Herons, Wood Ducks And A Bald Eagle. Another Great Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands.
It was cloudy and mild when I arrived at the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County early Saturday morning. I wasn’t there last weekend and so I looked forward to my usual five mile hike. And, as usual, I hoped to see a bald eagle, river otter, bobcat, cinnamon bear, red fox or any of the many other critters I have seen here on my past hikes. I have come to know, and love this small private nature preserve. And, even if I didn’t see any of the more unusual and exotic critters I knew I’d find some flower or bird or other item of the natural beauty that is so abundant here. And which I can share here on my blog and social media.
After arriving I always walk down to the Susquehanna River, one of the oldest rivers on our planet. I check the water level, it was high, look for wildlife, there was none, and reflect on the Native Americans, early settlers and other folks who viewed the river before me. I often imagine the Native Americans traveling by canoe to the Chesapeake Bay or the first explorers venturing up the river into the woodlands of Pennsylvania by boat.
After my reflections at the river, I walked back up the trail into the wetlands. There are actually two trails, one leads into the wetlands and the other follows along the Susquehanna River. I always walk into the wetlands first, since there is a better chance to see wildlife living along the ponds and canals. These ponds and canals remain from the long abandoned North Branch Canal. Construction of this canal began in nearby Berwick in 1828. It was abandoned in the 1890’s.
It was quiet walking in the still lush wetlands. The red-winged blackbirds and many of the migratory song birds have already left the wetlands on their long journey south. I did hear an eastern wood pee wee and a few Carolina wrens but wasn’t able to get any photos. I again found the path to the Water Fowl Pond flooded from the recent rains. And, once again I waded trough the murky waters in my sneakers. My feet were soaked for the rest of my five mile hike.
They are beautiful, but skittish, birds and usually fly off as soon as they detect the slightest sound or movement. These two didn’t and allowed me to get some photos before finally deciding to fly off.
I left the Water Fowl ponds and saw a few late Summer wildflowers blooming in the wetlands. The most common was the tall goldenrod flowers. Yes, the are flowers, not weeds, and are native to most of North America. It is one of the many species of goldenrod that bloom it out area.
green spicebush berries. They will soon turn red. The migratory song birds will be feasting on these berries as they make their way south, and then the will help sustain the birds that remain all year.
and caught something with it’s beak. I am not sure what it was. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog web page with more photos of the herons I saw on my hike. . Susquehanna Wetlands herons August 26 2023.
I also saw this warbling vireo high in a tree top. This is a link to another gallery on my blog page with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds August 26 2023.
I also saw an old Berkeley polypore mushroom near the parking lot. Here is a link to another gallery with some more photos from my hike in the wetlands and river lands. Susquehanna Wetlands August 26 2023.
I finished my five mile hike and was glad to have seen the bald eagles , the wood ducks and the belted kingfisher. These three always seem to elude me on my hike. I also enjoyed my encounters with the herons. It was another great hike in this place I have come to love.
“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”