Herons, Manchaug Pond, and the Neighboring Rookery

A Heron on a dock on Manchaug Pond – archive photo

Herons are a common sight on Manchaug Pond: fishing coves, standing on docks and shoreline boulders and flying low over the water to a quiet place.

 To see where they are nesting, just take a car ride north and west of Manchaug Pond heading toward Oxford.

Heron rookery located just outside Manchaug Pond watershed in Oxford, Massachusetts

 As you head west on Central Turnpike you’ll enter Oxford, passing Douglas Pike and  Joe Jenny Road on the left. Keep looking to the left and you will see a large area of water and dead trees.  This wetlands was created by a number of years ago by beavers flooding the forest. 

Those dead trees now bear the large stick nests of herons! A driveby reveals the adults standing tall in the nest with other adults flying east to and from area ponds and wetlands.

Closeup of females in the nests.
In addition to Manchaug Pond, herons are frequent visitors to Aldrich Mill Pond at the inlet of Manchaug, the bordering trout ponds on the Beaton Farm Property in Sutton as well as neighboring Stevens Pond downstream and Oxford’s Robinson Pond west of the rookery.

A heron on a fallen tree on Aldrich Mill Pond just up from Manchaug Pond.