PSO Annual Meeting June 6-8, 2014

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Field Trips - Saturday - Sunday

Leave from University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

The trips are limited to 20 participants each, so please register for the trips in which you are interested.

Saturday June 7

Allegheny National Forest Willow Creek Loop (Marilla to Willow Bay)
Leader: John Fedak
Birds of conifer forests will be the focus of this trip. We'll explore pine and hemlock forests, a mixed conifer plantation along Marilla Reservoir, and the shores of the scenic Allegheny Reservoir. Birds likely to be seen include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Juncos, Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, and a variety of other warblers. Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills have bred here. Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and Common Mergansers are also likely on the reservoir, and Common Loon a possibility. Walking will be easy (flat), and the re will be restroom facilities at one stop. Waterproof footwear suggested.

Allegheny National Forest Northeast Loop (Tracy Ridge to Sugar Bay)
Leaders: Scott Stoleson, Chris Grecco
This trip will visit several sites in one of the largest intact forest tracts in the northeastern US, and include both cherry-maple and mixed oak forests, as well as shrubby thickets. At Tracy Ridge Campground, target birds of this high-elevation oak forest will be Cerulean, Hooded, Chestnut-sided, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Hermit Thrush. From there we'll drop down to the Allegheny Reservoir at Sugar Bay, where we can watch Osprey on their nest, plus Common Merganser, Alder Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Towhee, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Baltimore Oriole. We'll wind back towards Bradford through dense maple-cherry and hemlock forest where typical birds are Ruffed Grouse, Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Mourning and other warblers, Ovenbird, Swainson's and Hermit thrushes, Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian and Least Flycatchers, and Dark-eyed Juncos. Walking will be mostly on level ground, but a portion of the driving will be on narrow, unpaved forest roads. Waterproof footwear may prove useful at Sugar Bay.

Ormsby/SGL 62/Kinzua Bridge
Leaders: Holly and John Dzmyan
The high plateau country of McKean County will be our focus as we explore shrubby swamps, mixed and hardwood forests, and thickets. The Kinzua Bridge State Park includes a spectacular gorge and scenic view of the High Plateau as well as site of the famous Kinzua Viaduct, the second highest bridge of this type on the North American continent and in the National Register of Historical Places. Probable birds include White-throated and Swamp sparrows, Alder Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, etc. Walking will be on level trails, some paved and dirt roads. There are restrooms at Kinzua Bridge State Park

Songbird Road/Timberdoodle Flats
Leaders: Lisa Chapman, Laura Carlson
This trip will visit some of the favorite local birding areas. Timberdoodle Flats, which includes two Wildlife Interpretive Trails, is a relatively easy, flat walk through a variety of shrubby and forested habitats. Besides American Woodcock (aka timberdoodle), birds likely here include Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, and Blue-winged Warblers. There are no facilities on this trip. The walking will be on level dirt road and nicely maintained trails. From there will be a trip to a Mourning Warbler hotspot with possibilities of Broad-winged Hawk, Prairie Warbler and other warbler and sparrow species. Swainson's Thrush, Canada Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush are possibilities at the next few stops. Winter Wren, Northern Waterthrush and ot her warblers will be possible at the next few stops. Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Goshawk are also possibilities for this trip. Walking is relatively easy on dirt roads. Restroom facilities may be available at the Marshburg Ranger Station. This trip is a good trip to go on if you are a county lister.

Allegheny National Forest: Mead Run Loop (Westline to Redbridge)
Leaders: Mark Johnson, Bob Martin, Randy Flament
Mixed forest and lakeside habitats will be covered on this trip. Typical north-country forest birds found here include Ruffed Grouse, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Ravens, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Veery, and a host of warblers. Redbridge includes a swamp and one arm of the Allegheny Reservoir. Birds usually seen here include nesting Osprey, Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Common Merganser, Tree Swallow, and Yellow-rumped and Mourning warblers. This area is one of the best places locally to see lingering shorebirds. Wal king will be mostly easy and level; some driving will be on narrow gravel roads. There may be restrooms available at the Redbridge campground.

Akeley Swamp (SGL 282)
Leader: Don Watts
This state gamelands, located in the Conewango Creek Valley in northern Warren County, includes the largest freshwater marsh in the region. This is the local go-to spot for Virginia Rails, Soras, Common Gallinules, Pied-billed Grebe, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Alder Flycatchers, Marsh Wrens, Swamp Sparrows and much more. Blue-winged teal, Bald Eagle, Wilson’s Snipe, and Least Bittern are possible. To get there we’ll travel through extensive farm country where we’ll watch for grassland and open country birds such as American Kestrel, Killdeer, Brown Thrasher, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Savanna and Field sparrows, Barn and Tree swallows. Access and walking are very easy along a level railbed that traverses the marsh. Spotting scopes would be especially useful here. No facilities.

Sunday, June 8

Allegheny National Forest Willow Creek Loop (Marilla to Willow Bay)
Leader: John Fedak

Birds of conifer forests will be the focus of this trip. We’ll explore pine and hemlock forests, a mixed conifer plantation along Marilla Reservoir, and the shores of the scenic Allegheny Reservoir. Birds likely to be seen include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Juncos, Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, and a variety of other warblers. Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills have bred here. Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and Common Mergansers are also likely on the reservoir, and Common Loon a possibility. Walking will be easy (flat), and the re will be restroom facilities at one stop. Waterproof footwear suggested.

Allegheny National Forest Northeast Loop (Tracy Ridge to Sugar Bay)
Leaders: Chris Grecco, Len Groshek
This trip will visit several sites in one of the largest intact forest tracts in the northeastern US, and include both cherry-maple and mixed oak forests, as well as shrubby thickets. At Tracy Ridge Campground, target birds of this high-elevation oak forest will be Cerulean, Hooded, Chestnut-sided, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Hermit Thrush. From there we’ll drop down to the Allegheny Reservoir at Sugar Bay, where we can watch Osprey on their nest, plus Common Merganser, Alder Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Towhee, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Baltimore Oriole. We’ll wind back towards Bradford through dense maple-cherry and hemlock forest where typical birds are Ruffed Grouse, Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Mourning and other warblers, Ovenbird, Swainson’s and Hermit thrushes, Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian and Least Flycatchers, and Dark-eyed Juncos. Walking will be mostly on level ground, but a portion of the driving will be on narrow, unpaved forest roads. Waterproof footwear may prove useful at Sugar Bay.

Ormsby/SGL 62/Kinzua Bridge
Leaders: Holly and John Dzmyan
The high plateau country of McKean County will be our focus as we explore shrubby swamps, mixed and hardwood forests, and thickets. The Kinzua Bridge State Park includes a spectacular gorge and scenic view of the High Plateau as well as site of the famous Kinzua Viaduct, the second highest bridge of this type on the North American continent and in the National Register of Historical Places. Probable birds include White-throated and Swamp sparrows, Alder Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird,…. Walking will be on level trails, some paved and dirt roads. There are restrooms at Kinzua Bridge State Park

Songbird Road/Timberdoodle Flats
Leaders: Lisa Chapman, Laura Carlson

This trip will visit some of the favorite local birding areas. Timberdoodle Flats, which includes two Wildlife Interpretive Trails, is a relatively easy, flat walk through a variety of shrubby and forested habitats. Besides American Woodcock (aka timberdoodle), birds likely here include Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, and Blue-winged Warblers. There are no facilities on this trip. The walking will be on level dirt road and nicely maintained trails. From there will be a trip to a Mourning Warbler hotspot with possibilities of Broad-winged Hawk, Prairie Warbler and other warbler and sparrow species. Swainson's Thrush, Canada Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush are possibilities at the next few stops. Winter Wren, Northern Waterthrush and ot her warblers will be possible at the next few stops. Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Goshawk are also possibilities for this trip. Walking is relatively easy on dirt roads. Restroom facilities may be available at the Marshburg Ranger Station. This trip is a good trip to go on if you are a county lister.

Benezette and East Branch
Leaders: Mark Johnson, Bob Martin, Randy Flament
This trip will begin heading into Elk County to visit a small marsh for possible Virginia Rail, Sora, Swamp Sparrow, Alder and Willow Flycatchers. This is also a spot that had Sedge Wren during the Atlas and does support breeding Northern Harriers. From there the trip will travel to East Branch Lake to observe Cliff Swallows, Osprey and possible waterfowl. Then a trip through St. Marys and to Benezette. At Benezette, many grassland birds can be observed such as Bobolink and Savannah Sparrow. Henslow’s Sparrow is a possibility. We will stop at the Elk County Visitors Center on Winslow Hill to view some bird species and some of the PA Elk herd. Walking will be easy on roadside and well maintained trails. There are restroom and picnic facilities available.

Hearts Content Old Growth
Leader: Scott Stoleson
This protected 140-acre tract supports 450-yr old virgin hemlock, pine and beech forest. This trip is worth taking just for the experience of seeing what the area looked like before European settlement, with huge trees towering over 150 feet high. Common breeding birds here include Pileated Woodpecker, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Swainson’s and Hermit thrushes, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped and Pine warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglets. Barred and Saw-whet owls, Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Goshawk are possible as well. Walking will be moderate: on a well-maintained trail but steep in spots. Waterproof footwear recommended. Restroom and picnic facilities are available.

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