Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2008
 
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turkey vultures
Posted on March 31, 2008 at 09:29:34 PM by gerald

There were two turkey vultures flying over the fields behind the old high school. Yay, dead stuff is getting stinky as the weather warms!

Gerald Willmott
Bracebridge

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 07:43:36 PM by gerald

Today about 5 PM my wife Heddie and I watched a Red-shouldered Hawk hunting along the shoulder of highway 118 West close to the bottom of the rock-cut in Milford bay. It was the most amazing view as he sat at car window height, with the sun low and behind us, for a few minutes. Also during the day we saw a Turkey Vulture just south of Wathta Territory and a Rough-legged hawk where highways 400 and 11 merge. Bring on spring!

 

 

The coons are waking up!
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 05:46:00 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Right now I am looking out my window at a raccoon dozing in a spruce tree. Earlier it helped itself to bird seed underneath our feeder.
Frances Gualtieri
Vankoughnet

 

 

Spring 2008
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 10:26:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

More springlike temperatures are finally due to arrive this week, so thought I'd repost my earlier note about spring migration. Although our deep snowpack may discourage the arrival of some birds, it is interesting to see some signs of spring are right on schedule. The first egg has been laid at the Hamilton Peregrine Falcon nestsite...so now you have a better chance to see one of the Peregrines if you check the webcam. There are also webcams for various Toronto nestsites.

Here are a few websites that will be helpful in following the spring migration. Some of these websites include data from past years which will give you an idea of peak migration times, or just check the recent posts on regional email lists to see what's coming our way. You can also check the Bird Board Archived Reports to see when species were first reported in our area in prior years.


Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map


Daily reports of Hawks (move your mouse cursor over each report to read full species name)

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists


Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Toronto's Leslie St. Spit) (active in April)

Long Point Bird Observatory sightings (active in April)

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch ("Beamer" in Grimsby)

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Journey North

Migration of Birds

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 10:09:19 AM by janice house

A pair in our yard this morning (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Windermere Migrants
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 03:41:19 PM by dbritton

This morning in the Windermere area there were 3 Canada Geese, a pair of Hooded Mergansers and a male Common Goldeneye on the Dee River at the Rostrevor Rd. bridge just west of Windermere.

A Turkey Vulture was seen soaring over Rostrevora and a male Common Grackle was at a nearby feeder.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 03:13:53 PM by janice house

At 2pm today a dozen birds were feeding in the crab apple trees in the front yard of the pale blue-grey home at the corner of Santa's Village Rd and Nichols Country Lane. Two Canada Geese were in the river and a deer crossed at the top of the hill above Santa's Village. I did not see anything at the George St landing. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Swan photos from last weekend
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 12:47:24 PM by Al Sinclair

Last Friday and Saturday (Easter weekend) Gerald Willmott reported 4 Trumpeter Swans near the mouth of the Muskoka River at the George Rd dock in Bracebridge (see report below). Bill Dickinson forwarded these two photos below taken on the Friday by Ron Jacques who lives on the river off George Rd.  photo1  photo2

The photos confirm that these are Trumpeter Swans, I think young birds from last year, none appear to be tagged so no chance of finding out where they came from. Trumpeter Swans are being reintroduced to Ontario and some of the eastern U.S. states. A few wintered on open water at Washago and Port Severn, one has wintered in Huntsville for a couple of years, many more return to Wye Marsh for the winter where the first introductions took place.

With the introduction of Trumpeters, swans are now more of a challenge to identify because Tundras are very similar and they migrate through southern Ontario. Tundras are a rare Muskoka bird because their normal migration route is further west, but there have been several confirmed sightings here over the years. At a distance Trumpeters appear to sit lower in the water than Tundras because of their body shape, longer and flatter on top more like a cigar. Tundras are shaped more like a football. Trumpeters also normally sit with more curve at the base of their neck. A closer look at the bill (length, colour and shape) can also separate the two species. Trumpeters in their 2nd year are darker gray on the back at this time of the year than Tundras.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting April 3
Posted on March 28, 2008 at 07:20:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Mark Peck is an Ornithology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum and will be speaking to us about the Ontario Nest Records Scheme - how it works, species/trends in our area and how we can become involved.

February through June meetings will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst located on the corner of First Street and Brock Streets (across from Giant Tiger). Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Sandhill Crane over Port Sydney
Posted on March 28, 2008 at 03:46:00 PM by Jim Griffin

I was out in my yard about 2:30 today and heard the unmistakeable call of a sandhill crane, finally located it flying high headed in a southwesterly direction.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 27 March
Posted on March 28, 2008 at 11:01:56 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar.28, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Early spring migrants that arrived this week were up to a week
later than usual: Red-winged Blackbird on March 23 (7 days
later than average), Common Grackle on March 27 (3 days
later than average), and Herring Gull on March 27 (6 days
later than average). With the snow knee-deep in most areas,
very little bare ground anywhere, and open water very scarce,
the Algonquin Highlands remain unattractive to most migrants
for now.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Only about three remain now at the Visitor
Centre feeders. One or two were at the West Gate feeder.

Common Redpoll: Reduced numbers were at the West Gate
feeder this week, but up to 50 were at the Visitor Centre.

Hoary Redpoll: There was one at the West Gate feeder on
March 22.

BOREAL RESIDENTS:
Spruce Grouse: One was seen near post 5 at Spruce Bog
on March 22 .

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was at Spruce Bog
right near parking lot, and a male was on Beaver Pond Trail,
on March 22. A female was on Opeongo Road, 1.5 km north
of the Costello Creek culvert, and a male was at post 7 on
Spruce Bog, on March 26.

Gray Jay: They were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the
Visitor Centre, Opeongo Road, and Mew Lake.

Boreal Chickadee: They were six at Mew Lake Campground,
and four at Spruce Bog, on March 22. Two
were on Opeongo Road, 1.5 km north of the Costello Creek
culvert on March 26.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
Bald Eagle: There were sightings on Highway 60 and Opeongo
Road this week.

American Three-toed Woodpecker: A male was at Spruce Bog
on March 22.

Fisher: A large male, plus two smaller individuals, have been
irregularly visiting the Visitor Centre suet feeders this week.

Marten: At least two have been coming to the Visitor
Centre feeders, often at the same time, but with no certain
time pattern. Sightings continue at Mew Lake Campground
near the garbage facility.


BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Arowhon Road is officially closed to public travel until further
notice, as log hauling is underway on it. Do not use this road.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 along 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, including the Algonquin Information Guide
showing locations discussed here.

The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information, plus
feeders. Birders visiting during the week are welcome to contact
staff for birding information and access to the viewing deck, via the
service entrance (right end of the building as you face it from the
parking lot). Exhibits and restaurant are open on weekends through
April 20, 10 am to 5 pm.

 

 

Re(2): Canada Geese
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 02:12:30 PM by Rick Stronks

I saw three flying over Dorset on Thursday March 27th.

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese
Posted on March 28, 2008 at 12:51:42 PM by janice house

two geese flew over our house this morning (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Canada Geese
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 08:26:54 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We spotted 3 Canada Geese flying north this evening while walking on Chrysler Rd. in Vankoughnet.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Beaver
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 02:28:54 PM by gerald

The beavers have been busy up and down the river bank of the trail just inside Covered Bridge subdivision in Bracebridge. I have seen him twice moving down the bank and through a hole in the ice. Most of his activity is fairly close to the bridge.

 

 

Re(1): Hooded Mergansers displaying
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 01:25:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were some Hooded Mergansers on the river again this morning. Three were at the big bend and six were near Henry Rd. The courtship displays seem to be getting more aggressive, as the number of males still outnumber the females. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Hooded Mergansers displaying
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 02:14:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 1:30 p.m. today there were ten male Hooded Mergansers and three females on the Muskoka River at the big bend in the river by #1484 Beaumont Dr. They were putting on quite a show with their courtship displays.  There was also a male Common Merganser nearby and a pair of Common Goldeneyes. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Great Blue Herons
Posted on March 29, 2008 at 02:15:20 PM by Rick Stronks

I saw three flying over Baysville late Thursday afternoon (March 27).

 

 

Re(1): Great Blue Herons
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 05:25:37 PM by Nancy

We just saw two GB Herons fly west past Bent River about 5 pm. Wonder if they are the same pair?
The river is open but little else.

 

 

Great Blue Herons
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 08:28:25 AM by Jim Griffin

At about 8:00am today, we observed 2 GB Herons flying low over the river in front of our place in Port Sydney, they gained altitude and seemed to head off up river.

 

 

northern shrike
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 10:36:07 PM by Marilyn Kisser

this shrike was sitting up in a cherry tree, singing his heart out this afternoon! who knew a shrike could sing like a song bird??? just outside of Rosseau   photo

 

 

Re(1): Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 31, 2008 at 11:18:41 AM by Barb Staples

Two over Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

 

 

Re(1): Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 08:38:30 PM by Marilyn Kisser

on our way home from Pickering today, up highway 11 and then 141, we saw 6 different turkey vultures

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 07:13:09 PM by J. Gardner

Another sign of spring! A Turkey Vulture found the beaver carcasses down on the beaver pond. A welcome sight, indeed. (Hurdville)

 

 

Brown-headed cowbird
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 05:40:27 PM by Doug Smith

Just had my first brown-headed cowbird this spring. It was at the feeder in our backyard in Uffington, east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Redwing
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 09:20:57 AM by J. Gardner

Finally, a redwing singing outside my back door. This is the latest arrival in 18 years of keeping records at this house. (Hurdville)

 

 

Backyard Bird Count Highlights...link
Posted on March 24, 2008 at 12:11:49 PM by Al Sinclair

The highlights were sent out to participants today, also available at the link below. Interesting info on winter finches, west nile virus, introduced species and more.
Backyard Bird Count Highlights

 

 

seed thief photo
Posted on March 24, 2008 at 11:58:30 AM by Wayne Bridge

Action around our Kearney feeders has been slow lately. It was minus 21 at 8 a.m. today. I'm slow too! But there was mammalian activity at the feeder last night: a northern flying squirrel.  photo

 

 

Re(1): another spring arrival...and another one!!
Posted on March 24, 2008 at 05:00:12 PM by willowbeachbirding

The cowbirds arrived this morning!! Lorena

 

 

another spring arrival!!
Posted on March 23, 2008 at 08:28:22 PM by willowbeachbirding

Darn Greedy Grackles are back with a vengence this weekend!! Their Red Winged Blackbird buddies must have whispered that there was some good seed here!!!!! (Willow Beach, Lake Simcoe)
Lorena Campbell

 

 

Re(1): Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Posted on March 25, 2008 at 08:44:37 PM by DBurton

Sometimes Black-headed Grosbeaks turn up in winter. Juveniles and females are worth a close look.

 

 

Re(1): Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Posted on March 24, 2008 at 01:30:34 AM by Marilyn Kisser

I will have to keep a look out then - I'm not far from Hekkla! I don't usually see them until late May!

 

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Posted on March 23, 2008 at 03:27:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Margaret Anderson-Coveart reports a Rose-breasted Grosbeak visited their feeder this morning in Hekkla. I checked the archives and the usual first sighting dates are in the first week of May on average, so this is a very early bird. Of course there are always exceptions. In January last year two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were seen at a feeder near Horseshoe Valley and one frequented a feeder in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Indian River, Port Carling
Posted on March 23, 2008 at 02:41:23 PM by gerald

Saturday afternoon there were 11 Male Common Merganzers and 7 Female Common Merganzers at Hanna Park in Port Carling. There were much fewer Common Goldeneyes than usual, only 2 pairs.

No Red-shouldered Hawks in Port Carling yet!

Also I need some help. My Peterson Birding by Ear CDs have finally become too scratched. Does anyone have a set that they could loan to me for a short period of time? I have More Birding by Ear that I would be willing to swap.

Thanks,
Gerald Willmott

 

 

Re(2): Trumpeter Swans...not found
Posted on March 23, 2008 at 01:56:43 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked the river at noon today, no swans. There was some open water at the north end of McVittie Island that I couldn't get access to, they could have been up there. I did find 15 Goldeneyes, 3 Common Mergansers, 9 Canada Geese.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans
Posted on March 22, 2008 at 12:26:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

The four swans were still on the river this morning but couldn't be seen from George Rd. which was our first stop. We eventually found them at 11:30 a.m. along with several Common Goldeneyes closer to the river mouth, seen from Beaumont Farm Rd. PVT. It looked like they were moving slowly along the shoreline towards George Rd. so may be visible from there by now.


directions to river mouth: Take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River, then straight onto Beaumont Farm Rd., then left onto Beaumont Farm Rd PVT until you are near the end of the road. There is a place to walk over to the river across the road from #1161. From there you can see the mouth of the river and also you can look towards the George Rd. dock. (Bracebridge)

directions to George Rd.: Take Hwy. 118W to Golden Beach Rd., then onto George Rd. to the end. (Or from Wellington St., take Santa's Village Rd. to George Rd.)

 

 

Trumpeter Swans
Posted on March 21, 2008 at 04:34:25 PM by gerald

There are 4 Trumpeter Swans, along with 4 Canadian Geese, near the end of the Muskoka River in Braebridge. They are best observed from George Road, which is just off of Golden Beach Road.

Gerald Willmott
Bracebridge

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 20 March
Posted on March 21, 2008 at 09:04:25 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar.20, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Two European Starlings showed up at the Visitor Centre
feeder on March 15, a full eight days later than the average
first date for this species in Algonquin. Deep snow cover
and frequently cold temperatures appear likely to slow the
arrival of additional migrants here for now. The only ice-
free sites are where the water has been open most of the
winter due to the current (e.g., the Oxtongue River).

On March 18, three of the four redpoll subspecies that occur
in southern Ontario were observed at the West Gate feeder:
about 50 Southern Common Redpolls (flammea), one
Greater Common Redpoll (rostrata), and an adult
Southern Hoary Redpoll (exilipes).

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Only about 10 remain now at the Visitor
Centre feeders. Others were at the West Gate feeder. Most
have started to move back north.

Common Redpoll: There were 50 to 75 at the West Gate
feeder this week, and up to 20 at the Visitor Centre.

Hoary Redpoll: There was at least one adult (exilipes)
at the West Gate feeder, reported from March 15 to 18.

BOREAL RESIDENTS:
Spruce Grouse: One male was on Spruce Bog Boardwalk in the
top of a tall young Black Spruce at the north end of the small
clearing at the trail register on March 16.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One female was on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, 15 m short of post 9, on March 15. A male was
observed 50 m past the winter gate on Opeongo Road, on
March 15, and a female north of the gate on March 15 and
18.

Gray Jay: They were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the
Visitor Centre, and Opeongo Road. Dan Strickland has now
located 18 active nests, with at least five females on eggs at
this point.

Boreal Chickadee: Four were conspicuously gleaning (apparently
getting springtails) from the snow surface along Opeongo Road,
beyond the gate, about 0.5 km north of the Costello Creek culverts,
on March 14, and Boreals were there on March 15 and 16, also.
Two Boreals were on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, near Post 5, on
March 14. Three of these chickadees were reported from Mew
Lake Campground on March 15.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
American Three-toed Woodpecker: A male was reported on
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, opposite the register book, on March 14.

Fisher: A large male has been irregularly visiting the Visitor
Centre suet feeders this week, at unpredictable times. Red
Squirrels dare to feed nearby during his visits.

Marten: At least two have been coming to the Visitor
Centre feeders, at a variety of times that defy prediction. Red
Squirrels vanish when a marten is present, apparently recognizing
the threat. The martens never come when the fisher is present.
One or two martens continue to be seen at Mew Lake Campground,
as well, near the washroom and/or the garbage facility.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Arowhon Road is officially closed to public travel until further
notice, as log hauling is underway on it. Do not use this road.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily from March 21 to 24,
and then on weekends to April 20, 10 am to 5 pm.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Re(2): Tweak the Eagle - photo
Posted on March 22, 2008 at 09:08:45 AM by Al Sinclair

This is a great photo, thanks for posting it. Using Sibley's Guide to Birds as a reference it appears to be a young Bald Eagle from last year (first year or juvenile) but in transition to second year plumage (white mottling on the breast). It still has the black bill of a juvenile and longer now worn feathers of a juvenile in the wing mixed with new shorter feathers of the 2nd year. The photo shows the long neck of a Bald Eagle that is a good field mark to look for in soaring eagles, a Golden Eagle's neck is shorter.

 

 

Re(1): Tweak the Eagle - photo
Posted on March 21, 2008 at 01:58:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is a photo that Jim Gardner took yesterday down on the beaver pond.

 

 

Tweak the Eagle
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 03:46:29 PM by J. Gardner

Jim has been putting beaver carcasses on the ice of our beaver pond to draw in birds for the purposes of photography. Ravens, crows, mink, fox and coyote have partaken. Today, 2 immature Bald Eagles came in on the bait. We were just watching one of the eagles feeding while the ravens took turns trying to pull feathers from his/her tail. We got a laugh out of it, but the eagle looked rather annoyed, but not enough to stop feeding. (Hurdville)

 

 

Red Fox
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 02:06:24 PM by janice house

This morning while walking the dogs on Doe Lake Rd (Gravenhurst) we spotted a beautiful fox laying out in the farmers field across from our house. He was only 50 feet from the road, he has been after our neighbours pet/wild rabbits recently.

 

 

Look who was on my front deck.....
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 12:47:57 PM by willowbeachbirding

....when I got home from work this morning!!! YAY!!  photo

I have Robins hanging around!! Ma and Pa Cardinal are getting very frisky with each other!! The Mourning Doves are cooing and mating in the front tree(not very bashful are they!) The Canada Geese are making their way back but the lake is completely frozen so they're trying to find some open water in the rivers and streams. Not much grass to find either!! Ducks are flying everywhere and I had a male House Sparrow pulling nesting material out of our bird house in the backyard yesterday!!
(Willow Beach - Lake Simcoe)

 

 

Hooded Mergansers
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 08:10:08 AM by Jim Griffin

I checked the river this morning south of the bridge in Port Sydney; there are two male "hoodies" competing for the attention of one female.

 

 

Re(2): ...and nest building
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 09:29:35 PM by Marilyn Kisser

my husband emptied the central vacuum container behing the shed the other day - there's been lot's of traffic through there, digging and picking up the dog and cat fur :-) should make for cosy nests!

 

 

Re(1): ...and nest building
Posted on March 20, 2008 at 09:30:29 AM by Barbara Taylor

With all the deer traffic through our yard, I've noticed several tufts of deer hair along their trail. This morning a pair of crows noticed it too. One crow watched while the other gathered up a large beakful and then they both flew towards their usual nestsite behind our house. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Mate feeding
Posted on March 19, 2008 at 01:35:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today was the first time this year that I noticed mate feeding between the Blue Jays at our feeder. The male Northern Cardinal has also started to carry food from the feeder to the female waiting in a nearby tree. A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were having a loud conversation this morning and then flew off together. Yesterday the female Pileated seemed to be checking in the snow for eggshells...or at least she was poking in the snow at the exact spot where I put out eggshells for the birds once the snow is gone. She was a regular customer last year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Red-winged Blackbirds ... our first in 2008
Posted on March 19, 2008 at 10:21:15 PM by Marilyn Kisser

no redwings yet here in Rosseau - lot's of starlings - my daughter, in Pickering, has a flock of redwings - spring must be on it's way!

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds ... our first in 2008
Posted on March 19, 2008 at 01:23:16 PM by Al Sinclair

Today we had 2 male Red-winged Blackbirds in our yard here east of Bracebridge. They watched the feeders and had a singing duel most of the morning, nice to hear. Around noon they both came down to feed. Our first in Muskoka this year!

 

 

Mergansers merging
Posted on March 19, 2008 at 10:46:16 AM by Jim Griffin

The lone female common merg.that has been around here in Port Sydney for the last few weeks has been joined by two males as of yesterday and today. In past years there has been up to 20 or so males gather along with a few females. I will watch to see how the "merging" develops. In the "pond" south of the bridge in Port Sydney.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on March 18, 2008 at 11:28:33 AM by viviprice

Coyotes killed a deer on the north side of Lake Muskoka on Sunday night.Yesterday, I was thrilled to see a bald eagle feasting along with the crows. It was back again this morning for another feed and has now flown off.

 

 

migration reaches Kearney
Posted on March 18, 2008 at 10:13:51 AM by Wayne Bridge

There were 3 common mergansers on the Magnetawan's open water in town this morning. Also our resident northern shrike visited the feeders ca. 9:30 a.m.

 

 

Robins and Shrike
Posted on March 18, 2008 at 10:03:46 AM by Goodyear

We saw our first Robins of the year this morning. Two were searching for "leftovers" in our miniature crabapple tree. We also had a Northern Shrike visit the tree above our feeders yesterday - a new bird for our yard list. (Meadow Heights Drive, Bracebridge)

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on March 17, 2008 at 07:57:38 PM by janice house

Watched as the woodpecker flew into one of the big trees behind Dr Parlett's office today at approximately 11am. Could not tell if it was a male or female. (Bracebridge, corner of Ann and Hiram Streets)

 

 

Bald eagle
Posted on March 17, 2008 at 09:19:19 AM by GayleCarlyle

Sun. March 16
We watched an immature bald eagle sitting on the edge of the ice along Lake Couchiching in Washago yesterday. It then took off, and flew away towards the canal, all the time being followed by gulls.

 

 

Male Downy Woodpecker
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 10:21:57 PM by SteveAbouldahab

I snapped this shot in Huntsville on Shay Rd. during a beautiful afternoon walk. photo

 

 

Red-shouldered and other Hawks migrating
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 11:02:01 AM by Al Sinclair

10 species of raptors were reported at Beamer Point yesterday near Grimsby on the Niagara Peninsula including Red-shouldered Hawk. We should be seeing/hearing them in Muskoka any day now.
Here yesterday east of Bracebridge we had a Cooper's Hawk at our feeders, probably a migrant not one that wintered here. It swooped in and drove a Mourning Dove into the window, then caught it. But it didn't get to eat it, one of the boys came around the corner of the house at the same time and it flew off without the dove. The dove later died so we put it out beside the road for the Ravens or the fox. It was gone this morning.

 

 

Red Fox
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 10:24:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning when I was out filling up the birdfeeders I noticed a strong skunky scent. Just a few minutes ago a very healthy looking Red Fox trotted through our yard so perhaps it was a fox scent marker. We've had skunks in the area once in a while in the summer but not very often. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Spring
Posted on March 15, 2008 at 09:55:48 PM by janice house

We went to Stouffville today, saw 2 robins just north of the Bloomington Rd, on the way home at 7:30 we saw at least a dozen canada geese.

 

 

Re(2): Pine grosbeaks
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 10:30:33 AM by Al Sinclair

We are getting 8 to 10 Pine Grosbeaks every day at our feeders here near Uffington east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E. Smiths on Hawn Rd near here have had up to 30 per day recently.
It seems to me that they are put off by a large flock of Redpolls that at times take over the feeders, sparing for positions and making lots of noise. They prefer to come in and feed at quiet times after the Redpolls leave. They are very beautiful and mild mannered birds that make them one of my favourites.

 

 

Re(1): Pine grosbeaks
Posted on March 15, 2008 at 08:33:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This winter there has been a major irruption of Pine Grosbeaks south of their normal breeding range because of a lack of food, such as mountain ash berries. Many birds had already moved south of Muskoka by December, but some have chosen to stay at local birdfeeders. Last winter the birds stayed in the north since tree seed crops were abundant.

See Ron Pittaway's Winter Finch Forecast and Boreal Finches - Superflight 2007-2008 for more details.

 

 

Pine grosbeaks
Posted on March 15, 2008 at 07:32:57 AM by FrancesGualtieri

We are seeing large numbers of pine grosbeaks at our feeder in Vankoughnet. I don't remember seeing so many before. Is this unusual?

Also, we have a niger seed feeder next to our black sunflower seed feeder. The finches ignore the niger seed feeder and go to the other one. This bugs me - don't these bird brains realize I bought the niger seed just for them? Instead they compete with the larger birds for the sunflower seeds.

We had a pileated woodpecker at the feeder yesterday.

 

 

Re(1): mature Bald Eagle
Posted on March 14, 2008 at 11:31:24 AM by Jim Griffin

figures, soon as I suggest it is hanging around, it leaves; at least I can't find it anymore at present.

 

 

mature Bald Eagle
Posted on March 14, 2008 at 11:13:49 AM by Jim Griffin

sorry to be so repetitive, but a mature Bald Eagle is hanging around this morning, may be an opportunity to see one if you are inclined. Currently sitting on a birch tree leaning over the river on the west side of the "pond" south of the road 10 bridge in Port Sydney.

 

 

Re(1): Barred owl
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 10:38:53 AM by Al Sinclair

A Barred Owl was calling here last night at about 10:30 (8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E). We assume that it is the male of the pair that has been resident near us for a few years now. We had no sightings of them this winter unlike the previous winter when we saw and heard them several times. I suppose that this winter they left our area because the mouse population was low and have just now returned for another breeding season.

 

 

Barred owl
Posted on March 14, 2008 at 10:49:48 AM by GayleCarlyle

Fri. March 14 10:43
As I write this, we are watching a barred owl sitting up ina spruce tree outside our office at the Couchiching Conservancy, 1485 Division Rd. Orillia.
We have feeders up so that's what has attracted it. A few minutes ago it took a dive at a red squirrel but missed.
In the past few weeks we have seen evidence of something hunting, bit of blood, feathers so now we know what has happened.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park birding update - addendum
Posted on March 14, 2008 at 02:30:39 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar.14, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Some additional information for possible weekend visitors:

Boreal Chickadee: Three calling 50 m west of the Opeongo
Road, at a point 40 m north of the winter gate, on March 13.
A Boreal Chickadee was heard 200 m of the gate, as well.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Female feeding for ten minutes
on spruce stub at the three chickadees location on Opeongo
Road on March 13.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 13 March
Posted on March 14, 2008 at 09:30:52 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar.14, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Winter continued unabated this week. The best birding
spots are still the feeders at the Visitor Centre and the West
Gate. American Crows have become widespread, but other
signs of migration are scarce.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily from March 8 to 16,
and March 21 to 24 (10 am to 5 pm), and then on weekends
to April 20 (10 to 5).

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 20 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with adult males often singing. Others were at the
West Gate feeder.

Common Redpoll: A few are coming to the Visitor Centre
feeders and up to 30 are at the West Gate feeder, irregularly.

Hoary Redpoll: An adult male was seen at the West Gate
feeder on March 9.


BOREAL RESIDENTS:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No new reports.

Gray Jay: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Visitor
Centre, and Opeongo Road. The first female to begin
incubating eggs was noted on March 10 by Dan Strickland,
in his decades-long study.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports this week. Try Opeongo
Road and Spruce Bog.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
Red-tailed Hawk: Another early migrant was seen north
of Bat Lake Trail on March 8.

Northern Shrike: There was one around the feeder at
the East Gate on March 10, and another at the Visitor
Centre on March 13. An increase in sightings recently
suggests they may be moving back north.

Marten: One has been visiting the Visitor Centre feeders
irregularly, and one or two have been seen fairly frequently
around the garbage facility at Mew Lake Campground.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Arowhon Road is officially closed to public travel until further
notice, as log hauling is underway on it. Do not use this road.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 along 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, including the Algonquin Information Guide
showing locations discussed here.

The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information, plus
feeders, Birders visiting during the week are welcome to contact
staff for birding information and access to the viewing deck, via the
service entrance (right end of the building as you face it from the
parking lot).
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to ONTBIRDS mailing list ONTBIRDS@hwcn.org
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/information/ontbirdssetup.php
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/information/ontbirdsguide.php

 

 

juvenile Bald Eagle
Posted on March 13, 2008 at 04:51:02 PM by Jim Griffin

A juvenile Bald Eagle made a couple of passes in front of our place in Port Sydney this afternoon ( 3:15 ) but the Crows kicked up a fuss and the resident pair of Ravens chased it away. ( on the river in Port Sydney, just south of the bridge.)

 

 

Re(1): thank you
Posted on March 12, 2008 at 06:51:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Glad to be of help. Very nice photos Wayne!

If anyone wants to learn about posting photos, there are instructions on the Nature Photos Board. You can try a test post there too. To get started you will only need to read the first part entitled "If your photo is still on your computer".

 

 

thank you Barbara Taylor
Posted on March 12, 2008 at 04:59:00 PM by Wayne Bridge

I must offer my thanks to Barbara Taylor who sent, to me last year, wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to post a picture on the bird board. In fact, Barbara, your advice is idiot-proof. These last two are examples. Thanks(on behalf of those of us who are not particularly internet-savvy).
Wayne

 

 

barred owl photo
Posted on March 12, 2008 at 04:51:50 PM by Wayne Bridge

This barred owl sat above our feeders for over two hours last night (Kearney).  photo

 

 

Re(2): northern shrike photo
Posted on March 11, 2008 at 00:45:10 AM by Marilyn Kisser

wonderful capture! you must have caught him at a sweet moment:-)

 

 

Re(1): northern shrike photo
Posted on March 10, 2008 at 06:23:35 PM by willowbeachbirding

What a pretty bird!!!!! I only ever see them at a distance which is just not close enogh for my liking!!!! Lorena

 

 

northern shrike photo
Posted on March 10, 2008 at 04:52:16 PM by Wayne Bridge

I finally got a decent photo of the (no proof, actually, that it is the same one) northern shrike that has been here (Kearney) off and on since early November.

 

 

b.b.woodpecker
Posted on March 10, 2008 at 09:53:23 AM by gerry lannan

saw a female black backed woodpecker in our lane yesterday; 2 km n.e. of kearney

 

 

Winter feeder birds, 200 repolls
Posted on March 7, 2008 at 02:43:25 PM by Anne Lewis

I have just returned to Six Mile Lake after a month in Florida (including one week birders, Bob Bowles, Chris Evans, Jennifer and Jeff Howard) and a couple of weeks recouperating from broken ribs....another story..
On the way home last Fri there were 15 trumpeter swans below the dam in Port Severn.
Mike has kept the feeders going. Will take pictures once I am able and the weather co-operates. Just wanted to share the following info with you all.
The count yesterday is, 200 common rpolls with some hoary rp and pine siskins in the flock, 35 evening grosbeaks, 50 blue jays, 25 chickadees, 6 wb nuthatches and 2rbnh, 4hwp, 2dwp, 6 mouring doves. There is a northern shrike, pileated wp and sharp shinned hawk that drop in as well. The crows and a barred owl are calling, hope that is a sign of spring...think green

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 6 March
Posted on March 6, 2008 at 09:53:04 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar.6, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There were a few signs of very early spring this week.
Most bird activity is still at the feeders at the Visitor
Centre and the West Gate.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily from March 8 to 16,
and March 21 to 24 (10 am to 5 pm), and then on weekends
to April 20 (10 to 5).

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 20 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with adult males often singing. Others were at the
West Gate feeder.

Red Crossbill: For the second week in a row, this finch
was reported, this time calling in flight over Spruce Bog
on March 2.

Common Redpoll: A few are coming to the Visitor Centre
and West Gate feeders, irregularly.

Hoary Redpoll: Singles were at feeders at the Visitor Centre
and West Gate on March 2.

BOREAL RESIDENTS:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No new reports.

Gray Jay: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road,
and at the Visitor Centre. A total of 12 nests under construction
have now been found in Dan Strickland's ongoing study.

Boreal Chickadee: Four were seen near post 8 at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 2.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
Red-tailed Hawk: One over Tea Lake on March 1 was likely
a migrant, since the last bird of this species was seen here in
mid-November.

Golden Eagle: One over km 10 on March 1 was probably a
bird that has wintered here or nearby, surviving on large
mammal carcasses.

Northern Shrike: A bird at Long Lake on March 4 was one
of very few here this winter, as expected with very low bird
and small mammal populations.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

northern shrike
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 05:09:37 PM by Wayne Bridge

At 4:20 today (Kearney) I glanced out the kitchen window and sitting above the suet feeder was a northern shrike. Oddly enough it seemed to have very little effect on the chickadee activity; there were two right above it. There are no signs of any kill.

 

 

Great site for I.Ding birds!!
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 01:20:37 PM by willowbeachbirding

Hi all, just found this website and thought some of us who aren't very good at identifying all varieties of birds could sure use a little help. The pictures are beautiful!! There are lots of other interesting things to look at as well. Enjoy!!! (Lorena Campbell)
http://www.pbase.com/rcm1840/wild_birds

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on March 5, 2008 at 08:48:00 AM by Jim Griffin

I should have looked before last posting, The eagle is back again, same tree as yesterday ( north east corner of the "pond" as I call it, south of the bridge.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on March 5, 2008 at 08:22:42 AM by Jim Griffin

It returned on Tuesday morning,Mar.4 and sat in a big pine on east side of the river.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 01:25:53 PM by JimMavity

Good time to make my first post to the board.
Saw the same eagle while leaving my house on South Mary Lake Road this morning at 08:25.

 

 

Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 12:05:47 PM by Jim Griffin

First thing this morning a mature Bald eagle cruised over my house at tree top level and I just happened to be looking out my living room window at the right time. The eagle sat in a big white pine just down river for a while but has since moved on. It would have been visible looking south from the road 10 bridge in Port Sydney.

 

 

MFN meeting is Thursday, March 6
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 10:12:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Note that the Muskoka Field Naturalists meeting is on Thursday, March 6 in Gravenhurst at 7:30 p.m. (The newsletter shows an incorrect date of March 5.)

 

 

Chipmunk
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 08:46:37 AM by GayleCarlyle

Sun. Mar. 2 2:00 pm.
We were very excited to see a chipmunk sitting up outside its winter home on our property in Washago.
I'm taking it as a sign of spring. At this point, I'll take anything.

 

 

saw-whet owl
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 06:33:57 PM by John Challis

We had a serenade from a saw-whet owl last night around 11:30 (Mar 1), just a bit south of our house on Green River Dr., Washago. Hope to hear it again tonight.
There have been barred owls on this street in the past -- including some social calling between two or three in February -- but this is a first for the saw-whet since we moved here.

 

 

Re(1): Spring Migration 2008
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 02:58:44 PM by Marilyn Kisser

thanks for those sites Barbara - I have been watching the hummingbird site - I follow it every year for timing of putting out the feeders - this is always an exciting time of year!

 

 

Spring Migration 2008
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 01:59:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning one of the Mourning Doves in our yard began to coo, reminding me to update my list of spring migration websites. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have started to arrive along the Gulf Coast and Purple Martins are already as far north as Kentucky.

Here are a few websites that will be helpful in following the spring migration as it gets underway in the next few weeks. Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks should start passing through Beamer Hawkwatch by mid-March, but expect much larger numbers and more species by the end of the month...of course it always depends on the weather from one year to the next. Some of these websites include data from past years which will give you an idea of peak migration times...or just check the recent posts on regional email lists to see what's coming our way.



Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map (scroll down to "Spring sightings" link - currently still showing 2007)


Daily reports of Hawks

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists


Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Toronto's Leslie St. Spit) (active in April)

Long Point Bird Observatory sightings (active in April)

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch ("Beamer" in Grimsby)

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Journey North

Migration of Birds

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans - Washago
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 02:56:01 PM by Marilyn Kisser

there were 2 out in the open water at Port Severn this morning also - visible from the 400 - couldn't spot any tags either

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans - Washago
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 12:38:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

I asked Harry Lumsden about the tagged swan and here is his reponse: "We have run out of 3 digit numbers and now have a letter coming first. We have not used F yet but have E02 banded at LaSalle Park Burlington in Jan 2008. Could this be your bird?"

If anyone sees the tagged Trumpeter at Washago, please confirm if that's the ID. Thanks.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans - Washago
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 01:38:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were six Trumpeter Swans along the shore of Washago Centennial Park, easily viewed from the Quetton St. dock by the bridge. Only one had yellow wing tags - looked like F02, but not sure since I thought they were always three numbers. If anyone sees any swans with tags please report the numbers if visible. Thanks.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting March 6
Posted on February 29, 2008 at 04:21:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Hap Wilson on Red Leaves Resort
Accountability and the change in the developer's mindset. Strange bedfellows...an environmental activist and a Canadian developer lock horns to build one of Ontario's largest resort villages.

February through June meetings will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst located on the corner of First Street and Brock Streets (across from Giant Tiger). Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: 28 February
Posted on February 29, 2008 at 09:25:03 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 29, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There were more observers this week, and consequently,
more sightings. An American Three-toed Woodpecker
was the week's unusual highlight species (see below).

Birders should check the feeders at the Visitor Centre, and
at the West Gate, which are the best sites for multiple
species at the moment. At least one Marten and two different
Fishers were at the Visitor Centre feeders occasionally this
week. Unfortunately, there is no consistent pattern to the
timing of their visits.

It is easy walking without snowshoes on both the Opeongo
Road past the gate, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Going off
the beaten path is difficult without snowshoes.

The Visitor Centre will be open weekends through March 2,
and daily from March 8 to 16 (10 am to 5 pm).

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 20 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with adult males starting to sing now. Others were
at the West Gate feeder. Longer days and some milder
temperatures may be influencing this species to start heading
back north.

Red Crossbill: A single calling bird was observed by
Michael Runtz at the Visitor Centre on February 24. This
was the first report of this species along Highway 60
since 8 November 2007.

Common Redpoll: A few are coming to the Visitor Centre
and West Gate feeders, irregularly.

Hoary Redpoll: A female was at the Visitor Centre feeder
on February 23 and 24. A Hoary Redpoll was reported at
the West Gate feeder on February 24.

BOREAL RESIDENTS:
Spruce Grouse: Three males were right on the trail between
the first and second boardwalks on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
February 24, which will be frustrating news for several birders
who searched extensively for the species this week, but entirely
typical of the phantom Spruce Grouse.

Black-backed Woodpecker: This woodpecker is becoming more
easily found now, as is usual for this time of year. Females were
seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, and at Davies Bog on
Bat Lake Trail, on February23. Another of these woodpeckers
was reported about 2 km north of the gate on Opeongo Road, just
before the bend, that day. On February 24, a male was along the
Opeongo Road, north of the big Costello Creek culverts, and
another male was at the edge of the bog at the beginning of the
long boardwalk on Spruce Bog Boardwalk that day, and again
on February 25. Some of these woodpeckers are drumming now.

Gray Jay: Several were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk,
and Opeongo Road, and one at the Visitor Centre.

Boreal Chickadee: They continue to be seen at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and near the Opeongo Road gate. Vocalizations
appear to be more frequent now, aiding in locating these
birds.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
Bald Eagle: An adult was seen over the Visitor Centre
on February 23.

Golden Eagle: One was reported over Highway 60, one or
two kilometres west of the West Boundary on February 24.

American Three-toed Woodpecker: A female was observed
in the bog northeast of the eastern end of the long boardwalk
on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 22. Probably the same
female was near the register box on that trail, February 25.

Northern Shrike: An adult was reported along Highway 60
on February 23.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Re(2): Momma, Papa and ....and another suitor!!
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 05:20:13 PM by willowbeachbirding

Thank you Hilary!! My camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30PP. No added lenses as most of the pictures I take are through my front window and the railing is 6 feet from that window. Lorena

 

 

Re(1): Momma, Papa and ....and another suitor!!
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 02:10:35 PM by HilaryCurrer

Lorena,
Great shots - what lens did you use?
Hilary

 

 

Momma, Papa and ....and another suitor!!
Posted on February 29, 2008 at 01:04:23 PM by willowbeachbirding

Or maybe he's one of their offspring. They do tend to hang out in groups of 5 or 7 so it makes me wonder if their little ones hang around with ma and pa!!  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4  photo5  photo6
Lorena, Willow Beach(Lake Simcoe)

 

 

Re(2): Momma Cardinal!!
Posted on March 1, 2008 at 08:55:08 AM by willowbeachbirding

Thank you Terry! My camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30PP. No added lenses as most of the pictures I take are through my front window and the railing is 6 feet from that window. I'm not using a tripod, just hand held. When the weather gets better I'll venture outside and use the tripod then. The Male Cardinal in the tree is about 15 feet away from my front window. I do have a Tele Conversion lens that is a Panasonic DMW-LT55PP but it's not used as often.

 

 

Re(1): Momma Cardinal!!
Posted on February 29, 2008 at 10:33:47 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Beautiful shots Lorena..... just super....... may I ask what camera, lens etc you are using. Thanks Terry

 

 

Re(1): Momma Cardinal!!
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 10:14:25 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I am waiting patiently for the day the cardinal visits my backyard here just outside of Rosseau!

 

 

Momma Cardinal!!
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 04:40:54 PM by willowbeachbirding

We have alot of Cardinals hanging around being extremely vocal. Here's the female!! (Lorena Campbell, Willow Beach - Lake Simcoe)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

locations
Posted on February 27, 2008 at 03:41:21 PM by Wayne Bridge

Fellow MFN members and Muskoka Bird Board posters. It would be a helpful addition if we all added in parentheses where our locations are. No doubt at one time you all knew each other and you were all located within Muskoka proper. But we now have Magnetawan area (I forget the gentleman's name but he posted some wonderful photographs last year), Bay Lake (Kip Daynard for example), and myself all the way up in the boonies of Kearney! For example: I am tracking (patiently) the advancement of northern cardinals (a species very common to my Southern Ontario birthplace - Guelph) northward. If we all just quickly posted, for example "my backyard (Kearney), it would be very much appreciated. Just a thought, but the "Muskoka" Bird Bird is bigger than Muskoka. In fact, I received TWO emails from American birding groups enquiring about my posting re. hoary redpoll. Just a suggestion.

 

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Posted on February 27, 2008 at 10:11:51 AM by gerald

On my morning run I heard Golden-crowned Kinglets calling along Daniel Street in Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(2): redpolls, woodpeckers
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 12:34:33 PM by janice house

We had 18 redpolls in our yard this morning, they finally found my niger sock. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): redpolls, woodpeckers
Posted on February 27, 2008 at 03:28:24 PM by Marilyn Kisser

The hairy's have been drumming here since last week just outside of Rosseau - come on spring!

 

 

redpolls, woodpeckers
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 11:06:36 PM by John Challis

Both the pileated and hairy woodpeckers around our house, Green River Dr., Washago, have been drumming since the weekend. Crows have been very active and noisy for about a week. And the dominant male redpolls at the feeder seem to be getting much brighter colours on the chest blush and caps.
All very welcome signs after this early-to-rise and late-to-bed winter.

 

 

Re(3): Singing Cardinal
Posted on February 26, 2008 at 07:05:42 PM by gerald

I also heard a singing cardinal at 6:30 am! I stopped dead in my tracks running up N. Wellington Street. I also heard a chickadee giving its Fe-Bee song. (Bracebridge)
Sounds of spring!

 

 

Re(1): Singing Cardinal
Posted on February 26, 2008 at 12:02:15 PM by GayleCarlyle

Tuseday, Feb. 26 Arrived here at work, Couchiching Conservancy, outside of Orillia and the male cardinal who has been frequenting our feeders was singing his heart out. A very, very welcome sound. Might just be a sign of spring. We can only hope.

 

 

Re(2): Singing Cardinal
Posted on February 26, 2008 at 09:45:04 AM by Barbara Taylor

The pair of cardinals which have successfully nested near our house for several years haven't begun to sing yet, but they always seem to be late for some reason. The pair of crows which have a nestsite nearby returned a few days ago to check things out. They have since been busy chasing ravens away from the area and we now have an early morning crow alarm clock....caw...caw...cawwww.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Singing Cardinal
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 04:28:53 PM by Goodyear

At our feeder this morning a singing male Cardinal was readying his pipes for spring. He carried on for a good 5 minutes. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Ravens,Crows and Red Tailed Hawk
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 07:41:30 PM by Al Sinclair

The local raven pair were collecting dog hair for their nest from our compost pile on Saturday Feb 23 and again today. Today we heard a crow calling for the first time this year here east of Bracebridge, means they are moving north. The spring migration has begun.

 

 

Ravens,Crows and Red Tailed Hawk
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 03:00:12 PM by jim griffin

I observed a Raven carrying nest building material here in Port Sydney yesterday afternoon. Crows are calling here today for the first time. I flushed a juvenile Red Tailed hawk off a frozen deer carcass on the edge of the river in front of my place. ( in case you are wondering,I found the deer about a week ago half buried in ice and snow,frozen solid. I believe it must have been hit by a car and made it about a 100m off the road)

 

 

crows
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 07:35:55 AM by gerald

This morning about 6:45 there were several crows calling in the area behind Zellers along Ball's Drive. That along with the increasingly early light makes it feel springy!
Gerald Willmott
Bracebridge

 

 

Re(2): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 11:16:00 AM by Nancy

 

The little owl has been here for two days Have not seen it this morning, yet. We live on Rosseau Lake Road 1, Bent River.  I did take a photo - not great but identifable ~ I think.

 

 

Re(1): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 24, 2008 at 06:20:24 PM by Al Sinclair

I would be concerned if it is still there tomorrow. Saw-whets that attempt to winter in Muskoka can die of starvation. If it is in bad shape feeding it is not an option. According to bird rehabilitators, they first have to be rehydrated. That means it would have to be captured.

That's an unusual sighting, did you get a photo? The Boreal Owl looks similar but has a yellow beak. It is probably a Saw-whet, could even be a spring migrant. Where are you located?

 

 

Re(1): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 24, 2008 at 05:10:29 PM by ron tozer

I suspect the Saw-whet Owl may have been attracted to the small mammals which are likely feeding on seeds in the snow beneath your feeder. These little owls are normally nocturnal, and roost during the day. The owl will likely depart in the evening, and be okay on its own.

 

 

saw-whet owl
Posted on February 24, 2008 at 04:16:11 PM by Nancy

There is what looks very much like a saw-whet owl on my window bird feeder.
It seems very tame but out of place.
What should I give him to eat?
Any special shelter needed??

 

 

Owls/Hawks
Posted on February 22, 2008 at 03:46:46 PM by janice house

On Feb 16 around 5pm I dropped Moira at home after birding our way to Huntsville via Port Sydney and a Barred Owl was perched overlooking her feeders, the next day a sharp shinned hawk was in the same spot (Houston Rd). Wednesday my husband found a sharp shinned hawk dead in our yard and last night at 5:45 a Barred Owl flew over my car and into a large fir tree at the old Dinsmore Sheep farm. I pulled over to look for my binoculars and saw 3 ravens fly out of the same tree where the owl disappeared (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst).

 

 

black-backed woodpecker
Posted on February 22, 2008 at 10:58:02 AM by Wayne Bridge

I just had a great view of a female black-backed woodpecker in a dead maple outside our kitchen window (Kearney). That's a first for our yard. [also I saw 8 wild turkeys beside Hwy 60 near Peninsula Lake yesterday]

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park birding report - addendum
Posted on February 21, 2008 at 01:35:16 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 21, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

An important addition to my earlier report today:

Evening Grosbeak: Twelve were reported by Bruce Di Labio
at the Visitor Centre on February 17. There had been no
reports of this species in Algonquin for several weeks prior to
this sighting.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: 21 February
Posted on February 21, 2008 at 09:39:35 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 21, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hoary Redpoll at the Visitor Centre was noteworthy this
week. A Northern Shrike at Spruce Bog on February 20 was
one of very few observed here this winter, as expected with
small mammal and bird prey being so scarce.

In Algonquin's traditional first sign of spring, a Gray
Jay nest under construction was found on February 18 (the
same date as last year). Thirty years ago, prior to
significant climate warming, this event typically occurred
first in March here. (Gray Jay nest-finding efforts in
Algonquin are part of Dan Strickland's long-term study of
this species over four decades. Locations are not reported
since human visitation may increase the probability of
nest failure.)

Birders should check the feeders at the Visitor Centre, and
at the West Gate, which are the only good sites for multiple
species at the moment.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 30 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: A few at the Visitor Centre feeder.

Hoary Redpoll: A male was at the Visitor Centre feeder on
February 18, and an apparent female was present on the 20th
and 21st.

No other finch species appear to be present in the Park.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: best places to look continue to be Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road (near winter gate and 1 km north
of there). However, none were reported this week despite several
searches.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was reported 2 km north of
the gate on Opeongo Road on February 17. Another male along
the Opeongo Road beyond the gate was on the west side, 500 m
north of the Costelllo Creek culvert, foraging high in a spindly,
live Black Spruce in the bog on February 20 at 1710 hrs. It can
be productive to listen late in the day for the quiet sounds made
by this woodpecker as it excavates in sapwood in search of
wood-boring beetle larvae.

Gray Jay: reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One was observed on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on February 16 and 17, and one or two calling
birds were there on February 20. Three responded to recorded
calls near the gate on the Opeongo Road on February 20.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Red Squirrels
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 07:47:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

Must be mating season. Five Red Squirrels were scampering around our yard this afternoon. It's amazing how many times they will chase each other around and around a pine tree, only to then change direction and "unwind" around and around again. You'd think they would get dizzy. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Wild Turkey Lake of Bays
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 12:04:44 PM by HilaryCurrer

As we were leaving our cottage yesterday morning around 10:00 my husband and I spotted this wild turkey at the top of our driveway.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20
Posted on February 23, 2008 at 08:26:48 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

 

I took 200+ pictures of the Lunar Eclipse but I must admit it was a photographic learning experience. I took shots from 1 sec to 1/8000 at various apetures.... here is one fairly steady one.... Terry  Lunar Eclipse #2

This shot was taken early in the eclipse.....Terry  Eclipse Shot #1

 

 

Re(1): Total Lunar Eclipse - photo
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 10:48:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This photo was taken at about the mid-way point of the total eclipse at 10:30 p.m. tonight. (it's not a great shot since just a handheld 3x zoom)  You can see Saturn to the left of the moon and bluish star Regulus above.

 

 

Sky Watching - Total Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20
Posted on February 18, 2008 at 08:38:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Right now the weather forecast doesn't look promising but just in case things clear...
On Wednesday night, Feb. 20, there will be a total lunar eclipse. At about 8:45 p.m. the full moon will begin to enter the Earth's shadow. The total eclipse will be between 10-11 p.m. Around midnight the moon should be completely out of the shadow again. This total lunar eclipse will be all the more interesting since Saturn and Regulus will be very close to the moon. More details

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on February 18, 2008 at 09:33:49 AM by revmcmanus

Walking out the door one morning, I noticed a group of birds in our trees. I took out our camera and got some great shots of these beautiful and peaceful birds. Check out the link. They were shot back in December at our home in Emsdale. Pine Grosbeaks

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on February 17, 2008 at 09:18:18 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 17, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Ontbirders
Birded Algonquin Park late afternoon Saturday February 16th. Most activity
was centered around the feeders at the West Gate and the Visitor Center and
included Hairy Woodpeckers, Pine Grosbeaks and Red-breasted Nuthatches. A
walk along the Spruce Bog Trail produced one Boreal Chickadee. It called
only once and was observed feeding in the Spruce trees. A Northern Shrike
was seen outside Huntsville.

Visited the park again today, February 17th. Birded Highway 60 from the West
Gate to the Visitor Center. Made a number of stops along the highway with
very few birds except for Common Ravens and Black-capped Chickadees. Again,
most of the activity centered around the feeders at the West Gate and
Visitor Center. Birds were also drawn into areas such as the Spruce Bog
parking lot and the gate at Opeongo Lake Road where people had scattered
bird seed. We walked about 2 kilometers from the gate down Opeongo Lake Road
and were fortunate to find a very tame male Black-backed Woodpecker working
the trunk of a spruce tree. Other interesting finds were a Pine Marten off
the Spruce Bog boardwalk and 4 Gray Jays on Opeongo Lake Road. During the
rainy afternoon, we walked the Spruce Bog trail and relocated the Boreal
Chickadee.

good birding, Bruce

 

 

Hana Park, Port Carling
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 11:27:50 PM by gerald willmott

Today at Hana Park in Port Carling (at the end of Baily Steet) there were about 20 Common Golden Eyes and one Merganser.

 

 

Winter Wren
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 06:23:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

I don't know where this bird has been hiding all winter, but just before dark a Winter Wren flew onto the railing of our back deck. It bobbed up and down a couple times, as if to assure us that it really was a Winter Wren, and then flew off.

I had been looking out the window to check for deer...I'm estimating there are fifteen of them now using their trail which passes through our yard and across Glendale Rd. to the Beaver Creek ravine. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Backyard Count
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 05:42:50 PM by J. Gardner

Nothing terribly exciting, but wings in February always welcome. In Hurdville we had

10 Pine Grosbeak
70 Redpolls
10 Starlings
4 Hairy Woodpeckers
14 Blue Jays
8 Chickadees
2 Whitebreasted Nuthatches
3 Hoary Redpolls

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 01:01:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

If anyone has checked the GBBC results for Bracebridge and wondered where to find the Trumpeter Swan, Mallards and Merganser...turns out they are actually on the river at the bridge in downtown Huntsville.

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 19, 2008 at 01:06:22 PM by Goodyear

Our feeder count for Feb. 18 (Bracebridge)

Pine Grosbeak 12
Blue Jay 4
B.C. Chickadee 4
C. Redpoll 9
Mourning Dove 9
W.B. Nuthatch 1
R.B. Nuthatch 1
D.E. Junco 5
N.Cardinal 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Ruffed Grouse 1

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 19, 2008 at 11:03:05 AM by BethAnderson

Feb.17/08.Gravenhurst,Ont.
40 Common Redpolls
2 Chickadees
2 Whitebreasted Nuthatches
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Hairy Woodpecker

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2008 at 07:30:36 PM by Al Sinclair

Our Backyard 8km east of Bracebridge - February 18/08
Common Redpoll 70
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Pine Grosbeak 9
Mourning Dove 1

Quiet day at the feeder today compared to a few days ago.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2008 at 11:11:53 AM by janice house

Our list for February 17, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Blue Jay 12
Black Capped Chickadee 12
White-Breasted Nuthatch 2
Red-Breasted Nuthatch 2
Dark-eyed Junco 1
American Tree Sparrow 1
European Starling 3
Pine Grosbeak 7
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2

 

 

Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 03:34:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Backyard Bird Count has begun (Feb. 15-18). If you want to participate in our unofficial Muskoka count, just post your yard list for any of those days in a reply to this message. If you're in an area near Muskoka, we'd like to hear from you too. Please include your location - the nearest town will do.

Here's our yard list for yesterday, Feb. 15 (Bracebridge):
Blue Jay 3
Brown Creeper 1
Dark-eyed Junco 5
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 3
Mourning Dove 15
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Black-capped Chickadee 10
American Crow 3

View the 2008 GBBC results by location or by species as reports come in.

 

 

Re(1): cardinal
Posted on February 18, 2008 at 12:47:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nice sighting. Northern Cardinals have continued to expand their range to the north over the past few years. Quite often they will be seen within northern towns but not out in the rural areas. It may be because the increased popularity of winter birdfeeding has enabled the birds to survive our winters. Fifteen Northern Cardinals were found in the 2007 Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count, a new count high.

I just checked the latest Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas database and found 10 entries for the Haliburton region with breeding evidence listed as possible or probable. You can see a distribution map for the Northern Cardinal by selecting that species from the drop-down list at: http://www.birdsontario.org/atlas/maps.jsp?lang=en.

 

 

cardinal
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 08:12:44 AM by Elsie

at 8;05am Saturday Feb.16.2008 i happened to look out my back window and saw a Cardinal. I haven't seen one since moving from Toronto 8 years ago. It was nice to see since I have read there is a short of sightings of this bird. I live in Haliburton,Ontario.

 

 

Algonquin Park bird report: 14 February
Posted on February 15, 2008 at 09:51:59 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 15, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Algonquin Visitor Centre will be open on Saturday, Sunday,
and Monday this weekend, from 10 to 5. Birders should check the
feeders there, and at the West Gate.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: A few, irregularly, are at the Visitor Centre
feeder.

No other finch species appear to be present in the Park.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: best places to look continue to be Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road (near winter gate and 1 km north
of there).

Black-backed Woodpecker: check all conifers with bark removed.
No specific locations have been reported this week.

Gray Jay: reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, and
Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: no reports; best locations to try are Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road. Usually detected by hearing
vocalizations.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on February 14, 2008 at 06:44:59 AM by janice house

Four birds were feeding on the cones in the top of the tree closest to the back of the arena at 46 Ann St in Bracebridge yesterday.

 

 

P.S. redpolls by the score
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 11:11:49 PM by John Challis

There seem to be hoary redpolls in amongst these combined flocks, but they move around so much it's hard to say definitively. And we're still working on identification marks. Thanks, Al, for those shots and pointers in the earlier posting.

 

 

redpolls by the score
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 11:08:20 PM by John Challis

 

I photographed this little horde on the weekend from the living room window, so image clarity isn't fantastic. We had about 30 or so birds coming to the niger seed up until the heavy snowstorms. Now with more than 70 swarming the place daily, they're going through several pounds of seed every morning. (Washago) photo

 

 

Re(1): Sky Watching - see the Space Station tonight
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 07:37:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate here in Bracebridge. I managed to get a quick hazy look at the Space Station as it approached the moon, but then it disappeared from view behind heavy cloud. I'll post again if another night looks promising...and perhaps warmer temps would be nice too. :)

Here's the schedule of visible passes for the International Space Station (ISS).

 

 

Sky Watching - see the Space Station tonight
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 03:44:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

If the skies stay clear this evening, you should be able to get a good look at the space station pass overhead. You don't need binoculars. It will look like a giant bright star but will be moving through the sky in an arc from the WNW to the SSW to the SE. It should reach its peak altitude in the SSW at 7:11 p.m. so head outdoors a few minutes before then to look for it. It will only be visible for about three minutes from start to finish.

It will start out low in the WNW, but will rise to about 74 degrees high in the SSW, and then fades from view as it descends into the SE. Think of the ground straight out from your feet as 0 degrees and looking straight up above your head as 90 degrees. Sometimes if the orbit is right, you can see the space shuttle following the space station soon after they separate...but tonight they will appear as one since the shuttle is currently docked.

You can find information and timetables for future viewings of the International Space Station (ISS) and other satellites at Heaven's Above. If you live near Bracebridge, here is a direct link to the appropriate timetables. The ISS is the easiest to find since it is big and bright, but you can easily see many other satellites although they will appear smaller and dimmer.

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:26:22 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Just saw the back of a Sharpie sitting in a tree near my feeders! Surprised that it has stayed around!

 

 

Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 11:05:34 AM by jim griffin

The immature bald eagle I reported last week stayed around for a couple of days. This morning, a mature bald eagle made a brief stop to check out some potential food on the ice, and then moved on.

 

 

Re(2): Find the Hoary Redpoll...photos
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 08:18:05 PM by Wayne Bridge

Jeez...I wish I was a typist! That's h-o-a-r-y not hairy! And me having none on my head. Maybe it was a Freudian slip?

 

 

Re(1): Find the Hoary Redpoll...photos
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 08:14:38 PM by Wayne Bridge

Al, we have had up to 4 dozen redpolls daily at our feeders since Nov. 29 (Kearney). There is one hairy among them that I have positively ID'd, including today. There "may" be two, but as you know they flit about so quickly it is hard to tell if it is one or the same one twice.

 

 

Find the Hoary Redpoll...photos
Posted on February 10, 2008 at 02:04:10 PM by Al Sinclair

Photos taken today at our feeder (not retouched).
Currently we are feeding a flock of about 150 Redpolls. I believe there is one Hoary in the group. See if you see the one I'm talking about in the first photo. Photos 2 & 3 are closeups of the bird. (east of Bracebridge)

Photo2 - Note the faintly streaked white rump and greyer look

Photo3 - Note the head shape and bill length compared to the bird on the far right that is in approx. the same position, also lighter streaking on the sides and longer tail.

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count coming soon...
Posted on February 10, 2008 at 12:22:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This year's Great Backyard Bird Count will take place February 15-18. To participate in our own informal bird count for Muskoka and surrounding areas, simply post your yard list for any of those days.


Excerpt from the GBBC website (a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology & Audubon):
"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy and it helps the birds.

Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count web site.

As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see."

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 08:09:04 AM by janice house

Approximately 2 dozen flew over as I was walking the dogs this morning. They were heading towards Silver Lake, swamps between Doe Lake Rd and Silver Lake Rd have lots of berry bushes.

 

 

American Three-toed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Posted on February 8, 2008 at 09:55:40 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 8, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Something different was actually reported this week!
A female American Three-toed Woodpecker was seen at
Site 53 in Mew Lake Campground on February 2, for the
second occurrence of the winter in Algonquin by this
boreal forest woodpecker. This species must be very
scarce here this year, following last winter's major
irruption.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 30 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: About five are at the Visitor Centre feeder
on most days.

The West Gate feeder probably still has these two finches,
as well.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario
Posted on February 8, 2008 at 09:49:27 AM by Barbara Taylor

To follow up on a question at last night's MFN meeting:
The birdsontario.org website has information about the Atlas, including sample pages, species distribution maps, and how to purchase a copy.

 

 

Kingfisher, Bald Eagle and other Port Sydney sights
Posted on February 8, 2008 at 08:54:31 AM by jim griffin

The Belted Kingfisher That has been around all winter made another appearance on Wed and Thurs of this week; an immature Bald Eagle cruised by our place on the river this morning. While I was searching for the Kingfisher on wed morning, I lowered my binoculars just in time to watch a mink virtually run over my toes, like I was not even there! In the same 20 minute search I observed both a muskrat and an otter on the river; that otter number increased to 3 this morning,fishing along the edge of the ice. Still have up to a dozen Common Goldeneye frequenting the open water on the river.
This is all on the North Branch of the Muskoka river just south of the road 10 bridge at Port Sydney.

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks, Quebec
Posted on February 8, 2008 at 07:15:30 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I just spent a few days at Montebello, Quebec photographing at Omega Park. They have 50 - 100 Evening Grosbeaks at feeders at their visitor centre. Also, Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls.

It was a treat to see so many Evening Grosbeaks together. Ron Tozer reports them at the Visitor Centre feeder at Algonquin as well.

 

 

Re(2): Washago swans
Posted on February 6, 2008 at 10:48:51 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yes, they were indeed trumpeters, a fact I forgot to mention earlier.
And there were no tags. We looked for wing tags but couldn't see any on the 7 that swam very close to us. On the Sunday, they were all too far away to see any tags.
There were also some ducks in the bay but we're not certain what they were but we guess they might have been scaups.

 

 

Re(1): Washago swans
Posted on February 5, 2008 at 02:51:29 PM by Al Johnston

Thanks for the report, Gayle. They were probably trumpeters. Did you notice any yellow wing tags with black numbers?

 

 

Washago swans
Posted on February 5, 2008 at 02:07:02 PM by GayleCarlyle

Sat. & Sun:
We went for a walk along the shore of the Washago Centennial Park and watched a flock of swans in the open water near the bridge.
On Sat. there were 7 of them, 3 adults & 4 cygnets and on Sun. there were 10
The first group were very curious and swam towards us no doubt looking for some food. Not even the presence of two dogs, old as they are, seemed to scare them.
We went back on Sun with food and camera but the swans were too far out and didn't pay any attention to us.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on February 4, 2008 at 01:06:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Red-tailed Hawk flew across Hwy. 11 near the Bracebridge Resource Management Centre, followed by a crow in hot pursuit.

 

 

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario...media release...The ten most abundant species in Ontario
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 02:01:50 PM by Al Sinclair

The new Atlas is now being shipped. The link below connects to a media release announcing the publication and book launch locations.

The species with the highest population in Ontario???
Nashville Warbler 15 million (concentrated in the boreal forest). Who would have guessed?

Species Population estimate:
Nashville Warbler 15,000,000
Chipping Sparrow 12,000,000
Dark-eyed Junco 12,000,000
Golden-crowned Kinglet 12,000,000
Magnolia Warbler 12,000,000
White-throated Sparrow 12,000,000
Yellow-rumped Warbler 12,000,000
American Robin 10,000,000
Red-eyed Vireo 9,000,000
Swainson’s Thrush 8,000,000

Atlas Media Release

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Feb. 7
Posted on February 1, 2008 at 11:24:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Ron Tozer - "The Common Loon in Algonquin Park"
The program deals with the physical characteristics and life history of the loon. A particular focus involves interesting loon behaviour, some of which is infrequently observed and hence little known to most people. The program will include examination of a mounted loon specimen and a video of loons violently interacting.

February through June meetings will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst located on the corner of First Street and Brock Streets (across from Giant Tiger). Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Algonquin Park bird report: 31 January
Posted on February 1, 2008 at 09:54:30 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 1, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The biggest change this week in Algonquin was the very
strong winds and heavy snow squalls. Few birders ventured
out here, but some sightings were reported.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders
daily, with a large number of adult males. There were 35
at the West Gate feeder, and 8 at Mew Lake, on January 25,
as well.

Common Redpoll: About five are at the Visitor Centre feeder
on most days, and 25 were at the West Gate feeder on January
25.

RESIDENT BOREAL SPECIES:
Gray Jay: a pair was at the Opeongo Road winter gate on
January 25.
No reports of other species this week.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 09:11:24 AM by Dave Wright

I had 6 male Evening Grosbeaks at my feeders this morning. At one time this would have been common place but the last few years it's become an unusual sighting. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(3): Bald Eagle...photo
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 04:30:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is one of Hilary's photos.

 

 

Re(2): Bald Eagle...Lake of Bays
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 09:50:29 AM by Barbara Taylor

There are usually a few eagle sightings in Muskoka during the winter, especially at deer kills. The number of reports has grown in recent years, probably related to the general recovery in the eagle population. I'm not aware of any evidence of nesting in Muskoka, so the birds you saw were most likely passing through from another area. There is an interesting article about Bald Eagle Populations in the Great Lakes Region at: http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/factsheets/fs_bald-eagle-e.html

 

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle...Lake of Bays
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 10:24:42 PM by HilaryCurrer

My first siting of a bald eagle in our part of Lake of Bays, Patterson Bay (part of Trading Bay). On Monday, January 28, 2008 a mature bald eagle and immature (possibly two years old) seen together with about twelve or so ravens feeding on a deer carcus on the frozen lake (deer had possibly fallen from the rockface). Wondering if this was the same one sited on South Portage Road and am interested to know how common bald eagle sitings are in this area and where they might have come from.

 

 

Bald Eagle...Lake of Bays
Posted on January 30, 2008 at 01:39:11 PM by Al Sinclair

I received a report that a Bald Eagle was seen Sunday Jan 27 feeding on a road kill in the ditch beside South Portage Rd (Musk 9) at White House Rd. The observer was Wes Edwards. The location is on the west side of Lake of Bays about 10km north of Baysville.

 

 

Northern Shrike east of Bracebridge
Posted on January 29, 2008 at 02:01:40 PM by Al Sinclair

We had a shrike in the yard yesterday. We noticed all the feeder birds had disappeared except a single Chickadee that was frozen and exposed in a small maple tree. A few seconds later a shrike landed in the tree just a couple of feet from it. The Chickadee flew with the shrike in pursuit and they both disappeared through the hemlocks. I don't think the shrike was successful.
We have a large number of Redpolls here now, growing from 60 before Christmas to over a hundred now. Pine Grosbeaks have gone down from 30 to just 8 now.
We live 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E.

 

 

Port Carling
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 07:38:37 AM by gerald willmott

At Bailey Street Park in Port Carling there were 4 Common Goldeneyes, 3 male, 1 female.
I am wondering who is going to the atlas book launch at the ROM?

Gerald Willmott
Bracebridge

 

 

Algonquin Park bird report: 24 January
Posted on January 25, 2008 at 09:50:34 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 24, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


An adult Golden Eagle was reported soaring over Highway
60 between the West Gate and the West Boundary on January
23. A few Golden Eagles appear to spend the winter in
Algonquin each year, feeding primarily on wolf kills.
However, observations are very infrequent.

The Algonquin Park ski and walking trails in the Highway
60 Corridor have been re-opened.
There were few signs of change in the birding situation
this week.


FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 40 at the Visitor Centre feeders, with
a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: Up to five at the Visitor Centre feeder
on most days.

RESIDENT BOREAL SPECIES:
No new information this week.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is
stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help
us to assist other birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Wandering deer
Posted on January 24, 2008 at 08:13:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

After the January thaw got rid of a lot of the snowpack, we started to get a few deer roaming through our yard again. They had all disappeared in December when the depth of snow got pretty high. But now even with the recent heavy snowfalls, they continue to hang around. We've seen five deer travelling together, as well as a young buck on his own, and tonight we were visited by a doe along with her two offspring. They roam around the neighbourhood at all hours of the day and night, checking bird feeders for spilled seed, and nibbling on various yews and cedar hedges. If you are driving in the vicinity of Glendale Rd. and Kevin Cres., be wary. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 24, 2008 at 07:32:29 PM by J. Gardner

Update on the Snow Bunting Story. The Great January Thaw saw our buntings disappear. Not one bunting came in to the feeders for two weeks. Then, one appeared, and now we have four here regularly. But the other 28 or so buntings have deserted us. (Hurdville)

 

 

northern shrike
Posted on January 19, 2008 at 08:23:36 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I looked out the kitchen window this morning and thought I saw a female evening grosbeak in the pine tree - but no, it was a shrike! so that is the answer to the grey chickadee feathers the other day on top of the field bed! (just outside of Rosseau)

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Bracebridge
Posted on January 19, 2008 at 06:38:58 PM by Bob Healey

Sorry for the late post, but this raptor was likely just passing through. Observed yesterday at 14:45, 100 ft. over Westvale Drive in Bracebridge. The bird was having difficulty with the wind, and was quicky blown away from us.

 

 

Bardsville
Posted on January 19, 2008 at 05:07:51 PM by gerald willmott

I never saw any owls, but I did see a sheet of plywood flying in the sky that looked suspiciously like a juvenile Bald Eagle. I also saw a Shrike…that looked just like a Shrike.

 

 

Bald Eagle sighting
Posted on January 19, 2008 at 07:59:43 AM by LisaGregory

Driving up Hwy 11 just south of Huntsville I saw several crows mobbing a bald eagle.

 

 

Song Sparrow
Posted on January 18, 2008 at 02:38:00 PM by Ron Stager

We have a song sparrow coming to our feeder the last couple weeks(Merkley Rd east of Barkway). Maybe it showed up with the mild weather.

 

 

Annual General Meeting
Posted on January 18, 2008 at 11:53:55 AM by GayleCarlyle

The Couchiching Conservancy is having its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, January 26th, 2pm-4pm, Mariposa Inn, Memorial Drive in Orillia.
Guest speaker will be Mark Shoreman from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Topic is Piping Plover nesting success at Sauble Beach in 2007.
Everyone is welcome and there is no charge to attend.
Contact Gayle Carlyle at 326-1620 for more info.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 January
Posted on January 18, 2008 at 09:49:29 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 18, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There has been little obvious change in the birds here
compared with last week.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to 35 at the Visitor Centre feeders, with
a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: Up to five at the Visitor Centre feeder,
irregularly.

RESIDENT BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: no reports. Try Opeongo Road near the
gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker: The black spruce area along
Opeongo Road, north of the winter gate, may still be the best
place to search.

Gray Jay: Regular on Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk parking lot, and in Mew Lake Campground.

Boreal Chickadee: no reports. Opeongo Road is worth a try.

PLEASE NOTE:
Following the recent major thaw and subsequent re-freeze,
the Park Superintendent has closed the Algonquin Park ski
and walking trails in the Highway 60 Corridor due to
hazardous conditions, until further notice.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you observe
when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other
birders here.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 16, 2008 at 03:54:48 PM by janice house

Big flock flew in and about our yard yesterday at noon (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): barred owl
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 07:59:43 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I have a barred owl hunting daily in the backyard - Just outside of Rosseau

 

 

barred owl
Posted on January 15, 2008 at 12:17:35 PM by John Challis

We had a pair of barred owls gossiping about the world this morning during our dog walk along Green River Drive, Washago. Calling around 7:45 a.m. and continuing on for a good length of time. Mainly the 'who hoots for you-all' calls back and forth, but also a few wolf-howls and monkey noises. They must have been discussing the presidential primaries...

 

 

rare sighting
Posted on January 14, 2008 at 05:08:23 PM by BrendaRynard

On Saturday January 12, 2008 at 1:30 in the afternoon, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker in my back yard. It was beautiful!. I was within 10 feet of it at eye level, as it was outside my window on a huge tree that is close to the house. It must have been 2 feet long, with the brightest of red fur ball at the top of it's head. Camera is ready for next time. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on January 14, 2008 at 04:13:57 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

 

We had over 60 redpolls at the feeders this past weekend. No hoary's but had a lot of fun taking pictures.
Here is one nice pose! Terry & Marion (east of Washago)  Redpoll photo

 

 

Ruffed Grouse
Posted on January 12, 2008 at 02:04:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several Ruffed Grouse tracks crisscrossing the trail east of Henry Marsh. We were lucky to see one sitting in a tree close to the trail. There were very few other birds around - only a Common Raven, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Downy Woodpecker and about six Black-capped Chickadees. Three Redpolls flew overhead at the Henry Rd. parking area. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Blue Bird Boxes
Posted on January 12, 2008 at 12:41:09 PM by janice house

Early this morning while making the rounds of our yard I knocked on my 3 blue bird boxes and a hairy woodpecker flew out of each box. Neil & Dinny gave me a nuthatch box, I must check that one too (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Belted Kingfisher
Posted on January 10, 2008 at 04:10:16 PM by jim griffin

Had a Kingfisher in front of my place today at about 3:45 pm. That is on the muskoka river in Port Sydney, just south of the bridge.

 

 

Red-breasted Merganser at Port Sydney
Posted on January 7, 2008 at 09:36:13 AM by ron tozer

While looking for birds on the Huntsville Nature Club winter bird count yesterday (January 6), Pat and I found a female Red-breasted Merganser in open water above the dam at Port Sydney. The bird was later photographed by Jim Griffin. Interestingly, Alex Mills, in A Cottager's Guide to the Birds of Muskoka and Parry Sound (1981: 30) noted that "in 1894, A. Kay reported that this was a winter bird at Port Sydney." On rare occasions, it apparently still is.

There were 11 Common Goldeneyes on the river below the bridge, and three above the dam near the merganser, as well.

Ron Tozer
Dwight

 

 

Ringneck Dove update
Posted on January 5, 2008 at 04:20:25 PM by Marilyn Kisser

the tangerine ringneck dove has survived rain, freezing rain, snow squalls, minus 31 celcius and the barred owl! - he comes to the feeders everyday with the mourning doves - he seems to have adapted to our winter weather - I took this photo yesterday – Rosseau  photo  (see Nov. 29, 2007 earlier post)

 

 

Algonquin Park update: 3 January
Posted on January 4, 2008 at 10:17:43 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 3, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The following summary outlines observations made during
the last week for birds often sought by visiting birders here.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: About 35 daily at the Visitor Centre feeder,
with a large number of adult males.

Common Redpoll: Up to five at the Visitor Centre feeder,
regularly.

No other finch species were reported. The continued lack of
other finches here is due to an almost total absence of tree
seed crops this winter.

RESIDENT BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: The only report involved one in the Sunday
Creek Bog, south of Highway 60, on December 29.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Pair along the north end of
Opeongo Road (at the curve beyond the straight stretch through
the black spruce) on December 30.

Gray Jay: Regular near the gate on Opeongo Road, Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, and in Mew Lake Campground.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were in the spruce trees bordering
the Madawaska River north of Mew Lake Woodyard on
December 29. Another was seen near Post 8 on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on December 30.

NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
American Three-toed Woodpecker: A female was photographed
between Posts 9 and 10 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December
30. This may be the same bird that was photographed there on
November 25.

BIRDERS:
Please let us know the date, number and location of birds you observe
when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other
birders here.

Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Re(6): ID please!
Posted on January 4, 2008 at 06:39:02 PM by Al Sinclair

The undertail coverts are entirely unstreaked in this photo, also I note a slight flush of pink on the breast. Male Hoary Redpoll. This photo plus the previous one are excellent shots of this species showing all the features except size comparison, too bad your Commons all left.
There is some overlap in the streaking of the undertail coverts between Hoary and Common (Sibley Guide to Birds) so birds with some streaks could be either requiring attention to other features to make a call. Also there are some intermediate birds that could be either, best not to make a guess.

 

 

Re(6): ID please!
Posted on January 4, 2008 at 04:40:57 PM by DiannaWolfe

Nice shot! Looks hoary-like to me.

 

 

Re(5): ID please!
Posted on January 4, 2008 at 04:03:04 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I was able to get this undershot today - what do you think?  photo

 

 

Re(4): ID please!
Posted on January 4, 2008 at 09:57:33 AM by DiannaWolfe

Hoary and common redpolls are notoriously difficult to tell apart. A couple of very good references have recently been posted that are worth checking out (copy and paste links into your browser address bar):

http://www.ttpbrs.ca/

http://mailman.hwcn.org/pipermail/ontbirds/Week-of-Mon-20071217/017271.html

Personally, I don't think there is enough information from the photo to make an accurate ID of hoary vs common. While an overall whiter plumage is seen on hoary redpolls, one must also assess bill shape and the amount of streaking of the undertail coverts. Male common redpolls commonly have whiter-looking rumps, and so this shouldn't be used as the only field marking to make identification of a hoary redpoll. I used to get excited when I found a whiter-rumped bird within the flock of 40+ redpolls that congregate at our feeder. Then to my dismay, I'd discover that it had well-streaked undertail coverts indicating it was of the common redpoll species. Now I look under the tail first before I get excited!

Dianna
Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(3): ID please!
Posted on January 3, 2008 at 11:40:38 PM by willowbeachbirding

I can't tell the difference!! I've had both variations and didn't know any better!! How do you determine what is what?!?!?! (Willow Beach-(Lake Simcoe)-Sutton Area , Ontario)
Lorena

 

 

Re(2): ID please!
Posted on January 3, 2008 at 08:31:28 PM by Marilyn Kisser

thanks for your confirmation! I did have a flock of common redpolls for the first couple of weeks of December - then no redpolls - then these 2 for the past week or so - it is a weird winter so far - no junco's, no finches - lot's of blue jays, red and white breasted nuthatches, and of course downy and hairy woodpeckers - a large flock of mourning doves and chickadees - and almost forgot, a couple of pine grosbeaks!

 

 

Re(1): ID please!
Posted on January 3, 2008 at 02:29:48 PM by Al Sinclair

That's a Hoary in my book. Nice white rump, short bill, grayish streaks not brown on the back, faintly streaked on the side, lots of white on the wing secondaries and coverts. My guess is male "southern" ssp exilipes, should be some pink on the breast but can't see this in the photo.
What is unusual that these are the only Redpolls at your feeder, usually you find one or two in large flocks of Common Redpolls. This shows that there is a lot of Hoary Redpolls coming south this year. Here east of Bracebridge, we have one Hoary in a flock of 40+ Common Redpolls.

 

 

Re(1): ID please!
Posted on January 2, 2008 at 11:42:23 PM by Nigel

Judging by the overall paleness and white rump I'd agree with you ID

 

 

ID please!
Posted on January 2, 2008 at 08:49:42 PM by Marilyn Kisser

just wondering if this was a hoary redpoll? we only have 2 redpolls coming to the finch feeder, and both look like this one - just outside Rosseau

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 2, 2008 at 09:07:32 AM by janice house

We had 2 dozen visit our yard yesterday. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Three-toed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Posted on January 1, 2008 at 09:50:00 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Gord Payne on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 1, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


I spent a lovely weekend in Algonquin Provincial Park with my family.
Although not a birding trip, I managed to see some good birds.

On December 30, we found a female AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER on the
Spruce Bog Trail. I was looking for a Black-backed Woodpecker for my Winter
list, but was surprised to find this bird instead. My wife Lisa first heard
the familiar chipping of bark. We followed the sound to a spruce tree with
a lot of chipped bark on the snow below. My son James spotted the bird a
half-second before I did (he made me post it this way). We had beautiful
looks for several minutes. My camera batteries were dead, of course. I ran
back to the car to get fresh batteries, but by the time I got back to the
bird, it had made its way to the top of the tree where a decent picture was
impossible. I did get a few shots, and in one you can barely see the white
on its back, but it's a stretch. The bird was on the Spruce Bog Trail
between trail markers 9 and 10.

I also found a BOREAL CHICKADEE on the same trail at the bridge near trail
marker 8.

We saw many Pine Grosbeaks and a few Common Redpolls at the Visitor Centre
feeder. Several Common Ravens, Blue Jays, Gray Jays, Hairy Woodpeckers, and
Black-capped Chickadees were seen on the trails. Two or three
White-breasted and one Red-breasted Nuthatches were at the West Gate feeder.

On December 31, we saw a grouse sitting high in a deciduous tree at the side
of the road, but it flew just as I pulled over to get a better look - so I'm
not sure if it was a Spruce Grouse or a Ruffed Grouse. Also, we saw an
adult Bald Eagle sitting on a dead tree along Hwy. 60, half way between
Dwight and Huntsville.

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park can be accessed on Hwy. 60 about 45 km east of
Huntsville. The Spruce Bog Trail is 43 km inside the park along Hwy. 60.

Gord Payne

 

 

2007 Highlights
Posted on January 1, 2008 at 07:33:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

The year began with the sighting of a Pileated Woodpecker near Germania. In January a Carolina Wren frequented a suet feeder in Bracebridge, while another was seen in Port Sydney. A Varied Thrush visited a feeder in Kearney, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak came to a feeder in Gravenhurst. A Northern Goshawk posed for a photo in Arrowhead Prov. Park along with its prey, a crow. In February two Eastern Towhees were coming to a feeder in Hurdville. Many Pine Siskins, Red Crossbills, and White-winged Crossbills were observed eating grit on area roads, although most winter finches stayed in the north as the prior year's tree seed crops were abundant. A significant southward irruption of American Three-toed Woodpeckers and Black-backed Woodpeckers continued to delight birders in Algonquin Park.

In March a Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen at Fox Lake, and a pair of Red-bellieds continued to visit a feeder at Hillman Lake. As spring approached, there were Wild Turkey fights in a Bracebridge yard, and a pair of Northern Saw-whet Owls moved into a nestbox at Emsdale. In early May a Blue Grosbeak was photographed at Bay Lake. The MFN Baillie Birdathon came up with a Yellow-billed Cuckoo near Bala and Gray Jays at the Novar spruce bog. A Blue-winged Warbler was spotted in Bracebridge at the end of June. In July a Red-headed Woodpecker was reported near Glen Orchard. The Bracebridge Ponds produced a good assortment of shorebirds during southbound migration, including an American Golden-Plover. In October a pair of Trumpeter Swans and their cygnets were seen near Rosseau. Two Red-necked Grebes were at Port Sydney in November, and another was seen in Huntsville in December.

Fall surveys indicated poor tree seed crops in the boreal forest, foretelling a good southern irruption of winter finches. Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks, and Bohemian Waxwings were being seen in Muskoka in November. Common Redpolls were widespread by December, with a few Hoary Redpolls present too. A Boreal Chickadee was found on the Gravenhurst-Bracebridge CBC. One was also found on the Huntsville CBC, along with a record number of Wild Turkeys. An Oregon Junco and a Brown Thrasher were found during the Parry Sound CBC. A Belted Kingfisher was seen along the Dee River which was still flowing freely in late December. A southern irruption of owls may be something to look forward to as it seems the vole population has crashed on their northern breeding grounds...a Great Gray Owl was seen along Hwy. 60 in December.

Other notable bird sightings included Brants, Snow Goose, Wilson's Phalarope, Semipalmated Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Sandhill Cranes, Blackpoll Warbler, Orange-crowned Warblers, Vesper Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Bald Eagles, Snow Buntings, Northern Shrikes, Black-billed Cuckoos, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Horned Lark, Barrow's Goldeneyes, Greater Scaup, Northern Pintails, Redheads, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, and Gadwall.

There were many other nature sightings including Flying Squirrels, Fisher, Weasel, Coyote, Black Bears, Nessus Sphinx Moth, Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (a brown one), Calico Pennant Dragonfly, Red-spotted Newts, Dekay's Brown Snake, and Ringneck Snake. Some of the notable butterflies were Common Buckeye, Mulberry Wing, Eastern Tailed-blue, and Delaware Skipper.

The complete set of posts for 2007 can be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your reports.

Happy New Year,
Barbara