by Nancy Szostak Wright
After living in Westborough for over 26 years, I just recently discovered the Wayne F. MacCallum Wildlife Management Area, entering from the Route 135 (Milk Street) entrance. This area was formerly known as the "Westborough Wildlife Management Area,” and locals sometimes refer to it as just "Fish & Wildlife."
My first visit there was close to sunset (September 2020). It was a short visit, so I spent most of my time at the first pond and then a bit further along the path, on the road to the right. Lots of pokeweed kept me intrigued, as I marveled at its purple stems. I was quite fortunate to see a Green Heron, Eastern Phoebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Goldfinches, lots of Bluebirds, and a pair of Wood Ducks (a lifer for me!). Not to mention the fabulous flowers. I even got a nice abstract image of the grass.
Another visit (early October 2020) was around 4 pm and there was a lot of bird activity. I spent about an hour exploring with my 21 y/o daughter and my husband. What an adventure! As we passed fields of corn and squash that had us curious, we made our way to the pond in the back area. I lagged behind a bit to grab shots of a juvenal Cedar Waxwing and its parent, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Palm Warbler, a Great Blue Heron, Bluebirds, and a gorgeous Monarch Butterfly. I highly recommend this area at any time of year for anyone wishing to explore nature and wildlife. It has wide paths that make social distancing easier, though we wore our masks any time we encountered people.
Note: During the busy fall deer and pheasant hunting seasons (mid-October through December), it’s best to visit on a Sunday (when by law there's no hunting).
Nancy Szostak Wright, a WCLT education committee member since 2018, has enjoyed the trails of Westborough since moving here in 1994. Owner of wrightpix photo gifts, Nancy spends a lot of time behind the camera taking photos of nature and wildlife. Her most exciting find in Westborough was a barred owl in 2019.