Another Hike, And Some More Eagles, At The PPL Wetlands
There are many great places to hike and explore the beauty of nature here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of them, the PPl Wetlands and Riverlands in Salem Township, is becoming one my favorites.
There is always an abundant and wide variety of wildlife here . I have come to know where many of these species live and nest. So I find myself returning here often to observe their arrival in Spring. On Sunday I returned to try to photograph the beautiful, but elusive, wood ducks that live there.
I know were three mating pairs have nested. I won’t disturb their nesting area. Raising a family causes enough stress on both the male and female ducks. I hoped to photograph them on the nearby ponds and canals in the wetlands. I was tried to get close enough to take some photographs of these colorful birds. Well the photo above was as close as I got. And that was with a zoom lens. Mallard ducks, common mergansers and Canada geese remained on water as I approached. . Not these skittish ducks. They flew away as soon as they saw me.
It was a sunny and mild morning. Temperatures were in the low 50’s and the spring peepers were already active. I love their chorus in early Spring. The woods were also filled with the chatter of the newly arrived red-winged blackbirds.
It was nice to walk in the warm April sunshine. I hiked to the lake and sighted the juvenile bald eagle again. It flew into some trees before I could get any good photos.
As I tried to get closer I saw this magnificent adult bald eagles sitting in a tree top on the other side of the lake.
It flew off as I approached. Unfortunately, in the opposite direction of my approach. I later saw the adult and juvenile bald eagle soaring off toward the river.
As I discovered the day before most of the ducks have left the lake. There was still a few common mergansers swimming along the far shore of the lake.
And only one female bufflehead duck who seemed lost and alone.
The pair of mallard duck was still at the far end of the lake.
As was the large flock of about two dozen Canada geese. I decided to walk out of the PPL Wetlands and followed the Susquehanna Warrior Trail for a mile or so. It followed the an old railroad right of way. Here I saw a few white-throated sparrows,
and both a downy
and hairy woodpecker. Well anyway I think the smaller is a downy and the larger a hairy.
As I continued my walk along the wooded trail I saw a beautiful pileated woodpecker. I love this bird, the largest of our resident woodpeckers. Unfortunately, although I was able to see it clearly through the trees,I could not get a photo. It kept moving as I approached. This was the best I could do.
I walked out to a few ponds along the Susquehanna River when I decided to turn back.
On the way I saw a few of these birds, I believe an eastern phoebe.
I also saw this large crow on sitting on a log. along the trail.
On my walk along Lake Took-A-While I saw common mergansers.
This time I got to close and they quickly flew away.
There were also a large number of double-crested cormorants on the lake.
and they too, took off, as I approached.
I saw these common mergansers females hanging out with this male mallard duck.
I walked into the wetlands and found scores of turtles enjoying the warm sunshine.
It was near noon when I returned to my car. I had hiked about 7 1/2 miles in the PPL wetlands and riverlands. I didn’t get any great photographs of the wood ducks but I was satisfied with the many critters I saw on my hike. I plan to return many times during the coming Spring and Summer. And I’ll alway keep my eyes peeled.There is so much to see. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetlands hike April 7 2019
“Eagle’s flight of loneliness soars so high
Around its sigh, no more alone the sky
Other birds remain away, clouds pass by
Between shrouds of life and haze sun rays die”