2018 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!

  • Saturday, September 29

    Nest 38 was inventoried resulting in 60 unhatched eggs. We checked several eggs and looks as if they had started development. The heavy rains created puddles of standing water in the Tom Hess area during the first weeks of August.

    Nest 31 and 35 are considered lost because of Florence but probably would have been the same as nest 38.

    Nest 39 is at 64 days incubation and there’s still hope.

    Nest 40….we have been watching the area but believe it was lost to the hurricane too.

  • Saturday, September 22
      Post Hurricane Florence


    We are back. I rode the beach yesterday afternoon and words cannot describe what it looks like out there. There’s washed out places at most walkovers. Debris is all over the beach. The sand is gone. It’s amazing.

    We still have nests 38 and 39 in place. We will look for 40 but I believe it was washed away. I don’t expect anything from 38 but hopeful that 39 could still produce hatchlings. Oak Island has had a few hatchlings the last 2 days. We are hopeful.

  • Wednesday, September 12

    Nest #37 hatched and inventoried. 53 shells, 12 unhatched and 1 pipped dead.

    Nests #39 and #40 so far so good.

  • Tuesday, September 11

    Funny how some things make you not think about other things, but today as we prepare ourselves for Florence remember that today, 9/11, is the day that forever changed the way we live. God bless America and have mercy on our little island.

    Nests 37, 39 and 40 are still okay for now.

  • Monday, September 10

    The evening on the beach was nerve wrecking. The tide came all the way to the dune at Tom Hess walkway. The 4 nests there were covered. Green was washing away.

    Nests 33 and 36 inventories were scheduled for the evening but nest 34 was done a day early because the water was a couple of feet away and still rising. Nest 26 was at 70 days.

    The nesting sight east of the Baptist walkover and beside nest 34 hatched during yesterday’s rain and inventoried just before high tide. Nest #42!

    Nest 26: 124 unhatched eggs
    Nest 34: 92 shells and 4 unhatched eggs
    Nest 33: 91 unhatched eggs, 28 shells, 1 live hatchling with really small front flippers
    Nest 36: 88 shells, 10 unhatched, 2 pipped dead, 2 pipped live and 14 live hatchlings
    Nest 42: 113 shells, 5 unhatched, 1 dead and 5 live hatchlings

    We’ve picked up green at Tom Hess. Nests 37, 39 and 40 seem to be okay for now.

  • Sunday, September 9

    Nest #32 hatched during the night and 1 hatchling in the runway this morning

  • Saturday, September 8

    Nest #34 hatched with 92 hatchlings making their way to the water around 9:53.

    Nest #33 had a few more during the night.

    Team #8 inventoried nest #29 this morning. Results: 36 unhatched eggs and 18 shells.

  • Friday, September 7

    Nest #33 had 8 hatchlings make their way around 8:00 last night then a bunch more during the night.

    Nest #36 had about 70 hatchlings around 10:15 that were very misguided by the lighthouse.

  • Wednesday, September 5

    Nest #29 has had 1st emergence. The track went down the runway and back to the nest but no hatchling around.

  • Tuesday, September 4

    No turtle activity for Monday nor Tuesday.

    Nest #28 inventory results: 88 shells, 11 unhatched and 20 live hatchlings

  • Sunday, September 2

    No news this morning.

    Nest #30 Inventory results: 122 shells, 8 unhatched, 1 pipped and 11 live hatchlings

  • Saturday, Septerber 1

    SEPTEMBER 1! Unbelievable!

    Nest #30 had 2 hatchlings this morning.

    It is a holiday weekend and our nests are near the public parking area, so we could have crowds. I know you all already do but remember that our job is to protect the hatchlings and see them safely to the water. Educate our visitors about being good stewards of our beach and water as well as all the things we know about our sea turtles.

  • Friday, August 31

    Nest #30 had one more hatchling or so during the night.

  • Thursday, August 30

    Nest #28 had another hatchling or so during the night.

    Nest #30 had 97 hatchling race to the water around 10:00.

  • Wednesday, August 29

    Nest #28 had 1 more around 8:30 and another during the night.

  • Tuesday, August 28

    Nest #28 had 23 hatchlings around 10:00 and another 33 at 11:00.

    Nest #27 inventory: 118 shells, 6 unhatched, 5 pipped and 23 live hatchlings.

  • Monday, August 27

    Nest #27 had a couple more hatchlings during the night.

    Nest #23 Inventory and mystery solved (maybe): 56 shells, 5 unhatched, and 1 live hatchlings. So the number was 61 and not 51. Gary’s theory is that it was an input error and we know who does the emails and computer stuff. My theory is fifty-one and sixty-one sound alike and even more alike on a windy beach, AND we know who can’t hear well.

  • Sunday, August 26

    A few more hatchlings from nest #27 and a crab hole in nest #28.

    Inventory nest #25: 131 shells, 11 unhatched and 2 dead hatchlings.

  • Saturday, August 25

    Nest #27 hatched; 67 written in the runway.

    Nest #25 has a crabhole.

    Inventory results for nest #41: 133 shells, 5 unhatched eggs.

  • Friday, August 24

    Nest #23 FINALLY hatched @60 days. Not really late but it sure did seem like it after all the 52-54 day hatches. Oh and 54 turtles emerged @9:56. (morning patrol only counted 51 eggs when it was relocated. What can I say, must have been Gary’s day.

  • Thursday, August 23

    Nest #25 hatched at 9:20 last night. 111 hatchlings straight to the water.

  • Wednesday, August 22

    Our marked nesting site near 423 walkway hatched so we had nest #41 today.

    Inventory results for nest #24: 35 unhatched , 80 shells and 3 live hatchlings.

  • Tuesday, August 21

    Nothing new out there.

    Inventory results for nest #21: 119 shells, 4 unhatched, 2 dead and 2 live hatchlings

  • Monday, August 20

    Nest #24 had 4 more hatchlings around 8:30 last night.

  • Sunday, August 19

    Nest #24 had at least 1 hatchling emerge. The rain and sand drift make it hard to tell if there were many more.

    Nests need to be cleared of sand build up.

    Inventory results from yesterday:
    Nest #17: 79 shells and 13 unhatched
    Nest #19: 71 shells and 4 unhatched
    Nest #22: 88 shells , 7 unhatched and 1 dead hatchling

  • Saturday, August 18

    Nest #21 hatched during the night and nest #22 had a couple more emerge around 9:00 last night.

  • Thursday, August 16

    Last evening was another great night to see hatchlings. At 8:00, 68
    hatchlings emerged from nest #19 (56 days) and then at 8:45, a hole appeared in nest #22 (52 days) and 85 hatchlings were in the water by 9:05.

    Team #5…I hate it for you but nest #17 hatched during the night without
    you. You can have the dedication award. Lots of tracks all the way to the
    end of the runway.

    Absolutely no rhyme or reasoning in incubation days this year.

    Nest #16 inventory results: 9 unhatched, 2 pipped and 15 live hatchlings.

  • Wednesday, August 15

    Nest #16 had one more hatchling emerge during the night.

  • Tuesday, August 14

    Nest #16 had one more hatchling emerge during the night.

    Inventory results:
    Nest #15: 139 shell and 4 unhatched
    Nest #18: 110 shells, 23 unhatched and 5 live
    Nest #20: 131 shells, 5 unhatched, I pipped and 1 live hatchling

  • Monday, August 13

    Nest 18 had 3 hatchlings in the runway this morning, all safely to the water.
    Nest 16 hatched during the night
    Nest 15 had a couple more hatchlings during the night

    Inventory for Nest 14: 110 shells, 20 unhatched and 3 live hatchlings

  • Sunday, August 12

    Nests 15, 18 and 20 each had a couple of hatchlings emerge during the night.

    Nest #13 Inventory results: 122 shells, 6 unhatched, 1 pipped and 1 live hatchling

  • Saturday, August 11

    It was a busy night for hatchlings.

    Nest #15 hatched about 8:30 with 108 hatchlings straight to the water. One more dead hatchling on top of the nest this morning.

    Nest #18 boiled around 9:10 with 91 mostly disoriented hatchlings. More tracks this morning and a dead hatchling at a crab hole.

    Nest #20 hatched during the night. 51 days. Good thing the team put green down early.

  • Friday, August 10

    Nest #14 hatched last night with 51 hatchlings around 9:00 and 40 more about 10:30.

    Nest #13 had more hatchlings emerge.

    Crab holes in #15 and #18. Everyone needs to do sand maintenance in the runways.

    Inventory results for Nest #10: 49 shell and 3 unhatched eggs.

  • Wednesday, August 8

    No new activity.

    The sand is blowing hard and the runways were full this morning.

  • Tuesday, August 7

    Nest #10 hatched last night around 9:30.

    Inventory results:
    Nest #9: 101 shells, 8 unhatched and 2 pipped
    Nest #12: 128 shells, 4 unhatched, 4 dead hatchlings and 4 live hatchlings

  • Monday, August 6

    Nothing new.

    Nest #10 had a crab hole again.
    Nest #12 had more hatchlings emerge during the night with one dead hatchling in the runway this morning.

    Inventory results:
    Nest #5: 130 unhatched eggs
    Nest#11: 4 unhatched eggs, 118 shells

  • Sunday, August 5

    Nothing new this morning.

    2 big crab holes in nest 10.

  • Saturday, August 4

    Nest #40! She laid her nest east of the Baptist walkover and had a 33” crawl. There was a 33” false crawl near the lighthouse too.

    Nest #9 had 88 hatchlings around 9:00 last night.

    Nest #12 had several hatchlings in the runway yesterday afternoon around 4. They came out 1 by 1 until finally at 9:00 decided to boil. 93 or so hatchlings from the nest so far.

  • Friday, August 3

    Nest #11 hatched last night with 116 hatchlings making their way.

    Inventory results for nest #8: 105 shells, 12 unhatched, 2 pipped and 16 live hatchlings.

  • Wednesday, August 1

    Nothing new out there.

    Inventory results for nest #7: 79 shells, 75 unhatched and 17 live hatchlings.

    If you haven’t been down Caswell Beach Road, the water is DEEP in several places

  • Tuesday, July 31

    Nest #7 has 32 more hatchlings emerge last night.

    Nest #8 hatched yesterday evening around 8:30 (53rd day). The family that adopted got to be there to count and watch them swim away.

  • Sunday, July 29

    No new nest. Green was delivered to nests 8 & 9; today is the 52nd day.

    Nest #6 inventory results: 126 shells, 4 unhatched, 4 pipped and 1 live hatchling.

  • Saturday, July 28

    Nest #7 had one hatchling emerge last night.

  • Friday, July 27

    3 false crawls around the east point this morning and nest #39 is just east of the lighthouse. It had a 32” crawl.

  • Thursday, July 26

    No new nest.

    Nest 6 hatched during the night. 7 hatchlings still on top this morning.

  • Tuesday, July 24

    Nothing new today.

    Nest 4 inventory results: 51 shells, 9 unhatched and 5 live hatchlings.

  • Monday, July 23

    No new nest. Nest #4 had another hatchling during the night.

    Next #3 inventory results: 127 shells, 13 unhatched eggs, 10 pipped eggs, 19 dead hatchlings and 23 live hatchlings. This was a large nest, it suffered from ant invasion and pouring rain. Results are better than expected.

  • Sunday, July 22

    No new nests today. Nest 3 had one hatchling emerge around 8:15 last evening. Nest 4 had one more hatchling emerge during the night.

  • Saturday, July 21

    Nest #38- 37” crawl, 60 eggs relocated from west of golf course to west of public parking.

    Nest #4 hatched during the night.

    Nest #1 inventory results: 110 pink unhatched eggs, 1 open egg (crab invasion) with semi-developed hatchling, 9 shells. This nest was over washed several times during the first week.

  • Friday, July 20

    No new nests. Nest 1 had a big crab hole. Nest 3 had 1 hatchling make its way to the water early in the evening yesterday and several track in the runway this morning.

  • Thursday, July 19

    No new nests. A few more turtles from nest 3 last night. Big crab hole in nest 1.

  • Wednesday, July 18

    Nest #37 is west of the lighthouse and had a 37” crawl.

    Nest #1 had 9 hatchlings emerge last evening, strong and ready for the big swim.
    Nest #3 (52 days) had 8 hatchlings emerge, 7 strong ones and 1 not so great. There was a dead hatchling in the runway this morning. Ants are an issue at nest 3.

  • Monday, July 16

    2 32” false crawls west of the villas and 1 nest relocated from the villas to east of Tom Hess walkway. The nest, Nest #35, crawl was 39” and has 126 eggs.

    A dozen or more hatchlings emerged from nest #2 again last night.

  • Sunday, July 15

    3 crawls this morning, 2 false crawls and 1 marked as a nesting site. All measure 36-37”. The nesting site is between nests 3 & 4.

    Nest #2 had 56 hatchlings emerge around 9:15 last night and several more during the night.

  • Saturday, July 14

    A 36” false crawl just west of McGlamery.

    Nest #2 hatched during the night, 52 days. There were a couple of hatchlings in the runway this morning.

  • Thursday, July 12

    Nest #34 today. We must have the turtles trained now. She had a 31” crawl and laid her nest east of the Baptist walkover.

  • Wednesday, July 11

    Nest #32 is located east of the 200 walkway. She had a 36” crawl and figured she would just go along with the crowd.

    Nest #33 was laid at the east point and just barely missed being overwashed. We relocated 119 eggs to center of the public parking. Her crawl was 34”.

    Nest #1 is at 57 days but showing no signs.
    Nest #2 is at 49 days, has a crack and green.
    Nest #3 and #4 are at 45 days and green will be delivered tomorrow.

  • Monday, July 9

    Nest #31 is located east of Tom Hess walkway and has 114 eggs from a 40” crawl. 2 more false crawls this morning, 39” and 34”.

  • Sunday, July 8

    1 40” false crawl this morning.

  • Saturday, July 7

    3 crawls today. 2 false crawls and nest #30. We moved 131 eggs back away from the tide.

    Nest #1’s 52nd day was yesterday. It is on the most eastern point at Ft Caswell and is not accessible to the general population. We have 4 volunteers that are employed by Ft Caswell who put green out and will check on the nest along with morning patrol. The nest was over-washed at least 2 days during the first week.

  • Friday, July 6

    4 false crawls and nest #29 today.

    They have finished putting sand on the beach and are in the process of cleaning up. WOOHOO!!

  • Thursday, July 5

    2 false crawls on our beach this morning. Then a little later, 1 41” false crawl and nest #28 relocated from Southport. 99 eggs relocated from a 44” crawl.

  • Wednesday, July 4

    Happy Independence Day!

    2 false crawls today. 28” near Pinehurst Dr and 34” in the 200 block (cabana encounter.)

  • Tuesday, July 3

    Nest #27 has 34” crawl, 129 eggs are east of the Baptist walkover.

  • Monday, July 2

    Nest #26 is just east of Tom Hess Walkway. We relocated 124 eggs away from the dredging crews staging area. 39” crawl.

    There were 3 false crawls east of the Baptist walkover.

  • Saturday, June 30

    2 false crawls today just east of the lighthouse.

    We have more beach for nests now. From Ocean Greens to the east is clear so come on turtles.

  • Thursday, June 28

    Nest #25 today. 39” crawl. Relocated 142 eggs to our favorite place.

  • Wednesday, June 27

    No turtle activity for the last 2 days. There hasn’t been any dredging activity for the past 2 days either. Maybe they are missing the hum of the pipe.

    I’ve had several people ask about the organizational meeting. We are going to wait until after the 4th of July, date still TBD. Our nest #1 is in on the very eastern tip and has limited access. The volunteers that also work at Ft Caswell will be assigned that nest and morning patrol will check it daily. Nest #1 was overwashed several times during the first week of incubation. Historically, our first nest normally takes longer so no telling how many days it will really take. The 52nd day for nest #2 is July 14th and we will be in action by that date.

  • Sunday/Monday, June 24/25

    The pipe has all been removed from the beach from the 200 block to Ocean Greens area.  They will still be moving pipe around to get it off our beach near Ocean Greens.  The area of our watch between the villas and the pier should be getting sand by mid-week and then our beach can be cleared to leave nest alone.

    June 24

    3 new nests and 6 false crawls.

    Nest #21 (123 eggs) and #22 (95 eggs) were relocated to the east end near the Baptist walkover.  Nest #23 (51 eggs) is more east towards the eastern point.

    June 25

    No activity

  • Saturday, June 23

    12 false crawls and no nest.  Probably some sort of record and probably the same 3 or 4 turtles trying to find a place.  Good news is they are picking up the pipe so it won’t be long now.

  • Friday, June 22

    5 false crawls today.  4 of them crawled to the pipe and turned around.  The 5th one couldn’t get passed the cabana to get to the pipe.  Poor turtles

  • Thursday June 21

    5 false crawls today but no nest.  3 were in the sand placement area and 2 on the eastern point.

  • Wednesday, June20

    WOW!  4 nests today and 1 false crawl

    • Nest #17, 34” crawl, relocated 93 eggs to the east end
    • Nest #18, 40” crawl, relocated 133 eggs to the east end
    • Nest # 19, 35” crawl, relocated 75 eggs to the east end
    • Nest #20, 37” crawl, turtle crossed the pipe and went high in the dune so we have a nest east of the public parking.  She actually had a little trouble finding her way back across the pipe but did on her own.

    False crawl was west of the lighthouse, 39” and crossed the pipe.

  • Tuesday, June 19

    3 false crawls today and nest #16.


    Nest #16 was laid on the east end in the escarpment so was relocated to west of the Baptist walkover.  36” crawl and 120 eggs.


    The false crawls were most interesting.

    42” crawl near Mercer St.  She was seen going back into the water and was huge.

    Unmeasured crawl across the sand dike built at the waters edge by dredgers.  She followed along to the pipe’s end and went back into the water.

    36” crawl to the pipe and across the pipe on a sand bridge.  She crawled about 50 ft then back across the same bridge back to the water.

  • Friday, June 15

    Nest 15 was laid east of the Baptist walkover and had a 37” crawl.  She crawled over nest #9 and laid her nest behind.

  • Wednesday, June 13

    Nest #14 had a 37” crawl and 130 eggs were relocated from east of Mercer St.

    2 false crawls, 36” near the lighthouse and 37” at the east end.

  • Tuesday, June 12

    3 false crawls during the night and nest #13 moved from in front of the villas to the east end.  130 eggs and a 40” crawl.

  • Monday, June 11

    2 false crawls during the night, 37” and 39”.

    Do you know how to stop 5 bulldozers in the middle of the night?  Have a loggerhead sea turtle come to shore.  Night patrol stopped the equipment when she was spotted.  Lights out and everybody waited quietly but she walked along the pipe and returned to the ocean

  • Sunday, June 10

    2 more nests today.

    #11 had a 36” crawl and 122 eggs.

    #12 had a 33” crawl and 132 eggs.

  • Saturday, June 9

    We relocated nest #10 from just west of McGlamery St to east of the Baptist walkover.  37” crawl and only 53 eggs.

  • Friday, June 8

    4 false crawls today.  1 36” and 3 39” crawls.  Sellers St, Arboretum, 400 block and east of the Baptist steps.  We marked the crawl east of the Baptist steps as a nesting sight.  It was in a nice safe place but no eggs were found.

  • Thursday, June 7

    We finally had another nest today and even 2 new ones.  #8 was relocated from Oceans Greens to east of the Baptist steps (40” crawl, 122 eggs laid but 3 lost to ghost crabs) and #9 was laid in a safe place way east of the steps (37” crawl).

  • Thursday, May 31

    Nest #7 was laid at the edge of the escarpment on the east end. We relocated 154 eggs to east of the Baptist walkover. 44” crawl.

    Turtle Rescue

    Attached are 2 pictures of Dutchman, 1 from May 5th when we found him and the other from this week. Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital does good work.


  • Tuesday, May 29

    A 39” false crawl in front of the villas and nest #6 relocated from Sellars St to east of the Baptist walkover. 135 eggs and 35” crawl.

  • Monday, May 28

    Nest #5 – 130 eggs relocated from near golf course to east of the Baptist walkover. She had a 39” crawl.

    The sand replenishment started last night and we survived, soaked but survived

  • Sunday, May 27

    2 new nests today both relocated to east of the Baptist walkover.

    Nest #3 had a 27” crawl and we moved 150 eggs. Nest #4 had a 36” crawl and only 60 eggs. Yes, sounded backwards to me too.

    Re-nourishment project: Sand placement is scheduled to begin today at the most eastern end of Caswell Beach.

  • Thursday, May 24

    One false crawl this morning. 35” crawl just east of the coast guard station.

    The sand placement is scheduled to begin Sunday.

  • Wednesday, May 23

    Nest #2! We relocated 122 eggs from east of Ocean Greens to east of the Baptist walkway. Her crawl was 39”

  • Sunday, May 20

    No more nests for us yet but there are 9 in the state so far.  Oak Island had their 3rd nest today.


    Nest #1 was overwashed Friday and Saturday but just barely.

  • Tuesday, May 15

    WE HAVE NEST #1. She had a 37” crawl at the east end by the GPS tower. We relocated 120 eggs away from the high tide line but still at the very eastern end.

    Also, wanted to let you know that our rescue, Dutchman, is doing great still. She is eating and improving daily.

  • Tuesday, May 1

    It’s here! May 1st is the official beginning of turtle season 2018. We are beginning morning patrols but will only be reporting on the days that have news.

    Be prepared for a “different” season this year. Our beach will be undergoing beach re-nourishment starting about May 27th. All nests will be relocated to the area east of the Baptist gate until the replenished area is clear of machinery/traffic. They are anticipating being finished with our beach by the end of June and moving on to Oak Island.

    Even with all the commotion, we still have great expectations for another wonderful turtle season.