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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inventory of Nest #6

Around 8:30 PM on June 16, NMSTP volunteer Peggy called with the news of a nesting turtle on the beach around 18th Ave N.  It was a good thing she called, this turtle, named "Luna" because she was nesting in the bright moon light,  just barely came above the HTL before digging her nest.  Many people were on the beach, shining lights and taking pictures, but she was determined and laid 116 eggs before turning and going back into the water.  By the time she had disappeared into the ocean, all of her tracks had been wiped out by the people walking around and talking about her.  Linda was just barely able to mark off the nesting site for the night.

53 days later, NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers started to watch the nesting site.  Gathering just before dark, we were treated to all types of beautiful skyes, from the 3/4 moon over the ocean, to the gorgeous sunset 

to storm clouds!  Will it or will it not storm, should we stay or leave soon became the topic of the days.

Early Friday morning, August 12, the nest showed signs of emerging.  The hatchlings began their long journey around 3AM.

On Monday, August 15, the nest was inventoried.  A crowd started to gather well before the 7:30PM start time.  All kids were brought up front so they could see.

Gwen helped dig up the nest.

Phyliss and Jack also helped with the inventory

The eggs were deep in the sand.  

All were rewarded with two hatchlings, still in the sand but near the top of the egg chamber.

NMB Visitor, Cassie had spent two evenings with the NMBSTP with her good friend Sandy, waiting for the hatchlings.  She released one of the stranded turtles on the beach.

One of the  younger NMBSTP Volunteers, Jack released the 2nd hatchling. 

Soon a race to the ocean was on.  "Jack" lead most of the way but "Cassie" beat him in the end!

Thank you Jack and Cassie.  Thank you Gwen and Phyliss.  It was a deep nest in the soft sand.  A very hot and tiring job.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with this nest.

Inventory results:

116 eggs recorded on June 17
1 egg taken for DNA Study
115 eggs relocated back to the dunes

Nest hatched on August 12,  3AM  Day 56

112 eggs hatched
3 unhatched eggs, all died during early development

2 hatchlings found in nest, released to the ocean

97% Hatchling Success Rate!!!

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