Turtle Tracks on Folly Beach 2006

TracksDateEggsLocationESTIMATED
Hatch Dates
based on
50-60 day average

incubation time
%
Hatched
ANA 1
An "ANA" is an "aborted nesting attempt," also called a "false crawl" or a "non-nesting emergence." Carole, Shannon and Nancy checked these out. Although the turtle came above the wrack line, her crawl was one long continuous length of tracks. It didn't appear that she had stopped to nest.
May 20 Lighthouse Inlet  
ANA 2
A short loop of tracks -- no body pit -- no nest.
May 20 1516-E  
Nest 1
 

May 21115Co. Park-WJuly 10-20

First emergence
July 20
60 days

112 of 115

97%

Linda found this nest way round the West end bend of the island along the Folly River. Carole joined her there and gathered the eggs for a LONG walk back through the County Park to a safe relocation spot near Pelican Watch shelter. First attempts to dig a new nest near the sandfencing met with very compacted, rock-hard sand. A second site about 20 feet toward the ocean proved better, but still difficult. The nest-finding probe was used to loosen the sand and finally result in a useable chamber for the eggs. Hopefully the next momma turtles to nest will find softer spots to dig. Hatching Update: Celebration time!! Very strong hatchout AND all tracks headed straight to the ocean!
Nest 2
 
May 22in situ911-WJuly 11-21

First emergence
June 21
60 days

109 of 121

90%

Cathy found this nest in the middle of the renourished beach near 911 West Ashley. Carole joined her there in an attempt to locate the egg chamber. This time, instead of hard-packed sand, they were met with consistently soft sand to depths of 18" that gave no reliable clue of exactly where the 8"-diameter chamber was hidden. Fortunately, the nest was in a good location, so they roped the body pit off and await the arrival of hatchlings in about 55 days. Update: a very determined Cathy returned to the nest and found the egg chamber! Eggs confirmed. Congratulations (and thank you), Cathy! Hatching Update: Another strong hatchout BUT the hatchlings emerged landward instead of seaward and went behind the sandfencing/dunes for half a block, then turned ... to the ocean! Hooray!
Nest 3
 

May 23in situLighthouse
Inlet
July 12-22

No emergence

0

Lost to high tide.

Tracks up to and along the base of an escarpment, then they suddenly turned and went up the 2' embankment. A large disturbed area on top of the "dune" had been "cleared;" broken and uprooted plants and dry wrack were in a small pile near the exit tracks. The egg chamber was underneath the torn vegetation -- Nest #3. Great meeting John from Wisconsin at this nest. [Met John again later in the day at a stranding of a Kemps Ridley. We're very grateful to John, Jan and Joe who helped to document and bury the turtle.]  Update: June 25 - Nest lost to high tides; dune collapsed.
Nest 4
May 26in situ1210-EJuly 15-25

First emergence
July 30
65 days

43 of 63

68%

Shannon's skill at tracking turtles really paid off this morning. The tracks were almost completely covered by blown sand, but Shannon was able to see enough to detect "NEST." Sure enough, the body pit was up on the flat of the renourished beach. Carole and Shannon found a very deep egg chamber and decided to leave the nest where the turtle laid it. A GREAT find, and the perfect start to Clark's experiences as a new volunteer.
Nest 5
 

May 291051567-EJuly 18-28

First emergence
July 25
57 days

96 of 105

91%

A "special order" nest for CC's family visiting for Memorial Day. The difference in length between the turtle's incoming and outgoing tracks clearly showed that she had spent an extended time on the beach. CC quickly found the eggs -- WOW! Because the nest was laid in high tide line, the decision was made to relocate the clutch about 30' further inland in the "V" of nearby sandfencing. It was a great family project, shared by another family from Hartford, CT. Thanks, Turtle, for this very special delivery!  Update: July 25 - CC reported a large "crater" -- usually a sign that activity has taken place under the sand. Did the hatchlings emerge during Monday night's rain storm? No tracks could be seen on the freshly washed sand.
Nest 6
 

May 30142Lighthouse
Inlet
July 19-29

First emergence
July 26
57 days

87 of 142

61%

Melissa relocated this very low-lying nest from the beginning of Lighthouse Inlet to the little escarped dune that looked good to the momma turtle of Nest #3. It's a week too early for this to be her return trip, so this is definitely a new turtle who has chosen the solitude of Lighthouse Inlet. Hopefully she'll find higher ground on her next time in. Many thanks to Melissa for handling this nest so thoughtfully! [Photos courtesy of Melissa.]  Update: June 25 - Nest ALMOST lost to high tides; relocated near Nest #23. Update: July 26 - About 20 hatchling tracks led from the nest toward the water. Five dead hatchlings found near crab holes, but more hatchlings made it all the way to the water.
Nest 7
 

May 31in situ1121-EJuly 20-30

First emergence
July 28
58 days

117 of 122

96%

Strong crawl up a sloped embankment and past the wrack line -- perfect nest placement from a sea turtle's point of view (and ours). Thanks to Lori, Samantha, Sharon, and Shannon for finding and protecting this one for the hatchlings to be.  Update: June 25 - Relocated to sandfencing to protect from very high tides that would have inundated nest.  Update: July 28 - Hatched, but tracks indicate that most of the hatchlings took a right turn after they left the runway edging. VA visitor checking the nest rescued 25 hatchlings from the street. Street lights and outdoor house lights were OUT. What drew the hatchlings to the right? A two-story house near the nest was reported to have had 2d floor interior lights late into the night, a white tent was on the beach to the right, no moonlight. All these factors, plus the flat beach may have contributed to the disorientation. Some tracks did lead to the ocean, but most took a very long time getting there.
Nest 8
 

June 31301595-EJuly 23-Aug 3

First emergence
July 30
57 days

112 of 130

86%

A heavy rain around 3:30 a.m. softened these tracks and obscured the body pit, but CC, with a little help from Lucy, made quick work of finding the eggs. Because the nest was in the middle of wrack recently pushed by high tides, the clutch was relocated into the "U" of sandfencing at a very "Lucky" house nearby. Many thanks to CC, Lucy, and Bob for the immediate caretaking, and to Diane for continuing to watch this nest. [Photos courtesy of Bob.]
ANA 3
Rocks blocked this attempt to nest. The property owners along "Summer Place" beachfront have constructed massive seawalls piled high with rock boulders, completely eliminating the natural dune formation and all sea turtle nesting possibilities, as this turtle discovered.
June 3 SummerPlace-E  
Nest 9
 

June 4in situCo. Park-WJuly 24-Aug 4 
Judi and Michael found what we believe to be the 2d nest of the turtle that laid Nest #1. Loggerhead sea turtles lay 4-6 nests at 13-15 day intervals during their nesting season. Like the first nest, this one was found way round the bend of the river on the West end. The turtle chose well, placing her nest on the only sandy dune in the area. Had we been able to find the eggs, they would have been relocated to the County Park, but they eluded detection and are still where the momma turtle put them. We'll look for little tracks to mark the spot in about 60 days.  Update: August 6 - Judi B and Linda excavated nest area and found nothing: "We were able to dig several holes shoulder deep, but many places we tried to dig just filled back up.  Sand was very soft.  We dug the into and all around the hole that we've been watching but we're pretty sure it's just a crab hole.  We've seen no turtle tracks anywhere in the area.  Only crab tracks.  And as we dug, we detected no odor that would indicate eggs or hatchlings in the area.  We left the stakes & runner up." Not quite ready to recategorize this as a false crawl.
ANA 4
June 5 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
Nest 10
June 9131
(-4)
1025-WJuly 29-Aug 8

First emergence
August 2
54 days

122 of 127

96%

This may be the 2d nest of the turtle that laid Nest #2. Carole reported that "the nest was shallow with 127 eggs intact. The eggs were all over the surface and 4 were broken. I think a ghost crab had done some damage." The 127 intact eggs were safely relocated.
Nest 11
June 11143Lighthouse
Inlet
July 31-Aug 10

No emergence

0

Lost to high tide.

Bob found this nest flat on the beach about 30 feet past Nests #3 and #6. It's a bit late for this to be a 2d nest for momma of #3, and a bit early for momma #6, but ... 12 days ... could be. The choice of site is certainly consistent. Kate and Bob safely relocated this clutch of 143 eggs into the same dune as the other 2 nests.  Update: June 25 - Nest lost to high tides; dune collapsed.
ANA 5
Quick emergence [Photo courtesy of Betty]
June 11 519-E  
ANA 6
Another quick emergence [Photo courtesy of Betty]
June 11 707/709-E  
ANA 7
Betty reported "Nice tracks, nice pit, but NO EGGS!" Carole, Jeannine, and Betty suspect the same turtle also emerged at 519 and 707/709 East Ashley. [Photo courtesy of Betty]
June 11 315-E  
Nest 12
 

June 12in situ1524-EAug 1-11

First emergence
August 5
54 days

74 of 79

93%

Phyllis and Dave saw these faint tracks on their second pass of the Washout. All tracks at the high tide line had been erased by blown sand during last night's strong winds. The body pit was just a faint oval area -- no tracks or other field signs to help indicate that nesting had taken place. But Phyllis and Dave were able to find the egg chamber using the probe and safely marked the nest for continued monitoring. It's where the momma turtle laid it.  Update: August 5 - Hatched! Screening, edging, and trenching helped all but 5 of these hatchlings find the ocean quickly. Of the 5 tracks that headed toward a streetlight and a side street, 2 were retrieved by visitors and 1 was found dead.
Nest 13
 

 

June 12in situCo. Park-WAug 1-11

First emergence
August 3
52 days

108 of 119

90%

Judi and Linda came upon a long double line of tracks in front of the last County Park building. "As we followed her tracks, I couldn't believe my eyes. She crawled and nested under a lifeguard stand!  I have no idea how she managed to dig a nest and turn around in such a tight space. As I began to probe, the sand was hard as a rock.  Just inside the body pit, it was a little soft, so I dug and followed the soft sand slightly forward.  Fortunately, I was at the side of the nest.  Top eggs were very close to the surface.  The location was great.......right inside the V of the sand fence.  So, with the help of a gentleman walking with his wife & 2 dogs, we moved the lifeguard stand and staked the nest." [Great story and photos are Judi's.]  
Nest 14
June 12150613-WAug 1-11

First emergence
August 2
51 days

141 of 150

94%

Carole reported "150 little tiny eggs which are going to make little tiny hatchlings. I could hold 5 eggs in my hand easily." Nest was relocated in safer place not far from original nest site.
Nest 15
 

 

June 14in situCGS-E
Oceanside
Aug 3-13

First emergence
August 3
50 days

59 of 101

58%

Alberto's presence blew A LOT of Folly sand from southwest to northeast, effectively erasing signs of nesting from the high tide line inland. These outgoing tracks were the only clear signs that a turtle had come ashore. No incoming tracks were found to provide a link to the nest site. Following the tracks backwards as they disappeared toward the dune didn't appear too productive until an "oddly disturbed" looking area was seen on top of the dune. There were vague signs of a possible body pit. Vegetation had been bent, broken, and buried -- turtle? "Thrown" sand was everywhere -- Alberto? Probing provided the payoff clutch of sea turtle eggs. They remain where the storm-nester put them.   Update: August 3 - A heat-produced "dribble" hatchout over a 3-4 day period and the presence of a ghost crab had a significant negative impact on this nest.
ANA 8
June 15 605-E  
ANA 9
June 15 1597-E  
ANA 10 + Another view of ANA 10
Cheryl and Tim found these tracks near the 6-West walkover. Carole confirmed the false crawl. LONG tracks, obviously a effort to find a nesting site, but "she crawled into a sand fence, bumped her nose, turned around and went back to the ocean." Thanks to Judi for great photos and report.
June 15 605-W  
Nest 16
 
June 16in situLighthouse
Inlet
Aug 5-15

First emergence
August 6
51 days

18 of 103

17%

Phyllis and Dave found tracks leading into the marsh grass near the end of Lighthouse Inlet. The turtle had gone as far inland as she could go to find a safe place to lay her eggs. Even with the confusing tangle of mashed and broken grass, Phyllis found the egg chamber with one probe! And Stephanie got to see tracks and a nest for the first time. Nest was left where the momma turtle so carefully put it.  Update: August 6 - 1 strong hatchling track led to the ocean.   August 7 - Ant trail pouring into nest. Six dead hatchlings found near top.   August 12 Inventory revealed the worst -- ants invaded as hatchlings were first emerging from their shells with deadly results.
Nest 17
 

June 17in situRiver-WestAug 6-16

First emergence
August 7
51 days

82 of 94

87%

Judi reports: "'River Girl' strikes again. Saturday morning Linda & I walked to the end of the beach and headed down the river. About 2/3 of the way down, we saw just one set of tracks. We quickened our pace, thinking she might still be in the dunes. But, alas, she was no where to be seen. Upon further inspection, we realized she followed the same path in and out! She left a beautiful body pit, broken vegetation and a lot of thrown sand. I hate the fact that a prehistoric creature with a brain the size of a walnut can outsmart me! Needless to say, after looking for an hour or more, we did not locate the eggs. (We could have sworn we heard giggling from the ocean and a tiny voice saying, "Stupid humans!" ) So, the nest is in situ and we will watch for tiny flipper tracks. As we were standing in front of the nest, a dolphin stuck his head out of the water right in front of us. He had a big grin on his face and we were sure he was laughing, too!"
Nest 18
 
June 20152
(-1)
713-WAug 9-19

First emergence
August 10
51 days

138 of 152

91%

 
Nest 19
June 20in situRiver-WestAug 9-19 
From Judi: "Good grief!  Another river nest!  This one was at the base of the marsh escarpment.  No decent dunes in the immediate area.  Nice body pit, lots of thrown sand and broken vegetation from above through out the nest.  Could we find the eggs????  NO.  Linda & I enlisted the help of Carole and still, no confirmation.  This nest would have been relocated.  It is precariously close to the river." [Photo courtesy of Judi.]  Update: June 24-"With the high tide, nest 19 was completely wash over.  Tide came in up to the escarpment and we fear with high tides and water coming up from beneath the nest, eggs will not develop."
Nest 20
 

June 211181205-EAug 10-2032 of 106

30%

Juanita found this HUGE body pit and Shannon was able to find the well-hidden eggs. They were relocated from too near the wrack line into the safer "U" of close-by sandfencing.
Nest 21
June 21111813-WAug 10-20

First emergence
August 11
51 days

74 of 111

66%

Tracks and nest found by Judy K. All nesting field signs present, but no eggs found. [Photo courtesy of Judi B.]  Update: July 9 - With extra high full moon tides expected in the coming week, it became more imperative to find these low-lying eggs. The large enclosed area was turned into a grid, and Judi B, Carole, and Nancy dug in. Pay off! Carole found the eggs and Judi carefully transported all 111 to their new home near the sandfencing -- about 30 more feet away from the high tide line.
Nest 22
 

 

June 22in situCGS-E
Oceanside
Aug 11-21

First emergence
August 11
50 days

139 of 154

90%

This strong set of tracks was located past all of the east end houses and just before the foot path. The turtle had covered her nesting area well before turning back to the ocean. Eggs found just above where her tracks disappeared under the thrown sand (intersection of the stakes in photo marks the spot). Nest remains where the momma turtle put it.
ANA 11
Kristen found this short set of tracks about 15' from the dune-with-3-nests. Turtle had bumped escarpment, then walked back over her incoming track. Looked like a probable false crawl, but Kristen and Nancy checked it out thoroughly anyway. No egg chamber found.
June 23 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
ANA 12
A more promising looking crawl greeted Kristen near the end of Lighthouse Inlet, about 30' past last Friday's nest. Turtle stopped in a low dip in front of wrack line and seemed to have considered it for a body pit, then continued over the wrack a few steps before returning to the ocean. There was no differential in the tracks to help determine how much time she spent on the beach. After thoroughly probing and digging all possibilities (plus a few more), Kristen and Nancy called it a "maybe" and taped the area off. Field signs were not convincing enough to give it a nest number, but we'll certainly keep watching this one through hatching time (Aug 12-22).
June 23 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
Nest 23
 

 

June 24120
(-11)
Lighthouse
Inlet
Aug 13-23

First emergence
August 16
53 days

83 of 120

69%

Probable return of turtle who left false crawl yesterday, but whata mess! Had it not been for empty egg shells scattered in the marsh grass, Kristen said she wouldn't have known there was a nest. The remnants of one flipper stroke were later found in the wet sand on the edge of the marshy area. Kristen's report: "It looked as if the mother turtle did not cover the nest back up. Possibly because the hole caved in (when it hit the water table) so she didn't have much dirt/mud to move out of it. There were 120 eggs total. 11 were predated (not sure of the predator, I couldn't find any tracks) and strewn on the marsh grass. 109 were relocated at a new location down the beach. 55 were sitting in water at the bottom of the nest and were wiped dry before placing them in the new nest, the other 54 were a bit muddy but dry." Had it not been for Kristen's expert handling, this nest was doomed. Many thanks to Bob for his assist, and to Kristen and Bob for the great photos.
Nest 24
 
June 25in situ815-WAug 14-24 
Another nest found by Judy K.  And again, all the field signs indicate a nest, but no eggs found.  Carole reported that all sand was very soft: "It was like probing in the dunes." We'll be watching for hatchling tracks in about 55 days. [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]
Nest 25
June 26104509-EAug 15-25

First emergence
August 17
52 days

87 of 104

83%

Juanita found this nest and Shannon located the egg chamber. 104 eggs were relocated from their wrack line nest site to the safer sandfencing area nearby. Oddly, after nesting near the wrack, the turtle took a long stroll up around the sandfencing and dunes near the 6th Street walkover before she reoriented herself back to the ocean. Did house lights nearby lead her astray? REMINDER: Beachfront lights out ordinance is in effect until October to protect nesting turtles and hatchlings.  Update: August 17 - Holiday Inn lighting strongly influenced hatchlings' direction, drawing them away from and even out of the ocean. Crew and visitors scrambled to reorient the hatchlings, and spent hours searching and retrieving baby turtles from dunes and under houses.
Nest 26
 
June 28in situ907-WAug 17-27

First emergence
August 19
52 days

121 of 123

98%

Judy K is on a major roll -- found three nests in five days! Eggs confirmed and nest left where the momma turtle laid it. [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]
Nest 27
June 2882
(-3)
CGS-E
Oceanside
Aug 17-27

First emergence
August 19
52 days

75 of 82

91%

Tracks reported by CC. Sunnie found the eggs with one quick probe, and she, Bill and Nancy moved them to a place less likely to be overwashed past the far east footpath. Good teamwork all 'round and a very thankful Sunnie to finally have her first nest of the season.
Nest 28
 

 

June 29in situ1687-EAug 18-28

First emergence
August 18
50 days

95 of 100

95%

Knock, knock. Sunnie opened the door and there it was -- a nest on her doorstep. The turtle had headed straight in and bumped the middle of a section of sand fencing. That's caused some turtles to turn back, but not this one. She followed the fencing around and found the site she wanted between two small dunes, then followed the fencing out on the other side. Pretty amazing. Her tracks were a gorgeous gift to early morning beach walkers. Thanks to Melissa for finding the eggs! And to Sunnie and Bill for their continuous caretaking.
ANA 13
Melissa and Nancy investigated these tracks across the front of a dune just before the next to the last groin on Folly's ocean side. Field signs did not strongly favor a nest being there, but the area was probed and dug to be "sure." A stake with "FC?" was left at the site to remind us to keep watch until after Aug 28.
June 29 CGS-E  
Nest 29
 

 

 

July 1in situ1581-EAug 20-30

First emergence
August 20
50 days

120 of 132

90%

"Tracks a quarter mile long!" CC wasn't exaggerating. Turtle emerged in the 1600 East block and exited about six lots away in the 1500 block. AND she nested behind the sandfencing! CC quickly found the egg chamber and staked the nest where it was laid. We enjoyed sharing this nest with a visitor from Ft. Lauderdale and having an impromptu gathering of "far easter" crew. A great July First.
Nest 30
 

 

 

July 21191625-EAug 21-31

First emergence
August 21
50 days

108 of 119

90%

CC's sister Betsy comes to Folly Beach and so does a sea turtle! The turtles always seem to answer CC's "call." CC and Betsy were quickly joined by Kirk and Bojo, AND a very excited visitor from New Jersey: it was Patsy's birthday and she was thrilled to help with a nest! CC found the eggs easily and relocated them from the high tide line, where they would have been flooded, to a safer spot in front of the sandfencing. Thanks to Juanita for keeping us on track with the egg count! And ... Happy Birthday, Patsy!
ANA 14
Bob saw this loop of continuous tracks near the east end turnaround's footpath.
July 2 CGS-E
Oceanside
  
ANA 15
Short false crawl up to heavy wrack and right back to Lighthouse Inlet. Marsh Girl may be looking for her next nest site. Wish she'd find the oceanfront beach.
July 3 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
Nest 31
 

July 3in situCo. Park-WAug 22-Sept 10 of 105

0%

Just as Judi predicted: Return of River Girl! Bob found her nest about 10' from the end of the river walk, confirmed the eggs and left them in situ.
Nest 32
 

 

July 3110
(-2)
1625-EAug 22-Sept 1

First emergence
August 25
53 days

31 of 110

28%

CC again??! Why, not! Amazingly, this nest was laid in line with, and about 20' feet away from yesterday's Nest #30 (shown in foreground). Sister turtles. There's meaning here. With encouragement from Lucy, eggs were relocated to sandfencing "next door" to #30. GREAT to have Carole on hand to help, and be joined by Sunnie and her cousin. Patsy's friend from Orlando told us that they had seen the turtle approach the beach twice about 8:30 Sunday night. There was lots of people activity going on, including a small crowd watching the turtle. She evidently decided to go back to the ocean until things were quieter. From her tracks, we're guessing she came back between 2 and 6 a.m. Monday.
ANA 16 + Another view of ANA 16
Like yesterday, even tracks up to heavy wrack along Lighthouse Inlet again. No typical body pit appearance and no thrown sand, but not really much to throw there. Investigated with probe and much digging anyway, but no egg chamber found.
July 4 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
ANA 17
Third day in a row -- false crawl along Lighthouse Inlet. No typical body pit and very little evidence of nesting. Melissa investigated thoroughly and did not find egg chamber. Maybe a nest tomorrow?
July 5 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
Nest 33
 

 

July 6140605-EAug 25-Sept 4

First emergence
August 29
54 days

135 of 140

96%

Shannon and Christel would not give up! (Very turtle-like.) The original nest site was in a flood prone area and needed to be relocated, but the egg chamber eluded detection. Layers of loose sand were removed and many holes dug until finally -- EGGS! It was fun having a family from Woodbury, TN share the discovery and relocation. Many thanks to Shannon and Christel for their persistence in making sure this nest was safe!
Nest 34
 

July 6741015-EAug 25-Sept 4

First emergence
August 30
55 days

65 of 74

87%

Sharon found this crawl and, with help from Shannon and Carole, moved 74 "tiny" eggs to a safer spot in front of sandfencing. They also noticed that the track strokes were close together. May be an indication of a small momma turtle. It'll be interesting to try to get a look at the hatchlings.
Nest 35
 

 

July 7801003-EAug 26-Sept 5

First emergence
August 29
53 days

80 of 80

100%

Lori and Samantha found this nest -- laid right smack in the Spring high tide line. They helped Shannon moved it to a safer new home near the sandfencing. Shannon descibed it as a "perfect crawl with a classic body pit." This is the 3d nest in 2 days for the "middle east" beach! [Photos courtesy of Lori.]
Nest 36
 
July 7in situLighthouse
Inlet
Aug 26-Sept 5 
Maybe FINALLY. Kristen and Courtney found a nest at the very end of Lighthouse Inlet. Hopefully it's from the turtle that's false crawled several times this week (although we're pretty sure at least 2 turtles are nesting regularly along the Inlet, so ... ?). Eggs were not confirmed, but all other field signs were positive enough to call it a nest. Thanks to Kristen and Courtney for their thoughtful analysis!
Nest 37
 

July 8146505-WAug 27-Sept 6

First emergence
August 25
48 days

122 of 146

83%

Charlotte & Tim were so excited to finally see a nest in their section of the beach!  Tim saw the turtle making her way to the ocean after nesting near the 1st St. condos and cell phones were buzzing with the news.  Carole quickly found the eggs, 146 of them, which were moved to 505 W. Ashley for safekeeping. Lots of visitors got to share in the event and will be telling this turtle's story for a long time to come. [Thanks to Judi B. for great photos and report!]
Nest 38

 

July 1093Co. Park-WAug 29-Sept 8

First emergence
August 27
48 days

92 of 93

99%

"As Linda & I [Judi B] were eyeballing what may or may not have been tracks far off in the distance, a gentleman vacationing from VA approached and told us it was, indeed, a nest. Gerald had been on the beach about 1:00 am and saw the turtle nesting. He watched for a few minutes, left, returned about an hour later and she was already back at sea. [Gerald reported that the turtle had a circular hole, about 2-3" in diameter, on the right rear of her shell.] The body pit was not the typical round shape. It was more like a long trench with sand piled on each side and lots of thrown sand. After nesting, she moved forward slightly, turned right and walked in a loop back toward the ocean. The sand was very soft everywhere, as we have seen often this year and the egg chamber eluded us. The nest was near the high tide line and we felt it should be moved. So, we made a grid across the nest and started digging section by section to find the eggs. Mike H, Judy K, Charlotte & Tim showed up to lend a hand. Vacationers Krystal & Leo from Hebron, KY stopped by and asked if we needed help. We said "Sure! Take that section." Krystal asked what the eggs looked like. "Ping pong balls," we said. Several minutes later Krystal said, "I think I might have found them." We looked over; she brushed away a little more sand and sure enough, there they were! We moved 93 eggs to a safer location higher on the beach. And Krystal had quite a morning. She found the eggs, helped dig the new nest and placed the last few eggs in their new home!" [Wonderful story and photos courtesy of Judi B.]
ANA 18
Sunnie reported a looped false crawl to the east of her house.
July 10 1695-E  
ANA 19 + Robin & daughter at ANA 19
An unusual aborted nesting attempt. The turtle started two egg chambers, stopped at about 4-6" deep, and abandoned both of them. She dug the second parallel to and about 4' feet away from the first. Her departure looked like a clear site rejection -- both attempts were in very hard-packed, almost cement-mix like "sand" that's a common result of last summer's renourishment. We hope she finds a softer spot soon.
July 10 1313-E  
Nest 39
 
July 101151557-EAug 29-Sept 8

First emergence
August 30
51 days

99 of 115

86%

Ah-hah. A probable nest. Could it be same the turtle that dug twice about a quarter mile away? Let's hope so because this turtle did nest. Phyllis, Dave, Kate, and Nancy joined in the hunt for the clutch and relocated the eggs out of the low wrack line to a higher site in nearby sandfencing. Great to have CC and Lucy there, and thanks very much to Denise and Shannon for alerting us to this nest and the other nearby crawls today!
Nest 40
 

 

July 11in situ505-EAug 30-Sept 9

First emergence
August 28
48 days

92 of 105

87%

Christel and Lauren found amazing tracks leading to NEST #40 (Hurray!!!). The incoming track left very deep impressions and the outgoing very shallow impressions. Wonder how many eggs are in that nest?!! With Shannon and Carole's help, they confirmed the eggs and decided to leave them where the momma turtle laid them -- just on the edge of the sandfencing. Very, VERY exciting to have Nest #40 -- Folly hasn't had this many nests since 2003. [Photos courtesy of Christel.]
ANA 20
"About 100 yards past the last County Park building, I saw her tracks.  She came in, walked about 1/2 way between the high tide line and sand fencing, made a big loop, walked almost to the Park building, made another big loop, started back toward the ocean, turned, paralleled the tide line, angled back toward the dunes, circled around, crawled over a felled palmetto tree and finally made her way back to the ocean at low, low tide.  All this walking, all this effort and no attempt to nest.  Hopefully she has the energy to come back and nest."
[Report and photos by Judi B.]
July 13 Co. Park-W  
Nest 41

July 15111Co. Park-WSept 3-13

First emergence
Sept 4
51 days

81 of 111

73%

Another "River Girl" nest for Judi B and Cheryl. Judi: "Ahhhh, River Girl.........you gotta love her.  She's regular as clockwork and back again!  Her 5th nest along the river.  Since I'm zero for three in locating eggs along the river, I enlisted Carole's expertise with this nest.  And a good decision! ... Carole studied the area, chose her spot and found the eggs on the second probe.  Since the nest was so close to the tide line and sand below the surface is very damp from ground water, Cheryl & I relocated 111 eggs along the ocean, toward the County Park." [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]
Nest 42
 

 

July 17in situCGS-E
Oceanside
Sept 5-15

First emergence
Sept 4
49 days

126 of 137

92%

Kate found this beautiful crawl to an ideal nest site about 100 yards past the footpath near the CGS turnaround. Visitors from NC had seen the turtle come ashore Sunday night about 10:30 -- a very special sign for them. The turtle left lots of thrown sand, broken and buried vegetation, and an elusive egg chamber. Many "best guess" (ok ... desperation) digs finally revealed the eggs. Thanks to CC and Lucy for helping!
Nest 43
July 15in situ1311-ESept 3-1330 of 82

36%

Bob reported a false crawl near the beginning of the Washout. Carole and Robin investigated and staked an area to continue watching just in case. Update: July 18 - This nest's story keeps unfolding: Robin talked with a man on the beach who saw the turtle on the nest site for an extended period of time. Pretty clear indication that she did nest! It's now being called Nest #43. Carole, Shannon and Robin will try to find the eggs again at the place pointed out by the witness. Update: September 8 - Ahah! Proof positive! Kristen found the egg chamber as the nest was being overwashed by very high full moon tides. Kristen, Melissa, and John counted 30 hatched eggs, 11 damaged eggs, and 41 unhatched eggs. The unhatched eggs were relocated near Nest #49 at 1011-West where they will be closely watched for any signs of hatching. Inventory results will be adjusted if other eggs hatch. Great save by Kristen, Melissa and John!
ANA 21
Melissa reported a false crawl about half way down Lighthouse Inlet.
July 17 Lighthouse
Inlet
  
Nest 44
 

 

July 18118LIghthouse
Inlet
Sept 6-16

First emergence
Sept 9
53 days

97 of 118

82%

Melissa's Lighthouse Inlet turtle came back! This turtle has an amazing affinity for a now badly eroded dune where Nests #3 and #11 washed away. She nested right in front of what's left of the "dune." This is now an intertidal zone, regularly flooded by high tides. To prevent loss, Melissa and John relocated the nest to a higher site near #6 and #23. [Photos courtesy Melissa and John.]
Nest 45
 
July 1974CGS-E
Oceanside
Sept 7-17

First emergence
Sept 9
52 days

70 of 74

94%

Stephanie and Wilson found these long tracks just before the last groin on the east end. Unfortunately, the tracks were not quite long enough. The turtle nested in a tide-prone spot that had a negative impact on last year's Nest #13. Lesson learned. This clutch was moved to higher ground in the pretty duneline nearby.
ANA 22 + 2d view + 3d view
CC reported this false crawl that went to the base of the ROCK WALL at 2 Summer Place. Finding no room to nest, the turtle went back to the ocean. This is the second false crawl that CC has found at the seawall this year. If the turtle had nested here, the nest would have been moved. Despite renourishment and other futile attempts to reestablish a stable beach here, high tides frequently break against the rocks, and would obviously inundate nests. Sad conditions.
July 19 2 Summer-E  
Nest 46
July 20130Co. Park-WSept 8-18

First emergence
Sept 7
49 days

119 of 130

91%

"Linda spotted tracks just before the County Park.  Mama turtle was very efficient.  Beautiful tracks, short coming in, long going out and a text book body pit just past the high tide line.  James Islanders Maelee and her grandmother saw the turtle as she made her way back to the ocean.  Judy K, Cathy, Mike H. & Cheryl arrived and per Linda, it was a replay of many nests this year.....probe, probe, probe.....dig, dig, dig....probe, probe, probe....dig, dig, dig.  But where, oh where were the eggs?.  So, once again, the nest was gridded and the archeological dig began.  It was a lengthy & grueling search, but with perseverance and determination, the eggs were found.  Mama turtle apparently came in, turned and then nested.  Cheryl found the eggs at the very back of the body pit.  As the group began removing the eggs and scouting a location away from the high tide line, about 10 Jr. Lifeguards stopped by in awe and with many questions.  Their Sr. Lifeguard advisors felt this was a more valuable experience than moving lifeguard chairs.  Each Jr. Lifeguard got to hold an egg, helped fill in the excavated nest, X'd out the tracks and watched as 130 eggs were placed into their new nest." [Reported by Judi B.]
"Wild" Nest 47

Unknownin situ600-700-EFirst emergence
Sept 19
 
Charlotte G. alerted the crew to the presence of HATCHLING TRACKS near the 6th Street-East walkover. The news came as a huge surprise -- no early nest had been found in this area (making this a "wild" nest). Unfortunately, due to house lights and the flatness of the beach, the hatchlings did not take a direct path to the ocean. Their tracks spread from the middle of 500-East, through all of the 600-block, on past the 700-East walkover. The tracks were mostly in the "avenue" between the houses and the sandfencing, but some travelled up footpaths toward houses, into the vegetation, and into crab holes. Some made it over the small dunes at the fencing, but still maintained crawls parallel to the shoreline, expending valuable energy trying to find the ocean. A NC visitor found a hatchling under the house she's renting, and several other visitors found dead hatchlings on the beach. A very sad situation that will be addressed by increasing public awareness of Folly's lights out ordinance, and enforcement when violations are seen.
"Wild" Nest 48
 
Unknownin situ311-WFirst emergence
Sept 20
100 of 102

98%

Charlotte G. sounded the hatchling alarm again! This time in the 300-block West. She fortunately encountered a man carrying a live hatchling, then kept investigating until tracks were discovered. Carole, Charlotte and a group of teenagers from TN rescued 75 hatchlings from the STREET!! This was a previously undiscovered (and therefore unprotected) nest, probably laid before May 15th. GREAT to have another nest and AMAZINGLY FORTUNATE to have Charlotte and her TN Crew there at a crucial moment! [Super photos by Judi B. taken at inventory on July 23.]
Nest 49
 

 

July 2282
(-2)
1011-WSept 10-202 of 82

2%

"Cathy & Mike H. discovered tracks, body pit and as we often enjoy seeing on the West End, a mysterious arrow pointing to the tracks!  Folly Beach resident Gene, who takes his dog Dingo for an early, early walk each morning, is often the first person to see a new nest.  He always lets us know where the nest is and always marks it with an arrow so we don't miss it.  Again, an efficient girl.  In and out tracks were very close together and she nested just after clearing a small escarpment.  Linda probed the nest and quickly found the eggs. The shells felt very thin and fragile and 2 eggs were broken in the nest.  The remaining 80 eggs were carefully moved to Mike's new nest higher on the beach." [Thanks to Judi B. for great photos and report.] Update: September 13 - Inventory unfortunately uncovered lots of drowned hatchlings. They were emerging from their shells as the high tides inundated their nest.
Nest 50
 

 

July 24108715-ESept 12-22

First emergence
Sept 19
57 days

39 of 108

36%

Denise discovered the wonderful arrival of NEST #50 -- celebration time!! Betty reported that the "tracks were stunning and the eggs were easily located by Shannon. Momma turtle chose a spot a bit too close to a potential high tide area, so we moved the eggs back to the sand fencing." Thank you, Madison and Marin, for YOUR HELP in protecting these hatchlings-to-be! [Photos courtesy of Betty.]
Nest 51

 

July 261231001-WSept 13-23

First emergence
Sept 22
59 days

13 of 123

10.5%

And they keep on coming! Judi reports on Nest 51: "Judy K, Cathy & Mike H discovered tracks at 1001 W Ashley.  Linda & I arrived shortly after.  Mama turtle wasted no time.  Her rear flippers just cleared the 1 foot escarpment and she nested.  The photos don't do this nest justice.  It was the most beautiful, most symmetrical nest I've seen.  Everything was in perfect proportion, including the thrown sand.  Egg chamber was an easy find....the rest of the body pit was like probing a rock.  Judy K, Cathy & Mike moved 123 eggs to their new nest above the high tide line." [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]
ANA 23
Judi and Linda discovered this prologue to Nest #51: "So, as Linda & I continued on our walk, we saw tracks beyond the last County Park building.  And we understood why Nest 51 mama was in such a hurry to lay her eggs.  She wandered around for a long time.  Tracks looped and crossed over, then headed toward the Park and out to sea.  She most likely floated down to 10th St. and found a more suitable spot."
July 26 Co. Park-W  
Nest 52
 

 

July 2882901-WSept 15-250 of 82

0%

Nesting is not slowing down on the West side! Judi B's report: "Mike H found this nest in front of the 9th St crossover.  This girl came in, walked along the escarpment for a short distance, climbed up and nested.  Cathy did an excellent job probing her first nest!  Top eggs were very close to the surface and Cathy found them on her first digging attempt.  The H's will watch over 82 eggs in their new location above the tide line." [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]
ANA 24
A beautiful, no-doubt-about-it false crawl near the 10-East walkover. [Thanks to Betty for great photo.]
July 30 921-E  
Nest 53
 

 

July 31129401-WSept 18-2817 of 129

13%

"Tim and Jigs found this nest just above the tide line at the 4th St crossover.  Tracks were very distinct and the nest well defined.  But, after much probing, I once again called in the expert.  Carole quickly located the eggs and Tim moved 109 eggs to a new nest above the tide line." [Thanks to Judi B. for details and photos.]
"Wild" Nest 54
 

 


Nest is between black bag & red cup

 

Unknownin situ1319-EFirst emergence
August 2
107 of 113

94%

Hatchling tracks at the curb -- not a good sign. Hatchling tracks over dunes, not toward ocean -- also not good. The truth became sadly clear -- another "wild" nest had hatched and the baby sea turtles could not find the ocean. Their nest was finally found in front of 1319-East Ashley. We missed seeing the momma's tracks when she laid it, probably during the 2d week in June. The nest went unprotected, unwatched. 106 hatchlings emerged just fine, but most went inland with a concentration of tracks heading toward houses between 1319-E and 1409-E. Four were rescued from the roadside in the Washout. 4 others were found squashed in the street. The positives? Great to have another nest, great to have so many healthy hatchling emerge from the nest. This will look good in the nest success statistics. It did not, however, look good on the beach. A successful nest emergence does not mean that the hatchlings reached the ocean safely. What drew them from their nest (about 10 feet above the high tide line where the ocean is visible even if you are half an inch tall) toward houses, into and across the street? LIGHTS OUT???
[Despite the sad story, we want to thank the passers-by and Mr. G who found and safely placed hatchlings near the ocean, and especially recognize the wonderful Thomas Family from Social Circle, GA who followed tracks on the beach, over dunes, into the rocks, and across the street, finding 3 healthy hatchlings and pointing them in the RIGHT direction. THANK YOU!]
"Wild" Nest 55
Unknownin situCo. Park-W  
The extra-high tide on August 13th exposed an unknown nest near the beginning of County Park. The egg chamber contained 121 eggs that are not expected to develop. Several were reburied with the positive thoughts of a hopeful young turtle man.