Turtle Patrol Report for July 23 – July 29

It’s been a quiet week for the Turtle Patrol on the pleasant shores of Seabrook Island. We had one new nest bringing our total to 37 nests for the season. The good news is the nests have starting hatching. 

Beach constructions continue to pop-up and chairs, shoes and even soccer balls are mysteriously appearing overnight. These holes, castles and constructions may be fun to build but they can endanger the nesting turtles, their hatchlings and other beachgoers. Filling them in or knocking them down uses the time and resources of the island. Please enjoy the beach and build sandcastles to your hearts delight, but don’t leave the laborious and unrewarding task of cleaning this up to others. 

July 23, 2023 
Nest number 1 has finally boiled after a 70 day incubation period. Please be sure to check out the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol website for a listing of the inventories. This is a great opportunity to learn more about these amazing creatures and you might even get to see baby hatchlings! If you see tracks like those shown in the picture or even a hatchling, please do not approach the nest but we would be very grateful if you would contact the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol at at (843) 310-4280 or Hello@siturtlepatrol.com.

July 24, 2023
There are a few more stragglers leaving Nest 1, and Nest 2 has a small indention. We, on the turtle patrol wait all year for the first nest boils. It is remarkably gratifying to see these darling babies heading to the sea to fulfill their destiny. Hopefully in 20 or 25 years they will return to this area to lay their own nests.

July 25, 2023
Amber Berry was able to catch this remarkable video of some deer making a quick exit off the beach. Click here to view the video. Just another example of the amazing wild life available here. There was also a brave little “Scout” leaving Nest 2 to begin the adventure.

July 26, 2023
The first nest inventory of the season was well attended in spite of the early morning hour. The attendees were rewarded with the opportunity to cheer on this little one from Nest 1 as it started its great journey! Lesley and Tony Gore placed their camera on Nest 2 Tuesday night and were able to capture a video of this lone scout bravely venturing forth out of the nest and heading off to the sea. Click here to view the video.

July 27, 2023
The previous night must have been inviting for our young turtles as both Nests 2 and 3 had hatchlings emerging. Nest 3 had significantly more tracks leaving than Nest 2. The section of beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher where Nest 2 is located tends to be cooler.

July 28, 2023
In spite of the wind and rain and since there was no lightning, the turtle patrol walkers were able to complete their rounds. More hatchlings exited Nest 3. One very determined turtle came up on the beach near the rocks and hit the rocks five times before leaving only a shell fragment. Hopefully she will find a more hospitable section of beach to lay her eggs soon. Walkers at the point of Camp Saint Christopher weren’t able to find any turtle crawls but they did discover a shy hermit crab and a bird convention.

July 29 2023 – Nest 37
Walkers this morning were rewarded for braving the wind and rain and timing their walk between lightning storms. The Loggerhead Turtle that laid Nest 37 presented quite the puzzle. Walkers Marnie Ellis and J-Anna Smith found an exit crawl near the Camp Saint Christopher vehicle entrance and then a few hundred feet further toward the river they found the incoming crawl and a possible body pit. As lightning was approaching, the nest search along the entire length of the crawl was postponed. Nothing but hard sand was found but just before it was declared a false crawl a very determined Sandy MacCoss found the nest where the turtle first came onshore! Turtles will usually return to the ocean immediately and in a straight line after laying. 132 eggs were relocated to higher ground by Marnie, J-Anna and Sandy with an assist by Anne Snelgrove. In spite of the weather and the devious turtle, all the participants had a grand time. 

In other good news, a depression was found in Nest 4 indicating that it should be boiling soon.

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove, Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol

(Image credit: Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol)