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… just what happened at sea turtle nest #9 in Duck, NC?

It seems like forever ago that Loggerhead nest #9 was discovered by famous nest finder Jackie O on her ATV run in Duck on August 10, 2013. Because it was determined that the nest was too close to the tide line it was relocated closer to the dune line. Louise V. (aka Louie and/or L) carefully counted 110 eggs being returned to their new home in the sand to develop on that day.

Da nest #9 Duck

Because of the cooler temperatures in August and September and the later hatch date of most of nests in 2013, under the direction of fearless leader KC (Karen Clark) it was determined that the nest sit date would be at day 65 (or was it 70? who counts when having fun) vs. the normal day 55 which is used as a base for all the crazy N.E.S.T.ers to begin their nest watch.
Louise in a moment of weakness thankfully agreed to be nest parent of nest #9 and Louie being Louie had no trouble rounding up a crew of wild eyed, but seasoned nesters. Jackie O with her ever watchful eye, Nest whisperer Sarah and expert husband sand sifter Jim with the stethoscope, Kaye joining in after her trip to India sporting a red dot on her forehead (well not really, but she did return with a India virus and not the computer type), plus Shelly and Ray prior to returning to Ohio completed the nest group.
Wellllllllll nest sitting on #9 consisted of mostly rain and cold weather conditions, but thanks to nest parent Louise all were fortunate to have a refuge under a beach front house. 10-15 minute checks were standard each night of nest sitting with the response of “nothing happening” for the checks.

As KC sez: What happens at the nest, stays at the nest!

Don’t think that the nest sitting crew were bored, or hungry or not entertained because that just ain’t so. In addition to daily talks with the little loggers by seasoned turtle whisperer Sarah, entertainment was provided which consisted of …. Well, er, ah, KC always sez what is said or done at the nest stays at the nest, but rumor has it that there were daily ghost readings and games that included headbands with cards … go figure …

KC and some of the nest 9 gang with Frizzle making sure things were under control

KC, mom Jill and Frizzle made a visit to the nest which was met with everyone’s best behavior to disguise the antics going on.

Day 80 rolled in with an added 10 lbs of weight for some of because of all the delicious eats at the nest every night. With no tur-tels in sight KC advised Mama Louise that daily checks were in order and the nest would be allowed to bake a bit longer until day 90.
OK …. Here we go. Louise gave all the word that an excavation of nest 9 would be held on day 90 and with positive attitudes that were hoping for the best, but aware of the worst Jim and Kaye began the dig.

1st Excavation of nest 9 Duck

When the eggs were found, a piped egg with a live logger inside was discovered and promptly named Edgar by nest mama Louie. KC advised all to close up the nest and wait until she could assess the situation. 3 or four days later mama L gave everyone the word that another excavation would take place and with all in attendance the excavation #2 began.


Excavation 2 at nest 9 Duck

 Everyone’s worst fears became reality when 3 or so piped eggs were found but there were no live loggers discovered at the nest. With heavy hearts the eggs were placed back in the nest and covered.

Two Nest Al, Jackie O, nest mama Louise and WRC Jane all looking grim.

Poor Edgar didn't make it.

The results of nest 9 in Duck was similar to many of the 12 nests located by N.E.S.T. in 2013 and all nesters took the disappointment in stride knowing that a new sea turtle nesting season would begin around the end of May in 2014 and look forward to many nests with high success hatch rates in 2014.

eggs being returned to the nest by Jim and Louise after excavation 2