Beaver and Blackbirds: Another Hike In The PPL Wetlands.
Sunday was opening day for my favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Game time was 1 p.m. so I decided to take a break from my search for wild mushrooms and take a quick hike through the PPL Wetlands.
As regular readers of my blog would know, I love these protected wetlands located between the nuclear power plant in Salem Township and the Susquehanna River, about a half hour drive from my home. There is such a wide variety of flora and fauna in this area, I always seem to find something of interest for a nature lover like me. I love to share my experiences down here.
And I wasn’t disappointed on Sunday. As I started my walk on the trail along the Susquehanna River, I heard a splashing sound in waters below me. I first wondered if a bear or other small animal could have jumped in the river.
I continued my walk and heard it again. I had to turn back investigate. As I neared the area I heard the splashing and saw water flying into the air. Totally puzzled now I found a clearing to look over the river bank and saw this critter swimming in the water near the shore. And I am sure it saw me too.
It did not flee, but continued to swim in a wide circle slamming it’s tail into the water and causing the loud splashing noise. From the size of it’s tail I think it is a beaver, although some friends suggested it may be a river otter. Here is a link to a video I took on my IPhone. https://youtu.be/GOxkgkHbi9c
Whatever it was it knew I was watching and continued it’s behavior. It would seem it was defending this territory for some reason. I was puzzled on seeing a beaver in the river and is why I am not sure if it could be an otter. Any positive identification would be appreciated. I would have loved to stay and watch it swim in the river but I knew I didn’t have a lot of time for my hike so I decided to continue my walk. Here are some more photographs I took of what I believe is a beaver. Beaver photographs.
Many of the song birds have now left these woods on their journey south for the Winter. And I didn’t hear or see any of the usual resident robins, catbirds or red winged blackbirds. I did see a few wood ducks take off as I approached a pond or canal and saw this flycatcher perched on a branch.
I made my way to the river lands area of the nature preserve and found this milkweed pod that I had photographed last week.There were some tiny eggs on it and they now hatched, and the pod was covered with these newly hatched insects.
I watched for about 15 minutes as the birds continued to stream across the lake and down the trails. Here is a link to a YouTube video I took of some of the migrating birds. Red-winged blackbird migrating flocks
I could have watched them for hours but I couldn’t miss my football game so I walked back to the wetlands. I didn’t see any bald Eagles in the wetlands but I was happy to get home in time for the game and get to see my Philadelphia Eagles win! I am still glad I got to spend the morning outdoors in the wetlands,once again it didn’t disappoint this nature lover. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. PPL Wetland photographs