Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July - September 2004
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Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows in Algonquin Park
Posted on September 30, 2004 at 08:21:30 PM by Ron Tozer

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Sept. 30, 2004) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A search by Doug and Ron Tozer (utilizing chest waders) of the sedge marsh
adjacent to Lake of Two Rivers Campground in Algonquin Park turned up three
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows this morning, between 9:30 and 10:30. This
site is being monitored for this species, given its presence there last
year. No sharptails were detected on September 28, but they were there

A search of the long grass area of the Old Airfield near Lake of Two Rivers
this morning produced no Le Conte's Sparrows, and none have been found there
on previous searches so far this fall. However, the species has been
observed every fall recently at that location, and should arrive soon. Peak
time is 24 September to 9 October, with occasional birds earlier or later.

As always, birders visiting Algonquin Park are asked to report their
observations to me so that we can add the information to the Visitor Centre
database. Thanks.

Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Visitor Centre

*ONTBIRDS mailing list:



Muskoka Field Naturalists meeting - note the new location
Posted on September 29, 2004 at 04:57:39 PM by Barbara Taylor



Guest speaker Glenda Clayton coordinates the Greater Georgian bay Reptile Awareness Program. She will focus on How to Identify the Eleven Reptiles at Risk, along with their natural history, why they're at risk, and how we can help them.

Location Change:
For this and subsequent meetings, the Pines auditorium will no longer be available. Announcements will be placed on cable TV and in newspapers for MFN meeting locations. The meeting location for October 7 will be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Taylor Rd, Bracebridge (near Home Depot).

Membership Information & Program Updates:
MFN website



junco, warbler
Posted on September 28, 2004 at 10:36:44 PM by John Challis

Saw a junco today and heard what sounded like a pine warbler, but was unable to visually confirm. Both were in the subdivisions around the Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit in Gravenhurst.



Posted on September 28, 2004 at 02:00:29 PM by Virginia Pray

We were in Little Current yesterday (Sept 27) and saw a Female Cardinal. This is very far north for a cardinal, isn't it. Also huge nos. of Sandhill Cranes in the fields all over the Island. We hiked the Misery Bay Provincial Nature Reserve. A wonderful area to explore.



Re(1): better photos
Posted on October 2, 2004 at 10:01:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

The bird was a bit closer today so I managed to get some better photos. (camera still just handheld up to binoculars and looking through window)  photo1   photo2



Juvenile male cardinal - photos
Posted on September 27, 2004 at 08:43:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are still six (possibly seven) young cardinals of various ages plus the resident adult pair of cardinals coming to our feeder. So far only one young bird is showing any clear signs of male plumage. Sorry the photos are such poor quality but they were taken with a digital camera held up to a binoculars eyepiece and looking through a window!††††††† photo1†† photo2†† photo3



Re(3): Fall Warblers etc
Posted on September 27, 2004 at 03:05:18 PM by Alex Mills

Do young phoebes in autumn not tail-flick?



Phoebe photos
Posted on September 29, 2004 at 12:49:24 PM by Al Sinclair

Eleanor's Phoebe Photos September 26, 2004
Juvenile Eastern Phoebe, dark head & tail, yellow belly, no wing bars or eye-ring. E. Phoebes usually "tail-flick" which helps confirm the ID. It's worth noting that this one was not. Photo info: Canon 1DMkII with 500 4. IS lens and 2x converter, 550 ex flash with -1.1/3 compensation.photo1†† photo2



Re(2): Fall Warblers etc
Posted on September 26, 2004 at 08:52:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Forgot to add a phoebe to my list. It cooperated beautifully for photography. I think it must have been a young one. No tail flicking.


Re(1): Fall Warblers etc
Posted on September 26, 2004 at 08:50:31 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had about the same mix around my place this morning. One yellow-bellied sapsucker still coming to peanut feeder. A great-crested flycatcher is still here too.


Fall Warblers etc
Posted on September 25, 2004 at 08:00:10 PM by Dan Burton

Today I noticed many migrants passing through my yard. Most were Black-throated Green Warblers (about 20) and Nashville Warblers (7). I also had Wilson's Warbler, Bay-Breasted Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Blue-Headed Vireo, R.C. Kinglet, G.C. Kinglet. A Cardinal was still feeding a juvenille.


Re(1): American Wigeon ...and more
Posted on September 25, 2004 at 05:09:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek was at the Lagoons earlier today and found a few more interesting birds than we did. They may have moved on since morning, or we may have just missed them - we didn't check out cell 1.

Wilf saw 4 Pintails (probably female or possibly immatures) in cell 2 and a Shoveler in cell 3. Also Scaup in cell 2 and 5 Wigeon in cell 3 earlier this a.m. Also in cell 2 at the north end near the center there was a Solitary Sandpiper.


American Wigeon
Posted on September 25, 2004 at 04:00:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 3 American Wigeon in cell 3. Also many Mallards, some Teal and Wood Ducks in cell 2. A juvenile Northern Harrier and a Turkey Vulture soaring over cell 4.

At the Henry Rd. marsh there were hundreds of Canada Geese and two Great Blue Heron.


Posted on September 25, 2004 at 09:02:45 AM by Janice House

Moira just called, her neighbour phoned and has approx 20 bluebirds in the fields around their farm. Moira lives at the end of the Houston Rd which is off Falkenburg Rd north of Bracebridge.


bird songs
Posted on September 24, 2004 at 10:23:10 AM by John Challis

A surprising number of birds were in full song this morning while I was walking the dogs - namely: song sparrow, black-throated green warbler, brown creeper (possibly), winter wren ... not to mention that idiot owl, who is now doing wolf-howls. Saw a kinglet (I think it was golden crowned) in with the chickadees, too.


mystery call solved
Posted on September 15, 2004 at 05:02:05 PM by John Challis

Back in the spring or early summer I was confounded by a high, screaming call late at night. I wondered if I was hearing a bobcat, but last night the caller arrived again, let out a few long, eagle-like screeches and then started the cackling and monkey calls of a barred owl in a conversational mood. Never heard this from a barred owl before.


Solitary Sandpiper, Lagoons
Posted on September 14, 2004 at 02:43:27 PM by Wilf Yusek

There is a Solitary Sandpiper in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. It is on the east side approx 1/3 north from cell 3. Also in cell 2 is a Common Goldeneye. In cell 3 there are 2 American Wigeon along with numerous waterfowl mostly Mallards and B.W.Teal


Philadelphia Vireo
Posted on September 12, 2004 at 11:59:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

We've had quite a good selection of migrating warblers and vireos flocking up with the chickadees near the south end of Browning Island (on Lake Muskoka). Of note, there was a Philadelphia Vireo yesterday. Also saw Black-throated Blue, Nashville, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, and Black-and-White warblers along with a Blue-headed Vireo and several Red-eyed Vireos. A few Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creepers have moved into the area. The Blue Jays are beginning to gather together in large flocks now, enjoying a healthy crop of beech nuts. Only one Ruby-throated Hummingbird seems to be hanging around.


Foraging Warblers, Bala
Posted on September 9, 2004 at 12:46:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Tuesday morning and again this morning after the rain there were lots of warblers foraging in the trees around my house.Male and female blackburnians, black & whites, adult and juvenile yellow-rumps, Nashvilles, American redstarts and lots of red-eyed vireos. Heard a sandhill crane fly over about 7 am. The juvenile yellow-bellied sapsuckers continue to come in to the peanut feeder occasionally.


Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 5, 2004 at 12:50:05 PM by David Britton

I birded the Bracebridge Ponds yesterday (Sept 4th) morning.

There were lots of MALLARDS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and WOOD DUCKS, with smaller numbers of HOODED MERGANSERS, BLUE-WINGED TEAL and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Two GREEN HERONS were seen in the wet woods on the north side of cell 4.

In the woods around the gate at Lagoon Lane there was a nice selection of migrating passerines including CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, MYRTLE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER and INDIGO BUNTING. A MERLIN was also seen here.


Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Bala
Posted on August 31, 2004 at 01:41:36 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have had two juvenile yellow-bellied flycatchers coming in and getting peanuts from my peanut feeder. I have never had one come into a feeder before.


40+ nighthawks
Posted on August 26, 2004 at 08:11:12 PM by challis

Just after 6 p.m., while driving south on Cedar Lane from Taylor Road in Bracebridge, I watched two flocks of nighthawks, all working their way south parallel to Cedar Lane. One group had about 19 individuals, the second was at least 1 1/2 times larger. I've seen them in numbers over downtown Bracebridge, but nothing quite like this. Obviously feeding, but also intent on moving south. I bade them farewell and godspeed, and wished them a prompt return to Muskoka.


Cardinals - 2nd brood fledged
Posted on August 26, 2004 at 05:05:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the pair of adult cardinals brought two newly fledged young to our back yard. It was interesting to see that the male cardinal was doing most of the feeding of these new fledglings. When they had brought the first brood to our yard, only the female fed them. The male would take food to the female and she would pass it along to the nearby fledglings but we never saw the male give any food directly to the two babies. So perhaps the current male didn't father the first brood and refused to feed them - he sure seems to be taking good care of these latest fledglings so it's not like he didn't know what to do. The two young birds from their first brood are still hanging around, as are two other young cardinals that just popped up a while ago (they must be a bit older since their bills already have a lot of orange colour). The adult female is spending a lot of time chasing these young birds around the yard.

Lots of birds around our Bracebridge yard today - Scarlet Tanager, Least Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Magnolia Warbler, Purple Finches, several Goldfinch with young. Last evening two Common Nighthawks circled overhead for several minutes.


Baird's Sandpipers...Photo
Posted on August 22, 2004 at 04:18:47 PM by Al Sinclair

When I arrived at 1:15 there were 4 in total. Took this photo through my old Bushnell Spacemaster.


Baird's Sandpipers...Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 22, 2004 at 11:42:39 AM by Al Sinclair

Wilf Yusek just called from the ponds, 12:45pm today, found 2 Baird's in Cell 4 south-west corner walking on green muck. Cell 4 is the back cell furthest from the entrance.


Eleanor's Wild Turkey photos
Posted on August 22, 2004 at 10:47:34 AM by Al Sinclair

Eleanor's photo 1 and photo 2 from Aug 21, 2004. Taken with the Canon 1DMKII, 100-400 IS lens, through the window!



Wild Turkey & Loon Chick, Bala
Posted on August 22, 2004 at 07:02:12 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Late yesterday afternoon, after returning from the MFN trip to Beausoleil Island, the male turkey that was visiting in the winter reappeared. He fed on wild grass seeds growing on my septic bed and then went around to renew his attacks on his reflection in my basement window!

I report, sadly, that the one loon chick that hatched on my little lake, Bala, disappeared between last Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. It would have been 7 weeks on Tuesday. I searched for hours but found no trace of it.

I have had hords of grackles visiting my platform feeder.



Gadwall at Barkway
Posted on August 20, 2004 at 01:48:18 PM by Ron Stager


Noon Thursday, two Gadwall flew out of our beaver pond. Brown birds smaller than mallard with almost square white secondary patches. ( These might have been around earlier in the summer but this is first time I have got a look with binoculars ).

A well-worn Northern Pearly-eye (butterfly) was flying around today.
Last Sunday a Caspian Tern was fishing just east of Barkway in Ben Lake.

See ya



Star Party...moth photo
Posted on August 17, 2004 at 08:41:11 PM by Al Sinclair

At the Star Party on Saturday at Brookland Farm to celebrate the 2003 blackout, Bob Bowles set up two moth lights (Mercury Vapour and Ultraviolet shinning on a white sheet) to demonstrate the "creatures of the night". Since we were at a farm it was not surprising that three of the moth species that were attracted were cutworm moths that are pests of cultivated crops, Dingy, Glassy and Bronzed. Of the 20 or so species of moths one of the must unusual looking was the Dark-spotted Palthis. They remind me of Concorde jets. This is a photo taken Saturday night. By the way the clouds cleared as darkness fell and it was a perfect night to see the stars. I heard one estimate that 200 people attended! The party was sponsored by the Muskoka Heritage Foundation.



Barred owl
Posted on August 13, 2004 at 10:23:51 PM by Margaret Massey

For the last four nights I have had a barred owl on my back yard, it is eating dew worms and does not seem to mind us watching him, it appears that one of his eyes is blind but he looks healthy



Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 9, 2004 at 10:25:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before dusk tonight there were eight Common Nighthawks flying over cell 4. They were giving their distinctive nasal peent call. A Green Heron, lots of Cedar Waxwings and a mixed flock of chickadees and warblers in the shrubbery to the north of cell 4. There were several immature Chestnut-sided Warblers. Flying high above cell 3 there were at least six Purple Martins.Also one beaver in cell 4 and one across the roadway in the wet woods to the north of cell 4.



Re(1): Loon migration
Posted on August 8, 2004 at 07:09:18 AM by sylvia purdon

The juvenile Loon raised from a nearby nest at Sparrow Lake is still with one adult. Up until this week both adults were near by juvenile, but now only one adult appears to be with the juvenile.



Loon migration
Posted on August 7, 2004 at 10:24:32 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 6 adult Common Loons near the mouth of the Muskoka River on Lake Muskoka.



snapping turtles mating or fighting - anyone know?
Posted on August 4, 2004 at 10:43:45 PM by Leslee Tassie

Attn: Turtle experts - On Sunday (August 1st), in Beaver Creek behind our house on Santa's Village Road in Bracebridge I observed a pair of HUGE snapping turtles that were either mating or fighting. I did some research on the internet and have come to the conclusion they were probably mating, except that every web site I found said that Ontario snappers mate in May, and in shallow water with one on top of the other.
Initially they were in shallow water, on their sides, bellies together in a tight embrace, flapping their legs and making lots of splashes and waves. Then they slowly moved into deeper water all the while staying on the surface and together. At times one would float directly on top of the other and appeared to be aggresively holding the other one under and sometimes putting it's head down into the water and appeared to be biting the one floating underneath. I did read that the males are quite aggressive during the act, but is this what I was seeing? At times when one was floating on top of the other they'd be facing in the same direction and at times in different, and then they'd go back to the floating on their sides with their bellies together "locked in an embrace". Does anyone know if this is a typical mating "dance"? It went on a long time and was very close for me to be able to observe. I assume this was a once in a lifetime sighting for me.
***(P.S. If Dave Hawke happens to read this I don't have your e-mail, but I wanted you to know our son and I met Kendra Hawke, coincidentally, at U of T where he will be attending this September for Mechanical Engineering)



bald eagle
Posted on August 2, 2004 at 01:18:04 PM by Challis&Carlyle

Just now (1:15 p.m., Monday Aug.2) we watched a mature adult bald eagle soaring northward in the thermals over Rockborough Road, headed in the general direction of the Bracebridge landfill. It must have been quite old -- missing flight feathers and 'fingertips' made for several gaps in its wings.



Northern Waterthrush at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on July 31, 2004 at 05:19:26 PM by Dinny and Neil Nimmo

Neil and I and our friend from Oregon, Eric Clough were at the Bracebridge Ponds at 7am this morning. Had several looks at 2 Northern Waterthrush in the swampy ditch to the north of cell 4.Also in that ditch were 5-6 green herons. Still at the Ponds were several wood ducks,the pied-billed grebes,and the 2 spotted sandpipers.Standing in the rain we saw lively groups of warblers...yellow warblers, chestnut-sided, black and whites and a black-throated green.We decided it was time to quit when we tried to make a clump of dried grass into a bittern!



Birds at Ragged Rapids Muskoka 38
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 08:35:39 PM by Dinny and Neil Nimmo

We started at 6.30 am on Thursday morning at Ragged Rapids. Had good birding...about 32 species in 3 hours. Vireos...yellow-throated, solitary, and warbling. Warblers....yellow warbler, chestnut sided and yellow-rump, American redstart, a black and white, and common yellow-throat. Also some good sightings of a broad wing hawk, scarlet tanager, a couple of indigo buntings, a brown creeper and a wild turkey.To get to Ragged Rapids, take Muskoka #38 from Bala to Ragged Rapids Road, turn right just past a sign for Camp Iona.



Carolina Wren
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 04:38:00 PM by Dan Burton

A Carolina Wren was in my yard briefly at 4:30 today. A Brown Thrasher and Catbird have been here all month. A Thrasher juvenile which appeared once has not returned; nor has 2 juvenile RB Grosbeaks here Monday. 2 juv. Cardinals are developing nicely.



Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 12:03:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Green Herons in the marshy area to the east of cell 4. Also a Solitary Sandpiper. Four Hooded Mergansers on cell 4, two Pied-billed Grebes, and four Wood Ducks. Two Belted Kingfishers flew overhead. A Cuckoo (Black-billed?) was calling from the west of cell 4.



Update re dead crow - not West Nile
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 11:54:17 AM by Barbara Taylor

In an earlier post I mentioned that a dead crow found in Bracebridge had tested positive for West Nile virus. According to the Bracebridge Weekender newspaper (July 30), that was only a preliminary test and further testing has shown a negative result. Good news! But now we await further tests on a dead Blue Jay recently found in Gravenhurst...



Re(1): Northern Atlasing - Winiskis Channel
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 11:12:16 PM by Don Graham

Hi Gerald,

Don't forget the black flies!



Northern Atlasing - Winiskis Channel
Posted on July 30, 2004 at 08:55:47 AM by Gerald Willmott

Hello all,

For those interested here is a list of the birds that I saw/heard while atlasing for BSC on the Winiskis Channel Norhern Ontario. This Channel is a large river which flowes into the Winisk River, from the east, at about latitude 54N. 84 Species.

Common Loon (nest with egg)
Canada Goose (young)
American Wigeon
Green-wing Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Osprey (on nest)
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk (always chasing a larger raptor)
Northern Goshawk
Red-tailed Hawk (young in nest)
American Kestrel
Spruce Grouse
Sandhill Crane
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper (eggs)
Common Snipe
Bonaparteís Gull
Herring Gull
Arctic Tern
Northern Hawk Owl
Common Nighthawk
Belted Kingfisher
Hairy Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (at nest)
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Gray Jay
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Boreal Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swainsonís Thrush
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Bohemian Waxwing
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler (on nest)
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-white Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Connecticut Warbler
Common Yellow Throat
Wilsonís Warbler (on nest)
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow (young)
Lincolnís Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Purple Finch
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill
Pine Siskin

We did 100 point counts in all kinds of interesting wetlands, canoed 125 miles, dropped 90 meters, shared a nasty relationship with millions of mosquitoes.



Dragonfly of the week... Band-winged Meadowhawk juvenile
Posted on July 29, 2004 at 09:44:18 PM by Al Sinclair

The specimen below was collected in my yard near Uffington and photographed today July 29. This species is widespread in Muskoka but is not abundant like other Meadowhawk species. Band-winged juveniles are smaller than other sympetrums and have yellow shading on the basal half of their wings. The shading on adults is darker. This is the first time I have seen this species in my yard. It was chilled in a refrigerator before the photos were taken then 1†† photo 2




Bonaparte's Gulls
Posted on July 26, 2004 at 12:54:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

On Sunday morning there were 3 Bonaparte's Gulls on Lake Muskoka near the south end of Browning Island. There were at least 11 young Great Blue Herons on Eleanor Island - 6 standing in or near their nests and 5 standing on the rocky shoreline. On Browning Island there are recently fledged Song Sparrows, Red-eyed Vireos, and Black-and-White Warblers. A week ago there was a young Kingfisher being taught how to fish, but no sign of them this time.



Posted on July 25, 2004 at 10:55:47 AM by Wilf Yusek

There was a Peregrine Falcon near the gate entrance to the Bracebridge Lagoons, this would be off Lagoon Lane.



hatch of wild honey bees
Posted on July 22, 2004 at 05:39:19 PM by sylvia purdon

Just off the porch at The Point on Sparrow Lake a large volume of bees suddenly emerged and formed a dancing cloud. Close examination indicated some kind of digger bee, small, slightly metallic, striped. A sample bee has been chilled and sent with our company to TO for further identification from someone in the Toronto Field Naturalists.



Am. Wigeon, Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 20, 2004 at 12:41:29 PM by Wilf Yusek

There is a pair of American Wigeons in cell 1 this morning



short eared owl?
Posted on July 19, 2004 at 12:20:32 PM by Nick Bartok

on the early morning of july 16th, i heard what i thought to be an owl in the forest behind the industrial mall (esso station) east side of bracebridge. after consulting the nuthatch program of pictures and calls, i believe it to have been a short eared owl. since i do not have much experience with these owls i cannot be confindent in my identification. if anyone is in the area please stop by and listen to confirm a presence. i have only heard that particular call there once



Fledgling Jays
Posted on July 15, 2004 at 09:31:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This evening we had two fledgling Blue Jays in the yard. Several adult jays had been madly carrying away food from the bird feeder all week so we knew it wouldn't be long before the young arrived. But I heard a bit of bad news today - a neighbour found a dead crow in their yard recently and the test came back positive for West Nile. Apparently this is the first confirmed case in Muskoka. Anybody know more about this?

The two fledged cardinals are on their own now and are sticking close to the feeder. A pair of adult Brown Thrashers have been regular visitors too - they like the bits of raw peanut! A Robin has just begun sitting on eggs in a brand new nest in a birch tree at the front of our house.



swan death
Posted on July 14, 2004 at 02:19:12 PM by Nick Bartok

does anyone have any information regarding a swan of unknown species to me, that was hit by a car along cedar lane between the opp station and the cedar lane exit to the highway?
was reported to me by a co-worker, the incident occured last summer, a police officer may have moved the swan off the road.



turkey chicks/northern goshawk
Posted on July 14, 2004 at 02:15:30 PM by Nick Bartok

I was working between gravenhurst and bala monday. was plesently surprised to see a family of turkey (6 chicks, 1 adult) foraging along the side of the road, about 5 minutes east of gravenhurst on hwy 169. 2km further east a northern goshawk was spotted sitting on a telephone pole, along hwy 169.

also, seems to be a RBGR year, a pair, male and female seen over the weekend at our feeder. on fraserburg road, 1km past bridge.



(no subject)
Posted on July 13, 2004 at 04:15:46 PM by Bob Burton

Monday was my first time to slope out on a Muskoka chair and drink in the bird life.A family of brown creepers spiraling up the rough barked pines and oaks provided more than a lifetime of viewing. a pair of Rosebreasted Grosbeaks ,feeding 3 young fought it out with Hairy woodpeckers feeding young at the feeder.Pine warblers, myrtles,goldfinch,and purples sang everwhere,and a little sparrow sang "oh Canada'It,s a pretty great land that we live in.



Report on Breeding Success-Common Tern Colony, Sparrow Lake
Posted on July 12, 2004 at 12:40:46 PM by sylvia purdon and jim maguire

Sunday July 11, 2004: Long Island, Sparrow Lake. This island has been a long established location of a vigorous Common Tern colony probably from the turn of the century or before. According to the old maps the island was called Tern Island. Six years ++ ago the rapid expansion of the RBGspecies in the area finally dislodged the CT's and the RBG took over the total area. Other species on the island are Herring Gull and DCCormorant.. Previous reports have shown that the RBG had managed to dislodge the CT's other than at the far northern tip and low CT breeding results were reported.The CT's continued to breed, but there was little final evidence that the young survived . In 2004, we are pleased to report that the colony, although still limited to the far northern tip, appears to have had a successful breeding year:

Common Tern
14 Juveniles with flight feathers
3 Downy Young
10 Adults observed-feeding young and defending

RBG 200++
HG 5
Numerous fledged RBG and 3-4 fledged HG
DCCor 16 - No Breeding Evidence
Caspian Tern 1 Adult on the Island

Margaret Island Spits ( a nearby staging area) - 12 Adult Caspian Tern
2Adult CT 1Adult HG

The observations were made from a boat and no landing on the island was attempted.



Hardy Lake
Posted on July 12, 2004 at 10:08:02 AM by Challis & Carlyle

On Sunday we paddled around Hardy Lake and enjoyed a wide variety of sightings.
Bullfrog tadpoles are having a superb year - hundreds of them in many locations, basking on rocks just below the surface. Legs beginning to take shape.
A Caspian tern in the northwest bay (a guess, based on its size, black legs and very red bill), perched on a small rock that is, based on the whitewash, a favourite perch.
Snapping turtle sunbathing. We came within 10 feet of it.
A pair of loons fishing.
GBH, undoubtedly reducing the tadpole population.
In the woods onshore, the calls of many red-eyed vireos, peewees, pine warbler, chickadees in great agitation.
NOTE: The portage down to the water is extremely buggy. Dope up thoroughly before making the trek. Other than that, a perfect afternoon.



Re(1): bluebirds?
Posted on July 13, 2004 at 03:55:19 PM by Bob Burton

there are three or four pair nesting in boxes west side fields on northerly Cedar Lane extension .The first (Dunlops Field )should still be feeding young.



Re(1): bluebirds?
Posted on July 11, 2004 at 11:20:14 PM by Paul Smith

If you go to the Glen Orchard General Store and walk down the lane beside it that leads to the lake, you'll see two bluebirds boxes in the field. You'll see a bluebird sitting on the one closest to the lane if you wait long enough - if not, you'll see them in or around the periphery of the field most any time of the day.

They had been nesting in the further box for the last five or six weeks but something happened and now they're taking up with the other box (which tree swallows had just vacated last week !!)



Posted on July 11, 2004 at 06:27:54 PM by Carol Wagg

We have a B&B guest from England, an avid birder. He has never seen an eastern bluebird, and "ours" have not returned this year. If you know of a place where we could take him in the next two days and be fairly certain of seeing one/some, we'd love to hear from you. And I don't expect a guarantee.

Thanks to anyone who can help.



Posted on July 11, 2004 at 04:58:49 PM by Dan Burton

At Bracebridge lagoons yesterday:
American Coot
Hooded Merganser with 3 young
Pied Billed Grebe
Green Herons



Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 9, 2004 at 11:24:51 AM by Wilf Yusek

ID error birds are Redheads thanks to Barbara's posting.



Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 8, 2004 at 02:38:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

The pair of Canvasbacks was still in cell 2 at noon today. Or at least I think they were the Canvasbacks - the male didn't look white enough, but maybe already changing to non-breeding plumage? They were on the bank at the south end of the pond along with several Mallards, but all swam out into the pond on our approach. Too great a distance to see much detail through binoculars on a cloudy day. If I wasn't looking for Canvasbacks, I probably would have thought the male was a Redhead since the back and sides appeared more gray than white. We could have used your scope Wilf! : )

In cell 4 there was a female Hooded Merganser with at least 3 young ones. They were continually diving, so pretty hard to spot them. Also a Pied-billed Grebe which carried out several underwater attacks on the adult merganser when she got too close. It was amazing to watch the grebe submerge - just like a submarine - straight down in the water, no forward leaning dive. At least 40 Cedar Waxwings were feeding in shrubs along the roadway to the north side of cell 4. A couple Monarch butterflies - the milkweed is coming into bloom.



Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 7, 2004 at 12:40:04 PM by Wilf Yusek

There is 2 Canvasbacks, 1 male 1 female and 1 female Goldeneye in Cell 2 at the Lagoons this morning



Fledglings - RB Grosbeak
Posted on July 6, 2004 at 04:54:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak returned, this time with with one fledgling.



Fledglings - Cardinals!!
Posted on July 6, 2004 at 12:49:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Well, surprise, surprise!! Two fledgling cardinals buzzed the pair of adult Cardinals on our feeder today. We had heard them in the wooded area behind our house for a couple days, and finally today we could clearly see them with their "shivering wings" and dark beaks. Hurrah!



Bird Board Update
Posted on July 6, 2004 at 09:23:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

The complete set of posts for April to June is now available in the Archived Reports. Thanks to everyone for all your reports.

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

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

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

Barbara Taylor



Re(2): Great Blue Herons - Eleanor Island
Posted on July 8, 2004 at 09:25:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

I haven't seen June Kingshott's email so don't know what areas are being referred to. Black-crowned Night- Herons, Great Egrets, and Great Blue Herons will all nest in shared colony sites along with Double-crested Cormorants. But when the cormorant population increases rapidly and the trees start to die out, the other birds eventually move on. Perhaps any increase in the other species' population at certain shared nesting sites is due to them being forced to move to the dwindling suitable habitat at these other sites. Another possiblility is that the addition of a small cormorant colony might at first act as an extra "security" feature for the other species and so less loss of their young to predators, thus a short-term increase in their numbers. Without knowing more about June's email article, those are my best guesses. By the way, the GB Herons on Eleanor Island are mostly nesting in white pines that still have a lot of green life left in them. According to my records, cormorants first began building nests on the little island in 1997.

Here is a study done on the Leslie St. Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) in Toronto about the impact cormorants have had:

and here's another review of the cormorant influence on Lake Erie nest site:

And here is some info about the management of cormorants at Presqu'ile:

For overall background on cormorants on the Great Lakes:



Re(1): Great Blue Herons - Eleanor Island
Posted on July 7, 2004 at 09:40:29 PM by John Challis

I've been looking around for a reference in June Kingshott's emails to the number of other species nesting where cormorants have been expanding in numbers. The article seemed to suggest (if my memory doesn't fail me) that GBHs, black-crowned night herons and other species were using some of the trees the cormorants had denuded in their colonies. In fact, their numbers were higher than prior to the cormorant "invasion". Does that ring a bell with you, and could an increase in herons at Eleanor Island even be a sign that the cormorants' presence is creating a new, different balance of nature (he asked hopefully)?



Great Blue Herons - Eleanor Island
Posted on July 5, 2004 at 12:42:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This season the herons seem to be making a comeback on Eleanor Island, Lake Muskoka. Even though the cormorants have taken over many of the nest trees, the herons are still in control of most of the white pines at the north end of the tiny island. On the weekend we counted 35 Great Blue Herons standing in or near their nests.



Re(1): Mushroom - recognize this one?
Posted on July 12, 2004 at 09:01:53 PM by Al Sinclair

I have been away for a few days so I have not been looking at the bird board until today. The mushroom looks like Amanita rubescens, "The Blusher" (hard to be sure from a photo). It is apparently edible despite beeing the member of a genus with many deadly species including Amanita virosa, "The Destroying Angel".



Mushroom - recognize this one?
Posted on July 5, 2004 at 12:32:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek sent me a few pictures of a mushroom but I'm not sure what it is. Anyone know the species? Here is the link to the photos:



Re(1): rose breasted grosbeak
Posted on July 5, 2004 at 01:27:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visit our feeder a few times last week. They are fairly common in Muskoka. Al Sinclair's website (Muskoka Nature News) has an updated Muskoka Bird Checklist which notes how common each bird is here.



rose breasted grosbeak
Posted on July 4, 2004 at 08:04:32 PM by Nancy Thompson

We have a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks which come to our feeder.
I have seen a male for many years but it's the first I could definetly identify the female. are they common in Muskoka?



Towhee & Turkeys
Posted on July 3, 2004 at 03:59:43 PM by Brenda Clark

I finally saw my first rufous-sided towhee of the year today in the wildlands behind the Muskoka Store. We also discovered a mother turkey with at least three young.



Brown Thrasher and Catbird
Posted on July 1, 2004 at 10:10:05 PM by Dan Burton

A Brown Thrasher has taken up residence in my yard the last few days and seems to get along fine with the Gray Catbird that has been here for weeks.