Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054Horseshoe Pond map
The majority of birds are concentrated in the area near the boat ramp and along the sides of the road in the direction of Daniel Webster Highway, where trees and shrubs create ample cover for songbirds. There is an emergent marsh, cattails, and scrub-shrub wetland bordering upland forest, hosting a variety of species like Green Heron, Great Egret, blackbirds, Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, and more. Early spring is a highly productive time to view waterfowl like Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, and Hooded Merganser, generally close enough that no scope is needed. Late spring brings an abundance of orioles, Warbling Vireos, and swallows, while summer offers Eastern Kingbirds, Gray Catbirds, Wood Thrush, and Common Yellowthroats. Raptors are common, including Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, and accipiters. Towards late summer, mud flats are exposed and Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers arrive to feed. Sparrows, shorebirds, and other migrants like Palm Warblers and Common Nighthawks can be seen heading into fall, and winter offers kinglets, Bald Eagles, and the possibility of Winter Wren or late Rusty Blackbirds.
Parking for Horseshoe Pond is located at the boat ramp on Island Drive. From here, the marsh portion of the pond is visible as well as much of the open water on both sides of the road. The site is used heavily for recreational fishing in summer, so parking may be tight at times. Birding is generally done in this vicinity, as the far side of the pond is only accessible by boat and the rest of Island Drive is private.
While the walkable area for Horseshoe Pond is quite small, a high number of species can be found from just the boat ramp to the end of the road, due to the great diversity of cover types.
Content from Molly Jacobson