In Search of the White Shark and other Wild Cape Cod adventures…..

As most of you are aware we have been fascinated and determined to learn more about the white sharks that returned to Chatham waters, inspiring intensive research on the part of Massachusetts based shark researcher, Dr. Greg Skomal. Since September 2009, when the first confirmed sighting was reported off of Chatham,  his work has attracted a great deal of public interest in North America, especially in New England. Those of you who live on Cape Cod know that his lectures are “sell-outs”. Clearly we are all interested in learning more about this charismatic apex predator in our midst. Right?!!!!  Well yesterday we had a chance to join his team on the lobster boat Ezduzit for a day in the life of a white shark researcher in the field off of Chatham. As is usual with Greg’s work, we also had a film crew on board, working on, yet another documentary, about the white shark off of Cape Cod. Producer and Director is Trevor Gowdy. If his name is familiar, you may have seen his reality based wildlife sportsmen offerings ( eg Trevor Gowdy’s Monster Fish) on television. He is also the son of legendary television personality Kurt Gowdy.

We were “extra” excited about getting out as we were also hoping to catch a glimpse of the early stages of the southerly sea duck migration which begins to build some momentum in Chatham waters in the middle of October.

We were not disappointed. Lots of “Septober” action.

Sea ducks in flight, mostly common eiders, off Monomoy

White winged scoters

Eiders in flight

Gray seals look on at dead shark on Monomoy in confusion

White Shark Research with Film Crew

A Mola mola surfaces near the boat, these guys can weigh more than 1000 lbs!

Dead Mako Shark on Monomoy. Measured about six feet in length. Cause of death unknown.

Fitting harpoon with a satellite tag

Spotter plane is essential to find sharks in shallow water of Chatham

Bill Chiprales - Captain F/V Ezduzit

EZDUZIT on station at "shark cove"

Tracking a white shark

Off Monomoy

Preparing to "tag" a white shark, off Monomoy

Examining the mako shark

Read more.. Monday, October 10th, 2011

Monomoy Journal

Our time in the field this fall has taken us into the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge and, as in past years, has provided some wonderful wildlife experiences for us. We are truly blessed to live on Cape Cod. Posting a few more images to highlight our experiences observing the comings and goings of life that is passing through this fall. Be sure and check out earlier posts.

Common terns dance with grace

Peregrine Falcon at the moment of lift off

Pam in the "cross hairs"

Ocean side

Office work

Close encounter of the pollen kind

Harrier hunts

Swallows at the light on Monomoy

Tree Swallows in flight

Tree swallow in all its glory

Egrets heading South

Pair of Northern Harriers struggle over a meal

Young Black Skimmers preening

Crosstown traffic, snowy egret and a ruddy turnstone pass with a purpose, North Monomoy

Birds eye view of Monomoy Point, Powder hole

Coming Home, Monomoy Point

Grey Seals hauled out

Read more.. Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Wild Chatham Notebook: Migrations

A visit to South Beach to check on the latest migrating shorebird populations was blessed by the appearance of a pair of young Peregrine Falcons who sent the population of dunlins, red knots, black bellied plovers and semipalmated plovers into very nervous aerial behavior. Wonderful to watch these magnificent raptors in action. Watching hundreds of birds erupt into flight in an instant as a falcon swoops in is truly breathtaking.

Read more.. Saturday, October 1st, 2011