A Cold Spring Walk Along The Lehigh River At Weissport.

A Cold Spring Walk Along The Lehigh River At Weissport.

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My hike in the PPL Wetlands Saturday let me know me that the water bird migration through our area was near its peak. I usually see a lot of ducks on the Lehigh River near Weissport in Carbon County during the migration. That is where I headed for  my Sunday hike. bridge over Lehigh River

I arrived around 9 a.m. under  clear blue skies. The sun was warm but the air still cold. The temperature was around 28 degrees. It didn’t take long for a flock of geese to fly overhead. There are mallard ducks and  Canada geese that have become somewhat domesticated near the parking lot. Canada geese in flight

I was looking for the wild ones I continued my hike on the old Lehigh canal towpath trail. (I have posted a number of blogs on earlier hikes on the canal. Some include  local history. You could locate them using the search  tool on the home page of my blog website.)old Lehigh Canal towpath

One of the first birds I saw was a red-winged blackbird. They are one of the first species of birds to return in the Spring. They arrive in large flocks. It is very impressive to watch them arrive.  I missed their arrival this year. red-winged blackbird

I  saw a number of song sparrows.song sparrow

There was a pair of noisy woodpeckers high in the treetops.

I usually see common, and sometimes hooded  mergansers on the Lehigh River. There were none this time  on my entire 6 1/2 mile hike. The river was flowing very rapidly. I think it was too rough for the mergansers and other ducks.I did see a few Canada geese brave its turbulent waters. They  swam, or were  carried, by the rapid current.Canada geese in river

I also didn’t see any wood ducks on the waters of the canal. I usually spot a few each Spring. I did get to watch a trio of mallard ducks on the canal.  The three ducks  landed  on the canal together. These two were a couple. mallard ducks on canal

When a  second male approached the female the first male  immediately lunged for the intruder. I never knew ducks could be so violent. He wasn’t letting anyone mess with his girl. male mallard duck

The pair swam to the shore. The female starting feeding on some underwater vegetation. The male  stayed  nearby and  made sure the other male didn’t come anyone near the female.  I enjoy watching any species of  wildlife interact in the woodlands. female mallard duck

I walked the trail out to the observation deck and took in the beautiful mountain scenery.

On my return walk I watched large flocks of tree swallows flying high over the treetops. This long  stream of migrating  birds lasted for 15 minutes.

On my return hike I met a number of people walking, running and biking. It was a nice Spring morning.

I was disappointed not finding any ducks on the river but it was still a great day to out hiking under the bright March sunshine. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Weissport hike March 26 2019.

Water  is in peril; defend rivers with all your might.   Atul Chandra Sarka.

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