Another Hike, And Some More Eagles, At The PPL Wetlands

Another Hike, And Some More Eagles, At The PPL Wetlands

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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.lake and bridge

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. wood ducks on lake

 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. red-winged blackbird

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. juvenile bald eagle in flight

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.bald eagle in tree

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. bald eagle in flight

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.bald eagle in flight

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. pair of common mergansers

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.mallard ducks on 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, white-throated sparrow

a bluebird,blue bird in tree

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. pileated woodpecker

I walked out to  a few ponds along the Susquehanna River when I decided to turn back. pond near trail

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. crow on log

On my walk along Lake Took-A-While I saw common mergansers.common mergansers in flight

This time I got to close and they quickly flew away. common merganser in flight

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” 
― Munia Khan