Venturing out today around 1:00pm, I caught the tail end of the storm. The winds were still blizzarding and great gusts of snow made places like Brace Cove impossible to photograph. The tide was super high at Good Harbor Beach, but not as high as some recent storms. The waves were tremendous, although they weren’t the ginormous rollers of many nor’easters either.
Tag Archives: Seagulls
Gulls departing Brace Cove after the storm
Great Blue Heron, seals, and gull
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Brace Cove and Niles Pond in the lifting fog ~ When I first got to the causeway, Brace Rock was completely obscured. As the fog drifted away an army of cormorants began to appear, joining the gulls on the rocks and feeding from the surf.
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Recently I’ve been spending time researching the history Gloucester, and have come across many photos of the fish drying yards that once covered the Gloucester Waterfront before the days of the modern refrigeration like this one circa 1906. There was always something about these photos that I found disturbing, and never figured out why until recently. Looking at the photos, it occurred to me that there is one ubiquitous element of Gloucester Harbor that is hauntingly absent… The gulls. Where are they? What is keeping them from the feast waiting right there on the wharf? If anybody knows the answer, please share.
North Shore Kid
Six relaxing and sunny days down in Virginia and we clocked some serious time swimming, walking the boardwalk, rollerblading, shooting slingshots on the beach, dolphin watching….and feeding the birds.
Safe to say that every meal the boys ordered came with french fries this week…and, while they ate their fair share…they were more concerned about taking their leftovers directly down to the beach for feeding frenzies. For the record, hailing from Cape Ann, I am well aware of how annoying it can be when tourists feed seagulls while you’re trying to eat a meal on a deck. That being the case, I promise you that we fed the birds far away from others…and that the beach was all but empty when doing so.
The birds loved my boys (or at least their french fries). And…because everything is a learning opportunity…we learned something. The seagulls liked to land on the ground to snatch their fries…while the laughing gulls like to hover above and try to grab the fries in flight.
Son of Andrew, well worth the trip. Goya downstairs if the copious amounts of Jamie do not do the trick. If you like Jack Russell Terriers you have to check it out. And Seagulls, lots of seagulls, JFK, Andy Warhol and Nureyev’s large member.
Goya did a bunch of portraits which I had never seen. Compare the size of his head to body length then go over into the American Gallery and check out the portraits there. I always thought the early American portraits were botched a bit because they were not trained in getting the head size right.I thought you needed to shrink them on huge canvas but not too much. Now I am not so sure. Big canvas and sometimes the head goes too big. Check out John Singleton Copley over in the American Gallery as well as compare heads that Jamie Wyeth did.
Out on Eastern Point this morning great flocks of seagulls were riding the waves while the Niles Pond swans and ducks were tucked into their shoreline retreats. The cormorants were many and could be seen clustering on rocky perches all around the inner harbor.
I only stayed for a moment at the Brace Cove berm because the waves were so tremendous that it really didn’t feel safe. I am glad to report though that at 10:30 this morning the narrowest slip of land that prevents Niles Pond from becoming Brace Cove’s salt marsh appears to have weathered this October nor’easter.
An ironic place for some seagulls to snack on lobster legs, isn’t it?
Brazen little buggers sat right on top of our live lobsters to dine on some of their cousins. Well, I can’t really prove that they’re actual cousins…but, you know what I mean.
I can almost hear the lobsters in the crate….”Enough already. I can’t take it. STOP! Why are you doing this? What more do you want from me?”
View standing on the flooded path, looking towards the Atlantic
Because I lived on The Fort for six years, I’ve seen a few gulls in my day. Depending on the species, gulls have up to four plumage types as they mature, plus they change from breeding plumage to winter plumage as adults.
This causes many people to throw up their hands is discuss when trying to identify the birds they are seeing. I even get comments from seasoned birders and twitchers that they get confused. With this in mind, I have posted many gull tips over the past few years in hopes that it will help those of us on Cape Ann and also the many, many birders that come here in the winter to find them. Gloucester has some pretty cool birds here in the winter that many inlanders just don’t get to see.
I hope that this information is helpful!
Although ubiquitous where ever we turn, I was curious about the several different species that are often observed fishing and feeding together at dawn. The flocks of seagulls that we see on Cape Ann at this time of year are typically comprised of two species and they are the Great Black-backed Gull and the Herring Gull. In the above photo taken at daybreak (click to view larger), you can see both species; the gulls with speckled feather patterns are first year fledglings of both the Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls.
Interestingly, early in the twentieth century, both species of gulls were mostly winter visitors, neither staying to breed when the weather warmed. The first pair of breeding Herring Gulls was discovered on Martha’s Vineyard in 1912. The first pair of breeding Great Black-backed Gulls was found in Salem in 1932.
The Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) is the larger of the two, up to 30,” with a black back and wings, yellow bill distinguished by a red dot on the bottom near the tip, and pinkish legs.
The Herring Gull (Larus argentus), at 25 inches, has gray wings tipped with black, gray back, white head, pinkish legs, and yellow bill also with a red dot on the bottom near the tip.
The Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is also a regular visitor but according to Mass Audubon, it has never successfully bred in Massachusetts. The Ring-billed at first glance looks similar to the Herring Gull but is the smallest of the three at 17″ and is also easy to distinguish as it has yellow legs and a dark gray band near the tip of its bill.