A Few Birds, A Bald Eagle And No Snow At The Susquehanna Wetlands .

A Few Birds, A Bald Eagle And No Snow At The Susquehanna Wetlands .

Susquehanna Wetlands birds (8 of 30)
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Last Sunday I trudged through the snow for the first time this year at the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County. It was windy and cold and there was ice on the river and ponds in the wetlands and river lands. We had a warm up this week and the snow and most of the ice were  gone when I returned early Saturday morning. It was cloudy with a temperature near 40 degrees, well above average for January in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The access road to the wetlands is closed for the Winter so I parked by the gate and walked the 1/4 mile to the parking lot. The air smelled of the thawed earth.  There are a lot of shrubs and grass along the road,

and there are usually a lot of bird activity here. On Saturday I heard some northern cardinals, song sparrows and a Carolina wren singing in the woodlands but I was only able to photograph some of the white-throated sparrows traveling in a flock along the road.

I also saw a hairy woodpecker. It may be the same one I saw on my  hike last week.

I walked to the parking lot and down to the Susquehanna River. The ice chunks that floated on the river last week were gone but the river was swollen  from the melting snow and recent rains.

I left the river and walked into the snowless wetlands.

The trail was very muddy form the melted snow and rains.

As I was entering the wetlands I saw this American robin,  They remain  in

and northern flicker.

While photographing the flicker, I saw this bald eagle perched on a tree in the distance. I heard a red tailed hawk in the other direction. I looked for the hawk and when I looked back I  found the bald eagle had flown off. I was disappointed I missed the photos but still was glad to see this magnificent bird and the symbol of our Nation.

I continued my hike and saw there was still some ice on  the ponds and canals in the wetlands, but there was also  a lot of open water. I was surprised to still see some wood ducks on one of the canals. They quickly flew away, whistling loudly, before I could get a photo.

I walked toward the Water Fowl pond, which was still covered in ice,

and I noticed the bald eagle perched on another tree top across a pond.

it flew off again as I approached

and perched on another tree even further away.  

It is perched high in a tree in the distance  this photo,

and  also in this one.

After my encounter with the bald eagle I walked through the wetlands

I  saw a winter wren ,

a male  northern cardinal

and a few black-capped chickadees

I continued my hike toward the river lands. It was quiet and bleak . It is about a mile hike.  The leafless trees stood contrasted the gray skies.

There were no birds feeding on the winterberries,

green briar berries,

and privet berries still  visible along the trail.

There was some green along the trail too, some intermediate wood ferns,

Dame’s Rocket and

garlic mustard leaves.  The last two are edible but I didn’t gather any on this hike. 

I left the wetlands,

and saw a few more cardinals, this is a female, along the trail,

and this  cheerful Carolina wren singing loudly on this dreary wintery day.

There was  open water on Lake Took-Awhile , and there were a few fishermen taking advantage of it.

But parts of  the lake still were  covered in ice.

I walked to the far end of the lake before staring my hike back to the wetlands.

On the way I saw this downy woodpecker in the trees along the lake.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds January 27 2024.

When I returned to the wetlands I found it eerily quite. I didn’t see, or hear another bird or other critter. I guess some folks would like the quiet but I love the sounds of nature  from  the buzzing of cicadas, the peeping of frogs, the many songs of the birds,  including the whistling wood ducks, honking geese, the high pitched cries of a red tailed hawk to the snorting of the deer  and the chipping of the chipmunks.

I finished my five mile hike in the dreary silence, I am eagerly awaiting the spring peepers and other sounds of Spring   Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my five mile hike. Susquehanna Wetlands January 27 2024.

“Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky, 
How beautiful it is?  
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness 
There is a poem, there is a song.  
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.  
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with 
The music of many leaves, 
Which in due season fall and are blown away.  
And this is the way of life.”
–  Krishnamurti