Tag Archives: Piping plover tracks

SEVEN WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN ALL HELP THE PIPING PLOVERS RIGHT NOW!

1) Volunteer to be a Piping Plover monitor. Please contact Alicia Pensarosa at gloucesteraac@gmail.com. Heather Hall is currently working on a temporary schedule until one is provided by Alicia. Heather can be reached at gonesouth5@gmail.com.

2) Please let your friends know the PiPls have returned and please share this post.

3) If you have a dog, and I know this is a great deal to ask, please avoid Good Harbor Beach. There are many other great places that folks can walk their dog. Beginning April 1st, all dogs are prohibited from Good Harbor Beach at anytime of day or night, including early morning and after the life guards leave for the day.

4) If you feel you must bring your dog to GHB, please avoid the No. 3 boardwalk area (their preferred courting and nesting area) and please walk your dog along the shoreline.

5) Join our Facebook page Piping Plover Partners.

6) Come to the Piping Plover Ecology, Management, and Conservation program at the Sawyer Free Library this Saturday from 10am to 12pm. This program is sponsored by the City of Gloucester’s Animal Advisory Committee.

7) Please report anyone harassing the PiPls to the police at 978-283-1212 and any dog harassing the PiPls to Gloucester’s Animal Control officers Jamie and Teagan at 978-281-9746.

THANK YOU FOR ANY AND ALL HELP GIVEN!

TWO GOOD NEWS UPDATES:

A note from Mayor Sefatia – A thirty day waiting period after the new dog ordinance was passed was required prior to any new signs being installed. The thirty days has passed and we will be seeing the new signs shortly!

Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt will be installing the protective symbolic fencing tomorrow, Wednesday!

Look for the Papa doing a fancy goose step during courtship. This is our Good Harbor Beach Mama and Papa courting last spring.

Plover Dad brooding eggs.

A tell-tale signs of PiPls present are these sweet petite fleur de lis tracks in the sand.

A tiny chick, the fraction of the size of a child’s flip flop.

Essex Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer and assistant installing the wire exclosure last year after the PiPls were driven off the beach by dogs–we don’t ever want to see this happen again.

TRACKING WILD CREATURES ON OUR LOCAL BEACHES (WILL BEARS BE NEXT?)

Just some of the paw prints seen on our local beaches this spring are Eastern Coyote, Red Fox, Skunk, Racoon, White-tailed Deer, and of course, a plethora of crows and gulls.

If you would like to see what wildlife traverses and scavenges Cape Ann beaches when we humans are not there, the best time to look is early, early in the morning, before the tracks are disturbed. Oftentimes the best days to look are after a rain storm, especially after the sand has dried a bit. Forget about tracking tracks on a windy morning. If you are not sure what you are seeing, take a close-up photo of the track, and then take a long shot, too, to see the pattern of the tracks.  

The Mass Wildlife Pocket Guide is the best handy track identification tool because it shows clearly the tracks, as well as the pattern of the tracks, and only shows wildlife we see in Massachusetts.

My favorite tracks to find are (no mystery here) Piping Plover tracks, which are wonderfully shaped, like a diminutive fleur de lis.

Piping Plover tracks showing courtship activity

I am waiting to see Black Bear tracks. Just kidding, although, the range of the Black Bear is expanding from western Massachusetts eastward. I imagine that within ten years Black Bears will, at the very least be frequent visitors to Cape Ann, or will be living in our midst. Just the thing Joey will be thrilled to know 🙂

The Black Bears expanding range in Massachusetts.

Black Bear Cubs

Black Bear cub photo courtesy wikicommons media