Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July - September 2006
 
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Orange-crowned Warbler, American Coot
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 01:59:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found an Orange-crowned Warbler by the curve in Lagoon Lane. At the Henry Rd. marsh there was an American Coot. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Sparrows
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 10:49:10 AM by janice house

White crowned sparrows feeding in the yard today (Doe Lake Rd.)

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Oct. 5
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 09:31:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

From the WAKEROBIN - Newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists
OCTOBER 5, THURSDAY, 7:30 p.m., Bracebridge
Modern-day explorer Rudy Hrdlicka will share his love of nature with us through a slide show journey across Canada this summer. Rudy travels to places where most of us don't have time or energy to follow. From lofty mountain tops to which he hikes, and at sea level from his canoe, Rudy's Canada is a facinating adventure.

Visitors welcome to attend. Meeting will be held at the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Bracebridge, SE corner of Cedar Lane and Taylor Rd. Membership Information & Program Updates: MFN website

 

 

Re(3): Destroying Angel
Posted on October 1, 2006 at 09:39:33 AM by Al Sinclair

Both species are common in our area but Leucoagaricus naucina is usually found on lawns and roadsides, Amanita virosa in the woods. However there is always exceptions, to be sure one must learn all the identifying features of both. The Leucoagaricus is not a recommended edible mushroom because it could be confused with the Amanita and has made some people sick.

 

 

Re(2): Destroying Angel
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 12:46:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are other mushrooms which look similar. I found this one last fall which I thought might be a Destroying Angel...but upon closer examination, Al identified it as Leucoagaricus naucina (formerly Lepiota naucina). photo

 

 

Re(1): Destroying Angel
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 10:52:07 AM by janice house

Al, I noticed a mushroom on the way to the Silver Lake beaver meadow today, it looks the same as your photo. Are they common? It had a small pie shaped wedge out of the cap.

 

 

Destroying Angel
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 08:51:23 PM by Al Sinclair

One of the deadliest. Photographed Sep 20/06 near our house 8 km east of Bracebridge.photo

 

 

Heboloma spore print
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 11:55:13 AM by Al Sinclair

I photographed the spore print of the Heboloma that Barbara posted photos of in her message below. It was taken when the mushroom fruited there last year, date on the photo is Sep 29, 2005. The print colour is described as dull brown or rusty brown in some books. Cortinarius spores are a brighter more reddish brown. A spore print is made by cutting off the stalk and placing the mushroom cap on a white piece of paper. A drinking glass is placed over the mushroom to prevent air currents from blowing the spores away and blurring the print.

 

 

Rusty Blackbird at the Ponds
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 10:04:19 AM by Al Sinclair

Wilf Yusek reported that this morning there was a single Rusty Blackbird beside the road between cell 1 and 2 at the Bracebridge Sewage Treatment Ponds. Also C. Goldeneye in cell 4.

 

 

Sand Hill Cranes
Posted on September 26, 2006 at 04:10:59 PM by Carol Wagg

After an absence of several months, we saw a flock of 4 cranes in flight above our Doe Lake Road property yesterday. They came from the east, basically following the road, and disappeared to the north about half-way along Doe Lake.

 

 

Hummingbird at Port Sydney
Posted on September 26, 2006 at 12:13:26 PM by Jon Grandfield

After being absent since Sept. 12, a hummer appeared on Monday, Sept 25. It was attracted by a showy impatiens that is inside our patio doors. The hummer was bumping the glass where the flowers were close or touching it. Could not post on the 25th - no phone service.

 

 

Re(1): More Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings...new website
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 10:02:10 PM by Wilf Yusek

The following site is an interesting paper re the IBWO in Florida. http://www.ace-eco.org/vol1/iss3/art2/

 

 

Re(1): More Ivory-billed Woodpecker...
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 09:49:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

Other websites - regarding the earlier Arkansas sighting:
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/
Sibley et al - comments in Science Magazine
http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2005/09/ivory-bill-skeptic-home.html
New York Times article

 

 

More Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings...new website
Posted on September 26, 2006 at 09:46:14 AM by Al Sinclair

A story in the Toronto Star today, Tue Sep 26, reports on a new location in the Florida panhandle where a team of experienced birders had 14 separate sightings but still no photos were taken. There is a website where you can find out more information. http://www.uwindsor.ca/ivorybill

 

 

Wild Turkeys
Posted on September 24, 2006 at 07:22:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were about 40 Wild Turkeys in the field beside Beaumont Dr. near the intersection with Beaumont Farm Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Register before posting...more info
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 02:48:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

In order to prevent spammers from posting on the board, you now have to register your name before you can post. When you register, enter your real name in the box for "username" since this is exactly how your name will appear in every message you post. (note: you can include a space between your first and last name and you can include an & sign if needed)

If you want to change your username after you've registered, then just register again using the new name and use the same old password so it's easy to remember. You can use your password to edit any posts you make. If you forget your password, send me an email.


helpful tip:
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.

 

 

Re(1): Fall Nature
Posted on September 24, 2006 at 08:53:45 AM by janice house

I was at the cottage yesterday at Skeleton Lake and my brother found a blue spotted salamander while splitting logs

 

 

Fall Nature
Posted on September 23, 2006 at 09:02:40 PM by Peter Mills

Spent some time in Magnetawan this weekend and did a little naturalizing...Fall is here full force. photo

It was a good amphibian weekend due to the wet conditions and I heard Spring Peepers (now Fall Peepers) calling from both the woods and the edge of a pond. I found two Red efts under debris at the edge of the same pond--I assume they are returing to the water after a summer of wandering the uplands. One was nice and colourful, the other barely having colour at all. photo1photo2

I found this dark-phase Red-backed Salamaner (Lead-backed Salamander) under a log and saw this regular coloured one slinking through the leaf litter in broad daylight---highly unusual. photo3photo4

 

 

Re(4): Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 25, 2006 at 08:42:33 PM by Peter Mills

Thank you Al,
I believe you actually already identified this mushroom for me in mid July, when I found two that had grown together. These were near each other but I would never have made the connection due to the difference in form. Thanks again!photo

 

 

Re(4): Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 25, 2006 at 08:55:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Al - figures I find one not in the guides. Maybe I'll just stick with the more obvious ones like Blewitts. : )

P.S. - I've reset the message length limitation so much longer messages can be posted...sorry, was a software hiccup.

 

 

Re(3): Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 25, 2006 at 08:05:04 PM by Al Sinclair

Barbara's Mushroom: close clusters of many dull brown and boring looking individuals, technically described as "densely gregarious". Fortunately I looked at this mushroom last year when it was growing in the same spot. Took some home for a spore print, rusty brown. Gills of young specimens were covered with a cobwebby veil, called a "cortina". That makes it either a Cortinarius or Hebeloma. After checking some of my obscure reference books that are not widely available I decided that this mushroom is most likely Hebeloma mesophaeum, Veiled Hebeloma. This one is not in the field guides.

Peter's Mushroom: an attractive and interesting red and yellow mushroom that grows in groups. It looks to me like it has a stalk and gills so is not a cup fungus despite the uprolled edges. This one is Hygrocybe (=Hygrophorus) coccineus, Scarlet Hood. They don't look like the photo in Mushrooms of Ontario because they are getting old and the photo is of young ones. This is a common and widespread species but is variable in appearance.

 

 

Re(2): Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 25, 2006 at 08:02:44 PM by Al Sinclair

Here is what I find is the trouble with identifying mushrooms:

There is too many species, many not in the field guides. The species look alike and require close examination, sometimes with a microscope. Identification often depends on subjective features such as taste, smell, color, and feel. Mushrooms often change shape and color significantly as they age. Photographs in books usually show either young or old ones but not both and often there is a color shift in printing. They also look different if the weather is wet or dry. Although they are common and widespread very few species in the Cortinarius and Inocybe families are included in field guides, likely because they are hard to identify and not good to eat. That said I offer some possible names for the mushroom photos in this thread in the next message. This one got too long so I had to divide it.

 

 

Re(1): Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 23, 2006 at 08:52:31 PM by Peter Mills

Sorry Barbara, I'm adding to your problems. I also found this mushroom and don't know what it is. It looks like the Scarlet Cups I find in the spring but these are larger and have the coarse tawny outside....Growing under young hemlocks.photo

 

 

Mushrooms - ID?
Posted on September 23, 2006 at 11:42:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

We found this large group of mushrooms yesterday by the parking area at the end of Henry Rd. in Bracebridge. I haven't been able to identify them yet. Does anyone know the species?photo1photo2photo3

 

 

2 busy ducks
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 10:45:22 PM by Robert MacEwan

this was taken this (Fri) morning, a little below the falls in downtown Bracebridge, these were 2 busy ducks, it was comical to watch how busy they were feeding, they found something that they really had an appetite for, they were stocking up for a long trip I'm thinkingphoto

 

 

Tinker's-weed
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 04:03:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

We found two of these plants today along the Trans Canada Trail west of Henry marsh in Bracebridge. I think it is Triosteum aurantiacum (Coffee Tinker's-weed). The leaves don't appear to join around the stem, so that would rule out Triosteum perfoliatum. photophoto2photo3

 

 

Hummingbird in Bala
Posted on September 21, 2006 at 07:14:07 PM by Dinny &Neil Nimmo

This evening, Sept 21st at 6.47pm a female hummingbird came to our feeder. It stayed in the area for 20 minutes.

 

 

Re(1): white throated sparrow
Posted on September 22, 2006 at 07:16:43 AM by janice house

while walking the dogs the other morning heard the same song, same bird? (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

white throated sparrow
Posted on September 20, 2006 at 10:03:42 PM by John Challis

On Pinedale Road, intersecting Pinedale Lane, which leads of course to the Pinedale Motel, Gravenhurst, at about 3:30, a white-throated sparrow let loose with one weak but characteristic song. He sounded cold.

 

 

Coots, Shovelers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 20, 2006 at 11:56:28 AM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek reports that at 11:50 a.m. today there are two American Coots and a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4, a pair of Northern Shovelers in cell 2, two Green-winged Teal were in cell 1, and a Green Heron flew overhead.

 

 

Re(1): American Pipits
Posted on September 20, 2006 at 10:06:33 PM by John Challis

Dave: Give the Rocksborough Road a try, down in the farm fields for more pipits (possibly). If the hay bales haven't been collected off the fields, the pipits like to hang around them.

 

 

American Pipits
Posted on September 17, 2006 at 06:04:53 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon we saw a flock of approx. 10 Pipits making their way along the fence line at the north end of the Muskoka Airport runway.

 

 

LeConte's Sparrow-Torrance Barrens
Posted on September 17, 2006 at 02:47:33 PM by George Bryant

Thursday, September 14 ~12 noon.
We observed a tailless juvenile LeConte's Sparrow on the 3 km. Highland Pond trail about 200 metres before it crosses Muskoka road 13 about 2.5 kms. along the trail. The bird fed close to the gravel trail on the ground allowing very close approach and only flushed a few feet when we were about 10' from it. Two orange back stripes were the most prominent feature. My second fall record (the first being Sept. 28, 1980).

 

 

Northern Shoveler - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 17, 2006 at 12:02:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

A female Northern Shoveler in cell 2 around 11 a.m. today, as well as several Blue-winged Teal and Wood Ducks. A few Palm Warblers, Nashville Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, and two Blue-headed Vireos by the curve in Lagoon Lane.Bracebridge Ponds map

 

 

Register before posting - only your name required
Posted on September 17, 2006 at 12:01:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

In order to prevent spammers from posting on the board, you now have to register before you can post. When you register, enter your real name in the box for "username" since this is exactly how your name will appear in every message you post. (note: you can include a space between your first and last name and you can include an & sign if needed)

If you want to change your username after you've registered, then just register again using the new name and use the same old password so it's easy to remember. If you forget your password or have any questions about registering, send me an email.


helpful tip:
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.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting on September 25
Posted on September 16, 2006 at 12:59:50 PM by Rick Stronks

See attached advertisement for the upcoming Huntsville Nature Club meeting:

In June of this year, club member Dan Strickland fulfilled his longstanding dream of visiting Kenya to see its exceptional wildlife. For 26 days he explored the national parks and forest reserves in the southern part of the country, from the coast of the Indian Ocean in the east to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, and from the famous grasslands of the Masai Mara up to near the tree line at 10,500 feet on Mount Kenya.

Under the outstanding leadership of Terry Stevenson, author of the Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa, Dan's tour saw about 600 bird species, and almost 60 mammals, including all the big and famous ones such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, rhinos, hippos, zebras and giraffes. Dan was able to photograph many of these fabulous wildlife species and will share some of the highlights of his tour with the club at the meeting on September 25.

The Huntsville Nature Club meets on the last Monday of every month at Club 55 in the Town Hall at 7 p.m. and guests are always welcome. For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Jim Griffin (385-0945) or Rick Stronks (635-3315).

 

 

turkeys on the Fraserburg Road
Posted on September 15, 2006 at 02:27:04 PM by Robert MacEwan

taken Friday just before noon, not a very clear shot as it was taken through the windshield, I guess turkeys don't read road signs very well ;-)††† photo

 

 

American Coot - Henry marsh
Posted on September 14, 2006 at 12:24:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 11 a.m. today there was an American Coot at the Henry Rd. marsh. Also a pair of American Wigeon, Hooded Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, and Mallards. A Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead. At the Henry Rd. parking area there was a juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo feeding on the fall webworms. Also a Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

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

 

 

Cardinal fledgling
Posted on September 14, 2006 at 09:34:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

Finally the cardinals in our neighbourhood have at least one fledgling. For two weeks in August the male was singing like it was springtime and when the female was nearby he did the "lopsided pose" courtship behaviour. Seemed late to try for another nesting...but they've been successful. We had seen the adults carrying food earlier in the season but the young never made it to the fledgling stage. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds and Friends
Posted on September 14, 2006 at 09:41:29 AM by janice house

4 bluebirds here Wednesday, pine warblers and common yellow throat. Pine warbler very friendly, I was potting up some day lillies and he came close enough that I could have touched him. Pileated woodpecker was on top of the hydro pole surveying the neighbourhood.

 

 

Bluebirds and Friends
Posted on September 12, 2006 at 09:09:15 PM by janice house

Bluebirds in our yard today, male,female and one juvenile and at least a dozen warblers with them. Every time a bluebird landed on one of the bluebird boxes or on the hydro wires a warbler would be right there. Palm, yellow rumped for sure. There was another warbler, seemed larger had a dark line through the eye and held its tail up like a wren. Saw a broad winged hawk, red tailed hawk and turkey vulture. Lots of cedar waxwings too. (Doe Lake Rd.)

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds still around
Posted on September 12, 2006 at 07:54:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Haven't seen any in our yard since Sept. 4th, but I did see one yesterday at the sewage lagoons. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds still around
Posted on September 12, 2006 at 07:02:54 PM by Wilf yusek

I still have 2 coming to my feeders late this afternoon.(Prospect Lake)

 

 

Hummingbirds still around
Posted on September 12, 2006 at 06:23:09 PM by Jon Grandfield

We have a prolific patch of nasturtiums that have attracted hummingbirds on September 10, 11, and late on the 12th. (Port Sydney)

 

 

Henry Rd. marsh
Posted on September 12, 2006 at 12:22:35 PM by Bob Burt

This morning at the Henry Rd. marsh there were two Pied-billed Grebes, an American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, and a Merlin chasing after some Cedar Waxwings. A Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Gray Catbird were along the trail just west of the marsh.

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

 

 

Blue-headed Vireo
Posted on September 11, 2006 at 02:50:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Blue-headed Vireo north of cell 4. I haven't seen one since spring (fewer of them around this year?). It was in a Winterberry shrub with orange-red berries. Two Palm Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers were nearby. Now only one Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4 at the NE corner.

 

 

Hawk on Doe Lake Rd
Posted on September 11, 2006 at 02:21:30 PM by Ron Stager

Saw an unusual hawk along Doe Lake Rd going into town at 8:15 and returning at 9:15 a.m.

Large like red-tail but:
i) rufous back and shoulder (ligher colour than kestrel: initial impression was a big,stout,unusual-looking kestrel)
ii) light head
iii) light (whitish) and broad tail.
Saw the bird fairly close (40-50 m ) but without binoculars before it flew farther away.

Just looked at Sibley's. Only thing close was Ferrunginous (or some color variant Red-tail).

Bird was in first wetland on southside of Doe Lake Rd west of intersection with Housey's Rapid Road. Located on a double curve in the road. Watch for traffic that is usually speeding in this area.

 

 

Canada Geese at Henry Marsh
Posted on September 11, 2006 at 11:47:32 AM by Robert MacEwan

this was taken Saturday around 5:30 in the afternoon, just as I arrived at the marsh the geese were starting fly out, this is the third of 3 large flocks that left the marsh in less than 10 minutes, it was an impressive sight to see and hearphoto1photo2

 

 

Winter Finch Forecast
Posted on September 8, 2006 at 09:50:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Ron Pittaway has posted his Winter Finch Forecast on ONTBIRDS. You can find it here: http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/ONTB.html#1157722441.

 

(If above link stops working, try the archives: http://mailman.hwcn.org/pipermail/ontbirds/Week-of-Mon-20060904/013468.html)

 

 

Re(1): Polyphemus Moth?
Posted on September 8, 2006 at 02:36:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Matches exactly the Polyphemus photo in Caterpillars of Eastern North America, Wagner. I think you identified it correctly. In our woods east of Bracebridge Polyphemus is the most common of the Giant Silkworm Moths.

 

 

Polyphemus Moth?
Posted on September 7, 2006 at 11:50:12 PM by dawn

I found this caterpillar on my garage about a week ago. It was approx. 2.5 inches long. The closest match I could find in my book was a Polyphemus moth, but the picture didn't look quite the same??photo

 

 

Re(2): fungus?
Posted on September 8, 2006 at 10:51:16 AM by dawn

That must be it! Nature never ceases to amuse me. : )
I found it in Conger Township, just south of Parry Sound on the side of an ATV trail.

 

 

Re(1): fungus?
Posted on September 8, 2006 at 09:30:48 AM by Barbara Taylor

I think it is one of the Stinkhorns...possibly Phallus ravenelii. Did you find it in the Huntsville area?
http://www.mushroomexpert.com/phallus_ravenelii.html

 

 

fungus?
Posted on September 7, 2006 at 06:14:32 PM by dawn

I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me what this is. It was about 3-4 inches high, had a terrible odour and had little flies crawling in and out of it. photo1photo2

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists meeting Sept 7
Posted on September 7, 2006 at 09:53:45 AM by Al Sinclair

Don't forget about the MFN meeting tonight, details below. Bill Crins is one of the best field botanists in Ontario as well as an excellent all-round naturalist.

SEPTEMBER 7, THURSDAY, MFN MEETING: Latter Day Saints Church, Bracebridge, 7:30 p.m. Dr. Bill Crins from the MNR in Peterborough will present a program he calls "Indicators of Environmental Change via the Natural World".

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 9, 2006 at 03:40:59 PM by Wilf Yusek

Had 1 at my feeders this afternoon.

 

 

Re(5): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 7, 2006 at 05:39:44 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

I still had two yesterday, Wednesday, in Bala.

 

 

Re(4): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 10:26:38 PM by Al Sinclair

We were down to one yesterday and none today, looks like the last one has departed.

 

 

Re(3): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 09:13:32 PM by Marilyn Kisser

this was a bumper year for hummers here just outside Rosseau - sometimes I counted 30 at the 4 feeders - today I counted 4 - I'm sure by next week there will be 1 or 2 or maybe none

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 07:31:40 PM by Wilf Yusek

I had 5 at my 3 feeders here today.
Prospect Lake.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 07:24:52 PM by J. Gardner

From a high of over 20, we are now down to just 2 young hummers. The glass is nearly empty and will not be refilled. Hummers seem to have had a productive season in Hurdville.

 

 

Hummingbirds gone...
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 07:16:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds constantly visiting our sugar water feeder until yesterday. None again today. They were all looking rather plump so I guess they decided to take advantage of the good weather to begin their migration.

 

 

Re(2): sphinx moth caterpillar
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 01:07:24 PM by John Challis

The only book we have that identified it as a horned sphinx moth was a Little Golden Guide -- not great guides, but handy for their portability. Peterson's guide to caterpillars has six or eight other sphinx moths, but not this one. The map in the Golden Guide showed it ranging from the southern tip of Georgian Bay south into much of the U.S.

 

 

Re(1): sphinx moth caterpillar
Posted on September 5, 2006 at 11:10:18 AM by Al Sinclair

I looked it up in Caterpillars of Eastern North America (Wagner). Four-horned or Elm Sphinx, Ceratomia amyntor, because of the four horns on its back near the front end. Eats Elm, Basswood, Birch. Field Guide to the Moths of Eastern North America (Covell) says that it is common but I have not seen it in Muskoka.

 

 

sphinx moth caterpillar
Posted on September 4, 2006 at 09:25:38 PM by John Challis

Another spectacular caterpillar crossed our path today, on Green River Drive, Washago.photo And here's its tail end, which didn't make the first shot. photo2 The guides indicate this is a horned sphinx moth -- but I could be mistaken. At any rate, it has the traits of a sphinx month. They're big on elm leaves ... and big, generally; this character was about four inches long (100 mm).

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 09:14:39 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I'm waiting for them to come through - nothing yet just outside Rosseau

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on September 4, 2006 at 08:51:43 AM by janice house

Geoff and I watched 44 cedar waxwings in a dead tree across from the house yesterday afternoon (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

Re(2): Warblers
Posted on September 6, 2006 at 08:58:44 PM by nickbartok

I definately miss the eastern warblers !!! We just caught the first Tennessee warbler here on Vancouver Island, had a few Northern waterthrush and a visiting Northern parula. Keep a look out for our western warblers back home, ie. check out those mourning warblers and make sure they are not macgillivrays, etc :)

 

 

Re(1): Warblers
Posted on September 4, 2006 at 01:50:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

The warblers were harder to find this morning - still many species but only in small numbers. Highlights were Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue near NW corner of cell 4 and Cape May, Palm, Tennessee by curve in Lagoon Lane.Only two Pied-billed Grebes in the NE corner of cell 4 - did the Snapping Turtle get the third one?

 

 

Warbler bonanza continues...eating fall webworms?
Posted on September 3, 2006 at 07:40:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was at least 14 species of warblers, all in fall plumage of course, a challenge to identify them all. They appear to feeding around the fall webworm nests but I actually only saw Red-eyed Vireos and Chickadees picking caterpillars out of the webs. Below is a list of what was seen today by Wilf Yusek, the Goodyears and myself. I may have missed a couple seen by the others. Three of these were new to me for the year, my 2006 Muskoka list is now 142.

SPECIES SEEN
From 9/3/2006 to 9/3/2006 ~ All Places ~ 14 seen
Tennessee Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 14

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo/Chipping Sparrows
Posted on September 3, 2006 at 02:14:13 PM by Goodyear

We had a Black-billed Cuckoo visit our yard this morning (Meadow Heights loop). It flew into one of our windows and sat motionless on the ground for a few seconds and then flew away. We saw it again a short time later(we assume it was the same one)flitting/flying in a maple in our yard. We also had a large number of Chipping Sparrows (adults and juvenile)converge on our front lawn, feeding on the grass that has gone to seed (time to mow?)

 

 

Re(1): Warblers - Feeding Flock, Bala
Posted on September 3, 2006 at 03:41:51 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Missed mentioning junvenile Bay-Breasted
for 12 species.

 

 

Warblers - Feeding Flock, Bala
Posted on September 3, 2006 at 11:54:01 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Three years ago I posted in the fall that I had small flocks of warblers and other small passerines feeding around my house several times a day. They have been putting on a wonderful show the last few days

Between yesterday and so far today I have had 11 species of warbler plus hummers, sparrows and goldfinches. All the purple finches have left.

I have photgraphed, Black-throated Green(Juv. & adult), Yellow-rumped(lots of juveniles), Nashville(adult & juvenile), Tennessee(juveniles - much paler than those I just saw in Minnesota), Magnolia(first fall or adult female, American Redstart(female), Ovenbirds.

So far I missed getting the male American Redstart, adult male Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian(first fall or adult female) and Black & white of the ones around.

If anyone is trying for shots for identification it helps to get the under-tail pattern and colour. The Peterson Field Guide to Warblers is the best book for confusing fall warblers.

 

 

gentian, Io moth
Posted on September 2, 2006 at 07:11:00 PM by John Challis

 

Gayle came across a nice bed of bottle gentians growing along the riverbank (Green River, Washago) behind our house. She also discovered this Io moth, which we brought in to watch it munch on a few rose leaves before letting back into the woods. photo - Io moth caterpillar†† photo - gentian

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo, Merlin
Posted on September 2, 2006 at 12:30:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an adult Black-billed Cuckoo perched beside the Henry Rd. trail right where the snowmobile trail heads east (before you get to the "T"). It gave a couple alarm calls but didn't flush. After giving us a good look, it flew a short distance along the snowmobile trail. A Merlin was perched high atop the dead tree in the middle of the open area to your left as the trail leaves the woods. It flew south of the marsh.

Directions: 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.

 

 

Re(1): Lincoln's Sparrow
Posted on September 2, 2006 at 03:52:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks for reporting the Black-throated Blue...didn't have one on my year list yet. Took a chance while out that way this afternoon and found him! Didn't see the Lincoln's Sparrow, but there was a huge mixed flock of warblers moving along the edge of the woods south of cell 3.

 

 

Lincoln's Sparrow
Posted on September 2, 2006 at 11:37:10 AM by Goodyear

This morning we saw a Lincoln's Sparrow in the grassy area on the west side of Lagoon Lane just as you pass through the gate. There is a wide variety of warbler species in the same area, although not in great numbers. We saw 14 species, including 2 male Wilson's Warblers, 1 Tennessee Warbler, 1 male Black-throated Blue,and 1 Canada Warbler. 16 Turkeys (females and young) crossed over Lagoon Lane while we were craning our necks to find the warblers in the trees.

 

 

Kestrel/Turkey
Posted on September 2, 2006 at 06:28:50 AM by janice house

around 7pm Thursday night a male kestrel blasted out of my cedar hedge, I don't think he got any of my tree sparrows. Friday morning 8 am saw a female turkey at the foot of Gerry Fox's driveway (near the SPCA on Cedarlane)

 

 

Northern Shovelers...at the Ponds
Posted on August 31, 2006 at 01:07:27 PM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday, Aug 30, Wilf Yusek found 3 Northern Shovelers, female plumage, in cell one at the Bracebridge Ponds. I saw them later in the afternoon. Also an American Wigeon in cell 3 and Wilson's Warbler at the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Re(1): night migrants
Posted on August 30, 2006 at 11:12:30 AM by Al Sinclair

Your calls are likely thrushes, maybe Swainson's. There is a CD with recordings of the migratory night calls of most birds. You will find it at http://www.oldbird.org. I have a copy, very interesting stuff including how to record calls at night and then use a program provided to compare them to sonograms on the disk.

 

 

night migrants
Posted on August 29, 2006 at 10:26:18 PM by John Challis

For the last few nights, I've walked the dogs around 10:30 or 11, and tipped my head skywards, noticing many chirps, pips and other call notes. Some must be local birds talking in their sleep, but last night a large flock of something was flying over. The call was a descending "peer" -- fairly short, and sometimes raspy. Calls came from four or five sources at once, and I could pick out one or two repeating calls as they passed over. The birds are on the move, I think. If anyone (Al, Barb) has a guess as to the species I've been hearing, I'd appreciate it.
I'm hoping to hear the oldsquaws again; nothing feels so timeless or free of the stamp of humanity as that strange cry.

 

 

Re(1): Palm Warblers
Posted on August 31, 2006 at 12:48:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 10:30 a.m. there were at least three Palm Warblers at the Bracebridge Ponds north of cell 4 near the east end. Other warblers seen in that area: Wilson's, Cape May, Canada, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Black-and-white, Common Yellowthroat, many American Redstarts and Myrtles.

Seven Northern Flickers were feeding at the edge of the roadway by the NE corner of cell 4. A Brown Creeper was on a nearby dead tree.

 

 

Palm Warbler, Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on August 28, 2006 at 01:09:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning around 11:30 a.m.:

Palm Warbler by the curve in Lagoon Lane, across from dirt road into Nipissing U. It was one of the most co-operative warblers I've ever found, first pumping its tail and then preening for several minutes. Many other warblers there too, along with a Scarlet Tanager and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Three Pied-billed Grebes at the NE corner of cell 4, playing a game of chicken with a huge Snapping Turtle. Two Hooded Mergansers in NW corner of cell 4. Four Green Herons and two Great Blue Herons north of cell 4.An American Wigeon in cell 3. Four Ruffed Grouse flew across the road one at a time just before the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwing Nest at Mikisew
Posted on August 31, 2006 at 08:40:01 AM by Ron Tozer

In Algonquin Park, Cedar Waxwing nests with young are typically observed from mid July to mid August. The latest known date for young in a nest is August 29. (Source: The Birds of Algonquin Park, in prep.). So, your sighting is a late date, especially for small young.

 

 

Cedar Waxwing Nest at Mikisew
Posted on August 25, 2006 at 10:33:05 PM by bkorol

 

Hi All,

Today (25 August 2006) Brad Steinberg and I were working in Mikisew Provincial Park and we found a Cedar Waxwing nest with four young. Is this getting late for this species?photo

Other cool things we saw were: Narrow-leaved Gentian, 7 species of frogs and toads, 2 species of salamander, a least skipper and at least three species of darner.
We, and a nice family of White-tailed Deer, also ate some of the zillions of Bristly Dewberry (Rubus hispidus) that were around.

 

 

Tent Caterpillars in August?...NOT
Posted on August 25, 2006 at 07:03:10 PM by Al Sinclair

The tents proliferating recently in trees along the roads in Muskoka are not made by Eastern or Forest Tent Caterpillars as some people assume. It is the work of Fall Webworm Moths. There are lots of them around this year and they can defoliate a tree but they don't become numerous enough to be a serious pest of a forest. The adult flies in late June. 8140 - Hyphantrea cunea - Fall Webworm Moth

photo of web†† photo of moth†† photo of caterpillar

 

 

American Wigeon, Yellow-throated Vireo
Posted on August 24, 2006 at 12:05:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

I went out to the Bracebridge Ponds after the rain stopped (funny, it wasn't raining at Silver Lake Rd. earlier this morning, just in Bracebridge). There seemed to be a mini-fallout of warblers with the best spots just before the Lagoon Lane gate and north of cell 4.

A lone American Wigeon in cell 3.
Six Lesser Yellowlegs in cell 2.
Two Green Herons north of cell 4.
Pair of Wilson's Warblers north of cell 4 near recently fallen poplar.
Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo at edge of woods near Lagoon Lane gate.
Possible Willow Flycatcher? north of cell 4 - didn't get a very long look at it, but no distinct eyering, had wingbars, tail wag.


Other warblers, etc. seen:
Blackburnian
Black-throated Green
Yellow-rumped
Canada
Yellow
Chestnut-sided
Black-and-white
American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat
Red-eyed Vireo
Northern Waterthrush
Barn Swallow
Eastern Phoebe
Least Flycatcher
Blue-winged Teal in cell 4
Wood Ducks, Mallards in cell 2

Swamp Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Cedar Waxwing
Eastern Kingbird
Downy Woodpecker

Many Bobolinks along roadway south of cell 1
European Starlings near Lagoon Lane gate - in case you're still seeking them Eleanor : )

 

Bracebridge Ponds - map

 

 

Re(3): Black-crowned Night-Heron (Silver Lake Rd.)
Posted on August 27, 2006 at 09:28:57 PM by terry & marion whittam

Very nice to meet you Janice....and Casey and Decker! Too bad we could not see the BCNH.....the 12-15 otters in the marsh were a real treat! Please post any other sightings of the BC night heron. Talk to you soon!
Terry and Marion

 

 

Re(2): Black-crowned Night-Heron (Silver Lake Rd.)
Posted on August 26, 2006 at 10:08:31 AM by janice house

met Terry & Marian Whittam at the pond this morning, no night heron or bitterns,did see gb heron, solitary sandpipers and mallards. I went back with my scope and found 2 bitterns about 8:20

 

 

Re(1): Black-crowned Night-Heron (Silver Lake Rd.)
Posted on August 24, 2006 at 10:36:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Got it! Muskoka Lifer. Dan Burton and I saw it at 6:30pm tonight. I took the photo below through my faithful old spacemaster at about 100 meters. My guess is that it hides in the long grass during the day. They don't call them night-herons for nothing.photo

 

 

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Silver Lake Rd.)
Posted on August 24, 2006 at 08:01:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Janice! A new bird for us!

The adult Black-crowned Night-Heron was still there as of 7:20 a.m. this morning. A family of five otters was roaming about the shallow water at the north end (to your right) of the large open area. The Night-Heron and a Great Blue Heron were following the otters hoping they would stir up something, so we got to see a lot of activity with many short flights. There was also an American Bittern and six Solitary Sandpipers.

When we arrived a bit before 7 a.m. the Night-Heron was on a little mud island in clear view, but when we left it had moved north of the old fence posts as it followed the otters, and so was partially hidden by tall grasses.


directions: from Hwy. 11 (by Gravenhurst) exit onto Doe Lake Rd., then turn right at Laycox Rd. Keep right onto Silver Lake Rd. and the beaver pond is the first large open area on your right. (only about 5 min. from Hwy. 11)

 

 

Black-crowned Night-Heron present Wednesday night 6:40 p.m.
Posted on August 23, 2006 at 08:50:31 PM by Goodyear

We found the Night-heron per Janice's directions. It was sitting on a bed of matted vegetation/mud just right of centre of the large open area. It is an adult bird with bright red eyes, yellow legs, and fairly long hindneck plumes. Also saw an American Bittern walking along the edge of the wet area and 5 Solitary Sandpipers (3 in the large open area and 2 farther to the left where the wet area narrows). We also visited the Lagoons and saw a male Wilson's Warbler at the back end of Cell 4 in the bushes/shrubs along the west side where one was spotted on the Baillie Bird Hike.

 

 

Black-Crowned Night-Heron...not seen - Solitary Sandpipers
Posted on August 23, 2006 at 03:32:23 PM by Al Sinclair

Tried for the Night-Heron just after lunch today, no luck. Early morning would be a better time to look. We got a glimpse of a heron flying out as we drove up but it was likley a Great Blue. Janice, was the Night-Heron an adult or juvenile? The only consolation was 3 Solitary Sandpipers on the mud in the same pond.

 

 

Re(3): Silver Lake Rd Beaver Pond
Posted on August 23, 2006 at 08:21:10 AM by janice house

went to the pond before work today, bittern, black crowned night heron, gb heron 5 mallards and some ? spotted sandpipers. Directions, when you turn right off Doe Lake Rd the sign says Laycox Rd. and you stay right, Laycox rd is a half circle that comes back on to the Doe Lake Rd. There is very little water left, I think the beaver dam has been broken or they have gone, it has never been that low before.

 

 

Re(2): Silver Lake Rd Beaver Pond
Posted on August 23, 2006 at 07:40:15 AM by janice house

Eleanor: Doe Lake Rd from Hwy 11, in about 1.5km turn right, pond is in about 1km from Doe Lake Rd and is mostly dried up, I stand on the left side of the road up on some bolders beside a big white pine to get the best view

 

 

Re(1): Silver Lake Rd Beaver Pond
Posted on August 22, 2006 at 01:25:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Black-crowned Night-Heron!!! Very rarely seen inland from Georgian Bay. Keep us informed if it hangs around.

 

 

Re(1): finch disease
Posted on August 22, 2006 at 03:28:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

The symptoms of the Purple Finches don't seem to match any of these exactly, but here is a link to some of the more common diseases: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/DiseasedBirds.htm

Has anybody else noticed sick birds? We've had several Purple Finch visiting our feeder all summer but so far all appear healthy. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Silver Lake Rd Beaver Pond
Posted on August 20, 2006 at 09:49:36 PM by janice house

Saturday morning there was a black crowned night heron, an american bittern, 3 mallards and several yellow legs at the west end of the pond. Tonight the bittern, yellow legs and gb heron were there. Moira Payne phoned me on Friday as she was watching a black billed cuckoo from her kitchen window. She has also had 3 purple finches die, the one today was having trouble breathing and its beak was all crusty, anyone know what the problem is?

 

 

Re(1): Short-eared Owl ?
Posted on August 22, 2006 at 01:22:28 PM by Al Sinclair

Short-eared Owl was not found in Muskoka during the breeding bird atlas. We do not have any suitable habitat for them. However they were found in many places in Northern Ontario and probably a few migrate through our area spring and fall. The circumstances of you report, Short-eared calling beside a house at 5am in August, does not sound right for this species. If it was an owl it may have been another more common species, possibly a young one. Owls have a large repertoire of calls, many not on the CDs. If you hear it again jump out of bed and run outside to find the source, just kidding :)

 

 

Short-eared Owl ?
Posted on August 19, 2006 at 05:46:05 PM by David Hatch

This morning at 5:10 I was awakened by what I assumed to be an owl calling. I am familiar with some owl calls but not this one . After checking with Peterson and a program that I have about owls I think it may have been a Short-eared owl. Is this likley in my area ? I live on Shennamere Road which is off the Brackenrig Road about 3 miles east of Port Carling.

 

 

Bullfrog
Posted on August 18, 2006 at 06:22:12 PM by Peter Mills


This may not see like a sensible thing to post, as Bullfrogs are fairly common througout our region. However at Ahmic Lake in Parry Sound, Bullfrogs all but disappeared in the early 90's due to an introduction of Rock Bass (they now constitute about 99% of angling catches). This juvenile found along the rocky shore was the first in many years. Since Rock Bass tend to hunt in the shallows at night, I assume that the depredation on tadpoles was too high. photo

 

 

Crow Migration
Posted on August 17, 2006 at 01:21:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday around 7:00 p.m. there was a steady stream of American Crows flying southward over the fields along Ziska Rd. a bit west of Baldwin Rd. We counted at least 200 and could see in the distance that there were many more still coming as we left. (NW of Bracebridge)

 

 

Sparrow Lake Tern recovery...article in Muskoka Magazine
Posted on August 15, 2006 at 01:23:30 PM by Al Sinclair

There is a good story by Doug Smith in the August issue of Muskoka Magazine about the Common Tern recovery project started this year at the Sparrow Lake colony. Photos by Eleanor Kee Wellman.

 

 

Bluewing Warbler
Posted on August 14, 2006 at 10:58:27 PM by terry & marion whittam

Incredible shot Barbara. Wow! Great proof that Bluewings are movng north.

 

 

Blue-winged Warbler...photo
Posted on August 14, 2006 at 09:58:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Carol Davies has sent this photo of a Blue-winged Warbler which hopped onto her hand from her deck railing. Luckily Carol had taken her camera with her when she stepped outside. The photo was taken August 2 at Hwy. 118E east of Bracebridge. It's hard to tell for sure from the photo, but the wingbars appear yellowish and the bill colour seems very light, so I'd guess this is an immature male.(addendum Aug. 16 - a second photo taken from a different angle helps confirm extensive olive colour on head, so more likely a first fall female bird, not male.)†† photo1photo2

 

 

Re(1): Warblers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 12:47:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I found two Canada Warblers and several Black-throated Green Warblers at the edge of the woods west of cell 2 near the south end. I couldn't relocate the Bay-breasted found yesterday, but the other warbler species were still present, although in fewer numbers. A Blue-winged Teal flew by and landed in cell 1.

 

 

Re(1): Osprey, Warblers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 12:58:16 PM by Goodyear

Thanks, Barbara, for the posting about the Bay-breasted. We saw it (species 141 for us) and the other warbler species you listed as well as a male American Redstart, male Blackburnian, and a female Canada Warbler (all seen along the edge of the woods west of cells 2 and 3). A lone Least Sandpiper was making its way up the road between Cells 1 and 2.

 

 

Osprey, Warblers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 12, 2006 at 08:31:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nothing spectacular, but had a pleasant time birding the Bracebridge Ponds today. Around noon there was a large mixed flock of warblers at the edge of the woods as you round the corner from cell 3 over to cell 4. Many Yellow-rumped, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Common Yellowthroats, and a Bay-breasted. Also a few Warbling Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, and Least Flycatchers. Several Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, and two Eastern Kingbirds were hawking insects just above the treetops. As I watched them through my binoculars, an Osprey flew into the field of view! Finally got one in Muskoka - number 141 on my year list. My birding was soon put to an end by a Merlin which came in fast and low, sending all the little birds scrambling for cover. It didn't catch anything, but landed in a dead tree and continued to gaze down on the area for quite a while. Many Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows along the roadway on north side of cell 3. Three Green-winged Teal in cell 2. Two young Hooded Mergansers in NE corner of cell 4.

Bracebridge Ponds map


Re(1): Bonaparte's Gull, Caspian Tern - Lake Muskoka
Posted on August 17, 2006 at 02:43:49 PM by Dave Hawke

Interesting... I saw a single Caspian tern at Taboo Resort (Lake Muskoka) on the same day. Only sighting so far this year.

 

 

Bonaparte's Gull, Caspian Tern - Lake Muskoka
Posted on August 10, 2006 at 06:56:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there was a Caspian Tern and a Bonaparte's Gull flying along the west side of Browning Island, Lake Muskoka.

 

 

Re(1): Peak Mushroom Season starting
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 01:33:13 PM by purdonsm

Could anyone describe a mushroom better than you, Al? as in...it is red, but turns blue as soon as it is cut..Eccccch......

 

 

Peak Mushroom Season starting
Posted on August 9, 2006 at 12:22:26 PM by Al Sinclair

The peak season for mushrooms is begining and looks like it will be good. Yesterday we found Boletus variipes in our woods (photo below). I have not identified this species here before but there are lots of them this year. Identifying features are reticulate (netted) and hollow club-shaped stalk, white covering on the tubes when young. Also found several Boletus subvelutipes, a bolete with red tube mouths that is listed as poisonous. The flesh turns from blue to yellow instantly when cut.

 

 

Juvenile Sandhill Cranes at Torrance Barrens...Good Butterfly...sightings from Rick Snider
Posted on August 9, 2006 at 11:54:38 AM by Al Sinclair

Rick Snider sent me a report from his trip to the Torrance Barrens with Joe and Bob Stamp on Saturday July 29. (I would have reported this earlier but we are just getting back to normal out here after the big storm, electric power was off for 3 days at our place, longer at Vankoughnet.) These are good sightings for Muskoka and I thought they should be recorded in the bird board archives.

He had two juvenile Sandhill Cranes, juvenile Bonapartes Gull and a flying calling Nighthawk. Also an Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly. The locations per email from Rick were as follows: We walked the Highland Pond loop starting toward the boardwalk. The Sandhills were standing on the opposite distant shore(north?). We heard one originally, saw it fly then land, eventually seeing two together near the water's edge. Later on the east side one circled around us calling. The Bonapartes was on the open water of the Highland Pond circling then resting on the water. We stopped on the east side where the White Fringed Orchids are and spished and I did some Saw-Whet tooting wondering about Lincoln's Sparrow which we didn't find, but then we heard the Nighthawk calling and saw it circling east of us, possibly stirred up by the Owl imitation. The Eastern Tailed-Blue was on the west side of the highway where the trail crosses the road then recrosses back to the parking lot. I'm not sure exactly but it was about 1/3 of the way along the trail where it goes between some junipers before dipping into woods.

 

 

Re(3): Silver-spotted Skipper...photo
Posted on August 9, 2006 at 06:02:22 PM by Al Sinclair

Rick's photo

 

 

Re(1): Silver-spotted Skipper
Posted on August 9, 2006 at 11:24:29 AM by Al Sinclair

Silver-spotted Skipper, goood sighting, haven't seen one here myself but; The Ontario Butterfly Atlas shows one record in southern Muskoka, Butterflies of Canada appears to show some records in south-western Muskoka. I think its status here would be better described as vagrant in the south since they are common south of the shield and may disperse northward but probably do not breed here. I say that because we lack significant numbers of their preferred food plants, legumes, black locust in particular. It is possible that they are breeding in south-western Muskoka using Tick-trefoil as a food plant. This plant occurs only in that area of Muskoka and is not common. As to flight time in Muskoka there are too few records to know, but Butterflies Through Binoculars shows then flying in August in small numbers in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin dates line up pretty well with Muskoka for other species.

The Muskoka Butterfly list has had no major revisions since it was published. Some species listed as hypothetical have been confirmed but I don't think any new species have been added.

You have a digital photo? If you email it to me I will post it on the board.

 

 

Silver-spotted Skipper
Posted on August 9, 2006 at 10:04:49 AM by Rick Stronks

I observed and photographed a very worn Silver-spotted Skipper on Sunday August 6 at Sparrow Lake (south of Gravenhurst). I have an old checklist of butterflies for Muskoka (authored by Bob Bowles??) and this species is listed as uncommon. I have only seen this species in the south west part of Ontario.

Is anyone tracking flight times for butterflies in this area? Butterflies of Canada reports that Silver-spotted Skippers fly to late July through most of its range. This appears to be a late record.

I would like to get an updated checklist - if anyone knows how I would appreciate the information!
Thanks.

 

 

Canada Geese - one of my favourites
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 10:27:20 PM by Robert MacEwan

taken this afternoon at 2 pm at Henry Marsh, I've seen a few geese down there from time to time but this afternoon there was numerous groups of them, I'm "guesstimating" there were around 75 geese there at the time, you can see that the goose at the top of the picture was honking when he flew over

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 08:54:59 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Barred owl calling 2 nights ago 1am to approx 3am 10km east of Washago. "Who cooks for you....who cooks for you all"! We heard one last year at the same time. Seems like a strange time of year or perhaps its because the windows are open all night! Beautiful sound! Attached link to a Barred owl picture I took last spring in April 2006 on the Owl survey.
Barred Owl - Big Chute Road

 

 

Philadelphia Vireo, Ragged Rapids Rd., Bala
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 08:19:24 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

This morning at approx. 7:30 am, Eric Clough, Oregon, Neil Nimmo, Bala and myself saw a Philadelphia Vireo with a mixed flock that was foraging along Ragged Rapids Rd., Bala.
The bird had a dark eyeline and yellow all around the throat and down the breast.
This was a new bird for my Muskoka List, and a life bird for Eric.

 

 

Re(1): Merlin
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 08:46:22 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We had 3 new young merlins at our lake east of Washago this year. The 3 young continue to make a racket chasing mom all around the lake for food! Fledged about 2.5 weeks earlier this year!

 

 

Merlin
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 02:41:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Merlin flying over the Bracebridge Ponds. It landed briefly in a tree to the east of cell 1 and then flew off towards Kerr Park. Not much action at the lagoons today - no shorebird habitat and no migrating ducks.

 

Red-eyed vireo nest
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 01:00:08 PM by Alex Mills

I enjoyed watching a pair of Red-eyed Vireos attend to a nest at Magnetawan on August 5 and 6. It was built in a red pine in a narrow strip of trees between a comfortable screened in porch and the shore of Ahmic Lake. Since one adult frequently sat on the nest, I expect the young were recently hatched. They have a lot to accomplish between now and later September when they have to head out for their South American winter range.

 

Re(1): Common Terns
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 08:58:16 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Well done Sylvia, Jim and team. Great success against the odds / gulls! I'd like to see the shelters you built for the terns! Again well done! Terry and Marion

 

Re(1): Common Terns
Posted on August 8, 2006 at 02:35:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Great news Sylvia.Sounds like the efforts to assist the colony were a success. Congratulations to all those who took part in the project.

 

Common Terns
Posted on August 7, 2006 at 09:15:33 PM by purdonsm

Please be advised that the Common Tern breeding colony on Sparrow Lake have all migrated off the lake as of today, Monday August 7, 2006, after a successful breeding season with 15+ fully fledged flying juveniles.

 
 

Eleanor Island gulls and herons
Posted on August 3, 2006 at 02:54:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

We boated around Eleanor Island on Lake Muskoka this morning to check on the gulls and herons. (See cormorant message thread on the Nature Photos Board).

There were no gulls on or beside any of the tree nests, but many adult Herring Gulls were perched in the trees. There may have been one gull still sitting on a ground nest (just from the the way it was nestled down). Many immature gulls were bobbing about in a large flotilla close to the island. No herons were seen in any tree nests and none were perched elsewhere in the trees. There were two immature Great Blue Herons down by the water's edge, staying well hidden in the shadows. A third young heron was seen in flight as it returned to the island close behind its parent. So at least we were able to confirm the herons had some breeding success.

 

Re(3): Cormorant colonies...also on Lake Joseph
Posted on August 13, 2006 at 01:39:42 PM by purdonsm

Well, we have no nesting evidence for the DCCormorants. We note that Bob Bowles has written a column on the species as being threatened to extinction like the Dodo bird if the present attitude towards cormorants continues. I think there is one eradication project in Ontario. At the Sparrow Lake Association meeting this Saturday, one person asked about the cormorants with the intention of presenting this bird as a negative influence on the environment.

 

Re(2): Cormorant colonies...also on Lake Joseph
Posted on August 7, 2006 at 10:08:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Aug 3, during the Muskoka Heritage Foundation sunset cruise on Lake Joseph we found Cormorants and used nests in a dead tree on a rock south of Black Forest Island in Lake Joseph. John Grandfield confirmed that they have been there for a few years. This location was not reported to the Breeding Bird Atlas.

 

Re(1): Cormorant colonies
Posted on July 31, 2006 at 10:05:21 PM by Al Sinclair

During the Breeding Bird Atlas project that was completed last year Cormorant nests were found in only 5 locations in Muskoka, 3 on islands in Georgian Bay as well as Eleanor Island and Ship island in Lake Muskoka. They were observed in almost every square but we assumed they were non-breeders or birds from these 5 locations. It would be interesting to know if nests have been found anywhere else recently.

 

Cormorant colonies
Posted on July 31, 2006 at 09:58:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

Robert MacEwan has posted a photo of the Double-crested Cormorants on Eleanor Island, Lake Muskoka. It would be interesting to know how many more colonies have been established in recent years in Muskoka and surrounding areas. If you know of any, please post the general location.
Cormorants on Eleanor Island

 

Re(2): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on August 1, 2006 at 10:45:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

We have never seen any Herring Gulls using the tree nests on Eleanor Island, but will pay closer attention now. Would there still be young in the nests this late in the season? We'll try to get over there for a look later this week.

 

Re(1): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on August 1, 2006 at 10:03:18 PM by ron tozer

Herring Gulls occasionally nest in tree nests of other species. See page 201 in Peck and James (1983) which reports Herring Gull nests in former nests of Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle and Osprey. I suspect a cormorant nest would be equally acceptable, and the gulls are likely using them on Eleanor Island. Herring Gulls in tree nests have been reported from four lakes in Algonquin Park (The Birds of Algonquin Park, in prep.).

 

Re(4): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on August 1, 2006 at 04:17:41 PM by Debbie Adams

Barbara, regarding your query if Blue Herons had nested on Eleanor Island - I counted at least 5 nests with adults earlier this year.

 

Re(3): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on July 31, 2006 at 10:13:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

They may have already left the island. For a while after they've fledged, the immature herons usually hang out near the water's edge at the end of the island with the pine trees. They can be amazingly well hidden until they move. The cormorants and gulls tend to concentrate at the other end of the island on the smooth rock outcrop as shown in your first photo.

 

Re(2): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on July 30, 2006 at 11:57:27 PM by Robert MacEwan

Barbara - I only toured around the island once, that was about 4:30 this aft (Sunday), the only birds I saw were gulls and cormorants
Robert

 

Re(1): cormorants on Lake Muskoka
Posted on July 30, 2006 at 10:45:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

The gull might be scavenging a piece of fish left in the nest or it might just be resting up high for a change. They do nest on the ground on the island.

The Double-crested Cormorant used to be a rare sight on Lake Muskoka, but by 1994 it was no longer unusual to see some. It was suggested to me that they wouldn't nest on "inland lakes" because of boat traffic. Well, in 1996 several Cormorants gathered on Eleanor Island in late summer and checked the place out...and in the spring of 1997 they returned to start a colony. That first year there were only about thirty nests, but unfortunately the Cormorant population has exploded. Several of the trees on the island have already died because of them.

Did you see any Great Blue Herons on the island? I didn't make it over earlier this year to see if they are still nesting there. I'm afraid the Cormorants will eventually push them out and take over the island completely. That looks like it might be a Heron nest the gull is sitting on.

 

cormorants on Lake Muskoka (from Ontario Nature Photos Board)
Posted on July 30, 2006 at 09:32:18 PM by Robert MacEwan

I was by Eleanor Island on Lake Muskoka this afternoon, I was amazed by the number of cormorants I saw, there are hundreds of them on that little island and it seems there are just as many gulls, does anyone know what a seagull would be doing in a cormorant's nest? I saw several of them standing/sitting in them and I always thought gulls nested on the ground.photo1photo2

 

Re(1): Solitary Sandpiper
Posted on July 30, 2006 at 12:52:01 PM by wilf yusek

There are 2 Solitary Sandpipers in the same location.

 

Solitary Sandpiper
Posted on July 30, 2006 at 10:16:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek reports a Solitary Sandpiper at the Bracebridge Ponds. It is currently at the south end of cell 2 on the "beach" where all the ducks rest.

 

Matchedash PWA - Friday & Saturday
Posted on July 29, 2006 at 09:37:31 PM by eric clough

Hope you dont mind a lengthy posting here. I am a visiting birder to the area (from Oregon) and I thought I would post a trip report for the last couple days. I visited the Matchedash trails accessed by Quarry Road Just South of Port Severn on Friday Morning. Thanks to Eleanor (sp?) and Neil Nimmo for suggesting this area to me - it was very "birdy" and only moderately buggy. I spent about 1.5 hours here on the trail between the wetland and the "river" between 0830 and 1030. I didnt see anything particularly unusual and a few fall plumage wablers I cound't identify (as usual!). Common Yellowthroats, chipping sparrows, swamp sparrows, and song sparrows were abundant among other typical birds. Of note, for me at least was the house and sedge wrens, catbird carrying food to a nest, american bittern in-flight, at least 4 green herons in-flight, osprey, and a pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks. There was a white-tailed deer bounding through the brush and little red striped garter snake. There was also a couple of soras or maybe some kind of rails calling from the marsh but I didnt recognize their calls.

This morning I visited the Matchedash trails accessed by Kinnear road. I spent about 3 hours here walking the trail from the picnic area to the lookout and through the large meadow area. It was raining hard here in Bala when I left (~0630) and sunny and mostly dry, at Matchedash. again, pretty birdy an mossies werent too bad. Again, several yellow plumaged wablers I didnt get good enough looks at to ID (i suspect at least one was a nashville and another a blue-winged), but i was able to discern at least one yellow warbler, a couple black & white warblers, several redstarts, and what I thought was an immature female golden-winged warbler. I also saw a yellow-rumped warbler with no tail - must have been molting or perhaps lost through a rough encounter with a predator(????). anway, eastern kingbird and eastern phoebe were present along with a great-crested flycatcher, blue-gray gnatcatcher, veery, and a pair of 'spucking'brown thrashers. the large snag near the picnic area was a real draw for the hairy and downy woodpeckers, northern flickers, imm. yellow-bellied sapsucker, white-breasted nuthatches, and many more. lots of chipping and song sparrows and one that looked to me like a vesper sparrow. Also, saw several good-sized flocks of cormorants overhead. Several I didnt get to ID included warblers, an empid (alder flycatcher?) and what looked like an all gray vireo.

Looking to visit some boreal forest habitat while here over the next week or so. Anybody got a recommendation for good birding in boreal habitat aroung North Bay? I am interested in seeing some of the spruce budworm warblers that may still be on their breeding grounds.

Eric Clough

 

Viceroy butterflies
Posted on July 27, 2006 at 01:07:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Henry Rd. marsh I found a Viceroy butterfly, only the second one I had seen this year. Then a quick trip to the Bracebridge Ponds produced 4 more - two at the east side of cell 4 and two by the Lagoon Lane gate. Zillions of Monarchs now anywhere there is milkweed - seems to be a very good year for that species. (Bracebridge)

 

No Ruddy...but
Posted on July 26, 2006 at 06:02:03 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked the Bracebridge Ponds today at 5:30 pm, the Ruddy Duck not found. However found 2 Pectoral Sandpipers halfway down the south side of cell 2, American Bittern flushed from the south side of cell 1.
Bracebridge Ponds can be accessed from Lagoon lane at the south end of Bracebridge. map

 

Great Blue Heron nest
Posted on July 26, 2006 at 02:47:29 PM by terry & marion whittam

I received a call about a GBH nest on Doe Lake road between numbers 1788 and 1848. This morning there was 1 of 3 young still perched on the nest right in the middle of the swamp between the 2 addresses mentioned. One adult and the remaining young one seemed oblivious to the heavy traffic on Doe Lake road. I missed the nest the first time approaching from the east...its more visible when coming from the west side.

 

Re(1): Ruddy Duck - Wilf's photo
Posted on July 25, 2006 at 06:37:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is Wilf's photo of the Ruddy Duck at the Bracebridge Lagoons.

 

Ruddy Duck, Osprey,Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 25, 2006 at 02:07:58 PM by Wilf Yusek

Bracebridge Lagoons approx. 11.00 a.m. I saw a nice male Ruddy Duck in cell 2 South end mostly, also had an Osprey fly over cell 1 Also at Muskoka Highlands Golf course this morning had 2 female turkeys and 15 young walk across the field between the 11th green and the 12th tee, they went off into the high fescue.

 

American Ladies...rare this year
Posted on July 24, 2006 at 02:47:59 PM by Al Sinclair

We saw our first American Lady today at noon nectaring on Blazing Star in Joan's flower bed. Normally quite common there numbers are apparently down this year over most of their range.

 

Re(3): Odonates in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Posted on July 25, 2006 at 06:26:38 PM by Al Sinclair

In my experience, a beaverpond would be typical habitat for Enallagma ebrium. E. hageni could be there also but I have found them more frequently around lakes. E. civile is supposed to occur here but I have yet to find one.

 

Re(2): Odonates in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Posted on July 24, 2006 at 10:09:15 PM by Richard Doucette

Al,
Thanks for your assessemnt. I was aware that some of the odonates required examination with a field lens, but was not sure which ones that would apply to.
The 'Familiar' Bluet was photographed on the edge of a beaver's dam (Big head pond on one side and cattails and alder on the other).
Rich

 

Re(1): Odonates in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Posted on July 24, 2006 at 01:14:15 PM by Al Sinclair

My suggestions for ID's below. However these are by no means for certain.
It is sometimes not that easy to ID photos with great accuracy, bad lighting or photo angle that doesn't give the right view can cause problems, and you can't tell size. Also many similar looking male damselflies have to be netted and examined with a hand lens to see the shape of the claspers at the end of the abdomen. The females of some species are not separable without a microscope and in the field are identified by the males they associate with.

Canada Darner: correct, first thoracic strip deaply cut with a handle.

Aurora Damsel: correct

Familiar Bluet (male and wheel): Could be familiar but also Marsh (ebrium) or Hagen's. Need to check the claspers. I think it is more likely ebrium where you were photographing.

Unknown Spreadwing: My quess is Ebony Spreadwing (dryas)

Female Damsel: Could be Variable Dancer female but can't see shoulder stripes in the photo.

 

Odonates in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Posted on July 23, 2006 at 10:58:40 PM by Richard Doucette

I spent about 5 hours photographing odonates on the Beaver Meadow Trail in Arrowhead Provincial Park on June 8 (http://www.ontarioparks.ca). Sorry for the late post, but this is my first big effort in photographing and identifying odonates.

Here is a list of the species seen on the trail that I have confidence in my ID.
Ebony Jewelwing, male & female
Common Whitetail, male & female
White-faced Meadowhawk, female
Calico Pennant, male
Chalk-fronted Corporal

Some of the nicer photos of these are posted on the Ontario Nature Photos Board.

I also have a few that I am not sure Iíve properly identified or cannot ID.

Canada Darner, female: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/CanadaDarner.jpg

Dog-tailed Whiteface, female: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/Dog-tailedWhiteface-2.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/Dog-tailedWhiteface-1.jpg

Aurora Damsel, male: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/AuroraDamsel.jpg

Familiar Bluet, male: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/FamiliarBluet-2.jpg

Familiar Bluet, male and female in copulation wheel: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/FamiliarBluet-1.jpg

Spreadwing spp., male and female in copulation wheel: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/UnkSpreadwing-2.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/UnkSpreadwing-1.jpg

Damselfly spp., female: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g129/doucetteri/Arrowhead Provincial Park/Arrowhead Provincial Park - Uncertain ID/UnkDamselflyFemale.jpg

Any help to confirm or correct my first ID of these critters would be greatly appreciated. The park does not maintain a formal list of odonates and therefore any positive ID would be shared with park staff to establish one.Rich

 

Butterfly Blitz - Henry Marsh
Posted on July 22, 2006 at 05:27:17 PM by Al Sinclair

Butterfly Blitz - Henry Marsh
Friday July 21 2:00 to 4:30 PM, 4 observers - George Bryant, Rick Snider, Wilf Yusek, Al Sinclair
Dion Skipper, Broad-winged Skipper, Delaware Skipper, Bronze Copper are uncommon or rare in Muskoka.
Photos below.
Henry Marsh is at the end of Henry Rd off Beaumont Drive in Bracebridge.
UTM 17 T 631090 4985780 NAD83

SPECIES SEEN
7/21/2006
Cabbage White, Pieris rapae
Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus
Summer Azure, Celastrina ladon neglecta
Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele
Northern Crescent, Phyciodes selenis
White Admiral, Limenitis arthemis arthemis
Northern Pearly-eye, Enodia anthedon
Monarch, Danaus plexippus
Least Skipper, Ancyloxypha numitor
European Skipper, Thymelicus lineola
Long Dash, Polites mystic
Delaware Skipper, Anatrytone logan
Broad-winged Skipper, Poanes viator
Dion Skipper, (possible, not seen well) Euphyes dion
Dun Skipper, Euphyes vestris
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 15

ALL PHOTOS BY RICK SNIDER
At Henry Marsh in the District Municipality of Muskoka - July 21, 2006

Broad-winged Skipper

Delaware Skipper

Bronze Copper

 

 

harrier juvenile
Posted on July 22, 2006 at 11:55:50 AM by John Challis

A young marsh hawk, (harrier, depending on preference), has been making its presence widely known in the swamplands by Green River Drive, Washago for the last two days. It has been following its mother, complaining loudly, from dawn to dusk, often directly over our house. A second has been calling from a bit north -- don't know if it's a juvenile from the same brood, or Mom giving vent to her frustration, or some hawk answering back from another nesting site.

 

 

Re(3): cuckoo, ovenbird
Posted on July 23, 2006 at 07:44:05 PM by nickbartok

it flew away from hammonds transportation over the tracks, i guess north, i think it spooked as we drove by.
you mean i have a species on my year list that no one else has?? :) cheerio

 

 

Re(2): cuckoo, ovenbird
Posted on July 22, 2006 at 04:39:21 PM by Al Sinclair

First Yellow-billed reported this year I think. Did you see which way it went?
Ovenbirds are quiet around our place now, only heard occasionally. I do think the number of Ovenbirds has been dropping in our area in the last few years. They are still common however, had 23 on my Breeding Bird Survey route this year, 3rd most common bird.

 

 

Re(1): ovenbird
Posted on July 22, 2006 at 12:00:35 PM by John Challis

Try Rocksborough Road, off Fraserburg Road. Most seasons there have been eight to 10 singing along the wooded stretch of the road. This late in the season, though, they aren't calling very much. We have had a lot at our new home, Green River Drive, Washago, but they too have pretty much ceased singing....although one was singing this morning by the house. Congrats on the yellow-billed cuckoo!

 

 

yellow billed cuckoo
Posted on July 21, 2006 at 11:03:12 AM by nickbartok

saw a yellow billed cuckoo today (friday) at 10am while driving past hammond transportation. it was sitting on the hydro line running parallel to the railway tracks. lifer for me and definately a highlight of my muskoka birding ever!!

has anyone seen/heard ovenbirds around? my usual spot does not seem to be producing

 

 

Stubbs Falls in Arrowhead Provincial Park
Posted on July 20, 2006 at 12:25:39 PM by willowbeachbirding

We went camping in Arrowhead last weeek and it was bloody hot. These falls were totally packed but I did manage to get a few shots without people in them!! What a beautiful spot! photo

Forgot to mention we had a very young Deer run up the road by itself at our site and heard and saw Hermit Thrush, Veery, Red Eyed Vireo, Broad Winged Hawks, and many more birds, too many to say.

Lorena

 

 

Golden-winged Warblers
Posted on July 20, 2006 at 09:41:59 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday morning I took a quick trip to Henry Rd. marsh and found a family of Golden-winged Warblers with at least two fledglings. They were in the shrubbery along the Henry Rd. trail just as you leave the woods and step out into the big open area. A Green Heron was standing on the wooden platform at the back of the marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Hummingbird Nest
Posted on July 20, 2006 at 05:09:09 AM by Eleanor kee Wellman

If anyone knows of a hummingbird nest I would really appreciate the opportunity to photograph it with or without occupants!

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 19, 2006 at 12:43:45 PM by Wilf Yusek

Saw 3 Common Goldeneyes in cell 2 this morning, before I left they moved to cell 3

 

 

Rare Skippers at Henry Marsh
Posted on July 16, 2006 at 10:11:10 AM by Al Sinclair

Friday Rick Snider found a Broad-winged Skipper 10ft left of the "T" where Henry Rd Trail meets the Trans-Canada, first record for Muskoka. Yesterday I relocated it and found Dion Skippers at the same location and along the trail north of the bridge. Rick returned yesterday to get a topside photo of the Broad-winged and also found Delaware Skippers and a Bronze Copper(reported previously by Barbara Taylor). Delaware Skippers look like European Skippers but larger, and more pointed wings. Broad-winged and Dion are two of the largest Skippers, see photos below. The Dion photo was taken in my backyard yesterday on an Obedient Plant. Look for them nectaring on the Vervain and Milkweed flowers at Henry Marsh.
Henry Road Trail is accessed from the end on Henry Rd off Beaumont Drive in Bracebridge.

LEFT: Broad-winged Skipperphoto†††† RIGHT: Dion Skipper†† photo

 

 

Re(1): Tree Swallows
Posted on July 19, 2006 at 06:43:37 PM by janice house

Moira and I checked our bluebird boxes and found one nest with 4 dead very tiny tree swallows and another with 3 dead ready to fledge swallows. I have 3 bb boxes in my yard, 2 boxes had full ts nests with eggs, one was abandoned one was successful.

 

 

Re(1): Tree Swallows
Posted on July 17, 2006 at 02:15:28 PM by terry & marion whittam

We run about 55 boxes around Clearwater lake east of Washago. We noticed a big drop in box access after the May 24 weekend. I did check a few boxes and found no eggs or remains just a new nest this year. I then checked the next closest box and found up to 5 TS eggs. So some good news. I'll know more when we clean all 55 out later in the season.

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on July 15, 2006 at 02:57:17 PM by J. Gardner

Preliminary results of swallow production in our bluebird line would indicate somewhere over 30% of young died very early (perhaps 24th weekend)in the growth cycle. Early bluebird nests too were poor, with abandonment of a great many. Fortunately, the bluebirds are making second families with great success. The swallow, alas, doesn't often succeed in the few attempts at second nests. Did anybody else notice this die off?

 

 

More young birds
Posted on July 15, 2006 at 01:52:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

More Purple Finch have recently arrived at our birdfeeder - at least six males now and several females/immatures. We've seen two juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, but the adult male seems to have left, perhaps to help out with a second brood. Last week the first Blue Jay fledglings accompanied their parents to our yard, but not yet to the feeder. A Northern Flicker has been visiting our bird bath during this hot spell, along with two of its young. The Chipping Sparrows already have a second bunch of fledglings. There has been a lone juvenile Eastern Phoebe hanging around the yard for a few days, but no sign of its parents.A large family of Red-breasted Nuthatch are regular visitors now - or possibly two families since there seems to be major quarrels some days. A Robin is almost finished constructing a nest in a birch tree near the front of our house. She abandoned the same spot last summer so I don't know why she's decided to try there again. A Blue Jay was already taking interest in the nest, probably waiting to steal the first egg. There still have been no young robins in our yard, so I guess the first nest failed.

The neighbourhood "pet" deer has been keeping her fawns in the small wooded area behind our house. They briefly came out to explore the edge of the yard last evening after the doe finished feeding them and left them on their own again. The doe wanders along many nearby streets as she munches on various offerings in the neighbourhood gardens...so drive cautiously if in the area. (Glendale Rd./Kevin Cres., Bracebridge)

photo (poor quality photo due to verrry big digital zoom handheld and shot through window)

 

 

Re(1): Mushroom help, Treefrog again, first Salamander
Posted on July 13, 2006 at 02:36:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Two grown together I think. Looks like Hygrocybe coccinea, Scarlet Hood.

 

 

Mushroom help, Treefrog again, first Salamander
Posted on July 13, 2006 at 02:03:13 PM by Peter Mills

While at Magnetawan, Parry Sound, I came across this blazing orange mushroom (photo) in a soggy bottomland forest. It looks to me like two have grown together and joined, as trees sometimes do. Does anyone have any input on this, or know what's going on?

 

On the 9th of July, I reported a Gray Treefrog (photo) at a small beaver pond near Magnetawan. I re-visited this pond yesterday and was delighted to find him there again--on the very same log, not an inch from where he was last. I wonder if this is an epicenter of his activites and where he rests for the day.

 

As well, I am always on the lookout for the first transformed frogs and salamanders of the year. I found a very small Spring Peeper and also a brand new baby Blue-spotted Salamander under a log at the water's edge. These species both breed in April, so the early amphibian breeders are wrapping up!

 

 

Re(1): Northern Three-Toed
Posted on July 12, 2006 at 09:56:00 AM by Ron Tozer

Juvenile Hairy Woodpecker rarely has yellow on forehead rather than normal red. See page 313 in Sibley guide. You likely have two young Hairy Woodpeckers coming to the suet.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Three-Toed
Posted on July 12, 2006 at 08:39:40 AM by Frank LeVay

Now, we`re having second thoughts! Woodpecker HAS a distinct yellow forehead, but no back or side "ladder" markings. Looks like a hairy with the yellow cockade at the front. ?????

 

 

Northern Three-Toed
Posted on July 11, 2006 at 05:04:30 PM by Frank LeVay

Today July 11, at our suet feeders a pair of northern three-toed woodpeckers has been feeding.
We are at SW corner of Alexander & Catherine Streets, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys
Posted on July 16, 2006 at 10:01:31 AM by Don Clement

On Thursday there was a pair of Wild Turkeys with four chicks crossing Germania Road, south of Hy 118. The chicks were sort of striped, light and dark, about the size of a dove.

 

 

Wild Turkeys
Posted on July 11, 2006 at 12:23:04 PM by Bob Burt

This morning there were two Wild Turkeys in a freshly mowed field on the west side of Stephens Bay Rd. near Strawberry Bay Rd., Bracebridge.

 

 

Upland Sandpiper
Posted on July 10, 2006 at 10:50:57 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Upland Sandpiper just off MacArthur Sideroad at M&N sideroad east of Washago.photo

 

 

Two Skippers
Posted on July 10, 2006 at 06:31:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Late this afternoon I photographed these two butterflies in my back yard. They were in a small plot of natural regeneration that we don't mow. The first is a Northern Broken Dash and the second is a Peck's Skipper. These two species, normally uncommon in the Muskoka district, seem more plentiful than usual this year. Both were recorded on the Bala butterfly count last week.

Northern Broken Dash (top side) photo

Northern Broken Dash (underside) photo

Peck's Skipper (top side) photo

Peck's Skipper (under side) photo

 

 

Re(1): Chickadee Behaviour
Posted on July 12, 2006 at 09:55:01 AM by Barbara Taylor

Seems a little late in the season for a courtship display, so perhaps it was an appeasement display if another "threatening" chickadee was closeby. I haven't been able to find a reference which discusses such swaying behaviour in Chickadees but here is an article describing swaying behaviour in Vireos: http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Condor/files/issues/v064n04/p0273-p0276.pdf

There is a reference to chickadees swaying as a nest-site distraction, but the wings are held out from the body. Here's the article (have to scroll down a bit): http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Wilson/v094n02/p0216-p0218.pdf

 

 

Chickadee Behaviour
Posted on July 10, 2006 at 08:52:18 AM by Debbie Adams

A Chickadee nesting in one of our birdhouses displayed behaviour I've never seen before and wonder if someone could explain. When the bird flew out of the house, it sat perched in one spot and without moving it's feet, began swinging from left to right much like an oscillating fan (or Stevie Wonder during a performace) and kept this up for at least 5 minutes. It wasn't moving it's wings, nor singing and didn't appear to be looking at anything in particular. It just kept it's feet firmly stationed and oscillated from side to side.

 

 

Snapping Turtle and Treefrog
Posted on July 9, 2006 at 08:11:22 PM by Peter Mills

While visiting Magnetawan, Parry Sound this weekend I didn't find anythig too noteworthy. However, yesterday while walking a cobly river I stumbled across this large Snapping turtle in a small riffle among the stones. photo

 

Later, while walking the perimeter of a small beaver pond I noticed what looked like a plop of grey lichen atop of a log near the water's edge. Upon closer inspeciton it turned out to be a Gray Treefrog, resting for the day. It is strange that it is still at the pond and has not dispersed to the nearby woodland. They are done breeding now and in fact, I saw tadploes of this species while I was there, including some that even had sprouted all four legs and were nearly ready to leave themselves! (Also note drangonfly nymph shell in lower right) photo

 

 

Meadow Fritillary and Bluebirds
Posted on July 9, 2006 at 11:54:06 AM by Barbara Taylor

I seem to be having better luck finding new butterflies than birds - finally added an Eastern Bluebird (#136) to my Muskoka year list but had to go out to the end of Rocksborough Rd. to find one. An adult male was feeding two young perched on overhead wires. Several Bobolinks there too. (Take Cedar Lane to Fraserburg Rd. to Rocksborough Rd.)

I found this Meadow Fritillary in our yard yesterday. (Bracebridge)

photo1photo2

 

 

 

Henry marsh
Posted on July 8, 2006 at 02:29:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

I went looking for shorebirds at the Henry Rd. marsh this morning since the water level is very low and southbound migration has already begun...but no luck except for a lone Killdeer. I did manage to find several other birds though, including a Red-shouldered Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Great Blue Herons, a family of Belted Kingfishers, White-throated Sparrow with young, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwings, Swamp Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and a Ruffed Grouse with at least two young. A Cuckoo was calling...sounded like a Black-billed. A doe waded out into the beaver pond to stand amidst some water lilies and munched away, keeping one eye on me at all times.


There weren't very many butterflies and dragonflies compared to a week ago, but I did see one Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton) a bit east of the "T" in the trail on the south side.
http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/construct-species-page-inframe.asp?sp=Euphydryas-phaeton
http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/butterflies/species/BaltimoreCheckerspot_e.php


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.

 

 

Two Tiger Moths
Posted on July 7, 2006 at 04:36:28 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night we had a St. Lawrence Tiger Moth here at our moth light east of Bracebridge. It was only the second one I have seen here, the first was in 2002. We do see the Great Tiger Moth here every year. Below are photos of each for comparison.

photo1 - Hodges# 8162 Platarctia parthenos, St. Lawrence Tiger Moth

photo2 - Hodges# 8166 Arctia caja, Great Tiger Moth

 

 

REGISTER BEFORE POSTING - only your name and a password required
Posted on July 6, 2006 at 08:37:29 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.

 

 

Indigo Bunting, Brown Thrashers, etc.
Posted on July 5, 2006 at 10:22:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

A lunchtime walk at the Bracebridge Lagoons turned up a few colourful birds:
Baltimore Oriole - male to NW of cell 4
Indigo Bunting - male singing west of cell 3
Yellow Warblers - pair carrying food near viewing stand at Kerr Park
Common Yellowthroat - male at Kerr Park entrance to the Lagoons (an unusually aggressive warbler, repeatedly diving down at my head, just like the Red-winged Blackbirds sometimes do)

We now have two families of Purple Finch visiting our birdfeeder. A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak just showed up this morning, and has quickly become a steady customer. A Brown Thrasher brought two fledglings to the yard today, but didn't make use of the feeder. A pair of Northern Cardinals have been seen carrying food but no sign of fledglings yet. Other visitors include a White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warbler with a fledgling, Northern Flicker, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Mourning Doves, pair of Hairy Woodpeckers with one fledgling, male Downy Woodpecker, pair of American Goldfinch, pair of American Robins but no young ones yet, a family of five American Crows and several adult Blue Jays. A Broad-winged Hawk soars overhead once in a while. There are many young Black-capped Chickadees now. This is the fourth year in a row that there's been a successful chickadee nest in the street light at the foot of our driveway. Thankfully the large flock of Common Grackles that roamed through our yard last week didn't stay long. (Bracebridge)

Under attack by a Common Yellowthroat... photo

 

 

Two-lined Salamander
Posted on July 5, 2006 at 03:57:38 PM by Peter Mills

This past weekend while at Magnetawan, Parry Sound, I did a search for salamanders in a muddy seep leading out of a small beaver pond. I was delighted to find a Two-lined Salamander. Usually I find them along the shores of rocky, flowing rivers--not in muddy, stagnant areas. photo1

It is also nice to find the occasional individual with some rich golden coloration under the tail, as this one does. photo2

 

 

Virginia Meadow Beauty - first of the year!
Posted on July 4, 2006 at 09:54:06 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

First flowering Virginia Meadow Beauty I've seen in our little patch east of Washago!... many more to come. A Muskoka classic!

Virginia Meadow Beauty July 4, 2006

 

 

Re(1): And Another Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on July 7, 2006 at 03:51:21 PM by Al Sinclair

At the Muskoka Field Naturalists meeting last night, Wendy Hutchings reported a Black-billed Cuckoo on June 23 on North Shore Rd near Gravenhurst.

 

 

Another Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on July 3, 2006 at 01:42:05 PM by Al Sinclair

I had a Black-billed Cuckoo calling near our house 8 km east of Bracebridge on the morning of Jul 1. So there are some in the southern part of Muskoka.

 

 

Rostrevor Rd. Tennessee Warbler
Posted on July 3, 2006 at 10:22:49 AM by dbritton

I took a short walk down Rostrevor Rd. this morning. The highlight was a singing Tennessee Warbler - looks like fall migration is already underway!

Also of note was a singing Golden-winged Warbler in the usual spot - the alders just north of the bridge over the Dee River

David Britton
Ottawa / Windermere

 

 

Re(1): Bala Butterfly Count...turtle and frog photos
Posted on July 3, 2006 at 01:37:27 PM by Al Sinclair

Map Turtle and Gray Treefrog (photo): Photos from the butterfly count (other interesting observations).

The Map Turtle was the largest I have see, so large that we thought it was a Snapping Turtle at first, estimated to be about 10 inches long. The location was the north side of the Ragged Rapids Dam on the Musquash River, west of Bala off Muskoka Rd 38. It was digging a nest in the gravel. photo1photo2

 

 

Bala Butterfly Count
Posted on July 2, 2006 at 05:54:02 PM by Ron Stager

Eighth Annual Bala Butterfly Count (1 July 2006)

Fourteen people participated in the 8th annual Bala butterfly count on July 1 as part of the North American Butterfly Association's (NABA) program for education and conserving butterflies. Three groups identified species and counted butterflies in a variety of habitats within a 7.5 mile radius from the centre of Bala. The number of species, 30, was above average. The total number of butterflies counted, 741, was about average: the species with the highest counts were the 452 European skippers and the 48 monarchs.

The count was held about a week later compared to counts in the most recent years and, along with the early spring this year, likely contributed to some interesting results. There were five new species for the count and five previously recorded species with the highest count this year. Acadian and banded hairstreaks, whose flight season starts near the beginning of July, were new to the count. High counts were observed for great spangled fritillary and eyed brown whose flight season also begin at this time.

The butterflies of the day were two new species to the count that are also uncommon in Muskoka. The least skipper, appropriate to its name, is a small, weakly flying butterfly that stays close to the ground among the vegetation and is similar in appearance to the very abundant European skipper. The gray comma is uncommon in Muskoka and is usually seen earlier or later in the year. Also deserving mention were the many mega-sized monarch caterpillars munching merrily on magnificent Muskoka milkweeds. I expect that there will be many monarch butterflies next month.

The butterfly species and numbers, grouped by family, were:

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail,2

Cabbage White,10; Clouded Sulfur (new),1

Bog Copper,2; Acadian Hairstreak (new),3; Banded Hairstreak (new),5; Spring/Summer Azure,19

Great Spangled Fritillary,22 (high); Silver-bordered Fritillary,2; Harris' Checkerspot,5; Northern Crescent,28; Eastern Comma,1; Gray Comma (new),1; Mourning Cloak,3; White Admiral,6; Northern Pearly-eye,1; Eyed Brown,20 (high); Little Wood Satyr,29; Common Ringlet,6; Monarch,48 (plus 87 caterpillars)

Northern Cloudywing,4; Least Skipper (new),2; European Skipper,452; Peck's Skipper,6; Tawny-edged Skipper,3; Long Dash,30 (high); Northern Broken-dash,6 (high); Hobomok,7; Two-spotted Skipper,2; Dun Skipper,15 (high)

Other interesting observations included a large map turtle in the process of laying eggs, a Massasauga rattlesnake, gray tree frog (green colour on milkweed leaf out in an open area) and indications of a good berry crop this year. I would like to thank the enthusiastic participants in general and Al Sinclair and Rick Snider, in particular, for leading groups. Some new good locations for counting butterflies were found this year and I am looking forward to next year's count.

 

 

Brewer's Blackbirds - confirmed breeding
Posted on July 2, 2006 at 04:08:39 PM by dbritton

Yesterday, July 1st, I made a long-overdue pilgrimage out to the corner of Falkenburg Rd. and Beatrice Town Line to see the Brewer's Blackbirds.

Looks like they've had a succesful breeding season, with at least 3 adult males and 8 female/juvenile plumage birds seen, mostly on the hydro lines on Beatrice Town Line, just north of Falkenburg.

The highlight was an adult male feeding a still-needy hatch year bird on the hydro lines along Beatrice Town Line about 20m north of Falkenburg