NORWAY — Marshall Pond in Hebron is dotted with rock outcroppings and tiny islands, top heavy with tall pines. Only a few rustic camps are hidden in the trees along its shore. On June 26, ten kayakers gathered there under the friendly leadership of the Western Foothills Land Trust (WFLT) to paddle across the pond and up the stream at its northern end. The Trust holds two easements protecting 568 acres and over 7,000‘ of frontage on the Oxford shore of the 142-acre pond. The land is currently owned and managed by the New England Forestry Foundation. The conservation easements were donated in 2006 by Patty Page and her niece Sandra Page, generous conservationists who treasured their time on the Pond. Both Patty and Sandra are now deceased.

The paddle was very enjoyable with an osprey and a couple of kingfishers leading the way. New beaver dams made it possible to navigate further up the marshy stream than in previous years, though it was still easy to seemingly disappear in the reeds. An annual event, this year’s paddle was notable for osprey sightings in the place of last year’s sighting of a pair of eagles. This year we also spotted a nesting loon. Even while remaining perfectly still, she let us know that she wasn’t happy with our presence. We lingered at a distance only long enough to marvel at what was a first for many of us.

Here is the morning’s bird list compiled by Candace Nelson: Cormorant, Kingbird, Kingfisher, Osprey, Oriole, Great blue heron, Tree swallows, Turkey vulture, Loon, Red wing blackbird, Common yellow throat warbler (heard).

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) has a downloadable poster regarding boat etiquette and these magnificent and vulnerable birds: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/livingwithloons.pdf. Boating activity during the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays can be particularly hard on loons. Some of IFW’s guidelines for motor boats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards advises boaters
to:
• Watch for loons and keep your distance, especially in shallow coves.
• Slow down if you suspect you are close to diving loons.
• Stay away from nesting loons. If you find one, move out of the area.
• Slow down when close to shore. Maine law states that boats should leave “no wake” within 200 feet of any shoreline.
For a listing of upcoming summer programs and events visit: www.wfltmaine.org/programs-1. To learn more about WFLT or to become a volunteer, email: [email protected]

Kayakers explore Marshall Pond in Hebron, ME this past June with Western Foothills Land Trust.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: