Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2006
 
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Re(2): Henry marsh - Meadowhawk?
Posted on June 30, 2006 at 09:43:17 PM by Al Sinclair

It is an immature meadowhawk for sure. The most common in Muskoka is the White-faced. Cherry-faced has amber margins on the wings which this one appears not to have. Ruby Meadowhawks have deeper abdomens, overall heavier in appearance and are rare here. My guess is White-faced Meadowhawk, check again in 2 weeks to see what adults are in the same area.
BTW
The Bluet in the second picture looks like a Borel Bluet, but could be a Northern, need to catch these and check the shape of the claspers at the end of the adbomen with a 20x hand lens.

 

 

Re(1): Henry marsh - Meadowhawk?
Posted on June 30, 2006 at 04:53:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

I've been trying to identify this small dragonfly I found at the marsh, but the best I can come up with is an immature Meadowhawk.I didn't see any others like it. It may be a White-faced Meadowhawk, but apparently it is impossible to differentiate some species of Meadowhawk in the field, especially at the immature stage.photo1photo2Meadowhawks will make you crazy

 

 

Henry marsh
Posted on June 29, 2006 at 11:42:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday morning ahead of the thunderstorms I checked on the Killdeer nest at the marsh. It was the 24th day since the eggs were laid so there was a possibility of hatchlings. Unfortunately no sign of the Killdeer or the eggs - not even a scrap of eggshell anywhere nearby.

Two Green Herons were catching small fish near the north-west corner of the beaver pond. A Broad-winged Hawk called several times while circling low overhead. Not much bird activity, but there were several species of butterflies and dragonflies along the trail, including what I think was a Frosted Whiteface dragonfly and an Aphrodite Fritillary and Bronze Copper butterfly. The Elderberry shrubs are in bloom and a few Blue Vervain.

directions to Henry marsh:
From Hwy. 11 take Hwy.118W to first set of traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge. Turn left onto Beaumont Dr., and continue to Henry Rd. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Re(1): baby snapping turtle
Posted on June 28, 2006 at 10:46:00 AM by Peter Mills

John,
Snapping Turtles aren't known to overwinter in the nest like Painted Turtles. It is likely he was born last year, september/october. They remain near hatchling size for their first growing season. Why, however, he is out of a wetland is a mystery--especially at his size.

 

 

baby snapping turtle
Posted on June 27, 2006 at 11:19:33 PM by John Challis

 

This little fellow narrowly escaped death while the lawn was being mowed. Wasn't expecting to see someone this size at this time of year. Would a baby snapping turtle from last year's laying have waited this long to hatch? photo

 

 

Re(1): Amber-winged Spreadwing...rare in Muskoka?
Posted on June 28, 2006 at 03:54:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Colin Jones has sent the following information:

Nice record indeed - the only Muskoka records in the Ontario Odonata
Atlas database are from 1920 and 1922 at Norway Point, Lake of Bays.

This species is typically found in fishless bodies of water (e.g. small,
bog-margined lakes or old gravel pit ponds) and if there is habitat
nearby such as this, it would be worth checking to see if others are
present.

Colin Jones
Natural Heritage Project Zoologist
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

 

 

Amber-winged Spreadwing...rare in Muskoka?
Posted on June 27, 2006 at 11:35:34 AM by Al Sinclair

Our daughter Sarah found this male Amber-winged Spreadwing trapped in a skylight at our place yesterday evening. I'm not sure about the status of this species in Muskoka but this is the first I have found. The Ontario Odonata Summary Atlas shows only one previous record in Muskoka from more than 20 years ago. It could be that they are just hard to find or sparsely distributed and not enough people have been looking for them. They are the only spreadwing with amber wings and the male claspers shown in the bubble are very distinctive. photo

 

 

Re(1): Another Pigeon Found
Posted on June 27, 2006 at 04:43:30 PM by Bob Healey

The bird was not seen today.

 

 

Another Pigeon Found
Posted on June 26, 2006 at 09:20:37 PM by Bob Healey

I sent the following e-mail to the website Al provided in his June 24th post.

"This bird has been inside the fence of Fenbrook Medium Security Institution in Gravenhurst for the past three days. Inmates are feeding it, and providing water. I have not atttempted to pick up the bird to get a look at the band number, but the right leg has a blue band, and the left is black/dark brown.

I believe it was in the Gowanda Race.

Please advise if I should try to pick it up to retrieve the band."

Bob Healey

 

 

Re(1): Milbert's Tortoiseshell?
Posted on June 26, 2006 at 08:07:31 PM by Al Sinclair

Milbert's occurs here regularily but is not very common. Its food plant is Stinging Nettle not a common species in Muskoka. Milbert's are more common in Simcoe but I did see several one year on Beatrice Town Line Rd. west of Bracebridge.

 

 

Milbert's Tortoiseshell?
Posted on June 26, 2006 at 12:28:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

I believe this butterfly is a Milbert's Tortoiseshell, but don't recall seeing one around here before. Sorry for the poor quality photos - shot through a window with digital zoom. It flew off when I stepped outside to try for a better one. (June 26, Bracebridge) photo1photo2

 

 

My first Question Mark
Posted on June 25, 2006 at 04:53:59 PM by Al Sinclair

I had my first Question Mark of the year here yesterday on my driveway and was able to get a photo of the "question mark" that gives this butterfly its name.

The books say that this species does not likely overwinter in Canada but migrants from the south repopulate our area in late spring. Their numbers vary considerably from year to year. This one appears light underneath compared to the darker summer brood so it is probably one of the spring migrants.

 

 

Lost pigeon made it home
Posted on June 25, 2006 at 10:02:50 PM by Al Sinclair

The lost pigeon from Innisfil was released near Bracebridge at 9am this morning. The owner called to say it was home at 11am. It will get some rest then go on another race in a couple of weeks, this time from Long Lac.

 

 

Re(1): Pigeon Racing...the dark side
Posted on June 24, 2006 at 09:08:20 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Several years ago Janice Enright told me that racing pigeons that were lost after a race and found by someone were then killed by the owners. A racing pigeon that that doesn't know its way home isn't much use, I guess.

I don't know if that is still true though.

 

 

Pigeon Racing...the dark side
Posted on June 24, 2006 at 08:01:23 PM by Al Sinclair

Last Saturday pigeon racing clubs in southern Ontario held an event where their birds were released in Gogama,150 km north of Sudbury. One of the birds turned up 2 days later in the Haliburton Forest Reserve lost and exhausted. The person who found it took it home and located the owner through the Canada Pigeon Racing Union website.

The pigeon belonged to a racer in Innisfil who called and avised that the pigeon should return home if it was fed and released. If it didn't he would pick it up the next time he was in the area. He also said that because of windy weather on that weekend those who participated lost at least half of their birds! So there may be more lost and hungry birds in our area. If you find one you need the number and name of the club that is on the paper band that is attached on race day. Then enter it on the above website and the owner should call you.

 

 

Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 29, 2006 at 07:44:42 AM by dbritton

As a point of interest the Hekkla area was in my square in the BBA and I had several Black-billed Cuckoos during 2003 and 2004 (good tent caterpillar years, mostly on Bear Cave Rd.

 

 

Re(3): Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 25, 2006 at 08:44:16 AM by Ron Stager

I have heard a cuckoo for the last two or three weeks at the end of Hopkins Road (east of Barkway).
Besides several whip-poor-wills, there is occasional calling of a nighthawk.
See ya.

 

 

Re(2): Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 24, 2006 at 08:05:25 PM by Al Sinclair

The above two sighting are in Parry Sound District so it looks like the Cuckoos are mostly north of Muskoka this year. Has anyone got one farther south?

 

 

Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 23, 2006 at 07:12:18 AM by J. Gardner

Here, at the bottom end of Manitouwabing, we hear the cuckoo every day, just a sound of summer. Didn't realize we had a rarity.

 

 

Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 23, 2006 at 07:21:34 AM by Alex Mills

I had one between Burk's Falls and Sand Lake on tuesday of this week.

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo...north-east of Rosseau
Posted on June 22, 2006 at 05:42:20 PM by Al Sinclair

While doing a breeding bird survey on June 20 we heard a Black-billed Cuckoo calling 1.5 km east of Hekkla Rd on Muskoka Rd 3. I have not heard of any other reports of this species this year. That probably means that tent caterpillars are scarce in the district.

I picked up a few other species I was missing that day bringing my Muskoka Year List to 131.

 

 

Re(1): Breeding Bird Survey results...route 68-052 Port Carling
Posted on June 22, 2006 at 08:25:54 PM by Robert MacEwan

Al, that seems like a big job that the 2 of you did very well, thanks for taking the time to post it
Robert

 

 

Breeding Bird Survey results...route 68-052 Port Carling
Posted on June 22, 2006 at 05:31:22 PM by Al Sinclair

June 20 I ran my annual Breeding Bird Survey route with Allan Aubin assisting. 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. We start the survey at 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. We have to complete the route in 5 hrs so you can't waste any time. For more info on Breeding Bird Surveys go to http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/

This year we heard/saw 59 species and 397 individuals. Last year we had 62 species. The weather was cool, 16 to 19 C, cloudy with some light drizzle. The 5 most common species this year were:
Red-eyed Vireo 67
Chestnut-sided Warbler 33
Ovenbird 23
American Robin 21
Black-capped Chickadee 18

We found 2 new species for the Survey, Eastern Bluebird and Rock Pigeon. Between stops and on the way home we found 6 additional species. Common Snipe, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-shouldered Hawk, Common Merganser, Yellow Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler.

AOU-Species  Total Ind./Total Stops
Wood Duck 4/ 2
Broad-winged Hawk 2/ 2
Herring Gull 7/ 6
Mourning Dove 3/ 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1/ 1
Belted Kingfisher 1/ 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 6/ 5
Hairy Woodpecker 1/ 1
Yellow-shafted Flicker 2/ 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2/ 2
Alder Flycatcher 4/ 4
Least Flycatcher 3/ 2
Eastern Phoebe 2/ 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 3/ 3
Blue-headed Vireo 3/ 3
Warbling Vireo 1/ 1
Red-eyed Vireo 67/ 39
Blue Jay 8/ 7
American Crow 12/ 10
Common Raven 6/ 5
Black-capped Chickadee 18/ 12
White-breasted Nuthatch 3/ 3
Brown Creeper 2/ 2
House Wren 1/ 1
Winter Wren 5/ 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1/ 1
Veery 12/ 11
Swainson's Thrush 5/ 4
Hermit Thrush 7/ 6
American Robin 21/ 16
Gray Catbird 1/ 1
European Starling 2/ 1
Cedar Waxwing 2/ 2
Nashville Warbler 3/ 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 33/ 20
Black-throated Blue Warbler 3/ 3
Myrtle Warbler 3/ 3
Black-throated Green Warbler 4/ 4
Blackburnian Warbler 7/ 7
Pine Warbler 1/ 1
Black-and-white Warbler 3/ 3
American Redstart 14/ 9
Ovenbird 23/ 19
Northern Waterthrush 1/ 1
Common Yellowthroat 9/ 8
Canada Warbler 1/ 1
Scarlet Tanager 2/ 2
Chipping Sparrow 7/ 6
Song Sparrow 10/ 8
Swamp Sparrow 7/ 5
White-throated Sparrow 9/ 7
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1/ 1
Indigo Bunting 14/ 13
Red-winged Blackbird 10/ 5
Common Grackle 1/ 1
Purple Finch 1/ 1
American Goldfinch 8/ 5
Eastern Bluebird 1/ 1
Rock Pigeon 3/ 1
Total Species:59 Total Ind:397

 

 

REGISTER BEFORE POSTING - only your name and a password required
Posted on June 22, 2006 at 09:58:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

In order to prevent spammers from posting on the board, you now have to register before you can post. Only your name and a password are required - it only takes a few seconds. Enter your username exactly as you want your name to appear each time you post.


When you post your first message after getting registered, your web browser may ask if you want to save the password. If you say yes, then you won't have to enter your name and password next time you post a message on the board.

You don't have to click "Login" to use the board and post messages. But if you do Login and check the box to "always stay logged in on this computer", then your username and password are stored in a cookie on your computer, and you won't have to enter them next time you post. This comes in handy if your web browser doesn't have a password manager feature as mentioned above.

If you wish to change your registered username, or you've forgotten your password, send me an email. One other thing...you will be able to use your password to edit any posts you make.

 

 

Re(1): Road-killed Snapping Turtles
Posted on June 23, 2006 at 07:59:50 PM by Ted Gardner

As in past years there are many who think Snapping turtles depreciate game fish stocks which is far from the truth. These peolple have been witnessed swerving to hit such turtles.
Ignorance is their greatest crime!!
Their farther said... so it must be true. Education of their father's youngsters is the only possible solution. These are some of our closest links to the world in these parts before we domintated it.
I have pulled several off the road lately in hopes that someones prodigy determines them worthy.

 

 

Road-killed Snapping Turtles
Posted on June 21, 2006 at 09:52:45 PM by Richard Doucette

I was wondering if any one thinks it is a bad year for roadkill turtles. The Simcoe Board has had a few posting regarding nesting turtle, but little on roadkill frequency.

So far this year, I have counted 11 snapping turtles killed by vehicles on Highway 11 between Bracebridge and Huntsville. REgretably I travel this higway two daily. The turtle sizes have ranged from as small as my hand to as big as a spare tire.

I recall only seeing three or four last year. Am I just being more observant or are other epople seeing an increase in carnage along the roads?

 

 

PLEASE READ - Bird Board Important Notice
Posted on June 20, 2006 at 07:52:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

Over the last few months the amount of spam being posted on the Bird Board has become a real problem. Some days there are over ten posts that require deletion. I can't keep up!

So in order to prevent spam posts on the board, you will soon have to register before you can post. Only your name and a password will be required to get registered - it will only take a few seconds. You can preview how registration will work, by visiting the Nature Photos Board, and try a test post there if you'd like.

 

 

cedar waxwings
Posted on June 19, 2006 at 08:36:26 PM by dawn sherman

There has been a flock of cedar waxwings on the Hunter's Bay trail in Huntsville for the past few days - east end of the trail (access at pipe plant on Centre Street) Huntsville

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on June 19, 2006 at 08:08:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I took a quick trip to Henry Marsh. The Killdeer wasn't at its nest on my arrival, but was sitting on the nest by the time I left...only 3 eggs now. A Green Heron was fishing at the west edge of the beaver pond, not far from the trail, and didn't seem at all concerned that I was watching it from the bridge. There were many White Admiral butterflies just before the "T" in the trail. Lots of dragonflies and damselflies by the bridge - Common Whitetail, Common Green Darner, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Ebony Jewelwing, and Bluets.

directions to Henry Rd. marsh:
From Hwy. 11 take Hwy.118W to first set of traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge. Turn left onto Beaumont Dr., and continue to Henry Rd. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Re(1): Hairy (?) Woodpecker and chick
Posted on June 19, 2006 at 02:40:02 PM by Al Sinclair

I think you are right. Bill is too large compared to the head to be a Downy. The one on the side is an adult male, red spot on the back of the head. The one peeking out of the hole has a red crown making it a young one from this years brood.

 

 

Hairy (?) Woodpecker and chick
Posted on June 19, 2006 at 09:21:15 AM by Robert MacEwan

I think this is a Hairy Woodpecker but I'm not certain, taken 060618 on the Monsell Road about 5 km's out the Fraserburg Road, Canon Rebel 350 Digital with a 75-300 zoom lensphoto

 

 

PLEASE READ - Bird Board Important Notice
Posted on June 19, 2006 at 08:24:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

Over the last few months the amount of spam being posted on the Bird Board has become a real problem. Some days there are over ten posts that require deletion. I can't keep up!

So in order to prevent spam posts on the board, you will soon have to register before you can post. Only your name and a password will be required to get registered - it will only take a few seconds. You can preview how registration will work, by visiting the Nature Photos Board, and try a test post there if you'd like.

 

 

Re(2): muskoka big day
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 07:02:51 PM by nick

people can join at any time of the day, i will plan a schedule and people can meet up at those target places.

optimism al, optimism :)

 

 

Re(1): muskoka big day
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 05:36:01 PM by Al Sinclair

No big day by month competition here yet but you could start one. Give us a total to beat! In the USA in many states there are such competitions going on for every month of the year. I think you might set your target a bit lower for end of July :)

 

 

muskoka big day
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 04:40:34 PM by nick

to all interested. i am going to do a muskoka big day (24 hour birding event, or most of that 24 hours) looking for as many species possible. it would be neat to have monthly big day records for muskoka as like many other states and provinces (maybe we do already??). usually 4 people are involved. i am going to do it regardless as i will only be home for a short time. i am looking to get 175 species, maybe take a shot at the yearly list...ha ya right!!
i am planning for wed july 26th, or the weekend of the 28/29th

 

 

Re(1): monarch
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 05:29:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Sounds like a mating pair. I've seen them flying a few times while coupled.

 

 

monarch
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 01:39:14 PM by Carol Wagg

Yesterday while I was mowing the lawn I saw something I have never seen before: a monarch butterfly flew past me, and I realized it was carrying another monarch. What's that about? Anything to do with mating?

 

 

Caspian Tern
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 01:32:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

At about 11:00 a.m. today there was a Caspian Tern fishing at Alport Lake. It was about half way between Allport Marina on Beaumont Dr. and Caisses Island, so take a scope if no boat available. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bala Butterfly Count : July 1
Posted on June 14, 2006 at 05:33:46 PM by Ron Stager

I added six species of butterlies to my year list for Muskoka today while I was out mowing the lawn (33 species in Muskoka so far this year). That must mean that the Bala Butterfly count is coming soon! The count is along the same lines as the Christmas Bird Count but not so cold. Our count has a relaxed style and suitable for beginners; however, each group will have an experienced butterflier to aid in locating suitable habitat and indentification of butterflies.

Some Info:

Bala Butterfly Count
Saturday July 1, 2006

Meet at 9:30 am at Ragged Rapids Hydro parking lot. Take Hwy 38 from Bala (past Jaspen Park) roughly 5 km to Ragged Rapids Rd. (make right turn), follow Ragged Rapids Rd to the hydro parking lot, keeping left all the way. Bring lunch. After initial introduction and ID of butterflies, the group will split up for different routes, reconvening at Jaspen Park at 4:30 p.m. If it is raining heavily, or the winds are strong, postponement to Sunday (cancellation) is a distinct possibility. If in doubt, phone Al at 645-2848 or Ron at 684-9194. $4 donation is requested from official counters to defray publication results.

If interested, or if you require more information, please contact me by telephone or E-mail.
See ya.

 

 

Re(2): Year Lists?
Posted on June 17, 2006 at 09:56:18 AM by Goodyear

We, too, added a good number of birds on the Birdathon day. Our year list is now at 138 species. We picked up the Marsh Wren, Red Crossbills, and the Horned Grebe earlier in the spring that I think has put us ahead of you, Barbara. We tried for the Vesper Sparrows last weekend but all we found was ourselves being approached and questioned by three guards who came out to find out why two people would be walking the prison road with "big black things" around their necks! We showed them a picture of a Vesper Sparrow in our field guide and they seemed satisfied with our explanation. Who says birding isn't exciting? :)

 

 

Re(1): Year Lists?
Posted on June 15, 2006 at 01:51:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Caspian Tern is #133 on my Muskoka year list. Haven't tried for a Vesper Sparrow yet. It was a tough spring for finding birds - especially warblers! No fallouts, just one here, one there.

Can I add the "captive" Mute Swan in the pond along Hwy. 118W near Beaumaris? Ha-ha....

 

 

Year Lists?
Posted on June 14, 2006 at 05:09:39 PM by Al Sinclair

How's everyone doing on their Muskoka year list? Any updates?
I got quite a few new ones doing the birdathon 3 weeks ago. And today Wilf Yusek and I were out to the flats near the end of Rocksborough Rd and picked up a couple of species we missed, Wilson's Snipe and American Bittern. Also saw Harris' Checkerspots, Common Ringlets (butterflies), and Common Baskettails (dragonflies). We then went down to south end of Muskoka Airport and got Vesper Sparrow, 3 singing.

So my year list is now 127.

Directions: Rocksborough Rd is about 5 minutes drive east of Hwy 11 at Bracebridge on Fraserburg Rd.
To get to the south end of Muskoka Airport follow the Corrections Canada signs off Hwy 118E or Doe Lake Rd. Stop at the parking lot of the Beaver Creek finance building just before the prison gate.

 

 

unidentified one
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 10:11:21 PM by Al Sinclair

My guess is a well worn Eastern Pine Elfin, their flight period is almost over.

 

 

Butterflies
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 08:35:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were several butterflies in our yard - White Admiral, American Painted Lady, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, and the unidentified one below. Also many bees visiting our Lilac, including a giant bumblebee with a wide orange band. (Bracebridge) butterfly photobee photo

 

 

Re(3): Dragonfly help
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 09:15:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

There seems to be different species names as well. The Chalk-fronted Corporal is sometimes shown as Libellula julia instead of Ladona julia. Also, I found the Common Whitetail listed on the Ontario Odonata Atlas as Plathemis lydia, but I've also seen it referred to as Libellula lydia. Almost as confusing as some of the reclassifications of birds, such as Baltimore Oriole which became Northern Oriole, only to be split again and now known as Baltimore Oriole.(I posted photos of a Common Whitetail on the Nature Photos Board)

 

 

Re(2): Dragonfly help
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 10:33:09 AM by Al Sinclair

I believe the name was changed to Chalk-fronted Corporal a few years ago when the Dragonfly Society of the Americas produced a list of standard english names for all species.
Note that females and immatures of this species look like a different species, brown with a yellow stipe on the abdomen and no white pruinosity.
"Pruinose means having a waxy layer or bloom on the surface and is used to describe a white covering on the abdomen and/or thorax of the dragonfly, normally most pronounced in mature males."

 

 

Re(2): Dragonfly help
Posted on June 14, 2006 at 06:57:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Colin Jones has confirmed that Peter's dragonfly is, indeed, Ladona julia (Chalk-fronted Corporal), which is the currently "correct" name. Thanks Colin.

Colin is a Natural Heritage Project Zoologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Colin and others have been working on a A Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and the Surrounding Area. The new guide should be available sometime later this summer.

 

 

Re(1): Dragonfly help
Posted on June 12, 2006 at 07:31:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like it might be a Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia).

(note: There seems to be some disagreement about the name for this one. I have also seen it referred to as Chalk-fronted Skimmer, Libellula julia. The Ontario Odonata Atlas lists it as Chalk-fronted Corporal, Ladona julia.)

 

 

Dragonfly help
Posted on June 12, 2006 at 05:36:01 PM by Peter Mills

While at my cottage in Magnetawan this past weekend, I saw several of these dragonflies with pale blue markings at a small beaver pond. They are farily common there, as I see many every year. Try as I might, I cannot identify it. Anyone know?dragonfly photo

Also, a nice Larger Blue Flag Iris and lots of Sundew, this one eating a mosquito.

 

 

Trumpeter Swan in Magnetawan
Posted on June 12, 2006 at 10:19:34 AM by Alex Mills

In recent winters a number of trumpeter swans have wintered on the river at the village of Magnetawan. On June 10th, there was one still there.

 

 

Re(1): Snapping Turtle Egg Buffet
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 08:39:42 AM by Don Clement

I've seen about half a dozen turtles doing the same thing on the shoulders of roads around Germania - one snapper, the rest painted. Haven't noticed any eggshells yet, but I'm on the lookout for hatchlings, hoping they don't get run over right away.

 

 

Snapping Turtle Egg Buffet
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 10:24:23 PM by Theodore Smith

Hi folks,
Over the past week the snapping turtles living in the Muskoka River along Matthiasville Road have been busy laying eggs along the shoulders. At the same time the raccoons and/or skunks (but most likely raccoons) have been just as busy digging the eggs up to dine on. I would estimate 15 or more laying spots have been dug up with the empty eggs strewn around the hole.
Matthiasville Road is off Hwy 118 east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Virginia Rail
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 06:28:15 PM by Nick

Great picture. I have done almost 3000 marsh bird point counts and only seen very brief glimses!!!

Very nice luck indeed.

 

 

Virginia Rail
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 09:29:53 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

A visit to the Wenona road marsh off Canning Road this morning was rewarded by a nice view of a Virginia rail.
Virginia Rail

 

 

Re(1): Clay-colored Sparrow update
Posted on June 21, 2006 at 11:19:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

I haven't heard the Clay-colored Sparrow for about five days now. He is probably still in the same area, but no longer singing, so harder to find. Last year the one on Glendale Rd. stopped singing in mid-June as well.

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow and Killdeer update
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 03:44:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Killdeer nest at Henry Rd. marsh is still intact with four eggs. The adult bird seems to be much calmer now and didn't leave the nest on our return walk - perhaps it is getting used to the presence of people on the trail. A Golden-winged Warbler was singing in the open area to the left (east) as the trail leaves the woods.

Around noon today the Clay-colored Sparrow was singing from his favourite perch in a young oak tree at the corner of Tamarack Trail and Killdeer Cres. (north end) in Bracebridge.

directions for sparrow:
From Hwy. 11 take Hwy.118W to the fourth set of stoplights (by Tim Hortons). Go straight through the intersection onto Ball's Dr. which runs behind the A&P plaza. Turn right on Tamarack Trail and continue to Killdeer Cres. (north end), just before the stop sign at Glendale Rd.

directions to Henry marsh:
From Hwy. 11 take Hwy.118W to first set of traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge. Turn left onto Beaumont Dr., and continue to Henry Rd. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Brewer's Blackbird...Wilf's Photo
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 02:42:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Wilf Yusek took this photo yesterday on Falkenburg Rd. at Beatrice Townline Rd. 400mm IS zoom lens handheld, Canon Digital Rebel XT. Wilf talked to the property owner on the south-west corner. They were aware of the Brewer's colony and have been watching them for a few years.

directions:
From Hwy. 11 take Hwy. 118W out past Bracebridge and turn right onto Butter & Egg Rd. Turn left at Falkenburg Rd. and start looking for the Brewer's Blackbirds. Beatrice Townline Rd. intersection is short distance from there.

 

 

Re(2): Golden-winged Warbler\Blue-winged Warbler Crosses
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 01:15:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The calls get quite mixed up even for the ones true to species. The Golden-wings on Kinnear Rd. were singing only the last 3 notes of their song and not the first at all.

You really need to see what bird is singing to confirm.

 

 

Re(1): Golden-winged Warbler\Blue-winged Warbler Crosses
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 10:41:55 AM by Janice House

Eleanor, is the call the same for a Brewster's F2?

 

 

Re(2): Eleanor's photos...
Posted on June 11, 2006 at 11:41:59 AM by Nick

Great pictures Eleanor.
Or in the words of the younger generation, sweet dilly :)
all species, are lifers for me, maybe in july when i am home

 

 

Re(1): Eleanor's photos...
Posted on June 10, 2006 at 02:25:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Golden-winged maleBrewster's F2

 

 

Golden-winged Warbler\Blue-winged Warbler Crosses
Posted on June 10, 2006 at 11:59:32 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

I am posting this to the Muskoka Board as after my THIRD attempt at posting to the Simcoe Board I have still not been able to properly replicate three different Security Words!!

This is my third attempt at writing this and having it posted as I have not been able to get the Security Word to be accepted.

On May 25th I photographed two birds on Kinnear Rd. that I thought were male and female Golden-winged Warblers. I realized a few days ago that one was not really a female but a hybrid. This morning I saw a photo essay on Naturescapes by a friend that explained the crosses and showed wonderful pictures of the possibilities.

I have sent the pictures of the two birds I got and hope that other people have seen others too.

When a Golden-winged Warbler and a Blue-winged Warbler mate their chicks are called Brewster's F1. When the Brewster's F1 mates with a Golden-winged its offspring are Brewster's F2. I got extremely distant shots of Brewster's F1s at both Windermere and Carden last year.

Bob is posting a male Golden-winged and a Brewster's F2 from Kinnear Rd. for me.
I am hoping to get a Blue-winged and other crosses later!

 

 

Reporting Rare Birds...the Ontbirds Guidelines
Posted on June 8, 2006 at 11:17:29 AM by Al Sinclair

The info below was copied from the Ontario Field Ornithologists website.
http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm
Ontbirds is an email list for reporting rare birds seen in Ontario. In light of the discussion under the Sandhill Crane thread on reporting rare species I thought it would be worthwhile for everyone to read the guidelines they use for that list.

"Please do not report endangered species on a breeding territory unless the following criteria are met. ONTBIRDers should be aware of the potential dangers of reporting the location of rare or endangered birds on breeding territories. None of us wants to be responsible for causing a rare bird to abandon a nest or breeding attempt because of disturbance. But a report is acceptable if the bird can be seen:

from a public location (roadside, established path or trail in a conservation area or park or similar);

at a safe distance for the birds (at least 20m/ 60ft);

and Safely for the watchers (e.g.. roadsides must have shoulders wide enough to accommodate cars and people without making them vulnerable to oncoming traffic, etc.).

If the bird can be seen at a safe distance but only by entering or crossing private property do not report to ONTBIRDS unless the property owner has given explicit permission for birders to visit. If in doubt, please ask the ONTBIRDS Coordinator before posting.

On the other hand, monitoring agencies such as Bird Studies Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service do need to know about rare birds on breeding territory. If a sighting does not meet the criteria above, a private report to the ONTBIRDS Coordinator will be forwarded to them."

 

 

Re(1): Ruddy Turnstone
Posted on June 12, 2006 at 08:55:59 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Very nice bird Jim and Sylvia! There are some good migrants going through your area this year! Terry & Marion

 

 

Ruddy Turnstone
Posted on June 8, 2006 at 09:00:26 AM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

One Ruddy Turnstone in full breeding plumage on Wednesday June 7, 2006 on the 'Margaret Island' spit on Sparrow Lake.

 

 

Re(2): Giant Silkworm Moths...4 species seen since May 31
Posted on June 9, 2006 at 06:03:18 PM by Al Sinclair

Could be. They are usually quite docile during the day, sitting with their wings closed above their body. To get a picture of the top side you have to disturb them, then they will open their wings, but not that quickly. Sometimes they open and close them slowly and continuously for a few minutes. To me, only the Io and Cecropia really have convincing eyespots but I'm not a bird. Some of the predators I have had around my moth light are, toads, deer mice, chipmunks, chickadees and blue jays, but I don't think I loose that many moths. I was upset one morning though when I found the remains of a Luna Moth that was eaten, likely by a chipmunk.

 

 

Re(2): Giant Silkworm Moths...4 species seen since May 31
Posted on June 9, 2006 at 08:19:21 PM by Janice House

walking the dogs tonight I found a Cecropia Moth, picked him up and brought him home. I thought he was dead, he must be sleepy or cold. Just picked him up to look at these pictures and he moved and gripped my fingers. I am going to put him back outside, hope he doesn't freeze tonight.

 

 

Re(1): Giant Silkworm Moths...4 species seen since May 31
Posted on June 8, 2006 at 08:48:00 PM by John Challis

Wonderful photos. I'm curious about the "eyespots." I've seen film footage of a moth or butterfly flashing its eyespots as a deterrent against predators, with startling effect. Is this a defence strategy used by these moths?

 

 

Giant Silkworm Moths...4 species seen since May 31
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 03:57:14 PM by Al Sinclair

It has been a good year so far for Giant Silkworm moths. We have had 4 species here at our moth light since May 31. We are located 8km east of Bracebridge on hwy 118E. The photos below were all taken in the last few days. These are big moths with a wingspan around 10 cm or more. They were moved from the wall to a green towel for the photos. Some stayed for the day and disappeared the next night, others flew after a few hours. The moth light is timed to come on on alternate nights so that no moths are trapped for more than one night.

Hodges #7768, Hyalophora columbia, Columbia Silkmoth

Hodges #7767, Hyalophora cecropia, Cecropia Moth

Hodges #7764, Callosamia promethea, Promethea Moth

Hodges #7757, Antheraea polyphemus, Polyphemus Moth

 

Re(2): interesting moth
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 04:06:21 PM by Al Sinclair

I agree, Promethea Moth, female. If you have one of these on your wall you should look for males in the afternoon. Females release their mating hormone into the air in the hottest part of the day between 2 and 4 pm. Males can detect the hormone and follow it to the source. Male Prometheas are a diiferent colour than the female, a dark chocolate brown.
Their name comes from Prometheus in Greek mythology, the Titan who stole fire from heaven and taught people its use, for which Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock.

 

 

Re(1): interesting moth
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 01:53:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

I think it may be another one that looks very similar - a female Promethea silkmoth (Callosamia promethea), Hodges #7764.

 

 

interesting moth
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 10:19:39 AM by Carol Wagg

 

Doe Lake Rd, Gravenhurst. I found this fellow inside the back yard gazebo yesterday afternoon. (S)he looks a lot like the one Al Sinclair identified as a Columbia Silkmoth in an earlier post. Is it? The antennae look like brown ferns. It climbed onto a finger to be taken outside for release. photo
Moth - unknown

 

 

Re(4): sandhill cranes...more info???
Posted on June 8, 2006 at 08:52:43 AM by Al Sinclair

I didn't mean to say that Sandhill Cranes were rare and shouldn't be reported. My comment in the last sentence was just a caution for others who might find a rare bird's nest.

During the breeding bird atlas that just finished they were found in 13 squares in Muskoka and 3 in Algonquin. They are however rarely seen because of their secretive nature. If you thought that the cranes you saw had a nest nearby it would be correct in my opinion to not post the exact location for obvious reasons. But it still would be acceptable to post the area of the park you were in such as the location of a nearby lake or the name of the canoe route, or the access point you used.

 

 

Re(3): sandhill cranes...more info???
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 09:21:38 PM by Janice House

Asked Geoff for more details, he first noticed the 2 birds very low at the Royal Muskoka field, saw them again when he got onto hwy 11, they were on his right and heading in the direction of the KOA. I would almost think they had been feeding across from Muskoka Delivery. Hope this helps.

 

 

Re(3): sandhill cranes...more info???
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 05:51:39 PM by todd white

Dear Al, I had posted Algonquin Park in my earlier post, as you know the park is a large place.i can tell you that the male was in flight and the female grounded, i was in my canoe and spoked the male from catails,I sorry for saying so, but i find your comment a litte harsh, in asking us not to post a rare species, perhaps the birds need not be disturbed at this time of the year,our have multiple people abuse.Forgive me again,

 

 

Re(2): sandhill cranes...more info???
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 04:22:08 PM by Al Sinclair

It would be nice to see more info on these sightings such as a better description of the location so someone who would like to look for them can find the exact spot.

It would also be good to know what the birds were doing, if they were flying over there is not much chance they will still be there later. If flying, in what direction? Feeding, on what? What habitat?

Adding this info would be appreciated by people who have never seen these birds before, or people keeping year lists (like me), or people interested in learning more about the habits and locations of the birds in our area (me again).

The only exception to this would be to not report a rare species nest location.

 

 

Re(1): sandhill cranes
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 07:48:07 AM by Janice House

my husband saw a pair yesterday by the Muskoka Airport and hwy 11

 

 

sandhill cranes
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 09:05:52 PM by todd white

i have seen a pair of sandhill cranes in Algonquin Park. Sunday June the 4th.

 

 

Re(1): Yellow Swallowtails
Posted on June 7, 2006 at 11:36:24 AM by Marilyn Kisser

definately more of both - just took some photos of the swallowtail this morning over here just outside of Rosseau off the Aspdin Road

 

 

Re(2): Yellow Swallowtails
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 07:19:35 PM by J. Gardner

Same thing over here in Hurdville. Plenty of swallowtails and monarchs.

 

 

Re(1): Yellow Swallowtails
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 06:39:40 PM by Ron Stager

Hi
I guess I am local (from Barkway) but my impression is the same: larger number than usual of Canadian Tiger Swallowtail and Monarchs (this near the start of the season) than I remember seeing in previous. There also seems seems to be many butterfly moths as well or more dragonflies than usual.
Earlier in the season, there seemed to be more spring azures and pine elfins than usual.
Is there a particular location where you see the most butterflies? I sometimes ride by bicycle up through Germania.
See ya

 

 

Yellow Swallowtails
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 03:47:47 PM by Don Clement

Has anyone else noticed a larger than usual number of Yellow Swallowtails this season? This week, near Germania, there have been dozens visiting every available blossom throughout the day. I'm wondering how local this might be. Also, a good number of Monarchs have appeared.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons families
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 01:34:24 PM by Wilf Yusek

In cell 4 this morning there was a female Hooded Merganser with 9 young. Also 1 Wooduck & family of 8. Many Mallard families and another Wooduck family of 7 in cell 1.

 

 

Trumpeter Swan nest located on Six Mile Lake
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 01:00:59 PM by Anne Lewis

Great news! The Trumpeter Swan nest was located by the Wye Marsh fly over yesterday. Sparky is sitting on the nest and Mote is beside her. We canoed right past it.
We will continue to encourage the township of georgian bay to restrict construction until the cygnets are hatched and safe (April-September).

 

 

Red-headed Woodpecker
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 08:54:44 PM by Bob Healey

While riding at Buckwollow MTB this afternoon, I saw a red-headed woodpecker flying down the trail away from me. I thought it hadn't gone to far, but didn't get a second look. This is the first of this species for me this year, anywhere.

 

 

One tough Hummingbird!
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 08:37:32 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

A male hummingbird has found a nice perch just a few feet from one of our window feeders. He does 3 things very well all day. 1)drink what he wants whenever he wants 2) chase females away 3) stand guard over his realm!Hummingbird "boss"

 

 

Black-Bellied Plover
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 07:19:46 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Spotted a nice pair of Black-bellied plovers passing through on Canning road this morning about 10am. The plover pair was in a freshly plowed field on the north side of Canning road near the train track east of Southwood road but well west of Baseline road. For those with GPS NAD 84 630502 4962269. The pair was foraging in the freshly plowed field and did not seem too bothered by us. Picture is a little rough and I needed everything I had to get closer. Nikon D70, 300mm with a 2X Tamron attached. Black-bellied Plover

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer nest, Wood Duck babies
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 10:43:17 PM by Paul Smith

A female Wood Duck was here on Butterfly Lake in Glen Orchard the other day with half a dozen chicks - all riding on her back.

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer nest - photo
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 03:38:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

The nest now has 4 eggs. The photo isn't very good (big digital zoom) since I didn't want to get too close and lead raccoons or foxes to the nest. The Killdeer was quite agitated as I walked past, doing its best to convince me it had a broken wing, luring me away from the nest. Unfortunately the middle of a hiking trail isn't a very good choice of nestsite, but how was the bird to know. I don't anticipate a successful hatch, but will post updates.photo1photo2

 

 

Killdeer nest, Wood Duck babies
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 12:07:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we discovered a Killdeer nest with three eggs amidst the wood chips on the raised walking trail at Henry Marsh, a short distance to the right (west) from the "T". Also two Green Herons at the marsh. Water level is higher again since the beavers have partially closed up the breach in their dam. A Golden-winged Warbler was singing in the open area to the left (east) as the trail leaves the woods.

At the Bracebridge Ponds there was a female Wood Duck with seven babies at the south-west end of cell 3.

The Clay-colored Sparrow is still hanging around. At 9:40 a.m. we heard him singing from the oak tree at the corner of Tamarack Trail and Killdeer Cres. (north end). (Bracebridge)

 

 

Indigo Bunting - Eastern Wood Pewee
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 11:23:44 AM by Paul Smith

An Indigo Bunting seen, and Eastern Wood Pewee heard on my walk along Eveleigh Road, west of Port Carling early last night.

 

 

great crested flycatcher
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 00:56:55 AM by Marilyn Kisser

the great crested flycatcher was spotted on Crawford Street, just outside of Rosseau off the Aspdin Road on Friday of this week

 

 

Re(3): yellow rail?
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 08:23:24 PM by John Challis

Forgot to mention the wood frogs, pickerel frogs, chorus and now grey tree frogs.

 

 

Re(2): yellow rail?
Posted on June 5, 2006 at 08:17:57 PM by John Challis

Lots of sedge, lots of cattails, and patches of tussock grass, too. We've heard the calling last night and again tonight. I've been meaning to learn how to post photos, so this will goad me into it. Peter Mills' theory is possible, too, since we've had bullfogs, leopard, green, peepers in the bog this spring.

 

 

Re(1): yellow rail?
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 11:07:46 PM by Al Sinclair

What type of vegetation is in the marsh? Cattails, long grass or sedges, a place where rails could hide? Can you post a photo of the location where the sound was coming from?

 

 

Re(1): yellow rail?
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 10:14:57 AM by Peter Mills

The Mink Frog is an amphibian spread well over Muskoka and their call is a repetitive clicking sound, much like smashing two pebbles together. They are full tilt into their breeding now. It can be distinguished from the more common Green Frog by having blotches running along the hind legs as opposed to banding that Green Frogs have.

 

 

yellow rail?
Posted on June 3, 2006 at 11:33:58 PM by challis&carlyle

A repetitive click, click, click-click, click-click in the marsh behind our house (Green River Drive, Washago) sent us searching through the bird call files tonight. It was very much like a pair of stones being knocked together. Yellow rail calls repeat in twos and threes, but this one has never been more than a single or double. It's something like a king rail, but they don't call so late into the night -- this was going on incessantly for hours, and as I write this at 11:30 p.m., it is still going on. Yellow rails do, apparently, call incessantly during breeding season.
This is the first time we've heard anything like it, so if anyone has any other suggestions for a nocturnal pebble-clicking noisemaker, please let us know.

 

 

Red-headed Woodpecker in Bracebridge
Posted on June 3, 2006 at 08:51:08 PM by Ron Tozer

At 6 p.m. this evening, I saw a Red-headed Woodpecker flying north from near the South Branch of the Muskoka River, over Milton Street in Bracebridge. I am not certain of the current Muskoka status of this woodpecker, but it was the first one I have seen here.

 

 

Trumpeter Swan nest in trouble
Posted on June 2, 2006 at 08:59:54 PM by Anne Lewis

I went into this site yesterday with Julie Kee from the Wye Marsh. We found a nest in front of a private development property but on crown land had been destroyed and removed. The female swan is still there and behaving like there is still a nest. We don't know if the nest was removed before the swans returned to the site. If so they would probably build another nest nearby. If not this pair will not breed again for 2-3 years.
We have asked the MNR and MOE to investigate.
The Trumpeter Swans are not a species at risk they are protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act by the Ministry of Environment. The Act reads 6(a) no person shall, disturb, destroy or take a nest, egg, nest shelter, eider duck shelter or duck box of a migratory bird. This is a Federal Act.

The following is information about this development.

The Six Mile Lake Conservationists Club has become aware that a property on East Hungry Bay Rd., Six Mile Lake which borders a wetland on crown land has been re-zoned from single to 4 back lots (BR).
The MNR no longer comment on wetlands.

The small wetland is the nesting site for a pair of Trumpeter Swans.

Sparky and Mote are one of less than 85 breeding pairs of Trumpeter Swans in Ontario. They are extremely valuable to the re-introduction program.This is a critical time of year for this nest. There were 3 cygnets last year.

The nest has been monitored by lake residents and SMLCC as part of the Wye Marsh Trumpeter Swan Monitoring program for 4 years. They have been news items throughout the District of Muskoka, appearing in newspaper articles and on nature boards. If the swans leave this nest they will never return to this site. It will probably be 2-3 years before they successfully nest again. If they are disturbed after the cygnets are born in late June, they may move them into another area of the lake where they could be threatened by boat traffic etc.

The Club and the Wye Marsh recommends a mitigative solution; that it is reasonable to expect the township to put a clause in the site plan agreement to protect the nesting and breeding period of the swans by limiting construction between April 1. and September 30.

We are asking for your support to have this site plan agreement put into place by the Township of Georgian Bay immediately.
Please send your comments to clerks@township.georgianbay.on.ca with a copy to sixmiler@yahoo.com Thank you.

 

photo1photo2photo3photo4photo5

 

 

Bird Board update
Posted on June 2, 2006 at 09:14:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. All posts for April through May are now available in the Archived Reports. Just a reminder to bookmark the back-up webpage. Important notices will be posted there in the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service.

Spam posts
Recently the Bird Board and the Nature Photos Board have been getting hit with many spam posts. If it gets any worse, I may have to require people to register before they can post on the Bird Board. I have already set this up on the Nature Photos Board so you can see how it works and so I can monitor how well it prevents spam.

Registration is very simple - only your name and a password are required to become registered. You can give it a try on the Ontario Nature Photos Board.



New to the Bird Board?
The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of any bird sightings or other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. You don't have to include an email address in your post. See the Posting Guidelines for more information, including several tips on using the message board.

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
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

nighthawk & more
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 11:13:43 PM by Challis&Carlyle

Went for a walk at dusk along the McArthur Sideroad east of Severn Bridge last night. Very large farm fields make this a nice place for bobolinks, meadowlarks and others fond of open field. Saw both, along with a lone nighthawk, savannah sparrows, a warbling vireo, common yellowthroat, many kingbirds. Around the house tonight (Green River Dr.), three or four veeries were in full song. And a new warbler whose call sounds like about four others. Still working on identifying it.

 

 

Columbia Silkmoth...flying last night...photo
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 04:02:04 PM by Al Sinclair

Found a Columbia Silkmoth under my moth light this morning, 8km east of Bracebridge. Looks like the more common Cecropia but more drab,lacks red shaded band beyond white lines, and smaller. Larva eats larch primarily but also alder, birch and cherry. Only the third time I have seen this species here.Hodges# 7768 - Hyalophora columbia - Columbia Silkmoth†† photo

 

 

Brewer's Blackbirds, etc.
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 12:40:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

We went looking for the Brewer's Blackbirds this morning and found one pair and two other males. The pair were perched on a telephone cable along north side of Falkenburg Rd. just west of intersection with Beatrice Townline Rd. The two males were a bit south of the intersection.

Nearby on Beatrice Townline Rd. where it dips down through the marsh, we saw an American Bittern at the east side, close to the wooden bridge in the road. Many Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks in the area too.

There were thirteen Turkey Vultures spiralling upward in a thermal along Hwy. 118W a bit west of Pearcey Rd.


directions:
Alternate route - From Hwy. 11 take Hwy. 118W out past Bracebridge and turn right onto Butter & Egg Rd. Turn left at Falkenburg Rd. and start looking for the Brewer's Blackbirds. Beatrice Townline Rd. intersection is short distance from there.

 

 

Grey Wolf, Black Bear, Moose calves
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 10:22:53 AM by Don Clement

It's been quite the busy week at our place near Germania - all of these sightings were within sight of our house. On Monday just after dawn I spotted a Grey Wolf crossing a beaver dam about 800 feet from our house. A couple of hours later, on a shore trail near that spot, I came across a Moose with two young calves grazing the shoreline, staying very close to their watchful and wary mother. I was able to observe them for half an hour from about 100 feet, using tree cover. Last evening at dusk, I noticed a mature Black Bear poking its ears up as I opened a sliding door. My wife and I watched as he meandered past our garden, then headed straight up our driveway, towards us! I closed the slider when he reached about 100 feet, and he sauntered off across to some bushes. Amazing to see all of this in such a short time and in such proximity. With predators like this around, it's easy to see why the Moose was so wary. (Sorry, no photos - I was more concerned about personal safety.)

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese on the move
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 11:01:42 PM by John Challis

Thanks, Barb. That explains the large flocks that have been buzzing around Washago over the last four or five days. Today, the baseball diamonds at the south end of town, which have been the dining room for about eight to a dozen geese, was crowded with 50 or so (ballpark estimate, you might say). We paddled the Green River to the Black on Sunday and saw many pairs with goslings along the way, picking at grass on cottage lawns.

 

 

Canada Geese on the move
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 08:06:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

Several large flocks of Canada Geese are heading north this morning, flying fairly low over Glendale Rd. in Bracebridge. Once again, right on schedule. 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 donít 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): Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on June 4, 2006 at 11:42:32 AM by Dan Burton

In addition to the information posted by everyone, it should be noted that the songs of Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds are distinctly different. Commercial recordings are widely available for comparison.

 

 

Re(9): Rusty vs Brewer's
Posted on June 1, 2006 at 06:12:28 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Several years ago when Great Gray owls invaded from the north several wintered in the fields used by the Brewer's Blackbirds. It became known that a number of people were trespassing and that the property owners were very upset.

The birds can be seen well from the road with a little patience as they perch on the fence posts and the overhead wires.

 

 

Re(8): Rusty vs Brewer's
Posted on June 1, 2006 at 00:04:08 AM by Paul Smith

Thanks for the heads up - is it for me or the Rusty / Brewers Blackbirds ??

 

 

Re(7): Rusty vs Brewer's
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 10:25:40 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Just a reminder that the fields the Brewers Blackbirds use for nesting are private property!

I have photographs taken before digital if anyone is interested.

 

 

Re(6): Rusty vs Brewer's
Posted on May 30, 2006 at 11:36:47 PM by Paul Smith

Yes, but then the Environment Canada site http://www.qc.ec.gc.ca/faune/oiseaux_menaces/html/quiscale_rouilleux_e.html includes pasture edges as the breeding habitat for the Rusty Blackbird.

I hope to get up there later this week for a leisurely look - maybe find some of the ones hidden in the tall grass ...

 

 

Re(5): Rusty vs Brewer's
Posted on May 30, 2006 at 08:40:04 PM by Alex Mills

Even though Brewer's Blackbirds are rare in Muskoka, they are not so rare as Rusty Blackbirds, at least during the breeding season. In addition to the ways to distinguish the two species that Alan is probably thinking about is dramatic difference in habitat. At this time of year you find Brewer's along road edges and farmland or pasture, and Rusties are in bogs or beaver ponds (generally further north).

 

 

Re(4): Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on May 30, 2006 at 09:36:57 AM by Al Sinclair

There has been a colony of Brewer's Blackbirds at this corner for several years. It was found by Ken Walton and Jon Grandfield and has been confirmed by many others who have made the trip up to get them on their year lists. The fact that only 2 were seen just means that we didn't wait long enough to find others hidden in the long grass. They are also easy to separate from Rusty Blackbirds by field marks.

 

 

Re(3): Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 10:51:34 PM by Paul Smith

Brewers Blackbirds 'almost always nest in colonies', as opposed to the more common Rusty Blackbird that 'nests in isolated pairs' - according to Birds of Ontario and many other references. If you just saw a pair, they were probably Rusty Blackbirds.

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 05:13:53 PM by Al Sinclair

Same location as previous years, corner of Falkenburg Rd and Beatrice Townline Rd. Follow Muskoka 4 through Bracebridge to Falkenburg Rd. Take Falkenburg Rd to Beatrice Townline Rd. Birds can usually be seen west or south from the corner, on the bell cable or fences. We saw only one pair on the birdathon this year but there likely is more.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 04:59:34 PM by Hugh Currie

Just wondering - where are the Brewer's Blackbirds this year?? They would be the closest to Toronto for a year lister like myself.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists...Birdathon results
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 02:51:16 PM by Al Sinclair

The MFN did their annual Baillie Birdathon May 27. A group of 9 birders (less later) spent the day counting the total number of species seen. We started at the Bracebridge ponds then Henry Marsh and several more locations north west of Bracebridge (South Monk Drive, Houston Rd, Falkenburg Rd, Doherty Rd, Windermere Rd, Rostrevor Rd, Dee Bank Rd, Skeleton Lake).
Total species for the day was 94. Some good birds were Wilson's Warbler and Osprey at the Ponds, Golden-winged Warbler at Henry Marsh, Clay-colored Sparrow on Killdeer Crescent in Bracebridge, American Kestrel 118 west. The total list is copied below.
The weather was great and we saw a good number of birds, better than last year but short of our target of 100. We missed a few common species like Hermit Thrush and Winter Wren, the water was high at the ponds and no migrating shorebirds were found, all the migrating ducks were gone. Funds raised by the Birdathon go to Bird Studies Canada.

SPECIES SEEN
5/27/2006 94 seen
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Ruffed Grouse
Virginia Rail
Sora
Killdeer
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
European Starling
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Golden-winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 94

 

 

Mourning Warbler, Magnolia Warbler
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 09:45:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Mourning Warbler singing at the edge of the woods to the west of cell 2, near the south end of cell 2. By the north-west corner of cell 4 there was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing . Closer to the snowmobile trail/gas pipeline there was a Magnolia Warbler (finally!) and a female American Redstart. By the Lagoon Lane gate there was an Indigo Bunting. A Virginia Rail was calling from the marshy area east of cell 4.

 

 

Re(4): Monarch
Posted on June 1, 2006 at 08:59:16 PM by Marilyn Kisser

saw the first monarch in our area today - on crawford street just outside of rosseau off the aspdin road

 

 

Re(3): Monarch
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 07:29:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just had a Monarch fly through our yard here in Bracebridge a few minutes ago...first one we've seen this year.

 

 

Re(2): Monarch
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 07:21:53 PM by Al Johnston

A monarch was seen yesterday and another today here in Whitchurch-Stouffville. Al

 

 

Re(1): Monarch
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 10:51:52 AM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday during the Baillie birdathon we had 3 Monarchs at different locations, South Monk Drive near Bracebridge and further north to Windermere Rd. These were the first I have seen this year.

 

 

Monarch
Posted on May 27, 2006 at 12:37:32 PM by Ron Stager

Good day for butterflies with 15 species in an hour around our place (Merkley Rd east of Barkway).

Notables:
Monarch (my first of year (FOY))
Harvester (uncommon and FOY)
Pepper and Salt Skipper (3)(uncommon and FOY)
Lots of Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Juvenal's Duskywing and Dreamy Duskywing

Bala butterfly count is about a month away (July 1st). Check Bird board for further details if interested.

See ya
Ron

 

 

sandhill cranes
Posted on May 26, 2006 at 02:44:49 PM by Marilyn Kisser

a pair of sandhill cranes flew over our property off the Aspdin Road just outside of Rosseau yesterday heading towards Hekila

 

 

Re(1): Clay-colored Sparrow still there...
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 09:35:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Just before 9:30 a.m. this morning he was singing from the top of a young oak tree at the corner of Tamarack Trail and Killdeer Cres. (north end).That seems to be a favourite perch since he was there yesterday morning too. (Update: - May 31 at 11:45 a.m. and May 30, 9:30 a.m., he was singing from the same oak tree, near top left of tree as seen from sidewalk)

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow is back!
Posted on May 26, 2006 at 11:58:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

A Clay-colored Sparrow is singing his four buzzy notes from the wooded area between 84 Killdeer Cres. and 69 Glendale Rd. in Bracebridge. A few minutes ago I first located him in a spruce tree near the corner of Tamarack Trail and Killdeer Cres. (north end).I thought I heard him calling yesterday as I drove by, but couldn't find him when I went back with binoculars. Perhaps this is the same bird from last year. This new spot is just a bit south of his old territory at 86 Glendale Rd.

directions: from Ball's Dr. (behind the A&P plaza), go north on Tamarack Trail. Killdeer Cres. is the road on your left just before the stop sign. Glendale Rd. is at the stop sign.

 

 

Nesting loons on Joseph River
Posted on May 26, 2006 at 10:19:09 AM by Al Johnston

Our friends on Lookout Island phoned yesterday to advise that the first egg was laid yesterday so the second should be laid by tomorrow. We're going to visit our friends next week and get some photos. We'll do this without disturbing Mrs. Loon of course. Al

 

 

House Wren
Posted on May 26, 2006 at 06:50:19 AM by Janice House

House wren singing madly this morning, 6am. Northern flicker here yesterday too. (Doe Lake Rd.) On Wednesday I took a slow drive up South Monk Dr up to Falconburg Rd. Lots of warblers and thrush's just past Partridge Lane. Good place to go for the Baillie on Saturday.

 

 

Great Egret
Posted on May 25, 2006 at 07:00:28 PM by Jim Gardner

Great Egret loafing at property at the corner of Hurdville Road and Broadbent Road near Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

At the Bracebridge Ponds today
Posted on May 25, 2006 at 05:03:57 PM by Al Sinclair

Wilf Yusek and I were in there this afternoon and did not find the Tennessee or Wilson's warblers reported yesterday. But we did get a Canada Warbler about 2/3 of the way down the west side of cell 4. Barbara Taylor reported that she heard a Blackpoll Warbler at the same spot this morning.

 

 

Re(2): New housing at Muskoka Highlands Golf Course...Kestrels welcome
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 07:53:07 PM by Al Johnston

Darn Starlings! I'm not surprised. Every spring I block the entrance hole of a wood duck nest box with a margarine container attached to a stout string that I can yank when the appropriate species is ready to set up housekeeping. Al

 

 

Re(1): New housing at Muskoka Highlands Golf Course...Kestrels welcome
Posted on May 31, 2006 at 07:05:59 PM by Wilf Yusek

New tenants have arrived and have taken up residence, STARLING, I hope the rental fee is enormous.

 

 

New housing at Muskoka Highlands Golf Course...Kestrels welcome
Posted on May 25, 2006 at 04:58:14 PM by Al Sinclair

Today Wilf Yusek and I installed an American Kestrel box at the golf course west of Bracebridge on 118W. American Kestrels nested in the eaves of a tool shed there a couple of years ago but didn't return again. This house built and donated by Neil Nimmo should be better housing for them. Thanks to Don Mckay for allowing us to install it in his parking lot at Muskoka Highlands. photo

 

 

Wilson's Warbler, Tennessee Warbler - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 24, 2006 at 09:57:02 AM by Barbara Taylor

Very productive morning of birding at the Bracebridge Ponds. Best spots were in the woods to your right (west) just after entering the ponds area from Kerr Park, and also the shrubbery by the viewing stand in Kerr Park. Other good area was at the NW corner of cell 4 and in the thickets to the west of cell 4.

Wilson's Warbler in thickets along snowmobile trail west of cell 4 (where Magnolia Warbler was last year). Also an Alder Flycatcher nearby and Cedar Waxwings in the tamaracks. Tennessee Warbler was in woods to your right as you enter the ponds from Kerr Park along with a Least Flycatcher. Eastern Meadowlark and Brown Thrasher at gas plant fenceline in Kerr Park.A Common Loon came in for a landing on cell 4, dove a couple of times, yodeled twice, then flew off to the north.

 

 

Green Heron - Henry marsh
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 08:05:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Tonight there was a Green Heron catching minnows which are getting trapped in the weedy shallows as the water level recedes. There is a breach in the beaver dam, so lots of shorebird habitat around the edges of the pond now.

 

 

American Wigeon at lagoons
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 09:28:06 AM by Doug Smith

A single male American Wigeon is at the lagoons this morning, in cell 3, with a raft of mallards. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Columbine (Aguilegia canadensis L.)
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 09:30:11 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Beautiful Columbine out in bloom all around Muskoka......as I took this shot I had to compete with a Hummingbird who was trying to drink some nectar from the same flower I was photographing! The "hummer" won!
Columbine photo

 

 

Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 12:55:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Henry Rd. marsh we heard the song of a Golden-winged Warbler, but it stayed out of sight. It was in the thickets to your left (east) as the trail leaves the woods, which is where we saw it last year. In the same area which was somewhat sheltered from the strong winds, we found a Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. Nearby there was also a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Black-and-white Warbler.

Directions to Henry Marsh:
From traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St., head west on Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd., Bracebridge. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Cardinal Fledgling
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 11:44:25 AM by Dan Burton

A Cardinal fledgling is in my yard now being fed by both parents. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Cardinal
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 11:25:34 AM by todd white

This morning i awoke to the sound of a pair of cardinals singing,upon looking out my window to see my first in this region.beautifull. (Huntsville)

 

 

Raven, Common Merganser and Hairy Woodpecker
Posted on May 21, 2006 at 07:34:02 PM by Paula Martins

We saw a common raven flying as low as our car on Highway 118 near Vankoughnet (our first raven) and we saw a female common merganser in the Black River near Vankoughnet. We also saw a Hairy Woodpecker on Grindstone Lake near Dorset.

 

 

Re(1): Greater White-fronted Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 07:23:38 AM by Ron Tozer

The goose was not observed on Sunday or Monday, and has apparently left the area. Human activity on the beach (not swimming!) over the long weekend appeared to disturb the goose, unfortunately.

 

 

Greater White-fronted Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on May 21, 2006 at 11:54:51 AM by Ron Tozer (on ONTBIRDS)

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (May 20, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


A Greater White-fronted Goose (an apparent first year bird) was observed
at the swimming beach in Canisbay Campground this afternoon. It was the
only swimmer there today! This goose has been present for at least two
weeks, feeding on grass and other vegetation, according to the campground
staff. However, its presence was not made known to Visitor Centre staff
until today.

I saw the bird at about 1.30 p.m. and it was seen again by others later. At
times, when disturbed by campers on the beach, the goose flew to the west
shore of the lake, off the day-use beach. Observers looking for it should
check that area as well.

This is the 275th bird species for the Algonquin Park list.

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and
60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa,
take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre
markers on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East
Gate (km 56). Canisbay Campground is at km 23.1.

Permits and information are available at the gates.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)


-----------------------------------------------------
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm.
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Re(2): Bank Swallows
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 10:54:02 PM by Ann Hansen

I heard, but did not see, a Canada Warbler yesterday (Sunday, May 21) on Foote Lake, near Novar, north of Huntsville.

 

 

Re(1): Bank Swallows
Posted on May 21, 2006 at 09:59:33 AM by Alex Mills

I spent last weekend (May 13-14) at Magnetawan. On Saturday I saw a singing Magnolia, and on Sunday, I saw two different male Magnolias. So, they are back. We also had Cape May Warbler, but none of the later ones like Wilson's, Canada, or Mourning.

 

 

Bank Swallows
Posted on May 21, 2006 at 08:20:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

Last evening there were several Bank Swallows flying low over cell 3 at the Bracebridge Ponds. I was hoping to find some newly arrived warblers to add to my Muskoka year list which is stuck at number 111, but no luck. Has anyone heard or seen a Magnolia Warbler yet? I checked to the west of cell 4 last nite but only found a singing Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

 

 

Re(2): Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 09:57:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

If it was two males then perhaps they were having a "discussion" about whose territory that stump was in. : )

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 09:24:29 PM by Steve

while working at a cottage out peninsula just past rosseau, i stumbled across the oddest thing, a pileated wood pecker, who searched around, found a good stump. After he found one, since it rained the night before, he came back with another male pileated wood pecker. I've never seen anything like it, so i thought i would share

 

 

Loons on Joseph River
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 05:01:36 PM by Al Johnston

Our friends on Lookout Island on the Joseph River advised that they put out the nesting raft a week ago and the loon pair were just 3 or 4 metres away as they dropped the anchor as if to say --- what kept you guys? They are now tweaking the nesting material to their satisfaction and I'm to be advised when the first egg is laid. Al

 

 

Caspian Tern
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 04:07:06 PM by Bob Burt

This afternoon a Caspian Tern was flying over Alport Lake (near the mouth of the Muskoka River).

 

 

Germania Update
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 02:56:47 PM by Don Clement

Bitterns have finally arrived;Canada Geese pair have four goslings;several Hooded Mergansers displaying mating antics;pair of Mourning Doves;Marsh Hawk active;Beavers and Otters frequent visitors; White, Purple and Painted Trilliums in full bloom; many blossoms on Blueberries, Apples and Cherries; a few Pale Corydalis; Wild Columbine. (Germania Rd at Kahshe River)

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes, Bala
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 04:20:21 PM by Dan Burton

That a new bird for your yard list?

 

 

Sandhill Cranes, Bala
Posted on May 20, 2006 at 12:21:56 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday afternoon 2 Sandhill Cranes flew over my place. Direction unknown.

 

 

Bay-breasted Warbler, Bala
Posted on May 18, 2006 at 12:25:21 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Just had a Bay-breasted Warbler outside my window in Bala. New bird for my yard list.

 

 

Osprey
Posted on May 18, 2006 at 07:04:06 AM by Mark McAnally

Watched an Osprey soar overhead at the GM dealership in Huntsville.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds today...more warblers...year list update
Posted on May 17, 2006 at 04:57:00 PM by Al Sinclair

This afternoon at the Ponds there were finally some more warblers, seven species (see list below), I was getting worried by the lack of birds this spring.
I picked up 3 new species Killdeer, Green Heron and American Redstart for a total of 100 species on my Muskoka year list. I have some catching up to do however, Barbara was at 102 on the 12th and David was at 105 on the 13th!

Yellow Warbler - many
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1 west side cell 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler - many west and north side of cell 4
Black-and-white Warbler - south side of cell 3
American Redstart - at the chip pile north-west corner of cell 4
Ovenbird - south side cell 3
Common Yellowthroat - west side cell 4

 

 

Caspian Terns
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 07:24:08 AM by Virginia Pray

The 2 Caspian Terns which always fly over the Indian River between our place and the IGA in Port Carling have returned. By my diary they are about 1 week later than last year. They don't stay around all year but find good fishing here in the spring. The pair in Brackenrig Bay are still there and Kenn saw 1 with a big fish in it's beak the other day. Keep you posted on these birds over the summer.

 

 

Re(1): Whippoorwill, Bala
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 03:53:36 PM by Mark McAnally

This morning at 5:20 a.m. I also heard a Whip-poor-will very close to our house. It called for about a minute and then was gone. I live on Britannia Road in Huntsville.

 

 

Whippoorwill, Bala
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 06:04:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Returned from Pelee Monday, May 15th and heard a Whippoorwill right beside my house as soon as it got dark. It called again this morning about 5 am. That is why I am writing this at 6 am!

 

 

Re(4): Location of sightings?
Posted on May 17, 2006 at 12:43:39 PM by Alija Bos

I almost did too at the time. I had been shooting her for about 30 seconds (with my camera) when I noticed something tagging along behind.

 

 

Re(3): Location of sightings?
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 09:29:02 AM by Al Johnston

Thanks for the heads-up, Barbara. I totally missed the calf. Al

 

 

Re(2): Location of sightings?
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 07:40:31 AM by Barbara Taylor

Please give a date and location for your sightings (even the nearest town, lake or major crossroads is fine). Thanks. [update: Alija has let me know that the photos were taken on May 13th near Novar, Kearney area.]


I almost missed the baby moose in your second photo...so tiny compared to its mother!

 

 

New Photo's
Posted on May 15, 2006 at 10:42:13 PM by Alija Bos

 

Loon†† Moose

 

 

Another moth...Norman's Quaker
Posted on May 15, 2006 at 07:23:36 PM by Al Sinclair

Photographed on our window Saturday night, 8km east of Bracebridge. There are dozens of these non-descript brown and grey moths, but most can be identified by the pattern and colour of the lines and spots on the forewing. This one is common in Muskoka, the caterpillar feeds on various trees and shrubs. Hodges# 10501, Crocigrapha normani, Norman's Quakerphoto

 

 

Re(2): oldsquaw
Posted on May 16, 2006 at 10:16:58 AM by Al Johnston

I've never heard their calls. Must be exciting. BTW, if you're checking for them in a newer field guide, their called Long-tailed Ducks now. Doesn't seem to have the same ring to it as the old name but that's progress, I guess. Al

 

 

Re(1): oldsquaw
Posted on May 15, 2006 at 11:23:13 AM by Alex Mills

I would say that the most dependable time to hear Oldsquaws migrating over at night is in mid-May. I have heard them on the long weekend in May more often than any other time.

 

 

oldsquaw
Posted on May 14, 2006 at 10:51:36 PM by John Challis

at about 10:30 tonight over Washago, Severn Bridge, oldsquaws flying north. Stragglers perhaps or is this the time they usually pass over? Hearing their strange, mystical calls overhead in the dark of night, one wonders about the thousands of years they have been migrating, chasing the flux of seasons.

 

 

Solitary Sandpiper
Posted on May 14, 2006 at 02:03:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 12:30 p.m. today there was a Solitary Sandpiper in the NW corner of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. I couldn't find the Marsh Wren, but did see a few Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs at the west side of cell 1.There were lots of swallows flying over cell 4 - Barn, Tree, and Northern Rough-winged Swallow.(Bracebridge Ponds map)

 

 

Marsh Wren at the Ponds...Wilf's Photo
Posted on May 14, 2006 at 10:31:40 AM by Al Sinclair

Wilf took this photo early yesterday morning, May 13/06. It was halfway down the center dike between cell 1 and 2. In the afternoon, after some heavy rain showers, I looked for it but had no luck. The Phalarope was not seen yesterday. Marsh Wrens are rare in Muskoka and just as hard to find as phalaropes. Wilf has had them twice before at the ponds, May 27, 2002 and May 24, 2005 (from Bird Board Archives). During the recent Breeding Bird Atlas no Marsh Wrens were confirmed in Muskoka in the breeding season.
In the last few days I added several new species to my Muskoka year list, the latest a Red-eyed Vireo in our yard today, number 95.

 

 

MFN birding at Hazelwood Trail, Port Carling
Posted on May 13, 2006 at 02:25:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey led the Muskoka Field Naturalists on a morning of birding at Hazelwood Trail, Port Carling. There was a great turnout in spite of the threatening rain clouds. Luckily the rain held off, the sun came out, and we managed to find 38 species of birds (32 seen, 6 heard). The best birding was at the far end of the trail by the beaver pond. Two Wild Turkeys were running through the golf course along Ferndale Rd.

Here's the list of 38 species:
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Baltimore Oriole
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-throated Green Warbler (heard only)
Blue Jay
Broad-winged Hawk
Canada Goose
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Common Grackle
Common Merganser
Common Yellowthroat
Double-crested Cormorant
Eastern Kingbird
European Starling
Gray Catbird
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher (heard only)
Hairy Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Mallard
Northern Flicker (heard only)
Ovenbird(heard only)
Pileated Woodpecker (heard only)
Red-eyed Vireo (heard only)
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird
Ring-billed Gull

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Song Sparrow
Tree Swallow
Turkey Vulture
Warbling Vireo
White-throated Sparrow
Wild Turkey
Wood Duck


directions:
Take Hwy. 118W to Port Carling. Turn onto Ferndale Rd., opposite the Steamboat Bay shopping area. The Hazelwood Trail parking lot is located about a half mile up Ferndale Rd. You might prefer continuing along Ferndale Rd. past the parking lot all the way around to the trailhead by the beaver pond. The birding was better there and this also helps you avoid some muddier sections of the trail...as we found today.

 

 

Re(1): Lagoons/Rocksborough Rd.
Posted on May 14, 2006 at 10:49:00 PM by Challis & Carlyle

Thanks to those of you who have been checking out the birds on Rocksborough Road. We miss the warblers and others. Keep your ears pricked for Blackburnian, Mourning, Nashville, BT Blue, BT Green, Yellow, Common YT, Blue Winged (once in 16 years, and that only a tentative ID). Also: sandhill cranes have made frequent sporadic visits; indigo buntings by the peckful; whip-poor-wills in courtship displays; saw-whets and barred owls; savannah sparrows; bobolinks; snipe and woodcock ... with wetland, forest and field habitats it has wonderful variety for just 2 km of road.

 

 

Lagoons/Rocksborough Rd.
Posted on May 13, 2006 at 12:57:44 PM by David and Regan Goodyear

Before the rain this morning we walked around the lagoons and made a quick trip to Rocksborough Rd. - 50 species. Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroats, and Red-eyed Vireos singing at the Lagoons. Species number 105 for the year, a Green Heron, was being shooed along the edge of the small pond at Kerr Park by a pair of Mallards.

 

 

Re(1): dog walk list
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 04:50:58 PM by Challis & Carlyle

Forgot to mention location: This is Green River Drive, off Cooper's Falls Road, Washago.

 

 

dog walk list
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 04:45:15 PM by John Challis

I can't come near the year-to-date list numbers being shared, but the dogs and I do pretty fair on our morning walk. Today's yielded 25 species (didn't get yesterday's rose-breasted grosbeak this morning though). First arrivals included the catbird and common yellowthroat. Our list:
Catbird
Common yellowthroat warbler
Hermit thrush
Purple finch
Goldfinch
Chickadee
Blue jay
Redwing blackbird
Common grackle
American robin
American crow
White breasted nuthatch
Phoebe
Great crested flycatcher
Downy woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Yellow-shafted flicker
Baltimore oriole
Chipping sparrow
Song sparrow
Nashville warbler
Black-and-white warbler
Ovenbird
Canada goose
Gull (herring or ring billed)

 

 

Re(3): Wilson's Phalarope...Wilf's photo
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 09:47:46 PM by Al Sinclair

Picture of the male Wilson's Phalarope seen today at the ponds, taken by Wilf Yusek.

 

 

Re(2): Wilson's Phalarope
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 07:38:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

excerpt from http://audubon2.org/webapp/watchlist/viewSpecies.jsp?id=218:

"As with the other two species of phalarope, Wilson's Phalarope shows sexual role reversal--females are more colorful than males, perform a courtship display, and may mate with more than one male. To court males, females stretch out their colorful necks, puff out their neck feathers, and make a husky call. Once a female mates with a given male, she leaves a set of eggs with him, and then moves on to attempt to mate with other males. The female might help choose a nest site, but the male completes the construction of a nest, which is a shallow depression on the ground, near water. A typical clutch of four eggs is incubated by a male for 18-27 days. The downy chicks leave the nest within a day of hatching, and find their own food. The male does tend to the young for some time, brooding them when they are very young, and attempting to lure away potential predators with a broken-wing display."

 

 

Re(1): Wilson's Phalarope at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 04:50:06 PM by John Challis

Is the Wilson's one of those shorebirds where the female has the breeding plumage and the male's the drab one who roosts on the eggs?
(Been reading Peter Matthiessen's astounding The Wind Birds)

 

 

We'll see your Phalarope and raise you a Marsh Wren
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 09:12:16 PM by David and Regan Goodyear

Thanks for the call! We found the Phalarope on the east side of Cell 1 at 8:00 p.m. this evening. As we were watching it feed we heard a Marsh Wren singing behind us. We found the Marsh Wren on the east side of Cell 2, skulking through the grass/reeds. It flew south along the edge of Cell 2.

 

 

Wilson's Phalarope at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 03:59:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Wilson's Phalarope was in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds around 3 p.m. today. It was feeding on the shore near the water's edge about mid-way along the north end of cell 1 (the end nearest the treatment plant). In the same area there were also Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper. Earlier Wilf Yusek and Al Sinclair had found the Phalarope at the west edge of cell 2.

Many Yellow Warblers in the thickets to the west of cell 4. Virginia Rail and Sora west of cell 4. Baltimore Orioles west of cell 3.A Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterfly along the roadway south of cell 3 (first one we've seen this year).(Bracebridge Ponds map)

 

 

Migrating Monarch Butterflies
Posted on May 11, 2006 at 06:33:19 PM by Don Davis

I would again this year appreciate hearing about your first sightings of adult monarch butterflies, eggs and larva.
The first ones observed in Canada were seen at Point Pelee in late April by Alan Wormington. They have also been seen on Pelee Island and at Rondeau P.P.. A very early and reliable sighting was made in Toronto on May 10th.

Your sightings are shared with Journey North. A report on my recent trip to see the monarchs in Mexico, along with 2 pages of photographs appears at:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/DavisDonMX031706.html

Thank You!
Don Davis
Toronto, ON

 

 

Bobolinks
Posted on May 11, 2006 at 11:48:38 AM by Bob Burt

This morning there were several Bobolinks along Rocksborough Rd. by the wet fields at the end of the road. There was also an American Bittern and a Wilson's Snipe. (Rocksborough Rd. is off Fraserburg Rd., which is accessed from Cedar Lane in Bracebridge)

 

 

Browning Island birds
Posted on May 10, 2006 at 03:10:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at Browning Island (Lake Muskoka) there were many new arrivals and lots of birds singing in the woods.

25 species today:
Blackburnian Warbler*
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Ovenbird
Scarlet Tanager
Great-crested Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Northern Flicker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
American Goldfinch
Broad-winged Hawk (pair)
Red-shouldered Hawk
Winter Wren
Hermit Thrush
Tree Swallow
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Common Raven
American Robin
Ring-billed Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Mallard
*(#92 on my Muskoka Year List)

 

 

Re(1): Today's Arrivals
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 10:21:13 PM by Paul Smith

Bats - on Butterfly Lake in Glen Orchard ...

 

 

Today's Arrivals
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 06:43:25 PM by Dan Burton

Rose Breasted Grosbeak in Gravenhurst
Chimney Swifts in Bracebridge

 

 

Butterflies today... May 9
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 04:41:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Butterflies today in our yard 8km east of Bracebridge:
Spring Azure 1
Eastern Pine Elfin 1
Mustard White 1

 

 

Re(1): rules for the Muskoka Year List competition?
Posted on May 10, 2006 at 11:03:39 AM by Nick

i wish i could join the muskoka bird competition, seems like it could be fun! i will see what i can manage in the two weeks i will be home in july. for now i guess i will have to suffer with gull billed terns, skimmers, burrowing owls and marsh birds out the wazzu here in western arizona

 

 

rules for the Muskoka Year List competition?
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 04:57:23 PM by Al Sinclair

All birds heard or seen as long as you are sure of the identification.

Some species will try to fool you. We have a Blue Jay here now that can imitate a Broad-winged Hawk so well I'm sure it would fool experts. Also Black-billed Cuckoos can sound like Yellow-billed, Golden-winged Warbler can sing a perfect Blue-winged and Starlings can imitate almost anything.
Are you thinking of joining the competition? You must have a pretty good list! Hope you do.

BTW if you want to see the Sora, when you see Wilf ask him to play a recorded Sora call, they usually come out to investigate. (Wilf will be back this week). Recorded calls should be used sparingly, good birding ethics.

 

 

Sora, Canada Goose goslings
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 03:32:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds a Sora called from the west of cell 4. A Northern Waterthrush was singing in the wet woods north of cell 4 (same area as last year). In cell 3 there was a pair of Canada Geese with six goslings and another pair with only two goslings. Not many ducks today - cell 3 had a few Wood Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, and Mallards.

P.S. - Al, what are the rules for the Muskoka Year List competition? Do you actually have to see the Sora, or can you count it when you just hear it - I've never seen one at the Ponds, but hear it every year! : (

 

 

nashville warblers & more
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 09:22:34 AM by Challis & Carlyle

Oven birds are calling everywhere here this morning (north Washago, Green River). Also surprised at the number of Nashville warblers calling; in the morning sun, they seem much brighter than their normally humble plumage. Baltimore orioles seem to be deciding where to settle right now. First hummingbird arrived Sunday, and great crested flycatchers have been around for about a week. At work in Barrie, the common terns have returned to the building rooftops. (Flags Unlimited building's roof is quite popular)

 

 

Re(1): Blue butterflies - Spring Azures?
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 04:45:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Ron and Al. I've been trying to get a look at the underside of their wings, but so far they won't sit still long enough. I may have to get a net.

Today we found what appeared to be two Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies near the Kerr Park entrance to the Ponds. They kept landing for brief moments at the edge of a muddy patch.

 

 

Re(1): Blue butterflies - Spring Azures?
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 11:46:51 AM by Ron Stager

I have seen a lot of blues this year as well and all have been spring azures. However, here are some of my experiences:

Silvery Blue: I saw some a week ago in York Region so they are possible now in Muskoka. While flying, these butterflies seem a bit darker (grayer - ?dark silver?) on the underside than spring azures and, when still, have dark spots with white borders on the underside (striking compared to spring azures).

Eastern-tailed Blue: I have only seen one so far in Muskoka although they are possible at this time. When flying, they seem to me to have a lighter colour and have a weaker flight (near the ground) compared to spring azures. When still and at close range, they have small orange spots on the edge of the hind wing .

Coming soon, if not here already, are sulfurs (yellow about size of cabbage whites) and northern crescent (fairly small with orange and black markings above)and lots of others.

Seems like a good day to go out for an extended lunch hour walk.

 

 

Re(1): Blue butterflies - Spring Azures?
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 10:19:53 AM by Al Sinclair

The most common of the blues in this area is the Spring Azure and chances are all of the blues you see are this species. However the Silvery Blue (found near fields or waste places with vetch or alfalfa), Eastern Tailed-Blue (open areas feeding on violets), and Early Hairstreak ( woodland trails near beech, feeding on violets), all fly in May as well. The first two are uncommon, the last very rare. I always try to get a look at the underside of a perching blue with my binos, you never know when it could be a different one. Last year there were Silvery Blues at the Bracebridge Ponds and Barkway. Eastern Tailed-blue has been reported from Grandview Resort Huntsville. I had an Early Hairstreak here near Bracebridge in 1999.

 

 

Blue butterflies - Spring Azures?
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 09:18:57 AM by Barbara Taylor

Are there any other blue butterflies out now or is it safe to assume they are all Spring Azures? We've been seeing quite a number of them over the past week in various locations around Bracebridge.

 

 

Arrivals
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 06:37:56 PM by Dan Burton

Great Crested Flycatcher
Coopers Hawk
Solitary (Blue Headed) Vireo
Baltimore Oriole
and a few late Pine Siskins
(Gravenhurst)

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 03:23:28 PM by Virginia Pray

Our 1st Hummer, a male came to our feeder in Port Carling at 6:00 pm last Fri May 5th.

 

 

Re(1): White Crowned Sparrows
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 03:18:59 PM by Virginia Pray

We have had several White Crowned and White Throated Sparrows on our deck here in Port Carling for several days.

 

 

White Crowned Sparrows
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 08:52:10 PM by Janice House

Half a dozen wc sparrows feeding, Geoff says they have been here for 3 days (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 07:35:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this afternoon we found our first Yellow Warbler of the year, a Nashville Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, and several Eastern Kingbirds. Warbling Vireos were singing. Lots of Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows flying over cell 4. Six Spotted Sandpipers at cell 4. Many Wood Ducks in cell 1, about 20 Lesser Scaup in cell 3, and a female Northern Shoveler in cell 4 along with a few Blue-winged Teal and 105 Bufflehead.

Ponds map

 

 

Re(1): Year List
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 07:15:38 AM by Al Sinclair

Great! The battle is on :) But I have some catching up to do, better hit the ponds today before that shoveler leaves.

 

 

Year List
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 09:28:10 PM by Goodyear

Al, we'll take the bait! This afternoon at the Lagoons we added Black-throated Green and Nashville Warblers and Warbling Vireo to our Year List - numbers 81 to 83 for the year.

 

 

Purple Finches by the dozen
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 03:32:31 PM by Al Sinclair

Today we had at least 2 dozen Purple Finches at the feeders here east of Bracebridge. Also had a Common Loon flying over heading north, my first for the year, species number 70 for my Muskoka year list. BTW I'm looking for some competition, there must be someone else out there that keeps a Muskoka year list. Anybody?

 

 

Re(2): Bitterns
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 07:31:22 PM by Dave

Sorry they are Americian Bitterns.

 

 

Re(1): Bitterns
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 06:55:55 PM by nick

which kind of bittern?
least would be a nice find

 

 

Bitterns
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 07:26:30 AM by Dave

Two pairs of Bitterns in the swamp past Fraserburg.

 

 

Re(1): Wildlife Photography
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 08:30:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

Please respond to Justin's post privately via email, not on the Bird Board. Thankyou.

Just a reminder that the Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share bird sightings and other nature sightings. The Ontario Nature Photos board should be used when discussing anything about photography. For more information, refer to the Posting Guidelines for the Bird Board.

 

 

Wildlife Photography
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 11:29:37 PM by Justin

Hello all,
My name is Justin; I've been an avid naturalist for quite some time now. I'm starting to get into wildlife photography and I'm looking for someone to go out and shoot some film with and someone I can get some beginner help and guidance from with SLR photography. I live in the Severn Bridge area.
Let me know if youíre interested!
Regards,
Justin.

 

 

Turkey nest confirmed
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 06:07:15 PM by Leslee Tassie

Thanks to Barb Taylor for checking out the nest and finding a wild turkey sitting it .... there's no doubt now!
Thanks to everyone for your input.
Leslee

 

 

Re(3): Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 04:26:39 PM by Paul Smith

That pic was a direct link to an image on some website Leslee, after I read the other fellows note that they might be Wild Turkey eggs.

 

 

Re(2): Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 7, 2006 at 11:34:54 AM by Leslee Tassie

Wow, Paul, your picture looks very similar to the nest. There was even a feather off to the side that looked almost the same. The picture makes them look a little more olive green though than the browns that I described ... is this just the exposure/lighting or were they brown as I described? The size in the above picture is the same as what we saw. The nest itself is probably in a dry enough area even though there's a lot of wet areas around it. When my son found the nest, his attention was drawn to it by some ravens that were swooping above it. They weren't swooping all the way down to it though, they may have been competing for the rights to fresh eggs for dinner as they seemed to be swooping at each other as well....when he went over they left...for how long, who knows. So, in conclusion, if the eggs were indeed light brown with darker brown spots then it was probably a wild turkey nest.

 

 

Re(1): Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 09:38:51 PM by Paul Smith

Pic of Wild Turkey eggs at http://suchtreasures.wordpress.com/files/2006/04/turkeyeggnest.JPG

 

 

Turkey?
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 08:19:32 PM by Alex Mills

If they are noticeably bigger than chicken eggs, and there are 11 of them, and they are spotted, I think they have to be turkey eggs. Are there turkeys in the neighbourhood? They usually nest in dry forest, not wet, however.

 

 

Re(1): Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 06:32:02 PM by Brian Brisco

I think it sounds like a common moorhen or a coot nest.

 

 

Re(1): Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 05:16:30 PM by Al Johnston

Leslee, I don't think that they'd be ruffed grouse eggs. The size of the clutch is right and the colouring is OK but the size is too big. A grouse is not nearly as big as a laying hen. I don't what else to suggest though. Anybody? Al

 

 

Bittern, Grouse, nest, etc....
Posted on May 5, 2006 at 09:21:22 PM by Leslee Tassie

My son Logan and I were over at Henry Marsh early this evening.
We heard a ruffed grouse drumming, and an American Bittern.
Logan found a nest though and I'm hoping someone can help with the identification.
The nest was located in the area that's behind the platform bridge at the marsh in the area where it's a little thicker. The nest was located on the ground under (maybe a tag alder??), concealed but I'd say not very well. There were 11 light brown eggs in it that were heavily spotted with darker brown spots. The eggs were very large, much larger than your "extra large" grocery store size eggs. Does anyone know what type of next this is ... from doing a little research I wondered if it might be a ruffed grouse nest?
Leslee

 

 

Re(1): Caspian Terns
Posted on May 6, 2006 at 03:20:36 PM by Al Sinclair

They nest in large colonies usually, single nests have been found but this is rare. During the breeding bird atlas data collection that ended last year there was only one colony of Caspian Terns found in Muskoka, on a small island in Georgian Bay. There is another one on an island north of Parry Sound. All the Caspians seen inland were assumed to have come from either of these two colonies. This species is know to forage long distances from their nesting sites. We were watching for single nests on some of the inland lakes but none were found.

 

 

Caspian Terns
Posted on May 5, 2006 at 02:09:08 PM by Virginia Pray

Kenn spotted a pair of Caspian Terns in Brackenrig Bay this am. They come there every spring and must nest somewhere in the Bay.

 

 

Turtles
Posted on May 4, 2006 at 05:14:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds we saw a very large Snapping Turtle climbing up on the beaver dam to the north of cell 4. Its shell was about 11 inches long. At the Henry Rd. marsh we saw a baby Painted Turtle near the beaver dam. What a contrast! Its shell was only 1 inch long.

 

 

Photography discussions
Posted on May 4, 2006 at 01:28:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Ontario Nature Photos board can be used to discuss photography technique and equipment. You will also find instructions on "How to Post Photos" and you can do a test post there. For further information and helpful tips about using the boards, refer to the Posting Guidelines for the Bird Board.

 

 

Owls
Posted on May 4, 2006 at 07:24:34 AM by Janice House

several barred owls calling at my Aunt's cottage on the weekend. Dad said he heard them again on Tuesday. Her cottage is on Sandy Point Rd which is off East Bay Rd Torrance, left on Whitings Rd then right into the bush. There were also pine warblers, blackburnian warblers buffleheads and a broad wing hawk

 

 

Re(1): Hodges checklist?
Posted on May 4, 2006 at 10:02:06 AM by Al Sinclair

"Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico" edited by Ronald W. Hodges and others, 1983.
A list of scientific names and synonyms of all lepidoptera found in North America. Now a bit out of date due to new species being discovered and species being renamed but still referred to often. If you go to this website you will see that all species are listed by Hodges' number.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/MainMenu.shtml

 

 

Hodges checklist?
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 10:02:12 PM by Alex Mills

What is Hodges checklist?

 

 

Straight-lined Plagodis...moth photo
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 09:50:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Photographed this morning next to the moth light on our veranda near Bracebridge. Click on the link below.
Hodges Checklist #6842
Plagodis phlogosaria
Straight-lined Plagodis
http://www.muskoka.com/~sinclair/moths/photos/h6842_5620E.JPG

 

 

Eastern Towhee
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 07:02:58 PM by Goodyear

We had a female Eastern Towhee in our yard (117 Meadow Heights) this evening. Our first of the year and a new species for our yard life list - #90.

 

 

Brown Thrashers
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 05:37:43 PM by Goodyear

Arrived home (MeadowHeights Drive) late this afternoon and heard/saw two Brown Thrashers in our backyard. They were trying to outsing the small flock of Purple Finches that have been hanging around our feeders this week. We have also had a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows since Sunday afternoon. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pileated pictures, warblers and rosebreasted grosbeak
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 04:04:25 PM by Anne Lewis

Six Mile Lake...This amazing fella (Pileated WP) had breakfast in my yard this morning
have yellow rumped , black throated green warblers and the rose breasted grosbeaks are back. still have a large flock of evening grosbeaks. photo1photo2

 

 

Invitation to Vernal Pool workshop
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 03:38:00 PM by Anne Lewis

Know it is a busy time but......
There will also be lots of birds to see.

Six Mile Lake Conservationist Club is hosting an

Ontario Vernal Pools Association Workshop
Presented by, Scott Sampson, President, OVPA
Saturday May 6, 06
Time: 3pm to 9pm
Place: 395 Berwick Rd, Six Mile Lake and a local vernal pool

Workshop includes 3 hour training presentation and approx 3 hour field trip.

First you will learn to identify / about the special species in these unique wildlife habitat pools. Including invertabrates, frogs, salamanders and other wildlife that are dependant on these pools for their existence .
After a quick bowl of hot chili we will walk to a vernal pool.

The vernal pools are alive this time of year with spectacular sights and sounds. Guided by Scott we will experience and practice what we have learned by identifying the species found in this vernal pond

Come prepared with warm clothing, boots, bug jacket......flashlight, thermos.

Space is limited
Please register asap by replying to this e-mail


For more information about Ontarioís vernal pools, please go the the Ontario Vernal Pools Association web site at www.ontariovernalpools.org

 

 

 

Re(2): Owls and Hawks
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 11:18:49 PM by Anne Lewis

Peter.I am still seeing mostly midland painted. My snapping turtles have moved on from the ponds they come out of hibernation in.

 

 

Re(1): Owls and Hawks
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 03:39:08 PM by Peter Mills

What kind of turtles did you see? You never know at this time of year.
Peter

 

 

Owls and Hawks
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 03:32:06 PM by Anne Lewis

I went out on Sat. night with Jennifer and Jeff Howard and did the BSC owl survey. What a great night. We had 5 barred owls fly over our heads, one was very aggressive jumping up and down and cackling away at us as he flew over head....we had 7 BARR respond to the calls. Also a boreal,long horned, great horned and a night hawk.
Sun we went out to do the RSH and Woodpecker survey but got sidetracked with turtles and nesting Great Blue Herons and a drumming ruffed grouse. Saw a pair of RSH, one RSH carrying nesting material and Broadwing.
didn't get the survey finished....will carry on next week.

 

 

Whip-poor-will
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 10:51:28 AM by Ron Stager

Whip-poor-wills are back (on schedule) in Barkway area. We heard a couple singing last night although I had seen red eyes glowing by the roadside on Monday night.

 

 

Re(1): Spring Azures, Bala
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 05:44:26 PM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

We have, we surmise, spring azures today, they herald the warm weather arriving again. (Sparrow Lake)

 

 

Spring Azures, Bala
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 07:49:43 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Several Spring Azure butterflies today at my place and Ragged Rapids Rd.

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 04:42:38 PM by Mi-shell and Peter jessen

Jippieh!!!
He is back!
Sitting on the deck, stringing garnet necklaces (red) while wearing a red shirt surely attrackted him to come over!
Feeder is up!
(near village of Fraserburg)

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Hognose Snake
Posted on May 4, 2006 at 04:29:14 PM by Don Clement

I'll send the photos off to the MNR. Roadkill rarely lasts 24 hours around here, with the variety of scavengers we have - I suspect our local skunk, but he isn't talking. If I knew they wanted the specimen, I would have collected it.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Hognose Snake
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 05:43:21 PM by Richard Doucette

As mentioned earlier, the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre would be most interested in the sighting information and your photographs(http://nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca/nhic_.cfm).

I went out last night to see if I could collect the snake for scientific purposes, but I could not find it. Unfortunately, about 200m from the river there were two more dead snakes (garter and northern brown). My intent with the hognose was to give it to the MNR. There are a couple of research projects on the go right now and they may be able to extract its DNA (at least its death would not have been a total loss). If by chance someone picked it up, please drop it off at the MNR office at High Falls in Bracebridge.

Just a reminder it is illegal to possess such a species with out a permit from the MNR.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Hognose Snake
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 03:24:19 PM by Anne Lewis

What a shame!
The Parry Sound MNR may also be interested in knowing the snakes location. Jeremy Rouse is the Species at Risk Biologist there.
Anne

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Hognose Snake
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 08:48:57 PM by Alex Mills

These are wonderful animals whose populations are in trouble. I expect that the MNR's Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) in Peterborough would like to receive this record Don.

 

 

Eastern Hognose Snake
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 02:08:51 PM by Don Clement

Found a regrettable roadkill this morning on Germania Rd, by Kahshe River - a two foot Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon Platyrhinos). It is listed on www.rom.on.ca as threatened in Ontario. Documented with photos.

 

 

Least Flycatcher
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 12:24:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon there was a Least Flycatcher calling near the viewing stand up on the hill at Kerr Park in Bracebridge.
Listen to a Least Flycatcher: http://wildspace.ec.gc.ca/media/sounds/lefl.wav

 

 

Re(1): Ovenbird arrival dates
Posted on May 3, 2006 at 11:54:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

You got me curious so I checked the Bird Board Archives and my records for Browning Island just to get an idea of arrival dates for Ovenbird. Of course some birds may have arrived earlier and didn't get reported.

2005 April 21
2004 April 30
2003 May 6
2002 May 7
2001 May 5
2000 May 3 (Browning Island)
1999 May 4 (Browning Island)
1998 May 7 (Browning Island)

 

 

Warblers, Ragged Rapids Rd.
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 10:49:16 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Warbler additions along Ragged Rapids Rd, Bala, this morning were
Nashville
Black-throated Green
Ovenbird - this is early, isn't it?

 

 

Warblers & Woodducks, Bala
Posted on May 2, 2006 at 07:03:23 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday morning and afternoon I had Black & White Warblers foraging in the trees around my house. That brought the number up to "3" species so far. Kinglets today.

Last evening while out in my blind two pairs of woodducks came in to corn and both pairs mated. One pair is using the same box as last year.

 

 

Cardinals!!, Loons! Hawks
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 11:20:01 PM by Alija Bos

Today I saw a male and female Cardinal at my house in Bracebridge.. (never seen any out on golden beach rd) 2 Loons feeding together on Big Wind lake..(while I was working..) and several Hawks on the way to Bigwind on the side of HWY 118..

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird ...
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 06:03:47 PM by Al Johnston

Thanks for the heads-up, Paul. I'll get the hummer feeder out tomorrow. Al

 

 

Hummingbird ...
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 04:46:08 PM by Paul Smith

First hummingbird at 4:45 PM today !!
(Glen Orchard)

 

 

Warbling Vireo, Spotted Sandpipers
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 11:18:31 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Warbling Vireo singing near the NE corner of cell 4. There were two Spotted Sandpipers at the south edge of cell 4. Very few ducks - Lesser Scaup, Wood Ducks, Buffleheads, Blue-winged Teal, and Mallards in cell 3. Near the entrance to the Ponds from Kerr Park there was a singing Savannah Sparrow. Several Purple Finch at the viewing stand.Bracebridge Ponds map

 

 

Purple Martin ...
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 10:59:32 AM by Paul Smith

One Purple Martin was checking out the old house at the Glen Orchard General Store this morning.

 

 

Bird Board update
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 09:14:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. All posts from April are now available in the Archived Reports.Please include the location of your sightings - even the nearest town, lake, or major crossroads would be fine. Other people might like to try and see what you've reported, so directions would be appreciated, although not required.

Just a reminder to bookmark the back-up webpage. Important notices will be posted there in the event of any problems with the Bird Board hosting service. Also, please make sure you are using an up-to-date url for the Bird Board since an older version is being discontinued. To make sure you are using the newer address, simply click on the following link and add it to your bookmarks/favorites: http://b3.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=MuskokaBirdBoard

 

 

Birds on Ragged Rapids Rd., Bala
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 08:48:28 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I birded and photographed along Ragged Rapids Rd. in no order. I found Broadwinged hawks - 2
mallards
Several Blue-headed vireos, heard only
3 Winter Wrens, heard only
Numerous Hermit Thrushes, seen & heard
Yellow-rumped warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Song & chipping sparrows

 

 

Re(2): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 09:32:48 AM by Al Sinclair

The Encyclopedia of North American Birds says the following under NEST:
"Mound of marsh plants, grasses, weeds, whole plants pulled up by roots by cranes, may be 4-5 ft. across in shallow water of ponds or on ground in large marshes, muskeg, and on tundra grasslands."
During the 5 year data collection of the breeding bird atlas that just finished, breeding evidence was found along Georgian Bay and inland in Muskoka in 13 of 50 squares in the region. They are still sparsley distributed but continue to increase in numbers. In 2003 a farmer found a nest with young while mowing a hay field that was beside a small boggy lake west of Huntsville .

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 08:32:44 AM by Alex Mills

I saw a pair at Burk's Falls on April 30. They have been a breeding season feature of central Parry Sound for about 20 years now, although nowhere abundant. I saw a young bird with adults feeding in a pasture near Magnetawan several years ago. They had clearly nested nearby. I think they usually nest in remote wetlands.

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 10:03:28 PM by Edie

We have a cottage on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound. For the fast few weekends we have seen Sandhill Cranes(2). A local birder thinks that they may be juveniles just hanging around and not nesting birds.
It would be great to find out if they are nesting. They have been at the cottage for the past few years.Does any one know about their nesting habbits?
Today is April 30.

 

 

Re(2): Magnetawan Nature
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 08:21:07 PM by Peter Mills

Thanks Barbara,
That looks exactly like it. I tryed to look it up in an insect book but had no luck. Good old Internet.

 

 

Re(1): Magnetawan Nature - green bug
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 07:02:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Your green bug looks like it might be an assassin bug nymph - Zelus exsanguis. Here's a photo to compare it to: http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=1366038

 

 

Magnetawan Nature
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 05:32:01 PM by Peter Mills

I was up at my cottage near Magnetawan, Parry Sound this weekend and saw a variety of things. A trip to a beaver pond yielded some cool finds:

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage001.jpg

The Blue Spotted and Spotted Salamanders were both still active, though laying their eggs on submerged sticks, not breeding.

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage022.jpg

Also, a charming little Red Eft under a log by the shore.

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage018.jpg

Next, a large Snapper happy to be caught and thrilled to pose for the camera...

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage020.jpg

She lurked among the weeds before disappearing into the murk.(Shell visible centre of photo)

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage012.jpg

A neat insect found in a Red Trillium (Identification, anyone?)

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage013.jpg

A 5'' Minnow caught ina trap in a flooded Alder swale near a lake.(Identification, anyone?)

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e357/peter89/April30Cottage014.jpg

Finally, a smaller minnow (3'') in the same spot.(Identification, anyone?)

 

 

Woodcock still on nest
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 05:20:12 PM by Peter Mills

Earlier this month, I reported a Woodcock tending to a nest near Magnetawan, Parry Sound. I was up there this past weekend and found her still to be sitting on the eggs, though they all had minute crackings--hopefully showing signs of close hatching and not infertility.

 

 

Black-throated Green Warbler arrival dates
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 01:48:09 PM by Allan Sinclair

A Black-throated Green was singing here this morning east of Bracebridge.
Arrival dates last few years
2006 April 30
2005 May 11
2004 May 7
2003 May 5

 

 

Northern Waterthrush...arrival dates
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 04:44:17 PM by Al Sinclair

A Northern Waterthrush returned here yesterday and was heard singing several times yesterday and today. Hwy 118E, 8km east of Hwy 11 at Bracebridge.

Arrival dates last 4 years
2006 April 28
2005 May 1
2004 May 1
2003 May 1

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 04:10:08 PM by Paul Smith

A Northern Goshawk in Glen Orchard today - in the field by the General Store.
It had pounced on a Starling feeding in the field, then stabbed at it with its' feet for 5 minutes or so ...

 

 

Re(1): Henry marsh - Swamp Sparrow
Posted on April 30, 2006 at 01:20:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a SWAMP SPARROW singing from its perch in an alder near the "T" in the trail. A NORTHERN HARRIER was hunting low over the field north of the beaver pond. It appeared to be an immature male as its back was a mixture of gray and brown.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 12:56:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Broad-winged Hawk at the Henry Marsh in Bracebridge. It was perched atop the dead tree in the open area to the left (east) of the trail. On our approach it flew up, circling overhead several minutes before soaring off to the east. The beavers have been busy rebuilding their dam by the bridge, but we didn't see them - only a muskrat. There was a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, and a few Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Buffleheads, Canada Geese, and Mallards. At the parking area there was Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Song Sparrow, and Hairy Woodpecker. A pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were taking turns excavating a nest hole near the old Hairy Woodpecker nestsite.

On Thursday afternoon (April 27) we saw our first Broad-winged Hawk of the season near Allport Marina on Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.

Directions to Henry Marsh:
From traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St., head west on Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd., Bracebridge. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead. When you get to the "T" in the trail, turn right (west) to the beaver pond.

 

 

Re(1): cardinals?
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 09:43:34 PM by Richard Doucette

I have a pair visiting my feeder daily (George Rd, Bracebridge). You're more than welcome to come over and try your luck.Give me shout via e-mail if interested.

 

 

Re(1): cardinals?
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 02:38:34 PM by Al Sinclair

Cardinals can be found in the bigger towns Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling.
There has been one singing recently on Aubrey Street (behind the hospital) in Bracebridge. And corner of King and Queen Bracebridge (off entrance drive).
Also at the seniors residence off Bethune drive at Fairview in Gravenhurst. Also on Lorne Street and on Muskoka Beach Rd at Catherine in Gravenhurst. There may be others who read this board that have had recent sightings or have them coming to feeders.

 

 

cardinals?
Posted on April 29, 2006 at 12:48:34 PM by Joan

Anyone know of any good places to find cardinals for photographing?
Are they in the Muskoka area?
thanks,
Joan

 

 

Spring Wildflowers
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 06:48:00 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

At Sparrow Lake in various locations, in the pine and oak bush at Rockwood point:
Trailing Arbutus (new small stands discovered)
Trout Lily - in bloom in three sunny locations
White Trillium - bud just starting to open
Wake Robin - in bloom
Yellow Colts Foot - at their peak in bloom

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 04:52:18 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have had a mature male sharp-shin visit my feeders twice this week. The is the first year I have seen this guy. Had a Cooper's Hawk last year and the year before. Much larger and rounded tail that this sharpie.

 

 

Bird photography another way...Digiscoping
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 11:10:25 AM by Al Sinclair

Digiscoping can give some really good closeups. If you have a good quality scope all you need is a low cost digital camera to take some amazing photos. Check the links below to learn more. Be sure to look at Jean Iron's digiscope photos, very, very good!

Also note that I posted some photos taken with a Digital Rebel XT in reply to a photography thread that is now off the screen, scroll down the message list.

http://nikon.topica.ne.jp/bi_e/how_to/digisco/index.htm

http://www.jeaniron.ca/

 

 

Re(2): European Goldfinch sighting
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 02:34:26 PM by Maggie Sullivan

I spotted this bird on May 11/06 at 6:15 pm and again at 6:30 am on Friday May 12/06 at my Finch Feeder which is in Sturgeon Falls near Leisure Farm.

 

 

Re(2): European Goldfinch sighting
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 11:21:46 AM by Iain Robinson

It was photographed on April 17th, and I have not seen it since.

 

 

Re(1): European Goldfinch sighting
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 11:16:13 AM by Allan Sinclair

Scroll down the message list Iain. On April 22 there was one in Huntsville, earlier in Barrie. What date was your sighting? Still there?
BTW European Goldfinch sightings have never been accepted as wild birds by the Ontario Rare Birds Record committee and as a result are not on the Ontario checklist. All records of this species are assumed to be escapes from captivity as they are apparently commonly bred in captivity and sold as caged birds.

 

 

European Goldfinch sighting
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 10:58:55 AM by Iain Robinson

 

I recently sighted a European Goldfinch around Little Lake Joe, and managed to photograph it. Has anyone else seen this bird in the area?photo

 

 

IMPORTANT - Bird Board url update
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 08:49:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

(this is a re-post since my earlier messages have scrolled way down the board)

Please check the website address you use to get to the Bird Board. You may be using an old version which will soon be discontinued. To make sure you are using the newer address, simply click on the following link and add it to your bookmarks/favorites: http://b3.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=MuskokaBirdBoard

 

 

Dragonflies are Here
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 03:35:09 PM by Ron Stager

Rosemarie and I saw two or more green darner dragonflies, today, in a small clearing in our woods east of Barkway. There was also several small moths, a spring azure butterfly (I had seen one 15th April) and an osprey flying over. Time to wash up the hummingbird feeders.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting May 4
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 10:35:48 AM by Barbara Taylor

 

From the Wakerobin, Newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:
MAY 4 MEETING THURSDAY 7:30 PM GRAVENHURST
"The Dragonflies and Damselfies of Ontario" with Colin Jones. Colin will use a Powerpoint presentation to show aspects of their fascinating life history, conservation, habitats and how you can learn more about them by watching them first-hand. He will also discuss the Ontario Odonata Atlas project and how you can contribute. Colin is a lifelong naturalist who for many years worked in Algonquin Park. He currently works for the Natural Heritage Information Centre, MNR in Peterborough where he deals primarily with rare species.

Meetings from February through June will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst, corner of First and Brock Street (across from Giant Tiger). Visitors welcome to attend the meeting.
Membership Information & Program Updates: MFN website

 

 

Re(2): question on grackel behaviour
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 10:27:07 PM by Richard Doucette

Good point.

I never thought of the male / female thing seeing the flock was probably still migrating. Too bad I did not make note of the grackles' iridescence and that my photos are so bad.

 

 

Re(1): question on grackel behaviour
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 09:07:57 AM by Joan

Perhaps grackle A&B were males and grackle C is a female?
You can usually tell the difference with the males having more irridescence in their feathers and the females look more duller (browner).
Males usually do the posturing of beaks to the sky and/or fluffing up along with their squeeky squawk sound (song).

 

 

question on grackel behaviour
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 11:31:07 PM by Richard Doucette

I had a flock of about 20 common grackles in my backyard (Bracebridge) and observed some pecking order behavior. I would like to know anyone's thoughts if this is routine behavior for non-gregarious birds in migrating flocks.

Grackle A successfully "defended" some food from Grackle B. In this case they both fluffed up their feathers at each other (1st photo). However, just seconds later, Grackle A let Grackle C take the food and the only exchange given was a lifting of bills (2nd photo). Any thoughts?

My apologize on the quality (handheld and through double-paned window).
Rich

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 06:05:21 PM by Ted Gardner

We have a dozen or more every morning.
Had some Pines yesterday.Also our Deer is back and she ate all my Delphiniums!! (120 Meadow Hieghts)

 

 

Re(3): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 01:52:03 PM by Carol Wagg

We had two here at Doe Lake this afternoon. We saw them only a couple of times all winter.

 

 

Re(2): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 10:03:43 AM by Nancy Thompson

Only 2 here ~ mixed in with red winged blackbirds. (Bent River)

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 08:43:00 AM by Don Clement

We also had Evening Grosbeaks here in Germania at our feeder this AM - three males and a female. The female guarded the feeder for quite a while, keeping everyone away until she had had her breakfast.

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 08:04:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

About a dozen Evening Grosbeaks showed up at our feeder this morning. We heard some calling in the neighbourhood yesterday by the Meadow Heights loop. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Several Pine Warblers,Bala
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 07:07:22 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Several Pine Warblers around the house this morning flitting through the snow flakes!!!! Hope they find food!

 

 

Re(1): thanks for the advice
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 08:34:09 AM by Dave

Go for the 30D. The 100-300 is a good walk around lens but you will need something longer for the smaller birds. Also the 1.4x teleconvertor works fine for any of the lenses I've tried, but you might have to use manual focus with a teleconvertor. It depends on the camera and lens.

 

 

thanks for the advice
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 01:36:02 PM by Grace Taylor

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments and info. I am leaning toward a Canon 20D. It sounds like I need a new telephoto. I'd hoped my 100-300 Canon zoom would be enough with the change from film to digital(the 1.6 factor)but I wasn't really thrilled with it.

Now I'm beginning to wonder about teleconverters. So much to learn, so anxious to begin.

Thanks for your help,
Grace Taylor

 

 

Digital Rebel XT
Posted on April 26, 2006 at 11:12:34 AM by Al Sinclair

If cost is a factor in the purchase you should consider the Rebel XT. Wilf Yusek uses a Canon Digital Rebel XT body and the Canon 100-400 IS telephoto lens. He gets excellent results even handheld. These two photos he sent me were taken recently in Florida, handheld shots at 400mm zoom. The files are not retouched but have been cropped and resized for posting. Specs on the Rebel XT are at this website http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelFeaturesAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=11154&pageno=2

 

 

Re(2): ideal equipment
Posted on April 25, 2006 at 07:19:29 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Although the 20D is a bit slower to respond than the 1DMKII is has the added advantage of having a smaller sensor so you are getting an image that is 1.6 crop of 35mm size. The camera doesn't allow your fast lenses to focus as fast as the MKII though. There are pluses and minuses with both cameras. The 20D will not auto focus with a 5.6 lens plus converter.

I use the 500 mm 4 IS with a converter on the 1DMKII most often. It is difficult for me to carry that much weight with even a carbon fibre tripod with new lighter Wimberly II head. The most versatile lens is the 100-400 IS, though slow to focus and a 4.5 to 5.6. The MKII is better for flight shots than the 20D.

I have both camera bodies and use them in different situations.

From what I have seen, the Rebel XT does a great job.

 

 

Re(1): ideal equipment
Posted on April 24, 2006 at 07:47:44 PM by Alija Bos

Honestly the Digital rebel is probably fine. But if you wanted top of the line a 20d or a 1d Mk II =) would be my dream cameras if I was a canon guy. With birding ect, it is the glass that is really important. No sense in having a good camera and not very good lenses. A 600mm F4, or 500mm would be my dream lens..

 

 

ideal equipment
Posted on April 24, 2006 at 08:40:42 AM by Grace Taylor

I'd love to hear what you think would be ideal for nature photos. I am currently updating from my SLR 35mm to the age of digital at last. I have a Canon Rebel so looked at the Rebel XT digital. I don't like the grip on it so am looking at the Canon 20 or 30 as alternatives (with an eye to continuing to use my Canon lenses). What would you choose if you had your dream equipment?

 

 

Re(2): Various nature photos..
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 10:47:09 PM by Alija Bos

I have a Nikon D70s, with a few lenses 80-200 2.8, 70-300 f4, 18-70...
If anyone else shoots nikon and has a teleconverter or big glass I would love to borrow/rent one for an afternoon.. as I am a broke student and can't afford big glass..

 

 

Re(1): Various nature photos..
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 09:28:45 PM by Todd White

Great photos Alijia! Nice light.What camera are u using?

 

 

Various nature photos..
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 07:31:20 PM by Alija Bos

A ruffed Grouse in Gravenhurst.. 200mm f2.8
http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/5876/dsc142502web2mr.jpg
I watched 15 whitetails eat in a farm feild..
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4476/2301/1600/DSC_1373-01web.0.jpg
Red Wing BB on a bull rush..
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4476/2301/1600/DSC_1219-01web.jpg

If anyone wants to go out for a nature shoot one day email me bos.alija@gmail.com

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 07:28:17 PM by Bruce Di Labio (on ONTBIRDS)

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 23, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Everyone
Birded Algonquin Park late yesterday afternoon and today. Overall it was quiet but we managed to find 2 male Spruce Grouse along Spruce Bog with 1 displaying yesterday. Today, along the old railway bed off Arowhon Road we observed 1 male Black-backed Woodpecker. Later near the gate along Opeongo Lake Road we saw 1 Gray Jay and a Boreal Chickadee. Other birds of interest included 1 Horned and 2 Red-necked Grebe on Lake of Two Rivers and a Pine Warbler.
good birding
Bruce

Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km
56). Permits and information are available daily at gates.

Bruce Di Labio
Di Labio Birding Website
Courses and Field Trips
http://www3.sympatico.ca/bruce.dilabio/

-----------------------------------------------------
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm.
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 05:40:56 PM by Kevin McCrank

Today while walking the edge of a small field at Brackenrig Center, I stumbled across a Pileated wood pecker. It was busy pecking a ground fall and did not notice my approach until I was about 6 feet away. Interesting to watch so close.

 

 

Loon
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 03:21:04 PM by Virginia Pray

The 1st loon has arrived on the river below the locks in Port Carling. Saturday was the 1st we saw it.

 

 

Blue-headed Vireo...arrival dates
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 12:17:06 PM by Al Sinclair

We had a Blue-headed Vireo here on Friday at our place east of Bracebridge. Below is a list of their arrival dates here in the last few years.

2006 April 21
2005 May 04
2004 April 26
2003 April 27

 

 

Moths flying last week...photo...list
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 12:06:52 PM by Al Sinclair

There was a couple of good moth nights last week. The following were recorded at a mercury vapour light on my veranda, Hwy 118E, 8 km east of Bracebridge.

HODGES, GENUS, SPECIES, CNAME
867 Agonopterix pulvipennella,
915 Semioscopis megamicrella,
916 Semioscopis aurorella,
6658 Phigalia titea, The Half-wing
7390 Xanthorhoe lacustrata, Toothed Brown Carpet
7637 Cladara limitaria, Mottled Gray Carpet
7639 Cladara atroliturata, The Scribbler
9888 Lithophane innominata, Nameless Pinion
9936 Eupsilia morrisoni, Morrison's Sallow
10005 Feralia jocosa, Jocose Sallow
10021 Copivaleria grotei, Grote's Sallow
10994 Cerastis tenebrifera, Reddish Speckled Dart
10996 Metalepsis salicarum, Willow Sallow

The Jocose Sallow likely gets it's name because of its bright colours compared to the other sallows.
This week I had the rare brown form for the first time. photo

 

 

BRTH
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 11:09:21 AM by Dan Burton

Today's new arrival for this year, 1 Brown Thrasher in my yard. Fox Sparrows have left, but Song, White Throated and Chipping are singing despite the cool temp. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Wood Thrushes
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 09:53:20 AM by Don Clement

On this morning's walk, 8-9AM, on the trails around our beaver ponds,(mixed forestland near Germania) I heard and sighted several Wood Thrushes. Great to hear them again. While I was checking out some snow trilliums, trout lilies and spring beauties, all in bud now, I heard our resident Pileated Woodpecker. Had sighted him weeks ago when he was tapping out his regular telegraphic notices which echoed for thousands of feet. Hope this means he's found a mate.

 

 

OFO Trip: Algonquin Park (April 22)
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 08:42:43 AM by Ron Tozer (on ONTBIRDS)

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 22, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

An enthusiastic group of about 45 OFO members and friends
birded Algonquin Park today in challenging weather (light rain
and windy). The results were limited by the conditions, but
interesting nonetheless.

We started at the West Gate, where a Field Sparrow was at the
feeder. The year's first Barn Swallow had appeared there briefly
prior to the arrival of most participants.

Our first stop was Spruce Bog Boardwalk for Spruce Grouse
where a male had been seen regularly all week. Despite playing
a tape of a female's calls, and 45 people spreading out to search
through the sopping wet conifers, we could not find this target
species. However, this spring's first Greater Yellowlegs was
noted on the pond along Sunday Creek, although few people
got to see it.

The next location visited was Opeongo Road, where a calling
female Spruce Grouse and a displaying male had been observed
last week. Again, despite playing the tape, there was initially no
response. Persistence paid off, however, as eventually a female
Spruce Grouse did call back, on the ground under thick conifer
cover near the road. Everybody got to see it, and this was a
life species for several participants.

On the way back down the Opeongo Road we got to see and feed
Gray Jays, always a highlight of this trip.

Lunch at the Visitor Centre got us out of the rain for the first
time all morning, and birds at the feeder there included Purple
Finch and Fox Sparrow.

Our last major stop involved driving up the Arowhon Road and
walking along the railway bed to West Rose Lake. Birds were
scarce there as well, but the scenery was worth the walk even
though the rain persisted.

Thanks to all who came and had fun despite the weather.

Ron Tozer

----------------------------------------
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial
birding organization. For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit
http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Birds at Hardy Lake Provincial Park (Gravenhurst)
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 11:26:28 PM by Richard Doucette

On the morning of Friday April 21, 2006 my family and I went on a hike at Hardy Lake Provincial Park. The following are the species seen or heard while on the 3km route. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but a nice mix of species nonetheless.

Canada geese
Blacked-capped chickadee
Wood duck
Bufflehead
Ring-necked duck
Turkey vulture
Golden-crowned kinglet
Song sparrow
Dark-eyed junco
Eastern Phoebe
Great blue heron
Northern flicker
Common loon
Ruffed grouse (drumming)
Red-winged blackbird
American crow

Also seen:
Spring peepers
Painted turtle
Mustelid (weasel family) scat along the shoreline
Recent activity of Pileated woodpecker and beaver.

The parking area for Hardy Lake Provincial Park is located west of Gravenhurst on Muskoka Road 169, 1 km west from Walkers Point Road. Look for the sign with the large green P symbol.

Park trail maps are available on-site in the rural mailbox a couple of hundred feet beyond the sign in the parking lot.

 

 

Re(1): Photo of European Goldfinch
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 01:06:29 PM by Alex Mills

Earlier this year, a European Goldfinch was regularly attending a Barrie feeder. I don't know whether it is still around. I wonder if they could be from the same place (wherever or whatever that may be), or even if it is the same bird?

 

 

Re(1): Photo of European Goldfinch
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 01:14:15 PM by Paul Smith

A researcher at http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/eugo.html#nab is asking for reports on this bird.

 

 

European Goldfinch in Ravenscliffe
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 08:10:15 AM by Burke Korol

This morning (22 April) a EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH was at my feeder at 1579 Ravenscliffe Road. It hasn't been back since about 7:15 a.m. Of course it is very difficult to comment on the origin of this bird, but it was nice to see anyway. I photographed the bird, but the image quality is not great (and I haven't figured out how to post images yet). If people are interested in coming for a look, feel free. My house is about 6 km NW of the Huntsville OPP station on Muskoka Road 2.photo

 

 

Red-necked Grebe on Arrowhead Lake
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 10:43:00 PM by Burke Korol

Today (April 21) around 5 pm I saw a Red-necked Grebe on Arrowhead Lake in Arrowhead Provincial Park. The park is about 5 km N of Huntsville just off of Hwy. 11 and is well signed. However, if you wish to try and see this bird, you'll have to park at a locked gate near the Big East River and walk along the main park road to the lake, which is about 1.5 km. The grebe was seen swimming along the south shore of the lake, which can be viewed from the car bridge on the main road.

 

 

Yellowlegs - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 09:03:33 PM by Goodyear

At 8:00 this evening we spotted three Greater? Yellowlegs towards the back left hand side of Henry Marsh feeding in the shallow water. The water level is quite low at the moment and there is a fair bit of exposed mud.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): rough winged swallows?
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 05:18:57 PM by Alex Mills

Although they commonly nest in sandbanks like Bank Swallows (but generally not colonially like Bank Swallows), Rough-winged Swallows sometimes nest in the smallish culvert tubes that are built into bridge foundations. Consequently, they are often seen at bridges.

 

 

Re(1): rough winged swallows?
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 09:56:25 AM by Barbara Taylor

I looked through recent ONTBIRDS reports, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows started to show up in southern Ontario last weekend - so there probably are a few in Muskoka by now. They are one of the swallows that can be found at the Bracebridge Ponds, along with Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, and Barn Swallow. You can usually find good numbers of swallows at the Ponds by mid-May.

 

 

rough winged swallows?
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 09:06:09 AM by Grace Taylor

Yesterday morning we saw a pair of swallows perched on the wires above the bridge at the joining of the North and South branch of Muskoka River. they sure look like the rough winged swallows we saw in Mexico. Are they up here?

Had a very cooperative sharp-shinned hawk that stayed on a tamarack spur until I could get a good look at his notched tail. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Trumpeter Swans at Six Mile Lake
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 00:59:46 AM by Anne Lewis

There is a pair of trumpeter swans back on the lake. One is tag 564 and the other is untagged. They have visited our shore every morning for a week. We had a pair nest last year that had 3 cygnets. I don;t think this is the same pair. These two were at Port Severn this winter.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/073730x.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/073618x.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/073534.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/073208.jpg

 

 

turtles,frogs,quetion mark butterfly and calf moose
Posted on April 21, 2006 at 00:53:30 AM by Anne Lewis

I have monitored turtles in a vernal pond near our house on six mile lake for several years. There is a snapping turtle that comes up in the same place . the same week every year. He came up yesterday.
While I was counting painted turtles today I saw a calf moose along the shore.
There was a quetion mark butterfly sunning itself on our driveway.
There are lots of wood frogs quacking in the pond and the green frogs are starting.
I also saw a bob cat today.
Enjoy the pictures. It's definately spring!

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/snap.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/questbitter.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/moosecalf1.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/moosecalf.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/wf124052.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/pturt.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/snappy.jpg

 

 

Barred Owl-Turtle Lake
Posted on April 19, 2006 at 12:33:36 PM by Garth N. Baker

This past weekend I did my Nocturnal Owl Survey near Turtle Lake. I was rewarded with Repeated Call-backs at the first Stop.At the fourth stop there were no Call-backs ,but a Barred landed on top of a Hydro Pole 30 feet from the Car and investigated.At the 10th (last) Stop ,an Owl was actively calling upon arrival and cane in right away and called when the Decoy(CD) did and afterwards from less than 20 feet at one point. It was an evening I'll soon not forget!

Other observation around Turtle Lake were Ruby-crowned Kinglet,Eastern Pheobe,Tree Swallow,Tree Sparrow,White-throated Sparrow,Swamp Sparrow,Song Sparrow,American Kestrel,Common Merganser,Herring Gull(breeding),Northern Junco,Wilson Snipe,American Woodcock, and the first ever (to our Knowledge) Nortern Cardinal(female) for 3 days at my Sisters Feeder.

Cheer's Garth
Innisfil,On.

 

 

Baillie Bird-a-thon
Posted on April 19, 2006 at 11:33:50 AM by Linda Boon

I am appealing on this board for a bird-a-thon leader as there may be visitors here who don't attend our MFN meetings. Our bird-a-thons are always more successful if we have a leader who can ID the birds by call and locations. It's a bonus if we can see the birds but IDing it by call is sufficient for the count as it's the total number of species that we're interested in. The bird-a-thon will be on Sunday,May 27th. If you can "fill the bill" on this request, please reply by e-mail or phone me at my office, 687-9323.

 

 

Moose Collision
Posted on April 18, 2006 at 02:11:16 PM by Ted Smith

On Saturday, April 15th at 11:30 AM a moose was struck by a truck and killed on Hwy 118 East near Prospect Lake Road (about 13 km east of Hwy 11). The motorist were not injured although their vehicle suffered significant damage.

 

 

Gray Jay
Posted on April 18, 2006 at 10:11:00 AM by Peter McLaren

On April 17, while doing a Red-shouldered Hawk survey, two Gray Jays were drawn in by the call of the hawk. This was 1.5 km south of the Crossroads in the centre of the City of Uffington

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on April 18, 2006 at 09:20:21 AM by Mark McAnally

This morning I heard my first two Hermit Thrushes on my property in Huntsville.
On Monday, at the north end of the Mizzy Lake trail we saw:
Common Merganser
Hooded Merganser
Wood Duck
Mallard
Black Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Turkey Vulture
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Junco
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Winter Wren
Tree Swallow
One Painted Turtle
Black-capped Chickadee

 

 

Sandhill Crane
Posted on April 18, 2006 at 08:01:13 AM by Peter + Michelle Jessen

on April 14 a sandhill crane flew over our house, today in the morning(April 18) we discovered a sandhill crane out in the marsh, walking and he/she is "trumpeting" with loud calls, echoing all over Echo Creek (near village of Fraserburg)

 

 

Glen Orchard birds ...
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 10:01:17 PM by Paul Smith

The martin houses (Al Johnson's and the original one) are being put up at the General Store in the next few days, stuffed with coffee cups to keep the tree swallows / starlings at bay. They'll be monitored as best we can - have to see what happens.

My bluebird (tree swallow) boxes are up and are already getting a 'tire kicking' by the swallows. It's a new experiment every year - where to put them, how close to pair them. I've had bluebirds nest the last two years, but late season ones nesting in the boxes after the swallows have left.

Out in the woods, lots of Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers drumming this year. It's easy to get a rise out of them with a practised rat-a-tat-tat---tat-----tat with your walking stick !!

No Broad-Winged hawks yet - but it appears that as of this afternoon it would be safe to report one ...

 

 

Re(1): RCKI
Posted on April 18, 2006 at 01:18:45 PM by Alex Mills

Also, one was singing this morning (April 17th) at Magnetawan.

 

 

RCKI
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 09:30:41 PM by Dan Burton

Today a Ruby Crowned Kinglet (my 1st this year)was foraging in my yard. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

fox and tree sparrows and juncos
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 07:57:53 PM by Sylvia Naylor (on ONTBIRDS)

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (April 17, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Over Easter weekend at the east end of Algonquin Park just off hwy 60 I saw a
mixed flock of at least two hundred and fifty small birds. The ratio was
approximately 45% tree sparrows. 45% juncos and 10% fox sparrows. I saw the
same ratio of the same species at feeders at a house south west of Huntsville .
There were about 100 birds feeding.
sylvia naylor

----------------------------------------
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Woodcock nest
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 05:51:19 PM by Peter Mills

While up at Magnetawan this past weekend, my family and I were out in the woods when my sister, Sylvia, flushed a Woodcock from her nest. We were surprised to find a nesting bird in such a dry, wooded area. I stalked up on it this morning and took a few pictures. The ones below were from about a metre away.photo1††† Here she can be seen peering over the mound her nest is on - photo2.††† photo3

 

 

Magnetawan Amphibians
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 05:44:33 PM by Peter Mills

This weekend we were up at Magnetawan and did our annual salamander search. We did the best ever this year with a count of 199 Spotted Salamanders (we looked long and hard for one more to hit 200, but no such luck). Also we saw 37 Blue-spotted Salamanders and 4 Red-spotted newts. Not too bad. Our frogs included a deafening chorus of Spring Peepers and a few Wood Frogs.photo1photo2photo3

 

 

Our first Broad-wings...Bracebridge
Posted on April 17, 2006 at 04:56:08 PM by Al Sinclair

We saw 2 Broad-winged Hawks today at different locations flying over Hwy 118E near Bracebridge.

 

 

Pine Warbler
Posted on April 16, 2006 at 06:46:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today on Browning Island we had a Pine Warbler, Winter Wren, Song Sparrow, two Eastern Phoebes, and a Red-shouldered Hawk. Also a pair of Common Mergansers and a Common Loon in Shadow Bay. (Lake Muskoka)

 

 

Backyard Birds
Posted on April 16, 2006 at 08:24:54 AM by Janice House

26 species yesterday, including 2 fox sparrows and a male kestrel. The fox sparrows are still here, Geoff took pictures. (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

merlins, beaver, moose tracks, ruffed grouse
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 11:24:52 PM by Leslee Tassie

Over at the lagoons today, as well as all the ducks already identified as being there, we spotted moose tracks around the back cell, and also about the biggest beaver we've ever seen. Ruffed grouse was heard definately in one location (back corner of back cell by pipeline hill) and possibly in another spot close to there (very faint).
At least one of our merlins is back at our place on Santa's Village Road, flying over and over and being very vocal and noticable.

 

 

Re(1): Cormorants - Lake Muskoka
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 08:08:21 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

DC Cormorants are on the northern end of Long Island, Sparrow Lake, a few amongst the RBG which are present in the hundreds, plus HG. No boats in the water yet on Sparrow Lake we assume because the lake is still in flood.

 

 

Cormorants - Lake Muskoka
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 04:44:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were already 55 Double-crested Cormorants back on Eleanor Island, Lake Muskoka. A lot of the lake was ice-free Thursday morning, and the rest cleared out by Friday. In Alport Bay there were a few Bufflehead, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Mergansers, and a Common Loon. The water level is very high - we were told it rose about 4 inches just last night. A Winter Wren was singing by the Allport Marina on Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Horned Grebe ...still there at noon, photos
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 01:24:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Number 60 on my Muskoka year list. Sorry about the quality of the photos - taken though a scope, poor light, long distance, bird wouldn't sit still. It swam back and forth constantly picking something off the surface.
Also a Pied-billed Grebe with it originally but it hid quickly along the shore somewhere. photo1photo2

 

 

Horned Grebe - Lagoons
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 10:42:49 AM by Goodyear

We had a Horned Grebe this morning in Cell 1 at the lagoons. The bird is between winter/summer plumages. A nice variety of ducks:Wood Duck, Mallard,Green-winged Teal,American Wigeon,Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, and a pair of Common Mergansers.

 

 

Re(1): House Finch?
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 05:42:00 PM by Ted Gardner

Had one (male) twice in the back yard a few weeks ago , also the Goodyears in the same area (Meadow Hieghts Bracebridge)

 

 

House Finch?
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 10:06:47 AM by Janice House

was rudely dragged from bed this am to look at the finch. He was near the top of the white birch. Feathers on his head were standing up, his wings were brown and I could see white patches. Didn't notice how notched his tail was, I even opened the window to catch his song but it was hard to hear the end because of all the others birds in the yard. The red was more orangey colour and he had streaks on his flanks. I got a back view and then a side view, had my scope on full power. We now have Geoff's camera set up in front of the window and will try for a shot. (Doe Lake Rd.)

 

 

Re(1): Location?
Posted on April 20, 2006 at 08:10:49 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

Yes, and the two points of land are Rockwood and PunGishEMoo. Rockwood is private subdivision, and PunGish is where we are, come anytime.

 

 

Location?
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 10:52:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

Jim & Sylvia, and everyone, please include a location for your sightings - even the nearest town, lake, or major crossroads would be fine. Thanks.
In this case, is it Sparrow Lake?

 

 

A good friday for birds
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 09:09:31 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

Here is a list from friday april 14:
(Sparrow Lake)
Common Merganser...many pair
Hooded Merganser...many pair
Wood Duck ......males plus some females
Wigeon (2)
Ring Necked Ducks..many pair
Bufflehead....many pair
Red Necked Grebe....one
Lesser (?) Scaup
Pair Merlin
Barred Owl....calling
Red Shouldered Hawk - pair and nest
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Pileated
Downy
Hairy
GBH
DCCormorants on Long Island plus HBG and RNG

Yellow Coltsfoot...in bloom
Trailing Arbutus...in tight bud

 

 

Resident Merlins back!
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 09:09:11 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

We noticed a distinct decrease in birds at our feeders today. Just a pair on song sparrows this morning! About noon I heard the first Merlin call of the season. Through the day the pair of Merlins continued screeching back and forth between the tall pine trees. Seem to be deciding on where to nest. Not a mourning dove to be found anywhere! (east of Washago)

 

 

Ospreys
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 04:45:34 PM by Bob Burt

This afternoon at about 1:45 p.m. there were two Ospreys near Taboo Resort, Gravenhurst. They were calling to each other as they circled above the mouth of the Hoc Roc River.

 

 

The Ponds & Henry Marsh today
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 04:16:33 PM by Al Sinclair

This afternoon, at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 4 American Wigeon in cell 4, no shovelers, 180 ducks of 8 species. At Henry Marsh nothing new except 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet(found by Janice House)in the alders just before the T on Henry Rd Trail.

 

 

Doe Lake
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 11:16:41 AM by Janice House

This morning no sandhill cranes but, 2 male common mergansers, 1 loon, mallards, buffleheads, 2 doz geese, male northern harrier, female american kestrel, meadowlarks, male common goldeneye then at the pond on Conservation Rd, hooded mergansers, geese, buffleheads and mallards.

 

 

Sightings
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 10:36:50 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

April 10: For the record: (Sparrow Lake)

Osprey
TV's
Savannah Sparrow
Tree Sparrows
Juncos
Red Shldrd Hawk, sitting on nest
Wooly Bear caterpillar on Wenona Rd

 

 

Juncos and Evening Primrose
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 09:43:05 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

My intention was to get out today and clean up all last years stalks of eveining primrose and other of last year's wildflower remains. When I looked out the window first thing there were lots of juncos picking at the seed heads and staying long enough to clean them out. Just another reason not to do yard work till next week!(Bala)

 

 

American Bittern
Posted on April 14, 2006 at 08:35:12 AM by Janice House

Took the dogs for a walk to the beaver pond on Silver Lake Rd last night, bittern was calling, saw a pair of canada geese, hooded mergansers, mallards and a great blue heron. We also have had several house finch's at out feeders Tuesday and Wednesday. (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

Gryfalcon
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 09:25:02 PM by K McCrank

Last Saturday I was out for a ride on my atv on the family farm. South Monck dr.just north of #118 west. I noticed a medium sized bird tearing up a smaller bird.Upon driving up a little closer and watching for a while I identified a Gryfalcon in a white morph having a mid day snack on what appeared to be the remains of a pidgeon.

 

 

Wild Turkey
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 07:27:54 PM by Todd White

At 530 this evening a wild turkey was walking down the hgwy 60 and oxtounge lake rd.Very thin.

 

 

Northern Shovelers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 12:28:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Many ducks at the Ponds this morning at 11:30 a.m.

Cell 4:
Northern Shoveler (1M, 1F)
Green-winged Teal (3M, 1F)
Blue-winged Teal (1M, 1F)
Common Merganser (1M)

Ring-necked Ducks
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead (over 70)

Cell 3:
Ring-necked Ducks
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead (over 60)

A few Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Buffleheads in cell 1 and some Scaup in cell 2. At the Lagoon Lane gate there were several singing Song Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds seen included Northern Flicker, Tree Swallows, a Belted Kingfisher, and many Red-winged Blackbirds. There was a beaver to the north of cell 4 in the flooded woods, about half way along the roadway. This is the second time we've seen it snoozing there.Bracebridge Ponds map

 

 

Coons are out doin' their stuff
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 00:52:05 AM by Richard Doucette

 

At least now I have confirmation of the culprits who knocked down my platform feeder the other night! Photos were taken a few minutes ago (George Rd, Bracebridge).photo
I also saw a lone male c. loon on the Muskoka river late yesterday (from my living room). It wasn't around today.

 

 

Re(1): Ruffed Grouse...now two!
Posted on April 15, 2006 at 08:44:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This is the fourth day in a row that we've had a grouse in our yard at dusk...but tonight there were two! The male put on a great display but the other bird, which we assumed was a female, seemed to ignore him, and would fly away a short distance whenever he approached. The displaying male would twitch his ruffled neck feathers, dip his head to the ground a couple of times, and then he would run towards the other bird. Too dark for photos - here's the best I could get of the male with his tail fanned out. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)photo

 

 

Purple Finch, Ruffed Grouse
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 07:33:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we finally had a pair of Purple Finch at our feeder - haven't seen any since last fall. Most of the Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows seemed to have left yesterday but today there was still one Fox Sparrow hanging around, down from four. This afternoon and again before dusk, a Ruffed Grouse spent some time finding spilled corn and sunflower chips under our bird feeder. A Red Squirrel didn't seem to mind the company. (Bracebridge)

Unfortunately the photos are very poor - too far away, raining, and taken through a window. Click on photo to see larger version.†† photo1photo2

 

 

winter wren, song sparrow, mosquito, p. woodpecker, cardinal
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 05:05:17 PM by Leslee Tassie

I heard a winter wren singing it's lyrical song yesterday morning and a song sparrow this morning at the same location, the town parking lot behind the old albion hotel. We had a male cardinal singing and a pileated woodpecker at our house on Santa's Village Road yesterday. I was watching the movie filming today on the main street in Bracebridge ("Luke and Me") and had two mosquitos around me. We've had our great horned owl hooting around the house twice this week at night.

 

 

tree swallows
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 09:04:09 AM by Carol Wagg

The first tree swallows arrived in our yard this morning. Headed straight for a nesting box. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Sand Hill Cranes - still there
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 01:03:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

I headed out with Don and Bev Bailey to try and find the three Sandhill Cranes. At 12:15 p.m. we finally located them near the back of the fields to the south of Doe Lake Rd. between #1592 and #1610. There were also several Wild Turkeys a bit east of the Cranes. The birds could be seen with binoculars, but to get a decent look a spotting scope was necessary.

directions:
Take Hwy. 11 to Bethune Dr./Doe Lake Rd. exit at Gravenhurst. Go east on Doe Lake Rd. approx. 6 km.

 

 

Sand Hill Cranes - Doe Lake
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 08:57:55 AM by Carol Wagg

At 8:45 this morning I heard that particular Sand Hill Crane call. Spotted three of them in the field at the back of Doe Lake. We have frequently seen two in other years, but never before have we seen three. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Pied-Billed Grebe, mosquitos, bufflehead and ringed-neck ducks
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 09:37:44 PM by Ted Smith

Hi Folks,
I was out photographing in a marsh on the South Branch of the Muskoka River near Rocky Narrows this evening and had the fortune of discovering a pied-billed grebe in the shallows. I spent about 15 minutes with it 30' away before it disappeared. Lots of ducks on the marsh including recent arrivals of bufflehead and ringed-neck ducks. Unfortunately, I also saw my first mosquito of the season. She was dive bombing me in the blind and paid the ultimate price.
Take care,
Ted

 

 

Loon
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 06:42:21 PM by jim griffin

A loon has stopped by on the river at port sydney today, looks like it may rest over night and maybe longer given the ice on the lakes. It is on the pond area south of the road 10 bridge/indian landing.

 

 

new birds and a fish
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 04:59:04 PM by Challis & Carlyle

This morning a pair of yellow-bellied sapsuckers were courtin' it up on a dead tree behind our place. We've had what seems like 100 or more juncos for a couple of weeks. Fox sparrows, winter wren, a sandhill crane flew overhead, wood ducks in the marsh out back, brown creeper, goldfinches are switching to breeding plumage; peepers in full chorus, some wood frogs and either pickerel frogs or leopard frogs, too. And a grass pickerel was poking around the swamp over the weekend. Last night, though, it was half the fish it used to be. Apparently it got caught among some submerged logs, and with water levels dropping after the melt, it was easy picking for a raccoon. There was enough of the fish left to give a fairly good notion of its species. Grass pickerel (a subspecies of the redfin pickerel and cousin to the northern pike) is now a species of special concern and according to COSEWIC's website there are records of grass pickerel around Severn River, but not confirmed reports. I hope to be able to retrieve what's left of it and provide some more definite ID. Some swirls on the Green River shore also suggested there may be more around. (Washago)

 

 

Osprey flying at Bracebridge
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 03:06:55 PM by Al Sinclair

We saw an Osprey circling and gaining altitude today at 10:30 am, east of Bracebridge at Germania Rd and Hwy 118E. Species #54 on my Muskoka year list.

 

 

First Broadwing at Beamer yesterday.
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 02:58:51 PM by Al Sinclair

They had one Broad-winged Hawk at the Niagara Hawk watch at Beamer C.A. yesterday April 10 (reported on Ontbirds). The had 10 at Rose Tree Park, Media, Pennsylvania on April 9. In their comments on the day "The Broadwings have arrived."

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys...hiking Trans-Canada Trail
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 12:14:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Last spring there were lots of turkey tracks along the roadways around cells 3 and 4, but we never saw the birds within the Ponds area. On April 24, 2005 we saw one on the pipeline right-of-way near the south-west corner of cell 4. For such large birds, it is amazing how illusive they can be!

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys...hiking Trans-Canada Trail
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 07:02:28 AM by Wilf Yusek

Al: I have 2 records of them seen at the lagoons May 23rd & 24th, 2004 seen at the gate entrance from Lagoon Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys...hiking Trans-Canada Trail
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 10:36:12 PM by Richard Doucette

A flock of 40+ wild turkeys wintered along Santa's Village rd just a bit east of the snowmobile trail crossing, which is about 500m from the Bracebridge Ponds, as the crow flies or in case as the turkey flies (sorry I couldn't resist).

 

 

Wild Turkeys...hiking Trans-Canada Trail
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 09:42:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at 10:30 am there were 6 Wild Turkeys hiking west on the Trans-Canada Trail along the north dike of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. Is this the first sighting of Wild Turkeys at the Ponds?

 

 

Our first Sapsucker, Winter Wren
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 12:32:52 PM by Al Sinclair

We had our first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a singing Winter Wren here today at our place 8km east of Bracebridge. The first Sapsucker last year was April 7.

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 08:07:13 PM by Barbara Taylor for Don Bailey

Don Bailey reports that this afternoon he heard Sandhill Cranes calling as they flew over their house. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes...Barkway
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 12:14:38 PM by Ron Stager

Over the last few years, it seems that there has been a regular pattern of sandhill cranes between the Ryde school area and around our place. We are east of Barkway on Merkley Rd and we are therefore, northeast of Ryde School. Rosemarie and I heard some sandhill cranes on Sunday morning during the previous weekend (2 April).

 

 

Sandhill Cranes...Barkway
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 10:08:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Bruce Stephenson reports that at 11 am today 4 Sandhill Cranes took off from a wetland across from the old Ryde Public school on Barkway Rd. They called and circled higher and higher then flew out of sight to the north-east.

 

 

Sandhill Crane, Osprey, kingfisher, barred owl and wolves
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 09:12:43 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks,
A few sightings to report. Today I was photographing from a blind sitting in a half frozen marsh along the South Branch of the Muskoka River. Besides the usual geese, mallards, wood ducks, common and hooded mergansers there was also a kingfisher (seen) and the unmistakable sound of a sandhill crane heard flying above. After 5 hours sitting (around noon)I noticed movement on a point of land between the marsh and river about 70 yards away. I noticed two larger than German Shepard sized dogs. One that was cream coloured with a dirty winter coat was frantically digging away. The other more classically coloured animal was pacing around. I believe these dogs were actually wolves for several reasons. Firstly, they looked and behaved like wolves and looked too big for coyotes. For the most part their tails were held high. No one lives within kilometers of this point of land except me and I've seen their tracks regularly over the winter. They approached the area without noise and they were clearly hunting and digging for prey. When I moved a little closer the classic coloured one noticed and actually barked at me and then both took off. I didn't think wolves barked, but I'm told they will if startled and that's exactly what I did to them. I did get pictures, but the animals are behind trees and bushes. I've cropped a few and they will be posted in a separate message. I don't profess to be a wolf expert so if you have any comments on the accuracy of my identification please let me know.
On another subject, I also observed an osprey fly about 80' over the Muskoka River this evening. A few days ago a barred owl landed above our feeder and stayed to entertain my daughter for an hour.
Take care,
Ted
Theodore Smith Photography
(705) 646-0800

 

 

Meadow Heights Big Sit - 28 species
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 06:28:34 PM by Goodyear

We had intended to do some birding at Henry Marsh early this morning but as we sat eating breakfast and watched a growing number of birds visit our feeders we realized we might get more birds at home so we decided to stay put and try a Big Sit. By 11:00 a.m. we had sore bums but we also had observed 25 species of birds in/above our yard! We saw 3 more species later this afternoon. (Bracebridge) Our day's yard list:

Mallard (flew through our yard to the creek behind us)
Canada Goose (flyover)
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Ring-billed Gull (flyover)
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Robin
European Starling
Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow (6 observed at once)
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin
Common Redpoll
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak

 

 

Northern Harrier, Wild Turkeys
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 03:32:26 PM by Bob Burt

Today at 2:15 p.m. we saw a male Northern Harrier hunting the fields on both sides of Stephens Bay Rd. a short distance south of Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. We also saw two Wild Turkeys in the open area to the north of Henry Rd. Marsh.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 06:44:02 PM by Ron Tozer

There was also a Killdeer heard flying over at Bracebridge lagoons today.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 05:10:26 PM by Ron Tozer

The Bracebridge Lagoons are almost ice-free now, but waterfowl numbers were limited today. The Huntsville Nature Club hike observed: Double-crested Cormorant (2 flying over), Canada Goose (6), Wood Duck (4), Mallard (15), Ring-necked Duck (3), Lesser Scaup (male), and Bufflehead (10). Herps in the lagoons were: Snapping Turtle (1), Painted Turtle (4).

The Henry Road Marsh produced: Great Blue Heron (1), Canada Goose (2), Wood Duck (2), Mallard (4), Bufflehead (21), Hooded Merganser (2), Turkey Vulture (1), Belted Kingfisher (2), and a Red-breasted Nuthatch excavating a nest cavity near the parking lot. The Muskoka River along Beaumont Drive near Santa's Village had the recently reported Pied-billed Grebe and an Eastern Phoebe.

 

 

Winter Wren
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 03:54:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we saw a Winter Wren along the snowmobile trail west of Henry marsh, Bracebridge. The bird was only giving its call notes today. Here's what to listen for since they can be hard to see sometimes:

call note - http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/htmwav2/h7220ca.mp3
song - http://wildspace.ec.gc.ca/media/sounds/wiwr.wav

 

 

Re(7): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 13, 2006 at 09:08:59 AM by Paul Smith

An ideal spot to watch for migrating hawks would be south of their summer range, where there'd be a reasonable assurance that the hawk spotted, is in fact migrating.

With the Grimsby site well within their summer range, how can someone tell that one hawk is migrating - and another one is now resident? Should we assume all hawks spotted in Grimsby are still migrating?

There's always a number of questions that can come up.

 

 

Re(6): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 12, 2006 at 01:46:18 PM by ron stager

April 10 was the first Broad-winged hawk observed at Beamer last year (2005) as well. I went back because I remember seeing a broad-winged last April that I thought was early. Looking at Bird Board archives it was 17 April I saw the bird (there were 9 Broad-wings observed at Beamer up to the 16th April).

I would agree that a Broad-wing seen in Muskoka before significant numbers were seen at Beamer would be unusual. I understand that Beamer provides a good monitoring location for general migration patterns; however, it is not a perfect sentinel for all hawk flights into Ontario: earlier hawks could be missed at Beamer or enter at other locations.

I also wonder about short-distance migration routes for those odd birds who don't follow the regular migration pattern. I note that about 40 or 50 broad-wings have been reported during CBC's over the last few years. They were most frequently observed in Florida/Gulf States but some in Ohio Valley/Pennsylvania, New Jersey with a few in New England/ Nova Scotia and what looks like Toronto. There has likely been some review/consideration of these records and I wonder if there is any information on whether the occasional bird might stay all winter at those locations. If so, a short distance migration into Muskoka under favourable conditions (like the last few days of March this year?) prior to the general migration pattern would seem reasonable.

 

 

Re(5): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 11:25:37 PM by Paul Smith

You have some valid points Barbara. However, I think there'd be a weak correlation between what this limited number of folks 'see' at their fixed site, and what we see here in Muskoka - on a week to week basis anyways.

I am impressed by their data that shows a 98% success rate in ID'ing these 20 or so species. I've been led to believe that ID'ing hawks is one of the more tricky pursuits - 98% - very good ...

I am curious about the assertion on their website that these hawks take advantage of the updrafts along the escarpment to wend there way north. I assume there's some science behind that. The escarpment faces north between Niagara and Hamilton, and any updraft along there would have to be caused by a wind from the north - lifting them up, then pushing them back south. I'll try to check that out.

 

 

Re(4): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 11, 2006 at 09:58:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

The numbers tend to jump around quite a bit from year to year largely depending on the weather. If the skies are clear and there are good thermals, the Broad-wingeds can soar to heights that make them appear as mere specks. Under those conditions many birds will not be seen unless they are passing directly over the tower. Here's an excerpt from the 2004 Migration Summary: "The Broad-wing total was 25% below both averages but could have easily been skewed by cloudless days at the peak of their flight."

The count data for Broad-wingeds was lower than average in 2004 and above average in 2005 so a direct comparison of those two years probably looks more significant than it really is. The complete data history for all species for 1975-2005 at Beamer can be found at: http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/Information/NEST/nature/niaghawk/statistics.htm


If anyone is interested in following the hawk migration more closely, here are two links where you can find recent reports from several Hawkwatches. The symbol used to indicate Broad-winged Hawk is "BW".
BIRDHAWK archives: http://listserv.arizona.edu/archives/birdhawk.html
HawkCount: http://hawkcount.org/

 

 

Re(3): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 10, 2006 at 09:29:43 PM by Paul Smith

I had a closer look at the Beamer Hawkwatch year-end results for the Broad-winged hawk for 2004 (2532) and 2005 (5537) - more than doubling in one year. Those numbers are pretty skewed (all the other counts were reasonably stable). What do you think would cause this ?

 

 

Re(2): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 10:21:35 AM by Barbara Taylor

I find it useful to know what birds to expect at different times of the year since it gives me a chance to brush up on what field marks to look for. Of course there is always the possibility of an "early bird" or accidental "shouldn't be here ever" bird, but then I'm prepared to take extra care in making an identification. Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby is well-positioned at one of the natural funnels for migrating hawks. If no Broad-winged Hawks have been seen at Beamer yet, it would be a very good bet that any hawk you see today in Muskoka is not a Broad-winged - not impossible, but unlikely, so caution is warranted.

Just for interest, I searched the archives of the BIRDHAWK listserv which has reports from several hawk watches along known migration routes. The earliest report of a Broad-winged Hawk in 2006 was a single hawk seen on March 3 at Tlacotalpan Veracruz Mexico - as of March 22nd they had only recorded 227 in total. It was not until March 26th that larger numbers of Broad-winged Hawks started to move through daily. On April 2nd alone they counted 29,000! Good numbers of Broad-wingeds were still moving through Veracruz Mexico as of April 6th.

When I checked this morning, there were no other Hawkwatches with reports of Broad-winged Hawks, except for Washington Monument State Park which reported 7 on April 7th. The recent bout of severe storms passing south of us in the United States has not been very conducive for migration.

 

 

Re(1): Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 10:40:20 PM by Paul Smith

Hi Al - Don't you think it's a bit of a stretch to imply someones report is suspect, just because some group 120 miles south of here hasn't reported a sighting yet ? In general, it is the middle of April, and the bird is readily identified thru it's flight / call etc - pretty common around here from what I've seen over the last few years ...

 

 

Still no Broad-wings at Beamer
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 01:38:32 PM by Al Sinclair

As of April 5 there still were no Broad-winged Hawks reported at the Niagara Hawk watch at Beamer Conservation Area. Be careful when identifying hawks as Broad-winged this time of year since they normally don't arrive until mid-April.
For more info on this Hawk watch and what this years totals are go to this website.
http://www.hwcn.org/link/niaghawk/

 

 

House Finch
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 10:17:21 PM by Goodyear

We had a male House Finch make a very quick visit to one of our feeders at 6:00 p.m. this evening. Perhaps the same one that was seen by Ted, who lives around the corner from us (we're at 117 Meadow Heights). Also, a very obliging Ruffed Grouse has been visiting our feeders late in the afternoon for the last couple of weeks. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Common Loon
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 08:06:42 PM by jim maguire

Common Loon calling on Sparrow Lake at 6:45 p.m. Friday April 7. Last year first date was April 12. Today the ice is rapidly breaking apart, and the Loon's arrival seems to coincide with this ice dispersal stage most years, including last year.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 10:13:37 PM by Richard Doucette

As of 7pm tonight, Cell 3 is nearly ice-free.

In addition to ducks seen by Barbara, I added a blue-winged teal to the list of duck at the Ponds. I saw two scaups tonight and my vote would be for lesser as well.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 09:09:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Bracebridge Ponds can be accessed from Kerr Park, off Beaumont Dr. or from Lagoon Lane, off Eccelstone Dr. (turn at Seasons garden centre). If the Lagoon Lane gate is open, DO NOT drive through or you might find yourself trapped inside when the gate automatically closes. There is a built-in time delay on the gate for the sewage trucks.

If you approach from Kerr Park then you can look down on cells 1 and 2 from the path that goes past the viewing stand on the top of the hill. You can get a quick overview of where the birds are. The path enters the Ponds area at the west side. Last fall most of the ducks seemed to prefer cell 3 which is closest to the Lagoon Lane entrance. From Kerr Park you will be looking south and east. From Lagoon Lane you will be looking north and west. I usually choose whichever entrance puts the sun at my back.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds & Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 06:45:05 AM by Mark McAnally

Barb
What is the best way to access the ponds? Park at Kerr Park?

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds & Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 01:14:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

There is still a Pied-billed Grebe on the Muskoka River near Santa's Village. At 12:30 p.m. it was close to shore beside the little dock by Beaumont Dr. at the big bend in the river.

The Bracebridge Ponds had very few ducks this morning, but the good news is that cells 1 and 2 are completely ice-free now. Cells 3 and 4 have small areas of open water. In cell 2 there were 10 Bufflehead, 2 Wood Ducks, 4 Mallards, and a lone Scaup (Lesser?). A Belted Kingfisher and a Turkey Vulture flew overhead.
Bracebridge Ponds - map

 

 

Re(1): Whooping Crane in Ontario...update
Posted on April 7, 2006 at 03:41:13 PM by Al Sinclair

Whooping Crane 309 left Chesley at noon yesterday, no reports today. The 2005 bird that was with it at the start of migration, #520, has been tracked to the northern tip of Michigan. 309 has a working satellite tracking transmitter so we should learn where it went in a few days. This address displays a map of its travels in 2004/2005.
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/c/craneHY04_187.jpg
A biography of all the 2003 birds is at:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/crane/03BandingCodes.html

 

 

Whooping Crane in Ontario...lost again
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 12:29:23 PM by Al Sinclair

Whooping Crane in Ontario...again
It was just reported on Ontbirds that a banded Whooping Crane has been found in Bruce County south of Chesley. According to operation migration it is likely #309 one of the 3 who visited last year. Check these websites for info on the crane migration. The story below on #309 was clipped from the Operation Migration Website.

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/crane/spring2006/Update033106.html
http://www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html

From Operation Migration:
309 is our wayward bird which was blown off course with several others in the spring of 2004. She spent her first summer of freedom in Michigan, and in her peregrinations has visited Ohio, New York, Vermont, South Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. This past fall she was collected in North Carolina and moved to Florida. She spent most of the winter at the Chassahowitzka pen in the company of our youngest generation, and recently became buddies with 520.

Mark Nipper reported that on Monday March 27th these two newly acquainted flock mates departed the Chass pen for parts unknown. 520 carries a satellite transmitter as well as a conventional radio tracking device. This is good, because neither of these birds have made a successful trip north. 520 was a good follower last year, and the only break in her knowledge of the migration route was when she and 10 other birds were crated and moved 64 miles from Terrell County to Cook County in Georgia .

The next few days will be interesting. I am sure an number of arguments will ensue between an older bird that has been lost for 3 years and an upstart that knows most of the way. Given that they are both female, maybe one or the other of them will ask for directions.

 

 

Ring-necked duck and crow behaviour in Bracebridge
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 11:18:03 AM by Richard Doucette

This morning at the George Rd municipal dock in Bracebridge there was a group of three males and one female ring-necked ducks.

I saw two crows and one of them started to collect some birch bark right off the tree. But I don't know if this was nesting or courtship behaviour. Any guesses?

I also had the following at the dock (seen and /or heard).
Pileated Woodpecker
Phoebe
Bufflehead
Song Sparrow
Tree Sparrow

Rich

 

 

woodcock
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 09:46:05 AM by Gerry Lannan

Woodcock seen Sun. eve.Apr 2;at our house2k ne of kearney.

 

 

Great Blue Heron and Otter
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 09:13:03 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Yesterday I was passing Enrico's on Hwy 169 driving south to Bala. I noticed a great blue heron out on the ice. It flew a few feet several times and then I realized there was an otter eating a fish in a hole in the ice. The heron was going after the otter and it's fish. The otter moved to another hole and the great blue pursued. Eventually the otter disappeared and the heron gave up.

 

 

Ducks etc., Peninsula Road
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 09:06:06 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

I tried to post this message on Monday night but it seems to have disappeared into the ethernet.

I was looking for ducks to photograph on Sunday and found a marsh right beside the Pensinsula Rd. South of Rosseau. There were 9 male and 2 female Hooded Mergansers along with half a dozen Woodducks.

On Monday morning there were 17 Woodducks, 12 males and 5 females. Fewer Hooded Merganser with 3 males and 1 female. Two pairs of Black Ducks and one pair of Mallards.Six phoebes and two dozen tree sparrows fed in the marsh along with chickadees, grackles and red-winged blackbirds and 3 great blue herson. I heard red-shouldered hawk, snipe and blue jays.

The Woodducks, mallards and black ducks were feeding on a drift of seed and vegetation I called "swamp soup". The hoodies were diving for 3-4 in catfish under the ice.

By Tuesday and Wednesday most of the birds had left.

The male mallard flew three times and headed off another pair of mallards before they could land. The female would then squack loudly from the water. I've never seen them do this before.

 

 

woodcock
Posted on April 5, 2006 at 08:49:11 PM by John Challis

Third night in a row for the first woodcock on our street. We heard its "peent" call on Monday night, heard its demonstration flight twittering Tuesday night and tonight it flew over my head into the woods and started up with the "peents" again. Meanwhile, a beaver nearby could be heard chewing on some branches. (Washago)

 

 

Re(2): House Finch
Posted on April 6, 2006 at 05:28:04 PM by Ted Gardner

Was present again today around 4:30 pm
only for a couple of minutes.

 

 

Re(1): House Finch
Posted on April 5, 2006 at 09:22:21 PM by Al Sinclair

Keep us posted if it returns, hard bird to get in Muskoka in recent years.

 

 

House Finch
Posted on April 5, 2006 at 04:35:34 PM by Ted gardner

Just had a male House Finch on our feeder. Nothing spectacular but he is a new one for our yard list!! #71 in fact!120 Meadow Hieghts dr. B.B.

 

 

Cardinal behaviour
Posted on April 5, 2006 at 04:02:56 PM by Richard Doucette

I just observed some neat behaviour. A male and female cardinal seemed to be defending their territory against themselves. They were acting aggressively towards a sideview mirror of my truck. My truck is somewhat brushing against the cedar hedge and they must have seen their image while perched. Iíve heard of this behaviour before, but this my first observation of it. If I can get some photos, Iíll post them.

Iíve had a pair of cardinals visiting my feeder all winter. (Bracebridge)
Rich

 

 

Hawks, Tree Sparrows, Purple Finches, Turkeys, Merganzers and Buffleheads
Posted on April 4, 2006 at 00:49:32 AM by Anne Lewis

The immature sharp shinned hawk ( picture is with chickadee kill) has been joined by and adult. Red shoulderd hawks are back and broad winged.
Purple finches were here on Sat.
Wild Tom Turkey is strutting his stuff. The flock is up to 11 and here every day......strange birds...
Tree sparrows arrived this weekend.
The small semi open bays have merganzers and buffleheads along with a few geese. Gulls are flying overhead. Saw 1 Glaucous Gull. The ice is staring to break away from the shore, usually the small bays are more open by now. We still have snow on the ground. Feels like spring looks like winter. (Six Mile Lake)

 

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/sshm27.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/sshawkprey.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/sparrowt.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/pwptreef.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/tomt.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/sixmiler/merganzer.jpg

 

 

Owl Survey - April 1, 2006
Posted on April 3, 2006 at 08:32:46 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Saturday April 1, 2006 was a rainy day in Muskoka until we started our owl survey down Big Chute Road from near Hwy 400 to Coldwater. The weather cleared to total stars and a sliver of a moon between stop 1 and 2 and the Barred Owls started responding! 6 owls in total at 4 of 10 stops. Wild reaction by pairs of Barred Owls at 2 stops as we must have been underneath their nest! Took a ton of pictures.....here is just one!
Bob, Judy, Dan, Marion and Terry Whittam
Barred Owl - Big Chute Road

 

 

Purple Finch, Pied-billed Grebe...Bracebridge
Posted on April 3, 2006 at 05:34:48 PM by Al Sinclair

 

Today we had our first Purple Finch here since last fall, a male at the feeder, Hwy 118E east of Bracebridge. Also went into Bracebridge to look for the Pied-billed Grebes reported on the river along Beaumont Drive. Found one across from Santa's village, fishing very close to the shore. Saw it catch a small minnow and then a larger rock bass type that it could hardly swallow. Snapped a picture of it through the car window. These species bring my Muskoka year list to 40.photo

 

 

Port Severn tagged Trumpeters
Posted on April 3, 2006 at 12:56:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

In early March we managed to get the tag numbers for two of the many Trumpeter Swans at Port Severn. Here is some background I just received from Julie Kee at Wye Marsh: "I don't have any records on swan #737, but swan #642 is a female bird born here in Wye Marsh in 2002 to one of our resident pairs, Brutus (#007) & Amazon (#438)."

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 10:38:31 PM by Richard Doucette

I still have a couple coming to my feeder in Bracebridge. But their appearance is not as predictable as it was a few weeks ago.

I've also heard them around the neighbourhood today.

Rich

 

 

junco, tree sparrow and song sparrow in Bracebridge
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 10:55:40 PM by Richard Doucette

I had my first tree sparrows (two) and a song sparrow rummaging through the bird seed on the ground in my backyard. I am also still have visits from juncos.

As for birds along the river in the past few days, I'm seeing the typical spring migrants: common goldeneye, bufflehead, common merganser and hooded merganser. No grebes yet though.

Rich

George Rd (along the Muskoka River off Golden Beach Rd)
Bracebridge

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 10:07:55 PM by Bob Burt

This afternoon a Turkey Vulture was soaring above Hwy. 118W near Ziska Rd. A Red-shouldered Hawk was hunting over the fields by Brooklands Farm on Butter & Egg Rd. A pair of American Kestrels, an Eastern Meadowlark, and a Great Blue Heron were in the fields along Falkenburg Rd. near Beatrice Townline Rd. (Beatrice Townline Rd. is flooded.)

 

 

Golden-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrow
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 06:09:50 PM by Goodyear

Early this afternoon we had a flock of Kinglets moving through the woods just east of Henry Marsh. We also saw our first White-throated Sparrow of the year today. It was with a growing flock of Juncos and Tree, Song, and Fox sparrows that are feeding on mixed seed we throw down in our yard (Meadow Heights).

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes, and more...
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 01:19:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 12:30 p.m. today there were two Pied-billed Grebes on the Muskoka River - one by #548 and another by #1447 Beaumont Dr. At the big bend in the river near Santa's Village there were five Hooded Mergansers and a few Bufflehead.

Earlier, at the Henry Rd. marsh there were 12 Hooded Mergansers in a small area of open water near the little bridge. Several ducks were in the flooded field to the north of the bridge - 50 Mallards, 8 Wood Ducks, and 4 American Black Ducks. Two Great Blue Herons were near the back of the marsh, along with a Belted Kingfisher. Two playful River Otters put on a good show, tumbling about on the south edge of the marsh, and then running along the ice out of sight. The trail was flooded just before the "T" - rubber boots may be required by this afternoon with further melting.

At the Bracebridge Ponds there were only 4 Mallards in the small patch of open water in cell 1. A beaver was seen in the flooded woods to the north of cell 4, and a Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead. Many Song Sparrows singing and a Spring Peeper calling by cell 4.


directions:
Henry marsh - from traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St., head west on Beaumont Dr., and turn left onto Henry Rd. (Bracebridge). There is a parking area at the trailhead by the pile of wood chips. When you walk to the "T" in the trail, turn right.

Bracebridge Ponds - map

 

 

Sandhills
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 11:14:26 AM by J. Gardner

Sandhill cranes returned to Hurdville area this morning. Bottom end of Lake Manitouwabing. Not to mention Tree Swallows. Hooray

 

 

Hawks
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 09:42:42 AM by todd white

Early this morning i have seen a Red Shoulder hawk at the fairy vista trail, And a Broad wing hawk on hgwy 60 and south portage rd.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans
Posted on April 2, 2006 at 09:22:57 AM by sylvia purdon

Just for the records, I had four trumpeter swans on the Severn River near the mouth of Sparrow Lake on Sunday February 26, a very early sighting indeed. They were swinging up and down the river at a great rate and honking all the way and finally did a fly past over my head as I walked on Canning Road. We went away in March so this is my first chance to post this information.

 

 

First moths...2 species last night...photos
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 04:26:58 PM by Allan Sinclair

 

First moths seen at our place this year on the night of March 31. Last year we didn't see any moths until April 15. The Sallows feed on sap and sometimesend up in sap buckets. (Hwy 118E, east of Bracebridge)photos

 

 

 

Kingfisher, Phoebe, Song Sparrows
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 03:51:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was an Eastern Phoebe near the end of Wilson's Falls Rd. and a Belted Kingfisher flying along the river by Bass Rock. (Bracebridge)

There is a small area of open water in cell 1 now at the Bracebridge Ponds but no ducks yet - just a pair of Canada Geese. Several American Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrows were at the Lagoon Lane entrance gate.

Bracebridge Ponds - map

 

 

Wood ducks
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 11:28:23 AM by todd white

Three wood ducks this morning,alongside a pair of hooded merganser and one golden eye,and a pair of king fischers. (seen along hgwy 60, in a pond close to Hillside)

 

 

IMPORTANT - Bird Board website address change
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 10:42:26 AM by Barbara Taylor

Please check the website address you use to get to the Bird Board
I have just been informed by the hosting service for the Bird Board that they will be discontinuing an older version of the website address as of April 30th. I first alerted everyone of the change back in 2003, but the older url has still continued to work until now. Depending on how you found your way to the Bird Board, you may be using the older address. Please make sure you are using the newer correct website address as shown below.

If you click on the link below, and add it to your bookmarks/favorites, then you'll be all set. http://b3.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=MuskokaBirdBoard

 

 

Wood Duck
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 10:31:57 AM by Don Clement

First Wood Duck, lone male, sighted @10AM, upper Kahshe River, near Germania. Yesterday, river otter and young moose within 50 feet of our house.

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on April 1, 2006 at 08:23:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. All posts for January-March are now available in the Archived Reports. Just a reminder to bookmark the back-up webpage. Important notices will be posted there in the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service.

Please include the location of your sightings in your report - even the nearest town or major crossroads would be fine. Other people might like to try and see what you've reported, so directions would be appreciated, although not required. Thanks.



New to the Bird Board?
The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of any bird sightings or other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. You don't have to include an email address in your post. See the Posting Guidelines for more information, including several tips on using the message board.

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
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com