Archive for the 'Bird watching' Category

August 2010 Programs & Events

August 2010 features an exciting month of special events at Halibut Point State Park beginning with back-to-back live animal programs on Saturday, August 7th in an event themed, Creatures Seldom Seen!  Sponsored by the generous support of the Friends of Halibut Point State Park, it begins at 1:00pm outside the park’s Visitors Center with a Nocturnal Animals program with the Center for Wildlife from Cape Neddick, Maine.   The Center, one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities in New England and a major education partner with the DCR, always provides a popular and memorable program from Education and Outreach Director Kristen Lamb and Board member Dawn Dickinson.  Don’t miss this – remember, it’s FREE!  And please take a moment to learn more about the Center for Wildlife and their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife and what you can do to lessen human impact on animals – just click here, or you can find out more about the Center for Wildlife by scrolling down this page to a previous Interpreter’s Notes about the Center.  At 3:00pm Halibut Point will host Richard Wolniewicz of Massachusetts Audubon and his Creepy Crawlies of Essex County program.  This program features newts, frogs, salamanders, snakes and more – Dick always brings along a surprise or two, making his visits to the park always something special.  Don’t miss this back-to-back day of nature programming on Saturday, August 7th from 1:00 – 4:00pm.  Once again – it’s all FREE. 

Later in August, on Saturday the 28th at 5:00pm, Halibut Point will host another Shakespeare in the Park production from the Rebel Shakespeare Company –  the festive comedy Much Ado About Nothing.  For twenty years The Rebel Shakespeare Company  has been a fixture across the Boston’s North Shore, bringing the timeless works of Shakespeare and the creative genius of young people together.  Don’t miss this extraordinary troupe!  For more about rebel Shakespeare and this production, go to

On Sunday, August 29th at 3:00pm the DCR and Friends of Halibut Point State Park are sponsoring another Sunday Sounds concert – a return engagement from the protean and sublime Boston rock n’ roll legend Willie “Loco” Alexander and the Persistence of Memory Orchestra.  Hailed by the Boston Globe as “this generation’s Kerouac”, and one of the originators of the Boston punk scene, Willie’s been around the music scene since the 60’s and the Bosstown Sound era…he’s a Cult hero, a Boston Rock and Roll Hall of Famer… was in the Velvet Underground after Lou Reed…The Lost on Capitol Records and The Bagatelle in the 60’s … in the 70’s The Boom Boom Band on MCA. His bands look like a list of Who’s Who in music from the Boston beat. He toured the country with Elvis Costello, but loves the other Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s played jazz drums, rock n roll keyboard, and vocals with a ton of bands and released scores of singles, lps, and cds on everything from major labels to the smallest independent labels. He’s also been doing spoken word performances and readings from his voluminous journals since the 1960’s.  Fan of Jack Kerouac, he often performs at the Kerouac Festival in Lowell, Mass, opening for artists like Patti Smith.  These are only a few things we can tell you about Willie, though we think  you should know a couple more – his concert last year at Halibut Point was one of the most resplendent and exuberant events in the park’s history, and there’s a rumor going around Willie may be joined by a couple of surprise guests.  Can you believe it, Willie Alexander again at Halibut Point!  And his trio of extraordinary musicians making up the Persistence of Memory Orchestra – Ken Field (, guitarist/drummer/synthesist and producer par excellence Jim Doherty, and Mark Chenevert ( – check them out!  And thanks to the DCR and park’s Friends group it’s all FREE.  For more about Willie Alexander, just go here.

Standard programs for August 2010 at Halibut Point State Park feature a number of Tidepools offerings: Sunday, Aug. 1, 9-10:00am; Monday, Aug. 2 10-11:00am; Tuesday, Aug. 3, 11-12:00pm; Friday. Aug. 6, 1-2:00pm; Monday, Aug. 30, 9-10:00am andTuesday, Aug. 31, 11-12:00pm.  Every Saturday at 10:00am the Quarry Tour will take place and on Sundays the 8th, 22nd and 29th at noon Halibut Point wil offer its Tower Tour.  On Sunday morning the 15th at 8:00am you can meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot for another Birding for Beginners and on the Mondays of the 9th and 23rd at 10:00am Halibut Point features its Geology Rocks! program.  You can download a flyer with Halibut Point’s  August 2010 schedule of programs and events by clicking here.


July 2010 Programs & Events

Halibut Point State Park’s July 2010 programming schedule is jam-packed, beginning with a large number of goings-on over the long July 4th holiday weekend.  On Friday, July 2nd at 10:00am the park is offering Tidepools,  a trip down to the rocky shore for some inter-tidal exploration.  On Saturday, July 3rd at 10:00am  and on every Saturday in July at the same time Halibut Point is offering its Quarry Tour, entailing a video showing of The Uncut Block, a stone-splitting demonstration, tour of the former Babson Farm Quarry, a presentation on the history of quarrying on Cape Ann and some surprising information about the region’s unique geology.  On Sunday, July 4th at 11:00am there will be another Tidepools program (other Tidepools in July are Friday, July 16th at 10:00am and Sunday, July 18th at 11:00am)   and at 3:00pm on July 4th (and repeated on Sunday, July 18th at the same time) there will be a presentation of The Military History of  Halibut Point, featuring two centuries of the park’s military history along with a climb to the top of Halibut Point’s World War Two artillery fire control tower.   To complete the long holiday weekend of programming, on Monday July 5th from 1-4:00pm Halibut Point is offering  The Atlantic Path, a trek along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline.  This very popular event comes with a number of factors to keep in mind – this is not a “path” per se, but in many cases calls for negotiating some challenging terrain including jagged, protruding boulders.  Also, wearing shorts is discouraged; there are areas of poison ivy, thorny bramble and areas of biting nasties.  For those who can handle a trek with extreme elements, the rewards are wonderful – geological features like no place else on Cape Ann or even in New England, fabulous tidepools, seldom visited coastal stretches and more.

But there’s still a lot more going on at Halibut point in July: on Saturday, July 17th at 2:00 the park will host the extraordinary images of photographer Leslie D. Bartlett and his program Halibut Point in Winter.  On Sunday, July 18th at 8:00am the monthly Birding for Beginners with Peter Van Demark will meet in the parking lot.  There will be another Sunday Sounds concert on July 25th at 3:00pm sponsored by the Friends of Halibut Point State Park featuring the classic oldies but goodies of Midlife Crisis.  And on Saturday, July 31st at 5:00pm Halibut Point will host the first of two productions from the Rebel Shakespeare Company – Othello, staged outside overlooking the former Babson Farm Quarry.  Yes, Halibut Point and the Rebel Shakespeare Company once again are collaborating on bringing Shakespeare in the park!  Don’t forget – all programs and events at Halibut Point State Park are brought to you by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and are FREE.  If you would like to download a flyer with Halibut Point’s July 2010 schedule of programs and events, just click here.

May 2010 Programs & Events



The May 2010 schedule of programs and events at Halibut Point State Park begins on Saturday, May 1st at 10:00am with the park’s Quarry Tour.   Meeting at the Visitors Center and running every Saturday thru the end of October, this popular Halibut Point standard program features the showing of a ten minute video, a granite-splitting demonstration, a tour of the former Babson Farm Quarry and an introduction into the history of building with natural stone in America.

On Sunday, May 2nd at 12:00pm and on every Sunday thru May Halibut Point is offering The Military History of Halibut Point.  This program, taking place inside the Visitors Center, features a visit to the park’s new military history display, details about its two-centuries long military history and a climb to the top of the park’s five-story World War Two artillery fire control tower.

In May there will be four trips down to the shore for some intertidal exploration.  The Tidepools program, meeting at the Visitors Center,  will be offered on Sunday, May 9 @ 2pm; Friday, May 21 @ 2pm; Sunday, May 30 @ 9am and Monday, May 31 @ 10:00am.

On Sunday, May 16th at 8:00am Halibut Point is presenting Birding for Beginners with Peter Van Demark.  This two-hour stroll along park paths and along the rocky shore meets in the parking lot.  Note: The May Birding for Beginners program usually takes place at the peak of the wrabler migration!

Halibut Point’s May special programs begin on Sunday, May 16th at 2:00pm with The Secret Life of the Eastern Coyote.  Co-sponsored by the DCR and Friends of Halibut Point State Park, join Jon Way of Eastern Coyote Research and author of Suburban Howls who will present unique insights into these misunderstood, fascinating and highly successful predators.  This program meets inside the Visitors Center and like every program and event at Halibut Point State Park is FREE.  For more on Eastern Coyote Research, visit:

Essex County Amphibians will be at Halibut Point on Saturday, May, 22 at 12:00pm.  Join Richard Wolniewicsz and live frogs, toads, salamanders and more!  Preceded at 9:00am by a volunteer coastal clean-up, both sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.  To get involved, go to:

Sunday, May 23rd at 3:00pm will feature Halibut Point’s first 2010 Sunday Sounds concert with the classic hits unplugged of long-time park favorites Livin’ on Luck.  Future 2010 Summer Sounds concerts will feature musical acts such as Alek Razdan and rock legend Willie Alexander.  For a flyer of Halibut Point’s May 2010 programs and events you can download and/or print out for yourself, just click here.


Coming Events – October 2009

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In October, Halibut Point State Park is offering standard programming along with one very special event.   The park has its Saturday morning Quarry Tour scheduled at 10:00am thru October 24th and Halibut Point’s Tower Tour will take place on Sundays at 12:00pm thru October 18th.  The DCR Universal Access Team is sponsoring a Universal Access Hike at at park on Friday, October 2nd at 11:00am and Peter Van Demark will again host Birding for Beginnerson Sunday morning, October 18th – meet him in the parking lot at 8:00am.  And as always, DCR programs are FREE, including this special event detailed below:

The Cape Ann Ice Age Trail

Did you know the pattern of recent Ice Ages is the defining event on Earth over the past several million years?  Do you know what defines and causes an Ice Age?  That the most recent Ice Age is likely the cause of the rise of the modern human species?  That until 12,000 years ago North America was the greatest land of predatory creatures since the Jurassic era? Or that the entire New England region was under a mile of ice that recently?  Cape Ann is one of the most significant geological areas in America and one of the best places to see and know the last Ice Age up close in front of you and on Saturday, October 11th and Sunday, October 12th the DCR and Trustees of Reservations are combining to provide The Cape Ann Ice Age Trail.  This two day special program will be hosted at the DCR’s Halibut Point State Park on October 11th and at the Trustees Ravenswood Park in Gloucester on October 12th.  Both programs get underway at 2:00pm.  For a flyer you can download with October’s Halibut Point programs and events, click here.

Coming Events – August 2009

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In August, Halibut Point State Park is featuring special programs and events every weekend, kicking off with an August 2nd, 3:00pm Sunday Sounds concert of well-known R&B, jazz and swing instrumentals by Alek Razdan and A-Train.  

On Saturday, August 8th the park is hosting Nature Day with two back-to-back live animal programs with the theme of creatures seldom seen.  At 1:00 Kristen Lamb from the Center for Wildlife, Cape Neddick, Maine will present Nocturnal Animals, a wonderful introduction to the creatures of the night.  And at 3:00pm, Richard Wolniewicz will offer Creepy Crawlies with newts, frogs, salamanders and more.  Bring the family for these special presentations and receive free Park Passports for the kids.  

Peter Van Demark will offer Birding for Beginners on Sunday, August 16th at 8:00am – meet him in the parking lot. 

There will be another Sunday Sounds concert on August 23rd at 3:00pm with bluegrass originals and favorites from the Squatcho Bondo Band. 

On Friday, August 28th at 5:00pm it’ll be Shakespeare in the park with the Rebel Shakespeare Company’s Teen Intensive Program performance of Twelfth Night against the backdrop of the Babson Farm Quarry.  To learn more about the Rebel Shakespeare Company, go to –  This performance, like all programs & events at Halibut Point State Park, is FREE.

August’s standard park programs are the Saturday 10:00am Quarry Tour which includes a stone-cutting demonstration.  On Sundays at 12:00pm the park offers a Tower Tour detailing the almost two centuries long military history of Halibut Point and on Fridays, Reading the Forested Landscape, an examination of the natural history of a landscape that includes deciphering clues determining forest composition will be offered at 10:00am.  Finally, down to the sea rocks for some inter-tidal fun with Tidepools will be on Monday, August 10th at 10:00am.   All programs meet at the park’s Visitors Center.  For a brochure of August programs & events that you can download, click here.

Coming Events – July 2009

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In July, Halibut Point for the first time is featuring a number of the park’s most popular standard programs together in a single month.  The Quarry Tour will continue on Saturdays at 10:00am and there will be Tidepools programs on three dates: Friday, July 3rd at 2:00pm; Saturday, July 26 at 10:00am and Friday, July 31 at 2:00pm.  Geology Rocks! will be on Sundays, July 5, 12 and 16 at 11:00am, and Ceremonial Time: The 15,000 Years of Fifty Acres will take place on Tuesdays July 7, 14 and 28 at 10:00am

Special programs and events for July are Dragonflies in the Park, and exploration of the world of odonata, one of the oldest species of life on the planet.  This program will take place on July 10 and 24 at 11:00am.  July’s Birding for Beginners will be on Sunday, July 19 at 8:00am – meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.  On Saturday, July 25 at 8:00am Halibut Point will host the  Essex National Heritage Photo Safari featuring Tamron and Hunt’s Photo and Video.  To register for this event, go to:  Halibut Point’s July schedule of special programs and events will conclude on July 26 at 3:00 with another Sunday Sounds concert featuring the oldies but goodies of Midlife Crisis.  For a flyer you can download with the July schedule and more information about the month’s programs, click here.

Coming Events – June 2009

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The June schedule at Halibut Point State Park is featuring several special programs.  On Saturday, June 6th at 2:00pm the DCR will undertake the first Atlantic Path program of the season.  The Atlantic Path, since beginning as a Halibut Point event three years ago, has grown to become a very popular program: a three-hour trek along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline featuring some birding, great tidepools, interesting history and what many come to the program for – the stunning geology of the blue quartz and amethyst pegmatites at Andrews Point, which is among the most significant geological areas in New England.  The Atlantic Path includes guest environmental educators and includes some caveats – this is not a “path” per se, but a rocky coastline that can be, in sections, due to bouldering somewhat challenging to negotiate; it’s best not to wear shorts due to poison ivy, hard rocks, thorny thicket, poison ivy and biting insects and please consider that  there are no amenities while we are out there.  If you can handle all that, you may find The Atlantic Path one of the most rewarding nature programs you’ll ever attend.   

The next special program at Halibut Point in June is Follow the Full Moon.  This program, which follows the full Moon over a period of months at Massachusetts northeast region state parks takes place at Halibut Point on Sunday, June 7th beginning at 8:00pm and offers evening activities related to scientific and cultural interpretations of the full Moon. 

On Friday, June 12th at 8:00pm the park will host a special event – Mars in 3-D.  Sponsored by the DCR and Gloucester Area Astronomy Club, this program is about Mars, a planet of mystery and imagination and in recent decades a series of robotic explorations have stripped away much of the unknown.  Sky & Telescope magazine Editor-in-Chief Robert Naeye will  present recent images of Mars in spectacular 3-dimensions and provide an update about ongoing Mars missions.  Red-and-blue 3-D anaglyph glasses will be provided for all attendees.  Besides his affiliation with Sky & Telescope magazine, Robert has worked on the editorial staffs of Discover and Astronomy  magazine as well as being senior science writer for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Astrophysics Science Division.   He has written two books: Through the Eyes of Hubble: The Birth, Life and Violent Death of Stars and Signals from Space: The Chandra X-ray Observatory.  Following Robert’s presentation, there will be public stargazing (weather permitting) with telescopes provided by the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club.

Snakes of Massachusetts and the World is the next June special program at Halibut Point.  Licensed herpatologist Rick Roth of the Cape Ann Vernal Pond team will bring over twenty live snakes for viewing and handling on Saturday, June 27th at 2:00pm.  This is perenially one of the popular programs every season at the park and is sure to bring a crowd.  Bring the young ones and a camera!

Halibut Point’s monthly Birding for Beginners will be on Sunday, June 21st at 8:00am.  Meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.  In May, Peter and others reported an extraordinary amount of warblers in the park.  Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Black-throated, Black & White, Yellow-rumped and Magnolia warblers were some of the ones spotted at Halibut Point in the later part of May. 

On Sunday, June 28th at 3:00pm the park will host its  second  Sunday Sounds concert with the original and well-known R &B, jazz and swing instrumentals of Alek Razdan and A-Train.  Sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.

Besides the above schedule of special events and programs Halibut Point in June is also offering its standard Quarry Tour on Saturdays at 10:00am and Tower Tour on Sundays at Noon.  There are also two Tidepools programs, on Monday, June 15th at 11:00am and on Friday, June 19th at 2:00pm.

As always, every program and event at Halibut Point State Park is FREE.  For a flyer of June’s events you can download, click here.