Lake Ontelaunee: Ducks, Wooded Trails And Scenic Countryside

Lake Ontelaunee: Ducks, Wooded Trails And Scenic Countryside

covered bridge over Maidens Creek
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After my visit to Middle Creek last week, I decided to look for other  lakes in our area that may attract migrating water fowl.  I never realized how many different species of ducks pass through our area. I learned  that Lake Ontelaunee attracts many species of ducks and other water birds.clouds over Lake Ontelaunee

 Lake Ontelaunee is located in Berks County. It is  42 miles from my home in Hazle Township. It was a nice one hour drive through mainly  rural  areas and woodlands. I decided to take the longer, and more scenic drive over Hawk Mountain. This is another nationally known birding site, famous for it’s fall hawk migrations. wooded road near Hawk Mountain

There was still  snow  covering the ground all along my drive. That was until I drove down from Hawk Mountain into Berks County. The snow was gone.  And I was happy.rural road in Berks County

I have not been in this area before and I loved the scenic countryside.horses and barn on country road

There were  many old homes, farm houses and barns along the barn in Berks County

 As it  often does on my travels,  my mind wandered. I was thinking, who built them? When? What did they do for entertainment? Where did they go to school? What did they think about? So many people, born and died in this beautiful area that  I never knew exited. old house Berks county

I soon drove past this covered bridge. I, of course, stopped my car to get out and and explore.  It was a peaceful scene. I scared a great blue heron wading in Maiden Creek.covered bridge

I walked across the bridge,again wondering about the lives of the folks who had done so before me.interior of covered bridge

I have learned  it is  the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge . It was built in 1869. It has allowed folks to cross beautiful Maiden Creek for 150 years!covered bridge over Maiden Creek

I continued along the country roads and passed a few small towns on my way. I wish I had time to explore them all. I had forgotten how much I loved exploring country roads. small store in Berks county

After a few wrong turns I soon found the parking area near Lake Ontelaunee. Here is a link to some more photographs from my scenic ride to the lake.  Lake Ontelaunee drive March 11 road in Berks County

The parking lot was empty when I arrived  and I was soon walking on a wide, well maintained, but muddy, trail. clouds and trees on Maiden Creek trail

The trail followed a branch of  Maiden Creek as it entered Lake Ontelaunee. I soon found what I was looking for, a lot of ducks. As I walked along the trail I  spooked a number of mallardmallard ducks in flight

and wood ducks. wood duck in flight

Unfortunately, the thick brush,  and the speed of the flying ducks, kept me from getting a lot of good photos.  And I wasn’t able to get any photos of the ducks on the water. The Canada geese were a different story. Canada geese honking

They were not afraid of me as I approached the water side. They  ignored me as they continued their noisy honking. Here is a link to a video I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

There were a few flocks  of ducks near the geese but  took off as soon as they saw me approach, including this  flock of wigeons. 

I continued on the trail and came to the lake itself. I saw large flocks of ducks on the waters of the Lake. Clouds moved in making it difficult to see and photograph the ducks in the distance. 

I was still able to get some photographs of the many water birds  I observed on the lake , including these gadwalls and 

green winged teals. 

The trail along the lake was flooded but I continued on.  

And I was glad I did. I  encountered a few flocks of one of my favorite  birds,  the cedar waxwing.

I watched these beautiful birds as they fed on some berries. 

I also saw a few robins feeding on the same berries.

I walked until I was about half way along the length of the lake and decided to return. 

I continued to see flocks of ducks on the lake and also saw a number of sparrows, robins and dark eyed juncos on the shore. .

And I was surprised to see this belted kingfisher as I walked back to my car.  I enjoyed listening to it’s chatter as it flew from tree to tree. 

I walked back to the parking lot again seeing many ducks and geese on the waters of the lake and creek. Here is a link to some more of the birds I saw on my hike. Lake Ontelaunee birds March 10 2018.

It was a cold March day, and felt more like Winter than Spring but it was still an enjoyable walk. I plan to return soon, when the weather warms up and the song birds return. I know Lake Ontelaunee will be a good place  to spends the warmer days of Spring and Summer. 

“Roaming is the easiest part, just wandering around, looking the places, imagining how people lived there at that time, breathing deeply the open air around there and feeling the best.” 
― Shaikh Ashraf