The End Of Spring At The Susquehanna Wetlands
It was the end of Spring Saturday. It seems like just yesterday the first skunk cabbages were pushing through the snow and mud. And the first robins and red – winged black birds were appearing in the Susquehanna wetlands. But it’s Summer now and I spent the last day of Spring , where else, but at the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County.
It has been two weeks since my last visit here and what a difference I found.. You immediately sensed the Spring was over.. It looked , smelled and sounded like Summer. The season of new growth was over. And the signs of the approaching Summer were everywhere. The once lush green skunk cabbages, that ushered in the promise of Spring, are already turning brown and deteriorating.
Continuing my walk, I scared off at least three families of wood ducks that were swimming on the canals and ponds in the wetlands. I was only able to photograph this wood duck who stayed around after the ducklings swam off to safety.
Of course, there were robins, red-winged blackbirds, catbirds and many others as I hiked along the trails. I will only share some of the less common birds today since I have shared many photos of these birds in my previous blogs. However, I will share these two more common ones, this American goldfinch
I took my usual route through the wetlands and walked about a mile where I entered the river lands section of the nature preserve. The trail splits up here and I usually follow the trail alongside the shore of Lake Took-A-While.
Many days I see bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers and other water birds on the lake. On Saturday all I saw was the flock of Canada geese. The goslings have grown so fast it’s hard to tell them from their parents now.
I saw the bald spot on it’s chest. I wasn’t sure if missing feathers were because it was sick or possibly attacked. A friend from a Facebook birding group advised me the missing feathers were called a brood patch. The females loses them so as to be able to provide closer contact with her skin and better warm her eggs in the nest. You learn something new everyday. Amazing. Here is a link to some more photographs of the eastern phoebe and other birds I saw on my end of Spring hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands hike birds June 19 2021.
After the eastern phoebe and American redstart I didn’t see any other new or interesting birds on the rest of my hike. I walked past the lake and turned around. It was getting hot out and this may have discouraged the bird activity. But the heat brought out the dragonflies. This is a twelve spotted skimmer
And this a female skimmer dragonfly. I didn’t know this but again I relied on some help some a Facebook insect identifying group. The appearance of so many dragonflies are another sure sign that Summer has returned to the wetlands.
I continued my slow walk back through the wetlands. I had hoped to see some more wildlife but I didn’t. It was still a nice walk through the lush green woodland of mid June. I finished my five mile hike and was looking forward to my next visit, to uncover some more of the many secrets the wetlands and river lands have to offer. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my end of Spring hike. Susquehanna Wetlands hike June 19 2021.
What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. Gertrude Jekyll