Monty and I went out to Cape Ann today and biked around. We took the commuter rail out to Rockport, and proceeded counter-clockwise, with our first stop at Halibut Point state park.
We parked our bikes and walked to an overlook. The path took us past a water filled quarry hole where we watched a common tern, and looked down at the minnows and big fat tadpoles visible in the water. I never tire of watching terns; this one came close enough that we could clearly see the red of his feet and beak, and we got to see him come up with fish twice before he flew away. The overlook was also pretty; there were people fishing from the rocks below us, and lots of split quarry rock strewn about. There were lots of butterflies to be seen on our way back; a tiger swallowtail and a viceroy near the overlook, then a dozen or more American lady and maybe a painted lady.
We continued around; the road went up and down in short bursts, but often enough to tempt us to try to maintain the quick pace on the uphills. Lunch, at 2:30 or so was fish and chips near Gloucester, and after that we headed for Eastern Point. To get out to the tip, we had to go through several "residents only" signs, but I had some inkling of that from the birder's guide.
We went out along Dog Bar breakwater, which was long, and had lots of people fishing off it for the first half. There had been a number of the greater black-backed gulls about (this is our largest gull, whose wings are slate black with white edges when viewed from above) at Halibut point, but I had better luck photographing the ones here. There's nothing to provide scale in this shot, but I wasn't paying enough attention to the strong shadows to make most of the other ones worth while.
We managed to make the 5:18 train back from Gloucester, but we were hurrying a lot of the way. The fact that we were almost out of water and Monty was starting to look sunburned made us decide that we didn't want to go back to Rockport and wait for the 7:30 train.