During the month of May, Massachusetts is graced daily with species arriving from their winter homes. Some need to fortify for the journey further north, to the boreal forests, bogs, and tundra of Canada and Alaska. Some will nest and breed in Massachusetts, finding suitable habitat along the coast, and in the marsh, scrub, shrub, forest, and grassland found throughout the state. For several projects on which I am currently working, I have been exploring wildlife sanctuaries along the Massachusetts coastal region. Here is just a sampling of some recently spotted migrants, and it’s only May 4th. Lots more to come!

Biggety Brant ~ This Brant Goose appeared to be the bossy boots of his gaggle, chiding, nipping, and vocally encouraging the group along. A large of flock of approximately 40 Brants was recently reported by readers Debbie and Dan, seen at Back Beach in Rockport. The Brants are heading to the wet, coastal tundra of the high Arctic. No other species of goose travels as far north or migrates as great a distance as do Brants.

W is for Wading Willet. A PAIR were well hidden in the marshy grass! Both the flesh and the eggs of Willets are considered tasty. They were nearly hunted to extinction, saved only by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Willets breeding in Massachusetts is nothing short of a miracle. Notice how closely they resemble Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs; all three belong to the Genus Tringa.

Y is for Yawping Yellowlegs. Both Greater and Lesser Yellow are seen in Massachusetts marshes at this time of year. Greater Yellowlegs have a loud, distinct call, which they utilize often. The Greater Yellowlegs are feeding on tiny crustaceans, killfish, and minnows to fortify for the journey to the boggy marshes of Canadian and Alaskan coniferous forests.

Piping Plover Piping ~ We should be proud that our state of Massachusetts has the greatest record of Piping Plover recovery. I recently saw a bar graph at a lecture presentation, given by Dave Rimmer at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, which illustrated that the recovery rate has flatlined in Canada and New Jersey, and diminished in the Great Lakes region.

T is for Tree Swallow Tango ~ Males arrive on the scene prior to the females. The courtship ritual involves the gents showing the ladies possible nesting sites.

Tree Swallow preparing for takeoff.


This Weekend in the Arts



Saturday, May 6th, 2017, 2PM, in RAA&M’s Hibbard Gallery. An essential date in any auction calendar. Bidding is available live, online at http://www.LiveAuctioneers.com, or by absentee bid submission in advance. ALL ARE INVITED. OPEN FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

PREVIEW EXHIBITION: Wednesday, April 26th – Saturday, May 6th. Auction Preview Reception, Friday, May 5th, 5PM – 7PM with light refreshments.

GALLERY TALK AND WALK-THROUGH TOUR OF AUCTION EXHIBITION by noted Cape Ann Art Historian, Judith A. Curtis, as featured in her article “A Nod to Past Painters of Cape Ann” in the April edition of American Art Review magazine. Talk & Walk, Sunday, April 30th, 2PM.

For more auction information or additional promotional images please contact: Margaret Redington, Auction Coordinator, 978 546-6604, margaret@rockportartassn.org.


12 Main Street • Rockport, MA 01966
978 546-6604 • www.rockportartassn.org


The New York Mandolin Ensemble will be performing at Rocky Neck Cultural Center 6 Wonson St, Gloucester, MA on May 6th at at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15.

The ensemble Steven Antonelli, Wayne Fugate, Richard Robinson, Roy Goldberg and Barry Mitterhoff will be joined by Steve Levy, John Ruis and Gino Cichetti. The New York Mandolin Ensemble is an eclectic group of experienced New York based musicians who seek to expand the traditional boundaries of mandolin music through their original compositions and carefully chosen arrangements of works in the classical, jazz, “downtown” and trad/ethnic.




5K poster 2016 8-5x11 Final 1.jpg



Don’t miss Deborah Cramer tonight at the Sawyer Free at 7pm. Her book is beautiful, and beautifully written. Deborah’s photos accompanying the presentation create an added depth of understanding to the plight of this most vulnerable of species.

Willie Loco Alexander Tonight! Dave Sag’s Blues Party 8:30pm @ The Rhumb Line 5.4.2017




Thursday night at the Rummie sees the much-heralded return of Gloucester’s own ubermensch, Willie “Loco” Alexander. Along with Guy Friday Billy Loosigian, on guitar, and Steevee Chaggaris, on thumpers, we will attempt to play the entire Fats domino Songbook in 3 hours.
Dave Sag



40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732



Stacy Boulevard Part 7: expanded garden plans Tulip Fest May 6

IMG_20170504_052040Saturday May 6, 2017 is the official ribbon cutting re-opening of Stacy Boulevard by Mayor Romeo Theken. Thanks to the Mayor, Mike Hale and all Gloucester DPW, GZA, Essex County Landscape Assoc, Gloucester Community Preservation Act, Ann Giraldi Johnson, GFWA, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and groups like the Seaport Economic Council and Dir Carolyn Kirk, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Joe Lucido, Ed Parks, Mike Linquata, Donna Ardizzoni and One Hour at a Time Gang, Ringo Tarr, Bobbie Turner, YMCA and summer help, Wolf Hill, Generous Gardeners, and other volunteers!

Tulip Festival and bonnet parade Saturday 10AM

Ribbon Cutting 11:30AM

Party at Mile Marker Restaurant 6-10PM

Enjoy a closer look at the engineering and landscape plans for the expanded gardens and before/after comparisons.

IMG_20170410_103217 (1)

Stacy expanded gardens

IMG_20170503_151327  Continue reading “Stacy Boulevard Part 7: expanded garden plans Tulip Fest May 6”

TULIP BLVD! #gloucesterma

With the rain coming, and time passing, you may want to get down to Stacy Blvd today and take a stroll while Lil’ Holland is still in full effect! A BIGLY thank you to the fine folks at Generous Gardens for all their hard work. Next year will not feature tulips again, so today is the day to enjoy it in the warm sun!


Winner, Winner, Minnow Dinner

When asked which bait will attract the most minnows, would you guess bread, hotdogs, chocolate covered granola bar, or cheese?

Well, Finn wanted to know.  My little budding angler and future fishing show host (if you ask him) decided to find the answer to that question for science fair this week.  He chose four types of bait, filled four traps each night, set them in Henry’s Pond at Pebble Beach at 7:00 pm, jumped out of bed at 6:00 a.m., hauled his traps, and counted his catch.

You’ll have to watch the video to see which type of bait did the job the best.  I’m pretty proud of my littlest fisherman!



Learn about the life history, decline of, current status, and how the use of GMO Roundup Ready crops are killing Monarchs and pollinators. Learn how you can help the Monarchs breed in Massachusetts during the summer months and on their annual migration to Mexico in the fall. Lecture and slide presentation at the Salem Garden Club. For more information, email kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com

Female Monarch depositing egg on Milkweed foliage and buds.

Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Rick Roth writes,

“Greetings from the Pond Team…

We had a nice time at the Mass State House yesterday. 48 people, mostly from the New England Herpetological Society, were there to oppose Senate Bill 490 which, if passed, would basically shut down our live animal educational presentations. The bill was not very well thought out or very well written. They lumped animal educators in with people who promote dog fighting. Several of us testified against the bill. At the end of the day, I think I could safely say… “That bill isn’t going anywhere.”

Sunday May 7, 2017 from 10am-4pm

Mass Reptile Expo at the Shaw’s Center, 1 Feinberg Way, Brockton MA.

I’ll be there with a Vernal Pond Display. Lots of vendors will be selling snakes, lizards, frogs and other crawlies. Food, animals and supplies.

Later,  Rick

we only have one earth, save it

We are adding more activity photographs to our new website… hope we have the kinks out now too!


CAPE ANN TV POSTPONED: Lunch & Learn: Pre-Production

The Lunch & Learn previously scheduled for Thursday May 4 at 7 PM has been
POSTPONED to a later date.

We will send out an announcement when this event has been re-scheduled.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Becky Tober
Supervising Producer
Cape Ann TV
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Twitter: @CapeAnnTVCATV