With the new moon came really high tides. We had 16 nests overwashed over the course of 3 days. Although many get worried when they see water washing over a nest it can be a good thing for our turtles. The water allows the nest to cool down, which could increase the success of the nest. If there are too many washovers on a particular nest or if it has standing water on top of the nest, then it has the chance of drowning the eggs. The issue we are having with our renourished beach is that it is eroding away very quickly! Some nests that seemed to be in a great location at the time the turtle nested, now are at the edge of a scarp and are getting washed over many times throughout their incubation process.
With one particular nest, the screen and posts were removed by the water so we could not relocate the egg chamber. A visitor of our park was walking the beach and went down the scarp and the sand gave way to reveal eggs, pipped eggs and hatchlings! We were happy to find this nest again as the next night, they may have been washed out completely! We carefully relocated this nest by placing everything into a bucket. If they were hatchlings we recovered them with sand so they would stay dormant. We would prefer they come out of their nest when they are ready! We relocated this nest farther back on the beach and we are anticipating it hatching soon!
Another nest we saw was at risk of experiencing the same thing, so we needed to move it to a better location. In total we have had to do this three times this year. Last year we did not have to do this at all! Moving nests after they have been incubating for some time is risky as you have to be extremely careful moving the eggs. However, if we would not move them they have the risk of being lost completely.
Sea Turtle Biologist