SWEET “MYSTERY” SEA DUCK

My friend Elaine pointed out this sweet little sea duck sleeping on the rocks. Softly hued in shades of white, buff, and chocolate brown, with root beer colored eyes, a pale blue mottled bill, bluish-white feet and legs, and only about as large as a crow, we struggled to figure out what species. The little toothy hook at the end of the bill gave it away. I am almost ninety percent certain the little mystery duck is a female immature Long-tailed Duck. If any of our readers know otherwise, please write 🙂

Long-tailed Ducks breed in the Arctic wetlabds but in the winter they are found in our area, along the coast in salty water and sandy shorelines. Perhaps the young duck will stay for the winter. Write and let us know if you see any Long-tailed Ducks in your neighborhood. Thank you!

VIDEO MONTAGE OF GUSTER IN GLOUCESTER AT THE RIVERFEST SEASIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Wonderfully fun and funny, heartfelt, quirky, original, and fabulous musicians all, Guster headlined Gloucester’s first Riverfest Seaside Music Festival. Montage of highlights from the show with favorite songs “Amsterdam,” “Happier,” “Satellite,” “Stay With Me Jesus,” “Homecoming King,” “Ramona,” “Do You Love Me,” “This Could All Be Yours,” and more.

For information on upcoming shows, tickets, store, and to see Guster’s latest hit video for “Overexcited,” go HERE to www.guster.com

Riverfest presented by 92.5 The River and the City of Gloucester, Stage Fort Park. See photos from the show at Kim Smith Designs

BEAUTIFUL SCENES FROM AROUND THE HARBOR DURING SCHOONER FEST

Gloucester in all her glory- part two-filming B-roll around the Harbor

SCHOONER FESTIVAL PARADE OF SAIL AND SCHOONER RACE

So sorry Readers for repeat posts, trying to sort out a Facebook issue with some posts appearing on the feed and some posts not. It is puzzling and frustrating!

Gloucester Harbor in all her glory – photos from the Parade of Sail and Schooner race.

ROCK ON GLUSTER! GUSTER IN GLOUCESTER: PHOTOS FROM GLOUCESTER’S 1ST ANNUAL RIVERFEST SEASIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Headlining act Guster gave a fantastic and fabulous-in-every-way show at the Riverfest Seaside Music Festival Saturday afternoon. They played all the fan favorites for a wonderfully fun and eclectic audience. Some of my favorite songs from their beautiful repertoire of music included “Amsterdam, “Do You Love Me,” “This Could All Be Yours,” “Homecoming King,” “Satellite,” “Stay With Me Jesus,” and many, many more. Video with music highlights to come later this week 🙂

Although I had to work most of the day and didn’t get to the event until after 3:30, the festival went fabulously well, from this fan’s perspective. A huge shout out to Donald St. Sauveur and radio 92.5 The River (the best rock radio station, bar none!), Mayor Sefatia and her team for bringing Riverfest to Gloucester, to Jill Cahill and Gloucester’s stellar DPW for the advanced planning and organizing (Stage Fort Park looked absolutely gorgeous!), to all the sponsors, and especially to the fans. Everyone was having a grand time-enjoying the music, dancing, spending time with family and friends, and just having fun.

Thank you festival organizers for a wonderfully new and exciting event for Gloucester! I hope it is the the first of many Riverfests to come!!!

GET READY FOR GLOUCESTER’S FIRST EVER RIVERFEST!

EXCITIMENT IS BUILDING FOR GLOUCESTER’S FIRST EVER RIVERFEST SEASIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL!

GUSTER HEADLINING

TIME ARTIST
12:00 – 1:00 PM Tall Heights
1:30 – 2:30 PM Mt. Joy
3:00 – 4:00 PM Noah Kahan
4:30 – 6:00 PM Guster
LINEUP SAMPLER

 

GUSTER HEADLINING RIVERFEST SEASIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL SATURDAY AUGUST 24TH!!!

Less than a week from Riverfest! Headliners Guster will be on from 4:30 to 6:00. GO HERE for the complete line-up and more information.

RSMF Logo

We heard you when you told us we’d outgrown the venue in Newburyport. So, we’re excited to share that Riverfest is moving to a new, larger venue — beautiful Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, overlooking Gloucester Harbor.

And we’ve also moved the event up one week from its traditional Labor Day weekend. The event will be held Saturday, August 24, 2019, 12-6pm.

But something that definitely hasn’t changed — Riverfest will continue to be free and open to the public, as it’s always been.

We’re stoked about the future for this popular, annual event, and we hope you’ll join us on August 24th for an awesome day of live music and great vibes!

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Riverfest Seaside Music Festival is a free show open to the public, now in it’s 18th year! Because of the popularity of this event, attendees are encouraged to get there early with blankets & chairs for a day of great live music!

Help keep Gloucester and Stage Fort Park beautiful! Please do not leave behind cigarette butts, trash, food, etc. Put all trash/recycling in proper barrels.

Dogs and other pets must be on a leash at all times.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Stage Fort Park, except within the designated age 21+ area(s) specially permitted during this event.

TEETERING SPOTTED SANDPIPER

On our shores today you may find the charming teetering tip-tailed Spotted Sandpiper. They are a medium sized-shorebird, larger than the Semipalmated Sandpiper you see in the photos, but not as large as the Ruddy Turnstones they are currently migrating alongside. Spotted Sandpipers have a characteristic bobbing-teetering movement when foraging, which has earned the bird its many common names including including Tip-tail, Teeter-bob, Teeter-peep,and Perk Bird.

Fun fact: During breeding season the females may be monogamous, or they may also lay up to four different clutches of eggs, with a different male assigned to each nest. Remarkable!

Although considered common, I don’t often see the Tip-tail on our locaL beaches so it was a joy to spot several this past week, in vary stages of fading breeding plumage.


The Spotted Sandpiper in the above photo has retained some of its spots. The spots give way to a pure white breast during the winter months.

Spotted Sandpiper in non-breeding plumage.

 

The Spotted Sandpiper often forages in a crouched manner.

 

NORTHERN GANNET MYSTERIOUS DIESEASE STRIKES AGAIN

Reposting this from 2017 as another Northern Gannet is struggling  on the Backshore.

A second Northern Gannet, in little over a week, has come ashore to die on a Cape Ann Beach. A friend messaged from the Backshore that the Gannet was resting on the rocks and was not walking well.

Heartbreaking to see, the usually majestic Northern Gannet is struggling to survive.

This beautiful Northern Gannet appears to have the same neurological symptoms of the mysterious disease that has caused over one hundred Gannets to wash ashore on Cape Cod beaches. Veterinarians are sending samples of the dead and dying birds to the USDA to see if federal experts can find the cause. A harmful algae bloom (often referred to as Red Tide) is suspect.

 

The Gannet tried and tried to take flight, but to no avail, wobbling instead and repeatedly tipping over.

The first dying Northern Gannet seen on a Cape Ann beach was shared by Ann Rittenburg. On July 12th, she discovered the bird struggling at Good Harbor Beach. Dianne Corliss, Gloucester’s Animal Control Officer, rescued the seabird. Dianne tried to help, but the Gannet was eventually put to sleep. She warns that the bills of Northern Gannets are extremely powerful. If you come across a Gannet on the beach, do not go near it as they are known to go for the eyes and necks of people. 

What makes the deaths even more troubling is that Northern Gannets are winter migrants through our area, and most months are spent at sea. During the summer season they are typically at their North American breeding grounds, which are six well-established colonies, three in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, and three in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland.

My husband Tom and I saw  these magnificent seabirds from the shores of Provincetown last spring. They were feeding along with the Right Whales. The Northern Gannets soared high above the whales and then plunged straight down with a powerful ferocity. It was dramatic and gorgeous to see. I hope the same illness or Red Tide that is killing the Gannets will not affect whales.

 

WHALE SHOW ON THE BACK SHORE THIS MORNING!

Schools of pogies makes for fat happy whales – back and forth, from roughly Good Harbor Beach to Brace Cove, the whales were following a school of pogies this morning at sunrise.

Sorry the photo is so out of focus, but at least it helps us see what species. I think this is a Humpback based on its white pectoral fin but hopefully one of our expert whale loving readers will chime in and let us know for sure. Thank you!


Humpback Whale and calf photo courtesy Marine Mammal Research Program

Obituary Val Babson

 Sending heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Val Babson.

Mary “Val” Lavilla Cogswell Babson, 73, died July 30, 2019, peacefully at her home in Gloucester, MA, after years of enduring Alzheimer’s dementia. She died as she lived – full of grace, love, strength and beauty.

Born in Baltimore, MD, the day before Valentine’s Day, she was known to most as “Val” and to her grandchildren as “Tutu.”
Val adored her family and shared 47 loving years married to David E. Babson. They loved to travel but mostly enjoyed being at home together watching the tides come in and out of Lobster Cove. She always shared a vitality for life, a mischievous sense of humor, and boundless compassion and love for her many friends and family. We are all blessed to have her close to our hearts.

She graduated from the Friends School of Baltimore (1964), Wells College (1968), and Lesley University.
She was impassioned to improve the Gloucester Public Schools and contributed in a variety of roles by co-founding the Gloucester School Connection, helping to create the Multiple Intelligence Program, and working as the Public-Parent Information Director, Title I Liaison, and Community Outreach and Media Specialist.

She was an advocate for reading and building community, volunteering on the boards of the Annisquam Village Library and Sawyer Free Library, and always adding insight to her beloved book group. She got great joy from spending time in her beautiful garden and volunteered with the Garden Club of Gloucester. She also served on the board of the Gloucester Universalist Unitarian Church and was a docent at the Cape Ann Museum. For her years of dedicated service and leadership, she was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Gloucester Rotary, in 2013.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her three children, David B. Babson and his wife, Annalei (McGreevy) Babson, and their children Kavika and Toni Rose, of Rockport; Amanda L. Babson of Narragansett, RI; and Warren C. Babson and his wife, Rachel Grinstead-Babson, and their children Winston and Cedarmae, of Gloucester; and her brother Corbin C. Cogswell, III and his wife Lynda W. Cogswell of Cape May, NJ.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Corbin C. Cogswell, Jr. and Mary (Chapman) Cogswell, of Baltimore, MD.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gloucester Education Foundation, http://www.thinkthebest.org.

Funeral services will be held at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church Street, Gloucester, On Saturday, August 3 at 11 a.m.
 
Following the service, relatives and friends are invited to attend a lunch collation in the church vestry.
 
Information, directions, condolences can be found at