Open Water In January Means A Lot Of Ducks At The Weissport Canal
After seeing how ice free the ponds and canals were at the PPL Wetlands yesterday, I decided to hike out the old Lehigh Canal in Weissport this morning. I thought there may be some ducks and other waterfowl still in the area because of the mild weather we’ve been having. And I decided to bring along a duck expert, my nephew Mike.
It was a seasonably cold, cloudy day with a temperature around 32 degrees when we arrived in Weissport . And sure enough most of the waters of the canal were ice free and there were a lot of mallard ducks still in the area, not seeming to mind the cold waters one bit.
We hiked along the old canal, there is more information on the history of the canal in some of my earlier posts here on my blog, situated along the Lehigh River. . The canal has many large, ancient oak, ash and maple trees growing between the canal and the Lehigh river to the west. In the Summer the trees are filled with song birds but today only some cardinals, a titmouse and some crows could be seen and heard.
We encountered a lot of mallards as we walked along the canal, 75 to be exact, according to my nephew. The ducks were on the ice free open waters, but as we headed to the north there was ice on the water and we didn’t see any more ducks.
We hiked out a few miles hoping to see the otter that left some tracks on the ice. A fellow walker we met told us he saw one last week. no such luck for us but we were surprised to see , well, my nephew actually saw them, a pair of wood ducks. My nephew explained that it is rare to find these beautiful, and shy, birds in our area in January.
We watched the wood ducks interact with some mallards, they weren’t really very friendly to each other, and we headed back to the car and a nice lunch on the way home. it was cold, cloudy and dreary but still a nice day to hike in Northeastern Pa. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike this morning. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/weissport-canal-january-17-2016/page/2