Year End Summary – 2019

o 105 Nest
o 78 False Crawls
o 44 Relocated nests– 41.9% (NC 22.4%)
 27 nests relocated from east end
 17 nests relocated above tide line
o 8 Wild nests
o 53 In Situ nests
o 3 nesting sites
 (1 probable green turtle)
o Averaged 113 eggs per nest, ranged 54-185
Nests loss
o August king tides
 #24 – 41 dead hatchlings
 #25 – 25 dead hatchlings
 #37 – all unhatched eggs
o September king tides & Dorian
 #84 and #86 each had a few hatchlings emerge
 #89, #92-#97

11,977 Eggs +(#94 lost, 3 unlocated wild nests)(NC 227,016)
o Relocated nest
 5340 eggs
 3979 hatchlings
 74.5% hatch rate
o In Situ nests
 6637 eggs
 5573 hatchlings
 83.9% hatch rate
o 9552 Hatched eggs
o 8392 Emerged hatchlings – 70% emergence success (NC 54.4%)
Overall 78.6% hatch success (NC 66.2%)
Incubation Days
o Average 52.8 days
o Range 46-67 days
o Average crawl width 35.6
o Ranged 26-44 inches
 91 Volunteers on our list
 Volunteers reporting time and travel
 5176 Hours reported
 25,927 Miles driven

Winding Down The Season

Rather than a new topic each day, here are the happenings combined into this one “Winding Down” topic.

Sunday, September 8 – Nothing to report

Monday, September 9 – Nothing to report

Tuesday, September 10 – Nothing to report

Wednesday, September 11 – No activity on Caswell Beach, but OKI had 2 hatchlings emerge yesterday from a nest that was lightly overwashed.

Thursday, September 12 – Nothing to report

Friday, September 13 – We are checking everyday but still nothing.  The ATV has been turned in so we are on foot now. We have set a date for our end of year celebration for October 3rd, 5-7 p.m.

Saturday, September 14 – Nothing to report

Saturday, September 21 – Still nothing from our nest but Ocean Isle posted on Facebook that one of their nests that was under water during the king tides and Dorian hatched with 72% hatching. There is still hope.  We are counting days and will not do any excavations until at least 70 days. 

Tuesday, September 24 – Today is day 70 for nest 89 and was inventoried this morning.

  • There were 92 shells, 1 pipped, 4 unhatched and 66 dead hatchlings.  Apparently some hatchlings emerged between the king tides and Dorian.
  • Oak Island did have a boil with 58 hatchlings emerging yesterday.  It was a nest that was covered with water from the king tides.  You just never know.
  • We still have 5 nests.

Saturday, September 28 – Inventory results from nests excavated at 70 days:

  • Nest 92: 114 unhatched eggs and 8 shells.  The unhatched eggs felt like they had hatchlings so we open one to see if it was still alive.  It was not but was probably 4-5 weeks developed.  The empty shells looked like hatched eggs
  • Nest 93: 50 unhatched eggs, 1 pipped and 69 shells.  There was a mass of dead hatchlings but too decomposed to attempt counting.  There were a few dead hatchlings in the sidewalls that were on there way to emerging.  No way to know if any made it out.

Sunday, September 29 – Nest 95 inventory results: 121 unhatched eggs.  We opened an egg to check progress and embryos were about 5-6 weeks.

Don’t know if you’ve been to the beach lately but there’s piles of grass straw with trash all in it so be careful if you walk in it.  There’s wood of all sorts on the beach.  There was a beach sign from the Bahamas amongst some of the debris so no doubt where that one came from.  Anyway, if you come for a walk please bring a bag or 2 to pick up some of the little stuff.  Caswell Beach is considering hiring someone with equipment to clean up too.  We may want to do an organized walk later.

Tuesday, October 1

  • Nest 96 inventory results:  119 unhatched eggs.  There were a bunch of unfertilized (pink squished) eggs and then a good number that had embryos that were distinguishable but not very far along.
  • Nest 97 had fox, coyote or other canine dig into it during the night and then before I got out there the tide had covered it, washed away the green and left a pool of water.  We went ahead and excavated 111 unhatched eggs and have no way of knowing if the animal took any.  The embryos were young.
  • That was the last nest….all the adversities all in the same day.  It was a great year in spite!
  • Thank you again for a wonderful season.

Saturday, September 7

Nothing happening out there yet.  We will continue morning patrol for the next week or so, probably on foot. 

We are trying to plan a gathering for end of season. Gary wants a cookout…you know him and his hotdogs!  LOL!  Probably end of September, first of October. 

I didn’t realize until today that I had not reported the 2 nests that did hatch during the storm were 85 & 90. Lan was keeping check on 85 and sent pictures of when it cracked Wednesday morning. We went by to check on it and you could see hatchlings sleeping so we planned to go back just before high tide. The tide came in quick so Lan called to report water in the runway. When we got back the hole was back and they were moving. We made them an exit ramp and off they were. We had to take them across the tide pool and the waves were so rough but at least they were off. Inventory results: 107 shells, 4 unhatched and 9 live hatchlings still in the nest. Nest 91 decided to have a few emerge Thursday. Inventory: 81 shells, 19 unhatched and 6 pipped. 

Friday, September 6

I hope that everyone is okay.  It feels like we, as an island in the path of a major hurricane, faired really well.  Doesn’t look like much structural damage just limbs.

Morning Patrol:

  • We have lost a couple of nests.
  • Nest 94 is gone, washed away.  There was a couple of eggs and the cage in the dunes.
  • Nest 97 had standing water during the king tides and was overwashed during the storm. 
  • The green nesting site was filled in with sand and water.

Remaining possible nests:

  • Nest 89 is possible but not probable.  It has an extra 5-6 inches of sand.
  • Nest 96 is possible and because of stage of incubation, more hope than 89.
  • Nests 95, 93 and 92 all look like they were overwashed but not terribly.  We did put a couple of rolls of green at each of these.  Please put the green out and check periodically but I wouldn’t be concerned about sitting.
  • We could have more hatchlings….it’s possible.  Regardless, we have had a very successful season already having released more than twice as many hatchlings as we would in any year.

Wednesday, September 4

Morning all.  Hope you are all secure.  We have removed all of the green and tools from the beach and will probably make one last sweep later today.

Nest 82 and 90 hatched and were inventoried.   82 had 104 eggs, 7 unhatched and 1 live hatchling.  90 had 115 shells, 11 unhatched, 2 pipped and 58 live hatchlings.

It’s hard to believe we are nearing the end of the season.  Only 9 nests left out of 105.  We’ve released 9195 hatchlings to the sea already.  We can be proud of our successes!

Stay safe and we will check back after the storm.

Monday, September 2

  • Nest 79 was dug into by a fox again.  It dug at the sides and was able to dig into the top through the cage.  It may be coincidental but we got a phone call that there were hatchlings in the street near the pier.  We put 3 more in the water.
  • Yesterday, collected a dead hatchling from the street near Ocean Greens.  Hatchling tracks behind nest 84 and 94.  It will be recorded as wildnest 105 and sent for DNA sampling.
  • Nests 94 and 97 have been seriously overwashed.
  • Nests 89 and 96 just lightly overwashed.


  • Nest 79: 107 shells, 14 unhatched, 1 pipped live, 1 pipped dead, 1 dead and 3 live hatchlings
  • Nest 81.  It had 38 hatchlings emerge during the high tide Saturday night.  The team kept the green secure and the water away for the night.  With higher impending tides, the nest was excavated Sunday morning early.  Inventory results: 57 shells, 43 unhatched and 8 live hatchlings.  This nest was invaded by a fox on 7/26 and 11 shells were recovered and 1 damaged egg was removed from the nest and buried with the shells. The hatchling from that damaged egg emerged last Thursday, made its way to the water and had us all puzzled as to where the tracks came from but finally finding the spot and finding the shells jogged all the memories.  Who would ever have thought that scratched open shell would have produced a hatchling.  Maybe it was the Harry Potter hatchling!
  • Nest 84:  132 shells, 126 dead hatchlings, 10 unhatched and 2 pipped.  It’s good to hope that the 6 made it out before the tide overwashed.  Too bad we didn’t see them emerging but the waves were raging.
  • Nest 87: 81 shells, 25 unhatched, 1 pipped and 69 live hatchlings that were tangled in roots
  • Nest 88: 107 shells, 8 unhatched and 7 live hatchlings

Please give your August time sheets to your team leader.  NCWRC collects the paper copies so if you choose to email the .pdf, I will print them again.

I hope that you are all preparing for the storm.  We are taking everything off the beach as we can.  There are several tools that we picked up along the way and you can go by town hall and retrieve them from the ATV.

All shirts have been taken to Caswell Beach Town Hall and can be purchased there.   $15 for short sleeve and $20 for long sleeve

Sunday, September, 1

It’s hard to describe how high the tide came up.  We have excavated every nest that had had any emergence.  We have removed green from the nests that water was running through.  We have moved some green back to the dune.  Please use caution if and when you go out to sit.  There really was no where to walk this during this mornings high tide.

Nest 86 had one hatchling around 3:00 yesterday afternoon and then another 60 or so just before dark.

I believe nest 84 hatched after the water receded last night.  There were lots of tracks in the dune behind the nest.

Inventory results:

  • Nest 63 – 90 shells, 20 unhatched, 6 pipped (2 live and 4 dead), 3 dead hatchlings and 2 live hatchlings
  • Nest 76 – 111 shells, 7 unhatched, 7 dead and 6 live
  • Nest 77 – 103 shells, 9 unhatched
  • Nest 78 – 105 shells, 26 unhatched and 11 live
  • Nest 80 – 91 shells, 17 unhatched and 83 live hatchlings
  • Nest 83 – 88 shells, 14 unhatched and 5 live
  • Nest 86 – 104 shells, 18 unhatched and 35 dead hatchlings

Friday, August 30

Morning patrol:  

  • Fox prints all around nests 63 and 79, tried to dig in again at 63.
  • Hatchling tracks in 81, 76, and 63
  • Crabs in 79, 81, 84, 78 and 88
  • Nest 78 hatched during the night with lots of tracks

Last night:  

  • Nest 72 – 107 shell, 11 unhatched and 1 live hatchling
  • Nest 73 – 44 shells, 87 unhatched, 1 pipped and 3 live
  • Nest 74 – 88 shells, 41 unhatched

Thursday, August 29

Morning patrol:  

  • The tides are coming in.  Nests 84 and 94 are in danger of overwash.  Nesting site 2 was overwashed last night
  • Nests 71, 72, 74, 76 and  77 had more hatchlings during the night

Last night:  

  • Nest 63 had an indent @7:45, boiled @8:33 with 79 hatchlings.  Team on the way home at 8:45.  Now that’s how you do it.
  • Nest 76 hatched.  3 around 7:30, 38 more @11:25 and a bunch more during the night
  • Nest 77 boiled about 10:00 with 110 hatchlings, at least half were seriously disoriented