Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2004
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Re(2): Fledglings
Posted on July 3, 2004 at 06:58:54 PM by Dave Hawke

Many birds molt and then regrow new feathers for fall migration AFTER the young of the year are fledged. Tailfeathers are sometimes sacrificed to sharp-shinned hawks or cats, but if prior to their molt, they will recover nicely.



Re(1): Fledglings
Posted on June 29, 2004 at 09:58:12 PM by Gayle Carlyle

A tardy robin with no tail feathers built a nest on the downspout in our back yard just last week. She's been roosting all this week and finally getting used to the fact that we often appear around the corner with a wheelbarrow, dogs, barbecue equipment, etc.
Do the tailfeathers regenerate? We're worried about her attempts at migration in the fall.



Posted on June 29, 2004 at 12:56:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there was a fledgling Robin in our yard and this morning there were two - first young ones we've seen this season. Also an immature male Downy Woodpecker being fed by its mother, after he made several unsuccessful attempts to land on the hanging feeder. Several recently fledged Chipping Sparrows and Black-capped Chickadees. No Cardinal fledglings ever made it to our feeder even though the female was seen making many hurried trips back and forth to the nest site with food in her bill. This went on for over a week, so it had looked promising, but perhaps they lost the fledglings to the neighbours' cats. A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visited the yard briefly yesterday, but no young in tow that we could see. (Bracebridge)



Mushrooms - Dryad's Saddle - photos
Posted on June 28, 2004 at 12:21:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

I'm posting this message for Sam and Earle Robinson so pictures could be included. I've cropped the photos a bit for faster download.  Photo 1   Photo 2


We have found a beautiful example of "life from death" in the forest behind our house in Bracebridge. This beauty is about 25cm across and nicely located on a dead log in the ravine near Beaver Creek. We think it's a Dryad's Saddle (Polyporous squamosus) but it's approaching the upper limit on size. Two attached photos... It may be of interest for your bird board.

We purchased George Barron's "Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada" book as a guide. Excellent choice! This is the best fit that we can see (p145).

Sam and Earle



Re(1): mute swans
Posted on June 28, 2004 at 09:05:31 AM by Al Johnston

Mary Willmott posted on June 10th that the swans had been purchased by the owners of the home on the lake.



mute swans
Posted on June 27, 2004 at 10:37:15 PM by Challis

We drove by Lily Lake west of Bracebridge this afternoon, and saw the two swans Al Sinclair first announced on June 9. Must have been the same mute swans cited back then.
Any chance these might have been brought in, pinioned, by a cottager as a vanity? There's now what looks to be a floating dog house complete with ramp in the east end of the lake.



skippers for breakfast
Posted on June 27, 2004 at 10:31:31 PM by Challis & Carlyle

While walking the dogs at noon today (Sunday), we came across a population explosion of skippers (presumed European) at a section of damp roadway that was in full sunlight.
A robin was darting back and forth on the road, diving at the skippers and stuffing her beak with them. When she (I'm assuming it was a she) finally had so many she looked like she'd lit up an exploding cigar, she took off to the big pine where the nest must have been.
Since there were probably several thousand of the little butterflies, this must have been easy shopping for the robin. We figured the babies would have kicked up a fuss about having to eat those things with all their scales.



Re(1): Bala Butterfly Count...results
Posted on June 28, 2004 at 03:41:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks for posting the list Al! After checking each one, I have finally been able to put a name to the butterfly we've seen recently at Browning Island - a Common Ringlet. Here's a picture that's almost identical to the one we've seen: Common Ringlet

There are a few links to butterfly identification websites in my Birding and Nature Links. But it is still hard to find the right butterfly without knowing where to start...



Re(2): Bala Butterfly Count...results
Posted on June 28, 2004 at 06:22:29 PM by Al Sinclair

The field guide I use the most is Butterflies Through Binoculars, The East, by Jeffrey Glassberg.



Re(1): Bala Butterfly Count...results
Posted on June 28, 2004 at 03:13:45 PM by Cheryl

Al, is there a good butterfly ID book that you would recommend? I am interested in learning more about these lovely creatures. Dragonflies also visit my yard, but I don't know what any of them are called. Thank you.
I live in Kitchener.



Bala Butterfly Count...results
Posted on June 27, 2004 at 07:00:01 PM by Al Sinclair

The North American Butterfly Association, Bala Butterfly count, was held on June 27. All butterflies were counted inside a 24km (15 mile) diameter circle centered near Bala. About 20 participants in 3 groups were out counting from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The weather was not ideal due to high winds. Start temp 16 C, end temp 19 C, sky clear to partly cloudy, winds 26km/hr gusting to 41. More than 800 butterflies were found but more than 400 were European Skippers. The count was sponsored by the Muskoka Field Naturalists.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
American Copper
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Harris' Checkerspot
Northern Crescent
White Admiral
Little Wood-Satyr
Common Ringlet
Northern Cloudywing
Arctic Skipper
European Skipper
Indian Skipper
Peck's Skipper
Tawny-edged Skipper
Long Dash
Hobomok Skipper
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 18



Re(1): Peregrine at Gravenhurst and sound and back home
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 07:36:34 PM by Al Sinclair

I just talked to Matt Lieberknecht at the Central Ontario School of Falconry in Kilworthy. The Peregrine is safe and sound and back home at the school! It escaped on May 24 and was recaptured by Wing And A Prayer on May 26th. It was on a front lawn on Bethune Drive in Gravenhurst when Janice retrieved it. Matt says that is a subspecies pealei bird from the west coast that he purchased about a year ago and has a whiter breast and smaller hood than ssp anatum. The Sibley Guide says that many of the captive-bred birds that were reintroduced look like pealei and this form is now seen across North America. So the fact that it was this subspecies would not have helped identify it as escaped, however a bird with anklets leaves no doubt. It is quite possible that the Peregrine reported at Falkenburg Rd on the 24th was the same bird as the one in Gravenhurst. Matt reports that captive-bred birds don't survive long in the wild often falling prey to other predators.



Peregrine at Gravenhurst May 25...escaped from captivity...more photos
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 05:41:20 PM by Al Sinclair

Brandon posted some more photos of the Peregrine he saw at Gravenhurst on May 25. The photos show that the bird has leather falconry anklets on both legs. Someone lost a valuable bird! Unfortunately captive raised birds do not survive well in the wild. Brandon's camera is a Canon D10 digital SLR. All the photos are on a temporary website Here is one of the photos.



Breeding Bird Survey results...route 68052 Port Carling
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 02:11:46 PM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday, June 23, I ran my annual Breeding Bird Survey route. This North American bird monitoring project was started in 1966. My route runs 39.2 km from Port Sandfield to Rosseau past Hekkla to the north end of Skeleton Lake. It was established by the late Cliff McFadden in 1970 and I took it over in 1999. When birders run the survey we start 1/2 an hour before sunrise (4:58 am) and listen and observe for 3 minutes at 50 stops at .8 km (.5 miles) intervals along the route. For more info go to

This year I heard/saw 61 species and 499 individuals. The 5 most common species this year were:
Red-eyed Vireo 79
Chestnut-sided Warbler 35
Ovenbird 26
Black-capped Chickadee 24 (bounced back from 8 in 2003)
American Crow 23

For comparison in 2003 the top species were:
Red-eyed Vireo 86
Chestnut-sided Warbler 36
Ovenbird 30
American Crow 27
American Redstart 22
Totals 2003: 70 species 477 individuals

Good Muskoka birds found this year:
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo

The complete list for June 23, 2004:
Species Total Ind.
Common Loon 2
Wood Duck 2
Ruffed Grouse 1
Herring Gull 5
Mourning Dove 3
Chimney Swift 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 13
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Yellow-shafted Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 6
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1
Alder Flycatcher 3
Least Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Yellow-throated Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 79
Blue Jay 7
American Crow 23
Common Raven 16
Tree Swallow 14
Black-capped Chickadee 24
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Winter Wren 6
Veery 18
Swainson's Thrush 4
Hermit Thrush 7
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 12
Gray Catbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 7
Nashville Warbler 5
Chestnut-sided Warbler 35
Magnolia Warbler 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler 5
Myrtle Warbler 6
Black-throated Green Warbler 9
Blackburnian Warbler 5
Pine Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 4
American Redstart 14
Ovenbird 26
Northern Waterthrush 1
Mourning Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 17
Scarlet Tanager 2
Chipping Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 7
Swamp Sparrow 9
White-throated Sparrow 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4
Indigo Bunting 20
Bobolink 1
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Common Grackle 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Purple Finch 4
American Goldfinch 14 Vehicles 84



Bog Coppers are
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 02:01:28 PM by Al Sinclair

This Bog Copper was photographed yesterday, June 24, at the Crossley Nature Reserve south of Rosseau.


Bog Coppers are found in and around bogs where its food plant (Cranberry) grows. As well as Crossley it can also be found at the bog near the entrance of the Torrance Barrens. Bogs are sensitive areas where foot prints last for decades and rare orchids can be easily trampled. Follow old foot prints and use restraint and caution when looking for this species.



Re(1): here's the text of the attachment referred to in the email
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 12:13:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bracebridge West Transportation Corridor
Class Environmental Assessment Study
Notice of Public Information Centre #4
July 9, 2004

At the request of the Town of Bracebridge, The District Municipality of Muskoka initiated a
study to confirm the location of a corridor for a new road west of the Town’s urban area.
The new road is identified in the Town’s Official Plan and extends from Muskoka Road
No. 118 near its intersection with Highway No. 11 to Muskoka Road No. 118 west of the
urban area. The study is following the planning and design process prescribed for
Schedule “C” projects in the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment published by the
Municipal Engineer’s Association, which was approved by the Ministry of the
Environment in October, 2000.

A Public Information Centre (PIC) has been scheduled to provide the public with an
opportunity to review and comment on the recommended alignment for the proposed
west route (Alternative No. 2). Public comments obtained from the PIC will be
incorporated into the Environmental Study Report for this study. The PIC is scheduled
Date: Friday July 9, 2004
Time: Open House: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Presentation and Discussion: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School Cafeteria
955 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge
(Second driveway south of Taylor Road)

Subject to comments received as a result of this notice, Muskoka plans to complete the
planning for this project, finalize the Environmental Study Report and make it available for
public review, all in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class
Environmental Assessment.

If you have any comments, questions or require further information regarding the study,
the Class Environmental Assessment process or the upcoming public meeting, please
contact Mr. Fred Clayton at the address noted below or visit our web site at

Mr. Fred Clayton, P.Eng.
Consultant Manager
Totten Sims Hubicki Associates
49 Manitoba Street
Bracebridge ON P1L 2A9
Tel: (705) 645-5992 Fax: (705) 645-1841



Bracebridge Western Bypass - July 9 public meeting
Posted on June 24, 2004 at 10:02:32 AM by Barbara Taylor

I just received the following email regarding the Bracebridge western bypass:

The fourth Public Information Centre for the Bracebridge West Transportation
Corridor Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) Study has been scheduled
for July 9, 2004. The advertisement is attached to this email.

Public Information Centre #4
Date: Friday July 9, 2004
Time: Open House from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Presentation and Discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School Cafeteria
955 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge
(Second driveway south of Taylor Road)

For further information on this Class EA Study, please visit our project
website at

Thank you,
Sarah Raetsen



more breeding birds
Posted on June 23, 2004 at 09:12:54 AM by Dave Hawke

Also at Taboo (Gravenhurst) I've found:
Ruffed Grouse FY
Wild Turkey FY



breeding birds at Taboo
Posted on June 23, 2004 at 09:02:35 AM by Dave Hawke

The following species have been noted with fledged young at Gravenhurst's Taboo Golf Course and Parkland:
Wood Duck FY
Mallard FY
Hooded Merganser FY
Common Grackle NY
Red-winged Blackbird FY
Mourning Dove FY
American Robin FY
Scarlet Tanager T
White-throated Sparrow T
Am Bittern T
Black and White Warbler A
Chestnut-sided warbler A
Yellow-rumped Warbler T
Canada Goose FY



Re(1): sora rail
Posted on June 27, 2004 at 01:16:46 PM by Terry Whittam

No problem hearing the Sora.....actually sounds like there are at least 2 in the marsh. Took some time to catch a glimpse of this very elusive rail. However, we did see it fluttering across the road. Seems to like hanging around the culvert between the marshs. Thanks Jim and Sylvia for the posting.



sora rail
Posted on June 23, 2004 at 07:12:05 AM by jim maguire & sylvia purdon

Sora Rail at Wenona Lodge Road marsh; 2 birds giving warning shrieks from a likely nesting site near the road, east side of marsh. Photographers please note.



Re(1): Indigo Bunting, Bala
Posted on June 22, 2004 at 06:49:19 PM by Terry Whittam

Eleanor, we too have been hearing and seeing Indigo's at multiple points all around Clearwater Lake in the south part of Muskoka in 17PK36. What a dainty flyer they are! Quite cute! The other just as colorful species we are seeing is Scarlet Tanagers which seem to be everywhere!



Indigo Bunting, Bala
Posted on June 22, 2004 at 10:55:36 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last night around 7:30 pm a male indigo bunting landed and fed on my platform feeder. I have seen and heard quite a few in various locations around Muskoka this year.



Virginia Rail/Heron Colony
Posted on June 21, 2004 at 10:33:14 PM by Gerald Willmott

Sunday my girlfriend and I canoed from the Beatrice town line to Centre Brackenrige road along the Brandy creek. We observed the follwing:

Virginia Rail- Called out with a CD, came within hand-reach.
Many many many Red Wing Black Birds
Tree Swallows
Wood Ducks: 6 chicks and a mom
Heron Colony: 12 Chicks in 10 nests
Swamp Sparrow
King Bird and King Fisher



Re(1): Loon chicks
Posted on June 26, 2004 at 09:20:02 AM by sylvia purdon

The Loon nest at The Point on Sparrow Lake (PunGishEMoo) has hatched one downy young swimming with the pair on the nearby quiet bay. The tiniest little bird, and the most protective parents forming a `V' with their bodies to make a little safe pond between them for their offspring. The adult birds raised a foot from time to time thus keeping the little bird within the quiet oasis they had formed with their bodies.



Loon chicks
Posted on June 21, 2004 at 08:52:59 AM by Al Johnston

On May 24th. I posted about a pair of loons that were nesting on a raft that a cottager and I had anchored just offshore in the lee of his island on the Joseph River. I'm happy to report that he's just advised me that the 2nd. egg has just hatched and 2 downy chicks are swimming with their parents around the island.



Upcoming Butterfly Count at Bala
Posted on June 18, 2004 at 07:22:05 PM by Ron Stager

Lot's of butterflies are out now and a butterfly count is coming up soon. This is an annual event and newcomers are welcome. THe following provides some details.

If interested please send me an E-mail or phone us

JUNE 27 SUNDAY – BUTTERFLY COUNT with Al et al. Meet at 9:30 am at Ragged Rapids Hydro Parking Lot. Take Hwy 38 from Bala (past Jaspen Park) roughly 3 KM to Ragged Rapids Road (make right turn), follow Ragged Rapids Road to the Hydro parking lot, keeping left all the way. Bring lunch. Spare nets will be available. After initial introduction and identification of butterflies by whole group at Ragged Rapids, the group will split up for different routes, reconvening at Jaspen Park at 4:30 pm. If it is raining heavily, or the wind is strong, postponement to the following Sunday is a distinct possibility. If in doubt, phone Lou Spence 705-765-6072 or Ron Stager 705-684-9194. The count is part of a North American butterfly count and the organizing association requests a $5 donation from official counters to defray publication of results. No charge for observers.

P.S. Canada Post have stamps with Audobon paintings of North American birds. I sent someone Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Red Crossbills yesterday.



Merlin...Downtown Bracebridge
Posted on June 18, 2004 at 05:16:05 PM by Al Sinclair

At noon on June 16 a female Merlin, calling loudly, carrying a smaller bird and pursued by what looked like a Common Grackle, flew across Manitoba Street from behind Shoppers Drug Mart, made a sharp left and flew west over the buildings towards Wellington Street north.



Re(1): Butterflies - more
Posted on June 17, 2004 at 07:28:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Add one White Admiral and one American Lady. And at least a couple Hobomok Skippers (thanks for the photos Al).



Unidentified Skippers
Posted on June 17, 2004 at 03:39:18 PM by Al Sinclair


These are some of the late spring skippers that are found in Muskoka. There a several more species flying later.  photos



Butterflies - Monarch, etc.
Posted on June 17, 2004 at 11:48:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Our Common Lilac is in full bloom now and has become a butterfly magnet. A Monarch, Viceroy, Red Admiral, Little Wood Satyr, 4 Tiger Swallowtails, and several unidentified Skippers. Also for the third day in a row, a Hemaris thysbe (hummingbird moth).



first fireflies
Posted on June 17, 2004 at 11:12:14 AM by John Challis

For a few evenings, I have seen the odd flash of light among the trees and haven't been sure whether it was a star or firefly.
However, last night they were in abundance for the first time this year, flashing among the shrubs lining the creek at the farm field down the road from us. The mosquitoes permitted a good fives minutes of enjoying their luminescence without frenetic thrashing. A welcome harbinger of summer.



Barred owl, nesting
Posted on June 16, 2004 at 01:24:47 PM by John Keenleyside

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (June 15, 2004) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A year ago, I reported the nesting of a pair of Barred owls at my
property at the southern end of Lake Rosseau in Muskoka.

Last weekend, the owls again fledged two young birds, having nested in a
natural cavity in the same two hundred, (or so), year old maple tree.

Not long prior to this, while I was standing looking out at the lake,
and admiring the view, the male owl suddenly appeared out of nowhere,
(actually out of a nearby young white pine), and pounced onto the long
vegetation, obviously aiming at a prey target, which in fact he missed.
He then alternately glanced at his feet (presumeably unwilling to admit
that he missed), and then glancing at me, on the assumption that I was
to blame. He tried again. Another miss. Another baleful look. This
action, wonderful to watch (at least for me), took place, at the most,
no more than 25 feet or so from where I was standing.

Obviously there is nothing unusual about Barred owls in
Muskoka/Haliburton. They are common. To me however, the fact that these
birds nest in the middle of my parking area, irrespective of the traffic
in and out of my door, (50 feet from the nest tree, and 25 feet from
where I park my car), and also equally oblivious to the presence of
children playing catch and other games, (not to mention the presence of
a rather large German Shepherd, usually patrolling the area at a full
gallop), is wonderful to watch. Equally pleasant, is listening to them
call, and Barred owls calling in the middle of the day is of course well

This is the 8th consecutive year for this particular pair of Barred owls
to nest in the same tree. TheThe Birds of North America (No. 508),
refers to a natural cavity being used by Barred owls for 10 consecutive
years "until the cavity rotted out".

Stay tuned.

John Keenleyside,



Re(2): Brown Thrasher
Posted on June 20, 2004 at 04:42:36 PM by Brenda Clark

I just returned from a walk on Sedore Road by the pits, and there was a thrasher calling from the west side. I tracked it down and was surprised that it was actually a young one with no tail feathers yet, but able to sing!



Re(1): Brown Thrasher
Posted on June 17, 2004 at 11:30:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

Assuming it was the same bird, the Brown Thrasher returned to our yard yesterday. It had a very pale, but yellow iris, so guess it must be an adult after all. It was eating something on the platform birdfeeder - bits of peanut, corn, or sunflower seeds.



Brown Thrasher
Posted on June 15, 2004 at 09:39:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

A Brown Thrasher foraging in our yard this morning. (Bracebridge) The plumage looked very "fresh" and the overall colouring was fairly light with a lot of buffy yellow at the sides. It might have been an immature - I don't recall seeing a distinct yellow eye, but can't be sure. Hope it comes back so we can get a better look.



Torrance Barrens...Lincoln's Sparrow...Nighthawk photos
Posted on June 15, 2004 at 07:52:17 AM by Al Sinclair

On June 11, 2004, Wilf Yusek and I relocated Lincoln's Sparrows at the Torrance Barrens. They were found there in 2000 by Rick Snider and George Bryant but had not been reported since then. At 8:00 am we found two in the sphagnum bog at the west end of Highland Pond by playing a taped song. Highland Pond is the one at the entrance to the barrens. If anyone finds breeding evidence, adults carrying food etc, please report it as these birds are rare in the district. Some of the other birds we found are listed below.

The following day, June 12, the Parry Sound Nature Club was at the Barrens and heard a Linclon's Sparrow singing spontaneously at 11:00 am. Rick Snider happened to be on that outing and helped identify the song. It is quite distinctive, like other sparrows but more melodious like a thrush. They also found a Common Nighthawk on a nest, it flushed a few feet and Rick took the photos below. Rick's camera is a Pentax Optio550, 5X optical zoom, and 5 Mega Pix.    photo 1      photo 2


Some of the other birds we found.
From 6/11/2004 to 6/11/2004 ~ in Torrance Barrens ~ 9 seen
Black-billed Cuckoo
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Bluebird
Chestnut-sided Warbler
American Redstart
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole



chimney swifts, whippoorwill
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 09:54:43 PM by Challis & Carlyle

A pair of chimney swifts was flitting over our house Saturday night. For this location (bush east of Hwy 11), it's unusual; we've seen them in town recently, which is where I normally spot them. We also had a whippoorwill singing behind the house -- a welcome return.



Re(2): Swallow Report from Clearwater Lake 17PK36
Posted on June 14, 2004 at 06:44:05 PM by Terry Whittam

Thanks Al. All the boxes are positioned out over the water as best as we could position them. Directionally they range from facing SE to SW and a few face due west but have a good early morning exposure to the east for warmth. Interesting that the 2 occupied boxes are both on islands in the lake.



Re(1): Swallow Report from Clearwater Lake 17PK36
Posted on June 14, 2004 at 09:03:17 AM by Al Johnston

Great start, Terry. All the cottagers musr be very proud. How are the boxes positioned or situated?



Re(2): Swallow Report from Clearwater Lake 17PK36
Posted on June 14, 2004 at 08:35:14 AM by Terry Whittam

Hi Paul, no nothing in the other houses. I'll know for sure when we clean them all out. All cottagers are watching the boxes closely so I get reports of any and all activity!



Re(1): Swallow Report from Clearwater Lake 17PK36
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 10:16:49 PM by Paul Smith

Are there any other types of birds nesting in the remaining 49 houses ?



Swallow Report from Clearwater Lake 17PK36
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 08:45:52 PM by Terry Whittam

I'm happy to report that there are tree swallows nesting (confirmed NY status) in 2 of 51 boxes around the lake. The cottagers are ecstatic! Building the boxes has been a great "winter" project to help restore tree swallows to the lake. While 2 nestings pairs may not sound like much...the lake has gladly adopted them! While feeding we see 6 tree swallows flitting about,so no one is quite sure where the 3rd pair are going.
Great success!!, as Clearwater has had no confirmed tree swallows nesting for a few years.



Re(1): Identification/confirmation help requested
Posted on June 25, 2004 at 12:13:56 PM by Terry

I was able to visually identify this Blue-winged warbler last Sunday 6/20/04 and it was confirmed by Peter McLaren 6/24/04. Thanks Peter for the confirmation. This is a nice find in square 17PK36 and a life list addition to boot!



Identification/confirmation help requested
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 08:12:25 PM by Terry Whittam

A week ago 6/5/04 Dan Whittam, Bob Whittam and myself heard a Golden- Winged warbler on the Coopers Falls road about 8 km east of Washago. This Saturday and Sunday morning I heard a Blue Winged at the same location. Visually while I was at a good distance I'd say its a Blue-Winged and not a hybrid. I'd appreciate it if someone could confirm. Location is approximately 8 km east of Washago on the Coopers Falls road. Closest 911 number is 1760 on the north side of the road. NAD 83 location is 638420 easting 4960579 northing. A distinct BW "bee buzz" is coming from a farmers field on the south side of the road in a wet swampy grove of small birch, poplar and maple. The warbler is at the west end of this grove of trees and bushes. Note the bird is located on private property, so identification is from the Coopers Falls road about 50 meters away. The bird did NOT react to either a Golden- Winged taped song or a Blue-Winged song, so its got me very curious. Still singing distictly "bee buzz" late this afternoon.
Thanks Terry



Re(1): Peregrine Falcon
Posted on June 16, 2004 at 11:27:57 AM by Brandon McGregor

I found the bird sitting on the rock cut on Hahne Trail looking out over the marsh and highway overpass when I practically stepped on it sitting on the trail. Gerrald had just went through maybe ten minutes earlier with his group from the school. Once I reallized what I had found, I backed of a little and set up the camera - I stood maybe 15 feet away and shot 58 frames in fifteen minutes or so before the bird had had enough and flew straight at me claws out. Luckily I had already backed off by this point and had my tripod at the ready to throw up between me and it to divert it. The falcon did have a collar around its one leg



Re(1): Peregrine Falcon...sighting was on May 25, 2004
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 10:30:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Great photo! No doubt about indentification. The sighting date May 25th suggests that it was a migrant stopping for a rest on its way north, however it seems strange that the bird was on the ground. Maybe it chased another bird into the woods and missed.



Re(1): Peregrine Falcon
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 10:00:49 PM by John Challis

I work at the health unit, right under the water tower and get out onto the Hahne trail as often as I can at lunch or coffee break. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the peregrine tomorrow!
I've heard a sora in the marsh below, but not recently.



Peregrine Falcon
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 06:40:42 PM by Gerald WIllmott


Have a look at this!

This photo was shot by Brandon McGregor of Gravenhurst. He was shooting
wildflowers along the Hahne Farm trail when he saw this falcon sitting on
the ground. It watched him for a while, he shot it, and then it flew off.

Any comments? Sorry, i can't get this smaller. It looks larger than life here!



Re(1): Dragonfly of the week... Dot-tailed Whiteface
Posted on June 23, 2004 at 08:54:13 AM by Dave Hawke

Thanks for the good photo and id tips. How does one distinguish between a juvenile and an adult?



Dragonfly of the week... Dot-tailed Whiteface
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 02:27:56 PM by Al Sinclair


This juvenile Dot-tailed Whiteface was photographed by Rick Snider on June 10, 2004 beside a beaver pond north of Six Mile Lake. The arrow points to the squarish dot on abdomen segment 7 that distinguishes this species from the similar Hudsonian Whiteface.  photo



Snowberry Clearwing for comparison
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 02:41:39 PM by Al Sinclair


This photo of a Snowberry Clearwing moth was sent to me by Anne Lewis at Six Mile Lake. Note the smaller amount of dark pigment on the wings compared to the Hummingbird Clearwing. Both species are now flying in Muskoka.



Posted on June 12, 2004 at 06:55:41 PM by Al Sinclair


This Hummingbird Clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe was photographed today, June 12, 2004 in my yard east of Bracebridge.  photo  Click on this address to see more photos The flowers in the photos are Dame's Rocket, Hesperis matronalis. The latin name means "mother of the evening". The flowers are supposed to be fragrant in the evening but butterflies and other insects are attracted to them all day long. It is a very good plant to have in a butterfly garden. It is native in Europe and Asia and has escaped cultivation in North America.



Re(1): Monarch Butterfly Sightings
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 02:15:41 PM by Al Sinclair

I emailed Don with my first sightings below:
My first sighting in Muskoka was on June 10 near Port Carling. It was flying across the road, did not stop. Also had a sighting today June 12, east of Bracebridge flying beside Hwy 118E. Both were identified as Monarchs not Viceroy by size and wing beat.



Re(1): Monarch Butterfly Sightings
Posted on June 13, 2004 at 02:12:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

One Monarch was seen in our yard here in Bracebridge on June 10. One was seen at Browning Island (Lake Muskoka) June 11.



Re(1): Monarch Butterfly Sightings
Posted on June 12, 2004 at 09:10:00 PM by Garth N. Baker

Hi Don:

I am still waiting my first Monarch here in Innisfil. I have seen several Viceroy already and expect a Monarch any day.

Cheer's Garth/Innisfil



Monarch Butterfly Sightings
Posted on June 12, 2004 at 03:16:00 PM by Don Davis

I would appreciate hearing of any sightings of migrating monarch butterflies, of monarch butterfly eggs found on milkweed, or similar observations.

The spring migration has been sporadic, with the first sightings coming from Point Pelee and Pelee Island in early May.

Monarchs have now been reliably seen and eggs found at Elliot Lake.

Thank you

Don Davis
Toronto, ON



Re(2): Mute Swans west of Bracebridge
Posted on June 12, 2004 at 08:49:26 AM by Al Johnston

In all probability these swans have been pinioned (the tip of one wing surgically removed) so they won't fly away. Assuming they're a mated pair, any sygnets would be able to fly unless they're caught and pinioned too.



Re(1): Mute Swans west of Bracebridge
Posted on June 10, 2004 at 09:33:26 PM by mary willmott

These two swans have been purchased by the owners of the home on the lake.



Re(1): Mute Swans west of Bracebridge
Posted on June 10, 2004 at 01:06:23 PM by Al Johnston

Interesting sighting. Graceful as these creatures are, they're becoming a problem along the Lake Ontario waterfront where they've become overly abundant and interact agressively with native waterfowl. This isn't the case with the reintroduced Trumpeter Swan.



Mute Swans west of Bracebridge
Posted on June 9, 2004 at 07:08:40 PM by Al Sinclair

Two Mute Swans were seen today on Lily Lake. Lily Lake is a narrow pond beside Hwy 118W east of Milford Bay and west of Wyldewood Rd. The nearest 911 number is 2159. The first sighting was at 11:00 AM by Meridith Coates, Doug Smith saw them again at 6:30 PM. This introduced species is rarely seen in the Muskoka. The last sighting was about 15 years ago in Port Carling.



Possible Cardinal nestlings
Posted on June 9, 2004 at 10:04:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

Our resident pair of Northern Cardinals (in Bracebridge) probably have nestlings now. Starting on Monday afternoon the female has been making frequent trips to our feeder and then bee-lining it back to the ravine across the street with her beak full of peanut bits, sunflower chips, and cracked corn. A couple times we've seen her picking up tiny pieces of eggshell from the compost mulch on the garden - wonder if she's already considering a second brood. The male seems to be more interested in finding bugs on the ground when we see him in the yard, but he does grab a few bites off the feeder from time to time. Also he seems to be singing a lot more around the immediate area since late Monday. Something has definitely changed in their behaviour, so I'm hoping it means the eggs have hatched.



What's wrong...Answer
Posted on June 8, 2004 at 04:52:53 PM by Al Sinclair


When I photographed this Mustard White yesterday I was thinking I was lucky to get this close. When I looked at the pictures I noticed why it was so tame. It had been grabbed and bitten by a Flower Spider, (Misumena vatia) and was paralyzed. Predator and prey were both gone today.  photo



Mustard White butterfly...what's wrong with this photo?
Posted on June 8, 2004 at 04:43:53 PM by Al Sinclair


Mustard White (Pieris napi) nectaring on Common Winter Cress or Yellow Rocket, (Barbarea vulgaris).  photo



wood thrush
Posted on June 6, 2004 at 06:27:46 PM by Challis&Carlyle

Since about mid week we have had a wood thrush singing daily in our back yard on Rocksborough Rd., BB. It ranges up and down about 200 m of woods either side of our home. It's often about 20 feet from the back of the house, and hearing its song that close is spectacular.



Canada Geese, Bala
Posted on June 6, 2004 at 06:41:32 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Late last evening two flocks of Canada geese flew over and heard several flocks flying over up to 10 pm. I didn't realize that they migrated at night.



Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo and Eastern Phoebe Nest
Posted on June 5, 2004 at 11:58:34 AM by Ted Smith

Hi folks,

A great crested flycatcher has been hanging around my house for the past week or so. Great view this morning. Also present is a red-eyed vireo. Just up the river are two eastern phoebe nests. The one is a beautiful cup nest of mud and lichen under a rock ledge over the water. A couple of young fluffy chicks are present.
I live on Rocky Narrows Rd on the South branch of the Muskoka River off Hwy 118.
Take care,



Dragonfly of the week... Red-waisted Whiteface
Posted on June 3, 2004 at 06:33:07 PM by Al Sinclair


This is a Red-waisted Whiteface, no red waist visible because it is a juvenile. It was photographed in my yard near Uffington, June 3, 2004. The arrow points to a single row of cells on the wing. The similar Crimson-ringed Whiteface has a double row at this location.  photos



Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake near Six Mile
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 04:36:52 PM by Al Sinclair


Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
(Sistrurus catenatus catenatus)
COSEWIC Status-Threatened
OMNR- Threatened
This photo was taken June 1, 2004 near a wetland on the north-east side of Six Mile Lake in south-east Muskoka. The wetland, likely used as a hibernaculum by this species, is threatened by a road extension approved by the MNR, construction to begin soon unless opposition by some local residents can stop it. It was found by local resident Anne Lewis and Rick Snider who photographed it.  photo



Re(1): Whipperwill, Bala (in reply to May 21 post)
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 09:53:19 AM by ann hansen

I live in Bracebridge and have heard the Whipperwill twice so far this year. Just heard him last night as a matter of fact, in the woods behind my house.



Bird Board update
Posted on June 1, 2004 at 09:07:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

I have just updated the Archived Reports to include all reports from April through May. Thanks to everyone for all your posts.

Hints and Tips about using the Bird Board can be found on the Guidelines 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(2): Geese
Posted on June 2, 2004 at 06:17:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Jack Jennings reported seeing a large flock that day as well. His son, Craig Jennings, who lives in Moosonee reports that many geese arrive in that area to molt.



Re(2): Geese
Posted on June 1, 2004 at 07:52:59 AM by Lad Helde

Driving south on Sunday morning we saw a huge V of Canada Geese travelling in a north-westerly direction just south of Gravenhurst.



Re(1): Geese
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 08:02:19 PM by Terry Whittam

We saw a large flock of Canada Geese flying north over Clearwater Lake 10 km east of Washago Sunday morning about 9am. I'd estimate 50 or more in the flock.



Re(1): Geese
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 07:21:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were about 200 Canada Geese on Lake Muskoka near Eleanor Island Sunday morning. We have often seen a second big migration of geese around this time of year. The Bird Board archives have reports of large flocks heading north between May 27 and June 4 in previous years.

Excerpt from Canadian Hinterland:
"In addition to the annual migration from breeding to wintering grounds, Canada Geese sometimes undertake a special voyage called a moult migration. Every year, geese must replace their worn-out flight feathers. The feathers are replaced all at once, so the geese cannot fly during the four- to five-week moulting period. The best places for the geese during this time are those with lots of open water where the birds can seek refuge if threatened and where they may find a good supply of the protein-rich food needed for growing new feathers. Most of the geese that don’t breed during the season undertake this migration, which usually involves travelling north, often well beyond the normal breeding range, between late May and early June. Successful breeders moult later in the season, remaining with their young goslings, which have not begun to fly."



Re(1): Geese
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 06:27:54 PM by Wilf Yusek

I saw them about 10.45a.m. as I was leaving Muskoka Highlands Golf course, they were heading north



Posted on May 31, 2004 at 06:20:39 PM by Janice House

Sunday morning around 10:30 Geoff watched as approx 500 geese circled and proceeded to form a huge V. He wondered if they had been at Doe Lake. Did anyone else see the geese? Where would they be going?



Re(2): Nessus Sphinx Moth?
Posted on June 1, 2004 at 10:31:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

We did see two very distinct bright yellow bands just as in the photo links I found. So I guess it had to be the Nessus Sphinx. I looked at several pictures of the Snowberry Clearwing but that wasn't it. Thanks for the info Al.



Re(1): Nessus Sphinx Moth?
Posted on June 1, 2004 at 10:05:52 AM by Al Sinclair

The most common day-flying Sphinx in Muskoka this time of year is the Snowberry Clearwing, Hemaris diffinis. Also common but usually later is the Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe. BUt if you saw 2 distinct yellow bands then it must be the Nessus Sphinx. I have not seen one in Muskoka but they should be here as they are on the Ottawa checklist and occur in Quebec (Papillons Du Quebec-Handfield).



Nessus Sphinx Moth?
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 12:51:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we saw a very interesting moth feeding on the Moss Phlox flowers in our garden at Browning Island. We've never seen this moth before, and after searching the internet, we think it must have been a Nessus Sphinx Moth. Its body was only about an inch or so in length and it had two very bright yellow bands on its back, and also much lighter yellowish streak of colour along each side toward the eyes. It never stopped hovering so hard to see the wings, but looked like a reddish-brown area not far out from body, with bit of black below and above the reddish colour. Wish I had a camera since it is difficult to describe. Is there any other species that might resemble this?

Here are two photos that appear to be what we saw:

From the website

From the website



Muskoka Field Naturalists meeting June 3 - Wildflowers
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 12:10:04 PM by Barbara Taylor


Muskoka Field Naturalists Meeting - Thursday, June 3
The first public showing of the Joan Brown Memorial Wildflower Show. This show was produced by the Muskoka Field Naturalists and features the wildflowers of the Crossley Nature Reserve with commentary by Bob Bowles and Al Sinclair. It is stored on a compact disc and will be shown with our new digital projector. The public is welcome to attend the meeting. It’s being held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst, at 7:30 p.m.
Muskoka Field Naturalists website



Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 31, 2004 at 09:28:10 AM by Terry Whittam

A Red Headed Woodpecker was seen on May 19, 2004 at Clearwater Lake 10k east of Washago by Ruth Flood a permanent resident at the lake. The Red Headed stayed for about 3 hours leasurely eating at Ruth's feeders. The bird has not returned but Ruth assures me she will call if it returns.



Re(1): Birdathon written-up in this weeks Muskoka Sun
Posted on May 30, 2004 at 05:02:03 PM by Wilf Yusek

Excellent article, very well done. Enjoyed reading it.



Birdathon written-up in this weeks Muskoka Sun
Posted on May 30, 2004 at 12:04:15 PM by Al Sinclair

In this weeks Muskoka Sun there is a nice long article on the Muskoka Baillie Birdathon by Linday Kelly, the reporter that joined us that day at the Ponds. It includes a mugshot of the Perps.



Semipalmated Sandpipers
Posted on May 29, 2004 at 06:55:23 PM by Al Sinclair

I saw my first Semipalmated Sandpipers of the year today, at the ponds at around 3pm. There were 6 with 2 Least on the south shore of cell 2.



Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 29, 2004 at 12:44:01 PM by Wilf Yusek

I saw a male Common Goldeneye in cell 4 this morning



Posted on May 29, 2004 at 11:18:16 AM by Al Sinclair


Rick Snider took these photos of uncommon butterflies that occur in the Muskoka/Parry Sound area on May 27, 2004. The Olympia Marble is on one of its food plants, Arabis divaricarpa. The other butterfly is a Henry's Elfin, food plant blueberries and plum (prunus species). Larvae borrow into the flowers and young fruits of these species. The location is Seguin Township (formerly Humphrey), Parry Sound District, beside the CN railway tracks where they intersect Lawson Bay Rd.   photos



Re(2): hummingbirds
Posted on May 30, 2004 at 08:36:05 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

In contrast, I have fewer this year than the last several at Bala



Re(1): hummingbirds
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 06:02:42 PM by Lad Helde

Not only do I have huge numbers of hummingbirds this year but I suppose because the weather has been so cool, they are feeding like mad. I have four feeders on my property and I am filling them every other day.



Posted on May 28, 2004 at 06:58:22 AM by Nancy Thompson

An unusually high number of hummingbirds around feeders.
Have had at least 8 around per feeder since May 22.
Have others noticed this increase in numbers?



Posted on May 27, 2004 at 05:12:19 PM by Al Sinclair


This dragonfly was photographed in my yard today May 27, 2004. The side-spur on the male clasper(see arrow)is diagnostic.   photo



Re(1): Cerulean Warbler ...
Posted on May 30, 2004 at 09:54:35 AM by Paul Smith

This bird turned out to be a Blackburnian - my mistake ...



Cerulean Warbler ...
Posted on May 26, 2004 at 10:41:09 PM by Paul Smith

There's been a Cerulean Warbler singing around the intersection of Eveleigh Road and Hgwy 118 outside of Glen Orchard on my last two evening walks - about 50 yards down Eveleigh Road last Wednesday and about 100 yards west on 118 yesterday.



Red-headed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Posted on May 26, 2004 at 07:26:18 PM by Rick Stronks

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (May 26, 2004) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A Red-headed Woodpecker was seen today at the Lake of Two Rivers Picnic
Ground in Algonquin Provincial Park. It was first discovered by Chris
Boettger and seen by many of the naturalist staff.

Algonquin Park is located east of Huntsville on Highway 60. The Lake of Two
Rivers Picnic Ground is located on Highway 60 at kilometer 33.8 (the West
Gate is kilometer 0 while the East Gate is kilometer 56).

Good birding,

Rick Stronks
Algonquin Provincial Park



Solitary Sandpiper
Posted on May 26, 2004 at 06:34:44 AM by Janice House

I saw a pair of birds over the weekend land in the field across from the house and could not id them. Now we are flooded and have lake shore property behind the house one sandpiper has been walking our shoreline. Tried to sneak up with the camera but it is too skittish



Georgian Bay Warblers
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 05:44:48 PM by Richard G. (Rick) Miller

I have a cottage on an island (Burnt Island) in the Cognashene district of the Georgian Bay Islands north of Honey Harbour and was back last weekend for the first time this year. This is a part of Muskoka that few of you in the interior ever hear about and I thought you might be interested in the arrival of our spring warblers.
My cottage is on a typical Shield island, well away from the mainland but separated from the open Bay by several strings of both large and small islands. It is largely open rock with patches of juniper and isolated white pine, stunted oak and maple. There are small patches of mixed forest, varying from quite dry to very wet and even swampy. I regularly patrol an area of about 40 hectares, never going more than about 200 meters from the shoreline.
Summer resident warblers were all back and on territory on Sunday, May 25. There included at least 10 singing male Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Ovenbird, 6 singing American Redstart, and 2 singing Common Yellowthroat. Two Magnolia Warblers were also singing but only stick some years. I also found one singing Northern Waterthrush and one singing Chestnut-sided Warbler. These will not stick. Both are common on the nearby mainland but are essentially never breeders on the islands I have visited. Yellow Warbler and Nashville Warbler were absent this year but have often been present other years. Yellow Warbler never breeds on the middle islands but becomes common on the outer island if they have any vegetation - a few small bushes is enough - and becomes common again on the mainland around beaver ponds. Nashville sometimes breeds on my island but becomes a common breeder a little further north. Neither Black-throated Blue nor Blackburnian Warbler is ever found on my island. However, both are common in a large patch of deciduous forest on the next island over.
Most people find the Prairie Warbler to be our most interesting bird because of its rarity elsewhere. They are very vocal and very easily seen. They sing all day from their arrival in May until early in July. To me, their song is the sound of summer. The male establishes a territory of open rock containing a large patch of juniper (where the nest is built) and patrols it by flying from isolated tree to isolated tree around the edge. They seem to prefer stunted oak. It seems that the site must have a southerly exposure and be fairly close to and in view of water. They come back to the same territories year after year. One site behind the next cottage has been occupied for at least 80 years. One year when my first trip was earlier than usual (about May 10), I found ~20 males fighting for this site. The next week only the usual one was present.

Rick Miller
Cognashene and Toronto



American Bittern, Green Heron, Blackpoll Warbler
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 01:29:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was an American Bittern in the field bordered by Beaumont Dr. and Beaumont Farm Rd., Bracebridge. It was moving around quite a bit, last seen near south-west end of field. First time we've ever seen one at that location.

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning we saw a Green Heron fly up from the north side of cell 3 and later relocated it in the marshy area to the west of cell 4. Also saw a Blackpoll Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, many Yellow Warblers, and a Warbling Vireo, in the wet woods to north-west of cell 4. Also heard a Veery and saw the male Baltimore Oriole to north of cell 4. At the south edge of cell 2 there were 2 Killdeer, 1 Dunlin, many Spotted Sandpipers flying about. In cell 1 there were a few Lesser Scaup and 1 male Ring-necked Duck. Many swallows flying low over all ponds. At cell 3 we saw Bank, Barn, Rough-winged, Tree, and at least one Cliff Swallow.



Houston Rd. birds
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 12:13:09 PM by Moira Payne

It's been a good birding weekend despite the rotten flies and mosquitoes, spotted an Am. Redstart and a Magnolia warbler. Today, May 25 I finally saw the elusive ovenbird, also Com. Yellowthroat, Songsparrow; lots of birds near Hillman Lk. as well, Oriole, Rosebreasted Gros., Heron, Kingbirds, Kingfisher, Redwing Bl., and Grackles. We have Bluebird babies and Tree Sparrow young at the Gordon/Hadley farm and a Tree Sparrow sitting in the bluebird box in my yard.



Re(1): blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 10:21:14 PM by Paul Smith

I heard one tonight on my walk along Mortimer's Point Road. Just one beeeeez-buzzz, and that was it ...



Re(3): blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 26, 2004 at 09:26:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

For what it's worth, here are comments from another message board regarding "song exchange":



Re(2): blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 11:11:41 PM by Paul Smith

The idea of a warbler exchanging it's song with anothers is a novel idea. Here's a link where you can learn about how the Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers hybridize around here into Brewster's and Lawrence's warblers.

Cheers ...



Re(2): blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 04:04:07 PM by John Challis

Regrettably, I haven't heard the song since Tuesday morning. It could well have been a Golden-winged doing a Rich Little shtick. The song was identical to the first male in the series of examples on the Stokes CD.



Re(1): blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 10:01:28 PM by Al Sinclair

Keep us posted on this one, they are rare in Muskoka. Try to see it if you can as sometimes the closely related Golden-winged sings their song and vice versa.



blue-winged warbler
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 12:02:06 PM by John Challis

It was a quiet morning during the dog walk today, but I did hear what I suspected to be a blue-winged warbler, among the spruce beside what we call Songsparrow Creek, on Rocksborough Road. Song confirmed with Stokes CD, but didn't see the bird.



Loon nesting raft
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 03:26:54 PM by Al Johnston

On May 7th. a cottage owner and I installed a nesting raft, that I had made, on the lee side of his island on the Joseph River. He has just advised me that the raft has been accepted by a pair of loons and the female loon is on the nest and probably laying her second egg as I type this. Let's hope that PWC operators et al give the loons some space. Al



peregrine falcon
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 02:42:19 PM by mary willmott

We were very excited to find a Peregrine Falcon today. It was in the top of an old dead tree at the end of a field/swamp. Witnessed by four people. Carefully IDed by Sibley. Location. Corner of Falkenburg Rd and Beatrice Townline. 200 yds north before flooded area on the right side. Also found a Broad-winged Hawk nest active with a sitting female. Location Hewlitt Rd on the snowmobile trail rt side of road about 20 yds on the left side of the trail in the crook of a large tree.



Re(3): Mushrooms - photos
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 12:15:47 PM by John Challis

The article on morels has some sage advice about eating them. We have what turns out to be one of the false morels in our yard -- Ptychoverpa bohemica -- and now I know that it's not good for the digestive system.



Re(3): Mushrooms - photos
Posted on May 25, 2004 at 08:50:07 AM by Al Sinclair

Great website for fungiphiles! Not only photos but lots of information and interesting short fungi stories. Thanks for posting the link.



Re(2): Mushrooms - photos
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 07:04:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks for the reference Al. I found George Barron's website and there are several good pictures there. To browse fungi by their common names, click on his "Subject Index". Here is his section on morels.



Re(1): Mushrooms - photos
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 05:38:46 PM by Al Sinclair

I think the morels are Morchella esculenta, (yellow morel). There are good photos of yellow and black morels in Mushrooms of Ontario by George Barron, a Lone Pine field guide, well worth having for anyone interested in fungi.



Mushrooms - photos
Posted on May 24, 2004 at 08:25:36 AM by Barbara Taylor

I am posting this message for Sam and Earle Robinson so photos they took could be included (photos have been cropped for faster download). I'm wondering if those morels could be Yellow Morels (Morchella esculenta) - any comments? The location is Dill St./Beaver Creek, Bracebridge.

As reported:
We have Black Morels in the woodland area behind our house. Second is a crowd of mature puffballs which is situated down near the creek.   photo 1      photo 2



Birding at Beaumaris 80 to 90 years ago
Posted on May 23, 2004 at 04:15:38 PM by Al Sinclair

Thanks to Mary Willmott for giving us a copy of this article that originally appeared in the Muskoka Sun in 1985. Did you know Peregrine Falcons once nested on Crown Island in Lake Muskoka? It takes about 5 min to download on dialup but it's worth it. Click on the link below.

Birding at Beaumaris 80 to 90 years ago



Bracebridge Ponds - Coot, Ruddy Duck, shorebirds
Posted on May 23, 2004 at 01:46:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we saw a good variety of birds including:

American Coot ( 1 in cell 4)
Hooded Merganser (pair in cell 4)
Ruddy Duck (female in cell 1)
Wild Turkey (1 near Lagoon Rd. entrance gate and many tracks on roadway)
Baltimore Oriole (pair at their nest north of cell 4)

in cell 2:
Least Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plover

Earlier this morning Wilf Yusek had also seen:
Lesser Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper (only had one leg!)

Other birds we saw:
Lesser Scaup
Blue-winged Teal
Bank Swallows
Barn Swallows
Rough-winged Swallows
Tree Swallows
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Red-eyed Vireos (pair at their nest not far inside Lagoon Rd. entrance gate)
Canada Goose (6 adults with 14 young to east of cell 4)
Mallards (several with ducklings in tow)
Common Grackle
Turkey Vulture
Red-Winged Blackbird

American Goldfinch

American Robin



Eastern Pine Elfin..flying
Posted on May 22, 2004 at 10:11:55 PM by Al Sinclair


Yesterday I photographed this Eastern Pine Elfin on my driveway near Uffington.  photo



Re(1): Red-headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 22, 2004 at 10:14:30 PM by Al Sinclair

Nice birds! Please keep us posted on the Red-headed Woodpecker (if it returns).



(no subject)
Posted on May 22, 2004 at 08:00:28 PM by Sam Robinson

May 2l - 6-6:30 p.m.
red-headed woodpecker
rose breasted grosbeak
baltimore oriole
(all seen by 3 others)
May 22 - 5:30 p.m.
brown thrasher

all seen at Dill St., backing on Beaver Creek, Bracebridge



Re(2): Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 09:04:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of info about the Indigo Bunting at including incubation times, nesting materials, etc.

excerpt from
"Indigo Buntings prefer to breed in scrubby habitats, in hedgerows, open woods and along forest edges. The nest, built by the female, is a well made cup of dry grasses and weeds and a piece of snake skin woven into the structure. It is usually located in a low bush, small tree or in tall weeds."

excerpt from
"The nest is a well-woven cup of grass, leaves and bark, lined with rootlets and grass; it may also have snakeskin, hair, feathers and Spanish moss included. It is placed in a shrub or tangle .5 - 4.5 meters (1 – 15 feet) from the ground. Only the female builds the nest."



Re(1): Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 07:00:24 AM by Nancy Thompson

We also have a male. This is the fourth year there has been one at our feeder. Do you know where they might nest?



Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 22, 2004 at 08:09:34 AM by Janice House

The male has been here since last weekend, he comes out of our cedar hedge and has been eating the wild bird seed out of a feeder. I haven't seen the female yet. We took pictures today.



Whipperwill, Bala
Posted on May 21, 2004 at 09:51:33 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

In the middle of last night I heard a whipperwill calling very close by for quite a while but by morning had decided that I had been dreaming. It was just here again and called for 15 minutes. I heard one here a few years ago but this is the first in at least 3 years.



Re(1): sedge wren
Posted on May 21, 2004 at 08:23:47 PM by Al Sinclair

We found Sedge Wrens there last weekend on the birdathon. They were there 2 years ago also but I didn't find any last year.



sedge wren
Posted on May 21, 2004 at 04:52:28 PM by J Challis

I was at Henry Marsh surveying the extent of trail damage at the beaver dam, and heard what sounded like three sedge wrens in different locations. They wouldn't show themselves from among the cattails. First time I've heard a sedge wren outside of the Stokes CD, so others may need to confirm this sighting. BTW, Gayle and I were at the lagoons last night and saw the green heron again.



Northern Mockingbird
Posted on May 20, 2004 at 10:05:13 PM by bob burton

On Tues. morning,a northern mockingbird was spotted in her apple tree by Joan Paget on Aubrey st.It remained there long enough for she and her brother to review Petersons guide.



Red-headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 20, 2004 at 08:53:08 PM by CAROL CASCANETTE

There was a Red-headed Woodpecker at a feeder on Loon Bay in Carling Twsp and it stayed for most of the day off and on. Video of it is very good.`



Red-headed Woodpecker near Huntsville
Posted on May 20, 2004 at 04:46:35 PM by Al Sinclair

Another Red-headed Woodpecker was reported May 19 from 5 to 6 pm in the yard of Chris MacCormack in the Deer Lake Trailor Park, Hutcheson Beach Rd, Huntsville (north side of Lake Vernon). It was not around next day.



Yellow-crowned Night-Heron...the phantom heron returns to Muskoka
Posted on May 20, 2004 at 09:52:11 AM by Al Sinclair

The phantom Yellow-crowned Night-heron has returned to its haunts around Lake Rosseau. It was seen yesterday at 5pm May 19, 2004 by Cathleen McNaughton sitting in a tree in front of a cottage on the shore of Little Lake Joseph. The cottage is the 4th from the end of Jean Marie Rd which is off Stanley House Rd north of Minett. This is a provincially rare species rarely seen even in southern Ontario. Listed below are previous sightings from the area. Because of the number of sightings covering several years, there has been speculation that these birds are breeding in the area, perhaps in a Great Blue Heron colony. Cathleen will be in the same area for a few days and will report if it returns.

Sightings of YCNH in the Lake Rosseau/Joseph area of Muskoka:
May, 1994 Glen Orchard, Jack Jennings, exact date unknown.
May 15, 1995 Bruce Lake, Al Sinclair, MOB, photo/report on file at OBRC
May 17, 1996 Prospect Is. Lake Rosseau, Tim Mason
June 2-10,1997 Thorel House, Lake Rosseau, Bob Bowles, MOB (confirmed by photo)
June 15, 2002, Lakeside Lodge, Lake Rosseau, Clay Campbell, photo/report on file at OBRC
May 19, 2004, Little Lake Joseph, in a tree on the shore, 267 Jean Marie Rd, Cathleen McNaughton, breeding plumage, well described



Posted on May 19, 2004 at 05:32:24 PM by Ron Stager

Nice day for butterflies at Barkway. My first Canadian Tiger Swallowtail for this year. Also a number of American Lady butterflies.



Lapland Longspur near Bracebridge
Posted on May 19, 2004 at 02:28:42 PM by Al Sinclair


This female Lapland Longspur was found by Wilf Yusek at the Muskoka Highlands Golf course this morning, May 19, at 9:30 am. It was on the 10th Tee initially but was last seen by Wilf and myself in rough grass east of the 1st Tee near the clubhouse. It was still there when we left at 11:00 am. Photo by Wilf Yusek.



Re(1): green herons?, wood thrush
Posted on May 19, 2004 at 04:54:40 PM by Wilf Yusek

John I believe they are all Lesser Scaup, I haven't seen any greater as yet. There was a Ring-necked in the ponds the other day, nice male.
I also heard the Wood Thrush that you heard on Rocksborough Rd.



green herons?, wood thrush
Posted on May 19, 2004 at 02:15:45 PM by John Challis

At dusk at the Bracebridge lagoons, two smaller sized herons flew overhead from Cell 3 area. They were close enough to see a ruddy brown on their necks, suggesting they were green herons. A female oriole was picking nesting materials by the lagoons, too. Waterfowl included a single blue-winged teal and a gang of scaups (would greater and lesser be together? One seemed to be greyer than the others.)
And this morning, I heard a REAL wood thrush (not the hermit thrushes I mistakenly ID'd earlier this spring) at the end of the second field on Rocksborough Road.



Torrance Barrens sightings...wildflower...butterfly
Posted on May 18, 2004 at 05:05:21 PM by Al Sinclair

While on the birdathon last Saturday May 15 at the Torrance Barrens as well as some birds we also found:

Ovate-leaved Violet (Viola fimbriatula) in full bloom east of the parking lot and not far from the road.

Olympia Marble butterfly freshly emerged still drying its wings east of the parking lot and across the road. Their food plant is rock cress (Arabis).



Sora Rail
Posted on May 17, 2004 at 10:48:32 PM by jim maguire

Sora Rail heard and seen at the Wenona Rd. marsh Sunday a.m. May 16. Pair of Virginia Rails still present.



Bay-breasted Warbler
Posted on May 17, 2004 at 06:26:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

On the weekend at Browning Island, Lake Muskoka we saw a Bay-breasted Warbler - not seen on the island since 1997! And for the first time ever on the island we saw an Eastern Kingbird. Also a Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and several Red-eyed Vireos were new arrivals.



Re(2): Forster's Tern at Bracebridge
Posted on May 28, 2004 at 12:31:41 PM by Nick Bartok

looks like a forsters to me, as i see quite a few down here on the arizona-california border



Re(1): Forster's Tern at Bracebridge
Posted on May 18, 2004 at 08:33:53 AM by Bob Bowles

Looks like a Forster's Tern but hard to see the rump/tail contrast from the photos. Can notice shadows on the bird due to the difficult conditions in trying to capture a photo of a white bird that was strongly backlit but they turned out well considering. Just returned from Pelee Island and Point Pelee where there were several this spring. Good photos and a great new bird for the Muskoka list. This is one bird that I would have expected before now for Muskoka since we have the Georgian Bay coast on the west side but it has been a hard one to record. Good work!



Forster's Tern at Bracebridge
Posted on May 17, 2004 at 01:45:52 PM by Al Sinclair


These photos are being posted for comment as this is the first record for this species in the Muskoka District. They were taken by Wilf Yusek at the Bracebridge (sewage treatment) Ponds on May 15, 2004. It was found by Wilf and participants in the Muskoka Field Naturalists Baillie Birdathon at about 10:00 am and was still there when we left at 10:30. If flew around cell 4 diving at regular intervals appearing to catch something (insects? there are no fish in the ponds). It was gone when another birder arrived later around noon.

The bird had white wings with white primary coverts and no black at the tips. The belly was white, the bill yellow/orange with a noticeable black tip and appeared to be thicker than other similar tern species. Note that the bird was much whiter than the photos show likely do to under-exposure caused by strong backlighting. The consensus of all observers was that the bird was a Forster's Tern. Any comments?



Re(1): Can you ID this call?
Posted on May 17, 2004 at 12:14:19 PM by Doug Smith

Gayle -- I have had similar calls overhead at our place, which is probably due south of yours, late in the evening in mid-May for the past few years, that I have put down as Oldsquaw ducks, now called long-tailed ducks.



Can you ID this call?
Posted on May 17, 2004 at 11:04:35 AM by Challis-Carlyle

About 11 last night, a wave of birds flew overhead, with a call that we've heard in spring for a number of years, but which we can't identify.
It's very distant, so whoever's migrating must be doing so at quite an altitude. It's a high, gutteral call, like a tin horn that's often in three or four parts: "Arr, Arr-uh, arr". The second syllable is a pitch higher. To hear it so late in the night, so distant, in a timeless ritual of migration, is like listening to eternity. But it would be nice to know what bird this is.



Posted on May 16, 2004 at 09:45:25 PM by Carlyle/Challis

Sun. May 16, 9:30 pm
While doing my nightly backyard frog count (listening actually) I heard a whip-poor-will calling in the forest behind our house (Rocksborough Rd.) It sounded like it was back on the rock outcrop about 1/2 km behind our place.
Very exciting.



MFN Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 16, 2004 at 07:59:23 PM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists held their Baillie Birdathon yesterday May 15, 2004. Money raised from pledges to the group and participants goes to Bird Studies Canada and is used to support bird related projects in Canada. Nine members and friends were out counting as many bird species as possible from 7:00 am to about 6:00 pm. The weather was cold and wet to start with some people wearing gloves and rain gear. Later it cleared but the temperature high for the day was only a cool 10 C. We started at the Bracebridge Ponds and from there searched a variety of habitats around Muskoka. The other main locations were Henry Marsh, Kilworthy and vicinity, Sparrow Lake, and the Torrance Barrens.
The total species found was 97, not bad for a cool wet day in mid-May. The best bird was a probable Forster's Tern at the Bracebridge Ponds. This is a new species for the Muskoka District. Some photos were taken which we will post later for comments. The following is our species list for the day.

From 5/15/2004 to 5/15/2004 ~ All Places ~ 97 seen
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ruffed Grouse
Virginia Rail
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Winter Wren
Sedge Wren
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
European Starling
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 97



No. 98? Dunlin
Posted on May 16, 2004 at 06:34:49 PM by Janice House

Al, when we were walking around cell # 2 yesterday, Ulila (not sure of the spelling) told Moira and I that she thought a Dunlin was in the middle, we saw the bird too. With Dan's sighting can we use it??? I still have my white crowned sparrows, they have been in the back yard all day.



Olive-sided Flycatcher - Lagoons
Posted on May 16, 2004 at 12:16:04 PM by Bob Healey

Observed at the S.W. corner of cell #4 at 10:45 this morning. It was feeding from a number of snags.



Lapland Longspurs
Posted on May 16, 2004 at 10:36:17 AM by April Glen

I'm really excited right now as this is the first time I've ever seen a Lapland Longspur let alone 3 all together. There were 2 males and 1 female just eating bird food that was on the ground. It seemed like they were also checking the place out.

According to my Peterson Field Guide the Lapland is supposed be up north by now. It is supposed to winter in this area sort of (I'm right on the border line). But I've never seen one before this morning. In the Port Cunnington area on my property.



Red-breasted Merganser
Posted on May 15, 2004 at 09:31:54 PM by T. Cockburn

A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were in Jacknife Bay [Georgian Bay] in Carling Twsp all day today and yesterday.



Red-bellied Woodpecker
Posted on May 15, 2004 at 08:55:15 PM by CAROL CASCANETTE

There is a single Red-bellied Woodpecker at the feeder at the Cafe Waldhause on Hwy 559 north of Parry Sound in Carling Twsp. It is probably the one we had all last winter in this twsp but it has moved residence. It was seen by about 15 people at 7PM tonight [15th May] and has been at this particular restaurant for at least a couple of days. There is no mistake.




Re(1): No. 97 Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 15, 2004 at 10:04:53 PM by Al Sinclair

OK, got it. Will post the full list tomorrow. I'm sure we could have had 100 if the weather had been better. Wilf got a couple of photos of the tern will post them tomorrow also.



No. 97 Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 15, 2004 at 08:04:49 PM by Janice House

Al, Moira and I saw 2 eastern meadow larks on South Monk Dr after we dropped off you and Linda at Kerr Park.



Posted on May 15, 2004 at 02:18:25 PM by Dan Burton

Dunlin; Least (many), Solitary, Spotted Sandpipers.

Blackpoll, Black Throated Green, Yellow Warblers; Am Redstart; Ovenbird; Red-Eyed, Warbling, Blue Headed Vireos

Henry Marsh: Sedge Wrens



sightings/bluebird boxes
Posted on May 14, 2004 at 12:47:36 PM by Moira Payne

My first hummingbird arrived May 10th along with a rosebreasted grosebeak male who was content to perch on the suet feeder for a while. Two of Bob B.'s bluebird boxes are occupied at the Gordon/Hadley farm at the end of the Houston Rd. We have a bluebird pair in one and tree swallows in the other. Though nothing seems to be interested in the blue and white painted boxes in the same area, I have tree swallows in one of these boxes near the horse barn. Nothing yet in the Burton box.



Re(1): Green Heron
Posted on May 15, 2004 at 09:21:55 AM by sylvia purdon

Green Heron at marsh on Canning Road..territorial



Green Heron
Posted on May 14, 2004 at 08:00:18 AM by Brenda Clark

One Green Heron was back on Wednesday just south of Gravenhurst.



scarlet tanager
Posted on May 13, 2004 at 10:46:21 PM by Challis

Wednesday morning's walk came up with a scarlet tanager catching the morning light. I didn't see it this morning but did hear it in song with its sore-throated robin refrain, just down the road from the rose-breasted grosbeak, who was successfully luring a female into the woods with its robin-with-singing-lessons song.



Re(1): Golden-winged Warbler at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 14, 2004 at 12:38:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bev Bailey reports that the Golden-winged Warbler was seen again this morning.



Golden-winged Warbler at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 13, 2004 at 10:58:01 AM by Al Sinclair

Don Bailey saw a Golden-winged Warbler this morning, May 13, in the willows on the south side and close to the south-west corner of cell 4.



Re(1): Red-headed Woodpecker...same bird???
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 06:18:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thought I remembered Stewart reporting a Red-headed Woodpecker in his yard last spring. So I checked the Bird Board archives and sure enough on May 5, 2003 one visited briefly. Wonder if it's the same bird.



Red-headed Woodpecker...same bird???
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 04:54:08 PM by Al Sinclair

A Red-headed Woodpecker was seen by Stewart Boyd yesterday afternoon at his feeders on McNabb St in Bracebridge. It was not there this morning but a Red-headed was seen this morning by Heather Harris at her suet feeder on Wapaska Cr. in Gravenhurst. Same bird as the one on Juddhaven Rd last week or 3 different birds??? If it's the same bird it is slowly heading back south where it should be.



Re: heronry - Great Horned Owl young/ Heron on a nest
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 04:38:42 PM by Al Sinclair


An adult Great Horned Owl was hooting softly in the woods at the edge of the pond but we didn't see it. These are digiscope photos (digital camera through a spotting scope).   photos



Re: heronry - Osprey/ Osprey nest
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 04:43:43 PM by Al Sinclair


This is the used Heron nest that the Ospreys have occupied this year. The Osprey was sitting in a pine tree watching and scolding.   photos



Visit to heronry near Barkway
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 04:33:09 PM by Al Sinclair

This morning, May 12, Bruce Stephenson showed me a very productive beaver pond near Barkway. We were collecting data for the Breeding Bird Atlas and confirmed breeding for Great Horned Owl (young in the nest code NY), Osprey (adult entering probale nest site code AE), Canada Goose (AE), Great Blue Heron (AE). We also recorded the following bird species during the hike although it was too early in the breeding season to record breeding evidence for most. In the replies to this message I have inserted some photos taken there this morning.
From 5/12/2004 to 5/12/2004 41 seen
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Winter Wren
Brown Thrasher
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Golden-winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Scarlet Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Purple Finch
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 41



Orioles and Redstart
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 02:47:30 PM by Bob Burt

Today at about 2:15 near the Lagoon Road entrance to the Bracebridge Ponds we saw two Orioles (m&f) who, by their behaviour, gave the impression that they are nesting in that area. Also had a good look at an American Redstart (haven't seen one in a long time), a Yellow Warbler, and heard a Chestnut-Sided Warbler. Many dragonflies in the afternoon heat.



Re(1): forgot the hummers...
Posted on May 12, 2004 at 07:30:01 AM by Barbara Taylor

Put the Hummingbird feeders up and within two hours had 2 males and a female.



Breeding birds and new arrivals
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 09:30:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at Browning Island, Lake Muskoka, there were some new arrivals and lots of signs of nesting/breeding activity. A Great Blue Heron was seen flying with a stick in its bill, which it then carried into the top of a tall white pine on Eleanor Island. A pair of Spotted Sandpipers strolled around our dock for a while, then mated. An American Robin was carrying dried grass material. An Eastern Phoebe was gathering mud/moss. A Chipping Sparrow was seen carrying what looked to be a fecal sac. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker back in their nest tree. Pileated Woodpecker calling several times in same general area - we will keep an eye out for its possible nest tree.

Other birds seen today included several warblers - a pair of Blackburnian, Nashville, Black-throated Green, Pine, Black-and-White, Yellow-rumped, Ovenbird. A wonderful Great Crested Flycatcher. At least five Blue Jays now. A Red-necked Grebe off the southern end of the island. A pair of Common Mergansers, and a Common Loon.

The tent caterpillars have hatched out and are busy munching. The blackflies are also out, but so far no biting - thank goodness!



Warblers- 10 sp.
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 07:50:20 PM by Dan Burton

Good mix of warblers at the end of Lorne Street in Gravenhurst this evening:
Yellow Rumpeds
Black Throated Blues-2
Black Throated Greens
Palms-3 (finally!)
Black and White-1
Ovenbird (morning)

Warbling Vireo
Gt Crested Flycatcher
Evening Grosbeak
Rose Breasted Grosbeak (morning)
Ruby Throated Hummingbird



Common Tern and Caspian Tern
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 12:46:00 PM by sylvia purdon

Two Common Terns flying and feed in the bay observed from the Wharf Shelter dock at 11:00 a.m. ; One Caspian Tern feeding earlier in the same bay.



more spring arrivals
Posted on May 10, 2004 at 10:32:29 PM by Challis-Carlyle

The first grey tree frog in our neighbourhood (Rocksborough Rd., Bracebridge) called a few times Sunday morning.
I made myself late for work this morning watching three Blackburnian warblers, with bibs so bright an orange they'd make Home Depot blush, feeding on something in the catkins of the birch tree in our backyard. Also joining in the feast were two pine warblers and a yellow-rumped warbler.



Re(2): indigo bunting
Posted on May 13, 2004 at 03:47:00 AM by G.Taylor

He has been feeding on the mixed seeds and some leftovers from the winter. Still here today. The rose breasted grosbeaks have arrived too.



Re(1): indigo bunting
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 07:52:38 PM by Dan Burton

What was your bunting eating?



indigo bunting
Posted on May 10, 2004 at 05:30:35 PM by G.Taylor

Today, from 4-5 pm, we have had an indigo bunting at our feeder. He looks great beside the purple finch and goldfinch.We are located at 1147 Kirk Line E.



No Red-Headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 10, 2004 at 03:59:47 PM by Carolyn Moore

The red-headed woodpecker that was visiting the feeder in Minett has not been seen since Saturday. Hoping it will return.



Orioles, house wren...
Posted on May 10, 2004 at 09:43:58 AM by Brenda Clark

A half an hour of birding in my backyard near the Muskoka Store south of Gravenhurst yielded 35 species this morning. Yea, Spring! Firsts for me this year today were a house wren, an oriole, a warbling vireo, a black throated green warbler, and a white crowned sparrow. Of note was a flock of 45 blue jays heading south. Other recent arrivals included more ovenbirds, crested flycatchers, hermit thrushes, a loon...and a left over evening grosbeak. The hobblebush and service berries are blooming, and the pussyfoot (feet?)
Last Saturday (May 2) I visited the lagoons in Bracebridge and saw what others have already reported, but there was also a pair of chimney swifts mixed in with the swallows, with their bat-like appearance in flight.



Field Sparrows
Posted on May 9, 2004 at 05:09:04 PM by Dan Burton

After a long search for Towhees and Sparrows, 2 Field Sparrows turned up on Penninsula Rd near Muldrew Lake Rd. Also nearby: Am Redstart.

From Muldrew Lake Rd: Brown Thrasher today and Whip-poor-will last night, and Am Bittern both times



Re(2): Bob, Bluebirds
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 09:18:44 PM by bob burton

Thank you Janice and Sylvia for your reports.It is heartening to see interest and results.There are 3pair of Bluebirds at boxes in Raymond



Re(1): Bob, Bluebirds
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 12:41:09 PM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

1 pr. Bluebird on Base Line Road using one of the MFN boxes along the horse farm fence line; Also, one pr. Tree swallow using the box about 30 ft. south of the bluebirds.



Bob, Bluebirds
Posted on May 8, 2004 at 07:07:26 PM by Janice House

May 2nd, bluebird in our yard checking out nest boxes, May 6, looking at hole in clothes line pole as possible site, May 7th, male singing and hanging about most of the day. May 8, Bentriver, my brothers property has 3 boxes, 2 peterson, 1 bob burton, bluebirds nesting in Bob's bluebird box, ye hah!. I didn't check the box because of the temp, got within 15 feet and I could see the whites of her eyes with my binoculars. May 7th, at the beaver pond on Silver lake we (dog and I) got within 100 feet of the bittern, thrilling to see him gulp air and do his pumping song, watched him for approx 15 minutes, he never moved from his spot even when we passed and the 4 Canada geese squawked.



Re(1): BB Lagoons- additional sp
Posted on May 8, 2004 at 07:42:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I believe there were just a couple Cliff Swallows seen amidst the bunch of swallows over cell 3. I only saw one myself. But on May 5 we saw several of them by cell 4. Funny, on May 5 we saw only one Barn Swallow, yet today there were "tons". I can hardly wait to go over on a calm day and find them all sitting on a wire - you can make yourself go dizzy otherwise. : )



BB Lagoons- additional sp
Posted on May 8, 2004 at 06:35:48 PM by Dan Burton

20 Rusty Blackbirds
1 Pectoral Sandpiper
4 shorebirds flying over were (I believe) Semi-Palmated Plovers, because of their size, colour and calls.
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 E Kingbird
Rough Winged Swallows
No luck with Cliff Swallows or Chimney Swifts this afternoon. Are the Cliff Swallows being seen at the chalet in Kerr Park?

A Ruby Crowned Kinglet was in my yard today



MFN field trip - Bracebridge Lagoons sightings
Posted on May 8, 2004 at 02:57:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey led a successful tour around the Bracebridge Lagoons this morning. A good turnout of birders and birds! A little cool, but thankfully the rain held off. Bev has compiled a list of birds seen during today's outing:

Spotted Sandpiper
Great Blue Heron
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Wood Duck
Canada Goose
Cliff Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Bank Swallow
Chimney Swift
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Pileated Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Phoebe
Meadowlark (at Kerr Park)
Northern Harrier (pair)
Red-shouldered Hawk (one wing had several feathers missing)
Turkey Vulture
Ring-billed Gull
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
American Robin
American Crow

In addition, I heard a Black-throated Green and a Black-and-white Warbler to the south of cell 4. The cool overcast windy day kept most warblers in hiding. The swallows were flying low over cell 3 where it was a bit sheltered from the wind. The "lake" across the Trans Canada Trail that I mentioned in a previous post is now pretty much drained away, although it's still quite muddy in places. The beavers have already started rebuilding their dam north of cell 4. No sign of the Green Heron. A muskrat in cell 1.



Bracebridge Ponds May 7, 2004
Posted on May 7, 2004 at 09:46:22 PM by Al Sinclair

Species seen today, May 7, 2 to 3pm, at the Bracebridge Ponds. All were seen from the north side of cell 4 (the one furthest west)except for the shorebirds which were in cell 1. Water in Cell 1 was lower today.
Green Heron 1
Spotted Sandpiper 3
Eastern Kingbird 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3
Warbling Vireo 2
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Northern Waterthrush 1
Rusty Blackbird 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 9
Greater Yellowlegs 3



Loon nesting raft
Posted on May 7, 2004 at 07:38:37 PM by Al Johnston

We assembled and then anchored the loon nesting raft just off Lookout Island in the Joseph River. Yesterday a pair of loons were cruising the shoreline there as if looking for a nesting site. Also, the first hummer of the year on the island. No sign of the purple martins yet in Sugar Bush Bay on Lake Muskoka. Al



Digital Photographs of Butterflies
Posted on May 7, 2004 at 10:43:40 AM by Ron Stager

I am trying to put together a pictoral (beginner's) guide to Muskoka butterflies for use in the annual butterfly count (Bala 27 June this year).

If anyone has digital images of butterflies that I could use, please let me know.




Gt Cr Flycatcher, Siskins/warblers
Posted on May 6, 2004 at 07:10:34 PM by Dan Burton

Gt Crested Flycatcher arrived 7:30 this morning.
Ovenbird, Pine and Yellow Rumped sang in the morning. A Black Throated Green was heard this evening.
At BB Lagoons:
Magnolia, Black and White, Nashville, Yellow Rumped, Yellow, N Waterthrush.
Oddly, there were no Palms yet.
All swallows except Cliff (Bank, Barn, Tree, Rough-Winged) sat apon the wires near the truck discharge cells.
At the cemetery on Wagnar in Gravenhurst, Pine Siskins fed in a Norway Spruce.



Re(1): Hummingbird - Fraserburg Rd.
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 12:38:55 PM by sylvia purdon

Pr. Humming Bird: Monday May 10, repeat visits to feeders



Hummingbird - Fraserburg Rd.
Posted on May 6, 2004 at 06:10:03 PM by Lad Helde

Today I had my first hummingbird of the season. So wonderful to have them back. I have not had a very productive afternoon as I can't stop watching him in amazement.
Yesterday I had my first bluebird pair. Much later than last year.



Sandhill Cranes
Posted on May 6, 2004 at 06:05:32 PM by Janice House

A pair of cranes flew over the house this morning. (Doe Lake Rd) Tonight about 5:30 a bluebird was on the wires across from the old Dinsmore farm. Went to the conservation area at Doe Lake another night this week, one hooded merganser, one canada goose, lots of red wing blackbirds and lots of barn, tree and rough winged swallows. No wood ducks to be seen. Pair of wood ducks north of Taboo on Muskoka Beach Rd about 4:30 today.



Posted on May 5, 2004 at 11:03:58 PM by Carlyle/Challis

Wed. May 5, 7:30 pm
We were so thrilled to hear and see a bittern down in the small "wetland" at the end of Rocksborough Rd.
There's also two pairs of geese who may be nesting and several snipe calling and hopping about.



Photo...Red-headed Woodpecker Juddhaven Rd May 3
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 10:21:55 PM by Al Sinclair


Carolyn Moore sent this photo of a Red-headed Woodpecker at her feeder on May 3(previously reported on the Bird Board). The bird was seen again on May 4, 2004. Juddhaven Rd is north of Minett on the west side of Lake Rosseau.



Re(1): Virginia Rails
Posted on May 11, 2004 at 12:43:51 PM by sylvia purdon and jim maguire

Pr. Virginia Rail, Wenona Marsh; Wednesday May 5; American Bittern; one pr. heard and seen rising together from a suitable habitat nesting site in the marsh; No sora; No Least Bittern; Green Heron, Wednesday May 5.



Re(2): Virginia Rails
Posted on May 8, 2004 at 10:05:29 AM by Dan

The marsh is encirled by Hwy 11 and the off-ramps to Gravenhurst at the south end of town; roughly across the road from McDonalds.



Re(1): Virginia Rails
Posted on May 7, 2004 at 05:53:32 PM by Brian Pfrimmer

Dan: What are the directions to Southgate Marsh ?



Virginia Rails
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 09:36:18 PM by Dan Burton

Virginia Rails have returned to the Southgate Marsh in Gravenhurst. From one location all the following birds could be detected at dusk:
Virginia Rails-2 pairs
Soras- 2 individuals
Am Bittern singing out in the open
Am Woodcock call and display flight
Swamp Sparrow- 1
Red Winged Blackbirds



Bracebridge Ponds - Swallows, Shovelers, Yellowlegs
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 04:40:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of birds at the Ponds early this afternoon. Take note the small beaver dam in the wet woods to the north of cell 4 has been removed. Unfortunately this is allowing large amounts of water to flow west and south, creating a large "lake" across the Trans Canada Trail. So if you are planning a hike on this section of trail over to Henry Rd. marsh, take rubber boots. It is just as bad trying to access the Henry marsh from Henry Rd. The marsh is flowing over much of the trail there.

At the Bracebridge Ponds today...

Cell 2 in front of the viewing stand:
Greater Yellowlegs (18)
Northern Shoveler (10)
Lesser Scaup
Blue-winged Teal
Wood Duck
Canada Goose

Other birds:
Cliff Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Rusty Blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbirds



Re(2): Cattle Egret...location?
Posted on May 6, 2004 at 08:08:16 AM by Peggy Barrette

You have nailed the location on the nose. The bird was standing in the middle of the overflow. I am not a bird watcher by any means, however, my son has been "bitten by the bug" since being introduced to birds in Madame Goodyear's grade 2 class.
We only saw the bird that one morning, on the way to work and school. We have been checking ever since, but have not seen it again.



Re(1): Cattle Egret...location?
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 04:11:43 PM by Al Sinclair

I live on 118E but have not heard of any egret reports. I would like to check this location to see if it might be still around and perhaps ask some people who live close by. Have you checked the location since? Also I'm not clear on the location. Is this the spillway that can be seen from the 118 highway on the north side of the road about 3 km from Hwy 11? This would be just west of Trethewey Falls Rd, Matthiasville Rd is about .5 km further east.



Cattle Egret
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 03:29:17 PM by Jean-Michel Barrette

After searching through some books, we think we saw a Cattle Egret Tuesday April 27th at about 7:45 in the morning. It was in the middle of the overflow of the South Branch of the Muskoka River, off of Hwy. 118 E., just before Mathiasville Road. Did anyone else see this to help us confirm this sighting?



black-throated green on Rocksborough Rd.
Posted on May 5, 2004 at 12:01:58 PM by Challis

The dogs and I had a wonderful moment on our morning walk today -- at one corner of the road, I watched a brown creeper feeding, three blue-headed vireos, a hermit thrush and heard a yellow bellied sapsucker drumming. Then our first black-throated green warbler erupted in song, about 50 metres down the road. A second answered further down the road. Weather notwithstanding, the birds are treating this as spring.



Woodcock babies, Red-necked Grebes - Browning Island
Posted on May 4, 2004 at 07:36:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today on Lake Muskoka near the southern end of Browning Island we saw 3 Red-necked Grebes. Also a possible 2 Horned Grebes but they were too far away to be certain. A Blue Jay has finally returned to the island as well as a few warblers, including Black-throated Green, Black-and-White, Pine, Yellow-rumped, and an Ovenbird. Four Turkey Vultures were soaring overhead and the crows and ravens were having their usual battle over territory.

I was startled by an American Woodcock suddenly flying up only a foot or so in front of me. In case there was a nest, I carefully scanned the area around me but didn't see anything. I took one step forward when another surprise! Four baby Woodcock rose up from the brown leaves and ran in all directions while making a high-pitched sound somewhat similar to cedar waxwings. The mother began to circle back and then tried to distract us by flopping around on the forest floor, then flying a bit, and flopping around again. We quickly reversed course and took a different route so momma could return to her babies.

(I think the location of these woodcock at the south-east tip of Browning Island is breeding bird atlas square 17PK28.)



Bluebirds on Rocksborough Rd.
Posted on May 4, 2004 at 03:19:41 PM by Gayle Carlyle

This morning, despite the cold wind, I saw two bluebirds perched on the wires at the end of Rocksborough Rd. It was about 11:30 am.
I don't think I beat Bob Burton this year for first observation but it was still a thrill to see them back.



Gray Jays, Redwinged Blackbirds etc.
Posted on May 4, 2004 at 09:38:22 AM by April Glen

This morning I woke up to find new birds at our feeder. Much to my surprize there were Gray Jays and Redwinged Blackbirds at my feeder and on the ground. The reason for the surprize is because no one on my street has seen them up here for a very long time. (Port Cunnington)

Also there were Evening Grosbeaks, Blue Jays, Juncos, White Throated Sparrows, Purple Finch, a Fox and a few deer.



Redheaded Woodpecker
Posted on May 3, 2004 at 10:06:18 PM by Carolyn Moore

Today (May 3) we were fortunate to see a Redheaded woodpecker at our feeder. Having never seen one I was speechless and had trouble getting my husband's attention. We took several pictures with our digital camera and also called our neighbours to come and witness the sighting. We live on Juddhaven Rd. We have turkeys at our feeder, last night the bear and now a redheaded woodpecker - what next!




Osprey, phoebe, et al
Posted on May 3, 2004 at 09:45:14 AM by Gayle Carlyle

Last Wednesday at about 5 pm I saw a flock of about 50 male red-winged blackbirds perched in the forest behind our house on Rocksborough Rd. Some were singing, others were squawking. After about a minute or so, they all flew off northward. Could this be a flock that nests further north?
Also, the Savannah sparrows are back down in the "flats" at the end of our road.
Also, I'm pleased to say that our phoebe pair are back and nest-building in the eaves of our garden gazebo. This is the third year we've had a nest there. I'm thrilled.
John and I saw an osprey flying over the Switch Road in Washago yesterday. Very nice to see one, even if it isn't in Muskoka.



Posted on May 2, 2004 at 09:56:01 AM by ron stager

Whip-poor-will(s?) at Barkway last night (12:00 p.m., 2 a.m., 4 a.m, etc.)

Also Eastern Kingbird sitting in same binocular view as a Belted Kingfisher. The Eastern Kingbird won.



Hummingbird reported near Port Carling
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 11:00:01 PM by Al Sinclair

Nina Manson called today to say that a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was at their feeder today May 1. They live on Hwy 118W at Foreman Rd west of Port Carling. Their first last year was May 5. Time to get the feeders up!



Bittern, Woodcock, Sora
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 08:30:42 PM by Dan Burton

Am Bittern singing at Muldrew Lake Rd
Sora singing at Southgate marsh Gravenhust
Am Woodcock calling on the ridge above 169 at Gravenhurst Bay.
All good birds.

And then there is the Cowbird that was singing in my yard today...
anybody want it?



Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 07:46:06 PM by Goodyear

A single male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visited our sunflower seed feeder this evening at 7:30. Great way to end the day! (MeadowHeights and Moreland)



Lagoons and Airport
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 06:45:59 PM by Dan Burton


Common Merganser (1)
Greater Scaup (1)
Gadwall (2)
Blue Winged Teal
Green Winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Ring Necked Ducks

Warblers and Vireos:

Black and White
Yellow Rumped
Warbling Vireo




Spotted Sandpipers
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs


Savannah Sparrows
Tree Swallows


Vesper Sparrows



Re(2): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 08:38:51 AM by Al Johnston

The pic is not digital, Barbara but I'll borrow the use of a scanner and e-mail it to you. I have to warn, in advance, however, the pic is of very poor quality. We've been having problems with our old 38-105mm zoom Pentax. Only one of the 3 pics turned out and it's not in focus and the zoom does not appear to have been working. Thanks very much for the offer. Al



Re(1): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 09:01:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Al, if you have a digital version of your photo, I'd be happy to upload it so you can get some feedback on your find. You can email the photo to me at



Re(7): Wilf's photos of earlier sightings
Posted on May 3, 2004 at 09:01:36 AM by Al Johnston

Great pics, Wilf. "MY" bird's tail wasn't quite as long and not as distinctly forked. Thanks for sharing.



Re(6): Wilf's photos of earlier sightings
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 09:26:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek has sent me two photos from his earlier sightings of Fork-tailed Flycatchers. The date and location is noted at the bottom of each picture below.

Thanks Wilf. It's helpful to see photos of real birds since many fieldguides don't cover all the variations, such as differing tail lengths.


photo 1         photo 2



Re(5): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 06:17:50 PM by Wilf Yusek

There was one in Cayuga Ontario in September of 1993, also one in Hamlin N,Y. (near Rochester) inOctober of 1990.



Re(4): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 2, 2004 at 08:50:15 AM by Al Johnston

Thanks for the suggestion, Dan. I've already submitted the Rare Bird Report Form to the OFO and Friday I mailed the pic (such as it is) to Jean Iron. Many thanks for everyone's interest. Al



Re(3): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 08:37:59 PM by Dan Burton

There have only been a few Ontario records of Fork Tailed Flycatcher- ever.
The Ontario Bird Records Committee would be extremely interested in your sighting. There is a form on the OFO website



Re(2): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 08:09:54 PM by Al Johnston

I don't have a life-list, Paul but for sure it's on my yard list. Thanks for responding. Al



Re(1): possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 07:38:27 PM by Paul Smith

The Patuxent website describes the juvenile as having a much shorter tail and darker plumage, and that it's a rare visitor to eastern North America. Other sites have reports of sightings in Wisconson, New York and Vermont over the years. Might be one for your life-list.



possible Fork-tailed flycatcher
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 04:15:53 PM by Al Johnston

This accidental from the tropics was observed on April 26th in Whitchurch- Stouffville several times over a period of an hour or so at a distance of 35', through binoculars by myself and a friend who also considers himself a keen nature observer. I must add that it has not yet been verified by the OFO. I haven't seen this rarity again and, on the chance it may be headed north, keep your eyes peeled for, what, at first glance, may appear to be a tree swallow but with a slight, white collar, jet black cap and beak, slate grey back and darker wings and tail. The tail was not the 10" fork-tailed plumed one of the bird books but a body-length slim, tapered one which has a barely discernable slit. If you see it, please try to get a better picture of it than I did (sigh). Good birding. Al



Posted on May 1, 2004 at 02:54:50 PM by Goodyear

A wet three hour return walk along the TransCanada Trail from Henry Marsh to Stephens Bay Rd. this morning turned up several yellow rumps, and our first Ovenbird and Nashville and Black-throated Green Warblers of the season.



Port Cunnington Activity
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 02:19:32 PM by April

1 Broadwinged Hawk (Immature), 8 Bluejays, 12 Evening Grosbeaks, 12 Juncos, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Purple Finch, 2 Mallards, 4 Starlings, 1 Common Flicker, Peeper Frogs and 1 Moose!

All of this this morning on my property in Port Cunnington. Sorry no pics of the Broadwinged Hawk this year the weather is dark and rainy.



Wild Turkeys
Posted on May 1, 2004 at 11:30:32 AM by Bob Burt

This past week we observed two wild turkeys in a wooded area at the south end of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka. This is the first time we have seen or heard of turkeys on this island. Were they introduced to this island habitat, or could they have flown from the mainland ? Shortest crossing would be about half a mile. How far will they fly ?



Eastern Phoebe, sparrows, weasel
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 09:30:12 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks,

Good day out here on Rocky Narrows and the south branch of the Muskoka River (April 30th). At our feeder we are regularly seeing white-crowned sparrows and evening grosbeaks. Just up the river I observed swamp sparrows, white-throated sparrows, a pair Eastern phoebes building their mud nest under a huge rock, a hermit thrush and yellow-rumped warblers. A pair of vultures are nesting up the river on a rock face, but no luck finding the nest. I also believe a raven nest in near the same area. While photographing the eastern phoebe a weasel (believed short-tailed) was checking me out intermittently for about a hour. I would hear the leaves rustling and the little guy was taking a quick peak always from different spots. Unfortunately, he or she wouldn't pose for me. I'm hoping the future litte phoebes don't fall out of their nest as it would be right into the weasel's home territory.

Take care,



Sparrows ...
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 05:08:13 PM by Paul Smith

Lots of sparrows around the feeding area today.

White Crowned

Plus a Rusty (maybe Brewers) Blackbird ...



Posted on April 30, 2004 at 01:05:47 PM by Challis

The first ovenbird of the season in our neighbourhood burst into song in the south cluster of woods before the end of Rocksborough Road.
We usually have a good number of ovenbirds in the woods along this road in spring, if anyone's interested in hearing their emphatic songs. Hardly ever see one, and Gayle came across a nest (ground nesters) only once.



Blue Jays
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 10:21:53 AM by Lad Helde

Fraserburg Road: Having seen so few Blue Jays this past winter and spring -I am so delighted to have at least 30 Jays at my feeders this morning.



Torrance Barrens
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 09:37:47 AM by Alex Mills

Yesterday (April 29) I saw snapping and painted turtles at Torrance Barrens, as well as a five-lined skink. It was too windy for much bird song, but more than one field sparrow was singing there.



Re(1): Brown Thrasher
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 01:02:33 PM by Challis

They seem to be everywhere today. A brown thrasher was singing half-way down Rocksborough Road at 7 a.m. and at 10 a.m. I heard and saw one on Pinedale Road in Gravenhurst.



Brown Thrasher
Posted on April 30, 2004 at 06:58:50 AM by Goodyear

We were awakened this morning by our first Brown Thrasher of the spring. Our resident pair of Cardinals continue to visit our feeders on a regular basis and we have had Evening Grosbeaks visit over the last few days - MeadowHeights/Moreland Ct. area.



At Henry Marsh
Posted on April 29, 2004 at 10:43:18 PM by Steve & Leslee Tassie

Leslee and I set out tonite to find the Royal Muskoka look-out. We did, and discovered a great view! We started at Henry Road and before we had gotten to the beaver dam (which is now overflowing and giving soakers to the unwary- namely Leslee)at the marsh I found a used shotgun shell. Is this common ? I know there are idiots who fire guns close to town but I have to admitt that I was surprised to find one at the marsh. Spring Beauties were blooming all over the place at the look-out and Trout Lillies were close to bloom.



Bracebridge Ponds April 29...305 Ducks, Lesser Yellowlegs
Posted on April 29, 2004 at 09:11:40 PM by Al Sinclair

April 29. Duck numbers were down today, southern warm front moving in last night. Todays List:
Canada Goose 7
Gadwall 2
Green-winged Teal 1
Mallard 16
Blue-winged Teal 14
Northern Shoveler 8
Ring-necked Duck 4
Lesser Scaup 56
Bufflehead 204
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Greater Yellowlegs 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 2
total ducks 305



Muskoka Field Naturalists - May 6 meeting
Posted on April 29, 2004 at 09:56:18 AM by Barbara Taylor


Next meeting Thursday, May 6
Guest speaker Ed Allison will be sharing some of his discoveries about the moose in a talk he’s titled "A stressful year in the life of a moose". The public is welcome to attend the meeting. It’s being held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst, at 7:30 p.m.

Allison’s career in studying the health of wildlife has spanned more than three decades. He retired from the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1998, but has been just as busy since then as the executive manager of the Wildlife Disease Association. As well as talking about the moose’s imposing physical appearance, Allison’s talk will cover the many challenges the moose faces in its northern habitat, beset by parasites, flies, predators and food supplies that are often hard to find. It’s a talk that could be broad-ranging, since he has studied toxicology, parasitology, population dynamics and the influence of logging on wildlife populations.

Upcoming Field Trips
The Muskoka Field Naturalists have a busy month of outings planned as well, starting with a canoeing-hiking trip along the Matchedash River, a birding outing at Kerr Park, the annual fundraising "Baillie Bird-a-Thon" conducted for Bird Studies Canada and concluding the month with a walk in the Beaver Valley.

For information about joining the club and participating in the outings, call membership chair Mary Smith at 646-8721.          Muskoka Field Naturalists website



Re(1): First Wildflower blooming? Photo
Posted on April 29, 2004 at 09:03:35 AM by Barbara Taylor

There were a few Hepatica in bloom last Friday. (April 23 - Browning Island, Lake Muskoka)



Re(1): First Wildflower blooming? Photo
Posted on April 28, 2004 at 08:27:39 PM by Challis-Carlyle

There's been quite a lot of coltsfoot in bloom for about a week, on Marnie Wright's farm at the corner of Rocksborough and Fraserburg Roads.



First Wildflower blooming? Photo
Posted on April 28, 2004 at 08:07:39 PM by Al Sinclair


This photo of Coltsfoot was taken today along our lane.



Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Shovelers, Yellowlegs
Posted on April 28, 2004 at 06:23:09 PM by Al Sinclair

My daughter Sarah and I were there at about 3 to 4pm today April 28. We saw:
Greater Yellowlegs, 14, cell 4 shallow water south side (we thought they were all Greater)
Northern Shoveler, 8, cell 4
Gadwall, pair, cell 4
American Black Duck, 2, cell 1 & 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglets, & Yellow-rumped Warblers, few, south side cell 3
Yellow-rumped Warblers, few, south side cell 3
Killdeer, 1, flying over cell 1

Cell 4 was dumped this week and is now refilling.



Bracebridge Ponds - Shovelers, Yellowlegs
Posted on April 28, 2004 at 03:22:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was finally some shorebird habitat in cell 4 - the pond off by itself furthest south and west. We counted fourteen Yellowlegs!  Probably all Greater, but maybe one Lesser from the call notes.

Also in cell 4 there were eight Northern Shovelers - 6 male and 2 female. Other birds seen were several Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, and a few Wood Duck.



Rocky Narrows and Muskoka River birds
Posted on April 27, 2004 at 03:15:04 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks,

Among the regular visitors to my feeder over the last week or so I've had at least a pair of evening grosbeaks, purple finch and American goldfinch. A pair of broad winged hawks and turkey vultures are swooping around and clearly are nesting nearby.
Up the South branch of the river an hour ago were about 8 greater yellowlegs and a bunch of yellow-rumped warblers.
I live on Rocky Narrows Rd off of Hwy 118 East.

Take care,



Blue-headed Vireo, Broad-winged Hawk, ...
Posted on April 27, 2004 at 01:11:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of birds singing along the river (trail 2) at the Bracebridge Resource Management Centre this morning. BRMC is on the east side of Hwy. 11, a bit north of High Falls Rd.

Broad-winged Hawk
Blue-headed Vireo
Brown Creeper
White-throated Sparrow
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Winter Wren
Northern Flicker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
American Robin
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Evening Grosbeak
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
American Crow



Re(1): Trumpeter Swans ...
Posted on April 27, 2004 at 09:07:50 AM by April Mathes

There have been a number of sightings of this pair/trio recently. Any observations of nesting activity would be greatly appreciated!



Trumpeter Swans ...
Posted on April 26, 2004 at 03:36:09 PM by Paul Smith

Three Trumpeter Swans today at 1:00 PM on #69, 1 km north of the Baxter Landfill site in a pond. Two were tagged (507 and 618) - the other had no tag ...



Sandhill Crane
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 09:57:55 PM by Dave Wright

Bob Burton and I watched a Sandhill Crane wandering around a field on the east side (near the bottom) of the Roxborough Rd this morning at about 9:30 We also saw a Snipe and a Wild Turkey on the same road.



Yellow rumped warbler
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 12:45:29 PM by Janice House

Yesterday morning I saw my first yellow-rumped warbler on the Silver Lake Rd. Last night while walking the two labs in the field next to the beaver pond on the same road we flushed a bittern and two great blue herons. The beaver was out and about also.



The Infant
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 06:11:55 PM by Al Sinclair


While at the Bracebridge Ponds today we saw an Infant moth flying around the chip pile at the north-west corner of cell 4. When it landed we were lucky to find it and get these photos. The Infant looks like a small orange butterfly when flying because of the orange on the underside of its hind wings. When it lands it is well camouflaged and hard to locate. Its latin name, Archieris infans, loosley translated means "first born in spring". Their larvae feed on White Birch.



Bracebridge Ponds April 24...350 ducks, The Infant moth
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 06:01:58 PM by Al Sinclair

At the Ponds today Saturday, April 24, 2004:
350 ducks, 9 species
American Wigeon 2 in cell 2
Gadwall 1 in cell 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet NW corner cell 4
Horned Grebe reported yesterday NOT FOUND
Last year on this date we counted 400 ducks.
Compton Tortoiseshell 1
The Infant, Archieris infans 1 NW corner cell 4



Re(1): Henry Rd. Marsh
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 03:20:02 PM by Leslee Tassie

My husband Steve and I were there on Friday night and saw and heard the American Bittern. Also the same array of ducks, hermit thrush, white throated sparrow, 1 piliated woodpecker, ruffed grouse,etc...



Henry Rd. Marsh
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 07:21:58 AM by Gerald Willmott

Friday a.m. I wandered Henry Marsh. As I pulled up in my car I was reviewing birdcalls and in particular the Ruby Crowned Kinglet. To my surprise as I stepped out of the car a Ruby Crowned Kinglet was calling and moving amongst the trees. Also heard/seen: Cardinal, Hermit Thrush, White Throated Sparrow, 2 Piliated Woodpeckers, and Song Sparrow.

In the p.m. I saw/heard a Broad Winged Hawk, Northern Harrier, American Bittern, RW Black Bird, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Bufflehead, Ringneck Duck, Redbeasted Nuthatch.

What a wonderful place.



Muskoka Birding/horned grebe
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 10:06:21 PM by Nick Bartok

Hey wildlife lovers, i was back in muskoka for 3 days as a holiday from my clapper and black rail work in arizona, thought i would post my sightings, although few, but some good ones:
this list all seen apr 23/04

horned grebe (lagoons)
american bittern (henry marsh)(had large white patches on upper wing coverts on both wings!!??)
northern cardinal (henry rd)
white throated sparrow (henry marsh area)
chipping sparrow (fraserburg rd)
roughed grouse (henry marsh and lagoons)
pileated woodpecker (lagoons)



Re(1): Sandhill Crane, Osprey
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 07:28:06 AM by Gerald Willmott

There is/was a nest close to Bala. It is on East Bay Pt road, south end of the old CN swing bridge on Bala Park Island Road.

Maybe 10 miles as the Osprey flies.



Sandhill Crane, Osprey
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 07:42:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an Osprey circling over Alport Lake near the marina on Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. For several years we have spotted Osprey at that location but have never found a nest in the vicinity. Does anyone know of one nearby?

Around 6 p.m. there was a Sandhill Crane flying low across the southern end of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka. We have been checking the fields at Beaumont Dr./Beaumont Farm Rd. since there was a Sandhill Crane there April 26 last year - but so far, no luck.



Evening Grosbeaks en masse
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 10:38:37 PM by Mark McAnally

Friends of mine who live on Brunel Road just before South Portage Road, and who feed the birds, report what seemed like a hundred Evening Grosbeaks on Wednesday. They are also being invaded by Starlings. It was described as a feeding frenzy.
I hate to be repetitive, but I have more Robins in my back woods/fields than I have ever seen. And this morning there were at least 5 males in full song. And....still no Blue Jays. Even the couple above who have such great numbers report having no Blue Jays.
Numerous Yellow-rumps seen and heard this morning, as well as three Great Blue Herons flying over my property.



Re(4): Barkway today
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 06:42:17 PM by Ron Stager

Thanks for the sighting Doug.

There are two "white" butterflies likely to be seen in late April: cabbage white and mustard white. The mustard white has prounounced gray/green colouring of the viens on the bottom of the wings. I suspect the cabbage white might be more likely in town than the mustard white.

Please let me, and the Bird Board, know if you see other butterflies.



Re(3): Barkway today
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 11:52:16 AM by Doug Smith

Ron -- I saw a white (cabbage white?) behind my work in Bracebridge April 14th



Re(2): Barkway today
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 07:51:37 PM by Ron Stager

Thanks for the link: yes it was Spring Beauty flower.

Third butterfly species was indeed an Eastern Comma. I had seen a Green Comma and a Gray Comma last week on a five butterfly day. There may have been another Gray Comma today but I didn't get a good look.



Re(1): Barkway today
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 07:12:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Ron, your wildflower description sounds like it might have been Spring Beauty.

We've only seen one Broad-winged Hawk so far, on Tuesday - same day Beamer Hawkwatch recorded 1257 of them!

Haven't seen any butterflies besides Mourning Cloaks and Compton Tortoiseshell. Was your 3rd species an Eastern Comma?



Barkway today
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 01:47:05 PM by Ron Stager

Lots of nature while walking the dog this morning.

Two Broad-winged hawks calling and circling (an Osprey yesterday evening. We had heard Broad-winged calls a few days ago. Lots of tree swallows and purple finch along with the regulars.

Several species of duck in the beaver dam. Little white (five petaled) flowers in the woods. Three species of buttefly (has anyone seen a white or an azure yet?).

A couple of days ago Rosemarie saw a Sandhill Crane flying south over Ravenscliffe Rd at Waseosa Rd near Hunstville and the same American Bittern twice on Barkway Rd.

I guess it is spring.



Henry Marsh sightings
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 09:06:24 AM by Leslee Tassie

Was at Henry Marsh last night. Upon my arrival I was treated to a wonderful sighting of a sandhill crane, flying quite low and close to me, calling the entire time while in flight, "karoo, ...". I did hear one ruffed grouse "drumming", and got within a few feet of two others on the way out, one on the ground and one in a tree. There were 3 geese, and the only ducks I could see were way in the back or in the tall grasses, but I did spot some mallards, buffleheads and scaup.
Some hikers reported a garter snake up the trail a little. I did see a crow chasing a hawk, but I didn't get a good enough look at the hawk to identify it. Reagan Goodyear and her family came along and had seen it too but in reverse with the hawk chasing the crow - she as well didn't get a very good look at the hawk, but thought it may have been a broad-winged. On the way out a hermit thrush was singing.



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 08:10:04 AM by gerald willmott

Was at the lagoons last afternoon (Wednesday) and saw a few treats.

besides the Scaup, Buffleheads, Wood Ducks, and Ringnecked Ducks were a pair of Blue Winged Teal, Amr. Kestrel, Yellow Rumped Warlber, Brown Creeper.



Rusty Blackbirds, Purple Finches - Bay Lake
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 07:28:53 AM by Kip Daynard

On Tuesday I found a flock of 8-10 very vocal Rusty Blackbirds near the corner of Bay Lake Rd. and King Sideroad.

Several male Purple Finches have also been visiting our silo feeders over the last few days.

Yesterday a female Hooded Merganser checked out a Flicker/Bufflehead nesting box I have mounted on a tree about 12feet up near the shore of the lake. She was accompanied by a male and seemed interested, but I expect the quarters were too cramped and they have not settled in.

A small flock of Evening Grosbeaks was in the area earlier in the week.



Pine Siskins and Purple Finches, Bala
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 00:43:41 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After the downpour finished this afternoon 7 male and 1 female purple finches came into my feeders along with at least 6 pine siskins.



nesting red headed woodpeckers
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 09:27:48 AM by Leslee Tassie

A woman I work with, Mary Jane Ewens and her husband live out in Port Carling, down Todholm road which is just off Foreman Road. She reported to me that they have had a pair of red headed woodpeckers nesting in their yard which have had two young. She confirmed the sighting with her birding guide, and is certain they are red headed woodpeckers.
Steve and I went home from work yesterday, to find a pair of mallards at the front of our house (Santa's Village Road, Bracebridge), checking out what has fallen from our feeders. They seemed to be curious and exploring the whole front and side yard, not too concerned with our presence. We do get them in the creek at the back of our house but never up at the front.



Upland Sandpiper
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 07:08:36 AM by sylvia purdon

Monday April 19; 0915hr
Corner of Canning Road and District 13;on the wires overlooking the fields at the Raspberry Farm:

Upland Sandpiper (1)



Speedy Mallard ...
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 00:57:24 AM by Paul Smith

I was southbound on Hgwy 11 this morning and caught up to a southbound Mallard about 30 feet over the center of the road. No traffic, so I eased up then stayed even with him for 5 or 6 seconds. 80 KPH - with no wind to speak of ...



Pine Warblers
Posted on April 20, 2004 at 09:17:46 PM by Brenda Clark

As we walked along Sedore Road suddenly I realized those weren't just juncos trilling, and I soon found a pine warbler in full view and song. We heard several more before the walk was over, along with wood ducks, a group of purple finches, and the regular crowd of "black" spring arrivals.
We also just completed a bike trek on a portion of the Nipissing Trail north of Magnetewan on the weekend. The woods there were full of brown creepers, kinglets, a variety of woodpeckers, and many winter wrens. We also heard loons, sandhill cranes, and a barred owl.



Re(1): blue-headed vireo
Posted on April 20, 2004 at 01:33:01 PM by Al Sinclair

Blue-headed normally arrives about 1 month before other vireos.



blue-headed vireo
Posted on April 20, 2004 at 12:54:13 PM by John Challis

Walking the dogs down Rocksborough Rd. at 7 am today, I heard a vireo that would likely be a blue-headed (solitary) vireo. Al Sinclair: Would that be more likely than a red-eyed vireo at this point in the season?
Also this morning the dogs flushed a mallard from a nest containing six eggs.



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 07:14:17 PM by Brian Pfrimmer

I was at the lagoons on Saturday about 4:30 to 5:30 pm. besides what everyone saw on Sunday, I saw Green & Blue wing Teal, Common Merganzer, American Kestral, Savannah & Song Sparrow, Tree Swallow and 30 Wood Ducks.



Kay McKeever program in Haliburton Cancelled!
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 06:13:08 PM by Al Sinclair

If anyone was planning to attend this special meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Field Naturalists on April 21st note that it has been cancelled. Message pasted below explains. They have had some tough times recently at the Owl Sanctuary including losing many owls to West Nile virus 2 years ago.

Subject: Haliburton Highlands Field Naturalists Owl program canceled

Just got a call from HHFN's about their special meeting on
Wednesday featuring Kay McKeever.
Apparently there was a severe tornado through the Niagara area
yesterday and there was considerable damage to Kay's Owl
sanctuary and she has lost many owls. In light of this the meeting
at Haliburton has been cancelled.



5 Kingfishers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 12:09:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

No sign of Leslee's possible Canvasbacks this morning. Several Scaup and Buffleheads in cell 1. Many Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads in cell 4. Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers calling from the marshy area west of cell 4. We spotted a pair of noisy Belted Kingfishers perched in a tall tree to the south of cell 3. Then another appeared and the pair began to chase it, continuing to give their rattling call as they flew about. Then two more appeared and for a while all 5 birds were hovering, swooping, and diving at each other high above the ponds.

The water level in all the ponds is still very high, so no shorebird habitat anywhere. We flushed a female Mallard Duck off a nest with 4 eggs as we walked along the path near the viewing stand. Wonder what ever possessed her to build a nest way up there in the shrubbery so far from the water. A beaver was seen swimming in the small pond to the left of the roadway as you are leaving Kerr Park.



Repost: barn owl (repost of reply to a March 25 post originally titled "bobcat?")
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 01:27:48 AM by John Archbold

For what it's worth, there was a family of barn owls in the Trafalgar Bay area (near Bala) about 5 or 6 years ago, for about a week at the end of July. I thought some animal had been hit by a car. Left the cottage with a flashlight and spotted 2 young ones 20' up in a tree right behind the cottage. There was an adult in plain site about 40' away and another one up at the Trafalgar Bay Rd. With a flashlight the facial disk and colouring was easy to see. They flew off after about 10 minutes when our daughter drove in, but I heard them several more times the following week. Maybe they were just wandering, because I've never heard them since despite cruising the roads in that area.



Double-crested Cormorants
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 11:20:28 PM by Paul Smith

Seven Double-crested Cormorants here on Butterfly Lake this morning, each with their Groucho-like double crests on display.

Martins expected soon in light of report of them being sighted near Lake Simcoe over the weekend.

This blast of warm air from the south predicted for tomorrow should bring a collection of warblers and others along with it - should be a good week for a walk in the woods ...



at the lagoons today
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 09:22:50 PM by Leslee Tassie

Was over at the lagoons today from 2pm to 4 pm. Along with lots of mallards, scaup, buffleheads and geese, I observed one pair of wood ducks. I can't be 100% certain, but I think there was one pair of canvasback. I wasn't close enough to confirm the head colour, but the bright white body was so distinct. Has anyone else seen them? There was a few birders out that afternoon which was nice to see. Also, there was a huge snapping turtle, just a few feet down the trans-canada trail that takes off at the back of the far lagoon. It's shell measured approx. 14" long by 12" wide.
Also, last Saturday, April 10th, Peter and Mi-Shell Jessen (who live in Fraserburg) had a mature bald eagle in their yard.
Happy birding everyone! Leslee



Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Barn Swallow
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 08:58:00 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon at Henry Marsh we saw an Osprey fly over, our first Double-crested Cormorant of the spring, many Turkey Vultures on the move along with many high flying accip. species, and a single Barn Swallow. We were treated to a great view of a Red-tailed hawk hunting. It hovered, then dove with feet extended into the field to the north of the marsh. When it reappeared it had a wriggling snake in its beak, which it then transferred to its talons while on the fly (Sorry, we couldn't i.d. the snake!).



Yellow Warbler & Kinglets, Bala
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 08:12:07 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There were a few kinglet sp. and a yellow warbler foraging in the pines at my place in Bala today.



Lake Muskoka birds - phoebes, swallows
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 04:29:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lake Muskoka is pretty well free of ice today - just a few small icebergs and some patches of "icecubes" close to shore. As we arrived at Browning Island we were greeted by a pair of Eastern Phoebes. They were busy checking out their old nest site by the boathouse. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers could be heard in the woods along with Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robins, and a Pileated Woodpecker. Also four American Crows, but didn't see or hear the resident pair of Common Ravens - usually they are arguing loudly with any nearby crows. Several Double-crested Cormorants have already arrived on Eleanor Island. Near St. Elmo there were a dozen or so Bufflehead and at least eight Tree Swallows. A Common Loon was in a sheltered spot on Alport Lake.



phoebe is back + wood frogs
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 11:21:04 AM by Challis-Carlyle

Great joy on Rocksborough Road, as two phoebes set up shop in our property yesterday (Apr 17).
Wood frogs and spring peepers began singing this weekend as well.
Gayle thinks she saw a Cooper's hawk over the field around the corner from our place...hard to tell without binoculars and a book at hand. A White-throated sparrow woke us up this morning.



Peregrine Falcon
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 09:01:47 PM by David Hatch

A peregrine falcon was sighted sitting in a tree near Lake Muskoka in the Hutton Road off Hwy 118 near Milford Bay at 10:45 AM on April 17.



Golden Eagle - Hwy 11 South of Port Sydney
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 08:05:50 PM by Ron Stager

An adult Golden Eagle was circling to the east of Highway 11 about 3 km south of Port Sydney. About 1:00 p.m.



Henry Rd. Marsh/Bracebridge Yard Birds
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 04:37:56 PM by Goodyear

Some of the birds seen on late afternoon/early evening strolls around Henry Marsh the last couple of days:
Northern Harrier - both m and f
Ring-necked Duck 20+
Green-winged Teal- 1 m and 1 f
Hooded Merganser - 2 m and 1 f
Great Blue Heron - 10+ fly overs each evening
Hermit Thrush - 1 singing
Eastern Phoebe 1
Y.B Sapsucker - 2
Kingfisher m and f
Hairy, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers - seen and heard
lots of R.W. Blackbirds, Robins

Nice variety of birds at our feeder (MeadowHeights Rd.) the last couple of days including:
Pine Siskin 2 f
House Finch 1 m
Purple Finch 1 m
Common Redpoll 1 f
Evening Grosbeaks 7
Am. Goldfinch 3 very bright m
Fox Sparrow 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
W.T. Sparrow 3
Cardinal 2 m and 1 f
R.B. Nuthatch 1 m 1 f
W.B Nuthatch 1 m 1 f



White Throated Sparrow
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 10:53:43 AM by Dan Burton

My first White Throated Sparrow arrived Thursday morning.



Re(2): correction and more
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 02:29:18 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I heard phoebes last Monday and had one calling here today (Bala). There was a flock of over 2 dozen tree swallows feeding over the marsh at Cranberry Cove on Tuesday.



Re(1): correction and more
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 07:31:19 AM by Mark McAnally

Hi Gayle
I too saw my first Tree Swallow yesterday, but I had two back over my first field, where I have a box up and they have nested for years. I have heard one Phoebe, about a week ago, but nothing since. The Sapsuckers were quite vocal yesterday and I have still have more Robins in my back woods than I have seen in years.



correction and more
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 03:18:27 PM by Gayle Carlyle

Fri. Apr. 16
John was mistaken. The thrush he heard this week was indeed of the hermit variety. (I was right but don't tell him that)
yesterday I saw my first tree swallow down at "the flats" on Rocksborough Rd. There was only one swallow and he looked a little forlorn.
By the way, I haven't had my beloved phoebe return to our yard yet. I heard it singing on Tues. a.m. but that's been the only activity around here.
Has anyone else noticed a shortage of phoebes?



owl atlassing - Torance Barens
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 06:56:13 AM by Gerald Willmott

Wednesday night was a beautiful night to be out fishing for owls. The evening yielded 14 Barred Owls, three of which I saw, and a gaggle (?) of Wild Turkeys that responded every time the Barred Owl playback ran.

Also there was a funny sound that I couldn't place. It sounded like a rail with the "kidick kidick" notes, but they never changed into anything else, any thoughts?

Oh, a Cooper's Hawk visited out house yesterday, and juvenile Northern Harriers circled over Kerrie Glen Stables on 118W west of Bracebridge.



Turtles ...
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 10:11:21 PM by Paul Smith

Seven turtles side-by-side on one short log in a marsh near Southwood on MR 13 yesterday ...



Owling/Atlassing in South Parry Sound Dist.
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 09:00:18 PM by Burke Korol

About 25 stops along Hwy. 518, Axe Lake Road and West Bear Lake road on the night of 14/15 April yielded 5 BARRED OWLS and 1 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL (which nearly hit me in the head!). UTM coordinates for any of these birds are available upon request.

This area is in southern Parry Sound District about 40 km NW of Huntsville.



Calling all Breeding Bird Atlasers...Workshop this Saturday
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 08:45:59 PM by Al Sinclair

The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Workshop for Muskoka, Haliburton and Parry Sound Regions is being held this Saturday, April 17, at the Port Sydney Community Centre from 1 to 4 PM. All atlasers should attend. Also anyone interested in joining the project is welcome. There is still 2 years of data collection to go and we need all the help we can get. Agenda pasted below.

1: 00- 1: 15 Welcome – Mike Cadman

1: 15- 1:45 Provincial overview- Mike Cadman
- results to date; effort, species results (highlights/lowlights),
- project goals for last two years
- project update (ie progress on point counts, publication committee)
- how local region(s) are doing in comparison to rest of province in terms of meeting coverage goals

1:45- 2:15 Regional report-
- each region/RC present to provide local results – highlights and effort/coverage to date of their region

2:15- 2:30 Break

2:30- 3:25 Filling in the gaps- Nicole and RCs
- Square (Nicole)
o Definition of adequate coverage
o Time of day, year, habitat, rare species
o Point counts- on vs. off road
o Special surveys- owls, rails, rarities
o Tools available (2nd atlas coverage sheets)

- Region- RC(s)
o Existing strategies (i.e. owling teams, bashes etc.)

Super-region- RC(s)
- plans for helping out other regions
-twinning regions (ie Parry Sound-Niagara)

- Provincial (Nicole)
o Square bashes (Bon Echo, Algonquin)
o northern trips

3:25- 4:00 Methods (Mike Cadman)
- Brief overview of common problems
- Emphasis on important points
- More detailed questions on methods can be addressed via open house

Post workshop

4: 00- ??? (5:00) Open House
- Atlassers will be welcome to stay after the main meeting and ask questions as necessary;



Re(1): wood thrush, cowbirds
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 10:03:38 PM by Paul Smith

Four or five male Cowbirds here in Glen Orchard this last week too - a couple of females showed up today. A lone Wood Thrush was here on my stretch of road for two days last year at this time, and then gone.



Re(1): wood thrush, cowbirds
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 08:32:06 PM by Al Sinclair

Bit early for Wood Thrush. Could they be Hermit Thrushes? They are always the first thrush species to return.



wood thrush, cowbirds
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 07:33:22 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Two or three wood thrush were singing on the rocky dome about a half-kilometre into the bush behind our home on Rocksborough Road last night.
Also saw a pair of cowbirds this morning -- not altogether welcome arrivals, but still, harbingers of spring.


[This post has been modified by an administrator below]
update: On April 16 Gayle Carlyle posted a correction that the thrush heard were Hermit Thrush, not Wood Thrush



Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 09:44:18 AM by Mark McAnally

I saw my first Yellow-bellied sapsucker in my back woods in Huntsville on my pre-work morning walk. Still no Blue Jays, but I am noticing that there are more Robins singing and active on my property in probably five or six years. Winter Wrens are singing and quite a bit of woodpecker drumming this morning.
The Chickadees are very vocal and active and I heard both nuthatches this morning.



Re(1): woodpecker problems
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 09:50:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

If the woodpeckers have been doing this for some time, the usual scare tactics probably won't work to break them from their habit. Although you might try attaching a couple mirrors to the house where the damage is greatest. One research study suggests that 7-1/2 inch diameter shaving or cosmetic mirrors that enlarge the image can be successful in deterring woodpeckers. Attach one or two mirrors flat to the wood with the enlarging lens outward to frighten woodpeckers.

You could try making a barrier using hardware cloth, sheet metal, or nylon bird netting so the birds can't reach the area they are damaging. Netting with a 3/4" mesh seems to be one of the most effective methods of keeping away woodpeckers, but at least 3" of space needs to be left between the netting and the house so that the birds can't reach through to the house.

Quite often if there is insect larvae in the siding, the woodpeckers drill lines of holes following the larvae tunnels. You could try using insecticide to kill the larvae if that's the case. Or put out a suet cage away from the house to give the birds something else to nibble on - but hard to keep the raccoons from stealing it this time of year. ; )

More info:



woodpecker problems
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 09:00:38 AM by Don Smith

I'm having problems with woodpeckers, I believe they are Downies or Hairies, drilling holes in the wood siding on my house. I have had quite a bit of damage on each corner of the house -- does anyone have any ideas on how to prevent this?



Loon, pine siskins
Posted on April 13, 2004 at 09:17:49 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The ice is out of Porter Lake, Bala and a loon was there all day yesterday. Two pine siskins arrived Friday at my feeders.



Common Loons on Sparrow Lake
Posted on April 13, 2004 at 08:18:29 AM by jim maguire&sylviapurdon

Common Loons calling: Monday April 12 at 10:00 p.m.



Spring Peepers
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 06:31:39 PM by sylvia purdon

Spring Peepers heard on the marsh on Canning Road near Shallow Bay Properties; also, the snoring frog - Leopard Frog, I believe.

Monday April 12 at 4:30 p.m.



Posted on April 12, 2004 at 06:27:50 PM by Janice House

Moira reports a goldfinch on her niger feeder early this morning.(Houston Rd)



Ring-neck Ducks
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 05:30:09 PM by sylvia purdon

Ring-Neck Ducks, m&f, seen in two different areas of Sparrow Lake, Monday April 12. Ice is out on the big lake but still present in the bays, altho' thinning fast.



Ring-necked Ducks, Sapsuckers
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 04:15:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Ring-necked Ducks seem to be everywhere today. At the Henry Rd. marsh there were eleven of them along with several displaying Buffleheads, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and a Great Blue Heron. The marsh is free of ice now. You still need rubber boots to walk the full length of the trail next to the marsh since the beavers plugged up the overflow pipe last fall and the water level in the marsh is still higher than it should be. Along the Trans Canada Trail west of the marsh there were two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers taking turns calling and tapping on hollow trees. A large black animal loped across Stephens Bay Rd. into the woods near the Strawberry Bay trail parking area - possibly a Fisher.

Several Ring-necked Ducks were in a large patch of open water near the Allport marina along Beaumont Dr. Also two Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads, and a pair of Hooded Mergansers.

In cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several Ring-necked Ducks along with many Buffleheads. In cell 2 there were a few Wood Ducks. A couple Painted Turtles were part way up the bank at the north-east corner of cell 2. The water level in cell 1 and 2 seems to have been raised a lot over the past few days. Hope they lower at least one of the ponds soon so there is some shorebird habitat.



Trumpeter Swan
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 04:04:27 PM by Dave Wright

Trumpeter Swan in Muskoka R. half km north of 117 on Brunel Rd. (Baysville) Mixed in with Mallards, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers



Posted on April 12, 2004 at 03:44:30 PM by Lad Helde

Fraserburg Rd: My resident Kingfisher is back in his usual place sitting on the wires over Sharp's Creek. Saw him this am April 12th.



Owling/Atlassing near Huntsville
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 12:55:05 PM by Burke Korol

Owling over the past two nights near Huntsville has been reasonably successful.

On Saturday, 10 April, Lance and Faye Allin and I searched the Allensville area for two hours. We heard and then saw a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL on Proudfoot Road, 100 m east of Domtar Road around 10:30 p.m. A large owl flew over us at this location, but we could not get it to return or call. It was probably a Barred Owl. Several other stops in this area were unproductive. This junction is about 5 km SW of Huntsville.

On Sunday, 11 April, Lance Allin and I searched an area about 10 km SE of Huntsville for two hours. At our first stop we immediately heard and then saw a BARRED OWL on West Browns Road, 2 km east of Brunel Road at 9:30 p.m. Tries for Northern Saw-whet Owls at several other stops in this area were unsuccessful. At 11:30 p.m. medium-sized owl flew across Brunel Road, just south of Renwick Road, in our headlights. It was either an Long-eared or Short-eared Owl. A brief search in the area that night failed to re-locate it. Renwick Road is about 3 km south of downtown Huntsville.



Cranes at Udney reported on Simcoe Bd by Ron Stager
Posted on April 11, 2004 at 07:46:01 PM by Janice House

Ron, the spot where you saw the cranes, was it the farm field on the left as you go north, yellow house usually a school bus parked in the yard? If so, I know Karen and Ray, I worked with her Mom and can do some investigating.



Re(1): Blue Jays
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 09:58:57 AM by Barbara Taylor

Here in Bracebridge, we still have one pair of Blue Jays stopping by once in a while for peanut handouts, but we no longer see them on a regular basis. I guess with the snow all gone there is other food readily available, including yummy bugs! The pair of Northern Cardinals don't stop by very often now as well, although they were both here briefly last evening at dusk.

So far we haven't seen any of the Blue Jays that migrated south last fall. We had 4 mated pairs bring their young to our feeders last summer but only one adult pair decided to stay for the winter.



Re(1): Rough-legged hawk
Posted on April 11, 2004 at 11:42:27 PM by Paul Smith

Blue Jays here in Glen Orchard - two or three every day. Plus 25 or so American Tree Sparrows (minus one that got eat up by a Sharp-shinned Hawk around dinnertime today (my dinnertime - I suppose the hawk's dinnertime too, for that matter)).

Aside from that, the usual suspects. Saw some Tree Swallows over the Cranberry Marsh today. The Martin's 'might' arrive late next week, and if not, shortly after. Al Johnson's Martin houses at the Glen Orchard General Store will be cleaned and ready for them as of tomorrow !!!



Re(1): Rough-legged hawk
Posted on April 11, 2004 at 11:19:31 AM by Lad Helde

I have a few Blue Jays visiting my feeders on Fraserburg Rd., B'bridge.
Certainly not as many as in the past.



Rough-legged hawk
Posted on April 10, 2004 at 08:53:09 PM by Mark McAnally

Rough-legged hawk(dark phase) soared over my property in Huntsville at 9:00 a.m. this morning. Also heard were an Eastern Phoebe, Belted Kingfisher and Winter Wren. Saw Golden-crowned Kinglets. I have not seen or heard a Blue Jay in weeks, does anyone have them around?



Bluebirds/Cedar Waxwings
Posted on April 10, 2004 at 01:03:09 PM by Janice House

Moira phoned around 11 today, 3 bluebirds at the boxes on the farm at the end of the Houston Rd this morning.
I put up 2 new bluebird boxes on the fence line next to the old Dinsmore Farm today and a dozen waxwings flew over my head.



Tree Swallows
Posted on April 10, 2004 at 09:41:43 AM by Janice House

Swallows are back on Doe Lake Rd this morning.



Posted on April 9, 2004 at 09:44:40 PM by Janice House

Wednesday approx 2pm followed a loon flying overhead from Scandura to Hammonds, lost him near Cavalcade Ford. Saw my first cowbird of the season on my feeders today. One scaup and 4 mallards in beaver pond on Silver/Sunny lake rd today at noon.



Weasels 1 - Chipmunks
Posted on April 9, 2004 at 11:48:35 AM by Al Sinclair


We were fortunate recently to see a weasel catch a chipmunk in our yard near Uffington. There is a surplus of chipmunks around here so we were not upset to observe the balance of nature in action.
On April 7, 2004 at about 2pm we observed a Weasel poking his head out of a drain pipe in our yard. It was mostly white but the brown summer coat was coming in on the back and head. A couple of minutes later two chipmunks chased each other past the drain pipe and the weasel shot out after them. It chased them around the pump house but when one chipmunk went up a tree, it caught it easily about 15 feet up. We grabbed the video camera and got a few shots as it headed over to the woodpile and disappeared into a pile of brush. It knew we were watching so we left it alone to finish his meal.
The photo is a frame grab from a video camera so it's not too clear but you can see the chipmunk in its mouth.



Pileateds mating
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 10:12:32 AM by Kip Daynard

We regularly see Pileated Woodpeckers from the windows of our Bay Lake home, sometimes two at one time. However, yesterday our Pileated watching went to a new level.

I was alerted to the presence of a male by a loud territorial call outside my office window. The male was soon joined by a female. I called my wife to watch and after a few moments of feeding side by side, the pair of woodpeckers mated in plain view just twenty feet or so away. The union was brief and the male flew to a tree nearby with the female pursuing him a minute or so later.

Can egg-laying be far off? I'll keep you posted if I find signs of these birds nesting or raising young.



Sandhill Cranes migrating now
Posted on April 9, 2004 at 11:59:17 AM by Al Sinclair

Sandhill Cranes are now migrating through Muskoka. There were sightings at Gravenhurst on March 25, Raymond April 1, Minden April 3. They are increasing in numbers and we are seeing more each year. A few pairs are now nesting in the region but these sightings were likely migrants. If you observe any during the summer months June to August please advise as we are still collecting data for the Breeding Bird Atlas for 2 more years.



Sandhill Cranes?
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 07:32:09 AM by Nancy Thompson

April 2 Brian and I saw what we thought were two sand hill cranes at the back end of the main loop on the Torrance Barrens.Definately not great blue heron or bittern...
Any confirmation ?



turkey vultures
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 07:29:33 AM by Nancy Thompson

Saw our first-of-the-season turkey vultures(3 of them) feeding off a deer carcass near Bent River on April 4th.



Re(3): swans
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 05:06:22 PM by Al Johnston

Harry Lumsden returned my call and advised that # 642 was hatched in 2002 of wild parents and was subsequently captured and tagged at Wye Marsh. It has been spotted and reported a number of times at La Salle Park, Burlington and also at Wye Marsh. This is the first time it has been reported in 2004 and Harry asked me to pass on his appreciation to all involved. This bird won't be of breeding age for another couple of years but it would be interesting to follow it's travels. Al



Re(2): swans
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 10:47:31 AM by Al Johnston

I've left a message for Harry Lumsden, founder of the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program and when he gets back to me, I'll report about the history of # 642. Nice sighting, Pat and Jack and great photo, Barbara. Al



Re(1): swans
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 10:09:11 AM by April Mathes

These are definitely a pair of Trumpeter Swans. If it is possible to get a clear read on the tag number, that would be great - it will be three digits written in black on the yellow tag. If they stick around in that area I would like to know about it.



Re(1): swans photo
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 08:38:28 AM by Barbara Taylor


Here is a photo that Pat and Jack Sinclair took of the swans. One has a yellow tag. Could they be from Wye Marsh?



Posted on April 7, 2004 at 07:27:36 AM by Nancy Thompson

It is April 6th. about 6:45 pm in Muskoka and we have just witnessed 2 swans, Whistling, I think, swimming along the opposite shore and then to the Acton Island bridge, Gordon Sinclair Bridge, and then , when Jack stumbled, making aloud noise they flew away to the south. Note the number on the wing of the Male, I think # F or 6 42.
Pat and Jack Sinclair



Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on April 6, 2004 at 01:09:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today there was a Red-shouldered Hawk soaring above the Trans Canada Trail about half way between Stephens Bay Rd. and the Henry Rd. marsh. Also a couple Eastern Phoebes, Song Sparrows, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a flock of at least 20 Robins. There was a Great Blue Heron at the Henry Rd. marsh, but the marsh is still covered in ice. Four deer in the fields to the west of Stephens Bay Rd., Bracebridge.



Re(1): RFI Common Loons
Posted on April 7, 2004 at 08:18:27 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Having it ready before the long weekend gives them a chance to investigate it. They usually start a first nest around then. Will the platform be where they have nested before?

I put one out on Lake Joseph in the exact location of previous nests. Water level management had left the water level too high for nesting. I hope to get one out on my little lake near Bala because the beavers keep building their dam higher and have drowned their nest site.

If you would like more information please e-mail or phone me.



RFI Common Loons
Posted on April 6, 2004 at 09:27:52 AM by Al Johnston

Can anyone tell me the approximate date that common loons start nesting activities in Muskoka? I'm making a nesting platform for a friend and need a completion and delivery date. Thanks for any help.



my first Bluebird
Posted on April 5, 2004 at 10:29:15 PM by bob burton

On returning out the Luckey rd.,after checking the back fields for locally reported three Sandhill Cranes, (did not see),a pair of Bluebirds were sitting on the nestboxes on the fenceline directly across from the rd. entrance.The previous day ,two vultures ,and a red-tailed hawk were circling over the same area.



Brown Creeper
Posted on April 5, 2004 at 06:08:03 PM by Janice House

I heard my first ever brown creeper at Skeleton Lake Rd 3 on Sunday about noon. He was on a tree in the beaver swamp on the left at the top of the first hill. Saw a male bufflehead in the creek by Windermere corners on road 4 same day.



Posted on April 4, 2004 at 09:18:10 PM by Gerald Willmott

Hello all,

Direct this weekend from the Beaumaris feeders:

a flock of 20 Amr. Tree Sparrows
1 delightful Fox Sparrow
2 Juncos (our first in a long time)
7 Redwing Black Birds

Also the woodcocks were up late on friday night with the great moon.

Happy spring



Horned Grebe on Mary Lake
Posted on April 4, 2004 at 03:26:44 PM by Burke Korol

Today (Sunday, April 4th) Brian Pfrimmer and I found a HORNED GREBE in alternate plumage at the north end of Mary Lake, which is about 10 km south of Huntsville. The bird was seen about 200 m south of the south end of North Mary Lake Road, which is west of Brunel Road (i.e., Muskoka Road 2).



Yellow-Rumped Warbler - Bay Lake
Posted on April 3, 2004 at 10:32:52 PM by Kip Daynard

Today (Apr. 3rd) I heard a singing Yellow-Rumped Warbler outside my home at the south end of Bay Lake (35kms NE of Huntsville). About two dozen Redpolls were still here today and were feeding alongside the Tree Sparrows and Juncos.



Re(4): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 08:30:15 PM by Paul Smith

Still 4 or 5 here in Glen Orchard.



Re(4): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 10:08:26 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I still have a few too!



Re(3): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 12, 2004 at 09:52:22 AM by sylvia purdon

We have 5 Common Redpolls eagerly feeding on the finch seed at our feeder at The Point on Sparrow Lake; arr: April 1; most recent sighting: April 11.



Re(3): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 5, 2004 at 11:42:26 AM by Terry Whittam

Eleanor, the cold snap seemed to bring the Redpolls back. We had a feeder full on Sunday at noon....stayed for about 30 minutes.



Re(2): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 4, 2004 at 10:14:42 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

They didn't stay away for long! Only about half as many but they were here at 11 am.



Re(1): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 4, 2004 at 09:26:12 PM by Gerald Willmott

We are still lucky to have a few hanging around. I wonder if the older or younger ones stay longer than others? It is also neat to see the few Redpolls left feeding with the Tree Sparrows. I am sure they will be gone soon enough.



Re(2): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 3, 2004 at 08:42:38 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had a feeling that their frantic feeding was their precussor to departure. I'm just glad I spent the last couple of days photographing them!



Re(1): Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 3, 2004 at 07:36:31 PM by Terry Whittam

Same here at Clearwater Lake Eleanor, Redpolls totally gone.....lots of early Spring singing...Winter wren, Woodcock and lots of geese, and a big moose walked down our road this morning!



Redpolls Gone? Bala
Posted on April 3, 2004 at 06:45:36 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After three months of having up to 75 common redpolls around not a one came into the feeders today. Very quiet without them!!!



Bracebridge Ponds - kingfisher
Posted on April 3, 2004 at 11:56:37 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds (aka sewage lagoons) there was some open water in the north end of cell 1 and cell 2. Many Wood Ducks were in cell 1 and along the bank when we first arrived, but they had all disappeared by the time we left. Several Bufflehead (mostly males), Mallards, Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls were in cell 1, with a few of each in cell 2 in front of the viewing stand. Many Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds around the edges of the ponds and in the marshy areas. A Pileated Woodpecker was calling, but we never spotted him. Four Snow Buntings flew by and landed near the aeration pond. An Eastern Phoebe, a Downy Woodpecker, and two American Robins to the north of cell 4. A Belted Kingfisher to the east of cell 4 in the small marshy area.



P.S. re: meadowlark - and more
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 05:32:21 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Forgot to mention the winter wren, who announced his arrival, and re-claim of last year's territory on Rocksborough Rd., Wednesday, March 31.



meadowlark - and more
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 05:27:50 PM by Challis-Carlyle

On Highway 11, beside the "Hiway Recyclers" junk dealer in Ardtrea, a meadowlark was perched atop a hydro pole. Just north of that, by Weber's burger mecca, a kestrel was perched on the hydro line.
Around our house, this morning, a red-tailed hawk was chased out of the neighborhood by a crow; juncos, brown creeper, fox sparrow and song sparrow all in song, along with a goon squad of grosbeaks and redpolls by the dozen. What a treat to hear them all! And a hooded merganser at Sharpe's Creek off Fraserburg Road, down in the hollow before Schoolhouse Hill.



Algonquin Park - Yellow-rumped Warbler and more
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 04:02:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today I asked Kevin Clute what the usual arrival date was for Yellow-rumped Warblers in Algonquin Park. Here's a copy of Kevin's reply which he said I could share with all of you on the Bird Board. Thanks Kevin.

email reply from Kevin Clute:
Thank you for your interest in our recent Yellow-rumped Warbler sighting.

Yesterday (April 1, 2004) Chris Boettger and I spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler (likely a male, given the darkening mask) at the suet at the Algonquin Visitor Centre. This bird is the earliest recorded in over 30 years of observations in Algonquin Park. The average arrival date for Yellow-rumped Warblers in Algonquin Park between 1970 and 2000 was April 24. In recent years, like 1999, Yellow-rumped Warblers have been seen as early as April 2 (until yesterday).

Yesterday's sighting illustrates a trend that Ron Tozer has observed in the past 30+ years of observations that he may have mentioned in his Muskoka Field Naturalist's talk last evening. Most migrants in Algonquin Park (and likely elsewhere) are arriving earlier and earlier, especially short distance migrants. You'll likely read more about this in an upcoming article Ron and his son Doug are working on.

Other recent spring arrivals in Algonquin Park have included:
Fox Sparrow - March 30
Common Goldeneye - March 30
Eastern Meadowlark - March 30
Song Sparrow - March 30
Belted Kingfisher - March 30
Winter Wren - March 29
Ring-necked Duck - March 29
Eastern Phoebe - March 29
Dark-eyed Junco - March 29
Common Merganser - March 29
American Tree Sparrow - March 29
Rough-legged Hawk - March 29
Northern Harrier - March 29
Wood Duck - March 29
Cooper's Hawk - March 28
I hope this helped to answer your question.

Kevin Clute

Kevin Clute
Group Education Program Coordinator
The Friends of Algonquin Park
Box 248
Whitney, Ontario K0J 2M0

Phone: (613) 637-2828
Fax: (613) 637-2138



Yellow-rumped Warblers
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 02:45:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today along Meadow Heights Dr., Bracebridge there were two Yellow-rumped Warblers singing. Also many Dark-eyed Juncos in song.



Winter Wren - Bay Lake
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 09:54:22 AM by Kip Daynard

A winter wren has returned to a territory used last year at the south end of Bay Lake Rd. This spring arrival date of Apr. 2nd is 13 days earlier than last year.



Bird Board update - Important Notice re Spam
Posted on April 2, 2004 at 09:29:27 AM by Barbara Taylor

The complete set of posts for January thru March is now available as a single htm file in the Archived Reports. Thanks to everyone for all your reports.

Spam on the Bird Board
Unfortunately the spammers have recently devised a way to post their bulk advertising onto many message boards on the internet with just one click. If you see a subject heading that is clearly not appropriate for the Bird Board, please do not open that message, and just try to ignore it until I delete it.

In order to try and stop these ads, I may have to ban certain IP addresses from posting to the Bird Board. If you belong to the same internet service provider as the spammer, you may be inadvertently banned along with the spammer. So far, it appears only subscribers may be affected. If you try to post and get a message that you are banned, please send me an email me so I can make any necessary adjustments.

Barbara Taylor



American Woodcock
Posted on April 1, 2004 at 09:15:56 PM by Mark McAnally

Between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. this evening, at least two woodcocks were calling and making their courtship flights.



Merlin ; RedShoulderedHawk -Flood Conditions - Sparrow Lake
Posted on April 1, 2004 at 12:55:27 PM by sylvia purdon

Wednesday March 31: Merlin calling and circling and landing on the trees at The Point; 4:00 p.m.: Wood Ducks in the sloughs at Canning Road/Wenona Rd. farmer's field; Song Sparrow-numerous; Red-Shouldered Hawk, over the Wenona Road marshes and nearby wooded area - calling and flying;

Some pos. sp in those sloughs-e.g Scaup . Distance is a little long for our equipment.

Solid ice under the water-cover in all the marshes; flooding of Wenona Road and the private road to Pun-Gish-E-Moo making The Point inaccessible at this time; The Lake rose 3/4 in. yesterday afternoon, and another 3/4in. overnight.
Jim has put up a measuring stick to monitor this year's flood.