Hobcaw: Hoping for a text book nest this morning, Susan found a strange crawl. There were 2 areas of disturbance but not a clear body pit on the last effort. It almost appears that the turtle has a right rear flipper issue and may have difficulty digging a chamber (like Gimpy). Let’s hope if this is a false crawl that the turtle returns tonight and nests under the full moon!
Sea stars: We have had a number of comments about the large influx of “starfish” on the beach. We had a similar experience in 2001 and learned the possible cause: The Grey Sea Star, Luidia clathrata, is common in shallow near-shore waters along the South Carolina coast. Periodically, they may be seen “stranded” along the beach tideline. Causes of these standings are a bit of a mystery and difficult to determine. A major stranding event of the Grey Sea Star occurred on Debidue Beach and North Island in 2001. Researchers from the USC Baruch Marine Field Laboratory conducted surveys and experiments to try to determine the cause. It was determined that in this case the most likely cause was more sea stars than available food in the shallow coastal waters where the sea stars usually reside, resulting in sea stars moving into the turbulent intertidal surf zone in search of food. Individuals were found packed with coquina clams that live in the beach intertidal zone. The strong wave action in this zone can damage sea stars and push them up onto the beach. They may be able to survive and make their way back to deeper waters if they are not out of water for too long and low in the intertidal. Please do not take live ones home to dry out for decorations. -Wendy Allen
DEB 2 HOB 2 SCUTE 11 SC 488