Enjoying The April Sun In The Susquehanna Wetlands

Enjoying The April Sun In The Susquehanna Wetlands

Susquehanna wetlands (5 of 32)
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It was a cool 39 degrees when I awoke Saturday morning.  However, the skies were clear and I knew the April sun would sun warm it up. And what better place to enjoy the April sun than in the Susquehanna Wetlands and Riverlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County.  Nature always has something on display out here. 

The April sun had   already warmed it up by the time I arrived in the wetlands.  The temperature was near 50 degrees. It has only been six days since my last visit here  but I immediately noticed the hints of green from budding of the trees in the woods. 

The new growth of Spring is so fleeting. Most of the trout lilies that were blooming in the wetlands were gone now. There were still a lot of Virginia spring beauty flowers, 

bluets and violets blooming along the trails. 

And I was delighted to find another native wildflower  in bloom, the delicate white wood anemone. 

The skunk cabbage,

mandrake or may apple continued to grow and,

were joined by this unusual native wildflower the jack-in-the-pulpit

In addition to the beautiful wildflowers, I saw a few birds as I began my hike. A pileated woodpecker flew right over my head. I was unable to photograph this large and graceful woodpecker but I was still happy to see one. One of it’s cousins, a downy woodpecker was tapping on the trunk of a  birch tree looking for insects. 

On the same tree a white breasted nuthatch also searched for insects. 

And I had to check out the bald eagle nest.  Once again there looked like there was  only one eagle on the nest. However,  enlarging the photo I tool I was able to see the small brown eaglet sitting next to it’s parent. It was already a good day to welcome another  bald eagle to  the wetlands community!

After leaving the eagle nest I continued through the wetlands and found this more mundane pair of birds standing on the banks of the canal. I am sure these Canada geese will be welcoming their own offspring to the wetland community soon. 

It was nice walking in the strong April sun, listening to the bird songs and enjoying the wildflowers. I soon found another nother sign of the the advancing Spring was these high bush blueberry flowers blossoms. 

As usual I encountered, and scared, some wood ducks and a couple of great blue herons before I could photograph them. But, I  didn’t scare this green heron.

It was perched on a log in a pond in the wetlands  eating a large tadpole. 

I was able to capture a few more  photos of the green  heron enjoying it’s breakfast. There are more photos in the gallery I will link below. 

After watching the green I walked to the Susquehanna River to look for eagles, kingfishers and wood ducks. Once again I didn’t see any, but it’s always nice to  take a few minutes and watch the flowing river waters. 

It was nice to see some  leaves  and buds on the maple tress growing in the wetlands. 

I left the wetlands and walked into the river lands and on the trail between  Lake Took-A-While and the old canal. The waters of the lake reflected the clear blue skies under the brilliant April sun. 

There are usually some birds in the trees along the canal near the lake and I saw a few on Saturday, including the usual Spring arrivals, the red-winged blackbirds,

phoebes and 

American robins.

And this week I saw two new arrivals, a yellow-rumped warbler and

a palm warbler.  I hope they are staying here and not just passing through on their migration

There were no ducks or geese on the lake this week. The only birds I saw were a couple of double-crested cormorants. I again heard the chatter of kingfishers but wasn’t able to see any. 

I walked past the last and onto the Riverside trail. I didn’t see and birds but I did find a couple of pretty trout lilies in bloom. They may be the last I see of these flowers until next Spring. 

There were also a lot of dandelions  in bloom but i am sure they won’t be the last ones I see this year. 

I had a pleasant surprise on my  walk back to my car in the wetlands. I returned to the bald eagles nest and saw not one, but two recently hatched eaglets in the nest! The leaves will soon obscure the nest but I am glad to have a new family of bald eagles in the wetlands. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds, including the green heron, that I took on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands hike birds April 23 2021.

After watching the eagles nest I finished my hike, seeing a lot of turtles enjoying the warm April sunshine. It was another nice walk in the wetlands and riverlands. And, as I said at the beginning of my blog post, Nature never disappoints out here.  And this is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlands under the beautiful April sun. Susquehanna Wetlands hike April 24 2021. 

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”
–  Julian Grenfell






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