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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inventory of Nest #3-11th Ave S

 Late Wednesday night, June 2, the call came in, "there's a huge turtle on the beach."   11th Ave S, Crescent Beach.  Rob, Donita and Linda went to the beach, watched the turtle and roped off the nesting area. Early the next morning, Thursday's volunteers helped relocated the eggs back to the dunes.  147 eggs were in the original nest, 8 had already been destroyed by a ghost crab, 139 eggs were relocated.

 Around 2AM, Sunday, July 31, Day 57, the hatchlings emerged from the nest.  It was low tide, a tide pool and sand bar separated the beach from the ocean, the sky over the ocean was very dark, but the sky over the upper part of the beach was covered with white clouds which seemed to reflect the lights from nearby buildings.  The hatchling appeared to be very confused and headed across the beach instead of down to the ocean.  A handful of NMBSTP volunteers as well as several spectators worked for a coupled of hours to make sure these hatchlings made it.  At daylight, it was discovered that some had walked down the beach, 15 were discovered in the dunes, 1 was even in a swimming pool.  Over the next couple of nights, one or two hatchlings would appear on the surface of the nest and run toward the ocean.

Wednesday evening, Aug. 3 the nest was dug up by Rob and Linda and contents inventoried.

Live hatchlings were discovered about half way down the hole, some packed tightly in the hard sand. 

Twelve hatchlings were found in the nest, they were placed in a bucket and later released.

The egg shells were found deep in the hole and removed for counting.

This nest did not do well, 28 whole eggs were also found.

Betty showed the hatchlings to the crowd that had gathered to see what we were doing.

Julie took this great picture of the hatchlings in the bucket!

 Many residents close to this section of the beach as well as visitors were very interested in this nest and came to watch the inventory.

When the major emergence occurred early Sunday morning, Bree Lee, Lydia and Adam were waiting with us on the beach.  They and their mothers were extremely helpful in making sure the poor confused hatchlings made it into the water.  These kids were still on the beach at Sunrise and helped rescue at least 15 more hatchlings from the dunes.  They were visiting from N.C.  THANK YOU!!

Rob's grandson, Jonah also helped us, especially during the inventory.  

Betty took charge of the hatchlings and made sure they were released in a safe spot.

NMBSTP Volunteers making sure the last 12 made it safely to their new environment.

Whew!!  This nest was a challenge, from keeping the mother safe while onshore laying her nest, to the first group of confused hatchlings, to the stragglers dribbling out, one or two at a time, to the inventory and the surprises inside.  A big thanks to all who helped.  Especially to the kids who stayed late with us and helped.  They were special!!

Thank you Julie and Denise for your pictures.

Inventory Results:

Nest laid on June 3-Mother seen on beach
147 eggs
8 eggs destroyed by a ghost crab, 1 of which was taken for DNA Study
139 eggs relocated back to the dunes

Nest Emerged on Sunday, July 31  Day 57

Nest inventoried on Wed. Aug 3
139 eggs
111 hatched eggs
20 eggs died in early development
5 eggs died-late development
3 hatchlings died during hatchling (pipping)

12 live hatchlings found in the nest, release on the beach to crawl to the ocean.

80% Hatching Success Rate

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