A Weasel, A Chipmunk And Some Birds On A Cool And Cloudy June Hike At The Susquehanna Wetlands.
It was a cool, cloudy and very windy June day when I woke up Saturday morning. The 58 degree temperature seemed much colder with the strong northwesterly wind. The weather didn’t discourage me from driving the 20 miles to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township in Luzerne County. I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of wildlife but I usually see something interesting in this small private nature preserve along the Susquehanna River.
And I did! Upon leaving my car I saw this critter, a chipmunk munching on something for it’s breakfast.
It was still cool and windy when I began my hike under the large old oak, maple and sycamore trees and the lush green canopy of leaves they created above the trail. In the Spring and Summer the weather never keeps me from enjoying the woodlands since everything is so alive. I was enjoying my hike on this dreary day, hoping to see some critters, but without great expectations.
My expectations were wrong. The woodlands were filled with the song of birds. Even in the dark and cloudy conditions I was able to photograph this great blue heron perched on a log on a pond near the entrance to the wetlands.
this female wood duck swam onto the pond. She was agitated and squawking loudly, I am sure to dry my attention from her young ducklings that must have been hidden nearby. She pretended she was injured and flew off, hoping to attract me away form her nest.
Nearby I also heard and saw this song sparrow,
a few yellow warblers,
and this female American redstart in the surrounding woods. I was surprised with all of the bird activity on this windy and cool morning,
I continued my walk in the lush green wetlands. There are not as many wildflowers in bloom as their are in April or May and I only saw a few, these Philadelphia fleabane daisies, and
these unusual broadfruit-bur reed flowers.
It is hard to believe this is the last weekend in Spring but the ripening raspberries confirm this is true. Spring, again , went by way to fast for me again.
I saw a green heron, some more wood ducks and great blue herons as continued my walk through the wetlands and made my way to the river lands.
In the wetlands along the access road I saw a few gray catbirds singing their many songs in the trees,
and some more noisy birds, the red-winged blackbirds. The sexes of this species are so different looking , this is a male,
There were some flowers blooming here too, the milkweed are almost ready to bloom and will soon be attracting bees, butterflies and other insects, and,
the pretty yellow flowers of the moth mullein were blooming.
There were some breaks in the clouds when I neared Lake Took-A-While.,
making for some spectacular scenic views of the lake and distant hills.
As usual I hiked to the end of the lake seeing only this blue-gray gnatcatcher. And it had plenty to eat, there were swarms of gnats all along the lake.
I started my hike back heard a pair of kingfishers in the trees near the bridge across the old canal. They flew off but when I looked down I was surprised to see this beautiful critter looking up at me.
It was a weasel.
I never saw one in the wetlands before. I saw why it was their. Nearby was a chipmunk it must have killed. I didn’t post it here but you can see it in the gallery. The link is below. It left it’s prey, and ran off after giving me a long, mean look.
The clouds returned again as I made my way back to my Jeep at the wetlands.
On the way I saw a few more great blue herons,
this one flying off as I approached,
I saw one more bird on my hike, an eastern phoebe singing on a branch along the trail, Here is a link to a gallery in my blog website with more photos of the birds I saw on my hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands birds June 18 2022.
As is often the case, the clouds began to break up, and the skies began to clear as I finished my five mile hike. I didn’t mind I enjoyed my walk on the cool, windy dreary day. I was especially pleased to have seen, and been able to photograph, as share an image of the weasel, I think it is a cool critter. The wetlands once again surprised me with another critter. It is why I love hiking here. Here is a link to a gallery in my website with more phots from my hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands June 18 2022.
“The beauty of spring makes my heart sing.”