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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Inventory, Briarcliffe Nest #4

Briarcliffe Nest #4, laid just North of the Briarciffe Cabana on June 18th.  Hatchlings emerged the night of August 8th or early morning of August 9th. Day 52. All tracks rain right to the ocean.

Larry found one late hatchling still on the beach when he checked the nest.  He made sure it reached the water......

August 10th, call comes in from SC Department of Natural Resources and NMB Police Dispatch,  2 hatchlings have been reported on beach, 48th Ave S.  This area is north of the swash separating Braircliffe from NMB.  One hatchling is dead but the second hatchling had been picked up by a family vising from Michigan and kept over night in their condo.   It was weak and listless when turned over to the NMB STP and soon died.  It is best to leave hatchlings on the shore, close to water, they are resting and will go into the ocean when ready.   

Nest is inventoried on Wednesday evening,  August 12th

A small crowd gathers, Larry talks with them, telling what the inventory involves

Larry show how the body cavity is probed to find the egg chamber

Digging up the egg chamber

Cheri and Patterson take over, hole is deep

 Larry shows the interested crowd what is found in the egg chamber

Finally all whole eggs and eggs shells have been removed, hole is empty

Inventory results:

108 eggs in original nest, 1 egg taken for DNA, 107 eggs relocated above the Spring HTL

DNA results show this mother is a traveler.  She laid 5 nests in 2011, hitting Lighthouse Island (Cape Romain) , North Litchfield, South Litchfield,  Pawleys Island and ending in NMB.  In 2013 she laid 3 nests, all in the Litchfield area.  This year she started in North Litchfield and laid her second nest on the Briarcliffe Beach.   

103 hatched shells, 4 unhatched, all died in early development....1 dead hatchling found in nest, 0 live hatchlings   

96.26% hatching success rate

Thank you Larry for your pictures.  A huge thanks to the Briarcliffe Crew....Great job.

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