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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Cindy Ahern

May 18, 2013
Tannersville Cranberry Bog, PA

8 participants joined me for the field trip to the Tannersville Cranberry Bog on May 18, 2013. A number of attendees were already familiar with the D.V.O.C. from past field trips, while a few in the group were new to the D.V.O.C. Participants traveled to visit the bog from the Philadelphia area, southern New Jersey, and as far as New York and Virginia. Trip participants included bird and plant enthusiasts, making for a very enjoyable and knowledgeable group.

The weather was cool and cloudy, and we had to work very hard to see birds; species in the upland woods seemed to be high up in the trees or way back in the brush, and in the boreal bog, the dense vegetation limited our view, but the unique community of plants was enough to keep us busy when we were not observing birds. Our bog exploration was limited to the boardwalk trail, otherwise we would risk sinking sixty feet into sphagnum peat moss in the unique habitat of the quaking bog (please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqy4tct5axU to view a short video of us “Quaking the Bog”).

The boardwalk trail ended at an observation deck overlooking the Cranberry Creek, where many birds were observed and heard singing as they went about their business establishing and protecting nesting territory. We spent a good amount of time at the observation deck enjoying the serenity of the Cranberry Creek, and all targeted northern species known to breed on the site were seen or heard, including Nashville Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Canada Warbler. Most participants were able to see or hear most of the species, and we were able to get good looks at a Nashville Warbler - a lifer for a number of people! A Magnolia Warbler taunted us as he seemed to follow us along the bog trail while refusing to pop up, although Scott was able to take a single terrible photograph of the culprit. Another Magnolia Warbler (or the same bird from the bog?) was singing in the vicinity of the parking lot, but absolutely refused to come out for us despite showing off the previous day when scouting for the trip. A Canada Warbler was singing his heart out as we walked down the trail approaching the bog, but immediately stopped when we arrived at the bog entrance and did not sing again the entire time we were in the bog. Skulker! A Scarlet Tanager sang from the treetops in the upland woods the entire time we were in the preserve and was heard throughout the bog for over three hours singing non-stop, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy good looks at him. At the very end of the trip as we hiked back through the upland forest toward the parking lot, the Canada Warbler was heard singing, and he finally gave a number of us a nice, long look as we exited the preserve.

Following the bog walk, some of the group headed over to the Monroe County Environmental Education Center to explore the trails along Kettle Creek. A generous donation from the trip participants in the amount of $95.00 was made to the center on behalf of the D.V.O.C. as a thank you for extending us a permit to enter the restricted property.
Photos from the trip are posted at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/songbirdpa/sets/72157634163655885/

Birds observed or heard:
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Canada Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch