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American Three-toed Woodpeckers and Great Gray Owl in Algonquin Park
Posted on December 31, 2006 at 12:50:06 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 31, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

As noted in the Algonquin CBC report, there were 10 American
Three-toed Woodpeckers seen yesterday in the Park. De-barked spruce
trees should be checked at the following more accessible locations by
anyone seeking this species:

-Highway 60, same side and just west of the Leaf Lake Ski Trail entrance
at km 53.9. (Seen on December 29, but apparently not yesterday.)

-Near the second utility pole along the road to Summer Headquarters and
the Wildlife Research Station (opposite Mew Lake Campground at km 30.6).

-Site 113, at the end of the point in Mew Lake Campground (currently
accessible by vehicle)

A Great Gray Owl (likely a member of the small resident population in
Algonquin Park, rather than having irrupted southward from the boreal
forest) was seen and photographed on December 29 near km 22 on
Highway 60. Unidentified birders reported seeing this bird again yesterday,
December 30, presumably at the same location. Unfortunately, this site is
outside the CBC circle!

Good luck.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ontario

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km
56). Permits and information are available daily at both gates throughout
the winter. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.

 

 

33rd Algonquin Park CBC
Posted on December 31, 2006 at 12:45:23 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 31, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 33rd annual Algonquin Provincial Park Christmas Bird Count (sponsored
by The Friends of Algonquin Park) was held on Saturday, December 30. Sixty-
three observers experienced a beautiful day in the Park: temperatures from
minus 7 to plus 1 degrees C; less than 10 cm of snow on the ground (making
it possible to cover more areas); and mostly calm, sunny conditions (except
for an hour of light snow after dawn). Abundant seed crops, milder weather
so far this winter, light snow cover, and little wind during the count
(allowing birds such as woodpeckers and finches to be heard well), all
contributed to excellent results.

The significant southward irruption of both three-toed woodpecker species
this fall appeared to be reflected in the count. There were good numbers and
variety of winter finches due to abundant seed on spruce, tamarack, hemlock,
yellow birch and other trees. Despite extensive open water in creeks and
rivers, no species that utilize this habitat were found.

The total species observed was 34, tying the highest ever for this count
(previously achieved in 1979 and 1991). No new species for the count
were found, but new high numbers of individuals were set for seven species.

New High Counts (previous highs in parentheses):

Bald Eagle: 4 (2)
Ruffed Grouse: 149 (118)
American Three-toed Woodpecker: 10 (6)
Black-backed Woodpecker: 35 (23)
Pileated Woodpecker: 30 (29)
American Crow: 20 (4)
Dark-eyed Junco: 130 (107)


Species Infrequently Observed on this Count:

Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1 (count week only)
Red-tailed Hawk: 1 (sixth time on the count)
Northern Saw-whet Owl: 1 (third time on the count)


Species With Higher Than Usual Numbers:

Blue Jay: 527
Red-breasted Nuthatch: 982
Golden-crowned Kinglet: 137
American Tree Sparrow: 53


Finches:

Pine Grosbeak: zero
Purple Finch: 280
Red Crossbill: 309
White-winged Crossbill: 1,513
Common Redpoll: 1 (calling in flight; identified by experienced observers)
Pine Siskin: 2,325
American Goldfinch: 386
Evening Grosbeak: 119


Total Species: 34 (average is 28)
Total Individuals: 8,791 (average is 4,910)
Birds Per Party Hour: 39 (6 last year, when seed crops were very poor)
Total Observers: 63 (highest ever, 68)

As always, I would like to thank our observers, many of whom travel great
distances to participate on the count, and who walk many kilometres over
rough terrain to help us establish a suggestive indicator of the relative
abundance of the early winter birds of Algonquin Park.


Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, Ontario

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km
56). Permits and information are available daily at both gates throughout
the winter. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.

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

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 31, 2006 at 10:17:03 AM by Tom Dunn

Immature Bald Eagle spotted feeding on ice on Ten Mile Bay on December 31st at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

Barkway Raptors
Posted on December 30, 2006 at 02:48:34 PM by Ron Stager

It has been good weather to work in the woods and see birds.
A northern shrike was singing extended songs on Wednesday.
B.C. chickadee with the phoebe song on Thursday.

Friday, a pileated woodpecker was chasing a red-tailed hawk around from tree to tree. The woodpecker would land in the same tree and make a racket and then the red-tail would fly off again.

Today, Rose, Naomi and I saw a adult white morph gyrfalcon at the back of our property (and near the Barkway sewage lagoons). The bird was seen from below and was big, white with dark ends to the primaries and wider body than most hawks. A pileated woodpecker flew to where the gyrfalcon went and made a racket there. Didn't here much after that... I wonder if the pileated met his match.

Our house is about 2.5 km east of Barkway on Merkley Rd. Barkway Sewage lagoons are reached off Barkway Rd via Seehaver Rd and south on Snowcrest Trail.

Happy New Year all.

 

 

Re(1): house sparrow
Posted on December 29, 2006 at 05:59:22 PM by Al Sinclair

We had 33 on the Christmas Bird count this year, 16 in Gravenhurst. There were none found in 2000, the worst year for them, They have come back somewhat recently but still in low numbers.

 

 

house sparrow
Posted on December 29, 2006 at 01:01:40 PM by nickbartok

there were two house sparrows at the post office and the dentist office in gravenhurst on wednesday. they used to be a good sighting for muskoka, but not sure anymore :)

 

 

Algonquin-Dec. 27/28
Posted on December 28, 2006 at 09:10:01 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Dave Milsom on ONTBIRDS (December 28, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Our annual trip to Algonquin was quite successful:
Dec. 27 : Opeongo rd: Black-backed Woodpecker ( n. of bridge),
Northern 3-toed Woodpecker (corner n. of bridge), WW Crossbill, Red
Crossbill (flock of 50 at gate ), Pine Siskin, RB Nuthatch, Ruffed
Grouse, N Raven, 4 Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadee, Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Visitor Centre: 50 Evening Grosbeaks, Hairy, Downy woodpeckers, Blue
Jays, 2 Crows, Am. Tree Sparrow (Dec. 28), female Purple Finch (Dec.
28), Red Crossbill, Goldfinch, Junco.

Dec. 28 : N Shrike (#60 nr. East Gate).
Spruce Bog: Female Spruce Grouse.
Arrowhon Rd.: WB Nuthatch.
Wolf Howl Pond : Pileated Woodpecker, 3 Ruffed Grouse, 2 Gray Jays.
Oxtongue Picnic Grounds: 3 Ruffed Grouse, RB Nuthatch, WW Crossbills,
Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins.

Dave Milsom

 

 

Register your name before posting - please read this first
Posted on December 28, 2006 at 09:05:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

To prevent spammers from posting on the board, you have to register your name before you can post. When you register, enter your real name in the box for "username". This is exactly how your name will appear on the board when you post a message. 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:
You don't have to "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 below.

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. (not all browsers have this capability - Firefox is one that does)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 28, 2006 at 09:34:53 AM by mmcanally

My son and I watched a mature Bald Eagle fly over Huntsville High School heading south west on Wednesday, December 27.

 

 

Re(1): snow buntings
Posted on December 27, 2006 at 09:11:42 AM by nickbartok

there have also been 30+ snow buntings hanging out near muskoka beach road storage in gravenhurst over xmas

 

 

snow buntings
Posted on December 26, 2006 at 08:27:23 AM by gerald willmott

The day before christmas, on my first anual bike ride which i hope is the last anual bike ride, i saw a flock of 60+ snow buntings at Brookland Farm on the Butter and Egg road in Milford Bay. There was also a wing from a Coopers Hawk on the side of the road close by the farm. Looked like some creature had chewed most of it.

 

 

Re(2): Black-backed Woodpecker - not seen today
Posted on December 29, 2006 at 01:22:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found two Hairy Woodpeckers along the trail but no Black-backed. There were just a few Pine Siskins, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

 

 

Re(1): Black-backed Woodpecker – still nearby
Posted on December 26, 2006 at 12:36:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found the male Black-backed Woodpecker again on the north side of the trail, but further east, just past the dip in the trail. A Pileated Woodpecker came in briefly to investigate the tapping sounds. Look for the green trail marker on a maple tree and some pieces of white birch we placed next to the trail pointing towards the area. The Black-backed was still there as of 11:30 a.m. There was a flock of about thirty Pine Siskins at the dip.  The best way to find the woodpecker is to stop frequently along the trail and listen for light tapping sounds.  That's how we found him today.

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker east of Henry marsh
Posted on December 24, 2006 at 12:13:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a male Black-backed Woodpecker along the Trans Canada Trail east of Henry marsh. It was still there as of 11:15 a.m. The bird was at the north side of the trail in an area with several blown down trees. Look for the orange square trail marker in a small fir tree, a short distance east of the marsh. Further east where the trail dips down, there were two Brown Creepers, Dark-eyed Juncos, and several Red-breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees. I only got a quick glimpse, but thought I saw the "wide-eyed" look of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet as I scanned a small flock of Golden-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. When you come to the "T" in the trail, turn left. You can see the orange trail marker up ahead as you enter the woods. (note: there are a few wet areas along the trail because of all the recent rain, but still passable.)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on December 23, 2006 at 10:18:18 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (December 23, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi Everyone
I spent yesterday, December 22nd birding a few sites along Hwy. 60 in Algonquin Park. Overall, there was lots of activity overhead with a number of flocks of both White-winged and Red Crossbills and Pine Siskin. Most areas had a small number of singing male White-winged Crossbills perched on the top of spruce trees. At two sites, one along Hwy.60 near mileage marker #42 a flock of 12 Red Crossbills were observed along the shoulder of the hwy. picking up grit. Along Lake Opeongo Road at the gate there was a flock of 32 Red Crossbills flying around calling with a few males perched singing. Also, a number of single and small flocks were noted near Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake. Along the Old Railway bed, top end of Missy Lake Trail at least 3 Gray Jays, 2 Boreal Chickadee and 3 Ruffed Grouse were sighted. The only Evening Grosbeaks were a flock of 75+ at the Visitors Centre. If you require additional information, please email me privately.

good birding & Merry Christmas
Bruce

Directions: Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km 56). Permits and information are available daily at both gates throughout the winter. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

 

 

Burk's Falls Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 22, 2006 at 11:23:35 AM by Kip Daynard

Summary of results for the 30th Burk's Falls Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 20th, 2006:

Weather: mild, high +3, partly sunny, most water except ponds/small sheltered bays open
19 Participants in 10 Parties
Total number of species: 43
Total number of individuals: 3447

The species count of 43 was the second highest for the count - previous high was from the last green December in 2001 (45).

Two new species were recorded:
Red-breasted Merganser (1) Lake Bernard
American Kestrel (1) Chapman North.

New High Counts:
Herring Gull (215) - previous 103 in 2001
Dark-eyed Junco (75) - previous 55 in 1984

Other noteworthy sightings:
Common Loon (2) - Lake Bernard - 2nd time on count (2 in 2001)
Great Blue Heron (1) - Ryerson - 2nd time on count (1 in 2001)
Great Black-backed Gull (1) - Lake Bernard - 2nd time on count
Trumpeter Swan (2) - Magnetawan
Rough-legged Hawk (1) - Ryerson - 5th time on count
Northern Goshawk (1) - Magnetawan River W. of Burk's Falls
American Robin (1) - Magnetawan - 6th time on count
White-throated Sparrow (2) - 4th time on count
Bald Eagle (2) - Strong Township, Armour Township
Northern Shrike (3)
Snow Bunting (202) - Strong Township
Glaucous Gull - Strong Township - Count Week

More waterbirds than usual were seen including:
American Black Duck (1)
Mallard (30)
Common Goldeneye (5)
Common Merganser (7 - 2nd highest)
Red-breasted Merganser (1 - new species)

Finches:
Purple Finch (100 - 5th highest)
White-winged Crossbill (123) - courtship songs heard and many found as pairs
Pine Siskin (381)
American Goldfinch (336)
Evening Grosbeak (2)
Finch spp (42)

One party stopped by a farm to check out the feeders. The owner took the two young participants (Alex Parker and Lucas Beaver) into the barn to show them a special bird he had. They climbed into the hay loft and then the owner opened the window to permit them to view across the pasture. There was a third year Bald Eagle feeding on the carcass the owner put out to retain the eagle for count day.

Two participants (Kip and Joan Daynard) canoed 14 km. along the Magnetawan River. This was a first for the count as the river is normally frozen.

Compiler - Martin Parker of South River
This report submitted by Kip Daynard of Emsdale.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on December 21, 2006 at 01:15:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 12:30 p.m today a Red-tailed Hawk was flying low along the Henry Rd. trail heading north towards the parking area. Only small numbers of birds were found along the trail heading east from the marsh, no large flocks. There were a few Dark-eyed Juncos, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskins, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, two Purple Finch, and a Ruffed Grouse. A Pileated Woodpecker was calling from the woods to the 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. Trail conditions are pretty good now except for a wet muddy section over by the pipeline.

 

 

Register your name before posting - please read this first
Posted on December 19, 2006 at 09:34:51 AM by Barbara Taylor

To prevent spammers from posting on the board, you have to register your name before you can post. When you register, enter your real name in the box for "username". This is exactly how your name will appear on the board when you post a message. 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:
You don't have to "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 below.

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. (not all browsers have this capability - Firefox is one that does)

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin - Dec. 17
Posted on December 19, 2006 at 09:38:34 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Mike & Joyce Jaques on ONTBIRDS (December 19, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Further to Geoff Carpentier's report, we too were in Algonquin yesterday. We dipped on the Spruce Grouse and Boreal Chickadee, but did have a Black-backed Woodpecker on Hwy 60 between the East Gate and Opeongo Road, both on our way in and out of the park, and Common Redpolls on the shoulder of Hwy 60 east of Whitney.

There were lots of birds at the feeders behind the visitor centre, including a close-up Red Crossbill. To view these feeders from the deck on a weekday when the visitor centre is closed, enter the grey doors to the right of the main entrance and ask at the Friends of Algonquin Park office.

Mike & Joyce Jaques
Carleton Place

 

 

Algonquin (Dec. 17)
Posted on December 19, 2006 at 09:34:13 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Geoff Carpentier on ONTBIRDS (December 18, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Tony Bigg, Bill Stone, Rod Williamson and I went to the Park today and did quite
well. Four Spruce grouse [1 male and 2 females right beside the gate on Opeongo
Rd [male was doing display flight and strutting] and another female where the
black spruce bog starts further north. Also 3 Grey Jays along the road and a
Boreal Chickadee at the gate mentioned above. We had two Ruffed Grouse as well
and a muskrat.

WW Crossbills everywhere including a female with nesting material where you
first see the marsh on the west side of Opeongo Rd before you get to the gate.
Also lots of Red Crossbills here and at Spruce Bog.

100+ Evening Grosbeaks, lots of siskins, a Crow and about 6 Purple Finches at
Visitor Centre.

Spruce Boardwalk was mostly unproductive except for chickadees, siskins, one
Ruffed Grouse and Red Crossbills. Also saw one Red-back Vole.

Wolf Howl Pond - GC Kinglets, DE junco [1], Brown Creeper [1] and two Grey Jays.

Geoff Carpentier
Ajax, Ontario

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

 

 

Re(3): Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count.
Posted on December 23, 2006 at 03:23:38 PM by J. Gardner

Street name for turn not known. Go through Nobel to last left turn. There is a new house under construction on the left as you turn. Cross railway tracks - turn left on Big Sound Road. Drive to end of road to MacDougall Township Recreation area. Parking lot and beach. And good luck.

 

 

Re(2): Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count.
Posted on December 23, 2006 at 09:30:36 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Could you please give directions on how to get to the eagle location?

 

 

Re(1): Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count.
Posted on December 22, 2006 at 02:46:30 PM by J. Gardner

The "flock" of eagles was seen at Nobel Beach, at the end of Big Sound Road in MacDougall Township. There did not appear to be any particular attractant to the area. Jim saw 7 immature Bald Eagles there this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count.
Posted on December 21, 2006 at 10:42:23 AM by Al Sinclair

The flock of eagles is an unusual sighting for our area. Do you have more details?
What attracted all the eagles to one location. Were they scavenging on an animal carcass? What was the location?

 

 

Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count.
Posted on December 19, 2006 at 08:29:29 AM by J. Gardner

Our Christmas count was conducted on Sunday, December 17. 12 participants recorded 29 species and 1351 individual birds. The highlight was a "flock" of 10 eagles, 6 adult Bald Eagles, 3 immature Bald Eagles and an adult female Golden Eagle, all seen at the same place in one sighting.

Our list included the following.
Canada Goose 14
Mallard 102
Black Duck 4
Goldeneye 44
Common Merganser 13
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Roughed Grouse 3
Herring Gull 194
Ring-billed Gull 102
Mourning Dove 51
Rock Dove 125
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 3
Blue Jay 63
American Crow 17
Raven 89
Blackcapped Chickadee 124
Whitebreasted Nuthatch 13
Red breasted Nuthatch 1
Starling 213
Tree Sparrow 5
Dark-eyed Junco 45
Pine Siskin 6
American Goldfinch 102
Golden Crowned Kinglet 1
Barred Owl 1
Bald Eagle 9
Golden Eagle 1

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 18, 2006 at 03:29:42 PM by Al Sinclair

Summary of results for Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 17, 2006:
Sponsored by the Muskoka Field Naturalists
Weather: very warm, high +8, cloudy, most water except small ponds open
30 Participants in 9 groups
Total number of species 38
Total number of birds counted 2570

This was possibly the warmest day in the history of the count. One would think that we would have found more birds this year but this was not the case. The species total was about average and the number of individuals was down slightly from last year. Part of the unexpected lower numbers can be accounted for because the good weather resulted in lack of activity at feeders making the birds harder to find.

The lakes and rivers were open so we had more ducks than usual, 4 species, as well as Canada Geese and lots of Herring Gulls. There was little or no snow cover except in the woods so weed seeds were available for species like Snow Buntings and Juncos. 185 Snow Buntings were counted including one large flock of 95 at the south end of Bracebridge. 114 Dark-eyed Juncos were seen.

The birch cone crop was good this year probably accounting for the many American Goldfinches still in the area (315). Other finches were scarce though, 1 Purple Finch, 1 Common Redpoll, 20 Pine Siskins, and 3 Red-Crossbills. No Evening Grosbeaks were found for the first time in 5 years.

Some of the good birds found: Rough-legged Hawk (1) Barkway, Great Black-backed Gull (3) Gravenhurst Landfill, American Robin (1) Bracebridge, Barred Owl (1) Uffington, and Golden-crowned Kinglet (7) Uffington and Germania.

8 Northern Cardinals were found: Gravenhurst (3), Bracebridge (4), Muskoka Falls (1). The duck species recorded were: Common Goldeneye (82), Common Merganser (29), Bufflehead (1), Mallard (2). The 5 must abundant species were: Black-Capped Chickadee (463), European Starling (337), Herring Gull (318), American Goldfinch (315), Snow Bunting (185)

Following the count the results were tallied at a pot luck supper in Bracebridge. And finally the results of the Team competition: Gravenhurst 31 species and Bracebridge 31 species, a tie! So Bracebridge, being last years loser, was forced to keep the infamous Plastic Owl Trophy for another year.

 

 

Huntsville CBC (December 14)
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 09:38:49 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The 13th annual Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on Thursday,
December 14. Nearly perfect birding conditions (mild, cloudy and calm),
almost all water open after prolonged warm weather preceding the count, and
abundant food crops contributed to the best results ever. Preliminary
totals are shown below.

Record highs were set for 17 species, total species and individuals, and
number of observers. Previous highs are shown in parentheses.

Wild Turkey: 18 (11)
Herring Gull: 39 (29)
Barred Owl: 4 (2)
Downy Woodpecker: 42 (36)
Pileated Woodpecker: 10 (9)
Blue Jay: 416 (340)
American Crow: 166 (83)
Black-capped Chickadee: 1367 (1269)
Red-breasted Nuthatch: 282 (119)
Brown Creeper: 11 (8)
Golden-crowned Kinglet: 63 (25)
White-throated Sparrow: 2 (1)
Dark-eyed Junco: 186 (36)
Northern Cardinal: 10 (8)
Red Crossbill: 5 (3)
Pine Siskin: 342 (302)
American Goldfinch: 912 (697)

Total Species: 54 (42)
Total Individuals: 5426 (3455)
Total Observers: 25 (20)


New Species for the Count:

Gadwall: 1
American Wigeon: 1
Red-breasted Merganser: 1
Red-necked Grebe: 1 for count week
Merlin: 1
Carolina Wren: 1 for count week


Unusual Species for the Count:

Harlequin Duck: 1
House Sparrow: 6 (first since 2002)


Winter Finches:

Pine Grosbeak: 1
Purple Finch: 66
Red Crossbill: 5
White-winged Crossbill: 30
Common Redpoll: 12
Pine Siskin: 342
American Goldfinch: 912
Evening Grosbeak: 25

I appreciate the great effort by all our observers. And special thanks to
Dennis Barry and Margaret Carney who canoed 17 km on the Muskoka
River and Mary Lake.

Ron Tozer
Huntsville CBC Compiler


Snow Buntings
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 06:45:14 PM by Bob Healey

Observed 150-200 snow buntings at the south end of the Bracebridge Airport this morning at 07:30.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 01:39:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were about 30 Pine Siskins feeding in some yellow birch trees along the Henry Rd. trail. A Brown Creeper was calling, but we couldn't see it. There were a few American Goldfinch and American Tree Sparrows along the Trans Canada Trail east of the marsh. Near the spot where the trail dips down we heard some White-winged Crossbills.

There are spring flood conditions at the "T" in the trail and some sections to the east are quite mucky.


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.

 

 

Problems accessing the Bird Board...
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 12:56:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

There have been some intermittent problems with the server that hosts the Bird Board, which may cause the board to go offline briefly. So if you can't access the board, please try again later. You can find a copy of all recent posts on the backup webpage.

If the board is down and you want to post a sighting, you can use the Nature Photos Board on a temporary basis.  I'll move them to the Bird Board later.

 

 

Re(1): Common Merganser
Posted on December 14, 2006 at 09:06:27 PM by Al Sinclair

Good bird for the Christmas Count, hope it stays. BTW birds seen 3 days before or after count day are called species seen in count week and are appended to the results without numbers.

 

 

Common Merganser
Posted on December 14, 2006 at 01:36:42 PM by Bob Burt

At noon today there was a male Common Merganser on the Muskoka River near #1447 Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): got any good birds?
Posted on December 13, 2006 at 10:23:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

A Brown Creeper has been coming to the suet cage on a pine tree in our back yard. With this warmer weather, the resident pair of Northern Cardinals don't visit as often, usually only at dusk. There is also one of their offspring somewhere in the neighbourhood, a young male - the adult male chases him out of our yard. (96 Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count this Sunday...got any good birds?
Posted on December 13, 2006 at 10:13:21 AM by gerald

Hello!
I am getting geared up for the bird count, you know, flash cards, id'ing birds from a distance, doing the chicken dance.....
I could probably convince my mom and sister to join us if they each had a pair of binoculars. Anyone have some extras??
Gerald

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count this Sunday...got any good birds?
Posted on December 12, 2006 at 03:07:57 PM by Al Sinclair

The Gravenhurst- Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is being held this Sunday December 17. We will be counting all the birds we can find within a 24 km circle centred between the two towns. If you know of any good birds at feeders in this area please let us know so we can look for them on count day. Good birds are species not usually found here in the winter such as Grackles, White-throated Sparrows, Robins etc. The weather has been mild and the cone and berry crop has been good, so we are expecting to find some birds that are lingering in the area longer than normal before heading south. Also it would be good to know who has seen Cardinals lately as they are often hard to find in winter.
If you would like to join us on Sunday we can always use more counters. Let me know and I will send you all the details. We have two teams one meeting in Gravenhurst and the other in Bracebridge. The teams are competing to see who can get the most number of species. The runner up is awarded the Plastic Owl Trophy. I regret that the Bracebridge team that I am a member of has received this honour for the last few years, so we are taking the count very seriously this year!

 

 

Re(1): grackle
Posted on December 12, 2006 at 11:52:34 AM by willowbeachbirding

We have had a Grackle here everyday for the last 2 weeks. I guess he's in no hurry to leave with all the food that's around here. We are in Willow Beach near Sutton(Lake Simcoe).

Lorena

 

 

grackle
Posted on December 11, 2006 at 05:31:04 PM by gerry lannan

We had a grackle at our feeder yesterday afternoon;2 km. ne of Kearney.

 

 

Re(1): White-winged Crossbills
Posted on December 13, 2006 at 06:59:09 AM by janice house

Monday afternoon Moira and I went for a walk on the trail, half way through to the ponds we watched a female pileated woodpecker attack a hemlock tree right at ground level. Closer to the pipeline in a yellow birch we watched a small flock of tree sparrows eating the seeds at the top of the tree. We also found four turkey feathers just east of the T at the marsh.

 

 

White-winged Crossbills
Posted on December 10, 2006 at 12:29:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were six White-winged Crossbills along the Trans Canada Trail a short distance east of Henry marsh. There were also a few Golden-crowned Kinglets and Purple Finch. (snowmobilers have used the trail so it's easy walking)


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. At the "T" in the trail, turn left for the birds. They were near the spot where a fallen tree got hung up above the trail.

 

 

Towhee
Posted on December 10, 2006 at 06:47:51 AM by J. Gardner

A feeder at Hurdville is hosting an Eastern Towhee male. He is visiting with a crowd of Tree Sparrows and Juncos. Hurdville is at the bottom end of Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

Bird Board downtime
Posted on December 9, 2006 at 07:12:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

The server that hosts the Bird Board was down for a few hours today. If you saw a "forbidden access" page, that was when the server was being fixed. Back to normal now.

I did post a notice about the server problem earlier today on the Bird Board backup webpage and also on the Nature Photos Board.

 

 

Re(2): eBird Canada...Now 92 species
Posted on December 10, 2006 at 03:54:23 PM by Wilf Yusek

Not me Al as I am in the process of posting soon and I do have more than the 92

 

 

Re(2): eBird Canada...Now 92 species
Posted on December 10, 2006 at 12:40:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

I entered a few sightings to try it out and increase the species number. But unfortunately eBird requires the date of the sighting in order to enter a species seen there...and I don't keep detailed records of dates and locations. When I have time I'll check the Bird Board archives and see if I can find more species that way since there is a date on the post.

 

 

Re(1): eBird Canada...Now 92 species
Posted on December 10, 2006 at 10:44:38 AM by Al Sinclair

Just checked the species list for the Ponds, now up to 92. Somebody has entered some more data, Barbara? Wilf? I think there are still some species missing that were seen there this year. It would be great to get a composite list for all species seen there in a year to show what a great hotspot it is.

 

 

eBird Canada...Give it a try
Posted on December 7, 2006 at 03:04:04 PM by Al Sinclair

Bird Studies Canada has launched a new online bird database this fall called eBird Canada. Actually it's not a new database but a new Canadian interface to eBird operated since 2002 by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in the USA.

The database can be used for research on bird populations and movements throughout North American. Anyone can go online and print out graphs and maps of locations, dates, and numbers of any bird species. The data comes from the checklists of birders entered online at the eBird site. This data is expected to be very useful in monitoring the status of endangered and threatened species and species of special concern.

In addition to bird research eBird also provides birders with data on their own personal life and year lists including printouts of species seen for any year, date or location. Birders who already use personal birding software can export sightings to eBird using an bulk download facility.

I recently downloaded all my 2006 sightings at the Bracebridge Ponds from Avisys(mentioned in a previous post on the Rusty Blackbird thread started Nov 27). It was around 77 species. You will find the ponds listed under Ontario hotspots. If several more people entered their sightings for that location we could get a composite list of all species seen there, something that could be useful if they ever decided to close the ponds down. Sightings in our area of Rusty Blackbird, a species of special concern, would add to the information on the population decline of this species.

Give it a try. The address is http://www.ebird.ca.

 

 

Rusty Blackbird
Posted on December 7, 2006 at 11:13:52 AM by jim griffin

as of posting, I have a juvenile male rusty blackbird at my feeder. The fall rust colouration is clear, the dark eyes,as opposed to yellow,are indicative of juvenile. Location is on the banks of the muskoka river in Port Sydney.

 

 

Bay Lake - Redpolls, Siskin etc.
Posted on December 6, 2006 at 05:11:27 PM by Kip Daynard

Last Thursday we had a small flock of Goldfinch (a dozen or so) and at least one Pine Siskin visit our feeder but they didn't stay. On Friday a small flock of Redpolls visited briefly. On Saturday 2 or 3 Juncos arrived and their numbers have been increasing daily to a dozen or so.

The Goldeneye was last seen Dec 1st, the Scaup stayed around until Dec. 2nd, and the Buffleheads left Dec 3rd. No waterfowl on the lake now as it is closing up fast.

Bay Lake is 19km NNE of Huntsville and 19km W of Algonquin Park.

 

 

red breasted merg
Posted on December 4, 2006 at 10:28:12 PM by gerald

Well, it may seem strange but i am quite certain that there was a female red-breasted merganser floating in a bay just off from the bridge at Beaumaris, close by Milford Bay, between Port Carling and Bracebridge.

It stayed in shallow waters and hung around for most of Sunday.

 

 

Re(1): Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 4, 2006 at 08:01:32 PM by Don Clement

Good, I'm glad he's healthy and headed in the right direction. I think I saw him in Costa Rica last February! :)

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 3, 2006 at 04:32:04 PM by janice house

Spotted the heron flying south west at the Doe Lake Rd/highway 11 intersection today

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren - Jim's photo
Posted on December 2, 2006 at 07:15:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

 

photocropped  photo

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on December 2, 2006 at 04:15:47 PM by jim griffin

At 15:45 today, I had a Carolina Wren on my suet feeder in Port Sydney. I have a photo and I will bring to MFN mtg as I know nothing of how to post it here.

 

 

New Bird Field Guide - NG 5th edition
Posted on December 1, 2006 at 02:20:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thought some of you might be interested that the new National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America is available now. (See sample photos below.) This 5th edition has up-to-date species names and splits, including changes made in the most recent (2006) supplement to The A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds.  Amazon.ca currently has the guide for Cdn.$20.16 with free shipping on orders over $39.

They've increased the size of the guide slightly compared to my old 3rd edition guide - same height and depth, but pages are about 3/8" wider. This allowed them to make the range maps larger. There are now thumbtabs which help you zero in on key sections of the guide. The front and back covers now have a fold out flap which can be used to bookmark a page. Several new "bird topography" drawings are included inside the front cover. There's now a quickfind index on the back flap which comes in very handy.

The colours don't seem as rich and vivid as in my old 3rd edition guide, but generally the illustrations are still quite good. Some of the pictures have been completely redone by different artists. I found some improvements, but also a few I wish they hadn't changed, such as the Horned Grebe.

As in previous editions, the species illustrations have the usual comparisons of male/female/juvenile and seasonal plumages. There are also pages showing hawks, gulls, ducks, and sandpipers in flight. The description of each species includes many helpful clues for identification, such as tail-flicking habit, prefers spruce bog, song is insectlike buzz. Some descriptions have been updated to include new information - comments about the "rediscovery" of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is one example. There is a new section on Accidentals and Extinct species at the back of the guide.

The following photos are intentionally "blurred" due to copyright concerns, but wanted to give an idea of the 5th edition layout. Click each photo to see larger size.

Photo1  Photo2  Photo3

 

 

Re(2): Stormy weather...Goldfinches now 100
Posted on December 1, 2006 at 01:21:38 PM by Al Sinclair

Numbers peaked at around noon when I counted a conservative 95, had to put up another nyger feeder.

 

 

Re(1): Stormy weather bringing in...Juncos
Posted on December 1, 2006 at 10:01:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

Small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos at the feeders this morning. Only four goldfinch here. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Stormy weather bringing in Goldfinches
Posted on December 1, 2006 at 09:35:44 AM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday and today our feeders came to life after weeks of almost no activity. A flock of 40 to 50 Goldfinches have been eating nyger and black sunflower this morning.

 

 

Snow Buntings, Green-winged Teal
Posted on November 29, 2006 at 05:28:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 22 Snow Buntings. In cell 4 there were two Green-winged Teal, many Mallards, a few American Black Ducks, and five Buffleheads. A lone American Tree Sparrow and a few American Goldfinch were east of cell 4. A Pileated Woodpecker was calling loudly from the woods west of cell 4.

 

 

American Three-toed Woodpecker - Algonquin
Posted on November 28, 2006 at 09:07:44 PM by ONTBIRDS

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Ripley on ONTBIRDS (November 28, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Arrived at the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail along the old rail line at sunrise this morning. There was a light misty rain and a bit of fog with no wind. The first good bird sighting and the best of the day was an AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER by Wolf Howl Pond. This was the only woodpecker seen in the park. Also observed along the trail were 3 BOREAL CHICKADEES, 3 GRAY JAYS and 1 NORTHERN SHRIKE. Throughout the park were numerous small flocks of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS and a few small flocks of PINE SISKINS. While driving out along the rail line a large truck spooked an almost pure white snowshoe hare off Arowhon Road which was speeding on a head-on crash course with my van. Once it realized that we were going to collide, the hare slammed on the breaks and ran as fast as it could in the opposite direction in the middle of the road. Rather comical.

Spent a lot of time and effort at Spruce Bog Boardwalk to find SPRUCE GROUSE and eventually found a male and female together on the ground on the south side of highway 60. Another GRAY JAY was also seen here. By now the rain was coming down pretty hard so I decided to head home to Kingston. On the way back another GRAY JAY was seen flying across the highway just north of Maynooth and another just south of Bancroft.

Good Birding
Bruce Ripley


Algonquin Park is located on Hwy. 60, east of Huntsville. Hunstville can be reached from Toronto by taking Highways 400 and 11, north.

Km. 15.4 Arowhon Road
Take Arowhon road north off of Hwy 60 for about 5 km. Where the road branches in three (old rail line) at the large Arowhon Resort sign, take the right branch and drive about 100m along the old rail bed until you reach the chain across the road and park there. The rail bed can then be walked. After about 15 minutes it joins up with the upper part of the Mizzy Lake trail and passes by Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake. Return on same route from West Rose Lake.

Km. 42.5 Spruce Bog Boardwalk

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

 

 

Lesser Scaup, Kingfisher - Bay Lake
Posted on November 28, 2006 at 12:08:46 PM by Kip Daynard

For the last 3 days (perhaps longer as I've been out of the country) a female Lesser Scaup has been diving in the shallows off our dock. I call it a Lesser due to the obvious corner/peak to the rear of the crown which is evident most of the time and the thin neck/smallish bill which I understand to be characteristics of this species over the Greater variety. This is actually the first time I've seen a Scaup on Bay Lake since I moved here 5 years ago.

Also present on and off have been 3 Bufflehead, a male Common Goldeneye and a small group of Mallard. A Kingfisher has been hanging around and was last seen on Nov. 26th.

Bay Lake is in the Almaguin Highlands 19kms NE of Huntsville and 19kms W of Algonquin Park.

Kip Daynard
Emsdale

 

 

Waterfowl ID - photo
Posted on November 28, 2006 at 11:11:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

An earlier post asked for help identifying waterfowl. Joe Fortin has sent this photo of the birds. It was taken through binoculars so not too clear, but good enough for a positive ID...male Common Mergansers. photo

 

 

Tree Swallow at Pen Lake
Posted on November 28, 2006 at 09:52:00 AM by Ron Tozer

In late afternoon yesterday (November 27), Ken Morrison and Allister
Harrison saw a single Tree Swallow at close range (30 to 100 feet) as it
foraged over Pen Lake at the Tally Ho Landing, off Highway 60 east of
Huntsville. The bird was observed on three occasions over a half hour, and
Ken (an experienced observer) is 100 percent certain of the identification.
This is very likely the latest fall date ever in Muskoka. Mills (1981) gives
September 10 as the latest Muskoka-Parry Sound date, and the latest fall
date in Algonquin Park is September 14. However, Tree Swallows have occurred
into December in southern Ontario (e.g., Hamilton).

 

 

Re(4): more graphs...
Posted on December 4, 2006 at 09:47:56 PM by Al Sinclair

The Rusty Blackbird has been recently designated of special concern in Canada (COSEWIC April 2006) and has the same status in the USA.

The following is from the spring 2006 issue of BirdScope published online by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/Birdscope/Spring2006/rusty_blackbirds.html

"The history of North American avifauna is dotted with once abundant birds that declined, sometimes to extinction. Therefore, we must be vigilant for common species showing consistent decreases in abundance, and alarmed when we see what might be population crashes. The Rusty Blackbird is a case in point. Prior to 1920, more than half of the Rusty Blackbird accounts for eastern North America listed the bird as very common to abundant, compared with only a few accounts since 1950. A long-term decline like this is troubling, but the information from monitoring programs such as the Christmas Bird Count and the Breeding Bird Survey are downright scary. While the trend estimates are imprecise, the total decline since the 1960s is consistently estimated at 85 to 95 percent. Taken together, this portrays a species whose decline has accelerated to a free fall."

Interesting that they used the 60s as the starting point to show how much they have declined. If I read then right, Barbara's graphs of Christmas Bird Count data shows that there was a big increase in the population at that time followed by a rapid decrease in the 70s. So are we being misled by the way the numbers are being presented? Maybe. The 95% decline could be just a return to more normal numbers!

Looking at our Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count data that started in 1980, I found we had Rusty Blackbird on 4 counts, 1980(1), 1981(1), 1985(2) and 1987(1), and none since. From my own observations for the last 25 years during the annual migration I have found that they are harder to find and the large flocks I used to see are no more. So I think the population is lower than it was 20 years ago but is it still going down? We should be monitoring them for sure and doing some research on what is affecting their numbers. Poor breeding success, habitat loss in their winter range, blackbird control programs in the USA grain belt?

One thing we all could do is report our bird observations on eBird, After a few years of data entry, population trends will be easy to see and it will be additional proof that the trends from other sources are correct. eBird now has a new Canadian interface at http://www.ebird.ca/. I have added the Bracebridge Sewage Treatment Ponds as birding hotspot and uploaded my records from there this year, 77 species I think.

 

 

Re(3): more graphs...
Posted on December 3, 2006 at 12:03:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Doesn't make much difference in the trend by using number per party hour instead of total count, but here are a few graphs for you. I only went back as far as Count 50 because anything earlier had too few count circles.

 

 

Re(2): different trend graph?
Posted on December 3, 2006 at 07:41:29 AM by Alex Mills

This map does give some comfort of recent stability, but I know the totals are much lower than before. Barbara, I wonder if you could go back 50 years or so and if the measure can be 'birds per hour of effort' rather than total birds if it would make a difference. Can you produce another graph going back to the 60s, and can you use birds per party hour?

 

 

Re(1): When abundant birds decline ...
Posted on December 2, 2006 at 12:59:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

When I search through the Christmas Bird Count online database, it appears that the total number of Rusty Blackbirds has actually improved somewhat recently instead of continuing to decline. So perhaps a new trend beginning?

The following graph was created using the Audubon website. As shown here, the CBC data for the last 10-15 years appears to indicate a stabilization in numbers, and may even show some improvement in the most recent years. (note: Count 106 is last winter's 2005/2006 Christmas Bird Count.)

 

 

When abundant birds decline ...
Posted on November 27, 2006 at 03:42:12 PM by Alex Mills

When dealing with species that are abundant or very common, it is difficult to notice when their populations are in trouble, and it is also difficult to get managers to pay attention.

Inexorably, the Rusty Blackbird has declined to a state where it may become listed as threatened. This is hard to believe for a bird that has been historically abundant (and is still not rare) and which has a breeding range from Alaska to Newfoundland.

However, if you look at Christmas Bird Count data and Breeding Bird Survey data over the past 40 years, a drastic decline is indicated, with estimates ranging from 88% to over 99% (Birdlife International: September 2006). The 10-year estimates range from 41% to 61%. The long-term nature of the decline indicates it is not part of a cycle, but the cause is unknown.

From now on, birders should keep track of Rusty Blackbird sightings and numbers.

 

 

Re(1): redtail
Posted on November 26, 2006 at 05:55:14 PM by janice house

Red tail hawk on the hydro wires close to the Raymond Store yesterday. Today Moira and I were at the Bracebridge Ponds. Male pileated woodpecker at the lagoon gate entrance, brown creepers, chickadees, white breasted and red breasted nuthatches at the trail/pipeline intersection. Several lone gold finches flew over. Muskrat by the beaver lodge. Amongst the mallards and geese Moira spotted a different coloured duck which she managed to get a shot of. The duck was with the mallards, orange bill, body was a carmel colour, head a little darker and the flight feathers were white. We both looked through our bird books and think it is just an odd coloured female mallard. We also spotted a smaller duck, I think it is an eclipse green winged teal.

 

 

redtail
Posted on November 26, 2006 at 05:20:58 PM by gerald

Today there was a Red-Tailed Hawk sitting in a tree on the far side of the field across from the building formerly known as ALCAN, now it is Gravenhurst Plastics...i think.

At the Bracebridge Ponds were several hundred Mallards, almost 200 Canada Geese, and a few Buffleheads. At the rear entrance, there was a flock of 50 Goldfinches, mixed with some Kinglets.

In front of Tamwood Lodge on 118 towards Milford Bay there were three Bufleheads and two Common Goldeneyes.

Not a very busy day.

 

 

Re(1): Great Blue Heron
Posted on November 26, 2006 at 04:49:01 PM by Rick Stronks

That is a good sighting for this time of the year.

Although most Great Blue Herons have left, the average last date in Algonquin is Nov 14 but there are dates that go into December. The latest date on record is December 29th!

Cheers,
Rick Stronks
Algonquin Park

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on November 25, 2006 at 09:00:08 PM by Don Clement

Sighted a large Great Blue Heron at our pond yesterday afternoon - I think the same bird that has been frequently here all summer. Just wondering what he's still doing here. Isn't it time he went south? Any other late sightings anyone? (near Germania)

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on November 23, 2006 at 12:49:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was an immature Northern Goshawk along the Trans Canada Trail east of Henry marsh, near the "dip" in the trail. There were also a few Dark-eyed Juncos, Pine Siskins, and American Goldfinch. The marsh was iced in except for a narrow waterway that muskrats were using to collect some food.

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. At the "T" in the trail, turn left for the birds, or turn right for the muskrats.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on November 23, 2006 at 10:01:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey found a flock of 40-50 Pine Siskins yesterday at the South Muskoka golf course. They were feeding in the hemlocks near the 12th fairway until disturbed by a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

 

 

Common Goldeneyes
Posted on November 22, 2006 at 03:01:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several Common Goldeneyes near the Allport Marina, Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. Apparently they've been there for a few days.

The Bracebridge Ponds were mostly iced in, except for part of cell 4 which had about 400 Mallards.

 

 

Waterfowl: Update
Posted on November 21, 2006 at 01:29:20 PM by Spruce

I just found out one of the staff here did get a photo. Just waiting for it to be downloaded from the digital camera. I'll post it as soon as I can.

Thanks for all you help. Barb, that photo you showed me does look a lot like the fowl we saw.

 

 

Re(1): Waterfowl
Posted on November 21, 2006 at 11:31:32 AM by Al Sinclair

Common Eiders are rarey seen inland. They are a sea duck that breeds along the arctic and the north Atlantic coast. I think a flock of that many birds would have to be something more common like Buffleheads, Goldeneyes or Common Merganser males as Barbara suggested. Common Merganser males, travelling without females, pass through Muskoka this time of year. Did anyone get a photo?

 

 

Re(1): Waterfowl
Posted on November 21, 2006 at 11:04:22 AM by Barbara Taylor

I would guess they were male Common Mergansers. At a distance and on an overcast day, the black on their backs wouldn't have been that noticeable, the dark green head would appear black, and your description of the head and the overall white colour elsewhere fits. The habitat, a lake in a wooded area, also suits them.

Here's a photo for you to compare to:
http://www.naturalareaguardians.org/birds/gallery/birdgallerymerganser.htm

 

 

Waterfowl
Posted on November 20, 2006 at 11:52:01 PM by Spruce

Greatings all,

I'm hoping I can get some help. I work at Camp Muskoka (11km east of Bracebridge along Fraserburg Rd). At lunch today we saw about 12 -18 birds on our lake. Unfortunitly we didn't get a good look. This is best description we were able to come up with:

White wings, White/beige body, Black (or very dark) head. The head was shallow and elongated, like that of a Merganser.

At first we were thinking it was a Bufflehead or Goldeneye but the colouration and the head structure didn't look right.

Eventually we settled on a Common Eider. The problem is that the Common Eider isn't list on the Muskoka Bird List. Any ideas?

Thanks for you time

Muskoka Bird List... without the Eider

 

 

Re(1): Black-Backed Woodpecker
Posted on November 19, 2006 at 11:03:44 AM by Al Sinclair

Bill reports that it was not seen this morning but he will keep us posted if it returns.

 

 

Black-Backed Woodpecker
Posted on November 18, 2006 at 08:00:01 PM by Bill Dickinson

Black-Backed Woodpecker was sighted at 4:30 p.m. at 22 Fairlight Glen (out Santa's Village Rd) on Sat Nov.18 on a red pine at the end of the driveway.

 

 

they're back!
Posted on November 16, 2006 at 10:31:25 AM by sam robinson

The turkeys have returned to Dill Street. Only three so far! Last visit in the spring there were 29.
Unfortunately, we have also been visited by a beaver who removed a tree from our garden.
(Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Birds
Posted on November 12, 2006 at 07:18:10 PM by ONTBIRDS

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (November 12, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi Everyone
Today, despite a cool overcast day at Algonquin Park, the birding was very rewarding again along the trails off Hwy. 60. During the morning along the "old railway bed" off Arowhon Road we found 2 female Three-toed Woodpecker and 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker. One of the Three-toed Woodpecker was along the edge of Wolf Howl Pond. Both White-winged and Red Crossbills were observed in small numbers while Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee were found both at Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake.

In the afternoon at Spruce Bog Trail 1 female Three-toed and 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker were observed at the entrance to the trail. Both woodpeckers were vocal.

On our last stop along Lake Opeongo Road were again observed 1 female Three-toed and 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker just past the gate. Both birds were located by there tapping. On our drive out we had a female Spruce Grouse along the roadside!

Mammal highlights included a Pine Marten at the VC suet feeder and 4 Moose.
good birding
Bruce

Directions: Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km 56). Permits and information are available daily at both gates throughout the winter. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
--------------------------------------------
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Calligrapha Beetle - photo
Posted on November 12, 2006 at 02:31:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

Gerry Lannan sent this photo of a beetle he found recently. Ron Tozer was asked for help in the identification and here is his response (thanks Ron):

Hi Gerry
Your insect is a leaf beetle, perhaps Calligrapha philadelphica. That species feeds on dogwood, apparently. The all black pronotum is diagnostic. There is a picture of this species on page 353 of Steve Marshall's fabulous new (2006) insect book, Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity (FireFly Books). Leaf beetles are in the Chrysomelidae family. There are about 1500 species in North America!
The generic name, Calligrapha, is named for the scrawls on the beetle's wing covers, as in calligraphy.
Ron

 

Here is a webpage with links to photos of various Calligrapha beetles: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Environment/NHR/Calligrapha.html

http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=calligrapha

 

 

Re(1): Orillia and South Birds
Posted on November 12, 2006 at 02:03:05 PM by janice house

ps we also saw 2 dozen turkeys on Shanty Bay Rd

 

 

Orillia and South Birds
Posted on November 12, 2006 at 02:02:02 PM by janice house

Yesterday Moira and I followed the route we took with Bob Bowles last year. We started at the park at the foot of West St in Orillia, back to hwy 11 and onto Oro 11 south to Hawkestone. We went to the pier in Hawkestone, lots of gulls and 150+ common mergansers and lots of loons in the bay there. We then followed Lakeshore Dr to Oro 3/Shanty Bay Rd. At Bayview Memorial Park (Oro 9th) we saw 200+ common golden eyes. We stopped at every lake access we saw, lots of red breasted mergansers along the way, 1 pair of hooded mergansers, 3 lesser canada geese, black ducks, bonaparte gulls, black backed gulls, buffleheads, mallards. Its a nice drive too.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 19, 2006 at 11:57:51 AM by Barbara Taylor

Very quiet and cold at the Ponds this morning. No swans - they were last seen Nov. 15. Many Mallards and a few American Black Ducks in cell 4.  Several Bufflehead in cell 1. Four Snow Buntings by the dumping ponds (beside north-east corner of cell 4). A single Golden-crowned Kinglet south of cell 3.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 12, 2006 at 02:00:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 1 p.m. we found the three Tundra Swans in cell 4, but after a bit of preening they flew back to the north end of cell 1. Cell 4 had lots of Mallards, American Black Ducks, and a female Northern Shoveler. A couple Yellowlegs and two Pectoral Sandpipers were near the south-east corner of cell 4, and a Dunlin was very close to the east shore - we almost missed it. Many Buffleheads and some Scaup in cell 1. Couldn't find the Long-tailed Duck.

Only a few Common Goldeneye and Buffleheads at the mouth of the Hoc Roc river near Taboo on Muskoka Beach Rd.

 

 

Golden Eagles
Posted on November 10, 2006 at 04:47:21 PM by dhatch

Three Golden eagles soaring high over Minett at 10 AM this morning were joined by another two from the north and then they all headed south.

 

 

Re(1): Long-tailed Duck still there
Posted on November 9, 2006 at 01:25:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

As of 12:30 p.m. today the Long-tailed Duck and three Tundra Swans were still in cell 1. The Dunlin, Pectorals, and Yellowlegs were still in cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Long-tailed Duck ...photo from today
Posted on November 8, 2006 at 03:31:38 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo at 2pm. Female in winter plumage.

 

 

Long-tailed Duck at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 8, 2006 at 12:26:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today we found a Long-tailed Duck in the south-east end of cell 1 (diving frequently so may be hard to find). The three Tundra Swans are still hanging out in the north-west corner of cell 1, although they visited cell 3 briefly yesterday. The Dunlin, three Pectoral Sandpipers, and two Yellowlegs are in cell 4 near the south-east corner. Most of the ducks have left cell 4, but still several Bufflehead and Scaup in cells 1 and 2.
(note: older naming of Long-tailed Duck was Oldsquaw)  Bracebridge Ponds map

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Birds
Posted on November 8, 2006 at 08:10:13 AM by Ron Tozer

An incursion of American Three-toed Woodpeckers southward from the boreal forest appears to be underway. Previous Algonquin Park sightings this fall were at Opeongo Road (October 7), Big Pines Trail (October 9), Barron Canyon Road, on the East Side of the Park (October 27) and Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 4). This woodpecker moves south in numbers during winter occasionally, perhaps related to successful reproduction in the north. Muskoka birders should be watching for them in swamp and bog areas, and also listening for their quiet tapping as they flake the bark off dead and dying conifers in search of the larvae of bark beetles (Scolytidae) and the early instar larvae of wood-boring beetles (Cerambycidae). Unlike the Black-backed Woodpecker, it flakes the bark only rather than drilling in the sapwood.

 

 

Algonquin Birds
Posted on November 7, 2006 at 08:07:01 PM by ONTBIRDS

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (November 7, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Ont. Birders,
My tour group had a great morning birding the trails off Highway 60 in Algonquin Park. Along Arowhon Rd. and the old railroad bed to Wolf Howl Pond, we had 2 Three-toed Woodpeckers and 2 Black-backed Woodpeckers. A total of 7 Boreal Chickadees and 6 Gray Jays were observed in the same area. Finch activity was active, with 250+ Pine Siskin, 150 American Goldfinch, 100+ Purple Finch and both White-winged and Red Crossbill. At Spruce Bog Trail we found, 2 Gray Jay at the parking lot and a male Spruce Grouse on the opposite side of the highway. Along the Lake Opeongo Rd. we observed 2 Gray Jays and at Opeongo Lake there was a late immature Double-crested Cormorant.
Good Birding
Bruce
-------------------------------------------
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on November 7, 2006 at 03:41:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they had a Hermit Thrush in their yard this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Register your name before posting - please read this first
Posted on November 6, 2006 at 12:25:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

To prevent spammers from posting on the board, you 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. (not all browsers have this capability - Firefox is one that does)

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): Swans, Dunlin at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 6, 2006 at 09:58:10 PM by Al Sinclair

I was there around 3pm and found the Dunlin with the Pectorals, my first Dunlin this year, number 154 on my Muskoka year list. Found the Snow Buntings on the roads around the septic dumping ponds at the corner of cell 3 & 4. I took a fairly accurate count of the number of ducks in all 4 cells and came up with 550, mostly Mallards and Buffleheads but also Scaup, Black and Green-winged Teal. Also 120 Canada Geese.

 

 

Swans, Dunlin at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 6, 2006 at 12:31:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

As of 11:40 a.m. this morning the three Tundra Swans were still in cell 1 near the NW corner. In cell 4 we found a Dunlin along with the three Pectoral Sandpipers and a Greater Yellowlegs. No sign of any Snow Buntings or Horned Larks - workers were driving back and forth along the roadway between cell 1 and 2 so this may have caused them to leave the area. The swans didn't seem terribly bothered by the activity.

(note: heard shots fired in the distance to the west - reminder that it's now deer hunting season)

 

 

Re(1): 4 redtails along 118 west
Posted on November 6, 2006 at 10:00:12 PM by Al Sinclair

I had one at 2pm sitting on a tree inside the northbound ramp from 118e to Hwy 11.

 

 

4 redtails along 118 west
Posted on November 6, 2006 at 12:02:07 PM by Doug Smith

Driving to Port Carling this morning I saw 4 redtailed hawks along the 118 west -- 2 at the Highlands golf course and another 2 in the 1600 block, just before the open 'valley' where the Evans' and Hammonds' properties are located.

 

 

Re(1): Swans still there at 11:30 a.m.
Posted on November 5, 2006 at 12:23:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

The three swans were still in cell 1 as of 11:30 a.m. today - they were resting very close to the snow covered bank in the north-west corner so weren't easily spotted. (We were there after the Baileys - I don't think they walked over far enough to see the swans tucked into the corner.) Four Horned Larks were on the roadway at the south end of cell 1, but then flew south towards Lagoon Lane - we couldn't relocate them. Still a large flock of Snow Buntings along the roadway between cell 1 and 2. Janice House pointed out a male Common Goldeneye in cell 1 - it was diving frequently. A Greater Yellowlegs and three Pectoral Sandpipers were feeding at the edge of green mats of vegetation out from the SE corner of cell 4. Two Red-tailed Hawks flew over cell 4. Large flock of American Tree Sparrows west of cell 3.

After studying shorebird plumages and characteristics in our fieldguides, we are now convinced the bird we saw yesterday was indeed a Dunlin. We had a good close look at it standing and in flight – unfortunately, we couldn’t find it today.

 

At the ponds this morning
Posted on November 5, 2006 at 11:00:59 AM by Al Sinclair

Don and Bev Bailey report that they did not see the swans today. The flock of Snow Buntings along the centre road between cell 1 and 2 continues to grow, now about 60 and there were 4 Horned Larks with them. The Pectoral Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs were still in cell 4. Cell 4 has been has been drained in the last week so a muddy border good for shorebirds now exists. The Baileys report that today they counted 42 American Black Ducks a high count for this species that has been declining for many years. Also seen today by the Baileys, 75 Snow Geese flying south over the MacDonalds in Bracebridge.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 5, 2006 at 07:54:12 AM by gerald

Yesterday about 1pm there was a Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a tree with three crows. They were slightly harassing it. The hawk flew and the crows mobbed the hawk as it moved across the field. Location: 118 leaving Bracebridge, but before the villa and on the south side of the road. The hawk was on a lower branch and the crows were above it.
Gerald

 

 

Swan photos from today
Posted on November 4, 2006 at 04:46:11 PM by Al Sinclair

 

http://www.muskoka.com/~sinclair/birds/photos/tundra_swan_7591w.JPG

http://www.muskoka.com/~sinclair/birds/photos/tundra_swan_7588w.JPG

http://www.muskoka.com/~sinclair/birds/photos/tundra_swan_7557w.JPG

 

 

Re(1): Swans at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 4, 2006 at 03:24:38 PM by Al Sinclair

Swans are juvenile Tundra. Goodyears, Baileys and I were there at 1pm, the snow had stopped and we had a good look at them. Body shape and bill colour were like Tundra not Trumpeter. We had 2 shorebirds in cell 4, a Greater Yellowlegs and a Pectoral Sandpiper, also many ducks including several Black Ducks and 50 or more Canada Geese. 40 Snow Buntings were on the road between cell 1 and 2.

 

 

Swans at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 4, 2006 at 12:54:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three immature Swans in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds - no scope and snowing - not sure which species. Ten Snow Buntings were on the roadway between cell 1 and cell 2. A Wilson's Snipe was on the mudflats in the NW corner of cell 4. A shorebird (Dunlin?) flushed from the SE corner of cell 2 and flew towards cell 4 but we couldn't see if it landed.

 

 

Snow Buntings, Common Grackle
Posted on October 29, 2006 at 11:14:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we couldn't find the Ruddy Duck amidst the waves and whitecaps. We did manage to pick out a male Ring-necked Duck, Scaup, and Green-winged Teal amongst the large number of Buffleheads and Mallards in cell 1. An American Coot was in cell 2. Six Snow Buntings were huddled down on the roadway between cell 1 and cell 2. The wind was so strong by cell 1 that image stabilized binoculars would have come in handy. : )

Yesterday's blustery weather brought in a late Common Grackle and a White-throated Sparrow to our feeder. They are both still here today. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bluebirds, Ruddy Duck
Posted on October 28, 2006 at 04:19:21 PM by Goodyear

A wet walk from Henry Marsh to the Lagoons this afternoon turned up three Eastern Bluebirds (2m, 1f) at the T-junction at Henry Marsh and a female Ruddy Duck (finally!) in Cell 1 at the Lagoons.

 

 

Ducks 150 plus
Posted on October 28, 2006 at 02:37:14 PM by janice house

just came back from Doe Lake, 6 klm from hwy 11 on Doe Lake Rd, ring necked ducks and one bufflehead pair at the south end of the lake.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Bunting - Bay Lake
Posted on October 27, 2006 at 02:10:49 PM by Al Sinclair

Don and Bev Bailey had one at the Bracebridge Ponds between cell 1 and 2 yesterday morning. It disappeared by noon.

 

 

Snow Bunting - Bay Lake
Posted on October 27, 2006 at 12:54:43 PM by Kip Daynard

A curious Snow Bunting landed on my dock this morning and then hopped around the lawn for a few minutes while keeping a close eye on the windows of the house. A first sighting of the season for me and a new one for my yard list! Has anyone else seen any yet this fall?

 

 

RedNeckedGrebe
Posted on October 24, 2006 at 05:07:12 PM by JimMaguire&SylviaPurdon

There is a good sighting of this grebe in the first bays off Wenona Lodge Road, usually near a small flock of Canada Geese. Grebe is in winter plumage with a greyish neck with white, leading us to identify it, rather than the Western which we think is more whitish on the neck.

 

 

Bird Board downtime....
Posted on October 24, 2006 at 10:20:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Bird Board was offline for a while yesterday and this morning due to problems with the server at the Boards2Go hosting service. I did post notices about the problem on the Bird Board back-up webpage. Please bookmark that page for future reference if you haven't done so already.

 

 

Register your name before posting - please read this first...
Posted on October 22, 2006 at 07:21:28 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. (not all browsers have this capability - Firefox is one that does)

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.

 

 

beaumaris birds
Posted on October 22, 2006 at 01:22:16 PM by gerald

Around the hamlet of Beaumaris we have about 10 goldfinches staying close by the feeders. Also in the area are about 50 rusty blackbirds, several kinglets of both varieties, and some passing yellow-rumped warblers. Yesterday a loon landed on the lake for the day before passing on south.

 

 

Goldfinch, Bala
Posted on October 21, 2006 at 09:59:40 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

I had one goldfinch at my feeder today. The only one in several weeks.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 21, 2006 at 05:06:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey report this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds they had a Rough-legged Hawk spiral overhead before it headed south, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew past by cell 4. There was a male Hooded Merganser in cell 4. No Ruddy Duck. Still one Bonaparte's Gull in cell 2. Green-winged Teal and Blue-winged Teal in cell 1. Several American Coots, Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, and Bufflehead in cell 4.

 

 

Spider in the groceries
Posted on October 20, 2006 at 05:29:44 PM by Al Sinclair

June Kingshott of Bracebridge found this spider with her groceries. She sent me a photo wondering if it was some poisonous exotic that came in with the bananas. I don't think so. From the photo I would say that it is likely a common species in our area, Pisaurina mira, a nursery web spider. These large spiders are normally found in woods, fields and lake shores stalking prey with their excellent eyesight and long legs. They get the name nursery web spiders because they deposit their egg capsule in a nursery made by tieing leaves together with a web. They then guard the nursery until the young hatch and disperse.

 

 

Re(1): Lagoons - Snow Geese
Posted on October 20, 2006 at 12:44:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

We were there late morning and couldn't find the Ruddy Duck, but did find a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4. There were a few Rusty Blackbirds north of cell 4. There was still one Bonaparte's Gull in cell 2 and an American Black Duck.

We left about ten minutes too soon! Don Bailey just called to report that a flock of about 75 Snow Geese flew over cell 4 heading south-west shortly after we departed.

 

 

Lagoons -Tree Sparrows
Posted on October 20, 2006 at 12:16:24 PM by Goodyear

Early this morning there was a small flock of Tree Sparrows in the shrubs west of Cell 4. No Rusty Blackbirds were about. When I first arrived at the Lagoons there was a noisy flock of approx. 300 Canada Geese in Cell 3, but when I left about half an hour later they had all flown the coop. I couldn't find the female Ruddy Duck. One Bonaparte's Gull in Cell 2. It's interesting how the variety and number of birds change in such a short time.

 

 

Orange-crowned Warblers, Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on October 19, 2006 at 04:53:05 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon I saw a single Orange-crowned Warbler in the shrubs west of Cell 4 and another Orange-crowned Warbler on the west side of the Henry Marsh Trail, just as it enters the open area. Both birds were associating with small flocks of Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Chickadees. The Rusty Blackbird flock that was seen by Barbara yesterday has now grown to 150+ rather noisy birds. A male Kingfisher was keeping watch over Henry Marsh. The 3 Bonaparte's Gulls were still at the Lagoons in Cell 2.

 

 

At the Bracebridge Ponds today...Ruddy Duck
Posted on October 19, 2006 at 04:51:23 PM by Al Sinclair

At the Bracebridge Ponds Today October 19, 3PM (map):
Bonaparte's Gull: 2 in cell 2
Ruddy Duck: 1 in cell 4 female plumage
Rusty Blackbird: a few in the woods north-west corner where cell 3 an 4 meet.
Duck count total: 180 +

 

 

Re(1): American Robins??
Posted on October 19, 2006 at 08:46:58 AM by Al Johnston

It wouldn't be unusual at all to see AMRO's migrating through so that's probably what you observed. Al

 

 

American Robins??
Posted on October 18, 2006 at 09:20:17 PM by JoBear

On the 6-8Oct06 I had a small flock of birds eating under my pine trees that appeared to be American Robins, after two days they were gone. Is it common for them to move through this area or have I mistaken them from another species. Thanks

 

 

Re(1): Bonaparte's Gulls, Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on October 18, 2006 at 04:02:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

The three Bonaparte's Gulls were still in cell 2 at 3:00 p.m. today. About 40 Rusty Blackbirds were feeding in the wet woods by the NW corner of cell 4. There are still many American Coots, Hooded Mergansers, Scaup, and Buffleheads in cell 4.

 

 

Re(2): Golden Eagle
Posted on October 22, 2006 at 06:55:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

The bird circled overhead for a while so we had a very good look. It was definitely an immature Golden Eagle - white oval patch on underside of each wing and white tail with dark band. They are migrating now...a few have been seen recently at various hawk watches south of here. Was it an immature or adult you saw at Six Mile Lake?

Here are more details of our sighting:
-Dark brown body, no white speckling.
-Head colour much lighter than body, but not white.
-Solid white base of tail, with distinct wide dark band at tip of tail, about 70% of total tail length was white.
-Dark brown wings, not noticeably two-toned on underside as with a Turkey Vulture, no white speckling visible on underside of wings, distinct white oval patch on underside of each wing towards outer end, some white visible on top of wings.
-Bird glided in at low altitude, holding wings outstretched flat with visible "fingers" at tips, at times held wings slightly upward but not pronounced as with a Turkey Vulture.

Ontario HawkWatch data:
Cranberry Marsh (Whitby)
Hawk Cliff (Port Stanley)
Holiday Beach (Amherstburg)

 

 

Re(1): Golden Eagle
Posted on October 22, 2006 at 05:08:23 PM by sixmiler

I was interested to read about the Golden Eagle. We have had sightings of one on Six Mile Lake. I have seen one myself but not been able to get a picture to verify... it would be very rare to see one this far south. Are you sure it was not an immature bald eagle?
Anne Lewis
Six Mile Lake

 

 

Golden Eagle, Bonaparte's Gulls
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 01:20:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

As we were leaving the Bracebridge Ponds today around 12:30 p.m. the gulls on cell 2 flushed...when we looked up, there was an immature Golden Eagle coming in from the south! It circled above cell 2 for a while and then soared away to the north. When the gulls settled back down we were surprised to find not one, but three Bonaparte's Gulls very close to us on the east side of cell 2. About 150 Canada Geese came in from the north and landed in cell 3, but no Snow Geese were with them. There were still several American Coots in cell 4 and a few in cell 1 and cell 2.

 

 

Re(2): Last Hermit Thrushes? - Bay Lake
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 09:46:14 PM by Bob Mayes

Last week we had a Hermit Thrush crash into
one of our back windows and unfortunately broke it's neck. Today I saw what may have been it's brother in our backyard.
We are down in Innisfil just by
Kempenfelt Bay.

 

 

Re(1): Last Hermit Thrushes? - Bay Lake
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 08:57:16 PM by Peter Mills

On Sunday I saw a Hermit Thrush in Simcoe County, passing through, heading to better places.

 

 

Last Hermit Thrushes? - Bay Lake
Posted on October 16, 2006 at 12:59:30 PM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday two Hermit Thrushes were foraging on our lawn in the gaps between the melting snow. We live in Perry Township about 28kms north-east of Huntsville. Average fall departure date for Algonquin park (19kms to east of us) is Oct. 20th so I guess these may be the last I'll see this year.

Kip Daynard
RR1 Emsdale

 

 

Eastern Phoebe
Posted on October 15, 2006 at 04:23:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

An Eastern Phoebe visited our yard this afternoon along with several Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet who was kind enough to show us its ruby crown, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The resident pair of Northern Cardinals seems to have lost one of their offspring in just the past few days - now only a young male being fed by the adult female. No Fox Sparrows - has anyone seen them yet? (Bracebridge)

 

 

Wilf's Photos from today
Posted on October 15, 2006 at 01:36:48 PM by Al Sinclair

 

Bonaparte’s Gull    Wild Turkeys

 

 

At the Bracebridge Ponds today...Bonaparte's Gull and more
Posted on October 15, 2006 at 01:17:46 PM by Al Sinclair

At the ponds today (map):
This morning Wilf Yusek found a Bonaparte's Gull in cell one. At noon the gull was still there swimming along the east side. Also seen today:

-immature Red-tailed Hawk, seen flying over by Don and Bev Bailey.
-2 Black Ducks, one in cell one, one in cell 2, my first of the year
-Green-winged Teal, cell 2 and the settling pond at the north end of cell 1
-25 Coots, 21 in cell 4 and 4 in cell one. This is the most I have ever seen at one time in Muskoka.
-1 Pied-billed Grebe, cell 1
-100+ ducks in cell 4, Scaup, Bufflehead, Ring-necked, Hooded Merganser
-1 Orange-crowned Warbler at the corner before the lagoon lane entrance
-25 Wild Turkeys Lagoon Lane

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on October 14, 2006 at 03:50:05 PM by J. Gardner

There some Rusty Blackbirds on the feeders, as is usual in October. Whitecrowned sparrows, and the usual suspects also here in Hurdville.

 

 

Bluebirds at Port Sydney
Posted on October 13, 2006 at 04:20:28 PM by Jon Grandfield

Today, about 3 pm in blowing snow, 2 bluebirds were foraging the bark curls of a yellow birch.

 

 

2 ducks in the Muskoka River
Posted on October 10, 2006 at 03:15:29 PM by Robert MacEwan

these 2 ducks were very busy feeding when I happened along, this was taken near the end of September just below the falls in downtown Bracebridge  photo

 

 

Baby Loon on Kahshe Lake
Posted on October 9, 2006 at 04:31:29 PM by Greg Gulyas

We had a baby loon on Kahshe this summer ... not a common event due to all the boat traffic. I first noticed it in mid-July when it was already swimming well on its own and I have many pictures of it over the summer. This picture is from the Thanksgiving weekend ... it is quite independent now and apparently ready to head south.
photo
(My thanks to Terry Whittam for introducing me to the Muskoka Bird Board)

 

 

Saw-Whet Owl calling
Posted on October 7, 2006 at 08:35:30 PM by Doug Smith

Last night, Oct. 6th, I heard a Saw-Whet Owl calling in our backyard. It continued for approx. 15 minutes. We are located about 15 km east of Bracebridge, in Uffington.

 

 

Red-necked Grebe on Lake Muskoka
Posted on October 6, 2006 at 06:26:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was a Red-necked Grebe near Browning Island at "Harvey's Point", across from the public docks at the end of Beaumont Dr. We also saw two Common Loons on the lake. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbird at Port Sydney
Posted on October 6, 2006 at 09:42:38 AM by Jon Grandfield

Alex, I was very close to it - it was a ruby-throated bird.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird at Port Sydney
Posted on October 5, 2006 at 08:15:58 PM by Alex Mills

October hummingbirds in Ontario are sometimes vagrant species that don't belong here. If you see it again, look closely to make sure it is a ruby-throated!

 

 

Hummingbird at Port Sydney
Posted on October 5, 2006 at 06:20:26 PM by Jon Grandfield

Today, about 2pm, a hummer was attracted to a red climatis that is still flowering. The plant is in a sunny, sheltered spot just outside our kitchen window and has survived the frost so far.

 

 

American Woodcock
Posted on October 4, 2006 at 07:53:30 PM by janice house

several woodcocks in the neighbourhood, last night I heard one peenting, tonight one buzzed over my head as I leashed up the dogs for their evening walk (approx 7:20). I have not heard any since the spring. (Doe Lake Rd)

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: October 4
Posted on October 4, 2006 at 02:54:08 PM by ONTBIRDS

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (October 4, 2006) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Increased birding activity in Algonquin Park this past week resulted in
more sightings than usual. Highlights included a Great Gray Owl and
a very early Pine Grosbeak.

The Great Gray Owl was photographed in the Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose
Lake area of the Mizzy Lake Trail on October 3. Probably the same individual
was reported from this area on September 19, with no subsequent observations
until now. A very few Great Gray Owls are resident in Algonquin Park, and
this bird is likely one of them, rather than being part of an early
southward movement from the boreal forest.

Four Red-necked Grebes on Lake of Two Rivers, October 3, were noteworthy.

The northern species which birders often seek in Algonquin were reported
as follows: Spruce Grouse (Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog trail); Black-backed
Woodpecker (Mew Lake); Gray Jay (Spruce Bog, Opeongo Road, Mew
Lake); and Boreal Chickadee (Wolf Howl Pond).

The Old Airfield produced Horned Lark, Eastern Bluebird, American Pipit,
Le Conte's Sparrow (on September 29, at the east end near Lake of Two
Rivers where the species appears annually in the long grass during the
period from late September through mid October), and Lapland Longspur.

Finches included a Pine Grosbeak at Wolf Howl Pond on October 3.
(The average first fall date for Pine Grosbeak here is October 27, with only
two dates earlier than October 3 known, on September 20 and 29.) A
few White-winged Crossbills continue to be observed, mostly calling in
flight. There have been no recent reports of Red Crossbill, but small groups
flying eastward were regular earlier in September. A few Pine Siskins flying
over were noted. Occasional Evening Grosbeaks were observed earlier in
September, but none were reported this week.

Ron Tozer (retired Algonquin Park Naturalist)
Dwight, Ontario

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11
and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From
Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park.
Permits and information are available at the gates, including the Park
Tabloid that has a map showing the locations of all sites mentioned above.
Birders are encouraged to visit the Algonquin Visitor Centre at km 43 on
Highway 60 to report their sightings and learn about the latest occurrences.
The centre is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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

 

 

Henry marsh
Posted on October 3, 2006 at 12:53:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Henry Rd. marsh there was a large flock of Red-winged Blackbirds which took flight over the beaver pond - only one adult male amongst them. A Merlin flew through the flock causing the birds to quickly separate and dive down into the tall grasses. The Merlin came up empty. There is still an American Coot and an American Bittern at the marsh. Many White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows were feeding on the Elderberries near the wooden bridge. Several Golden-crowned Kinglets and a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets near the parking area.

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

 

 

Hummingbirds
Posted on October 3, 2006 at 12:22:06 PM by Frank LeVay

Truly remarkable how late the hummingbirds are this year. What we thought was our last was Sept.8. After a few days they started to appear here in Gravenhurst. Individuals almost every day up to yesterday, Oct. 2.

 

 

Butterflies
Posted on October 4, 2006 at 09:54:28 AM by Ron Stager

I have also noted some late butterflies at my place (Merkley Rd east of Barkway) this year. A number of yellow and white species commonly fly late as do species like commas and mourning cloak. I am trying to get a handle on Muskoka flight periods for other species and show, below, my latest flight dates for this year. If anyone has seen these species at later dates please let me know.

Great Spangled Fritillary: September 27; good condition and looked for it October 2 but no luck.

Viceroy: September 25

White Admiral: September 16; good shape


Species emerging in September/October (very fresh)

Pearl Crescent: September 25

Eastern Tailed-blue: September 25

Monarch: October 2: I suspect more emerging adults over the next few weeks

In another year, I have also seen a Bronze copper in October.

Thanks
p.s. Seems to be many common green darners during the last week.

 

 

Record late butterfly records
Posted on October 3, 2006 at 09:00:23 AM by Rick Stronks

Although it has not been an unusually warm September, Algonquin Park has had three record late butterfly records this fall.

On September 16, a Great Spangled Fritillary was seen (previous late date of September 12); on September 19 a White Admiral was noted (previous late date of September 14); and yesterday I observed a Monarch (previous late date of October 1).

These records may be a result a very good year for certain butterfly species. Many observers have noted the incredible numbers of Monarchs this year. With a promising weather forecast for later this week, watch for more record late dates!

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on October 2, 2006 at 12:05:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

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

Need help posting photos? Find out how to post your digital photos and try a test post on the Ontario Nature Photos board.



I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. See the Posting Guidelines for helpful tips about using the message board.

Barbara Taylor
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on October 1, 2006 at 09:25:29 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

 

28 Sandhill Cranes on the east side of Hwy 169 south of Udney Ontario and just south of Ramara con 10 east side of hwy 169. Beautiful cranes, just south of our Muskoka region! Sandhill Cranes

 

 

Re(1): Loons/Mergansers
Posted on October 1, 2006 at 07:57:07 PM by Eleanor kee Wellman

Janice, The loons I have seen will attack any duck that is in their territory from the time they arrive in the spring. I have seen them go after Wood Ducks, Mallards and Hooded Mergansers mostly. I find it interesting that this occurred so late in the year though.

 

 

Loons/Mergansers
Posted on October 1, 2006 at 04:34:19 PM by janice house

twice this summer Dad and friends out at Skeleton reported loons chasing and trying to attack common mergansers. Christine told me today a mother merganser and several babies were beside her dock, so close she thought the mother would peck at her dog and out of no where a loon came up under the mom merganser as if to stab her with its bill, fortunately she got away. Dad and my sister in law watched young mergansers flapping and skittering under the dock and hiding in the little alcove where the creek meets the lake, right behind them a loon came up. Could this be a territory dispute?