Turtle Tracks on Folly Beach 2000
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|We don't know who called Public Safety to report this FIRST NEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR 2000, but we're very grateful. The nest was laid directly in the middle of a narrow footpath, so Paula & Barbara moved the eggs to a safer spot nearby.|
Nest #1 hatched on night 70, July 14.
|May 14||135||1679-E||July 5||82%|
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|A Mother's Day nest! Laid on flat beach near 1673-East, the eggs were moved into a dune area near 1679-E by Carole, Broxanne, Bob, & Nancy.|
Nest #2 hatched on night 60, July 13.
|Nest #3||May 23||in situ||CGS-E/A||July 14||86%|
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|This is Adam's Nest. Signs of nesting had almost been erased by wind-blown sand. Only a few tracks near the ocean and the faint edge of the body pit remained. But Adam saw them and reported them. And sure enough -- Paula located the egg chamber! The nest was left
in situ (where it was laid) up on a dune. When he discovered the tracks, Adam (from Minnesota) was walking the beach with his cousin Nancy (Folly resident) who was showing him the Turtle Watch sand fencing project that she worked on along the island's east edge. MANY thanks to them both for their
help in protecting Folly's turtles. We're also grateful to Adam for his help with Sunday's stranding. Gotta keep this guy on Folly!|
Nest #3 hatched on night 59, July 22.
|A crawl in and out, but no egg chamber found. This location will be marked and logged as an "aborted nesting attempt" (ANA) -- also known as a "false crawl." The area will be monitored closely around July 17th (estimated hatch date) just in case.|
|What looked like a classic crawl up behind a low dune, but no egg chamber was located. Marked as an "aborted nesting attempt," this area will be monitored closely around July 19th (estimated hatch date) just in case.|
|May 28||122||511-W||July 19||84%|
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|Many thanks to Lee for finding this nest, then tracking down the Crew at the other end of the island. Without his thoughtful intervention, eggs would have been lost. They were very close to the surface and four had been predated (a neighborhood dog had been seen digging there).
122 eggs were rescued and safely relocated in the dune line at 507-W. We enjoyed sharing the turtle's journey with new volunteer Vic and the two lovely visitors from England who are here to work on the Spoleto production of, would you believe ... Mother Courage and Her Children! |
Nest #4 hatched on night 55, July 22.
|This crawl may have preceeded Nest #4 or Nest #5 laid just a few blocks away. No eggs found here.|
|May 30||in situ||700-W||July 21||Unknown|
|Another West-side nest! Eggs were confirmed and left in situ. Thank you, Jenn and Marty for taking good care of this one!|
Nest #5 hatched on night 59, July 28. Inventory scheduled for 8/4.
|May 31||in situ||1585-E||July 22||62%|
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|Back to the East side and a familiar 1999 nest site halfway between 2 sets of stairs. Eggs were confirmed and left in situ. Susan did a great job of introducing her brother and friends to Folly turtle tracking. This was also David's first nest -- welcome aboard! It's always energizing to see folks' first reactions to those mysterious tracks and magical eggs -- truly wonderous.|
Nest #6 hatched on night 53, July 23.
|Nest #7||June 1||98(-2)||1300-E||July 23||73%|
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|Jenn's Nest -- found tracks, found chamber, relocated eggs, protected nest -- terrific job!|
Nest #7 hatched on night 54, July 25.
|June 4||in situ||1595-E||July 26||81%|
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|Female loggerhead came in on very high tide to foot of dune, crawled up and over the first of a double-dune line, and nested in the valley between dunes. This presents a challenging journey for the hatchlings so we'll definitely prepare ahead of time and plan to be there just in case. Diane, your turtle flag did it again! She crawled right to it.|
Nest #8 hatched on night 58, August 2.
|June 4||in situ||1001-W||July 26||Inventory incomplete|
|This female came in at mid-to-low tide, probably within an hour of when her tracks were found -- a long crawl over a log and up into the top of a dune.|
Nest #9 hatched on night 58, August 2. (Inventory incomplete; 10 dead hatchlings near nest; unable to locate clutch; will try deeper.)
|Turtle came ashore near time of high tide, crawled into low dune area, but made a u-turn and went back into the ocean -- no body pit. Assumed to be a "false crawl" (aborted nesting attempt).|
|ANA5||June 6||Last path-E||ANA|
|A block east of "ANA4" (above), there were other tracks. Same turtle? She came ashore and crawled around for a while, but no body pit or egg chamber were located. Assumed to be another "false crawl." Maybe she'll be back again.|
|June 9||in situ||903-W||July 31|
|The crew was lucky enough to see this turtle leave the beach around 6 a.m. She had a great map of barnacles on her shell and a metal tag on her flipper. The tag number will be reported to DNR and the appropriate registries to hopefully find out more about her.
She left her nest carefully positioned above the high tide line between two sections of sand-fencing. Eggs confirmed.|
Nest #10's first emergence 7/28 (night 49); crab encounter. High tide flooded nest 7/31/00; 86 hatchlings drowned in the nest.
|Nest #11||June 9||in situ||1005-E||July 31 |
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|Another good nest placement in the dune line. Audrey found the chamber and confirmed the presence of eggs. Yes! |
Nest #11 hatched on night 54, August 2. Roger rescued hatchlings from a crab and from house lights. His quick work enlisting helpers and reorienting the baby turtles toward the ocean turned a potential loss into new sea turtles enroute to their sargasso hideout.
|Tracks into the dune, but no body pit seen; no egg chamber found. Looked like she was out for a walk.|
|Again, tracks into the dune, but no body pit seen; no egg chamber found. Same turtle? Startled by lights or people on the beach? Lots of questions; no answers.|
|Third time is not the charm today -- nice crawl, but no body pit; no egg chamber found. Is this one very picky turtle or several separate aborted nesting attempts?|
|Yikes. Another one. A crawl to look around, but no nest; no egg chamber. The renourished sand in the County Park area is extremely compacted and difficult to dig in. This may have affected the turtle's choice not to nest here.|
|Another day; another aborted nesting attempt. This one near the very-front beach houses at the east end. The turtle headed into the dune line and crawled through a large soft sandpile of bottom of an escarped dune. Then she headed back the way she came. The area has been marked even though no body pit or egg chamber were located. Need a hatchling watch here around August 1st.|
|Nest #12||June 12||unconfirmed||Co.Park-W||No inventory; "nest" lost to high tide; may have been false crawl/ANA?|
|All the signs of nesting including a distinct body pit, but the eggs are unconfirmed. We're calling this one an outsmart-the-crew nest and have marked it as #12. Its location between the spring and high tide lines is good, though the newly renourished sand supply in this area is very compacted.
This is an excellent "test" nest in several ways. |
High tide destroyed nest site, August 1
|ANA11||June 12||500-W||August 3||ANA|
|Many thanks to Lee who is keeping watch in this area. He saw a crawl and a partially dug chamber, but the turtle had evidently returned to the ocean without laying. The turtle may have been disturbed by a nearby beachparty. The timing of this nesting is especially interesting -- Nest #4 was laid in the same area 15 days ago. It could be the same turtle renesting.|
|At about 1:35 a.m., Lee found tracks coming of the ocean and going about 100 feet up the beach, but they turned around and reentered the water. Could it be the same gal as the night before?|
|Nest #13||June 13||113||1019-E||August 4||87%|
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|Another Jenn nest! 'Way to go -- 113 eggs -- confirmed and safely relocated!|
Nest #13 hatched on night 53, August 5.
|Now ANA15 (was Nest #14; see ANA15 below)||June 14||unconfirmed||601-E||August 5||ANA|
|If it looks like a nest ... number it. The eggs were unconfirmed here, but all other signs were very positive. Out-smarted again. We're calling it a nest - #14. |
August 1: still watching, but heavy vegetation growth raises doubts that this was a nest site.
August 15: determined to be "ANA" / "false crawl"
|June 14||in situ||1697-E||August 5||95%|
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|Eggs FOUND! Yes! And in a good location near the very-front beach houses at the east end.|
Nest #15 hatched on night 56, August 9.
|Nest #16||June 14||107||1001-W||August 5||97%|
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|Many thanks to the Starling family from Cross Hill, SC, who reported these tracks. The nest location was subject to hightide inundation, so its 107 eggs were carefully moved to a safer spot near 1005-W. The low placement and the shape of the chamber were
very similar to Nest #4. Even though it would be 17 days between nests, this could be the gal that Lee has been watching for. |
Nest #16 hatched on night 49, August 2.
|June 15||unconfirmed||800-W||August 6||ANA|
|Another elusive clutch, but field signs showed strong evidence that a turtle had nested, so we marked it as an official nest -- #17 to the left of the 8-West walkover.
No nest after all; false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.
|Tracks, but no nest.|
|Tracks to the top of a dune, then down again. Field signs were unconvincing and eggs were unconfirmed, so we're calling this an "aborted nesting attempt" or "false crawl." The area was marked for further investigation.|
Now Nest #14
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|Tracks in to the base of same escarped dune as ANA#11 on June 1st. There were several barriers in her path -- a large fence post log was angled from the flat beach to the top of the dune blocking direct passage along the foot of the dune and a pile of 4-5 beach chairs stacked
at the dune edge. These barriers may have effected the turtle's passage and site choice. Several people saw this turtle on the beach, but the reports didn't indicate how long she was on the beach or whether she was seen digging the nest chamber.
A surprise! ANA15 began HATCHING on day 47, August 3. This was a suspected, but unconfirmed and unnumbered nest. Visitors found a dead hatchling and alerted the Crew. #14 was reassigned to this site after "nest" 14 proved to be a "false crawl."
|Obscured tracks were found at the "point" of the east end, but signs of nesting were not present.|
|in situ||901-W||August 8||87%|
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|Laid near the site of nest #10 -- this west end area is becoming very popular!|
|Nest #19||June 17|
|in situ||1011-E||August 8||94%|
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|This nest may be associated with some of the "false crawls" that occurred a few blocks away.
Nest #19 hatched on night 60, August 16.
|Nest #20||June 17|
|in situ||CGS-E(B)||August 8||63%|
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|Safely located between the two rock groins. Eggs confirmed!|
Nest #20 hatched on night 54, August 10.
|Nest #21||June 18|
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|Officer Van reported a sea turtle nesting near the 1522 walkover at the Washout around 3:30 a.m. To protect it from foot traffic and high tides, her nest of 115 eggs was relocated to the dune line at the eastern end of the Washout. |
Nest #21 hatched on night 51, August 8.
|Nest #22||June 18|
|in situ||1651-E||August 9||96%|
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|A "textbook" crawl and nest -- tracks directly in to and out of a well-defined body pit. Audrey quickly located the eggs which were left in situ (where they were laid). The site is a little flat, but above the spring tide line. This will be an elevation test case. |
Nest #22 PROBABLY hatched on night 56, August 13.
|June 19||141||CGS-E(B)||August 10||88%|
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|Barbara found and relocated this nest laid in the Coast Guard Station area. It's the largest relocated nest at Folly this season -- 141 eggs! Their new nest site is between the rock groins at the east end of the island. |
Nest #23 hatched on night 52, August 10.
|Nest #24||June 20||unconfirmed||Co. Park-W(B)||August 11||ANA|
|The crawl was noticed in early morning, but no eggs were found, so assumed to be false crawl. Later in the afternoon, an eye-witness report indicated that the turtle had been on the beach for about 90 minutes. Based on that report, the crew decided to mark the probable nest area as #24.|
Site washed away before final inventory of area could be done; assumed false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.
|June 20||unconfirmed||205-E||August 11||ANA|
|Folks at the Front Beach Inn saw this turtle nesting next to a beached catamaran, but presence of eggs was not confirmed. Based on the witness' report, the probable nest area has been staked & taped.
No nest after all; false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.
|Very faint tracks that u-turned back into the ocean. Turtle evidently came ashore just before or during the rain.|
|June 22||in situ||CGS-E(C)||August 13||82%|
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|Located above the spring high tide just past the 2d rock groin. Left where laid (in situ).
Nest #26 hatched on night 54, August 16.
|Just a few yards away from Nest #26, there was a crawl that looped up and back to the ocean -- no nest. Based on the tide marks at the two crawls, Barbara determined that the tracks could not have been made by the same turtle.|
|June 23||in situ||1571-E||August 14|
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|This nest was laid just in time to be the center of attention for Paula's "turtle talk" for a group of leadership teachers associated with the SC Aquarium. Like the turtle who laid nest #8 on June 4th, this turtle went over the first dune and made her nest on the downslope of the back
side of the dune. This will present some orientation problems for the hatchlings, but we'll have a plan in place to help them orient to the ocean. Is this the same turtle that laid Nest #8? It's marginally possible -- there were 19 days between nests instead of the usual 14, but it's known that a loggerhead can "hold"
her ready-to-lay eggs for 4-5 days. There had also been a false crawl in this same place on June 20th. Same turtle? Only she knows.
Nest #27 hatched on night 54, August 16. A ramp of boards and garden edging guided the hatchlings from the back of the dune toward the ocean. Dozens of tiny crawls were seen along the edging, over the dune, and down to the high tide line.
|Tracks led up to the pole of a portable beach shelter. The tie-down ropes and pole blocked the turtles forward passage and she turned to the left and went back to the ocean --no nest. On land, sea turtles have one gear -- first (low, foward). When they encounter obstructions on the beach, they generally continue in forward gear to go over them, or turn away. Tragically, they can also become trapped by beach chairs, umbrellas, net and shelter guy-wires and die of strangulation or dehydration. For the safety of humans and sea turtles, it's best to just leave sand on the beach.|
|Nest #28||June 24||in situ||410-E||August 15|
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|Laid next to a private walkover, this nest was left in situ.|
Nest #28 hatched on night 58, August 21.
|Nest #29||June 26||in situ||719-E||August 17||Unknown|
|This nest, amazingly close to yesterday's "aborted nesting attempt" was left where the loggerhead put it -- at the Springtide line.|
Unable to locate for hatching watch/inventory.
|This turtle crawled between two dead, fallen trees and into the low brush area about 150 yards west of the County Park building. She started digging an egg chamber, but abandoned it without covering. Our guess is she found the site unsuitable (wet clay at a depth of six inches) and will attempt to nest again.|
|June 27||in situ||811-W||August 18||59%|
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|Crawl was extra-wide and the eggs were buried very deeply. The right front flipper marks were unusual. We may be able to recognize this turtle's crawl again.|
|Tracks in the first block of the Washout were mostly blown over. No nesting area indicated at all. Assumed a "false crawl."|
|Nest #31||June 28||in situ||1685-E||August 19||89%|
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|Lots of blown sand -- the last ten feet of tracks leading to the nest were totally erased and the body pit could only be distinguished by a soft mound of sand and some uprooted sea grass sprigs. But the eggs were confirmed and the area staked off as Nest 31.|
|June 28||unconfirmed||1011-W||August 19||94%|
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|Might be the nest of "The County Park Turtle" (see ANA21 above).|
This WAS really a nest after all! With a 94% hatch success!
|Hmmm ... another "false crawl" in the County Park area. A lot of confusing activity!|
|Turtle seen (and maybe disturbed) by a Crew member at 5:15 a.m. Turtle was in the top in the dune next to 1565-E when her inbound (but no outbound!) track was seen. She may have already rejected the site before seeing the Crew member, but whatever the cause, she wasted no time leaving the beach after sliding down the dune and colliding with a fence post. A quick measurement indicated a 40" carapace length, liberally sprinkled with barnacles. For a crawling sea turtle, she actually seemed energetic -- not at all like the exhausted crawl of a just-nested turtle. The narrow dune crest showed flattened, but not uprooted grass and no body pit. No nest indicated.|
|ANA25||June 30||near 900-E||ANA|
|Another false crawl into the top of a dune; no time estimate to indicate any relationship to ANA24.|
|ANA26||June 30||near 900-E||ANA|
|And very nearby -- yet another aborted nesting attempt into the dune. Is this the beginning of the 4th of July crowd!|
|June 30||in situ||CGS-E||August 21||Unknown|
|Eggs confirmed; nest is where mama loggerhead laid it.|
|in situ||1699-E||August 22||76%|
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|Eggs confirmed; nest in situ.|
Nest #34 hatched on night 50, August 20.
|It wasn't for lack of effort that this turtle didn't nest. She dug a nest chamber, but left it open, evidently unsatisfied or disturbed by conditions on the beach. She wandered quite a bit along the dune line, went toward the water, then back into a dune only to emerge again and go into the ocean. Hopefully she'll be back and nest on Folly.|
|July 5||in situ||1567-E||August 26||99%|
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|Light tracks toward the dune and a classic body pit in the crest of the dune. Eggs confirmed! This is a site that requires close attention. It's a low dune at a vacant lot. We want to make sure the hatchlings orient toward the sea, not the street; backboard may be necessary.
Nest #35 hatched on night 53, August 27. Edging and tall plywood boards were put in place to ensure that the hatchlings would not head over the dune and toward the street. Many thanks to Roger for the construction and to Walter for turning the lights out -- their actions made the critical difference.
|ANA28||July 7||1491-E Washout||ANA|
|A maybe nest. Eggs unconfirmed. We staked the site so that we can continue to check it.|
|Another maybe nest. If this turtle didn't nest here, hopefully she'll return tomorrow and leave some eggs.|
|Nest #36||July 7||unconfirmed||near 1000-E||August 28||ANA|
No nest after all; false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.
|July 8||in situ||1667-E||August 29|
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|Nicely differentiated tracks led to and from a large nest site in a soft dune. Eggs confirmed!
Nest #37 hatched on night 53, August 30.
|Nest #38||July 9||unconfirmed||408-E||August 30|
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|Carole inventoried 9/3/00.|
|July 9||in-situ||1591-E||August 30|
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|This nest was a lucky find. The tide had washed away all but 2 feet of the tracks and the morning was extremely windy and had almost totally covered the remaining tracks and nest area with wind blown sand. Great job by Kim & Trace.
August 2: high tide washover.
Nest #39 hatched on night 52, August 30.
|July 11||98||CGS-E/A||September 1||0%|
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|Many thanks to Dick, our dear Donna's cousin from Atlanta, who found the tracks AND the momma turtle still nesting. The family watched quietly while she laid her eggs and returned to the ocean. The eggs were relocated to a safer spot in a nearby dune.|
August 1: Broxann noticed that the nest was about to be overtaken by new moon high tides. 82 of 98 eggs were safely moved to a higher, more inland nest near 1719-E.
|Nest #41||July 15||in situ||913-E||September 5||86 eggs; incomplete?|
|Nest #41 hatched on day 57, September 10.|
|July 15||109||CP/109-W||September 5||Unknown|
|The eggs were moved to nearby dune.|
This nest is believed to have been vandalized shortly after hatching; inventory incomplete.
|in situ||CP-W||September 6||25%|
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|Eggs confirmed! Site is low, between trees.|
|Nest #44||July 19||100||1620-E||September 9||74%|
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|A picture perfect nesting. Nice crawl up the beach, great body pit, and good crawl back to the ocean. And just the first of three nests found today! The eggs were moved to a nearby dune. Great job by Kim & Trace, again, their second nest.|
|Nest #45||July 19||76||514-W||September 9||55%|
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|The second of three nests today!!
Nest #45 hatched on night 54, September 10.
|July 19||in situ||1014-W||September 9||6%|
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|The third of three nests today!!!|
|July 20||130 (-2)||1590-E||September 10||0%|
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|Thank you to the vacationing teacher who called this one into Public Safety! She also marked the area of the nest because of the strong winds quickly covering up the signs of the nest. And just the first of three nests found today, for the second day in a row! Crew also noted thinness of shells.|
Inventory revealed variation in size of eggs; all failed to develop; suspect infertility; many had light to dark fushia-colored bacteria that may have been introduced late in incubation.
|Nest #48||July 20||in situ||705-W||September 10||60%|
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|The second of three nests today, for the second day in a row!!|
|July 20||in situ||720-W||September 10||83%|
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|The third of three nests today, for the second day in a row!!!|
|July 25||unconfirmed||Co. Park-W||September 10||ANA|
|Eggs not confirmed at this site, but other signs of nesting present.|
No nest after all; false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.
|Nest #51||July 29||109||917-E||September 19||Unknown|
|Thanks to visitors from Orangeburg and the Public Safety dispatcher, the Crew was able to move this low-lying nest to a safer location.|
|Nest #52||August 1||unconfirmed||317-E||September 22||ANA|
|No nest after all; false crawl/aborted nesting attempt.|
|"Wild" Nest||Unknown||in situ||County Park-W||Unknown||109 of 110|
|9/3: Marty found egg shells on the beach at unmarked site! A GREAT surprise and hatchout!|