Birds And A Bobcat, Yep, A Bobcat, At The Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County

Birds And A Bobcat, Yep, A Bobcat, At The Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County

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I  always thought I had seen a bobcat or two on my many miles of hiking in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania over the years. However,  I was never quite  100% sure. The critters  I suspected of being a bobcat always ran quickly  into the woods leaving me with some doubt. It looked like a bobcat, I thought , but I could never be absolutely positive. Well on Saturday I saw a bobcat.   No doubt. This is a bobcat . And I saw it at my favorite hiking trail. The Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township in Luzerne County.  More about the exciting sighting  of the bobcat later in my blog. 

And, I came so close to  changing my routine and not hiking there on Saturday. I was was thinking the  folks reading my blog wanted to see someplace new. And I also considered going on a mushroom hike ( I found three beautiful chicken of the woods mushrooms on Friday).  However, after I took my daily early morning hike through my neighborhood,  I decided to head to the wetlands.  It was partly  sunny mild when I arrived. 

As usual I walked down to the   Susquehanna River and found it even lower then on my last visit.  Rocks were visible in the middle of the river. It looks like you can walk across it now. We need rain here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

I walked into the wetlands area of the nature preserve The trees and other vegetation were still lush and green. 

There wasn’t a lot of song bird activity as I began my hike. It was quiet in  the wetlands. I did see the first of many green herons that are now roaming in the wetlands. I enjoy hearing their frog-like cries. 

There were some elusive  wood ducks  in the reeds on the other side of a canal. 

I walked over to the waterfowl pond,  now that the water level is so low in the wetlands, they did some maintenance on the trails and they cleared another path to the pond. There was no waterfowl on the pond  but I saw this  eastern phoebe perched on a branch in the pond. 

As I walked back to the main trail that led to the river lands, in addition to some more wood duck, and green herons,  I saw this juvenile northern cardinal  on a tree branch, 

this northern flicker searching for grubs and insects on a dead tree trunk, 

a few song sparrows and 

a  gray catbirds singing in the woodlands and

this downy woodpecker also searching for grubs and insects on a dead tree branch. 

There were also a few furry critters  on the trail, this cottontail rabbit and

gray squirrel. 

The waters in the canals and ponds in the wetlands were now covered in duck weed. This nutritious plant is certainly not a weed, but a valuable food source for ducks, turtles frogs, birds, birds and muskrats and many other animals that live in out wetlands. 

There were two  native plants growing in the duckweed covered waters, the blue flag iris, which had bloomed in the spring, and has now produced these seed pods, 

and the common buttonbush, with it’s unusual flowers. 

I walked down to the river again and there were no birds perched on the branch protruding over the river. This is where  I saw the bald eagle, the belted kingfisher and the wood ducks on my previous hike. 

I returned to the main trail in the wetlands and resumed my hike toward the river lands. There were some more  summer wildflowers blooming along the trail including spotted knapweed 

and eastern fleabane daisies. 

There were a few more birds active in the trees and shrubs along the trail,  including this pretty yellow goldfinch, 

a red-bellied woodpeckers, 

and these female red-winged blackbirds.

As usual I next hiked into the river lands area of the nature preserve and hiked to the end of  Lake- Took-A-While. 

It was in the river lands that  I saw the bobcat. It was an amazing experience. It walked in front of me. 

At first I  thought it was an unleashed dog. I soon realized it was not a dog and started to photograph the beautiful feline. 

It continued to walk in front of me, then saw me,

stood still, 

and slowly crept, catlike,

back into the woods.

What an amazing experience.  As I said at the start of my blog, I thought I saw a couple of these beautiful  and graceful creatures before, but I wasn’t sure. This time I was sure,  and, after it disappeared back into the woods, I was delighted to check  the photos  I took of this elusive critter. I am so pleased to be able to share them with my blog and social media followers. I don’t want to reveal the exact location of the bobcat  in case in was nesting in the river lands or wetlands, although it could be many miles away by now. I  am just glad  I was once again in the right place at the right time and I kept my eyes peeled. This is a link to a gallery in my blog website with some more photos of the bobcat. Susquehanna Wetlands bobcat.  July 16 2022. 

I was excited from seeing the bobcat but continued my usual five mile hike to the end of the path along the lake. 

Although I couldn’t wait to finish my hike and return home to edit the photos I took, I still took some photos as I completed my hike and returned to the wetlands. I saw a few dragonflies along the  shores of the lake including this pretty Halloween pennant and

this widow skimmer. 

I also saw a few more birds, this great blue heron,

 and this common male  yellowthroat. Here is a link to a gallery with more photos of the critters I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds  July 16 2022. 

I also saw another baby cottontail rabbit 

and this red squirrel. 

It was near noon when  I finished my five mile hike under the shade of the large old oak trees in the wetlands.  The first cicadas were now singing in the treetops. I was so glad  I decided to hike here on  Saturday.

I have seen so much beauty in these wetlands and river lands during the last ten years,  including a cinnamon bear, river otters, a weasel many bald eagles, song birds, red foxes and so much more. And now I can add an elusive bobcat to the  list. As I often say you don’t have to travel to distant countries to see the beauty of nature, it is here, in our own back yards, if you get outdoors, walk, and keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike in the wetlands.  Susquehanna Wetlands July 16 2022. 

The life of the wood, meadow, and lake go on without us. Flowers bloom, set seed and die back; squirrels hide nuts in the fall and scold all year long; bobcats track the snowy lake in winter; deer browse the willow shoots in spring. Humans are but intruders who have presumed the right to be observers, and who, out of observation, find understanding.    Ann Zwinger 

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