Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lacawac Sanctuary Birding Adventure

Tree Swallow, Lacawac Sanctuary

     It has taken a few days to get my pictures up but I am finally ready to share the adventures from my Memorial Day trip with all of you. I look forward to writing these types of posts in the future.  Spreading the awareness of the wealth that nature has to offer and the importance of conservation are some of the things I strive to do and I hope to be able to through sharing my personal experiences.  All of the photos were taken by my fiance and I.

Entrance to Lacawac Sanctuary

     I spent the extended weekend in the Poconos in Northeast Pennsylvania.  Sunday was a beautiful day so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to do some hiking and birdwatching (I'll find any excuse to bring a pair of binoculars out with me).  Thanks to NEPA Audubon's website, we found a couple of places that we thought would be worth our time.

Start of the Maurice Brown Nature Trail, a 1.2 mile loop

     The first place we decided to visit was Lacawac Sanctuary.  It is situated on the shore of Lake Wallenpaupack.  There were several hiking trails available.  One of them which spanned over rocks left behind by glacial activity and approached Lacawac Lake, and another that went through a small meadow followed by dense mixed deciduous/pine forest.  The latter was the one we decided to take, called the Maurice Brown Nature Trail.

      Since we started the hike at around 1:30pm I wasn't expecting a crazy amount of bird activity.  We made it through the meadow without seeing a single bird.  It was way too quiet for my liking.  I was already thinking to myself that this was going to be a great day....then as soon as we stepped into the dense forest, I began to hear calls.  First a Carolina Wren.  The LOUDEST bird in the forest by far. Then some American Robins up high in the branches of the deciduous trees. And then I spotted a Northern Flicker foraging on the ground, using his sharp beak to dig for his lunch.

Hermit Thrush on the trail
The highlight of our Lacawac Sanctuary journey occurred about mid-way through our hike.  I was listening up in the treetops with my fox ears and I heard what sounded like an American Robin but definitely was not.  I said to myself, hmm that sounds like a Robin with a sore throat.  I recanted studying some bird songs in my spare time and I thought that it might be a Tanager but I wasn't sure which type. I am an amateur birder and have only one year of experience.  I asked my fiance for her iPhone and I opened up our Central Park Birds app.  I typed in the word "Tanager" and I saw Summer and Scarlet Tanagers available for selection.  I opted for the Summer Tanager song. It played through the iPhone speaker and all of a sudden the treetop bird's song appeared to be getting closer.  Then we looked up and right above us perched on the branch was a Scarlet Tanager who had a very strong and aggressive reaction to the song being played on the phone. I only played it a couple of times because I did not want to aggravate Mr. Scarlet Tanager anymore and did not want to make him think that there was a Summer Tanager ready to battle him for the forest.

Once we made it out of the forest we were treated with a few Tree Swallows and an Eastern Bluebird.
                                                                     To be continued....... 

Scarlet Tanager

1 comment:

  1. The Scarlet Tanager looks beautiful against the green trees! Great spot!