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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Inventory NMB Nest #3

Jill found a crawl leading up to the dunes at 12th Ave S.  Quick search, nest is found......because the nest is in the middle of a private beach access, eggs are relocated to 9th Ave S, a darker, quieter section on the beach.  On September 24,  61 days later, a hole is discover.  Hatchlings have emerged either late the night before or before 7AM that morning.  Cold, windy and rainy couple of days.  

On Saturday, Sept. 27, Inventory is performed.   . 
Hole is much larger, starting to cave in upon itself. 

Crowd starts to gather

Talk to the crowd and questions are answered 

  Neal and Marilyn open the egg chamber and start pulling out eggs


Pile of empty shells soon forms

Counting the empty shells

I think we got them all.....

Brooks helps by taking empty and whole eggs around to show the crowd 

This guy wanted to feel an egg...gloves are a must

Inventory is finished...only a deep empty hole remains

Inventory Results:

Nest was found on July 25th at 12th Ave S

112 eggs in original nest, 111 eggs moved to 9th Ave S, 1 egg taken for DNA

Hatchlings emerged sometime before 7AM on Sept. 24th, Day 61 of incubation

Inventory on Sat., Sept 27th

106 hatched eggs
5 unhatched or whole eggs, all died in early development
No dead or alive hatchlings found in nest

95.5% hatching success rate

DNA results show that the mother laid two nests on Briarcliffe, then a nest at 12th Ave S and then laid another nest on the northern end of Myrtle Beach.  There is a missing two week period, so she may have laid a 5th nest, possibly at 12th Ave N, DNA Results are not in yet for this nest. 

Thank you Jill and all of the Segment C Walkers who watched over this nest.  Thank you Neal and Marilyn for helping with the inventory.  Thank you Paulette for recording the stats.

Thank you Julie and Mary for your pictures

Irish Italian Festival

Saturday, Sept 27th, Irish Italian Festival on Main Street in NMB.  Great time to get the word out about one of NMB least known visitors, the sea turtles......

Thank you Sherry, Corrina, Donna, Karen, Mary Ann, Ricky, Stan, Leslie, Lee, and Janice for helping with this event.  The both was a big hit, lots of good information given out, lots of interest about the sea turtles.

North Myrtle Beach Eco Tots

The North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol was asked to talk with the NMB Eco Tots sponsored by the Yaupon Garden Club.  Several Sea Turtle Patrol members volunteered to go in and talk with these curious young kindergartners.  

Sea Turtles do not have teeth.  Loggerheads need strong jaws
to eat whelk, crabs and other sea shells

Plastic bag vs Jelly Fish

Caretta made a surprise appearance

Presentation ended with Caretta and the Eco Tots watch a video of hatchlings emerge from their nest 

A huge thanks to NMB STP Volunteers Corrina, Maddy, Karen and Jill

Thanks to the Yaupon for inviting us in to talk.

And a big thanks to the young children so interested in the sea turtles.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NMB Nest #2

John saw the mother turtle come ashore, late on July 3rd and watched her as she nested early into July 4th.  A big turtle, she seem to pick the right spot, close to the dunes, near a new beach access walkover.....

This nest was watched from Day 50 until day 75 of incubation.  No sign of an emergence or hatchlings was ever seen.  No hole or depression in the sand, no tracks on the beach, no live hatchlings found.  Concern began to grow as the days went by......Did we miss it?   Was the sand to wet from the many days of rain?   Sand to hard packed and moist to let the hatchlings climb out?

Finally as per DNR guidelines, we were able to dig up the egg chamber on day 75.   July 17th.  Within seconds, it became apparent what had happened.   Eggs were found very close to the surface,  60 eggs were found, all unhatched.  2 very small eggs, shaped almost like snow men were also found.  All 60 eggs were opened, all were either never fertilized or all died in very early development.  Yolk was still very runny in some eggs, congealed into a soft, cheesy consistency in other eggs.

This egg was found with a belly button like protrusion.  Interesting!!

Regular egg next to the two small "snowmen" eggs

At least we were treated to a beautiful sky as the day ended.

NMB Nest #2

Natural, in situ nest

Laid on July 4th, left to incubate for 75 days

Egg Chamber dug up on Sept 17th

60 whole or unhatched eggs found, 2 small "snowman" shaped or spacer eggs also found

0 hatched eggs

No live or dead hatchlings found

1 egg taken on July 4th for DNA Study

total eggs in nest 61

0 % hatching success rate

Thank you Julie for your great pictures

NMB Nest #6

A crawl was found by Segment B walkers around 12th Ave N on Tuesday, July 15th.  It was extremely windy on the beach and a good portion of the crawl was blown over and filled in with sand.  It was clear that this turtle had stopped 3 times on her  way up to the dunes, 3 times started to nest but hen abandoned the spot and continued up.  Her tracks were very faint near the dune line, a body pit was never really visible, nor were her incoming or outgoing tracks.   An area was probed  and probed by the egg cavity could not be found.  After a couple of hours, the search was halted and the track was recorded as a false crawl.   A month later, by looking at pictures taken that July morning, a small area was roped off, just a precaution in case there were eggs.  But again, no defined egg cavity was found.

Sunday morning, September 14th, 61 days later,  STP Volunteer, John was walking past the roped off area and noticed a large hole, typical of many of our holes left after hatchlings have emerged.   A quick feel inside the hole, very soft sand and to our surprise and delight, a hatchling!!  The hole was quickly covered with loosely packed sand and plans were made for the inventory the following Wed.

Hatchling is released on the beach and watched closely as it crawls to the water.  
Big hatchling, very strong, eager to be on it's way


Wednedsay, Sept. 17, crowd starts to gather as word spread about the pending inventory.  


Rob, John and several kids, including Abbey and Spencer from the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol and Piper and friend from the local elementary school dig up the egg cavity and start pulling out eggs.

Very deep hole dug by the mother

 Two hatchlings died in the egg, before even starting to hatch.  Here can be seen how the hatchling develops around the yolk sac

The second hatchling had an even bigger yolk sac, probably died at an earlier stage

Finally, all eggs are remove.

Spencer and friend show spectators what an unhatched egg looks like

Finally, all eggs are removed
Sorted into piles, hatched vs unhatched

 This little one wore the right shirt.........

Counting the eggs

Hatched vs unhatched

Inventory Results of NMB Nest #6

Nest was laid on July 15....Hatchlings emerged on Sept. 14

61 days of incubation

Nest was laid at 12th Ave N

109 eggs found in the egg chamber of which

103 hatched 

6 unhatched of which

4 died in early development, 2 died late development, hatchling formed

No live or dead hatchlings were found 

94.4% hatching Success Rate

Thank you Julie for your great pictures

Thank you Tuesday, Segment B Walkers, you found the crawl but the egg cavity was never found....

it was there, just well hidden by the mother and mother nature.

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