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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Inventory Briarcliffe Nest #1

Briarcliffe Nest #1 was found on the morning of June 23, just north of the "Crossover" on the Briarcliffe Beach.  This nest was laid just below the Spring High Tide Line, 108 eggs in original nest, 1 egg taken for DNA, 107 eggs moved higher up into the Dunes.

On Sunday, August 17, Day 55 of incubation, a crack forms around the egg chamber.  Hatchlings moving under the sand?

On Monday morning, August 18th, a major depression is found early in the morning.  But no tracks are
found to indicate a major emergence.  By the afternoon, beach is very windy and the hole is completely filled with sand.  Major thunder storm blows through around 7PM, heavy and cold rain

Tuesday Morning, small hole is noted around the egg chamber, a single track is noted around the egg chamber, did one or more hatchling emerge during the heavy rain?

No change on Wednesday morning, Day 58.  But late in the afternoon a call comes in on the NMB STP Hotline, "there is a big crack and movement, hatchlings can be seen."  Afraid the hatchlings will emerge during the extreme heat of the afternoon, sand is still very hot, Sherry and Cindy go to the nest, ready to grab the hatchlings as they come out to keep off the hot sand.  No hatchlings emerge before a thunder storm again chases them off the beach.

Cindy, Larry, Judy and other Briarcliffe STP come back to the nest after the storm. Around 8PM another crack and then a hole forms.   Just as dark is descending, 5 hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the water.  No other activity is reported and the group leaves for the night.

Check of the nest early Thursday morning, day 59,  deep hole and tracks all over the beach, all heading for the water.  YES, finally evidence of a major emergence.  

Inventory is conducted on Sunday, the 4th night after the major emergence.  Larry digs up the egg 

And soon finds empty shells

One dead hatchling is found at the bottom of the egg chamber

One live hatchlings is found

Then, as a hatched shell is laid on the sand, another live hatchling tumbles out of the shell.

Was this it's egg shell or did it just crawl into an empty shell?

Hatchling is weak, neck is crooked.

Soon all egg shells are removed from the egg cavity, separated between whole, unhatched and hatched shells

The two live hatchlings are released on the beach and helped into the water

Thank you Larry, Cindy and Judy for the pictures.

Results of the Inventory

108 eggs laid  on June 23rd, 1 egg taken for DNA Study, 107 eggs relocated above 
the Spring HTL

Major emergence on August 21st, day 59

102 Hatched eggs
5 Unhatched, all died in early development
2 dead hatchlings found in the egg chamber
2 live hatchlings found and released on the beach

95% Hatchling Success Rate!!!

A huge thanks to all of the Briarcliffe Volunteers

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