Dragonfly Eye gave me a call yesterday and asked if I wanted to join him in search of the Boghaunter. If you are not familiar of the Boghaunter (I wasn’t), it is a rare Dragonfly that is frequently found in areas associated with bogs. Jeremy informed me that none of the Boghaunter species have ever been found at Allenburg Bog (Cattaraugus County, NY) area. He wanted to visit the bog to see if we could find any of them flying yet. Of course I am always up for an adventure and couldn’t resist in also taking the time to look for newly arrived warblers!
Airial of Allenburg Bog by Jeremy Martin was posted with permission.
Once we started walking through the woods; we were bombarded with bird activity. It started with House Wren singing and Jeremy quickly located the singing bird. I noted that the Northern Waterthrush (CHECK) were signing most everywhere we hiked. I then told Jeremy . . . “do you hear that gym sneaker squeak sound?” . . . “That is made by the Rose Breasted Grosbeak”! Other commonly heard songs included the Black-throated Green Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (its drumming heard). Along the hiking trail we located two different thrush species. I called the first one a Veery but after reviewing the poor picture that I captured, I am questioning if maybe it was really a Hermit Thrush!! The other thrush we found was larger in size and more spots on it belly!! This was my first Wood Thrush (CHECK) for 2007!!
We continued searching for this Boghaunter in the woods but only come up with more singing warblers. Ovenbird (CHECK) singing “Teacher, Teacher, Teacher”, Black-throated Blue Warbler (CHECK) singing “Beer, Beer, Beeee” and Magnolia Warbler (CHECK) singing “sweeter, sweeter SWEETEST”!! We then found a good location to work our way onto the bog!!
The video above shows a 180 degree view from standing in the center of the blog and then what it is like walking on top of the peat moss. I thought this would be a good point for a short description of a bog is (from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog ); Bog is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat composed mostly of acidophilic moss (peat moss or Sphagnum spp.). While relying entirely on this peat moss vegetation in not having any holes (lake is 80 feet deep), we were able to located many amazing flowers like the Pitcher Plant (a true insectivorous plant), Leather Leaf and Labrador-Tea.
We had a fun time shushing through this unique area and never did located that dragonfly!! A Green Darner did make an appearance but disappeared quickly. We then headed back through the woods over to the other bog pool (where we really got wet). I was trying to remember and I believe it was 1996 since I have last visited this bog. I think it was exactly as I remember it being and sure hope that it isn’t that long until I visit this area again. Other birds we came across included the Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat (CHECK) and Gray Catbird (CHECK). A quick detour to Zaepfel Nature Sanctuary before leaving provided with one of the Empidonax species (kind of a CHECK)! Hard to identify when they don’t sing.
This Yellow Warbler was the only decent bird photo that I got!