I continued my recent trend of hiking in the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township in Luzerne County late Friday afternoon. It was sunny and warm with I hiked there this past Friday. As usual I walked down to the Susquehanna River,
then walked into the wetlands area of this small nature reserve. I was the only one there and I was able to sneak up on this family of wood ducks,
I was able to get a few photos of these elusive birds before they followed mommy into some reeds.
It was a warm afternoon and I enjoyed walking under the canopy of new leaves and the fresh green growth of Spring.
The Dame’s rocket,
and blue flag flowers continued to bloom on the wetlands,
and were now joined by the hawkweed flowers. Every week now until the first frost some new flowers will appear in the wetlands.
And I saw a new bird, an eastern kingbird one of the largest flycatchers to nest in our area.
I also saw an eastern wood pee wee,
and a few colorful eastern bluebirds.
In addition to the flowers the sedges and grasses appeared in the wetlands this is Gray’s sedge and ,
this fringed sedge.
As I walked along the trail along the old canal I cam across this critter, which I do not see often, it is an eastern mud turtle,
I picked it up to get a closer look,
but carefully placed it back where I found it.
I also saw a few painted turtles on my five mile hike.
There weren’t many birds active at the start of my hike. I did see a few cottontail rabbits as I continued my hike into the river lands area of the reserve.
This Friday I saw a few folks walking and running along Lake Took-A-While,
I also saw a few of the usual birds, the pretty yellow warblers ,
a pair of eastern phoebes,
I am not sure which is the male and which the female,
and a colorful Baltimore oriole. All of these song birds migrate here to nest.
I also saw a year round resident, a song sparrow singing in a tree.
As usual I walked to the far side of the lake before beginning my hike back. I always hope to see an eagle, hawk or osprey but there were none on Friday.
On my hike back I did see a few red-winged blackbirds, this is a female, so different from the male,
this a male,
and this a male flying.
A turkey vulture flew overhead and,
a green heron flew across the lake
It was early evening when I was back in the wetlands and I enjoyed the peace and solitude of the Spring woodlands.
I heard and saw some of the same birds and also this Zabulon skipper butterfly.
Once again I enjoyed my late afternoon hike in the wetlands. I returned to the wetlands on Sunday morning. I had a family party to attend in the afternoon so had to rush my usual slow five mile hike I take my time so as to try and capture the photos of the birds I share here on my blog . On Sunday I didn’t expect to get a lot of photos as I walked into the lush green wetlands in the morning sun.
However, I soon saw one of my favorite birds, a colorful pileated woodpecker.
It was fluttering from tree to tree, hammering away with it’s large beak.
The wetlands were again magical as the sun filtered through the trees
I walked quickly through the wetlands but still saw a few muskrats feeding on the duck weed growing in the canals.
I walked into the river lands,
and on the trail along Lake Took-A-While. There were a lot of folks enjoying this beautiful May morning.
There were about 30 Canada geese on the lake and I was amazed at how much they goslings had grown. They were almost as large as their parents.
I walked to the end of the lake and then started back to the wetlands.
In the wetlands I saw my first indigo bunting of the season. These beautiful birds are always a great sight to see in our woodlands. . Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hikes in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands birds May 26-28 2023.
The only other critter I would see on my quick five mile hike was this green frog sitting on the trail. I was glad I decided to hike in the wetlands, since one again it provided me with the usual peaceful woodlands to walk in and a few cool critters to see too. Here is a link with some more photos from my hikes in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands May 26-28 2023.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir