Judi spotted these beautiful tracks in the middle of the County Park area.
After assessing the site, she decided to relocate what turned out to be a big clutch of 137 eggs to a safer location higher on the beach.
Good thing! The nest would have been overwashed and possibly lost otherwise. Instead the nest produced 118 hatchlings! Great move, Judi.
An excellent track find, egg confirmation, nest assessment and relocation, followed weeks later by a very successful 93% hatch success. Thanks so much, Donna, for your hard work making it all look simple!
A nice save by a turtle-track watching resident! These tracks had been blown over on a very windy morning and left a very faint imprint and almost no sign of a body pit. Fortunately, the watchful resident had seen them before they were obscured and was concerned that no one had taken care of it. She called Public Safety who dispatched volunteers to take a closer look.
All turned out well! Momma’s choice of location was great, eggs were finally confirmed, and about seven weeks later, 92 hatchlings beat their retreat from the sand and into the ocean.
Hatch success was an amazing 98%. We are so grateful to the double-checking public!
Cindy and Shannon took care of a surprisingly messy job of safe-guarding and documenting Nest #87.
It was one of several nests on Folly this season that had egg-formation problems. There were several elongated eggs, some with what appeared to be multiple yolks, several unyolked eggs, and some thinly shelled eggs.
According to DNR, this is not a new finding, but, for Folly at least, there has been an increase in occurrence.
Is it same turtle laying all of the “odd-egg” nests, or more than one? This season’s DNA results will help answer this question.
Unlike some of the other odd-egg nests, this one had good hatch results … 105 of 116 eggs produced hatchlings that successfully emerged from the nest and headed into the ocean.
Sometimes things just don’t go right no matter what you do right. Nest #86’s hatching time coincided with heavy sustained rains, and almost all of the hatchlings “drowned” in the sand before they could emerge. It takes 3-4 days for the tiny 2-inch hatchings to work their way out of their eggs and dig upwards about 1 1/2 feet to arrive at the surface. They spend a lot of time resting in between work sessions. Unfortunately the rains came during this dig/rest process.
Sharon welcomed Nest #85 to the 800 East block on July 13th.
It required relocating the clutch of 96 eggs to a higher location nearby to keep it safe from high water.
Beginning August 31st, 90 hatchlings emerged and hurried into their ocean home for the first time. Emergence success was a very high 94%.
Kelly, Hannah and Ella joined Sarah on Lighthouse Inlet to investigate a turtle crawl. Eggs found! But location not good, so the difficult job of relocating the nest to the oceanside was necessary.
Unfortunately, time of hatching coincided with sustained heavy rain, and many hatchlings were suffocated while still working their way up to the surface of the sand. Of the 125 eggs, 52 developed into hatchlings and emerged successfully.
Even with the best nest protection practices, other circumstances can intervene to effect a nest’s success.
Bill and Bitsy found the tracks, and Bob and Jacob joined in to confirm and relocate the 123 egg clutch to try to keep it out of reach of high tides.
Seeing no signs of hatching as its incubation progressed, the nest remained in place as required by DNR protocols for a full 75 days before it could be inventoried. It was a happy surprise to find that 92 hatchlings had emerged at some unknown time!
Melissa took care of documenting the arrival of Nest #82 near the 1587 East walkover.
Momma Turtle’s choice of site was a good one; no relocation necessary. That’s been the case for about 50% of our nests this season.
In early September, 95 hatchlings emerged from their clutch of 101 and headed into the ocean for their long swim to the Sargasso Sea (floating weed line in the Gulf Stream).
The stretch of beach just West of The Washout has received a lot more turtle action than usual this season, maybe thanks to having more sand in that area.
Bob found another crawl seaward of the low renourishment berm near 1305 East. He relocated 123 eggs to a new, higher nest site on the berm. In late August, 110 hatchlings emerged and headed to the ocean.