the trustees of reservations
On The Land
The Trustees of Reservations

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wetland creatures, both large and small

Alder Meadow Swamp
Our travels last week to southern Worcester County revealed yet another amazing example of wetland habitat protection by conservation restriction. This 97 acre CR protects a mixture of upland mixed forest, agricultural fields, and wetlands including vernal pools and 35 acres of alder-red maple swamp which is part of more than 100 acres known locally as Alder Meadow.  By far the most significant feature of the property, this wetland provides excellent habitat and likely supports rare species as well. 

Nesting pair of great blue herons
In addition to the numerous frogs we saw (and heard), we also were lucky enough to observe a pair of great blue herons sitting atop their nest in the middle of the swamp.  Although at present, the range of great blue herons is well distributed throughout North America, human intrusions near their rookeries in the form of suburban sprawl, timber cutting, wetland drainage and other disturbances are slowly nibbling away at critical nesting habitat, but thankfully this particular rookery is protected forever by CR.

Green frog peering through the sedges

Sally Naser, CR Monitoring Specialist

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