The Migratory Song Birds Are Back And Singing In Northeastern Pennsylvania!!

The Migratory Song Birds Are Back And Singing In Northeastern Pennsylvania!!

Susquehanna Wetlands birds (17 of 50)
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May is one of my favorite months. The trees and flowers seem to burst forth in buds and blooms overnight. And, into this magical world of fresh  green leaves and flowers, we await the arrival of the migratory song birds.  And they arrived, and were singing,  in the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County this past weekend. 

We must not forget the many year long resident birds like the song sparrows ,  cardinals and pileated woodpeckers.  They are still here and  continue to sing, even more loudly and passionately, now that Spring is here. I saw this pileated woodpecker on my hike. 

But the wetlands and river lands were filled with the songs of the newly arrived migratory song birds on Saturday. 

I almost didn’t  visit the wetlands last weekend. It was overcast and cool. My  new camera is not the best in poor light conditions.   But I love the wetlands  and I decided to take  the 35 minute drive from my home and see what I could find. I am glad I did.  The woodlands echoed with the beautiful songs of so many birds. Almost immediately I recognized the cries and songs of the newly arrived gray catbirds. And they are many. They range from a very real catlike meow to a wide variety of other bird calls. Many of these birds will nest here . 

The songs of the pretty yellow warblers could be heard in the trees and shrubs during my entire five mile hike. Like the catbird these a lot of these birds will also remain in the wetlands for the Summer. 

They were joined by the songs of these tiny birds, the blue-gray gnatcatcher, 

one of my favorites every Spring. However, I don’t see many of these after the migration and I think they are just passing through our area. 

High in the tree tops I saw a few rose-breasted grosbeaks, also newly arrived at the wetlands, and also usually just passing through. 

And it wasn’t only the migratory songbirds that arrived in the wetlands. I saw this solitary sandpiper perched on a log in one of the ponds. 

And I’ve been seeing this green heron for a couple of weeks now. I saw him on the same pond where I watched his cousin, a great blue heron catch some fish last week. 

I took my usual path through the wetlands and found, not only these beautiful birds but also many more flowers in bloom, some like the native mandrake or may apple,

Philadelphia fleabane, 

the wild lily of the valley or Canada mayflower and,

one of my favorites,  the pink azalea,  or as my dad called them,  “honeysuckles”.

And the invasive wildflowers also provided some color, such as these Dame’s rocket flowers, although they overtake the floor of the woodlands and inhibit the growth of the native wildflowers. 

As usual five mile hike  took me to the banks of the Susquehanna River, with the hope of seeing a bald eagle or osprey. I had no luck with either so headed toward the river lands.

On the way I encountered a few more migratory song birds including this yellow-rumped warbler this 

this common yellow-throated warbler. 

and an American redstart. 

It was still overcast when I hiked over to Lake Took-A-While in the river lands. 

Along the lake there are flowering crabapple trees. And Baltimore orioles like crab apple blossoms. I saw a few of this pretty and birds. They sing the most wonderful songs too. 

Also in the shrubs along the lake were a few red-winged blackbirds. They were making noise but I’m not sure it can be called song. But I still love to hear the raspy calls. 

I also saw, what I think, is a house   wren,

some American  robins

an eastern  phoebe,

a northern flicker

and this  common grackle who seemed more interested in me then I was in it.

Swimming in the lake were these proud Canada geese parents with their  new goslings. 

And on the other side of the lake I saw this belted  kingfisher . It was perched in a tree looking for a fish for breakfast. On my walk back to my Jeep I saw many more of these birds. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs,. Susquehanna Wetlands birds  May 8 2021. 

 I also saw this critter, a muskrat feeding on the duck weed now growing on the ponds and canals in the wetlands. 

It was still overcast and cool when I finished my hike but I am glad I decided to visit the wetlands again.  The return of the migratory birds, and their songs, add to the magic of May. 

Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands. May 8 2021.


“The air is crowded with birds — beautiful, tender, intelligent birds — to whom life is a song.” » George Henry Lewes

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