Tannersville – August 4th 2016 – Field Trip Report

An enthusiastic group of 10 participants had a wonderful time visiting the Tannersville Cranberry Bog on Thursday, August 4, 2016. We started our walk around 8:15am, and spent a little over 4 hours exploring the upland forest and bog. Perfect weather and a perfect combination of bird and plant enthusiasts made this trip a memorable learning experience for all. Participants included a handful of DVOC members, students and professors from Temple University’s Horticulture and Landscape Architecture program, a guest from the PA Native Plant Society Facebook page, and me… a hybrid DVOC/Temple Hort species.

We left no stone unturned (rewarded with Red Eft), and no bird unidentified (well, except for the probable Yellow-throated Vireo singing near the spot where I have had them on previous trips). Despite the time of year, we tallied a respectable 36 species of birds, quite a few still vocal on territory, including my pal, the Canada Warbler singing as if on cue at his expected location near the entrance to the bog. A few participants were able to get a look at this gorgeous adult male, and it was a life bird for at least a couple of people. A real surprise was a singing Northern Waterthrush, but even more unexpected was the little bugger actually put in an appearance at the edge of the thicket after we passed him deep in the tangle. This may not sound like a big deal, but I have visited this preserve at least a dozen times during nesting season, and Northern Waterthrush has been a heard-only bird up until this trip.

Poison sumac was prevalent, those unfamiliar with this toxic plant quickly learned to admire it from a distance. We enjoyed carnivorous plants including pitcher plant and sundews, and the showy native Swamp Loosestrife was coming into bloom with its spectacular sprays of bright pink flowers. As we headed toward the observation platform overlooking Cranberry Creek, we heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and observed a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and a quick scan of the creek revealed a few turtles, including a Spotted Turtle.

A number of Lepidoptera and Odonota were also noted. Everyone taking part in this trip contributed to our list of species, and a great time was had by all! Thanks to trip participants for contributing to Kettle Creek EEC in support of their programming and maintenance of this preserve. Although birds were not posing for photos, I thought I would share a few photos from the trip of other taxa following the species list:

36 species of birds plus 3 other taxa and numerous Lepidoptera and Odonata and other insects

Turkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo (probable – heard only, lower, slower, “throatier” than Red-eyed)
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Canada Warbler
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch
White-tailed Deer
Red Eft form of Eastern Newt
Spotted Turtle

Notophthalmus viridescens (red eft) juvenile form Eastern Newt (photo by Cindy Ahern)

Apios americana (ground nut) (photo by Cindy Ahern)

Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife or water willow) (photo by Cindy Ahern)

Sphagnum sp. (peat moss) with Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaf sundew) and Vaccinium oxycoccus (small cranberry) (photo by Cindy Ahern)

Eriophorum angustifolium var. vaginatum (photo by Cindy Ahern)

Bog shrub zone (photo by Kathryn Byrnes)

Sun-loving species (we were listening to an Eastern Phoebe) (photo by Kathryn Byrnes),

Group photo at observation deck (photo by Sue Mrugal).