Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July - September  2003
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Le Conte's Sparrow in Algonquin Park
Posted on September 30, 2003 at 09:46:26 PM by Ron Tozer

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

Hello Ontbirders:

I flushed a Le Conte's Sparrow once from the long grass at the Lake of Two
Rivers end of the Old Airfield in Algonquin Park this morning, amid strong,
cold northwest winds that prevented me from relocating the bird. The
occurrence of this sparrow was within the expected fall migration period
here (September 23 to October 8).

Since we began detailed searches in suitable long grass and sedge habitat in
Algonquin during this time period in 1990, Le Conte's Sparrow has been
observed here in all but one year. As with Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow,
extensive searches at the proper time in suitable habitat would likely
produce many more sightings of this infrequently reported migrant in
southern Ontario.

Maple leaf crown colour in Algonquin Park is approaching 90 percent turned
in the western part of Highway 60 (West Boundary to Smoke Lake), with some
leaves actually blowing off near the West Gate today. However, there are
also extensive areas with predominantly green leaves remaining. Overall, the
colour is "subdued" this year, although as always there are many bright
individual trees. The reduced brilliance is likely due to the total lack of
frost to date in Algonquin Park. Persons wishing to visit Algonquin for leaf
colour viewing should consider coming within the next week.

If you do come birding in the Park, please report your sightings of even
common species to me ( for our Visitor Centre database.

Algonquin Park is located on Hwy. 60, east of Huntsville, which can be
reached from Toronto by taking Highways 400 and 11, north. The Old Airfield
is located at Km 30.6 on Highway 60 (from Km 0 at the West Gate). Your park
permit and a map of the park can be obtained at the gates.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ontario

Visit for information on leaving
and joining the ONTBIRDS list. As well as general information and content



snow goose
Posted on September 30, 2003 at 01:05:56 PM by Gerry Lannan

Sept.30 1100am snow goose in field with 30 canadas.13 k. ne of kearney.518 just before forestry tower rd.



Red-humped Oakworm Moth...Adult photo
Posted on September 29, 2003 at 05:45:27 PM by Al Sinclair


The Red-humped Oakworm Moth, Symmerista canicosta, (mentioned in the feeding flock messages below) was more common than usual this year and has been noticed eating oaks all around the Muskoka Lakes. The adults were flying here east of Bracebridge from June 19 to July 11 with the peak on June 29. They look very similar to the White-headed Prominent (differences in the genitalia are used to separate them). The adult photo was taken here on July 7, the caterpillar was collected by Bob Burton on the east side of Lake Rosseau in the 3rd week of September.  Photos:



Posted on September 28, 2003 at 09:40:00 PM by Challis-Carlyle

While collecting firewood from a neighbour's, we uncovered about nine red-backed salamanders and a blue-spotted salamander. In the outside stairwell to the basement, we had to shoo another red-back and a larger blue-spotted out to better habitat.



Re(1): Feeding Flocks
Posted on September 28, 2003 at 09:38:11 PM by Challis-Carlyle

We've had the seed feeders up for about a week and a half. Today (Sunday) there was a crowd of purple finches for the first time, along with red-breasted nuthatch, chickadees, gorging bluejays, and common grackles, which have never fed from our hanging feeders before.



Re(1): Feeding Flocks
Posted on September 28, 2003 at 09:15:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Eleanor (and Mike Walsh)! We were wondering what all those caterpillars dropping out of the oak trees were. Never noticed so many until this year. The Gypsy Moths didn't seem too bad this year at the south end of Browning Island and only a few Introduced Pine Sawflys compared to past years.

A Blue-headed Vireo was singing today. Lots of Northern Flickers migrating through now.

Still seeing several Monarch butterflies trying to fly south over Lake Muskoka, but quite a struggle against the brisk winds until today.

Caterpillars of Eastern Forests



Feeding Flocks
Posted on September 28, 2003 at 08:25:25 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For the last three weeks there have been feeding flocks of birds around my place at Bala. The chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches continue and their associates change every few days.

Yesterday about forty warblers joined the regulars. Blackpoll, palm, pine and yellow-rumped warblers in their "confusing fall" plumages were a challenge.

They are feeding on red-humped oak worms, as identified by Mike Walsh. The remains of the oak leaves left behind by the gypsy moth caterpillers have been well chewed over.

This has been a great opportunity to work on my fall-plumaged warblers.



Lagoons - Ducks
Posted on September 27, 2003 at 05:17:33 PM by Goodyear

Early this afternoon at the lagoons we saw a variety of ducks:

Norhtern Shoveler - 2
American Wigeon - 3
Gadwall - 1
Numerous Blue and Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, and Mallard

As well, a single Merlin.



Posted on September 27, 2003 at 05:03:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just starting to see a few Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets moving through the past couple of days. Also two male Purple Finch at the birdfeeder.



Long-eared Owl ...
Posted on September 26, 2003 at 11:50:38 PM by Paul Smith

A long-eared owl was heard 'hooing' here at Butterfly Lake at dawn this morning ....



Re(1): Bluebirds, Fraserburg Rd
Posted on September 25, 2003 at 01:34:55 PM by Lad Helde

For the last several years we have had Bluebirds gather on our property on Fraserburg Rd. as well. We are just back from a week away and I was thrilled to see 20 or so bluebirds here this am feeding and flying about and hopping in and out of our Bluebird boxes as well as one house we call the castle condo visible from our front porch and living room. We actually had to make the holes on one side smaller as we had a pair of Bluebirds nest and raise one fledgling out of that house. It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end.



Bluebirds, Fraserburg Rd
Posted on September 22, 2003 at 09:14:35 PM by Janice House

Bob: this one is for you. Terry White was over yesterday, he was at his Uncle Huey's last week and he saw approx. 40 bluebirds in the pasture by the gate that separates Huey White's property and Conways. We checked the net last night and they do get together where they feel safe and there is lots of food.



great horned owl
Posted on September 22, 2003 at 12:02:29 AM by Leslee Tassie

For the past several summers we've heard a great horned owl around our place. Again, for the past couple of weeks we heard the familiar hoot. Saturday it was particular vocal, all day, all evening and during the night. Sunday morning it sounded like a multitude of crows must have mobbing it (or something) for a good couple of hours. We heard it again last night though. I think it might be a female, I believe the pitch is high enough for it to be one. (female's hoo hoo hoo hoooo hoooo is usually higher in pitch).



Spring is here.
Posted on September 21, 2003 at 08:37:34 PM by Mark McAnally

This note is nothing exciting but it was neat to hear. I was sitting back beside one of our ponds in the back forty and a ruffed grouse started drumming. I guess it was close to being spring conditions.



Big migration day
Posted on September 21, 2003 at 02:17:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 29 Common Mergansers on the Muskoka River at the big bend near Santa's Village. Several flocks of Canada Geese are moving south today. So far we've seen six groups flying high above Lake Muskoka, numbering anywhere from 30-50 birds in each vee. Many Yellow-rumped Warblers have arrived overnight.



Sharpies and a Yellowlegs
Posted on September 20, 2003 at 02:11:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were six Sharp-shinned Hawks "playing" in the strong wind over the Henry Rd. marsh. The birds appeared to be engaged in a game of tag, taking turns dive-bombing each other. Above the ridge to the south-east there were two Turkey Vultures. Only a few Wood Ducks, Mallards and a Pied-billed Grebe in the water. Several sparrows were hidden in the weedy areas along the trail, but a single immature White-crowned Sparrow popped up into view for a while.

At the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Greater Yellowlegs in cell 3 near the south-west corner. (no other shorebirds were found) Nearby there was a huge Snapping Turtle slowly pushing its way through the mud. Along the roadway next to cell 4 there was a tiny 2 inch Snapping Turtle.

A dead beaver was on Beaumont Dr. just west of Stephens Bay Rd.



Scarlet Tanager ...
Posted on September 18, 2003 at 08:48:56 PM by Paul Smith

A male scarlet tanager in his off-season colours was in the red pines by Butterfly Lake here in Glen Orchard this morning. And the warbling vireo continued his morning warbling, as it has for the last week or so ...



Re(1): Butterflies
Posted on September 18, 2003 at 08:26:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

The past few days we have seen several Monarch butterflies around Bracebridge. I'm afraid we haven't kept very good records of last Monarch sightings, but here is what I can find. In 1999 we noted seeing one on Browning Island on Oct. 9. In 2000 we saw a very weak Monarch barely able to fly on Oct. 23.

Part of the Journey North website has a map showing the Fall 2003 southbound Monarch migration.



Posted on September 18, 2003 at 05:51:30 PM by Ron Stager

Lots of butterflies still around today and yesterday with 10 species in my yard particularly interested, along with lots of bees, in the blue asters. Seems like summer with several Monarchs, Cabbage Whites and Clouded Sulfurs about. Great-spangled and Aphrodite Fritillaries, Mourning Cloak, American Lady (only the second I saw here all year), Common Ringlets and a skipper (I think Leonard's) were about. I hope I see them for a while yet.

Does anyone out there keep track of the last Monarchs? I would be interested.

Walking the woods on Wednesday, Rose and I came across a very large hog-nosed snake along the trail. I am not usually startled by snakes but this one stopped me in my tracks.

Saw a Yellow-bellied Flycathcer back by the beaver dam last weekend. I thought I had heard one during the summer so I don't whether this bird was a migrant or not.

Best wishes to all.



Re(1): still some hummers around
Posted on September 17, 2003 at 04:17:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Saw a hummingbird today on Browning Island, Lake Muskoka. Usually between Sept. 16-18 is the last time we see any around.



Re(5): still some hummers around
Posted on September 19, 2003 at 10:54:09 PM by Paul Smith

Myth !! - Myth !!

Bertrand Russell once gave a lecture to a group on his theories of the universe, astrophysics etc.

Afterwards, at the reception, an elderly lady came up to him and said that she had enjoyed his lecture, but that he had all his facts wrong. She stated that the world was at the centre of the universe, and was supported by a large turtle.

Russell had a chuckle and asked the lady what was under the turtle.

The lady pulled him aside, and in a hushed voice said, "more turtles" ...

As Virginia believes in Santa Claus, I'm convinced that hummers shuffle off to Guatemala on the backs of geese !!!



Re(4): still some hummers around
Posted on September 19, 2003 at 06:58:31 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

You laugh - after seeing "Winged Migration" shown by the Bracebridge film club on Sept.6th someone mentioned to me that they had not seen any hummers riding on the backs of the any of the geese in the film. This myth persists.



Re(3): still some hummers around
Posted on September 17, 2003 at 10:05:06 PM by Paul Smith

Al, I'm aware of that, but it's a sensitive issue amongst the purists.

Fact is, when the hummer's are not happy with their progress, they'll sort of 'goose the Goose', to prompt it along - resulting in the honking we're all familiar with ...

ps - we'll be taking your martin house down for winter storage before too long - i'll send you a note and let you know what's happening ...



Re(2): still some hummers around
Posted on September 17, 2003 at 09:08:09 AM by Al Johnston

Paul, everyone knows that hummers hide in the tail feathers when hitching with Canada geese <g>.
Al Johnston, Whitchurch-Stouffville



Re(1): still some hummers around
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 09:12:57 PM by Paul Smith

I had one stop in for a quick drink yesterday - which matches the latest date that I've seen one here.

It was probably a migrant that was hitching a ride on the back of a Canada Goose and happened to see my feeder and flew down for some refreshment.

With tomorrow and Thursday predicted to be sunny and in the high 70's, I'm hoping to see one last one.



Re(1): still some hummers around
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 06:39:05 PM by Lad Helde

Did you mean Saturday Sept. 13th? Today, Tuesday the 16th I have 2 female hummers at my feeder. The latest hummer I have ever observed at my home (Fraserburg Rd) is September l8th. This time of year I make it a point to really take lots of time to enjoy them as I know it will be a long time before I can delight in watching them again.



still some hummers around
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 10:52:11 AM by Leslee Tassie

Observed a lone female hummingbird on Saturday September 16th at our home on Santa's Village Road in Bracebridge. I guess they've not all left us yet.



Warbling Vireo
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 10:22:59 AM by Paul Smith

There's been a warbling vireo along the lake here in Glen Orchard, off and on for the last few days - usually in the morning ...



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on September 14, 2003 at 01:23:35 PM by Wilf Yusek

There is 3 American Wigeons in cell 2 this morning, also 5 Greater Yellowlegs, 1-Lesser Yellowlegs, 1-Solitary Sandpiper, 3-Least Sandpipers, 1-Pectoral Sandpiper, 9 Killdeers and 7 American Pipits. Most were in cell 2, Killdeers were in cell 3.



Bracebridge western bypass - 2nd public meeting
Posted on September 12, 2003 at 10:54:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

Just received some info about the second Public Information Centre (PIC) meeting regarding the plans for a Bracebridge western bypass. Here's a few excerpts....

Meeting scheduled as follows:
Friday September 26, 2003
Open House: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Presentation and Discussion: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Location: St. Dominic Separate Secondary School Cafeteria
955 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge
(Second driveway south of Taylor Road)

The purpose of the second PIC is to provide:
•an update on the activities that have been undertaken since April;
•additional details on the Class Environmental Assessment process; and
•an opportunity for input into the study process for the public in general, but especially
for seasonal and other residents who may not have been able to attend the first PIC.

Please note that the recommended route and associated design have yet to be confirmed. It is expected that this information will be available for presentation to the public in 2004.

You can obtain further details about the project at



Further to Barb Taylor's Dippy comment
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 07:58:52 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This past weekend was the 25th regatta of several Dippy groups from all over the place. Saturday morning about 60 of them boated to Port Carling where their owners had lunch. It was quite a sight to see all of them docked at the locks. They had a beautiful weekend for their gathering!



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 10:23:35 PM by Burke Korol

I saw at least 7 AMERICAN PIPITS at the lagoons on Sunday evening, 7 September.




Canada Geese moving south
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 09:28:50 PM by Mark McAnally

While out on a walk in my back forty tonight at 7:00 p.m. a large flock of about 85 Canada Geese flew over heading south. They were quite high. They are the first geese I have seen flying south this summer.



Blue Jays on the move
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 04:27:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we watched about 130 Blue Jays circle over the south shore of Browning island. Then seemingly on some silent command, they all dove down into the trees to feed on acorns and beech nuts. Still many cormorants moving south and roosting overnight on Eleanor Island. We counted one vee with 45 birds. Where are they all coming from?!

This morning there was a lone hummingbird at the Cosmos flowers, but it didn't seem aware of the nearby hummingbird feeder, so probably a migrant passing through. An immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was checking out one of the already "well-drilled" birch trees. Only a handful of warblers were seen, mostly Black-and-White, and a few Red-eyed Vireos.

A Belted Kingfisher was still patrolling the shoreline, but no sign of the Caspian Tern this trip.

(And as an aside...yesterday we had a nice surprise when a flotilla of 24 dippies puttered on by. For those not familiar with the term, a dippy is a "disappearing propeller boat".)



geese - diving
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 01:39:59 PM by Challis

At Gull Lake Park, Gravenhurst today at noon, I watched 9 Canada geese preening and splashing off the shore... and was astounded to see them diving.
At least five dove deep enough to make it impossible to see them. They only stayed submerged for five or six seconds, and bounced back to the surface like balloons. While they preened, several turned complete summersaults, wallowing upside down in the water.



Archive update, etc.
Posted on September 3, 2003 at 07:40:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

All reports for July through August are now available as a single file in the Archived Reports. Thanks to everyone for all your posts.

Just a reminder to 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.

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



Warblers, Caspian Tern, Cormorants
Posted on September 3, 2003 at 01:40:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past few days there has been a noticeable build-up of warblers near the southern end of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka. Large mixed flocks of immatures and adults can be located fairly easily by listening for the sounds of Black-capped Chickadees which accompany the warblers as they move through the forest. Species seen included Magnolia, Tennesee, Black-throated Blue, Nashville, Black-and-White, Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Wilson's, Yellow-rumped, and Pine Warblers. Also a few Ovenbirds, Common Yellowthroat, Scarlet Tanagers, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Blue Heron, Mallards, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Song Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatch, and many Red-eyed Vireos.

A Kingfisher was seen flying along the south shore of Browning Island. There is still a Caspian Tern hanging around, most recently seen perched on some rocks between Browning Island and St. Elmo on the mainland (near mouth of the Muskoka River). Many Double-crested Cormorants have been spotted flying south over Lake Muskoka and coming in to roost on Eleanor Island for the night. The numbers flying in have varied from only four to a vee formation of about 25 birds.



Algonquin PP - Migrants, Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee
Posted on September 3, 2003 at 11:40:41 AM by David Britton

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Sept. 1, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This morning I birded the upper part of the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin, off of the Arowhon Road. Between 9 am and noon the birding was outstanding with large numbers of warblers and other migrant passerines moving through the bushes along the trail, especially near Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake.

In total, 17 species of warblers were observed (Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, Nashville, Black-throated Blue, American Redstart, Blackburnian, Black-and-White, Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, Northern Parula, Bay-breasted, Tennesee, Blackpoll, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's, Palm, Pine, Ovenbird).

Other migrants included Solitary Sandpiper, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Philadelphia and Blue-headed Vireos and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Boreal Chickadees were seen and heard in several locations near Wolf Howl Pond and a female Spruce Grouse with two juvniles was seen along the railbed a short distance from the parking area.

DIRECTIONS: Algonquin Park is located along Hwy 60 between Huntsville and Whitney. The Arowhon Road is located about 15km east of the West Gate of the Park. Take Arowhon road north off of Hwy 60 for about 5 km. Where the road branches in three at the large Arowhon Resort sign, take the right branch and drive about 100m along the old railbed until you reach the chain across the road and park there. The railbed can then be walked. After about 15 minutes it joins up with the upper part of the Mizzy Lake trail and passes by Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake. Most of the migrants were located near these two water bodies. Feel free to email me privately for more specific directions.

David Britton



Migrating hummers
Posted on September 1, 2003 at 03:29:56 PM by Brenda Clark

Sorry to say, I think they're leaving us! We have seen no male hummingbirds since Aug. 30 here south of Gravenhurst, and only 2 females (one very skinny one) today. This looks like an early departure from other years. Oh Oh!



Re(1): Virginia Meadow Beauty and a Wolf
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 04:46:33 PM by Dave Hawke

Hi Guys: VMB is rather rare as it is a remnant of the old Atlantic Coastal Plain. A couple other spots where it is found is on Gull Lake and Matchedash Lake. MNR was interested in these sites at one time, but I'm not sure if they have anyone left (due to Mike HArris cuts) who still care about protecting these plants. FON might want to know (?)



Virginia Meadow Beauty and a Wolf
Posted on September 1, 2003 at 02:08:21 PM by Steve and Leslee Tassie

This past weekend we were up the Stanley House Road near Rosseau at Farr Lake at the 1st Bracebridge Scout Camp. Farr Lake is a lovely small lake, no cottages, no motorboats, surrounded by crown land. Steve and I identified Virginia Meadow Beauty growing in several locations on the "sunny side". I'm not sure how common this is to Muskoka, perhaps someone could let me know. Hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and at night lots of bats skimming and dive bombing the water for insects. Also, lots of flying squirrels. When we left however, just before we got to Rosseau, (near Dick Coulter's cottage my husband says), a wolf crossed the road in front of us and ran along the side of the road a bit as it kept looking back at us before disappearing over the bank. (This was a wolf, not a coyote or coydog)



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on September 1, 2003 at 01:20:46 PM by Wilf Yusek

This morning there were 3-Semipalmated Plovers, 3 Killdeer, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and 1 Least Sandpiper in cell 2 north end muck.



Posted on September 1, 2003 at 09:23:49 AM by Goodyear

Last night we observed a flock of 70+ Common Nighthawks flying over/around the lagoons/Muskoka Transport area. We saw a smaller group of nighthawks (approx. 40)in the same area last week. Does anyone know if they roost together prior to or during migration?



Mystery Solved!
Posted on September 16, 2003 at 01:44:11 PM by Burke Korol

Hi Carol,

I looked at your specimen and have confirmed its identity as:

Coarse Sumpweed or Giant Sumpweed - Iva xanthifolia
It is in the Sunflower / Composite / Aster Family (Compositae / Asteraceae).

The Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre in Peterborough ranks this
plant as SE1. SE means that it is an exotic plant (i.e, not believed to be
a native component of Ontario's flora) and the 1 means it is extremely rare
in Ontario (i.e., usually 5 or fewer occurrences in the province or very few
remaining individuals; often especially vulnerable to extirpation). It is
native to the central part of North America and globally it is a very common
plant. The information that I have shows that it is not known from Muskoka,
Parry Sound, Haliburton or Algonquin PP. The common name Marsh-elder is
sometimes applied to it.

It is typically found in bottomlands and moist waste places. It typically
inhabits waste ground in dumps, roadsides, vacant lots and around barnyards
and old buildings. Several states list it as a noxious weed, so it is a
good thing that you dug it up. It probably was established by seed from you
bird seed mix.



Re(1): Can anyone identify this plant?
Posted on September 3, 2003 at 09:08:46 PM by Burke Korol

I am a trained plant taxonomist and would be happy to identify it for you, but identifications are very difficult without a specimen and photographs are rarely adequate. If you could send me the specimen, I could probably get you an answer. Best is to press the plant so at least some leaves and flowers are not dried and shriveled. The entire specimen would be preferred. You could send it to me at 451 Arrowhead Park Road, Huntsville, ON, P1H 2J4, or drop it off at this address, which is in Arrowhead PP (first left turn).



Can anyone identify this plant?
Posted on August 28, 2003 at 11:37:14 AM by Carol Wagg


This solitary plant emerged as a seedling this spring. It is growing under where the bird feeder spent the winter. I do not recall seeing anything like it either as a flower or a weed. It is now 5-6 feet high with pebbly plumes of a yellow-green colour. The leaves are soft and smooth with large saw-tooth edges. If it's a weed I'm going to have to pull it soon, or I will be inundated next year. I'd appreciated an identification.



Re(1): Hummingbirds
Posted on September 1, 2003 at 03:26:53 PM by Brenda Clark

I read in a Birds and Blooms magazine to spray cooking oil on the "flowers" on your feeder to stop wasps. I tried it, and it worked. The wasps came around and looked at first, then gave up, but the hummers poked right through and kept drinking. It is a little sticky, but worth the extra clean-up at each refill time!



Re(1): Hummingbirds
Posted on August 30, 2003 at 08:33:41 PM by Mary Willmott

My Hummingbird feeders hang from a post in the ground. It holds two Oriole feeders and two Hummingbird feeders. I put sticky tape (any kind) inside out about three feet up the pole and have no ants crossing over the tape. The wasps are still a problem.



Re(1): Hummingbirds
Posted on August 26, 2003 at 07:31:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

If the ants and hornets become a problem again, here's a website with a few tips on keeping them away from feeders. Two good "dripless" feeders are Hummerfest and HummZinger. I think Wild Birds Unlimited carries a similar feeder under their brand name.

Nice to see your hummingbird story had a happy ending...



Re(1): Hummingbirds
Posted on August 26, 2003 at 12:07:48 AM by Garth N. Baker

Great Story Lynda;

The Hummingbird although Tiny in Stature is must be a very resilliant Bird.After all they winter in South America and return in the Spring.
I have had the Hummers hover about a foot away from my face before as I sit and have a drink on my Deck.They are hard to count aswell as they move so rapidly.I find that males will lay claim to a good feeding station early in the season and are quick to drive off Intruders.They do not help with the rearing of the Young.
In the past week I have filled both of my feeders twice as the Juvenal birds are about and the Adults are starting to Migrate.I usually put one feeder up ai the first week of May and take the Last feeder down after Thanksgiving.
As for your problem with Ants and Wasps,I have found that I can't control the Wasps,but I could the Ants.My backyard feeder is hung from the Deck on a wooden Hanger.I use Cream Insect Repellant(any Brand) and cover the circumferance of the Hanger and about 3 inches wide with a generous amount. This enables for the Insect Repellant to absorb into the wood somewhat and lasts for about 2-3 weeks,depending on weather.Apply it on a warm Day when there is no chance of rain for a couple days.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Posted on August 25, 2003 at 12:55:41 AM by Lynda on Golden Beach Rd

At the encouragement of my good chum on Fraserburg Rd. I rehung my hummingbird feeder early this summer. I had previous issues with ants and hornets but I though I would try again. Much to my surprise and pleasure I immediately had a pair of hummingbirds visiting regularly. Tragically this past Sunday a male smacked into the glass window and lay quivering on his back not far from the feeder. I summoned my spouse to help collect the deceased. I couldn't bare to do it alone. Suddenly the previously deceased bird flipped himself over onto his belly and spread his wings. He was stunned and hardly moving but alive. We had the presence of mind to stand perfectly still. The air was then filled with the sound of several pairs of tiny wings - his companions had flown from the forest to rescue him. Or save him from us because they flew like dive bombers around our heads. The wee injured fellow manage to get himself onto the railing of the deck and then onto my spouse's shoulder where he rested and tested his wings. Meanwhile, a second hummingbird also came to rest on his shoulder - likely checking out his pal's status. In a heartbeat they flew off. I had always thought I only had two hummingbirds. I have at least five. We were left awe struck and with goose bumps. It was a wonderful Sunday treat. My same Fraserburg road pal encouraged me to post this encounter - it's my first 'bird board message'. Lynda.



Posted on August 23, 2003 at 05:43:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Out near Brackenrig Nursery this morning we saw many birds soaring on the winds. Northern Goshawk, Red-tailed and Broad-winged Hawks, and Turkey Vultures.



Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on August 20, 2003 at 07:53:22 PM by Mark McAnally

I have had two pileated woodpeckers in my large alternated-leave dogwood eating the berries for the last week. They are very awkward and do not seem to mind me watching them from about 12 feet.
I don't know about other people, but the blackberries I have in my back forty have the leanest crop I have seen in ten years.



Re(2): Northern Goshawk..location?
Posted on August 24, 2003 at 04:56:52 PM by Paul Smith

A juvenile hawk, near identical to April's pics, was here at Butterfly Lake this morning for an hour. I'm figuring it was an immature sharp-skinned - maybe a broad-winged. It was after goldfinches at 40' - 50' up and even took a couple of runs at some roosting crows (they ignored it), which makes me lean towards a sharp-skinned.

There were sharp-skins around earlier this season, chasing the swallows and martins ...



Re(1): Re(1):The other two photos
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 10:27:42 PM by Al Sinclair


Here are the other two combined in one photo file.



Re(1):Here is one of April's photos
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 10:18:12 PM by Al Sinclair


Here is one of three very good photos taken by April. I would say that this juvenile hawk is a Broad-winged. Since only one photo can be posted per message I will post the others on a web page later this week.



Re(2): Northern Goshawk..location?
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 05:40:26 PM by April Glen

Sorry about forgetting to put down the location. The location is Port Cunnington on my property. I hope this helps.




Re(1): Northern Goshawk..location?
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 04:41:44 PM by Al Sinclair

I would be interested in the general location and date of your Goshawk sighting for the Breeding Bird Atlas project.
Al Sinclair
Muskoka Coordinator



Re(2): free photo upload site
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 05:43:09 PM by April Glen

Thank you, I'll try it out. Unfortunately my ISP isn't compatible with Macintosh computers, this is why I'm trying to find a free site to link to.



Re(1): free photo upload site
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 03:11:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

If you don't have your own webspace from your ISP, then you might want to try a free image host like Village Photos. Only takes a couple seconds to sign up, but you are limited to only 25 pictures with their free account and they have to be jpg or gif files. You can put all your photos into an album folder and then just post the link here by filling in the Link URL and Link Name boxes. If you preview your post you can test the link to make sure it is set up right before you click on post.

Village Photos website



Northern Goshawk
Posted on August 19, 2003 at 01:55:05 PM by April

For the 2nd time in 3 years, an Immature Northern Goshawk has decided to grace us with his presence. He sat on a fence post not 10 ft. away from me and my camera. I managed to get about 17 absolutely gorgeous pics of him. Just like the Goshawk before him. I have to download the images to my nature file if anyone would be interested.

Also, if anyone has a good site that I can upload my pics and then link them to here or any place else please, please contact me. Preferably a free site with no trial offers after a certain period of time.




Common Tern & Caspians
Posted on August 18, 2003 at 09:54:40 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

On Sunday August 17 all Common Tern had gone from Sparrow Lake, but the 35+ flock of Caspians remained on the Margaret Island spit.



Re(1): Star Watching in the Power Outage
Posted on August 18, 2003 at 10:15:06 PM by Paul Smith

The Andromeda galaxy is especially interesting to see on those clear nights - 100 to 300 billion stars, and through your binocs it looks just like a little smudge ....



Star Watching in the Power Outage
Posted on August 18, 2003 at 09:52:41 PM by sylvia purdon

The recent power outage gave my visiting son north of Bracebridge the rare opportunity to clearly see the night sky without the sky glare from BR and GR. Vega, the twin stars was clearly seen just at the edge of the Milky Way, and of course the Moon/Mars get-together.



Article about duck population decline
Posted on August 16, 2003 at 09:02:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

An interesting article in the Globe & Mail today about Scoters and Scaups.

Article is titled "The case of the missing ducks" by Alanna Mitchell
Saturday, August 16, 2003 - Page F7



Re(1): Links are working now
Posted on August 17, 2003 at 02:40:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

(no message)



Links are down temporarily
Posted on August 16, 2003 at 12:42:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

The links near the top of the message board are down temporarily due to problems caused by the power blackout.

Here is another route so you can continue to explore the Birding and Nature Links page. The Archived Reports and Guidelines webpages cannot be accessed at this time.



Re(1): parasite of Monarch chrysalis
Posted on August 15, 2003 at 08:35:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Possibly some sort of predatory stink bug?

Here's a couple pictures of stink bugs feeding on caterpillars if you scroll down the webpage.



parasite of Monarch chrysalis
Posted on August 15, 2003 at 06:14:07 PM by Challis-Carlyle

We have been letting milkweed grow around the house; that has resulted in a boom in Monarch caterpillars, which have been turning into their chrysalis stage this week.
We've been shocked to find a small bug that looks a bit like a weevil, feeding on new chrysalises (chrysalii? chrysalae?); they pierce the casing and suck fluids from it. They have successfully killed two or three -- the chrysalis turns black after it has been fed upon.
Does anyone know what this bug is? Is it native, or a new arrival?



Browning Island birds & power outage note
Posted on August 15, 2003 at 01:58:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

All this week there has been a Caspian Tern patrolling the south shore of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka. A Barred Owl was heard one night, but never seen. An adult Broad-winged Hawk perched nearby one evening, giving us a great view while it called out its high-pitched "pweeee". Lots of young fledgling warblers and vireos around; Nashville, Black-and-White, Pine, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Red-eyed Vireos. Many Chickadees, and a couple of White-breasted Nuthatch have showed up now.

Yesterday we finally determined what animal was continually leaving "fishy deposits" in the boat house since winter. We had thought it was a mink since they are commonly seen along the shore. But last night there were the real culprits...two otters! We've never seen any otters in the area before, so don't know where they've come from.

P.S. - For those thinking of coming north for the weekend, the power came back on in Bracebridge and Browning Island around 11:30 a.m. this morning, August 15. Even though it was a long outage, the frozen food did stay fairly solid in our freezer section, thank goodness. Hopefully they can stabilize the power grid without giving us another blackout.



Re(1): Brief respite ...
Posted on August 12, 2003 at 04:55:52 PM by Challis-Carlyle

We have had a mourning warbler down the road from us (east Bracebridge, off Fraserburg Road). There has been a nesting pair, on and off, for several years. This year I think I heard the male calling once or twice, but haven't seen it.



Brief respite ...
Posted on August 12, 2003 at 00:36:05 AM by Paul Smith

took a short, solitude camping trip to the river aux saubles north of massey this weekend - lots of birdies - most notable was a mourning warbler ...



Re(2): White is Eleanor's photo
Posted on September 1, 2003 at 02:16:00 PM by Leslee Tassie

Awesome picture Eleanor of a spectacular and beautiful bird.



Re(1): White hummer
Posted on August 12, 2003 at 00:24:11 AM by Paul Smith

I don't suspect you'll get a better pic than that - it's perfect ...



Re(1): White is Eleanor's photo
Posted on August 11, 2003 at 04:43:44 PM by Al Sinclair


She took it through an open window at about 4 ft away. She is trying to get a better one.

White hummer photo



Re(1): White hummer
Posted on August 10, 2003 at 08:50:26 PM by sylvia purdon




White hummer
Posted on August 9, 2003 at 08:56:24 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last Thursday I saw an almost all white hummer come to my feeder at Bala once. Today Dinny and Neil Nimmo and I saw it again a couple of times. My neighbour told me that it has been coming to his feeder for about a week.

I got one picture of it but as I am just learning to use my new Nikon 4500 I didn't have it on the right ISO and it is very grainy. I will try for better ones as the opportunity arises.



Re(1): Black Swallowtail butterfly
Posted on August 10, 2003 at 08:52:36 PM by sylvia purdon

WE have had a Black Swallowtail at Sparrow Lake parsley, tho'..



Black Swallowtail butterfly
Posted on August 8, 2003 at 05:18:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there was a female Eastern Black Swallowtail laying eggs on some parsley in our garden in Bracebridge. Last summer we found a mature caterpillar eating the parsley, but never did see the butterfly.

Here are two links with pictures of the Black Swallowtail butterfly and caterpillar:



Common Terns & Caspian Terns
Posted on August 5, 2003 at 10:16:51 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

Both Common Terns and Caspian Terns are actively feeding with young on Sparrow Lake. 40+ Caspians on the Margaret Island spit; Common Terns flying with young and 3juveniles on the spit. A few large RBG neslings still on Long Island, and 3 Spotted Sandpiper. No sign of Cormorant nesting, but frequent flyers around the lake.
Sunday August 3, 2003



five-lined skink
Posted on August 5, 2003 at 10:01:37 PM by Carlyle-Challis

A five-lined skink has suddenly appeared among the rocks around the pond by our house on Rocksborough Road. It made an appearance late last week and dashed out from the stones in our barbecue over the weekend (a good thing, considering the hamburgers were grilling at the time).
There are some rock/oak barrrens south of Fraserburg Road, about 3.5 km east of Highway 11 that might make suitable habitat for skinks, but we have never encountered one around here before.
Does anyone else have records of skinks east of Highway 11 in Bracebridge?



Bittern sighting
Posted on August 4, 2003 at 10:52:18 PM by Dave Hawke

A single bittern was observed at the edge of a beaver pond just north of Gravenhurst, at Taboo Resort. Good views, very docile bird.



Posted on August 4, 2003 at 01:02:10 PM by Mary Willmott

Enjoyed three Broad Winged Hawks on an Island in Lake Muskoka. They were able to be viewed at close range. Seemed not to care that there were people about, in fact have been there all spring , calling all day, probably nested there and are raising their young.



Eastern Phoebe & American Bittern
Posted on August 3, 2003 at 11:50:47 PM by Theodore Smith

While paddling up the South Branch of the Muskoka River today I observed a Eastern Phoebe and American Bittern. The Eastern Phoebe was catching supper for at least 2 young ones in a nest. The mud nest was situated on a rock outcrop over the river. This was just by Rocky Narrows on the river. Take care.



Cedar Waxwings ...
Posted on August 3, 2003 at 11:00:20 PM by Paul Smith

A pair of Cedar Waxwings eating up on a shrub beside the valet parking area of Casino Rama this afternoon ..

ps - expect to pay at least 100 dollars + to see the Cedar Waxwings - grrrrrrrrrrrr ..........



Re(1): Swarm of something ...
Posted on August 4, 2003 at 09:57:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

Probably a swarm of midges, most likely the non-biting kind...

There have been several times we've ended up walking through clouds of midges near the shore of Lake Muskoka. On a still day, if all is quiet in the woods, you hear them before you see them. The first time we heard their whining/buzzing we were worried there was a huge swarm of bees ahead. If you listen carefully, you can actually hear the pitch of the buzzing rise and then lower again.



Swarm of something ...
Posted on August 3, 2003 at 10:50:50 PM by Paul Smith

Out on my tin boat ride the other night I saw what I thought was a rogue cloud drifting across an otherwise overcast sky. However, I soon figured it was a ball of insects, maybe 8-10 feet wide at around 100 feet moving west at about 5 miles an hour. Are there any bug folks out there who might have an idea what they were ??



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on August 3, 2003 at 01:04:07 PM by Wilf Yusek

In cell #3 this morning there was 5- Semi-palmated Plovers, 8- Semi-palmated Sandpipers, 3 Spotted, 1- Solitary, 1- Least Sandpipers, plus quite a few Killdeers.
The Solitary is in the NE corner near a concrete drain, the rest are in the little island in the centre of the cell'
Also there were many Cliff, Barn, Tree Swallows and a few Bank Swallows mostly over cells 1 & 2



Re(1): Hummingbird Moth
Posted on August 31, 2003 at 11:14:55 AM by Bob Bowles

There are three species in our area of these Sphinx moths, Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, Slender Clearwing, Hemaris gracilis, and Snowberry Clearwing, Hemaris diffinis. The most common is Snowberry Clearwing which has fewer scales on the wings and the line across the abdomen is not straight. The Slender Cearwing has a reddish brown line on the ventral surface of the thorax beneath each wing base, Snowberry Clearwing has black lines in this area while the Hummingbird Clearwing lacks both. The sizes are close Hummingbird Clearwing wingspan 4-5.5 cm, Slender Clearwing wingspan 4-4.5 cm. and Snowberry Clearwing 3.5-5.0 cm. The Hummingbird Clearwing should have more of a jagged edge along the scales of the forewing while in Slender Clearwing this is margin is more even. You can also identify each by a scale on the fowewing but it is not easy to separate them on wing. I would be interested in any digital photos that you take of any of these species.



Re(1): Hummingbird Moth
Posted on August 13, 2003 at 10:56:46 PM by Carol Wagg

We have had one of these several times this summer. I had never seen one before, either. It frequented the window box in front of the kitchen window, so we got a good look at it.



Hummingbird Moth
Posted on August 1, 2003 at 05:11:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there was a Hummingbird Moth feeding at some Blue Clips Campanula flowers in our garden. I've known these moths existed, but this was the first time I've seen one!

Here is another picture I found on the internet.



earlier today - Bird Board downtime
Posted on July 30, 2003 at 08:25:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

If you tried earlier today and couldn't access the Bird Board it was because the hosting service was having technical difficulties. Everything was back up by 6:30 p.m.

Even when the Bird Board is down, you can still read a copy of all recent posts on the back-up webpage. 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): Evening Grosbeak
Posted on July 31, 2003 at 04:40:53 PM by Challis-Carlyle

I was quite surprised to see (actually hear, at first) seven evening grosbeaks fly over our house on Rocksborough Road. They were likely part of the clan that's been visiting the Heldes; they're not too far from us.



Re(1): Evening Grosbeak
Posted on July 31, 2003 at 09:16:52 AM by Lad Helde

All summer we have had the pleasure of seeing 3 to 4 pair of rose breasted grosbeaks and for the last week or so perhaps a dozen or more pair of evening grosbeaks. They all have been bringing their young to the feeder to be fed. We have a stepped fountain close to our feeders and it has been delightful to see them coming for water six to eight at a time. Especially fun is to watch the young taking their first baths. They love it!!



Re(1): Evening Grosbeak
Posted on July 29, 2003 at 12:05:33 AM by Ron Stager

Last Thursday at our place there was a male Evening Grosbeak showing two young ones how a bird feeder works. The adult would remove the sunflower shell and pop the kernel into the young one's mouths. The same day there was also a Purple Finch at the feeder. It looked scruffy (I don't know whether it was an adult or a new one).

A month ago a moose visited the field near our house and pulled down some fence wire in the process. The metal post supporting one of our bluebird houses was flattened level with the ground. I suspect the moose did it.



Re(1): Evening Grosbeak
Posted on July 29, 2003 at 02:20:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Grosbeak returned at noon today...this time we saw him feeding a juvenile female. The young bird stayed in the trees and fluttered its wings begging for food. It didn't seem to be very good at flying yet, and didn't try to join the adult on the feeder.



Evening Grosbeak
Posted on July 29, 2003 at 10:54:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a male Evening Grosbeak visited our feeder in Bracebridge. Yesterday we had a male Purple Finch who seemed to be undergoing a molt, and was having a very bad hair day.

A neighbour told me there have been two sightings of bears recently in the Meadow Heights area of Bracebridge. One was an adult, and at the other location a cub was seen crossing the road. Maybe that explains why our bird feeder pole was leaning over at a 45 degree angle a week or so ago. Bears have been spotted in the area in other years...probably because of the proximity of the Beaver Creek ravine and the Trans Canada Pipeline corridor.



wild turkey sighting
Posted on July 26, 2003 at 08:11:06 AM by Claus Plock

July 24s was my first sighting of wild turkeys at our cottage on Clear Lake (Ridge Road TORRANCE) Several of our Neighbours have also reported seein them. They walked along my driveway. I do have several pics taken with my digital camera. Lucky huh? Also saw my first turkey vulture circling over the Hyway 169 and ClearLake Rd intersection on July 25



Beaumaris Birds
Posted on July 26, 2003 at 07:59:38 AM by mary willmott

We found three baby Bluebirds in a tree close to their nesting box. Only saw the mother feeding them. They were sitting quietly in a busy tree. We had a baby Kingbird left by the parents(they did feed it for a day, then seemed to give up)It was injured .I think from falling out of the tree. Anyway we took over to Wing and a Prayer so it has a better chance to survive with Janices help.



Finally, a baby Cardinal
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 10:07:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Update on our resident pair of Bracebridge Northern Cardinals:

Tonight we were finally able to confirm that there is at least one baby cardinal. Yesterday the pair of adults started to visit the feeder separately, never together as before. They would fly just a short ways into the wooded area behind our house and then return to the feeder soon after. We saw the male feeding a bird but couldn't tell if it was the female or a baby because of all the leaves in the way. But tonight the female came to take her turn at the feeder and while she was there I could see the male feeding the fledgling. The female then flew into the woods nowhere near the young bird, so perhaps there is a second baby. We will keep a close watch...



Wild turkeys
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 09:35:32 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw two male turkeys foraging at my place at Bala today. New for my yard list!



White Pelican picture
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 09:13:45 PM by Wilf Yusek


Picture of the White Pelican that was at the Lagoons today.



Henry Rd. marsh
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 09:13:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Tonight at the marsh we saw a Pied-billed Grebe feeding minnows to two tiny chicks, a juvenile Green Heron, a Kingfisher, two Great Blue Herons, and some Mallards and Wood Ducks.

We then took a quick tour of the Bracebridge Lagoons but no pelican and no shorebirds in any of the cells.



Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons Pelican
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 01:16:38 PM by Burke Korol

Hi Wilf,

Nice find!!

Please keep us posted if it re-appears

Work - 789-6822
Home - 788-3574



Bracebridge Lagoons Pelican
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 11:26:05 AM by Wilf Yusek

This morning at 9.55 a.m. there was a White Pelican in cell 1, as I watched it ,it flew over to cell 2. Then in the direction of cell 4. I looked for it in 4 but did not see it again. I have a photo of it and will put it on my web site soon.



Re(1): Nuthatch ...
Posted on July 25, 2003 at 02:38:23 AM by sylvia purdon & jimmaguire

Confirmed breeding and juveniles in two different locations at Sparrow Lake, Wenona Lodge Road. It is strange that you would have none. No RB, just WB..
I have been worried about you and your nuthatches ..:)



Nuthatch ...
Posted on July 23, 2003 at 11:49:32 PM by Paul Smith

At long last - a nuthatch here in Glen Orchard !!



Re(1): Merlins at Home Depot
Posted on July 23, 2003 at 08:01:40 PM by Al Johnston

Neat sighting, Doug. You never know what
you'll see at Home Depot.
Al Johnston, Whitchurch-Stouffville



Merlins at Home Depot
Posted on July 22, 2003 at 08:56:37 AM by Doug Smith

Yesterday evening heard and saw 4 merlins at the Home Depot in Bracebridge. They were flying around the pines at the SW corner of the parking lot. One of them chased a raven out of the area, so maybe it was/is their nesting teritory?



cuckoo, warbler & nuthatch families
Posted on July 18, 2003 at 09:52:29 AM by Challis-Carlyle

This morning I heard what was LIKELY a black-billed cuckoo calling, just downhill from the MOOSE-FM radio tower on Rocksborough Road. Haven't heard much from it lately, so it was a treat. Uncertainty though: the call was lacking the usual set of syllables; it just had the last emphatic COO repeated many times. Anyone wish to correct me?
While the cuckoo called, a family of chestnut-sided warblers chattered away while Dad picked up inch-worms and fed them to the juveniles.
Which reminds me that a similar family feast took place last Sunday in our back yard. At least six, possibly seven white-breasted nuthatches (parents doing the work, offspring complaining bitterly that their stomachs weren't full enough) were working the birch tree, which in its senior years and is a smorgasbord of caterpillars and bugs.



Re(1): Re: Gulls Nesting (note: responding to a June 8 post)
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 10:17:36 PM by Garth N. Baker

I was at my sisters on the 28th of June on my way to Manitoulin.The 3 chicks where doing very well and were already taking to the water.They were about half the adults size,and covered with dark grey/brown Down. The adults are very aggressive on defending thier Rock that as soon as you cast off from the Dock they are circling and making a ruckus.It doesn't matter if you are heading in the opposite direction!.

The Brown Thrashers had thier young about as well.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 19, 2003 at 02:57:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning (July 19) in cell 1 in front of the treatment plant there were 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 6 Killdeer, and 2 Least Sandpipers on a good sized mud flat.



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 12:20:34 AM by Wilf Yusek

In cell 3 NW corner there were 4 Lesser Yellowlegs, in cell 2 there was 1 American Wigeon



Hermit Thrushes
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 08:28:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For the first time this season I heard 2 hermit thrushes singing at the same time at my place on Porter Lake, Bala. Other years I have had four singing from spring to mid-August.



Surge in feeder birders...
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 08:01:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

All of a sudden we are getting many birds coming to our feeder in Bracebridge. Perhaps the breeding season doldrums is nearly over.

Today we had two male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks arrive at the feeder together. A pair of adult Grackles stopped by along with what appeared to be a young grackle except that it had yellow eyes. (I thought the eyes were supposed to be brown in young grackles.) A Red-breasted Nuthatch has returned after a long absence. The numbers of Chickadees have increased significantly, with a few still "begging" from their parents. Chipping Sparrows seem to be everywhere. A few Blue Jays were around today but the large group from Friday seems to have dispersed. There has been a pair of Cardinals visit on a regular basis. I don't think their first try at nesting was successful, but we're hoping to see young cardinals any day now. A Sharp-shinned Hawk swept through the yard in a hurry and two Broad-winged Hawks were calling while they circled overhead.



Rough-winged Swallow ...
Posted on July 12, 2003 at 10:43:15 PM by Paul Smith

A lone rough-winged swallow feeding with a trio of barn swallows along the shore of Butterfly Lake this morning - also a cedar waxwing pair in a brief stop-and-go yesterday ...



Many young Blue Jays
Posted on July 12, 2003 at 03:52:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there were up to eight young Blue Jays at one time feeding from our platform feeder. Until then we hadn't seen or heard any baby jays nearby. They all still had a prominent red lining in their mouth and a bit of pinkish-red visible at the corner of their mouth/bill even when their mouth was shut. They were all able to crack open sunflower seeds on their own with no signs of begging from the adult birds. I recognized two adult male jays and one female jay from different mated pairs. The adults all came in for peanut handouts while the kids were contently chowing down on the feeder. One of the males (the unstuck jay from an earlier post) has returned today with three young birds in tow, but I haven't seen any of the others yet. Funny how they all suddenly appeared together at the same time yesterday.

Also of note, the "unstuck jay" changed mates part way through the breeding season. He had started out with his regular mate from last year because I frequently saw them together and he was feeding her. But somewhere along the line, I observed her getting fed regularly by a different bird and then the "unstuck jay" found himself a new mate too. Seems odd to change mates (already established ones at that) well after breeding season is underway. But it looks like they both raised a few young birds successfully.



Re(2): NOAA = National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Posted on July 12, 2003 at 03:26:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

I can help with that one...NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  From their website: "NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources." 

Great stuff on their website if you like to monitor hurricanes, etc. There is a link to the main NOAA webpage under the "weather" section on my Birding and Nature Links page.



Re(1): Live North Pole ...
Posted on July 12, 2003 at 03:12:58 PM by Frank C.

Paul: Please tell us dummies who and what NOAA is. A pox on acronyms!



Live North Pole ...
Posted on July 11, 2003 at 11:00:34 PM by Paul Smith


Here's what might be an interesting link for some (I'm not sure the pic will work). NOAA has a webcam at the pole that's updated every few hours - haven't seen any birds there yet ...

ps - there's still one martin family lingering on at the Glen Orchard general store, long after the others have left. Lots of chipping, tree and song sparrows around but still no nuthatch in 2003 ...

Live North Pole



Algonquin Area Birding
Posted on July 7, 2003 at 05:06:53 PM by Greg Coniglio

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (July 7, 2003) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello! We were able to take a trip to the Algonquin region of Ontario over the long Fourth of July Holiday. Not overly productive in the "list" category but nontheless an interesting trip!

GRAY JAYS and BOREAL CHICKADEE were must harder to locate than expected! Did see a few of each and that was it. No such luck on the sought after BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER. Other birds of note:

WEST GATE: Beautiful view of a RED-EYED VIREO near the restrooms. Yeah I know we hear thousands but it was nice to actually see him so well. There may be a nearby nest - he seemed to be patrolling. Also a YELLOW RUMPED WARBLER in the same spot.

KM 3 - 5 nice views of MOOSE in the morning and a nice roadside BROAD WINGED HAWK.

HEMLOCK BLUFF TRAIL: (This trail is not as easy at it looks!) Probably 100 BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS HEARD, and quite few BLACK-THROATED BLUE and OVENBIRD as well. A BLACK-AND-WHITE also heard, along with VEERIES and HERMIT THRUSHES.

SPRUCE BOG TRAIL: Veeries and Hermit Thrushes again, and a Chestnut-Sided near the trail beginning.

MIZZY LAKE TRAIL: Very scenic walk, much enjoyed. Bring bug spray! And maybe a bug net to put over your head! Heard many warblers here, does TENNESEE breed in the park? Parula, BTG, BTB, Ovenbird, etc, on the logging road. Many Swamp Sparrows on the hike, a family of NASHVILLE WARBLERS. Also Magnolia, Chestnut-Sided were seen. Did not hear the hoped for Canada Warbler.

Area lakes: saw many Common Loons, sometimes with chicks! This was a treat.

Also spent some time in nearby Arrowhead Park, near our Huntsville lodgings (the Arrowhead Inn, which I would recommend to anyone visiting the ares, especially with pets.

BIG BEND OVERLOOK- nice trail through mostly birch. Right at the overlook point overlooking the cliff and river there was a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER with a fledgling. He flew right down to me then away, perhaps trying to draw me away, but did not feign injury. Many OVENBIRD signing, and also a young YB SAPSUCKER. A VEERY also stopped in for a rare great look at this bird usually just heard signing. Across the road from the parking lot, a RED-EYED VIREO nest, with the female visiting, apparently feeling young birds. I was surprised the nest was so low, I expcted them to build higher (it was about 8 ft Above Ground). Also appearing were a REDSTART and YELLOW-RUMPED.

FALLS TRAIL- Probably within 100 yards of the trailhead, heard and saw an adult male YB SAPSUCKER very agitated, and soon found out why: Sitting near the top of a tree, but in plain view, were two older fledgling BARRED OWLS, together on the same branch! The Sapsucker yelled and mobbed them a bit but eventually gave up. The owls gave several warning calls, but remained perched.

Thanks to those who gave advice for this trip, a very enjoyable area, well worth visiting again!

Greg Coniglio / Melissa Mance
Cheektowaga (Buffalo), NY



Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on July 6, 2003 at 12:10:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

Last evening at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a great variety of dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies. One of the most interesting dragonflies we saw was a Twelve-spotted Skimmer. Many Monarch butterflies were enjoying the numerous milkweed flowers. A deer with the beginnings of velvety antlers crossed our path near the north-east corner of cell 4. A Veery was singing in the wet woods north of cell 4 and for several minutes we heard the call of a Black-billed Cuckoo but never saw the bird to confirm. A Green Heron flew past along the south side of cell 3. About six very small shorebirds were on the "island" in cell 3 but partially hidden by grass clumps and too far away to id. Lots of fun watching the seemingly hundreds of swallows swooping back and forth across cell 3. A male Indigo Bunting burst into full song as we left the Ponds, near the gate connecting with Kerr Park.



Great Crested Flycatcher and eggshells
Posted on July 4, 2003 at 04:09:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

I've seen Blue Jays and Robins and Grackles collecting bits of eggshell from the garden where our "home-made" compost was spread about last fall. But recently there has been a Great Crested Flycatcher picking up several bits of the eggshells and carrying them off.

Thankfully the jays decided not to pick off any paint from our house! (see archived reports Feb.4, 2003 or here is a link to the Cornell article)



Archive update, etc.
Posted on July 2, 2003 at 10:02:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

All reports for April through June are now available as a single file in the Archived Reports. Thanks to everyone for all your posts.

Just a reminder to bookmark (save 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.

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



osprey, loon young
Posted on July 2, 2003 at 09:17:22 PM by challis-carlyle

Spence Lake is a shallow, longish lake east of Highway 11 in Bracebridge -- a great, quiet paddle not far from town and filled with great birding. We spotted an osprey hunting along the lake on June 30, and passed a small island where a loon was roosting on its nest with young.



Common Loon with Young
Posted on July 1, 2003 at 09:10:23 PM by sylvia purdon & jimmaguire

We were privileged to see today two pair of Common Loon each with one chick on the back of one of the pair. The chicks are very tiny and hide effectively under the feathers of the adult at times.



Common Tern Colony - Muskoka
Posted on July 1, 2003 at 03:59:27 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

Muskoka's only Common Tern breeding colony is alive and well at Sparrow Lake this year. Although the terns have only the northern tip of Long Island they appear to be having a vigorous breeding year. We counted 14 terns on the northern tip, and 6 downy young or free standing young, and another colony on nearby Goose Island, a shred of a rock that previously was home to a common loon pair. Downy young were observed at Goose Island also, and a further 4 Common Tern were seen elsewhere on the lake on various rock spits, non-breeding areas. Caspian Tern was in evidence (5 adults) but no obvious breeding activity that we could note. On Long Island there are about 200 RBG's and HG with young, but their numbers appear to be down this year. This perhaps has given the Common Tern a chance it has lost in the past 5 years to a massive RBGull colony.



Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 1, 2003 at 09:17:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 8 p.m. there were 13 very small shorebirds on an "island" in cell 3. Without a scope, can't be sure, but possibly Least Sandpipers.

Four Green Herons were flying along the east edge of cell 4 and landed in a couple dead birch trees. To the north side of cell 4 there was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. In cell 2 there were lots of young Mallards and several baby Wood Ducks.

Surprisingly the bugs were not too bad tonight. Hundreds of orange skippers and many dragonflies along the roadways. Several dragonflies appeared to be Common Whitetails. Does anyone know of a good field guide that would help me identify Ontario dragonflies?



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 1, 2003 at 12:39:53 AM by Wilf Yusek

There is a Pectoral Sandpiper in cell 1
at the Lagoons, it was in the mud in the north end of the cell.