More Spring Arrivals: Bugs, Birds And Cumulus Clouds

More Spring Arrivals: Bugs, Birds And Cumulus Clouds

Railroad hike  April 26 2016 -14
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The weather turned warmer and more humid today here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and with it came the welcome sight of  puffy cumulus clouds we seldom see in Winter. I love to watch them float in the blue skies and always hope they will develop into a thunderstorm. No thunderstorms today so I decided to take a walk out through the reclamation area and on the railroad tracks near my house. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -29

Along the way I passed the new shoots of the invasive Japanese knotweed. This weed takes over large areas of woodland wiping out the native plants.  However, the young shoots are edible and taste like a sour asparagus. Unfortunately, these shoots have grown to large to eat. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -1

I soon saw and heard a lot of movement alongside the path  and saw hundreds of birds fluttering in the thick underbrush. I tried to get near them but they kept scattering underneath the cover of the branches.  I followed them awhile and finally realized they were a large flock of white throated sparrows. There had to be well over a hundred of them.  I  never saw that many sparrows together before. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -4

And mixed in with them were a few rufous sided towhees. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -35

As I neared some ponds I  scared off the pair of mallards which took up residence there. I am hoping to see some ducklings soon. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -7

It’s not only the birds that are reappearing in our woods, so are the insects. I saw a few bees, wasps and bees today and this spider. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -3

I also found this ladybug on some newly sprouted white birch leaves. The emergence of the insects will mean the arrival of even more song birds into our our over the next few days. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -12

I also saw a lot of robins.  Some bathing and looking for food in the wetlands and some sitting in trees. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -30

I caught this one in flight. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -20

I walked through the white birch trees to the railroad tracks before turning back. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -11

I walked into the large flock of white throated sparrows again and again noticed the towhees mixed in with them. There were also a lot of red winged blackbirds in the cattail reeds and trees near the ponds and wetlands. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -25

It wasn’t only bugs and birds making a reappearance, there was a lot of new plant growth including these young elder berry shoots, Railroad hike April 26 2016 -33

And these young blackberry leaves. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -8

On the way home I saw this tufted titmouse perched high in a tree and treating me to it’s song. Railroad hike April 26 2016 -37

I love this time of year. Every morning brings  new something new to discover in the natural world and love looking for it. I can’t wait for the weekend. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike this afternoon.

Railroad hike April 26 2016 -40


The energy of the earth flows through the veins of springtime. ~Terri Guillemets,

Railroad hike April 26 2016 -2