A Bald Eagle Sighting Brightens Up A Dreary Day At The PPL Wetlands

A Bald Eagle Sighting Brightens Up A Dreary Day At The PPL Wetlands

PPL Wetlands (31 of 50)
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On Sunday, I awoke to a dreary, cool and rainy  late March day here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  After a rare Spring thunderstorm passed through  early in the morning I decided to drive to the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township Luzerne County and look for a  bald eagle. A  pair of adult and a juvenile bald eagle have been frequenting this nature preserve that  I love to explore. There is a stay at home order in effect in Luzerne County but it does not prevent hiking on trails as long as you maintain social distancing. 

As I  began my hike on the trail I noticed a little more green on the ground and some color in the tree branches and trunks as the sap continues to rise in anticipation of the soon to be explosion of new life with the approaching warm weather. 

Walking along the canal I also saw another sign of soon to be new life. I didn’t notice it at the time when I  saw this Canada goose. But upon editing the photo at home I observed a couple of eggs on the ground.  I was surprised and concerned the nest was so near the trail and so in the open. It could be a young couple and I hope the nest is not attacked by a fox, snake  or muskrat. 

There was a flock of mallard ducks on one of the ponds, but they quickly flew off as I approached, as did a few wood duck.  A kingfisher also flew overhead. I tried to photograph the wood ducks and kingfisher but they were to quick for me. I did capture some of the mallard ducks as they flew off. 

Along the trail the skunk cabbages were unfurling their leaves. 

And the blackberry vines were also starting to put forth leaves. 

Some coming attractions were also seen, like these trout lily leaves. Soon the  trails of the wetlands will be strewn with their yellow flowers. It is one of my favorite spring flowers. But I have so many. 

Another sighting revealed the approaching, this frog sitting on a log. The spring peepers were also making their presence known with their beautiful chorus. 

I left the wetlands and made my way to the river land section of the preserve. On the way I saw a few robins searching for worms on the warming ground, another reminder it is Spring. 

This bird  I saw on the trail had me confused, but a friend identified it as a female cowbird. I had never seen a female cowbird before. 

I made my way to Lake Took-A-While,

and perched in a tree across the lake I saw this bald eagle. 

It is always a good day when I see one of these majestic birds. This one sat there, so calmly observing its surroundings. I watched it for about a half hour. I was hoping it might take off and I could capture it in flight. But it just perched there looking. I knew some rain was on the way so I continued my hike to the end of the lake

Along the way I saw about a dozen cormorants wading in the water. As usual the flew off as soon as I approached. There were a few other folks hiking on the path but we all kept our distance. 

I began my hike back and was happy to see the bald eagle still perched in the tree. I watched it for a bit, and much to my delight it decided to take flight. The clouds and distance prevented me from getting good photographs but any time you see an eagle in flight it is a good thing. –

As I had said a king fisher and some wood ducks were eluding me during my entire 5 mile hike. However, on the way back the kingfisher flew to a tree above me and remained long enough to get this photograph. 

And, when I arrived at the parking lot in the wetlands I decided to check out the Susquehanna River. As I approached the river banks, I saw, swimming on the water, a pair of wood ducks! And I got their photographs too, not a very good one but better than none. 

Staying in the house is something I can’t do. I understand the importance of social distancing but I am going to practice in the woods of my beloved Northeastern Pennsylvania for as long as I can. Stay safe folks. But still get outside if you can. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands March 29 2020. 

When the groundhog casts his shadow
And the small birds sing
And the pussywillows happen
And the sun shines warm
And when the peepers peep
Then it is Spring”
― Margaret Wise Brown



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