Our warm Spring weather left us last week here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It got cooler during the week, but not frigid, yet, that’s coming soon so the forecasters tell us. It was a dreary March afternoon when I returned to the Susquehanna Wetlands for a hike on Friday. Temperatures were seasonably cool in the low to mid-40’s when I arrived. There were no turtles on the waters of the canals or ponds this week. And the wetlands were silent again. Not a peep from the spring peeper or wood frogs. Even the red-winged black birds were quiet. There were, however, still some signs of Spring. The skunk cabbages were unfurling their bright green leaves,
there was now a growth of green algae in the swamps and marshes,
and the red maple trees continued to bud, providing some much missed color to to wetlands.
I heard some geese honking in the distance but the first critter I saw on my walk was this muskrat that quickly swam away as I approached.
I walked along the canals and ponds of the wetlands under the threatening skies. It looked like rain or maybe even some snow. This is not unusual here in our area in late March.
Walking down to the Susquehanna River I hoped to see a bald eagle or a kingfisher. I often see these birds perched on the tall ancient trees along the river.
There weren’t eagles or kingfishers on Friday, just a few wood ducks that quickly flew away as I approached.
I walked along the banks of the river where I usually will see some woodpeckers or song sparrows. There wasn’t a single one on this dreary March afternoon.
I then hiked into the river lands area of nature preserve ,
and along the shore of Lake T00k-A-While.
There was a small flock of Canada geese on the lack, about 12 birds,
and a few common mergansers swimming on the far shore.
I continued my walk along the trail to the end of the lake,
seeing a few robins foraging for food on the ground,
a few crows flying overhead,
and this northern mockingbird fluttering in the brush along the canal. I love hearing the mockingbirds sing.
On my return hike I heard the chattering of the kingfishers that had returned to the lake a few weeks ago. These birds are always on the move but one stopped long enough for me to get a photo,
they are excellent at catching fish and I am hoping to photograph them catching a fish on one of my hikes.
On my hike back to the wetlands I also found a large flock of double-crested cormorants on the lake.
This birds are also very skittish and fly off when approached.
This one flying over some common mergansers who were not bothered by my approach.
I walked back into the woodlands. It was quiet. I know the frogs and turtles didn’t like the cooler temperatures. And I don’t think the birds did either, I saw no more on my hike.
I did see another sign of Spring, the blackberries were putting forth their first leaves,
and I saw a lot more skunk cabbages and
the buds of the red maples. It was cool but Spring was definitely making an appearance at the wetlands. However, according to the forecast some frigid, record breaking Arctic air was on the way. This cold may delay the arrival of Spring but it won’t stop it, it never does. And I am looking forward to it’s appearance in the coming weeks. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photographs from my hike on a dreary March afternoon. Susquehanna Wetlands March 25 2022.
“The first bud of spring sings the other seeds into joining her uprising.”