Tree Duck spotted on Ayer Conservation Trail

Endangered Species spotted on Habitat Trail

On Sunday, I was walking near the upper beaver pond approaching Autumn Ridge. I was checking the progress the beavers and the recent rains have made in restoring both beaver ponds.  I was pleased to see both dams are being restored and the plentiful rain we have had over the past couple weeks has begun to refill the vast acres of ponds.

I walked for two hours and never saw another person, but I was greeted by hundreds of frogs, chipmunks, squirrels and birds.  I was able to capture the beauty of my nature walk with my trusty iPhone camera.

As I was walking along the Habitat Trail, where it intersects with the Autumn Ridge Trail, I turned to get a picture of the path behind me.  As I did, I observed something in a small pine tree.  It looked recognizable, but I walked back for a closer look.  Now I do not profess to be an avid birder, but I know a rare bird when I see one.  There, right before me was the endangered Acrylic Tree Mallard (anas plasticus).

I approached it cautiously hoping to capture it on film before it took flight.  Strangely, this creature had already begun it’s winter camouflage, shedding it’s colorful summer plumage and donning it’s winter whites.  Quite remarkable indeed.  I encourage you get out this fall and enjoy the trails.

BTW, I also spotted two very large bucks on Porcupine Hill. They were truly magnificent. That was really the high point of my walk, but the deer moved a lot faster than the duck did, so I didn’t get photos of them. If I did, this would have been a different story.

Chuck

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About saveourpond

I am a lifelong resident of Ayer who lives on Flanagan's Pond.
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3 Responses to Tree Duck spotted on Ayer Conservation Trail

  1. Tom Callahan says:

    Them’s good eatin’.

  2. Don Rzasa says:

    What do you hunt them with – a paintball gun?
    But seriously, we have an osprey that seems to like a pine tree in our back yard as a vantage point. I first spotted it Tuesday evening when I was out mowing the lawn. It appers to be a young one and has been out in that tree the last two mornings, as well as last evening. I’ve taken a couple photos, but my digital camera needs the high power zoom of your iPhone to get up close and personal like you did.

  3. saveourpond says:

    Don, while we are on the subject of “real birds”, it has been nice to see a few Swans return to the neighborhood. There also seem to me dozen of geese and ducks. The geese are doing a very good job of waking me every night. In fact they are outside my window honking up a storm as I write this note.

    Sue and I consider the abundance of seasonal waterfowl to be one of the biggest joys of living on this pond.

    Tom, since you revel in eating these fancy store-bought ducks, perhaps you can share some recipes or cooking tips with the rest of the readers. I’ll bet they smell nice roasting in the over or in your outdoor smoker.

    Chuck

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