Saturday, January 28, 2012

Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

It was time for some fresh scenery, so I headed down to Westport, Massachusetts to visit Allens Pond, a Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary.  Traffic was light and I arrived about 7:30 AM.  I took the Beach Loop trail first.  The beach is full of medium sized rocks that make walking on it somewhat tricky, but the rest of the trail was a small dirt path.

It was a short hike.  There was some nice waterfowl off at a distance in Allens Pond, but unfortunately, it was too far for my zoom capabilities.

Next, I moved the car into the small parking lot and started off on Quansett Trail.  Parts of this trail were muddy, and I only wore Merrills for walking, so wasn't sure how far I'd be able to go as it became wetter and wetter.  They did have boards laid down in some of the wetter areas.  I spotted a Great Blue Heron flying out over Allens Pond early in the hike.

I passed one photographer on his way back to the parking lot and asked him if he had any good sightings.  He didn't report any.  He said it was pretty muddy beyond where we were and looked dubiously at my footwear....  This should have been a warning to me!

I moved on and found the trail to be just around the bend to be at least 4 inches under water all the way across.  I managed to keep going by jumping on rocks or walking on the very edge of the trail and trying to avoid brambles, but eventually, I was forced to stop.  I think I turned back shortly after the bridge at Fresh Pond.

Fresh Pond

Birds were plentiful in the overgrowth, especially the areas with berries.  I saw male and female cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, Northern mockingbird, robins (of course!) and a red squirrel.  Right at the rock bridge next to Fresh Pond I saw some type of otter or muskrat.  Not enough time to properly identify it.


Song Sparrow (I think)

Northern Mockingbird

The private property early on this trail had some beautiful grazing horses, and the last field that I walked through prior to the parking lot had this hay mound.  Pretty subjects for photos!  And hard to believe this is a hike at the end of January in Massachusetts!

Took one last look at Allens Pond on the way out and saw several Mute Swans.

Mute Swan

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