A Walk In The Susquehanna Wetlands: A Different Name But The Same Natural Beauty
Many of you who have followed my blog the past 6 years have seen posts from the PPL Wetlands and River Lands. Located along the Susquehanna River in Salem Township, Luzerne County this nature preserve was created by the PPL Electric Corporation adjacent to it’s nuclear power plant. It preserved the wetlands created by the remains of the old Susquehanna Canal. The ponds, canals and small lakes provided a home for a variety of wildlife. It is a place I have come to love.
Well, a few years ago PPL Electric sold the nuclear plant and the adjacent wetlands. Many folks started referring to the preserve as the Susquehanna Wetlands. Me, being one who dislikes change, continued to call them by their former name. However, it is time, and I will now call them by the generally accepted Susquehanna Wetlands and River Lands. I was at the wetlands again last Saturday, after a frigid night. Temperatures dipped into the low 20’s and were near freezing when I arrived.
There were no spring peeper frogs peeping or turtles basking in the early morning sun. It was too cold for them, in fact a heavy frost was on the ground and ice formed on some of the ponds. However, the cold didn’t stop the newly arrived red-winged blackbirds from singing their raspy songs. Perched in the trees tops there harsh calls echoed through the wetlands.
I was surprised to come upon this pair of blue-winged teals swimming on a canal in the wetlands. The breed in the interior of northern Canada and have a long way to go on their journey. I was wondering if it was the same pair I saw last week.
There were some of the usual birds in the trees along the trail in the wetlands, including this woodpecker, which again, I think is a downy woodpecker,
I next took a side trail to the Susquehanna River where I hoped to see the kingfisher, wood ducks and hooded mergansers that I observed here the past few weeks. There was nothing but the slow flowing water of the river moving on Saturday morning.
Walking back to the trail I spent a few minutes watching a couple golden crowned kinglets hopping on the branches of a tree above the trees. They seldom remain stay for long and this was the best photo I was able to take of this pretty bird.
As I was leaving the wetlands I saw this lone eastern phoebe and
This pair of nesting Canada geese thought they were hidden as I walked by their nesting area. There were a few nesting pairs being quiet in the wetlands as I walked past. A few weeks ago they would honk loudly, defending the nesting areas. Now that the eggs are laid the sit quietly protecting their nest.
I didn’t see much more wildlife activity but, in the wetlands, even though the air was still cool, the bright sunshine encouraged a few painted turtles to crawl up onto some rocks and logs along the canals.
Although I wasn’t able to see or photograph the wood ducks, eagles or kingfishers it was still a nice walk on this cold April morning. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike in the Susquehanna Wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands April 3 2021.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare