Back In The Woods Of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I Missed Them, Especially The Susquehanna Wetlands
I returned to beautiful Northeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, after a trip to Hungary and Slovakia, ( it was a last minute trip with the hope of finding the villages of two of my great great grandparents, you can read about it in my blog archives if you want to learn more). On Sunday, despite the jetlag , I was up early, and after my usual morning walk through my neighborhood I was, of course, off to visit the Susquehanna Wetlands. I have come to love this little nature preserve. It located in Salem Township, Luzerne County, about twenty miles from my home in Hazle Township.
It was raining when I left, and I was debating whether I should take the 35 minute drive. I was glad I did. It was cloudy and cool when I arrived. The temperature was in the mid 50s but the woods were beautiful. All of the trees where now covered in lush green leaves.
The woodlands in the wetlands were filled with birds and bird song. This eastern phoebe was singing it’s unmistakable song for which it as named from a tree branch,
This white-bellied nuthatch scurried down a tree.
And this Carolina wren burst into song as I continued my walk along the old canal and ponds.
The woods where also filled with the fragrance of the invasive but beautiful Japanese honeysuckle. These plants have spread into the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania but I enjoy the heavenly aroma of their flowers in late Spring and Summer. Still they are invasive and are overtaking our native wildflowers and our harming our local woodlands. They are, in my opinion, a must better invasive species than Japanese knotwood.
As I continued my hike in the wetlands I heard the noisy calls of pileated woodpeckers in the trees. I love seeing these beautiful but elusive birds. They often quickly fly off on my approach. Not this time, I think they were with some juveniles but these two chattered and flittered on a tree just over my head. I now learned, after editing the photos, the difference between the male and female, This is a female. Look closely at her face, There is no red line on her chin.
Here is a closer look at the male. I never knew this before. Not only was I fortunate to see, and photograph the largest woodpecker in our woods here in Northeastern Pennsylvania but I also learned how to tell the male and female apart. After seeing the woodpeckers I was already pleased of my decision to hike in the wetlands.
It would soon get even better when I saw , and heard, this beautiful bird, singing on a branch above the trail. It was a yellow-throated vireo, a lifer for me, and a beautiful bird.
There were also many of the usual birds singing and foraging for food in the wetlands including this northern flicker and.
this male red-winged blackbird. They are much quieter now having established their nesting territories and with the females now tending the young.
I walked toward the river lands and saw a few muskrats, who quickly dived into the waters before I could get a photos, a wood duck who quickly flew away and a snake that slithered away, all, before I could get any photos. I was able to get a photo of this, what I thought was a dragon fly nymph. It was easy to photograph sine it wasn’t an nymph, just it’s remaining exoskeleton. The dragonfly that emerged had flown away. Nature is remarkable
As I left the wetlands I saw a few gray catbirds,
song sparrows, and
pretty yellow warblers in the trees.
Along the lake I saw two great blue herons. The first quickly flew away as I approached, spreading it’s large and beautiful wings.
until it too decided to fly away. It would be the last birds I would photograph on my five mile hike. I usually don’t stop a lot on my return hike to take photos of the birds I see unless I didn’t they are different than the ones I already photographed .Here is a link to a gallery with more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds June 12 2022.
I also found this egg. I think it was a turtle egg but I wasn’t quite sure because of the oval appearance. I was very small. About the size of a quarter. There is so much to see and learn on every hike in the forests. And I love hiking and searching for natures secrets, whether in the forest of Slovakia or here in my beloved Northeastern Pennsylvania. I hope to keep seeking out Nature’s beauty and secrets and sharing them on many journeys , both here and abroad, for many more years. Here is a link to another gallery on my blog website with photos from my hike in the wetlands Susquehanna Wetlands June 12 2022.
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it” William Shakespeare