Ninigret National Wildlife Refuges
Ninigret Refuge consists of more than 400 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including grassland, forestland, shrubland, wooded swamps, freshwater ponds and a small stretch of barrier beach. Occupying part of a former U.S. naval air station, the refuge borders on 1700-acre Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island's largest coastal pond.
The refuge and adjacent Ninigret Pond attract a wide variety of wildlife. More than 250 bird species have been recorded including many raptors, waterfowl and songbirds. Linked to the sea by a man-made breachway, Ninigret Pond's brackish waters support blue crab, bay scallop, quahog and winter flounder in addition to the many water birds.
Two 1-mile footpaths afford access across the refuge's gentle terrain. Observation platforms offer excellent views of Ninigret Pond and Foster Cove.
- Osprey return in late March. - Woodcock perform courtship flights. - White-eyed vireo, wood thrush and other songbirds in full chorus. - Schools of young bluefish enter Ninigret Pond to feed. - Fledged young of resident birds appear. - Partridge pea tickseed and many other wildflowers in bloom. - Monarch butterfly migration peaks in late September. - Hawk migration best mid-September through early October. - Mergansers, black duck and other migratory waterfowl raft in Ninigret Pond; many species winter. - Winter flounder enter Ninigret Pond to spawn. - Tracks of coyote, white-tailed deer, opossum and other mammals found in snow.
Ninigret Refuge is approximately 45 miles south of Providence in Charlestown. The west entrance is off U.S. Route 1. The east entrance is reached through Ninigret Park off Route 1A.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication