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ADVOCATING FOR THE PIPING PLOVERS

Last night we spoke during open comments at the January City Council meeting. Many, many thanks to Councilor Steven LeBlanc for the advice on how to address the councilors, and to all the councilors present for taking the time to listen, including Scott Memhard, Sean Nolan, Paul Lundberg, Melissa Cox, Valerie Gilman, James O’Hara, and Jen Holmgren.

We are working toward the goal to see the recommendations in place by April 1st of 2019, before the Piping Plovers arrive at Good Harbor Beach. These recommendations were first given in writing on July 9, 2018 to Mayor Sefatia and the City Council.

The following are the concerns and recommendations presented to the councilors on behalf of the Piping Plover volunteer monitors.

January 22, 2019

Piping Plover Recommendations

On behalf of the Piping Plover volunteer monitors, we are submitting our short list of recommendations regarding the Piping Plovers nesting at Good Harbor Beach. Our goal is to have in place by April 1, 2019, measures and ordinances that will greatly increase the likelihood that the hatchlings of this tiny threatened shorebird will have a fighting chance at surviving life on Good Harbor Beach.

Piping Plovers began nesting at Good Harbor Beach in 2016. Each year, the PiPl are coming earlier and earlier. In 2016, they arrived mid-May, in 2017 they arrived at the beginning of May, and this past year, they arrived on April 3. It would appear that the same pair is returning to Good Harbor Beach, as the male marks his territory and attempts to build a nest scrape only several feet from the previous year’s nest (at Boardwalk #3 nesting area).

More Plovers than ever were seen at Good Harbor Beach this spring, and if not for constant disturbances by dogs in the Boardwalk #1 nesting area, we would have had two pairs nesting on the beach.

Why are the birds arriving earlier and earlier? We can presume that the pair are more experienced travelers and parents and that Good Harbor Beach is their “territory.” Does this mean we will eventually have dozens of pairs nesting on Good Harbor Beach? No, because the PiPl are very territorial and they will defend a fairly large area, preventing other PiPl from nesting in their site.

This past year the PiPl pair hatched four chicks. All four chicks were killed by either crows, gulls, or dogs. All three are human-created issues, and all three can be remedied. The following are the four recommendations and actions we wish to see take place.

Recommendations

1) Change the dog ordinance to not allow dogs on the beach after March 31.

Currently, dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to May 1. The Piping Plover volunteer monitor core group, Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt, Mass Wildlife’s John Regosin, and Gloucester’s Animal Advisory Committee all recommend that dogs should not be allowed on Good Harbor Beach beginning April 1st.

This new suggested time frame will allow birds to nest on the beach (as opposed to in the parking lot), with far less interruption, shorebirds will nest earlier in the season, which will help with the chicks survival rate, and the chicks will be stronger by the time Good Harbor fills with summer crowds.

This is a very logical and simple solution. Disallowing dogs on Massachusetts coastal beaches where shorebirds are nesting, beginning April 1, is the norm. Allowing them to return after September 30 is also very common. For Piping Plovers and other nesting shorebirds, protecting their habitat and sharing the shore is a matter of life and death.

2) Rope off the nesting area by April 1.

Poles, with threatened species signs, and a triple row of roping of nesting sites, to be in place no later than April 1. Essex County Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer will assist with this measure.

3) Enforce the existing ordinances regarding dogs (and littering) at all times throughout the year.

 Only enforcing dog ordinances at Good Harbor Beach during nesting season is creating hostility toward the Piping Plovers.

Additionally, we do not recommend extremely high fines as we feel that may become an impediment to issuing and collecting the fines.

We know of at least one example where the magistrate dismissed the tickets issued to a woman who claimed to have a service dog. This woman was running rampant on the beach and throughout dunes with her service dog off leash throughout the entire time the PiPl were nesting, from April through May. Despite the fact that former dog officer Diane Corliss caught the woman on camera with her dog off leash on the beach, and in the dunes, all the tickets that were issued by the animal control officer were dismissed. This is neither fair to the officers who are working hard to keep the dogs off the beach or to the plover volunteers who are spending inordinate amounts of time trying to keep the PiPl safe.

4) Increase trash collection.

When no barrels are placed at the entrances to the beach, people dump bags of trash there anyway. When barrels are in place, people put trash in the barrels however, when the barrels become full, they again resort to leaving bags of trash behind, only next to the barrels. In either scenario, gulls and crows are attracted to the trash. Both gulls and crows rip open the bags and the trash is blown throughout the parking lot and marsh, soon finding its way onto the beach and into the ocean.

Hungry gulls and crows waiting for people to leave their trash behind eat tiny shorebirds.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our recommendations.

Can these recommendations be actionable for the spring of 2019?

Piping Plover chick spreading his wings.

 

Wednesdays at the Rhumb Line with Fly Amero ~ This week’s special guest: Allen Estes 7pm 1.23.2019

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, January 23 – 7pm
My Musical Guest: ALLEN ESTES!

photo  by Joanne Silva

Singer. Songwriter. Multi-instrumentalist. Good guy, great
dad and everybody’s friend. How lucky are we to have the
amazing Allen Estes living here among us? I am proud to
say I know him and to have him as my special musical guest.
Such is what we have in store this Wednesday at the Rhumb
Line. Gonna be there? Of course you are! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……features Morgan Forsythe! Dishes are better than ever before!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
Next week…
1/30 – Lynne Taylor

Visit: http://www.therhumbline.com/
Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

Jimmy And Pat Stop By For One Of My Bachelor Recipes Using Rotisserie Chicken

Way back in my single days I had about ten go-to dishes that were super easy to make for a cooking dummy like me (back before my love of cooking with charcoal began).

Here’s one I used to make all the time when I didn’t have a lot of time but wanted to eat something tasty and filling after a tough day at work.

Ingredients:

Get a rotisserie chicken from Market Basket (or wherever they sell them)

Bowtie pasta

Minced garlic, chopped sundried tomatoes in olive oil

Butter.

Prep:

Boil the bowtie pasta

Chop up the rotisserie chicken into 1 inch or so chunks (leave the skin on for flavor)

Drain the pasta once cooked and stir in butter to coat, minced garlic to taste, chopped sundried tomatos and chopped up chicken.  Serve with garlic bread.

Done.

It’s that easy.

 

SNOWY OWL SLEEPING – PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB

I dream about Snowies sometimes, especially in wintertime. I wonder if Snowies dream–probably, if they do, its all about tasty morsels 🙂

Sleepy Snowy Boy in the wildflower patch.

Do Snowy Owls, like other owl species, feed at night?

Snowy Owls are crepuscular (active and feed at dawn and dusk), diurnal (hunt during the day time), and nocturnal (hunt during darkness). Mostly, while wintering in our region, they rest during the daylight hours. When you see a Snowy sleeping, whether on the beach, a fence post, rooftop, or tree, please give him/her lots of space and let him rest quietly and undisturbed.

In the summer months, Snowies feed in the continuous daylight hours of the Arctic. Their main source of food is lemmings. In years when lemmings are super abundant, female Snowies will actually lay more eggs! Both the male and female hunt and bring food to the growing owlets. Feeding a hungry brood of baby owls is nonstop during the long days of the Arctic summer, and the owls also cache food.

What do Snowy Owls eat when wintering over in New England? I’ll share what we saw Hedwig eat because I am reading tons of misinformation posted online. We saw her eating rabbits, shrews, rats, mice, and yes, sea ducks. At day’s end, she would leave her hotel perch, sometimes heading over the golf course for a rabbit, or swooping down to the rocky shoreline for a shrew, or out to sea for a Common Eider or Bufflehead.

A cache of lemmings circling a Snowy Owl nest–and btw, aren’t they just the cutest!

A Snowy Owl irruption occurs when there is an abundance of lemmings, which leads to an abundance of Snowy Owl hatchlings (more lemmings equals fewer hungry owlets), which leads to more fledglings. Easier-to-catch food is available for the less experienced young hunters further south in the lower 48 states. The adults typically keep north, the first- and second-hatch-year owls often head south. This is another reason to keep a respectful distance, many of the owls are still developing and growing.

Our Hedwig appeared especially adept at catching rodents that were scurrying between the rocks at Bass Rocks. In summer, Arctic Lemmings shelter in shallow underground burrows, or under rocks, just as do Cape Ann members of the rodent family.

Interestingly, some Snowy Owls move further north for the winter. They spend these darkest and most frigid of months at sea, ice hunting for Arctic birds at open patches of water.

Please Do Not Disturb

 

Moving to the Music of The Beatles! Nia class at MAGMA, Thursday Jan. 24th 10:15 am

Cape Ann Wellness

nia flyer shout out graphic beatlesNia to The Beatles!

If you are like me, you love to sing along to the Beatles’ music and of course, dance!  Here is your chance to have a little dance party with all the music you love, like Hey Jude, Revolution, Lady Madonna and more.
We will take the movements from our latest routine and put them to the fun sounds of the Fab Four (Ringo, John, Paul and George not Harry, Meghan, Kate and William).
 
Nia cardio-dance workouts combine 52 simple moves with dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts to get you fit in 60 minutes – body, mind, emotion, and spirit.
 
Nia is non-impact, practiced barefoot, and adaptable to individual needs and abilities. Nia classes are taught by licensed Nia teachers.
 

linda31Want to try Nia?

Class on Thursday at 10:15am at MAGMA, 11 Pleasant St. 

You may find MAGMA by either entering the building…

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Wingaersheek Beach winter whites #GloucesterMA

Scenes from Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an icy wonderland after first winter storm 2019

color off but still wingaersheek beach gloucester mass_gif_after first winter storm 2019 © catherine ryan

Gallery Talk Reminder |artist Jeff Marshall at Jane Deering Gallery #GloucesterMA

Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester MA

Artist Talk | Jeff Marshall

Sunday . January 27th . 2:00 pm

courtesy photos of Marshall working at MOrse-Sibley Wharf on Monster Truck #23.jpg

Jeff talks about drawing and his current work in the exhibition ‘Working the Waterfront’ If you missed Marshall’s acclaimed exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum, this is the last opportunity to view this stunning body of work, which is the subject of Marshall’s year-long observation of the ‘comings and goings’ on Gloucester’s Morse-Sibley Wharf.   Marshall’s work at Jane Deering Gallery was recently noted by The Boston Globe’s Critics’ Pick as one of the best exhibitions to catch.

About the artist: Continue reading “Gallery Talk Reminder |artist Jeff Marshall at Jane Deering Gallery #GloucesterMA”

I think I should have moved the beer and seltzer water off the porch

On Saturday, thought should move the seltzer water and beer from the enclosed porch to the garage.  well, forgot about it until Sunday morning.  I heard this weird noise and looked out on the porch.  This is what I found.  ICKY..