Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June  2003
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Glen Orchard Swallows and Martins
Posted on June 29, 2003 at 11:44:31 PM by Paul Smith

The cliff swallows are all done and gone to wherever they go to for the rest of the season.

My one tree swallow family somehow survived a Thursday night nest cleaning by the local coon. Friday the two fledglings simply sat on the wires all day but Saturday they were catching bugs on they're own and today they're all gone.

I only noticed two of the martin families still in action today and suspect they'll be off within a few days.

Additional note: Have yet to see a nuthatch anywhere since I've been back here April 1 !!



Re(2): Robin & White Admirals
Posted on June 30, 2003 at 09:54:34 AM by Challis-Carlyle

The white admirals have been surprisingly numerous along the (gravel) road here -- every 20 or 30 feet there are one or two basking in the sun.
We have been letting milkweeds grow in our flowerbeds around the house, and it's drawn Monarchs for several years -- saw one or two on the weekend, nosing around the flower buds.
The Canada tiger swallowtails have still been hanging about, too, even since the lilac blooms died off. It's been a great year for butterflies so far.



Re(2): now a Red Admiral, etc.
Posted on June 30, 2003 at 07:30:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Saw our first Monarch of the season and a Red Admiral only a few minutes apart today! Also many little orange skippers on the white clover...not sure what species but they seem to be everywhere today.



Re(1): Robin & White Admirals
Posted on June 28, 2003 at 02:56:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

Your Robins are probably on their second clutch of the season. Sometimes they will reuse the first nest but they may start fresh. A pair of Robins have already raised 4 young ones in our yard and they are on their second nest now. Recently the adult Chipping Sparrows have been gathering some new nesting material now that their first set of young are on their own.

We've seen a few White Admirals the past couple of days here in Bracebridge. Haven't seen any Red Admirals or Monarchs yet.



Robin & White Admirals
Posted on June 28, 2003 at 10:35:09 AM by April Glen

Not 3 days ago a Robin has built a nest in our Spruce tree on our front lawn. I thought this was kind of unusual because I thought they laid their eggs earlier. Also, the White Admiral Butterflies have been coming out in full abundance and glory in the Port Cunnington area.



phoebe brood
Posted on June 26, 2003 at 12:03:38 AM by Challis-Carlyle

I was conservative with the fledging estimate. This morning, the phoebe youngsters have flown the nest and we haven't seen them around.



Posted on June 26, 2003 at 00:03:53 AM by Paul Smith

I suspect most board members have checked it out, but I think eBird by Cornell / Audubon is an excellent site / program for recreational, general interest birders (like myself) ...



phoebe brood
Posted on June 25, 2003 at 09:37:20 PM by Challis-Carlyle

A widowed/abandoned female phoebe has been valiantly keeping her nest since the male disappeared some time ago.
This week we have watched four offspring begin to clamber out of the nest for the first time. They should be fledging within a week.



Posted on June 25, 2003 at 09:35:06 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Our next door neighbour on Rocksborough Road is proud of her garden pond, and just recently put in a few goldfish.
They are not lasting long. Yesterday she phoned to say she watched a kingfisher hover, dive and take away something bright orange from her pond.



Posted on June 23, 2003 at 01:56:15 PM by Mary Willmott

The mistaken Mockingbird actually a Catbird is now busily feeding her young. We worried they would never hatch as she left them a long time in the cold weather. Ive had a Hairy Woodpecker at the feeder with one young, who she tranfers the fat from her beak to the baby



Atlassing Near Novar/Sprucedale
Posted on June 23, 2003 at 09:49:52 AM by Burke Korol

It has been another productive weekend for atlassing in the Novar - Sprucedale - Huntsville area, here in northern Muskoka and southern Parry Sound.

GREEN HERON - 20 June - Yearly Road, 500 m S of Second Ave. (10 km S of Sprucedale)
SANDHILL CRANE - 22 June - pair on private land, 1 km NW of the Green Heron
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO - 22 June - Fisher Creek Road at Bittern Creek (3 km W of Buck Lake)
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER - 21 June - Old Aspdin Road Tamarack Swamp (3 km SE of Aspdin)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET - 22 June - Old Novar Road, 1 km E of Bittern Creek (2 km E of Buck Lake)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW - 22 June - Hwy. 518, 3.5 km E of Sprucedale

American Bitterns, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycachers continue to be found throughout the area wherever there is suitable habitat. Pileated Woodpecker nests with young are nearly fledged and a Chestnut-sided Warbler nest with 3 eggs (private land) was discovered on 22 June.



Atlassing around Hekkla
Posted on June 22, 2003 at 05:42:25 PM by David Britton

I spent an enjoyable morning atlassing in my square around Hekkla, just off Aspdin Road about 10 km east of Rosseau.

The area along Hekkla and Bear Cave roads has a nice mix of old fields, wetlands and mixed forest habitat.

Highlights of the 65 species seem and heard included fourteen species of warblers, including of Golden-winged, Blackburnian and Mourning, Black-billed Cuckoos in five different locations, numerous Indigo Buntings and an Olive-sided Flycatcher calling at the bridge over the swamp along Bear Cave Road, about 3.5 km north of Hekkla Road.

I've found this area to be a great one for birding in general. One of the great things about atlassing is that it gets you out to areas you wouldn't otherwise visit!



American Bittern
Posted on June 22, 2003 at 04:21:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier this afternoon there was an American Bittern at the pond by Springfield Garden Centre and Cooper's Meats on Hwy.118 W. (a short drive west of Bracebridge). It flew north out of sight.



Caspian Tern
Posted on June 21, 2003 at 09:03:15 PM by Brian Pfrimmer

I was at the sewage lagoon in Bracebridge today at 3pm and watched a Caspian Tern diving in cell 3.



Posted on June 21, 2003 at 10:57:18 AM by Ron Stager

Walking in the woods yesterday we came across a young-looking? Barred Owl that called coos in groups of two or three. I tried to do my adult call and it responded but not as much as the biggest and angriest Pileated I have ever seen.

Also there was Hermit Thrush calling with a repeat call that started about two ocatves higher but was incomplete. It seemed like a parent was teaching a youngster to sing. I also saw a very young thrush in a different part of the woods.

Do young birds sing at higher frequency than older birds (I guess that makes sense but I never thought about it before)? Is there a resource for i.d. of young birds by sight and song?

This morning on Merkley Rd. we saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I have been hearing the "yellow/black-billed" calls for a number of weeks. Also a very well coloured Magnolia Warbler singing cheerfully.

I have heard what I think was a Black Tern singing back at our beaver pond and got a partial view. Has anyone else seen these?

The Whip-poor-wills are still calling. I think one moved to the neighbour's yard one night last week. About 1 in the morning I could hear both rock music from the stereo inside their house and the Whip-poor-will. I suspect they turned on the stereo to drown out the sound of the bird. From my vantage point, the fuzzy bass of the rock music balanced off the sharpness of the Whip-poor-will rather well.

Ah yes. Good butterfly weather with lots of species flying out our way.



Least Bittern
Posted on June 21, 2003 at 10:24:26 AM by syliva purdon

Least Bittern heard calling far back end of Wenona Lodge Road marsh on Friday June 20 at 6:00 a.m.



Virginnia, Sora Rails, and a Green Heron
Posted on June 17, 2003 at 06:03:43 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

Wenona Road marsh, always reliable for the Rails has 2 pr Virginnia and 1pr Sora, plus a Green Heron. However, no Least Bittern to date.



Atlasing around Port Carling June 14...our list
Posted on June 16, 2003 at 10:14:43 PM by Al Sinclair

Gerald Willmott and I did some atlasing around Port Carling on June 14, mostly along Foreman Rd. The best location was a wetland just before the junction with Mortimers Point Rd. We located 2 Red-shouldered Hawk teritories and had a good look at a Black-billed Cuckoo. Cuckoos are more common than usual this year indicating the presence of lots of caterpillars, their favorite food. Below is our species list for the morning.

From 6/14/2003 to 6/14/2003 ~ All Places ~ 51 seen
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Turkey Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Common Snipe
Herring Gull
Mourning Dove
Black-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Alder Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Gray Catbird
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 51



Re(1): Gypsy Moth Caterpillars
Posted on June 27, 2003 at 07:09:37 AM by Rainie

After dealing with tent caterpillers for a few years now I have these. Thankfully mother Robin seems to like feeding them to her babies. They are even eating my birch but especially my young oak. I have killed them on those trees but I can not do my whole 100 acres. Terrible beasts.



Gypsy Moth Caterpillars
Posted on June 16, 2003 at 09:46:28 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

They are only a quarter of an inch long, but Jim says the Gypsy Moth caterpillars are on the march demolishing small oaks at The Point, here at Sparrow Lake.



Black-backed WP & Yellow-bellied Fly near Huntsville
Posted on June 15, 2003 at 09:20:00 PM by Burke Korol

It has been a productive weekend for atlassing around Huntsville. Highlights were a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER and 2 YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS near Aspdin. Searches for Spruce Grouse and Gray Jays were unsuccessful, despite being in suitable habitat for several hours.

The woodpecker was on Old Aspdin Road about 500 m SW of its east junction with Muskoka Road 3. Road 3 intersects Hwy. 11 at the south end of Huntsville. Old Aspdin Road is 8 km W of Hwy. 11.

The flycatchers are best reached with a high clearance vehicle. From Old Aspdin Road, return to Road 3 and travel W 3 km to Aspdin. Here, go N on Muskoka Road 31 and follow it about 6 km to Stitsted Landfill Road. Take this road west for 1 km to the landfill gate. Here, continue W on the trail through the large Tamarack - Black Spruce swamp, listening for the flycatchers along the way.



Upcoming Butterfly Count at Bala
Posted on June 14, 2003 at 08:22:59 AM by Ron Stager

Hi All

The Muskoka Butterfly Count at Bala is coming soon : Sunday 22 June 2003 beginning at Ontario Hydro's Ragged Rapids parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and reconvening at Jaspen Park at 4:30 p.m. The count is similar to the Christmas Bird account in providing local diversity and abundance information for North American studies; however, it occurs during sunnier and warmer conditions!

The following URL has a PDF file (about 400kb) with some more information and species from previous counts.

Call Lou Spence (765-6072) if you are interested in attending or for more information.



Mistaken Identity
Posted on June 16, 2003 at 10:05:23 PM by Al Sinclair

For the record, Gerald Willmott and I checked out this nest on Saturday morning. We found the bird was on the nest located about 2 ft from a window. We could see that it was a Catbird not a Mockingbird as reported. At the same time another Catbird was chasing a Blue Jay out of a the front yard. The nest is in Port Carling near Ferndale Rd.



Northern Mockingbird
Posted on June 12, 2003 at 05:18:04 PM by mary willmott

Nesting in a cedar hedge at my mothers home in Port Carling is a Northern Mockingbird. She has 4 dark blue eggs. We have been quiet and avoided cutting the grass near her nest.



Barkway Butterflies June 12
Posted on June 12, 2003 at 03:14:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Ron Stager and I found the following butterflies along Merkley Rd near Barkway between noon and 1:30 pm Thursday June 12. Many butterflies were flying, warm and sunny after a few days of cold wet weather. Our list is pasted below.

From 6/12/2003 to 6/12/2003 ~ All Places ~ 13 seen
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Silvery Blue
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Mourning Cloak
Little Wood-Satyr
Common Ringlet
Dreamy Duskywing
Juvenal's Duskywing
Arctic Skipper
Hobomok Skipper
Pepper and Salt Skipper
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 13



Mockingbirds north of Bracebridge June 8 and 10
Posted on June 12, 2003 at 09:47:23 AM by Al Sinclair

On June 8 Jon Grandfield found a pair of Northern Mockingbirds at the corner of Hwy 141 and Mus.Rd. 35. They were in the shrubby field on south-east corner. One was singing in a dead tree.
On June 10 Wilf Yusek and I went looking for them and saw one flying across Rd 35 from east to west just north of the Hwy Maintenance Yard. We could not relocate it after looking for about an hour.
Mus 35 is a short stretch of road that joins Hwy 141 to Rd 4 after Rd 4 turns toward Windermere.



Canada Warbler ...
Posted on June 11, 2003 at 11:47:23 PM by Paul Smith

A Canada Warbler duo in the swampy area at the south-east end of Butterfly Lake. This is the third year in a row I've observed them there. The male responded within seconds to a CD of their song, but hadn't been singing himself - usually they're quite the songsters. In any event, I left right away and will return next week and hope to hear them singing ...



bear, baby groundhogs, "almost" albino squirrel
Posted on June 10, 2003 at 10:41:08 AM by Leslee Tassie

We've had a bear around our home (Santa's Village Road, near the pipeline) off and on for about 3 weeks. We've had to remove all our feeders after it demolished one and damaged a hummingbird feeder. We had just put them out again the last couple of days and Judy Brouse (next door neighbour) phoned at suppertime last night to say it was in their yard and heading our way, so needless to say our feeders have had to be taken down again. We're not getting many birds.
Last year mama groundhog raised 4 young under our garage and this year she has 3. I've watched them play wrestling, just like something you'd see on a nature show. She's pretty tame, so they are not too afraid of us either. The other day she tried to cross the road with the 3 of them - I hollered at her and she ran across and the 3 little ones turned and ran straight towards me! I do set a dog food bowl of seeds out during the day for them and they and the chippies and squirrels all share, sometimes at the same time. A newcomer this past weekend was a red sqirrel rather young looking. It's ears and tail were red, underbelly pure white, and the rest of it "almost" white. It's the prettiest squirrel I've ever seen and frequents the bowl of seed daily. No birds to report since my feeders haven't been out. A friend reported wild turkeys out by Bracebridge Golf Club.



strange insect - a Tortoise Beetle!
Posted on June 9, 2003 at 02:01:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found a very strange looking insect munching holes in some tomato leaves this morning. After a little investigation, I believe it was a tortoise beetle, Plagiometriona clavata. Very weird looking beetle. Here's a picture I found on the web:



Bald eagle
Posted on June 8, 2003 at 09:50:39 PM by Emma Walkerley

I've never posted here before, but I thought this was worth posting. I spotted a bald eagle in Port Sydney, south of Huntsville this morning. My Mother has seen it before around our cottage, but this is the first time I've spotted it. It was being mobbed by a couple of crows at the time. I've always heard there were eagles up here, but I never believed it.



Re: Gulls Nesting
Posted on June 8, 2003 at 08:24:35 PM by Garth N. Baker

This is a follow up to the report I made of the Herring Gulls(April 27) that were starting to nest at Turtle Lake. As of 3 pm yesterday 3 Chicks had successfully hatched.
My Sister and Brother in Law have been keeping an eye on them.The site is easily viewed from thier Living Room. To whomever is Atlassing this area I will be submitting a Nest Record Card.

Turtle Lake is located north of Hwy#121 off of Tally Down/Swords Road.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Re(2): Stumped on bird song ...
Posted on June 9, 2003 at 09:46:35 PM by Paul Smith ...

Thanks for the link. I'm hoping I get the chance to hear this bird again.

Cheers !!



Re(1): Stumped on bird song ...
Posted on June 9, 2003 at 04:14:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Paul, here's a website that has all 3 of those bird songs if you just wanted to refresh your memory. The Scarlet Tanager female does sing sometimes but a little softer than the male and she is sort of a greenish-yellow colour. The female Baltimore Oriole also sings sometimes but with a less complex version than the male. She might look pale yellow high up in a tree...



Stumped on bird song ...
Posted on June 8, 2003 at 07:41:31 PM by Paul Smith

Out on my walk this morning on Butterfly Rd / Glen Orchard I heard a song that's got me stumped. A Baltimore Oriole / Rose Breasted Grosbeak / Scarlet Tanger type tune, but I don't think it was from either of them. Each phrase was long, loud and melodic and regular. I caught glimpse of it, high in a maple (no binocs of course ...) and it appeared oriole sized, but no discernable colour aside from being pale olive or yellow. I hopped in my car and went back with my specs after I got home but it had frigged off !!

Also a couple of Cecropia moths affixed to the front door of the general store this morning (and gently coerced into an empty MacDonalds bag then released into the woods ...)



Common Loon
Posted on June 8, 2003 at 12:07:09 AM by Nick Bartok

Common Loon in the lagoons this morning, 8am sunday june 8

plus the bugs picked me up by my ears and carried me out :)



Posted on June 7, 2003 at 10:11:42 PM by Nick Bartok

the whip-poor-will is finally back, heard (s)he for the first time June 7th, 10pm, in the fields on fraserburg road, and i believe (s)he brought a friend, as there seems to be two calling!!!!!



pr. Sc. Tanagers
Posted on June 7, 2003 at 07:45:39 PM by Dave Hawke

A pair of Scarlet Tanagers have been seen fairly consistently over the past two weeks, deep within the forests of Taboo Resort (formerly Muskoka Sands Resort). Also 2 male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, a Black-throated Blue, Veery, Wood Thrush and many Ovenbirds.



Cuckoo & Fox, no shorebirds - at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on June 7, 2003 at 02:14:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

After just hearing the cuckoo's call on many previous trips to the Bracebridge Ponds, finally success seeing it this morning! It was a Black-billed Cuckoo in the wet woods to the north of cell 4, about half way towards the pipeline to the west. This is pretty much where we've heard it all the other times, but it has never given a long typical cuckoo call of coo-coo coo-coo-coo, just a short warning burst of Cuc-Cuc-Cuc when we approach the area. No sight nor sound of any other cuckoos, but lots of swallows, warblers and a Veery calling.

No shorebirds in cell 2 (in front of the viewing stand).

While we stood near the west end of cell 4 a fox came running along the roadway towards us. We were downwind and partially hidden by tall grass so it came quite close before noticing us. Then a quick u-turn and it ran back to the east and up into the woods.

Also saw a muskrat swimming along north edge of cell 4.



Sand Hill Cranes
Posted on June 7, 2003 at 11:24:44 AM by Carol and Mike

A few moments ago, amid loud and prolonged calling, we were finally able to spot, not one but two Sand Hill Cranes in the back field opposite our place. They seem quite reddish in colour.



Re(1): Ring Billed Gulls and Swallows / Martins ...
Posted on June 7, 2003 at 10:32:37 AM by Al Johnston

Paul, Good to hear that the martins are
doing OK at the Glen Orchard General
Store. Good luck erecting the new house.
Al Johnston



Ring Billed Gulls and Swallows / Martins ...
Posted on June 6, 2003 at 08:04:57 PM by Paul Smith

A group of 25 or so Ring-Billed Gulls on Butterfly Lake this afternoon. I thought for a while they might be Black Legged Kittiwake's but I finally got close enough in the canoe to see that wasn't the case ...

Up to 7 to 10 Martins now and will probably re-erect the new Martin house this weekend ...

Cliff Swallow numbers seem to be declining. There's been a Sharp-Skinned or Coopers Hawk around here for several weeks, and quite often the focus of his/her attention doesn't have a much of a chance..

Three Tree Swallows - the fourth was ate up by the hawk about a month ago - I'm keeping my eyes on this situation - it appears the surviving male is being friendly with both females ..



Re(1): Lake Muskoka heronry
Posted on June 7, 2003 at 07:49:14 PM by Dave Hawke

Hi Barbara: I too noticed a good number of herons this year. Cormorants "appear" to be about same numbers as last year, and gulls seem to be less in number. You can call me at Taboo Resort, Parklands Department, 687-8430 ext. 5759.



Lake Muskoka heronry
Posted on June 6, 2003 at 03:39:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Eleanor Island, Lake Muskoka

Good news! Today we counted 15 adult Great Blue Herons standing on individual nests with young herons visible in at least 4 of those nests. Very surprising since there are now so many Double-crested Cormorants, we were afraid they would simply take over the whole place. They have moved into every part of the little island now, not just the south end where they started building nests a few years ago. The cormorant nests were just too numerous to count so we didn't even try. Lots of young Herring Gull chicks all over the place.



no yellow-billed cuckoo
Posted on June 6, 2003 at 12:44:09 AM by Doug Smith

I was at the lagoons this morning looking for the yellow-billed cuckoo in the NW corner of cell #4, but no luck. Didn't even hear either cuckoo species. Did hear and see a Northern Waterthrush and a Green Heron.



Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 6, 2003 at 09:54:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

Eight or more Cedar Waxwings this morning near the top of a large white pine tree at corner of Kevin Cres. and Glendale Rd. in Bracebridge.



Posted on June 6, 2003 at 08:15:26 AM by Janice House

About 7:30 this morning I spoke to a fellow birder on the Laycox Rd who was doing a count. He heard the oriole but had not seen it. When I put dog # 4 out about 8:00 the oriole flew from our bass wood tree.



Hairy & Phoebe feeding
Posted on June 5, 2003 at 10:16:14 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Hairy woodpecker parents began introducing their newly fledged young to our sunflower feeder yesterday and phoebes have four nestlings in our barn on Lake Joseph.



Re(1): Barred owl nesting
Posted on June 4, 2003 at 09:37:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

There is a great website that tells the story of Ward and June, two Barred Owls that have successfully nested for several years. Unfortunately, a fisher made off with this year's owlets recently.

There are terrific pictures of the birds in and around the nest box, and various recorded sounds they make. Here is a direct link to the library of sounds:



Barred owl nesting
Posted on June 4, 2003 at 08:54:57 PM by John Keenleyside

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (June 4, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

For the seventh consecutive year, a pair of Barred owls has successfully
nested at my property at the southern end of Lake Rosseau in Muskoka,
with three young fledged yesterday, (June 3). As of this morning when I
left, the three young were still perched in various parts of the nest
tree. Flighless at his stage, they are quite capable of hitching around
the tree, all the while flapping their wings for balance.

The nest itself is in a natural cavity in a mature sugar maple, and it
is of interest to me that the nest tree, which is thought to be between
175 and 200 years old, is located in the middle of my parking area. The
tree of course pre-dates the parking area, (and me), by some time.

When the birds selected this nest site several years ago, their
"decision" was obviously made very early in the season, at which time
the nearest humans were probably a half a mile or so away. Since then,
they, (at least the adult female), would seem to have become
acclimatized to me. She roosts, never more than 100 or 150 feet from the
nest tree, calling intermittently all all day,and never flushes, however
close I might be at at any given time. (The call by the way, is not the
usual 8 syllable vocalization well known to most birders, but a very
different one, and one which as far as I can determine, is not too well
described in the literature, although I might have missed something.

Despite having lived in a Barred owl territory for many years prior to
the described nesting, and having become quite familiar with the
numerous variations in the Barred owls vocalizations, I have not
previously heard this particular call except in the vicinity of an
active nest.

Incidentally, and I think of interest given the fact that this is not
exactly a zoo bird, it might be noted that the nest tree is exactly 52
feet from my front door.

John Keenleyside
Burlington, Ont.


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Posted on June 4, 2003 at 08:37:07 PM by Jean Heys

An American bittern was browsing in the ditch beside Ferndale Road in Port Carling on May 28. On May 30 I found it at the other side of the road, crumpled into a lifeless heap. I cried.



Re(1): Indigo Bunting
Posted on June 5, 2003 at 09:59:16 AM by Gayle Carlyle

Yes, we always have Indigo Buntings along the Rocksborough Rd. This year, they were about 2 weeks early.
The first year I noticed the buntings (probably because I had learned their call)there was only one along our road. Over the years, we've heard at least three different ones along the 1.5 km of our road. Must be great habitat for them.
by the way, the female is a lovely shade of doe brown.



Indigo Bunting
Posted on June 4, 2003 at 08:28:05 AM by Lad Helde

Yesterday at 4pm had a beautiful male Indigo Bunting eating from my niger feeder (Fraserburg Road). This is a first for me. Are they seen often?



Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on June 4, 2003 at 12:22:28 AM by Burke Korol

Good Stuff Mark!

I often hear Common Nighthawks over downtown, especially Pub on the Docks on warm evenings througout the summer.



Common Nighthawk
Posted on June 4, 2003 at 06:39:04 AM by Mark McAnally

One common nighthawk over my house this evening around 9:15 p.m. Britannia Road, Huntsville.



Sand Hill Cranes
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 10:14:07 PM by Carol and Mike

We have heard the unmistakable call of a sand hill crane from time to time over the last few days. It is coming from somewhere in the pasture field at the east end of Doe Lake on Doe Lake Road east of Gravenhurst. Have not been able to spot it, except for one day when it was flying in. Bird spotters welcome. 1611 Doe Lake Rd.



Re(1): swallowtails
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 09:56:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Is this your butterfly?

Did you ever find out what those strange cocoons were?



black-billed cuckoo, swallowtails
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 09:23:15 PM by carlyle-challis

In the bush behind 1028 Rocksborough at noon, a black-billed cuckoo sang for many minutes. Didn't see the bird, but there was no mistaking the song.
We've also had a crowd of yellow swallowtail butterflies (don't know their proper name) dining on our lilacs today.



Re(1): Broad-Winged Hawk
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 09:31:19 PM by Al Sinclair

I will have John contact you when he returns. He may still be in Florida.



Broad-Winged Hawk
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 07:31:24 PM by Janice House

Al, this one is for you. I talked to Bob Burton on Sunday, I am 99% sure there is a broad-winged hawk nest on Skeleton Lake Rd 3 which is in area 17PL20 (Jon Grandfield), I tried several times to call Jon but no answer. I was at my parents cottage on Sunday, the hawk called and circled over the cottage. When we get opposite the nest the hawk flies away. It is near the top of an old maple tree, big stick nest.



Wild Turkey
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 07:20:19 PM by Janice House

Wild turkey hen on the shoulder of hwy 11 between Skyways and Reay Rd. on south bound side of hwy, she has been there for several days; say her tonight around 5:25, say my first cedar waxwing on the fence across from Dinsmore Sheep Farm tonight.



Bracebridge Ponds & Henry Marsh
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 02:10:23 PM by Wilf Yusek

There were 6 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 2 Dunlin in Cell 2 this morning, west of cell 4 I saw both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoo. Also west of cell 4 I saw 1 and heard 3 more Virginia Rails.
Henry Rd. Marsh there were 2 Pied-billed Grebes in the water this morning.



Re(2): Two Pairs of Wood Ducks
Posted on June 3, 2003 at 12:58:19 AM by April Glen

Thank you very much for the links. They are great sites and I know that we will be making more than just Wood Duck nestboxes.



Re(1): Two Pairs of Wood Ducks
Posted on June 2, 2003 at 10:02:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

It may be too late to attract a pair to a nestbox this season, but you could always get the box ready for next year. Here are a few websites with information about how to build and where to place Wood Duck nestboxes:

Here is some general info about various nestboxes for birds:

(note the dimensions given in table 2 are shown in cm.)



Two Pairs of Wood Ducks
Posted on June 2, 2003 at 06:49:21 PM by April Glen

After reading the article about Wood Duck population being on the decline, I was extremely pleased to see two pairs.

Two males and two female Wood Ducks just walking lazily from our pond towards our house.

This has made both my husband and myself trying to find out how to make a Wood Duck nest. If anyone has any information for us, it would be most greatly appreciated.

Mostly by the Wood Ducks!



Re(1): most shorebirds gone by 4 p.m. / Green Heron
Posted on June 2, 2003 at 05:49:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 4 p.m. we only found two Dunlin, three Spotted Sandpipers and two Killdeer. There was a cuckoo calling in the wet woods to the north of cell 4, but we never saw the bird. A Green Heron flew up from the wet area to the west of cell 4 and landed in a tree so we got a good look at it. Then it flew across to the east side of cell 4 into the wet ditch. Today we didn't see any swallows anywhere, yet on Saturday morning in the light rain there were hundreds flying back and forth over cell 4, where they were sheltered from the strong wind.



At the Ponds June 2, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, more shorebirds
Posted on June 2, 2003 at 02:20:06 PM by Al Sinclair

At noon today Wilf Yusek and I heard then saw (well) a Yellow-billed Cuckoo including all the main field marks, yellow lower mandible, large white spots on the tail, rusty wings in flight,yellow eye (not red). This was at the Bracebridge Ponds on the west side of cell 4. At first it called from the wet area between cell 4 and the pipeline just south of the Trans-Canada Trail. We saw it at close range there and then it flew to a conifer tree on the west side of the pipeline and was still there when we left after a few minutes.

Note up to 3 Black-billed Cuckoos have been seen and heard recently in this same area. Black-billed are more common in Muskoka.

Also seen 44 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 16 Dunlin on the mud in cell 2.

The Ponds can be accessed from Lagoon Lane at the south end of Bracebridge of Kerr Park on Beaumont Drive.



Winter Wren and Barred Owl ...
Posted on June 1, 2003 at 10:33:41 PM by Paul Smith

A winter wren on my walk along the logging trail near Glen Orchard this morning. Two black-throated blue warblers singing and a Canada warbler (maybe - have to check again).

And in the evening, a Barred Owl responded to a Screech Owl tape I played near Moon River Road outside of Bala. I got the evil eye, but no hoo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, hoo-hooooooooooo ...

Now that I think of it, I should have given him a hoo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, hoo-hoooooooooooo !!!

Cheers !! - When's it going to warm up ??



Atlassing Near Novar
Posted on June 1, 2003 at 09:28:44 PM by Burke Korol

Today (Sunday 1 June) was a great day for doing breeding bird atlassing near Huntsville. Today's highlights:

NORTHERN GOSHAWK - Buck Lake Road, 7 km W of Novar (private land)

SANDHILL CRANE - pair found in potential nesting area, which I'll not describe due to susceptibility to disturbance

HERRING GULL - nesting on Round Lake, 5 km SE of Sprucedale

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER - Haller Lake, 5 km W of Novar

PILEATED WOODPECKER - nesting at Jct. of Brush & Whitney Roads, 6 km W of Novar

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER - newly arrived, singing birds at Haller Lake and Round Lake

ALDER FLYCATCHER - newly arrived singing birds in many thicket swamps

There were also several warbler species singing on territory including NORTHERN PARULA at north Fish Lake (1 km E of Novar).



Archive update
Posted on June 1, 2003 at 11:38:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. I've just updated the archives with the entire set of Bird Board reports for April and May. The Bird Board back-up webpage and any of the archived report webpages can be downloaded and saved to your computer if you want to read messages offline. (see download instructions below)

You can search through archived reports for specific species by using the "Edit"-"Find" command in your Microsoft browser menu bar. (short-cut key is Ctrl+F) This will also work on the Bird Board and can be helpful if you want to find all messages posted on a particular date.

Barbara Taylor

Instructions for downloading using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser:

method 1. Right-click on the set of reports you want to download. Choose "Save Target As", and "Save" to wherever you want the file to be stored on your computer.


method 2. Click on the set of reports you want to download so the webpage opens in your browser. Then in the browser's menu bar, click "File", "Save As", and "Save" to wherever you want the file to be stored on your computer.




Posted on June 1, 2003 at 11:22:02 AM by April Glen

Saw my first Yellow Swallowtail today. I've never seen this species before. I'm fairly new to the area of Port Cunnington. So for me this was a beautiful and very exciting experience.



Re(2): Most shorebirds gone by 6pm
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 08:42:42 PM by Burke Korol

Those ponds sure are dynamic. Around 7 pm I found 3 Dunlin, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and about 10 Spotted Sandpipers, including one on a nest with an egg in it. (I'll be sending in a nest card to the ROM).



Re(1): Most shorebirds gone by 6pm
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 08:00:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

That's too bad. We hoped the wind would hold them there so we could get another look tomorrow in case the plover came back. All the shorebirds we saw this morning were in cell 2 in front of the viewing stand. While we were there, about 35 Canada Geese flew in from the south and eventually all landed in cell 2. We were surprised to see them come in since the north wind was already quite strong by then and it was raining a bit.



Most shorebirds gone by 6pm
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 07:24:10 PM by Al Sinclair

At 6pm I only found 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and 1 Dunlin both on the edge of the centre dike in cell 1. Surprising considering the strong north wind.



Bracebridge Ponds - Black-bellied Plover, Common Yellowthroat
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 02:42:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of shorebirds at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. At least twenty Dunlin and thirty Semipalmated Plovers and possibly a few Semipalmated Sandpipers (smaller non-descript birds). Also a probable Black-bellied Plover that was not yet in breeding plumage. It was much larger than the Dunlins, with a relatively short bill, white stripe through upper wings, black patch at base of under wing seen when it lifted its wings straight up in the air, some black on its sides visible even with wings held down, a white tail, and black legs. Unfortunately it flew off to the north-west and didn't circle back.

A Common Yellowthroat male in the wet woods to north side of cell 4, and a Veery singing. Also heard a Black-billed Cuckoo call but only caught a glimpse of the bird.



New birds today...Wood & Swainson's Thrush
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 10:39:50 AM by Al Sinclair

There must have been some migrants moving last night as this morning we were wakened by a Wood Thrush singing outside our window, a really nice way to start the day. Later a Swainson's Thrush was singing from the same spot in the woods as last year.



Red-headed Woodpecker near Baysville May 23
Posted on May 31, 2003 at 10:31:56 AM by Al Sinclair

I recently received a report from Jim Derbyshire of a Red-headed Woodpecker that was eating sunflower seeds at his feeder most of the day on May 23. It has not returned since. I can't help thinking that it might be the same bird seen earlier this year near Bracebridge. Derbyshires live on South Portage Rd just off Brunel Rd. north of Baysville.



Re(2): yellow-billed cuckoo, Henry Marsh
Posted on May 30, 2003 at 06:14:19 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman


OK, as I did not see the cuckoo I am reporting it as suggested instead. Thanks for the info, Burke.



Re(1): yellow-billed cuckoo, Henry Marsh
Posted on May 30, 2003 at 05:10:04 PM by Burke Korol

For the record,

The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas now has a policy that requires observers to visually identify all cuckoos that are reported to species. If you didn't actually see them, they are to be reported as a Black-billed/Yellow-billed cuckoo sp. I know of more than one instance where Black-billed Cuckoos were giving the calls of Yellow-billed. On Sunday I observed two Black-billed Cuckoos at the ponds/marsh and heard another bird giving a Black-billed call.



yellow-billed cuckoo, Henry Marsh
Posted on May 30, 2003 at 06:49:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

During a brief and first visit to Henry Marsh at about 5 pm Wednesday I heard but did not see a yellow-billed cuckoo. Saw a green heron and heard a sora rail and alder flycatcher.

The heron flew across the pond, the cuckoo was behind the pong in the trees, the sora was someplace just at the front of the pond and the flycatcher was in the alders, just before the right-hand trail heads into the bush.



Swallowtail butterfly and Chipmunk babies
Posted on May 29, 2003 at 08:00:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Saw our first Tiger Swallowtail today in Bracebridge, right on schedule with the first of our lilacs in full bloom.

Yesterday there were two chipmunk babies venturing out of their underground nest, but they stayed very close to the nesthole. Every year around the time we see young chipmunks, the garden vegies start to disappear. Sure enough some of the radishes were gone this morning and yesterday it was some of the swiss chard.



Indigo Bunting(male)
Posted on May 29, 2003 at 04:25:45 PM by Brenda Draper

INDIGO BUNTING (Male)May 28,2003 at 6.30 pm



peewee, great crested flycatcher
Posted on May 29, 2003 at 10:42:36 AM by Challis-Carlyle

The eastern wood-peewee arrived yesterday (Wednesday) at Rocksborough Road. Great crested flycatcher has been calling all week as well.



Veery, chimney swift
Posted on May 28, 2003 at 06:43:57 PM by Mark McAnally

This may be old news to some, but I have veeries singing in my back woods for the first time this year.
Also, I saw my first chimney swift over the center of the Town of Huntsville. Usually there are up to a hundred of them, so it will be interesting to see if their numbers hold up.
I must admit that after reading comments on the bird board and through my own observations, I have noticed reduced numbers of numerous species, right from the low numbers of juncos and tree sparrows that I had, to fewer grouse drumming. I guess it could be just me, but even the number of spring peepers I have heard around my place seem less. Hopefully, I am just imagining.
The humming birds, red-eyed vireos, ovenbirds and both black-throated greens and black-throated blues seem as numerous as always.



Spotted Sandpiper
Posted on May 27, 2003 at 06:30:55 PM by mary willmott

Today at our beach a spotted sandpiper in beautiful breeding plumage bobbing along and eating. Also saw a Magnolia Warbler , pair of Redstarts and a pair of Yellow Warblers. Heard a loon calling early this am.



Bird Board "hints and tips"
Posted on May 27, 2003 at 09:36:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

If you're new to the Bird Board or you want to learn more about the message board's features, look for the Hints and Tips section on the Guidelines webpage.

When you check for new messages on the Bird Board, be sure to scroll down the whole page. Sometimes there are replies to older-dated messages further down the board. All messages posted within the past 24 hours will have their time and date highlighted in white so they are easier to find.

Please bookmark (add to your favourites list) the back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor



Bracebridge Lagoons and Barred Owl
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 10:30:17 PM by Burke Korol

Hi Everybody,

This morning Wayne Renaud and I birded the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons and Henry Road Marsh. Here are the highlights of our 56 species there:

2 Virginia Rail
1 Sora
1 Semipalmated Plover
2 Least Sandpiper
3 Black-billed Cuckoo
1 Olive-sided Flycatcher
1 Yellow-throated Vireo

This evening I was told an owl nest east of Huntsville I eventually got to the site and found 2 adult and 4 recently fledged BARRED OWLS in the area.

The Barred Owls were mobile and not likely to be in the area much longer, but can be reached by going about 10 km east of Huntsville on Hwy. 60 to Limberlost Road. Once at Limberlost road, turn north for about 10 km to Billie Bear Road. Go north on Billie Bear about 300 m to the large, sawn log across the road and look in the canopy for the fledged young.



Brewer's Blackbirds
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 03:39:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today we had good looks at one female and two male Brewer's Blackbirds at the peat/topsoil farm by Beatrice Townline and Falkenburg Rd. They can easily be missed if you're not patient because the mounds of earth are quite high and the birds are sometimes down behind one of the piles. Fortunately, they were sitting on the top of a pile in plain view for us today. One decided to fly even closer to us and he perched on the fence for a while. Also one male Common Grackle, and several Red-winged Blackbirds. Also watched a male Northern Harrier working back and forth across the neighbouring fields.

From Bracebridge, go west on Hwy. 118 W. Turn right at Butter and Egg Rd. and you will come to Falkenburg Road. Turn left to Beatrice Townline and the peat farm will be on your right.
from Hwy. 4 go west on Beatrice Townline Rd. The peat farm is on your left just before the junction with Falkenburg Rd.



Re(1): Bluebirds ?
Posted on May 27, 2003 at 09:50:14 PM by bob burton

Ted ,I believe that Barbara has it right.Many of the older established B.B.s arrived in the last week of March.They could not survive that cold snowy week of April.I found evidence of casulties in boxes, and other birds at boxes disappeared.I have two pairs now building nests on cedar lane,they could be younger birds,with no previous nesting location.One B.B.trail operator told me he had dead bluebirds in 8 of 27 boxes.



Re(1): Bluebirds ?
Posted on May 27, 2003 at 09:31:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

I don't monitor a Bluebird Trail, so I can't back up my theory...but I would guess many birds migrated north too soon this year and got caught in a drastic change in the weather. Great distances along the south-to-north migration routes were affected. There was relatively mild weather in March but then it abruptly turned back into winter with below freezing temperatures and snow the first week of April in Muskoka. Conditions were bad a long ways south of here too. I recall reading a few reports on the Bird Board and ONTBIRDS about dead Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. Hopefully the survivors just ended up nesting in different areas than usual and there hasn't been a serious dent in overall bluebird populations.



Re(1): Bluebirds ?
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 10:42:12 PM by Paul Smith

A pair of bluebirds investigated one of my houses for about an hour earlier this month (in Glen Orchard). That was the first time (that i noticed) in the five years I've had them up.



Re(1): Bluebirds ?
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 02:30:21 PM by Carol Wagg

For the last three years we have had bluebirds in our yard on the Doe Lake Road east of Gravenhurst. Until that time we had never seen any. They are usually sighted on May 15th, but no sign of them at all this year yet. We, too, have been wondering what the problem could be. Each of the last two years they have hatched four babies.



Bluebirds ?
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 06:10:51 PM by Ted Gardner

My father has looked after 50 plus bird boxes in the Parry Sound/ Mckellar area for several years know. He has noticed this yearr a great decline in nesting as well as sightings. He would like to know if we in the Muskoka area have noticed the same?



Cedar Waxwings, Yellow Warblers
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 02:52:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Made a quick visit to the Bracebridge Ponds earlier today, but didn't see any shorebirds in cell 2. In the shrubby area around the viewing stand there were several Yellow Warblers, at least three males in full song. Five Cedar Waxwings landed briefly in a nearby tree, attracting our attention with their persistent high-pitched calls.



Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoo - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 08:38:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

We missed the Cuckoo this morning by just minutes...Burke Korol told us they had seen it earlier. We heard a Virginia Rail. Didn't see the Green Heron this visit. A Wood Thrush was singing in a small tree to the far east side of the marsh where the trail enters the woods. Many warblers in the area, including our first American Redstart of the year, Yellow Warblers, and Chestnut-sided Warblers.



Black-billed Cuckoo - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 01:56:45 PM by Goodyear

Great views of the cuckoo this morning. It was sitting in a tree in the wet area on the east side of the Henry Road trail, as the trail opens into the field. Also had great looks at the Green Heron,Orioles,Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Heard the Virginia Rail calling from the east side of the marsh.



Re(1): No Nuthatch ...
Posted on May 25, 2003 at 07:35:32 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had a pair of white-breasted both here on Lake Joseph and at Bala and a pair of red-breasted at Bala all winter.They are all still coming to the feeders.



Re(1): No Nuthatch ...
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 05:13:58 PM by mary willmott

We have had white nuthatchs about all year round. They visit the feeder all winter/I have taken away the sunflower seeds as the grackles take over all the feeders. I leave up the niger food and they dont bother with that type of seed.I see them climbing about the trees.



Re(1): No Nuthatch ...
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 10:51:46 AM by Al Sinclair

Our pair of White-breasted have survived the winter and are still visiting the feeder and are presumably nesting nearby. We don't usually see Red-breasted here during the breeding season probably because we don't have enough conifers in our woods. We live 8 km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E.



Re(1): No Nuthatch ...
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 10:19:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Red-breasted Nuthatch pair that visited our feeder all winter is still around, but we don't see or hear them very often. I think they are too busy feeding their young brood.

We have noticed a complete lack of White-breasted Nuthatches. None visited our feeder during the winter and none showed up this spring. The long-time resident pair at the cottage have either abandoned their old territory or perhaps one of the pair died over the winter so the other moved on in search of a new mate. They had nested in the same area for several years, but so far no sign of them.



No Nuthatch ...
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 00:11:40 AM by Paul Smith

I've been back here in my wee cabin for over a month now and have yet to see a nuthatch. Has anyone else noted a lack of nuthatches ??



Important notice: re pop-ups and banner ads...
Posted on May 23, 2003 at 05:52:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

A couple questions have recently been raised about the ads, so I thought I'd post this note.

The hosting service for the Bird Board,, arranges all the advertising on this website, including any banner ads and pop-ups that may appear. The message board service is provided at no cost because Boards2Go receives fees from the advertisers. I have no control over the placement or content of any of the ads. I pay no fees and I receive no fees.

The Bird Board back-up webpage is made available through Tripod's free webspace service. Again, I have nothing to do with any of the ads that may appear.

Hope this helps to clear up any questions you may have had.

Barbara Taylor



Beaumaris Birds
Posted on May 23, 2003 at 04:35:01 PM by mary willmott

At the Niger feeders usual abundance of Goldfinches, plus an male Indigo Bunting , also a Rosebreasted Grosbeak. At the sugar feeders two male Northern Orioles and one female and hummers are busy all day feeding.



Re(1): Northern Mockingbird seen at Wood Lake
Posted on May 24, 2003 at 04:54:13 PM by Rick Snider

We had a walk-away look at a Northern Mockingbird along the east fence of Parry Sound airport on May 21.
We also had a Yellow-billed Cuckoo further along.



Northern Mockingbird seen at Wood Lake
Posted on May 23, 2003 at 09:13:13 AM by Al Sinclair

A Northern Mockingbird was seen by Audrey Golding last Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, in their yard on Conway Crescent near Wood lake. It was singing and displayed white on the wings and tail when it flew. Wood lake is east of Bracebridge off Hwy 118E



Green Heron
Posted on May 22, 2003 at 09:35:49 PM by Janice House

Watched a green heron tonight around 7:30, he was perched in a pine tree beside Beaver Creek, at the Dinsmore Sheep Farm. I saw him earlier this week around dusk, he flies along the Doe Lake Rd and heads towards Hwy 11.



Bracebridge Ponds May 21- Canada Warbler, British Birders
Posted on May 21, 2003 at 07:25:27 PM by Al Sinclair

Today was slow at the ponds as many birds seem to have moved on following the weather front yesterday. But I did get my first Canada Warbler of the year in the alders by the Lagoon Lane entrance. A Black-billed Cuckoo was still calling west of cell 4. Most of the shorebirds seen yesterday were gone except for 2 Least and 3 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 1 Lesser Yellowlegs.

I was surprised to find a group of 7 British birders who had been at Pelee and were heading for Algonquin. To bad it was a slow day but they did get a Green Heron and I sent them up to Falkenburg Rd to look for Brewer's Blackbirds. Not sure how they found our ponds, I guess they're famous.



Posted on May 21, 2003 at 00:04:41 AM by Nick Bartok

2 male, 1 female eastern bluebirds

raymond general store, may 20



Bluebird Trail
Posted on May 20, 2003 at 07:40:13 PM by Janice House

May 18th, 7:15 am at the Finch Farm on Fraserburg Rd. 8 boxes checked, 3 swallows, 1 chickadee, 1 bluebird with 4 eggs. Saw a gazillion swallows, barn,tree,bank; lots of bobolinks, heard a meadowlark; by the pond saw a scarlet tanager, a male chestnut sided warbler and pair of kingfishers; several savannah sparrows, one without tail feathers; several song sparrows; pair of yellow rumped warblers; common yellow throat along the road by the fairground entrance; several red-winged blackbirds a ground hog and a chippy



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 20, 2003 at 12:48:00 AM by Wilf Yusek

There were 31 Least Sandpipers and 17 Semi-palmated Plovers in cell 2 this morning, cell 2 has been drained, good shorebird grounds.



Re(1): (no subject)
Posted on June 5, 2003 at 05:33:09 PM by Anonymous

yes - i missed that error when i just read & replied to you! I guess I'll have to change my name to CRACKED NW Birder



(no subject)
Posted on May 20, 2003 at 09:59:02 PM by Dinny Nimmo

Oops! I looked in my journal from last year. It was not a yellow-billed cuckoo that we saw at Ragged Rapids in August, it was a BLACK-billed cuckoo.



Re(1): Ragged Rapids off Muskoka #38
Posted on June 5, 2003 at 05:31:11 PM by Crack NW Birder!

would like to know what the mosquitos are like at this time of year in the Bala area? Are they all that much worse than in late July/Early August?

Last summer i saw 2 yellow-billed cuckoos at ragged rapids. do you think they could have been a mated pair? They were at least a couple of Km apart but i saw them both on the same morning.

By the way - how you folks doing? Pat & Howard are arriving in Coos Bay today. We are excited to have them visiting and i am certain they will enjoy all the birding trips i have planned for them :~)

looking forward to seeing you later this summer,



Ragged Rapids off Muskoka #38
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 07:52:51 PM by Dinny and Neil Nimmo

Neil and I checked out Ragged Rapids this morning...good birds. Rose-breasted grosbeak, hermit thrush, common yellowthroat, black-throated green warbler, pileated woodpecker, spotted sandpiper, red-eyed vireo, white-eyed vireo, Baltimore oriole, and a Northern Harrier.Last summer we saw a yellow-billed cuckoo nesting sign of it yet.



Re(1): Atlassing Near Novar
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 10:00:02 PM by Al Sinclair

Rare and declining. Try the south end of Muskoka Airport. Go in towards the Fenbrook Prison and check around the small admin building just outside the gate.



Atlassing Near Novar
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 05:07:04 PM by Burke Korol

Today, Sunday 19 May, I had a decent day of atlassing in the Buck and Round lake areas, which are about 10 km west of Novar on the Muskoka/Parry Sound boundary. Highlights were:

HERRING GULL – nesting at Round Lake
COMMON RAVEN – successfully fledged nest on Hwy 11
TENNESSEE WARBLER – singing male east of Round Lake
NORTHERN PARULA – singing birds near Round Lake
CAPE MAY WARBLER – singing bird at McMurrich
CANADA WARBLER – pair at Bittern Creek on Old Novar Road
VESPER SPARROW – singing bird west of McMurrich

I have yet to add Vesper Sparrow to my Muskoka list. How common are they here?



Re(1): Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 05:45:53 PM by Wilf Yusek

To add to Brian's message we also had a Virginia Rail calling at the Henry Rd. marsh



Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 04:39:10 PM by Brian Pfrimmer

Wilf Yusek and I had an interesting morning at Henry Marsh and the sewage lagoons in Bracebridge May 19th. Lots of interesting birds. Of special note were a Golden -winged Warbler and 2 Green Herons at Henry's Marsh. The warbler is back on territory were it was last year, in the marshy area to the left as you are coming in the trail.

Henry's Marsh is reached by following Beaumont St west off Wellington St in the south end of Bracebridge.
Turn left off Beaumont onto Henry Rd. Follow the trail in approix 400 m.

Sewage lagoons.
We also heard three Sora and two Virgina Rails calling from the marsh west of cell 4; a Northern Waterthrush north of cell 4; and a Black-billed Cuckoo calling form south of cell 4. There were 3 Greater Yellow Legs,2 Lesser, and 2 Least Sandpipers in cell 2.

The Bracebridge Ponds (cells) can be accessed from Lagoon Lane off the south entrance road to Bracebridge or from Kerr Park on Beaumont Drive.



Rainbow Pond Excursion
Posted on May 19, 2003 at 02:48:12 PM by Nick Bartok

Hey all, here is the bird sightins list for the Bill and Jan Dickenson led hike to Rainbow Pond:

Blue Jay
Barred Owl (seen in morning by Bill)
Am. Crow
Am. Goldfinch
Can. Goose
Field Sparrow (heard)
Blck. Cap Chick
Yellow Rump Warb
Wood Duck
Ring Necked Duck
Palm Warb
Pine Warb
White Thro. Sparr.
Tree swall
Estn kingbird
Black troated green warb
broadwing hawk
black and white warb
norhtern flicker
ruffed grouse (heard)
common grackle


if anyone has any others to add do not hesitate



Great Egret and others
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 10:19:29 PM by bob burton

This evening,May 18,Joan Paget and I checked out Henry pond from the Tee.Joan spotted a large white bird rise out of the far marsh edge and land on a dead tree stub.We watched it for 5 minutes when it took off, circled the pond until it had gained elevation to the size of a seagull, then headed it flew black legs and coupled neck clearly visible.Greenbacked heron,great blue heron,orioles,yellow,nashville,black and white warblers showed,ovenbirds sang,blackflies bit.



Butterflies and Birds
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 10:14:10 PM by Ron Stager

Chryxus Arctic, several Eastern Pine Elfins, Green Comma, several Spring Azures along Ben Lake Rd west of Barkway. East of Barkway many whites, Mourning Cloak, two Compton Tortoiseshell and Eastern Comma.

Yellow-throated Vireo seen on Ben Lake Road and Bay-breasted Warbler heard at Ben Lake along with many other warblers. Common Nighthawk outside our place tonight with two calling Whip-poor-wills. A Barred Owl called several times in our woods earlier in the evening.



Personal Watercraft ...
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 10:11:23 PM by Paul Smith

Several personal watercraft were spotted today on Butterfly Lake, going aimlessly and mindlessly to and fro - back and forth and around and around. Fast then slow, suddenly stopping and then suddenly accelerating. Sometimes making severe turns, throwing the devices out of control and sometimes simply circling the lake time after time, metres from shore, for no apparent reason.

These devices appeared to be operated by human beings - most of them large enough, by my estimation, to be adult human beings. However, this surely could not be the case.

I'll perform an exhaustive web search on what form of protoplasm could be operating these things and report back to the board.

My search will start with "Brains Size Less Than Pea"


Aside from that, some lovely tunes from a hermit thrush and a rose-breasted grosbeak on my morning walk down the logging trail ...



Brewer's Blackbirds?
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 02:09:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today we saw five "probable" male Brewer's Blackbirds at the peat farm along Beatrice Townline Rd. near the junction with Falkenburg Rd. Having never seen a Brewer's Blackbird, I have to qualify the sighting as "probable". They definitely were not Common Grackles. The eyes were yellow and there was a purplish sheen on the head but appeared more black over the rest of their body except one bird which had a hint of green. The National Geographic Fieldguide shows the male to have obvious greenish-blue sheen on the body but two other fieldguides show a black a bit confusing.

Also in the area, a couple of Bobolinks and a Gray Catbird.

From Bracebridge, go west on Hwy. 118 W. Turn right at Butter and Eggs Rd. and you will come to Falkenburg Road. Turn left to Beatrice Townline and the peat farm will be on your right.
from Hwy. 4 go west on Beatrice Townline Rd. The peat farm is on your left just before the junction with Falkenburg Rd.



Clay-colored Sparrow, Sharp-shinned at Bracebridge Ponds yesterday
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 01:45:08 PM by Al Sinclair

At 4pm yesterday May 17, when the bird board was down , I had a close look at a Clay-colored Sparrow at the Bracebridge Ponds. It was in the grass and shrubs along the ditch side of the north wall of cell 4(the one near the pipeline). When last seen it was at the west end near the pile of wood chips, earlier it was about 100 ft east. This is the first one I've seen in Muskoka in about 20 years although they do occur regularly just south in Simcoe and Victoria Co.
Also seen, a Sharp-shinned Hawk which flew low enough over cell 4 that the Red-winged Blackbirds went up to chase it away.
(The Bracebridge Ponds can be accessed from Lagoon Lane off the south entrance road to Bracebridge or from Kerr Park on Beaumont Drive.)



Re(2): Fly -Honeysuckle
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 07:48:59 PM by sylvia purdon

Thanks, Al. I used an old historic reference thus the name that I will now write in corrected. Great little shrubby flower, nice to see.



Re(1): Fly -Honeysuckle
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 01:17:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Fly Honeysuckle AKA American Fly Honeysuckle is a small shrub fairly common in Muskoka with twin yellow bell shaped flowers hanging below the branches. It is now blooming here near Uffington. The latest scientific name for it is Lonicera canadensis.



Fly -Honeysuckle
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 09:23:11 AM by sylvia purdon

Fly-Honeysuckle Lonicera ciliata

Red Trailhead Trail off Taboo parking lot at Muskoka Sands (Taboo) Resort.
Sunday May 11.

Please feel free to challenge me on this..a new species for Jim and me.



Re(1): bobolinks
Posted on May 18, 2003 at 01:16:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

They're back! This morning lots of Bobolinks in the wet fields at the end of Rocksborough Rd.



Posted on May 18, 2003 at 09:17:49 AM by sylvia purdon

Bobolinks sighted on Canning Road (formerly Sparrow Lake RT. `C") and the field on the north side approaching Wenona Lodge Road. A reliable nesting area for bobolinks over many years.
Try also the field across from the old Wenona Lodge site off Wenona Lodge Rd.



Morel mushrooms
Posted on May 17, 2003 at 10:15:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

We found six morel mushrooms growing along the edge of a clearing amidst braken fern and raspberry canes. They appear to be Black Morels. The hollow stem continues hollow right up through the cap and the cap is attached to the stem all the way round without any overhanging. This is the first time we've noticed these mushrooms growing here on Browning Island. They are spread out with about four to six feet between each single mushroom.

Last spring Al Sinclair confirmed our identification of some Yellow Morels (Morchella esculenta) growing beside our driveway in Bracebridge. We haven't seen those come back so far this season.



Bird Board downtime
Posted on May 17, 2003 at 10:21:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there were technical difficulties with the server that hosts the Bird Board. Sorry for the lengthy downtime. Everything appears to be back to normal now.

Just a reminder to check the Bird Board back-up webpage if you are experiencing problems with the Bird Board. I did post notices there earlier today.



Northern Parula
Posted on May 16, 2003 at 06:19:10 PM by Ron Stager

Lots of singing back in the woods at noon today. There was at least one Northern Parula singing. Lots of Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Ovenbirds drowning out other warblers including several Black-and-white and Black-throated Greeens. A number of Common Yellowthroats and Nashville Warblers were in and around the back meadow.



White-crowned sparrows
Posted on May 16, 2003 at 06:30:25 AM by Mark McAnally

White-crowned sparrows in my back field this morning.



Warbling Vireo, Kingbirds, Green Heron
Posted on May 13, 2003 at 04:44:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds, we discovered that cell 4 is being refilled rapidly. Two SOLITARY SANDPIPERS were along a narrow strip of mud at the west end. In the wet woodland to the north of the pond, there were three BALTIMORE ORIOLES, several EASTERN KINGBIRDS, and a WARBLING VIREO. Nearby we finally got to see our first BOBOLINKS of the season. Many swallows flying overhead including TREE, BARN, and CLIFF SWALLOWS.

In the shrubby area between the viewing stand and cell 2, there were two male YELLOW WARBLERS.

A quick stop at Henry Rd. marsh was very worthwhile since we saw the GREEN HERON. It was to the south, along the back edge of the beaver pond, framed by two dead birch.




Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 13, 2003 at 02:22:41 PM by Wilf Yusek

Saw 3 Gadwalls in cell 4 this morning, also saw and heard in the marshy area south of cell 4, a Viginia and Sora Rails.




winter wren, etc
Posted on May 13, 2003 at 11:48:18 AM by Leslee Tassie

I've had a winter wren singing around my house on Santa's Village Road for about a week now - one of my favorite songs to hear.
Our hummingbirds are back and rose breasted grosbeaks have been visiting our feeders.
As well, for the second year in a row, our (almost) tame groundhog comes running for a meal of birdseed whenever it hears me opening the metal can full of seed. Last spring she also brought her 4 little ones with her. She looks so funny ground feeding surrounded by chipmunks, squirrels and birds, they are totally unfazed by each other.



Re(2): Whip-poor-wills
Posted on May 15, 2003 at 08:41:38 PM by Brenda Clark

I have not heard them yet this year, but every other year I have heard a whip poor will for a night or two, usually in June, mercifully far away - likely over nearer to Gull Lake narrows, certainly in the barrens between there and the Muskoka Store at Gravenhurst.



Re(2): Whip-poor-wills
Posted on May 14, 2003 at 12:25:59 AM by Doug Smith

They are sometimes heard on Southwood Road, near Beacon Bible Camp.



Re(2): Whip-poor-wills
Posted on May 14, 2003 at 02:34:55 PM by Ron Stager

Hi Mark

We have had Whip-poor-wills calling in the Barkway area for the last three years. I occasionally see them fly up from the side of the road between Housey's Rapids and Cooper's Falls.

In a reference I read once, it said that "Whip-poor-wills call interminably". I would concur: one year there was one calling from our driveway between 11 pm and 4 am for what seemed to be two weeks. I was considering recipes for Whip-poor-will stew.



Re(1): Whip-poor-wills
Posted on May 13, 2003 at 06:32:50 PM by Mark McAnally

I have not seen or heard a whip-poor-will for three years, and even then it was for one night only. Have you had them yearly and do you know if they are heard in other areas up here on a regular basis?



Posted on May 12, 2003 at 10:05:21 PM by Ron Stager

Whip-poor-wills are back in Barkway area tonight. Two flew up from the side of the road just south of (the former) Ryde Public School. I stopped to listen. When I got home another was calling around our house on Merkley Road.



Posted on May 12, 2003 at 00:33:00 AM by sylvia purdon

Sunday May 11, 6:00 p.m. on the Trailhead Trail, `Taboo' (Muskoka Sands, Gravenhurst, seen and heard - call, no song, territorial behaviour.



chestnut-sided warbler
Posted on May 11, 2003 at 10:04:16 PM by Carlyle-Challis

Our first chestnut sided of this year woke us up this morning (Sunday May 10), and continued calling through the day.



Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 11, 2003 at 09:36:28 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks:

Numerous male and female rose breasted grosbeaks feeding on my freshly seeded lawn in the last two days. This is out 118 on the South Branch of the Muskoka River.

Take care,




Scarlet Tanager
Posted on May 11, 2003 at 08:24:56 AM by Janice House

This morning about 7:30 a pair of scarlet tanagers in our basswood tree, a pair of evening grosbeaks and two male rose-breasted grosbeaks. The one male rose-breasted is very scruffy and the breast patch is pale, I assume he is immature. The evening grosbeaks have been here all week. Also last night two american bitterns flew across the yard, I think they are going to the Dinsmore Sheep farm creek.( Doe Lake Rd)



Northern Shovelers at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 10, 2003 at 09:17:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Tonight at the Bracebridge Ponds in cell 4 there were at least three Northern Shovelers - one pair and a male that seemed to be on his own.

Also two Lesser Yellowlegs, two Solitary Sandpipers, and a Spotted Sandpiper.

Three Baltimore Orioles and a couple of Yellow Warblers in the wet shrubby area to the west of cell 4. About a hundred or so swallows circled overhead chasing "millions" of flying insects.

A muskrat came ashore and was lost from view amongst some dried reeds at the west side of cell 4.

The blackflies were out and starting to bite, but they weren't too bad with the good breeze tonight.



Lagoons/Henry Marsh May 10
Posted on May 10, 2003 at 02:26:22 PM by Goodyear

Lots of activity this morning. Highlights:

Black and white
Black-throated green
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat

Bobolinks-5 at lagoons
Least Flycatcher
Solitary Sandpiper-4- cell 4
Sora-cell 4 area
Green Heron and Am.Bittern-Henry Marsh
Broad-winged Hawk
Turkey Vultures
Swamp Sparrow



South Branch Sightings
Posted on May 10, 2003 at 11:48:44 AM by Ted Smith

Hi folks:

It's been a good couple of days for sightings in the marshes of the South Branch off of Hwy 118. The highlights are:

* yellow-rumped warbler foraging in marsh.
* common snipe
* Yellow legs
* Eastern Kingbird
* Swamp sparrows
* locating a grackle nest
* Northern Harrier swooping over marsh
* Loon pair that aren't shy
* Common merganser pair (also not shy)
* Hooded merganser pair (very shy)
* Several ring neck ducks
* Bufflehead pair
* black and mallard ducks
* Barred owl seen the last two mornings around 6:30 a.m. patrolling the shorelines.
* 2 Turkey Vultures swooping about 30' above my head at the Narrows (historic nesting area, although I've never seen the nest)
* River Otter
* White tail deer
* Cow & calf moose pair (seen a tad too close for comfort).

Other interesting sightings:

* Evening grosbeaks at my feeder this morning.
* Green Heron at Henry marsh yesterday.

Take care,




Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 9, 2003 at 06:41:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

In cell 4 this morning there were three Wood Ducks (2 male and 1 female), and three American Wigeon (2 male and 1 female). Also five Solitary Sandpipers feeding separately along edge of large expanse of mud since cell 4 has been drained down a lot.

Cell 4 is the pond to the south and west, next to the TransCanada Pipeline right-of-way. Enter Kerr Park from Beaumont Dr. to gain access to the sewage lagoons. Walk up the hill to the viewing platform and turn right to reach the gate.



Beaumaris Birds
Posted on May 9, 2003 at 03:19:01 PM by Mary Willmott

American Bittern for last two weeks calling in the swamp. Today there was a pair of Northern Orioles plus a RT Hummingbird > Also a Northern Waterthrush early this morning.



Baltimore Oriole ...
Posted on May 9, 2003 at 11:25:28 AM by Paul Smith

A Baltimore Oriole this morning - a bit earlier than I'm used to ...



Re(1): Towhee and friends
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 11:54:06 PM by Paul Smith

My hummingbird came back today too - 10:02 AM. In the years I've been paying attention they've never been out of the range of May 8th to 12th. A crew of white-crowned sparrows arrived yesterday also.



Towhee and friends
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 08:44:16 PM by Brenda Clark

Yesterday, in behind the Muskoka Store south of Gravenhurst, the towhee was back "drinking his tea". There were many other spring birds, including the white crown sparrow, black throated green warblers, least flycatchers, sapsuckers and loons. Five sandhill cranes migrated overhead. Many rose-breasted grosbeaks are enjoying our sunflower seeds. Today our hummingbird was back.



black-throated blue & more
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 07:42:43 PM by Challis-Carlyle

The first black-throated blue on Rocksborough Road was singing this morning -- the black-throated greens have been around for four or five days. And the sharp two-syllable calls of least flycatchers in two locations on the road.
A wood thrush was singing behind our house on Tuesday night but hasn't been heard from since.



unknown cocoon-need help with ID
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 07:38:21 PM by Challis-Carlyle


We've discovered six to eight cocoons hanging in young cherry saplings (five to six feet above the ground) in our back yard, and have no idea what might be inside.
Can anyone help? They're about 5cm long, hanging from a thick strand of silk about 15 cm long, and look as though the caterpillar may have wrapped a dead leaf around as part of its pupal case ... but that may be just a lookalike.     photo of cocoon



Ovenbird, etc.
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 05:34:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today on Browning Island there were a few new arrivals. An Ovenbird, a Black-and-White Warbler, a Black-throated Green warbler, and a Nashville Warbler made an appearance. Thought I heard a Blackburnian but couldn't find it. A few more Yellow-rumped Warblers and Pine Warblers have also arrived. The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were busy "knocking" on hollow trees and Northern Flickers were calling frequently. A few Hermit Thrush were entertaining us with their beautiful song, but at least one still needed a "tune-up".

A beaver swam past the dock and smacked his tail on the water as he dove. We didn't see the mink, but he left a "fishy deposit" to prove he'd been there.



Re(2): spring wildflowers
Posted on May 10, 2003 at 11:36:41 PM by sylvia purdon

I think I will stick with my original id of Dutchman's Breeches. Your pictures are great, thanks...Actually I have never seen Squirrel Corn as far as I know. Why don't you go to Hamryth Road and I will go to Ziska Road, Dave.
Then we will know for sure..

sylvia purdon



Re(2): Dutchman's Breeches vs. Squirrel Corn
Posted on May 10, 2003 at 03:08:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

Dave, I've never heard of Squirrel Corn before now and guess I always thought it was just called Dutchman's Breeches...but I see from these pictures there is a big difference. Where did you find the Squirrel Corn blooming along Ziska?

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria):

Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis):



Re(1): spring wildflowers
Posted on May 9, 2003 at 07:46:05 PM by Dave Hawke

Hi Sylvia:
I've found oodles of squirrel corn in bloom along the roads at Ziska, but no Dutchman's Breeches. Same species??



spring wildflowers
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 08:58:17 AM by sylvia purdon

Sunday May 3: Hamryth Road off Kilworthy Road: Spring Wildflowers

Spring Beauties
Trout Lily
Dutchman's Breeches
All in full new bloom in vast spreads throughout the forest floor opposite the former Hamryth Lodge buildings.
Trillium: In bud

The Point: Sparrow Lake: Trailing Arbutus in bloom at last, but most plants still in bud.

Coltsfoot along gravel road, in bloom.



Pine Warbler
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 08:51:36 AM by sylvia purdon

Pine Warbler singing at Sparrow Lake, Tuesday May 6.



Nashville Warbler
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 07:50:49 AM by Mark McAnally

Nashville Warbler singing in my back woods this morning.



Pileated/G.H Owl Nest
Posted on May 7, 2003 at 05:34:18 PM by Martin Arnett

Out this weekeand & had 2 Pileated copulating on north side of Loon Lk Marsh as well as my own square on Doe Lk Rd west of Hwy #11. Is it my immagination or are there more Pileated this year - they seem to be everywhere. GH Owl still sitting on nest off Housey Rapids Rd. Checking with scope to see how many chicks present this year.



Loon Lk Marsh Rd Construction
Posted on May 7, 2003 at 05:18:17 PM by Martin Arnett

Things cont'd somewhat normal over the marsh in spite of road and bridge construction over this "Provincially Significant Wildlife Area. Two male & one hen Turkey seen on Osprey Road. Northern Harrier (early) seen hunting low over marsh. Great Horned calling 7:00PM before dark. Tree Swallows accupied several of numerous boxes erected in marsh (have not seen any Bluebirds as yet). Several White Crowned at Niger feeders. Have not seen any nesting Canada Geese (lst time in seven years) possibly too much noise from tree shredding on rdwy. Hope some of the older Pines are saved.



Horned Grebe
Posted on May 7, 2003 at 01:24:54 PM by Jim Griffin

BraceBridge lagoons 11:30 am May 7 a male horned grebe in the west cell



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 7, 2003 at 12:55:24 AM by Wilf Yusek

Cell 4 at the lagoons is being drained thus exposing a fair bit of mud, today there were about a dozen yellowlegs of both species, also 6 Spotted Sandpipers and 1 Solitary Sandpiper. In cell 2 along with previously reported ducks, there was a male and female American Wigeon



Bracebridge Lagoons - Tuesday May 6
Posted on May 6, 2003 at 08:38:16 PM by Goodyear

Quick walk along the west side this evening revealed among others:

Palm Warbler
Black and white warbler
Great Crested Flycatcher
Cliff Swallow
Bank Swallow



Re(2): Bobolinks? - thanks
Posted on May 8, 2003 at 08:23:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Carol, thanks for pointing out another location to find Bobolinks. Please let us know when they're back....



Re(1): Bobolinks?
Posted on May 7, 2003 at 06:53:27 AM by Carol Wagg

We have them every year at our place on the Doe Lake Road (1611), but haven't seen them this year yet.



Posted on May 6, 2003 at 05:01:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

Has anyone else seen any Bobolinks yet? We used to see a lot along Rocksborough Road...are they back?

Just got curious after reading Jim Griffin's post about seeing a Bobolink at the Bracebridge Ponds today. We haven't seen many Bobolinks the past couple years. Is there a reliable area around Muskoka where they can still be found?



Red-headed Woodpecker near Bracebridge
Posted on May 5, 2003 at 10:07:06 PM by Al Sinclair

Stew Boyd reports that at supper time today, May 5, they had a Red-headed Woodpecker in their yard in the McNabb subdivision north of Bracebridge. It stayed for about 5 minutes. He will report back if it returns.



Dragonfly, Butterflies, Birds
Posted on May 4, 2003 at 09:30:29 PM by Ron Stager

Cabbage Whites are flying, several Spring Azures, Compton Tortoiseshells, Mourning Cloaks and some Eastern Commas on Merkley and Lewisham Roads today. First dragonfly but I've lost my dragonfly book. It wasn't a Green Darner but was medium size with yellow just behind the wings and metallic colouring further back.

Wakerobins were blooming in the woods (lots of Trout Lilies and some Dutchman's breeches).

Black-and-white Warbler seen and heard at Fraserburg on Saturday. Several Black-throated Green Warblers and Northern Waterthrush in our woods this morning (plus many others that I couldn't identify). I heard a Gray Catbird and, likely, a Warbling Vireo along Lewisham Road.

I am quite addicted to the Bird Board. Is there a Bird Board Anonymous organization?



Posted on May 4, 2003 at 12:10:17 AM by Lad Helde

Today at ll:45 I had my first visit by a male hummingbird. This is three years in a row that our first visit was on May 4th.



Henry Marsh - Green Heron, Am. Bittern, Ospreys
Posted on May 4, 2003 at 12:09:23 AM by Goodyear

American Bittern and Green Heron skulking along the southeast edge of Henry marsh this morning. 2 Ospreys catching thermals along with Turkey Vultures. Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow found along trail approaching marsh from Beaumont Drive.



Caspian Tern
Posted on May 3, 2003 at 09:49:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Caspian Tern flying along the shoreline of Alport Lake, Bracebridge. It put on a good show for us, diving into the water twice. There were two terns in the same area last spring. I see in the Bird Board's archived reports that we saw them on May 15.



Re(1): Feedback form for the Bracebridge western bypass
Posted on May 4, 2003 at 08:08:30 PM by Kathy Dyer

Thanks Barb. This made it so much easier to comment on this important issue.



Feedback form for the Bracebridge western bypass
Posted on May 2, 2003 at 05:18:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's the online version of the feedback form that was handed out at the April 25 public meeting. It has to be submitted by May 9 so you still have a chance to get your comments in.

For more information see Al Sinclair's earlier post of April 23.



Just a reminder....
Posted on May 2, 2003 at 05:04:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just a reminder to bookmark the Bird Board back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.

If you're new to the Bird Board you might want to review the Hints and Tips section on the Guidelines webpage. Several features of the Bird Board are explained there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor



Re(1): Purple Martins ....
Posted on May 2, 2003 at 06:08:21 PM by Al Johnston

Does any one else have martins in
Muskoka? It would be nice to know if
their population is increasing. About the
tree swallow -- not too often they get
picked off out in the open. Also, Paul,
are the starlings still around the PM
houses in Glen Orchard? Al



Purple Martins ....
Posted on May 2, 2003 at 09:08:22 AM by Paul Smith

The martin houses at Glen Orchard were put up this morning and the martins are beginning to occupy them. The cliff swallows have also returned to the side of the General Store. Lots of tree swallows and an inspection of one of my houses by a pair of bluebirds the other day. Also, the quick demise of a tree swallow sitting on the phone lines via a coopers / sharp-skinned hawk (not sure which) ...



Barred Owl
Posted on May 1, 2003 at 11:05:21 PM by The Purchases

A barred owl poses nicely atop a straight snag at the roadside in a wet ditch under the conifers about half way in the Rocksborough Road about opposite the radio tower hill. Date: April 27, 2003.



Am. Bittern
Posted on May 1, 2003 at 09:30:10 PM by M.Lannan

April 30th we saw an American Bittern at a wide spote (Marshy area) of the Magnetewan River near kearney. We also saw a chipping sparrow and have been seeing a Kingfisher for the past week.



No BREWER'S BLACKBIRD..yet..other sightings by Bruce Ripley
Posted on May 1, 2003 at 02:39:19 PM by Al Sinclair

Bruce Ripley was visiting here from Kingston on April 27,28. He sent the following list of birds. The three Brewers Blackbird locations mentioned are:
1. Falkenburg Rd at Beatrice Town Line
2. South Monk Drive
3. Hwy 118 2km west of Ziska Rd

Bruce reports:
These are the birds I found around your area.

1 SANDHILL CRANE - Apr. 28 - in field on Beaumont Drive just before Beaumont
No BREWER'S BLACKBIRD - checked the three areas where I had found them two
summers ago with no luck
1 BLUE-HEADED VIREO - Apr. 28 - on Butter and Egg Road
1 BROWN THRASHER - Apr. 27 - beside viewing platform at Kerr Park
1 BROAD-WINGED HAWK - Apr. 28 - Curling Road
2 MERLINS - Apr. 28 - 17th tee of South Muskoka Golf Club (acted like they
had a nest there)

Also had all of the specialty birds of Algonquin Park.



Posted on May 1, 2003 at 07:30:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Barb Taylor's message reminded me that I saw an Osprey sitting and hunting in the Thorne Lake area across from Walker's Point Rd. on Saturday afternoon. It was seen first in a dead tree by the pond on the west side of the road. It moved to another tree then hunted over the pond and then back over the lake. It disappeared from view.



Bald Eagles nest building in Algonquin Park
Posted on April 30, 2003 at 05:08:35 PM by Rick Stronks

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 30, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today two Bald Eagles were seen building a nest on Dickson Lake in Algonquin
Park. We have suspected for the past couple of years that eagles were
nesting in the Park but this would be the first confirmed record.

The eagles were spotted and photographed by staff from the Algonquin
Fisheries Assessment Unit.

Dickson Lake is located northeast of Opeongo Lake and can only be reached by

Rick Stronks
Algonquin Provincial Park



Osprey near Allport Marina
Posted on April 30, 2003 at 03:15:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today we had good looks at an Osprey near Allport Marina, Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. The bird was circling, then "hovering" and then it dove into the water with a tremendous splash. Seemed to come up empty handed. After a bit more circling over the same spot it flew towards the mouth of the Muskoka River (at Lake Muskoka). This is the third year in a row that we have seen an Osprey in the area.

There were five male Wood Ducks and one female on the Muskoka River by the big bend in the river at Santa's Village. Many pairs of Common Mergansers were seen staking out shoreline territory at various locations around Lake Muskoka. Still many Bufflehead near the mouth of the Muskoka River.



Hooded Merganser, American Bittern
Posted on April 30, 2003 at 01:01:19 PM by Goodyear

One pair of Hooded Mergansers, and a calling (unkalunking) Amerian Bittern at Henry Road marsh last night



Re(1): Ruffed Grouse
Posted on April 30, 2003 at 07:54:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

My understanding is that there's usually a favourite drumming log, but some birds will use other sites too.
Here's a couple websites that confirm this:

excerpt: "One male may use as many as six locations for drumming, but one site is usually favoured."


excerpt: "Drumming logs are very important to a male bird because much of an adult male's life is spent in the vicinity of chosen logs. Most males use more than one drumming log but usually have one primary log. Drumming logs typically are located in dense thickets on sloping hillsides, permitting a maximum field of view. Critical drumming site habitat includes a well dispersed shrub thicket understory."



Ruffed Grouse
Posted on April 30, 2003 at 07:21:22 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A ruffed grouse has been drumming on the property of Jack Jennings and it appears to have more than one log it is using in its territory. Has anyone heard of a grouse using more than one log?



Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds April 28...600 ducks, Greater Yellowlegs, 39 species
Posted on May 6, 2003 at 03:22:13 PM by Jim Griffin

May 6, between 10:30 and 11:00 am add one male Bobolink to the list



Bracebridge Ponds April 28...600 ducks, Greater Yellowlegs, 39 species
Posted on April 28, 2003 at 08:33:48 PM by Al Sinclair

Today April 28 at the ponds, 592 ducks, 9 species, first Yellowlegs. List of species seen/heard today:
From 4/28/2003 to 4/28/2003 ~ in Bracebridge S.L. ~ 39 seen
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Ruffed Grouse
Greater Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Tree Swallow
American Pipit
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
Blue-headed Vireo
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 39



yellow-rumped warbler
Posted on April 28, 2003 at 05:49:06 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Is it yellow rumped or Myrtle now?
Whichever name it answers to, there has been one singing at Rocksborough Road since last Friday.
There are also three hermit thrushes calling in the woods alongside the road.



redtailed - highway 118
Posted on April 28, 2003 at 09:46:13 AM by gerald willmott

Hi all. There was a redtailed hawk siting in a tree near to Ziska Road on 118 west Sunday afternoon. It was on the south side of the road, just where the field across from Ziska begin, and a little towards town. He was not seen there this AM



Sandhill Cranes mating near Raymond
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 09:56:41 PM by Al Sinclair

Tim Mason reports that a pair of Sandhill Cranes were mating in a field opposite his place on Luckey Rd off Hwy 141 south of Raymond. Go north on Luckey to where a hydro line crosses the road near #86. Tim says they have been around for about 2 weeks. Looks like they might stay to nest! There appears to be a suitable wetland for nesting about 1 km north of the field.



Blue-headed Vireo..our first this year
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 09:49:17 PM by Al Sinclair

A Blue-headed Vireo was singing today, April 27, at our place near Uffington. The first last year was April 17.



Posted on April 27, 2003 at 07:23:39 PM by Ron Stager

Two bites tonight.

Bring on the dragonflies.



Least Weasel ...
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 06:11:31 PM by Paul Smith

Saw what appears to be a least weasel around a pile of wood while working by the lake today. It would dash out - dash back in - and finally made a bee-line for the cabin next door and disappeared under it. Very tiny creature - about the length of a chippy but much more skiny ...



Henry Rd. marsh - a white Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 04:14:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was no sight nor sound of the American Bittern at the Henry Rd. marsh this afternoon, but we were still rewarded with a great bird. There was a beautiful, almost completely white Red-tailed Hawk circling over the marsh for several minutes. The tail was just as "red" as a normal hawk and the head was light brown. The wings were white with only a few stray dark brown feathers here and there on the upper wing and a dark area along the leading edge of the underwing. The body was mostly white except for a bit of light brown mottling on the belly.

There was a pair of Buffleheads swimming in the beaver pond. The beavers have completed the rebuilding of their dam and the water level is much higher now. The small mound where we thought we had seen a bird nesting just a week ago is no longer visible because of the higher water level. There were a few birds in the very back of the pond so hard to tell, but they may have been Ring-necked Ducks and Mallards.

Also at the marsh there were a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. And we heard a Chorus Frog calling along with many Spring Peepers.



Spring Azure, Virginia Rail(s), Yellow Warbler
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 02:42:09 PM by Ron Stager

Spring Azure(s): my first of the year along with Compton Tortoiseshells, Eastern Commas and Mourning Cloaks (Merkley and Lewisham Road Areas).

At least two, maybe more, Virigina Rails calling in first wetland on Lewisham Road south of Merkley. First heard last Wednesday but quite a few frogs today. A Yellow Warbler calling further south.

A pair of Eastern Meadowlarks and Killdeer along Merkley Road. A Meadowlark was at Equidome (Bracebridge) on Thursday afternoon.

Naomi was carrying on a conversation with a Barred Owl on Wednesday and we could just make-out a Northern Saw-whet call among the Spring Peepers last Sunday night.



American Bittern
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 12:16:12 AM by Goodyear

American Bittern seen and heard at Henry Road marsh (west side)this morning.



Re(3): re the chickadee cache
Posted on April 28, 2003 at 11:59:36 AM by Garth N. Baker

Hi Barbara;
My Brother in-law watched as the Chickadees went from the feeder to the Wren box during the winter.
The Wren House has a hole which is only 1 and1/8 and has not been chewed.This means that a squirrel could not have stashed the Cache as it would be to small to put their head through? There have been more than just a pair visiting as well so I don't think that they are planning to nest in this Box either.Another mystery of the Great Outdoors to be solved.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Re(2): re the chickadee cache
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 10:14:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

I've never seen chickadees store food in a cache either. Perhaps they've stumbled upon a cache of sunflower seeds put there by a squirrel or mouse last fall. So now the birds may be busy moving all that seed to numerous hiding places around their territory as well as taking a few "munch breaks" while they're at it?



Re(1): Gulls Nesting
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 10:02:37 PM by Garth N. Baker

Just got home from the Parry Sound Region.39 Species of Birds Identified while at my sisters on Turtle Lake.
Here are some Highlights:

The above mentioned Gulls,Northern Harrier,American Bittern(Calling),Yellow-rumped & Palm Warbler,Golden& Ruby-crowned Kinglets,White & Red-breasted Nuthatch,Common Loon(Calling),Common Merganser,Chipping Sparrow,Sandhill Cranes (seen riding the thermals and calling),Sora Rail (Calling),American Kestrel(Copulating),Common RAven,Northern Goshawk,and Black-capped Chickadee.
The strange part about the Chickadees was that they had used a Wren Nest Box for storing Sunflower and were busy going back and forth into their "Fridge" for a bite to eat. It was the first time I had ever witnessed Chickadees using a Cache.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Gulls Nesting
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 11:30:37 AM by Garth N. Baker

Herring Gulls (single pair)are nest building and copulating on Turtle Lake in Humprey Township.They have successfully nested at the same location for several years.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Upland Sandpiper in Muskoka April
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 10:54:37 PM by Al Sinclair


When we arrived at the Sandhill Crane location we didn't see it at first so scanned the field to the west. A bird hunched down in the grass turned out to be an Upland Sandpiper when checked with a scope. Good Muskoka bird! They used to nest near Ufford 20 years ago but have not been seen there since as far as I know. This was my first in Muskoka since then. It flew after about 30 minutes, around 6PM and went west out of sight. The location was in the field west of Beaumont drive just past Beaumont Farm road, about 100 meters out.




Re(3): Still there - Sunday at 2:55 p.m.
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 03:28:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

We found the crane in the same field beside Beaumont Dr. almost at the far end by the water treatment plant. We watched it feed for a while and when we left it had already worked its way back to where the snowmobile trail cuts through the field (trail markers clearly visible). The bird seemed to be finding lots to eat.

We couldn't find the Upland Sandpiper anywhere in the area, but only had binoculars with us, no scope.



Re(2): Still there - Sunday a.m.
Posted on April 27, 2003 at 12:14:07 AM by Goodyear

The Sandhill Crane still present at same location this morning 9:00 a.m.



Re(1): Sandhill Crane - still there at 6pm - photo taken
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 10:42:37 PM by Al Sinclair


The Sandhill Crane was still on Beaumont Drive until at least 6pm. It was foraging up and down the field covering a large area. This photo was taken at around 5:30pm



Sandhill Crane - 3 p.m. today, Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 03:46:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

A lone Sandhill Crane feeding in the field on the east side of Beaumont Dr. just before you get to the water treatment plant. It wasn't there earlier this morning when we went by. Hopefully it will stick around for a while. (if travelling from town, bird is in field to your left as Beaumont Dr. makes sharp turn at junction with Beaumont Farm Rd. - Access Beaumont Dr. at the traffic lights for Ecclestone Dr. and Wellington St. intersection)

Earlier today in Alport Lake/Bay there were two pairs of Lesser Scaup, several Bufflehead, a pair of Mallards, ten Common Goldeneye and a Great Blue Heron. A Common Loon was seen on Lake Muskoka.



Owls in Arrowhead PP
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 11:45:30 AM by Burke Korol

On Thursday (24 April) night, Kip Daynard and I searched for owls in Arrowhead Provincial Park from 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm. At our first stop, we played a tape recording of a Northern Saw-whet Owl for just a few minutes and a BARRED OWL flew in, perched, and eventually began calling. This was on the main road between the Central Zone office and the maintenance yard. We continued trying for saw-whets for the next couple of hours in the Lumby Campground area, but with no luck. On the south side of Arrowhead Lake, in the Roe Campground we eventually heard a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, which came to our tape and persistently called, but it was very difficult to see as it flew across the road in the darkness. Another BARRED OWL was calling in the distance here as well.




Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 01:11:43 PM by Al Sinclair

This bird is likely the same one that has been reported in north-west Bracebridge since Jan 2002(more than 2 years). It must be frequenting some feeder in the area where it is not be reported or recognized. It was heard singing in the area last summer, that might be a way of locating its usual location.



Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 11:39:54 AM by Burke Korol

Good Stuff.

Please let me know if this bird becomes 'reliable'. I can be reached at home at 788-1776



Carolina Wren
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 07:04:53 AM by Goodyear

A Carolina Wren made a brief appearance in our yard at 117 Meadow Heights Drive early this morning (Saturday April 26).



milford bay birds
Posted on April 25, 2003 at 07:04:52 AM by Gerald Willmott

Well, it is most certainly one of the most beautiful times of the year! We can escape the house, and get into the bush, or ride a bike around the back roads of Muskoka. Yesterday, while on tour the back roads of Muskoka behind Milford Bay the following were seen:
„« Pair of Broad-winged Hawks
„« Porcupine up a tree
„« Flickers everywhere
„« Chirping sparrows
„« Great blue herons
„« Black Ducks and Mallards
„« Feebe

Keep going outside! Don't forget to go to the open house!



Posted on April 24, 2003 at 11:48:27 PM by Challis-Carlyle

The kingfisher is back at Fraserburg Road, perched in his usual spot on the hydro wires overlooking Sharpe's Creek, down in the hollow 2 km in from Highway 11. It was there at 5 p.m. Thursday.



Fish - not birds
Posted on April 24, 2003 at 09:34:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The ice was out of Orgill's Bay, Lake Muskoka, on Sunday and by Monday I could see riffles of spawning Northern Pike in the shallow areas. This afternoon I kayaked into the bay and watched the pike swimming around. Two very large pike swam on either side of a smaller one.

I did a search on the web and found out that the smaller one is probably a male. The females can lay up to 100,000 eggs that will hatch in 2-3 weeks. They use shallow weedy areas for spawning. The large ones were at least 2 ft long and the smaller one about 1 1/2 ft.



Bracebridge Ponds April 24...400 ducks, Barn Swallow
Posted on April 24, 2003 at 08:38:21 PM by Al Sinclair

At the ponds this afternoon, April 24, I counted 393 ducks of 8 species. I missed a few so there were more than 400, mostly Bufflehead, Ring-necked, and Scaup as well as a couple of dozen Wood Ducks, many males. Also I saw my first Barn Swallow of the year a single bird flying south over cell 2. Not many other birds seen or heard as it was cool and windy.



Browning Island birds
Posted on April 24, 2003 at 05:16:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today on Browning Island, Lake Muskoka, the woods were fairly quiet. There were the usual chickadees but no sign of the resident White Nuthatch pair or the Blue Jays. A Pine Warbler and a single Yellow-rumped Warbler were singing and we spotted a silent Hermit Thrush, Song Sparrow and an Eastern Phoebe. One Raven circled overhead but remained unusually quiet, probably because there were no Crows around to argue with. A pair of Common Mergansers floated by as they sunned themselves on a mini-iceberg. Their peaceful siesta was interrupted by an intruding male merganser. The female remained on the ice preening her feathers, but kept one eye on the two males now engaged in fierce battle.

Near the mouth of the Muskoka River there were at least forty Buffleheads and five Common Goldeneye. We saw a possible Red-necked Grebe, but it was too far away to be sure. No loons were seen. At least thirty Double-crested Cormorants were on Eleanor Island near the south end of Browning Island, and several more cormorants were seen near the mouth of the river.

Except for that minor piece of ice floating out of one of the bays, the lake appeared to be open water.



hermit thrush
Posted on April 24, 2003 at 08:54:21 AM by challis-carlyle

On Rocksborough Road, about half-way along, a hermit thrush has been singing since Tuesday at least (we were away on the weekend and may have missed its arrival). Possibly a second singing as well.



Bracebridge West Bypass-Wetlands Threatened!-Public Meeting April 25
Posted on April 23, 2003 at 02:35:22 PM by Al Sinclair

The Environmental Assessment that will choose the route for a south-west bypass highway around Bracebridge is holding its first public meeting on Friday April 25 at the St Dominic's Separate Secondary School Cafeteria, 955 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge. An open house is scheduled from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and a presentation and discussion from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Please attend if you can, significant wetlands and prime birding areas are threatened by the routes being considered.

All the routes proposed but one threaten the Bracebridge Ponds, the Beaumont Wetlands including Henry Marsh, and the Rainbow Wetlands north of the Muskoka River. These wetlands are the most productive wildlife areas in Muskoka providing food and shelter for hundreds of species of birds and mammals. They are full of frogs and insects that are the basis of a complex food chain and are an important source of clean water in the Muskoka watershed.

The Bracebridge Sewage Treatment Ponds, the best birding hotspot in Muskoka, are an important migratory staging area for thousands of ducks and are used by hundreds of birds as feeding areas and breeding habitats. At least 195 species have been recorded in and around the ponds. The Trans Canada Pipeline Route will place the highway less than 100 meters from cell 4 cutting it off from the wetlands to the west (habitat fragmentation) and greatly increasing disturbance from vehicle noise.

Henry Marsh is home to the provincially rare Least Bittern and three regionally rare species, Green Heron, Sedge Wren, and Yellow-throated Vireo as well as a species of conservation concern, the Golden-winged Warbler. Provincially rare Red-shouldered Hawks nesting nearby use the marsh as a feeding area. The Henry Road route being considered will place the highway right through the marsh essentially destroying it as bird habitat.

The Rainbow Wetlands are fed by springs that maintain water levels in the pond and stream even during summer droughts. They are an important feeding area for birds during migration and home to many species in the breeding season. All the routes except the Stephens Bay alignment would require a deep rock cut through the water source of this wetland.

To save these wetlands it would be very helpful to have as many people as possible attend the meeting and express concerns for the environment and stress the significance of these exceptional Muskoka wetlands. There are problems with all the routes being considered but the Trans Canada Pipeline route, also known as route 6, is the worst. The route with the least impact on wetlands and their water sources is the Stephens Bay route, aka route 2.

For a map of the routes and some photos go to
If you can't attend comment at




Guided Bird Hike - Saturday, 26 April
Posted on April 23, 2003 at 12:43:35 AM by Burke Korol

If anybody is interested in joining me on the following free Guided Bird Hike, please click on 'Upcoming Events' on the link provided below.

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2003
Time: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Location: Jessup's Lane (North of Huntsville)

Park to Park Trail



Re(1): hawkwatch
Posted on April 26, 2003 at 08:08:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

We saw a Broad-winged Hawk flying over Browning Island today.



Posted on April 22, 2003 at 09:29:03 PM by challis-carlyle

Expect more arrivals of broad-winged hawks shortly. On Easter Sunday we spent a few hours at Beamer's Point in Grimbsy joining the dozens of other hawk-watching enthusiasts. Top tally for the day was more than 1,300 broad-wings, along with a healthy crowd of red-tails and seven or eight ospreys. Most exciting moment was watching a sharp-shin stoop after a songbird, just a few yards from us.



House Finch in Bracebridge April 22
Posted on April 22, 2003 at 08:39:24 PM by Al Sinclair

Today, April 22, there was a male House Finch singing in a cedar tree in front of the house on the south-east corner of Manitoba and Monk Rd in Bracebridge (across the street from KFC). This is my first sighting of this species in Muskoka since 1998. Ten years ago they were fairly common but in 2 years of data collection for the breeding bird atlas they have been seen in only 2 of the 40 Muskoka 10km squares. I would be interested to hear about any other sightings of this species in Muskoka.



Bracebridge Lagoons Monday April 21
Posted on April 21, 2003 at 05:33:03 PM by Goodyear

In addition to the Bufflehead, Ring-necked Ducks, and Scaup, there was an interesting selection of birds in the first pond (as you enter from Kerr Park):
1 Horned Grebe
1 male Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal 1 pair
Green-winged Teal 3 pair
Wood Duck approx. 5-6 pairs

In the wet wooded area immediately to the west of this cell there were 4 Rusty Blackbirds (1 male and 3 female).



Beaumaris, 118 west of BBridge. Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on April 21, 2003 at 01:05:02 PM by Gerald WIllmott

Today and yesterday a red-shouldered hawk was seen calling repeatedly around the north end of Beaumaris Is.

Of interest: Three Broad-winged Hawks (together), Barred Owl, Rough Grouse (displaying), Kingfisher, Palm Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Winter Wren.

Also seen: Bufflehead, Malard, Song Sparrow, C. Merganser, many Flickers, Pileated Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Tree Swallows, quarling groups of Hairy Woodpeckers, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

Also of wolves have been seen around Beaumaris Is. and heard howling at night; skat has been found in the area.



Allport Marina -- ducks
Posted on April 21, 2003 at 11:48:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were about 150 Ring-necked Ducks close to shore by Allport Marina along Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. Also five Common Goldeneye with two males giving a great display as they sparred with one another. Two female Common Mergansers, two pairs of Bufflehead and about ten Lesser Scaup were also nearby.

Looks like the south end of Lake Muskoka is open water now. Yesterday's strong south wind helped but there are still areas of black ice to the north, including a section just offshore of the public docks at the end of Beaumont Dr.

Alport Lake/Bay is completely ice-free now.



Sparrow Lake-Red necked Grebe
Posted on April 21, 2003 at 06:53:23 AM by sylvia purdon

Sunday April 20:
Red-necked Grebe in transition plumage.

40+ DC Cormorants on Long Island (Tern Island)
200++ Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls

100+ raft of Ring-necked Duck-m&f
50+ raft of Common Merganser-male
and some pairs


Merlin- pair
Northern Harrier

Common Loon

Wild Turkey group -heard



Loon in Orgill's Bay
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 06:19:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

At 8 am this morning there was a loon in Orgill's Bay which was ice-free. It did get out after multiple tries as the ice is still in the Lake Joseph channel.

Thursday and Friday we saw 2 otters running across the ice in Orgill's Bay.



Re(1): Algonquin Park -- Black-backed Woodpecker
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 08:33:40 PM by Karl Egressy

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 20, 2003) and is provided here courtesy of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

We could not have come to terms with our luck Today.
Yesterday we were with Ron Tozer's led OFO group in Algonquin park and had a
wonderful time.
Today morning we were heading back to the park and stopped at km 8.
At the very utility pole where we stopped there was the male Black Backed
Two poles further down the female was working on the pole.
We spent about half an hour taking pictures and they were still there when
we left.
I will try to send some pictures to OFO later on.

Karl & Marienna Egressy



OFO Algonquin Park Trip
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 03:26:10 PM by Ron Tozer

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 20, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists. *

A very rewarding early spring day in Algonquin Park was enjoyed on Saturday
by 69 OFO members and friends. We started at the West Gate at 9 a.m.,
birded east to Opeongo Road, and still had five of the 39 cars when we
finally stopped at 7 p.m. back at the West Boundary! About 50 bird species
were observed. Noteworthy sightings included:

-Broad-winged Hawk: two over Opeongo Road (first of spring)
-Rough-legged Hawk: one (light morph) over Visitor Centre
-Spruce Grouse: 1 along Opeongo Road at gate; five south of Hwy. 60,
opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk
-Black-backed Woodpecker: 1 Opeongo Road at gate; none at km 8 despite two
long attempts to find the female that has been regular there.
-Gray Jay: 4 along Opeongo Road
-Boreal Chickadee: several along Opeongo Road in black spruce section
-Hermit Thrush: 1 near West Gate (first of spring)
-American Robin: one with nest material (Canoe Lake), just one day later
than the earliest nest-building ever recorded in Algonquin.
-Savannah Sparrow: 1 on Airfield (first of spring)
-Eastern Meadowlark: 1 on Airfield (first of spring), even though average
arrival is April 7
-White-winged Crossbill: numerous along Hwy. 60 and Opeongo Road
-Evening Grosbeak: 4 on Opeongo Road; 1 or more at Visitor Centre

Other interesting observations included the first Painted Turtle (Costello
Creek Marsh) and Garter Snake (Cache Lake) of this spring.

Thanks to all the participants, and especially those who helped us find
birds and show them to others. Hope to see you all again next year!

Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400
and 11 to Huntsville, and then east on Highway 60. Get a tabloid at the gate
when you purchase your permit (required if you are going to use trails,
parking lots and roads off Highway 60, or go to the Visitor Centre). The
tabloid has a map for locating sites mentioned above.

Ron Tozer



Sandhill Cranes, et al. near Huntsville
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 02:11:15 PM by Burke Korol

Today (Sunday, 20 April) two SANDHILL CRANES were circling over Arrowhead Provincial Park around 10 a.m. This is the first record of this species in the park in several years. Arrowhead PP is about 10 km north of Huntsville on Hwy. 11. The entrance is well signed from the highway. The cranes were over the main park road, about 1 km north of the Big East River. Also in the park today, at the main gate were a very cooperative pair of PINE WARBLERS, feeding on the ground on flies.

Also, a vocal pair of MERLINS was seen at the junction of Hwy. 60 and Muskoka Road 3 over the Shopper's Drugmart parking lot around 9 a.m. This location is near the northeast corner of Huntsville. From Hwy. 11, turn east on Hwy. 60 (towards Algonquin PP/Ottawa) until you come to the first set of traffic lights, which is about 4 km.



Bracebridge Ponds - beavers, frogs, turtles
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 01:28:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Henry Rd. marsh.

In cell 2 in front of the viewing platform, there were 12 Wood Ducks, and several Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, a few Ring-necked Ducks, and Mallards. Lots of Buffleheads in cell 4 and a male Common Merganser.

In the NE corner of cell 2 on the sandy/gravelly bank there were 10 Painted Turtles. A huge Snapping Turtle was slowly crossing the roadway along cell 4 over to the flooded area to the north.

In cell 2 near the roadway on the east side there was a beaver swimming along with a large plant in its mouth (looked like a cattail, roots and all). In cell 4 near the roadway that leads to Henry Rd. there was another beaver swimming by.

In the wet areas to the west of cell 4 along the snowmobile trail, there were lots of Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs calling.

Along the trail leading from cell 4 to Henry Rd. there was a pair of Mallards in a small pond. Several American Goldfinch, Purple Finch and Golden-crowned Kinglets along the way. Ruffed Grouse could be heard drumming in several places along the trail and one flew up from the path as we approached.

At the Henry Rd. marsh there was a pair of Mallards and what looked something like a Bufflehead lying on a small mound in the marsh near the west side. The bird seemed to be nesting since it kept moving its head around to scan the area, but did not move its body. Since Bufflehead are cavity nesters, we aren't sure what this bird was. At the beaver dam (now a mini-waterfall) we briefly saw a very small beaver climb up and over the pile of sticks.

Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows seemed to be everywhere.

There are a few wet areas along the trail between cell 4 and Henry Rd. marsh, but as of this morning, if you picked your spots you could get through okay without needing waterproof footwear.



Butterflies and Birds
Posted on April 20, 2003 at 08:44:12 AM by Ron Stager

Nice day on Saturday

Eastern Commas, The Infant(s)- a black and orange moth that acts like a butterfly, Mourning Cloaks (many) and Compton Tortoiseshells (a few) along Merkeley Road.

Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Duck (2 pair), Ring-necked Duck, scaup, Hooded Merganser, Mallard at small lake in our woods. Sandhill Cranes calling as they flew around. Lots of American Goldfinch, Purple Finch and both nuthatches in the woods along with lots of Hairy, Downy and flickers. Two types of warblers (requiring further study of bird sond CD). Maybe a towhee as well.

Hope its a nice day today as well.



Loon magic
Posted on April 19, 2003 at 10:03:43 PM by bob burton

Skeleton Bay showed a wide patch of open water today and a single loon found it.There was a pair of Gadwall at far end of cell 2, lagoons early this morning.Four snipe feeding together on wet fields off Roxborough road.They sure blend with dead grass.



American Bittern
Posted on April 19, 2003 at 07:44:19 PM by Janice House

We saw our first bittern today, flew over our house (Doe Lake Rd) about 7:30 p.m. and landed in the field on the north side of the road close to the creek.



Mergansers and Wren
Posted on April 19, 2003 at 02:22:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a pair of Common Mergansers in a small patch of open water in Stephens Bay, Lake Muskoka. The ice is starting to look black now and there are some areas of open water leading away from the mouth of the Muskoka River.

A Winter Wren was singing along Stage Coach Rd. (part of the Bracebridge section of the Trans Canada Trail between Stephens Bay Rd. and Muskoka Beach Rd.)



Bracebridge Ponds April 19...300 ducks
Posted on April 19, 2003 at 02:12:46 PM by Al Sinclair

This morning April 19 the number of ducks was up to about 300, 170 Buffleheads, 70 Ring-necked, 30 Lesser Scaup, 7 species total. One new bird for me this year was a Hermit Thrush singing in the woods south of cell 4.



Brown Thrasher
Posted on April 19, 2003 at 11:07:37 AM by Brenda Clark

They're back!



South Muskoka Update
Posted on April 18, 2003 at 03:24:35 PM by Burke Korol

On Friday, 18 April, Brian Pfrimmer and I visited some previously reported areas to see some of the spring arrivals ourself. The GREAT HORNED OWL on Housey's Rapids Road was sitting quietly on its nest while WOOD DUCKS and HOODED MERGANSERS swam in the wetland below and WILSON'S SNIPE flew overhead. There were also NORTHERN FLICKERS and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and an EASTERN PHOEBE in the area.

As reported previously, the Bracebridge Sewage Ponds were well populated with ducks, especially BUFFLEHEADS and RING-NECKED DUCKS. I checked out Henry Road Marsh too, but there wasn't too much there, except for a fly over SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.



Blue Jay gets "unstuck"
Posted on April 18, 2003 at 01:06:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

There has been a pair of Blue Jays visiting our back deck for peanut handouts for two years now. Usually they perch on a metal bracket for hanging plants and there they wait patiently until we throw out a peanut. I had never given this habit a second thought until last Wednesday morning when Bracebridge had a bit of freezing rain...

The male Blue Jay came in as usual and perched on the bracket. I threw out a peanut and he went to fly down to it. But he was stuck! He flapped his wings round and round until finally he regained his balance and then he began to gently peck at his feet. Somehow he realized he had to melt the icy grip on his feet, so he fluffed his feathers and lay down just like he was brooding eggs on a nest. After a few seconds he tried to lift one foot, but it was still frozen to the metal bracket. He remained very calm. A little more pecking at his feet and another longer brooding session and finally he was free. He immediately flew down to get the peanut.

Since this traumatic episode (at least for me watching helplessly it was), he has continued to come for his peanut handouts, but now he lands on the wooden rail, not the metal bracket. His mate still comes to the metal bracket, but I don't think she was nearby when the male got himself in trouble.

I used to wonder why birds don't get their feet frozen to the little round metal perches that are so typical on hanging feeders. Then I read somewhere not to worry since there isn't much actual contact area between the feet and the perch and also not much heat given off from the feet. So maybe this episode with the Blue Jay was just a fluke with just the exact necessary weather conditions. Has anyone else ever seen a bird get stuck to a metal perch?



Posted on April 17, 2003 at 05:51:15 PM by Challis-Carlyle

This morning, around coffee break, I spotted a merlin along the rock ridge beside Ball's Drive in Bracebridge. Wouldn't have been able to ID except for the very recognizable caterwauling it was making. Perhaps there was a mate nearby as well? Worth keeping an eye out for signs that there might be some intention to nest there.



Posted on April 17, 2003 at 04:27:29 PM by M.Lannan

We live on a wide spot on the Magnetewan River outside of Kearnery. In the Last few days we have see.
l Pied Billed Grebe
l Cormorant
2 Gr. blue Herons
12 Can. Geese
2 Green-winged Teal
10 Black Ducks
2 Mallards
50+ Ring-necked Ducks
2 ? Scaup
2 Common Goldeneye
3 Bufflehead
10 Hooded Mergansers
9 Common Mergansers
4 herring Gull
2 Ring-billed Gull
l Beaver
l Muskrat
l Otter
1 Mink



Posted on April 17, 2003 at 01:47:23 PM by Carlyle-Challis

Apr. 16 afternoon. Watched a pair of Kestrels hunting (in vain) for food above the fields at the end of Rocksborough Rd.



ducks and tree swallows, Tamwood Resort
Posted on April 16, 2003 at 08:37:19 PM by Gerald WIllmott

Today at the bottom of Aston Villa hill, close to Tamwood Lodge, 118 West, was a bouquet of spring. A good spot exists where a small creek empties into Lake Muskoka. A small colony of ducks has gathered here and the ice hems them in somewhat.

There were:
 C Goose
 Hooded Merganser
 Common Merganser
 Common Goldeneye
 Wood Ducks
 And 2 very special tree swallows flying far out along the edge of the ice.

Also, in the area were two turkey vultures tilting over Keary Glen and many redwing blackbirds waiting to explode across the marsh land.



Henry Rd. marsh
Posted on April 16, 2003 at 03:31:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Henry Rd. marsh:

Yellow-rumped Warblers
Ring-necked Duck (7)
Mallard (2 pairs)
Bufflehead (pair)
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Kestrel (pair)
Northern Harrier (male)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadees
Ruffed Grouse drumming

directions: access Henry Rd. from Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge - note the beaver dam at the marsh has overflowed across the path but you can still get close enough to the marsh for viewing the birds.



Winter Wren singing...3 days later than last year
Posted on April 16, 2003 at 03:02:08 PM by Al Sinclair

A Winter Wren was singing here near Uffington yesterday morning April 15. Last year the 1st time we heard one here was April 12.



Bracebridge Ponds April 15 120 ducks
Posted on April 16, 2003 at 02:58:36 PM by Al Sinclair

All cells are now open except for part of cell 3. Yesterday afternoon April 15 there were 120 ducks of 7 species. My list output from Avisys is pasted below.

From 4/15/2003 to 4/15/2003 ~ in Bracebridge S.L. ~ 19 seen
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Turkey Vulture
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
American Crow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 19



Re(1): Swans, Cranes, etc.
Posted on April 25, 2003 at 12:11:02 AM by Nick Bartok

just wondering if you called the trump sighting to the wye marsh

they collect data on such sightings



Swans, Cranes, etc.
Posted on April 15, 2003 at 08:37:49 PM by Brenda Clark

Last weekend we saw two trumpeter swans on the Severn just off of Severn River Road. They were very interested in us, seems they associate people with food? Yesterday a flock of sandhill cranes went over. (Near the Muskoka Store, Gravenhurst) Interestingly, my records show a flock went over on the same day last year. Our woodcocks are back, as are the phoebes, buffleheads, hooded mergansers, and I enjoyed seeing painted turtles, the tail end of an otter, and hearing frogs yesterday.



Wild Turkeys
Posted on April 15, 2003 at 07:13:06 PM by Lad Helde

This evening 7pm a pair of wild turkeys feeding in our backyard at the edge of the woods. Fraserburg Road



Algonquin Park Birds
Posted on April 15, 2003 at 04:52:28 PM by Ron Tozer

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 15, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Birders planning to attend the OFO trip to Algonquin Park on April 19 (meet
at West Gate at 9 a.m.) should note that there is still extensive snow in
the bush, requiring high waterproof boots. The snow is not very deep, but
many places have too much for shoes or hiking boots.

Spruce Grouse have been observed recently on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.4
from West Gate), north of the main trail in the area between the trail
register box and the pond; and on the Opeongo Road (km 46.3), 200 m north of
the winter gate (likely closed until just before the weekend of April 26-27,
but road can be walked).

Black-backed Woodpecker has been seen on utility poles near km 8 (Tea Lake
Dam area); and along the Opeongo Road, at the winter gate and at the north
end near the lake.

Gray Jays have been most reliably observed near the winter gate on the
Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadees have been reported from the Black Spruce/Tamarack areas
along the northern section of Opeongo Road; and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk
beyond the long boardwalk across the bog.

White-winged Crossbills were reported as "plentiful" along Opeongo Road, but
numbers appear to be diminishing in the Highway 60 Corridor. Some males are
still singing and doing flight displays, but seem more active earlier in the
day. Despite the late winter presence of hundreds of apparently breeding
pairs, there have been only two reports of young birds.

Red Crossbills were observed at four locations along the Basin Depot Road on
the East Side of Algonquin Park on Sunday. These birds are likely part of
the population that normally inhabits the pine forests of the Park's East
Side. Basin Depot Road can be reached by turning west off Highway 58 onto
Turner's Road, at a point 7.3 km north of Round Lake Centre, and proceeding
more than 15 kilometres to Algonquin Park. There have been no Red Crossbill
observations in the Highway 60 Corridor.

A few Evening Grosbeaks are still coming to the Algonquin Visitor Centre (km
43) feeders, but are more reliably found earlier in the day. Purple Finch,
Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch continue to be reported, in small

Birders are asked to report their Algonquin Park sightings to me
(, including spring arrival dates for migrants, in order
that we may add your observations to the Algonquin Visitor Centre database.

Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400
and 11 to Huntsville, and then east on Highway 60. Get a tabloid at the gate
when you purchase your permit (required if you are going to use trails,
parking lots and roads off Highway 60, or go to the Visitor Centre). The
tabloid has a map for locating sites mentioned above. Please consult an
Ontario road map for access to the East Side of Algonquin Park, from the
Pembroke area.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ontario



Posted on April 15, 2003 at 01:57:02 PM by Janice House

Home for lunch 1:30 my tree swallows are back.



Red-tailed hawk, snipe
Posted on April 15, 2003 at 12:48:29 AM by Carlyle-Challis

tues. Apr. 15 10:45
Rocksborough Rd.
Saw and heard my first snipe down in "the flats".
Also watched a sharp-shinned hawk (I think) stooping on a red-tailed hawk. Both taking advantage of the thermals and rising quickly out of view.



Posted on April 15, 2003 at 12:45:59 AM by Gayle Carlyle

Thank goodness, someone has a phoebe. I hope ours come back soon.
Grouse killer. Any cats roaming around? Or perhaps a raccoon.



Posted on April 15, 2003 at 07:18:55 AM by MARK MCANALLY

Eastern Phoebe in my backyard for the first time this spring. Only one tree sparrow and one junco on Sunday, everything seemed to disappear.
Found a dead grouse in my back meadow with only the head and neck eaten. Anyone know a specialty killer?



Cooper's Hawk, whither phoebes?
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 09:48:35 PM by Carlyle-Challis

last Thurs. Apr. 10 at about 4 p.m., I watched a Cooper's Hawk fly through the cedar hedge next to our place and land on a platform feeder nearby. It seemed to be after the blue jays but had no luck.
Where are the phoebes? We had one around our place on March 25 (I was so excited) and then winter came back and I haven't seen him since. My neighbour hasn't seen or heard her's either.
I hope they didn't get killed off in the cold weather.
Anyone else have phoebes?



Re(1): Wood ducks & Mallards
Posted on April 16, 2003 at 01:54:39 AM by sylvia purdon

Sunday April 13 we had 6 wood ducks and 2pair mallards at Sparrow Lake in a mixed flock such as you described in your posting.



Wood ducks & Mallards
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 07:15:49 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This evening 3 pairs of mallards and 2 male wood ducks walked across the ice from Butterfly Creek, which runs into Lake Joseph, to our dock where there is a small patch of open water and where I have fed corn for about 8 years.



Owls near Huntsville
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 01:17:28 PM by Burke Korol

On the night of April 13th (Sunday) Brian Pfrimmer and I did a little atlassing northwest of Huntsville. The night was very successful with 4 Barred and 3 Northern Saw-whet owls seen/heard. A pair of Barred Owls was seen at the north end of East Fox Lake Road, which is about 12 km NW of Huntsville, off of Muskoka Road 2.

In Parry Sound District, a Northern Saw-whet Owl was heard and well seen on Old Novar Road, about 3 km east of Ilfracombe. Another was heard on Sisted Road, near McMurrich. Two Barred Owls were heard about 1 km west of Haldane Hill on 2nd Avenue.



Barr Owls
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 04:13:41 AM by Marty Arnett

Out on weekend Southwood Rd-5th year this owl survey route using playback tape. Anyone interested-Southwood Rd just south of Old Stone Rd every year has produced very well. Friday night produced 4-5 Barrs at this spot with two directly overhead. Others within 500m.



Hoc Roc River Bridge,Muskoka Beach Road, Gravenhurst
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 02:57:33 AM by jim maguire

Saturday April 12

Common Loon
Common Merganser, pair
Canada Goose ...



Sparrow Lake-The Point
Posted on April 14, 2003 at 02:50:01 AM by sylvia purdon

Sunday April 13:

Merlin: scouting out last year's nest site at The Point, Sparrow Lake..

Common Raven: Defending against crows

Red Shouldered Hawk: pair calling adjacent marsh on Wenona Lodge Road, west side

Wood Duck: 6

Mourning Cloak



Wild turkeys & Woodcock
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 08:58:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning about 8:30 am there were 2 displaying male and 5 female wild turkeys on the road just East of the Band council building along Muskoka Rd. 38. Did I have my camera ready - YES!

At 8:45 pm there was a woodcock in the middle of Sherwood Rd.



Black-Backed Woodpecker
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 06:34:12 PM by Janice House

Moira Payne spotted the woodpecker at 4:45 today, (Moira lives on the Houston Rd.)she watched him for approx 10 minutes. The tree he has been working on has really been worked over. Moira also had a house wren in her front garden today. On Friday my husband saw a rose-breasted grosbeak at our feeders (Doe Lake Rd)



Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 01:08:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Most of cell 2 is now open water. At noon there were several Bufflehead and Mallards. A pair of Wood Ducks came in for a landing as we watched. Also a single Scaup, probably a Lesser Scaup since head appeared to be purple, not a hint of green. In the trees by the viewing platform a Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch and a Purple Finch.



American Woodcock
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 11:34:25 AM by Nick Bartok

Heard a woodcock in field across from my house, 12am, april 13, fraserburg road, near highway



Re(1): GH Owl Nest
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 05:12:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Marty! We saw the owl on the nest this morning. It is far enough away from the road that the bird wasn't disturbed at all by our presence. I would recommend a spotting scope even though you can find the nest with binoculars. Guess the herons won't be using those other old nests with the owls settled in now.

Trying to find the marsh going south on Houseys Rapids Rd. from Doe Lake Rd., the marsh is on your right before you reach Halls Rd. If you see the yellow school bus stop sign, you've gone too far.



GH Owl Nest
Posted on April 13, 2003 at 05:24:23 AM by Marty Arnett

GH Owl nesting for 3rd year in my square. Small marsh west side Housey Rapids Rd past Halls Rd. Nesting in lower Blue Heron nest approx. centre of marsh. No leaves out - can still be seen from rdwy with good pair binoc.



Wood Ducks
Posted on April 12, 2003 at 09:22:05 PM by Goodyear

1 female and 2 male Wood Ducks on Muskoka River opposite entrance to Kerr Park.



Re(1): Thrush: Swainson's?
Posted on April 12, 2003 at 09:28:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Hermit Thrush are always the first brown thrush to return. They look the same as in the summer. Look for tail flicking as a good field mark for Hermit Thrush.



Thrush: Swainson's?
Posted on April 12, 2003 at 06:17:28 PM by Ron Stager

A thrush in the woods this afternoon.

Uniform brown back, spotted breast, pronounced eye-ring and no singing.

In the woods I thought it was a Hermit Thrush rather than a Veery but uniform colour on back was confusing. Is this winter plumage for Hermit Thrush? Looking at Peterson when I got back home it looked more like Swainson's than Hermit.

The American Goldfinch have surely gotten yellow since I last saw them.



Re(1): Common Loon
Posted on April 12, 2003 at 03:20:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Doug, as of yesterday Lake Muskoka still looked pretty solid ice - none of that promising black look about it yet. Our step back into winter a week ago really slowed things down.

The Bracebridge Ponds (aka sewage lagoons) are starting to open up now. There is a bit of water in Cell 2 in front of the viewing stand. Only gulls and a few Canada Goose were seen this morning.



Common Loon
Posted on April 12, 2003 at 12:53:52 AM by Doug Smith

A Common Loon was seen flying over Uffington this morning. Saw another (same one?) near Muskoka Falls later this morning. The river is open, but what about the lakes?



Hooded Mergansers
Posted on April 11, 2003 at 06:36:32 PM by Lad Helde

This am 2 rakish-looking male hooded mergansers enjoying the early morning in Sharp's Creek



Buffleheads on Muskoka River
Posted on April 11, 2003 at 12:22:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

Two pairs of Buffleheads on the Muskoka River at the big bend in the river by Santa's Village. Also a pair of Mallards. A Great Blue Heron was in the marshy area across the road. Seen this morning from Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.



Common Raven Nestlings
Posted on April 10, 2003 at 11:16:03 PM by sylvia purdon

The Brydon's Bay Road Common Raven nest has hatched 4 large nestlings clearly visible on the nest demanding food. The two parents are feeding these youngsters constantly all day. The adults fly to a nearby treed area and bring some kind of food to the nest. Feeding by m and f. April 10 all four seen and heard. This nest has successfully produced four ravens in the past. Located on an inaccessible cliff ledge on Lake Muskoka, easily seen from a nearby year-round home on the waterfront on Brydon's Bay Road.



Quick overview of Bird Board features
Posted on April 9, 2003 at 07:54:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Overview of a few features on the Bird Board:

1. Bird Board Guidelines link - Here you will find the basic posting guidelines. Also several helpful hints and tips about using the message board.

2. Archived Reports link - Here you will find an index of archived postings dating back as far as October, 2000.

3. Search link - Here you can quickly search through the content of posted messages for specific birds, etc.

4. Birding and Nature Links - Here you will find a collection of links to other nature related websites that cover a broad range of interests.

Just a reminder to bookmark the Bird Board back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor



White Throated Sparrow
Posted on April 9, 2003 at 07:42:17 PM by Janice House

All weekend song sparrows, fox sparrows, tree sparrows and a lone white throat at our feeders. Sapsucker was back too. I am not positive but there may have been a Brewers Blackbird here also.



Re(1): butterflies!
Posted on April 10, 2003 at 06:11:06 PM by Ron Stager

Two Mourning Cloaks and a Compton Tortoiseshell were flying around our house (east of Barkway)today.

Re Sure Signs of Spring. I told someone that I considered my sure sign of spring was seeing the first butterfly. Erik saw a (Compton Tortoiseshell) butterfly two weeks ago in weather like this and then we had two weeks of winter! I have since revised my sure sign to the first song of the spring peeper!

A pleasant late-winter to all.



Re(1): butterflies!
Posted on April 9, 2003 at 09:42:39 PM by Al Sinclair

Compton Tortoise Shells over-winter as adults in crevices, often in buildings. They are usually the first species seen however their numbers vary from year to year. Sometimes Mourning Cloaks are seen first, they also over-winters as adults. Early April would not be considered early.

A Brown Creeper has been singing here on Hwy 118E for about 3 weeks, a sure sign of spring.



Posted on April 9, 2003 at 04:12:03 PM by Carlyle-Challis

Wed., Apr. 9 about 2:30
I was out for a drive along the Purbrook Rd. and stopped at a wetland to look for birds..nothing but a crow.However, I was surprised to see two butterflies soaking up the sun and flitting around like...butterflies. I memorized the markings and when I looked it up in my small butterfly book, I believe them to be Compton Tortoise Shells. Could I be right? Isn't this kind of early?
Also I think I heard a brown creeper along the Rocksborough Rd. near our house. At first I thought it was some kind of foolish warbler because the song was so sweet but listening to my bird call CD I think it was a creeper.



Turkey Vultures
Posted on April 9, 2003 at 02:06:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Turkey Vultures flying over Hwy. 141 west of Rosseau near Whitefish Lake.



Posted on April 7, 2003 at 10:01:50 PM by Dave Hawke

a lone phoebe was seen April 5 at Muskoka Sands Resort, Lake Muskoka. Didn't look very happy.



sandhill crane and TVs
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 09:54:07 PM by Dave Hawke

On March 29 I heard then saw a single Sandhill Crane flying northwards along shore of Lake Muskoka at Muskoka Sands Resort. Also on that date I saw 19 Turkey Vultures in a flock over Hwy 11 at Kilworthy Road.



Hooded Merganser
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 08:28:54 PM by Mark McAnally

Hooded Merganser male on Muskoka River (near cemetery on Brunel Road).
I also had a fox sparrow feeding around feeders all weekend.
Saw a beautiful fisher run across Brunel Road on Friday, April 4,2003.



Evening Grosbeaks et al.
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 07:56:50 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks:

We had a good day at the feeders here on Rocky Narrows this past Sunday. Beside the usuals (juncos, chicadees, bluejays, downies, hairies, white-breasted nuthatches and red squirrels)we also had 3 evening grosbeaks, 4 fox sparrows, a pileated woodpecker, a few grackles, a pair of red-winged blackbirds and a chipmunk.

Take care,



Re(2): A Pied Grackle
Posted on April 8, 2003 at 12:06:37 AM by Doug Smith

David -- it was at my feeder, which is located in Uffington,just south of hwy 118 east, approx. 10 km east of Hwy 11. It was there again this morning -- I'm trying to get a picture, but no luck yet.



Re(1): A Pied Grackle
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 09:55:48 PM by Dave Hawke

Doug: A pied grackle has been seen for a couple years in a row at Sparrow Lake at Port Stanton. Where did you see yours?



A Pied Grackle
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 08:58:23 AM by Doug Smith

Had a partially albino grackle at the feeder this morning. It showed nearly all white on each side of its face. It didn't stay long, so hope it comes back, or someone else sees it.



Fox Sparrows and others
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 00:48:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

2 Fox sparrows joined the 2 dozen juncos, 10 tree sparrows and about 4 song sparrows coming to finch seed spread on the ground. The tree sparrows and juncos are taking niger from a tube feeder too. They were joined briefly by 4 purple finches and a couple of mourning doves.

This afternoon there were 4 male and 1 female hooded mergansers, 2 black ducks and 1 male wood duck along Medora Lake Rd.

Still have a pair of red-breasted nuthatches coming to my feeder at Bala.



Re(1): Robins
Posted on April 7, 2003 at 10:33:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

Last week we saw a robin at the front of our house by the foundation, trying to find food where the ground wasn't frozen solid. So we decided to help out, and over the past few days I've been putting out a handful of cornmeal, raisins, bits of bagel and bread, and even a few frozen raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. All the food keeps disappearing, and this morning the robin was sitting on our front steps seemingly waiting for more. It flew away a short distance when I went outside, but was soon back to investigate the new food offering.

There aren't many crabapples or mountain ash berries left around the neighbourhood. Hopefully the temperatures will get above freezing by mid-week so any surviving migrants will have an easier time of it.



Robins over .08?
Posted on April 6, 2003 at 11:57:49 PM by Bob Burton

Robins cleaned off remaining berries from European Mountain Ash in front of Al. Beverley's parking lot.As a result Al Sinclair witnessed unusual aerial
As per a formula in a B.B. handbook, I made up a concoction of ground suet,chopped raisons, currents,hulled unsalted sunflower seeds,cornmeal& a little veg. oil.We put some on B.B. box roofs?Joan Paget in Bracebridge, had a Flicker spend several hours of enjoyment,also Robins and Starlings alternated visits to some spread on snow crust.Has anyone a proven recipe to share?



Migrants in trouble
Posted on April 6, 2003 at 11:09:49 PM by Bob Burton

This afternoon,(apr.06) I helped John Delang and two friends check the Bluebird boxes on southwood rd. loop in the Kilworthy area.This was formerly looked after by Frank Levay.Last year 9 of 23 boxes fledged Bluebirds.We found a dead male beside one box.Another box contained two dead male Treeswallows.We did also see a male from hydro wires.



cardinal, fox sparrow
Posted on April 6, 2003 at 04:17:03 PM by Carlyle-Challis

A male cardinal has appeared at our feeder this afternoon. It's the first time in 13 years living here on Rocksborough Road that we have had a male (have hada female once in the past). Perhaps this is the visitor from Lad Helde's on Fraserburg Road?
The two fox sparrows continue to dine under the crabapple, along with American tree sparrows, song sparrows, juncos, goldfinches, etc.



Song sparrow
Posted on April 5, 2003 at 01:30:28 PM by M.Lannan

I saw my first song sparrow in our deck feeder today. We have been seeing tree sparrows for quit some time now. Last Wednesday we saw and heard our first woodcock. We have had black ducks, merganzers and golden eye out on the river as well as otter and beaver.



Posted on April 5, 2003 at 08:10:19 AM by Mark McAnally

American Woodcock on snow in ditch beside Britannia Road in Huntsville.
What are they going to eat ?



Re(1): Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Posted on April 4, 2003 at 12:10:15 AM by Doug Smith

Had a sapsucker on our feeder tree this morning. I don't think it is too early, normally, but he looked like he wished he had waited for warmer weather.



Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Posted on April 3, 2003 at 07:41:17 PM by Janice House

Sunday evening this week I think I saw a sapsucker on my basswood tree. Is it too early for him to be back? Our neighbourhood woodcock has been back since last weekend.



Re(2): Wren
Posted on April 6, 2003 at 05:30:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Winter Wren's wonderful song makes it one of my favourite birds. I haven't heard the call note very often but it is fairly distinctive once you know what to listen for. It is similar to a Song Sparrow call, but the second "chip" is higher.

Here is the best sample I could find of the Winter Wren's call note:

That wav file is part of a collection of bird sounds at The winter wren call was found under the first key, "(1) Sound or song consists of a single note".



Re(1): Wren
Posted on April 6, 2003 at 04:24:05 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Our winter wren hasn't arrived yet -- there's usually one who sets up in the boggy forest down the road from us. The territorial song is unmistakable; a long, ecstatic jumble of twitters and whistles like a jazz improv. We haven't come across the chipping call you describe, though.



Re(1): Wren
Posted on April 5, 2003 at 07:37:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

Guess it might have been a Winter Wren from the sound you describe, but would help to have a description of the bird to be sure. Here's a website that might help:

And an excerpt from eNature:
Description 4-4 1/2" (10-11cm). A tiny, dark brown bird with a very short tail, narrow pale eyebrow, and heavily banded flanks and belly. Voice A high-pitched, varied, and rapid series of musical trills and chatters; call note an explosive kit! or kit-kit!

Excerpt from
Description: Winter Wrens are tiny birds, only four inches long, with thin, slightly down-curved bills and short stubby tails characteristically held erect or even cocked forward over their rumps. The upperparts are dark brown; the underparts are pale brown with heavy barring on the flanks, belly, and under the tail. There is a narrow light brown stripe over the eyes. The short wings are barred with chestnut and dark brown. Both sexes look alike. Compared to the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), Winter Wrens are smaller and darker, with shorter tails. The barring on the House Wren is much less prominent and extensive.



Posted on April 3, 2003 at 07:35:39 PM by Janice House

Moira Payne phoned tonight, heard a chipping sound, ran to her window thinking it was a downy woodpecker very agitated. Wren was on her window sill. Could this be a Winter Wren? Sunday afternoon, white winged crossbills on the Houston Rd, had to stop our cars because they were feeding on the road, 3 males and one female.



Re(1): Cardinal
Posted on April 3, 2003 at 12:17:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

There has been a pair of cardinals visiting our feeder off and on all winter. We think this is the "resident pair" that nest in the area. We had a special treat two summers ago when the adult male cardinal started bringing his young son to our yard. The immature cardinal was very aggressive and fought off other birds for the rights to the feeder. He stayed around for a long time, but left before winter set in.   (in Bracebridge)



Posted on April 3, 2003 at 11:12:47 AM by Lad Helde

Fraserburg Road. As well as 30 - 50 juncos and numerous tree sparrows, this morning at 11:00, I have the most beautiful male cardinal feeding under one of my feeders. This is the second time in a week that I have had the pleasure of seeing him. Anyone else?



bbirds & Sparrows
Posted on April 3, 2003 at 07:13:28 AM by Gerald Willmott

We have a large flock of 30 RWBlackbirds at, and around our feeder. Also there are about 20 Amr Tree Sparrows, and several Song Sparrows. I suspect that the Woodcock is still around. Spring is almost upon us!



Re(1): Another Saw-whet calling
Posted on April 4, 2003 at 12:08:46 AM by Doug Smith

Also heard a Saw-Whet that evening, about an hour earlier, but west of our home, which is south of you, Al. Did you call it over and offer it a better deal?



Another Saw-whet calling
Posted on April 2, 2003 at 06:19:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night, April 1, at 10:30 we heard a Saw-whet Owl calling east of our house at 1852 Hwy 118E near Uffington. It was calling from an area where there is an old Pileated nest hole. We are hoping he found it and stays to nest.



tree sparrows & juncos
Posted on April 2, 2003 at 07:24:41 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday morning I had about 9 juncos, 5 tree sparrows and one song sparrow coming in to feed on finch seed spread outside my door. This morning I counted at least 16 juncos at one time along with the same number of sparrows as yesterday. There are lots flying around as well. This is more birds than I had all winter! Sherwood Rd. Lake Joseph.



wild turkeys
Posted on April 1, 2003 at 04:45:01 PM by Per Jensen

Observed 1 wild turkey on Brackenrig Centre Rd. on April 1st at 1500 hrs.



Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 1, 2003 at 11:07:26 AM by David Wright

2 Fox Sparrows at the base of my feeder



Posted on April 1, 2003 at 11:04:53 AM by David Wright

Bob Burton & I saw a male Harrier at the bottom of the Roxborough Rd March 27th.
April 1st Two Fox Sparrows at the base of my feeder.