Turtle Tracks on Folly Beach 2008

Hatch Dates
based on
50-60 day average

incubation time
Nest #1



May 10129809-WJune 29-July 9

First emergence
July 18
69 days

63 of 129


If it had not been for a young man's call to Public Safety late Friday night, we probably wouldn't have seen this nest. So, THANK YOU, Whoever You Are! You saw the second turtle to nest in SC this season! (Edingsville had the first.) No incoming tracks were evident at dawn on Saturday, and ALL outgoing tracks were above the high tide line, mixed with wrack from previous tides. About 2 feet seaward of the sandfencing, however, there was a large body pit several feet long and wide. Sure looked like a nest, but could we confirm the eggs and "make it so?" Teamwork prevailed and after much-probing, hole-digging, and breath-holding, the clutch of 129 eggs was found and relocated to a nearby safer location. Thanks go to Mike and Cathy, Judy K and Carole, Bob and especially our Mystery Caller, Public Safety Dispatcher, and Momma Turtle for getting Folly's 2008 season off to a great start!

Nest #2




May 17in situ1301-EJuly 6-16

First emergence
July 14
58 days

[Photos courtesy of Sharon.]

[Photos courtesy of Robin.]

116 of 131


It was before dawn when Bob found these long tracks close to the 13th Street East walkover. New volunteer Debi got a her first real chance to probe the nest and locate the eggs! What a way to start the day! The clutch was laid on a slope just above the high tide line, so we took a chance and left them in situ. It was GREAT to have Folly's "Turtle Woman" join us for this first East nest. Carole made it possible for a very nice photographer from Lexington, SC to see the tracks and eggs -- a pretty terrific unexpected gift on the day after his birthday.
Nest #3



May 20117605-EJuly 9-19

First emergence
July 22
63 days

106 of 117


Lauren discovered this twisting track near the 6th-East walkover. The turtle appeared to consider the lay of the land before finally nesting. Unfortunately, she still chose too low on a relatively flat beach -- lots of wrack from previous high tides was behind the nest. A new, higher sloped site was selected and thanks to Lauren and Suzie, 117 eggs were placed in their new home. Update: 7/15/08 - Treated with Advion to eliminate ants.
Nest #4



May 231581587-EJuly 12-22

First emergence
July 20
58 days

140 of 158


Cindy's first-ever tracks to see fresh truly were -- looked like the momma turtle had just gone back to the ocean. The tracks she left looked labored on the way in and dancing on the way out! No wonder -- she laid a clutch of 158 beautiful eggs!! That may a Folly-turtle record. Thanks to Sunnie for joining in the BIG move to their new, safer home in the dune behind the wrack line.
Nest #5



May 23113
808-EJuly 12-22

First emergence
July 22
60 days

102 of 110


Two years -- a long time waiting (and walking) to see tracks again, but Sharon was thrilled with today's payoff! Shannon and Scott helped relocate the nest to a dune between the sand fencing at 808-E. Shannon reported that "It seemed the turtle had a bad or missing flipper because the nest cavity was very small and shallow. There were 2 empty shells and 1 punctured egg at the surface that seemed to have been predated by ghost crabs." Ghost crabs aside, a nest well-worth waiting (and working) for .. right, Sharon? [Photos courtesy of Shannon's cell phone.]
Nest #6


May 26150CGS-E
July 15-25

First emergence
July 25
60 days

103 of 150


Kate called laughing -- "You don't want to know where this is." She was right. It was WAY out on Lighthouse Creek where the Wilson's plovers and oyster catchers play. OK. Great for birds and their eggs maybe, but not for turtle nests. Bob came to the rescue and met Kate at a classic crawl -- long differential between in and out tracks, thrown sand, torn and buried vegetation. It didn't take long to find the eggs, but moving them was something else again. The clutch of 150 eggs was loaded into a bucket and hand-carried about a half mile to the ocean side of the island. Kate and Bob created a new nest in the beautiful dunes there where the eggs will have a much better chance of developing. MAJOR thanks to Kate and Bob for all the very hard work in saving this one!
Nest #7

May 27in situ
Pelican Watch Shelter
July 16-26

First emergence
July 25
59 days

74 of 86


Great WEST nest, just inside the County Park. Turtle dropped her clutch in a safe chamber near the sandfencing in front of Pelican Watch Shelter -- no relocation necessary!
Nest #8



May 271411113-EJuly 16-26

First emergence
July 23
57 days

130 of 141


This is a high tide nester -- there were no tracks below the high tide line. She also saved energy by laying her nest about 20' from that high tide line -- too low to ensure development. Suzie found the egg chamber and Shannon and Lauren helped her move the 141-egg clutch to a new nest site in the sandfencing. The eggs are now more safely on their way to producing hatchlings in about 55 days.
Nest #9


Early June Relocation

May 28127715?-EJuly 17-27

Domed nest
No emergence

0 of 127
TRACKS! What a great sight, especially after finding a dead adult sea turtle in the surf just a few minutes before. Sharon did a great job probing the nest to confirm the clutch's location, and she and Shannon determined that it was in a safe-enough place to leave the nest in situ. Quite a morning's lesson in the life cycle of a sea turtle. [Photos courtesy of Shannon.]  Update: the new moon high tides early in June surprisingly began to overwash this nest. SC/DNR advised relocating to protect from total loss; Shannon and Judi moved the nest higher on the beach to ensure safety. [Thanks to Judi for relocation photos.]
Nest #10

May 29154
409-WJuly 18-28

First emergence
JAug 5
68 days

64 of 153


Evidently one turtle liked the rain. Cheryl saw tracks that led to a low site with all the classic signs of a turtle nest. Only problem was that the return tracks didn't go directly back to the ocean. The tracks led inland and wandered around a bit before heading back to the ocean. Maybe looking around for her next nest? Or just causing a little confusion for the humans. She's welcome to do whatever she wants -- we're thrilled she chose Folly West for her nest! [photos coming soon]
Nest #11



May 30in situ1571-EJuly 19-29

First emergence
July 26
57 days

115 of 128


Bob found that these long tracks led into the high, soft dune. Momma turtle took her time traveling the top of the dune and appears to have nested, but, due to the overall softness of the site, the egg chamber has not yet been located. All other field signs say "nest," so we're counting it and will keep close watch. [Thanks to Bob for photos.]
Nest #12





June 155Co.Park-WJuly 21-31

First emergence
Aug 2
62 days

30 of 55


Shannon got a midnight call from Folly Public Safety saying that there was a turtle on the beach. And what a turtle it was -- a LEATHERBACK! Not a frequent visitor to Folly, or even SC, although the occurence of leatherback nesting has increased in recent years. Folly's first known leatherback nest was in July 2003. SC/DNR biologists say that it's highly likely this 2008 nest was laid by the same turtle who laid one on Kiawah 9 days ago. This is based on volunteers who saw the turtle and reported a torn back left flipper (thanks to Bob for the GREAT photo evidence). A lot of very excited Folly volunteers were able to see this turtle nest and return to the ocean. They met again the next morning to locate the egg chamber and relocate the eggs -- major thanks to Carole and Judi for accomplishing those vital tasks! 55 tennis ball-sized eggs and 51 "spacers" were moved to a new location in the County Park. A huge THANK YOU also to Charlotte and Tim (pictured), our West side volunteers who were first on the scene the night before to protect the leatherback momma while she nested in the 400-West block. Charlotte and Tim graciously understood the need to relocate the nest and are keeping close watch on its development in the County Park. Everyone is SUPER excited with not only the thought that incredibly beautiful leatherback hatchlings will develop, but also with the thought that this momma turtle may be back to either Folly or Kiawah in about 10 days to nest again. [Top photo courtesy of Shannon; others courtesy of Bob.]
Nest #13

June 1121
Bird Sanctuary
July 21-31

First emergence
July 28
57 days

115 of 120


[photos coming soon]
Debi and Melissa saw a continuous track not far from the surf line that just looped right back to the ocean. Typical "non-nesting emergence" or "false crawl." This was the first one seen on Folly this summer -- unusual in that we generally see lots of early "false crawls" as the mommas orient to the beach. This year has been different. Nesters seem confident, very "knowing," perhaps already familiar with Folly -- experienced nesters.
June 1 CGS-E
Nest #14



June 41141693-EJuly 24-Aug 4

First emergence
July 26
52 days

110 of 114


Sunnie and Bill were delighted to find a nest close by this busy morning (3 nests in one day!!) Carole found the egg chamber quickly while Sunnie prepared a new nest, then moved the clutch of 114 eggs into their new home for the next 50-60 days. There are well-known lighting dangers nearby at a large green house, but we'll be extra vigilent at hatchout time to safe-guard the hatchlings journey to the ocean. [Thanks to Sunnie & Bill for photos.]
Nest #15






June 41391569-EJuly 24-Aug 4

First emergence
July 28
54 days

128 of 139


Bob's early walk paid off in a rare treat to watch a momma turtle nest and return to the ocean. Enjoy his GREAT photos and this very cool movie of the turtle covering her nest -- you don't see this everyday! (Movie file is large; download patience and QuickTime may be required.) Special thanks to Carole for coming out to point out where the eggs would be (yet again!), and to Suzie and Sharon & her friend Sep from NJ for relocating the eggs to protect them from the high tides to come. The responsibility quotient gets kicked up a notch after meeting the Mom! Sharon noted that "The nesting site was adjacent to the nest that Cindy found 2 weeks ago -- could it be Momma's return?" Surely could! [Photos and movie courtesy of Bob; "Fini" photo courtesy of Sharon.]
Nest #16

June 4105419-WJuly 24-Aug 4

First emergence
Aug 2
58 days

103 of 105


Great find. probing, and relocation work by Cheryl! Update: Aug 3 - Hatchling disorientation due to lighting. Update: Sep 25 - Just learned of heroic efforts of Paul and Clark Tomlinson and "Watson" (Paul's Jack Russell) for the discovery of this disoriented nest and their MAJOR efforts to save the hatchlings. Paul called Folly Public Safety who came to the scene with Folly Firefighers while Watson continued to locate wayward hatchlings in the dunes. Together they saved 40-50 hatchlings from sure death. BELATED THANK YOUs to All for your quick thinking and GREAT SAVES!!
Nest #17


June 6in situ1649-EJuly 26-Aug 6

First emergence
July 30
54 days

66 of 79


Bob found this nest next door to "The Castle" -- a 3-story concrete block "mansion," one of the first to start the destructive trend of building seaward of the accepted "front row." The turtle nested nice and high near the smaller blue house's walkover, so Bob left it in place after confirming the clutch location. Turtle's claw left a very clear V in the sand, indicating the direction she had come from. [Thanks to Bob for photos.] Update: 7/17/08 - Treated with Advion to discourage very active ant traffic.
Judi reported that the turtle who laid Nest #18 (below) also "false crawled" -- a quick in and out without nesting -- just inside the County Park.
June 6 County Park-W  
Nest #18

June 6103917-WJuly 26-Aug 6

First emergence
July 30
54 days

100 of 103


Cathy and Mike welcomed this nest close to home. From Judi: "ANA 1 came in and went right back out. But she came back in at the 10th St. West crossover and nested. Judy K probed and easily found the eggs. The nest was below the spring high tide line so Judy K & Carol R moved the eggs to the Mike's new nest in the dunes." [photos coming soon]
Nest #19



June 8129417-WJuly 28-Aug 8

First emergence
Aug 4
57 days

119 of 129


OK. It's happened. Hopefully this experience will show the Big Hole Diggers the importance of filling in their ditches before they leave they beach. A sea turtle crawling onto the beach to nest fell into a manmade hole. Fortunately she was able to get herself out again, but the extra effort certainly added to her already difficult workload for the night. This is no way to welcome sea turtles to Folly Beach. [Thanks to Judi for photos.]
Nest #20

June 8122
907-WJuly 28-Aug 8

First emergence
Aug 4
56 days

102 of 115


Mike discovered this great nest on his early morning patrol and quickly found the eggs. [photos coming soon]
Nest #21


June 9in situCo. Park-WJuly 29-Aug 9

First emergence
Aug 7
58 days

125 of 129


This turtle gave Judi a welcome break. She came in near the leatherback nest (#12 with tape in photo) just after the last park building, and laid her clutch up high in the dune line. No relocation needed! [Photos courtesy of Judi.]

Judi reported a long-wandering track with no nest in the West 600 block. The turtle took her time checking out lots of possibilities in and around the sandfencing, but didn't make a decision to nest. [Photo provided by Judi.]
June 9 619-W  
Nest #22

June 9in situ705-WJuly 29-Aug 9

First emergence
Aug 7
58 days

88 of 98


Judy K and Mike found this wonderful West side nest, nice and high! No relocation needed. [Photo courtesy of Judi B.] Update: Aug 7 - A MAJOR SAVE by the Buist family!! Mr. B called Folly Public Safety around 10:30 p.m. when he saw 2 little heads sticking out of the sand. Shannon was contacted and called Mr. B for details on her way to the scene. Beachfront lights were on nearby, so Mr. B asked occupants to turn out the lights! The nest "boiled" minutes later and the hatchlings hurried to the ocean. Without the Buist Family's watchfulness and thoughtful actions, these hatchlings could have easily been another disorientation tragedy.

Kate (not pictured) followed a very long and winding track into the dunes and found the track-maker. Momma turtle was still on the beach after 7 a.m. She was moving quite slowly, taking lots of rests, EXHAUSTED after her long crawl. Toni M, a Folly resident, supplied buckets and helped Kate, Sunnie and Bill water the turtle down to renew her energy. She finally stepped back in the ocean just before 9 a.m. Carole found a suspected nest site, but eggs were not confirmed. Kate staked the area for continued monitoring. If a nest is in this area, we should see tiny tracks between August 2-12. [Tracks photo above provided by Judi; Turtle photos below provided by Sunnie & Bill.]


June 9 CGS-E Footpath  
Nest #23


What Bob still saw 5 days later (June 14)

June 9135CGS-E
July 29-Aug 9

First emergence
Aug 10
61 days

132 of 135


Carole warned us. Exactly two weeks later ... the Lighthouse Creek nester has returned (see Nest #6 above). We need to train this turtle to go to the ocean side. Having the Crew carry her eggs around isn't the best course of action for eggs or humans! HUGE thanks to Judi for doing MAJOR work on both the West and East side of Folly this morning, and to Kate who also had a very exciting and busy morning. Lots of human hard work went into protecting this Momma's eggs again. [Photos courtesy of Judi & yes, that's the nest site under the "wrack." Additional photo added as "what Bob saw" on June 14th -- 5 days after nest laid.]
Nest #24


June 101171209-EJuly 30-Aug 10

First emergence
Aug 4
54 days

92 of 117


Suzie spotted this crawl and NEST toward the end of the East-1200 block. The nest was laid in the wrack line, so Suzie and Shannon moved the clutch of 117 eggs up higher on the beach to protect it from overwash. [Photos courtesy of Shannon.] Update: Aug 4 - Hatchling disorientations due to house light.

Judi reported: "Our wandering turtle returned to the West End and could have easily been missed. Tracks were blown over but she went over the dunes and wandered behind them in the trough area created by the 2005 beach nourishment project. Tim & Charlotte spotted the tracks and 3 nesting attempts. But no nest." [Photo courtesy of Judi.]
June 15 400-W  

"Our wandering turtle revisited the far west end of the beach again. She came in at the beginning of the bird sanctuary, wandered toward the end of the beach past the end of the sanctuary, made a big loop and walked far, far, far down the beach before entering the water. Her out tracks were not far from nest 25. Could she be the same turtle? Possibly, but not sure. Wandering tracks appeared to be slightly smaller than the nesting turtle." [Report and photo by Judi B.]
June 16 Co.Park-W  
Nest #25


2d (non-nest) body pit

June 1686Co.Park-WAug 5-15

First emergence
Aug 12
57 days

77 of 86


Judi recognized this crawl -- tracks straight in to a nest site, followed not by tracks directly back to the ocean, but by a right turn parallel to the ocean and what looked like a second body pit. Same behavior as turtle that laid Nest #10 on May 29th. 18 days is a little longer than the typical 14-day nesting interval, but still certainly within the range of possibility that this is the same turtle. As Judi reported it: " Tracks were seen in the County Park area between the Dangerous Current sign and the last public entrance from the extended County Park parking lot. Nest was laid in an area that is affected by the water table so 86 eggs were moved to the dunes." [Photos courtesy Judi B.]
Judy K was excited to see tracks again, and even more pleased to see that the turtle chose a good, high site in the 600-block. The clutch will be in a protected place. Only problem: eggs not found. They may still be there, so the site will stay marked for monitoring through August 21st.
June 17 600-W  

Continuous tracks in and out just past the Loran tower near the far east end of Folly. Don't know why she turned back. Maybe she'll try again tonight.
June 18 CGS-E  
"Judy K and Mike had another false crawl this morning. She came in, turned, started to dig, made a hole about 6" to 8" deep and left. The sand seemed soft enough for a nest so maybe she was frightened by something. This was in the 900 W block near the 10th St. crossover." Hopefully these wanderers, false crawlers, and almost-but-not-quite hole diggers will produce bonafide nests very soon. [Thanks to Judi B for report; photos to be added later]
June 18 900-W  
Betty and Carole investigated this crawl and determined it to be yet another non-nesting emergence ("false crawl") -- one of two in the 400-East block this morning.
June 19 403-E  
ANA 10
Betty and Carole also investigated this 2d crawl in the 400-East block -- a second "false crawl" by the same turtle.
June 19 417-E  
Nest #26

June 191141103-EAug 8-18

First emergence
Aug 13
55 days

108 of 114


Suzie found tracks AND NEST this morning! Linda probed the site and found eggs near the back of the body pit. Also noted that this is "another turtle who lays her eggs then makes another small body pit on the way out." Interesting, odd behavior. It's fun when the girls leave their distinctive calling cards. Thanks to Suzie and Linda for their good work, and to Judi for the report.
Nest #27

June 19124Co.Park-WAug 8-18

First emergence
Aug 10
52 days

[Photos courtesy of Judi B.]

108 of 124


A gentleman called Judi to report that a turtle laid a nest on James Island just down from the Yacht Club (Harbor side). Lauren came to the rescue (THANK YOU!), checked it out and agreed that it was a nest, but couldn't locate the egg chamber, so she staked the nest for follow-up. Judi contacted Erin and Charlotte at DNR. Charlotte went out, found the eggs, and helped Judi relocate them to Folly County Park. What great teamwork -- from the Caller to the Crew to DNR and back again! Thanks, Everyone!!
Nest #28




June 201431693-EAug 9-19

First emergence
Aug 9
50 days

125 of 143


Sunnie found a neat set of tracks with a nice differential, indicating that the turtle spent some time on the beach before high tide. The nest site was just as efficient. This turtle knows how to conserve her energy. What she maybe didn't know was that Folly will have 6'+ tides at new moon the end of June, and her nest would likely be inundated. The decision was made to make the move to a safer location near the 1693-E walkover. With help from Robin (welcome back!) and Bill, Sunnie emptied the original nest and relocated a large clutch of 143 eggs to their new home in the sand. Nest #14, laid on June 4, is nearby. Might have been the same momma, but don't know for sure.
Nest #29

June 20132719-WAug 9-19

First emergence
Aug 13
54 days

121 of 132


"Judy K, Mike & Cathy H found tracks, nest & eggs. Nest was below the spring high tide line so 132 eggs were moved to higher ground at 713 West." [JB]
Nest #30



June 21126CGS-E
Aug 10-20

First emergence
Aug 15
55 days

53 of 126


Looks like Kate's Lighthouse Creek nester returned a couple of days early. The crawl and in-the-wrack nest sure looked similar to her other two creekside nests (#6 on May 26, and #23 on June 9). Bob took on the big move to the oceanside, and was very grateful to have the help of Paris and her dad Matt who thought they'd take a nice beach walk this morning. Little did they know!! A half-mile trek from the original nest site to the new one is quite a beach walk! Bob created a new nest next to #6. Thank you, Paris and Matt, for your GREAT help! Hope you'll be back to watch for hatchlings. [Photos courtesy of Bob.]
Nest #31



June 211131313-EAug 10-20

First emergence
Aug 19
59 days

104 of 113


Bob pulled double-duty with a second nest this morning! Thank goodness Robin and her fellow-teacher friend appeared to help. The turtle had nested on the BACK side of dune, so this presented the odd experience of moving a nest closer to the ocean. With a big, flat "trough" behind the dune, the risk was just too great that the hatchlings would head toward the houses and never reach the ocean. The clutch was moved into the "V" of the sandfencing. Major thank yous to Bob, Robin and her friend for a busy Saturday morning of turtle protection! [Photos courtesy of Bob.]
Nest #32

June 22in situCo. Park-W
Aug 11-21

First emergence
Aug 17
56 days

[Photo courtesy of Judi B.]

116 of 124


Mike, Charlotte and Tim welcomed a new nest on the riverside past County Park this morning. The momma turtle chose her nest site well at the base of a dune, so it was left in situ.
Nest #33




June 23141415-EAug 12-22

First emergence
Aug 17
55 days

127 of 141


Lauren found tracks and a small body pit just 10' in front of a huge line of left-overnight beach chairs, tents and toys. What's the matter with some humans??! Are they totally unaware that by LITTERING THE BEACH OVERNIGHT, they are creating a hazardous situation for other people and wildlife -- especially nesting sea turtles? If the turtle had crawled another 10' inland, she could have EASILY become entangled in the mess left behind. Because the nest was too close to the ocean, Lauren, Sharon, and Shannon moved the big clutch of 141 eggs up to the sandfencing to protect the eggs from high tides. Now we need to protect the hatchlings' passage from nest to ocean by working with City Hall to rid the beach of chairs, tents, toys, and deep holes left overnight. Thoughtful visitors, considerate of other beings: WE NEED YOUR HELP! [Photos courtesy of Shannon and Sharon.]
ANA 11

Hard to believe that a turtle traveled inland that far only to go back to the ocean without nesting. But it's TRUE -- no body pit; no eggs. [Photo courtesy of Shannon and her phone.]
June 23 715-E  
ANA 12
Another nest-less crawl at mid-Folly. Maybe the momma that laid #33, or one that will hopefully choose to nest tonight.
June 23 517-E  
Nest #34



June 251261209-EAug 14-24

First emergence
Aug 19
55 days

123 of 126


Folly visitor Leanne was standing by this nest near the end of 12-East as Sharon walked up. Momma turtle laid the nest in the midst of old wrack. Because of that low and previously wet site, after probing and finding the clutch, Sharon relocated the 126 eggs up to the sandfencing line. Great spot for safe development! [Thanks to Shannon and her cell phone for photos!]
Nest #35




June 26201315-EAug 15-252 of 20


Odd, odd, ODD. Only 20 eggs?? Bob and Suzie checked very carefully for evidence of more, but that's all the momma turtle left. And, to add to the oddity, there was a non-viable "spacer" type of egg and two misshapen eggs with bumps. Tracks and viable eggs were typical of a loggerhead nest, so theories: turtle has something "wrong" going on in her system; may be her last nest of the season and she's "empty" ?? We've seen some of these signs before, but rarely in such a small clutch. Eggs were relocated to the sandfencing area to protect from tides. [Thanks to Bob and Suzie for photos.]
Nest #36

#36 "missing" & found again


June 271211005-EAug 16-26

First emergence
Aug 25
59 days

117 of 121


Sharon and Hank are nest magnets! They're finding a new nest every time they patrol! This one, like so many others on Folly, needed to moved away from high tide line flood danger and into a safer, higher dune location. Update: August 17: "It's not every year that one gets to find the same nest twice." While Sharon was on vacation, Nest #36 disappeared. Using her Sherlock skills and a previous photo, Sharon was able to find it a second time -- under 8" of sand! -- just in time for hatching. [Photos courtesy of Shannon.]
Nest #37




June 27921687-EAug 16-26

First emergence
Aug 18
52 days

76 of 92


Bill raised the alert early this morning as he found tracks in the 1600-E block. Sunnie and Cindy joined in to assess the site. Sunnie found the eggs quickly, and the clutch was carried to a more protected location near two others. It'll be fun to watch for lots of baby tracks there in about 55 days! [Thanks to Bill for photos!]
Nest #38


June 28in situ611-EAug 17-27

First emergence
Aug 23
56 days

80 of 86


Hurray for Momma Turtle! She laid her nest between sandfencing and the spring high tide line -- a fairly high and dry location. Suzie found the tracks, and she and Shannon confirmed the eggs, and marked the nest for continued close monitoring. If water threatens, it can be moved later. [Thanks to Shannon and her cell phone for photos.]
ANA 13
This false crawl was in front of the Villas condos next to the Holiday Inn. Judi reported that the tracks were blown over, but there was evidence of a small body pit and an open hole. It appeared that the turtle attempted to dig, then hit rocks and abandoned her effort. Hopefully she'll return to Folly again tonight.
June 28 200-W  
Nest #39







June 301181687-EAug 19-29

First emergence
Aug 20
51 days

109 of 118


Shannon got a call from Public Safety at 9 p.m. saying there was a turtle nesting on the beach near 1703-East and that a crowd was forming. Bob, Sunnie and Bill rushed to the scene. Sure enough, a turtle nesting, but the "crowd" (which we tend to think of as threatening) was a VERY respectful family from Goose Creek who were just enthralled by what they were witnessing. They were the ones who contacted Folly Public Safety to make sure the turtle was protected. WOW! We are so appreciative when this happens! Thank you! Sunnie kept watch until the nesting momma was safely back in the ocean, then returned the next morning with the family and Crew member Debi to locate the eggs. Sunnie said that if the family had not called Public Safety, the nest would have probably been overlooked. Strong winds had erased the turtle tracks and obscured the nest site. Luckily, a marker had been set the previous night while the turtle was nesting, so Sunnie was able to locate the clutch. The 118 eggs were moved into a safer dune location, away from the threat of normal high tides. A HUGE THANK YOU goes to each person involved with this nest -- especially Miller, Justun, Izabel, Many, and Zachery -- it would not have been protected without you! [Thanks to Bill, Sunnie and Alise for photos!]
ANA 14
JB: "Tracks below the high tide line were clear & visible, but blown over in the soft sand. Mike probed one area that may have been the turn-around, but not really a body pit and no eggs."
July 1 1005-W  
ANA 15
JB: "Charlotte had a false crawl in the 400 W block. Turtle just came in and looped back out."
July 1 400-W  
Nest #40



July 2in situ1401-EAug 21-31

First emergence
Aug 28
57 days

133 of 135


Great job, Momma! This turtle nested PAST the spring high tide line, about 5' in front of the sandfencing. It's in front of a gigantic house with lots of windows ... a LIGHTS OUT challenge. Bob confirmed the presence of eggs and staked off this nest where the Momma laid it. [Photos courtesy of Bob.]
Nest #41

July 2111319-WAug 21-31

First emergence
Aug 25
54 days

105 of 111


Charlotte, Mike, Linda and Rocky had a special visitor at this West side nest. One of Folly's Finest (police) dropped by to ask "What are you doing?" "We're relocating sea turtle eggs to protect them from high tides." "Well, someone called to say that people were stealing turtle eggs, so I came to check it out." Hmmm ... How ... NICE? Yes, it is nice that folks are watching and super nice that law enforcement is responding, but a little dicey for our valient Crew! The policeman stayed until the eggs were all tucked away in their new nest. Always interesting! And we made a new friend.
Nest #42


July 21271013-EAug 21-31

First emergence
Aug 25
54 days

122 of 127


We received the following message this morning: "My husband and I had the privilege this morning to watch a turtle come out of the ocean, make her way to the sand, laboriously dig her nest, deposit her eggs, cover it up and finally make her way back to the sea.  We felt it was our duty to stand guard as she labored.  Eventually, several early risers were standing with us - marveling at the spectacle.  Then the turtle patrol lady (Sharon) came up the beach.  She was able to take pictures as the mother turtle finished her nest and returned to the Atlantic.  I look forward to seeing the pictures posted. It was just before sunrise (about 5:30AM) when we spotted her in the surf.   We estimate it took her about 1-1/2 hours from the time she left the surf to return to the surf." Our thanks to Leonotia for sharing her exciting sea turtle story! Sharon, Carole and Judi moved the 127-egg clutch into the sandfencing area to keep it higher and drier. Note the gouge/bite-like wound in the turtle's shell over her left rear flipper. [Photos courtesy of Sharon.]
ANA 16
Carol R reported a false crawl at 10-West. All tracks were below the high tide line and just looped back to the ocean; no nest.
July 5 1000-W  
Nest #43

July 5111
817-WAug 24-Sep 3

First emergence
Aug 29
55 days

94 of 110


Judi B called from the boat to Cape to report that the West side had a nest after all AND that the turtle was still on the beach! Could very well be the same turtle that false crawled two blocks away. Carol R and Mike were on the beach with turtle as she finished her nest and began her turn back to the ocean. Maybe she watched the fireworks display last night and decided daylight was less risky than a night approach. There was some concern that momma turtle might be getting exhausted, so Carole B and Shannon stood by ready to help with water and a possible carry if necessary. The turtle did make it back to the ocean on her own around 8:30. What a terrific treat she gave everyone who was lucky enough to see her.
Nest #44



July 5139CGS-E
Aug 24-Sep 3124 of 139


Like clockwork -- the Lighthouse Creek nester returns. It's been 14 days since her last visit. This clutch brought her total egg production to 545 for 4 nests. And every precious egg had to be LOVINGLY carried around the end of the island to the OCEANSIDE to ensure safe development. EVERY egg would be lost to the inlet beach's high water table and flooding tides without the dedication of Bob, Kate, and Judi B. Bob found and saved this 4th nest by bringing the eggs to a new oceanview site near two of the momma turtle's other nests. This gal has really kept the pressure on. She may have another clutch or two in her, so we'll be counting the days! [Photos & today's hard work courtesy of Bob.]
Nest #45

July 1095613-WAug 29-Sep 8

First emergence
Sep 8
60 days

80 of 95


Carol R, Mike, and Cheryl welcomed another West side nest this morning. Mike found the eggs quickly and Carol and Cheryl made them safe by relocating the cluth to a higher site. Great job!
ANA 17
Suzie reported a false crawl at 915-East. Hopefully the turtle will give Folly another try (if she didn't already nest on the West side -- see #45 above).
July 10 915-E  
Nest #46


July 111321205-EAug 30-Sep 9

First emergence
Sep 4
55 days

110 of 132


Yea, Robin! Thanks so much for calling Public Safety this morning to report tracks in the 1200-East block, and helping Sharon and Shannon count and relocate Nest #46, loaded with the potential to produce 132 baby hatchlings! Shannon noted (and photographed) an extra large egg in the clutch. Keep walking, watching, and calling, Robin -- terrific help! [Photos courtesy of Shannon.]
Nest #47


July 12in situ713-WAug 30-Sep 9

First emergence
Sep 6
57 days

106 of 113


The Mattingly family was on-hand to not only help with this nest, but also to see the momma turtle who laid it. She reportedly made several attempts to come on the beach. Once near the Pier and condos in the first block of the West side, then again in the 600-West block, and finally to nest toward the end of the 700-West block. [There was also a false crawl about 2 miles away at 10-E which may or may not have also been this turtle.] Lots of energy expended before she found a safe spot. She choose wisely. Her eggs did not need to moved to higher ground. Most of the West side crew were able to be on the beach and participate in welcoming this new nest. [Photos courtesy of Laura Mattingly and Judi B.] Update: 9/1/08 Moved due to overwash from storm related high tides.
ANA 18
Turtle sighting between the Pier and the condos just to the West of Center Street. She got spooked by something and quickly returned to the ocean.
July 12 100-W  
ANA 19
An out/in loop of tracks before the high tide line -- false crawl, probably by the turtle who eventually laid Nest #47 (see above).
July 12 600-W  
ANA 20
Another out/in loop of tracks with no nest. Same turtle? Can't say for sure. This location and where most of the other crawl and nest activity took place are about 2 miles apart. May be different turtle who will attempt to nest again tonight. We'll keep watching.
July 12 1000-E  
Nest #48

July 13107601-WSep 1-Sep 11

First emergence
Sep 10
59 days

101 of 107


[info coming soon]
Nest #49



July 1386
1315-ESep 1-11

First emergence
Sep 8
57 days

84 of 85


Jacob's family from St. Matthews and Goose Creek had the rare and amazing experience of watching a loggerhead sea turtle crawl up the beach to find a nesting site, dig the egg chamber, drop her eggs in, cover the nest, and return to the ocean. It all happened near 1315-East Ashley at about 10 p.m. Saturday. Our intrepid visitor Robin, also from Goose Creek, reported the tracks, then heard the family's story and realized she'd been on the beach around the same time and wondered "what are those folks looking at?" Agh - just what she wanted to see!! Instead Robin was left with tracks, eggs, digging and staking a new nest location -- not a bad consolation. We're very grateful for your willing involvement, Robin! Thanks, too, to Jacob's family for the great story and the great care they took in respecting the turtle's time and space as she did her hard work to continue her species. [Photos from Bob and Nancy.]
ANA 21
Turtle on the beach near The Washout! Two ladies saw her around 10:30 Sunday night and called Public Safety who called Shannon who alerted Bob (what teamwork!). Unfortunately, the turtle turned back to the ocean before nesting. We're hoping she had time to try again.
July 13 1407-E  
Nest #50



July 1472413-ESep 2-12

First emergence
Sep 10
58 days

58 of 72


The BIG 50!! A major milestone for a Folly turtle season! It's not often that we hit 50, so it's very exciting. The tracks were first reported by a friend of the turtle crew and Lauren, Shannon, and Sharon responded to the call. Momma's tracks hugged a concrete groin and her body pit was between the groin and a large sand castle. She chose wisely (avoided the sand castle pit), but too low. The Crew moved her clutch to the safer environment of the sandfencing area. Shannon reported: "Based on the original egg chamber, the small clutch and the small size of the eggs, I'd say this was a small turtle." A small non-viable "spacer" egg was also found.
Nest #51


July 14116CGS-E
Sep 2-12

First emergence
Sep 9
57 days

107 of 116


Melissa and John really came to rescue for these 116 hatchlings to be. A call from Cathy to DNR dispatch reported tracks along Lighthouse Creek inlet. After returning from Edisto, Melissa was able to check out the location. The turtle had made 2 body pits and, as the textbook predicts, the eggs were in the second one. But it was much too risky to leave them where momma put them (tide and water table saturation likely), so John and Melissa loaded the bucket into their cart and dodged the incoming tide by winding their way through the woods to high ground. The clutch was safely delivered to the oceanside, just down from the footpath to the beach. A great rescue! Many thanks to Cathy and her husband for reporting the tracks, and to Melissa and John and friend Jay for the BIG move. May lots of little tracks in September be your reward. [Photos courtesy of Melissa and John.]
Nest #52



July 16141
1687-ESep 4-14

First emergence
Sep 6
52 days

115 of 139


Knock, knock. Who's there? Loggerhead nest! Practically on Sunnie's doorstep! Thank goodness she avoided the canopy poles left overnight nearby in the tide zone. The nest was too low to leave in situ, so Sunnie and Stephanie moved it to higher ground nearby. They were assisted in the effort by Natalie from Charlotte who numbered the key stake, and by our special turtle fan and friend, Diane from Social Circle, GA, looking forward to lots of new turtle adventures with her family. Terrific job, All! [Photos courtesy of Sunnie.]
Nest #53



July 18129CGS-E
Sep 6-16

First emergence
Sep 10
54 days

112 of 129


On a dark and stormy-looking morning, Bob encountered these tracks that swerved inland several yards to a body pit in dry sand near the tide line. Much too risky to leave where momma laid it, the clutch was moved inland near the dunes where it will hopefully weather even storm tides until the hatchlings develop.
ANA 22

The West End Wanderer returned -- maybe twice. Judi, Linda, Bailey, and Rocky checked out her work. Tracks looked like the turtle came in and out a couple of times, or the tide erased some evidence. LOTS of LONG, loopy tracks, but no evidence of a nest site. Maybe she'll give it another try tonight. [Photos courtesy of Judi B.]

July 19 Co. Park-W  
Nest #54

July 20101Co. Park-WSep 8-18

First emergence
Sep 11
53 days

93 of 101


The West End Wanderer did came back! Several visitors saw her on the beach around dawn and started the wonderful telephone relay to alert the Crew. The turtle nested way down past the County Park parking areas. Charlotte, Tim and Mike found the eggs and relocated them to a less-water-risky area that will give the hatchlings a better chance to develop and get into the ocean more safely. That's what it's all about!
Nest #55



July 2166
1689-ESep 9-19

First emergence
Sep 12
53 days

54 of 65


The magnetic pull of the Sunnie does it again! Sunnie found a beautiful textbook nest about 6 houses away. With major assists from Diane and Julia, Cindy, Sharon and Bill, the eggs were relocated into the mini-nursery around the 1691-East Walkover. It was wonderful to see Tammy at this nest and recall her amazing experience of seeing a momma turtle laying eggs at dawn a few years ago. Sea turtles really do bring people together. Thanks, Everyone!
Nest #56



July 231211561-ESep 11-21

First emergence
Sep 12
51 days

112 of 121


Bob was surprised to find tracks and a nest at the end of The Washout. He relocated the clutch of 121 eggs to a safer spot higher on the beach to avoid tide overwash. [Photos courtesy of Bob.]
ANA 23
One of two false crawls reported by Carole R and Judy K this morning. Continuous tracks. No body pit or signs of an attempt to create one.
July 23 801-W  
ANA 24
Second (or maybe first) of the two false crawls found by Carole R and Judy K this morning. This one was considerably longer than the one at 8-W. The turtle got just to a good spot near the dune, but turned on her "heels" quickly and went right back to the ocean. Maybe something frightened her? Again, continuous tracks with no sign of a body pit. Thanks to Charlotte, Tim and Jay for the "second opinion" on this crawl. All agreed -- no nest.
July 23 907-W  
Nest #57

July 23114
411-WSep 11-21

First emergence
Sep 15
54 days

107 of 113


This may have been this momma turtle's third and final visit to the beach this morning. Or maybe a different turtle -- don't know for sure. What we do know is that Charlotte, Tim and Jay did a great job locating the eggs in a not-so-typical crawl and relocating them to a safer site. The clutch was found in a very smooth, flat section of the crawl. Typical body pit was not evident. Always interesting!! And a whole lot of activity for the West Crew this morning -- that IS typical of this season!
Nest #58


July 24in situ1621-ESep 12-22

First emergence
Sep 15
53 days

104 of 114


AMAZING success considering this nest was overwashed multiple times.

CC's first nest in 3 years! How exiciting! There are nests all around, but this is the first to arrive on CC's patrol. The decision was made to leave it where the momma turtle laid it -- at least for now. It's in that narrow fringe between wrack and vegetation -- danger in both directions, but relatively safe where it sits. We can move it later if the tide encroaches. Special thanks to Sunnie for her help in assessing and staking this nest! Update: July 30 - Windy high tide overwash. Update: Sep 6 - Overwashed some by Hanna; photos shown taken before and after Hanna.
ANA 25
Suzie found and Judi B confirmed this false crawl in the 800-East block.
July 26 806-E  
Nest #59

July 28116Co. Park-WSep 16-26

First emergence
Sep 19
53 days

110 of 116


[Info to be added soon.]
Nest #60


July 2968919-ESep 17-27

First emergence
Sep 23
56 days

66 of 68


"As you can see from the pictures, this Mama was stopped in her tracks by a beach chair, towel and ball left on the beach overnight ... but that didn't keep her from laying Nest #60.  Whatta girl! This is at the 10th street walkover.  Tracks were found by Susie, probed by Carole, and relocated by Linda to 919 E. Arctic." [Report and photos by Sharon.]
ANA 26
July 29 901-W  
Nest #61

July 2955816-WSep 17-27

First emergence
Sep 25
58 days

47 of 55


Judy K and Mike moved this new clutch of 55 eggs to a safer location this morning. Clutch sizes seem to be shrinking -- not unusual as the nesting season comes to a close and turtles are laying their last nests before heading out for some R&R.
Nest #62

Aug 1in situCo.Park-WSep 20-30

First emergence
Sep 30
60 days

92 of 96


Jaime discovered these tracks in the County Park. Momma turtle's crawl went behind the sand fencing! Hurrah! Jaime probed, confirmed the presence of eggs, and they can stay where momma turtle laid them. When she turned after nesting, she crunched the tops of nearby sandfencing that had been almost buried by blown sand. We sometimes forget how powerful these big turtles are -- amazing strength. The hatchlings from this clutch will be due at the end of September. [Photos coming soon.]
Nest #63

Special guest nest protector.

Aug 9941587-ESep 28-Oct 8

First emergence
Oct 5
57 days

85 of 94


Thanks to watchful resident friends who called Charlotte G, the first big turtle tracks in eight days were reported near 1587-East Ashley this morning. Very special thanks also to Turtle Woman Carole who came to the rescue to probe, find, and relocate 94 new eggs to a higher location. It's possible that these hatchlings will emerge in OCTOBER. Whew. What a long, wonderful season this is!