PPL Wetlands: The Birds Are Back
It was the weekend and, of course, we had another rainy start here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I drove to the PPL Wetlands and started my walk in a light, chilly rain.
The waters of the Susquehanna River was high from the rain we have been having. I was thinking I’d see some water fowl today but I was surprised with the number of song birds I encountered. First with a number of gold finches near the river.
And I saw this year long resident, a blue bird, peeking out from behind a tree along the river too.
I walked into the wetlands, and lush new green growth of Spring. It is just such a wonderful time of year. Everything is so fresh and alive.
And the air is filled with the fragrance of the still blooming honeysuckle and now also with the flowers of the many locusts trees growing along the waters of the wetlands.
The locusts flowers attract many song birds and I spotted a pair of yellow warblers fluttering among the flowers of this tree.
I am not sure if they were a male and female or if one was a juvenile, since it did seem like it was being fed by the other one.
I do know I spent a half hour watching and photographing them fly from branch to branch in the surrounding trees. They seem to have become accustomed to me and didn’t appear to mind my presence. Here is a link to a gallery of more photos of these beautiful birds. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/yellow-warbler-PPL-Wetlands-May-20-2017-
The locust flowers also attract the Baltimore orioles although I only saw this one high in a tree top.
I was looking for another species of bird that I usually find in the locust flowers. I didn’t see any yet this year until I looked high in the branches of this tree. I wasn’t sure at first, but, after looking through my zoom lens I confirmed they were cedar waxwings. I think they may just have arrived.
And it wasn’t long afterward that I saw one in the lower branches. I think there will be a lot more next week. They are a beautiful bird.
As I walked I heard a lot of frogs croaking in the waters but didn’t see one, nor did I see any turtles. There was no sun out and the waters are now warm so there is no reason for them to leave the safety of the water. . I did see this chipmunk peering out from the branches of a tree.
And this red squirrel. He seemed as curious about me as I was of him.
As I walked along the banks of a canal I encountered this female duck. She was very agitated and I knew her nest must be close by.
I continued my walk to the Riverlands section of the nature preserve and saw this bird, I think it is an Eastern kingbird.
Lake Took-A-While, despite the light rain, was still crowded with fisherman. And there were a few new residents. I found these proud goose parents showing off their newly hatched goslings.
Swimming nearby was this male mallard duck.
The rain stopped, and I wish i could have stayed out all day, there was just so much to see, but I had to head on back. Along the way I continued to see the many song birds that returned to the areas including a number of song sparrows.
I again walked past the the agitated female duck, she was squawking about, and i noticed, right along the trail, her nest filled with eggs. I am hoping they hatch soon since they are in such an exposed area. She must be a new mother. Many new mother birds learn the hard way that it is a good idea to conceal your nest.
As I walked along the river I heard the call of a red bellied woodpecker. I risked the ticks, and made my way into the woods and found the woodpecker and her nest. Hopefully i will find some newly hatched woodpeckers in the upcoming weeks. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-birds-May-20-2017-
I made my way back to the car passing some late blooming may apples or mandrakes,
and newly blooming blackberries.
Despite the early rain, it turned out to be a nice day for a hike, and it only gets better in the upcoming weeks. I hope to spend a lot of them in the great outdoors of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-May-20-2017-
In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence. Robert Lynd