Tag Archives: Thacher Island

New Short Film: The Uncommon Common Tern

What fun to encounter a small flock of terns teaching its young to fish. Nearly as large as the adults, the tubby terns cheekily squawk and demand food (shrimp I think in this case). Watch as the fledglings try to master fishing skills while the adults tirelessly guide the young on how to feed themselves.

With many thanks to Paul St. Germain, president of the Thacher Island Association, for information about the ongoing restoration of shorebirds on Thacher Island.common-tern-fledgling-feeding-copyright-kim-smith

There is nothing common about the uncommon Common Tern. They were named Common because hundreds of thousands formerly nested along the Atlantic Coast. As with many species of shorebirds, the rage for wearing fancy feathered hats during the 1800s nearly drove these exquisite “swallows of the sea” to extinction. After the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was ratified in 1918, terns began to recover.

A second major setback occurred when in the 1970s open landfills were closed, displacing thousands of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. The aggressive and highly adaptable gulls resettled to offshore nesting sites used by terns.

Common Terns are a Species of Special Concern in Massachusetts. Through a statewide long-term commitment of restoration, protection, and management of nesting colonies, the populations are very slowly and gradually increasing.

Former nesting sites include islands such as Cape Ann’s Thacher Island. During the mid 1950s, over 1,125 pairs of Arctic, Common, and Roseate Terns nested on Thacher Island. Today there are none.

The southern side of Thacher Island is owned by the Thacher Island Association. The northern end of Thacher Island is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the authority of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. These organizations are working together to restore terns and other species of birds to Thacher Island.

Good Harbor Beach Dazzling Daybreak

Good Harbor beach sunrise August 17, 2016 -1  copyright Kim SmithBedazzled by a single morning’s sunrise–every shade all at once–from hues of rose-violet-blue giving way to fiery bands of red-orange-yellow. I can’t decide which I like best, you choose 🙂

Salt Island Sunrise

Salt Island in the foreground, Thacher Island in the background

Good Harbor Beach Salt island sunrise August 9, 2016 copyright Kim Smith

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Sanderling eating insect copyright kim SmithMy grandmother was fond of saying “the early bird catches the worm.” I assumed she said that because I adored getting up early to eat breakfast with my grandfather before he left for work. In a large family with siblings and cousins, I had him all to myself in those day break hours. Having developed a passion and love for wild creatures and wild places, I understand better what she meant. She and my grandfather built a summer home for their family in a beautiful, natural seashore setting and both she and my parents packed our home with books and magazines about nature. Now I see her design…

Day break, beautiful scene, beautiful creatures by the sea’s edge

God Harbor Beach Sunrise August 3, 2016 -2 copyright Kim SmithSong Sparrow copyright Kim SmithSong Sparrow breakfast

American Robin fledgling copyright Kim SmithAmerican Robin fledgling, note its speckled breast feathers

Mockingbird copyright Kim SmithMockingbird feeding its fledgling

Song Sparrow Virginia creeper  copyright Kim SmithSong Sparrow and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) flowers and fruit

Sanderling copyright Kim SmithSanderlingGull eating crab copyright kim SmithGod Harbor Beach Sunrise August 3, 2016 copyright Kim Smith

Good Morning Gloucester, Brought to You by Good Harbor Beach

Saturday’s sumptuous sunrise

Good Harbor Beach Sunrise July 30, 2016 -0 copyright Kim Smith

Good Harbor Beach Back Shore Storm Photos

The waves were sublime, terrifying, and mesmerizing all at once. And a photographer’s dream. I was also filming B-roll for several film projects and am looking forward to working with the footage. Follow the links below to check out Good Morning Gloucester for more Good Harbor Beach and back shore after Jonas storm coverage.

Twin Lights -2 Blizzard Jonas ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comThacher Island Twin LightsGood Harbor beach Blizzard Jonas ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comGood Harbor Beach

TNT #blizzardjonas

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Good Harbor Beach and Back Shore After Jonas

More Back Shore Good Harbor Jonas Photos

Farewell #BlizzadJonas