A Lot Of Green Herons, And A Few Other Critters, Including A Couple of Otters At The Susquehanna Wetlands
It was overcast last Saturday morning, with rain in the forecast. Shortly after I awoke it began pouring rain at my home in Hazle Township. I had planned to meet a photographer friend and hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands , twenty miles from my home in Salem Township Luzerne County. I was thinking of canceling our hike, but then decided to drive to the wetlands anyway and, upon arriving found overcast skies, but and no rain. My friend arrived at the same time, and , fortunately, the rain stayed away for our entire five mile hike.
We both talked about wanting see some green herons on our hike. They live here in the wetlands but are usually elusive and hard to photograph. However, on Saturday we got our wish soon after we started our hike. Sitting on the banks of one of the canals was this green heron. It would be the first of many herons we would see that morning.
I often see muskrats and beaver in the wetlands but rarely otters. It was a great start to our morning, to see all of these critters together, It was the beginning of a morning of wildlife sightings, mainly green herons and great blue herons.
As we continued our hike, it didn’t take long for to see another green heron, well actually my friend saw it, and most of the other herons. She has good eyes. It was perched on a log in another pond in the wetlands, staring intensely at the green waters hoping to see, and, catch a fish. This one, while we watched, was unsuccessful.
We watched as the green heron manipulated the fish until it finally was able to swallow the large fish whole. There are a lot more photos of this encounter, and some of the other green and great blue herons we saw on our hike , in this link to a gallery on my blog website. Susquehanna Wetlands herons August 28 2021.
Wildflowers also grew along the trails in the wetlands. Beautiful ironweed flowers bloomed in the wetter parts of the trail,
this northern cardinal. A lot of the birds have already left the wetlands, and headed south, including the red-winged blackbirds and many of migratory song birds. The wetlands were a lot quieter than they are in the Spring.
We also observed this interesting insect. My friend did some research and identified it as a spined soldier bug nymph , a species of stink bugs. They are a beneficial insects that feeds on gypsy moths, potato and bean beetles and other pests.
The rains held off, and some breaks in the clouds let some sun through warming the temperatures. This brought the cicadas out and soon their singing echoed in the river lands and wetlands. A few turtles also crawled out of the waters to enjoy the sun.
and landed in a nearby tree where we watched and photographed it. Well, this would be the last heron we would see, but I have been hiking in the wetlands for ten years now and this was the most green and great blue herons I had seen on a hike.
The rain held off as we finished our five mile hike. It was a nice hike enjoying the natural beauty of the wetlands and the many critters that live here. This time the herons provided us with many beautiful photographs to share with our friends. It is one of my favorite hikes here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to another gallery with more photographs from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands August 28 2021.
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams