Another Hike In The State Game Lands: There Really Is a Cuckoo Bird. I Saw My First One Today!

Another Hike In The State Game Lands: There Really Is a Cuckoo Bird. I Saw My First One Today!

Yellow billed cucko -2
Previous Post
Next Post

It was a chilly and windy start today, temperatures in the mid 40’s here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  But we had some sun, which is always a good thing, but even more so in May.  I decided to hike out in the State Game lands, 119 out in Dennison Township. state game lands -1

I always enjoyed hiking in the woods. I would spend hours hiking the woods near my house as a child and young adult. Although I had no camera,  nor was there any internet, I still loved to share stories of what I found with my dad, my family and my friends.state game lands -4

So the tradition continues, with a larger audience   on my blog and Facebook page. .  Today, after leaving my jeep,  the  first thing I saw was a bald eagle. He swooped down over the hill before I could get a photograph.  Shortly afterward I saw a much smaller, yet still beautiful bird,  high in the treetops, a scarlet tanager. I have seen quite a few this year.state game lands birds -5

I decided to take the same hike as I did the first time I visited here two weeks ago and hike up to the gas line and followe it to the D & L trail.state game lands -1

There were still plenty of flowers on the high bush blueberry bushes. It  looks like it will be a  great crop this year. state game lands -15

I saw a few wild flowers too, the May flowers were scattered about,state game lands -21

as were the fringed polygala.state game lands -22

I only saw one of these, a painted trillium, one of my favorites. state game lands -25

The pink azalea were just starting to bloom up at these higher elevations. it’s like getting a second Spring up here. state game lands -18

I made my way to the D & L trail where I found a nice bunch of oyster mushrooms growing on a fallen tree. I didn’t bring a knife or bag but stuffed a few in my pockets. I love these mushrooms. They have an anise flavor. I just had them for dinner and they were delicious. state game lands -28

I walked the trail up to Moosehead lake again seeing a few birds along the way including this one, I think a female rose breasted grosbeak. state game lands birds -16

I was disappointed to not find any water fowl on the lake but sat and enjoyed the view for a bit. state game lands -31

It clouded up now, and got very windy. The wind created a tick problem. The narrow trail through the thick brush and overhanging trees caused many of them to be blown on me. I pulled of 18 of them today. state game lands -14

I walked the same trail back and I was fortunate to see this bird in a tree.Yellow billed cucko -7

I didn’t know what it was when I saw it but I have learned it is a yellow billed cuckoo. It was a beautiful bird and was the first time I ever heard of or saw one. Here is a link to some more photographs of this beautiful bird. billed cucko -3

I didn’t see a single mammal on the hike, not a deer, bear, squirrel or even a chipmunk, although I heard a lot of them.  state game lands -13

I saw a lot more birds on the way back, orioles, robins, sparrows, American redstarts and even a few black-capped chickadees. Some I was able to photograph, others flew away before I could. But I enjoyed seeing everyone of them. Here is a link to some more of the birds I was able to photograph on my hike.–1state game lands birds -14

I returned to my jeep and did a thorough tick check before I entered my jeep. Even with the frustration from the many ticks, it was still a great day to be outdoors in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike.

state game lands birds -29

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

—Rachel Carson,state game lands birds -26