A few days ago I started telling you about a new Wildlife Sanctuary, well new to me anyway…Allens Pond in Westport. So much happened between my first post about Allens Pond and this installment that it’s hard to believe its been less than a week.
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary is 595 acres that includes a coastal salt-pond, a salt marsh, a barrier beach, shrublands , forested wetlands and grasslands.
The sanctuary consists of 6 miles of trails where you can wander along the Buzzards Bay Shoreline, cross an old pasture or climb among giant boulders.
On my visit the sun was shining but the wind off the bay was blustery and made it cold in spite of the sunshine. Because of this I only explored half of the Beach Loop trail which was only a tiny part of the trail system.
The section I explored took me along a dirt road with Allens Pond on my left and Buzzards Bay on my right. Most of the time I could see the pond but the view of the bay was blocked by the shrublands or what I would call shrubland. These low but thick bushes are nesting areas for several protected species of birds. Piping Plovers and a couple of species of terns are known to nest here and the area is clearly marked as protected.
As you first encounter the pond from the trail you will see an Osprey nesting platform. To my right were smaller nest boxes more suitable for Eastern Bluebirds or other small, grassland birds. I saw plenty of ducks including a merganser with its fluffy looking head of feathers but no action at the Osprey Nest while I was there.
A bit farther along it was clear that the swans were here. About 6 white spots floated on the blue water just beyond my camera’s range. In the soft sand in the road I spotted the distinctive split hoof print of a deer.
It must have passed through just before I came along because the way the wind was blowing the print wouldn’t stay visible for long. In fact by the time I had turned back it was gone, filled in by the sifting, blowing sand.
By now I was pretty wind burned but it had been a nice little walk. I didn’t walk back along the shore because the round rocks were pretty unstable underfoot and I was only wearing sneakers so I retraced my steps back along the road.
There are many more trails to explore so I bet I will be back and maybe next time I’ll see that deer!