Outdoors


TRR photos by Scott Rando

A south-bound female common merganser is winging its way toward the Rio Reservoir in this image. Common mergansers are the most widely seen mergansers in the region and are also plentiful on the Delaware River.

Ducks steal the show during the mid-winter eagle survey

January 10 was my designated day to perform my part of the New York State Mid-winter Eagle Survey. The target day for New York has usually coincided with the “fly day” (or days), when the aerial portion of the survey was flown.


File photo

Free introduction to snowshoeing

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), 538 Emery Rd., will offer a free opportunity to learn the basics of snow shoes and enjoy a winter walk along the McDade Trail on Saturday, January 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. No experience is necessary; equipment will be provided.


TRR photos by Sandy Long

One bird you won’t find at your backyard feeder is a bald eagle. However, it is eagle watching season in the Upper Delaware River region, as this majestic raptor returns to ply the open waters of our rivers for its sustenance. Seize the opportunity to look for eagles in their habitat by signing up for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s Eagle Photo Workshop Bus Tour on February 3, during which I’ll be offering tips on photographing eagles in the context of this special place. The Conservancy has also announced a new juried photo contest, “Sharing Place: Eagles and Their Environs,” open to professional and amateur photographers. Visit https://delawarehighlands.org/photo-contest/ for details.

Birds and bomb cyclones

Now that we’ve added a new term to our vocabularies and weathered the wild winds and brutal temperatures of the past week and its “bomb cyclone,” it’s time to reflect on the awe-inspiring survival strategies of our backyard birds and the role we can play in their welfare.

Cabin time for fly fishermen

The recent polar vortex had its grip on the Upper Delaware River and the entire region. Most of our rivers are now iced in, and fly fishing is out of the question without distant travel. It will be a long time before we wade again and scan the Delaware’s pools for rising trout.


TRR photos by Scott Rando

A red-tailed hawk, one of the hawk species that can be seen all year in the region, is shown here flying next to a raven. Both birds did some maneuvering and talon displays before breaking off. It appeared that both birds did this in play.

Winter raptor watching

If asked about winter raptor watching, the first thing that would pop into mind is eagles. This region is one of the favorite wintering habitats for Canadian bald eagles in the Northeast, and that’s not counting the ever increasing number of resident bald eagles that stay in the area year-round.


Photo courtesy of Sandra Schultz

Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Beach Lake, PA

DRBC announces winter photo contest

REGION — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has announced its winter photo contest, highlighting amateur and professional photography that conveys the beauty, diversity, function and significance of the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, a 13,539-square-mile watershed.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

What can you do to support the natural resources of the Upper Delaware River region in 2018? Adopt a spot by regularly removing trash; volunteer for a non-profit conservation organization; redirect time spent on negative news toward fresh perspectives like those offered by DailyGood.org; subscribe to publications that consistently cover local environmental news; keep tabs on environmental agencies like the New York Department of Environmental Conservation or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; or attend monthly meetings of the Upper Delaware Council. 
 

One small thing

I recently received an email message from The Wilderness Society highlighting the “biggest wilderness milestones in 2017.” Unfortunately, most were the dismal and disturbing actions taken by our nation’s current administration to dismantle or eliminate hard-won environmental policies and protections, beginning in January with “scrubbing” mention

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