Tuscarora State Park Hike : Kingfishers, Ducks And Herons

Tuscarora State Park Hike : Kingfishers, Ducks And Herons

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Tuscarora State  Park is e of the many state parks and  game lands near my home here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Sunday was the start of the NFL season and I wanted to get a quick hike in before my favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles, played at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. So I decided to drive to Tuscarora.Tuscarora lake

I have posted a few blogs about the park and they can be viewed in the archives of my website. On Sunday I walked down to the lake and was surprised to find that the water level was very low. I learned later that the lake was drained because of work on the damn. Tuscarora Lake

The park was empty when I arrived early in the morning. I saw a few ducks and blue herons on the lake but they were too far away to photograph. stump at camp site

I walked back up to the Spirit of Tuscarora trail which I have hiked a few time before. Spirit of Tuscarora trail

The trail begins in some rhododendron and hemlock woods and follows the shore of the lake about a 100 feet above the waterline. Spirit of Tuscarora trail

The sounds of falling acorns could be heard when I left the hemlock woods and came to a mixed hemlock/oak/yellow birch woodland nearer to the lake. acorn

I left the trail and approached the water, Here I saw some great blue herons andblue heron wading in lake

a few mallard ducks on the lake as well as a pair of kingfishers. mallard ducks in flight

Leaving the lake I returned to the trail which again climbed upward through the mixed oak/  yellow birch/ hemlock forest. Here I found some mushrooms, unfortunately  not of the edible kind. mushrooms on trail

There were a number of these tiny toads hopping on the forest floor. frog on trail

The trail again descended the hillside along the lake and followed  Locust Creek. Here there were some wildflowers including this turtlehead flowers,

and this wild aster were growing in the wetter soil. 

Near the creek I came upon the Spirit of Tuscarora Tree.  This tree was named by a local hiker who maintains the trail and named the tree because it resembled a human face. 

I decided to end my hike here and began my hike back along the Spirit of Tuscarora trail. However, I walked back down to the lake where I saw at least six great blue herons wading in the water or flying above its waters.

I also saw the pair of kingfishers searching the waters of the lowered lake for a fish for breakfast.

These chattering birds are always fun to watch. I spent some time watching the herons, kingfishers and mallard ducks on the lake. kingfisher in flight

But it was getting late, and I didn’t want to miss the Philadelphia Eagles football game, so I headed back, this time walking along the exposed shore of the lake. Once again the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania provided me with a wonderful place to discover the beauty of nature. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike.  Tuscarora State Park hike September 8 2019.lake at Tuscarora

So lovely was the loneliness of a wild lake.   Edgar Allan Poe

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