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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bucket Full of Turtles!!!! Snapping Turtle Rescue

Major rain hits North Myrtle Beach.....Oct 2nd.....rainfall totals from 7pm Thursday - 7am Saturday. Over a foot in Little River

Major street flooding on Friday night, cars stranded as water level rises on the roads

Storm drains are over worked....Early Saturday morning call comes in from Lori, there are a lot of aquatic or land turtles all over the beach.  Quick drive down, sure enough, turtles are coming out of the storm drain pipes into about 2 feet of ocean water.....people are frantically watching for the turtles an grabbing them as the poor confused turtles try to get out of the deep ocean water.


Soon one bucket is full....

Two large bucket full of turtles.....14 in all
Taken to McLean

The bigger turtles immediately jumped into the water, the biggest one thanked me by taking  a chunk out of my knuckle
but that's OK

The smaller turtles were a little hesitate but soon ran to the water

Yes, fresh water!!!!

The smallest turtle, different from the rest,
Some sort of Musk Turtle?

Look closely at the nose

Tiny but I do not think it is a youngster, I believe a mature adult

Duck weather

But even some of the duck were tired of the rain

"I think I will wait here under the shelter until the rain stops"

Late day rescue....huge turtle swimming up and down the street....
22 Ave N, NMB


First look.....I am in trouble

Lok at that head, look at that tail

I do not want to mes with this guy.......

Only way to safely move the turtle, push it head first into the bucket


Quickly carry it to the nearby canal and release

Not a happy camper, but at least safe for now

stay in the canal and out of the street

Look at that tail, imagine stepping on this......

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Inventory Briarcliffe Nest #9---Last nest of the 2015 season

Briarcliffe nest #9 was laid on July 22nd, 1 day after nest #8.  This nest was the southern most nest, close to the Lands End Condo Complex.   Laid below the Spring HTL, 112 eggs, 111 move back onto a low dune, 1 egg taken fro DNA.   The hatchlings emerged late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, September 20th, exactly one week after nest #8 emerged.  Day 60 of incubation.  A few stragglers emerged the next night.  

Larry's dog is interested....did the hatchlings just emerge and scent is still strong?

Tracks go straight to the ocean, over numerous foot prints left in the sand

4 days later, the egg chamber is dug up and inventoried.

Hole is wider and deeper, some tracks are still visible.

Larry and Cheri dig up the egg chamber

One hatched egg is soon found

Then a pipped or egg in which the hatchling started to emerge but died before
coming completely out of the shell.   Head is out.....

Pipped egg, notice how head is sticking out of egg

Another pipped egg, this hatchling was almost completely out of shell

3 pipped eggs

3 whole or unhatched on the right is grayish color,

this one contained a fully formed, large hathcling

hatchling with yolk sac still large and attached

Egg chamber is empty

Inventory results:

112 eggs, nest is laid just below the Spring High Tide Line
111 eggs relocated back into the dunes, 1 egg taken for DNA Study

Hatchlings emerged on Sept. 20, day 60

102 hatched eggs
3 whole or unhatched eggs of which 2 died in early development,
1 egg died in late development, large fully formed hatchlings
6 pipped eggs

no live or dead hatchlings

91.9% hatchling success rate

THANK YOU Larry, Cindy and Cheri for helping with the inventory.  A huge thanks to Larry 
for your pictures.....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Inventory Briarcliffe Nest #8

On July 21st, a nesting loggerhead first false crawled on the Briarcliffe Beach but then came back, right in the same spot as Nest #2, crawled through the roped off area, over the egg cavity, came out in back and nested.  Eggs are in a good spot so nest left natural or in situ.

54 days later, September 13, hatchlings emerge either late at night or early morning.  Day 54 of incubation.  One hatchling is found on the top of the egg chamber, completely out of the sand.  Lethargic, exhausted from climbing out, the hatchling is covered up with sand in hopes it will gain strength and be on it's way.

Inventory is performed 4 days later, on September 16th.  Hole has started to fill in, 

Larry starts to dig up the egg chamber

Claire takes over, pulling out shells as Patterson separates whole from hatched.

One whole egg is found with a root growing into and out the other side

Finaaly egg chamber is empty, Patterson counts the shells

Since this is a natural nest, this is roughly the hole dug by the other,
very deep......

Inventory results

Nest laid on July 21st, hatchlings emerged on Sept. 13th, 54 days incubation

112 hatched shells
17 unhatched, of which 16 were collapsed, died in early development
1 egg died in late development, fully formed

No live or dead hatchlings in egg chamber
the one hatchling found on top of the egg chamber, died but was not included in stats since
it was completely out of the egg chamber

86.8% hatching success rate

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