2016 Turtle Season


  • CBTW’s 2023 Green Turtle Nest

    We at Caswell Beach Turtle Watch were very excited earlier this season when we suspected one of our new nests (#66) was a Green Turtle nest (see July 11 post).

    Our suspicions were correct! We were so excited to see the very first hatchling so that we could confirm the status of this nest!  It was a beautiful hatchling!!  Green Turtles have a very distinct markings. The turtles trickled out over a couple of days.  Then the King Tides arrived and the storm was approaching.  We were given permission by NCWRC to emergency excavate emerged nests early (we need this approval for any variance to their standard regulations), so we did so at almost dark on Monday night before the storm hit. 

    We were sad to find that not all of the hatchlings made it out of this special nest due to the heat.  Here is the story of our Green Turtle nest!

  • 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

  • All fairing well – September 2, 2016

    We went out this morning and then spot checked again this afternoon. Everything seems to be fairing well.

  • Nest #38 hatched – September 1, 2016

    September 1st! Time is marching on.

    Nest #38 hatched last night with 94 hatchlings making their way. One more this morning.

    Nest #40 had 3 emerge while the team was there. Big crab holes today.

    Nest #42 had crab holes.

    Another undiscovered nest at the Baptist point today. Nest #58 had 98 shells were counted.

  • 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

  • Nest #44 hatched during the night – August 30, 2016

    Nests 39 had 5 or 6 more hatchling tracks this morning.

    Nest 44 hatched during the night.

    Nest 40 looks as if the morning tide overwashed and had a big crab hole…not a very good combination.

    Inventory results for nest #35:  82 shells, 10 unhatched, 3 pipped dead and 17 live hatchlings.

    Nest 39 will be inventoried tonight.

  • Nest #35 & #39 appear to have had hatchlings emerge – August 29, 2016

    Nests 35 and 39 each appeared to have had a hatchling emerge. Nothing
    significantly different this morning, crab holes abound.

    Inventory results for nest #36: 99 shells, 27 unhatched and 1 live

    Nest 35 will be inventoried tonight.

  • Nest #39 hatched – August 28, 2016

    Evening report:

    Nest #39 hatched at about 9:15 last night. Just 45 days. Inventory Tuesday
    Nest #31 inventory results: 111 shells, 5 unhatched, 1 dead and 7 live

    Morning report:

    Nest 37 had a depression that was not there last night.
    Nest 55 had a small depression
    Nest 43 had a big hole
    Nest 41 had a big hole
    Nest 51 had a small depression
    Nest 39 hatched last night. There was a small depression more turtles might have come out but hard to tell because of the rain.
    Nest 34 There were tracks of 1 turtle further down the runway. This may have been left over from the previous day for there did not seem to be tracks inside the cage.
    Between nests 34 and 47 an animal had dug up an old nest and eggs were scattered everywhere. We gathered them up and filled the hole back in.
    Nest 40 had an indentation. There were two small crab holes inside the cage.
    Nest 44 still has a crack and now has a small indentation.
    Nest 42 had a crevice and an indentation.
    Nest 35 It appeared as if two turtles could have hatched last night. There was also a crab hole in the nest.

    Nest 36 inventory tonight.

    This year is proving to be unlike any other. The nests are hatching so
    early and we’ve had more trickle nests that I ever remember. We are
    definitely on the wind down but still have 18 unhatched nests to watch. We probably need to be sure the green is out at 45 days. The light rain could be causing some of the nests to look like they have a depression but we are sure we’ve had nests hatching between 45 and 50 days. Thank you for all your time and dedication. We could have a really busy week this week. Let us know if you need anything.

  • Nest #35 hatched – August 27, 2016

    The bugs won last night. I know several teams stayed out for a while and bless you for trying.

    Nest #35 hatched during the night. Inventory Monday.
    Nest #44 has a crack
    Nest #34 had one more emerge or could have been crab tracks
    Nest #39 has a crack
    Nest #46 you can see the hole has a little crack
    Nest #41 has a crevice
    Nest #43 the hole is outlined and dropped. We put the green around the cage.
    Nest #31 inventory tonight @7

    Be sure to check your upcoming nests. Green has been delivered up to #44
    but if you get to your nest and see you need more green or tools just let
    me know.

  • Nest #36 hatched – August 26, 2016

    Morning events:

    Nest #36 hatched during the night sometime before high tide at 48 days.
    Inventory Sunday.
    Nest #34 had one more emerge.
    Nest #39 has a hole and no green.
    Nest #41 has a little crack and started sinking and Nest #43 has the outline of the hole. Both of these were relocated nests.

    Last night:

    Nest #31 had one more hatchling emerge around 7:30
    Nest #32 inventory results: 90 shells, 2 unhatched, 1 spacer and 1 live
    Nest #33 inventory results: 115 shells, 2 unhatched, 2 pipped dead and 4 live hatchlings

    Be sure to check your upcoming nests. Green has been delivered up to #43
    but if you get to your nest and see you need more green or tools just let me know.

  • Nest #31 hatched last night – August 25, 2016

    Nest 31 hatched during the night. There were lots of tracks down to the high tide line.  Inventory Saturday.

    3 inventories last night:

    Nest 28: 110 shells, 6 pipped and 1 unhatched

    Nest 29: 113 shells, 15 unhatched, 10 pipped, 6 dead and 5 live

    Nest 34: 97 shells, 10 unhatched, 6 pipped, 4 live. 7 pipped live were returned to the nest per NCWRC guidelines.   This nest was relocated and first emergence was 44 days.  Looked like 4 more tracks this morning.

  • Nest #30 Inventory results – August 24, 2016

    No activity today.

    Nest 30 inventory results: 84 shells, 36 unhatched, 1 pipped, I dead and 1 live hatchling.

  • Nest #32 & 33 hatched – August 23, 2016

    Exciting news for Skip & Barb’s team 5. Nest #32 hatched during the night
    with lots of tracks. They accepted the challenge of greening a nest with no
    cage. They went by pictures sent to me from a couple of tourist and marked the nest. I’m attaching a picture. Thanks for hanging with me on this one…even though I felt like maybe I had 3 heads. Inventory Thursday. We did locate the nest, watched one hatchling to the water, and put a cage over the nest.

    Nest #33 hatched last night too around 8:30 with 104 hatchlings. Team 1
    finished with them just in time to see 2 more emerge from nest #34.

    Nest 30 had an indent again last night but no hatchlings

    Morning patrol:

    #35 had a crevice and crab tracks…probably all crab activity
    #32 was wonderful
    #36 had crab activity
    #30 a little crevice
    #34 had about 4 turtle tracks and a dead hatchling on top. We fought with the crab today.
    #29 had a few tracks
    #28 had 1 more emerge

    Picture from hatching at nest #32
    Picture from hatching at nest #32

  • Nest #28 hatched – August 22, 2016

    Nest 28 hatched about 9:30 last night with 87 turtles swimming off to sea.
    Inventory Wednesday.

    Nest 34 had one more hatchling emerge while the team was there last night. The dastardly crab was back this morning and a hatchling had succumbed to his claws.

    Nest 29 had crab holes too.

  • Nest #30 hatched – August 21, 2016

    Nests 30 & 34 had crab holes but nothing else to report.

    Nest 30 hatched around 10 last night between the storms. Inventory Tuesday.

  • Nest 29 & 34 hatched – August 20, 2016
    Nest 29 had a couple of hatchlings emerge during the night. We are calling it first emergence and counting 5 days.
    Nest 34 had 38 hatchlings emerge last night at just 44 days. We are starting a 5 day count on this nest as well.  44 days is just so early!!
    Thursday nights inventory of nest 27 results:
    12 unhatched, 3 pipped, 4 live, 91 shells
  • Interesting activity today – August 19, 2016

    Nest 29 had a slight crevice.

    Nest 31 had the outline of the hole.  Team JaLu, otherwise known as Lucy and Janet, is the only currently active nest west of the public parking. Nest 34 had a huge crab that had made hay day in the sand.  He dug all over but morning patrol took him away.

    It’s been an interesting couple of days for Jamie around the eastern point. Yesterday, hatchling tracks were all across the sand.  She located the nest but a fox or coyote had dug in it.  She retrieved 2 live hatchling and watched them to the water.  Yesterday evening we went back with her to either protect or inventory.  The nest had fully hatched and inventory results for Nest #56:  105 shells, 3 pipped dead, 6 unhatched, 1 dead and 1 live.

    Today, animals uncovered another unmarked nest out there.  Inventory results for Nest #57: 110 shells, no dead or alive hatchlings.

    So much of the beach has eroded around the end and there were many days that the tide was too high to drive around.  Tom Adams walked at the beginning of the season and then after the 4th of July, Jamie started walking but we had several weeks that we just did not patrol.

  • No activity – August 18, 2016

    No new activity

    Nest 27 had a couple more emerge after 10:00 last night.  Inventory today @7:30

  • No new nests or crawls – August 17, 2015

    No activity this morning.

    Nest 27 had 6 more emerge last night.    Inventory will be Thursday at 7:30.

  • Nest #27 hatched – August 16, 2016

    No activity this morning.

    Nest 27 hatched last night.  73 emerged around 10:00 and 3 more about 11:00 and it was just 47 days.  I really don’t know what to think.  Green has been delivered up to nest 37 so check your nests.

    Inventories last night

    Nest 21  – 123 shells, 11 unhatched, 3 dead and 5 live
    Nest 23  –  101 shells, 30 unhatched

  • No new nests or crawls – August 15, 2016

    No activity this morning.

    Nest 21 and 23 both looked as if a hatchling had emerged. Inventories will
    be tonight starting at 7:30 @ 21.

    Nest 26 inventory results:

    23 unhatched
    6 pipped
    2 dead
    100 shells

  • No new nests or crawls – August 14, 2016

    No new nests or crawls.

    Nest 21 was sunken in a little.  Nest 23 had one more turtle emerge. Inventories will be Monday starting at 7:30 @ 21.

    Nest 26 had a dead hatchling on top.  Inventory tonight at 7:00.

    Nest 27 had a big hole at just 46 days.

    Nest 25’s inventory results:

    16 live
    23 unhatched
    2 pipped/dead
    114 shells

    2016-08-14_image1 (1)
    Nest #21

    Nest #23
    Nest #23

  • Nest #21 hatched – August 13, 2016

    No new activity.

    From Team 1:  Lots of action Friday night.  After several long nights of monitoring, we watched nest 21 boil–day 54–at 9:45 with 114 hatchlings.   After finishing at nest 21, we hurried to nest 23 to discover it had caved in—day 53.  It boiled with 99  hatchlings at about 11:40.  Those 99 hatchlings slept at the top of the nest for a while but once in the runway they were the fastest I have ever seen.  They were down that long runway and into the water in five minutes.

    Nest 24 inventory results last night:  92 shells, 5 unhatched and 1 live

    Nest 25 inventory tonight at 7:00

    Morning patrol watched this little guy swim away from nest 21 this morning.

    Nest #21 hatching



  • Nest #26 Hatched – August 12, 2016

    No new activity.

    Nests 24 inventory tonight at 7:00

    Nest 25 had a couple more turtles emerge during the night.  Inventory Saturday at 7:00.

    Nest 26 hatched during the night, got sprinkled on then a couple more came out. That was just 48 days.  Inventory Sunday.

    Other creatures I countered today:  1- a dog on the beach tried to hitch a ride and  2- a lady told us that she had used the broom on the nest at Barbee (OKI) to shoo away a possum.  We checked because we were close and no harm done.


  • Nest #25 Hatched – August 11, 2016

    No false crawls, no new nests.

    Nests 24 had more turtles hatch last night.  We swept inside the cage and a short distance on the runway.  Inventory Friday at 7:00.

    Nest 25 had 21 turtles emerge at 8:30, 57 more at 9:00 for a total of 78 with many excited visitors.  More turtles emerge after initial hatch.  There were tracks in the runway over the hatch number and there were tracks inside the cage. We swept inside the cage and a short distance on the runway. Inventory Saturday at 7:00.

    Nest #19 inventory results: 46 shells, 58 unhatched, 7 pipped.

    Nest #22 inventory results: 123 shells, 14 unhatched, 8 pipped and 12 live hatchlings.

  • Nest #24 Hatched – August 10, 2016

    No new activity.

    Nest #24 hatched at 9:02 last night and at 9:18 we were talking about how fast those 87 hatchlings made it to the water.  Hatched at 50 days. The inventory will be Friday.

    Nest #22 had several more during the night and one in the runway this morning.  Inventory is tonight at 7:00pm.

    Nest #19 will be inventoried tonight at 7:00pm.

    This was near nests 22 & 24 last night and another one near the pier this morning.

    Visitor to nests #22 & #24
    Visitor to nests #22 & #24

  • Watched hatchling swim off – August 9, 2016

    No new activity.

    Nest #22 had more tracks this morning and we watched one hatchling swim off into the wild blue sea.  Inventory Wednesday at 7:00.

  • Nest #19 & Nest #22 hatchlings emerge – August 8, 2016

    No new activity.

    Nest #19 had 2 more hatchling tracks this morning.  Inventory Wednesday or Thursday depending on how many more emerge.

    Nest #22 hatched sometime after midnight at just 49 days.  Inventory Wednesday.

  • Nest #19 hatched – August 7, 2016

    Nest #19 had 23 hatchlings emerge last night around 9:00 and looks like 3 more after the team left.  Holes were covered this morning but we left the tracks.

    Nest #19 tracks
    Nest #19 tracks

  • Nest #20 Inventoried – August 6, 2016

    Nest #20 was inventoried last night.  101 shells, 23 unhatched/pipped, 98 live hatchlings.


  • Nest #55 – August 5, 2016

    Nest #55 was relocated from the east end to marker 55.2.  She had a 31” crawl and we relocated 60 eggs.  A coyote had chased a deer across the nest.

    Nest #20 hatched during the storm Tuesday night. Inventory will be tonight at 6:30.

    Nest #55

    Nest #55
    footprints of Coyote chasing a deer

    Nest #55 relocated
    Nest #55 relocated

  • No new nests – August 4, 2016

    No new activity today, however we have had overwashes at nests 30, 38, 47, 51 and 53.

    Inventories last night:

    Nest #16:
    110 shells
    4 unhatched—2 pink, 2 normal
    2 dead hatchlings
    12 live hatchings

    Nest# 18
    80 shells
    8 unhatched/pipped
    17 live hatchlings

  • No new nests – August 3, 2016

    No new nest activity.

    Nests #30 and #47 were over washed.
    Nest #20 had a crevice.

    Inventory results for nest #15:
    81 unhatched, 95 shells, 1 dead and 4 live hatchlings
    That’s a lot of eggs, 176 plus 1 for DNA.

  • No new nests today – August 2, 2016

    No new activity today.

    Nest #16 had a dead hatchling outside the cage

    Nest #17 had 3 hatchlings before the Lightning last night but looks like a bunch more during the night.

    Nest #10 inventory: 101 unhatched pink eggs, 26 shells

  • Nest #54 – August 1, 2016

    Nest #54 today, relocated from the east end to marker 55.1.  We moved 114 eggs from a 35 inch crawl.

    Nest #16 had 79 hatchlings emerge about 9:20 and went straight to the sea.  Inventory Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

    Nest #15 had 17 more hatchlings last night and a few tracks this morning.

    Nest #18 had 2 hatchlings emerge one at a time in a FOREVER time span.

    Nest #38 was over washed last evening.

    Yesterday’s inventories:

    Nest #14 – 116 unhatched pink eggs, 7 shells and 1 live hatchling
    Nest #17 – 88 shells, 5 unhatched and 6 live hatchlings

    Inventory schedule:
    (Storms and rain are in the forecast this week.  No one should be on the beach when there’s lightning.  The shows goes on with a little rain. Use your best judgement)

    Nest #10 Monday – 7:00
    Nest #15 Tuesday – 7:00
    Nest #18 Wednesday – 7:30
    Nest #16 Wednesday – 8:00

  • Busy Morning – July 31, 2016

    Morning patrol had quite a variety this morning. One 36″ false crawl under, at, through and around the pier.

    Watched one hatchling into the water at nest #18.  Tourist had already watched 6 before patrol got there.  Today will be first emergence for #18.

    One turtle carcass in front of the villas.

    Nest #15 had 51 turtles emerge before dark last night and this morning had a depression and quite a few crab tracks.

    Nothing at #10 and #14.

    Inventory schedule: (Storms and rain are in the forecast this week.  No one should be on the beach when there’s lightning.  The shows goes on with a little rain. Use your best judgement)

    Nest #14 Sunday – 7:00
    Nest #10 Monday – 7:00
    Nest #15 Tuesday – 7:00
    Nest #17 Sunday – 7:30

    false crawl at the pier
    false crawl at the pier

    On the way to the water
    On the way to the water

  • No new Nests – July 30, 2016

    No new nest activity.

    Nests #10, #14 and #17 had more hatchlings last night.  Team 4 watched 9 hatchlings emerge one at a time for several hours and a couple more tracks in the runway this morning at nest #10.  Hatchlings from #14 and #17 waited until everyone was gone.

    Nests #16 and #18 both have crevices, depression, indentations, or sinking places…call it whatever, but there’s turtle movement down under.

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #14 Sunday –
    Nest #10 Monday –
    Nest #15 Monday or Tuesday
    Nest #17 Sunday


  • Nest #17 Boiled over night – July 29, 2016

    Nest #15 had one hatchling around 9:00. First emergence and will wait the 5 day unless we have a boil tonight.

    Nest #17 had about 4 hatchlings with people watching but boiled during the night. Inventory will be Sunday.

    Nest #14 had two more hatchlings emerge at 10:30 and 12:00.

    Green was delivered to nests up to #25.  Betty donated some tools that were spread out amongst the nests. Thanks you Betty.

    It is hot out there!  I hope everybody is drinking lots of water.  The nests are hatching sooner.  We probably need to start putting the green out at day 50.  I will work on the rest of the nest assignments and try to send it out today.

    Inventories results from last night:

    Nest #13: 86 shells, 17 unhatched, 1 hatchling and lots of people
    Nest #4: 60 shells, 10 unhatched, 1 live and 1dead hatchling
    Nest #12: 103 shells, 4 unhatched, 4 live and one spacer egg
    Nest # 5: 88 shell, 7 unhatched
    Nest #11: 75 shells, 8 unhatched, 2 pipped, 18 live hatchlings

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #14 Sunday –
    Nest #10 Monday –
    Nest #15 Monday or Tuesday
    Nest #17 Sunday

  • Nest #15 & #17 have depressions – July 28, 2016

    No new activity

    Nest #11 had two hatchling tracks, and Nest #15 and #17 both have depressions.

    Green was delivered to #17, #18 and #19.  We are short on tools but should have more after tonight’s inventories.

    Nest #10 had 2 turtles emerge around 9:30 and 7 more at 11:00.  We will call it first emergence but wait 5 days for inventory unless there’s a boil tonight.

    Inventories results from last night:

    Nest #6: 89 shells, 7 unhatched
    Nest #7: 131 shells, 11 unhatched
    Nest #9: 98 shells, 5 unhatched, 1 pipped/dead, 6 live

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #4 Thursday @7:30
    Nest #5 Thursday @7:30
    Nest #11 Thursday @7:00
    Nest #12 Thursday @7:00
    Nest #13 Thursday @8:00
    Nest #14 Sunday –
    Nest #10 Monday –

  • No New Activity – July 27, 2016

    No new activity

    Nest #14 had one hatchling around 8:30 and no more tracks morning. Team #1 watched 2 more hatchlings to the water around 10:00.

    Nests 4, 5, 9 and 11 all had tracks this morning

    Nest #8 was inventoried last night.  126 shells, 6 unhatched eggs, 1 dead hatchling and 1 live hatchling.

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #6 Wednesday @ 6:30
    Nest #9 Wednesday @ 7:00
    Nest #7 Wednesday @7:30
    Nest #4 Thursday @7:30
    Nest #5 Thursday @7:30
    Nest #11 Thursday @7:00
    Nest #12 Thursday @7:00
    Nest #13 Thursday @8:00

    The last 4 nests have had first emergence at 54 and 55 days.  We will move the green from the 4 inventories tonight to the next 4 nests.


  • Nests #52 & #53 – July 26, 2016

    I really hope this is not the new normal.

    2 new nests today.
    #52 – relocated 91 eggs to marker 55.1, 33″ crawl
    #53 – relocated 104 eggs to marker 55.9, 32″ crawl

    Nest #12 hatched around 9:00 with 68 hatchlings and lots of spectators.  Lots more tracks in the runway this morning and 1 dead hatchling.

    Nest #4 had a boil around 11 and spectators called Chris who returned to round up a few that were still on the beach.  Lots of tracks in the runway this morning.

    Nest #5 hatched during the night.  That persistent crab was back again today.

    Nest #13 hatched sometime after midnight.

    Nest #9 had more tracks this morning.

    Nest #7 had 3 more tracks and a hatchling in the runway that we helped to the water.

    Nest #11 had 52 turtles around 11:00 and a couple of tracks this morning.

    AND the NS (nesting spot) we marked on May 21st had a couple of turtle tracks.  We think we traced to the nest and put green around.  Team #1 is going to keep an eye on the area.

    No they are not in order….for those of you who noticed.

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #8 Tuesday @ 7:00
    Nest #6 Wednesday @ 6:30
    Nest #9 Wednesday @ 7:00
    Nest #7 Wednesday @7:30
    Nest #4 Thursday
    Nest #5 Thursday
    Nest #11 Thursday @7:00
    Nest #12 Thursday
    Nest #13 Thursday @8:00

  • What a morning & night – July 25, 2016

    WHOA!!!  What a morning! And night!  2 false crawls east of the Baptist steps before she laid Nest #51.  36″ crawl at marker 55.9. Nest #6 had 84 hatchlings emerge around 9:00 with a great group of spectators.  As they were wrapping things up at nest #6,…. Nest #9 had turtles on top.  They all moved over to watch 76 (best guess) hatchlings wonder up and down the runway and couldn’t decide if misorientation or disorientation was most prevalent but they all eventually got to the water.  As a good team should, checking the nests before leaving, #6 had 5 more hatchlings. Then on down the beach at Nest #7, around 11:45 a few team members and visitors watched 115 turtles emerge and go directly to the ocean in about 15 minutes. Sometime during the night Nest #4 had one hatchling emerge and left a track all the way to the water. Nest #11 has a crevice.

    And I forgot to add that Nest 8 had 4 more hatchlings at around 10:00 last night.

    Inventory schedule:

    Nest #3 tonight @ 6:30
    Nest #8 Tuesday @ 7:00
    Nest #6 Wednesday @ 6:30
    Nest #9 Wednesday @ 7:00
    Nest #7 Wednesday @ TBD
    Nest #4 is on the 5 day schedule right now

    So one more picture of a false crawl from this morning.

    Couldn't find the right spot
    Couldn’t find the right spot

  • No new crawls – July 24, 2016

    No new crawls today. Nest #3 had one more hatchling march through the sand.  We chased a crab out of the cage this morning. Nest #8 hatched during the night. There were 2 dead and 2 live hatchlings in the runway. Nest #11 was smooth on the ride by going out this morning but had a pretty big depression when we passed on the way back. Pull up your boots; it could be a busy evening. See the picture of one of the hatchlings from nest #8.

    One of the hatchlings from Nest #8
    One of the hatchlings from Nest #8

  • Nest #3 hatches – July 23, 2016

    No new activity today.

    Well Thursday night, Team #3 sitting Nest #4 challenged Team #4 sitting Nest #3 to a race.  Both nest were laid on the same day, May 23rd, so last one to hatch buys the ice cream. All I can say is what flavor do you like Team #4?

    Nest #3 caved in around 10:30 and 122 hatchlings made it to the water about an hour later. There were more tracks in the runway this morning and a dead hatchling that was an apparent ghost crab victim. Inventory will be Monday @ 6:30.

    Green was delivered to nests #13 & #14

  • Nest #49 & #50 – July 22, 2016

    Nest #49 today is near marker 70.  She had a 35” crawl and we relocated 75 eggs. Nest #50 is right beside #49 at marker 70. We relocated 70 eggs from the river in southport from a 38″ crawl. Green was delivered to Nests #11 & #12.

  • Nest #48 – July 21, 2016

    3 false crawls east of the baptist steps today.  They just can’t make it up that escarpment.  Another false crawl east of the parking lot.

    Nest #48 is located near marker 68.  We relocated 119 eggs.  We forgot to measure the crawl.

    Nest #1 was inventoried last night.  27 live hatchlings, 32 unhatched, 2 pipped/dead and 73 shells.  Not too bad for a twice over washed nest.

  • 1 false crawl – July 20, 2016

    One false crawl near marker 53.

    One hatchling emerged from nest #1 after the storm last evening, then we got a call about 10:30 that there were more but didn’t go out.   We saw some folks on the beach this morning that said they saw 1 hatchling emerge late too.  No telling how many have emerged but we will know at 6:30 tonight at the inventory.

    Our nest #32 is unidentified now.  It was laid July 2nd and on the morning of July 8th, after storms during the night, the cage was gone.  We have searched for the cage and the nest but haven’t been able to locate either.  Our GPS location isn’t specific enough to pinpoint the nest.  We will watch the  area for hatchlings at the end of August. This is actually the second time a cage has been removed but were able to recover and restore Nest #7.

  • Two new nests – July 19, 2016

    2 new nests today. Nest #46 is at marker 57.2 and had a 38″ crawl. Nest #47 is at marker 65.2 with a 37″ crawl. Nest #1 had 42 hatchlings emerge a little before 9:00 yesterday evening.  It was still light enough for the hundred or so onlookers to get a good look.


  • Nest #1 had one hatchling emerge – July 18, 2016

    No new activity today, but Nest #1 had one hatchling emerge last night around 9:00.  Hopefully more tonight @66 days.


  • Only a False crawl this morning – July 17, 2016

    One 36″ false crawl at the GPS tower on the east end today.

    Nest #2 was inventoried last night resulting in 7 live hatching, 8 unhatched and 7 dead/pipped hatchlings.  That means nest #2 produced 99 hatchlings thanks to the folks from Southport that saw the tracks and called.

    Hatchling from Nest #2

  • Nest #45 – July 16, 2016

    Nest #45 today! The nest is located near marker 72.8 and she had a 38″
    crawl. One false crawl near the pier at the Baptist.

    We did see a coyote yesterday on the east end. It did run away when it saw
    us but just be aware when you are out sitting your nests.

    Nest #2 had 4 more hatchlings come out one at a time last night but most of all, there’s a family with 2 children who have a memory to last a lifetime. By the way, Magnolia was the second turtle out.

    Inventory for nest #2 is tonight.

  • An Amazing site this morning – July 15, 2016

    You just had to be there to really understand….we came across a turtle returning to the water. She would take 3 or 4 steps and rest, lift her head as if to smell and take 3 or 4 more steps. It was awesome. We traced her steps back to look for a nest but she had apparently the gotten lost in the dunes. She traveled forever it seemed over and across, up pathways to houses and finally back out. No wonder she looked so tired trying to get back to the water. As soon as she hit the water, she vanished.

    Nest #2 hatched last night, see our previous post and Nest #1 is at 63 days today.

    2 new nests and 6 false crawls today. Nest #43 was relocated from the east end to marker 55.1, 36″ crawl, 101 eggs. Nest #44 was relocated to above the high tide line at marker 69.9, 36″ crawl, 123 eggs.

    3 false crawls near the tower at the east end 36″ crawl @marker 58, 39″ crawl @marker 68.1, 38″ crawl @marker 73.9

    took a while to find the right spot
    took a while to find the right spot

    Slow progression to the sea
    It is slow going to the sea

  • Nest #2 hatchlings

    Nest # 2 had 87 hatchlings emerge tonight around 9:00 with about 150 onlookers

  • Nests #41 & #42 – July 14, 2016

    2 new nests, 2 false crawls and Nest #2 had hatchlings without us. Nest #41 relocated from marker 52 at the east end to marker 55.5, 118 eggs and 39” crawl, and Nest #42 located near 68.8 and had a 39” crawl. There was 1 34” false crawl at the east end and 1 false crawl near marker 70.

    Nest #2 had an indent with tracks then covered with crab tracks.  Team 5 will inventory Saturday.


  • Nests #39 & #40 – July 13, 2016

    2 false crawls and 2 nests today, #39 a 34″ crawl @ marker 61.5 a #40, 37″ crawl @ marker 66.9, and both false crawls were at the east end passed the baptist steps, 33″ and 37″ crawls.

  • 3 false crawls – July 12, 2016

    3 false crawls passed the baptist steps. 1 32″ crawl and 2 44″ crawls.  She just couldn’t find a place in the escarpment.




  • Nest #38 – July 11, 2016

    Morning patrol: Nest #38 is located near marker 69 by the public parking.  She had a 38″ crawl. We had a false crawl way passed the Baptist steps about marker 52.  She had a 34″ crawl and was determined to find a place to nest.  It looked like she tried twice to get up the hill.

    A determined turtle
    A determined turtle

    News on the rescues: The first rescue from our beach is doing well and eating.  Her name is Reece and is named in honor of Milton and Jane Reece who were  instrumental in organizing our program that we  have today at Caswell Beach.  The second rescue, the one from the river in Southport, died Friday night during the night.   So sad, but we tried and the treatment he got at the hospital was amazing.

  • Nest #37 – July 10, 2016

    Nest #37 is near marker 55 at the Baptist steps

    3 false crawls:
    35″ @ 64.7
    34″ @ 77.4
    35″ @ 79.4

    Stay cool and hydrate.

  • No turtle action this morning – July 9, 2016

    No turtle action this morning except the picture below….and we saw a fox
    on the beach.

    Sand Sculpture
    Sand Sculpture

  • What a day! – July 8, 2016

    Oh my goodness, what a day!  2 nests, 6 false crawls and 2 turtle rescues.

    Nest #35, 33” crawl, marker 76.8, and Nest #36, 36” crawl, marker 66.5

    6 False crawls

    35” @ 74.8
    34” @73.3
    36” @ 69.9
    34” @ 64.8
    35” @ 59.5
    35” @54.5

    Most of these false crawls were in and out, but one turtle dug a hole and left no eggs.

    We had a stranded female turtle near marker 65.  Took off to transport to Beasley Sea Turtle hospital but Sarah Finn called and said she would help.  We transferred the turtle to her in Wilmington.  Got back to the beach and received a call from Matthew Godfrey about a stranded turtle on the river in Southport.  Folks building a dock saw him and realized he was having trouble so they pulled him to the edge of the water and laid his head on a board until we got there.  Loaded up and off again to the turtle hospital.   He wasn’t doing as good as the first turtle but was still alive when we got him there.  They started an IV on each side, moistened his eyes, gave him antibiotics and looked like he was perking up before we left.  One of the volunteers took us on a tour of the facility and Ms Beasley did thank us and talked about how important our job as a volunteer is to this turtle.  He was the one in a thousand that made it 40 years ago so that we can sit and watch a nest tonight.  Pretty thought provoking.  The first turtle was an adult female.  Sarah took her to Morehead City to the vet who verified that she was female but did not have eggs.  She was then transported to the Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital.

  • False crawl – July 7, 2016

    Only a false crawl today.  Nest #32 had a huge crab hole this morning.  Today is the 52nd day for nest #2.

    For those of you that read the State Port Pilot, there is an article about us this week.  It is nice to have positive publicity and to give Duke Energy credit publicly for donating funds to lease our vehicle.  There was a couple of things mentioned in the article that I would like to clarify/correct.  I was quoted as saying it was a “rude awakening” but what I really said was a “real awakening” about the time it takes behind the scene to keep up with everything.  Also, it was mentioned that we logged 10,000 hours last year…we logged almost 4,000 hours.  It won’t matter to anyone but us, but I wanted you to know especially the number of hours that we have on record.

    Stay cool and hydrate today.

  • Nest #34 – July 6, 2016

    Nest #34. We relocated 120 eggs to marker 64.2. Crawl was 44″.  A 40″ False crawl at marker 64.8

  • Nest #33 – July 4, 2016

    Nest #33 from a 38” crawl at Marker 64. A 32” false crawl at Marker 79.9. Nest #30 was washed over.

  • False crawl – July 3, 2016

    One 32” false crawl at Marker 55.

  • Nest #32 – July 2, 2016

    Nest #32 is located at marker 67.5 and had a 31″ crawl
    34″ False crawl in front of the villas

    We had a call for a stranded turtle today too. It was a loggerhead that was
    apparently victim of a boat strike. Buried on the beach.

    Look what time it is!!!! Green and tools were delivered to nests #1 & #2.
    Monday will be the 52nd day for nest #1. Nest #2 is not until Thursday but…we are excited.

    Green at Nest #1
    Green at Nest #1

  • Nests & Weather – July 1, 2016

    WOW, the weather is sure disrupting my routine!

    First, yesterday I reported 2 false crawls. The crawl near marker 54, we searched for eggs but the storm came so we left the flags around and decided to go back later. Later we did finally locate the eggs so Nest #28 was laid on June 30 near marker 54.


    Thunder and lightning at 6:00 and got soaked at 8:00 but found 1 false crawl and three nests. It was raining so hard we left and went back at noon.

    1 – 36” false crawl at Marker 52 in the Baptists. She crawled several hundred yards in the dunes but didn’t lay. Nest 29 from a 33” crawl at Marker 65. Nest 30 from a 33” crawl at Marker 66. A large ghost crab was in the nest and we found the remains of an egg. We didn’t think it was in good enough condition for DNA. Nest 31 from a 36” crawl west of Sellers Street.

  • Nest #27 – June 29, 2016

    News that I couldn’t wait until morning to tell you.  We got a call around 8:00pm this evening that some folks had just witnessed a turtle nesting on the east end at the Baptist Assembly and were afraid that the tide would wash it away if it weren’t moved.  They were absolutely right!  We relocated 107 eggs to the marker 55.2 near the baptist steps.  Best of all, they sent us pictures!

    Loggerhead returning to the ocean after laying nest on June 29, 2016
    Loggerhead returning to the ocean after laying nest on June 29, 2016

    Loggerhead on Caswell Beach on June 29, 2016
    Loggerhead on Caswell Beach on June 29, 2016

    Loggerhead Nest on June 29, 2016
    Loggerhead Nest on June 29, 2016

    Loggerhead laying nest on June 29. 2016
    Loggerhead laying nest on June 29. 2016

  • Where are the turtles?

    No activity on our beach but went to check a false crawl in Southport on the river.  34″ crawl but nowhere to go.

  • False crawl – June 26, 2016

    A 36” false crawl at the Baptist today.

    False Crawl June 26th
    False Crawl June 26th

    False Crawl June 26
    False Crawl June 26

  • False crawl at the Lighthouse – June 25,2016

    One false crawl in front of the lighthouse today and one absolutely beautiful sunrise.

    Beautiful Sunrise
    Beautiful Sunrise

  • Nest #26 – June 24, 2016

    Nest 26 at marker 56 with a 34 inch crawl.  The eggs were close to the surface.

    Nest #26
    Nest #26

  • 3 new nests – June 20, 2016

    Productive Monday morning, 3 new nests and 1 false crawl.

    Nest #23, 40″ crawl @ marker 62.2
    Nest #24, 36″ crawl @ marker 65.5
    Nest #25, 39″ crawl @ marker 73.8

    False crawl, 40″ at marker 62.5

  • 2 nests & 3 false crawls – June 19, 2016

    2 nests and 3 false crawls today

    Nest #21 located at marker 60.2, 36″ crawl
    Nest #22 located at marker 65, 39″ crawl, relocated 145 eggs

    3 false crawls:
    34″ at marker 54
    34″ at marker 59.5
    39″ at marker 79.5

    Tracks June 19th
    Tracks June 19th

    Eggs in the nest

  • One False Crawl – June 18, 2016

    One 36″ false crawl at marker 76.8.

    False Crawl at marker 76.8
    False Crawl at marker 76.8

  • Nest #20 – June 15, 2015

    Nest #20 is located at marker 66.9.  She had a 37 ” crawl and left a cause ribbon in the sand….no color..so I guess we could make our own.

    Nest #20
    Nest #20

  • Nest #19 – June 14, 2016

    Nest #19 today.  34″ crawl located near marker 63.  We had a 40″ false crawl over at the Landing in Southport.  She bumped along the escarpment but didn’t find a safe place.

  • 6 false crawls – June 12, 2016

    There were 6 false crawls this morning – two 37”, one 39”, one 31”, two 32” side by side.  This turtle had started to dig a hole but changed her mind.  We have to wonder if there were people on the beach who distracted her.

  • Nest #18 – June 9, 2016

    Today we had 1 nest and 1 false crawl. Nest #18 today, 39″ crawl, at marker 63.9. The 30″ false crawl was at marker 69.5. Nest #18 was picture perfect!

    Nest #18
    Nest #18

  • Nests #16 & 17 – June 8, 2016

    Nest #16 and #17 today! #16 is at marker 60.9, had a 38″ crawl. #17 is at 69.9 and had a 31″ crawl. Both nests were safely nested next to the dunes.

    Nest #16
    Nest #16

    Nest #17
    Nest #17

    Unfortunately though Nests 1, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 were all over washed last night.

  • Two False crawls today – June 7, 2016

    Two 35″ false crawls today.  One near the golf course steps, the other just east of the public parking lot.

  • Nest #15 June 5, 2016

    Two 31″ false crawls, one at the villas and the other east of the Baptist
    steps. Nest #15 this morning is marker 76.8, east of the golf course steps. Her crawl was 34″. On the down side, Nest #1 was over washed.

  • Only a false crawl – June 4, 2015

    One 39″ false crawl at marker 69.5.

    Nest #14 had a crab hole and 2 eggs on the sand.

    Nest #14 had crab hole & 2 eggs removed this morning.
    Nest #14 had crab hole & 2 eggs removed this morning.

  • Nest #14 – June 2, 2016

    Nest #14 –

    We relocated 126 eggs at Marker 59, by the lighthouse.  Her crawl was 34″ and she laid a little too close to the high tide line.

    Nest #14
    Nest #14

  • Nest #13 – June 1, 2016

    Nest #13 and 2 false crawls today.  Nest #13 is east of the lighthouse and had a 38” crawl.  The 2 false crawls were 44” crawls and between marker 66 and 67.

  • 2 Nests – May 31, 2016

    2 more nests today.

    Nest #11 had a 34 inch crawl and is located at marker 63.5

    Nest #12 had a 38 inch crawl and is located at marker 70

  • Nest #10 – May 30, 2016

    Nest #10 today with a 34” crawl far down in the Baptists area. She had laid in the bottom of the escarpment. We moved 128 eggs to just west of the Baptist Steps.

    She left some odd tracks.

    Nest #10
    Nest #10

  • False crawl, but a wonderful new vehicle to ride the beach

    We had one 37” false crawl at Marker 73.5.  She just came up, did a big circle and went back.  We didn’t get wet and the vehicle ran good so a good start to the day.

    On Friday, May 27th Susan Holbrooks met with a representative from Duke-Energy to discuss our programs needs and goals.  Before she got back home from her meeting, Caswell Turtle Watch this ATV being delivered for us to use for patrolling.  Duke-Energy has leased the unit for the season.  We can’t thank them enough for their support.

    While we do appreciate that the town of Caswell Beach has supported us with a vehicle for all these years, it is nice to have our very own.  I’m sure the Caswell Beach Police Department is going to miss those morning rides with us but we have offered to let them join us anytime.  Thanks Police Department for being there for us.

    New Vehicle, leased for us by Duke Energy
    New Vehicle, leased for us by Duke Energy

  • Nest #9 – May 28th

    It was a beautiful morning on the beach.  Today we had one nest and three false crawls.

    Nest #9 is in front of the villas.  We relocated 104 eggs . She had a 37” crawl

    The three false crawls were at the east end, all were 38” crawls and on one crawl she encounter a log on the beach.

    False Crawl 2016-05-28
    False Crawl 2016-05-28

    Nest #9 reloc -2016-05-28
    Nest #9 relocated

    Nest #9 2016-05-28
    Nest #9

  • 3 New Nests – May 25, 2016

    3 new nests today!

    Nest #6 had a 33″crawl and located at the Villas
    Nest #7 had a 35″ crawl and located near 513 CBR
    Nest #8 had a 38″ crawl and located near the 400 walkway

    We have 8 nests and there are only 31 nests in the whole state!  26% of the nests for NC right here on our cozy little beach.

    WOOHOO!  Are you ready!

    Nest #7

    Nest #7 2016

    Nest # 8

    Nest #8 2016

  • Nest #5

    Another busy morning on the beach and we had 5 false crawls and Nest #5.

    False crawls;

    31 inch at Trott St
    31 inch near 613 CBR
    27 inch near 509 CBR
    32 inch at Lighthouse walkway
    32 inch just west of the 200 walkway

    Nest #5 had a 36 inch crawl and near 435 CBR.

  • Nest #3 & Nest #4

    WOOHOO!!!  We are off!

    5, FIVE, did you hear we had 5 crawls today.

    We had two 38” and three 36” crawls resulting in Nests #3 and Nest #4.  They went a long way up the beach even for the false crawls.

  • Interesting Monday Morning

    Interesting Monday morning. Morning patrol on our beach was beautiful but uneventful. However, we had a call from Sarah that’s there were 3 crawls in Southport on the Cape Fear River. We found three 42 inch crawls. Only one produced a nest so we relocated 115 eggs to our beach on the west side of the public parking. The other 2 were recorded as False Crawls. A picture of NEST #2:

    Nest 2 - 5/16/2016

  • Nest #1 this morning – 5/13/2016

    Nest #1 this morning!  It is at the west end of the parking lot, just above the high tide line so we didn’t move it.  She came in, did a full circle then moved over and dug a perfect nest.  The eggs were almost too easy to find so Debbie got her first taste of uncovering the eggs.  Wish it were always so easy!  We are off!!!!


  • First North Carolina crawl

    Although not on Caswell Beach/Oak Island, the first sea turtle crawl of the 2016 nesting season was documented yesterday on Onslow Beach, in Camp Lejeune. It was a false crawl – so there should be at least one  nest laid somewhere nearby in the near future!  Georgia and South Carolina each have three loggerhead nests now.

  • 2016 Turtle Season Has Officially Started

    The 2016 Turtle Season has officially started, and Caswell Turtle Watch will be out every morning patrolling the beach. Although we won’t start daily notices quite yet, check back to see if there is any activity.

    Hoping for the best turtle season ever.