Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Duck Watching

Today we went duck watching, our usual day after Christmas tradition. We drive around Cape Ann, stopping at various places that are advantageous for duck viewing. The weather did not cooperate with us this year. It’s been very warm here in Massachusetts this winter. The ponds have not yet frozen over, and many of the ducks are on the still-unfrozen inland waters.

Common Eiders


We only saw a few species this year: common eiders, buffleheads, black ducks, and a couple of American mergansers. Still, it was a pleasant day, and the scenery was enjoyable. Our travels took us along the Magnolia shore. The picture here shows the view toward downtown Gloucester. There are reefs all along the rocky shore here, including one called Norman’s Woe, made famous in Longfellow’s poem The Wreck of the Hesperus.

The Magnolia shore looking towards Norman's Woe

We stopped briefly in downtown Gloucester to take some photos of the working fishing port. With the decline of the local fisheries, the city of Gloucester is a bit down on its luck. The fishing port has always looked pretty gritty.

Gloucester Waterfront

Lobster Boats in Gloucester

We ventured out to Eastern Point Light for some more duck viewing, and to walk on the jetty. The waves were occasionally crashing onto the jetty, so we didn’t walk very far out. I did get a nice shot of Leon channeling Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. From Eastern Point, we headed along Bass Rocks to watch the surf and look at more ducks. We headed on into Rockport, hoping to see harlequin ducks along Marmion Way. There is often a raft of them reported there around this time of year, however we have only ever seen them during storms. From Rockport we continued around the north side of Cape Ann. The scenery is beautiful there, though we rarely see much in the way of ducks on that side of the Cape.

Eastern Point Light

Leon on the jetty

Waves crashing on Bass Rocks

Tomorrow: back home to Chicago.

Duck photos by Leon



At 23:00, Blogger Ur-spo said...

nice NE photos; it does look like a lovely place to be.

At 02:03, Blogger Tony said...

WOW! What incredible pics of the seaside. I tell you, sometimes there is nothing like the ocean/oceanview. a safe trip home Doug!

At 05:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos! I have been bird watching only a few times, but it is amazing what different species can be seen if we only would open our eyes. Thanks for giving us a chance to see.

At 18:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These last two posts are great. What a beautiful place to grow up, no wonder you are so fond of home. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas.

All the gray, low clouds remind me of Portland.

At 00:43, Anonymous Mark H said...

NEXT time you go home .... PLease sign up a Guest Registry for TOURS....we can all stay at the Boutique Motel a few miles from your family home, and I DO BELIEVE you'll have an audience mesmerized on a fabulous eco-tour of the NE Coastline. This is beautiful.

At 09:32, Anonymous Rhea said...

Hi, there. I didn't know you grew up on the North Shore. One of my favorite spots. Welcome home. At least for a couple of days. I see you are returning to Chicago today. Another favorite place of mine. Happy New Year!

At 10:29, Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

Great pictures! It looks so cold and rainy! Happy New Year!


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