I went for a short paddle this morning. It was below freezing when I started, with light winds from the north-west.
The day started out grey.
We have had occasional snow the last few weeks. The large pieces of river ice have dissappeared, but there still is snow on the ground in the shady places.
I paddled up the Susquehanna towards Hiawatha Island. It was very quiet. A few geese and ducks were about, but it seemed to quiet.
As I got to the upstream end of the island, I could hear a riot of bird calls. Dozens and dozens of birds were chirping and calling. Then I heard the distinct peal and then chatter call of a Bald Eagle. A large bird then emerged from a stand of pine trees and flew a short distance to a very large pine tree on Hiawatha Island.
Unlike the juvenile birds I saw 2 weeks ago, this was an adult bird.
I watched the eagle for a while, then continued upstream. I came across the occasional Canada Goose. How can they stand the cold?
Maybe they can't!
I saw signs of beaver activity in the area. I have never seen a lodge. Given the size of the river, they would have to create dens in the banks of the river. I'll keep my eyes open for them.
Flocks of blackbirds were about. They flew from tree to tree downstream, landing on the riverbanks oncein a while.
The floods of 2011 still leave reminders of their power. Most of the homes along this stretch of the river are damaged and have been sitting empty. Many will torn down.
I was cold after 2 hours on the water. Looking forwards to Spring!