This week we have 1 new nest bringing the total for the season to 40 and our nests have really been hatching, or boiling, as we say.
Three days after a nest boils, an inventory of the nest will be conducted. We check the nest to see how many eggs hatched and other important data to forward to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for analysis. These inventories will be announced on Tidelines and the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol website. They are a great opportunity to learn more about these amazing creatures and you might even get to see baby hatchlings – so keep an eye out for announcements of these inventories.
August 6, 2023
The only new nest we had this week was found by Walkers Ellen and Scott Smith way out at the point at Camp Saint Christopher. Sandy MacCoss skillfully maneuvered the Turtle Truck during low tide around the section of dead trees known as the boneyard, but we knew our time was short as the tide was coming in. Luckily the nest was found quickly and 115 eggs from Nest 40 were relocated to higher ground with an equal sense of urgency. The truck barely made it back past the trees and the new nest was relocated near the Kayak Shed before the rapidly rising tide caused serious problems.
This was a big week for spotting other wildlife, especially deer. The Piebald deer, known as Spinnaker, was spotted with her young and also a buck was found waiting for his closeup on the beachside of Boardwalk 9. There was also a deer seemingly merging with an out of place Loggerhead Turtle.
Lots of activity with our nests right now but the big news is that Nest 19 has boiled after only 47 days. The hot weather seems to have shortened the incubation period on some of our nests! The usual time for incubation is about 60 days. The nests from earlier in the season had incubation times of over 70 days. Since the nests are likely to have scouts or stragglers you never know when you might see a random hatchling making their way to the water. If you are fortunate enough to see this, please do not touch the hatchling and please do contact the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol at Hello@siturtlepatrol.com.
We had a few Turtle Patrol Members that went above and beyond in assisting hatchlings to the water this week. Wednesday morning after the turtle patrol had completed their appointed rounds there was a report of a hatchling wandering around the beach at Camp Saint Christopher. Jen Gibson was good enough to go out and led the errant baby back into the water. She remained around awhile to be sure they stayed in the water. Ed Heskamp also provided assistance on Thursday to a wandering hatchling while he was taking his usual walk on the beach when he spotted and helped a hatchling from nest 18 into the water. The Thursday group of our intrepid walkers, including Lucy and Ray Hoover, Carol Heillman, Lisa and Jeff Caprossi and Amy Kashmer, won the award this week for removal of beach debris. They were able to pull out an embedded plastic bag that has been tangled around a stump for years. This group of walkers has a history of clearing out recalcitrant refuse. Great job!
-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove, Seabrook island Turtle Patrol
(Image credit: Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol