New Season Starting Soon

The 2017 Turtle Season is almost here!  Beginning May 1st, the Turtle Watch Morning Patrol will search Caswell Beach for any tracks left by a mother turtle who might be laying eggs.  If a nest is discovered, it will be marked and assigned a sequential number, starting with 1.

Hopefully 2017 will continue the trend of increasing number of nests as experienced in the previous 2 years!

2016 Summary

Recap of 2016 Season

  • 137 Crawls
    • 59 Nests
    • 78 False Crawls
  • Nests
    • 17 Relocated – 28.8%
      • 2 nests relocated from Southport (#2 & #50)
      • 8 nests from east end
    • 42 In Situ
  • Relocated Nests
    • 1831 eggs
    • 997 hatchlings
    • Nests 48, 49, & 50 were all relocated – 267 eggs lost from Hermine
  • 6413 egg shells counted
  • 1463 unhatched or pipped
  • 4458 emerged hatchlings – 69.5% emergence success
  • Overall 74.4% hatch success
  • 108.7 average eggs per nest
    • Range 61-177 eggs
    • 118 eggs was our most recurring number of eggs
  • Incubation Days
    • Average 52.3 Days
    • Range 44-65 Days
  • 35.7 Average crawl width
  • Volunteers
    • 69 Volunteers on our list
    • 61 Volunteers reporting time & travel
      • 4,040 Hours reported
      • 20,437 Miles driven


September 4, 2016

We are still having inventoried nest’s residue being dug up by either foxes or coyotes. Nothing new to report from us, but I just got a message from Oak Island that one of their nests hatched last night. It had been overwashed and it was at day 50.

Be positive – September 3, 2016

We went out early to assess and again with a plan. The beach looked very different this morning but is very populated again now.

Inventoried nests:
37 – 116 shells, 10 unhatched, 4 dead
38 – 107 shells, 10 unhatched/pipped dead, 1 live
40 – 93 shells, 25 pipped dead, 23 unhatched, 5 dead, 26 live
41 – 92 shells, 5 unhatched, 21 pipped dead, 27 live
42 – 78 shells, 7 unhatched/pipped dead, 5 live
44 – 94 shells, 28 unhatched/pipped dead, 3 dead, 34 live
Some inventories were on the scheduled date, some were before the storm urge and nest 37 was today.

Nests missing cages: 45, 46, 51, 52 & 53
Nests at public parking: 48, 49 & 50
Nests at east end by Baptist: 43, 54 & 55

All nest have been over washed and a couple look like they had standing water. Something that I have learned through my adventures in life is that if you have a negative person in the group, negativity spreads. If you have a disgruntled person in the group, nobody is happy anymore. As the leader of this group, I am choosing to be positive. We are not going to give up on any nest yet. The nests that have lost the cages, we still have a general or even good idea of where they are and we know from experience (nest 32) that it can still happen without a cage in place. We are trying to figure out a way to locate each nest as close as we can. We may end up putting green around an area as the day gets closer but every cage has green again today. I have pictures that I will share later. Remember that the overwash could add days to incubation.

Late afternoon report – September 2, 2016

Evening all.
I am the first to try to keep a positive outlook but this evening, it doesn’t look so great for our turtles. We stopped at Bob Spake to check on nest 45 and I didn’t actually see the nest. The saving factor is that it’s on a knoll…I think. The picture I’m sending is at the end of the walkway at Bob Spake. The 3 remaining nests at the public parking are all under water. We were not able to make it down to the east end because of the flooded road. We plan to check them all tomorrow on foot whenever the rain stops and will let you know what we find.

Results of Hermine
Results of Hermine

Nest #42 hatched – August 31, 2016

Boy what a rain last night.  I know some of you got soaked because I saw your empty cars as I was heading out.  Thank you for your dedication but just as a reminder, please do not be on the beach during lightning.  I love my turtles but I love you more.

Nest 42 hatched at the onset of the rain.  Team 5 counted 71 before they left for cover. Inventory Friday.

Nest 40 had a crevice this morning.  It was lightly over washed by the tide again but we are still hopeful.

Nest 41 looks like it may have hatched too but there were no tracks of course.  We will start a 5 day count, so Sunday inventory.

Inventory results for nest #39:  97 shells, 18 unhatched, 2 pipped dead, 1 dead and 37 live hatchlings.

And the best news of the day…Reece continues to improve. Probably not quite ready for release but looking good.

Reese is improving
Reese is improving