Turtle Patrol Report for the Week Ending July 9

Early Season, Late Emergence

As we await the emergence of nest 1, which is now at 68 days of incubation, you probably have heard people say that early season nests tend to take longer to incubate. Turns out it’s not just an anecdote, but it’s borne out in our own data set! Hoping to see nest 1 boil here soon, but certainly no need for alarm based on how long early season nests have taken in the recent past:

2020 – 8 of first 8 nests were 64 days or more with 2 over 70 days!
2019 – Nests 1-4 were all over 60 days
2018 – Nests 1-2 were over 60 days
2017 – 8 of the first 9 nests were over 60 days
2016 – Nests 1-3 were over 60 days

The Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol added 10 new nests this week, bringing the total for the season to 65.

Sunday July 4 – Nests 56 & 57

Karen Sewell on Zone 2 called in with two crawls – one was just south of boardwalk 6 and the other was just south of the yellow house. Bill and Linda Nelson responded and found nest #56 which was left in situ by the yellow house. The other crawl was determined to be a false crawl.

Anna Wechter and her fiancé walked Zone 1 this morning. About halfway into their walk, Anna called in a crawl past the old dock/tree boneyard. Bill Gruebel was dispatched to probe and found nest #57 with 106 eggs. The eggs were relocated near the boat shed.

Monday July 5 – Nests 58 & 59

The mama turtles had a good July 4th leaving us with two new nests!
Zone 3 walkers Melanie and Rob Jerome, Cathrine Scully, Mike Vinson, and Gary Holtz called first with a crawl into the trash can at Boardwalk 6. Bill and Linda Nelson responded and found Nest 58. The 102 eggs were moved further back.

Zone 2 walkers Marnie Ellis and Annaliese Dorante were the other lucky walkers. As they approached Boardwalk 7, they had a looping crawl into the rocks at the first house past the Club. Judy Morr responded and found Nest 59. The 110 eggs were moved onto the dunes.

Tuesday July 6 – Nests 60 & 61

Bill Nelson called in two crawls which were very close together on Zone 3 midway between Boardwalks 2 & 3. Judy Morr, Lesley Gore and Bill Nelson all probed and Lesley found Nest 60 with 105 eggs. The nest was relocated to a safer area. Bill located Nest 61 in a body pit on the second crawl and determined that it could remain in situ. The lucky walkers this morning were Bill and Linda Nelson, Tory Kindley, Pat Tamasy, Ginger Seabrook, and Lesley’s grandson, Max.

Wednesday July 7 – Nest 62 & 63

All the action was on Zone 2 this morning. Walkers Paula Baram, Heather Fife, Charlane Faught, Joanne Gallivan, and Joanne’s granddaughter, Caroline, found 2 crawls and both produced a new nest. The first crawl was located just South of Boardwalk 6. Mike Vinson probed and found 104 eggs to make up Nest 62 which was relocated to a higher area. The second crawl was located 5 houses North of Pelican’s Nest. Sandy MacCoss probed and found Nest 63 with 102 eggs, which were also relocated.

Friday July 9 – Nest 64 & 65

Zone 1 walkers Melanie Jerome, Ginger Seabrook, Kim and Jack Schutt were joined by Denisa Collins. They called with a crawl at the cross at Camp St. Christopher. Judy Morr, Leslie Gore and Leslie’s grandson, Max, responded and Leslie found nest 64 near where Max predicted it would be! The 101 eggs were moved south about 200 yards.

Zone 2 walkers Jackie Brooks and Nancy Shenton were pounding in some pegs on nests when a beachgoer flagged them down to ask if a nest had been found in the area yesterday. She was able to point to the location on the dune where she had recorded the mama and then watched her return to the sea. Sandy MacCoss, Jane Magioncalda and Bill Greubel responded to search for the nest despite all the field signs being washed away by Elsa. Remarkably, Bill found nest 65 and the nest was left in situ!

For more information about turtles and the Turtle Patrol, go to siturtlepatrol.com

-Submitted by Joshua Shilko

(Image credits:  Turtle Patrol)