Spring At The Susquehanna Wetlands: The Turtles, Phoebes, Warblers And Frogs Are Back!
I took my first hike of the Spring in the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township on Saturday. I had just returned from a trip to South Florida where I had hoped to see a lot of song birds migrating north. I was disappointed and only saw few migrating birds. It was still a good trip. Always something to see in Florida. However, I missed the first two weeks of Spring here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And I love Spring here. I love when the woodlands come alive. You can notice something new growing, or showing up, in the woodlands every day in April and May.
So I was looking forward to this hike. I arrived at the wetlands around 8;30. It was mostly sunny and a cool 34 degrees. I wasn’t the first one there. Three other vehicles were at the parking lot. Before starting my hike I walked down to the Susquehanna River to look for some water fowl. Seeing none I walked into the wetlands. I immediately noticed the first hints of green buds on some of the trees and the red buds on the maples trees.
The wetlands also were filled with bird song. I heard northern cardinals and red-winged blackbirds, perched high on the tree tops, singling and loudly as if to welcome me back to my favorite hiking trails. This is a male red winged blackbird.
I didn’t see any woods duck or mallard ducks, probably because the other three people walking in the wetlands before me had already scared them off of the canals and ponds. . I did see a couple of Canada geese, this pair swimming on a canal in the wetlands,
And, I was surprised to find the delicate trout lily flowers about to bloom. These delicate flowers only bloom for a few days in April but they are glorious days. As I said it seems like everywhere you walk on an April day you find something new and beautiful.
And I saw so much on my wonderful Saturday morning hike . Continuing my hike I saw my first warblers of the season, a small flock of pretty palm warblers near the ground along the trail. These small birds migrate to South Florida, the Caribbean and Central America for the Winter.
It amazes me they can travel so far. Palm warblers were some of the few migrating birds I saw on my visit to South Florida. Could they have traveled form the Everglades where I saw them 10 days ago? It may be possible, although unlikely these were the same birds. But they could have been!
I then came across a few black-capped chickadees feeding among the last years cattail staminates. I had seen these chickadees tearing the old spikes apart before and thought they were feeding on the seeds. They are not,
I also encountered another migratory bird, an eastern phoebe. Their songs are unmistakable. They are not long distance migrants traveling only to the southern United States and Mexico for the Winter and they are one of the first migratory birds to return.
In the wetlands I saw a lot of the same birds I saw earlier, and also this male goldfinch perched high in a tree top. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands birds April 8 2023.
I love seeing the turtles return. I also saw a few frogs but they were too quick for my camera . Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of my Spring hike in the Wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands April 8 2023.
I finished my five mile hike and was very satisfied with the birds, flowers and other signs of Spring I saw. Every visit will now will uncover many more wonders of nature of Nature. . I love the Spring in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there
To-morrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L. H. Bailey, “Miracle,”