Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2002
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Common Tern Colony - Sparrow Lake

 sylvia purdon --&-- ji

 9:19 pm saturday june 29, 2002

Saturday June 29 at 8:00 p.m. 12 pair of Common Terns were
observed on the north west tip of Long Island in Sparrow Lake.
Many of those on the island are on nests. A further
investigation of Goose Rock near Silver Pines Restaurant and
Franklin Beach, Sparrow Lake, yielded 2 pair Common Terns on
nests on Goose Rock.

These 26 birds match the traditional count for this species over
the past 15 years as we have monitored this colony.  

On the north-west tip there were a few RBG on the north east
side, and the total island itself yielded est. 500 RBG. perhaps
12 HG and numerous fledged young of both gull species.

In addition a group 0f 6 DC Cormorants were present but no
nesting activity was observed.


Least Bittern --&-- Sedge Wren Update

 Burke Korol

 10:52 pm wednesday june 26, 2002


In between downpours Brian Pfrimmer and I went to the marsh at
the end of Henry Road in Bracebridge this evening (Wednesday, 26
June).  We had stellar looks at a SEDGE WREN and heard at least
two others.  We also saw a pair of GREEN HERONS and after about
an hour of looking we managed to see a pair of LEAST BITTERNS.  
HUMMINGBIRD were also seen.

When going northbound on Hwy. 11 take the first Bracebridge exit
(to Hwy. 118 westbound) and go along Ecclestone Drive until you
get to the lights just before the bridge over the Muskoka River,
which are about 4 km from Hwy. 11.  Turn left at the lights on
Beaumont Drive and go about 2 km (past Kerr Park) along the
Muskoka River.  Turn left on Henry Road and park at the cul-de-
sac, which is about 200 m from Beaumont.  Park here and walk a
short distance to the grassy meadow on the right, where you
should hear the Sedge Wrens.  At the big “T” intersection in the
trail, turn right and look for the bitterns and herons in the
marsh on the left.  Rubber boots and insect repellent are

Thanks to Al Sinclair and Wilf Yusek for letting us know about
this spot and these birds!!


Re Bobolinks

 Sylvia Brown

 12:20 pm monday june 24, 2002

Sorry for the spelling mistake on my above report



 Sylvia Brown

 12:10 pm monday june 24, 2002

Saw several Boblinks both male and female in hay fields along
the Dee Bank Road on the way to Windermere on Sat. June 22, 2002
about 2 p.m.
I've enjoyed seeing everyone's reports.



 Brenda Clark

 9:42 pm sunday june 23, 2002

For the past two evenings the rufous-sided towhee has gone
public.  It is singing on the roadside where the gasline
crosses Beaver Ridge Road (runs behind the Muskoka Store south
of Gravenhurst).  The trick is to hear it above the traffic on
highway 11 behind it, but it was quite fearless in letting us
walk right up to the shrub.


 re: eye infections

 Paul Smith

 9:38 pm wednesday june 26, 2002

goldfinches here in glen orchard seem to be ok - the cornell
people are surveying something that might be related - try this
link ...


eye infections

 Marty Arnett

 7:54 pm sunday june 23, 2002

Just wondering if anyone has noted any birds (goldfinches) with
eye infections at their feeders recently. Have had 2 this last
few days - one birds eyes so severe it flew in tight circles a
few feet above the ground as it tried to feed below the tube

West Gravenhurst,


prairie warbler


 5:14 pm friday june 21, 2002

I was walking the fitness trail in Parry Sound at noon today and
heard the call of a prairie warbler. Didn't actually see the
bird, but its song is one of the few warblers' songs that give
you half a chance at identifying by voice.


green heron and trumpeter swans

 anne lewis

 12:18 pm friday june 21, 2002

six mile lake - jun.20-02 - Nick Bartok from the wye marsh and
mike canoed out into the marsh where two trumpeters are. the
swans made a guest appearance complete with trumpets. they are
molting and magnificent birds to see. they could not find the
nest but we are sure they are in there. the female is the same
one that was here last year, sparky. she has chosen a younger
mate so they will probably not produce any young this year even
if she lays eggs. last year she was here with an untagged male.
we will know if it is the same mate when we find out when it was
tagged and its history. while i was watching the canoers and
swans i saw a green heron. i have never seen one here before.
are they in the area? the marsh they are in is part of a larger
wetland area at the north end of the lake and a wonderful safe
place for them to be. out of the boaters etc reach.


evening grossbeak babies

 anne lewis

 12:11 pm friday june 21, 2002

six mile lake - jun. 18.02 - we have two baby grossbeaks at our
feeder. they are being fed by their parents. the first baby a
female was being fed by the male. they are very attentive and
the babies very noisy. i thought that they would be fed insects
and am surprised to see them at a feeder this young. is it usual
for them to come to the feeder and to be fed by the male?


Sandhill Cranes

 D Tinsley

 6:21 am wednesday june 19, 2002

Well I'm delighted to read you info. Yes we had them at our farm
for app. 2 weeks off and on. Saw l large and 2 smaller just
eating in the field. Our property backs onto a large swamp and
they liked it there. We were trying to figure out what they
really were. They were for perhaps longer but not as visable.


red-headed woodpecker

 Dave Hawke

 9:40 pm tuesday june 18, 2002

A male red-headed woodpecker was seen at the new Taboo Golf
Course on June 11 (Muskoka Sands Resort, Gravenhurst). There are
reports from greens workers that they are regularily seen, but I
need to determine if those sightings are male yellow-bellied


Wild Turkeys

 Virginia Pray

 3:04 pm tuesday june 18, 2002

Several times in the past week Kenn has seen a male wild turkey
on Brackenrige Road just a mile or so in from Hwyll8, also a
female with 8 or so chicks was seen on Hwy ll8 near Appian Way
west of Port Carling.


bluebirds hatched

 Carol Wagg and Mike

 8:34 pm sunday june 16, 2002

A recent check of our bluebird boxes revealed 5 eggs.  Yesterday
there were tiny hatchlings.  Can't just say how many.  This is
the second year in a row for hatching to take place at our place
on the Doe Lake Road.  LAst year we actually saw three


Northern Harrier

 Barbara Taylor

 7:00 pm sunday june 16, 2002

This morning there was a female Northern Harrier hunting for
prey, flying low across the fields at Beaumont Farm Rd. and
Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.


vireo nest

 John Challis

 10:18 pm thursday june 13, 2002

A nest dropped out of the pine tree on the sidewalk leading to
the Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit office on Pine Street in
Bracebridge. A check with the Peterson bird-nest book seems to
indicate it belonged to a red-eyed vireo.

As a postscript, it is a shame the small woods between the
District of Muskoka and The Pines will be lost shortly. It's to
be torn out to make way for the expansion at The Pines. It has
been home to a number of warblers, and the air-cooling effect of
the trees in the worst of summer is dramatic.


Savannah Sparrows

 Barbara Taylor

 4:43 pm thursday june 13, 2002

A pair of Savannah Sparrows along Beaumont Farm Rd. just a short
distance from Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.


Bracebridge Lagoons, Henry Road

 Wilf Yusek

 8:37 pm tuesday june 11, 2002

There is a male Ring-necked Duck in cell #2 at the Bracebridge
The Least Bittern and Sedge Wrens are still in the marsh at the
end of Henry Road, also saw the Golden-winged Warbler, in the
area that opens up as you walk down to the marsh.


re: Bluebirds return

 Paul Smith

 7:06 pm tuesday june 11, 2002

Thats encouraging - I was just about to take my nest boxes down !!


Bluebirds return

 Barbara Taylor

 5:09 pm tuesday june 11, 2002

Yesterday morning and again in the late afternoon there was a
male Eastern Bluebird perched atop a nest box along Beaumont Dr.
near Beaumont Farm Rd., Bracebridge. We haven't seen any
bluebirds in that area since they nested in 1999, so nice to see
one again.  Hopefully the female was in the nestbox.


Nighthawk --&-- Bitterns at Huntsville

 Burke Korol

 9:48 pm sunday june 9, 2002

This evening (Sunday 9 June) at dusk I heard a Common Nighthawk
calling at the south Huntsville Exit (i.e., Road 3) going
northbound on Hwy. 11.  About 2 km south of here there were 3
American Bitterns flying east over Hwy. 11.


re: black-billed cuckoo

 Brenda Clark

 10:35 pm thursday june 13, 2002

You are likely right about the cuckoo...we have had them calling
around here for the last week or so, near the Muskoka Store.


black-billed cuckoo


 8:39 pm saturday june 8, 2002

We're no experts, but consulting with the Stokes bird-call CD, I
am pretty sure we were hearing a black-billed cuckoo behind our
house at mid afternoon today (Saturday, June 8).
No sighting -- just the repetitive call.
A number of years ago we had a black-billed down the road from
us. I think it was during one of the big caterpillar years. And
the forest tent caterpillars are beginning to make their
presence known around the house this year again.


Red-headed Woodpecker

 Brian Pfrimmer

 3:43 pm saturday june 8, 2002

A call from a neighbour last evening had me viewing a mature Red-
headed Woodpecker. The bird had been coming to his feeder all
day eating black sunflower seeds. The colors are quite sharp.
The bird was sited at the North East corner of Fox Lake , Con
11, in Stisted Twp. This is all private property and
unfortunately the owner does not want visitors.

Last Sept 22nd, 01, I had a juv. bird spend the day in my yard,
so perhaps they are breeding in the area.

A Barred Owl was also calling in the area.

This morning while planting a vegtable garden I watched a pair
of Eastern Bluebirds going in and out of one of my nesting
boxes. I have seen the birds around the yard since last Thursday
the 6th, so hopefully they will nest.

I live at 2574 Ravenscliffe Rd, 11 km west of Huntswille on
Muskoka Rd 2.


Least Bittern

 Wilf Yusek

 1:59 pm saturday june 8, 2002

At approx. 8.30 a.m.this morning June 8th., I saw and heard the
Least Bittern and Sedge Wrens at the marsh at the end of Henry


re: Cliff Swallows

 Paul Smith

 10:40 pm saturday june 8, 2002

Correction - south and east side - I get confused as I get
older ...


Cliff Swallows

 Paul Smith

 7:41 am saturday june 8, 2002

There's a colony of cliff swallows under the eaves of the Glen
Orchard General Store - north and east side ...


Merlin at the lagoons

 Doug Smith

 12:10 pm tuesday june 4, 2002

Saw a Merlin at the Bracebridge Lagoons Monday evening at
approx. 5:45pm. She (he?) flew low over cell#2 and seemed to be
seriously hunting, then landed on the dead tree at the south-
west corner of cell#2.


re: Second Migration of Canada Geese

 Barbara Taylor

 7:43 pm tuesday june 4, 2002

Today we saw five large vees of Canada Goose flying north over
Lake Muskoka.

Just checked the Bird Board archives...
Last year we noticed a big flight to summer feeding grounds on
June 1.  And in the year 2000, the big move took place between
May 27-29.


Second Migration of Canada Geese

 Brenda Clark

 10:52 am tuesday june 4, 2002

While our families of geese at the ponds are busily raising
their young, last night a string of 80 geese flew north, and
this morning two more large strings have gone through.  I guess
that means winter is officially over this time?


Henry Rd. Marsh

 Bob Healey

 9:07 am monday june 3, 2002

I visited he marsh at Henry Rd. this morning (7 to 7:30), and
saw a pair of golden-winged warblers, several sedge wrens, and
heard a least bittern.  


Great Crested Flycatcher Migration Wave

 purdon sylvia --&-- ji

 7:11 pm sunday june 2, 2002

Great Crested Flycatcher majormigration wave at Sparrow Lake
with many calling and 3 observed in one tree.  


Least Bittern

 sylvia purdon --&-- ji

 1:48 am saturday june 1, 2002

One Least Bittern calling at the Wenona Marsh on Thursday May 30.


Probable Golden-winged Warblers at Riley

 Burke Korol

 5:04 pm friday may 31, 2002

Today, 31 May, I heard at least 4 birds giving the song of the
Golden-winged Warbler.  I did not see any of these birds, and
considering the recent alerts by the Breeding Bird Atlas Project
(about Blue-winged Warblers and Lawrence/Brewster's Warblers
giving Golden-winged Warbler songs, and vice versa) I am being
cautious with my identification.  The birds were at the far
eastern end of Riley Lake, along the wet alder thickets.  This
area is reached by going east on the road to Riley Point, which
is off of Road 6, about 2 km south of Housey's Rapids.  To see
the birds you will need tall rubber boots and lots of insect

Note that ATV usage has destroyed much of the riparian habitat
in this area, which is in the recently regulated Dalton-Digby
Wildlands Provincial Park.


Red-headed Woodpecker in Parry Sound

 Stan. Fairchild

 8:04 pm thursday may 30, 2002

I have had a Red-headed Woodpecker coming to my feeder at the
back of my house since May 25.I think there is only the one but
it is here most of the time .It even comes down to the lawn
sometimes . I recently saw them in Pelee but this is my first in
Parry Sound.

Directions , At Parry Sound go east on Hwy 124 to Waubamik turn
right on Hurdville rd. go approx. 8km. turn left onto Hardies
rd. go another 1.5km. to large pine house fire route # 8 bird
comes to feeder in back.

Stan. Fairchild

This report originated on ONTBIRDS and is provided here courtesy
of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) Web Page:


re: Green Heron

 Brenda Clark

 10:47 am tuesday june 4, 2002

Other summers the green herons have hung about all summer.  I
have not seen these two since, however.


re: Green Heron

 Brian Jones

 11:58 am thursday may 30, 2002

Is it the nature of Green Herons that they will stay there for the summer or will they move on?


Green Heron

 Brenda Clark

 8:13 am wednesday may 29, 2002

A pair of green herons joined the list of spring arrivals in the
ponds south of Gravenhurst.


Ospreys on Lake Muskoka

 Barbara Taylor

 9:55 pm tuesday may 28, 2002

This afternoon we watched two Ospreys soaring high above the
southern end of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka.  Not a cloud in
the sky and the birds seemed to be enjoying a thermal lift so we
were able to watch them for some time.  Last summer we saw one
Osprey near the mouth of the Muskoka River...maybe they have a
nest somewhere nearby.


Muskoka Warblers and others

 Laura Murray

 9:10 pm tuesday may 28, 2002

Observed over the weekend at Echo Lake, near Bracebridge, were
11 spp. of warblers:
MOURNING (1st sighting for me)

Also seen were a Bittern in flight, A Great Blue Heron, a Great
Crested Flycatcher,  Kingbird, Kingfisher, Pileated, Y. B.
Sapsucker, and Hairy Woodpeckers, Pair of Loons, and a Pair of
Broad Winged (?) Hawks

Echo Lake is off Highway 117, north of Bracebridge. Take the
Echo, Dickie and Ril Lake road just outside (West) of Baysville
to Lawson Road. Follow that until it meets Truscott Place. The
small wetland where the 2 roads meet is where all the Warblers
were seen. Public Access to Echo Lake is from the Echo Lake Road.

Laura Murray

This report originated on ONTBIRDS and is provided here courtesy
of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) Web Page:


wild turkey


 12:57 pm tuesday may 28, 2002

This morning, in my pajamas, I saw a turkey. How he got into
them I'll never know...

Groucho Marx notwithstanding, the turkey showed up in our
backyard about 8:15 a.m., had a dirt bath in what used to be our
vegetable patch, and spent a good half-hour picking seeds or
bugs out of the grass.
There have been wild turkeys seen in Fraserburg -- in fact, a
very bold tom spent one spring challenging even the cars going
by the road. But this is the first at our place on Rocksborough
Only hope the hunters on the street don't get wind of this.


Common Terns on Sparrow Lake

 sylvia purdon --&-- ji

 6:13 am tuesday may 28, 2002

Common Terns:  4   Sunday May 26  at  4:30 p.m.  
Northern tip of Long Island.  The Ring-billed Gulls and Herring
Gulls have dominated the Island again this year but in slightly
reduced numbers.  The Common Terns were carrying food, small
fish, in a typical courtship ritual.  These two pair appear to
have gained a foothold for now on the northern tip in the midst
of vast numbers of aggressive RBG's.  


Whimbrels at Sparrow Lake

 sylvia purdon

 6:05 am tuesday may 28, 2002

Sunday May 26  4:30 p.m.  Sunny, warm, no wind.

Long Island, Sparrow Lake- 12 Whimbrels on the northern tip of
Long Island resting on the rocks. With the Whimbrels, one Black-
bellied Plover in breeding plumage, and an unidentified peep.


Wilson's Phalaropes at the Ponds May 27

 Al Sinclair

 12:26 pm monday may 27, 2002

Wilf Yusek just called, 12:15 pm May 27, 2 Wilson's Palaropes
are at the Bracebridge Ponds, south-east corner of cell 1.


Photos from the ponds last week

 Al Sinclair

 9:26 pm sunday may 26, 2002

Some photos taken by Wilf Yusek at the Bracebridge Ponds this
past week are at the following address.


Black-backed Woodpecker

 Brian Pfrimmer

 8:47 pm sunday may 26, 2002

I had a Black-backed on a small Maple on the south side of my
lawn about 5:30 p.m. today. I live at 2574 Ravenscliffe
Rd.,Huntsville. It didn't stay long, but flew into the immediate
bush area. Lots of drumming going on. Two years ago a pair
nested immediately across the road from my property.


At the Ponds May 25..Good Warblers

 Al Sinclair

 6:51 pm saturday may 25, 2002

Warblers seen in the alders on the right just inside the Lagoon
Lane gate 3:30 PM May 25:
Black-throated Blue
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart

Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Least Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Baltimore Oriole

Shorebirds in Cell 1:
Least Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper

Observers: Dan Burton, Al Sinclair


Golden-winged Warbler

 David and Regan Good

 11:40 am saturday may 25, 2002

This morning we heard and saw a male Golden-winged Warbler where
the Henry Rd. trail opens to the field to the west.


Black Duck --&-- ducklings

 Eleanor Kee Wellman

 0:57 am saturday may 25, 2002

On Friday morning about 10:15 I watched a female black duck and
8 ducklings at the back of the Cranberry Marsh Cove from Medora
Lake Rd.  A good nesting record for those opposed to development
of the marsh!


At the Ponds May 24..Blackpoll et al

 Al Sinclair

 7:03 pm friday may 24, 2002

At the Bracebridge Ponds May 24:
Dunlin(6) - cell 1(am, not seen pm)
Green Heron(2) - wet area outside east dike of cell 4
Black-billed Cuckoo - near viewing platform
Wilson's Warbler - edge of woods on north side of cell 4
Blackpoll Warbler - woods left side of lagoon lane before gate
Observers: all by Wilf Yusek except Blackpoll by Al Sinclair


Gray-cheeked Thrush

 Bob Healey

 0:19 am friday may 24, 2002

Hear a Gray-cheeked Thrush singing in the woods behind my home
this morning, Westvale Dr., Bracebridge.


symposium on cosmetic pesticide use

 Al Sinclair

 8:42 pm thursday may 23, 2002

The letter below was received by the Muskoka Field Naturalists.
I don't see any notice of this meeting in the local paper so I
am posting it here. Pesticide use on lawns should be of concern
to anyone interested in birds. In fact these chemicals harm our
pets and children as well. Plan to attend and support a ban on
cosmetic pesticide and herbicide use in Bracebridge.
Al Sinclair

The Corporation of the Town of Bracebridge
R. Murray Clarke, Chief Administrative Officer       Andrew D. Nelan,
Municipal Treasurer

May 7, 2002

Dear Friend:

On Saturday May 25th 2002, the Town of Bracebridge will be
hosting a public symposium on the cosmetic use of pesticides and
herbicides.  The event, to be held at the Riverside Inn, 300
Ecclestone Drive in Bracebridge, will run from 9:00 a.m. until
1:00 p.m.

The list of invited speakers includes experts in biology and
toxicology, an environmental advocate and representatives from
the golf and commercial turf management sectors.  There will be
question and answer sessions following each speaker as well as
an opportunity for general discussion at the end of the

In addition to promoting the event to the community through
local news media, we are reaching out to organizations, such as
yours, that may have an interest in this important issue.  

For further information on the symposium contact Councillor
Scott Young, Symposium Chair at 645-1129 or Murray Clarke, Chief
Administrative Officer at 645-5264.

We look forward to your participation.  Your views are important.

Scott Young, Councillor & Symposium Chair


Red-headed WP Gravenhurst..update

 Al Sinclair

 8:14 pm thursday may 23, 2002

The Red-headed Woodpecker was still at the west end of Lorne
street in Gravenhurst yesterday May 22. Check along the new
street under construction through the Gateway Estates.


The Ponds May 22, Warblers etc.

 Al Sinclair

 10:12 pm wednesday may 22, 2002

At the Bracebridge Ponds today May 22, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Observers: Sue and Pete Bennett, Al Sinclair

Warblers: Wilson's, Canada, Palm, Chestnut-sided, Nashville,
Black-and-white, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, American Redstart,
Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat

Vireos: Warbling, Philadephia

Virginia Rail and Sora calling along the Pipeline behind cell 4.
Osprey fly over

Shorebirds: SB Dowitcher(1), Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs,
Semipalmated Plover. All in cell 1.


re: Black-backed Woodpecker nr Huntsvill

 Al Sinclair

 8:10 pm thursday may 23, 2002

Looked for it today, saw where it was working, nobody home.


Black-backed Woodpecker nr Huntsville

 Al Sinclair

 11:23 am wednesday may 22, 2002

A Black-backed Woodpecker was seen last week in a swamp about
2km south of Madill Church on Old Muskoka Rd. south of
Huntsville. It was working in a grove of dead Tamaracks. Might
be worth checking to see if it is still there. Reported by Ernie


Dowitchers...2ssp at the Ponds

 Al Sinclair

 11:17 am wednesday may 22, 2002

For the previous 2 days there has been 2 Short-billed Dowitchers
in cell 1(cell in front of the plant)at the Bracebridge Ponds.
The reddish one is ssp hendersoni which breeds in Central
Canada. The other greyer one is ssp griseus which breeds in
North-eastern Canada. I have not seen ssp griseus very often in
Muskoka. First reported by Brian Pfrimmer on May 20.
Also seen:
Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs.


 re: black-crowned night heron

 Al Sinclair

 10:41 am wednesday may 22, 2002

Black-crowned Night-Herons are very rare in Muskoka. Just
wondered if you ruled out American Bittern(still an interesting
sighting). They are more common, are seen in swamps, and have  
streaks on the breast also. The imm Night-Herons from last year
lose most of their streaks by now.


black-crowned night heron

 Mary-Ann Kosela

 9:03 am tuesday may 21, 2002

Seen on Campbell Road, Monday 2:15 p.m., in the marsh at
roadside, an immature black-crowned night heron.
This was a big first for our family; we are not regular bird


 birding bonanza

 gerald willmott

 5:00 pm sunday may 19, 2002

Hi everyone, it has been a long time.  Timmins seems to have a
strangle hold on my but.  Today was a wild afternoon of birding
in Port Carling, Muskoka.  It seemd as though every step opened
up a panorama of new birds to be seen!  We also may have seen a
Canada Warbler, but the view was too brief.  Down the Hazlewood
trail (Ferndale Rd. Port Carling) the following birds were seen

Chestnut sided Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Wilsons Warbler
American Redstart – several
Black Throated Green
Common Yellow Throat – several
Palm Warbler
Black Throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Scarlet Tanenger
Epid Flycatcher – no songs, none
Winter wren
Turkey Vulture
Female Purple Finch
Olive sided Flycatcher
Either a Spotted sandpiper or a Bairds Sandpiper – bobbed a
little, but had a white rump…?

For more info or better directions contact me at


back yard count today

 anne lewis

 8:40 pm saturday may 18, 2002

just want to crow about the wonderful colors and visitors to our
feeder today! after doing this count i understand why i went
through 50 pounds of black oils sunflower seed and two suet
cakes last week. 4 indigo buntings, 5 rosebreasted grossbeaks,
30+ evening grossbeaks, 30+ gold finches, 15 blue jays, 28+
purple finches, 7 mourning doves, 8 hairy woodpeckers, 4 downy
woodpeckers, 3 flickers, 2 yellowbellied sap suckers,  12
chickadees, 5 ruby t hummingbirds, 4 orioles, 1 veery, 7 white
crowned sparrows, 1 red breasted nuthatch, 3 white breasted
nuthatches, robins, chipping sparrows, tree sparrows, song
sparrows, cowbirds, red w blackbirds, grackles, crows, raven,
loons, a pair of canada geese and five babies (fed cracked
there is a fox that has taken to stalking birds under the
feeders and chipmunks. also the red shouldered hawk took a goldf
inch. yesterday...and so it goes at six mile lake....soon the
barred owl will be by to check on the southern flying squirrels!


osprey, heron, red shouldered hawk

 anne lewis

 8:22 pm saturday may 18, 2002

the osprey nest that i montiored last year is occupied again. in
the same pond is an active great blue heron nest and two stick
nests. i haven't seen anything in these yet. when observing the
nests on monday a red shouldered hawk circled the pond.
on wednesday while i was watching the osprey from our shore with
binoculars it flew over my head with a large dripping fish in
its talons.......amazing!!


indigo buntings, redbreasted grossbeaks

 anne lewis

 8:17 pm saturday may 18, 2002

Hello from Six Mile Lake. thursday afternoon there was an indigo
bunting at our feed. today there are two pairs still here. we
also have three male rosebreasted grossbeaks and two possibly
three females. our neighbor was here today and identified a
veery for us. it has also been here a couple of days.


Brewers Blackbirds back

 Eleanor Kee Wellman

 3:37 pm saturday may 18, 2002

Yesterday afternoon I saw at least 6 Brewers Blackbirds at the
junction of Beatrice Town Line and Falkenberg Rd.  Also seen, at
least a dozen American Pipits, tree swallows and house sparrows
vying for bluebird boxes - no bluebirds seen, although Greg
Damery reported that he had seen some, barn swallows, Savannah


Red-headed Woodpecker Gravenhurst

 Al Sinclair

 1:58 pm saturday may 18, 2002

Dan Burton just reported a Red-headed Woodpecker he found this
morning May 18 at the west end of Lorne Street at the lake. From
the north end of the main street in Gravenhurst go west on
Winewood to Austin, then right to Lorne, then left to the
Gateway Estates Park at the Lake.


Scarlet Tanager

 Eleanor Kee Wellman

 9:09 pm friday may 17, 2002

This evening at 8 pm there was a male scarlet tanager just
outside my window on Lake Joseph.  It flew to the feeder and
then into a hemlock.  It was here for about 5 minutes and then
disappeared.  We do not have tanager habitat here and this is a
first for my yard list.


 barred owl, broad-wing hawk

 Dave Hawke

 6:11 pm thursday may 16, 2002

On May 14 a barred owl and a broad-winged hawk were observed on
the new Taboo golf course (east of Muskoka Sands Resort,
Gravenhurst). Also black-throated blue, yellow-rumps, black-and-
white warblers. And a bear!


Brown Thrasher

 Nick Bartok

 9:06 am thursday may 16, 2002

Fraserburg Road Bracebridge

May 11/02, ~2pm


Caspian Terns

 Barbara Taylor

 7:03 pm wednesday may 15, 2002

There were two Caspian Terns this morning along the boat channel
between Alport Lake and Lake Muskoka.  One bird was flying
overhead while the other bird just sat on a rock next to the
channel as we slowly went by.


Golden-winged Warbler nr Uffington

 Al Sinclair

 11:29 am monday may 13, 2002

May 13, 10am, had 2 Golden-winged Warblers in a swamp beside Hwy
118E opposite #1852 near Uffington. They were on the move and
disappeared to the north after about 30 minutes.


Sandhill Cranes--Torrance Barrens

 George Bryant

 8:29 am monday may 13, 2002

Saturday May 11, 2002
While atlassing I observed three cranes for about 1/2 hour
calling and circling low north-east (Pine Lake!?) of Highland
Pond. Once they flew high enough for me to see them from the
road. They seemed to be a pair with a third individual in the
rear.  There may be more in this area as I could hear them (or
others) when I was five kms. farther south on the road. Although
I never recorded them here last year, I'm sure they will attempt
to nest here this year.
Perhaps because other species were not back to swell the morning
birdsong, during my 15 km.Atlas run,I was impressed by high
numbers of some species (eg, Ovenbird 30, Field Sparrow 15,
Cjhestnut-sided W. 15, Purple Finch 20, Least Flycatcher15). The
only migrants observeed were White-corwned Sparrow (12) but some
of the previous birds could have been migrants.


G/H Owl Nest

 Marty Arnett

 8:09 am sunday may 12, 2002

Second year now for Great Horned  Owl to nest in a Heron nest at
Marsh south of Buck Lake off Housey Rapids Rd.  Single owlet
visible south end marsh from Rd. at 200m - at least until leaves


re: Bracebridge Ponds..Canada W, Lincoln

 Barbara Taylor

 6:54 pm wednesday may 15, 2002

You're right, the name was changed to Northern Oriole...but then
changed back again to Baltimore Oriole.  Couldn't remember the
date that happened, but found a website which notes the split
took place in 1996....

p 737 Split Icterus galbula Northern Oriole into
I. galbula Baltimore Oriole [507.],
I. bullockii Bullock's Oriole [508.] and
I. abeillei Black-backed Oriole [1934.1.] (Mexico)

For more info on current bird names, see the Checklist of North
American birds according to the AOU at


re: Bracebridge Ponds..Canada W, Lincoln

 John Challis

 12:20 pm wednesday may 15, 2002

I thought the name had been changed to Northern Oriole...
Whichever is the preferred name, one arrived at Pine Street this
morning and has been singing in the poplars by the parking lot at
the District of Muskoka offices, Bracebridge.


Bracebridge Ponds..Canada W, Lincoln's S

 Al Sinclair

 5:29 pm saturday may 11, 2002

At 4:30 PM, May 11, Wilf Yusek and I had 2 Canada Warblers and a
Lincoln's Sparrow in the alders on the right just inside the
south gate of the Bracebridge Ponds(lagoons). Also a few
Warbling Vireos, Least Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Chimney
Swifts and Rough-winged Swallow flying over.


Solitary Sandpiper, et al. - Arrowhead P

 Burke Korol

 3:52 pm saturday may 11, 2002

Today (Saturday 11 May) I birded Arrowhead Provincial Park,
which is about 5 km north of Huntsville, just east of Hwy. 11.  
Here are the highlights:

2 Woood Ducks - Beaver Meadow pond
Sora - a first park record, Oakes Homestead
3 Spotted Sandpipers - Arrowhead Lake
2 Solitary Sandpipers - Beaver Meadow Trail, east end boardwalk
Least Flycatchers - near entry gate
Warbling and Blue-headed Vireo - Oakes Homestead
Magnolia, Northern Parula, Black-and-white warblers - Beaver
Meadow Trail
Northern Waterthrush - every wetland thicket
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Beaver Meadow Trail

A 'Blue-spotted' Salamander (or one of its hybrids/polyploids)
was also a nice find.


Brbr lagoons May 11 am

 Doug Smith

 12:00 am saturday may 11, 2002

Cell 1 is being drawn down, leaving a large area exposed and
providing great conditions for shorebirds. At least a dozen
Lesser Yellowlegs were there this morning, along with 1 Greater
Yellowlegs. Saw 1 Spotted Sdppr, and 1 Semi-palmated Plover,too.
Expect there will be many more shorebirds there this coming week.

Duck species were not plentiful, though lots of Mallards, incl.
1 domestic Mallard male, plus many Gr. Scaup, at least 1 pair
Ring-necked Ducks and many Bufflehead.

Also saw a number of Yellow warblers and heard a warbling Vireo
and E. Meadowlark


Towhee and Thrasher

 Brenda Clark

 9:26 pm thursday may 9, 2002

On Tuesday, along with a wondrous number of other spring
arrivals, I heard and saw the brown thrasher.  I also heard
the "drink your tea" call of the towhee, where I have seen him
other springs, but, alas, a beaver built a pond between me and
his "haunt" so I never saw him.  They have sung briefly each
spring on the ridges near Cornell Lake, south of Gravenhurst.
White crown sparrows, chestnut-sided warbler, black and white
warbler, tree swallow, swamp sparrow, and warbling vireo are
others among the gang I saw that day.


Wild Turkey

 Brian Jones

 8:04 pm thursday may 9, 2002

May 09, 6:45
Hwy 4, Just south of Beatrice

Saw a female wild turkey on side of road; pulled over to watch as it ran into a small pine stand where it stood for quite awhile mulling about. First time I've ever seen such a bird, wild in Ontario, and was duly impressed.


Another warbler arrival

 Barbara Taylor

 3:31 pm thursday may 9, 2002

This morning I heard a Black-throated Blue Warbler singing its
very distinctive song near Daleman Dr. in Bracebridge.  First
one of the year for me.


bird sighting

 ed wigglesworth

 1:49 pm thursday may 9, 2002

We saw a pileated woodpecker, 2 great blue herons, a number of
barn swallows, downy woodpecker, magnolia warblers, flickers,
white breasted nut hatch, purple finch and ducks on the lake -
we were only up for the day - walking through the bush on
Conservation Road (runs off Doe Lake Road)


Blue Jays --&-- Caspian Terns etc.

 Eleanor Kee Wellman

 8:54 pm wednesday may 8, 2002

Yesterday we had a flock of about 20 Blue Jays arrive at our
feeder for a couple of hours.  Today only the locals.

For a couple of days I have seen white birds on a little mud
island that can be seen from Medora Lake Rd.  Today I confirmed
that they are Caspian Terns.  I have seen Caspians quite often
lately and will watch to see if anything develops there.

This morning I sat by a wetland area off Moon River Rd. where I
have seen American bitterns in past years.  I played my tape and
this brought an immediate response.  The bird eventually showed
itself in breeding plumage with its longish black neck feathers
and its tennis ball sized white shoulder patches.  Quite a
handsome sight!

I heard 2 Hermit Thrushes at my place at Bala yesterday.


Great Crested Flycatcher, Blackburnian

 Barbara Taylor

 4:47 pm wednesday may 8, 2002

A few new arrivals at Browning Island, Lake Muskoka today.

Great Crested Flycatcher
Blackburnian Warbler
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Also more Nashville Warblers and Black-and-White Warblers.



 Virginia Pray

 12:20 pm wednesday may 8, 2002

A male Hummingbird found our feeder at 6:30am to-day In Port


Willow and Least Flycatcher Songsl

 Ken Walton

 9:27 am wednesday may 8, 2002

Just to let anyone know that in writing "Birds of Muskoka-Parry
Sound" I have songs of Willow Flycatcher-Least Flycatcher,and
Alder Flycatcher coming from birds of each in Muskoka. I have
had Least Flycatcher give songs of Least-Willow and that back to
Least Flycatcher. Also Least Flycatcher give Least-Alder and
then back to Least Flycatcher. Also, Willow Flycatcher give
Willow-Alder and back to Willow Flycatcher. I have only one
Alder Flycatcher give song of Willow Flycatcher in Muskoka.

Going through my copies of "The Birds of North American" (Willow
Flycatcher)looking over the sounds of Willow Flycatcher pages 10
to 13,one must really think about Willow Flycatchers breeding in
Muskoka. I do have records for Willow Flycatchers in areas of
low shrubs and bushes near water, but mostly in areas of wet
fields with willows bushes along side farm fields near hills.I
can not say that Willow Flycatcher is come here, but they are
moving up in to north Muskoka and Parry Sound area.Good luck on
seeing this flycatcher.      


Familiar Birds - life histories website

 Barbara Taylor

 8:55 pm tuesday may 7, 2002

Here is an interesting website I just came across:

This is a good collection of life histories of "familiar" North
American birds, selected from the hundreds of species
biographies assembled and written by Arthur Cleveland Bent and
his collaborators in Life Histories of North American Birds.


Warblers and Ovenbird

 Barbara Taylor

 8:09 pm tuesday may 7, 2002

May 7  Browning Island, Lake Muskoka (near Bracebridge):

Ovenbird *
Nashville Warbler *
Black-and-White Warbler *
Black-throated Green Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

(* 1st sighting this year)

Thought I heard a Spotted Sandpiper peeping briefly in the
distance but can't be sure.


indigo bunting

 Rosemarie Hinzmann

 3:59 pm tuesday may 7, 2002

seen at our feeders today at4:oopm, on Merkley Road near Barkway


baltimore oriole --&-- red shouldered hawk

 anne lewis

 2:23 pm tuesday may 7, 2002

six mile lake
a male baltimore oriole was at the oriole feeder this morning.
saw a red shouldered hawk on my morning walk
anne lewis


hummingbird arrival

 anne lewis

 11:22 pm monday may 6, 2002

six mile lake - the first male ruby throated hummingbird arrived
at my feeder today just in time for dinner (4.30). he was
thirsty and tiny but looks like he weathered the winter ok. it
always feels like spring is finally here when the hummers
return....anne lewis




 3:02 pm monday may 6, 2002

May 6, 3 p.m.
Our first hummingbird - a male - arrived at the feeder.


least flycatcher


 10:13 pm sunday may 5, 2002

Haven't seen the bird, but the "che-beck" of the least
flycatcher has returned to our place on Rocksborough Road. There
was a pair around our home last summer as well.



 Virginia Pray

 3:57 pm sunday may 5, 2002

A male oriole arrived at our place in Port Carling this
afternoon and is singing. I suspect it is the same one that
nests here every year.


rose-breasted grosbeak


 12:17 pm sunday may 5, 2002

Today (May 5) we were awakened by the song of a black-throated
green warbler, although I see Al Sinclair beat us by a day on
that one.
We have a rose-breasted grosbeak singing by the hydro cut at the
end of our property as well (about 11:30 a.m.)
The myrtle warbler came down to our pond for a drink while we
were having morning coffee beside it.


 red shouldered hawk-pair

 jim maguire

 8:23 am sunday may 5, 2002

Observed a red-shouldered hawk twosome in courtship display at
The Point on Sparrow Lake, Saturday May 4.  The call of one of
the hawks was remarkable in that, after the normal call, a long
string of sounds continued, a new sound patterning to me.  


Browning Island birds

 Barbara Taylor

 8:21 pm saturday may 4, 2002

Today on Browning Island (Lake Muskoka) we saw our first Black-
throated Green Warbler of the year.  Also many more Yellow-
rumped Warblers and Pine Warblers around now.  An American
Goldfinch stopped by briefly.  The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers
continue to drill holes around an old birch tree.  Song Sparrows
were singing loudly.  The pair of Eastern Phoebes were still
adding to their nest by the boathouse, but an intruder phoebe
had to be chased away every so often.  A pair of Common
Mergansers sunned themselves on a rock near the shoreline.  A
pair of Turkey Vultures were soaring high over the southern end
of the island.  A pair of Crows were busy chasing a Raven away
from the island...this war goes on every spring.


Arrivals: 2 more warblers

 Al Sinclair

 11:07 am saturday may 4, 2002

This morning, May 4, we had our first Black-throated Green and
Northern Waterthrush at our place in the backwoods near


american bittern at the lagoons

 Leslee Tassie

 9:28 pm friday may 3, 2002

This evening approx. 8 p.m. an American Bittern was heard in
the back corner (pipeline) in the back cell by myself, my son
Logan and my sister Lynn Jennings.  It was no doubt too
camouflaged too see.
Other than that just the usual plus a porcupine in a tree.
Last week Mi-Shell and Peter Jessen found a pair of muskrat
mandibles and a large turtle shell over there.


re: Tundra Swan..Photo posted

 Al Sinclair

 11:04 am saturday may 4, 2002

I recently posted a new photo of this bird at:


Tundra Swan at the Ponds

 Al Sinclair

 8:50 pm wednesday may 1, 2002

Today, May 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds:
Tundra Swan, immature (grey head and neck), feeding on grass on
the dike between cell 1 and 2, could be the same lost swan that
spent the winter at Muskoka Falls.
Pintail 1M
American Wigeon 1M
The ponds are at the end of Lagoon Lane at the south end of


Swan Sighting

 Brian Jones

 0:42 am wednesday may 1, 2002

Saturday, April 27, 2002

A lone fully mature Trumpeter Swan, sighted at the back of the stumpy pool on Spence Lake, beside the Muskoka River.

My identification is not absolute but I'm fairly certain and took a poor quality picture which also indicates that it was a trumpeter.


Bracebridge lagoons

 Brian Pfrimmer

 5:20 pm sunday april 21, 2002

The male Redhead was present in afternoon of the 21st & also
the morning of the 20th in cell 1 . Also 3pr. of Am. Wigeon in
cell 4. Wood Ducks down to 7 from high of 20.  3pr of GW Teal as
well as 2 pr BW teal this afternoon. 3 Common Mergansers,
besides large numbers of Scaup, Bufflehead, and a few Ring-
necked ducks. No Canvasbacks by 12:30 pm.


BB Sewage Lagoons sightings

 Leslee Tassie

 1:42 pm sunday april 21, 2002

Sunday, April 21, 2002

While walking over at the Lagoons this morning between 10 a.m.
and 12 noon, I observed the following:
1 pair of wood ducks
blue winged teals
1 (male only) redhead
countless buffleheads
m/f red winged blackbirds
Canada geese

I heard the following but did not see:
Pileated Woodpecker
Song sparrows
2 grouses producing the drumming sound (both in the very back
of cell 2)

I have never seen a sandhill crane.  When I arrived at the back
cell (cell 2) I kept hearing a sound, "karooo", "karooo", (low
pitched).  I was looking all over trying to see what was making
this sound and then looked up with binoculars.  Quite high up,
circling was a bird that I can only describe as crane-like.  My
bird guide agreed, and I came to the conclusion that this was
most likely a sandhill crane.  As I continued to look at my
bird guide it disappeared out of sight.  I think it and another
one (that I didn't see) were calling to one another.  It's neck
was very long, and it was most definately not a heron.

No shorebirds observed.
Not a single other human being.
 Leslee Tassie


OFO Algonquin Park Trip

 Ron Tozer

 11:30 am sunday april 21, 2002

(Originally posted on ONTBIRDS - re April 20 trip)

About 65 people attended today's Ontario Field Ornithologists'
trip along the Highway 60 Corridor of Algonquin Provincial Park,
recording 57 species on a cool, sunny day that provided some
great early spring birding. Our primary goal was to see
Algonquin's "northern" birds (Spruce Grouse, Black-backed
Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Common Raven and Boreal Chickadee), and
this was done!

A male SPRUCE GROUSE displayed, 200 m south of Highway 60,
opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Two GRAY JAYS were given copious
amounts of food by grateful birders at the locked gate on the
Opeongo Road. A female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER finally emerged
at Km 8 on Highway 60, in response to Barred Owl imitations, and
then remained visible for all to observe. A BOREAL CHICKADEE
at Km 8 was much more difficult to see, in typical fashion for
this species, but several trip participants did hear and see
it,  briefly.

OFO birders arriving early for the trip established record early
spring dates for two species yesterday (April 19) in Algonquin:
NORTHERN SHOVELER (two males on Costello Lake on the Opeongo
Road) and NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (at the Old Airfield). Neither
species was still present today, unfortunately.

The all-time records for earliest spring arrival in Algonquin
Park continued to fall today, as OFO birders observed a BLUE-
HEADED VIREO at the West Gate, and a very cooperative VIRGINIA
RAIL at Long Lake near the West Boundary, which came into plain
view in response to a taped call.

Other noteworthy sightings in Algonquin today included an early
GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Opeongo Access Point, and a BARN SWALLOW
at the West Gate.

I would like to thank everybody who attended today's trip for
their assistance in finding birds, and particularly Kevin Clute
and Pat Tozer for their help with the directing and parking of
the 30 cars. It was a wonderful day to be outside and birding!

Algonquin Park is located on Highway 60, east of Huntsville.
From Toronto, follow Highways 400 and 11 north to Huntsville.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ont. P0A1H0

This report originated on ONTBIRDS and is provided here courtesy
of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) Web Page:


 Evening Grosbeaks

 Barbara Taylor

 11:10 am sunday april 21, 2002

Yesterday afternoon and again this morning, large flock of
Evening Grosbeaks along Glendale Rd. just south of Kevin Cres.,


H/Merganser-Nest Box

 Marty Arnett

 9:35 am sunday april 21, 2002

For 2nd morning have had a pair of Hooded Mergansers in nest box
next to shoreline on my property. Box 15' high on sugar maple.
Both flew out this morning - female immediately flew back in -
male stayed on water in front croaking. Box up 3 years - lst
time. Will have to see if they stay & hopefully are not


Sandhill Cranes

 sylvia purdon

 8:34 am saturday april 20, 2002

Flying from a north-westerly to south-easterly direction two
Sandhill Cranes flew over Beaver Creek Drive just outside the
gates of Beaver Creek and Fenbrook Institutions on Friday April
19 at 4:15 p.m.


Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project (GO

 Bob Healey

 8:22 pm friday april 19, 2002

I have volunteered to participate in the Cornell Laboratory of
Ornithology's Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project, and will be
conducting survey and point counts at known and potential
breeding sites of golden-wings in the Bracebridge area (topo
map E 31/E).

The goal of this project is to determine the population status,
and habitat and area requirements of golden-wings, blue-wings,
and their hybrids.

I would appreciate any information you can provide me regarding
previous sightings in this area, so I can monitor the locations
during the spring migration.  I will regularly monitor the
Muskoka Bird Board in May and June for new sightings, and you
can contact me privately if you have information pertaining to
potential breeding sites.  Your assistance is appreciated.


Bob Healey


Arrivals: Broad-winged Hawk

 Al Sinclair

 6:02 pm thursday april 18, 2002

I saw my 1st Broad-winged Hawk today April 18 sitting on a hydro
pole along Hwy 118E 1km east of 11. Last year my 1st was near
Sparrow Lake on April 14. Also had Yellow-rumped warbler today.


our first wave


 1:08 pm thursday april 18, 2002

Wednesday and Thursday have brought the songsters to
Rocksborough Road.
Winter wrens are quite numerous -- more than in past springs;
there are three or four singing within 200 metres of each other.
Gayle saw our first myrtle warbler Wednesday. It's back and
singing today, across from our house.
Two red-eyed vireos have set up territory on the road.
Savannah sparrows were singing this morning on the farm flats at
the end of the road.
The usual visit from pippits hasn't occurred yet -- we didn't
see any last fall either.
In all, we counted 22 species on our morning walk with the dogs.


Arrivals: Blue-headed Vireo

 Al Sinclair

 5:24 pm wednesday april 17, 2002

Today April 17, we had our first Blue-headed Vireo of the year
here near Uffington. First in Muskoka last year was at Arrowhead
April 19.
(Blue-headed = Solitary)


white-throated sparrow

 sylvia purdon

 6:31 am wednesday april 17, 2002

On Sunday April 14 white-throated sparrow singing and seen at
the new Muskoka Sands Golf Course.


Horned Grebe atill at Bracebridge Ponds

 Doug Smith

 12:28 pm tuesday april 16, 2002

The Horned Grebe reported last Saturday was still in cell #3 as
of Monday evening, though the Red-necked Grebes were not
present. There was also the following:

1 pr. Ring-necked Ducks,
3 Common Snipe,
at least 1 pr. Green-winged Teal
many Blue-winged Teal, numerous Wood ducks, lots of scaup,
bufflehead, and mallards.


Browning Island birds - ICE OUT

 Barbara Taylor

 5:44 pm monday april 15, 2002

Early this morning the last area of ice left Alport Lake and it
looks like all of Lake Muskoka is open now as well.  A heavy low
fog developed in the afternoon, so we didn't take our usual
journey all the way around Browning Island or over to Eleanor
Island.  But there were plenty of ducks to see near the mouth of
the Muskoka River and at Alport Lake, and yes, the DC Cormorants
are already back in numbers.

At Alport Lake there were many Buffleheads and Common Mergansers
as well as a few Common Goldeneye and Hooded Mergansers. These
could all be seen from the Allport Marina docks along Beaumont
Dr., Bracebridge.

At Browning Island the forest was full of bird song. Here are
the species we saw or heard:

Eastern Phoebe
Pine Warbler
Tree Swallow
Hermit Thrush
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Flicker
Song Sparrow
American Crow
Common Raven
Blue Jay
White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee
Common Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant (more than 20 on Eleanor Island)


Wild turkeys

 Andrew Wagner-Chazal

 12:04 pm monday april 15, 2002

I was somewhat surprised last week to see two wild turkeys, one
near Watt School, another on 118 south of Brackenrig Road. I
wasn't aware that they had made it this far north -- I know MNR
released some near Sudbury, but understood that most fell victim
to the heavy snow of 2000-2001.


re: hermit thrush, red-shouldered hawk

 Dave Hawke

 9:29 pm wednesday april 17, 2002

Barley straw is supposed to keep algae under control in small
ponds. Put in a bale and let it rot, the emzymes discourage algae.


hermit thrush, red-shouldered hawk


 10:32 am monday april 15, 2002

Saturday, Apr. 13 about 1:30 p.m.
We heard and saw a red-shouldered hawk fly over our house on
Rocksborough Rd.

Mon. Apr. 15  9:15 a.m.
I heard my first (and second) hermit thrush calling back and
forth in the forest behind our house.  

Although not of the feathered race, we were thrilled to see a
blue-spotted salamander hiding in the muck in our backyard pond.
we were busy cleaning out the pond (anyone have a great idea for
getting rid of and keeping out filamentous algae from ponds?)and
there was the salamander still alive in the muck.  His green
frog cousins didn't fair so well.  Our pond freezes over in the
Also, we heard spring peepers last night for the first time!


woodcock, sandhill cranes

 Caroline Deary

 7:55 pm sunday april 14, 2002

Woodcock returned to our property the evening of April 9. He has
been calling every morning and evening since then.

Five Sandhill cranes flew over our home on the Midlothian Rd. the
morning of April 10.  We also heard them calling this afternoon.


Migrants near Windermere

 David Britton

 8:38 am sunday april 14, 2002

Birding along Rostrevor Road near Windermere on Saturday, April
13, the following migrants were observed:

Amongst numerous Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows and
Song Sparrows were 1 White-throated Sparrow, 3 Savannah
Sparrows, 1 Swamp Sparrow and 1 Fox Sparrow.

Also, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow and Eastern
Meadowlark were present.


Migratory Wave, Saturday April 13

 sylvia purdon

 0:44 am sunday april 14, 2002

A migratory wave of eager birds was observed in the Sparrow Lake
area today.  Species:  Bluebird pair at the boxes on Southwood
Road and Route D;  Tree Swallow pairs on Southwood Road at the
horse farm at Canning Road;  Meadow Lark;  Tree Sparrows; Song
Sparrows; Eastern Phoebe;  Mixed flocks of Junco, Tree Sparrow;
Common Flicker;  Osprey - poking at the nest on the tower at
Grass Lake;   female Ring-necked Pheasant;  Woodcock -spring
spiral calling;  

But most of the time we spent spotting the vast rafts of ducks
on the open water areas on the lake.  


Rafts of Ducks on Sparrow Lake

 sylvia purdon

 0:32 am sunday april 14, 2002

Today, Saturday April 13, we observed rafts of ducks on Sparrow
Lake.  Species:  Ring-necked; Scaup; Golden-eye; Bufflehead;
American Wigeon; Blue-winged Teal; Mallard; Canada Goose; Common
Merganser; Common Loon

The birds numbered in the hundreds with predominant numbers
Common Merganser, and Ring-necked.  Only one pair of Wigeo, and
5 Loon.

The ice is still present in thin sheets but open water prevails.


Phoebe, Flickers, Cowbirds

 Brian Pfrimmer

 6:50 pm saturday april 13, 2002

First E. Phoebe, 4 YS Flickers and 1 pair of cowbirds in yard
this am.


Loon and Heron

 Barbara Taylor

 1:38 pm saturday april 13, 2002

This morning there was a Common Loon on Alport Lake (seen from
Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge).  Still large area of ice but lots of
open water for the loon.  Lake Muskoka has patches of open water
but still ice between Browning Island and Govt. docks at end of
Beaumont Dr.

Also saw a Great Blue Heron in the swampy area at south side of
Beaumont Dr. near big bend in Muskoka River by Santa's Village.

Forgot to report back on Thursday, April 11, a Red-shouldered
Hawk was circling overhead Alport and it was calling almost
continuously for about five minutes.


Tree Swallows

 Barbara Taylor

 12:41 pm saturday april 13, 2002

This morning there was a pair of Tree Swallows checking out nest
boxes along the fields at Beaumont Dr. and Beaumont Farm Rd. in
Bracebridge.  No sign of Bluebirds in the area, but a pair did
have a nest in one of the boxes two years ago.


Bracebridge Ponds - grebes

 Barbara Taylor

 12:36 pm saturday april 13, 2002

Bracebridge Ponds (aka sewage lagoons) in cell 3 around 11 a.m.

Scaup (at least one pair was Greater Scaup)
Horned Grebe (2)
Red-necked Grebe (1)
Mallards (2 pair)
Song Sparrows

If you drive up to the gate on Lagoon Lane (the road by Seasons
in the Country garden center), you should be able to sneak up on
the birds in cell 3 without scaring them off


Ducks, Blackbirds and Pine Warbler

 David Britton

 8:14 pm friday april 12, 2002

The warm weather seems to have brought a wave of migrants into
the area!

Today, birding near Windermere along Rostrevor Rd, there were
good numbers of ducks present on the Dee River, including
numerous Mallards and Wood Ducks, as well as 12 Green-winged
Teal, 4 American Widgeon, 6 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 American Black
Ducks and single male Blue-winged Teal.

There were large mixed flocks of blackbirds feeding in the
adjacent fields including Red-winged Blackbird(including some
females), Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, and over 60
Rusty Blackbirds.

Finally there was a beautiful male Pine Warbler feeding (and
singing!!) around a nearby birdfeeder - my earliest record of
this species in Muskoka!


Juncos --&-- other sparrows

 Brian Pfrimmer

 7:16 pm friday april 12, 2002

Early a.m. in Arrowhead P.P. 150 Dark-eyed Juncos, one with
almost entirely white head. 10 American Tree sparrows and one
Fox Sparrow in afternoon. 6 Snow Buntings on slope by Big East
River lookout.

At residence in early evening, 10 American Tree sparrows, 15
Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Song sparrow and 1 White-throated sparrow.

I live 11km west of Huntsville on Muskoka Rd. #2.


Winter Wren singing near Uffington

 Al Sinclair

 1:42 pm friday april 12, 2002

Today, April 12, a Winter Wren was singing in the wet woods
across from 1852 Hwy 118E near Uffington.


snipe, woodcock and song sparrow


 12:02 pm friday april 12, 2002

We heard a snipe in the morning yesterday (Thursday), doing its
whoop-whoop-whoop flight over our house, and in the evening, a
woodcock was calling in the farm fields at the end of
Rocksborough Road.
Our first song sparrow began calling this morning, too.
Phoebes and juncos have begun singing in the area as well/


Fox Sparrow in Hillside

 Burke Korol

 11:31 am friday april 12, 2002

At 11 a.m. on Friday, 12 April 02, there was a large, mixed
flock of migrant passerines in my yard.  The highlight was a
single FOX SPARROW, which was of the Eastern or Red (Taiga)
subspecies.  Also in the flock were 50 (slate-coloured) DARK-
KESTREL flew by, while a male DOWNY WOODPECKER foraged in the
nearby shelterbelt.  Yesterday a male NORTHERN HARRIER flew over.

On the night of the 10th, I walked around the neighborhood
between 9-10 pm, but I heard no owls or woodcock or frogs.

I live at 2269 Hwy. 60 in Hillside, which is about 10 km east of


E. Garter Snake

 Brian Pfrimmer

 8:17 pm thursday april 11, 2002

Found a reasonably active Garter in my flower bed this evening.
10 Dark-eyed Juncos,1 Song Sparrow , 5 Common & 1 Hoary Redpoll
at my feeders. On Sunday past I had over 200 Common Redpolls
with 3 Hoary mixed in . They stayed only a day and a half. As I
type this I can hear a Woodcock peenting outside. First heard a
Woodcock here on the 9th.


Bracebridge Ponds today April 11

 Al Sinclair

 7:26 pm thursday april 11, 2002

Bracebridge Ponds (Sewage Lagoons) April 11, 2002
Cell 1 and 2 ice free, cell 3 mostly frozen, cell 4 mostly open
Buffleheads 40
Mallards 10
Killdeer 6
Snow Bunting 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Harrier 1f
Muskrat 1
Groundhog 1
Mourning Cloak 1


 re: Juncos

 Barbara Taylor

 10:27 am friday april 12, 2002

Bracebridge - Yesterday (April 11) there were about thirty
Juncos hanging around our feeders all day.  Haven't seen any
today so maybe they decided to continue north.


Juncos at Arrowhead P.P.

 Brian Pfrimmer

 4:36 pm thursday april 11, 2002

There were 6 Dark-eyed Juncos at Arrowhead Park about 8 a.m.
this morning.


Sandhill Crane at Barkway

 Al Sinclair

 11:40 am thursday april 11, 2002

Ron Stager reports that on Tues April 9 a Sandhill Crane was
flying and calling over Hopkin's farm on Gartersnake Rd off
Merkley Rd east of Barkway. This is the same area where a pair
spent last summer.


re: First Phoebe

 Barbara Taylor

 10:24 am friday april 12, 2002

April 11 - Heard a Phoebe at the end of Beaumont Dr. near the
Govt. docks.  First this year for us.


First Phoebe at Uffington today

 Al Sinclair

 11:44 am thursday april 11, 2002

We had our first Phoebe here near Uffington this morning.
Yesterday had first Juncos and Song Sparrow.


Phoebes and Cowbirds

 Brenda Clark

 10:49 am thursday april 11, 2002

Yesterday and again this morning there were phoebes behind the
Muskoka Store south of Gravenhurst.  Today we added a cowbird.


New Warbler Book

 Lynn Sayers

 3:10 pm tuesday april 9, 2002

"Announcement" An Annotated Bibliography of North American Wood
Warblers Vol. 1. By Kenneth Walton is out and has 2399 reprints,
cross referenced by species and authers.This is invaluable to
dedicated wood warbler enthusiasts. For more information on this
book, and An Annotated Bibliography of Ontario Ornithology Vol.
1, please write to

L. Sayers,
190 Grosvenor Ave. North,
Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada L8L 7S9


 meadowlark, shrike


 9:24 am tuesday april 9, 2002

Tues. Apr. 9 8:30
Saw and heard my first meadowlark down in the very wet farm
fields on Rocksborough Rd.
Yesterday we saw a northern shrike down there too.
No sign this morning of sandhill cranes.
Sorry Al.


They left around 2pm

 Al Sinclair

 4:00 pm monday april 8, 2002

The Cranes were seen by John and Gayle at 1:30 but were gone when
I arrived at about 2:45. Missed'em again!


Sandhill cranes

 Gayle Carlyle

10:59 am monday april 8, 2002

Monday, Apr. 8, 10:15 a.m.
I saw a pair of sandhill cranes feeding in the farm fields down
at the end of our road, Rocksborough Rd.
There have been cranes spotted there in the past and I did see
and hear one flying over about 2 years ago. Hopefully this pair
will nest in the area.  
Directions:  Rocksborough Rd. is located about 5 km. along the
Fraserburg Road outside of Bracebridge.  Turn right onto
Rocksborough (log church on corner).  Travel about 1 km down the
road (very bumpy right now) to the open farm fields.
This morning the cranes were grazing about halfway across the
field on the left hand side.
Lots of killdeer too.


Barrs --&-- Brrrr....


 12:10 pm sunday april 7, 2002

Out on Southwood Rd Sat night for Barrs or should be Brrrr. as
it was cold enough. In fact very still, clear, cold & sound
carried well. Owls were unusually silent & only responded to
-Heard were 8 Barrs,
-2 separate pairs of Barrs seen within 20M (includes 1 pair at
exactly same spot for past 3 years)
-1 Saw-whet,
Earlier in day had 1 RSH, hooded-merg, great blues, T/Vultures,
bufflehead etc.

Good Day,



 Ted Smith

 11:50 pm saturday april 6, 2002

While kayaking along the South Branch of the Muskoka today
three different kingfishers were seen patrolling the shores of
the river.  Other birds of note were several great-blue herons,
wood ducks, hooded mergansers and ring-necked ducks. Twas a
great day in the neighbourhood!

Take care folks,


10 Great Blue Herons

 Brian Pfrimmer

 2:06 pm saturday april 6, 2002

Herons are back at rookery tending nests. Pond still frozen.
Located on private property pt Lt 25 & 26 Con 9 Stisted Ward


Hooded Mergansers / Buffleheads

 Barbara Taylor

 11:59 am saturday april 6, 2002

Yesterday morning there were seven Hooded Mergansers and a few
Buffleheads at the "big bend" in the Muskoka River by Santa's
Village, Bracebridge. (seen easily from Beaumont Dr.)


 Red-Shouldered Hawk

 Brian Pfrimmer

 3:00 pm friday april 5, 2002

One bird soaring over Arrowhead P.P. afternoon of April 4th,02.


 re: Seen any sick Redpolls?


 2:22 pm friday april 5, 2002

Hi, I live on the south shore of Lake Simcoe in Willow Beach,
which in just south of Jackson's Point or Sutton.  I have had
hundreds of Redpolls hanging around this winter and spring and
have found approx. 7 dead Redpolls throughout the last few
months.  I have not seen any sick or dead ones in 2 weeks(thank


Vulture --&-- Great Blue Heron

 Brian Pfrimmer

 7:07 pm tuesday april 2, 2002

Correction ,hit the wrong key. Saw both a Turkey Vulture and a
Great Blue Heron flying north over Arrowhead P.P. around 3 p.m.


Kingfishers and Vultures

 Brenda Clark

 11:38 am tuesday april 2, 2002

On Sunday, March 31, we were entertained by a kingfisher
wondering where his pond went under all that ice we still have
in the "ridges" south of Gravenhurst.  There are several
vultures around here, and up to Bracebridge, that seem to be
travelling in pairs.

In Barrie on Monday it was nice to hear the house finches
singing.  Maybe it will not be long until our purple finches



 Eleanor Kee Wellman

 8:43 pm monday april 1, 2002

I saw a female kestrel today around 4 pm hunting in the fields
between 1375 and 1388 Ziska Road.  Tonight I heard the first
wood duck calling from the Butterfly Creek where I feed them.


Trumpeter Swan #497 Golden Beach

 Al Sinclair

 6:08 pm wednesday april 3, 2002

I was able to see the tag number of the Swan this afternoon. It
is 497. Harry Lumsden, the introduction program coordinator,
looked it up in his records and found that it was born at Wye
Marsh in 1999 and has not wandered far from there until now.


trumpeter swan


 7:42 pm monday april 1, 2002

A friend, George Manolakos, says he's had a trumpeter swan by
his home at the mouth of the Muskoka River for two days. I
haven't seen it yet myself.
It's banded -- a beige, rectangular band on the wing.
George is off the Golden Beach Road, the first road past Boyer's
Beach, and the swan has been swimming around the point of the
land between his house and the Schroeder's.
It's all private land, so permission will be needed from
residents to get a chance to see the bird.


kestrels follow bluebirds.

 bob burton

 6:12 pm monday april 1, 2002

I was driving along Stevenson rd.12 hwy 11,when I spotted
a kestrel perched on a hydro wire,1:30 this afternoon.My
neighbor on Skeleton bay,lake Rosseau also saw a soaring vulture


Turkey Vulture

 Barbara Taylor

 4:52 pm monday april 1, 2002

Saw my first Turkey Vulture of the year around noon, soaring
above Glendale Rd. in Bracebridge.


Song Sparrow

 Brian Pfrimmer

 7:53 am monday april 1, 2002

The first Song Sparrow of the season showed up at my feeding
station about 5:30 p.m yesterday. It stayed for almost an hour,
picking up seeds under the cover of a Balsam Tree. I live 11 km
west of Huntsville on Muskoka Rd #2.