Friends of Padre

Texas Turtle Nest Update 5/15/2018

By Tyler Thorsen

Courtesy of Dr. Donna Shaver

Yesterday, 1 Kemp’s ridley nest was found on the Texas coast at Padre Island National Seashore. 

KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLE
So far this year, 97 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

0 Bolivar Peninsula

0 Galveston Island

0 Brazoria County, N. of Surfside 

2 Surfside Beach 

0 Quintana Beach 

1 Bryan Beach 

0 Brazoria County, N. of Sargent Beach 

0 Sargent Beach 

1 Matagorda Peninsula 

0 Matagorda Island

3 San Jose Island

5 Mustang Island

53 North Padre Island, including 51 at Padre Island National Seashore

30 South Padre Island

2 Boca Chica Beach 

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Texas Turtle Nest Update 5/01/2018

By Tyler Thorsen

Courtesy of Dr. Donna Shaver

That one nest North Padre Island was found on the stretch of beach that Friends of Padre adopted near marker 295!

Yesterday, 41 Kemp’s ridley nest was found on the Texas coast, including 22 at Padre Island National Seashore, 13 on South Padre Island, 2 on Boca Chica Beach, 2 on San Jose Island, 1 on North Padre Island north of Padre Island National Seashore, and 1 on Mustang Island.

 
KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLE
So far this year, 50 nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state):

0 Bolivar Peninsula

0 Galveston Island

0 Brazoria County, N. of Surfside 

0 Surfside Beach 

0 Quintana Beach 

0 Bryan Beach 

0 Brazoria County, N. of Sargent Beach 

0 Sargent Beach 

0 Matagorda Peninsula 

0 Matagorda Island

2 San Jose Island

1 Mustang Island

26 North Padre Island, including 25 at Padre Island National Seashore

19 South Padre Island

2 Boca Chica Beach 

 

 


Data presented here are preliminary. Do not cite or quote without permission. Contact Donna Shaver for further information.

 

Updates regarding nesting are also posted at the Padre Island National Seashore website: www.nps.gov/pais

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A Birdseye view of the 23rd Annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup

By Tyler Thorsen

Here's a wonderful overview of this year's 2018 23rd Annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Cleanup. Thanks to all who helped to make this one the best ever!

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Friends of Padre at Barefoot Mardi Gras 2/10/2018

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre enjoyed participating in this year's Barefoot Mardi Gras on North Padre Island Saturday February 10th. It's an annual event that raises funds for local charities and each year when the schedule allows we participate to publicize our annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Cleanup. This year it is on Saturday February 24th.

The day started foggy but warm.

 

Thanks to Jacob Augsberger and his lovely wife, Lauren, for letting stage at his house and to Jacob for doing such a fine job on our cleanup artwork this year.

We passed out hundreds of Friends of Padre stickers and a few vintage t-shirts along the way too!. One thing that did surprise us was that several people asked us why we were cleaning shells from the beach. When we thought about it we do call it the Billy Sandifer "Big Shell" Cleanup. We may need to point out more that this is the name of the section of the beach we clean annually on Padre Island National Seashore - Big Shell. It's normally a four wheel drive only section of beach which runs from the 18 mile mark to about the 30 mile mark some thirty miles from the end of the pavement on Park Rd. 22. We promise we are not removing or cleaning Big Shells! ; )

 We will see you next at the Big Shell Cleanup. Be at the Malaquite Visitor's Parking lot on the Padre Island National Seashore Saturday morning February 24th no later than 8am.

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 1/15/2018

By Tyler Thorsen

Via Cody Moravits

 

The water was cold and brown the length of the beach until the last few miles where the water turned nice and green.

 

Surf was 2-3 feet and no mullet were seen in the surf and fishermen reported slow fishing with whiting and hardheads being the only few species caught. Winds were 5-10 mph out of the SE with air temperatures in the lower 60s. There was a little bit of dead seaweed washing in the 20s but still definitely fishable. Water temperature was 56 degrees and driving was excellent at low tide but not so good once the tide came in, especially between the 18-28mm. There is one large tree that is perpendicular to the surf around the 30mm that is too large for most trucks to drive over, forcing most to drive around it in the water at high tide. No large numbers of birds on the beach but there are still quite a few birds of prey flying around such as Northern Harriers and White Tail Hawks.

 

Birds observed:

 

            Herring Gull

            Ring-Billed Gull

            Laughing Gull

            Red Tailed Hawk

            White Tailed Hark

            Northern Harrier

            Sanderling

            Crested Caracara

            Double Crested Cormorant

            Brown Pelican

            Great Blue Heron

            Long Billed Curlew

            Black Bellied Plover

            Ruddy Turnstone

            Royal Tern

            Forster's Tern

            Sandwich Tern

            Caspian Tern

            Snowy Egret

            Turkey Vulture

 

 

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 12/2/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre Beach Report

via Aaron Baxter

12/02/2017

Padre Island National Seashore

Got on the beach around 0600 and made my way to the 18.5. I was only down for a day trip this time. Driving was excellent at low tide and not too bad at high tide. No 4x4 required to the 18.5. Lots of folks on the beach in the teens and near the blacktop. Water was green/clear. Dead grass/weed in the guts that would eventually be stirred up as the wind increased throughout the day. Winds started calm and built to 10 mph by the time I left the beach at 1530. Fish caught included redfish, whiting, hardheads, small sharks, and pompano.

Birds included:

Great blue heron

Laughing gull

Herring gull

Ring billed gull

Least tern

Royal Tern

Caspian Tern

Ruddy turnstone

Sanderling

Black Bellied plover

Willet

Brown pelican

Cormorant

Ducks flying low and fast off the third bar

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The 23rd Annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Cleanup February 24th 2018

By Tyler Thorsen

The 23rd Annual Billy Sandifer Big Shell Cleanup February 24th 2018

 

The 23nd Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup will be held on the Padre Island National Seashore on Saturday, the 24th of February, 2018. Volunteers will meet at the Malaquite Pavilion parking lot and the event will begin at 8:00 a. m. Admission to the park will be waived for all volunteers.  All volunteers will be returned to the pavilion by 2 p. m. 4 wheel drive vehicles with operators are the backbone of the event; however those with 2 wheel drive vehicles are most welcome and can leave their vehicles at the pavilion and will be transported down the beach as space becomes available in 4 wheel drive vehicles. If you have a 4 wheel drive but are alone you are most welcome as others without 4 wheel drive vehicles can catch a ride with you into and out of the work area. Trailers for hauling trash are much needed but need to be in good condition due to the rough terrain covered. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions as the event has to date taken place in all kinds of weather conditions. Long trousers, long sleeved shirts, a windbreaker or slicker top, suitable head wear and a good, sturdy pair of work shoes are recommended. Food will be available at the Malaquite pavilion at the conclusion of the event and iced water and lite snacks will be available in the work area but feel free to bring something to eat during the event if you feel it necessary. Event t shirts will be given to all volunteers while supplies last. Check back often for more details!

 

Billy Sandifer and the Friends of Padre

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Friends of Padre Beach Report 11/22/2017

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre Beach Report 11/22/2017

via Cody Moravits

 

Friends of Padre Trip 11-22-17

            The water was brown the length of the beach until about the last 5 miles before the wind switched back out of the SE, then the water cleared the length of the beach on the incoming tide.

 

Mullet were initially difficult to find until the SE wind pushed them back on the beach. There have been waves of Man O War and other jellyfish washing in off and on during the past few weeks and remember that they will stick to your vehicle and can still sting you at the car wash when cleaning your truck. I haven't used my waders yet this year but with the water temps right around 70 degrees it is pretty much that time. Fishing was relatively good with anglers catching bull and slot redfish, bluefish, spanish mackerel, smaller blacktip sharks, bonnetheads, a few trout and pompano, whiting, stingrays and gafftop.

 

 

 Driving was excellent at low tide but with every front that comes through the blow sand fills in all the ruts making driving during higher tides extremely soft and mushy  and not nearly as good.

 

There are a lot of migratory birds to be seen on the beach right now, including many species of raptors. Even witnessed a Peregrine Falcon knock a bird out of the sky before pouncing on it in the foredunes.

 

Birds observed:

 

            Herring Gull

            Ring-Billed Gull

            Laughing Gull

            Merlin

            Peregrine Falcon

            Red Tailed Hawk

            White Tailed Hark

            Northern Harrier

            White Ibis

            Sanderling

            Crested Caracara

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