Winter Finally Arrives At The PPL Wetlands
Although we still have above normal temperatures here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it is January and Winter, and Winter here usually means a pretty lot of snow. We got a big storm last week so I decided to venture down the PPL Wetlands to have a look around. The temperatures, although mild for us, are still below freezing and the ponds and canals have frozen over and it now finally looks like Winter here in one of my favorite hiking areas.
The Susquehanna River is still mostly ice free although there is now some ice forming along the shores and more ice floating in the river. I was hoping to see some ducks or waterfowl on the river now that the ponds and canals are frozen over but didn’t see any. They may have finally decided to fly further south to more warmer climes.
Unlike the Spring and Summer when the wetlands are swarming with life it was quiet today. I only saw a few blue jays, a cardinal, a few juncos a red squirrel and this large buck who was walking along side me in the woods.
I did see evidence of a lot of wildlife during my hike from the many types of animal tracks in the snow. There were a lot of deer, squirrel and rabbit tracks along the paths and these tracks crisscrossing the water which I can’t identify. it could be a mink, a fisher or some beavers but I’m not sure.
I sat down to take a rest, and was surprised to see a downy woodpecker fly to a tree next to me and start pecking away at a branch looking to make a meal from sleeping insects. I watched him for awhile and took this VIDEO of him. (the red high lighted word links to the video}. He pecked away near me for some time until deciding to look for his meal at another tree. Here is a link to some more photographs of the downy woodpecker. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/downy-woodpecker-1
I walked along the snow covered paths and frozen waterways paths that, in just a two months, will be coming alive with the sprouting skunk cabbage, the spring peepers and the first robbins. It was a nice hike out in the winter wonderland down here today but I am still looking forward to Spring. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike this morning. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/ppl-wetlands-winter-hike-january-30-2016/