It’s Spring! And It Didn’t Take The Birds Long to Return To The PPL Wetlands.

It’s Spring! And It Didn’t Take The Birds Long to Return To The PPL Wetlands.

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It’s been two weeks since my last visit to the PPL Wetlands,  and a lot can change down there very quickly this time of year, so I decided to head down this morning and find out.  It was  cold and cloudy when I arrived and not much activity going on. I did see this hawk fly overhead.PPL Wetlands-1

The trees were still bare although there were signs of new life such as these trout lily leaves pushing through the dead leaves from last fall. They should be in full bloom in the next few weeks. PPL Wetlands-1

I ran into a number of these birds. I think they are rusty blackbirds. They were searching the edges of the ponds and canals searching for food.  I am by no means an expert on the identification of  birds so please correct me is I misidentify a bird here on my blog. PPL Wetlands-3

I also saw a few of this very pretty swamp sparrows darting in and out of the brush and trees as I walked along the canals. PPL Wetlands-2

The clouds began dissipate and the strong late March sun came out quickly warming the air and bringing the Spring peepers, the wood frogs and  turtles to life. PPL Wetlands-35

The trees were still bare but there were some of them including the maples were showing hunts of the buds and new leaves  that are only a few weeks away. PPL Wetlands-12

As I continued my walk I now saw many pairs of pairs of waterfowl on the canals and ponds including this male mallard and his mate. They did not fly off as i approached bu continued to slowly swim in the same vicinity, leading me to believe there was a nest nearby. PPL Wetlands-8

The sounds of songbirds now filled the air and I spent a few minutes listening to the beautiful song of  this birds.  It did not fly off as I approached and almost seemed to proudly sing louder as I stood there taking in the song. PPL Wetlands-27

I saw many more birds including robins, sparrows, red winged black birds, cardinals, and the beautiful blue bird pictured above. .  They are such a pretty  bird. PPL Wetlands-19

And I watched a pair of these flycatchers, I am not sure of the exact species, dart after a hatch of tiny flies. PPL Wetlands-11

As I walked along the canals I kept chased a pair of blue herons ahead of me. I must have followed them for a mile until I was finally able to get this photograph. PPL Wetlands-10

The skies were clear now and the sun was warming the wellands and the chorus of the frogs and spring peepers got louder and louder. The logs and banks became more crowded with turtles and the air filled with the songs of the returning birds, including this, another species of flycatcher. PPL Wetlands-22

I also encountered quite a few chipmunks, gray and red squirrels including this fellow who also did not flee when I neared and seemed to be guarding a nest. PPL Wetlands-28

I was becoming overwhelmed with all of the wildlife activity. It seemed when i stopped to photograph  a bird or turtle something else was moving about in the other direction. On one the ponds there were mallard ducks, geese and this species of duck which I haven’t seen before. PPL Wetlands-33

And there were quite a few downy and hairy woodpeckers darting from tree to tree and adding to the music of Spring with their rapping while digging out grubs and insects form  under the tree bark.PPL Wetlands-24

It was such a pleasure to walk along in the wetlands and along the river taking in all of these sights and sounds of the earth once again awakening. PPL Wetlands-2

As IPPL Wetlands-4 stated in earlier post the ancient trees along the river and canals seem to provide me with a sense of continuity and belonging.  I always feel at home down here but even more so with the returning of life in the Spring.

I wished I could have continued my walk all day but I had to leave. It was a wonderful way to spend this first weekend of Spring and I know it will be even nicer on my next visit. PPL Wetlands-11

I had one more stop to make on my way home. the nest of the bald eagles along the Susquehanna River where i found this bald eagle sitting on the nest. I’m not sure if it was mom or dad but it sure is a magnificent bird.  It was the perfect way to end an almost perfect Spring day. Here is a link to some more photographs I took today in the PPL Wetlands. Wetlands-36

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“To every Armageddonist, every earth lover must keep saying with all the sincerity and affection we can muster, “May God make this world as beautiful to you as it has been to me.” ― David James Duncan,