Blue Skies, Brilliant April Sunshine But Some Cold Canadian Air At The Susquehanna Wetlands.

Blue Skies, Brilliant April Sunshine But Some Cold Canadian Air At The Susquehanna Wetlands.

Susquehanna Wetlnds (36 of 40)
Previous Post
Next Post

The skies were a deep blue and there was  brilliant April sunshine when I  returned to the Susquehanna Wetlands in  Luzerne County on Friday afternoon. However, it was cold,  the temperatures were in the mid 40’s with a strong northwesterly wind.  The wind made it feel much colder. It felt more like a day in late February and early March. 

As usual,  after checking out the pond at the entrance to the wetlands I parked and   walked down to check on  the Susquehanna  River. I then hiked into the wetlands. 

Despite the unseasonable cold, I saw a lot of birds that had migrated back to our area. This eastern phoebe has built a  nest near the trailhead into the wetlands, 

And I saw a few  more pretty blue-gray gnatcatchers  scurrying in the branches of the trees along the trail. 

I also saw my first green heron of the season. It was good to see these  birds again. 

Like the week before I didn’t see any wood ducks on the ponds or canals in the  wetlands

I did see the many violets that now were  growing all along the trail in the wetlands, including,  common blue violets,

marsh blue violets and 

downy yellow violets.

The invasive garlic mustards plants were also flowering, 

as were the high bush blueberries. Spring was  advancing despite the cold weather.

It is always  a delight to see the first trout lily bloom. These delicate yellow flowers only bloom a short time and I appreciate their beauty every Spring. 

The Virginia Spring beauties, and

cuckoo flowers,  which I saw on my previous visit, continued to bloom and add more color to the woodlands of the wetlands. 

And the appearance of flowers, even the common dandelions,  brought out the insects. There were many of these bees buzzing around the flowers in the wetlands.

And, because of the brilliant April sunshine there were many turtles in the wetlands defying the cold and windy conditions. As I headed toward the river lands section of this small nature preserve  I saw this belted kingfisher perched om a tree above a canal.

I love hearing the chattering of these birds as they flutter swiftly over the wetlands and lake searching for fish.

There were also a few yellow warblers and 

yellow-rumped warblers in the  singing in the trees as I walked past. 

As I left the shelter of the thick trees in the wetlands, I was exposed to the strong northwesterly wind as I walked along Lake Took-A-While. It was cold. The temperature was in the mid 40’s but the wind chill may have been in the 20’s. I saw a few folks walking on the trail and they were dressed in Winter gear. I was in shorts and a tee shirt. It wasn’t a smart move on my part. 

I quickly walked to the far end of the lake and began my hike back to the wetlands, on the way I saw a few red-winged blackbirds singing in the trees along the trail,

some goldfinches and

another bird I had I  am glad to see each Spring, a gray catbird.  I love hearing these noisy birds on my hikes in the Spring and Summer. 

It was getting later in the afternoon and, despite the  brilliant April sun the  temperature was dropping. It was cold  hiking back to my Jeep. 

I saw a few birds and turtles on my hike back but nothing new until I came upon this muskrat feeding on some duck weed  on a pond in the wetlands. 

He was shoving the duck weed into his mouth when he noticed me and dove into the water. I think they are cute critters, 

As I was finishing  up my  five mile hike I  decided to check out the bald eagles nest. I don’t reveal it’s location but I can see a path where some folks are getting to close to the nest.  I try to leave it alone, especially when their are eggs in the nest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines require you stay  330 feet away from an active nest. I was further than  this when I took this photo of  one of the bald eagles tending  their nest.  They are beautiful birds.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos of the birds I saw on  my hike in the wetlands in the  brilliant April sun. Susquehanna Wetlands birds April 29 2022. 

Seeing the  bald eagle was a nice way to end another great hike in the Susquehanna wetlands and river lands. It was cold, but I enjoyed the brilliant April sunshine,  and the weather  doesn’t matter in Spring, with so much new life and birds and other critters to observe. I love it here and I love Spring. Here is  link to another gallery on my website with more photo from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands April 29 2022. 

“The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.”
–  Joyce Kilmer, Spring



This is my first post