Important Bird Areas

Wimisink Preserve

Sherman (Fairfield County)

Status: State Level IBA

Ownership: Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy |

Size: ~55 Acres

Location: 41° 38' 10.7" N, 73° 30' 06.1" W

Primary—Non-tidal freshwater wetland
Secondary—Shrubs, river/stream

Land Use:
Primary—Nature and wildlife conservation, passive recreation (birdwatching and wildlife observation)

Minor—Invasive or non-native plants (Phragmites)

Site Description: Wimisink Preserve is a 55-acre freshwater wetland in Sherman, Connecticut that provides productive habitat for many kinds of wildlife. The marsh includes open water, the result of beaver activity, and thanks to invasive plant control by the previous Naromi Land Trust, a variety of native flora. A boardwalk permits access to the marsh for wildlife observation. Trail map available here.

IBA Criteria Met:

1) Site Important to Species Of Global Concern: Small numbers of Chimney Swifts are occasionally observed.

2) Site Important to Species Of Continental or Regional Concern: Small numbers of species of continental concern are present: American Black Duck and American Woodcock during migration; Hairy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Black-billed Cuckoo, Veery, Eastern Towhee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, etc. during the breeding season.

3) Site Important to Endangered or Threatened Species in Connecticut: In 2014, a pair of American Bittern nested at Wimisink Preserve fledging 3 young. It is worth noting that only one nesting pair was confirmed during the CT Breeding Bird Atlas. Alder Flycatcher is also present at the site during the breeding season (Avg. 2.1, range 0-5 (reports from Russ Naylor for last 10 yrs). A Great Egret and Little Blue Heron were observed foraging in 2014.

5) Site that Contains Rare or Unique Habitat within the State/Region or an Exceptional Representative of a Natural Habitat, and that Holds Important Species or Species Assemblages Largely Restricted to a Distinctive Habitat Type: Wimisink Preserve hosted a number of species associated with freshwater marshes during the summer of 2014 including Wood Duck (8-10 pairs with ducklings), Hooded Merganser (one female with ducklings), Green Heron (3 nesting pairs), Virginia Rail (1-2 calling), Marsh Wren (3 singing adult males), Swamp Sparrow (4 singing adult males), Belted Kingfisher (1 pair with fledglings) and Red-winged Blackbird (~12 adult males) (Angela Dimmitt).

Additional Bird Information: Additional bird species observed regularly at Wimisink Preserve include: Mallard, Canada Geese, Ring-necked Duck, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, American Crow, Fish Crow, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Cardinal, and American Goldfinch.

Non-avian Resources: Unknown

Existing Conservation Measures: Invasive plants have been eradicated or controlled in Wimisink, such as the tangles of roses and bittersweet vines, the tall phragmites, and the widespread purple loosestrife.

Sources of Information:

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