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Monday, August 18, 2014

Inventory NMB Nest #1

NMB Nest #1 was found by NMB STP Volunteer, Donna on June 12th.  The mother was still on the beach, sand was being thrown when Donna started her walk just before sunrise at the swash separating NMB from Briarcliffe.  Donna watched quietly as the turtle finished and slowly crawled back into the water.  Because the nest was laid on a very active beach and below the spring HTL, the nest was relocated to 50th Ave N, a darker quieter spot.  109 eggs were originally laid, 108 eggs were relocated, 1 egg was taken for the DNA sample.

62 days later, August 13th, hatchling emerge around 10PM, high tide, full moon has not appeared yet, sand falls, large hole forms and hatchlings immediately boil out.  All run straight to the ocean.

2 stragglers emerged around mid-night and crawled straight to the ocean, guided by the light of the moon.  A third hatchling emerged late the next afternoon and crawled across the hot sun.  She was found in a tide pool, hot, exhausted and dehydrated.  She was keep on moist sand for a few hours and released near the water line at sunset. She immediately started her journey, swimming quickly away.

Inventory is conducted on Sunday, August 17th.  Crowd starts to gather, all wondering what is really under that sand.

NMB STP volunteers Jeannie and Stephanie along with Rob, dig into the hole, looking for eggs.  Soon one whole, unhatched egg is found, then handfuls of hatched eggs are pulled out of the hole. 

Younger NMB STP Volunteers trying to take a spin around the beach

2014 NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers

NMB Nest #1

Laid on une 12th, early morning, mother still on beach around 5:30AM

Nest laid South of 48th Ave S, below the spring HTL

Nest is relocated from a very busy, lighted section of the beach to a darker quieter section 
at 50th Ave N

109 Eggs in Nest
108 eggs relocated
1 egg taken for DNA Study

Hatchlings boiled out of nest on Wed. August 13th around 10PM, Day 62

Inventory on Sunday, Augst 17th

102 Hatch eggs
6 unhatched or whole eggs, all died in early development
0 dead hatchlings, 0 live hatchlings

94% Hatchling Success Rate

A Thank you to Donna to finding this nest
A Thank you to Sherry, Arlene and Connie for watching over this nest from day 50 until the hatchlings emerged on Day 62 of incubation
A huge thanks to Julie for her great pictures

Monday, August 11, 2014

NMB Nest #5

NMB Sanitation alerted James and Beverly as they started their walk,  "turtle on the beach"   Sure enough, a turtle was still nesting just below the Spring high tide line.  Word quickly spread, more and more NMB STP Volunteers arrived at the site.

Outgoing crawl

For once, the turtles tracks cross the truck track, indicating she crawled after the early morning
truck went by

Incoming crawl

Top of Outgoing crawl with body pit

This turtle is a very neat nester, only thrown sand completely covering pit is visible

 Eggs were quickly found

Nest is in the middle of the beach, just below the Spring HTL so nest is moved back to the dunes out of the way of beach traffic

73 eggs, 1 egg taken for DNA study, 72 eggs relocated

Empty hole dug by mother, how does she do this??

1 egg is misshapen,  almost looks like a turtle

 Sam processes the DNA Egg

Opening the shell

Exciting morning

Nest is relocated, statistics recorded, new egg chamber is protected

A huge thanks to NMB Sanitation for quickly alerting James and Beverly.  Many were able
to watch this wonderful event.  Turtle was given plenty of space, everyone respected her while
watching in awe!!

Thank you Beverly, James and Corrina for getting to the site so quickly and making
sure the turtle was protected as she nested

Thanks to all of the other NMB STP volunteers who quickly arrived and helped relocate the eggs

THANK YOU Corrina for your wonderful pictures.

NMB NEST #5 is now on the books for the 2014 season

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NMB Nest #4

After investigating two false crawls Monday morning, hope was the turtle was not to traumatized and would be back to nest.   Didn't have to wait to long.  NMB Dispatch calls the NMB STP around 10:15PM, report just came in of a large turtle on the beach.  Only 5 blocks south from where the turtle was harassed the night before.  Sure enough, turtle was in the middle of the beach, throwing sand and finishing the nesting process.  But, turtle was surrounded by a group of people, flashlights shining from all sides.  Request was quickly made to turn the lights off, let her finish in the dark.  Everyone watched in the dark as she finished and slowly crawled back into the ocean.

Next morning, only a short length of her outgoing crawl remained down by the water line.  Incoming crawl had been completely erased from all of the people walking around and watching her.

Sun just starting to rise, beach has already been raked

Short outgoing crawl in the wet sand

Beach had already been raked at 6AM so crawl ended in the raked area

In the deeper, dryer sand near the body pit, outgoing crawl is barely visible among all of the human tracks

Body Pit.  Turtle nested in the middle of this wide beach.  Soft layer of sand was only inches deep,
sand under this layer is very dense and hard packed

No incoming track is left after being completely wiped out by all people walking around as the turtle nested.

Egg cavity is difficult to locate.  This turtle had a strange body pit with piles of sand.
lots of thrown sand,  egg chamber was finally found but not where initially thought to be


Two spacer eggs, more common in Leatherback Turtle Nests than
in Loggerhead Nests are found.  Placed next to a golf ball (about the size of a normal 
loggerhead egg) to show size.  No known reason for these little eggs, though
might be excess calcium mother is getting rid of

One egg taken for DNA.  Being examined by a NMB STP

Because the nest is located in the middle of this busy beach, in the way of Sanitation, NMB Beach Patrol and beach users,  the nest is relocated to a quieter part of the beach

116 eggs, 1 egg taken for DNA,  115 eggs being relocated

Empty Egg Chamber

Processing the DNA Egg

Relocating eggs to a new home

Youngest volunteers decide to dig in the sand as the eggs are 
being relocated

Poles going up

Eggs are resting in new home
Poles and orange  DNR sign are up marking the nest


A huge thanks to all who helped this brave mother nest last night.  Although
not a relaxed, dark environment, she was determined and accepted all the people hovering 
around her.

A thanks to Jake, Mike  and Bob for calling NMB Dispatch and then calling the NMB STP. Thanks for your pictures.
 A special thanks to the family who met me on the beach by following my red light and showed me where the nest was.  My initial location was 4 or 5 blocks off so I walked a good distance before finding the nest.

Thanks to all of the Tuesday Volunteers who walked their assigned segment and then helped with the nest.  Thanks to the other NMB STP Volunteers who came on their time off and helped.

Thank you Sue for the pictures.

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