Common Eider Bufflehead ©Kim Smith 2016Male Common Eider (center) with Male Buffleheads

Last week a reader wrote asking how to tell the difference between Buffleheads and Common Eiders. Both males of the species are black and white and both frequent our shores during the winter months. The easiest difference is that the Eiders are much larger, about 25 to 27 inches, while Buffleheads are about half the size of an Eider, only measuring 11-15 inches in length. Common Eiders are the largest diving duck in North America; the Bufflehead the smallest diving duck.

Common Eider Male ©Kim Smith 2015Eiders have a long sloping bill and move rather slowly.

Male female buffleheads ©Kim Smith 2016

Male and Female (right) Buffleheads

Buffleheads are sprightly and butterball shaped. From a distance the male Bufflehead looks striking, appearing black and white. Up close, the head feathers are a stunning iridescent purple and green. Both Eiders and Buffleheads can be seen feeding all along the Massachusetts coastline during the winter months. Buffleheads inhabit fresh water ponds and salt water whereas Common Eiders are sea ducks. During the summer breeding season, Common Eiders are found across Alaska and Canada all the way south to our region, whereas Buffleheads breed in the boreal forests and aspen parklands of Canada and Alaska.

I am sure you’ve heard of eiderdown pillows and quilts. The eiderdown, plucked from the female’s breast to line the nest, can be collected sustainably and safely after the ducklings leave the nest. Eiderdown has been largely replaced by down from farm raised geese.

Common Eider female ©Kim Smith 2015Female Common Eider

Wednesdays with Fly Amero This week’s Special Guest: Jon Butcher! 7-10pm 1.6.2016






This week’s Dinner Special…
Roast Pork w/mashed potatoes, veggie
and mushroom gravy – $11.95

Wednesday, January 6th – 7pm
Special Guest: JON BUTCHER!

jon butcher fly 1.6.2016









The legendary Jon Butcher hits the Rhumb Line to put his
rootsy and soulful music on display once again. Away on the
west coast for some 3 decades, Jon has picked up exactly
where he left off since returning to us a few years ago. He
is a busy and driven man for sure, with new music weaved
into every show. These appearances are quite rare, so you
just don’t want to miss ‘em when they come around. ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂


Visitors ~ Alaska and Arlington

Father and Son – The father is from Arlington and is an avid reader of GMG and often visitor to Gloucester, the son is an Alaskan Salmon Fisherman, visiting Gloucester with his dad.



One Hour at a Time Gang

Since the weather is starting to get cold and nasty the One Hour at a Time Gang will be taking a break for the winter.  This does not mean we will not be picking up.  We always carry a yellow bag to try and keep our city clean.  Also the city has passed a motion on litter. Please read below the information on this motion.  The motion states that cigarette butts are litter.  Please remember to dispose your smoking materials properly and not on the streets, rivers or oceans.

litterordance 001

Ribeye’s At Stop and Shop East Gloucester $5.99 Lb. A No-Brainer Purchase


I like to point out great deals.  This is a great deal.  $5.99 a lb for choice ribeyes when you buy three steaks or more.  These are usually $9-$11 a lb.

Got a bunch for the crew for Sunday dinner. There was boneless and semi-boneless all with nice marbling.   No one complained Smile

At the Essex Shipbuilding Museum ~ “ARTISTS IN THE SHIPYARD”

A new “ARTISTS IN THE SHIPYARD” program at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum is offering artists the opportunity to create and display work in a variety of media including; painting, sculpture, print-making, and digital photography.

THE ESSEX RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT is pleased to announce an exciting program bringing working artists and
students to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. Artists will be able to enjoy the creative opportunities the historic work site offers from now until the end of June 2016. Those participating in “Artists In the Shipyard” will
create and display work in a variety of media including sculpture, print-making, and digital photography. The
program will be drawing on the environment, exhibits, and unique art-making spaces at the museum. The
Essex River Cultural District was awarded this grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council which was matched by the Essex Merchants group. The Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, has
recently started funding projects and programs for Cultural Districts in Massachusetts.

Those interested in participating or just learning more about this program are invited to the Kick Off Reception
on Thursday, January 7th from 5 -7 PM at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, 66 Main Street, Essex, MA. The evening will feature food, drink and an art-making activity. To RSVP or request more information email: or leave a message at: 978-768-6441.

Artist in the Shipyard

Winter Classic

If you’ve read any of what I’ve written since joining GMG, you probably know that my boys play a lot of hockey and it is a big part of their childhoods as well as our lives.

School vacation week was certainly no different.  Thatcher’s team was entered into a four-day tournament sponsored by the Boston Bruins.  While they ultimately did not win the tournament, they were one of the finalists, and for that they were handsomely rewarded.  Medals, hats, backpacks, team photos, etc….and then, the awesome icing on the cake, tickets for the entire team, coaches, and one parent per child to the coveted Winter Classic.

Not only did they score tickets, but they were given front row seats. Granted, being only 8-years old and a bit vertically challenged, they had a difficult time seeing the action take place way out in the center of the Pat’s playing field….but awesome seats nonetheless.

Kudos to the Boston Bruins for once again rewarding these young, budding athletes and helping to create memories to last a lifetime.