We’ll be on the beach near the 3d Street WEST access (also known as Ocean Park) from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 2. Parking and bathrooms are available. (If the weather is bad, we’ll try again on May 9, same place, same time. All changes and updates are likely to be last minute, and will be posted here.)
Come and experience what’s it’s like to be a sea turtle on Folly Beach. Please note that there will be NO live sea turtles at this event. This is NOT a release. Activities include nesting, protecting, hatching, and making a difference. New this year will be a very special story telling guest.
Hope to see you on the beach on May 2 to learn all about sea turtles on Folly!
That’s the hope as these last two steps in the Army Corps of Engineers $30 million renourishment of Folly Beach are finally completed.
What will it mean for Folly’s sea turtle nesting season?
At first, maybe not much more than lots of obstructions to bump into as turtles try to navigate from the ocean to a potential nesting site. Two strips of fencing are connected to 3 posts in a V-shape that faces the ocean to enable turtles to move between fence sections and to guide them back to the water. It mostly works. Some turtles never reach the fencing, some follow the V, and some go beyond the fencing. It’s just another thing on the beach to work around.
Single strips of fencing have also been placed perpendicular to the ocean at public access walkovers in an attempt to accumulate sand in high traffic areas. This is a new configuration that will be monitored carefully to see if and how turtles follow these fence lines.
By the end of the season, assuming no storm events, there will likely be good evidence of sand accumulation along and behind the sand-fencing, and sea grass seedlings will be a few feet taller as their roots take hold.
It’s a beautiful thing to see human engineering work with Nature.