Odd Couples; and Turkey Obstacle Course — pat morss

Two odd couples among our wildlife friends. Also, our family of 10 turkeys now has an evening obstacle course through our neighbor’s yard, scaling the fence, flying down into our driveway, and then up into the trees to roost for the night.

Friends on Niles Pond (Bufflehead and Merganser)
More friends. Here’s “Lookin’ at ya.”
Salt spray sunset before the Turkey parade
Over the fence, a couple at a time
And down onto the driveway
Then, the triple-jump
Bringing up the rear
Crossing the driveway
Into the woods
Finally, up into the trees for the night

Turkey Mystery — pat morss

On Sunday our family of ten turkeys flew into the trees during the middle of the day (never seen that before). Some relocated to the coastal rocks in the afternoon (never seen that before). Maybe the two Red Foxes, first in the driveway and then down on the rocks, had something to do with this odd behaviour?

And if anyone is wondering where their Mallards went, check out Niles Pond.

Turkey Tree — pat morss

A couple of evenings ago, while taking in Christmas lights, a turkey flew off our roof and went careening into the tree brances across the driveway. Last evening we saw at least 4 (probably from our family of ten) roosting in the trees. But first, a New Year’s hello from several of our friends on Niles Pond.

Great Blue Heron
Red-breasted Merganser
Ring-billed Gull
First landing spot
Prep to relocate
Select next target
Superior navigation skills

Who Can’t Love Snow? — pat morss

Here are some weekend photos around Eastern Point following the snowstorm. Regarding the first, the closest conjunction (visual) of Saturn and Jupiter since the Middle Ages is right now. I knew it would be overcast, so got this picture last Friday.

Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter
Chair where a neighbor often sits with his service dog
Overlooking Niles Pond
St Anthony Chapel, at Farrington and St Louis – like a SW Mission Church
Horse scultures romping in the snow, Farrington Ave
A snowbird that didn’t go South
Turkeys huddling for warmth (or just social)
Last call – kitchen’s closing
Fluffed up and smiling
Home stretch of an invigorating cross country ski trip
Rewarded with a cozy fire and toasting marshmallows

More Birds (and Seals) — pat morss

Another active week for birds, and a personal record 14 seals at Brace Cove.

7 of 14 seals at Brace Cove
Almost a mirror image of Mallards on Niles Pond
Sacrifical squirrel for the crows
Member of a flock of winter American Robins
Downy Woodpecker awaiting a turn at the feeder
Blue Jay on the suet
Blue Jay casting off
Feisty House Sparrows
Cardinal moving in on the Sparrows
Goldfinch landing (R), House Sparrow at the terminal, and Chickadee departing
Red-winged Blackbird hiding most of the red
Turkey “grounds crew” doing evening cleanup

Another Week Close to Home

First, heartfelt thanks to the NationalGrid crew that made it out here during the Saturday storm, soon after we lost power. The poles are pretty inaccessible in the Audubon Sanctuary, and a second truck was called in to cut a path in the right-of-way by chain saw. In the dark they made repairs. The lineman admitted afterward that it was a pretty challenging climb in the driving rain – our anemometer showed gusts to 58mph.

Wires down in the Audubon Sanctuary; Dog Bar breakwater beyond
The National Grid crew worked mostly after dark in extreme storm conditions
Our veteran feeder provided entertainment all week; Red-bellied Woodpecker
We added a suet cage, and the diners showed their appreciation
But competition continued at the feeder, with today’s snowy background
Excuse me!
Chickadees await their turn
A Downy Woodpecker and a Tufted Titmouse
A Boston mirage, beyond Nahant
And the requisite sunset

A Quiet Thanksgiving — pat morss

Still activity around us, as family was reassigned to Zoom.

It was skeletons here at Halloween
A live Christmas tree was planted in the same spot this weekend
Other trees have their own natural ornaments
Your snow stakes are confusing me
Mallards on Niles Pond
This may be why we are called ducks
An outdoor light fixture needed a cleaning
Inside, a microclimate was creating a miniature garden
Rolling on home

After the Fall Color — pat morss

From the past week. It’s getting more black-and-white out there, but these are all color photos.

Almost home
Go ahead, I’ll catch up. I’m talking to someone.
Buffleheads on Niles Pond
Red-breasted Mergansers practicing (almost) synchronized head dips
And back up together
Young Herring Gull at Brace Cove
Elegant when taking off
Layers of wing feathers
Norwegian Cruise Lines headed north, on today’s coldest morning – crew only?
However, the climbing ivy hasn’t given up on Green

Post-Halloween — pat morss

Following the turkey trick-or-treaters
A fallen horse, after 55mph gusts
Halloween desserts never end
A Gonzaga Retreat path with Stations of the Cross
Station 12 (XII)
A visitor explained the rocks, at the end of the path, represent the 15th Station (Resurrection)
Unfortunate Black-backed Gull with a fishhook in his leg
Thacher Island and Twin Lights, beyond Brace Cove
Some remaining foliage
The Wooly Caterpillar’s wide brown stripe is supposed to mean a mild winter
And there are more sunsets to come

Normal Routine here — pat morss

Pied-billed Grebe on a calm Niles Pond
Follow me – great rock. Spoiler – dad fell first
Unbounded energy; new antlers
Mom turkey took to the tree (main branch) to keep track of her full-grown brood
Photo taken Sunday; our resident Great Blue Heron between naps
Photo taken Tuesday (no kidding); eyes closed
Full nap
Requisite fluff-up before the sunset hunt
Wing test
Take off

Recent Encounters — pat morss

Everything pretty normal (but rewarding) this past week.

Halloween is getting closer
Welcoming party
Trails looking elegant
Cooper’s Hawk after swooping under the feeder
Resident Great Blue Heron preened and napped for 5 hours before the evening hunt
It’s dinner time, deer
Take Five. Mom turkey and 9 grown youngsters (one on woodpile, far L)
Time to move out – follow Mom
Back on July 4th Mom was pushing her brood of 9
A choppy return, early evening
Menacing weather over the Magnolia Shore
But you can usually count on it turning into a classic Gloucester sunset

Heron sequel — pat morss

Don’t mean to inundate you with Great Blue Heron photos, but our friend did return and put on a good follow-up act.

Same routine of preening and napping
Wing stretches
Limbering up on the Greasy Pole
Greasy Pole 2
Greasy Pole 3
Almost fell
Fluffed up and ready to go at susnset
Off to hunt
Quick departure

Great Blue Herons — pat morss

Three Great Blue Herons visited yesterday. They spent the afternoon in the trees preening and napping. We kept checking on the last one, that flew off to hunt at sunset. These are yesterday’s photos, but it is the same routine today.

Three herons that were closest together
Not preening yet
This neighbor left early
The contortionist
But there are still places that are difficult to reach
A good wing stretch, assisted by a leg
After several hours, every feather in its place
Looks like good visibility over Audubon this evening
Moving a few twigs out of the way
Flight time

‘Wicked Tuna’ Filming — pat morss

A ‘Wicked Tuna’ film crew was busy yesterday in the harbor, and then outside slightly offshore. The captions to these photos are my imagination as to what was going on.

Helicopter concentrating a long time on Hot Tuna
And getting some real closeups
With sunset approaching, the helicopter followed the first boat into the harbor
The other boats milled around waiting for instructions
Then the word came to speed into the harbor
The helicopter escorted the fleet
The boats passed by Eastern Point Light, heading into the sunset
Another, with Boston in the background
And another rounding the lighthouse
Mother nature rewarded the effort with a beautiful Cape Ann sunset
Firey clouds peeking over the Magnolia shore

My Take on Teddy — pat morss

Teddy was offshore and nothing like our March northeast storms a couple of winters ago, or past hurricanes with a more direct hit. But teddy wasn’t timid.

Water coming over Dogbar breakwater
Waves marching out the breakwater
Wave looming over the Audubon rocks
And breaking
Astronomical tide making gangway uphill to the float at Raymond Beach
Unfortunate Zodiac
Modest waves at Eastern Point light
Coastal wave looking like marble
Windblown sunset wave near the lighthouse