Turtle Tracks on Folly Beach 2003

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

ANA-A

May 16

 

1589-E

July 10-20

 

 

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, a classic "U" turn. She'll try again -- maybe tomorrow night.

ANA-B

May 17

 

1003-W

July 11-21

 

 

Probably a look-around by our first nester -- see Nest #1 below.
 
 


Nest #1


May 17

in situ

907-W

N32/38.772'
W079/57.493'
Elev. 1 ft.


July 11-21

First emergence
July 21
(65 days)

80 of 83

96.4%

Folly's first nest was also a first for the new Crew member who found it. Congratulations, Cathy! What a great start! Eggs were confirmed and remain in situ (where the mom laid them) in front of a section of sand fencing.
| Update - July 13: The 3rd photo was taken July 13th -- all quiet so far.   | Update - July 27: Inventory. VERY successful nest. Last 2 photos show nest with accumulated sand just before inventory, and lots of empty shells revealed during inventory.

ANA-C

May 17

 

1205-E

July 11-21

 

 

Beulah located this faint track. No nest confirmed. Hopefully a second turtle is attempting to find a good spot to nest.

ANA-D

May 18

 

CGS-E

July 12-22

 

 

Dave & Phyllis found tracks to the very heavy wrack line and back to the ocean. No nest yet.

ANA-E

May 19

 

1595-E

July 13-23

 

 

Belle likes these tracks, but the turtle evidently didn't like the location. A long walk in, along the base of the dune, then back to the ocean. Hopefully she won't give up on Folly -- go to the West side -- great dunes available!

ANA-F

May 19

 

1625-E

July 13-23

 

 

Same turtle trying to nest? Sunnie reported tracks along the rock groin to the base of the dune, back to the rocks, then across the beach and into the ocean. Sounds like a pretty tired turtle seeking, but not finding, a place to nest.

ANA-G

May 21

 

CGS-E

July 15-25

 

 

Gee. Another false crawl. Up to the line of heavy wrack and back to the ocean. No signs of nesting. We're feeling their frustration.

ANA-H

May 21

 

1685-E

July 15-25

 

 

Belle and Dollie (with friends) are great turtle trackers. Again ... tracks straight to and along the escarpment, then back to the ocean. She didn't stop crawling to create a nest. If she only knew we would help keep her eggs safe.
 
Nest #2

May 22

in situ

1205-E


N32/39.896'
W079/54.927
Elev. 5 ft.


July 16-26

First emergence
July 20
(59 days)

90 of 96

93.7%

Paula's jackpot! This was one smart turtle -- she chose one of the very few good sites on the east side -- up in a small dune near the 12th Street walkover. Sunnie located and confirmed the eggs. They remain where momma turtle safely laid them.
| Update - July 20: Nest center had 2 openings and faint hatchling tracks were noted! Looks like heavy rain on Saturday night combined with the right developmental timing has sent these guys home.

Nest #3

May 23

155

915-W

N32/38.746'
W079/57.551'
Elev. 16 ft.


July 17-27

First emergence
July 19
(57 days)

139 of 155

89.6%

First relocated nest. Linda and Judi found the original nest near the tip of the island, an area far too low and unpredictable to risk. 155 (wow!) eggs were moved to a prime site near the 10th Street walkover.
| Update - July 19: Great news! Rick reported a mass exodus of highly energized hatchlings! John followed up with his report: "when I looked at #3 It started to explode with young turtles! There had to be a 100 at least! ... A Ghost Crab got one but i knocked out the Ghost Crab and managed to save the turtle-still alive. This all happened at around 1:05-AM." Thanks, guys, for keeping a close and caring watch.

Nest #4

May 25

in situ
Unconfirmed

807-W

N32/38.837'
W079/57.363'
Elev. 4 ft.


July 19-29

 
 
 

No eggs found
Probable ANA
Anne-Frans saw the huge tractor-tire marks driving up into the dune line. A nest! A nest! But where?! It happens every summer -- crawl leads to and from a rounded body-pit area. Thrown sand and disturbed vegetation are evident. Every indicator says "nest." You can almost smell it. But no matter how much you probe or how many ways you reenact the turtle's visit, the eggs remain hidden. In this case, she chose a safe dune area, so erosion risk is low. Though we'd surely like to know where the heck she put those eggs, we'll just have to wait and see where the hatchlings emerge in July.

ANA-I

May 26

 

Co. Park-W

July 20-30

 

 

A determined nester, but no nest found yet. She found a low vegetated hill on the west end of the island, threw a lot of sand around, and actually began digging two different chambers, but evidently encountered roots and gave up. Judi and Linda are keeping watch for her return.

ANA-J

May 27

 

1661-E

July 21-31

 

 

She took a chance at what used to be a prime nesting area near 1661-E. Instead she found hard-packed wet sand and no access to a dune. She returned to the ocean without nesting.


Nest #5


May 27

in situ

1577-E

N32/40.328'
W079/54.220'
Elev. 0 ft.


July 21-31

First emergence
August 2
(67 days)

107 of 114

93.8%

Well, ok. Sometimes it happens twice a summer. A beautiful crawl up the beach, across the wrack, and into the base of a dune. A beautiful crescent ridge where the turtle turned after nesting, and tracks leading back to the ocean. But where, oh, where, did she put those eggs. We're stumped ... again. With all other signs looking like the real deal, we did number this site as nest #5 even though presence of eggs were unconfirmed.
| Update - August 2: Thinking this may have been a false crawl after all, CC and Nancy got an ok to check the "nest" area at 67 days. After excavating the area inch-by-inch, 3 sleepy hatchlings were found about 10 inches down and about a foot forward of the nest enclosure. This would have been just before the base of the dune on May 27th. We were as surprised as the hatchlings! Amazingly, when recovered with a handful of sand, they were immediately still. Rather than prematurely evict them, we recovered the NEST and will await their emergence when they're ready (update: which turned out to be 9:30 that night).

ANA-K

May 28

 

1545-E

July 22-Aug 1

 

 

Not far from yesterday's non-nesting emergence ("false crawl") -- CC and Belle found another set of tracks that never stopped for nest digging. Only hard-packed base sand and high-sided dunes available here. She'll seek a better location for her eggs.
 


Nest #6


May 28

134

915-W

N32/38.747'
W079/57.550'
Elev. 15 ft.


July 22-Aug 1

First emergence
July 17
(50 days)

124 of 134

92.5%

A rare and wonderful treat -- a loggerhead nesting at dawn. Cathy, Lynn, Linda and Judi were able to watch her lay and cover her eggs and return to the ocean. Pretty awesome, and especially remarkable considering that one of the turtle's rear flippers was missing and she had a chunk out of her shell -- possibly shark damage. Cathy carefully relocated all 134 eggs to a new chamber that Lynn prepared near Nest #4. We're feeling mighty connected to these hatchlings-to-come. Many thanks to Linda and Judi for the great photos!
| Update - July 17: - First nest to begin hatching; much earlier than expected. The 12-20 hatchlings that emerged were small, dry, and weak. Their journey to the ocean was drawn away from the water by bright lights at the Holiday Inn parking lot. With the assistance of town officials, a Lynne Langley article in the Post & Courier, and the cooperation of HI management, this lighting problem was addressed.

ANA-L

June 3

 

915-E

July 28-Aug 7

 

 

After almost a week of no action, Machelle reported a false crawl -- tracks from ocean to near dune, then a "U" and back to the ocean again. Hopefully there'll be a nest soon!

Nest #7

June 4

114

913-W

N32/38.751'
W079/57.545'
Elev. 3 ft.


July 29-Aug 8

First emergence
July 29
(55 days)

101 of 114

88.6%

If it weren't for a sand reclamation project at the County Park, this nest could have safely stayed where the turtle laid it -- up in the highest dune in the park. It was instead relocated outside of the park -- all 114 beautiful eggs. Many thanks to Judi and Linda for the tough move to a safe spot.
| Update - August 1: At inventory, Charlotte determined that 2 unhatched eggs might still produce hatchlings. We'll be on the look out for little tracks. Hopefully, 2 more little sea turtles to emerge.

Nest #8

June 6

in situ

815-E

N32/39.711'
W079/55.370'
Elev. 0 ft.


July 31-Aug 10

First emergence
August 1
(56 days)

75 of 76

98.6%

Machelle did a great job finding this nest and confirming the eggs. The turtle found a safe place in the dune line, so the nest can stay where she laid it. That's always a good feeling.

Nest #9

June 6

133

903-W

N32/38.780'
W079/57.477'
Elev. 6 ft.


July 31-Aug 10

First emergence
August 1
(56 days)

118 of 133

88.7%

Mike was surprised to find turtle tracks on his beachside "doorstep." They led to and from a nest of 133 eggs. Because the location was low and at risk to tidal inundation, the nest was relocated to a higher elevation about 50 feet away. Many thanks to Mike, Linda, and Lynn for getting these hatchlings-to-be off to a great start. Glad Mike's son David, member of rock band "Big Wreck," was there to help, too.
   

 
Nest #10


June 6

123

1125-E

N32/39.878'
W079/54.981'
Elev. 4 ft.


July 31-Aug 10

First emergence
July 29
(53 days)

122 of 123

99%

Sunnie had quite a welcome home -- a wild crawl that bounced off a rock, passed between the foot of the dune and a row of old sandfencing stakes, was terminated at one end by a dune avalanche, then returned between the sandfencing remnants, and finally resulted in a nest (see "halo" of thrown sand in 1st photo) before criss-crossing the original track and a final straight shot to the ocean. What an obstacle course! Because of its location at the base of a very unstable dune, the 123 eggs were carefully relocated to a dune just west of the 12th Street walkover where Paula and Machelle can keep watch. Sunnie will be a frequent visitor.

ANA-M

June 7

 

905-E

August 1-11

 

 

Thanks to Ariana's call to Public Safety around 10 p.m., some of the Crew had the privilege of watching a female loggerhead dig her nest. It was an especially difficult job because this turtle had a damaged right rear flipper. A wedge of her shell just above the flipper was missing and an old slash scar was evident -- perhaps an old wound from a shark bite or a propeller strike. Her description matched the turtle who laid Nest #6 on May 28th, but this would be a few days premature for her 2d nest. As it turned out, after about 30 minutes of digging, the turtle abandoned her task and returned to the ocean. We're not sure why. She may have been dissatisfied with the wet, hard sand, or with our presence. We're hoping for her successful return. Be on the lookout for her distinctive track -- the damaged flipper leaves a "?" in the sand.

Nest #11

June 8

127 (-4)

913-W

N32/38.778'
W079/57.484'
Elev. 13 ft.


August 2-12

First emergence
August 1
(54 days)

120 of 127

94.5%

Judi and Linda reported a very well-hidden nest just past the County Park area. The eggs were moved to a higher, safer location outside the park near nest #7.
 
Nest #12

June 8

149

721-W

N32/38.867'
W079/57.289'
Elev. 4 ft.


August 2-12

First emergence
August 9
(62 days)

78 of 149

52%

A low-lying nest at the base of an escarped dune past the last houses on the east end of the island is an automatic move. There is no protection from repeated seawater coverage here. CC gently removed 149 eggs and placed them in a bucket that Bob carried about a quarter of a mile to the car. The eggs were transported to the 700 block of the west side where Lynn had already flagged a good relocation spot. This is our first east-to-west transport of the season -- maybe the first ever on Folly.
| Update - August 12: Half of the eggs didn't develop. We don't know why. We know they were handled carefully and that the site was good. We'll be rethinking this one for a while.

ANA-N

June 9

 

2 Summer Place-E

August 3-13

 

 

Tracks led into a big sand pile left from a house-protection project. The turtle "tied a bow" when she crawled through the middle of the sandpile, then looped off to the right, crossed her mid-track, then looped off to the left and came through the center again to return to the ocean. Though it didn't look like she nested, the most likely spots were probed and dug. No eggs found. A suspected motion detector light that would have shown on the sandpile may have been a factor is disturbing the turtle. Many thanks to CC and Sunnie for their "read" on this one!

Nest #13

June 9

141

1101-E

N32/39.840'
W079/55.079'
Elev. 2 ft.


August 3-13

First emergence
August 7
(59 days)

130 of 141

92%

Another one for Machelle! Originally located in a low area between 10th and 11th Street East, Machelle found a new, safer home for the 141 eggs near the 11th St. walkover. Great job!

Nest #14

June 9

148

913-W

N32/38.753'
W079/57.543'
Elev. 7 ft.


August 3-13

First emergence
August 1
(53 days)

145 of 148

98%

1st of 2 nests today in the County Park area -- around the bend on the RIVER side! Whoa! Many thanks to Anne-Frans and Mike for helping Judi and Linda truck not only these eggs, but another nest full as well, to the safety of 9-West.

Nest #15

June 9

93

915-W

N32/38.753'
W079/57.539'
Elev. 1 ft.


August 3-13

First emergence
August 4
(56 days)

87 of 93

93.5%

2d of 2 nests today within feet of each other on the RIVER side of the County Park. Another mighty moving job by Judi, Candice, Linda, Anne-Franz, and Mike. Got eggs? They truck 'em! Also enjoyed sharing these nests with Sue -- she'll have lots to show 'n tell her kindergarten class. THANK YOU ALL.
 
 
Nest #16

June 12

in situ

1677-E





August 6-16

First emergence
August 9
(58 days)

110 of 125

88%

Momma turtle was determined to find a high place to make her nest. She used a foot path break in the dune line to climb 3' to the top, laid her eggs, then slide herself over the edge of the dune and returned to the ocean. Amazing. Sunnie, CC, and Nancy were happy to "talk turtle" and share this one with a wonderful family visiting from Fort Wayne area, Indiana.
| Update - August 9: Sunnie reported a cave-in at this nest on Saturday morning, but no sign of tracks. Rain during the night wiped the sand clean. We'll wait at least 3 days more before inventory. | Update August 11: Inventory done one day early because ants were streaming into the nest. Great news ... only one dead hatchling, 111 empty shells, and 15 undeveloped eggs. This was an in situ nest; eggs were not disturbed from time momma turtle laid them until post-hatch inventory time.

Nest #17

June 13

114

319-E





August 7-17

First emergence
August 9
(57 days)

105 of 114

92.1%

Catherine's first find! What a great experience to share with her family visiting from San Francisco. With Carole's help, the nest was relocated to a higher, better site.

ANA-O

June 14

 

501-E

August 8-18

 

 

A by-the-book false crawl -- tracks in a "U" shape at mid-beach not far from the 5th Street walkover. Maybe the same turtle that nested near the 6th Street walkover? (see #18 below)
 
Nest #18

June 14

102(-6)

523-E





August 8-18

First emergence
August 6
(53 days)

79 of 96

82.2%

A long crawl low on the beach led to a nest laid well BELOW the high-tide line. Carole was able to relocate the nest in the dune before the morning's high tide covered the original nest site. Among the 102 eggs were 3 double eggs and 3 eggs with "whipped cream" texture on top -- very unusual.
| Update - August 8: Inventory revealed very mixed results: 57 empty shells, 17 definitely undeveloped eggs, 3 dead hatchlings, 1 live hatchling, and 22 eggs that could possibly still hatch. We'll watch for tracks, then inventory this nest again in a few days to establish a final count. If none of the 22 hatch, the success rate will fall to just 59%. Based on Carole's original observations, there seems to have been something biologically unusual going on with this clutch.
 
Nest #19

June 14

115

1309-E





August 8-18

First emergence
August 6
(53 days)

106 of 115

92%

Tracks led UP & OVER the dune! Momma turtle nested on the "wrong" side of dune, out of view of the ocean. Paula relocated the eggs high on the "right" side, in line with the turtle's return track to the ocean -- a beautiful site.

Nest #20

June 15

110

1121-E

N32/39.882'
W079/54.964'
Elev. 1 ft.


August 9-19

First emergence
August 10
(56 days)

70 of 110

63.6%

Paula discovered this nest in the Washout, the mostly rocky, highly flood tide vulnerable area of 1400-E. To ensure development, the eggs were relocated to a drier, safer nest site near the 12th Street walkover.
| Update - August 15: Inventory uncovered 1 live hatchling and a surprising number of undeveloped eggs (56). Sixteen may still produce hatchlings and were replaced at a higher level in the nest. We'll check back for signs of hatching and a second inventory.

 
Nest #21

June 15

in situ

Beyond houses-E





August 9-19

First emergence
August 12
(58 days)

105 of 111

94.6%

A big thank you to Taylor for helping with this nest! Pretty neat experience to share with her dad on a Father's Day morning. They'll be back often to check on these hatchlings-to-be.
 
Nest #22

June 15

116

Between groins-E





August 9-19

First emergence
August 11
(57 days)

113 of 116

97.4%

It would have been nice to leave this nest where the Momma turtle put it -- at the edge of the full moon high tide line, at the base of the last big dune on Folly's east end. But ... too risky. We've seen too much disappear from this stretch of beach in the last 3 years. So ... CC, Bob, and Nancy moved the 116 eggs to a new nest on a sloping dune in a nearby sand "cove." We enjoyed visiting with folks from Kingston, TN who got to see their first loggerhead sea turtle eggs.
| Update - August 10: A saucer depression was visible on Saturday, and it had deepened by Sunday morning, but no baby turtle tracks yet.

ANA-P

June 19

 

1109-E

August 13-23

 

 

A late night swimmer saw this turtle come ashore, then return to the ocean without nesting. Maybe she's one of the two that nested in the 800 block (see #23 and #24 below). The false crawl tracks had been erased by tides, so we're really grateful to get this eye-witness report.

Nest #23

June 19

in situ
Unconfirmed

803-E





August 13-23

 
 
 

No eggs found
Probable ANA
The eggs weren't located here, but all the classic nesting signs were evident -- crawl into dune, body pit, thrown sand. If it looks real, it gets marked off and numbered -- 23.

Nest #24

June 19

in situ

817-E

N32/39.716'
W079/55.365'
Elev. 10 ft.


August 13-23

First emergence
August 15
(57 days)

102 of 104

98%

A second nest in the same block as #23 above. Two nests in fairly close proximity has become a familiar pattern this season -- these gals seem to have their laying cycles and behaviors very well-synched. It's always interesting to think that they may have hatched on Folly -- maybe even be nest "sisters."

ANA-Q

June 20

 

1675-E

August 14-24

 

 

After much probing and digging and fewer than the usual number classic signs, we're pretty satisfied in calling this an aborted nesting attempt (false crawl).

Nest #25

June 20

in situ
Unconfirmed

1563-E





August 14-24

 
 
 

No eggs founds
Probable ANA
Hmmmm. Good field signs, but, after many search attempts, we were unable to find the egg chamber. The location and shape of the nesting area, and presence of uprooted vegetation persuaded us to mark this site with Nest #25.

Nest #26

June 20

150

Between groins-E

N32/38.742'
W079/57.553'
Elev. 3 ft.


August 14-24

First emergence
August 16
(57 days)

62 of 150

41%

Third crawl on the east end this morning, and a DEFINITE nest -- eggs confirmed and relocated to higher ground. This nest was laid almost exactly where Nest #22 was originally located. Too soon to be the same turtle, but we're mighty glad we cleared that spot for her! We relocated this new nest right next to Nest #22's relocation site in the dune before the last groin (you can just see it on the right edge of the photo). We had a great time "talking turtle" to visitors from Montana, Idaho, Columbia (SC), and to Margaret.
| Update - August 20: Bad news. Inventory revealed 88 unhatched eggs and one dead hatchling. There's some hope for 12 eggs, but even if they're all successful, it will only raise the success rate to 49%. It's a mystery why this nest didn't have better success. Located just three feet away in similar conditions, nest #22 was VERY successful. Genetics? Mom's health? Handling? Would like to know.

ANA-R

June 21

 

1117-E

August 15-25

 

 

Machelle found tracks, but it was pretty clear the turtle didn't nest. A "stumpy" crawl was noted -- this could be our gal who's missing part of her right rear flipper. Hopefully she'll visit again.
 
        
Nest #27

June 22

123

1117-E

N32/38.871'
W079/55.002'
Elev. 6 ft.


August 16-26

 
 
 

106 of 123

86%

Visitors "saw it before [we] did." A great crawl to the dune line, just missing a walkthrough path right in front of Sunnie's! What a surprise to go for the morning "turtle walk" and immediately find tracks! The turtle was able to create her nest in damp, "black" sand, but the bottom of the dune in this area is no place to leave a nest. The topmost eggs were only 5" inches from the surface and a bit of green "something" (mucous?) was noted on several eggs. We reluctantly moved it to join a few other "transplants" near 1117-E. Ironically, this may have been the same turtle who false crawled at 1117-E yesterday.
| Update - August 19: At inventory 8 eggs appeared to need more development time and were carefully returned to a fresh level inside the nest. We'll watch and reinventory to get final results.

Nest #28

June 24

84

915-W

N32/38.745'
W079/57.553'
Elev. 7 ft.


August 18-28

First emergence
August 19
(56 days)

83 of 84

98.8%

Another Folly River gal! What an effort for turtle and humans! This turtle braved all the commotion of sand renourishment at the County Park to nest on the marsh/river side. The eggs were located in a long and tricky nest pit and moved to the 900-block outside of the park. Lots of thank yous to Linda, Lynn, and Judy K for their hard work in getting these eggs to safety.
 
Nest #29

June 24

140(-2)

801-W

N32/38.847'
W079/57.330'
Elev. 4 ft.


August 18-28

First emergence
August 18
(55 days)

136 of 138

98.5%

Under the watchful eye of a friendly alligator, this turtle crawled up to the dune near the 1673-E ramp/walkover. CC and Sunnie quickly found the eggs and reluctantly relocated them to the west side. The good relocation sites on the east side are almost gone! A double-curved claw mark was noted in the crawl.

ANA-S

June 26

 

900-E

August 20-30

 

 

Turtle explored a very steep dune, but found only powdery sand, too dry for digging a successful hole. She abandoned this site and maybe moved on to the one below (Nest #30).

Nest #30

June 26

in situ

902-W

N32/38.751'
W079/57.542'
Elev. 3 ft.


August 20-30

First emergence
August 23
(58 days)

98 of 102

96%

A challenging nesting site in many ways. We hear that an amazing new ritual -- the Dance of the Ghost Crab -- accompanied the search for eggs! It had a delayed reaction, but worked -- Carole found the eggs that evening!
 
Nest #31

June 26

130

1581-E





August 20-30

First emergence
August 24
(59 days)

121 of 130

93%

A tricky-looking figure-8 crawl at the base of the dune helped to disguise this nest. Distinct mixtures of hard and soft sand helped to reveal the chamber. CC and Belle relocated the eggs to a sloping dune just above the original nest.

ANA-T

June 27

 

800-W

August 21-31

 

 

Fireworks may have been too much for this turtle. She came ashore, actually began digging a nest, then abandoned it, leaving an open hole. Hopefully she'll find a quieter place nearby. The 4th of July holiday is always a tough time for nesting turtles.
 
Nest #32

June 27

132

CGS-E





August 21-31

 
 
 

68 of 132

51.5%

First official "Coast Guard Station" nest this year -- just to the left of the entry to the beach. The nest was low and right on the spring tide line. We took advantage of a higher site about 15 feet away. A group of friends from the Mountains rounded the end of the island just in time to see turtle eggs. Pretty neat.

Nest #33

June 27

in situ
Unconfirmed

607-E





August 21-31

 
 
 

No eggs founds
Probable ANA
An elusive egg chamber, but all the field signs said "They're here somewhere!" A safe site made it unnecessary to over-probe and dig. It was marked off and numbered as Nest 33. In about 8 weeks, the hatchlings will reveal where the eggs are hiding.

ANA-U

June 28

 

Past last house-E

August 22-Sept 1

 

 

A straight crawl in, but a lot of wandering and a couple of loops along the dune edge. Three if-y nest areas were explored, but we're confident this was an aborted nesting attempt. This turtle may have come back and laid the Nest #35 (see below).
 
Nest #34

June 29

74

1601-E





August 23-Sept 2

First emergence
August 25
(57 days)

71 of 74

95.9%

CC quickly found the eggs in this neat little nest. The tracks led straight to the dune base, then doubled back straight to the ocean. A small body pit contained the smallest egg clutch relocated so far this year. CC's family friends from NC and Arizona, as well as a Mom and daughter who had seen hatchlings with us a couple of years ago, joined in the fun. Thank you, Dustin, for your help in getting this nest well-marked.

Nest #35

June 29

121(-1)

705-W

N32/38.889'
W079/57.263'
Elev. 4 ft.


August 23-Sept 3

 
 
 

112 of 120

93.3%

A "western" relocation site is now home to these "eastern" eggs in a critically eroded stretch near 1685-E. Sunnie handled all of the probing, finding, and bucketing chores for this one while other crew members investigated the other 2 crawls. With no safe relocation sites nearby, the decision was made to move them to west side dunes. Extra members of CC's family friends caught up with the action in time to see this nest put to bed. Many thanks to Lynn and Craig for welcoming these 120 future hatchlings!
 
Nest #36

June 30

90

1601-E





August 24-Sept 3

First emergence
August 25
(56 days)

87 of 90

96.6%

Almost at the same spot as Nest #34, another beautiful crawl in to the edge of the tide line. With the help of families visiting from NJ, we relocated all 90 eggs to a more protected spot in the dune above the tide line. A big thank you to the "Kids from New Jersey" (and their parents) for helping to give these turtles a good start!

ANA-V

June 30

 

1025-W

August 24-Sept 4

 

 

A false crawl near 1025-West. This may be momma from Nest #6 -- the habit is the same -- began to dig, then left. Judi and Linda are closely watching for her return.

Nest #37

July 1

in situ
Unconfirmed

801-E

N32/39.667'
W079/57.469'
Elev. 7 ft.


August 25-Sept 3

 
 
 

No eggs found
Probable ANA
Talk about being faithful to a nesting site! This turtle broke through the orange tape surrounding Nest #23, snapped off a stake, nested on the previous nest, broke through the tape on the other side, then went her merry way back to the ocean. Whoa! Same girl? Maybe. Because the eggs were unconfirmed for the previous nest, Carole, Lynn, and Linda decided it was too risky to probe for this new clutch. The turtle had clearly indicated this was a great site! So ... Nest #23/#37 -- TWO to watch very carefully for signs of hatching in mid AND late August! Many thanks to Kim S. for calling Public Safety to report this amazing crawl and "nest disturbance" -- we really appreciate your help! Glad Linda's family from Alabama could share in this one, too.

 
Nest #38

July 2

85

Rock Groin-E





August 26-Sept 5

First emergence
August 24
(53 days)

81 of 85

95.2%

Where do you think the eggs are? They were actually pretty easy to find, but the first look at that crawl was a groaner. She hit the dune, turned right, went about 10', turned left and walked about 30', then did a loop back to the dune. Hmmm. Back to the dune. Now she probably wouldn't have done that if she'd nested anywhere in between, right? Right. The eggs were where you'd expect them to be if the turtle was facing the dune. She then made a final turn and her tracks led back toward the ocean. Because this alleyway between dune and rock groin is under water at many high tides, the eggs were moved to a dune around the tip of the island to near Coast Guard Station Road. We enjoyed sharing this nest with visitors from Columbia and Greenville -- hope they'll make it back to watch for hatchlings.

ANA-W

July 3

 

1691-E

August 27-Sept 6

 

 

One of two false crawls near Sunnie this morning. This one was a flat beach turn-around.

ANA-X

July 3

 

1701-E

August 27-Sept 6

 

 

This 2d false crawl was into the vegetation past the high tide line, and even had an open chamber, but we don't think the turtle laid her nest here.

Nest #39

July 3

136(-2)

Left of CGS Rd-E





August 27-Sept 6

First emergence
August 22
(50 days)

98 of 134

73%

Almost across from the lighthouse, a crawl to the edge of the wrack and a body pit. Dave quickly found the eggs and relocated them to a better site above the wrack line.
| Update - August 22: A sunken nest top and not enough leverage to enable quick emergence gave ants the advantage. Fifteen dead hatchlings on top, but 20 live ones below, and unhatched eggs further down. Bob rescued the healthy hatchlings and they crawled to sea, the nest was restored with clean sand, and ant preventative was added behind the nest to give the unhatched babies a chance. | Update - August 27: Final nest inventory totalled 21 dead hatchlings (thanks to ants) 30 live hatchlings (thanks to Bob) and 15 undeveloped eggs. The other 98 made it out of the nest successfully! This was a major save. Many thanks to Bob and to Dave and Phyllis for their caretaking!

ANA-Y

July 3

 

1025-W

August 27-Sept 6

 

 

Very unusual crawl -- wide with a feathery flick at the end of each stroke. We learned later that this was a leatherback track. This was a leatherback track. This was a LEATHERBACK TRACK! Though she didn't nest here, she did come ashore again about 200 feet away -- see Nest #40 below.
 
      

Erosion at original site

 
 


 
Nest #40

July 3

in situ

End of CGS Rd-E





August 27-Sept 6

First emergence
Sept. 3
(62 days)

67 of 83

80.7%

Unbelievable. There was something mighty different about this crawl. It was wider with strokes much closer together and more parallel than loggerhead tracks. And they were all over the back side of the dune at the end of Coast Guard Station Road. Lots of dips, turns, crossovers and blown and thrown sand concealed the nest site. We weren't sure what had been there -- maybe a green turtle? Charlotte Hope with SC/DNR came out to take a look and immediately said "Leatherback." What?!! Leatherback?? Then she proved it by quickly locating the egg chamber and carefully removing two tennis ball-sized eggs and their "spacers." Amazing. A leatherback on Folly. There's some question that the eggs may not be fertile, so there may be no hatchlings ahead, but we're hopeful (and mighty darn proud of the visit in any case).
| Update - August 8: Due to encroaching tides that had severely eroded the dunes at the end of Coast Guard Station Road, the leatherback nest was moved. Charlotte Hope, DNR sea turtle expert, carefully relocated 83 large "yolked" eggs and 30 "spacer" eggs to a new chamber that she dug around the point from the original site. Eggs and humans alike will weather the coming full moon tides better now that these endangered eggs are safer.

ANA-Z

July 4

 

1025-W

August 27-Sept 6

 

 

Just across from the lighthouse, a crawl into the thick mat of flat wrack. No evidence of digging or body pit. Turtle seemed to just stroll through the crunchy reeds, then go back to the ocean.
 
Nest #41

July 4

in situ

219-E





August 28-Sept 7

First emergence
August 30
(57 days)


135 of 140

96.4%

Carole quickly confirmed the eggs at this east side site. Because there was some concern that the nest may have been laid the day before, the nest was left in situ even though it's site is below the Spring high tide line and flat on the beach. It may experience "over-wash" during its incubation period.
| Update: July Full Moon tides overwashed this site at least once.
| Update - August 30: A moonless night and interference from lights at the pier, hotel, condo, and grocery at East 2d attracted hatchlings away from the ocean. Sixteen were found in the parking lot and four were found dead on East Arctic. We think the others were helped by the high tide that quickly covered the tracks.

Nest #42

July 4

in situ

Past Houses-E





August 28-Sept 7

First emergence
Sept. 2
(60 days)


44 of 130

33.8%

Mom turtle put this nest on top of a low, flat dune, but nevertheless above the spring tide line. It's not far from Taylor's Father's Day Nest #21 (laid 19 days ago). Eggs were quickly confirmed and left where mom put them.
 
Nest #43

July 6

72

915-W

N32/38.744'
W079/57.552'
Elev. 6 ft.


August 28-Sept 7

First emergence
Sept 1
(59 days)


67 of 72

93%

Jeanene and Charlotte found and reported these tracks near the County Park at 1009-W. Turtle evidently nested sideways in a lot of vegetation, but Judi was able to locate the eggs, and Linda and Lynn relocated them to the Farm near 915-West. Great work (including photos) by the west side Crew!

Nest #44

July 9

in situ
Unconfirmed

617-W

N32/38.950'
W079/57.160'
Elev. 10 ft.


August 30-Sept 9

 
 
 

No eggs found
Probable ANA
Another mystery nest -- all field signs say that eggs are present, but we were unable to find them. The hatchlings will tell us where they are in about 55 days.

Nest #45

July 9

106(-20)

605-W

N32/38.971'
W079/57.099'
Elev. 1 ft.


Sept 2-12

First emergence
Sept 4
(57 days)

55 of 106

51.8%

An extremely lucky save thanks to Andrea, the teacher, who notified County Park staff, who notified Public Safety, who notified Carole, who notified Bob, who rushed to the park in time to rescue and relocate 106 eggs. A very shallow nest had been laid below the high tide line. Tracks had been erased before the beach was patrolled, and the afternoon's incoming tide had begun to erode the hidden nest away. By-standers said that about 20 eggs had washed away. Without Andrea's wise action, the great phone network, and Bob's quick response, the whole nest would have been lost. A very grateful THANK YOU to ANDREA for making this save possible!
| Update - September 4: Ants moved in early during hatching and killed 11 turtles, but Lynn was able to save 2, recover unhatched eggs, and give the ants a special treat. Her fast work will give other hatchlings a chance to emerge safely. Final counts will be made in a couple of days.

Nest #46

July 10

121

917-W





Sept 3-13

First emergence
Sept 1
(53 days)

119 of 121

98.3%

Found by Judi B. at the last house before park, but too low to leave in situ. Judi B., Judy K. and Lynn moved them into a new unit at the "turtle condos."

ANA-Z

July 10

 

Washout-E

Sept 3-13

 

 

This turtle found only rocks about 50' from the first groin in the Washout. She tried digging, but wisely abandoned the site. She'll try again.

ANA-AA

July 10

 

1105-E

Sept 3-13

 

 

Hmmm. Same turtle as in the Washout? Not sure, but no nest here either -- a walk to and around the dune, but tracks all the way -- no sign that she stopped to nest.

Nest #47

July 11

in situ

815-E

N32/39.705'
W079/57.387'
Elev. 7 ft.


Sept 4-14

First emergence
Sept 1
(52 days)

89 of 99

89.8%

Michelle and Carole confirmed this new nest near the site of Nest #8.
 
Nest #48

July 11

in situ
Unconfirmed

1697-E





Sept 4-14

First emergence
Sept 4
(55 days)

84 of 98

85.7%

They saw it all! Yep. Visitors from NYC and Seneca, SC, were lucky enough to have a very close encounter with a sea turtle around 10 p.m. Thursday. Tyler had the first encounter when the unseen turtle threw sand on him! Then the houseful of folks got involved in clearing beach chairs out of the turtle's way, then watching her digging and laying process. They even got to walk her back to the ocean. Thanks to Nina and Mark, and Tyler and Shane, and all the others who shared their Turtle stories! We're looking forward to pictures and will post a special page. Even though we couldn't find the eggs (yeah, pretty embarrassing given the eye-witness accounts), we enjoyed the gathering which included CC's Bob and Jo and Nancy's Kelly, Scott, and Hannah Jane. Thank you, turtle, for a great time.
| Update - September 4: OK, Folks -- Eggs were right where you said they were -- don't know how we missed them. CC got to see one lone turtle make it to the sea and evidence that many others had preceded him. Inventory counts will be done in next few days.
 
Nest #49

July 12

103

1699-E





Sept 5-15

First emergence
Sept 3
(53 days)

95 of 103

92.2%

Another faint crawl near Sunnie resulted in a confirmed nest of 103 eggs. It was laid in newly accumulated sand at the base of a dune, but there was not enough protection to ensure safe survival. The eggs were moved about half a mile west near several others. It was great to share this with CC's folks, Bill's family, and our buddies from yesterday's nest again.
| Update July 13: We just learned that the Crew weren't the first to spot these tracks. Around midnight on July 11th, another Tyler (this one 22 years old) and girlfriend Amanda went for a beach walk and found that a turtle had been out for a walk, too! The couple quickly spread the news back at the beach house. Mom Lynne and brother Jesse (who had done a sea turtle report in school just last year) also got to see the tracks. We somehow missed the family before they returned to Irmo. We hope they'll make it back in time to see hatchling tracks!
 
Nest #50

July 14

102(-1)

CGS-E/Left





Sept 7-17

First emergence
Sept 2
(50 days)

Inventory lost to erosion

Sept 5

Past the lighthouse and halfway to the river, Bob saw tracks that led to an 8-inch "beach" between heavy wrack and heavy vegetation. There was also a heavy ant infestation. He quickly moved the low-lying eggs to a sloped site to the left of CGS Road. Hopefully the downpour of rain discouraged the ants from following the nest to its new home -- we'll keep a close watch.
 


Nest #51


July 18

142(-4)

1677-E





Sept 11-21

First emergence
Sept 14
(58 days)

97 of 142

68%

This turtle laid in the SAME SPOT as Sunday's momma of Nest #49 laid. Good thing we moved those eggs for her, huh? It's a good private patch of newly accumulated sand, but again, not safe enough to withstand the dynamic tides hitting the 1600-block of the beach. This new nest was moved near the natural in situ location of Nest #16. We were THRILLED to see folks from Social Circle, GA back again from last year! We like beach-fidelity in humans, too.
 
 

ANA-AB

July 18

 

Co. Park-W

Sept 11-21

 

 

A major close encounter with a nester we've seen before -- a thrill and a concern. This time Judi, Kristy, and Linda saw her attempting to get to the ocean again after a long session of looking for a good nesting spot in County Park. She entered a tide pool and was quietly recovering, but seemed stressed from time to time as she would attempt to emerge from the pool only to slip back again on the steep sides. Carole enlisted the assistance of vacationers Dennis, Jeff, and Van to lift the turtle out of her predicament and enable her journey home to continue. Another Carol helpfully applied lots of buckets of water along the way. THANK YOU ALL for your assistance with this gal. You came a long way (Detroit, Charlotte, and Germany!) and made a difference for this turtle. She's a special concern because her right rear flipper is impaired. There's a large scar and v-shaped chunk out of her carapace just above the flipper. She digs slowly and seems dissatisfied with her attempts -- several holes have been left open. The flipper also leaves a distinctive ? mark in her crawl. She's an amazing example of the power of natural instinct and survival. Many thanks to Kristy and Judi for the great photos!

ANA-AC

July 19

 

1109-E

Sept 12-22

 

 

Another crawl with abandoned starter holes, probably by the same tired "?" turtle. Please find a spot you like soon.

ANA-AD

July 20

 

900-E

Sept 13-23

 

 

Same turtle -- 4 more starter holes -- same result -- no nest.

ANA-AE

July 21

 

1563-E

Sept 14-24

 

 

Same turtle -- confirmed by sighting and backwards "?" in her track. Again, 4 starter nests at the base of a rocky embankment -- no real nest. This is at least her 4th trip ashore since Thursday night. She needs to unload those eggs -- hopefully not in the ocean.

ANA-AF

July 23

 

815-W

Sept 15-25

 

 

Same turtle -- 4 more starter holes -- same result -- no nest.
 


Nest #52


July 23

in situ

1597-E





Sept 15-25

First emergence
Sept 17
(57 days)

81 of 104

77.8%

Blowing sand followed by rain had totally erased the intersection of the incoming and outgoing tracks. There were only 2 disconnected faint track lines to indicate that a turtle had been on the beach. Fortunately someone (thank you!) saw them, called Public Safety, and the Crew's network went into motion. With the big (30 x 40 feet) "blank" in the tracks, CC and Nancy were ready to just leave a "remember-this-area" marker stake and move on. A visitor from Charlotte, however, made the difference by "thinking outside the tracks." He noticed a few sand covered sprigs of dollar weed plant that didn't look "right" on a low-rise at the base of the dune 25' from the last track. As we explored, a few more pieces of broken vegetation were found just under the newly blown sand. Mostly to appease this Persistent (and Observant) Guy, CC probed, found 3 "so-so" possibilities. Nothing in 1. Nothing in 2. Then "Oh, my god! I think I found them!" Confirmed! We still can't quite believe this! Good turtle lesson -- pay attention to human instincts and intellect -- especially Great Visitors from Charlotte. Thank you for helping us to be almost as persistent as you and the turtle. [Side note: due to the faint tracks, we can't confirm with certainty that this was the disabled "Nema" turtle that had been trying to nest for 5 days, but ... the right side of her track was definitely wider than the left.]
| Update - September 17: We've been closely monitoring high tides for the past two weeks at this low-lying nest. It's charmed -- wave wash and wrack would come up to the seaward stake, then recede over and over again. When the nest was 57 days old (our average for hatching), CC checked the status of the eggs and found a healthy, ready-to-go hatchling in a "cave" below 6" of hard-packed sand. The robust hatchling had a quick crawl into high tide waters and was successfully on his way. The other hatchlings in the nest were resting, so CC covered them again and continued to watch the high water. The concern was that water would flood the nest and drown the sleeping hatchlings. That evening the other 80 hatchlings were ready to go and they marched into the surf.
 
Nest #53

July 24

86(-1)

1625-E





Sept 16-26

Fist emergence
Sept 23
(62 days)

66 of 85

77.6%

A long crawl in, an abrupt looking bump into the dune, a right turn, a crawl along the dune base, a neat little nest, and a long criss-cross crawl back to the ocean. CC quickly found the eggs and a new, safer home nearby. We enjoyed the company of visitors from Seattle and Michigan who were eager to learn about sea turtles. Thank you, Stephanie, for helping to keep count and marking this as Nest #53!

ANA-AG

July 26

 

1536-E

Sept 18-28

 

 

Paula found these tracks in the Washout on a very rainy Saturday morning, and probed to ensure that no nesting had taken place. False crawl. Good chance the turtle will return to Folly tonight.
 

Nest #54

July 31

131(-3)

1003-W





Sept 23-Oct 3

First emergence
October 3
(65 days)

1 of 131

.78%

Just when you think they may have gone ... another nest! Judi and Linda saw the tracks just beyond the County Park buildings. Strangely, there were 3 eggs outside of the nest -- one of them in the turtle's outgoing track. Those 3 were broken, but the other 131 found in the nest were safely moved outside of the Park which has been undergoing a sand renourishment project. We really appreciate the help of Hannah, her sister, and dad, visitors from Louisville, KY, in relocating this clutch.
| Update - October 5: For unknown reasons, only one hatchling successfully emerged from this nest. The other eggs did not develop. Perhaps there was not enough sperm left to fertilize the majority of this clutch? The larger clutches have been troublesome this season, with several having a 50% or less success rate. They're a major mystery of the season. So sorry, Hannah -- let's believe the one that made it will continue being "Very Lucky".

ANA-AH

August 5

 

1701-E

Sept 28-Oct 8

 

 

A surprise! Sunnie found a short run of tracks a few feet from a rock groin. Looked like a turtle came up for a quick look around -- and left -- at high tide. We'll look for more tomorrow. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to get one more nest.
 

Nest #55

August 6

117

915-W





Sept 24-Oct 4

First emergence
October 1
(62 days)

100 of 117

85.4%

We keep thinking we've seen the last nest and here comes another one -- how GREAT! Cathy found tracks to a nest laid below the high tide line near 909-West Ashley. Judy and Janine quickly joined the scene. Momma turtle must have been in a hurry to unload -- tracks straight in to nest. Lynn and Judi located the egg chamber and, with Cathy's help, relocated all 117 to the great dune at 915-West Ashley. Thank you, Turtle and Crew!
 

Nest #56

August 8

107

1627-E





Sept 26-Oct 6

First emergence
October 7
(66 days)

104 of 107

97.1%

Another nester -- welcome anytime! She sunk her eggs as close to the dune as possible, but we feared the full moon tides this weekend would surely inundate the nest. So ... Carole and Nancy moved them to a dune slope about 50' away -- a much safer spot for successful egg development.

ANA-AI

August 14

 

1433-E

October 4-14

 

 

CC and Sunnie investigated a short run of tracks at the high tide line in the Washout. Thanks to the caller who contacted Public Safety about the turtle's visit! We don't think a nest was laid, but it's great to know a turtle is still looking. We'll stay watchful.
 
Nest #57

August 18

in situ

811-E





October 5-15

First emergence
October 17
(67 days)

96 of 107

89.7%

A confirmed nest at last! Thank you, Paula, for finding what may be the last Folly nest of the season! The turtle placed it on the very top of the dune, right on the edge of dense vegetation. It'll get good sun and be safe from tides there ... bet she knew that.

ANA-AJ

August 20

 

Co.Park-W

October 6-16

 

 

Judi and Linda saw very familiar tracks (and start-up, but abandoned nest cavities) -- Nema is back on the beach! They're keeping a close watch for her multiple returns. That turtle loves to keep the humans guessing.

ANA-AK

August 21

 

10-W

October 7-17

 

 

Multiple Nema crawls and digs, but no nest.

ANA-AL

August 22

 

10-W

October 8-18

 

 

Nema returns. If she's "true to HER form," she'll leave a nest for Judi and Linda to find on Saturday morning.