Turtle Tracks on Folly Beach 2002

TracksDateEggsLocationESTIMATED
Hatch Dates
(based on 55-65 day average incubation)
%
Hatched
 
Nest #1

April 29

in situ

421-W

June 23-July 3

First emergence
July 12
(74 days)

66 of 100

66%

WOW! The season is officially underway at Folly ... in APRIL yet! Lee saw South Carolina's first loggerhead tracks of the 2002 season in front of 421-West! He quickly contacted Folly Beach Public Safety who contacted Lynn and Craig. Eggs were confirmed and remain in situ (where the mom laid them). This first nest will likely have a LONG incubation period and the eggs may even be infertile. We'll watch and see. | Update May 28th - 2d picture shows post-high tide condition -- in great shape! | Update July 12th - Ants invaded Nest #1 and took a deadly toll. Several hatchlings saved and viable eggs reburied in clean nest.  A VERY big thank you to the Bradley family from Easley, SC, and the Richardsons (celebrating their 50th anniversary!) who did so much to assist the crew and provide the hatchlings with a safe passage to the ocean.
 
Nest #2


May 9

105

1205-E

July 3-13

First emergence
July 16
(68 days)

102 of 105

97%

Headed for early morning surfing, George and Kara were diverted by TURTLE TRACKS leading to and from the 11th St. walkover. The crew-on-patrol walked up a few minutes later and together they found and moved 105 eggs to a more elevated site nearby. The original site was flat on the beach and below the spring high tide line -- in danger of repeated flooding.

ANA-A

May 11

 

900-W

July 5-15

 

 

An "Aborted nesting attempt " (ANA) -- sometimes referred to as a "false crawl" or "non-nesting emergence." The sea turtle begins a crawl up the beach, but instead of nesting, makes a U-turn back to the ocean. An aborted nesting attempt is usually the result of disturbances on the beach or poor nesting conditions. In this case, the turtle crawled up to, then along base of an escarped (eroded) dune in the 900-West block. The area was carefully searched for a nest, but none was found. She'll try again -- maybe tomorrow night.

Nest #3


May 12

141

1029-W

July 6-16
First emergence
July 9
(58 days)

70 of 141

50%

BIG nest for Mother's Day! May have been yesterday's "ANA" returning. She managed to travel up and down a dune and under a tree to finally lay her nest of 141 eggs! | Update July 9th - First Folly nest to hatch this season! Unfortunately, ants took a heavy toll, killing 50+ hatchlings.

ANA-B

May 16

 

900-E

July 10-15

 

 

Another non-nesting emergence. Maybe she came back to lay Nest #4 further down the beach.

Nest #4


May 16

in situ

403-E

July 10-20
First emergence unknown

92 of 97

95%

Many thanks to the Folly resident who called Public Safety about seeing this momma turtle. She nested in a good location. Eggs were confirmed and the nest remains in situ.
 
Nest #5


May 17

69

1701-E

July 11-21
First emergence
July 28
(72 days)

44 of 69

64%

Sunnie and Elisa spotted out-going tracks and just a few in-coming steps over the high tide line. The signs were there and so were the eggs! Nest is on a small dune where the momma turtle laid it. | Update May 23 - What was an in situ became a relocated nest at the last possible moment before high tides eroded its low dune away. The eggs were moved about 25' to a higher back dune. It is NOT advisable to move eggs during this stage in their development, but the only other choice was to watch them float away. Maybe we'll get luckier. MANY thanks to Sunnie and Elisa for their super-human efforts to keep sand in place and Bob for being there at the critical moment.
 
Nest #6


May 19

in situ

Round-the-Bend@CGS-E

July 13-23
First emergence
July 28
(70 days)

92 of 118

78%

Nest with lighthouse view and dolphin patrol! Found barely on Folly Beach, past the lighthouse and "around the bend," this nest was lucky to be found at all after weekend winds and rain had rearranged the sand. Many thanks to Barbara and family for spotting faint tracks across the high tide "wrack" to a large body pit. Eggs confirmed for Nest #6.

Nest #7


May 22

120

1029-W

July 16-26

First emergence
July 22
(61 days)

119 of 120

99%

120 eggs were relocated from a low-lying nest in front of the Baptist Beach House to a safer site nearby where "nests overlook nests."
 
Nest #8


May 25

129

809-E

July 19-29
First emergence
July 26
(62 days)

127 of 129

98%

The caller's description of a "double-nest" was right on -- it wasn't a "double-nest" (only 1 set of tracks kinda cleared that up), but there were definitely 2 areas that looked like twin body pits at the base of an escarped dune. The 2d was the real thing and 129 eggs were relocated into a more stable dune line next door.

Nest #9


May 26

124

CGS-E

July 20-30
First emergence unknown

120 of 124

97%

The first of 2 nests today, both located just past the last house near the old Coast Guard Station property. 2d site was much better, so this nest was moved to join it.

Nest #10


May 26

in situ

CGS-E

July 20-30
First emergence unknown

96 of 100

96%

See Nest #9 above -- they're a pair!

ANA-C

May 27

 

Co. Park-W

July 21-31

 

 

County Park had a "false crawl" not too far from Nest #11 -- may have been the same turtle on a nest hunting expedition.

Nest #11


May 27

in situ

1029-W

July 21-31
First emergence
July 27
(61 days)

94 of 105

90%

Again! What's with the end of 10-West?! It's drawing a bunch of turtle traffic this month!! This in situ site is sharing stakes with the Mother's Day nest -- could be the same momma -- timing's right!

Nest #12


June 2

124

1687-E

July 26-Aug 5
First emergence
July 30
(58 days)

113 of 124

91%

Sunnie found outgoing tracks that were a lot longer than the incoming tracks -- a good indication that the pile of sand at the base of the eroded dune contained a nest -- somewhere! Carole came to the rescue and found the egg chamber so that the 124 eggs could be moved to a higher, safer site a few houses away.

Nest #13


June 2

100

CGS-E

July 26-Aug 5
First emergence unknown

92 of 100

92%

"There are 2 more!" That's what early morning beach walkers reported as the crew was working on nest #12. Bob found and relocated the eggs from both. #13 was moved from just before the highest groin near the end of the island to create a triplex of nests with #9 and #10.
 
Nest #14


June 2

103

CGS-E

July 26-Aug 5
First emergence
Aug 2
(61 days)

96 of 103

93%

This nest was laid between the highest timber groin and the rock groin at the east end of the island. In order to protect it from flooding tides, it was relocated westward to the beginning of the Coast Guard Station property. Many thanks to the guys from Black Mountain and Lola for their help!

ANA-D

June 3

 

CGS-E

July 26-Aug 5

 

 

Quick crawl up to the wrack line and back to the ocean. These tracks were about 100 yards from Nest #15 below -- may have been the same turtle.

Nest #15


June 3

98

CGS Rd.-E

July 27-Aug 6
First emergence
July 31
(57 days)

95 of 98

97%

A long winding crawl up to the "Danger - Strong Currents" sign at the east end of the island. A nest. Unfortunately in front of the high tide wrack line. 98 eggs were moved to a less vulnerable spot to the left of the sign.

Nest #16


June 4

eggs not located

517/519-E

July 27-Aug 6

no sign of hatching

assume false crawl/ANA

A wicked dune crawl. All the right nesting signs, but no eggs located. Because of the strong indicators, this site was staked and numbered as Nest #16. We'll have to wait until around July 22d to see what develops.

ANA-E

June 4

 

1301-E

July 27-Aug 6

 

 

An exploratory crawl just to the left of the 13th Street East walkover. The turtle crawled part way up the dune, then across the base of the dune, then back to the ocean. There were no nest signs (but we checked anyway). Hopefully she'll be back tomorrow.

ANA-F

June 5

 

CGS-E

July 28-Aug 7

 

 

She crawled between a gauntlet of old metal stakes near the last two timber groins at the Coast Guard Station, then looped around a big post. We probed, we dug, we found no eggs. They could be there still, but we think she probably went on to lay another one of this morning's confirmed nests.

Nest #17


June 5

135

CGS-E

July 28-Aug 7
First emergence
Aug 2
(58 days)

31 of 135

23%

A great crawl into the wrack line at the east end of the island across from the lighthouse. The 135 eggs were moved about 12 feet higher, off of the flat beach where they were at risk from the high water table.  | Update August 4th - Ants moved in and killed 75 hatchlings (56%) as they emerged from their shells. Ant defense is badly needed.
 
Nest #18


June 5

70(-4)

1657-E

July 28-Aug 7
First emergence unknown

58 of 70

83%

Many thanks to the Thompson kids (and Mom and GrandDad and Grandma Betsy) from Social Circle, GA, for all their help in finding a safe home for a small nest of 66 eggs. We managed to have science and math class while we moved the eggs. So ... how many years DOES it take for a momma loggerhead to produce enough eggs to replace herself in the population?

Nest #19


June 5

in situ

1657-E

July 28-Aug 7
First emergence unknown

15 of 90

17%

Lynn came to the rescue and confirmed the eggs in our 4th set of tracks (3d nest) for the morning. Because mom turtle had climbed the dune to lay her nest, it did not need to be relocated. The Thompson kids took care of staking this nest, too -- thank you! | Update August 9th - Ant invasion at pipping killed the majority of this nest.

Nest #20
 


June 6

159

1729-E

July 29-Aug 8
First emergence
July 30
(54 days)

117 of 159

74%

Her in and out crawls were on either side of the timber groin nearest the last parking lot (east). She laid a HUGE nest between the top of the groin and the base of a badly eroded dune. Sunnie and Elisa carefully moved 159 eggs (wow!) into the front yard dune of the next to the last house. It's now "Bud's Nest" and it's Folly's largest nest EVER (or at least since 1998 when our counts began).  | Update August 2d - Ants moved in at pipping and killed 36 hatchlings (19%) as they emerged from their shells. We must find an effective ant weapon.
 
ANA-G

June 10

 

1105-E

Aug 2-12

 

 

A crawl into and along a low rise near the base of a dune. We tried and tried to find eggs here, but were not successful. The site is marked so that it can be checked for hatchling tracks late in July.

Nest #21


June 11

117

307-E

Aug 3-13
First emergence unknown

 

 

Cousins from Arizona and New Jersey reunited at Folly were joined on the beach by another visitor -- Fernanda. She came from the ocean to lay a nest of 117 eggs near the "Bert's" entrance to the beach. Christian, Daniel, and Kyle ran home to share the news, then back again to the beach to witness "Fernanda" lay her eggs, carefully conceal her nest, then slowly return to the sea. Bioluminescent organisms on her shell added to the magical scene. Many thanks to the guys, Lenora, and to Jenny for contacting Public Safety and for sharing their wonderful adventure with the crew. Lynn and Carole safely moved the eggs to a safer site near the 3-East walkover the next morning.

Nest #22

June 14

83

615-W

Aug 6-16
First emergence
Aug 13
(60 days)

80 of 83

96%

Laid smack in the middle of a walkover path. Even though it was otherwise a good site, it was a walking hazard for folks, so the crew moved the nest to a happier situation.

Nest #23

June 14

in situ

CGS-E

Aug 6-16
First emergence
Aug 8
(55 days)
Unable to inventory

site washed away in New Moon high tides Aug 8

Over the "billy-goat" groins to a valley between the tallest dunes left on the east end. That's the path the crew took to investigate this crawl and confirm the exact nest location. Many thanks to Lynn and Linda for their careful consideration of this site. It remains where momma turtle laid it. | Update August 9th - Nest sheared by New Moon high tides. Checked for presence of eggs and found resting hatchlings instead. Left in place with about 1" of sand between hatchlings and dune wall. Hatchlings (and other nest contents) went into ocean on next high tide.

Nest #24

June 15

eggs not located

510-E

Aug 7-17

no sign of hatching

assume false crawl/ANA

The crew is sure the eggs are there ... somewhere. All the field signs were present including a good differential between incoming and outgoing tracks. Though eggs were not confirmed, this site was numbered in anticipation that we'll see tiny little tracks there in early August.

Nest #25

June 16

98

1305-E

Aug 8-18
First emergence
Aug 9
(54 days)

90 of 98

92%

The empty lot must have seemed like a good, quiet, private spot for a nest. But momma turtle had lots of company -- fortunately, VERY respectful and caring company. We're grateful to the Morlan/Davis families for their hospitality to Aunt Martha (their affectionate name for the nesting loggerhead). They first saw her swimming in the ocean, watching the beach, selecting her location and her moment. Amazingly, she emerged from the water, walked right up into the family group and proceeded to dig her nest. Wow! Someone in the family called DNR and they contacted Lynn to share the moment. The nest was wedged between rocks in this highly erosion-prone area, so the eggs were relocated to a better site a few house to the west. We hope the REAL Aunt Martha likes her new namesake (actually a very special honor for any human). Thanks, Folks -- GREAT job!

Nest #26

June 18

in situ

1611-E

Aug 10-20
First emergence
Aug 13
(56 days)

108 of 110

98%

Broxann thought she'd never see tracks this year, but there they were -- up and onto the dune! This turtle was a climber! Eggs were confirmed and her nest is just where she laid it on TOP of a dune.
 
Nest #27

June 19

127

CGS-E

Aug 11-21
First emergence
Aug 14
(56 days)

111 of 127

87%

Dave spotted a textbook classic crawl about 100 yards to the east of Coast Guard Station Road. A clearly v'd crawl in on the right, out on the left, with a big body pit, turn arc, and halo of thrown sand. Though slightly above the wrack line, the location was just too flat and too great a risk to ground water flooding. The eggs were relocated in a dune slope on the other side of CGS Road near nest #15.

Nest #28

June 19

150

CGS-E

Aug 11-21
First emergence
Aug 10
(52 days)

32 of 150

21%

Dave's 2d nest sighting of the morning was almost as far as nest #6, near the convergence of the rivers. Lynn and Linda came to the rescue on this one while Dave moved Nest #27. They were able to find and follow the rained-over faint tracks over a wide band of wrack to the nest site. But again the site was much too flat for successful egg development. They chose a good high spot in the only dune at that end of the island. Many thanks to all for the great save on this one! It's quite possible that today's nests were laid by the same turtles that laid the nests on June 5th.| Update August 10th - Ant invasion at pipping. Thoughtful action by Dave and Phyllis rescued the only survivors of this nest.
 
Nest #29

June 21

137

CGS-E

Aug 13-23
First emergence
Aug 9
(49 days)

62 of 137

45%

Very busy week for Dave and Lynn, and another new neighbor for Nest #15 and #27. It was a cold, wet crew who safely relocated the nest to protect the eggs from tide and ground water flooding. Thank you, Carole, Lynn, and Dave!  | Update - next morning - Crab was busy taking over the center of the new nest -- two holes dug and one empty shell on top of the sand. Crab pulled from nest and sent down the beach to find a new occupation. | Update August 13th - Dave spotted a stream of ants headed into the nest -- 4 live hatchlings rescued; 13 lost to ants. 62 eggs did not develop for unknown reasons.

ANA-H

June 23

 

Co. Park-W

Aug 15-25

A west end crawl that rambled, a suspicious hole that could have been an abandoned chamber, some uprooted vegetation, and thrown sand, but ... no eggs. The site is marked with a dated stake so that the area can be observed near hatching time.

ANA-I

June 24

 

CGS-E

Aug 16-26

Another lonely single stake marks this crawl. Lots of flipper marks, no definite body pit or other signs of nesting. We're pretty confident this is a true aborted nesting attempt. Hopefully she'll be back in the morning (if she didn't nest on the west end).

Nest #30

June 24

94

1029-W

Aug 16-26
First emergence
Aug 13
(50 days)

69 of 94

73%

An exciting morning for the west end crew! A nest in the County Park between the shelter and the ramp -- perhaps the return of the same turtle that "looked around" that area yesterday. Congratulations to Linda & Judy for finding and moving this nest to a safe location near Nests 3 and 11!
 
Nest #31

June 25

107

CGS-E

Aug 17-27
First emergence unknown

Eroded by high tides

4 eggs rescued; 3 hatched

Uh-oh. This is starting to be predictable: false crawl at CGS yesterday, nest today. However ... last night's turtle approached nesting site differently (left to right instead of false crawl's right to left movement). Maybe meaningful, maybe not. Meaningful for sure was the time spent on the beach with this momma turtle. Many thanks to our late night photographer Craig Deihl and beach bikers Zsolt and Lauren for calling Public Safety, and for sharing their experience with Lynn & Craig and Broxann & Caylon. It's a great gift to share a sea turtle. (Nest was relocated from low, flat beach to higher site near #15, 27, 29.)   | Update August 9th - Really hate to report that only 4 eggs were saved when the New Moon high tides washed away the dune where this nest was located. | Update September 3d: Inventory revealed that 3 of the 4 rescued eggs hatched.

Nest #32

June 27

in situ

Last House-E

Aug 19-29
First emergence August 23
(51 days)

94 of 100

94%

A straight-forward, easy nest for Bob, but a tricky crawl around posts and sand fencing for the turtle. Eggs quickly located and left where the momma turtle put them.

ANA-J

June 29

 

313-W

Aug 21-31

A NOON turtle sighting! Huh? That's right ... NOON. A large loggerhead turtle emerged from the ocean, crawled up toward the dune line, made a U-turn and returned to the ocean, leaving a lot of amazed folks behind.
 
Nest #33

July 2

155(-7)

CGS-E

Aug 24-Sept 3
First emergence August 21
(50 days)

127 of 155

82%

Her out-tracks were perfectly parallel to her in-tracks; her nest was just at the edge of the wrack line, well-before her turn in the deep soft sand. She filled her nest with 155 eggs to within 5" of the top of the chamber. Unfortunately, the nest was too low to withstand the water table and next month's high tides, so the eggs were moved back and into a small dune nearby.

ANA-K

June 24

 

10-W

Aug 24-Sept 3

The turtle took a close look and determined that this rocky site wasn't suitable for nesting.

Nest #34

July 2

100

719-W

Aug 24-Sept 3
First emergence August 23
(52 days)

97 of 100

97%

Candice's Nest -- named in honor of a wonderful friend of Charleston-area turtles. We appreciate your help and dedication! Thanks for all you do to conserve the species.

Nest #35

July 2

78

1029-W

Aug 24-Sept 3
First emergence unknown

Judy was pretty surprised to find ANOTHER West-side nest this morning! She located the eggs quickly and carefully moved them to join the others just outside of the Park. Congratulations, Judy!

Nest #36

July 7

100

406-W

Aug 29-Sept 8
First emergence unknown

96 of 100

96%

This smart turtle timed her nest for after most July 4th celebrations had ended. Located in a flat, low spot, the nest was relocated in the dune.

Nest #37

July 8

111

1687-E

Aug 30-Sept 9
First emergence August 31
(55 days)

106 of 111

96%

Our thanks go to Tony who saw a faint few tracks leading to the base of a dune. Sure enough, a turtle had nested and left 111 eggs in danger of flooding. Sunnie quickly found and relocated them to a higher site before high tide and an a thunder storm came ashore. A great job by Tony & Sunnie! | Update August 9th - Nest exposed by New Moon high tide erosion. No way to reinforce nest site, so eggs were moved to a new site two houses away.
 
ANA-L

July 9

 

1595-E

Aug 31-Sept 10

Now we ask you ... does that not look like a nest?? You can almost see the eggs! Alas, after many attempts, we were unable to find them. Hopefully little tracks in late August will solve the mystery. Many thanks to Broxann's Iowa visitors Bari, Blake and LeaAnn for coming out in the 6 a.m. rain, and to Cece and Bell for their help in trying to figure this one out.

Nest #38

July 10

in situ

417-E

Sept 2-12
First emergence August 31
(52 days)

106 of 122

87%

Finally! A nest that's high enough to leave where momma turtle put it. She chose a beautiful spot. Eggs confirmed! Thank you, Dennis Bateman (Cincinnati, Ohio), for calling Public Safety to report the tracks -- we appreciate your involvement!

Nest #39

July 10

114

1007-E

Sept 2-12
First emergence Sept 2
(54 days)

110 of 114

96%

Happy Birthday, Malynn! It isn't everyone who gets a turtle nest for a present. Thanks for your help in guarding the nest and moving the 114 eggs to a safer, higher location.

ANA-M

July 11

 

911-E

Sept 3-13

Tracks, but no nest -- an aborted nesting attempt (ANA).

Nest #40

July 14

66 (-2)

417-E

Sept 5-15
First emergence Sept 10
(58 days)

64 of 66

97%

Machelle spotted a few easy-to-miss tracks near the beginning of the Washout. They led to a small, low spot behind sand fencing. It was a nest of 66 eggs that needed relocation. A GREAT find and moving job by Machelle!

Nest #41

July 14

in situ (-2)

CGS-E

Sept 5-15
First emergence August 31
(48 days)

52 of 105

50%

Track lines of different lengths and LOTS of broken vegetation led Dave to this nest -- the 15th in "the Coast Guard Station area" at the end of the island. Eggs, though very well concealed at the beginning of the nest, were confirmed and remain where mom turtle laid them. | Update August 31st - Ant invasion and very heavy root growth took a major toll on this nest.

ANA-N

July 15

 

1629-E

Sept 6-16

Tracks that didn't stop until they disappeared back into the ocean -- an aborted nesting attempt (ANA).

Nest #42

July 26

eggs not located, but hatchling tracks seen!

CGS-E

Sept 17-27
First emergence Sept 22
(58 days)

122 of 137

89%

Criss-crossing tracks and a well-placed nest above the wrack and on the edge of dune vegetation. This turtle also hid her eggs well! We couldn't find them, but look forward to having their location revealed when they hatch in September. It was great to meet Jerry at this nest and hope he had a good trip back home to Indiana.

Nest #43

July 28

125

1735-E

Sept 19-29

Lost to Aug 7th high tide
Wow! 125 eggs this late in the season! A wonderful, large nest, carefully moved from the base of an escarped dune to a higher, more protected spot nearby. Many thanks to Phyllis, Dave, Elisa and Carole for all their great work! | Update August 8th - Nest lost to New Moon high tides.

Nest #44
a WILD nest

Unknown

109

1693-E

Unknown
First emergence August 16

107 of 109

97%

A welcome surprise! Hatchlings on the beach came from a nest we didn't know about -- "a wild nest" -- totally untouched. Probably laid on a rainy night around June 20th. We're thrilled that the hatchlings were seen and we were able to inventory this very successful nest.