Friends of Hunting Island Turtle Patrol:

2008 Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Blog


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Friends of Hunting Island Loggerhead Sea Turtle Rescue Program for 2008. Daily teams patrol the park beach for signs of turtle nesting activity from May to August. Nests discovered may be moved to safer places and are protected from both natural predators and human disturbances. Beginning in August, hatching patrols keep watch for baby turtles heading toward the open ocean. This is our story of the season.



Empty Nests!

By vturtle on September 22, 2008 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

It is that bittersweet time of the season, when all our nests have hatched out! Our last nest has hatched out and now we have time to reflect on this successful season and prepare for the coming of Spring and our 2009 Loggerheads.

A big TURTLE THANKS to all of you who have stayed so committed to our Sea Turtle preservation program. The Park should have final statistics for you soon. Turtle hugs to all and hope to see you on the beach! vturtle


Turtles vs Faye!

By vturtle on August 23, 2008 6:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

With 21 nests, still left to hatch out, we were keeping our fingers crossed that unwanted tropical storms would stay away. Turtles are tough and Hunting Island Turtles are for the most part holding their own. The high waves and winds of Faye, did manage to shut down Cabin Road. But the dedicated effort of all Turtle Volunteers, has for at least this storm, saved the day and most nest were safe and out of Faye's harm -- sadly there were three nests that succumbed to Faye.

On a brighter note, our early inventories are showing a better hatch rate average than last year. We project this increase in hatching, to continue and hope that Faye hasn't opened the door for more storms to head our way. A special Turtle THANKS to Buddy Lawrence and Karen Whitehead, who are tending to our nests almost daily. They have been diligent in fighting off the menacing raccoons. Now all we need is a couple of storm fighters.

Look for Wendy's complete update with nesting stats and think sun!!
vturtle


Inventories!

By sticky turtle on August 9, 2008 9:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inventories have been going very well! we've inventoried about 10-12 nests and almost all of them have contained live hatchlings. Of course, we do have eggs that unfortunately don't hatch, but with the majority of the babies making it to sea, we must pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Speaking of inventories, any volunteer who is interested in helping with the inventories is more then welcome to come out to the beach in the early morn and dig up a nest. I find it more interesting than relocating the nest because you get to see hatched eggs and hatchlings. Everyone is allowed to participate.... just ask to dig and you're more then welcome to! Call the Nature Center for details on the morning inventories.

The Nature Center is doing a program every Thursday evening in August (so far), and we are desperately in need of volunteers to walk along the beach and help the visitors understand our mission. They are also needed to 'keep the peace.' If you are interested, please call the Nature Center at 843-838-7437. We would love to see you there!


Last Morning Patrol!!

By vturtle on August 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We had hoped the Turtles would have a few more nests for us. I guess we should not be greedy, they have provided us with many very busy and active morning patrols. We are always sad to end our morning patrols, our last patrol will be this Wednesday, August 6th.

So, starting this Thursday, no more morning patrols, but lots of hatching to come. Many of our early nests have already hatched, and it should be interesting to see just how this season compares to other years.

Look for an upcoming announcement on a supper fun night with lots of Turtle surprises!! Until then, enjoy your mornings sleeping in and know that you and your teammates have made a positive impact on tomorrow's ecology.


A big Turtle THANKS to all Volunteers!!!

By kathleen on August 4, 2008 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Even though we have not had any nests this past week, we are going to continue doing our early morning patrol at 6 am. We asked the volunteers to continue in their diligent efforts with us for a few more days and thank you for all your hard work. The early morning patrols will have their last day on Aug 15th. Again, thank you and hope to see you in the morning.


Nest #10 Inventory

By kathleen on July 31, 2008 3:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest 10 was inventoried today; we found 4 live babies and 4 dead ones. There were 54 unhatched and 62 hatched eggs, making for 55% hatch success. No new nests or false crawls. We are up to 60 nests, the last one being found on Tuesday in Zone 4. Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while, my internet has been down. Good luck over the next couple of days.


Internet Down

By sticky turtle on July 28, 2008 10:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hey Everyone,
Our internet has been down at the Nature Center, so we apologize for the lack of blogs! Let's see what we've got going on...

Nests 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 have hatched or are in the process of hatching right now. We've inventoried nests 1, 2, 3 and 4. Nests 1 and 3 had live hatchlings, and the other two didn't.

For all interested in seeing an inventory, Nest 10 will be inventoried on Thursday or Friday, the date hasn't been set yet.

In other news, a wild nest was found in Zone 6 by a kayaker. Unfortuantely the only reason she saw it was because it had been ravaged by raccoons. By the time we found it, there was nothing left of the nest but egg shards :(

A note to the volunteers: if you are using one of Buddy's wire cages for a nest, you MUST make sure to dig down at least 8 inches to sink the cage into the ground. Burying it too shallow will not stop those pesky raccoons!


Nest #59E

By kathleen on July 24, 2008 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

On Wednesday, Steve found Nest 59E in Zone 5, along with 3 false crawls. There was also a false crawl in zone 4.

Today there was no activity on the beach. We did inventory Nest #2 and realized it had been ravaged by ghost crabs and racoons two nights in a row.


Beach at Night

By kathleen on July 22, 2008 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We will present a walk on the beach at night every Thursaday night. Starting in August and September, you must preregister for this activity. The limit will be 30 people per walk. Again, the Beach at Night walks will be on Thursday nights in August and September, preregistration required.


Nest #58

By kathleen on July 22, 2008 9:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #58 was located in Zone 6; it had 108 eggs and was relocated to Zone 4. Nest #2 hatched last night, and Nest #6 has pipped.


Nest #3 Hatched!

By sticky turtle on July 20, 2008 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #3 in Zone 1 hatched late last evening, Buddy reports. This morning a straggler was seen at 6 am by a tourist walking the beach to catch the sunrise. Apparently, the hatchling had a beat up flipper... will we have a new generation of Momma Stumpy on our hand?

Way to go babies for making into the ocean! Good luck to you :)


Numero Uno

By sticky turtle on July 19, 2008 10:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #1 was inventoried today, and much to the delight of the Monday volunteers, a few live hatchlings popped out of the nest to greet them. Many pictures were taken and hopefully some of them will be put up soon! There were a total of 148 eggs, 16 of which were unhatched. Unfortunantely, we did find one dead hatchling, but the rest of them made it! Way to go baby turtles!

I am having trouble posting pictures for some reason, so here are the links. Hopefully you won't mind clicking them :)

Photos courtesy of: Bill Roschen
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=mMhdxIMUGNXC3bNQ6R7gxkqtArsj7B0300.jpg
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=KKak-CrXsOl0xMw4KFobzTKUC8DDbF8a030.jpg
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=hwL7vpQLU0YJOnNJq3iDNtut2NZ5e5PN030.jpg
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=EGnE40CBU91EJf2DI3WDvPuo-oV3hmLh030.jpg
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=bBhkik8zz00b-GekKE1JWRAiIHEV-txO030.jpg
http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/stickyturtle27/?action=view&current=B6Qdfn86K9Xs5k33k0GSJZOspoxgvXMZ030.jpg


Nests #56E & #57

By kathleen on July 19, 2008 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday our diligent volunteers paroled the beach in the severe downpour and found Nest #56E in Zone 3. Friday's group found Nest #57 in Zone 2, and 86 eggs were relocated to Zone 1. Today, we had a false crawl in Zone 6. So they're still out there, we're just waiting for the next big bang of nests.


Turtle Stats

By kathleen on July 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Project Beach MayJune 20052006 2007
Waties Island1 3NDND17
North Myrtle Beach0 2NDNDND
Myrtle Beach04 NDNDND
Myrtle Beach SP0 4302
Huntington SP0 45145
SCUTE459 628068
Sand Island 19 NDNDND
South Island23 9312210283
Cape Island124 6678261027531
Lighthouse Island23 116232195178
Bull Island14 56NDND116
Dewees Island1 109217
IOP/Sullivan's Island3 18561526
Folly Beach939 375120
Kiawah Island33 13415420185
Seabrook Island8 35516416
Botany Island38 249219214112
Edingsville727 739057
Edisto Beach SP6 60947166
Town of Edisto Beach2 30885066
Harbor Island2 12392818
Hunting Island SP5 2906264
Fripp Island5 23403114
Pritchard's Island3 16716626
St. Phillips Island4 NDND7
Hilton Head Island18 112163186112
Daufuskie Island4 27NDND19
Total337 18612434 25681715

They Did It!

By sticky turtle on July 17, 2008 10:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I am very happy to report that Nest #1 has hatched! It started to "boil" around 8:15 and it didn't take too long for the babies to reach their way to the water. Steve was the first one to notice that the babies had appeared, and we sat there and watched in awe as they crawled into the surf.

Pictures were taken (without flash, of course) and hopefully I'll have them up within the next few days!

For my first nest, this was a great one! Best moment of my turtling career, definitely. :)


Nest #55

By kathleen on July 15, 2008 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #55 was found today in zone 3. She made a very interesting track. The turtle started up the beach, and began to nest, but for some reason stopped. On her way back out to sea, something changed her mind, did a complete 180, and headed back up the beach. Once there she proceeded to lay 61 eggs.

We speculated that on her way back out to sea, something startled her. By heading back up the beach instead of her saftey zone, the ocean, she put the well-being of her children above her own. Way to go Mom!

Also a little late information. On Thursday, July 10, nest 53 was found in zone 6 and relocated ot zone 4 with 106 eggs, and nest 54 was found in zone 4. One of the volunteers who helped find and relocate nest 54 has a special relationship with nest. On the day that it was found she was celebrating her 54th wedding aniversary, and they were married in 1954.


See how we Turtle up as of 6/30/08!!

By vturtle on July 11, 2008 2:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Here are Turtle nest numbers through June 30th, and you can see how we share the Turtles with our sister projects. And very soon we should be able to start looking at some hatching statistics!!!
vturtle

Edisto State Park 60
Town of Edisto Beach 30
Harbor Island 12
Hunting Island 42
Fripp Island 23
Pritchard's Island 16

Turtles are to Share!!

By vturtle on July 9, 2008 6:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wacky Wednesday, was a day to share our Turtles!! With July's hot temperatures and holiday happenings, we are seeing an increase in visitors on the beach. And several of our teams had tag along visitors, who shared in our joy of finding Nest # 52. And actually the sharing went a little further - Zone 1's team, found the nest a few feet in Zone 2, and a few minutes prior to Zone 2's team arriving on the beach. Being great teammates, Zone 1 probed and removed the eggs from the natural nest, while Zone 2 relocated the eggs to higher ground --good things happen when we share. ( For those who have asked, we were at 54 nests on this day last year.)
vturtle


Nest #51 for Tuesday's Team

By mary alice on July 8, 2008 1:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A nest was found in Zone 2 just north of the cut. It was found by Team A. There were 2 crawls very close together. One crawl came in and went to the left for about 50 feet and came back and returned to the ocean. That was determined to be a false crawl. The other crawl (to the right of the false crawl) came straight in to what turned out to be the nest and then returned to the ocean. David Brayton probed and at first did not find the nest. Buddy Lawrence suggested probing close to a log in the nest area and the nest was found. There were 87 eggs in a very shallow nest. The nest was relocated to Zone 1 just about 300 feet north of the campground beach entrance. No other turtle activity to report. Good Luck to Wednesday's Team.


Nests #49 and #50

By programgr on July 6, 2008 4:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #49 was found today in Zone 2. Prober Roberta Gunderson found the nest, and her team helped relocate 80 eggs just behind its original location. Nest #50 was found in Zone 5 where Cabins 9 and 10 used to be. Probers Karen Whitehead and Ronnie Stewart located the nest, and the rest of their team relocated 122 eggs to Zone 4.
Good job, Sunday turtlers!


Nest #48D

By kathleen on July 5, 2008 9:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

This morning's crawl was located in Zone 4, just before the marker separating Zones 4 & 5. We were so close to seeing her leave the beach that we could still see her exiting tracks in the wet sand of the incoming tide. She is a very smart momma, she worked really hard to make it deep into the dunes to lay her eggs so there was no need to probe them. Way to go mom! Give those babies a safe place to develop.


Happy 4th of July

By kathleen on July 4, 2008 10:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 4th of July started off with a real bang. We had three nests today and a possible false crawl. The first nest, Nest #45 was found in Zone 4, just to the right of the bathhouse. It had a total of 142 eggs. Next in Zone 2, Nest #46, between the campground entrance and the cut, with 101 eggs. Zone 5 had two crawls right next to each other, just after the marker separating Zones 4 and 5. One turtle was an over-zealous climber, making her way deep into the dunes. We were unable to locate a nest there, with the soft sand of the dunes making it difficult to find. The turtle that came up right next to this crawl, but later in the night, was easily located. This brought us to Nest #47. We relocated 113 eggs to Zone 4. A great way to start the holiday weekend.


A Big Thank You

By programgr on July 3, 2008 3:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today marks 50 days of turtle patrol for the 2008 nesting season. We have 43 more days to go. You guys are doing a great job out there! I wanted to thank each of you for your dedication to this worthwhile project!

To date, we have 44 nests, and looking each and every day for signs of our first emergence from Nest #1A, located in Zone 3 in front of the lighthouse. Morning patrol teams need to watch this one carefully! Also, Nest #2, located in Zone 4 has a 45-day hatch date of July 4 and Nest #3, located in Zone 1 has a 45-day hatch date of July 5. So everyone look out for signs of emerging nests!

Also, each group on morning patrol needs to check all nests in their zones for signs of predation. Again, thanks everyone for your help! I'll be relaying information soon regarding Evening Hatchling Walks.

In case you're interested #44 was my basketball jersey number throughout high school. I have a fondness for this number, and the story about Elizabeth, our 44th Mama turtle, brought tears to my eyes. My mother is currently in the hospital, struggling to conquer double knee replacement surgery and anemia. Elizabeth reminded me of her...strong, determined, and always thinking of her babies first. Thanks for the uplifting story!
-Wendy


Elizabeth, the Firecracker Turtle!!!

By vturtle on July 2, 2008 7:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Our Turtles are in the holiday spirit and just like fireworks, their nests are a display much to our delight! Wednesday's two nests brings our total to "44 " -- they were found in Zones 3 & 4. Zone 4 not only had a nest, but also a Turtle.

Elizabeth the Tired Turtle As Team B, Trudy Flanagan, Pat Leber and Norm George neared the south end of Zone four today, July 2, we noticed a single set of turtle tracks ahead. Before we could make a comment, Norm spotted the turtle sitting parallel to the water, facing us up in the wrack line. She must have just finished covering the nest and was resting. Slowly she used a flipper to turn to face the water and rested again. It seemed a great effort to raise herself up to start making her way to the water. We stayed about 20 feet away so we wouldn't spook her as she slowing started moving. We could clearly see the tears coming from her beautiful large eyes. Norm took many pictures for the approximately 10 minutes and two rest stops it took her to get into the water. She was about 18" high, at least 2 feet wide and about 3 feet long. The waves never moved her heavy body as she steadily made her way to sea.

We figured it should be easy to find the nest, right? We should be able to feel the moisture and heat from the freshly laid eggs. Oh. No! I probed the entire very large and angled body pit area and we even dug a spot that seemed a bit softer. But, nothing. If we hadn't seen how tired she was, we might have given up. But we really felt there must be a nest. We started to remove a layer of sand in most of the area and I finally found a very small soft spot, put a finger in and felt an egg way off to the side of where we expected the nest. Pat named the new mother Elizabeth and started to make a new nest a few feet further inland while Norm and I removed 162 eggs. Interesting: one egg was noticeably larger than all the rest. The eggs rested comfortably in their new nest as we covered them and put the plastic grid, posts and tape around the area.

To have met Elizabeth and seen her great effort made us appreciate even more how important is the work we do for the turtles.

Since my birthday was Monday, I consider this about the best present I could have gotten. She's the first turtle I have seen in person in the 12 or 13 years I have been in the program.
-Trudy


Manic Monday

By kathleen on July 1, 2008 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

It was a busy morning, we had a total of four crawls that were all nests. Two in Zone 4, Nest #39 with 99 eggs, Nest #40 with 115 eggs. Nest #41 in Zone 2 with 124 eggs, and Nest #42 in Zone 3 with 115 eggs. Craazzy man!


NO TURTLE TUESDAY

mary alice on July 1, 2008 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another beautiful day in Paradise, but....NO TURTLES!!!!! All 4 Tuesday teams had a great morning walk on the beach and gathered loads of trash. What we really wanted were turtle nests. Hopefully next Tuesday will be our lucky day. Meanwhile, GOOD LUCK TO WEDNESDAY'S TEAM.


Nest #38

By kathleen on June 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #38 was found today in Zone 6, it was relocated to Zone 4 with 114 eggs. We also had a false crawl in Zone 3, other than that it was a quiet morning.


Nest #37

By kathleen on June 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest #37 was found this morning with 113 eggs in Zone 3. We had a group of visitors with us, who got observe the process of finding and relocating a turtle nests. We were joined by Carolyn Westman's son and grandsons, along with Susan from the campground store. We also had a false crawl in Zone 3. Our false crawl total is 28.

New from our neighboring islands -
Pritchards Island has 12 nests and 80 false crawls
Fripp Island has 20 nests
Harbor Island has 11 nests and 5 false crawls


Nest #36

By kathleen on June 26, 2008 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest # 36 was found today with 120 eggs, located in Zone 3. We probed and probed and probed, with no luck, but we knew that their was a nest there. The crawl was picture perfect for a nest. So we called in the big guns, and Buddy found the nest in a matter of seconds. We relocated it to the dunes just behind the original location.


Turtlapalooza!

By kathleen on June 25, 2008 11:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

With the summer equinox now here, a beautiful action packed Wednesday was sure to follow.

This morning was a turtle nest festival. With four false crawls keeping zone one and two busy, I was thrilled to radio a classic crawl with all the right signs from the south end the island. Meanwhile, the gang from zone four was busy probing, then finding, then relocating a nest with eighty three eggs.

Our guests for the day were kids from the Haywood Community Collage on field trip, as well as the lovely grandkids of Allen and Carol and those of Bonnie and Ken. All of our helpers were extremely well behaved and eager to learn. Even Don was well behaved as he spearheaded a zone three Alpha team for reconaissance mission at the zone six nest.

With Ken steadfast at the probing stick, a nest of 128 eggs was found and carefully relocated to just north of The Tree.

Back at the other end of the island, the zone two team confirmed another nest above high tide lines and left it in situ. Once again the Wednesdays pulled it off with no loss of turtle eggs or people.

Photos will follow. Peace...over. roger that, Steve


"Tuesday Turtlers"

By mary alice on June 24, 2008 9:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

It was a beautiful sunrise. Great breeze and several false crawls, but no nesting today. Zone 1 had a very long, zigzaging, crisscrossing false crawl. Mama Turtle must have been spooked by something or just didn't like the location. Zone 2 had 2 false crawls. 1 of those most likely left Mama Turtle very frustrated but hopefully she will return tonight and surprise the Wednesday team.


Nest #32

By kathleen on June 24, 2008 9:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nest # 32 was found on Sunday in Zone 6. It was relocated to Zone 4 with 67 eggs.


Geez, What a Storm

By sticky turtle on June 22, 2008 12:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who knew that a storm hit so early on HI Satuday morning? I didn't... i was snug in my bed until the alarm chimed letting me know it was time to get up and get moving. The road on the drive out to HI was littered with debris, which tipped me off that a huge storm had hit. Indeed it had hit (and hard) between 4-5 am. But did a little old storm stop the momma turtles? Nope!

I was so happy to be able to get off work and come to my original day, but we were still short handed. Where'd all the people go?

When we walked onto the beach we knew we were going to have a tough time locating a nest because we thought all of the tracks would have been washed away by the rain. It was tough, but we did manage to locate one of the day's two nests in zone 4. After many minutes of probing, Buddy came to the rescue once again and found the nest for us. We relocated it only a few feet away, and because it was my first nest of this season I was very excited. :)

I can't wait until next week... hopefully we'll have more nests! Good luck to everyone this week during your days.

Pictures courtesy of Rob Confare:
digging up the nest
digging the new nest
until next time!
-Jess


Nests #30 & #31

By kathleen on June 21, 2008 8:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We had two nests today, one in Zone 4 and one in Zone 3. No false crawls. The nest in Zone 3, Nest #30, had 127 eggs, and was relocated above the wrack. The nest in Zone 4, Nest #31, had 106 eggs.


Stats & Clarification for Tuesday

By kathleen on June 20, 2008 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hunting Island 29 nests
Pritchards Island 11 nests
Fripp Island 16 nests

On Tuesday morning, the apparent false crawls that came up around an already staked nest were very misleading. The nest was discovered by a Hunting Island night ranger at 11:30 pm on Monday night. He was lucky enough to come upon the turtle laying her eggs, so he knew exactly where the nest was located. The night ranger was the person who covered the nests. So the false crawls on either side were actually the ingoing and outgoing tracks for that nest. If it had not been for the wonderful luck of the Night Ranger to come upon his first turtle, and witness the miracle of a nest, laying eggs, and returning to the sea process, I am quite confident that our volunteers would have found it the next morning.


Leatherback Turtle

kathleen on June 19, 2008 1:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A leatherback turtle graced our neighbor, Pritchards Island, with a visit. The group working that island patrol the beach at night and came up upon her nesting. She decided not to lay any eggs, but was still a very impressive sight. They were kind enough to share the pictures with us.


Nest #28 & #29

By kathleen on June 19, 2008 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A little late, but was unable to get to a computer on Tuesday. We had two nests and two false crawls; one of each in Zone 5, and one of each in Zone 3


Another beautiful day in paradise, but no nests

By cheryl on June 18, 2008 4:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mini false crawl Zone 1. False Crawl #2 in Zone 2. Our Master Prober could not locate a nest.


Wacky Quiet Wednesday!

By vturtle on June 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

This is not what we wanted to report, but unlike all our other Wednesdays, this one was not wacky but quiet. The highlight was hearing that Team Tuesday, did have TWO nests, bringing our total to "29". We did have two crawls in Zone 2, so maybe Thursday's Team will have it all!
vturtle


Nests #21-#27!!!

By programgr on June 16, 2008 9:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What a difference a weekend makes! We had two nests and a false crawl on Saturday, 4 nests on Sunday and one nest this morning. Nest #21 was found in Zone 5, and 125 egga were relocated to Zone 4. Nest #22 was found in Zone 3, and 79 eggs were relocated to higher dunes. On Sunday, three nests were found in Zone 4 and one in Zone 3. Nest #23 had 89 eggs, Nest #24 had 90, Nest #25 had 122 eggs and Nest# 26 had 126 eggs. They were all relocated. Today's nest, #27 was found in Zone 4. Buddy probed and Merlin relocated 103 eggs.

To date, we have:
Zone 1...2 nests
Zone 2...2 nests, 1 false crawl
Zone 3...8 nests, 3 false crawls
Zone 4...15 nests (5 true), 2 false crawls
Zone 5...8 false crawls
Zone 6...2 false crawls
Great job everyone!!!


Nests #23, #24, #25, and #26

By laurel on June 16, 2008 8:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Were all found on Sunday! Saturday night must have been the ideal conditions for turtle activity, a nice (low) high tide compared to the tides we saw the beginning of the weekend. We started the morning with 1, possibly a total of 3 nests reported on the radio with Zones 3 and 4 investingating crawls along the beach. While the initial 3 nests were found and relocating activity was going on, Buddy found the fourth nest that was bordering Zone 4, almost in Zone 5. And we got all nests relocated by 9am! Nest #23 had 110 eggs, #24 had 90 eggs, #25 had 122, and $26 had 126 eggs! Nest #23 was in Zone 3, and it was an unbelievably busy morning for Zone 4, where the other 3 nests were located. Thanks to Zone 3 for all your hard work relocating a nest, while picking up a lot of trash and covering part of Zone 2. Special thanks to Bruce's team, and especially to Bruce for all his hard work - he apparently was partying along with the turtles Saturday night! And hang in there Connie, Sarah, Diane, Shandaloves, Wrights, and Roberta you are bound to see a nest soon!


Party Girls are Back!!

By vturtle on June 14, 2008 2:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nests #21 & # 22 for Hunting Island today and Nest # 3 for Coffin Point!! Over the past few seasons, we have often referred to our nesting Turtles as Party Girls. During those seasons, the weekends always seemed to have the most Turtle activity. Well to our Saturday team's delight, after a slow first few weeks, they had multiple false crawls and multiple nests today! The weekend nesting is picking up and the Party Girls are back.
vturtle


Running totals

By kathleen on June 13, 2008 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Location Number of Nests Number of False Crawls Hunting Island 20 15 Pritchards Island 09 40 Harbor Island 05 04 Fripp Island 12 Sullivan Island 10 Edisto Beach (as of May) 08 Cape Island (as of May) 124 Bull Island (as of May) 14 Lighthouse Island (as of May) 23 Folly Beach (as of May) 09 Hilton Head (as of May) 18 07 Hunting Island (June 14, 2007) 19 ------- one more than last year


Nest Data Sheet

By programgr on June 13, 2008 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Attached is our Nest Data Spreadsheet with info about our 20 nests and 15 false crawls. Coming soon...info about Night Hatching Walks. 2008 Nest Data Sheet.xls


Moving around

By sticky turtle on June 12, 2008 10:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Hey y'all. My work schedule at Palm and Moon Bagel Company has been pretty hectic lately. My boss has been scheduling me on Saturday mornings at their Bluffton location, despite the fact I've asked for those days off :( So don't be surprised if I randomly pop up on your morning patrol one day. I will be trying to volunteer as often as possible on my mornings off. I am so so sorry to my Saturday group and my day leader. Hopefully, you will be able to fill the hole in my group. Hope to see everyone out on the beach soon! -Jess


A Little Crawl?

By alan_carol on June 12, 2008 1:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) While found no nests nor Loggerhead crawls were found in Zone 1 on June 11, we did find these tracks of what appeared to be a smaller turtle around the northern tip of the Island on Johnson Creek. This crawl (approx. 8" wide) exited from the water, zigzagged to the top of a the tall dune and back down. Belly slide marks were apparent only on the way back down. Can anyone identify these? (we couldn't) Another one for wacky Wednesday!


Turtles Everywhere!

By vturtle on June 12, 2008 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Wacky Wednesday is holding true to its name! We had Turtles on the beach(s), Turtles on the road and in the creek -- if Turtles could fly, they would have been in the air!! For starters we found Nest #20. This was followed up with a second potential nest -- perfect crawl and many of the correct field signs, but the egg chamber eluded all of our expert Probers. We are going to be keeping a watchful eye on this site, our Turtle gals have tricked us before. On the way out of the Park; right in the middle of the road, you guessed it, a Turtle of a smaller variety. Since Turtles are very slow on land ( and this one, wanted to play the waiting game ), it required a little human assist. As I reached my home driveway, a neighbor appeared with news of a crawl on the Coffin Point beach. This makes Nest #2, and we also have an earlier crawl that is a potential nest. It was a busy day for all our nesters, as there was a call from the Lands End neighborhood, reporting a crawl also. Having spent most of the day with Turtles nests, my husband and I went for a short boat ride in our creek, you guessed it, a Loggerhead Turtle in the water and right in front of our boat. What a treat!!! So keep your eyes open, Turtles are everywhere. ( One note of caution, be alert and slow down, the Turtles say THANKS! ) vturtle


Nest Update and Stats

By programgr on June 10, 2008 2:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Okay, to date we have 19 nests! So far, we've relocated 1,718 eggs. But, remember two nests were left In Situ. We've counted only 4 eggs that were initially lost, and have only lost 3 to probing. Nest #9 is the only nest that raccoons have sucessfully disturbed. And, unfortunately, we lost a total of 21 eggs at that site. We have 2 nests in Zone 1 (#3 and #6); 2 nests and 1 false crawl in Zone 2 (#4 and #15B); 5 nests in Zone 3 (#1A, #5, #8, #12, and #13); 3 true nests, 7 relocated nests and 1 false crawl in Zone 4 (#2, #7, #9, #10, #11, #14, #16, #17, #18 and #19); 5 false crawls and 4 original nest sites in Zone 5 and 1 false crawl and 3 original nest sites in Zone 6. What a June so far! Keep up the good work volunteers! You are a true asset to Hunting Island's Turtle Conservation Project! Thanks-Wendy


Nest #19

By programgr on June 10, 2008 1:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Monday's group had two nests, the second found in Zone 6. 69 eggs were relocated after the classic crawl and body pit were found by Denise. I'm in the process of developing some up-to-date stats. Look for another blog shortly!


Nest #18

By programgr on June 10, 2008 1:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) The Millers and the Redferns found Nest #18 in Zone 5 on Monday, June 9. One egg was already broken, and 88 were relocated to Zone 4.


Nest #17

By programgr on June 10, 2008 1:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) This is a very interesting nest to report. Nest #17 was found in Zone 4, but only 22 eggs were found and relocated. And, of those 22, 6 were undeveloped. The low number is odd. What do ya'll think?


Turtle #16

By kathleen on June 7, 2008 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Nest #16 was found in Zone 5 by the yellow cabin. It was relocated to Zone 4. This is the first nest for Saturday's group of volunteers this season. We also had some new volunteers for whom this was their first nest ever!!!! Congratulations!


Turtle-palooza

By kathleen on June 6, 2008 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Here is the running total for three of the barrier islands Fripp Island = 8 nests (as of last Friday) Pritchards Island = 4 nests (as of Wednesday) Hunting Island = ????? The last two days have been extremely busy, with lots of mommas coming ashore. We had two false crawls in Zone 5, and two more in Zone 2 on Thursday. Here is a picture of a group of Thursday's volunteers relocating a nest found in Zone 4. This group of girls stuck it out to relocate another nest found in Zone 3. This mother must have been in a big hurry, because she laid her nest very shallow. Later Thursday night, 9:30 pm, another turtle came up in Zone 2, right between the two false crawls from earlier, and laid her eggs to a crowd of campers. We also found a dead loggerhead in the grass on the south side of the lagoon bridge. Here are a couple links to some pics. View image and View image. Today wasn't as busy as yesterday. We found two nests. Here is a picture of our volunteers doing an excellent job in Zone 3. The second nest was found in Zone 6. The second nest was relocated to Zone 4. Also, if you are interested, the zone with the most activity is Zone 5 followed by Zone 3, then by Zone 2, and Zones 1, 4, & 6 are tied for last. In case you haven't been able to keep count this brings Hunting Island's total to a unbelievable amount of ...... 15!!! WAHOO!!!


Our Loggerhead Project vs the coast

By vturtle on June 5, 2008 1:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) We are off to a great start here at Hunting Island. The following chart is based on nests reported as of May 31st -- we currently are at 10 Nest! Based on data from previous years, this could be a monumental year! Beach May June July August 2005 2006 2007 Waties Island 1 ND ND 17 North Myrtle Beach 0 ND ND ND Myrtle Beach 0 ND ND ND Myrtle Beach SP 0 3 0 2 Huntington Beach SP 0 5 14 5 SCUTE 4 62 80 68 South Island 23 122 102 83 Cape Island 124 826 1027 531 Lighthouse Island 23 232 195 178 Bull Island 14 ND ND 116 Dewees Island 1 9 21 7 IOP/Sullivan's Island 3 56 15 26 Folly Beach 9 37 51 20 Kiawah Island 33 154 201 85 Seabrook Island 8 51 64 16 Botany Islands 38 219 214 112 Edingsville 7 73 90 57 Edisto Beach SP 6 94 71 66 Town of Edisto Beach 2 88 50 66 Harbor Island 2 39 28 18 Hunting Island SP 5 90 62 64 Fripp Island 5 40 31 14 Pritchard's Island 3 71 66 26 St. Phillips Island 4 ND ND 7 Hilton Head Island 18 163 186 112 Daufuskie Island 4 ND ND 19 vturtle


The Wednesday's #9 and #10

By programgr on June 4, 2008 4:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Wednesdays have been big. Today proved to be another nesting date for June Mother Loggerheads. After a May marathon false crawl, a turtle came back to the south tip for yet another curious crawl with three possible nest locations. We put together an all star zone 6 Omega team to truck down to the end of the island. With a considerable probing effort, the likes of Karen, Viv, Buddy, Bob, Bonnie, CJ, IPJ,Frank (sorry to leave out the others) found 120 eggs. With flooding imminent, the eggs were hand carried, then pro-hauled, then hand carried, then pro-hauled safe and sound over rough terrain to the north end of zone 5, near The Tree. ......Meanwhile with a very clear body pit sighted and those tracks we all know and love, careful probing revealed another nest at the borderline between zone 4 and 5. Also in danger of flooding by a high spring tide, Trudy, Pat, and Laura were able to relocate a nest of 115 eggs to safe ground also near The Tree! Two other crawls were also made this morning. Close examination and even probing proved to be false crawls. Oddly, all zone 5. So there you have it. Nest 9 and 10 are close to each other near the border tree arriving Wednesday June 4. I am pleased to say zero of 235 eggs were lost or broken. Peace. Steve


June 4 -What a Morning!

By cheryl on June 4, 2008 4:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Two nests were found today! I am on the "A" team and we (of course, Buddy actually found it)helped Steve with the one in Zone 6. Access was very tricky due to the high tide, but we finally got there. 120 eggs were relocated to Zone 5. Here are some photos:


Turtles are off the coast

By kathleen on June 3, 2008 9:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) What is that that I see? Turtle tracks, yipee! Awww, she only came up for a visit,something must have frightened her away. Hopefully she'll come back soon.


Weekend pics.

By kathleen on June 3, 2008 8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Here are the pictures for the nests for the past weekends This is the group that found Nest #6 in zone 1 on the first of the month. Had a total of 91 eggs. Nest #8 located in Zone 4 on June 2nd. Nest #7 was located in Zone 5, and was relocated by Buddy later in the morning on June 1st.


Nest #'s 6, 7, & 8

By programgr on June 2, 2008 4:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Well, June has indeed arrived, and our turtles are finally coming ashore in larger numbers! Sunday's group found Nest #6 in Zone 1. The tide covered all of Zone 5 making it impossible for Denise to patrol. But, a ranger later informed staff that a crawl was located in Zone 5, well after morning patrol. Buddy probed and found Nest # 7 in Zone 5. 101 eggs were relocated to Zone 4. Yeah Buddy! And today, Monday's group found Nest #8 in Zone 3 and relocated 95 eggs. We have pictures of all the nests, and will post them tomorrow. Good job Sunday and Monday teams!


Nest #6

By laurel on June 2, 2008 8:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Another nest for Hunting Island and Sunday's group was found, kicking off the month of June! Nest 6 was found in zone 1, very close to the border of zone 2. The nest was relocated to a safe spot on a sand dune. The nest had 91 eggs and was found and relocated by the joint efforts of the groups in zones one and two. Thanks for all the hard work goes to Bruce Wager and friend, Vicki Fraser, Ronnie Stewart, Donna Rhoten, and Morag Gibson! And thanks to zone 3 the Shandaloves and Wright family for picking up a lot of trash from Saturdays beachgoers!


Sad day

By kathleen on May 30, 2008 8:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Today was a sad day for Friends of Hunting Island Volunteers. We found a dead Kemp's Ridley in Zone 4, just past the bath house. It managed to crawl up onto the beach, past the high tide mark, before passing. If you are interested in more information on the Kemp's Ridley please click on the link below. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/kempsridley.htm Other information from today, our pesky racoon preditors are really intelligent critters. The nest in Zone 4, which we tried to disguise by covering it with wrack, was under attack last night. The racoons were unsuccesful in reaching the nest, but not for a lack of trying.


Turtles are Checking Out Other Beaches!

By vturtle on May 29, 2008 3:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) No new nesting activity reported today from our Hunting Island project, but the Turtles are checking out the other beaches. Today I was able to identify nest #1 in Coffin Point. Dale Garrison, actually reported the crawl yesterday evening and too many hours had past since the clutch had been laid, that left no option for relocating to a safer location. As we all know, time is of the essence and nests need to be moved as soon as possible after laying -- once the yolk begins developing and attaches inside the egg, any movement could destroy the forming embryo. So this nest, with hundreds of others along our South Carolina coast, will be left to Mother Nature. We can only hope that over the next two months, the shore erosions will be minimal. That the tides will be gentle and low. That the natural predators will stay far away and the hatchlings will experience no obstructions. And most importantly, that you will renew your commitment to our Loggerhead Preservation Program -- the fate of tomorrows Turtles are in your helping hands. vturtle


Another Wacky Wednesday

By beachbonnie on May 28, 2008 2:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Our Momma turtles are sure doing some crazy crawls. When Ken and I came upon this morning's crawl in Zone 3 just South of the Lighthouse restroom in the area of the beach that had not been renourished we saw perfectly even length entry and exit tracks. Then momma decided to climb over a pile of rack and along a log zig zagging along the way. Next over the log she went with an absolute purpose in mind going into soft sand where she deposited her very large clutch. By the looks of her exit tracks she was still not tired as she threw sand around trying to get back over the log and back into the ocean. As usual they got a photo of my head in the relocated nest!


Nest #5

By programgr on May 28, 2008 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Well, Wednesday's group is happy indeed! They are two for two now! Nest #5 was probed and found today in Zone 3 by FOHI's "First Man," Ken Wright and relocated by Volunteers Ken and Bonnie Wright, Karen and Howard Whitehead, Vivian Wayne, Buddy Lawrence and staff member Steve Johnson. It had a very large clutch with 137 eggs! Good Job Wednesday Team! FYI...Tuessday's team found an injured Royal Tern on the beach yesterday. My husband took her to Dixie Stevenson, and it turns out her wing was not broken. The bird is stable and will be just fine. Thanks Tuesday group for all your help!


Plenty of Trash

By programgr on May 27, 2008 5:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Well, Tuesday's group didn't find a nest, but they did get quite a bit of trash. Tuesday's group picked up a total of 27 small bags of trash and 8 large (32-gallon I believe) bags, as well as two coolers filled with Memorial Day litter. Mama Karen was proud when she and her group arrived to find the beach neatly tidied! Thanks volunteers for a hard day patrolling-for turtles and debris! Keep up the good work!


Holiday Turtles missing?

By vturtle on May 26, 2008 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Still holding at 4 nests and wondering what happened to our Holiday Turtles! As I have said before, our Turtles and thoughts of them are never far away -- lots of nesting ahead for this group. My thoughts go back to last year and a Memorial Day that had it all! We not only had three nests that day ( bringing our year ago total to 8 ), but one very famous Turtle was on the beach. The Turtle that stayed on the beach to say "Hi", had been here several seasons ago. We have always thrilled to see her distinctive crawl, and how efficient she works with just a partial flipper -- she is a sweetheart and we have named her Stumpy. Since Turtles have a nesting cycle every two or three years, we won't be seeing Stumpy this season. But when it is a day, that we don't have any Turtle activity, it can be fun to let your thoughts drift back to Stumpy. vturtle


Memorial Day

By kathleen on May 26, 2008 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Correction: we have had activity in every zone, false crawls in zone 5 & 6, and nests in zones 1-4. The nest in zone 2 on Sunday was found in between the cut and the trees. So we need to be sure to check every area of all sections, turtles do not care about the difficulty for humans to reach the area, in fact it might be more desirable. No nest today, but our volunteers but in a busy morning, collecting a wopping 16 large bags of trash. Way to go team!!!!


Nest #4 Yes

By programgr on May 25, 2008 2:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Our Sunday leaders found our fourth nest today. The patrol group in Zone 2 located the nest; so, we now have nests in Zones 1-4. Let's root for the Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday teams this week. They haven't found nests yet, but it is still early. I'll have to keep my blogging to a minimum today, since it is Memorial Day weekend. They've closed the main gate already, so everyone is heading my way.


Nest #4

By laurel on May 25, 2008 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Yay! for Nest #4, Following a slow morning start (More than half the group was held up by the bridge open for shrimp boats, but no biggie) we found nest #4! Found on SUNDAY May 25 by by Donna Rhoten, Ronnie Stewart, Carol Butler, and Morag Gibson! 104 eggs were laid in zone 2 and relocated to a safer spot. You can find it off the southern part of the campground in the V of the sand fence. So now we have a nest laid in every Zone, we just need nests laid on every day! As soon as I figure out how to add the pictures, I have some good ones....Stay tuned for more turtle news from Sunday!


Shrimp Boats & Turtles - all part of the mix

By vturtle on May 24, 2008 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) It's official and the start of the shrimp season is here. What this means for us; if the tide is high in the mornings, the Harbor Island bridge may be opening for shrimp boats and delay your arrival time for morning patrols by a few minutes. And it never fails, it always seems to happen on a morning that you are running late anyway. Just incase, on high tide mornings, you may want to leave home a few minutes earlier. We do seem to be in a nesting lull, and that is not at all unusual. Our previous history shows that during many of our seasons, nesting activity stayed slow until late May and even early June. We have a lot of season ahead and patience is all part of the nesting process. In the meantime, those shrimp boats add to the splendor of the morning views -- get your cameras ready for award winning photo opts. vturtle


Lull in Activity

By kathleen on May 24, 2008 9:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Still no activity today; one must wonder if the shrimping boats are keeping the turtles out at sea. We did manage to pick up 2 bags of trash before the holiday weekend. I'm sure that will go up after Memorial Day. Maybe the turtles are taking the weekend off for the holiday. Well, happy turtling, Sunday's group. Holiday Weekend & maybe some holiday


TURTLES!

By vturtle on May 23, 2008 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Second day in a row and no nests, nor crawls -- I hope I don't have to say that again. Our sister Turtle project on Fripp, has 4 nests as of this morning. And they have noted that some of the nests have been very shallow, with one even having an exposed egg. Shallow nests sometimes are produced by either very old or very young Turtles -- both of these would not always have the flipper power to dig as deep***and then again, Mama Turtle may have just been in a hurry. So we are still at 3 nests and looking back to last year, we had 4 nests on this date. I think all our Turtle gals are waiting to come in on the holiday weekend. Hope you all have a safe and Turtle filled holiday!! vturtle


Sea Turtle Update

By vturtle on May 22, 2008 3:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) No nests, no crawls on our Hunting Island today. But as we all know, our thoughts and our Turtles are never far away. Here is an update from our Turtle Central at the South Carolina Acquarium. And our next nest, could be as soon as tomorrow's patrol! vturtle Spring temperatures and warming coastal waters bring sea turtles to the coast from their overwintering grounds. The first loggerhead nests have been laid along the South Carolina beaches and all of the turtle teams are gearing up for what will hopefully be a successful nesting season. Unfortunately, as nesting season ramps up, so do sea turtle strandings along our coast. So far, 28 sea turtles have stranded in South Carolina. Of the 6 that stranded alive, only one sea turtle was actually well enough to survive. Patient update: The first patient of the 2008 season is a 130-pound juvenile loggerhead that was caught in the surf in North Litchfield on April 29th. The turtle initially presented in fairly healthy condition with low blood glucose. Fluids with dextrose were given as well as antibiotics. Once in a tank, the turtle swam constantly without resting and in tight circles during some of that time. These tight circling patterns indicate some sort of neurological problem and as soon as they were observed, Dr. Boylan, South Carolina Aquarium Veterinarian, treated the animal with an anti-inflammatory medication. After two days of this treatment, the turtle's behavior was normal with the animal resting on the bottom of the tank and changing directions in the water column when swimming. On the fourth day, "North Litchfield" started eating and is continuing to do well. He is actually quite aggressive when we have to give medicines, a behavior we like to see in our patients! Three patients overwintered in the Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium and are still being treated. "Murrell," the 70-pound juvenile loggerhead and "DeBordieu," the 305-pound adult female loggerhead, both have shell fractures and although these wounds are healing nicely, they do not heal quickly. We hope these animals will be ready for release by the end of the season but only time will tell. "Wadmalaw," the 7-pound Kemp's ridley sea turtle that suffered from hook and line injuries as well as a serious bone infection, is continuing to improve through physical therapy, extra sunlight for UV, calcium supplements and a healthy diet. Satellite tracking update: If you haven't seen the tracking maps lately, go to http://www.scaquarium.org/seaturtle/tracking.html to check them out...it is great fun! Two juvenile loggerheads released last season with satellite transmitters, "Lady Lisa" and "Stingray," both migrated south during the winter (to northern Florida and Georgia respectively) and both are on their way back to South Carolina where we hope to see them spend the summer. "Lady Lisa" is in fact just outside of Charleston, close to where she was caught by the SCDNR research vessel, the Lady Lisa, almost a year ago. The two adult male loggerheads, "Cape Romain" and "Edisto" headed north to overwinter just outside of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We find this very interesting because this area (specifically Onslow Bay) has been a popular overwintering ground for adult females that have been satellite tagged on South Carolina's coast. They seem to like the area because they aren't moving out! In just the last few days we haven't received location data for "Edisto" but I can assure you that I am still getting signals or "hits" from his transmitter. These hits don't show up on the maps because there is no location data attached. They tell me that he is still out there but no more. This is the same for "Lighthouse," who was released a year ago. If anyone has any questions, feel free to send them on. Other noteworthy items: One last item which I hope will be of interest to all of you. South Carolina ETV is getting ready to air a new documentary called "Carolina Stories: The Turtle Ladies of Charleston County". The film highlights some of the sea turtle conservation work that is taking place in South Carolina and will air on ETV Thursday, June 5th at 9 PM. A good bit of the footage comes from the Aquarium's Turtle Hospital and from the Isle of Palms. Be sure to set your recorders if you won't be home to watch it! Thank you all for your support in this program. Periodic updates are posted on the turtle hospital webpage and there you will find a link to Barbara Bergwerf's website with extensive photos of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Behind-the-scenes tours of the Turtle Hospital are currently scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm and group tours are available. Call the Aquarium at 843-720-1990 to make your reservation!


Nest #3

By programgr on May 21, 2008 2:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Congrats Wednesday group! After following Mama Turtle's crazy crawl all over North Beach, master probers Karen Whitehead and Gretchen Blickle, along with a dedicated search team found our third nest. And, they saw Mama Turtle exiting the beach to boot! On the opposite end of the island, we (Denise, Steve and I) followed a turtle maze around Zone 6 only to realize it was a false crawl. But, man, she was a Marathon Mama! So, we now have nests in Zones 1, 3 and 4. We're rooting for Thursday's group to find one in Zone 2. Again, I want to remind Thursday's group and the other days as well...Zone 2 will meet at the Campground Beach Access and walk south until you reach the cut. If it is passable, then, by all means, cross it and search for crawls until you can't walk any further. If it is not passable (usually within 3 hours of the high tide), then you may 10-42. On the days when a high tide is approaching, Zone 3 will walk the tree line and cover that small part of beach that Zone 2 couldn't get to. This will be explained in more detail again tomorrow. Great Job Wednesday team!


Nest #2

By programgr on May 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) I spoke with Denise last night over the phone. She was optimistic, but a little worried that we haven't had another nest yet. Well, I dreamed of a turtle on the beach last night, and lo and behold we had another nest today! The nest was found in Zone 4, seaward of the SHTL (Spring High Tide Line). Amy Scott was the prober who found the nest. Her group relocated the nest landward of the SHTL in Zone 4. I don't have the rotation list, so I'm not sure of the names in Amy's group; but, please feel free to comment to this blog and let us know who you are! Pictures are coming soon! Yeah Tuesday Group!


Saturday patrol

By sticky turtle on May 19, 2008 3:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) Geez, it is so hard to wake up in the morning, isn't it? Especially when it is the first morning of turtle patrol for the year. The beach was very chilly and calm. No turtle tracks, or turtles themselves for that matter. However, we did come upon a lot of dead jellyfish. Hm, thats pretty odd. We also got to see horseshoe crabs laying eggs... something i never would have guessed. All in all we were off the beach within an hour, a short little trek.... but at least we got to see the sunrise! (as we will get to do EVERY saturday, haha). hopefully next weeks blog will be a little bit more interesting, but for that to happen we need some turtles! until next time, -Jessy


Welcome New Turtle Bloggers!

By webwitch on May 19, 2008 8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) So far, we have entered eight new Users who can write entries in our Turtleblog, and you can see several messages from Park staff and Turtlepeople already. I am receiving notes from others who want to blog. Cool! Any of you may comment* on another person's entry, but if you want to join the Users and create notes to describe your day's patrol each week, or give a hint about Loggerheads and our beach, please email me at THIS ADDRESS or use the "Email the Webwitch" link at the foot of our regular website pages. *To add a comment to another entry, click the Comment link after the User's name.


Things seen on morning patrols

By programgr on May 16, 2008 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Hello everyone, no turtles yet, but some interesting things have been sighted in the last two days. On our first day out, a group of patrolers saw a large bird soaring around the trees by the lighthouse. Unable to identify it, I came back to the nature center and used our many resource books here to name this elusive bird. It was one of two types: 1) an osprey, some books say that ospreys are brown, while others say that they are brown, and I thought it was a little large to be an osprey. 2) a young bald eagle, to me, this seemed to be more likely. Some thought it might have been a turkey vulture, which size would have matched, except for the pattern of brown and white feathers on the underside of the wing span. Today, on our second patrol, the park employees rescued three stone crabs, one of which was a mommy with eggs, that were trapped in a crab trap that had washed up onto the beach in zone 4. For those who are interested in our adopt a beach status, on Thursday we collected 6 bags of trash off our beaches, and 1 bag of trash plus a beached crab trap today. Keep up the great work everyone and thank you for all your help. Kathleen


Turtles travel with a rain coat!

By vturtle on May 15, 2008 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Our Turtles normally are not that troubled with rain. Like we humans, when it is time to deliver they deliver. I have seen them crawl up on a rain soaked beach, with lightning all around and not waver even a second on their nesting mission. Just as a reminder, when we have storms, use common sense as to whether you should show up for patrols. If there is lightening, absolutely stay home -- our safety as well as the Turtles is always first. If it is just rain, then make your decision on what you are comfortable with. We all have different levels of tolerance and Wendy & her staff, understand that. Remember our Turtles have the Mailman ethic, NO TYPE OF WEATHER STOPS THEM!! vturtle


Nest #1

By programgr on May 13, 2008 5:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) We were fooled! The false crawl on Friday was actually a nest! Two staff members investigated the crawl and probed to no avail; but, our Master Turtle Volunteer, Buddy Lawrence probed a third time and found the nest over the weekend! Yeah Buddy! It is located in Zone 3 right in front of the Lighthouse. You can't miss it! A field specialist from DNR was here yesterday and confirmed that it should not be relocated. It is near the spring high tide line, but safe. This was a good first lesson. When in doubt, keep probing! We are now tied with Edingsville Beach to claim South Carolina's first Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest! Good job Buddy!


First False Crawl

By programgr on May 9, 2008 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) Kathleen Armstrong, our new staff member at the Nature Center patrolled the beach this morning and found our first false crawl of the season! Congratulations Kathleen. The crawl was in front of the lighthouse at the beginning of Zone 3. We'll keep a close eye on the zones tomorrow morning for sure!


Turtle Training Tonight

By webwitch on April 28, 2008 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) All 2008 Turtle teams will be training this evening at the Fripp Island Community Centre; 6:30 pm.


I just finished installing our Turtle Blog!

By webwitch on April 21, 2008 10:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) Welcome to the new Friends of Hunting Island 2008 Turtle Blog powered by Movable Type. This is the first post on our blog and was created for me automatically when I finished the installation process. But that is ok, because we will soon be creating posts of our own to document the Loggerhead Sea Turtle nesting season this year.


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