Tag Archives: Gloucester

Snowy Egrets Flight

I often think of this quote from the Dalai Lama when watching birds and butterflies in flight – “give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”

The clip of the Snowy Egrets in flight was shot on a still and hazy summer afternoon, late in the day after the birds had been foraging in the marsh. As soon as the Egret flew above the tree line, the atmosphere became clearer and I imagined it was quiet and peaceful in the windless treetops. The Egret was joined by four more Snowies as they headed off to their night roost.

The Good Harbor Beach Harbor Seal: What to do if you find a seal on the beach

With record number of seals washing ashore from several illnesses, I thought now would be a good time to repost my seal PSA. This beautiful juvenile Harbor Seal was found on a foggy morning in midsummer. The seal was beached at the high tide line and its breathing was heavy and labored. It had no interest in returning to the water and needed only to remain at rest.

For the next six hours the seal struggled to survive the world of curious humans.

Learn what to do if you find a seal on the beach.

The phone number for marine mammal wildlife strandings is 866-755-6622.

OTTER KIT STEALS FROG FROM OTTER MOM?

Mother Otters burrow near to, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young. The den will often have many entrances and exits. The mother raises her young alone. At about five weeks old the newborns will begin playing. At two months, the kits (also called pups) coat has grown in and she introduces them to water. At nine weeks they begin to eat solid food and are weaned by twelve weeks.

North American River Otter Kit

The family bond is beautiful to watch and the young River Otters are utterly adorable in their playfulness. Just some of the familial behaviors that have been so wonderful to observe–otters grooming each other, snuggling under Mom (and playfully biting her tail), siblings wrestling each other, and all taking a morning nap together.

One of the most interesting moments was observing what happened one morning after the mother caught a frog. At first look it appeared as though the kit was stealing the frog from her, but after examining the footage, she caught the frog and deliberately incapacitated it, although she did not eat. She was holding the frog for her young otter to come and catch it from her.

An Otter’s whiskers are extra sensitive; the long whiskers have evolved to aid in hunting underwater. NA River otters are near-sighted, possibly as a result of underwater hunting.

A family of otters is called a “romp.”

Cape Ann’s growing Otter population is a clear sign that our waterways are in good health. North American River Otters are very sensitive to dirty water. Clean water, along with the expanded range of the North American Beavers, has helped create a welcoming habitat for River Otters to dwell and to breed.

Mom continually checks the landscape for pending danger. At the slightest hint of disturbance, underwater they all go. A NA River Otter can last up to four minutes underwater.

REMINDER – ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING TONIGHT AT 6:30PM: PIPING PLOVERS ON THE AGENDA

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF MEETING PLACE. THE MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE FRIEND ROOM AT THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY.


GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FESTIVAL SCHEDULE!

 

Schedule of Events for the 34th Annual Gloucester Labor Day Schooner Festival 

Friday, August 31, 2018

All Day Arrival of Participating Vessels.

10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cape Ann Museum open to the public– free of charge.

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Mayor’s Reception for invited guests (ticketed event)

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Gloucester Block Party on Main Street in downtown.

Welcome Columbia and Bluenose II sail aboard the Schooner Thomas Lannon on Friday at 10am. Purchase tickets here.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Maritime Gloucester Heritage Day
Maritime Gloucester, located at 23 Harbor Loop in downtown Gloucester, will host its annual Heritage Day celebration from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The event is free to the public.

11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Heritage Day at the White-Ellery House
The 1710 White-Ellery House (245 Washington Street, Gloucester) will have a slide show of schooners and have other fishing & racing related activities. The event is free to the public.

4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Lobster Bake at The Gloucester House
Music, food and a whole lot of fun. The cost is only $17
for Lobster, Corn and Cornbread.

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Concert on Stacy Boulevard
Enjoy a community concert on The Boulevard before and after the Parade of Lights and Fireworks.

7:00 pm
Boat Parade of Lights
The annual Boat Parade of Lights begins at dusk at Jones Creek on the Annisquam River, travels down the river, through the drawbridge and into Gloucester Harbor, ending in the Smith’s Cove area of the harbor.

9:15 pm
Fireworks Display over Gloucester Harbor. (following Parade of Lights, time approximate)
(The Gloucester Fireworks Committee is in need of more donations for the Labor Day weekend fireworks. Donations may be made to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Please notate “fireworks” on your donation.)

 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

8:30 am
Skippers Meeting
This meeting is required for all Schooners sailing in the Mayor’s Race.  Meet at Solomon Jacobs Park, immediately adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Harbor Loop.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Parade of Sail as Schooners proceed from Inner Harbor, past the Fishermen’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point.

11:00 am to 1:30 pm
Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light, from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Avenue) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free ofCharge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation Authority.

1:00 pm
Start of Mayor’s Race for the Esperanto Cup, Columbia Trophy, Ned Cameron Trophy; and Betty Ramsey Trophy off Eastern Point.

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Reception and Awards Ceremony
for captains, crews and invited guests (ticketed event)

Monday, September 3, 2018

“Rain Day” for recovery from postponements caused by inclement weather. ONLY IF REQUIRED.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FESTIVAL WEBSITE HERE.

PIPING PLOVERS ON THE AGENDA: PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING LOCATION FOR THE ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING THURSDAY NIGHT

Animal Advisory Committee Meeting Thursday, August 23rd, at 6:30. This meeting is being held at the Friend Room at the Sawyer Free Library. 

Lest anyone has forgotten, a beautiful pair of Piping Plovers tried to establish a nest on Good Harbor Beach during the month of April. Time and time again, they were disrupted by dogs–dogs off leash on on-leash days, dogs running through the nesting area, and bird dogs chasing the birds up and down the shoreline. This was witnessed multiple times during the month of April by the Piping Plover volunteer monitors.

Piping Plovers face many man made problems and natural predators however, the two greatest threats at Good Harbor Beach are dogs and crows. Changing the ordinance on Good Harbor Beach to help the Piping Plovers will at the very least allow them to nest in their natural environment. Our parking lot nesting pair were extremely stressed having to defend both territories, the parking lot nest and their roped off territory. Please let Mayor Sefatia and city councilors know that you support the change in ordinance to restrict dogs on Good Harbor Beach during the month of April.

Thank you for your help!

The following series of photos shows why it is so critically important to not allow dogs on Good Harbor Beach during shorebird nesting season, which begins April 1st on most Massachusetts beaches.

Early April and our returning Good Harbor Beach Dad begins making nest scrapes.

He invites Mom to come inspect his handiwork.

She tries the nest on for size and approves! Mom appears plump and ready to begin laying eggs.

Mid-April and after days of dogs running through the nesting area, the Piping Plovers are discovered standing on the white lines in the GHB parking lot.

Dad begins making nest scrapes on the painted white lines in the parking lot gravel.

With fewer cars in the lot during the month of April, the PiPl determine the lot is safer than the beach. They give up trying to nest on the beach and concentrate solely on the parking lot nest.

Dad invites Mom to inspect the parking lot nest scrape.

She begins laying eggs in the parking lot (four total).