Looking For Geese And Ducks Along The Lehigh River
After seeing the return of the geese and ducks at the PPL wetlands along the Susquehanna River on Saturday I decided to head to the Lehigh River on Sunday morning and look for more of these migrating birds there. I usually see them on the river or in the nearby ponds and wetlands in the Spring.
It was sunny, windy and cold when I arrived. Temperatures were in the mid 30’s. I parked near a campground that I had never noticed before. Campsites were situated along the Lehigh River. It looked like a nice place to camp during the warmer Summer weather.
Leaving the campsite I walked a short distance along the D & L Trail until I came to the Three Pond trail.
I was disappointed that there were no migrating ducks in the wetlands. There was only one Canada goose on one of the ponds and it wasn’t happy when I disturbed its territory. Its honking echoed throughout the wetlands.
There weren’t even many Winter resident birds in the wetlands. There were, however, a few red-winged blackbirds who also made it known I wasn’t welcome in their nesting areas. They perched high in a tree top and scolded me with loud checking calls.
Like the Susquehanna River, the Lehigh River was also swollen from the melting snow pack. It was flowing rapidly along the trail. In the Spring I usually see ducks and geese on the river but I think the it was flowing to fast for them to swim and browse for food.
Seeing no ducks, geese or any other birds I decided to leave the Bowmanstown trail and headed to the trail in Weissport. I have posted a number of blogs about the history of Lehigh Canal near Weissport and you can review search for them in the archives.
When I arrived at the trailhead, about 4 miles north of Bowmanstown, I did find geese and ducks, but not the ones I was looking for. There are small flocks of Canada geese and mallard ducks that have become almost domesticated and live on the canal near the town.
They remain here in the Winter time and I believe the town folks break the ice in cold years to allow them to stay. They are feed by the town folks and are almost completely unafraid of humans. It was easy to approach this male mallard duck and
They stayed close to the shore and away from the swift flowing waters in the middle of the river. I only saw males as I hiked, but in editing and cropping the photos at home I did notice this one female.
I hiked about 2 miles on the trail, walking past the ruins of some of the old locks form the Lehigh Canal that transported coal and other products from the Northeastern Pennsylvania mountains to the cites of New York and Philadelphia.
I didn’t see any more wildlife on my hike. I was a little disappointed I didn’t see more birds or other animals but it was still a nice day to be outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs for my hike in search of geese and ducks along the Lehigh River. Lehigh River D & L hike March 14 2021..