In the summer I like to visit Middle Creek early in the morning when the birds are more active. My first stop is the impoundment or lake to check for bald eagles. No bald eagles today but there was a Great Blue Heron standing sentry along the edge, as in many of the ponds at Middle Creek, waiting patiently to catch his morning fish.
Walking along the tour drive is a great way to see birds and wildlife. This morning as I walked along the road, the swallows crisscrossed the sky above me and abundant bird song filled the air. Red-wing blackbirds trilled their song, showing their bright red epaulets. Bluebirds sat on nesting boxes and goldfinch flew from thistle plants as I walked by. I spotted the yellow chest of a meadowlark, one of my favorite summer birds, shining brilliantly in the bright morning sunshine, as he sat in the open field. A grasshopper sparrow sang it’s distinct song perched on a wooden post. A bright orange and black butterfly fed on Joe-Pye weed. An egret perched in a tree above a pond, waiting for his meal.
A lone deer grazed on grass amongst geese in a clearing. I played hide and seek with a young pheasant as it fed in the grass by the road, moving a step or two as it moved in and out of the tall grass. Rabbits bounded from the grass to the thick vegetation as I retraced my steps to my car. One brave bunny in the grass by the parking area, calmly continued his breakfast as I went by.
As I left the tour drive and drove by the dam breast, a kingfisher perched on the concrete abutment. There were still no eagles as I stopped at the lake a second time but my bird watching wasn’t finished yet – as I continue driving two female turkeys with their poults crossed the road and a lone egret fished in the last pond.
Make a day of it bird watching in the Lebanon Valley.