Spring Arrives At The PPL Wetlands; So Do The Water Birds, Right On Time.

Spring Arrives At The PPL Wetlands; So Do The Water Birds, Right On Time.

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It was windy and cold yesterday morning.  A blustery 27 degrees. But its Spring and I knew there would be some water bird activity at the PPL Wetlands.  The cloudy skies cleared by the time I arrived around 9 a.m.  It was sunny when I parked near Lake-Took-A-While. The waters of the lake reflected the clear blue sky.

This  sparrow greeted me with a song as I began my walk.song sparrow on branch  

Despite the cold and wind you could feel the Spring in the air. I didn’t have to walk far to see the flocks of ducks that have been returning to the lake. Once again I found a number of  bufflehead ducks  swimming  on  the  lake.

I am finally starting to learn, with the help of my brother Mike , nephew Mikey  and birding friends, to identify some of the many ducks that migrate through our area.  I  believe these are ring-necked ducks.

Many of the duck species intermingled with each other, while other swam by themselves. like these female common mergansers. female mergansers

And it wasn’t just ducks that returned to the lake. I heard a pair of kingfisher chattering above the waters. kingfisher in flight

And a great blue heron flew overhead. I soon found another patiently waiting for a fish to show up for breakfast. great blue heron along lake

Of course there were now plenty of robins in the woods along the lake.

I walked the length of the lake and at the other end found a large flock of Canada geese. They began there loud honking as I approached.

A pair of mallard also returned to the lake.

I headed to the wetland section of the nature preserve, observing some lesser scaups or blue bill ducks in the flock I had seen earlier.

Some high clouds moved in as I walked through the wetlands.

But there was enough sunshine to warm it up enough to arouse a few Spring peeper frogs. Another sure sign of Spring. As were the large flock of tree swallows skimming atop the ponds of the wetlands before resting in the overhanging tree branches.

As I walked near one of the canal I heard a splashing sound in the water. At first I thought it may be a turtle. I looked in the water and staring back at me was a beaver. It didn’t stare long. It dived under water and resurfaced some distance away.

The ponds were ice free now. They will soon be filled with turtles, frogs and a few snakes. There were many wood ducks in the wetlands but they are difficult to approach. I got lucky today and did get close to a small flock. They are beautiful birds.

Overhead I heard the shrill cry of a red-tailed hawk and soon located it soaring overhead.

There were a few of the winter resident birds still present in the wetlands including a titmouse.

A black-capped chickadee.

And some crows.

It was cold and windy but weather doesn’t matter to me anymore, it is Spring, and the birds in the PPl Wetlands knew it. I love this time of year.  Here is a link to a gallery of some more photos from my hike. PPL Wetlands hike March 23 2019.

“Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.” 
― Lilly Pulitzer

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