Migrating Birds And More Autumn Colors, Again, At The Susquehanna Wetlands
After seeing the large flocks of migrating birds at the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County last week I was looking forward to hiking there again this weekend. I wanted to see if any of the birds remained or if new birds showed up. It is late in the season but I think the mild weather has also delayed the migration this year. It was overcast and unseasonably mild when I arrived at the wetlands. Temperatures were in the mid 60’s. I also wanted to see how much new Fall colors appeared in the Wetlands.
As I always do I walked down to the Susquehanna River before I began my five mile hike. We haven’t had rain for over a week now but the river is still high from the heavy rains we had the past few months. Leaving the river and walking into the wetlands I found that there was a lot more Fall colors since my visit last week. And a lot more fallen leaves on the trails too. It was a beautiful scene. We are now close to our peak Fall colors here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
When I got to the trail along the old Susquehanna Canal I quietly creeped up to the pond where I was seeing the wood ducks. I thought for sure I’d see them this week. When I saw the pond, not a single wood duck was there. So I walked past this pond, looking to the other side of trail, and, sure enough a dozen wood ducks right beside me on the opposite side of the trail. Needless to say, before I could turn and focus my camera they were long gone. Had I been focused on that side of the trail I would have had some close up photographs of these beautiful birds. I saw more wood ducks on the distant shore of the ponds and had to settle for these photos. It’s sad but this may have been my last chance to capture some good photos of these birds. They will soon be migrating south.
Continuing my walk in the wetlands, I immediately knew that, either the migrating birds from last week hadn’t left, or they were replaced with new flocks of birds. The noisy chatter of red-winged blackbirds filled the air. The trees were filled with these migrating birds. I saw smaller flocks of the red-winged blackbird everywhere in the wetlands and river lands. Here is a photograph of a male,
There was a large flock of yellow-rumped warblers,
Crawling along the ground was this woolly bear caterpillar. Some folks believe that one can predict the Winter weather that is coming by the size of their bands. I think this fellow is saying a mild Winter with no snow. Well, that’s what I hope it is saying anyway.
On my return walk I saw another red-bellied woodpecker who had speared a black walnut. I wondered how it managed to get the black walnut to the tree tops. It had to take some effort to fly with the huge walnut stuck on it’s beak.
This skittish birds are always moving but plenty of patience and a lot of shots let me get some nice close up photographs. This was the last bird I would photograph on my hike. I saw many more birds but nothing new so I decided not to photograph them. There is only so much time in a day and I wish I could spend more time trying to capture the many birds that live in , and pass through our area. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the year long resident and migrating birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds October 16 2021.
finding the only mushrooms I saw on my five mile hike, some older honey mushrooms growing on the trail.
and as I continued to approach so did the flock of Canada geese. I am guessing this was a flock of migrating birds since the local geese are almost domestic. They don’t fly off, and often hiss and threaten if you approach them.
I took my usual five mile walk, but I had to rush, I had a retirement party to attend in the afternoon, so I didn’t take many photos. It was still a nice hike under the menacing October skies. However, I think with the cooler weather in the forecast most of the birds will be gone on my next visit. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hikes in the wetlands and river lands. Susquehanna Wetlands October 16 2021.