Southern Wetland Site


The south end of Colchester Pond used to be farmland. When the dam was put in in 1960 the water flooded this area. Since the soil was so fertile, many luscious plants grew in this wetland, and it is now home to an abundant amount of wildlife.

Some of the plants that grow here are easy to identify. Bur reed, a fairly rare plant, can be found in this pond. It has prickly seedpods with many points coming out of it. Each point is its own individual fruit. Duckweed is another common plant here. It is a tiny green floating plant with roots hanging down into the depths of the water where it gets all of its nutrients. One of the tall rushes that grows in Colchester Pond is juncus. This plant is tall with a thin green stem, and it has brown seeds at the top. Many people know cattails, but you may not know how to tell the different varieties apart. Narrow reed cattail has two separate parts at the top. The bottom part is thicker and darker, the top is lighter in color and is fuzzier with seeds. In the broad reed, or common cattail, the two flowering parts are joined. This common variety is easier to find at Colchester Pond. One of the most common plants that we found in this wetland is pickerel weed. This plant has purple flowers and wide green leaves, and it is a couple of inches in height.



Plants that grow in wetlands are very important to the wildlife and us. They provide a habitat and refuge for many types of wildlife and birds. They also provide a food source for other animals. The plants are also productive in other ways. Not only do they produce oxygen, they create a buffer zone and absorb excess nutrients that flow in from agricultural or urban areas.

The birds we saw around this wetland included seagulls, various swallows, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, cormorants, great blue herons, a bittern, eastern peewees, ovenbirds, and ospreys. If you look near the west of this wetland area, there is an osprey nesting box which has not had any ospreys in it recently, but there are ospreys in the area, so maybe you'll be lucky. Also if you look on the top of nearby telephone poles, you may see seagulls and cormorants, which like to sit here.




Great Blue Heron








Red-winged Blackbird