Tag Archives: Good Harbor Beach

Patti Amaral Clean City Initiative thanks Jason Burroughs & others for refurbishing #PublicArt Carry In Carry Out murals @Gloucester beaches

Nice letter from Patti Amaral in today’s Gloucester Daily Times writing on behalf of the city’s Clean City Initiative. She thanked the city, donors and supporters while providing some background about the Carry In Carry Out art. In case you missed it: Nov 9 2017  Letter to the Editor

Patti Amaral thanks Jason Burroughs for Public Art and other community partners for help with beach and gardens

The murals were refurbished by Jason Burroughs in October 2017. They were designed and painted by Bob Viau from StudioVo 15 years ago. Here are a few photos documenting the refurbishing. The Wingaersheek wall needed more attention.

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach BEFORE 

CONDITION BEFORE Good Harbor Beach Carry In Carry Out mural had faded. original by studiovo 2002 redone 2017 Jason Burroughs

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach AFTER

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek BEFORE

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek AFTER

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BEFORE

AFTER

 

Anyone interested in sponsoring a possible update to these beach displays, please let her know!

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LITTLE NEW ENGLAND COTTONTAIL!

Why does this little rabbit look so different from the rabbits we see so often in our gardens, alongside roadsides, and in meadows and dunes? Because it is a New England Cottontail!

Massachusetts has two species of cottontails, the New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) and the Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). The introduced vegetable-and-flower-eating Eastern Cottontail has flourished, while this beautiful and illusive little creature’s numbers have dwindled to an alarmingly low number.

Prior to 1930, New England Cottontails were present in all 14 counties of Massachusetts and it was the only cottontail species appearing among 59 reports, except for 7 from Nantucket where Eastern Cottontails were introduced as early as the 1880s. Between 1924 and 1941, at least 16,200 Eastern Cottontails were imported from the mid-west and released. Another 4,600 were raised and released at a state propagation facility.

The most critical threat to New England Cottontails is loss of habitat. They can only survive in the ephemeral landscape of newly emerging forests, which provide low ground cover for shelter. Once a forest matures, the low growing plants become too sparse to offer food and shelter. Today the New England Cottontail resides in only about one fifth of its historic range.

The photo above of the New England Cottontail was taken at Gooseberry Island in Westport. He shot across the path on the way to the beach and wish I had a better photo to share, but now that I know to look for them there, I’ll try again.

You can compare the difference in the rabbit species in the two photos. The New England Cottontail’s (above photo) ears are shorter and his fur a bit grayer than the Eastern Cottontail (below). When I caught a glimpse of him I immediately recognized the rabbits we saw daily at my grandparent’s home, built in the dunes on a bluff on Cape Cod, where at that time, there were few homes and lots of cool scrubby habitat for wild creatures.The ubiquitous Eastern Cottontail, Good Harbor Beach

Dwindling New England Cottontail Range Map.

As you can see, New England Cottontails have been completely extirpated from Cape Ann and Essex County.

Learn more about New England Cottontails here.

Good Harbor Beach families wrapped in blankets watch the sunrise

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mid distance horizon line of sunrise fans (starting on left with family of 3 seated and huddled in blankets; couple standing wrapped in blanket; photographer; couple;  family) Good Harbor Beach daybreak audience (30 minutes plus on chilly October morning)

GLOUCESTER’S AWESOME DPW CREW PHIL CUCURU AND MIKE TARANTINO ON THE JOB!

Gloucester DPW crew members Mike Tarantino and Phil Cucuru are installing a new sign at the very beginning of the footbridge. The new sign is meant to be more visible and to help eliminate the confusion regarding when and when not dogs are permitted on the beach. The older sign near the new showers will continue to be used by the Friends of Good Harbor Beach community organization to post current and important notices.

Phil and Mike always do a top-notch job!

Finding Fall: bound into exquisite Rockbound art exhibit at Cape Ann Museum before Oct 29!

CLOSING SOON

The blanketing New England autumn is stronger on the walls at Cape Ann Museum than the fall landscape all around us just now. (When I saw this ravishing exhibit at the beginning of June, I had that same feeling about ‘summer’.) Though the seasons of color may disappoint us one year to the next, the impact of these paintings only intensifies with close observation. This is a show for anyone with an interest in painting. Rockbound at Cape Ann Museum features a terrific variety of  iconic Cape Ann seacoast scenes and artists. There’s an added urgency to see the show in person: most are on loan from private collections, shown together for the first time. Come fill your eyes and heart before this exclusive opportunity passes by.

Rockbound:  Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore closes October 29th.The Cape Ann Museum “gratefully acknowledges the many collectors* who lent to this exhibition and the following individuals: Mary Craven, Margaret Pearson, John Rando and Arthur Ryan.”  *anonymous private lenders, Endicott College, Roswitha and William Trayes, JJ and Jackie Bell, and others

(The wonderful Fitz Henry Lane exhibition that just opened will be on view through March 4, 2018.)

W Lester Stevens Hilltops Gloucester ROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum ©c ryan 20170602_120926 (1)

3 works by W Lester Stevens

 

EXHIBIT MYSTERY

I think that the “Unattributed decorative mirror for over mantel” may be the hand of artist Frederick Stoddard. Perhaps it’s from a series or the “Morning Mantle Decoration by Fred L. Stoddard” that’s listed in the 1923 Gloucester Society of Artists inaugural exhibition.

UNATTRIBUTED over mantel view of Good Harbor Beach ca1920 ROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum 170602_110624

INSTALLATION highlights

Ptown printmaker goucache by Margaret Patterson Motif Number One Rockport Harbor collection Roswitha & William Trayes RROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum 20170602_110133.jpg

Margaret Patterson, Motif Number One Rockport Harbor, ca.1920, goauche, collection Roswitha & William Trayes, installed at Cape Ann Museum 2017 Rockbound exhibition

Artists include Yarnall Abbott, Gifford Beal, George Bellows, Theresa Berenstein, Hugh Breckenridge, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley,  Aldro Hibbard, Max Kuehne, Emma Fordyce Macrae, Margaret Patterson, Lester Stevens, Anthony Thieme, and more (hover over image to see artist information)

 

photos pairings below: Finding Cape Ann Museum Rockbound color/mood inspiration just outside in Gloucester October vistas (not literal place/time pairings but that could be done as well!)

#GloucesterMA Good Harbor Beach Salt Island: Greenbelt in GDT & lifeguards interviewed for NBC Boston NECN news

Salt Island, Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, MA, is for sale. Unimproved and undeveloped, Salt Island is a natural monument, a beacon. For generations,the Island seemed as free as the air and sea, the beaches and shore. All were welcome at the right tide– daily the beach and island are connected. There’s an innate understanding that visitors need to respect the natural property much as they would when visiting a national park. Yet Salt Island is owned privately; it’s simply left wild and public.

Yearly taxes were paid by the family. The City provided yearly services; for instance lifeguards to help stranded visitors, unaware of the tides.

Is it possible to compensate the owner in the most advantageous way (some combination of sale, waiving estate taxes, credit for donation) to clear up any future ownership confusion and protect the means of public access, minus vague qualifiers (“left open as resources allow”) or increasing any necessary costs? Land steward organizations sometimes sell property or limit access, laws and environment change, funds for care deplete. Is there a common sense path that considers Salt Island as Good Harbor Beach– it’s attached daily– and accorded the same balance of care that the beach has legally maintained since the 1920s?

NBC Boston Rob Michaelson report on Salt Island sale

above – Lifeguards have a summer suggestion in the VIDEO link For Sale in Mass: A $750K Island Packed With History. “This small island in Gloucester, Massachusetts has hosted a major salt theft, a lobstering hermit and a Hollywood production.” by Rob Michaelson for NECN NBC Boston

 

above- photos of Good Harbor Beach lifeguards moving a signature chair after a morning conditioning training session that involved swimming and running the length of Good Harbor Beach,  twice. Foggy drizzle, low tide connection to Salt Island

below– link to Coalition Aims to Buy Salt Island: Greenbelt Negotiating Bid for Save Our Shores, by Ray Lamont Gloucester Daily Times

coalition aims to buy salt island GDT Ray Lamont Oct 3 2017

infinite moods of Salt Island

GMG post about Salt Island includes a historic timeline and links to prior ‘for sale’ stories published by Cape Ann Beacon and Boston Globe

DELICIOUSLY WARM WATER!

Getting the last of those late day swims in–simply beautiful this afternoon–hoping for three days in a row!

Nice day for a 10K | Cape Ann Motor Inn booked

Cars streaming into Good Harbor Beach parking lot this morning for the annual Lone Gull 10K, voted 2016 Race of the Year from New  England Runner Magazine. 

Cape Ann Motor Inn was booked.

What a beautiful day for the race, and Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails weekends. Plan for next year!

cars streaming in for 2017 Sept 24 Lone Gull 10K

view from Cape Ann Motor Inn

sunrise Lone Gull 10K day-  view from Cape Ann Motor Inn

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Good Harbor Beach parking lot filling up fast like summer

ANGRY GOD OF THE SEA

I see in the surf spray the face of an angry sea god. What do you see?

Roiling sea at high tide today #goodharborbeach #gloucesterma #hurricanejose

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Sustainable Seaside Goldenrod

Angry sea #backshore #gloucesterma #hurricanejose

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

This morning around 8am

#GloucesterMA in Boston Globe & Cape Ann Beacon- Good Harbor Beach Salt Island for sale, again

July 2016 Salt Island Good Harbor Beach

Salt Island, Good Harbor Beach and Brier Neck are naturally connected. The five acre Salt Island is about 1000 feet from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A sandbar links the island and beach at low tide. I’ve culled a few milestones in its history. Scroll down to 2017 to find the links for the Cape Ann Beacon and today’s Boston Globe.

SALT ISLAND TIMELINE BITS

1860

History of the Town of Gloucester: Cape Ann, John Jame Babson’s published history includes a shipwreck of the vessel, Industry, at Little Good Harbor Beach near Salt Island in 1796

19th century

Joseph Parsons’ family operated a lobster business from Salt Island

pre 1919

silent movies were filmed on location

1919 Fox Film Co Bride Number 13

Parts of the Fox Film Corporation movie, Bride Number 13, were shot on location at Good Harbor Beach and Salt Island. The 15 part serial silent film –“the most costly pictures ever made…would consume expenditures of at least one million dollars.” It was conceived and written by Edward Sedgwick, directed by Richard Stanton aka “Salt Island’s Mighty Emperor”, and starred Marguerite Clayton, Jack O’Brien, and Ed Rossman. The script was inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Here are a few fun excerpts from 1919 correspondence published in the book, “My father, a silent films pioneer,” by George E. Mcavoy:

“Again the picturesque Gloucester shores have been sought by a motion picture corporation for scenery and the noted Fox Film Company of New York, with its prominent director, Richard Stanton, has arrived at Hotel Harbor View, East Gloucester, to start immediately on the work of filming “Bride Number 13” at Salt Island off Brier Neck.

“It was decided that Salt Island in Gloucester, Mass., would be the setting of the silent film thriller, “Bride Number 13.” This island was an island at high tide and part of the mainland at low tide. Fox film Co. was building a wooden castle on the island, which was about one hundred feet high and hosted the actions of this silent film…” 

“(This was five days before the real tornado blew the wooden castle out to sea.)”

Oct 24, 1919“Dear Mother: I left Mary and the babies in Gloucester. I am on my way through New Hampshire and Maine for a lumber camp location. I expect to be back in Gloucester Monday night…

the time for the blowing up of the castle on Salt Island and the rescue of the brides from the pirate band is rapidly approaching…

Billy Carr of Gloucester, Chief Gunner’s Mate on the Navy submarine R-1 that was assigned to the picture, was to play the hero who rescues one of the brides, slashes through the nest of cutthroats, leaps into the basket with her and off. It was now November 10th. A throng of 3,000 was at Good Harbor and all over Brier Neck to watch…On the fourth day Bill Carr was called away on duty and his place was taken by Tom Corbiey…”

“Mr. Sedgwick has achieved something heretofore unknown in moving picture production. He conceived the idea of the story, witnessed and helped direct the scenes, acted in them, had a hand in the grinding of the film, and in fact had a part in every process of the film production…”

“While all bid good-bye to Gloucester last night, there was a general expression of a desire to return and several of the company said that they intended to return here next summer for the vacation period if not in picture work.”

“The explosion was a heavy one and its shock was felt in all parts of the city. It shook the windows of houses on Mt. Vernon Street and vicinity, also at East Gloucester and as far as Rockport. It occurred at 4:20 o’clock and people who felt the shock readily attributed it to the blow-up of Salt Island.”

photo caption: Bride 13 star Marguerite Clayton and kids on vacation during filming of Bride 13. Background shows the stately castle film set on Salt Island

film set castle on salt island good harbor beach gloucester ma- Mary McAvoy with sons

1923 The Silent Command

Then and now: filmmakers love Gloucester.

Fox Film Corporation returned to film the patriotic silent era Navy spy film, THE SILENT COMMAND on Good Harbor Beach, again on the Briar/Brier neck side.

The Silent Commander filed on Good Harbor Beach Salt Island

1923 was a busy year for Gloucester, MA. In addition to the municipality managing the bustling tercentenary, Gloucester welcomed another major Fox movie production to shoot on location at Good Harbor Beach. The film was made in cooperation with the Navy. It was directed by J Gordon Edwards, and starred Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi in his first American film. It’s essentially a spy thriller with a honeypot formula: foreign power attempts to secure plans to the Panama Canal and blow it up. The villains are thwarted by the US Navy. The production required assistance from the city’s fire department and city electrician. The film crew stayed in Gloucester at the Harbor View Hotel and the Savoy. Local people were cast and spectators lined the beach to watch the thrilling production.

BEFORE CGI:

I love this excerpt from the Gloucester Daily Times describing the staged wreck and tremendous waves washing the crew (stuntmen and Gloucester locals) overboard:

“A crowd of several hundred thronged the (Good Harbor) beach for the picture taking and enjoyed the proceedings, which were interesting, and at times thrilling…The Good Harbor beach setting is a clever contrivance, and constructed to produce a natural rocking motion of a steamer in a heavy sea. The rocking is produced by four winches operated by a crew of 10 men…Storm scenes were filmed yesterday afternoon with local actors, Stuart Cooney, son of Marion J. Cooney, taking the part of the hero and making a thrilling climb into the rigging to the crow’s nest during the height of the storm. Fred Kolstee, a rigger, commanded the crew of the steamer. The crew were (locals) Alfred Marshall, Tony Amero, Tom Bess, Peter Rice, James Francis, James Whittle and William Byers. Rain was produced from lines of hose, and a most realistic effect was produced by two aeroplanes, the wind from the speeding propellors driving the water about, and rushing through the rattlings and rigging with all the vengeance of a real gale at sea. Three times the big tank of water was released and the thousands of gallons broke over the deck in a most thrilling manner. There was some concern among the movie men before the water was released that some of the men might get buffeted about and get hurt, and they were cautioned to hold on tight.

However, it was a mere trifle for Gloucestermen, veterans of many a gale on the banks.

It was best expressed by Alfred Marshall when he stepped toward the ladder to leave the craft after the picture taking was done. Alfred was quite vexed. “Blankety, blankety, blank___, is this the best you can do? Blank, I’ve bailed bigger seas than that out of a dory. And he sung it right out so all could hear, too.”

Stuart Cooney ensured that the movie was a success from a technical perspective and “purchased the outfit and (took) it over” after the filming finished. He was a Gloucester pioneer in the film industry that’s still going strong. Film Cape Ann facilitates bringing local productions here, like the award winning Manchester by the Sea.  The Wikipedia page doesn’t have any mention of Gloucester, but it helped me with an illustration for The Silent Command lobby poster.

1923 silent FOX movie The Silent Command filmed on location Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA

See for yourself; here’s a link to the complete movie. A few of the Gloucester scenes (not all) 1:03:44, 1:08:54, 1:09:54 (some coast), 1:10:21,  1:10:52 (dory lowered from navy ship), 1:11:12 (beach island)

AFI for TCM brief synopsis: “This is one of those ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ pictures. Full of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ patriotic to the nth degree with the navy floating all over the screen. A real hero, a vamp, and a flock of thrills.” (from Var review.) Foreign agents, determined to destroy the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet and the Panama Canal, after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain from Capt. Richard Decatur information regarding mine positions in the Canal Zone, hire adventuress Peg Williams to vamp Captain Decatur, thereby putting him at their mercy. Decatur, advised by the Chief of Naval Intelligence, plays along with the spies to gain their confidence. He leaves his wife and is dismissed from the Navy as a result of his association with Miss Williams. Finally, he goes to Panama, thwarts the saboteurs, saves the fleet and the canal, and gains honorable reinstatement and the gratitude of his country for his heroism.”

1940s

Guy Parsons used one of the old family fishing shacks as a summer place

1950s

By now the fishing shacks were no longer visible

1952

Parson family sold Salt Island

1959

James Kimball purchased Salt Island for $2000

1972

Yankee Magazine article about Bride Number 13 Lights! Camera! Disaster! by Joseph E. Garland

1979

Gloucester Daily Times article mentions that James Kimball “has no plans for the island, although in the past he has thought of building a summer home on the island. When I was young my family spent their summers on Brier Neck…So when the island became available I jumped at the chance.”

2000

One of  the designated “Special places in Gloucester”

2005

“Special places in Gloucester” appendix list for the MA Heritage Landscape Inventory Program, MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation Essex National Heritage

September 7, 2011

GMG abou the Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island by Fred Bodin

“Where is this film? I’d love to know. All sources indicate that Bride 13 was either lost or destroyed, as happened with many silent films. The reference used for this post was the May 1972 Yankee Magazine article, Lights! Camera! Disaster!, authored by the late Joseph E. Garland of Gloucester.”

and September 9, 2011 GMG Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island Fred Buck Cape Ann Museum adds photos from the location filming 

2013

Salt Island listed for sale $300,000 plus beach parking passes for the family

2017

Salt Island listed For Sale $750,000

September 2017 Cape Ann Beacon

Sept 1 Cape Ann Beacon “Salt Island is for Sale” by Jason Brisbois

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2017 BOSTON GLOBE

Today’s paper: Sept 16 Boston Globe “A Gem or a Rock: For $750,000 Salt Island Could Be Yours” by Billy Baker

“If somebody buys it and builds, it’s because these guys didn’t step up to the plate and protect it the way my father did when I was a little girl, ” said Maslow, who pointed out that she and her siblings are not rich people with big summer houses. “I can’t help it if someone buys it and paints it purple and puts pigs on it.” – Karen Maslow

“…this island has been available for public use informally for generations thanks to the goodwill of that family. That point should not be lost.” — Chris LaPointe, Essex County Greenbelt

Boston Globe Sept 16 2017 Salt Island for sale

Trulia listing for Salt Island exclaims “Showings available only at low tide!”

 

HOW DO HURRICANES AFFECT MIGRATING SHOREBIRDS LIKE LITTLE CHICK?

We can hope our Little Chick is taking his time migrating southward. Perhaps he has traveled only as far as Cape May, New Jersey, or maybe he has already migrated as far as Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Migrating shorebirds often travel shortly after a low pressure system and hurricanes are a part of the environment to which wildlife like Piping Plovers have adapted. However, no wildlife has in the recorded history of the world had to cope with a storm the magnitude of Hurricane Irma.

Piping Plover foraging, building fat reserves for the southward migration. The above PiPl was one of four of a small flock traveling in Gloucester, spotted on August 24, 2017.

Extraordinary weather events can push endangered species over the brink. High winds, storm surges, and wave action destroys coastal habitats and flooding decreases water salinity. Songbirds and shorebirds are blown far off course away from their home habitats, especially young birds. A great deal of energy is expended battling the winds and trying to return to course. Songbirds have it a little easier because their toes will automatically tighten around a perch but seabirds and shorebirds are the most exposed.

Shorebirds like Piping Plovers feet have evolved to run over sand easily and do not grip well with their toes.

Numerous Piping Plovers winter over in the low-lying Joulter Cays, a group of sandy islands in the Bahamas, and one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. Perhaps migrating PiPl sensed the pending hurricane and held off before crossing the Atlantic to reach the Bahamas and other Caribbean Islands. The flock of nine PiPl in the above photo were seen last year at the end of August in Gloucester (August 29, 2016.)

One famous shorebird, a Whimbrel named Machi, who was wearing a tracking device, became caught up in the eye of a powerful storm but made it through to the other side of the storm. Tragically, he was subsequently shot dead in Guadeloupe. Many migrating birds like Whimbrels know to avoid places like Guadeloupe where unbridled shorebird hunting is allowed, but Machi had no power over where he made landfall. Sea turtles too are severely affected by the loss of barrier beaches. Staggering loss of life has been recorded after recent powerful hurricanes–fish, dolphins, whales, manatees, baby crab and lobster estuaries, insects, small mammals, all manner of birds–the list is nearly as long as there are species, and nothing is spared.

A pair of Whimbrels at Brace Cove in July 2015

If you see rare or an unusual bird after a storm or hurricane, please let us know and we can contact the appropriate wildlife official.

THANKS TO KEN WHITTAKER AND GLOUCESTER’S PIPING PLOVER VOLUNTEER TEAM

A huge thank you once again to our city’s conservation agent Ken Whittaker and the amazing team of Piping Plover volunteers who, with their kind dedication, helped one little chick survive Gloucester’s busiest of beaches.

Ken met recently with some of the volunteers, to review ideas and suggestions for next year, and to give volunteers thanks, as well as the fun caps pictured above. Left to right; Chris,  Ken, Carol, and Hazel.

Little Piping Plover Chick Three Days Old

GLOUCESTER EAST FOGGY MORNING SUNRISES

Evocative September light makes for striking foggy morning sunrises.

 Good Harbor Beach yesterday morning

Brace Cove today

FRIENDS OF LITTLE CHICK UPDATE

Piping Plover Flight Dance

Eclipse Day was a dream day filming wildlife on Cape Ann. I did the usual early morning stops at my “migrations stations,” but because I had taken the afternoon off to see the eclipse, I got to film in the afternoon, too, which I don’t often get a chance to do. First stop was Good Harbor Beach to see a beautiful subdued and rosy-hued sunrise.

The Tree Swallows were everywhere, in dunes, on the beaches, lined up on telephone lines, in meadows, and marsh. I filmed and photographed that hullabaloo for a bit, along with a dozen other species of migrating shorebirds and songbirds; there are simply too many images for one post. I’ll share these migration photos in the upcoming days.

Tree Swallows Biting and Fighting

The most wonderful of all was coming upon a tiny flock of Piping Plovers. Initially I thought only two, then a third joined the scene, and then a fourth!

One was definitely a juvenile, about the same age as would be our Little Chick. The PiPl were bathing, grooming, and foraging in the intertidal zone while also being dive-bombed by the Tree Swallows. This is behavior that I filmed last year as well. Tree swallows, although beautiful, are the fightenist little tuffies you’ll ever see. They’ll fly straight at other birds, biting one of their own kind, Barn Swallows, and plovers alike.

PiPl bath time

The PiPl that looked just like Little Chick also did the funny flight take-off dance that we all observed of LC. He flew around in a circle, backwards and forwards, spreading and unspreading his wings, and hopping up and down. It’s very comical and I can’t wait to share the film footage and storybook. Anyway, the little traveler I encountered on Eclipse Day was doing the PiPlover flight jig for an extended period of time.

Doing the Jig!

I stayed to watch the Plovers for a bit longer and then finished walking the length of the beach. On my return walk I was surprised from a quiet reverie to hear a flock of Plovers piping. I looked up and before I could turn my movie camera back on, a group of a dozen Piping Plovers flew past. Happy Day!

Tree Swallows Massing
Eclipse Day Sunrise Good Harbor Beach

 Backlogged with wildlife photos, more to come. Some wonderful surprises!

IT WAS A GOOD HARBOR BEACH DOOZEY OF A DAYBREAK!

Good Morning Gloucester, brought to you by Good Harbor Beach.

The sky became increasingly dramatic as the sun rose under the thickening early morning clouds.

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

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