Ducks, raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds are all beginning to make their way south in the great autumn migration. Leaving at different times, stopping at different locations, and utilizing different habitats migration is a complex yet reassuringly static process. “Rafts“ of ducks like teal and widgeon use open ponds while swallows migrating by day congregate in large “flights”. Warblers, vireos and thrush migrate at night and spend the early morning and pre-dusk picking flies, berries, worms, and bugs off the trees. “Flings” of shorebirds like yellowlegs and Semipalmated sandpipers work the mud edge of ponds and raptors soar leisurely overhead on clear blue afternoons.
One location that finds all these various migratory journeys overlapping is located just 30 minutes northwest of
. The Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located
just down stream from the iconic, though seldom seen Egg Rock. The refuge lies on
the banks of the Boston and serves as
impoundment for annual spring flood waters. Its confluence of river, forest,
still water, and marsh make it a wonderful bird watching site. Parking can be
reached from Concord
River Monson Rd
off Rt. 62 (have faith there are few signs). Crossing the long dyke between the
two pools and then making a slow circle around the East pond, returning to the
woods, and circling back the parking lot can produce some wonderful birds. Fall
finds swallows and ducks, along with herons, hawks, and wrens.