Tuesday, August 11

No new crawls or nests but some good news.

Nest 33 has been located.  Folks called late last night and told us there were eggs near nest 30 and we asked them to leave us a way to see them.  They had a nice circle with sticks all around.  Sure enough the eggs were right on the surface and looked nice and white.  We mounded the sand, put a cage over and marked the nest.  That is actually the second time eggs were on the surface since the storm. 

Nest 20 had a crab hole and about 4-5 hatchling tracks.  Some made it to the water but there was a dead hatchling several yards from the nest.  The hatchling looked fully developed and had no egg sac.  Green was dropped off and the team will start sitting.

Nest 18 had another crab hole and 61 looked like swiss cheese with 4 crab holes.

Monday, August 10

Nothing new today.  Crabs abound.

I have recorded 15 nests as lost and we have 34 still incubating.

I said currently lost because we don’t know the location close enough.  Our GPS method was not the best but we will have an accurate GPS locator before next season.  Some nests locations were pointed out by adoptees or the folks staying in the houses behind them.  They had been on the beach for several days looking at them.  I believe some marked lost did not wash out to sea and should be incubating (if any are incubating) but we can’t narrow down the location.

We could have another nest or 2 this week but then our laying season should be over.

Saturday, August 8

2 false crawls this morning. Looked like a big turtle with a 42” crawl tried to lay but couldn’t make it on top of the dune. Both crawls were between the lighthouse and 401 walkway. 
No more nests located. The crabs are having a hayday in the nests that were invaded. Of course we covered them with cages but that doesn’t stop the crabs. I think the sand is so wet and hard, the only place the crabs can dig in is where I’ve loosened it up for them

Friday, August 7

Well nest #63 today was safely placed way high in the dune near the Baptist walk over.  Her crawl was 34” and Jamie was lucky to have seen the crawl since she was dodging rain and storms on her walk.

There was a false crawl yesterday too right on the east side of the steps going onto the 200 walkway.

Status of nest:

I have a list by location and there are 5 nests at the east end that are probably gone, washed away.  I’m certain of the most eastern 2 but will try to look for the others when the sand dries some.  For those of you tracking, nests 27 & 19 have been marked as lost by tide/storm event.  37, 38 and 29 are the others to the east that are probably gone but not giving up on yet.  The other assigned nests that we have not located at all are nests 24 and 25

Some of the nests have been marked with a sign and no stakes.  Most of these are with the help of adoptees, vacationers or pictures and are marking the area the nest is located but the nest itself has not been determined.  Maybe after the sand dries we will find stakes or something. 

The nests that were dug up are being invaded by crabs now.  The sand is soooo wet!   Nest #18 was dug up by fox or something yesterday morning.  We counted 66 damaged eggs but there were still eggs in the nest.  There was a couple that had been punctured and you could see the hatchling moving so some are still alive down there or they were yesterday.

Our neighbors didn’t fair so well.  Oak Island only has 2 nests now, Holden has 4 nest left and Sunset Beach 2 nest incubating.

We have delivered green to nest 15, 16 and 17.  Nest 16 will be greening a big area but the other 2 had stakes in the ground.

I feel like I’m rambling.  Hope you are all doing okay.

Wednesday, August 5

We are still trying to verify nests.  Right now we have 30 nests left.  There are 17 nests that we haven’t located or are gone and I believe there’s some of each category.  Nest 15 is being greened tonight and nest 16 is still missing.  17 is located but not due green until next week.  Foxes located 3 nests for us during the night, nest 46 completely destroyed, nest 30 lost 76 eggs and nest 61 lost 25.   

While sad, we are much better off than our neighbors at Oak Island.  They have lost most of theirs.

Tuesday, August 4

First, is everyone okay?  If you need help, we can help each other.  Just reach out to team mates, team leaders or us and we can help or find help.  It would be nice to know that everyone is okay…maybe team leaders do a buddy check on your team and let us know.

What was I thinking!  WOW!  The dunes are gone.  We were able to locate about half of our nests and the sand is deep on some of the ones left.  We are working on a plan.

Monday, August 3

No new crawls or nests.

We had lots of activity during the night.  Visitors watched 33 hatchlings to the water at nest 14.  Nests 9, 11, 12 and 14 all had hatchlings emerge during the night.  Nest 13 hatched this morning with 93 hatchlings.  Because of the storm with high tide and rain, we excavated all nests that had hatchling activity. 

Inventory results:

Nest 9:   102 shells, 8 unhatched eggs and 1 live hatchling.

Nest 10: 46 shells, 30 unhatched eggs and 1 live hatchling

Nest 11:  105 shells, 7 unhatched, 2 pipped live, 2 dead and 25 live hatchlings

Nest 12:  102 shells, 5 unhatched, 14 pipped dead, 5 dead in the nest, 6 dead in the runway before excavation and 28 live hatchlings

Nest 13:   93 shells, 44 unhatched and 2 pipped dead

Nest 14:  91 shells, 39 unhatched eggs, 4 pipped dead and 57 live hatchlings  

I believe this should be about to the end of the nests that had all the rain.  Nest 15 & 16 should the last ones and maybe we will start see boils instead of trickles.  I expect the time to shorten somewhat too.  Everyone stay safe and let us know if you need anything

See you on the other side of the storm.

Sunday, August 2

No new crawls or nests.

Nest 11 had 1 hatchling emerge

Nest 8 had a few tracks

Nest 12 had 3 more in the evening

Nest 10 had 5 in the evening and a big crab hole this morning

Nest 8 inventory results: 70 shells, 20 unhatched eggs, 39 that didn’t fit any of the categories, 16 live hatchlings and a lot of other undistinguishable stuff.  This is the nest that we moved from Southport (143 eggs) and when we moved it, noted that the bottom of the nest was in standing water and 2 eggs were broken in the nest.  Also noted that the eggs felt really thin.  Now after incubation, they were really thin. When the embryo got big enough the egg shell split.  The nest was a mess.  The positive thing is…if we hadn’t moved it there would be none because it was already in water.  The team did have 21 hatchlings the first night, several during the night, 7 last night and 16 live hatchlings today.  I sent pictures to Matthew and Sarah.  He actually replied that SC had a nest in which most of the eggs were shell-less, just yolks and albumin.  DNA will tell us if they are related.  Always interesting.