Whately Woods Is Wild: Water In the Woods

In this video, captured during the month of July, we see the impact of the region’s drought on wildlife in Whately Woods. At the beginning of the month, the once large and busy vernal pool was already reduced to bathtub size. With only one measurable rain event (1/10 inch) at this site, plus intense heat, the pool was dry by the end of July. In prior years, this vernal pool was large enough that some water remained throughout the summer. The animals that visited were looking for drinks, food, and a place to bathe or cool off. You can see frogs and tadpoles struggling in the dwindling pool.

Many different forest bird species were recorded—Veery, Wood Thrush, Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-White Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Norther Flicker, Cooper’s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, and Barred Owl, among others.

A wildlife camera set up by Whately resident and Quonquont Farm co-owner Allison Bell captures the wild side of Whately Center Woods for Kestrel. This 120-acre forest near the historic town center of Whately, MA is now owned by Kestrel Land Trust, and conserved forever with the help of the community.