It was Sunday , and, once again, I returned for a hike in the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township Luzerne County. I arrived around 9 a.m. under clear blue skies, brilliant sunshine, with seasonably cold temperatures in the mid-30’s. The trees along the trail were bare and the wetlands again were quiet.
The early sun had already melted most of the thick frost that formed overnight. Except in the few areas still left in the leafless woodlands shaded from its rays, which is where I saw this frost covered garlic mustard.
Like on my hikes the previous weekends, I only saw a few birds in the wetlands. There were a couple of white-breasted nuthatches scampering down the trunks of the leafless trees.
There were a few sparrows fluttering about. I think this is either a chipping or tree sparrow. I am not good at identifying sparrows.
I didn’t see the wood ducks this week, or any great blue herons either as I continued my hike under the deep blue skies. . I usually see both on the canals and ponds in the wetlands.
and honeysuckle berries shone in the brilliant sunshine. They will provide food for the year resident birds during the cold weather that will soon arrive.
Leaving the wetlands I walked over to the riverlands and on the trail along Lake Took-A While.
It’s waters reflected the deep blue sky.
I heard a kingfisher in the distance but couldn’t see it. There were about two dozen Canada geese on the lake, about half of the flock that was there last week.
On my return hike I happened to look up and finally saw a bald eagle flying overhead.
It has been quite a few weeks since I have seen one fly over. They are magnificent birds. Seeing them is one of the reasons I spend so much time hiking in the wetlands and riverlands.
There was a pair nesting here in the summer and I saw at least one juvenile early in the Fall. I hope they stay.
I continued my hike back to the wetlands and saw a few more birds on the way including another favorite, a mockingbird,
a song sparrow,
a flock of white-throated sparrows and
I finished my five mile hike without seeing any wood ducks or kingfishers, but I was content having seen, and photographed our majestic National bird. I am hoping it will not be he last. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog with more photographs of my hike in the PPL Wetlands. PPL Wetlands November 29 2020,
Even when November’s sun is low
And Winter flaps his fleecy wings,
Thy gold among his silvery snow
A solace in the sadness brings.