Turtles, Cormorants And A Kestrel, But An Otherwise Uneventful Hike In the Susquehanna Wetlands

Turtles, Cormorants And A Kestrel, But An Otherwise Uneventful Hike In the Susquehanna Wetlands

Susquehanna Wetlands (22 of 49)
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I’m sorry,  but this blog post doesn’t have the wide variety of wildlife I saw at the Susquehanna Wetlands in Luzerne County on my hike last week. It was an amazing hike last  Friday..  I saw so many cool critters. Not this week  , and, it was partially  my fault, I rushed my hike in the wetlands on Friday afternoon  to get back home to watch the Philadelphia Phillies baseball home opener ( I have been a diehard Phillies  fan since I watched Jim Bunning’s perfect game on Father’s Day with my dad when I was six years old).

It was mostly sunny and mild when I arrived at the wetlands at around noon. Temperatures were in the mid 50’s. I first walked down to the Susquehanna River which was swollen and brown from the heavy rains the previous day.   Seeing no  bald eagles, wood ducks or other water fowl  on the river I walked into the wetlands..

Here I saw the first of hundreds of turtles I would see on my walk, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures. 

They were everywhere along the waters of the canals and ponds I passed  on my four mile hike. 

There  were some other signs of Spring in the wetlands . I heard the red-winged blackbirds singing in the trees tops and this eastern phoebe on a branch along the trail. 

The skunk cabbages continued their  rapid growth,

creating a much welcome carpet of green in some areas of the wetlands. 

The wetlands were flooded from the heavy rains and I couldn’t get to the Water Fowl pond. 

I didn’t see any wood ducks this week as I walked in the wetlands. The heavy rains which flooded the wetlands may have driven  them to the river.   I only saw this tufted-titmouse.  I did hear and see some other birds in the woodlands along the trail, a yellow-rumped warbler, a winter wren and a few others but, as I said. I was rushing my hike to get home and watch the ball game and didn’t stop to try and  photograph them.  

I was hoping, maybe, I would see  a bald eagle, osprey , heron or other  some critter on my walk. I didn’t see any of them but , as usual, the wetlands didn’t disappoint. As I was walking down to the river again I saw an  American kestrel . It was perched on a tree top, out of reach of my camera. However, it left  it’s perch and flew nearer  to me. 

It swiftly soared overhead a few times. 

The kestrel is our  smallest  falcon and  I am hoping this one decides to nest here in the wetlands this year. 

I continued on to the river lands area of the nature preserve.

Along the way I saw this eastern gray squirrel gathering some of last years black walnuts. 

I also saw some more signs of Spring, the leaves on the blackberry canes. and, 

the continued growth of the Dame’s Rocket flowers. 

There were no birds on the waters of Lake Took-A-While when I first approached the lake. 

But there was this muskrat swimming it  the lake, and 

another eastern phoebe singing along the trail. 

As I continued my walk along the lake I saw a large flock of double-crested cormorants on the lake, as usual, 

they quickly flew off as I approached, 

They would fly a short distance away and take off again, some for a short distance and others taking to the skies and, I think, heading to the river. 

I didn’t walk to the far end of the lake this week. I cut my hike short and headed back to the wetlands after  I had walked about two miles.  On my return walk I didn’t see much wildlife, a lot more turtles and  this pair of Canada geese who were not to happy to see me.

They both honked  threateningly as I walked past.

It was now near 1;30 p.m. I quickly finished my hike, shopped at the Weiss Market in Berwick and made if home in time to watch the Phillies win their home opener!  I was disappointed that  there weren’t  as many critters in this blog as the one I shared last Friday. It was still a good hike and I enjoyed seeing the turtles and  kestrel .   It seems there is always something to see in this wonderful nature preserve along the Susquehanna River. Hopefully I will have more luck on my next visit and see some otters, eagles or eve a bear!. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the turtles and other critters I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands April 8 2022. 

he turtle’s teachings are so beautiful. So very special. It teaches us that everything you are, everything you need and everything you bring to the world is inside you, not external, and you carry it with you, and are not limited to a place, space or time. Eileen Anglin


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