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Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Nest #1

Donna started her walk early at the swash separating Briarcliffe from North Myrtle Beach.  She was barely on the beach when she noticed tracks coming out of the water and then saw sand being thrown in the air.  She quietly approached and saw the nesting mother, still on the beach, last stages of the nesting process, throwing sand to hide her eggs from predators.  Donna and several early morning beach walkers stood quietly as this giant mother finished her chore and crawled back into the water with the sun slowly rising.

While this location may have appeared ideal to this mother, she laid the eggs just above the high tide line but below the spring high tide line putting them in jeopardy of over-washing in the event of a very high tide or a coastal storm.  While the beach may have been quiet at this time of the morning, this beach is right in front of two giant high rise complexes, the beach is very crowded during the day and remains crowded into the early morning hours.  The decision was quickly made to relocate the eggs to a darker, quieter section of North Myrtle Beach.

 Crawl out of the ocean and then back.

Body Pit

 On her way back to the water, the turtle had to crawl through a hole carelessly left on the beach

Probing for the egg cavity


Moving the eggs, one by one

Very carefully


Yes, there's the face

All the eggs have been removed, empty hole dug by mother

108 eggs ready for a new home

New hole is being dug, using a cockleshell

Eggs are carefully transferred from the bucket to the new hole

Pelicans are checking out what we are doing...

All eggs are finally in the hole

NMB Nest #1 is in the books

A huge thanks to Donna!!!

Thank you Arlene, Maddy, Sherry, Janice,  Meredith, Connie and Sam, the Turtle Man, for your help this morning.

Thank you Donna for your pictures.

Thank you Jon and Holly for your fantastic video

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