Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Milk Island and the Twin Lighthouses

Milk Island is a very small island located just off shore from the Twin Lighthouses in Gloucester, MA. It is completely owned by birds!


So much so that I have to snicker every time I see the pictures. You see, I didn't know the name of this small island so I called upon my friend Jay from Cape Ann Images. Jay was raised in Gloucester so he really knows his stuff! Anyway, when I asked him the name of the island this is what he told me (and I hope he doesn't mind me repeating it):

Hi Sharon,
Milk Island! But I have not seen one cow on it!
I landed there years ago and was attacked by gulls. I mean viciously attacked! It’s a prime nesting spot and they defend their nests like you wouldn’t believe!
Jay


LOLOL! I can just imagine what that must have been like! Oh I tell you it makes me laugh even now. He went on to say:

I used to tell anyone interested in visiting Milk Island to expect Iwo Jima! When I went there I happened to have a Red Sox batting helmet in my boat that saved my skull! The gulls would dive and hit you in the head with their beaks! Now that you brought it up I can still hear the ringing!
Jay


Consider yourself warned!


Obviously we are keeping our distance ; )

The ship you see in the background is the fishing vessel Challenger coming in to port.



Peeking up over the rocks is just one of the twin lighthouses



That's a LOT of Gulls and Cormorants!



And then there were two


After doing a little research I learned the keepers dwellings were built around 1861, the same time as the twin lighthouses were re-built. The buildings were originally white with red roofs, traditional keeper-house colors, but when they were renovated in 2002 the colors were changed over to a mostly grey exterior.





Hope you enjoyed a trip back to Gloucester, MA. We'll be headed back real soon!

(Actually I was just there today!)


28 comments:

Marfa (formula for a life) said...

Sharon, your blog always leaves me drooling over such gorgeous sites. I can't wait for my trip next year. Among other places, we'll be visiting New England. I am definitely visiting Cape Cod, and for sure Cape Elizabeth, Plymouth and a few other areas. I can't wait to see all the pretty fishing villages and the lighthouse that I love.

Beth at Aunties said...

I really want to visit and see New England through your eyes. You sure capture it beautifully through your lenses. We are coming east again the first of October, but too soon to see the beautiful foliage of fall.
I too chuckled at Jay's comments! It would have felt like a war had broke out! LOL
Your pictures are terrific!

Andora said...

I have never been to New England,but I sure enjoy looking through your lens..great shots..and no I wouldn't have gotten any closer either..

Riet said...

Beautiful pictures and an amazing story. :)))
Have a nice day

Snappy Di said...

Hmmm, wondering why they chose to paint the houses gray. Makes them look rather sad.

Di

Jane said...

Great photos, I am sure there is a reason for its name. Great bird colony though and of course Cape Ann lights too:)

Cedar ... said...

So the keeper and family lived out there with all those gulls and comorants? Or did those birds only recently take over the island. We have a few islands in Lake Champlain where the same thing has happened.

Jayne said...

Boy, I'll bet gull beaks HURT too! The scenery is just so very different than we have here Sharon. Every time you post these shore photos, I feel like I am looking at a travel guide.

Greyscale Territory said...

Really enjoyed this post! Fun comments and wonderful photos!

Marie Höglund said...

Lovely water scenes.

Laura said...

I think those houses would be adorable with red roofs! Can you imagine the bird poop on Milk Island? LOL!

Judy said...

Great photos of all the birds!! And the waves, too, for Watery Wednesday! I wonder if the gulls would be so vicious if they did not have eggs or young chicks? I have watched birds dive bombing a cat to protect their fledglings, but they never made contact!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Gloucester is such a wonderful place. I also love Manchester-by-the-sea. Your photographs are stunning.

Karen

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great photos and thanks for sharing the info.. Don't know that I would want to live close by - could be sorta messey. :)

Jay Albert said...

Great shots Sharon! Another note: I went out there when I was about 16. I heard a story that someone spent several weeks on Milk Island to study gull nesting habits. I did discover a run-down make-shift hut with some battered pots & pans. One of the pots was randomly "dimpled" on it's bottom. It was clear to me it was used as a helmet!

Steve B said...

LOL Jay. If I may suggest that it is called Milk Island because it tends to turn white from the gull pooh?

The Early Birder said...

Head pecking just like Tern colonies. I'm getting a real taste for this part of New England Sharon. Thanks for sharing your glorious photos. FAB

A New England Life said...

I had a lot of fun getting these shots and was completely captivated by the birds! Who knew they could be so mean? I was there at the beginning of July so I'm assuming many were nesting. Glad we didn't get too close!

Cape Ann is a beautiful area with so much to offer (especially to a photographer), mean birds and all. LOL!

Sharon

Karen said...

Beautiful photos! I think I'd like the red roofs better than the gray.
Wouldn't like to meet up with those gulls!

eileeninmd said...

I enjoyed your pictures, I love the birds and coastal photos. The birds can get pretty protective of their nest and chicks.

J Bar said...

Certainly is a lot of birds.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

The Retired One said...

Fabulous photos, Sharon!
But the birds were like the Hitchcock movie. ha

Pat said...

Such gorgeous pictures. Makes me long for the coast. I also love the light houses.

Chatelaine said...

Well I guess I'll wear my Patriots helmet before I set foot on Milk Island. You're a brave girl to venture there after Jay's warnings.

Becky said...

What a funny story!

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

Hi Sharon. Great photos. Your friend Jay made me chuckle. Is the keepers dwellings jut one large house? It looks like two.

Are there two keepers? One for each lighthouse?

Have a great day,
Cindy

dAwN said...

Great photos Sharon..I feel like a broken record..LOL..but they are..

Hee hee..i can see why u didnt get close to the birds...funny converstation with your friend!

You really capture the flavor of New england beautifully.