Category Archives: gloucester

FRIENDS OF LITTLE CHICK

Common Tern delivering breakfast to its fledgling.

Here are a collection of recent photos of different species of shorebirds and songbirds gathering and migrating along Cape Ann beaches that Little Chick may encounter on his journey south.

During the spring breeding season Piping Plover mating adults chase all other birds out of their territory, from the largest Black-backed Gull to the tiniest Song Sparrow. At this time of year, during the summer southward migration, you’ll often see PiPl feeding alongside other PiPl, as well as with Semipalmated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, Killdeers, peeps, terns, and gulls.

Ruddy Turnstones

Ruddy Turnstones Photobombed

Common Tern fledgling squawking for breakfast.

Won’t someone, anyone, please, please feed me! Unlike Piping Plover chicks, Common Tern chicks cannot feed themselves at birth. Common Tern chicks can walk and swim, but it will be many weeks before they learn to fish.

Tree Swallows massing, foraging in dunes rich with insects and berries.

Bonaparte’s Gulls

 

Compare Common Tern in the foreground to Bonaparte’s Gull in the background. Both have red-orange legs and feet and both are black-headed. The easiest way to differentiate when on the beach is the Common Tern’s bill is orange; the Bonaparte’s Gull’s bill is black. 

 

Least Sandpipers are the smallest of peeps. Note how beautifully camouflaged are they in the drying seaweed at the high tide line.

Daybreak and early morning are often the most beautiful time of day to see wildlife.

POSSIBLE LITTLE CHICK SIGHTINGS!

A postscript to yesterday’s “Farewell Little Chick” ~ 

Thank you to Everyone for your kind notes, thank yous, love, and interest in our Little Chick. 

I thought  readers would like to know that since Little Chick departed Good Harbor Beach Friday morning several friends have shared that they have seen a small flock of Piping Plovers at other local beaches!

Carol Ferant wrote that Friday afternoon she was swimming by Corliss Landing and saw a small group feeding on lots of worms at the low tide sandbar. They stayed for a good long while and then flew off towards the marsh.

Abbie Lundberg wrote that in Annisquam this morning, Saturday, she saw a group of four Piping Plovers, three the same size, and one seemingly appeared smaller, about 2/3 the size of the others.

It makes complete sense to me that the Piping Plovers would move around from local beach to local beach before undertaking the long journey south. Comparing notes from last year, a mixed group of adults and fledglings grew larger and larger in number until one day, nearing the end of August, they all departed.

Today I was looking through the photos, from back in April though yesterday. We have every aspect of our Good Harbor Beach plover family documented–courtship, mating, eggs, all the different stages of development, friends, predators, other species of migrating shorebirds, scenery–thousands of images to organize. And after that, the next step is tackling all the film footage.  Big Project!

 Four-day-old and five-week-old Little Chick

FAREWELL LITTLE CHICK!

Our six-week-old Little Chick has begun his southward journey. At sunrise this morning I found him sleeping in front of the roped off area. Way down by the water’s edge, was a small flock of three Piping Plovers, but the light was so soft I could not tell if they were males, females, or fledglings. Sensing Little Chick’s time to depart was nearing, I didn’t want to investigate just then, but stayed on the beach to film our plover.

Little Chick awoke with his usual stretching routine and then made his way through the tidal flats mostly eating, but stopping several times to arrange his feathers. In no time he was foraging alongside the three migrating Piping Plovers and, within mere moments he, and the Piping Plover flock, flew, not along the beach or over to the creek as he has been doing, but this time, first straight out to sea and then curving around and disappearing behind the Sherman House.

I stopped by Good Harbor Beach several times later this morning and again in the afternoon, as have several of the volunteers, and no one has seen our Little Chick. Although feeling somewhat melancholy (but also very happy) to see him depart, this is the best possible outcome. We can all hope his journey is a safe one. And we hope too, that he parents many offspring!

We have been treated to a window into the world of nesting Piping Plovers. Most species of shorebirds breed many thousands of miles away, in the Arctic tundra of Canada and Alaska. We were blessed to see this beautiful story unfold, despite taking place in the least of safe habitats.

The greatest thanks to all the Piping Plover volunteers: Carol Ferant, Caroline Haines, Jeannine Harris, Hazel Hewitt, Charles King, Cliff King, George King, Paul Korn, Chris Martin, Lucy Merrill-Hill, Diana Peck, Ruth Peron, Catherine Ryan, Karen Shah, and Ken Whittaker. Without their daily monitoring of people, balls, dogs, gulls, crows, and what have you, we most assuredly would not have seen our Little Chick grow into a fledgling. Thank you too for their eagerness in sharing information about the PiPls with interested beachgoers. There is still a great deal about Piping Plovers that is a mystery. Studying the life story of one plover family creates a focusing lens from which we can all learn. I’d like to add special thanks to volunteer Hazel Hewitt who created the informative signs describing the PiPl that you may have seen all around the beach entryway ways.

If you see Ken Whittaker, Gloucester’s conservation agent, please thank him for all his help. After I discovered the Piping Plover nest on May 23rd, I spoke with Dave Rimmer to let him know precisely where the nest was located, and Ken immediately became available to lend a hand. In a way, we can thank Sharon Bo Abrams, too. After reading about how we were struggling to keep last year’s chicks alive, it was she who suggested that we form a group of volunteers. I mentioned this to Dave, who in turn spoke with Ken. It was Ken who spearheaded the volunteer effort and organized the group’s schedule so that at all times of day, from sunrise to sunset, someone was on the beach monitoring the Plover family. We can also thank Ken for listening to us volunteers regarding the importance of leaving the symbolic fencing in place as long as the chick was using it as his “safety zone.”

Thank you to Mayor Sefatia, Chris Sicuranza, and Frank DiMecurio for their interest and support. Thank you to all our readers for your kind comments and interest in the Plover daily updates.

Thank you to Gloucester Police Chief John McCarthy and Gloucester’s Animal Control Officer Dianne Corliss for their help monitoring the dog owner situation. They both made Good Harbor Beach part of their routine and their mere presence has made a tremendous difference.

A huge shout out to Gloucester’s Department of Public Works Mike Hale, Mark Cole, and Joe Lucido, and the DPW’s team of beach cleaners and rakers, who always went out of their way to keep an eye out for Little Chick and helped keep him safe.

Thanks is owed to Gloucester’s volunteer beach-picker-uppers who, on a daily basis, before everyone else arrives to enjoy the beach, are out there cleaning up what was left from the night before and helping to prevent a plethora of plastic from contaminating the ocean. Three who come to mind immediately, and who have been taking care of Good Harbor Beach for years are Patti Amaral, and husband and wife Patti and Kerry Sullivan. By cleaning the beach, it helps tremendously to keep down the crow, gull, and coyote populations, all of which are predators of shorebird eggs and chicks.

Thank you Community!  Without your support, care, and kindness I would not be writing this thank you note.

Several readers have suggested that I write a children’s book, with photographs, about The Good Harbor Beach Little Chick. While I am giving this idea serious consideration, I would only want to undertake a project like this with a top-notch publisher.

Perhaps Papa Joe and Mama Joy will return to Good Harbor Beach for a third year. With less than 8,000 Piping Plovers remaining in the world, we can only hope.

Bon voyage and safe travels Little Chick!

If I have neglected to thank you, please accept my sincere apology and please write and let me know so that I may add your name to the post. Thank you so much.

MEET ME AT THE SIGN NEATH THE APPLE TREE…

New Good Harbor Beach sign with beach news updates provided by the Friends of Good Harbor Beach

BENCH WITH A VIEW

New Good Harbor Beach bench with a view at the brand new fully operational guest station.

Design Of Mine’s Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting August 1st 2017

Family, friends, City Officials and customers gathered together. It was a joyous  event. Design Of Mine. A lovely shop with many clothing styles, fashion, jewelry and art work. Owner and operator Melissa Tarr makes it a very inviting place to shop. Right in the heart of town and home of The Flutter Shawl.

33 Main Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts
@thefluttershawl
Call (978) 491-7495

 

HAPPY SIX WEEK BIRTHDAY LITTLE CHICK!!!

Celebrating day forty-two with our Good Harbor Beach Little Chick!

Our Little Chick had a great morning, feeding in the intertidal zone, resting and preening by the enclosure, and flying more than several times up and down the length of Good Harbor Beach. He is gaining confidence in his flying ability. And, too, he quickly moves out of the way of approaching danger. Little Chick didn’t associate much with the other species of birds feeding at the water’s edge until the mixed flock got spooked by a jogger and all took flight at once.

He only flew to the edge of the enclosure while the Semipalmated Plovers, Sanderlings, and Semipalmated Sandpipers headed down to the private end of Good Harbor. Last year, about mid-August, migrating Piping Plovers began arriving at Good Harbor Beach, staying for varying lengths of time to forage and to rest. My greatest hope for our Little Chick is that he will find a flock of Piping Plovers (or they will find him) to join with before undertaking the long journey south.

Notice how Little Chicks flight feathers are gaining in length and strength. Everyday his bill looks more and more like an adults’s bill, too.

Little Chick showing off his primary and secondary flight feathers

Resting, Preening, and Piping, all on one leg!

Foraging at the tide pools at day break.

And at the intertidal zone later in the morning.

  

Sherman House reflection

 

Lisa Marie Tonight! Dave Sag’s Blues Party @ The Rhumb Line 8:30pm 8.3.2017…The joint will be jumpin!

Let’s shake and quake this week with Ms. Lisa Marie.Ya never know what’s gonna happen when she walks thru the door. Usually, when there’s enough medicine to go around, things are spectacular!

http://www.allshookup.us/

She’s draggin’ in Mr. Johnny Juxo, keybored millipede,with his piano and accordion (and vocals) as well as Mr. Jeff Giacomelli, bariform sexophonist (and vocals), to squeeze the wheeze and raise the stakes.

Dave Sag

40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732

http://www.therhumbline.com/

SLEEPY LITTLE BROWN BAT

This morning we awoke to find a sleepy Little Brown Bat, as opposed to a Big Brown Bat, fast asleep in the dining room curtains. It’s a mystery how he got in and why it took so long to wake him up. Once outdoors, he spread his wings and flew over the fence and into our neighbor’s trees.

The Mass Audubon website has a page on the most commonly seen bats in Massachusetts:

Bats, our only flying mammals, are truly remarkable animals. It’s too bad their unwarranted reputation has prevented many people from appreciating how beneficial and unique they are.

Bats belong to the order Chiroptera, which means “hand-wing.” Their wings are composed of two thin layers of skin or membrane, attached to elongated finger bones. Each membrane has four fingers and a thumb, which control the wing’s movement. The thumb, located at the top of the wing, acts as a hook with which the bat is able to crawl on flat surf

The two most common bats found in Massachusetts are the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). Both have short, soft fur covering their head and body and rich brown bodies with slightly darker brown wings.

The body of a little brown bat measures 4½ to 5½ inches long, including the tail, and has an 8½ to 10½ inch wingspan. The big brown bat’s body ranges from 5½ to 8 inches in length with a 12 to 13 inch wingspan.

In the spring and summer, females of little brown bats form colonies consisting of hundreds of individuals. Big brown bats, which prefer the more urban areas inside Route 495, are usually found in colonies of less than two hundred bats.

Read More Here.

Learn more about Bat species in Massachusetts.

 

WORK PROGRESSING ON THE GOOD HARBOR BEACH GUEST STATION WITH MASONS JOHN TRUPIANO AND NOEL MITCHELL

The new guest station at the footbridge end of Good Harbor Beach is progressing right on schedule, with today’s work entailing masonry and setting a granite stone border.

John Trupiano and Noel Mitchell

In response to a GMG readers’ recent inquiry, Joe Lucido shared that the shower spigot will be set to a timer, with time set to roughly 5am to 9pm, to take into consideration the early morning surfers and late day beach goers.  

HOORAY FOR LITTLE CHICK!

All by his lonesome, Little Chick survived his first super busy Sunday entirely on his own. Perhaps he needs a new grown up name, such as Tuffers, something that recognizes his strong little spirit–or instinct for survival–subject to how anthropomorphic your views. I’ve gotten used to calling him Little Chick, but am open to suggestions 🙂

Little Chick in a Bowl

Stretch two three, right two three, left two three.

Thirty-nine-day old Piping Plover

DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS HOW WE FIND THE BEACH EVERY MORNING AFTER A BUSY BEACH DAY?

You’ll never see this when you come to the beach after 8:00am because our awesome DPW beach crews and volunteer beach-picker-uppers do a tremendous job cleaning the beach each and very day.

Just saying, for some folks, after a day of fun and relaxation, they must be too worn out to pick up their belongings and garbage.

“WOOD, WIRE, and WIND” AT THE ANNISQUAM VILLAGE CHURCH

Wood, Wire and Wind

Sunday, August 20 at 8:00pm

Annisquam Village Church
820 Washington Street, Gloucester MA

Beverly and Andrew Soll complete our summer series on Sunday, August 20th  at 8 PM with a concert on the three Adams instruments that reside at the Village Church. Besides the 13-stop gallery organ with its bold voices and fiery reeds, the Adams two-manual Flemish harpsichord (to be played by Beverly Soll) and the highly resonant chamber organ on the church’s altar will change up the spectrum of sound.  A violin and viola join in on a Mozart piece in this eclectic, imaginative program ranging across six centuries of fascinating music.

A reception follows each concert, providing the occasion for declamation of an “Ode” from Annisquam’s beloved bard, Duncan Nelson.

Tickets:   $20 per event  (Students and seniors, $15.)  are available at the door or in advance at The Bookstore or Diamond Cove Music in Gloucester and at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport.

The Annisquam Village Church is located at 820 Washington Street in Gloucester (01930) and is handicap accessible.

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