Sunshine And A Lot Of Birds At The PPL Wetlands
It’s almost April but there is still almost a foot of snow on my deck. Most areas atop the mountain were I live still have a heavy snow cover. The last Nor’easter dropped 9 inches of new snow this last week and hit areas to the south and east of here even harder. Spring is late to arrive this year.
I had no desire to walk in the snow so I decided to head to the PPL Wetlands. Located about 20 miles from my house and 1000 feet lower in elevation I heard that the last storm missed this area. I heard correctly.
There was no snow anywhere in the wetlands and the ponds and canals were also ice free. It was still cold, temperatures were in the low 30’s when I arrived. Clear skies provided abundant sunshine which soon began to warm it up.
They circled overhead a few times, still honking loudly. One landed near me still honking and trying to attract my attention. I looked for the other and found her, I believe this was the mommy, nearby. I am pretty sure there is a nest in the area with some eggs that they were protecting.
I continued my walk toward the river land section of the nature preserve seeing a few year long resident birds on the way. First, this red-bellied woodpecker looking for insects high in the tree tops.
There sure was a lot of bird activity in the wetlands. I also saw a few red tailed hawks and great blue herons. They flew off before I could get a photograph but I would soon catch up to them. I came upon two great blue herons on the shore of Lake Took-A-While. One again flew off but the other stayed,
While I was watching, and photographing the ducks I didn’t look up to see the two bald eagles that were sitting in a tree above me. They quickly flew off as I approached. It looked like there was an adult.
I walked to the river trail when I decided to begin my return hike. I saw a few more robins, red winged blackbirds, cardinals and this crow on my return. Here is a link to some more of the many birds I encountered on my hike. PPL Wetland Hike birds March 24 2018.
The strong March sun was warming it up and that warmth brought about one of my favorite sounds of Spring, the call of the spring peepers. I only heard a few of these tiny frogs but I am sure there will be a lot more making noise on my next visit.
There were other signs of Spring too, like the many skunk cabbages growing throughout the wetlands.
I saw this brave turtle who climbed out of the cold waters to enjoy the March sun.
It was kind of creepy to see the sky darken as the birds swarmed overhead and it reminded me of the old Alfred Hitchock movie, The Birds. Just another reminder of how amazing our natural world is. I am looking forward to a lot more walks, hopefully in warmer weather, as Spring advances in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk. PPL Wetland hike March 24 2018.