Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from October - December 2008
 
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White-winged Crossbills
Posted on December 30, 2008 at 03:47:31 PM by ejongran

30+ White-winged Crossbills have been feeding on the cones along our white spruce hedge. They showed up for about 10 minutes on Dec.27, 28, 29 before moving on.  Jon Grandfield, location: Port Sydney

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 30, 2008 at 10:04:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

Marlene Karys reported a Bald Eagle was seen December 25 9:30AM North branch Muskoka River 2km from Baysville. A photo has been posted on the Nature Photos Board.

 

 

White winged crossbills
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 06:35:49 PM by Ted Gardner

Saw 5 White wings picking sand on the Glendale hill this morning about 9:30 am (Bracebridge)

 

 

raven, flying squirrel
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 11:41:39 AM by sylvia

on 27th dec. saw a white raven over yearley road near Aspidin. Found out the reason why the bird food is disappearing more quickly than usual,a nocturnal visitor, a Northern flying squirrel.

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on December 31, 2008 at 04:04:37 PM by janice house

a pair of purple finches have been in our yard all day (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 06:37:25 PM by Ted Gardner

We had 3 males about December 1st for half a day but none since (120 MEADOW HIEGHTS)

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 09:38:13 AM by goodyear

We had 2 Evening Grosbeaks and several Purple Finches in our miniature Crabapple tree this morning. The Grosbeaks are the first we've seen this fall/winter (117 MeadowHeights - Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(2): Squirrel behaviour...photos
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 01:47:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

We have mostly black phase Gray Squirrels in our neighbourhood, but there are a few gray phase around too. Highest count so far this winter is 6 black and 1 gray foraging around our birdfeeders.  Also 3 Red Squirrels.  There is a pair of Cardinals and a single female that visit our feeders, but very infrequently at this time of year. I think they switch to another favourite feeding station in the neighbourhood during the winter months. Our yard has lots of mature White Pines which prevent the birds from spotting hawks easily. Just yesterday we had a Cooper's Hawk checking out the feeders...so of course no feeder birds today at all. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Squirrel behaviour...photos
Posted on December 29, 2008 at 12:51:15 PM by Wayne Bridge

Barbara...are the black phase squirrels common in your area [Doe Lake Road, isn't it?]. I've yet to see even the more northerly common grey squirrel here in Kearney. And do you have cardinals regularly? I've had no reports of a cardinal being seen this far north although there appears to be at least one in Huntsville.

 

 

Squirrel behaviour...photos
Posted on December 27, 2008 at 09:44:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

This squirrel must be repairing its nest with the only material it can find right now...birch bark. I've never seen them use bark before, but this one has been gathering it up over the past few days. Hope it doesn't get carried away and end up damaging the birch trees. (Bracebridge) photo1  photo2

 

 

Whitey The Aberrrant Jay
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 01:14:47 PM by Ted Gardner

Whitey was around today taking part in the Christmas Eve buffet...Merry Christmas to all....hi Moira!
(Bracebridge)

 

 

red-tailed hawk
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 08:35:17 AM by gerald

Yesterday while driving south on highway 11 by port Sydney I saw a Red-tailed pass to the west overhead. I had a nice well lit view of his belly.
Gerald Willmott, Bracebridge

 

 

Parry Sound Nature Club Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 23, 2008 at 08:05:58 AM by J. Gardner

The 2008 Christmas Bird Count was held Saturday December 20. 12 observers recorded 31 species and 1239 individual birds. Near record snowfall combined with inshore ice formation reduced the count totals, particularly of waterfowl. The highlight of the count was the Townsend's Solitaire found at the town beach by Stan Fairchild. Ted Krug was able to get a couple of good photos. Other notables included 5 Bald Eagles, 1 Eastern Townhee and 24 Wild Turkeys.

Results.... Common Goldeney 6 Common Merganser l ruffed Grouse l Ring-billed Gull 98 Mourning Dove 31 Rock Dove 191 Pileated Woodpecker 3 Hairy woodpecker 20 Downy Woodpecker 10 Blue Jay 181 American Crow 12 Raven 47 Blaackcapped Chickadee 288 Whitebreasted Nuthatch 12 Redbreasted Nuthatch 12 Brown Creeper 3 Tree Sparrow 24 Darkeyed Junco 7 Snow Bunting 4 Whitewinged Crossbill 30 Common Redpoll 45 Pine Siskin 33 American Goldfinch 106 Wild Turkey 24 Eastern Towhee 1 Bald Eagle 5 Starling 23 Townsend's Solitaire l Pine Grosbeak 2 Sharpshinned Hawk 1 Northern Shrike 1

 

 

GRAVENHURST-BRACEBRIDGE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2008...full report
Posted on December 22, 2008 at 01:37:18 PM by Al Sinclair

Please report any errors or omissions so I can make corrections before submitting the results later this week.

GRAVENHURST-BRACEBRIDGE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2008
by Al Sinclair - compiler

The 29th Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count was held on December 14, 2008 with 28 observers in 10 groups covering the 24 km diameter circle centred between the towns. The weather was not bad for counting birds, temperature around 0, winds calm, but the skies cloudy. The heavy cloud cover caused poor lighting conditions making bird identification more difficult. We also had a problem finding birds by ear because of the hundreds of snowblowers roaring on every street cleaning up another big snowfall from the night before. The snow cover this year was probably the deepest we have ever experienced on the count ranging from 75 to 90 cm. Bird feeders in both town were busy and the birds were moving around in rural areas also. A total of 3303 birds of 35 species were found, slightly above the last 10 years average of 2668 birds and 34.5 species.

Lake Muskoka and the river in Bracebridge were open but ponds and small streams were ice covered. Four (4) Common Loons, a new count high, were found in Lake Muskoka off Lakeshore Drive in Gravenhurst. A Common Goldeneye and four (4) Common Mergansers were on the other side of the lake off St. Elmo point. The number of Wild Turkeys continues to rise every year with fifty-six (56), a new count high, counted this year, mostly in Gravenhurst (48).

The usual feeder birds, nuthatches, chickadees, and woodpeckers were found in average numbers with one exception. Blue Jays set a new count high at five hundred and ten (510), many feeders having a dozen or more. Another count high was set for Brown Creeper, fourteen (14), a species that is usually hard to. Cardinals were seen in both towns in their usual numbers, around ten (10). Thirty-four (34) American Tree Sparrows were seen, higher than usual likely because they were caught by the early snow this year and are sticking to the feeders.

The most common finches this year were American Goldfinch, three hundred and thirty-six (336), and White-winged Crossbill, three hundred and fifteen (315), a new count high. One of the count highlights was the many White-winged Crossbills that were found throughout the circle. They have moved into southern Ontario this fall due to a failed cone crop in the boreal forest. Most were seen feeding on spruce cones, some on white pine. One interesting feeding method was observed. Some birds were removing a whole spruce cone and feeding on it while holding it in their feet on the branches of a deciduous tree. One of the largest flocks seen, sixty-five (65), was in spruce trees at the corner of Woodchester and Richard Street in Bracebridge.

Only two (2) Snow Buntings were seen, both at a feeder in Bracebridge, the snow was too deep for them to find weed seeds. Only eighteen (18) House Sparrows were located, all at the Equidome on Fraserburg Rd. and a feeder across the road.

Unusual species found this year were two (2) Bald Eagles, one flying over Bracebridge and one at the Gravenhurst Landfill, also at the Gravenhurst Landfill, a Glaucous Gull, nine (9) Bohemian Waxwings on McMurray Street in Bracebridge, and a White-throated Sparrow at a feeder near Housey’s Rapids.

Following the count the results were tallied at a potluck supper in Bracebridge. Thanks to Barbara & Meridith Coates, Ingrid Schultz, Heather Coupland, and Mary Ann & Terry Johnson for organizing the meal. And finally the results of the Team competition: Gravenhurst led by Dan Burton was the winner with 31 species and Bracebridge led by Al Sinclair had 28 species. But following the tally grounds for an official protest came to light. One feeder owner told a Bracebridge group that their birds had already been counted by birders in a small red car. It was obvious that the Gravenhurst team had crossed over the line into Bracebridge territory something that has happened before in other years. However cooler heads prevailed and since there were no new species at that feeder Bracebridge grudgingly accepted the infamous Plastic Owl Trophy awarded to the loser.

GRAVENHURST TEAM
G1- Janice House, Moira Payne
G2- Dianna Wolfe, Rob Wilson
G3- Pauline & Jim Goodfellow, Cyril & Marion Fry
G4- Rosemarie Hinzmann, Ron Stager,
G5- Dan Burton
species seen = 31
individuals counted = 1561

BRACEBRIDGE TEAM
B6- Bill Dickinson, Ian & Mary Willmott
B7- Sam & Earle Robinson, Heather Coupland, Denis Grenier
B8- Art & Launi Clarke, Al Sinclair
B9- David & Regan Goodyear, Stephanie Lehman
B10- Joan Paget, Bob Burton, Tom & Mary Smith
species seen = 28
individuals counted = 174

WEATHER: cloudy, wind calm, no precipitation, -2/0 C, snow cover 75 to 90 cm

SPECIES LIST
COMMON LOON - 4 (NEW COUNT HI)
COMMON GOLDENEYE - 1
COMMON MERGANSER - 4
RED-TAILED HAWK - 1
BALD EAGLE - 2
WILD TURKEY - 56 (NEW COUNT HI)
RING-BILLED GULL - 26
HERRING GULL - 121
GLAUCOUS GULL - 1
ROCK DOVE - 135
MOURNING DOVE - 182
DOWNY WOODPECKER - 29
HAIRY WOODPECKER - 47
PILEATED WOODPECKER - 5
BLUE JAY - 510 (NEW COUNT HI)
AMERICAN CROW - 50
COMMON RAVEN - 118
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE - 566
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 66
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 46
BROWN CREEPER - 14 (NEW COUNT HI)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET - 1
BOHEMIAN WAXWING - 9
EUROPEAN STARLING - 418
NORTHERN CARDINAL - 10
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW - 34
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW - 1
DARK-EYED JUNCO - 43
SNOW BUNTING - 2
PINE GROSBEAK - COUNT WEEK
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL - 315 (NEW COUNT HI)
COMMON REDPOLL - 1
PINE SISKIN - 124
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - 336
EVENING GROSBEAK - 7
HOUSE SPARROW – 18

 

 

Re(3): Townsend's Solitaire...photos
Posted on December 23, 2008 at 10:06:53 AM by Al Sinclair

In the winter they come down from higher elevations in the west looking for berries, juniper being their favourite in the west, common buckthorn in the east. Some head east but few make it this far. They are on the Ontario Bird Records Committee reportable list for southern Ontario. "The species on this list occur less than five times a year on average, and no more than 20 times in a given five year period." http://www.ofo.ca/obrc/obrc.php. In the previous 3 years there has been one in Ottawa for most of the winter. This year it has not arrived yet, could the Parry Sound bird be the same one still on its way east??? On January 29, 2005 there was a one day solitaire sighting in Bracebridge, 5 days later one was found in Ottawa. Was that the same bird???

 

 

Re(2): Townsend's Solitaire...photos
Posted on December 23, 2008 at 01:23:25 AM by Marilyn Kisser

so,any ideas as to how this western bird came to Parry Sound?

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire still in Parry Sound
Posted on December 22, 2008 at 04:07:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Ted Krug saw the bird again today near the beach parking lot on Prospect Street. The message from Ted is pasted below.

this morning we found the bird in the same tree but on the first visit there was a large wild turkey in the tree which I chased away so it would not eat all the berries. An hour later when I returned the solitaire was there and came and went several times.

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire...photos
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 09:36:55 PM by Al Sinclair

PHOTOS BY TED KRUG, NOBEL ONTARIO:  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire on Parry Sound Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 09:31:10 PM by Al Sinclair

Jim Gardner reported to me today that a Townsend's Solitaire was found on their CBC in Parry Sound held yesterday Dec 20. The bird was found by Stan Fairchild's group and the identification has been confirmed by a photo taken by Ted Krug. I have just now received the location and the OK to post.

Location from Jim:
It was found at the Parry Sound beach, Waubano Park, beside the Coast Guard base, feeding in front of a town house beside the Fitness trail. The public parking lot is adjacent to the trail within 200 feet of the crabapple tree. It was also seen on private property on Georgina Street.

Additional info from Ted Krug:
Waubano Park is at the end of Prospect St. The bird was seen from the left side (south) of the beach parking lot. It was also seen at #15 Georgina St.
Google map link

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins...Big flock
Posted on December 27, 2008 at 02:03:33 PM by janice house

we had 2 siskins this morning feeding with 5 goldfinch on the niger sock

 

 

Pine Siskins...Big flock
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 01:59:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at noon we had a flock of 50+ Pine Siskins fly into a White Cedar tree in our yard. They fed on the cones for a couple of minutes then flew away to the west. There may have been few seeds left in the cones as a 4 to 6 Siskins have been visiting it all fall. White Cedar seems to their favourite food tree in our area. We live 8 km east of Hwy 11 on Hwy 118E (east of Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(1): Oregon Junco on Meadow Heights, Bracebridge...photo
Posted on December 22, 2008 at 08:32:10 PM by Al Sinclair

THE OREGON JUNCO IN BRACEBRIDGE
Photo by Bill Crins

 

 

Oregon Junco on Meadow Heights, Bracebridge
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 01:57:02 PM by LeslieFlemming

On 21 December 2008, a male "Oregon" Junco visited the feeder on the back deck at 39 Meadow Heights Dr. in Bracebridge, observed by Leslie Flemming and Bill Crins.

If you wish to try to observe this bird, go to the gate at the left side of the house beside the garage, and observe the feeder on the deck and along the railing of the deck from there. There are usually some seeds placed on the railing, as well as in the feeder. There is a group of about 6 juncos, one of which is this rather subdued male "Oregon", which has a dark gray hood, brown back, and brownish upper flanks. The juncos sometimes visit the feeder along the back fence of the yard, as well. There are dogs present at both this and the next door neighbour's properties, so please try to observe from the gate, if possible, to minimize disturbance.

 

 

Story on Torrance Barrens dark sky reserve in todays Toronto Star
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 11:44:37 AM by Al Sinclair

Interesting story today on the Barrens and "saving the whole night environment". Link to the story below.
http://www.thestar.com/news/ideas/article/556899

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 07:53:26 AM by janice house

Spotted a dozen birds in the top of a tree at the corner of Bethune Dr and Coon Rd (Gravenhurst, just past the former MNR building)yesterday about 1pm. Went home to get my binoculars and was back shortly but they had moved on.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 20 December
Posted on December 20, 2008 at 09:40:47 AM by Ontbirds

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


Snow continues to fall regularly, and
so getting around on trails or in the
woods requires snowshoes. Very few
birders appear to have visited the Park
in the last week.

A Golden Eagle was briefly observed
over the Sunday Creek valley off the
Visitor Centre on December 18.

Three Wild Turkeys were last seen at
Lake of Two Rivers Store on December 17.

A few Bohemian Waxwings were briefly
attracted to the birds at the feeders of the
Visitor Centre on two days this week.

Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, White-winged
Crossbill, and Red Crossbill (one sighting) were
reported.

Up to 17 Evening Grosbeaks were noted at
at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Again, there was no new information on
finding Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee,
Gray Jay and Black-backed Woodpecker. Try
Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.


Please report your Algonquin sightings to me
(including date, number and location) for our
park records. Thanks.

Good birding, and Happy Holidays.

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). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map
of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and
information. The centre is open on weekends during the
winter, from 10 am to 4 pm. Access to watch the birds during
the week is possible by entering at the service entrance
and contacting the staff.

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 07:48:53 AM by janice house

the woodpecker was back on Saturday around noon, he landed in the basswood for a moment then flew off. Geoff was raking snow off the shed close by, we figured he left because of the activity.

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 19, 2008 at 03:33:28 PM by janice house

the woodpecker flew over Geoff's head as he was raking the snow off the boat enclosure, it landed in our basswood tree 30 feet from the house (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on December 31, 2008 at 09:58:36 AM by janice house

Moira has a barred owl which sits on her deck or in the trees close to her feeders watching for dinner. Yesterday a squirrel was running up the tree teasing the owl and getting within 5 feet of it. (Houston Rd., north of Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on December 18, 2008 at 09:19:04 PM by Marilyn Kisser

we've had a barred owl hunting around the feeders the past month or so ..I do believe he is more interested in the squirrels ..although I did see evidence of a dove take down last weekend...

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on December 18, 2008 at 03:24:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl has been hanging around our yard since early this morning. It has made several attempts to catch one of the Mourning Doves when they come down to feed...so far no success since the Blue Jays have been screaming out a warning each time the owl leaves its perch.

All the birds are still coming to the feeders as usual since they know the owl is too slow to catch them...unless they turn their back for too long. A few years ago we had a Barred Owl that was pretty good at catching doves whenever they became too complacent. Here's a photo of that owl from Feb. 2005. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 17, 2008 at 10:15:05 PM by Al Sinclair

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT RESULTS
GRAVENHURST-BRACEBRIDGE - DEC 14, 2008

TOTAL SPECIES 35
TOTAL INDIVIDUALS 3303
TOTAL OBSERVERS 28

COMMON LOON - 4 (NEW COUNT HI)
COMMON GOLDENEYE - 1
COMMON MERGANSER - 4
RED-TAILED HAWK - 1
BALD EAGLE - 2
WILD TURKEY - 56 (NEW COUNT HI)
RING-BILLED GULL - 26
HERRING GULL - 121
GLAUCOUS GULL - 1
ROCK DOVE - 135
MOURNING DOVE - 182
DOWNY WOODPECKER - 29
HAIRY WOODPECKER - 47
PILEATED WOODPECKER - 5
BLUE JAY - 510 (NEW COUNT HI)
AMERICAN CROW - 50
COMMON RAVEN - 118
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE - 566
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 66
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 46
BROWN CREEPER - 14 (NEW COUNT HI)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET - 1
BOHEMIAN WAXWING - 9
EUROPEAN STARLING - 418
NORTHERN CARDINAL - 10
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW - 34
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW - 1
DARK-EYED JUNCO - 43
SNOW BUNTING - 2
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL - 315 (NEW COUNT HI)
COMMON REDPOLL - 1
PINE SISKIN - 124
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - 336
EVENING GROSBEAK - 7
HOUSE SPARROW - 18

 

 

Huntsville CBC
Posted on December 17, 2008 at 08:44:19 PM by ron tozer

Below are the near-final results of the count held on 16 December 2008.

Total Species: 41 (average is 38)
Total Individuals: 6,030 (NEW HIGH; average is 2,908)
Total Observers: 19

-Trumpeter Swan: 1 (apparently #586, with no wing tags now; this is its sixth winter in Huntsville)
-American Black Duck: 42
-Mallard: 297
(Black x Mallard hybrid: 3)
-Northern Shoveler: 1 (male in river with Mallards; NEW SPECIES FOR COUNT)
-Ring-necked Duck: 1 (female in river near Fairy Lake)
-Long-tailed Duck: 4 (Mary Lake; NEW HIGH)
-Common Goldeneye: 17
-Ruffed Grouse: 4 (LOW)
-Wild Turkey: 64 (NEW HIGH)
-Bald Eagle: 3 (NEW HIGH)
-Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
-Red-tailed Hawk: 1
-Herring Gull: 1
-Rock Pigeon: 360
-Mourning Dove: 152
-Barred Owl: count week
-Downy Woodpecker: 49 (NEW HIGH)
-Hairy Woodpecker: 94
-Black-backed Woodpecker: 1
-Pileated Woodpecker: 14 (NEW HIGH)
-woodpecker sp.: 2
-Northern Shrike: 1
-Blue Jay: 680 (NEW HIGH)
-American Crow: 30
-Common Raven: 89
-Black-capped Chickadee: 1,188
-Red-breasted Nuthatch: 212
-White-breasted Nuthatch: 101
-Brown Creeper: 15 (NEW HIGH)
-Golden-crowned Kinglet: 4
-American Robin: 2
-European Starling: 160
-Bohemian Waxwing: 628 (NEW HIGH)
-American Tree Sparrow: 16
-Dark-eyed Junco: 17
-Snow Bunting: 1
-Northern Cardinal: 6
-Pine Grosbeak: 10
-White-winged Crossbill: 764 (NEW HIGH)
-Common Redpoll: 370
-Pine Siskin: 327
-American Goldfinch: 203
-Evening Grosbeak: 9
-finch sp.: 85

Note on White-winged Crossbills: They are numerous and appear to be feeding on a wide variety of trees, due to moderate cone crops. No crossbills were heard singing, suggesting that food is not sufficiently abundant to stimulate breeding.

They were seen eating: buds of Red Maple and Trembling Aspen; seeds from cones of
Tamarack, White Spruce, White Pine, Balsam Fir (residual seeds in remains of cones) and Eastern Hemlock (last year's cones); and seeds of Yellow Birch. These observations
were made by Doug Tozer and Justin Peter.

 

 

Re(1): Whitewinged Crossbills
Posted on December 21, 2008 at 08:40:21 AM by janice house

We just got back from a dog walk, 2 dozen landed in our neighbours spruce trees behind our house, I have seen this flock several times while walking the dogs. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Whitewinged Crossbills
Posted on December 16, 2008 at 05:00:46 PM by janice house

This morning at approximately 8:45 a flock of 60+ crossbills were flying from tree to tree at the corner of Hiram and Ann Sts in Bracebridge

 

 

Aberrant Blue Jay...again
Posted on December 16, 2008 at 09:32:31 AM by Barbara Taylor

"Whitey" the aberrant Blue Jay has just showed up in our yard along with a whole mob of jays. There must be at least 25 of them out there! This is the first time we've seen the bird in our yard. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)
See the photo Ted Gardner posted Nov. 30.

 

 

Feederwatch - Kearney
Posted on December 13, 2008 at 10:25:33 AM by Wayne Bridge

My two-day count for PFW Dec. 11 & 12:blue jays (9), black-capped chickadee (7), red-breasted nuthatch (2 - m & f), hairy woodpecker (3 - 2m & 1f), downy woodpecker (male), evening grosbeak (3 - 1m & 2f), tree sparrow (4), ruffed grouse (2). I caught sight of a short-tailed shrew eating the ground seed. On a roadside nearby were 4 white-winged crossbills; 2 ravens did flyby. [Kearney - 25 minutes N-E of Huntsville.]

 

 

Coopers Hawk
Posted on December 12, 2008 at 12:41:07 PM by Jim Griffin

I had Coopers Hawk hunt successfully at my feeders in Port Sydney yesterday, took a mourning dove, and it was back again today looking for more.

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 11, 2008 at 02:04:35 PM by Al Sinclair

The Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Audubon Christmas Bird Count will be held this Sunday, December 14. Look for a story about Christmas Bird Counts in the Weekender tomorrow. The snow is deep but there are still lots of birds around including some unusual species like White-winged Crossbills and Bohemian Waxwings. To cover the 24 km diameter circle we need lots of counters so everyone is invited to join the count regardless of birding experience. We divide into small groups with at least one good birder in each. If you can count birds on Sunday send me an email to get more details.

 

 

Pine siskin
Posted on December 11, 2008 at 11:07:45 AM by GayleCarlyle

Wed. Dec. 10 at about 10am. Green River Dr. Washago.
Had a pine siskin at our "squirrelbuster" feeder along with goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches.
The blue jays are gone somewhere else I guess.
By the way, so far the squirrel buster feeder is doing its job. We have it suspeded about 10ft up on a pulley and about 20in. away from the window. The squirrels have to leap onto the feeder which of course closes up. Very effective.

 

 

Re(1): Purple Finch
Posted on December 22, 2008 at 09:33:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

Three Purple Finch (including one colourful male) visited our feeder yesterday afternoon, but no sign of them today. Perhaps they didn't want to put up with all the "bully" Blue Jays we have here this winter. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Purple Finch
Posted on December 10, 2008 at 03:48:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

A female Purple Finch appeared at our feeder this afternoon. Yesterday a female Northern Cardinal showed up during the snowstorm and she has stayed around today. Haven't seen either species for over a month. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker at Dwight
Posted on December 10, 2008 at 01:34:55 PM by ron tozer

A Red-bellied Woodpecker has just appeared (1:30 pm) at our feeder here in Dwight . Presumably it has been in the neighorhood, or is on the move. This is the first day we have seen it, in any case. The woodpecker may find it difficult to get sunflower seeds among our Blue Jay horde!

 

 

Red-bellied still around
Posted on December 10, 2008 at 00:55:40 AM by Marilyn Kisser

the female red-bellied woodpecker is still coming to the suetand sunflower feeder daily - also have a few tree sparrows along with the usual woodies, downey's, chickadees, white and red breasted nuthatches, blue jays, mourning doves,the odd junco and a group of starlings and of course the deer! (just outside Rosseau)

 

 

Feeder Birds
Posted on December 9, 2008 at 07:33:45 PM by J. Gardner

Started out very slowly this autumn, but the birds at the feeder are increasing. We have 8 or so Tree Sparrows, 20 plus Blue Jays, 8 Starlings, 4 Hairy Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 8 Chickadees, 7 Snow Buntings, and today a Redbreasted Nuthatch. There a few Whitewinged Crossbills, Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks in the neighbourhood, on no particular schedule. (Hurdville)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings at the Algonquin Visitor Centre
Posted on December 9, 2008 at 11:43:08 AM by Rick Stronks

This morning two Bohemian Waxwings were seen near the feeders at the Algonquin Visitor Centre.

As well, we have approximately 12 Evening Grosbeaks, 1 American Tree Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed Junco and many Blue Jays.

The Visitor Centre is open on weekends to the public but birders interested in observing the feeders can go to the staff entrance door and arrange with staff to have access to the deck.

 

 

Bala Area Birds
Posted on December 8, 2008 at 05:04:43 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had at least one goldfinch, a couple of Tree Sparrows and a couple of juncos visit today. I had about 5 Common Redpolls flit through yesterday morning, very early.

Approximately 40 Bohemian Waxwings were perched in a small tree on the East side of Medora Lake Road this afternoon at 4 pm. They flew west.

 

 

Re(1): crow?
Posted on December 8, 2008 at 01:56:35 PM by dbritton

There's a "piebald" Common Raven that I've seen twice in the last few of years in the Wellington Street area in Bracebridge. It has white markings on the head and wings as well, so perhaps its the same bird that you saw.

 

 

crow?
Posted on December 8, 2008 at 01:38:12 PM by ann hansen

When I was leaving Scotiabank at lunch time today about 1:15pm, there was a bird sitting atop the sign alongside Monck Rd. It looked to be a crow but had a white splotch on its face and a few white weathers on its right wing. (Bracebridge)

 

 

port sydney feeders
Posted on December 6, 2008 at 03:22:42 PM by Jim Griffin

Like Barbara said the snow seems to be steering birds to feeders; I had an American Tree sparrow yesterday and then a Northern Shrike that had something down in the snow, maybe a chickadee, but I have not seen the tree sparrow since then.

 

 

Bald Eagle -Bracebridge
Posted on December 6, 2008 at 03:13:28 PM by Jim Griffin

At about 10:50 this morning I saw a mature Bald Eagle flying westward over downtown Bracebridge, I was passing the railway station at the time.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on December 6, 2008 at 11:42:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

Early this morning when I went out to fill the bird feeders, a hawk flew out from one of the pine trees. From the size, long tail, and the way it flew (few strokes then glide), I thought it might be a Cooper's Hawk. A few minutes ago it reappeared and perched in our birch tree long enough to get a better look - yup, an adult Coop. (Glendale Rd./Kevin Cres. area, Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): American Tree Sparrow
Posted on December 7, 2008 at 05:13:31 PM by janice house

We have 4 american tree sparrows, 2 juncos, 8 starlings ....(Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): American Tree Sparrow
Posted on December 6, 2008 at 00:17:29 AM by Ted Gardner

We have had a single Grackel for the last 2 days, i think he missed the flight south, poor sod!  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): American Tree Sparrow
Posted on December 5, 2008 at 04:17:20 PM by FrankLeVay

1 tree sparrow at my feeder 4 pm Dec.5. Located at SW corner Alexander & Catherine Sts., Gravenhurst.

 

 

American Tree Sparrow
Posted on December 5, 2008 at 02:38:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today's heavy snowsqualls have brought many birds to our feeders. One American Tree Sparrow has just showed up along with several Dark-eyed Juncos, about a dozen Blue Jays, an American Goldfinch, Mourning Doves, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 5, 2008 at 01:42:00 PM by Marilyn Kisser

A mature bald eagle flew over our property just a short time ago - he was flying southeast towards highway 141 - amazing sight!  (just outside Rosseau)

 

 

Eagle Sp. - N. Muldrew Lake, Gravenhurst
Posted on December 5, 2008 at 12:49:35 PM by Kip Daynard

On Wednesday (Dec. 3rd) I observed an eagle flying low over the trees from my upstairs window. I watched it for 20 seconds or so but with the naked eye it was impossible to say for certain whether Bald or Golden. Unfortunately, my binoculars were downstairs and by the time I ran to grab them it had flown out of sight. It was flying in a south-easterly direction.

1343 North Muldrew Lake Rd.
Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Sharp Shinned Hawk
Posted on December 5, 2008 at 02:18:01 PM by Ted Gardner

Our visitor appeared again this morning, this time his breakfast was a starling.

 

 

Sharp Shinned Hawk
Posted on December 4, 2008 at 04:42:04 PM by Ted Gardner


We had a visitor to the feeders this afternoon and he claimed one of our Mourning Doves. (Bracebridge) photo

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on December 2, 2008 at 07:27:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports.
All posts for October thru November are now available in the Archived Reports.

Need help posting photos? Find easy to follow instructions and try a test post on the Nature Photos Board.
New to the Bird Board? See the Posting Guidelines for helpful tips about using the board.

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

 

 

Shrike
Posted on December 2, 2008 at 11:54:22 AM by janice house

Moira was on her deck shovelling snow this morning and filling her feeders and a shrike flew in and sat on her clothesline 5 feet away. He stayed in her yard for about 15 minutes. (Houston Road north of Bracebridge)

 

 

Aberrant Blue Jay - photo
Posted on November 30, 2008 at 05:16:34 PM by Ted Gardner

This aberrant Blue Jay has been a regular at our feeders for the past month or so. His tail and wings from the shoulder down are snow white , we have named him Whitey of course. We are at 120 Meadow Heights Dr. in Bracebridge in case anyone wishes to check Whitey out. He's pretty regular thru out the day.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings - relocated
Posted on December 2, 2008 at 11:04:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

Around 10:30 a.m. today we found the 4 Bohemian Waxwings in a tree at the front of 44 Meadow Heights Dr. There are several ornamental crabapple trees in the neighbourhood that still have fruit, so the birds may stick around for a while. Three White-winged Crossbills flew overhead near the west end of Meadow Heights. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 29, 2008 at 10:15:06 AM by Goodyear

We have 4 Bohemian Waxwings in a tree in our yard (117 Meadow Heights Drive - Bracebridge). First ones we have seen this year.

 

 

Re(2): White-winged Crossbill...photo
Posted on November 30, 2008 at 06:41:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Photo taken yesterday in Hurdville by Jim Gardner.

 

 

Re(1): White-winged Crossbills...Bracebridge
Posted on November 30, 2008 at 01:42:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were still several White-winged Crossbills along the Trans Canada Trail east of Henry Marsh. There was one Common Redpoll with a flock of American Goldfinches at the Henry Rd. parking area. It looked like some Otters had been sliding along the snow near the little bridge at the marsh.

directions to Henry Marsh:
From traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr./Wellington St. in Bracebridge, take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River to Henry Rd. on your left. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead. At the "T" in the trail, turn left to look for the Crossbills or turn right to view the frozen marsh.

 

 

White-winged Crossbills...Bracebridge
Posted on November 27, 2008 at 09:20:58 AM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday at 2:30pm we saw a nice group of WW Crossbills (14)in the north end of Bracebrdige. They flew in from Walmart and landed in a deciduous tree at Timmys where we got a good count, then chatted for a couple of minutes before taking off heading west, maybe to Meadow Heights.

 

 

Trumpeter swans
Posted on November 24, 2008 at 11:42:58 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday, sunday, we heard and saw a pair of trumpeter swans fly over our road in Washago.
Nice to have them around; they are so beautiful.
We also have regular sightings of pileated woodpeckers around our house (lots of standing dead trees)
So if anyone wants a nice photo of these large birds, come on down to Washago!
Gayle

 

 

Bala, Red-tail
Posted on November 24, 2008 at 10:17:01 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

11:15 am today had an adult Red-tailed Hawk drop by for a look at the feeder buffet. No photos as it didn't stay long enough. A new species for my feeder list.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Dec. 4
Posted on November 22, 2008 at 02:48:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., Bracebridge
From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Nature Film Fest
We have picked a variety of short films from the National Film Board collection on various nature subjects which should initiate some discussion. Breaks will be time for refreshments and socializing.

September through January meetings will be held at the Latter Day Saints Church located at 705 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge (corner of Taylor Rd. & Cedar Lane near Home Depot). Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Not Allowed into Landfill to Look for Gulls!
Posted on November 21, 2008 at 06:37:36 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I went to the Bracebridge Landfill this afternoon and was told nobody was allowed in to look for birds! Very disappointing!

Also did a drive around Butter & Egg Rd, Falconberg Rd and Beatrice Town Line for shrikes and owls. Didn't see a single bird!

 

 

Re(1): Great Blue Heron
Posted on November 22, 2008 at 02:04:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Great Blue Heron came flying in from the north and landed somewhere west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were a few Pine Siskins, American Goldfinches, and White-winged Crossbills along the Trans Canada Trail towards Henry Marsh.

(note: Everything is frozen solid at the Ponds and also at the flooded section of trail heading toward the marsh so you can get through there now.)

 

 

Great Blue Heron/Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on November 20, 2008 at 05:45:57 PM by janice house

This morning a great blue flew across the farm field in front of our house. I assume he was in the creek which flows through the farm (Beaver Creek), Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst. A pileated flew across hwy 11 about 100 feet from Skyways into the trees on the south side of the hwy.

 

 

Goldfinches, Bala
Posted on November 20, 2008 at 00:03:48 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A couple of times in the last few days I have seen a flock of small birds flying by over the trees. Until this morning they didn't give me time to identify them. Several landed at my feeders today so now know they are goldfinches.  I do hope they come back again and stay around with their cheerful chirps!

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwing vs. Cedar Waxwing
Posted on November 21, 2008 at 06:58:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nice photo of a Waxwing, but I agree with Burke that in this case the bird is a Cedar Waxwing. The photo shows a pale yellow belly (Bohemian is gray) and white undertail coverts (Bohemian is rusty). A Bohemian would also show a white mark on the wing and it would not have that white highlight above its black mask.

Both species of Waxwings are often found together in mixed flocks, but once you know what to look for, it's fairly easy to tell them apart. Here's a webpage that discusses the differences and there are several photos that show them well: http://10000birds.com/cedar-waxwing-vs-bohemian-waxwing.htm

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 21, 2008 at 04:57:26 PM by Burke Korol

It isn't easy to see the right features in this photo, but this looks like a Cedar Waxwing to me.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 21, 2008 at 02:11:21 PM by JohnGriffiths

photo

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 21, 2008 at 02:54:00 PM by J. Gardner

We have had Bohemians through here several times, 15 or so in the flock. They stopped just once to eat some highbush cranberries, much to our delight. (Hurdville)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 18, 2008 at 12:49:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 14 Bohemian Waxwings perched in a dead tree at Henry Marsh. A few flew down to feed on some Winterberries near the "T" in the trail. A Great Blue Heron flew across the frozen marsh and landed at the west edge. Heading east from the marsh there were a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets and about 20 White-winged Crossbills by the "dip". There were Ruffed Grouse tracks crossing the trail in a few places. At the Henry Rd. parking area there was a small flock of Pine Siskins.

(note: heading east from the marsh along the Trans Canada Trail is a bit of an obstacle course due to shrubs and trees leaning across the trail weighted down with snow...but it sure is pretty. As you approach the pipeline, the open area where the trail curves around is badly flooded and not frozen solid yet.)

 

 

2 brown creepers
Posted on November 18, 2008 at 09:08:35 AM by Doug Smith

This morning there were 2 brown creepers, one beside the other in adjacent maples, in our yard in Uffington.

 

 

Re(2): White-winged Crossbills
Posted on November 19, 2008 at 03:24:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were over twenty of them this morning at nearby Moreland Ct./Meadow Heights Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): White Winged Crossbills
Posted on November 17, 2008 at 03:12:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were thirteen of them at the corner of Daleman Dr. and Rockwell Ave. this afternoon...perhaps the same group hanging around the neighbourhood. (Bracebridge)

 

 

White Winged Crossbills
Posted on November 15, 2008 at 11:57:24 PM by Ted Gardner

We had a dozen or more in the Pine trees across the road...they settled in for a 3 minute rest
120 Meadow Hieghts Dr. BB

 

 

Red Squirrels/Brown Creepers
Posted on November 14, 2008 at 04:17:13 PM by janice house

This morning I heard 3 squirrels chattering while walking the dogs. We have quite a few brown creepers in the neighbourhood, hope they stay till the CBC on the 14th of December.

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh & Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 14, 2008 at 04:13:02 PM by janice house

Geoff was in Bent River on Wednesday and saw a large number of buffleheads on one of the small ponds.

 

 

Henry Marsh & Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 14, 2008 at 12:59:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just an update...nothing unusual.

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were large rafts of ducks in cells 1 and 2 - mostly Mallards and Buffleheads, a few Black Ducks, Scaup, and two Green-winged Teal. The gate leading to the Ponds from Kerr Park now has been snugged in and chained...you can still squeeze through if you're careful not to rip your jacket. The earth moving operation is still ongoing by cell 3 and north of cell 4.

Henry Marsh actually looks like a marsh again! Well, at least until the recent snow melt and rain runoff drains away. The beaver baffles are completely submerged, but they're still carrying water out of the marsh and there is no sign of any beaver activity. There were several Canada Geese and a male Hooded Merganser. A few White-winged Crossbills were flying around the balsam firs east of the marsh.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk...Bracebridge
Posted on November 11, 2008 at 08:29:52 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at 11:30 a Red-tailed Hawk was sitting in a dead tree in the north-west corner of the overpass at Hwy 11 and Hwy 118E. There has been one seen in this area in the past few years. Same bird? Or maybe just a good hunting area for Red-tails.

 

 

Port Sydney River watch
Posted on November 10, 2008 at 01:45:48 PM by Jim Griffin

updating the gathering of birds on the muskoka river south of the bridge in Port Sydney: 4 hooded mergansers, 5 common golden eye, 3 buffle heads

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl - Sad News
Posted on November 10, 2008 at 03:03:32 PM by J. Gardner

Terribly sad, but was in the cards from the start.

 

 

Snowy Owl - Sad News
Posted on November 10, 2008 at 08:51:38 AM by Burke Korol

Sadly, I must report that the Snowy Owl that has been hanging around the Hwy. 11/Muskoka Road 3 north junction was found dead on the side of the road in the late afternoon of Friday, 7 November. Presumably it was hit by a car. A co-worker kept the carcass and is currently getting an MNR permit and preliminary assessment on its nutritional condition.

 

 

Lake Vernon et. al Birding
Posted on November 9, 2008 at 11:55:44 AM by Burke Korol

It was a great week for birding, hunting and weather.

On Friday (7 Nov) and Saturday (8 Nov) I spent both days in the forests near the NW end of Lake Vernon, NW of Huntsville. Highlight birds over these two days:

1 Brown Creeper
6 Pine Grosbeak
15 American Goldfinch
100+ Common(?) Redpoll fly-overs
200+ White-winged Crossbill
1 juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
10 Pine Siskin
2 American Tree Sparrow

Also saw 1 large Eastern Gartersnake on the warm afternoon of the 7th.

On 5 November I was about 20 km NW of North Bay, where an adult GOLDEN EAGLE flew over me. Also had a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER and a few calling Norther Spring Peepers in this area.

I've been past the Snowy Owl location a few times between 4-6 November, but not been able to find it.

On 3 November there were 4 SNOW BUNTINGS in Arrowhead Provincial Park just north of the entrance gate.

 

 

Lapland Longspurs - Lagoons
Posted on November 8, 2008 at 01:28:19 PM by goodyear

We saw 3 Lapland Longspurs around noon today at the Bracebridge Lagoons. They were on the road between Cells 1 and 2. We also saw a flock of approx. 20 White-winged Crossbills along the trail to Henry Marsh just west of cell 4.

 

 

Re(2): The last moth of the season...Bruce Spanworm
Posted on November 8, 2008 at 06:16:36 PM by Al Sinclair

Not big, wingspan between 2 and 3 cm.

 

 

Re(1): The last moth of the season...Bruce Spanworm
Posted on November 8, 2008 at 02:08:38 PM by Al Johnston

Interesting. How large would it be, Al?

 

 

The last moth of the season...Bruce Spanworm
Posted on November 7, 2008 at 09:46:34 PM by Al Sinclair

Bruce Spanworm moths have been flying for a couple of weeks now. They are one of the the last moths to emerge in Muskoka, always after the first killing frost. They can be seen flying through the woods during the day, apparently can defoliate complete stands of Sugar Maples when their numbers are high but I have never seen this in Muskoka. I photographed this male on a window tonight here east of Bracebridge. (it has to be a male - females are wingless). Canon XTi, Canon 60mm macro lens, MR-14EX ringlight.  photo

 

 

Snapping Turtle, Crossbills
Posted on November 7, 2008 at 04:37:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

It was fairly quiet this morning along the Trans Canada Trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds, except for the sounds of several Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, and the occasional Blue Jay. There were five White-winged Crossbills where the trail crosses the pipeline.

The big surprise for this time of year was a huge Snapping Turtle! It was heading for the open marshy area west of cell 4…guess even the turtles are enjoying this spring-like weather. There were only a few Buffleheads in cell 4.

note: although they haven’t blocked access, there is a sign on the roadway north of cell 4 which says "Stay Out" - this is to prevent people from wandering into the massive earth moving operation by cell 3. You can still access the Bracebridge Ponds via Kerr Park.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 7, 2008 at 03:59:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there was a nice bunch of "Lesser" Canada Geese at the south end of cell 1 this morning. The overall number of ducks has increased since yesterday, but nothing unusual...in cell 2 there were Buffleheads, Scaup, Mallards, Black Ducks, and a Green-winged Teal. The female Pintail was still in cell 1. (due to the earth moving operation by cell 3, enter the Ponds via Kerr Park)

 

 

Re(2): Butterfly season is not over!
Posted on November 6, 2008 at 08:09:24 AM by Doug Smith

There was a Compton's Tortoiseshell (I think) in my yard yesterday, located east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Butterfly season is not over!
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM by Wayne Bridge

I had a mourning cloak in the yard this afternoon at 1:30 (Kearney - 25 mins. north of Huntsville).

 

 

Butterfly season is not over!
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 02:56:05 PM by Rick Stronks

We observed a Mourning Cloak this afternoon at the Opeongo Access Point in Algonquin Park. Our average late date is October 22. Amazing weather!

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bala
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 08:58:57 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday at 2:15 pm a Yellow-rumped Warbler was feeding in the trees by my house in Bala. It did not seem to be accompanied by any other birds.

 

 

Re(1): redbellied in rosseau
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 00:57:07 AM by Marilyn Kisser

since photo bucket is acting up, here's another capture ...  photo

 

 

redbellied in rosseau
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 00:40:34 AM by Marilyn Kisser

this young female redbellied has been visiting my feeders here just outside Rosseau for the past couple of days .. the only other time I have seen a redbellied here was 2 years ago in December when it was unusually mild - click on photo for larger image  photo

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl - Still Near
Posted on November 7, 2008 at 01:15:49 PM by Wayne Bridge

Friday the 7th, the snowy was on the ground in the south-east quadrant of the cloverleaf at Hwy. 11 and Muskoka Road 3 North: 11:00 a.m.

 

 

Re(2): Snowy Owl - Still Near
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 02:57:43 PM by Rick Stronks

Has anyone checked today (Tuesday)? I'm in Huntsville tomorrow and would like to see it.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl - Still Near
Posted on November 3, 2008 at 03:45:38 PM by Dawn Sherman

The owl was still there at 3:00 attracting lots of attention sitting right in the middle of the overpass!

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on November 3, 2008 at 08:31:21 AM by Rick Stronks

I had a report from Chris Boettger that he and his wife observed a Snowy Owl in Huntsville at the corner of Hwy 60 and Hwy 11 yesterday afternoon.

 

 

Re(3): White-winged Crossbills
Posted on November 14, 2008 at 04:14:31 PM by janice house

small flock flew over us this morning on the dog walk about 7am (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(2): White-winged Crossbills
Posted on November 9, 2008 at 01:15:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today about forty White-winged Crossbills flew over our house heading south.  This is the largest flock I've seen so far. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): White-winged Crossbills
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 11:54:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

A small flock of White-winged Crossbills was at the same location around 11 am. this morning. (just past the muddy section of trail as you enter the woods heading east from Henry Marsh - hard to see them if they're quiet while feeding near the top of the trees amongst the seed cones)  

 

 

White-winged Crossbills
Posted on November 2, 2008 at 11:20:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there were some White-winged Crossbills this morning in the balsam firs a short distance east of Henry Marsh along the Trans Canada Trail.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk, Pine Grosbeak
Posted on November 2, 2008 at 07:41:26 AM by janice house

Just got in from a dog walk, first year hawk flew right over my head and landed on the top of a neighbours white pine. Yesterday morning about the same time a flock of 3 dozen pine grosbeaks were cruising the neighbourhood. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 09:01:48 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

My Bala feeders are seeing:
Blue Jays,
Black-capped Chickadees
RB & WB Nuthatches
Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers
The occasional junco, Tree Sparrow and one goldfinch.

 

 

Re(1): Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 4, 2008 at 00:32:56 AM by Marilyn Kisser

the blue jays, black capped chickadees, red and white breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, hairy and downey woodpeckers, occ goldfinch and purple finch share the feeders daily ... with black and red squirrels and a herd of 10 whitetail deer - and right now, a red bellied woodpecker - just outside of Rosseau

 

 

Re(1): Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:31:10 PM by Ted Gardner

Regulars at this time of year
Blue Jays
Mourning Dove
Black Capped Chickadee
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Goldfinch
White Breasted Nuthatch
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Dark eyed junco
Chipping Sparrow
Crow

Less frequent
Northern Cardinal
Purple Finch
Sharpshinned Hawk
Pileated Woodpecker

120 Meadow Heights Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 2, 2008 at 08:17:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

Regulars at our feeders (Bracebridge):
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal
Brown Creeper
American Crow

Less frequent visitors:
Pileated Woodpecker
American Goldfinch
Sharp-shinned Hawk

 

 

Re(1): Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 1, 2008 at 06:02:39 PM by willowbeachbirding

My regulars are Black Capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, House Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Goldfinches, Mourning Doves and House Sparrows all year!!!!  We also have Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers everyday as well!! I am in Willow Beach(south end of Lake Simcoe near Sutton) Lorena :)

 

 

Regular Species Comparison
Posted on November 1, 2008 at 11:01:25 AM by Wayne Bridge

This might be an interesting comparison: name the species that you are fairly certain to see everyday at your feeders, plus give your location. For instance, my feeders are at Kearney (just outside the north-east corner of Muskoka). My regulars are: blue jay, black-capped chickadee, dark-eyed junco, and hairy woodpecker (plus 1-4 deer who eat the pigeon feed I put out for our local grouse).
How about you?

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Nov. 6
Posted on November 1, 2008 at 09:15:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

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

Celebrate Member's Night with Eleanor Wellman's presentation
Bears.....black and white could be her subjects with recent photography of black bears of Vince Shute, Orr, Minnesota and polar bears from the trip she is doing in August, 2008 to Hudson Bay.

September through January meetings will be held at the Latter Day Saints Church located at 705 Cedar Lane, Bracebridge (corner of Taylor Rd. & Cedar Lane near Home Depot). Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Re(1): Brant - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 2, 2008 at 05:30:17 AM by janice house

I was at the ponds yesterday around 1pm, did not see the brant goose. Moira and I saw the female mallard with the light colouring last year.

 

 

Brant - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 31, 2008 at 03:10:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

There is a Brant in cell 2 at the north end - still there when we left at 2:30 p.m. It seemed to be feeding quite contentedly amongst all the ducks so perhaps it will stay put for a while. Only saw one Green-winged Teal, but still several Mallards, Scaup, Buffleheads, and a few American Black Ducks. The female Northern Pintail was with Buffleheads and Scaup in cell 1. There is a very interesting female Mallard in cell 2 - her back is a patchwork of white and carmel colours.

The earth movers are still working around cell 3 and they have now put up signs to block public access to that area...so enter via Kerr Park.

 

 

Re(1): Winter Finches
Posted on October 31, 2008 at 03:26:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a flock of about 20 Redpolls this morning by the South Muskoka Golf Course - they were near the end of Curling Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Winter Finches
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 07:31:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several small groups of "winter finches" along the Trans Canada Trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. The best spots were where the trail enters the forest east of the marsh and at the "dip" in the trail. There is a notable increase in Red-breasted Nuthatches this year - most migrated south last year due to the poor tree seed crops.

today's sightings:
White-winged Crossbill
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Brown Creeper

American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Common Raven
American Pipit (at the drained marsh)


directions to Henry Marsh:
From traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr./Wellington St. in Bracebridge, take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River to Henry Rd. on your left. There is a parking area at the end of Henry Rd. by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Fox sparrow
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 03:59:49 PM by GayleCarlyle

I just looked out my office window here at Grant's Woods and there was a beautiful fox sparrow hopping around underneath our feeders.
We are located at 1485 Division Road W. Orillia (actually Severn Township)

 

 

Re(2): Snow Buntings / Bala
Posted on November 2, 2008 at 01:09:01 AM by Marilyn Kisser

saw a flock of about 8-10 buntings on Crawford street, Rosseau this week

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings / Bala
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 09:28:51 AM by janice house

several birds were flying around the neighbourhood this morning ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Snow Buntings / Bala
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 06:45:02 PM by Garth N. Baker

Today a Flock of 14 Snow Buntings were observed 2 miles north of Bala on the CPR Tracks( I was working)!

 

 

White-winged Crossbill - Bay Lake
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 01:12:14 PM by Kip Daynard

This is a late posting, but last Tuesday, Oct. 21st I saw a White-winged Crossbill on Bay Lake Rd. It was sitting atop a Balsam Fir giving a typical "tyik-tyik" call.

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on October 28, 2008 at 12:14:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were four Snow Buntings on the roadway between cells 1 and 2 near the north end. The earth movers were busy again at the south end of cell 3, so enter from Kerr Park if you plan a visit.

 

 

Western Conifer Seed Bug - photo
Posted on October 27, 2008 at 12:28:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I found this Western Conifer Seed Bug on the side of our house. The insect is harmless to humans and houses, but is considered a serious pest of conifer seeds in the west. It was first found in Ontario around 1985, but now can often be found around houses in the fall as they seek out a place to spend the winter. (Bracebridge)
Family Coreidae (Leaf-footed Bugs) - Leptoglossus occidentalis  photo

Information about this insect: http://www.uoguelph.ca/pdc/Factsheets/Insect/WesternConiferSeedBug.htm

 

 

Common Golden Eye
Posted on October 26, 2008 at 03:06:12 PM by janice house

On the way to the Bracebridge Ponds today I drove along Muskoka Beach Road, approximately 70 golden eyes were in front of Taboo, 2 female buffleheads were on the south side of the bay close to some boathouses. Walking the dogs along Doe Lake Road before noon today between Laycox Rd and Tomingas Rd there were 100 plus robins flying about the swamps on either side of the road.

 

 

Re(1): woodcock
Posted on October 26, 2008 at 08:22:41 AM by janice house

took the dogs for a walk after 7 this morning, woodcock flew from the farm field across from the house into our yard (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

woodcock
Posted on October 25, 2008 at 03:19:59 PM by John Challis

Yesterday at dawn and again in the evening an American woodcock was flitting around the marsh beside our house on Green River Drive, WAshago. And today there were seven common mergansers in the Green River, accompanying a group of Canada geese.

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 25 October
Posted on October 25, 2008 at 01:26:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (October 25, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week's most interesting birding news in Algonquin Park
concerned winter finches, with Common Redpoll being
recorded for the first time this fall. Finch sightings included:

-Purple Finch: a couple were seen, but most appear to
have departed.

-Red Crossbill: none reported this week.

-White-winged Crossbill: observers are reporting flocks
regularly, usually flying over, but overall numbers
remain moderate.

-Common Redpoll: three on Opeongo Road on October 24
were the first here this fall, and perhaps the vanguard of
more to come.

-Pine Siskin: small numbers continue to be reported,
with many involving fly-overs.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 16 visited seed scattered on
the ground at the Visitor Centre, and a few were noted at
other sites as well.

Spruce Grouse, Gray Jays and Boreal Chickadees continued
to be observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road.

Notably late records included Double-crested Cormorant
(Opeongo Access Point), and Eastern Bluebird (five on
Opeongo Road) on October 24.

Please report your Algonquin Park sightings (including date,
number and location) to me for our Algonquin Visitor Centre
databank. Thanks.

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


The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and
information. Exhibits and restaurant are open daily, 10 am to 5 pm,
until October 26. The centre will be open on weekends during the
winter, from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

 

Re(2): Gadwall and Pectoral
Posted on October 26, 2008 at 02:59:14 PM by janice house

I was there after 1pm, a turkey vulture was standing on the west side of the pond at the parking lot and when I walked back to my car later a great blue heron popped its head above the rim of the pond. The Pectoral Sandpiper was there, I did not see the female pintail.

 

 

Re(1): Gadwall and Pectoral
Posted on October 26, 2008 at 12:40:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today the male Gadwall was still in cell 2 with a large raft of ducks near the north end. The female Northern Pintail was by herself in cell 1. A Pectoral Sandpiper was feeding on the little mud flat at the west side of cell 1 near the north end. One American Pipit was in cell 3. There were several American Tree Sparrows west of cell 3 (first ones we've seen this fall).

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Gadwall
Posted on October 25, 2008 at 12:06:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Only managed a quick check of cell 2 this morning before getting "rained out"...there was a male Gadwall along with many Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Buffleheads, Scaup, Black Ducks, and a female Northern Pintail.

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls, Wild Turkeys
Posted on October 26, 2008 at 06:45:34 PM by Marilyn Kisser

no redpolls here as of yet, but yesterday there were 8 wild turkey's crossing our road ... most we've ever seen - Rosseau

 

 

Common Redpolls, Wild Turkeys
Posted on October 24, 2008 at 04:14:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

A small flock of Redpolls flew over our yard this morning heading south. Yesterday afternoon there were 21 Wild Turkeys crossing Beaumont Dr. near Beaumont Farm Rd. - I think they were headed for the oak trees to feed on acorns. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds etc. Bracebridge
Posted on October 24, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at around 10am there were an even dozen Rusty Blackbirds sitting in a tree in our yard (8km east of Bracebridge). They looked at the bird feeders but decided to move on after about 15 minutes. Also today 1 Purple Finch, the first in many weeks, a few Goldfinches, Juncos, 1 Robin in the mountain ash tree. Yesterday had 5 Pine Siskins in the cedar tree.


BTW Yesterday Wilf Yusek had around 50 Rusty Blackbirds at his home on Prospect Lake East of Bracebridge, and 4 or 5 Fox Sparrows.

 

 

Bluebirds
Posted on October 24, 2008 at 12:51:07 PM by janice house

Just got home to let the dogs out, 4 bluebirds on the hydro wire and fence posts at the old Dinsmore Sheep farm (west side Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst) 1 klm from hwy 11

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting - Monday, October 27
Posted on October 22, 2008 at 01:30:20 PM by Rick Stronks

At the next Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Monday, October 27th, Burke Korol, an Ecologist working for Ontario Parks, will be speaking on his recent trip to Antartica.

The Huntsville Nature Club meets on the last Monday of every month at Club 55 in the Town Hall at 7 p.m. and guests are always welcome - a voluntary $2.00 donation is appreciated. For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (789-1407) or Rick Stronks (635-3315).

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Pectoral, Pintail, and Pipits
Posted on October 22, 2008 at 01:00:05 PM by J. Gardner

Thanks for that post Barbara. It is a relief to know that there are wings flying yet. The migration through Hurdville this autumn has been abysmal. A handful of whitecrowns were here, and now they have been replaced by a handful of Tree sparrows. If it weren't for the Blue Jays coming in, we would be really still. There are a few mallards and greenwings in the pond occasionally and the Canada geese (up to 25) drop in once and a while.

The whole aspect is of "no wings" in the air. Very disappointing.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Pectoral, Pintail, and Pipits
Posted on October 22, 2008 at 12:51:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11:30 a.m. today there was a Pectoral Sandpiper feeding on the little mud flat at the west side of cell 1 near the north end. Many ducks were gathered in a large flotilla in cell 2 - mostly Mallards, but also Green-winged Teal, Buffleheads, Scaup, Black Ducks, and a female Northern Pintail. A large flock of American Pipits were in cell 3.

They are moving earth off the hillside south of cell 3 and dumping it into the east end of cell 3 which is completely drained now. They are also working with earth movers to the north of cell 4 to prepare a storage area for construction material. So it is a very busy place now...best to enter via Kerr Park during working hours.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on October 19, 2008 at 09:23:00 AM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl made a brief appearance last night at dusk - looked like it might have caught a mouse near the birdfeeder before flying off. A Blue Jay was giving a warning call a few minutes ago...the owl is back!  We had been wondering where all the Red Squirrels had gone... (Bracebridge)

 

 

Wasps and Bees - photos
Posted on October 17, 2008 at 05:16:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past week several wasps and bees have been visiting our garden. There are only a few Flower Flies now that the weather has turned colder. Here are two recent visitors. (Bracebridge)
Halictid bee - Agapostemon sp. photo

Yellowjacket wasp - possibly Vespula flavopilosa  photo

 

 

Re(1): DE Junco (late post)
Posted on October 17, 2008 at 09:12:17 AM by Barbara Taylor

Juncos are one of the last bird species to migrate south...which is probably why they are considered a sign of cold weather on the way. We have been seeing Dark-eyed Juncos moving through Muskoka since October 1. Only a few will remain this far north in the winter. We usually have a dozen or so hanging around our birdfeeders in the winter months but then they leave in the early spring. They love cracked corn. (Bracebridge)

Here is a range map for the Dark-eyed Junco:
http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/wildspace/life.cfm?ID=DEJU&Page=RangeMap&Lang=e

Here is a Christmas Bird Count winter distribution map:
http://137.227.242.23/bbs/cbcra/h5670ra.html

 

 

Re(1): DE Junco (late post)
Posted on October 16, 2008 at 10:07:59 PM by John Challis

There has been quite a crowd of juncos and kinglets -- I caught a glimpse of a yellow streak across the head so we'll call them golden crowned -- on Green River Drive in Washago for the last two days.

 

 

DE Junco (late post)
Posted on October 16, 2008 at 03:38:56 PM by LizMacDonald

I'm sorry to post this late. I'm not sure if these guys are moving north or south at this time. I saw one Dark-eyed Junco in my backyard in east end Barrie at 9:30am Saturday October 11th (this past weekend). Are they moving up to Muskoka at this time/?

It was so nice and warm then and I thought of the myth(?) that when you see a DE Junco - it means cold weather is on the way. Looks like the cold weather has just about arrived.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on October 15, 2008 at 07:10:23 PM by janice house

I just came in from a dog walk, there was a woodcock peenting in the farm field across from our house. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Pectoral Sandpiper
Posted on October 19, 2008 at 04:04:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Pectoral Sandpipers near the NW corner of cell 1. Several Buffleheads have joined the Scaup, Green-winged Teal, American Black Ducks, and Mallards in cell 2. Two female Northern Pintails were in cell 1.  A small flock of American Pipits was still flying about.

 

 

Pectoral Sandpiper, Killdeer
Posted on October 15, 2008 at 11:43:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning along with a Killdeer. They were both feeding on the mud flat at the west side of cell 1 near the north end. There were very few ducks this morning - some Scaup, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, and a female Northern Pintail all in cell 2. A small flock of American Pipits was flying about. There was some work going on at the north side of cell 3 as well as the south side...so the hubbub may explain the lack of birds. A Great Blue Heron was feasting on a big fat frog at the small pond at Kerr Park, and two Pine Siskins flew overhead.

 

 

Algonquin Prov. Park
Posted on October 14, 2008 at 11:11:26 AM by Ontbirds

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

Good morning ONTBirders:
I birded Algonquin Provincial Park over the long weekend. It was overall relatively quiet, but highlights included a displaying male SPRUCE GROUSE at the traditional location on the Spruce Bog boardwalk. A single RUFFED GROUSE was all present for a little while, but was flushed further into the forest. GRAY JAYS were present, usually singly but on Sunday I was followed by a pair along Opeongo Road. One particular jay, tagged with red on one leg, blue on the other, was following me around the park as I located it several times at different locations (when it flew there was a light jingling from the leg tags, hence I gave it the nickname "Tinkerbell"). About five BROWN CREEPERS were vocal and visible along the Spruce Bog boardwalk as well.

Opeongo Road yielded a flock of approximately six BOREAL CHICKADEES, which I watched for some time. DARK-EYED JUNCOS and HAIRY WOODPECKERS were also present. Near the Costello Lake picnic area I also found two HORNED LARKS feeded along the roadside.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Lagoons - Pectoral Sandpiper photo
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 06:26:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Things can change so quickly at the Ponds, you never know...but we couldn't find a Stilt today either. The only shorebird we found this morning was a Solitary Sandpiper at the east side of cell 1.

Wilf Yusek took this photo of the Pectoral Sandpiper on Sunday (Oct. 12) along the north side of cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons - Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 03:25:26 PM by BobHealey

I have retracted my posting of Oct. 11th with respect to sighting a Stilt Sandpiper, having reviewed several guides, and noting this posting of a Pectoral. I was out again this morning to have another look, but could not relocate it.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 12:23:02 PM by dbritton

I birded the lagoons this morning under perfect fall conditions, cool, calm and clear.

There were 50+ American Pipits around Cell 3 and the best two birds of the morning were amongst them: 2 Horned Larks which passed fairly low overhead calling, and a single Lapland Longspur that was seen and heard amongst the pipits moving along the north shore of Cell 3.

Other birds of note included a single female Northern Pintail and a male American Wigeon in Cell 3. A Pectoral Sandpiper was seen and heard in flight several times over Cell 3. A flock of Pine Siskins flew over near the Lagoon Lane gate and a single Purple Finch was amongst American Goldfinches on the west side of Cell 4

 

 

Photo - Pectoral Sandpiper
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 09:30:49 PM by BobHealey

 

Photo taken around 4:15 today of the Pectoral Sandpiper.

 

 

Re(1): Stilt Sandpiper at BB Lagoons
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 03:11:03 PM by BobHealey

I am retracting my posting from yesterday regarding the sighting of a Stilt Sandpiper. It was a Pectoral Sandpiper, as reported by "dbritton". Despite the long drooped bill, and what appeared to me to be greenish legs (probably the mud), there is no denying the breast was that of a Pectoral. Next time I'll take bird book and scope with me!

 

 

Stilt Sandpiper at BB Lagoons
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 05:13:05 PM by BobHealey

We spotted a single Stilt Sandpiper on the west side of cell # 3 at 3:30 this afternoon. It was among several Mallards we flushed, but it obligingly returned and landed 20 feet from us, providing a good long view.

There were also a dozen or so Scaup (species), a pair of Green-winged Teal, a juvenile American Widgeon, American Kestrel, an immature White-crowned Sparrow, and many Mallards.

 

 

Re(1): Late Warblers
Posted on October 21, 2008 at 07:03:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning two Yellow-rumped Warblers were trying to find some food in our birch trees...which was a bit difficult as they were being whipped about by strong winds and all the branches were coated with a layer of heavy wet snow.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Late Warblers
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 12:21:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Three warblers have been foraging in our birch trees today...a Yellow-rumped, an Orange-crowned, and a Black-throated Green. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Shoveler, Wigeon, Coot
Posted on October 9, 2008 at 12:31:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning there was a female Northern Shoveler in cell 2 along with Black Ducks, Mallards, and Green-winged Teal. Several Scaup in cell 1. One American Wigeon and an American Coot were still in cell 3. Two Eastern Phoebes and a few White-crowned Crowned Sparrows were west of cell 2. Don Bailey reports a couple of Rusty Blackbirds were in the bullrushes in the SW corner of cell 3 at noon.

They are now removing the tree stumps/roots from the deforested hillside south of cell 3 by the Lagoon Lane gate...so a bit noisy at that end of the Ponds.

 

 

Honey Mushrooms
Posted on October 8, 2008 at 03:12:55 PM by FrancesGualtieri

The honey mushroom season seems to be starting in Vankoughnet - I'm making beef stroganoff with our first batch.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on October 7, 2008 at 07:44:21 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (October 7, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
Hi everyone
Spent yesterday, October 6th birding various trails in Algonquin Park. Overall the birding was good with lots of activity along Arrowhon Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area. Highlights included 2 pairs of Black-backed Woodpecker, 1 Spruce Grouse, 3 Boreal Chickadee and 4 Gray Jay, all along the old railway bed. At Spruce Bog Trail 3 Spruce Grouse were observed including a displaying male. At the old Airfield a flock of 25+ Horned Lark and a few American Pipit were noted. In the finch category only 2 White-winged Crossbill and a few Purple Finch, American Goldfinch were observed.
good birding,
Bruce

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on October 7, 2008 at 03:42:47 PM by janice house

What's Up Bracebridge, has an article on the marsh on page 32 by Bruce Littlejohn

 

 

White-winged Scoter
Posted on October 7, 2008 at 03:26:26 PM by Bob Burt

There was a male White-winged Scoter on Lake Muskoka near St. Elmo at about 3 p.m. this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Mushroom photos - ID?
Posted on October 6, 2008 at 10:00:20 PM by Al Sinclair

Photos can be deceiving and individual mushrooms of the same species sometimes vary quite a bit, but I would say:

top: Armillaria mellia, Honey Mushroom (this species is really variable, is actually a complex of similar looking species difficult to tell apart)

middle: Russula brevipes

bottom: Looks most like an old (pores yellow) Boletus edulis, King Bolete, but stalk not showing net-like ridges, could be something else, might check the books some more on this one, stay tuned.

 

 

Mushroom photos - ID?
Posted on October 6, 2008 at 08:06:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

Took these photos today - any help with identification would be appreciated. The group of brown mushrooms are along the Henry Rd. trail. The white funnel shaped one and the rusty bolete are east of Henry Marsh along the Trans Canada Trail. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo1b  photo2  photo2b  photo3  photo3b

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Rusty Blackbirds, Coot
Posted on October 6, 2008 at 02:16:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found five Rusty Blackbirds at the NW corner of cell 3, foraging along the muddy shoreline. The American Coot is still in cell 3. There is now a nice mudflat in cell 3, but no shorebirds.

They have begun to clear the forest at the south side of cell 3 by the Lagoon Lane gate - quite noisy when the chipper is running. This is part of the site preparation for the new plant.

 

 

Algonquin Whip-poor-will and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows
Posted on October 5, 2008 at 09:43:27 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by David Britton on ONTBIRDS (October 5, 2008) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

My wife and I spent a very enjoyable weekend canoeing and camping at Achray on the east side of Algonquin Park.

The most unusual observation came last night (October 4), at about 8:00 am as we sat around our campfire in the Achray Campground, with the temperature somewhere around 5 degrees and a stiff breeze out of the northwest, a Whip-poor-will began singing somewhere to the east in the campground. It sang for about 30 seconds, then stopped, then sang again for another 30 seconds about 5 minutes later. Certainly not a bird I expected to encounter in Algonquin in October. Hope he starts heading south soon!

This morning (October 5) I spent a couple of hours poking around the large sedge marsh at Lake Travers. With some effort, I had good looks at two Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows. The birds were in the far southwest corner of the marsh in fairly dry habitat consisting of shoulder-high sedges and asters. Although the area where the sparrows were found was dry, waders or tall rubber boots are definitely required to explore the wetter areas of the marsh and several deep beaver runs had to be crossed (dams serve as useful crossing points)

Other interesting birds in the vicinity included Merlin, 2 American Bitterns flushed out of the marsh, American Pipit, Lincoln's Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler and numerous Pine Siskins.

David Britton
Ottawa

Directions: Lake Travers in Algonquin Provincial Park can be reached via the Sand Lake Gate access point, located on Barron Canyon Road. This road is reached by turningsouth off the Highway 17 bypass onto County Road 26, at a point 3.5 km west of the Forest Lea Road (approximately 9 km west of Pembroke),travelling 300 metres, and then turning right at Barron Canyon Road. The kilometres are marked by roadside signs. The turnoff to the Achray campground is at km 38. The Lake Travers parking lot is at km 72.
Follow a trail 200m north from the parking lot to the Turtle Club historical site, and then proceed eastward along the shoreline of Lake Travers about 300m until it turns abruptly southwards into a large marshy bay. The sparrow's were located in the southwestern part of this bay.Use an Ontario road map to locate Pembroke. AlgonquinPark is three hours north of Toronto via Highways 400,11 and 60.

 

 

More Flower Flies...photos
Posted on October 5, 2008 at 05:09:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here are some of the other flower flies visiting our garden recently. (Bracebridge)
Spilomyia sayi - photo

Toxomerus germinatus - photo

Eristalis transversa - photo

appears to be Sericomyia chrysotoxoides - photo

Helophilus sp. - photo

Sericomyia militaris - photo

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh
Posted on October 5, 2008 at 09:04:06 AM by Al Sinclair

Probably those comments were more for your benefit. The field next to Stephen's Bay Rd (also on his property) may have tile drains because a ditch is visible across the low side(there were government grants to drain fields back in the 60's and 70's). There are no sign of ditches at Henry Marsh which is at least a km away from Stephen's Bay. The Henry Marsh pond is too far away from Stephen's Bay Rd to have caused any damages to a residence there and I would be surprised if he paid for any. He wouldn't even pay for damages his excavator did to the foot bridge last year when they were digging out part of the dam!

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on October 4, 2008 at 07:05:27 PM by janice house

Moira and I visited the mud hole after we came back from the Red Leaves outing as she has not had a chance to see the mess. We saw pipits, palm warblers, a killdeer, a raven and a kingfisher. A car appeared at the T in the path and from the his mumbling we assumed it was the owner. He had 2 young touristy looking girls with him and was telling them that this had been a farmers field as there were weeping tiles under the mud hole and when it flooded after the beavers were in he had to pay damages to the homeowner at the west end. Has anybody heard this story before? He told the girls to stand on the bridge with the birdwatchers for his pictures, not sure who he was trying to impress, they also stood on the mud heaps to get their pictures taken. He also had the nerve to ask if we were seeing different birds now that the water was gone, I am signing off now before Barbara has to censor my next comments.....

 

 

Wasp Mimic - photo
Posted on October 4, 2008 at 04:52:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past few days I've been finding several species of flower flies on the only remaining flowers in our garden. This one had me fooled until I got up close - even the fly's big eyes are camouflaged instead of the usual brown. A very impressive wasp mimic. (Bracebridge)
Family Syrphidae - Spilomyia longicornis  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(1): New field guide for dragonflies and damselflies
Posted on October 5, 2008 at 09:25:36 AM by Al Sinclair

I picked up a copy at the Muskoka Field Naturalist's meeting. This is the best guide I have seen for this group of insects and the only one so far to include both damselflies and dragonflies in one guide. At 260 pages it is a complete guide to all the species found across central Ontario and Quebec. Included are large color illustrations of all species and additional drawings to show the features necessary for correct identification, also notes on similar species, habitat and behavior, flight times, and range. It is standard field guide sized and designed and printed in Ontario. Congratulations are due to the authors and everyone involved in this project!

 

 

New field guide for dragonflies and damselflies
Posted on October 4, 2008 at 11:15:52 AM by Rick Stronks

The Friends of Algonquin Park has just published the first book in their new Field Guide series - The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and Surrounding Area. The book includes detailed, full-colour illustrations including key field marks for 135 species found in this area.

The book was written and illustrated by four former Park Naturalists - Colin Jones, Matt Holder, Peter Burke and Andrea Kingsley. The book is now on sale for $28.95 at Algonquin Visitor Centre or online at http://store.algonquinpark.on.ca/ [listed under Flora & Fauna]

Enjoy,
Rick

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on October 4, 2008 at 07:53:43 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A nice big Red-shouldered Hawk visited one of the trees outside my computer-room window yesterday. It didn't stay long but it was a beauty! The Hawk Cliff count had their first one go through yesterday too.  (Bala)

 

 

Re(3): Dunlin - photo
Posted on October 3, 2008 at 02:04:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is Wilf Yusek's photo of the Dunlin from this morning.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds - Dunlin
Posted on October 3, 2008 at 11:55:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

There is a Dunlin once again at the west edge of cell 1 near the north end. The Coot is still in cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Coot, Pintail
Posted on October 2, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was an American Coot in cell 3 and a female Northern Pintail in cell 1. The Goldeneye, Wigeon, and all the other ducks from yesterday were still in cell 2. Couldn't find the Dunlin, but there was a Solitary Sandpiper at the east edge of cell 1. A Lincoln's Sparrow was with several White-throated Sparrows at the north side of cell 4 near the west end. (there is a bit of muddy shoreline around cell 1, but water level still high in cell 3)

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Goldeneye, Dunlin
Posted on October 1, 2008 at 01:19:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a good variety of ducks in cell 2, including a Goldeneye, Wigeon, Black Ducks, Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, and Mallards. At the west edge of cell 1 near the north end there was a Dunlin. Near the NW corner of cell 4 there were a few Juncos, Gray Catbirds, Common Yellowthroat, and Swamp, White-throated, and White-crowned Sparrows.

They have started to drain cell 3 which will probably take about a week and then cell 4 will be drained. The water level was still very high as of noon today. Shortly after cell 3 is drained, it could get quite busy along the south side as they prepare the site for construction of the new plant.  Bracebridge Ponds Map