Tag Archives: Seals


Perhaps I am just imagining, but the seals that were at Brace Cove several mornings ago appear to have a much different pattern of spots on their coats than the Harbor Seals we typically see hauled out on the rocks. I know that Harp Seals are also seen in our area at this time of year and read that the juveniles molt in interesting patterns. The two pinnipeds on the far right have very large irregular patches and the seal on the left seemed half the size of the other three with an almost pointed snout. Is it a different species or a young seal I wonder? Looking at several sources to id and I am still puzzled. Would love to hear from our readers. Thank you so much!

Seals brace Cove Gloucester www.kimsmithdesigns.com


Scenes from around Niles Pond and Brace Cove OctoberCattails in the wind ©Kim Smith ©2015

Cattails in the windPainted Turtle Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2015Painted Turtle

Brace Cove ©Kim Smith 2015

Gulls departing Brace Cove after the storm

Great Blue heron Gull Seals Brace cove ©Kim Smith 2015

Great Blue Heron, seals, and gull


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Peaceful and Protected ~ Brace Cove Makes for the Perfect Seal Hang Out!

Brace Cove Seals b-w ©Kim Smith 2014I’ve never seen so many conglomerating all at once at Brace Cove; at one point I counted over twenty lounging on the rocks and swimming in the water. The seals are fun and interesting to observe as they often play a game that seems very much like the children’s game King of the Mountain. Click to view larger.Brace Cove Seals 2 ©Kim Smith 2014


Brace Cove Seals Sleeping at Daybreak

Brace Cove seals at sunrise ©Kim Smith 2014While filming B-roll for several projects I caught the sunrise at Brace Cove this October morning. The seals were awakening, as were the swan couple, the cormorants and gulls stretching wide their wings, and the songbirds breaking fast on the abundance of wild berries and seed heads found along the berm at Niles Pond. Click image to see full size.

Brace Cove seals at sunrise -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Brace Cove Seals

Brace Cove at sunrise ©Kim Smith 2014Fledgling juvenile male cardinal ©kim Smith 2014Juvenile Male Cardinal

Niles Pond daybreak ©Kim Smith 2014Niles Pond

Sparrow ©Kim Smith 2014Camouflaged!

Sunbathing ~ Seal Style!

Seal Brace Cove Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Seals Sunbathing in Winter at Brace Cove

I counted a half dozen seals having a rumpus of fun sunbathing  on the rocks at Brace Cove this past week. They were clearly enjoying themselves–all that blubber must keep them well-insulated against the frigid air temperatures!

Seal Brace Cove Gloucester  -- ©Kim Smith 2014.3Seal Brace Cove Gloucester -3 ©Kim Smith 2014.

Aquarium Seeks Marine Animal Response Volunteers for North Shore and N.H.

Photo Credit – New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is searching for volunteers for its marine animal response team on the North Shore and in N.H.  Volunteers monitor mostly live seals resting in prominent public locations but also some harbor porpoises that are swimming near shore. Volunteers also respond to dead wash-ups of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seals.

Given the distance from Boston, the Aquarium relies on this network of trained local volunteers to be first responders. Volunteers act as the “eyes and ears” on the beach so that the Aquarium’s rescue biologists and veterinarians can make decisions on the best course of action.  A typical response includes traveling to the stranding site and identifying the species and location of any stranded animals. Volunteers then conduct health assessments of live animals to determine if they are injured, sick or in good health.  With dead animals, they take measurements and determine the animal’s gender.  Volunteers then take and transmit photos and information about stranded animals to the Aquarium as soon as possible. Volunteers also establish and maintain perimeters around stranding sites and answer questions from the public.

Field stranding response volunteers need to be year round residents, have access to a car and have a flexible schedule so as to respond on an on call basis. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and fit enough to walk on uneven ground and lift moderate weight. Working with stranded or dead animals can be stressful. Volunteers need to be able to remain calm under pressure and report objectively. At strandings, there are often a wide range of audiences including curious and emotional bystanders, media representatives, law enforcement officers and local officials. Effective communications skills are essential. Previous animal handling experience is helpful and given preference.

Due to the inherent risk in working with wild animals, which can carry diseases and bacteria, this position is not recommended for applicants who are immuno-compromised or pregnant.

The deadline for applications is May 13. To apply on-line, please visit the aquarium’s website at:    http://www.neaq.org/get_involved/volunteering_and_internships/volunteering/volunteer_application.php

For those without web access, please call the Aquarium’s volunteer office at 617-973-5235

 After completing applications, Aquarium staff will interview prospective volunteers.  New volunteers will need to be available for a full day of training on Sunday, June 3 in Gloucester.

Seals submitted to The GMG Flickr Group Pool By Come Back,Balloon

We have ourselves a new contributor to the GMG Flickr GroupCome Back, Balloon.  For those of you scratching your head “Come Back,Balloon” is the username of the person on the Flickr account of the person who submitted this photo to the GMG Flickr Group pool.  (not sure how many folks can follow all that)  There are some who will understand right away what i mean and others who will undoubtedly scratch their heads.

In any case- WELCOME Come Back, Balloon to the ranks of GMG contributors!

Seals, originally uploaded by Come Back, Balloon.

Just Some Of The Things A Commercial Fisherman Might Get At Rose’s Marine Shop

Lobster trap rope, flag markers, gaffs, bait bags, buoys.

Rose’s Marine Shop, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Spool of Bait Bags

Spool of Bait Bags

The bait bags that come on a spool like the green ones above arrive in one long tube of mesh.  The lobstermen cut the desired length, bunch up an end and then clamp it to make a mesh-like purse.  Then they stuff the herring or pogies in the bags and set them in the lobster traps.
Orange twine pre-made bait bags
Orange twine pre-made bait bags
The orange twine pre-made bait bags shown above are much more heavy duty than the green plastic bait bags but are also way more expensive.  In the winter when the seals show up many lobstermen will switch over to the orange heavy duty bait bags because the seals rip the green ones right out of the traps to get the bait inside.  The orange bait bags hold up much better against the PITA seals.