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Monday, September 19, 2016

Inventory NMB Nest #7, 46th Ave N

NMB Nest #7 was laid in front of the Buena Vista Condo complex at 40th Ave N, Cherry Grove during the early morning hours of July 25.  








On Day 46 of incubation, a large hole is found on top of the egg chamber, ghost crab hole is found behind the chamber


Day 47, one lone hatchling emerges from the egg chamber and runs to the water

Chased out by Ghost Crab?


Ghost crab is seen in it's hole, every once and a while, it throws sand out of it's hole, into the egg chamber,  Soon the original hole or depression in the egg chamber is filled in by the sand the ghost crab is throwing.

Evening of day 47, a fox is spotted running along Ocean Blvd, not far from the beach access leading to the location of this nest


Morning of day 48, another hatchling has emerged and disappeared into the water, leaving only tracks


Sept. 11th, evening of Day 48, another lone hatchling emerges as darkness falls.  An hour later, major boil.....

Soon, only tracks are left




Check of nest the morning after the boil, surprise, 
the fox has been able to crawl under the cage and dig 
into the egg chamber






Two hatched egg shells were found outside the egg chamber




Fox dug under the cage, under the legs of the cage and squeezed in to the cage to dig deep into egg chamber

Cage is removed and reset further into the sand but the fox continued to try to get into the egg chamber for the next three days, until the inventory.....


Day 4 after emergence, Inventory is conducted.

One hatched egg shell is found and then...
one live hatchling



Then a whole pipped egg is pulled out, hatchling head is just showing...to delight of all, hatchling is alive
and soon wiggles out of the shell





His body has not quite straightened out so decision is made not to release him just yet, he is reburied on a different beach, away from the fox activity



A second live hatchling is found, deeper in the egg chamber,  the two strong hatchlings are released on the beach to begin the journey into the sea 














Cage and poles are removed, hole from egg chamber is filled in, dunes are put back into order
But the fox is back the next morning, digging up the empty egg chamber
Ghost crab is also back........ looking for left overs


Fox is spotted at 6:30AM, not to far from nest


Sharkley, the live hatchling that was found half in/half out of egg, emerges from his new hole 3 nights later.  Sharley was reluctant to leave land to go into the water.  He crawls to the water line  and then
crawled back up to his hole.  He is found by STP Volunteers Matt and Ingrid.  With a little encouragement, he finally entered the water.






This nest was one surprise after another.  Mother crashed through dune fence and laid her eggs on the back side of the dunes, sand on egg chamber first depressed on day 46 of incubation, first hatchling emerged on day 47.

Major emergence was the evening of day 48.....fox came along and dug in to the chamber after most hatchlings had left.

Despite the ghost crab and fox activity, all 105 eggs relocated from original nest were accounted for.

Inventory results:

106 eggs in original nest, 105 relocated, one egg used for DNA Study

94 Hatched shells, 10 whole or unhatched of which two died in late development, fully formed turtles in shell
2 pipped eggs of which one was alive and crawled out of shell on it's own (counted as a hatched egg), the other pipped egg, hatchling was dead, counted as unhatched

2 live hatchlings found in the egg chamber, released on the beach, 1 dead hatchling found

The live pipped hatchling was reburied per DNR Instructions, this little guy emerged on it's own 3 nights later and crawled into the ocean.

90% hatch success rate!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Inventory NMB Nest #6 49th Ave North, Cherry Grove

NMB Nest #6 was laid in the middle of the public beach access at 49th Ave N.  114 eggs were relocated just a few yards south, just above the dune line.



Friday, Sept. 2nd, 50 days later, Tropical Storm Hermine, once a hurricane when made landfall in Flordia, comes through the NMB area.  Strong winds and heavy rain throughout the day.  High tides from the new moon, cause water to come further up the beach.

 Nest check around 6PM, sand is puffed up around reed, 
hatchling or blowing wind?





Just before 11PM, rain is now just a slight drizzle,
wind has subsided...call comes in, there are hatchlings on the beach!

Nest morning, large exit hole is the only evidence
rain has made the sand very hard so no tracks

 

That evening, sky is clearing, beautiful sunset to the west


Tuesday evening, nest is inventoried






Inventory results:

115 eggs laid on Jaly 14th, 1 egg used for DNA
114 relocated just to the south of the beach access

Nest emerged right after the worst part of the storm, day 50

107 hatched eggs, 7 unhatched, discolored and collapsed
No live or dead hatchlings

93.9% hatching success rate!!!

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