A Bald Eagle Sighting At the PPL Wetlands Is Always Exciting
Temperatures remained near freezing Saturday night here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This is mild for February in these parts. We also got another dusting of snow. I decided to return to the PPL Wetlands and look for one of a bald eagle. A family of eagles have nested near the wetlands and have been visiting the lake and river. In fact, I saw one, I think it was a juvenile three times on my Saturday hike but couldn’t get a photograph. I was hoping to have more luck Sunday.
It was overcast when I arrived at the wetlands. I found that more ice formed on the canals and ponds. This didn’t keep the Canada geese from leaving the still open waters. They were noisy again, fighting for mates and territory. Unfortunately, it is still possible to get a frigid arctic air mass which would freeze waters in the wetlands and possibly even the river. The geese would have to abandon their hard-fought for nests. I am hoping this doesn’t occur.
After seeing the geese I saw an animal quickly scamper on the opposite bank of a canal. I thought it was a muskrat or a beaver. However, when I returned home and cropped and edited the photograph I took I noticed it wasn’t either of these animals. I posted it on my Facebook page and asked for help identifying it. Two possibilities were raised a fisher or a mink. The majority of the comments suggested a mink. Feel free to add your opinion in the comments.
Once again I hike to the riverlands area of the preserve and found the waters of the lake ice free. I thought the open waters of the lake would have attracted more Canada geese but there were only about a dozen on the lake. However, there were a lot more common mergansers swimming on the lake.
On my walk back to my car in the wetlands I saw something fly overhead. I looked up to see a bald eagle flying off into the distance. Once again I was disappointed in missing my opportunity to photograph on of these majestic birds.However, as I neared the other end of the lake I saw something perched atop a large tree.
I have seen many of them these past few years here at the wetlands. Still, seeing a bald eagle in the wild fills me with awe and respect for this beautiful creature. Unfortunately it also saw me, and flew off as I approached.
My trip to the wetlands was now complete having seen the eagle, however i was treated to another wildlife sighting when i saw this muskrat or beaver, I am not sure which, swimming in the waters of the lake.
The skies were overcast as i made my way back along the lake. I had walked four miles, and had one more mile to walk to finish my hike when I saw this hawk perched in a tree. i am not sure of the species but it was another good sighting. Even in the middle of Winter there is so much to see in the outdoors, if you walk slow and keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs from my hike in the wetlands and riverlands. PPL Wetlands Hike February 9 2020.