Goslings, A Bald Eagle And Tadpoles: It’s Spring At Community Park

Goslings, A Bald Eagle And Tadpoles: It’s Spring At Community Park

Community Park birds (11 of 20)
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One of  my favorite sights every Spring is the appearance of the Canada geese goslings on our lakes and ponds here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This year   my first sighting of these fuzzy balls of downy feathers was two weeks ago  on a hike at the local Community Park near my home in Luzerne County. 

It was a sunny and cold afternoon  when I arrived at the park and began my hike around scenic Lake Irena. 

Despite the cold temperatures in the 40’s, the late April sun was strong.  A  few turtles were  enjoying sun’s ray on logs in near the shores of the lake.  I am not sure but this may be a yellow-bellied slider,  an invasive species. 

As I came to the stream that feeds the lake I  was surprised to see these Canada geese with a family of tiny goslings. Because of the cool weather we’ve been having I wasn’t expecting to see them this early.

I watched as the goslings grazed on the tender new shoots of grass along the lake,  this one was getting a drink, 

as their parents watched over them. These geese were accustomed  to people.   Canada geese in more remote areas would have quickly fled with their young family as I approached. 

After seeing the geese and goslings I continued my hike around the lake. The trees around the lake hadn’t yet  developed many leaves. And their was not much wildlife activity on this cool afternoon. 

I hiked into the surrounding woodlands and there was almost no birds active. I did see the masses of frog and amphibian legs that were deposited a few weeks earlier in the venal ponds but still no tadpoles. 

Returning to the lake I did see a turkey vulture fly overhead, 

a few American robins, and 

chipping sparrows in the grass along the shore of the lake. 

in the trees a saw a few black-capped chickadees, 

and ruby-crowned kinglets. 

I returned to the park the following week on another cool. and this time, cloudy afternoon. 

My expectations to see a lot of wildlife were low.  However, shortly after I started my walk  I saw a large bird fly from a tree as I walked past. It was a bald eagle!

Unfortunately the overcast sky was not the best conditions for photography with my camera so the pictures are not sharp as I would like  but I still enjoyed watching the eagle soar through the skies. 

It was attempting to gain height in the  strong wind and eventually. It soared off into the distance as I watched. 

I continued my walk around the lake and despite the cool and cloudy conditions I still saw a few, what I think,  are yellow-bellied slider turtles and

frogs on the lake.  I think this was either a green  or bull frog. 

There were  some new signs of Spring at the park this  week,  the common service berry, 

and pin cherry trees were beginning to blossom. 

 Leaves  and catkins were beginning to appear on the sweet fern bushes and

 early blue violets were blooming along the trail.

I didn’t see a lot of wildlife activity  on my three mile hike, the  Canada geese family was still foraging along the lake, 

but I did see  another new and welcome arrival to our area a male  eastern towhee. I love hearing these birds in the Summer. We listened to their distinctive cries many a morning while picking huckleberries as children. I saw the female too but couldn’t get a photo. 

I also saw the spotted sandpiper I had seen on a previous hike,

and as I finished my hike I saw a pair of groundhogs scurrying across the trail. 

I returned to Community Park the following afternoon and it was another cool and mostly cloudy day. There wasn’t much wildlife activity at all. No bald eagle or new migratory birds. 

The Canada geese family was still here. The little goslings were eating continuously and growing very fast. They were still very much in the cute stage.

Mommy and daddy were pretty tolerant of me and other folks approaching their offspring. but if you took one step too close to the gosling the parent let you know with a loud hiss. 

The only other bird I would see on my hike was a double-crested cormorant that flew quickly over the lake.  Here is a link to some more photos of the goslings and other birds I saw on my hikes. Community Park hikes birds April 28 to May 5 2022. 

I walked into the surrounding woodlands and discovered another sign of Spring, many of the frog eggs hatched and the vernal ponds were now  filled with tiny swimming tadpoles. As a child I spent many days catching these critters with my friends. Much to our mother’s dismay we would keep them and watch them grow into small frogs, and return them to the ponds we found them. 

I finished up my hike at Community Park. Once again it provided me with a couple of  peaceful hikes and many opportunities to see and share the beauty of nature. It is a great asset to our area.   Here is a link to  a gallery with more photos from my hikes last week. Community Park April 28 to may 5 2022.

The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May. Edwin Way Teale

 

This is my first post

1 Comment

  1. Kathie Tietze on May 10, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    Another wonderful hike! I love the close-ups of the goslings and enjoy your comments and quips. Thanks so much for sharing these special sights.

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