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Friday, October 5, 2012

Inventory Nest #9

 August 4th, around 9:30 PM,  NMB Public Services calls to say a huge turtle is on the beach.  Quick check, find a nesting loggerhead in the process of laying her eggs.  Turtle is protected by NMB STP Volunteers as well as two NMB Public Safety Officers while she nests.
Early the next morning, the body pit is probed, the egg chamber quickly found.  117 eggs are relocated from the middle of the beach to a nice quiet, dark spot in Cherry Grove.

Fire Hydrant adopted and painted by a NMB STP Volunteer right at the beach access where the nest is relocated.    How appropriate!!    Thank you Debbie!!

50 days later, the nest is being closely watch.  For the next few nights, the moon is large and bright in front of the nest, lighting a path to the ocean.

But, the hatchlings chose to emerge on Sept. 29th, Day 56.  Cloudy with rain predicted. No moon is seen.  A huge hole forms in the egg chamber around 8:35PM.  Clouds part and moon is finally visible around 10:15PM.  Hatchlings emerge, many go straight to the ocean, but about 1/2 turn to the left and head toward the moon over the ocean.   All hatchling go directly into the water.

Early the next morning.  depression or hole is still visible.  Looks like at least one more hatchling emerged after the mass exodus.

Morning after the emergence,  hatchlings tracks are still on the beach.

Four days later, time for the inventory.  Two small holes are found inside the large hole,
did additional hatchlings emerge or did ghost crabs take up residence?  Rain in the early mornings, so no tracks are found.

Crowd starts to gather,

Volunteers are anxious to see whats left in the hole

New friendships have formed over the last week of watching this nest

Rob talks with some kids about what they might see

Rob shows Eileen and Janice how to carefully dig into the egg chamber

Mid-way down, a hatchling is found

At the bottom of the nest, amid all the egg shells, a second hatchling is found

Triplets and their mother look at the hatchling! 

These kids were anxious to see the hatchlings.  Love the expressions!

They also wanted to hold an unhatched egg, with gloves, of course.

Anxious to see and feel an unhatched egg!!

Volunteers and spectators all want to see the hatchlings

Instinct is strong, these little guys keep moving, trying to find the ocean

One hatchling did not make it out of the shell, notice how it's body is curled and the yolk still attached.

Hole is deep.  It's amazing how much the sand builds up in 56 days.

Finally, this little guy makes it to the ocean.

Love those tracks!!

Nest #9--50th Ave Cherry Grove Beach

Laid on August 4th, Mother was seen as she nested between 9:30PM and 11PM

118 eggs in original nest, 1 egg taken for DNA Study

117 Eggs relocated to middle of Dunes

Hatchlings Emerged on September 29th,  Day 56

Inventory Results:

97 Hatched Eggs

20 Whole or Unhatched eggs of which 17 died in early development, 3 died late development

2 Live Hatchlings found in nest, released on the beach

83% Hatchling Success Rate

Last nest of the 2012 Nesting Season.   Sadly the season is over.    A huge thanks to all of the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers!!

Special thanks to Rachelle for her pictures.

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