Lush Green Woods And Wood Ducks On A June Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands

Lush Green Woods And Wood Ducks On A June Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands

Susquehanna birds (11 of 40)
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It was  almost the middle of June and I hadn’t been to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County the entire month . I have come to love this small nature  preserve. It is now  one of my favorite places to hike in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  I was in northern Canada for ten days. I returned to the wetlands on Sunday and found the trees and other vegetation  were   now lush and green. This is the peak  of  the yearly  growing season here  in Pennsylvania.  

As usually I first walked down to the Susquehanna River before  entering the trail in the wetlands.. There is only one trail in the wetlands and it follows the remains of the old Susquehanna River Canal.  As I neared the canal I was lucky,  again, ( I saw some timber rattlesnakes on my hike the day before) I saw this female wood duck  with a few of her  ducklings. And I was able to get a photo before they swam off.  Usually these elusive ducks are long gone before I can photograph them.

Mom  pretended to be wounded to distract me while her offspring fled to safety behind a log in the canal. I love seeing these beautiful, elusive birds that nest in holes in trees near the wetlands. They must have just left the safety of their nest. They  are now at great risk from  predators.  Their mother duck  will do whatever they can to protect the ducklings. . 

I then walked to the left  on the trail.  I followed it to the Water Fowl Pond. It was a pleasant walk as the June sun filtered down through  the lush canopy of leaves. 

And the morning air was filled with the fragrance of the  honeysuckle. These flowers are invasive but I love their heavenly aroma. 

The many Spring wildflowers were now gone I only saw the honeysuckle flowers and a few remaining Dame’s rocket flower still blooming on my five mile hike, 

The  warm seasons pass so quickly here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The first green harbingers of Spring, the skunk cabbages, were already wilting in the June sun, Soon they will decay and not be seen again until  late next Winter. 

I am not sure why, but there wasn’t much song bird activity in the wetlands. I  only heard a few American redstarts, and this red-eyed vireo,

and song sparrow.

I did see a few mammals enjoying the warm June morning, including this whitetail deer,

a few squirrels scurrying along the trail,

this noisy chipmunk

and this muskrat. I am not sure if it was swimming with nesting material  or breakfast

I walked out to the Water Fowl pond were I usually see some ducks or herons. And I did on Sunday, another family of wood ducks, but they quickly swam off before I could get a photo, 

I walked back on the trail toward the river lands area of the nature preserve, 

and found some green  high bush blueberries along the trail. I seems like it was just yesterday they were just flowers. It won’t be long until the June sun ripens them. 

High in a tree top I saw this pileated woodpecker, and,

in the canal I saw my third family of wood ducks.  This time mom had no  place to run with her family so swam back and forth, with her 13 ducklings following her.

I was able to get some photos of the mother and her  13  offspring,

I did watch them long, I did not want to stress mommy duck.  As I walked away they  swam to safety.

I then continued my walk to the river lands when I saw this green heron,

and common yellowthroat.

I walked into the river lands and found there were a lot of folks walking along the Lake Took-A-While, others were fishing from it’s shore.

There were no  Canada geese on the lake but I did see this great blue heron along the shore,

and this blue gray gnatcatcher ,

a female red winged blackbird, 

an eastern phoebe, 

this robin catching a warm,

and this cheerful warbling vireo. I love the wonderful songs of these birds who return to Northeastern Pennsylvania from as far away as  South America. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the wood ducks and other  birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds June 11 2023. 

As usual I walked to the far end of the lake and began my hike back to the wetlands.

I didn’t see any new birds or other wildlife, except a couple of young painted turtles, enjoying the June sunshine. 

I finished my five mile hike under the same lush canopy  of leaves where I started a few hours  earlier. It was another great hike in this great little nature preserve,   Here is a link to a gallery on my website with more photos from my five mile hike. Susquehanna Wetlands June 11 20


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