Places to Bird in Worcester County

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Waushacum Ponds, Sterling
Directions: Take Rt. 12 north from the junction Rt. 110 in West Boylston near the Wachusett Reservoir. Follow Rt. 12 into Sterling and watch for GATES ROAD, a right. Follow Gates Road until the water of West Waushacum is on the left, close to the road. Drive just BEYOND this point and park under the pines on the left side of the road. Be sure to pull completely off the road. Here you will see some trails that skirt the edge of the land (a peninsula, really, that juts out into the pond) and from these trails you get good views of the pond. Often the Tufted duck is with scaup or Ring-necks along the western/northern edge of the pond and difficult to spot. But be sure to check ALL sides. A scope is necessary.

Sometimes the Tufted Duck is on EAST WAUSHACUM. Continue on Gates Road till you get to the intersection with Camp Ground Road (straight/left). Follow Camp Ground Road (steep uphill) till you see Newell Hill Road on the left. Follow Newell Hill Road till you get a view of East Waushacum on the right. Park just beyond the fence and walk out onto the very small beach and scope the pond from here. Another vantage point is on the opposite side of the pond: continue east on Camp Ground Road, taking a left onto Fitch Road then another left on Sweat Hill Road. As the road descends, wathc for a dirt road on the left. This leads to a small beach on the eastern shore. Both ponds are good for a variety of waterfowl in fall and spring. (submitted by Mark Lynch).