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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Cindy Ahern

May 31, 2014
Tannersville Cranberry Bog, PA

Click here for pictures from this trip.

Seven participants enjoyed a cool, sunny spring morning at the Tannersville Cranberry Bog in Monroe County, PA. The surrounding upland and parking lot offered many distractions before the group reached the bog via a short, but busy woodland trail.

Parking lots often provide excellent birding, and a stunning Indigo Bunting sang on territory grabbing our attention as he watched over the parking lot while his mate flitted about in the shrubs at the edge of the woodland.
After starting down the trail adjacent to the main road, the remnants of an old homestead foundation surrounded by invasive plants hosted Gray Catbirds, Song Sparrows, and Common Yellowthroats. Leaving the invasives behind, the trail descended to a moist woodland rich with ferns, hardwoods, and Rhododendrons. A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers provided the cuteness factor for the trip, as they delivered dragonflies and caterpillars to their young in a nest hole visible from the trail.

The trail continued up a short section along a rocky ridge before descending to the bog, where a number of species were heard and observed before reaching the bog boardwalk trail. A blooming Pink Lady Slipper orchid was a highlight, and a new plat species for a few of the participants. A Canada Warbler singing in the thicket welcomed us to the bog, but remained hidden in the shrubs – typical of Canada Warbler.
In the bog, the thick heath shrub layer and dwarfed trees provided a challenge for viewing birds, but patience paid off as a Nashville Warbler offered a fleeting glance and a single photograph, while Northern Waterthrush and Magnolia Warbler sang from deep in the thicket but never appeared. Black-and-White Warbler was very cooperative, and everyone enjoyed the Purple Finches perched on the tallest snags.
A few highlights occurred at the observation deck along Cranberry Creek with Eastern Kingbird on a nest, and a very cooperative Rose-breasted Grosbeak perched just overhead. In the water, an adult Spotted Turtle and hatchling grabbed everyone’s attention, and Eastern Red-spotted Newts swam about in the Bladderwort.
Unique plants observed in the bog included carnivorous Pitcher Plants and Sundews, Bog Laurel and Bog Rosemary in bloom, along with many other species that thrive in a low pH, nutrient and oxygen-poor environment.
The Canada Warbler could still be heard singing as the group exited the bog boardwalk, and he finally put in an appearance offering good looks and photo opportunities. Needless to say, this fellow was one of the target species for the trip, a life bird for at least two participants.

After leaving the bog trail, some of us continued to another location along Cranberry Creek, adding a few additional species to the trip list.

A few species known to regularly breed in the bog eluded us, including the silent Eastern Towhee and Swamp Sparrow. A complete list of species is included below:

Common Merganser (flyover creek)
Green Heron (flyover creek)
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl (heard from bog trail)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1 at bog boardwalk, 2 at creek on Bog Rd.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo (Bog Rd. near creek)
Blue-headed Vireo (during scouting)
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper (2 heard counter singing from both sides of Bog Rd. near Cranberry Creek)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird (during scouting)
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler (in hemlocks on Bog Rd.)
Canada Warbler (1 seen, a second heard singing)
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

Gray Squirrel
Eastern Chipmunk
River Otter (fresh scat)
Spotted Turtle
Slimy Salamander
Eastern Red-spotted Newt
Green Frog
Crayfish sp.
Silver-spotted Skipper
Summer Azure
Witchhazel Leaf Roller Caterpillar
White-striped Black Moth
Aurora Damsel
Common Whitetail Dragonfly
American Emerald Dragonfly