Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January – March 2009
 
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salamander
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 10:40:28 PM by John Challis

 

Apologies for the size of this image. I was working on incorrect resolution assumptions. Anyway, on the weekend the spring freshet brought its traditional backlog of water into the mudroom in our basement walkout, Green River Drive, Washago. While the water wasn't welcome, this little fellow was. If I'd known how cold it would get through the night I would have let him/her stay. (this posting also appears in the Nature Photos Board) photo

 

 

Killdeer
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 07:00:46 PM by janice house

3 killdeer are running around the farm field across from our house ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst )

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 06:48:54 PM by Goodyear

We saw a Northern Shrike earlier this evening in the clearcut at the corner of Manitoba Street and Clearbrook Trail (the road to the new high school). (Bracebridge)

 

 

Finches
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 06:42:46 PM by CatMacLean

Pair of Purple Finches at the feeder today in Huntsville along with Pine Siskins, Red Polls and Goldfinches. Heard a song sparrow in the field and many Grackles, Robins and blackbirds in the trees.

 

 

Bala Ducks
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 04:45:46 PM by DinnyNimmo

This morning a pair of common goldeneyes and a pair of common merganseurs were spotted on the Moon River. This afternoon a flock of about 15 ducks were at Medora Lake by the Green Stone Resort....13 hooded merganseurs, 1 bufflehead and 1 ring-neck. Dinny Nimmo

 

 

Finches
Posted on March 30, 2009 at 03:47:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there has been a nice assortment of finches at our feeder although not in large numbers - Common Redpoll, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch.  A few Dark-eyed Juncos and some newly arrived American Tree Sparrows have also joined the flock. (Bracebridge)

 

 

snow buntings
Posted on March 30, 2009 at 12:33:02 PM by Wayne Bridge

There was a small flock of snow buntings on the property of Sandhurst Resort, Sand Lake this morning at about 11:05 a.m.

 

 

Carden Nature Festival
Posted on March 30, 2009 at 11:52:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Carden Nature Festival will be held June 5-7 this year. Go to the link below for an outline of all the planned activities. There are several guided tours to view birds, butterflies and dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, flowers and ferns, and much more including a chance to learn about the Loggerhead Shrike captive breeding program.
http://cardenguide.com/index.php/carden-nature-festival/activities

 

 

spring peepers, sandhill crane and more!
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 09:45:22 PM by John Challis

We were hiking a property just east of Washago on Saturday and heard, much to our disbelief, a single spring peeper. But when we got back home to our place on Green River Drive, another peeper was calling. Last year we heard our first peepers on April 11, which has been around the average since we moved here.
While hiking we heard a sandhill crane calling. It was not flying over, because the call persisted for ten minutes or more from the same wetland. If we hear from the landowner that the bird has remained, we'll post an update.
We also saw a mourning cloak and a red-shouldered hawk at the same property, and on the way home past Macarthur Sideroad we watched a sharp-shinned hawk hunting over a farm field.
Back home we have had our first Eastern phoebe singing for several days.
And a hatch of gnats has been hovering around the house today. As long as they're not a biting species, I'm happy to see any population in bountiful numbers.

 

 

Hairy Woodpeckers...another sign of spring
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 06:43:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today was the first time I've seen the male Hairy Woodpecker allow the female to feed next to him at the suet cage. All winter long he would shoo her away until he was finished feeding. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Peregrine Falcons...sign of spring
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 06:32:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

The first egg has been laid at the Peregrine Falcon nestsite on the Sheraton Hotel in Hamilton. Click on the link below to view the live webcam. There is a "gallery" link at the top of their website so you can browse earlier snapshots. http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org/

The Canadian Peregrine Foundation's Toronto webcams haven't been activated yet, but here is their main page if you want to check the webcams later on: http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/

 

 

Ducks, Grebe, Siskins nest building
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 05:27:04 PM by Goodyear

Despite the drizzle this afternoon we managed to see some birds. At the Bracebridge Lagoons, Cell 2 is mostly open water and there were 4 Hooded Mergansers and 8 Wood Ducks there. A Killdeer was calling and flying overhead. Yesterday we saw a Pine Siskin taking nesting material into a spruce? tree near the pond and there were two birds present again today, with one sitting in the partially built nest. A drive along the Muskoka River (Beaumont Drive) turned up a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, 3 pairs of Hooded Mergansers, and a pair of Common Goldeneye at the Santa's Village bend, and a Pied-billed Grebe fighting the strong current near 328 Beaumont Drive.

 

 

Wood Ducks, Bruce Lake Marsh
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 03:13:16 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There were two male Wood Ducks on Brush Lake Marsh early this morning along with six Mallards.

 

 

Re(1): Mourning Cloak, Go Home Bay Rd.
Posted on March 28, 2009 at 08:40:05 PM by Ron Stager

Compton Tortoiseshells hibernate over the winter as adults just like the Mourning Cloaks and commas. I saw a couple outside today east of Barkway: your tortoiseshell should be happy to go outside.

Heard sandhill cranes and phoebe today and we have several woodcocks.

 

 

Mourning Cloak, Go Home Bay Rd.
Posted on March 28, 2009 at 02:06:49 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There was a Mourning Cloak on the road as I drove in to look for ducks around 1 pm today.

Several pairs of Canada Geese, 1 pr goldeneye, 6 male and 2 female Hooded Mergansers, several pairs of Mallards and Black Ducks.

A Compton Tortoiseshell has hatched in my screened porch. Should I put it outside?

 

 

Northern Shrike - singing
Posted on March 28, 2009 at 01:36:31 PM by Jim Griffin

My usual exposure to this bird is a winter time attack on chickadees at the feeder,so it was a treat this morning to see one sitting at the top of a tall pine at our place in Port Sydney singing away like a song bird; sounds a lot like a soft spoken thrasher or mocking bird, I got a good sampling of the repertoire for about 15 minutes.

 

 

bald eagle - Kearney
Posted on March 28, 2009 at 12:11:37 PM by Wayne Bridge

I have just been watching, for the last ten minutes, a mature bald eagle soaring over the beaver pond behind our house (noon, Kearney).

 

 

Heron and Cranes
Posted on March 27, 2009 at 10:31:32 AM by Verite

More good spring news, the Blue Herons and Sandhill cranes are back in our Bay.

 

 

Phoebe!
Posted on March 27, 2009 at 09:21:15 AM by GayleCarlyle

March 27 at about 7:15am
Heard and saw my first phoebe! Spring has truly arrived for me when I see these guys. And a week early too!
Lots of bird activity in our little corner of the world this morning. Song sparrow at our feeders.
Hoodies, wood ducks, mallards, common mergansers, swans, red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons; all in the wetland and the shore of the Green River.
Hopefully with the nice weather today there will be even more activity.
We're on Green River Drive in Washago.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 26 March
Posted on March 26, 2009 at 05:18:08 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 26, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Snow in many off-trail areas is still knee-deep.
On cold days you can walk anywhere on top of
the crust, but you will break through during
milder weather without snowshoes.

Here are some sightings from the past week:

Wild Turkey: same two still in the Two Rivers
Store area on March 25 and 26.

Red-tailed Hawk: 1 near Peck Lake on March 21.

Spruce Grouse: Male and female on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 20; a male northeast of
the gate on Opeongo Road on March 21; and one
north of the culvert (on the east side) on March 22.

American Three-toed Woodpecker: No reports
received this week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One on north side of Highway
60 across from West Gate parking lot on March 20, and
a pair on utility poles at km 8 on March 21.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog.

Boreal Chickadee: Three along Opeongo Road, and two
at Spruce Bog parking lot during the week.

Pine Grosbeak: Single female at Vistitor Centre to March
21, and a small flock flying over Spruce Bog on March 22.
They may be all gone by now.

Purple Finch: Single males at West Gate and Visitor Centre
feeders on March 21. First of the winter.

Red Crossbill: Two at Spruce Bog parking lot, and 2 or 3
near Kearney Lake on March 20; and two in Visitor Centre
parking lot on March 22.

White-winged Crossbill: Five along straight northern stretch
of Opeongo Road on March 22. Virtually all gone, it appears.

Common Redpoll: Still 1 at Visitor Centre feeder on March 25.

Pine Siskin: 30+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 15+ at Visitor Centre feeders all week.
Three at Spruce Bog parking lot on March 22.

Notes:
Pine Marten: Being seen at Mew Lake Campground refuse
containers, Visitor Centre feeders, Spruce Bog parking lot,
and eating sunflower seed at gate area on Opeongo Road.

New arrivals this week included: Sharp-shinned Hawk,
and Killdeer.

Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are now closed
to public travel due to muddy spring melt conditions.

Cross-country ski trails will be closed for the season,
as of March 27.

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

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

 

 

Chipping Sparrows
Posted on March 26, 2009 at 09:00:52 AM by janice house

We had a big flock of chipping sparrows feeding with the tree sparrows last evening (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Eagles/Osprey
Posted on March 26, 2009 at 08:57:36 AM by janice house

Driving home from work from Port Carling to Bracebridge this week Moira saw an Osprey circling near Beaumaris and saw 2 Eagles feeding on the ground in one of the farm fields closer to Golden Beach Road

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting April 2 (change of topic)
Posted on March 25, 2009 at 09:46:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

***Note that the speaker for this meeting is still ecologist April Mitchell, but the topic of her presentation has been changed.***

MFN meeting Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From Sam Robinson, President of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Forest Pests and Forest Fragmentation by April Mitchell
As naturalists, we often focus our attention on the effects of forest fragmentation on species of conservation concern. Forest fragmentation, however, also affects forest pests such as the forest tent caterpillar. This presentation will describe the ecology of forest tent caterpillars and their natural enemies and how forest fragmentation can affect their population dynamics.

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

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on March 25, 2009 at 09:00:58 AM by Goodyear

I checked the Bracebridge Lagoons early yesterday evening and found 6 Wood Ducks (5m, 1f) in Cell 2. Cell 2 has a small patch of open water at the north end. All of the other cells are still ice covered.

 

 

Loons on the Moon River
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 05:00:57 PM by dinnynimmo

This afternoon we had 2 loons on the Moon River Bala. This is the first time we have seen 2 together in the Spring. We have also just found out we had a female moose wintering in our bush. Everyone is very excited about that. Dinny and Neil Nimmo

 

 

Muskoka River Bracebridge
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 04:55:02 PM by janice house

Geoff just reported seeing 3 buffleheads and 2 canada geese at the bend in river today near Santa's Village.

 

 

Re(2): hoodie & song sparrow
Posted on March 25, 2009 at 09:20:01 AM by Barbara Taylor

A few Hooded Mergansers have been reported in Muskoka since March 12th as the rivers opened up, so at least some have moved through your area already. Good chance that's what you saw.

 

 

Re(1): hoodie & song sparrow
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 11:13:45 PM by John Challis

Let me qualify that a bit -- the ducks were a long way off, I didn't have my binoculars with me and there don't appear to be any other hoodies in the region yet. So it might have been another duck with white on its face.

 

 

hoodie & song sparrow
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 01:11:19 PM by John Challis

I'm a little late getting this out, but behind our house on the Green River yesterday morning I saw a pair of hooded mergansers and heard our first song sparrow. And the otter that has been leaving plenty of aromatic evidence of its presence around gave a brief appearance on the edge of the ice before diving back in; there's a small island on the river at our place where the otter has taken up residence with tangles of roots serving as entranceways to a den.  (Washago)

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on March 24, 2009 at 01:09:26 PM by janice house

A pair in our basswood tree right now (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Rusty blackbird - Gravenhurst
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 02:12:37 PM by janice house

2 male rusty blackbirds in our front yard just now (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Rusty blackbird - Gravenhurst
Posted on March 23, 2009 at 04:51:59 PM by DiannaWolfe

A rusty blackbird was briefly in our yard this morning (just west of Gravenhurst).

 

 

Kestrel
Posted on March 23, 2009 at 12:32:25 PM by CatMacLean

I saw an American Kestrel hovering along Hwy 11 near Bracebridge this morning.

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire, again
Posted on March 23, 2009 at 12:07:04 PM by J. Gardner

Larry Connelly reports that he saw the Solitaire on March 20 and again this morning, March 23. Apparently the bird remains in the area of Georgina Street in Parry Sound. Three months in roughly the same locale.

 

 

Algonquin Park Outing Highlights
Posted on March 22, 2009 at 01:28:10 PM by janice house

We had a great/cold day yesterday looking for birds. We saw a robin and Bob Burton saw 2 male common mergansers flying at the Oxtongue River, we saw a lone wild turkey foraging on Hwy 60 just before Lake of Two Rivers, at the Visitors Centre there was a male purple finch on the niger seed feeder and a big flock of evening grosbeaks, there were two gray jays by the gates on the Opeongo Road and one gray jay at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot. Bob and Joan saw a red tailed hawk after leaving Cache Lake on the way home, the ladies in our car saw an adult moose and calf by the Portage Store road.

 

 

Eastern Blue Bird
Posted on March 22, 2009 at 01:24:00 PM by verite

We are so excited, today we saw our first Eastern Blue Bird.We live on Georgian Bay in Carlng Township ( near Nobel and Parry Sound.) He stayed for several hours, we saw him checking out our bird house that is in an oak tree.

 

 

Wood Ducks, Red-shouldered Hawk - Matthiasville
Posted on March 22, 2009 at 12:47:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two male Wood Ducks on the river near the east end of Matthiasville Rd. At least one Red-shouldered Hawk is back on territory...it was calling loudly as it flew across the river near #1252. A Brown Creeper was singing nearby. (Matthiasville Rd. runs along part of the south branch of the Muskoka River, north off Hwy. 118E. east of Bracebridge)

Also took a drive along Beaumont Dr. on the way home. Several pairs of Canada Geese were strung out along the river. At the big bend in the river near #1484 Beaumont Dr. there was a pair of Common Goldeneyes, a pair of Mallards, and four Hooded Mergansers (3M, 1F). (Bracebridge)

 

 

Song Sparrows
Posted on March 22, 2009 at 12:44:50 PM by Goodyear

We heard two Song Sparrows singing this morning as we enjoyed a walk along the Beaver Creek/Covered Bridge Trail. Yesterday afternoon two Tree Sparrows showed up at our feeders and a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks were circling and calling over the ridge behind Henry Marsh.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds
Posted on March 22, 2009 at 09:35:45 AM by mmcanally

Saw a flock of about 100 Red-winged Blackbirds and Grackles in trees beside Foodland store in Novar. So nice to hear their sounds again.

 

 

Re(1): how to post a photo...
Posted on March 21, 2009 at 04:45:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's the easiest way to quickly post a photo, or you can email a photo to me and I'll post it for you.

If your photo is still on your computer:
You can quickly upload your photo by using TinyPic. No registration is required and it's free. Go to the tinypic website. Click "browse" to find the image file you want to upload and double-click on it. Then click "Upload Now". Once upload is complete, copy what appears in the box labeled IMG Code for Forums & Message Boards. Paste that into your typed message in the message box wherever you want the photo to appear. You can include a typed message above and/or below the photo. (Repeat the above to include more than one photo in your message. Also note that Tinypic now lets you choose to resize your photo to 800x600 before you click Upload Now, so your photo will fit better in a browser window.)

(you can try a test post on the Nature Photos Board if you want)

 

 

Gracklewhitehead
Posted on March 21, 2009 at 01:48:59 PM by MaryAnnJohnson

I have pictures but not sure if I can get them on Bird Board On Sherwood Forest Road Has anyone seen them before?

 

 

robins in Bracebridge
Posted on March 20, 2009 at 11:29:58 AM by Rae

I have had my first robin siting of the season, Pine Street Wiltshire Boulevard area Bracebridge.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 19 March
Posted on March 20, 2009 at 09:19:20 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 20, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Here are some sightings from the past week:

Merlin: One at Mew Lake on March 15.

Wild Turkey: still two birds in Two Rivers area
this week. This is the first known case of this species
spending the winter in Algonquin.

Spruce Grouse: Spruce Bog Boardwalk near register
box, and Opeongo Road near and north of locked gate.

American Three-toed Woodpecker: Female in black
spruce area near north end of straight stretch of Opeongo
Road on March 14, and a male along Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 15, as reported earlier. No additional
reports received.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one near West Gate parking
lot on March 15.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog.

Boreal Chickadee: Fairly reliable at Spruce Bog parking
lot this week, and also observed on Opeongo Road north
of Costello Creek culvert. Becoming vocal, and hence
more conspicuous.

Pine Grosbeak: last report was of one at the West Gate
feeder on March 17. I would appreciate any later reports;
they are nearly all gone north.

Red Crossbill: one at Spruce Bog parking lot on March 16

White-winged Crossbill: no reports.

Common Redpoll: still a few at Visitor Centre and West
Gate feeders this week. Likely the same Greater Common
Redpoll (rostrata) that was at the West Gate feeder on
March 7 was photographed there on March 16.

Hoary Redpoll: 1 at Visitor Centre feeder on March 14,
and 2 at West Gate feeder on March 16.

Pine Siskin: a few still around, including Visitor Centre
feeder.

Evening Grosbeak: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Notes:
New arrivals this week included: Hooded Merganser,
Common Merganser, Red-tailed Hawk, Herring Gull,
Snow Bunting, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Common
Grackle,

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this winter as log
hauling is underway.

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

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

 

 

woodcock
Posted on March 18, 2009 at 09:55:04 PM by John Challis

Well, Ron Tozer beat us by 12 hours, but we heard that wonderful 'peet' and the twittering wing whistles tonight at dusk while walking along the Trent Canal, west of Highway 11 at Washago.
Three killdeer were flying over a field by Menoke Beach around 5:30 as I was driving home, too.

 

 

American Woodcock in Huntsville
Posted on March 18, 2009 at 07:22:16 AM by ron tozer

An American Woodcock was calling near Highway 11 in Huntsville at 5 a.m. this morning. Another hopeful sign of spring.

 

 

Arrivals today
Posted on March 17, 2009 at 07:18:21 PM by J. Gardner

Masses of blackbirds in now at Hurdville, and today the Brownheaded Cowbird arrived. This afternoon the Killdeer arrived, and this evening a flock of the same arrived.

 

 

Turkey Vulture - Bracebridge
Posted on March 17, 2009 at 07:14:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

A few minutes ago I happened to look out the window and to my surprise a Turkey Vulture was gliding low over our back yard - first one I've seen this year. Is it possible the bird was attracted to the scent of suet?

 

 

Hawks and Mergansers
Posted on March 17, 2009 at 02:30:03 PM by Goodyear

Yesterday and this morning we birded Henry Marsh and the Porcupine Ridge area (opposite Santa's Village) and saw a Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, and a Red-tailed Hawk. There were a couple of Robins in the open woods west of Henry Marsh. We had 2 Common Mergansers (males) and 5 Hooded Mergansers (4 males, 1 female) along the river.

 

 

Algonquin Park: American Three-toed Woodpeckers
Posted on March 17, 2009 at 01:27:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 17, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

It appears that a late winter irruption of American
Three-toed Woodpeckers, of yet to be determined
magnitude, is occurring in Algonquin Park.

A female was observed near the top end of the
straight stretch of Opeongo Road, in the black
spruce-dominated section, on March 14.

Now, I have received photos of a male American
Three-toed Woodpecker taken on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk trail on March 15.

During some previous southward irruptions by this
boreal woodpecker, birds were present in Algonquin
until mid-May.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Posted on March 16, 2009 at 07:48:19 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Last Friday and Saturday nights we heard a Northern Saw-whet owl calling out behind us. 9-12 tin like hoots, fairly high pitched, a little less than 1 sec apart. A short pause between sequences than repeated over and over. No signs of the little guy during the day! Hopefully a female will come along and they will nest! We are located about 10km east of Washago.

 

 

Redpoll photos...Hoary?
Posted on March 16, 2009 at 04:05:48 PM by Al Sinclair

I am calling this bird a "Southern" Hoary Redpoll male, Carduelis hornemanni exilipes.
Photographed here today 8 km east of Bracebridge. This bird has been here about a week seen with Common Redpolls until today when it was here alone. Always kept its distance from the other redpolls, looked Chubby. photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Swans east of Carnarvon...now 2
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 09:42:44 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked the swans on the Gull River east of Carnarvon today. Now two, one Mute, one Trumpeter (no tag visible).

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawks, Glen Orchard
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 09:09:00 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Jack Jennings had two pairs of red-shoulders today near
glen Orchard. They werent around yesterday.

 

 

Robins
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 05:42:23 PM by GayleCarlyle

March 15 at about 5:00pm.
Heard our first robins of the year today. Behind our house in Washago. Taking it as a good sign of spring.

 

 

Re(3): Red-winged blackbirds
Posted on March 16, 2009 at 05:46:18 PM by CatMacLean

Two here this morning in Huntsville. No robins yet.

 

 

Re(2): Red-winged blackbirds
Posted on March 16, 2009 at 03:09:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were at least six Red-winged Blackbirds calling from around Henry Marsh in Bracebridge...first ones we've seen this year.

 

 

Re(1): Red-winged blackbirds
Posted on March 16, 2009 at 01:19:25 PM by Marilyn Kisser

red-winged blackbirds and robins in rosseau today!

 

 

Red-winged blackbirds
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 12:27:07 PM by GayleCarlyle

Sat. March 14 at about 11:15
We heard our first red-winged blackbirds calling in some trees across the Green River in Washago.

 

 

Great Blue Heron - Gravenhurst
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 12:00:34 PM by DiannaWolfe

A Great Blue Heron was seen from Hwy 169 at the Wharf in Gravenhurst this morning. It was standing on the edge of the creek on the south side of the road just west of the skating rinks.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 08:43:06 AM by Debbie Adams

A red winger came to our feeder this morning. It's the first one we've seen this year and the first time one has ever ventured to our feeder. (Walker's Point)

 

 

1st grackle in rosseau
Posted on March 14, 2009 at 08:14:25 PM by Marilyn Kisser

a lone grackle was noted feeding on the ground under the sunflower feeder this morning and again around supper time ..rosseau

 

 

Re(1): Hawks on the move!
Posted on March 15, 2009 at 05:43:16 PM by janice house

Spent yesterday in Stouffville, last week my brother said he saw groups of hawks (at least a dozen in each group) driving into Toronto. The seem to be hanging around the overpasses on most of the highways. I did not see any hawks driving down or coming back.

 

 

Re(1): Hawks on the move!
Posted on March 14, 2009 at 08:55:02 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I asked Jack Jennings if he had heard or seen any red-shoulders yet. He said that he and his son were out today in the area where they should be but didn't hear anything. Maybe tomorrow!

 

 

Hawks on the move!
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 10:13:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today was great weather for migrating hawks, with the first bunch of Red-shouldered Hawks flying over Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby. We usually start seeing that species in Muskoka by the last week of March, but I think we may have seen one west of Henry Marsh around 3 p.m.this afternoon...although it was just a quick look so not 100%.

Here's the daily tally sheet for Beamer Hawkwatch.
Here's the HMANA count data submitted daily from several North American Hawkwatches.
You can download a printable silhouette Hawk ID Guide at http://www.hmana.org/read_article.php?id=10.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 13 March
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 09:51:48 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 13, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Wild Turkey: still two birds in Two Rivers area this week.

Spruce Grouse: Spruce Bog Boardwalk near register box,
and Opeongo Road near and north of locked gate.

Bald Eagle: one off Visitor Centre viewing deck on March 8.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one along Opeongo Road well
north of locked gate.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog.

Boreal Chickadee: Spruce Bog parking lot, and Opeongo
Road north of Costello Creek culvert. Becoming vocal, and
hence more conspicuous.

American Robin: one at Visitor Centre on March 7 was early
for a year like this.

Red-winged Blackbird: male at Visitor Centre on March 13.

Pine Grosbeak: last 2 reported were at the Visitor Centre
feeder on March 11. Some milder weather has sent them north.

Red Crossbill: a few on Opeongo Road, and at Visitor Centre
parking lot.

White-winged Crossbill: very small numbers being reported.

Common Redpoll: 50+ at Visitor Centre feeders, and 30+ at
West Gate.

Hoary Redpoll: 1 at Visitor Centre feeder.

Pine Siskin: a few still around.

Evening Grosbeak: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Notes:
Moose carcass off Visitor Centre viewing deck has been
reduced to bare bones and is no longer attracting birds or
mammals.

Pine Marten: 1 at Spruce Bog, 1 at gate on Opeongo Road,
and up to four irregularly at Visitor Centre feeders.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this winter as log
hauling is underway.

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

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). 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 from 10 am to 5 pm.
This week the centre is open daily for spring break. When closed
to the public, access to watch the birds is possible by entering
at the service entrance and contacting the staff.

 

 

Wild turkeys
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 07:40:48 PM by CatMacLean

While out for an afternoon walk in our bush (east Browns Rd, Huntsville) I saw evidence of 9 wild turkeys but only saw 3 that flew up into the trees when the dogs spotted them. They were feeding on some hemlocks.

 

 

Sightings near Bala
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 06:42:45 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

On my way out of my driveway this morning about 9 am there was a Barred Owl sitting on a branch right beside the road. Five minutes later, 1.3 km before Whata Convenience in the reserve an otter ran across a frozen pond right up to the road and when it saw my car turned and ran back into the bush.

No Hoary Redpoll seen today but I was away for most of it.

 

 

Re(2): Hoary Redpoll, Bala, Photos
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 07:02:45 PM by ron tozer

I think this is certainly a Greenland Hoary Redpoll (hornemanni). The much greater size and extremely pale plumage leaves no doubt, in my view.

 

 

Re(1): Hoary Redpoll, Bala, Photos
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 01:39:50 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

It was, of course, the fact that is looked frosted that made me take a closer look.
Now, is it Southern or Greenland?

 

 

Hoary Redpoll, Bala, Photos
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 01:22:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Many Common Redpolls today and a few Pine Siskins mixed in. I always look carefully with the hopes of finding a Hoary. This is my first.  photo


The bird looked noticeably larger than the other redpolls. It has more white in the wingbars than the others. The beak is shorter than that of the others. Sibley says that they puff up and have a thicker-looking neck.

 

Under-tail coverts have no streaking. No streaking on the visible upper-tail coverts.  photo

Visibly larger than the Common Redpolls.  photo

All of these images are cropped in various amounts and were taken from my window. photo

I have more images, too.

And then the Sharp-shinned Hawk came back! It didn't get anything, though!

 

 

Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneyes
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 12:55:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found thirteen Common Goldeneyes, a male Hooded Merganser, and a pair of Canada Geese on the Muskoka River near the end of Beaumont Farm Rd. PVT.

directions: 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)

 

 

Re(4): Redhead??
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 04:26:33 PM by Al Johnston

There is a female goldeneye on my pond as I'm typing this and the white wing patch is quite obvious.

 

 

Re(3): Redhead??
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 01:15:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

I don't have the ROM book, so can't see what you mean...but from your description it sounds very much like a female Common Goldeneye.

 

 

Re(2): Redhead??
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 12:34:08 PM by Wayne Bridge

Thanks for your responses. Most definitely not a female merganser, as I said I got a good close, long look with the binocs. I had thought maybe female goldeneye after I talked myself out of redhead the first time, so when I went back I kept that in mind. It just doesn't seem right. If any of you have the ROM book, look at page 70. Take the male's head and eyes, and put it on the female's body, keeping the female's bill, and you have what I saw. Incidentally, it's not there now (12:30).

 

 

Re(1): Redhead??
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 10:19:38 AM by Dawn Sherman

Could it be a female Common Goldeneye?

 

 

Re(1): Redhead??
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 12:08:31 PM by Alex Mills

My guess, based on your descriptionm is a female hooded merganser. It is quite a bit smaller than a common merganser, however. Depending upon its mood, no doubt, the crest can be raised or depressed, so it has a very variable head shape.

 

 

Redhead??
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 10:10:39 AM by Wayne Bridge

On the open part of the Magnetawan River beside the Main Street bridge in Kearney I spied a solitary duck, about 9 a.m.. My first thought was, "that's early for a merganser." I pulled over, got out the binoculars and my gut reaction said "redhead". Dark brown, somewhat crowned head, blackish bill, light gray belly. I went home to the reference books and - I'm sure we've all done this - immediately talked myself out of my decision. It was bothering me so I went back a half hour later and sure enough it was still there. The snow/ice being very crusty I managed to get closer for a better look, also with the binoculars. Here is what I saw: a "diving" duck, close to the size of a common merganser, dark reddisk-brown head with a crown to it, "yellow-orange" eyes, a very dark bill but definitely not a
shoveller shape, darkish grey belly, with a lighter grey area near the folded wings. I am 100% certain this is a duck I have never seen before, which is to say that I am quite confident in my ID of all of our usual ducks. Please...any comments?

 

 

Re(1): Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 26, 2009 at 02:35:12 PM by dinnymccraney

There was a skunk somewhere onthe S. Muskoka Golf Course 3 nights ago. Glad I had kept the dogs inside!

 

 

Re(4): Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 08:14:27 AM by Wayne Bridge

Too k-k-k-kold in Kearney for koons yet. But we have had the following mammals at our feeders since the snow came: doe, two juvenile deer, young buck, short-tailed shrew, ermine, red fox, red squirrel, northern flying squirrel, and varying hare.[C. geese made their way here yesterday as the Magnetawan is now open.]

 

 

Re(3): Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 12, 2009 at 07:29:24 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There have been two very fat racoons around my place, Bala, for the last 2-3 weeks

 

 

Re(2): Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 10:29:43 PM by Marilyn Kisser

3 of our coons have been back for a couple of weeks ...as have the crows .. roll on spring!  (just outside Rosseau)

 

 

Re(1): Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 09:18:37 PM by Doug Smith

Must be the day for raccoons to awaken. We saw one along the 118 east early this afternoon, looking more dead than alive, unfortunately, (hopefully he finds something to eat soon, without being hit along the road).

We were with some friends in Bracebridge this evening, who reported a return of their neighbourhood raccoons today -- checking out the catfood dish on their back porch.

 

 

Deer, Raccoon, Fox...what's next?
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 07:29:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

I can't believe it! At 6:30 p.m. we had fifteen Deer wandering through our back yard. Then shortly after 7 p.m. a Raccoon ran through the yard, and just a few minutes ago a Fox ran past heading in the opposite direction. I can't help but think what's next? Hope the bears are still snug in their dens! (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): redpolls & crossbill
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 11:38:32 AM by J. Gardner

Redpolls returned here (Hurdville) in great numbers this morning. And we had our first Redwinged Blackbird on the feeder.

 

 

redpolls & crossbill
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 11:02:55 AM by Wayne Bridge

Redpolls are back at my (Kearney) feeders. About 4 dozen including 1 very lovely hoary. Also I had one female white-winged crossbill (got a good long look with binocs) at the sunflower seed. Couldn't see any others in the trees. [Our first chippy was out yesterday, too.]

 

 

Chipmunk and brown creeper
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 09:39:04 AM by GayleCarlyle

Signs of spring?
Saw my first chipmunk yesterday scampering around our garage at about 4:30pm. Hopefully he is underground again for the miserable weather today.
Also heard a brown creeper singing on Saturday in the bush behind our home on Green River Drive in Washago.
I'm taking these as a sign that spring is coming; slowly but I'll take any sign at this point.

 

 

Re(5): Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 10, 2009 at 08:08:38 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yes, I have about 25 back again, too!

 

 

Re(4): Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 01:21:20 PM by Marilyn Kisser

we're back up to about 25 or so today .. time to fill the feeders again!

 

 

Re(3): Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 11:36:18 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have less than 10 redpolls around today so some hadn't left entirely.

 

 

Re(2): Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 07:08:45 AM by Wayne Bridge

Same story here in Kearney. Thursday I had 93 common redpolls (counted quickly, and no doubt there were more than that) and Sunday not a one!

 

 

Re(1): Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 00:29:17 AM by Marilyn Kisser

I have about 10-15 redpolls left here from a high of approx 75 last weekend ... they seemed to have left Friday night - Rosseau

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bala
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 09:29:17 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For the fourth time in about 8 days I saw a sharp-shin around my house. It has a yellow eye so assume it is going into its second year. At one point it chased a female Pileated Woodpecker.  I have only a couple of Common Redpolls for the last 2 days. It surprises me that they seem to have left the night it rained.

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Pair
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 12:43:15 PM by Dave Wright

We have a male Pileated W. that drops by every few days. It was at our feeder yesterday morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Pair
Posted on March 9, 2009 at 09:36:31 AM by GayleCarlyle

We watched several pileated woodpeckers flying back and forth from Washago Centennial Park across the river into a grove of large trees and hop up and down the trunk. They were calling and scolding non-stop.
We also have a few around our home on Green River drive because we have a lot of dead and dying trees on our property. The woodpeckers are busy taking chunks of punky wood out of trees around our home.

 

 

Pileated Pair
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 05:44:19 PM by janice house

Moira and I went into the cottage at Skeleton Lake Rd 3 today to check on things, on the way out via snowshoe we watched a pair of pileated woodpeckers flying about and hopping around the trees, they did not make a sound.

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, etc Algonquin Park Saturday
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 09:45:41 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Andrew Don on ONTBIRDS (March 7, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello, went to Algonquin Park and we had a super day seeing almost all the northern specialties.
Highlights include: Black-backed Woodpecker(male) on Opeongo Road past the culvert about halfway between the gate and the store.
Also in this same general area saw 2 Boreal chickadees, Spruce Grouse and 3 Gray Jays
At Spruce Bog was another Spruce grouse and we had 2 Ruffed Grouse in Mew Lake Campgrounds
2 small flocks of White-winged Crossbills seen and/or heard at Opeongo and Spruce Bog
4 Red Crossbills (2f,2m) outside front of Visitor Center
1 Hoary Redpoll in with flock of Common Redpolls at Visitor Center feeders, also Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins and other usual birds at the feeders
2 Pine Martens were at the Visitor Center feeders when we got there
West Gate had Pileated Woodpecker and Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls

Thanks Benito and Ian for the great day of birding
Andrew Don
Http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew-don/

 

Red Winged Blackbird
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 09:40:25 AM by janice house

A red winged blackbird is feeding under my basswood tree as I am typing. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)
Yesterday Moira reported a very large ermine (size of a black squirrel) in her front yard. (Houston Rd north of Bracebridge)

 

 

American Robin
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 05:43:17 PM by janice house

A lone robin was in our yard today. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Common Mergansers...Bracebridge
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 05:36:26 PM by Al Sinclair

This afternoon there were 2 males and a female Common Merganser on the south Muskoka River east of Bracebridge. (Opposite #1160 Matthiasville Rd). Also 14 Starlings at the Uffington corner, new spring arrivals I think, none found there on the Christmas Bird Count.

 

 

Re(3): Solitaire, again
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 02:07:11 PM by egtaylor

thank you for the info. I'll try to remember to search archives next time.

 

 

Re(2): Solitaire, again
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 11:53:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

The recent sightings of the bird are on Georgina St. The original report of the bird contained some directions and a google map link for Parry Sound. Here's a copy from the Archived Reports:

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): Solitaire, again
Posted on March 11, 2009 at 10:45:37 AM by egtaylor

What a great photo! I've been away in Mexico but am back ready for Muskoka birding. Are the solitaires still around? Just checked the previous postings for info re location, but would someone please give me some directions as to where in Parry Sound it was sighted?
Thanks

 

 

Re(1): Solitaire, again
Posted on March 13, 2009 at 11:32:33 AM by J. Gardner

A neighbour of Larry Connelly's, up on the corner, is putting out dried fruit. He has seen the two Solitaires,at the same time, one under the feeder and one in a tree.

 

 

Solitaire, again
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 01:43:30 PM by J. Gardner

Larry Connelly got yet another wonderful shot of the Townsend's Solitaire. I guess there has been enough food to keep it going through the winter.  Townsend's Solitaire - Parry Sound ON - 2009-03-07  photo
June Gardner

 

 

Fisher at Henry Marsh
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 12:13:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11:30 a.m. this morning we watched a Fisher lope along the back edge of Henry Marsh…eventually it walked across the Trans Canada Trail right where the trail enters the woods east of the marsh. A lone Canada Goose was circling the area but the marsh is still frozen so it continued on. Along the snowmobile trail west of the marsh there was a Chipmunk enjoying the warmer weather...first one we've seen out and about this year.

 

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 trailhead. At the "T" in the trail, turn right (west) to view the frozen marsh.

 

 

chipmunk
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 10:17:59 AM by ann hansen

While not a sighting of a bird, I did see my first chipmunk of the season, out in my back yard. Daleman Dr. Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(3): Swan in Carnarvon
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 07:55:11 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I used to drive over to Haliburton Forest at least once a winter and most winters I saw a pair or Mute Swans there.

 

 

Re(2): Swan in Carnarvon
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 07:09:06 AM by ron tozer

I saw this swan on March 5 on the Grass River beside Highway 118 near West Guilford, and had been sent a photograph of it earlier. It is a young Mute Swan.

 

 

Re(1): Swan in Carnarvon
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 11:00:23 AM by Al Sinclair

Joan Sinclair saw it on Feb 12/09, so probably it has been there all winter. The location was the Gull River where it enters Green Lake seen from Hwy 118E east of Carnarvon. She could not tell what swan species it was, Trumpeter would be the most likely these days but could be Mute or Tundra. About 15 years ago 3 Mute Swans released locally spent several winters there.

 

 

Swan in Carnarvon
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 07:33:42 AM by FrancesGualtieri

Yesterday when driving between Haliburton and Carnarvon on 118, we noticed a white swan on a river. Would it have been there all winter?

 

 

Re(1): Canada Goose
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 05:42:09 PM by janice house

Geoff was outside early this morning and heard the geese flying over, when I came back this afternoon from cleaning out bluebird boxes with Moira two geese flew over our house. Geoff said while I was gone the geese were flying back and forth, looking for open water??? ( Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst)

 

 

Canada Goose
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 06:37:51 AM by J. Gardner

Had our first Canada goose (gander?) turn up yesterday. It flew into the area where geese have nested in the past and checked out out all the hummocks where nests have been. Then it walked across the field to the area where I feed corn, and stayed there until I could no longer see it in the dark. This coupled with the arrival of a cormorant and snow geese gives one hope that the neverending winter will come to an end, some day. We are at Hurdville.

 

 

Snow Geese in Huntsville
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 05:43:50 PM by bkorol

Around 7:30 a.m. on Friday (6 March) I was driving south on Hwy. 11 over Hunter's Narrows in Huntsville. To my surprise, I saw 24 SNOW GEESE flying SW into the wind. Seven of the birds were various forms of the 'blue morph'.

 

 

Cormorant
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 02:24:38 PM by janice house

I saw a cormorant flying over the SPCA building in Bracebridge on my way into work this morning

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 March
Posted on March 5, 2009 at 09:59:34 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 5, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Spruce Grouse: female in Mew Lake Campground
on March 4; male 50 m north of gate (displaying)
and female 100 m north of Costello Creek culvert,
on Opeongo Road on March 5.

Bald Eagle: third-year bird on moose carcass
in Sunday Creek bog off Visitor Centre on March 4.

Black-backed Woodpecker: a female along the
railway bed at the east end of Lake of Two Rivers
on February 28.

Gray Jay: 5 on Opeongo Road; 2 at Spruce Bog.
First nest under construction noted on February 28
in Dan Strickland's long term study. Five nests
found by March 4.

American Crow: 1 at Spruce Bog on March 4;
first spring migrant species this year!

Boreal Chickadee: 3 at the west end of the Airfield
on February 28.

Pine Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders; 9 at
West Gate feeder; 3 at Spruce Bog on March 5.

Red Crossbill: 1 on Opeongo Road on March 5.

White-winged Crossbill: most observers
reporting only 10-12 birds; major decline in
numbers since early January, presumably
because cones have relatively few seeds now.

Common Redpoll: 50+ at Visitor Centre
feeders, and elsewhere.

Hoary Redpoll: 1 at Visitor Centre feeder on
March 4.

Pine Siskin: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: a few at Visitor Centre
feeders, and Spruce Bog.


Notes:
Wolves: 1 to 3 have been irregularly visiting
the moose carcass in Sunday Creek Bog this
week on most days.

Pine Marten: 1 at Spruce Bog, and one or two
at Visitor Centre feeders.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.


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

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

 

 

Algonquin Provincial Park Today
Posted on March 4, 2009 at 10:19:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Norm Murr on ONTBIRDS (March 4, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Today Ian Cannell and I motored up to Algonquin and it started well with a grey morph Red Fox crossing Bathurst St. just north of Elgin Mills Road here in Richmond Hill.

At Algonquin we found a nice variety of birds despite the minus 22 degree start in the early morning. We were able to find 13 gray Jays ( most along Opeongo Rd ), Ruffed and Spruce Grouse, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Common and Hoary Redpolls, 150+ Blue Jays, Common Ravens, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, and Pine Siskins.

Most of the Redpolls and Jays, and all of the Grosbeaks were at the feeders behind the Visitor Centre as were our most interesting sightings. Here we watched 2 Pine Martins ( the first of 4 seen today ) within 15 feet of us, but best of all was a lone Wolf at the Moose Carcass ( pestered by 8 Ravens ). Interesting was the fact that though this Wolf was scope distance away it was still well aware of us on the buildings back deck and watched us intently when ever it was not feeding. There is a location map showing the location of the Moose Carcass as well as 2 scopes set up to view the Wolves at the back viewing deck.

Directions per Ron Tozer:-
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 from 10 am to 5 pm.
Access to watch the birds during the week is possible by entering
at the service entrance and contacting the staff.

 

 

Northern Cardinal in Huntsville
Posted on March 2, 2009 at 00:06:50 AM by Burke Korol

Around 8 a.m. on Saturday (28 February) a NORTHERN CARDINAL was singing at the south end of West Street in town.  Also heard a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER around central Opeongo Lake in Algonquin later that day.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on March 1, 2009 at 06:30:31 PM by Ted Gardner

The Barred owl visited agan today  photo

 

 

Ruffed Grouse congregation
Posted on March 1, 2009 at 01:49:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we noticed many fresh Ruffed Grouse tracks along the Trans Canada Trail east of Henry Marsh. We saw one lone bird by the "dip" and then flushed a group of six grouse further east. They had been feeding/sunning on some patches of bare ground to the south side of the trail.

It seems rather unusual to see grouse gathered together in a group at this time of year since the males haven't started drumming yet. There are several birch trees in that area, so perhaps it's just a favourite feeding spot.

 

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 trailhead. At the "T" in the trail, turn left to look for the Ruffed Grouse or turn right to view the frozen marsh.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting March 5
Posted on March 1, 2009 at 09:36:07 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From Sam Robinson, President of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

From History to Moss to Couch with Some Stress and Reward!
Allan Aubin shares his passion for mosses and the journey it has taken him. (This will be an interactive presentation with a little test at the break so bring pencils and paper.) 

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

 

 

Hummingbirds...
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 07:51:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here they come! Well, at least some have made it to the Gulf Coast. They usually don't get to Muskoka until early May...keep an eye on the migration map to see their progress.

Hummingbird Migration Map:
http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

 

 

What made Redpolls Disappear?
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 05:15:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There was a Sharp-shinned Hawk around my feeders this afternoon. Is that what made the Common Redpolls disappear or was it the fact that I just bought a 20 lb bag of nyger!!!

 

 

Re(1): Ravens with Nesting Material, Bala, Photo
Posted on March 2, 2009 at 01:29:37 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I watched the ravens allo-preening yesterday after they had fed on the carcass. Today I saw one feeding the other. Image was taken in bad light and is a high crop.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Ravens with Nesting Material, Bala, Photo
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 06:19:19 PM by janice house

You are right Eleanor, this afternoon on animal planet David Attenborough had a half hour special on ravens; one of the scenes showed the male raven bringing what looked to be fur/soft stuff to the nest, then he said she would be laying eggs shortly....

 

 

Ravens with Nesting Material, Bala, Photo
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 04:43:32 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Today I watched a pair of ravens feeding on a deer carcass. At one point they flew off into some trees and then flew down to the ground. Awhile later they walked back up to the deer carcass with dead grass and some fur in their beaks. They gathered more fur around the carcass and flew off.  I think they must be near the end of the nest-building to be gathering the small, soft stuff. Any thoughts?  photo

 

 

Re(1): Brown Creeper
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 06:24:41 PM by janice house

second dog walk in Gull Lake park around ll:30, white winged crossbills feeding in the white pines(Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Brown Creeper
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 08:26:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Brown Creepers working the pine tree where we hang a suet cage. Eventually one of them flew down to the snow at the base of the tree and began feeding on bits of suet the woodpeckers had dropped. A pair of Northern Cardinals provided a musical backdrop as they sang a lively duet. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on February 28, 2009 at 08:45:34 AM by janice house

Just returned from a dog walk around the Laycox Rd and watched a brown creeper start up the trunk of a white pine, heard another calling at the other end of the road, the nuthatches are very vocal too (off Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 27, 2009 at 03:36:44 PM by Ted Gardner

The Barred owl that has been seen lately in our neck of the woods finally appeared in the back yard yesterday.
We can use a few less rodents!  (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park birding report addendum
Posted on March 1, 2009 at 02:01:46 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Justin Peter on ONTBIRDS (February 27, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

On Thursday, February 27, along the Opeongo Lake Road in the bog past the culvert, from 2:30 - 4:30 PM:

Spruce Grouse: 1 male feeding at length on spruce and fir needles ~15 feet off the ground, near the BIG roadside tamarack

Black-backed Woodpecker: 1 female seen on two separate occasions:
halfway between the culvert and the big tamarack, then later near the tamarack

Boreal Chickadees: one bird heard and seen, and later two birds heard and seen together.

Also, 9+ White-winged Crossbills were seen.

Good birding,
Justin Peter
Algonquin Park Naturalist

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: 26 February
Posted on February 26, 2009 at 11:01:21 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 26, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Spruce Grouse: One near Opeongo Road Gate on
February 21; and a male near register box on
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, February 22.

Wild Turkey: Two along the highway between
Two Rivers and Centennial Ridges, last seen
February 18.

Black-backed Woodpecker: 2 at Opeongo Road
Gate on February 18 and 21, and 1 on Algonquin
Logging Museum trail (post 13) on February 20.

Gray Jay: two on Opeongo Road at locked gate,
and 4 farther up the road. Two at Spruce Bog
February 22.

Boreal Chickadee: at least 5 at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk entrance and near register box on
February 26, vocalizing and easily seen.

Pine Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders;
10 at West Gate feeder; and along highway.

Red Crossbill: 2 at Spruce Bog on February 22.
Two at Visitor Centre parking lot, February 24.

White-winged Crossbill: smaller numbers,
at several locations. Getting scarcer.

Common Redpoll: 50+ at Visitor Centre
feeders, and elsewhere.

Hoary Redpoll: 2 reported at Opeongo Road Gate on
February 21, and 1 at Visitor Centre feeder on
February 22.

Pine Siskin: 30 at Visitor Centre feeders, and
along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders,
15 at Spruce Bog on February 22.

Notes:
A road-killed moose carcass placed in the Sunday
Creek Bog, 700 m off the Visitor Centre Viewing
Deck, attracted wolves, fisher, marten and Common
Ravens this week, but not every day or regularly.
For the latest information contact the Algonquin
Visitor Centre (613-637-2828). Watch from the
Viewing Deck only; enter by service entrance during
the week. Nothing comes if people go into the bog.

Pine Marten: 1 eating sunflower seed at Opeongo
Raod Gate on February 24, and one at Visitor
Centre feeder eating seeds on February 26.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.

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

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

 

 

Hoary Redpoll, Bohemian Waxwing
Posted on February 26, 2009 at 10:58:53 AM by Goodyear

We had a Hoary Redpoll at our feeder this morning. It was with a mixed flock (about 40 birds)of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins. (Meadow Heights Drive Bracebridge). A much smaller flock of Bohemian Waxwings again paid a visit to the Buckthorn bushes just outside my classroom window at Huntsville Public School this morning. About 20 birds spent 5 minutes cleaning up what berries were left.

 

 

Great Gray Owl
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 02:05:21 PM by sam robinson

At dusk last evening a Great Gray Owl was seen in the trees at the top of the valley of the Beaver Creek behind 14 Inverary Court, Bracebridge. This was the second time in the past couple of weeks that it was seen at dusk at that location.

 

 

Boreal Owl
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 12:24:24 PM by Dawn Sherman

I just got back from a walk on the Hunter's Bay Trail where there was a Boreal Owl being scolded by a Chickadee. photo

 

 

Redpoll - photo
Posted on February 23, 2009 at 04:16:16 PM by J. Gardner

Here is one of Larry Connelly's photos, taken from his balcony in Parry Sound. The redpoll was watching a pigeon on the eave above. Larry really does get a bird's eye view.  photo
June Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Heated Bird Bath
Posted on February 22, 2009 at 07:41:26 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Thanks for the pictures, Tina. The one you have is much more natural-looking than the one I have.
Glad to hear you got it working again!

 

 

Heated Bird Bath
Posted on February 22, 2009 at 04:04:53 PM by tinajacobson

My Heated Bird bath, is up and running again.
I have retrofitted a
Heated Coil to a Lightbulb, @ 25 watts its doing the job...
My original Bath burnt out as the result of "Toooo cold of Climate".
Ive learned that FANCY does NOT mean Better...
The little featherred ones are Happy again!!!
photos

 

 

Purple Finches
Posted on February 22, 2009 at 12:54:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

About a dozen Purple Finches stopped by our yard this morning but didn't stay long. There have been several Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches visiting our feeders over the past few weeks, and yesterday a few Common Redpolls were here as well. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Barred Owl’s dinner…
Posted on February 21, 2009 at 06:28:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 5:30 p.m. today we saw a Barred Owl catch a big fat shrew under our birdfeeder. The owl had spent nearly two hours perched on the feeder while he watched and listened for the right moment to dive down into the snow...finally, success! The shrew appeared to be a Northern Short-tailed Shrew.
(Bracebridge)

 

 

Gray Jays
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 04:54:34 PM by MaryAnnJohnson

one Gray Jay seen On Sherwood Forest Road by Mary Ann Jonson Feb 20/09
Two Gray Jays seen on Colony Road often

 

 

Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 12:17:12 PM by Jim Griffin

Another mature Bald Eagle siting this morning south of the bridge in Port Sydney. It circled low in front of my place then landed across the river for a while. Left when a couple of ravens started harrassing it.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: 19 February
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 09:21:44 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 19, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Spruce Grouse: no reports.

Wild Turkey: Two along the highway between
Mew Lake and Centennial Ridges road this week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: female on Opeongo
Road on February 14.

Gray Jay: two on Opeongo Road at locked gate,
and 4 farther up the road.

Boreal Chickadee: one on Opeongo Road on
February 14.

Pine Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders;
11 at West Gate feeder; and along highway.

Red Crossbill: four on Opeongo Road on
February 14.

White-winged Crossbill: seen at several locations
along Highway 60 and on trails.

Common Redpoll: several at Visitor Centre
feeders, and elsewhere.

Hoary Redpoll: 2 at Visitor Centre feeder on
February 18.

Pine Siskin: 30 at Visitor Centre feeders, and
along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: a few at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Notes:
Pine Marten: 2 or 3 were coming to the Visitor
Centre feeders to eat black sunflower seeds at
times this week.

Opeongo Road is plowed all the way to the lake,
so walking beyond the locked gate is easier now.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.

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

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

 

 

Re(4): Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 22, 2009 at 01:48:11 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I have a 70-200 L lense with a 1.4 extender which I love and also a EF 400 1:5.6 which I find very heavy ...I liked the way you zoomed in on the redpolls and captured so many of them at once ... maybe I just need more practice:-) actually, I take mostly bird and deer photos so I'm always looking at lenses for this - your photos are beautiful btw...

 

 

Re(3): Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 22, 2009 at 08:34:31 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Marilyn,
What is it you wish to accomplish with this lens? It is a great lens for some applications but not good for others.

 

 

Re(2): Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 21, 2009 at 12:57:29 PM by Marilyn Kisser

thanks Eleanor ... I must look into this lense

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 21, 2009 at 06:18:27 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For this image I was using Canon 40D with 100-400 IS lens, Spot metered, Manual exposure, handheld, cropped, through the window.

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 01:08:31 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I have at least that many here in Rosseau too ... have to get more nyger seed today! what lense did you use to take this?

 

 

Common Redpolls, Bala
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 08:33:56 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Today I had the highest number of Common Redpolls I have ever had at my feeders. photo

 

There are approximately 50 on this platform, 20 on the floor of the deck, another 20 on the railings, 6 at each of two tube feeders and more flying around.

I put out nyger seed on the platform 1/2 inch thick, three times and they ate 10 inches of nyger in the two tube feeders.

While not up to the numbers the fellow just off the Old Barrie Rd a few years ago it is quite a show. I have a microphone out there, too, so the chirping is pretty loud.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl calling...Bracebridge
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 03:45:51 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I've had a pair of barred owls hunting here most of the winter ...last seen yesterday - Rosseau

 

 

Barred Owl calling...Bracebridge
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 04:09:52 PM by Al Sinclair

A Barred Owl was calling the last two nights near our residence 8km east of Bracebridge. Both nights it called 3 or 4 times around 10:30 PM then stopped.  We assume that this owl is one of the local resident pair that has just returned to its breeding territory. We saw no owls here this winter, mice and squirrel populations are very low.  We have had Barred Owls nesting near here almost every year since we moved here in the 70's.

 

 

Belted Kingfisher
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 10:03:09 AM by Jim Griffin

a Belted kingfisher made his appearance just south of the bridge in Port Sydney about noon yesterday. Maybe this will be a monthly thing; will have to try for 12 consecutive months.

 

 

Mourning Dove
Posted on February 16, 2009 at 04:59:23 PM by CatMacLean

Saw and heard a mourning dove at our feeder in Huntsville for the first time this winter.

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 04:13:54 PM by J. Gardner

Had word today that Larry Connelly is still seeing the Solitaire daily. He says there are definitely two of them, but they don't like each other and are not seen together.

 

 

Algonquin Park - Red Crossbills + Other Winter Finches, Specialties
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 09:19:08 AM by Lev

Hello All,

I was birding Algonquin the entire day yesterday, and came up with a few birds of note. To add to Ron's report, on Opeongo Road I had close up looks at feeding RED CROSSBILLS (four birds), as well as 5 GRAY JAYS, a BOREAL CHICKADEE and a female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER.

At the Visitor Centre there were the usual PINE GROSBEAKS and PINE SISKINS, and also EVENING GROSBEAKS and COMMON REDPOLLS. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS are still present in good numbers, the Two Rivers trail is a good place to see them.

Also, on Highway 60 I observed 3 White-tailed Deer and 2 Red Foxes.

DIRECTIONS:

Algonquin Park is located about three hours from both Toronto and Ottawa. The Algonquin Visitor Centre is located 43.0 kilometres from the Park's West Gate (or 13.0 kilometres from the East Gate) and is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm until March 21. Anyone using Algonquin Park facilities (Visitor Centre, trails, etc.) must have a valid permit. Permits can be purchased at the Algonquin Visitor Centre, West Gate or East Gate. Birders are encouraged to record their observations in the Bird Sightings Book and Wildlife Sightings Board in the Algonquin Visitor Centre.

PHOTOGRAPHS:

can be found here.

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 03:44:59 PM by richardcorcelli

Have had many flocks of Bohemian Waxwings feeding on the berries on our Buckthorn bushes by Muskoka Bay, Gravenhurst since first posting here in early Jan. 2009 however, today a pair of Cedar Waxwings were feeding on the remaining berries.

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 07:41:32 AM by janice house

Totals from Moira, Houston Rd North of Bracebridge
Saturday Sunday Monday
Black capped chickadee 30 20 25
Common redpoll 75 50 45
American gold finch 2 2 4
Red breasted nuthatch 1 1 2
White breasted nuthatch 1
Blue jay 6 4 5
Hairy woodpecker 2 2 2
Downy woodpecker 1 1
Mourning dove 1 1

Red squirrel 7 6 7
Black squirrel (grey) 1

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 17, 2009 at 07:58:30 AM by janice house

Feb 16th, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
White breasted nuthatch 1
Red breasted nuthatch 2
Blue jay 7
Pine siskins 8
Chickadee 12
Common redpoll 11
Gold finch 3
Hairy woodpecker 1
Downy woodpecker 2
American tree sparrows 6
Dark-dyed junco 1
Mourning dove 3
European starling 4
Common raven 1
heard some white winged crossbills flying over the yard

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2009 at 07:17:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Bala, today

 
Common Ravens - 2
Blue Jays - 3
Black-backed Chickadee - 8
Red-breasted Nuthatches - 2
White-breasted Nuthatches - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpeckers - 3
American Goldfinch - 1
Common Redpolls - 50 +
White-winged Crossbills - 3
Mourning Dove - 1

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2009 at 06:56:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl barely made the count deadline today, showing up an hour before dusk.

Birds in our yard Feb. 16 - Bracebridge

Barred Owl (1)
Brown Creeper (1)
Common Redpoll (1)
American Crow (2)
Blue Jay (15)
Northern Cardinal (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (6)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (5)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Hairy Woodpecker (3)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Pine Siskin (10)
American Goldfinch (8)
Mourning Dove (6)

New high count for Gray Squirrels was nine yesterday (5 black phase, 2 gray phase, and 2 brownish black with rusty underside).

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2009 at 07:41:19 AM by janice house

Feb 15th, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
American Gold Finch 18
Common Redpolls 14
Pine Siskins 6
Red Breasted Nuthatch 3
White Breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 2
Dark Eyed Junco 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Mourning Dove 3
Blue Jay 7
Black Capped Chickadee 12
Common Raven 1
American Robin 1
American Tree Sparrow 8

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 05:05:45 PM by Wayne Bridge

Backyard count for Feb. 15 (25 km due west of Rain Lake, Algonquin Park, Kearney)

common redpoll (51)
hoary redpoll (1) - good, positive ID
pine siskin (7)
black-capped chickadee (3)
red-breasted nuthatch (1)
blue jay (6)
hairy woodpecker (3)
ruffed grouse (3)

plus 3 red squirrels

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 10:44:09 AM by J. Gardner

Birds in my Hurdville backyard on February 14, 2009 included Redpolls (20) Chickadee (6) Pine Grosbeak (7) Tree Sparrow (7) Blue Jay (17) Hairy Woodpecker (4) European Starling (4) Mourning Dove (1) Red-breasted Nuthatch (1) Raven (1)

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 10:03:07 AM by janice house

Sat Feb 14, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
pine siskin 7
american tree sparrow 8
dark-eyed junco 1
downy woodpecker 2
hairy woodpecker 3
blue jay 6
mourning dove 4
eastern starling 1
american goldfinch 6
red breasted nuthatch 2
white breasted nuthatch 1
black capped chickadee 12
common redpolls 2

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 10:26:21 PM by Al Sinclair

Backyard Bird Count Feb 14/09
Location: 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E

Mourning Dove (10)
Downy Woodpecker (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (2)
Black-capped Chickadee (7)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Blue Jay (11)
Pine Grosbeak (2)
Common Redpoll (1)
Pine Siskin (35)
American Tree Sparrow (1)

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 06:03:36 PM by Goodyear

Blue Jay (3)
Black-capped Chickadee (6)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Downy Woodpecker (1)
Pine Siskins (40)
Common Redpoll (8)
American Goldfinch (1)
White-winged Crossbill (4)
Dark-eyed Junco (1)
Rock Pigeon (6)
Mourning Dove (6)

Yesterday (13th) we had a new bird for our yard list: House Sparrow. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 03:37:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Birds in our yard Feb. 14 - Bracebridge

American Crow (2)
Blue Jay (8)
Northern Cardinal (2)
Black-capped Chickadee (6)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (4)
White-breasted Nuthatch (3)
Downy Woodpecker (4)
Hairy Woodpecker (4)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Pine Siskin (8)
American Goldfinch (6)
Dark-eyed Junco (2)

Mourning Dove (4)

Squirrel breeding season is definitely in full swing - highest count so far is five Red Squirrels and seven Gray Squirrels (six black phase, one gray phase).

 

 

Raven behaviour
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 03:15:31 PM by Goodyear

This morning we saw 16 ravens flying in a loose "courtship kettle?" just west of Henry Marsh. They slowly circled, with some of the birds flying in unison for a short time and then breaking away, while others paired off and would fly with their wingtips touching for a moment or two. We saw a couple of them tumbling and diving. They continued in this way for approx. 10 minutes and then the "kettle" slowly disbanded, the birds flying away in different directions in groups of 2s and 3s.

 

 

Gray Jay - Port Sydney
Posted on February 13, 2009 at 01:18:00 PM by Jim Griffin

not an unusual bird so much, but unusual to see visiting a feeder in Port Sydney; did not stay long, didn't even try the suet.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park - Red Crossbills, Other Winter Finches, Specialties
Posted on February 14, 2009 at 09:42:57 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (February 14, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello All,
I was birding Algonquin the entire day today, and came up with a few birds
of note. To add to Ron's report, on Opeongo Road I had close up looks at
feeding RED CROSSBILLS (four birds), as well as 5 GRAY JAYS, a BOREAL
CHICKADEE and a female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER.

At the Visitor Centre there were the usual PINE GROSBEAKS and PINE SISKINS,
and also EVENING GROSBEAKS and COMMON REDPOLLS. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS are
still present in good numbers, the Two Rivers trail is a good place to see
them.

Also, on Highway 60 I observed 3 White-tailed Deer and 2 Red Foxes.

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Park is located about three hours from both Toronto and Ottawa.
The Algonquin Visitor Centre is located 43.0 kilometres from the Park's West
Gate (or 13.0 kilometres from the East Gate) and is open from 10:00am to
5:00pm until March 21. Anyone using Algonquin Park facilities (Visitor
Centre, trails, etc.) must have a valid permit. Permits can be purchased at
the Algonquin Visitor Centre, West Gate or East Gate. Birders are
encouraged to record their observations in the Bird Sightings Book and
Wildlife Sightings Board in the Algonquin Visitor Centre.

PHOTOGRAPHS:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/levfrid/3279229431
Additional photographs may be found at that link as well.

Good birding,
Lev Frid
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park birding report: 12 February
Posted on February 13, 2009 at 08:46:16 PM by Marilyn Kisser

we were there today ...a flock of about 10 pine grosbeaks at the visitor centre, a couple of wb nuthatches and one female hairy woodpecker

 

 

Algonquin Park birding report: 12 February
Posted on February 12, 2009 at 07:51:03 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 12, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Spruce Grouse: Male and female near the
start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 11.

Wild Turkey: Two in the Two Rivers and
Mew Lake areas this week. Only one had been
seen since January 19, but apparently two had
survived.

Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports.

Gray Jay: two on Opeongo Road at locked gate,
and 4 farther up the road.

Boreal Chickadee: try Opeongo Road north of
the Costello Creek culvert. One reported on Peck
Lake Trail, February 7-8.

American Tree Sparrow: 2 at Visitor Centre
feeder; rare or absent here in winters with this
much snow.

Pine Grosbeak: 25 at Visitor Centre feeders;
15+ at West Gate feeder; and along highway.

Red Crossbill: likely still present in small numbers.

White-winged Crossbill: seen at several locations
along Highway 60 and on trails.

Common Redpoll: small flocks along Highway 60,
and heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: 30 at Visitor Centre feeders, and
along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: a few at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders.

Notes:
Opeongo Road is plowed all the way to the lake,
so walking beyond the locked gate is easier now.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.

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

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Another owl report from Cedar Lane, Bracebridge
Posted on February 9, 2009 at 07:26:56 PM by Al Sinclair

We heard today of another sighting of a large owl hunting from fence posts on Cedar Lane. It was seen more than once last week in the fields around the horse farm just south of Cedar Lane Farm Rd, Bracebridge. We checked it out today around noon, no owl but we did see a Red-tailed Hawk sitting on the top of a white pine tree north side of Cedar Lane Farm Rd. Presence of the hawk could mean there is some mice in the fields, the owl might return. Better time to look would be late afternoon.

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count...Feb. 13-16
Posted on February 9, 2009 at 05:02:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

It's almost time for this year's Great Backyard Bird Count. As usual we will hold our own unofficial count for Muskoka and surrounding areas...just post your sightings for any of those four days.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited. Here's the website for information about how to participate and to view the count data: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc

excerpt:
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 on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. 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.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 04:03:03 PM by Goodyear

We saw a Northern Shrike this afternoon (3:00 p.m.) near the east end of the Henry Marsh Trail (the lagoon end of the trail - near the open marsh area where there are several snags along the creek). (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle Nest Camera
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 03:50:16 PM by DiannaWolfe

Those looking for signs of spring may be interested in viewing the Sutton Center Bald Eagle Nest Camera. The Sutton Center is affiliated with the Oklahoma Biological Survey at the University of Oklahoma. Video nest cameras are mounted each year prior to the breeding season to allow for hands-off monitoring of the clutch, and the real-time footage is available for public viewing over the Sutton Center website. The first egg of 2009 was laid sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon of this week, and the female has been sitting on the nest since then providing great views. With luck, the cameras will remain operational over the coming months and the progress of the nesting birds can be followed by all.

You can enjoy watching the eagles at the link below:
Sutton Center Bald Eagle Nest Camera

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 02:47:30 PM by janice house

I just saw a pair in our bass wood tree mate-feeding. The siskins are becoming very protective of the niger sock.

 

 

Re(1): Huntsville birds
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 08:01:09 PM by Marilyn Kisser

I've noticed the nuthatches more active at the feeders ...and I have a group of at least 50 redpolls, a few siskins and goldfinches mixed in eating me out of house and home! ...
no more grosbeaks ... lots of chickadees and blue jays still .. and the red bellied woodpecker is still around too ..Rosseau

 

 

Huntsville birds
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 08:17:54 AM by mmcanally

On February 7, while walking through my back woods, I saw and heard a Brown Creeper, and heard woodpecker drumming for the first time this year. The chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches were much more vocal than previously. I am in Huntsville on Britannia Road. I have a flock of about 60 redpolls and goldfinches and 2 pine grosbeaks at my front feeders. I have not seen an evening grosbeak or purple finch all winter.

 

 

Gravenhurst to Stouffville
Posted on February 8, 2009 at 08:00:49 AM by janice house

I went to Stouffville yesterday to watch my nephews play hockey and between Zephr and Stouffville saw 250 snow buntings, 100 crows and 3 robins on the shoulder of the road north of Udora. I had to brake for one flock of 100+ snow buntings and almost hit one robin. I only saw one turkey the whole trip.

 

 

Re(1): Does Anyone Use Heated Water for Birds?
Posted on February 7, 2009 at 12:47:10 PM by tinajacobson

Yes I use one, Or maybe I should say USED...It seems the weather got a little to cold for mine. It burnt out , and now im I feel so bad. As the birds are looking for their water...
The weather is warm today so I have a filled the "Bird bath" Lots of birdies around. Now I am looking for a replacement "Heater", they are hard to find...
I will post some pics of Birds in my "spa"...
Tina

 

 

Re(2): Does Anyone Use Heated Water for Birds?
Posted on February 7, 2009 at 07:41:20 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I posed the same question on the Simcoe Nature Board and got a few answers. The people who have them like them except for the cleaning required when used by Mourning Doves. I've had one in a closet for five years and if I don't like the results I guess I can always stop using it!
http://www.duncraft.com/Heated-Baths-Heaters-C236.aspx
This link was in one of the e-mails so you might like to take a look at all the possibilities, Janice.

 

 

Re(1): Does Anyone Use Heated Water for Birds?
Posted on February 7, 2009 at 07:23:18 AM by janice house

My brother gave me a Nelson Blue Devil bird bath heater from Lee Valley years ago but I have never found a bowl for it; the picture on the package looks like a huge pyrex pie plate. I saw a bird film on PBS filmed by George H Harrison and he had a heated bird bath but in his book he said their winter temperatures averaged 32F. I am not sure what state he lived in at that time.

 

 

Does Anyone Use Heated Water for Birds?
Posted on February 6, 2009 at 12:03:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have a heated bird bath for drinking water for birds but have never used it. Does anyone have one that they use? How do you keep it clean and ice free? What about heavy snow?

 

 

Re(1): photo id please
Posted on February 5, 2009 at 10:19:54 PM by Michael

A very nice Red-tail.

 

 

photo id please
Posted on February 5, 2009 at 06:47:39 PM by garyschultz

took this picture today, photo
location hwy # 60 northside at hillside farm,
can someone please id for me thanks..

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 5 February
Posted on February 5, 2009 at 06:41:10 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 5, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Summary of reported sightings this week:

Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. You will need
snowshoes.

Wild Turkey: one still around Mew Lake
Campground until at least February 1. No sign
of the two others seen with it earlier; they have
likely perished.

Black-backed Woodpecker: female at locked
gate on Opeongo Road on February 1. One on
utility pole at km 43 on February 3.

Gray Jay: two on Opeongo Road at locked gate.

Blue Jay: 43 counted at Visitor Centre feeder
on February 1.

Boreal Chickadee: try Opeongo Road north of
the Costello Creek culvert.

American Tree Sparrow: 1 at Visitor Centre
feeder; rare or absent here in winters with this
much snow.

Pine Grosbeak: 25 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: likely still present in small numbers.

White-winged Crossbill: seen along Highway 60
and on trails.

Common Redpoll: small flocks along Highway 60,
and heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: 30 to 40 at Visitor Centre feeders, and
along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: a few at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 5 to 30 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Mammal Notes:
Eastern Wolves: three (two of which had radio collars)
were seen irregularly on Lake of Two Rivers on January
31 to February 2, attracted to a the remains of a deer
that had been hit on the highway and placed on the
lakeshore. The carcass is largely consumed now, and the
wolves likely hunting elsewhere.

Pine Marten: one seen getting food from bird feeders
at campsites in Mew Lake Campground on January 31.
One coming to the feeders at the Visitor Centre very
irregularly and unpredictably.

Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.

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

Good birding.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 5, 2009 at 06:40:01 PM by garyschultz

 

thank you for your posting....i had the chance to drop by today at 12 noon,spotted two adult and one juve bald eagle, and as a bonus on the way back to oxtongue lake spotted another adult bald eagle on hwy #60 northside at the oxtongue river rapids road.  photo

 

 

Bald Eagles
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 04:04:02 PM by JoanDunn

Wednesday, February 4: 6:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Two bald eagles feasting on a deer kill on Ten Mile Bay on Lake of Bays.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings - Bracebridge
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 02:49:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 2:15 p.m. today there were at least ten Bohemian Waxwings in the crabapple tree and adjacent oak tree in front of #71 Meadow Heights Dr. Several flocks of Pine Siskins were scattered around the Meadow Heights Dr. loop at the west end of the street. A few Common Redpolls have joined the goldfinches and siskins at our feeder this afternoon. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 11:33:19 AM by janice house

Geoff saw the adult eagle soaring around Allport Bay yesterday (Lake Muskoka, Bracebridge area)

 

 

Lynx / Mactier
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 10:34:33 AM by GarthNBaker

Last friday morning I observed a Lynx about a mile south of old Hwy 69. It was along the the CPR tracks(Iwas working at the time)It was about 3 feet in length and very grey in colour.I have seen Lynx before but never this far South. I am certain within 95 % of my Identity.

Any one that has any similar sightings in the Muskokas?

 

 

Blue Jays - mate feeding
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 10:26:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Blue Jays are starting to pair up already with several chases and toot-tooting as they fly around the neighbourhood. I've also observed a few instances of mate feeding since Monday.  (Bracebridge)

And this morning the male Northern Cardinal was so happy to see the sunshine that he couldn't resist letting go with a brief version of his song. The days are getting noticeably longer. Hurrah!

 

 

Washago birds
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 09:50:11 AM by GayleCarlyle

This past Saturday we went looking for snow buntings and found a flock of about 20 flitting about in some poplars near an open field on Cooper's Falls Rd. near McArthur SideRoad.
Earlier in the day I watched what I think was a Cooper's Hawk fly very quickly over the Green River near our home.
And we now have a pair of Purple Finches at our feeders, which we seem to be constantly filling up.
Lots of siskins, goldfinches, and redpolls.
And squirrels of course.

 

 

Re(1): Winter Finches
Posted on February 4, 2009 at 09:46:45 AM by GayleCarlyle

We too have noticed how picky our birds are but in our case it is the goldfinches. They sit at our Squirrel Buster feeder and in some kind of compassion to their rodent brethren, flick sunflower seeds all over the place and then select what must to them be a nice ripe one.
And yes, we have a lot of squirrels around our place. Makes me wonder why they haven't attracted the attention of a barred owl or a hawk. (Washago)

 

 

Re(1): Winter Finches
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 05:06:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

We finally had a small flock of Pine Siskins visit our feeders today. (Bracebridge)
They sure throw a lot of sunflower seed to the ground uneaten...picky picky picky. Oh well, the squirrels were happy!

 

 

Winter Finches, Bala, At Last!!!
Posted on February 2, 2009 at 04:50:46 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I was feeling very left out having no winter finches staying around to feed. Today might be a turning point. I had 4 Common Redpolls, 3 Pine Siskins & 3 goldfinches this morning. By late this afternoon there were at least 20 redpolls. Hope they stay awhile. They certainly brighten the day!

 

 

Robin
Posted on January 31, 2009 at 10:15:49 PM by J. Gardner

This picture came from Larry Connelly in Parry Sound today. He says that this robin is very aggressively chasing the Townsend's Solitaire away from his accustomed tree. photo
June Gardner

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Feb. 5...in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 30, 2009 at 09:22:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

***Note this meeting will be in Gravenhurst***

MFN meeting Thursday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst
From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:

Welcome Martin & Kathy Parker!
The Parkers have operated a naturalist trip program for 12 years and traveled afar themselves including Africa! For this meeting, they bring the Gambia to us – Bee-eaters, Rollers, and Walking Fish! The Gambia is in western Africa and is a popular birding destination which introduced the region’s birds and other features to the Parkers. The presentation will show some of the birds and mammals of the region along with the cultural aspects of the country.

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

Muskoka Field Naturalists website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park - Birds and Wolves
Posted on January 31, 2009 at 01:26:16 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Pittaway on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 31, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


I was just talking to Ron Tozer at the Visitor Centre in the Park.
Further to his report on Thursday, he said that
excellent birding continues with a good chance to see Eastern Wolves
(Canis lycaon), a newly described species more closely related to the
Red Wolf (Canis rufus) than the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) found in most
of Canada. Wolf location details below.

Check the feeders at the West Gate where there are 10 to 15 Pine
Grosbeaks. Get a park permit and brochure with map to locate spots
mentioned. This winter for unknown reasons there are fewer finches
being killed by vehicles along the highway, but watch for redpolls,
crossbills and other finches particularly in early morning. The
feeders at the Visitor Centre, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends,
have many Evening Grosbeaks which are generally scarce this winter
and Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls. The restaurant is open and
the view from the deck is worth the trip alone. Also check the
feeders in Mew Lake Campground. This morning Ron Tozer was lucky to
see a Pine Marten there which is likely going to one of the camper's
feeders. The beginning of the Spruce Bog Trail and Opeongo Road also
offer excellent birding.

Eastern Wolf: This morning (Saturday) Ron Tozer saw three wolves on
Lake of Two Rivers. They were attracted to a road-killed White-tailed
Deer that is on the side of the lake beside the highway just west of
Killarney Lodge. One wolf was sleeping near the island. The wolves
were having a difficult time walking through the deep snow. They may
stay around to finish eating the deer carcass. Be especially careful
stopping and parking along the highway.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 29 January
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 10:18:27 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 29, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Here is a summary of reported sightings this week:

Sharp-shinned Hawk: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on January 25. Rare here in winter; usually a big
finch year when present, like this one.

Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. You will need
snowshoes.

Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog
Boardwalk parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: in black spruce along Opeongo
Road north of the Costello Creek culvert on
January 25.

Bohemian Waxwing: one attracted to the birds at
the Visitor Centre feeders on January 28. Several
reported at mountain-ash in Whitney recently.
Big flocks still being seen in Huntsville.

Pine Grosbeak: 25 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: a few noted irregularly in trees
around the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: common along Highway 60
and on trails.

Common Redpoll: small flocks along Highway 60,
and heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders, and along
Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: a few at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 30 at Visitor Centre feeders on
January 28, the most this winter to date.

Note: Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.


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

Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Hoary Redpoll at Arrowhead
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 00:16:16 AM by Burke Korol

Today (28 January) we had our first for this winter record of 5 COMMON REDPOLLS at the zone offfice in Arrowhead Provincial Park. Luckily there was also a single HOARY REDPOLL with this group. This individual was not particularly pale on its upperparts, but its undertail coverts (well seen) were an immaculate white with no streaking. It had quite a bit of pink on its flanks and breast.

It is kind of ironic that I've had about 30 Common Redpolls at my Ravenscliffe house for about a month and despite constantly studying them, I haven't been able to find any hoaries.

 

 

Re(4): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 11, 2009 at 08:36:08 PM by dinnymccraney

I think this is the same owl we have seen on and off at the feeders since January (see early Jan. entry) He was here most of last week then flew west over the golf course on Sunday Feb 8 when the dog chased him off the big birdfeeder. He has such an expressive face!

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 05:01:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

The owl tried to take a Mourning Dove off the roof of the birdfeeder but missed. He then concentrated on finding rodents under the birdfeeder - he dove down into the snow several times, so must have been finding mice and shrews. Haven't seen him since Sunday.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 10:58:06 AM by BarryPeyton

Great shots of a Barred owl. Did you observe it feeding? I am looking for an opportunity to take photos of a great horned owl but no luck yet.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 10:43:58 PM by Wilf Yusek

Nice pictures

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 08:42:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday this Barred Owl used our birch tree as a convenient perch while he listened for mice and shrews near the birdfeeder. (Bracebridge)
anything down there?  photo

oh no, not the crow again!  photo

aha, caught you taking my picture...  photo

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire update
Posted on February 2, 2009 at 10:39:41 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I just returned from Parry Sound attempting to photograph the Townsend's Solitaire. It did put in an appearance but was quickly chased off by the robin. It flew toward the Sound and I couldn't relocate it.

Larry Connelly has certainly had a premium spot to watch this bird as his balconey is on the second floor not 50 ft from the juniper.

I really should have gone last week!

 

 

Re(2): Was it ever agreed upon whether ...
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 07:37:06 PM by J. Gardner

No, there has never been a confirmation of two birds in the same area. Not sure that anybody is really looking anymore.

 

 

Re(1): Was it ever agreed upon whether ...
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 04:17:29 PM by Alex Mills

... there was more than one, as suggested in an earlier post?

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire update
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 01:36:47 PM by J. Gardner

Larry Connelly is still seeing the Solitaire on a regular basis on Georgina Street in Parry Sound.
June Gardner
Larry's photo 2009-01-27

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 27, 2009 at 07:27:56 AM by janice house

A flock of the birds landed in the tree on Dr. Parlett's lawn yesterday around noon, Hiram and Ann Sts Bracebridge.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 26, 2009 at 10:55:18 AM by Goodyear

The large flock of Bohemian Waxwings was back again at Huntsville Public School this morning. About 150 birds were making their way through the bushes/trees that border the school property along Susan Street. They were here for about 10 minutes and then flew off again!

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh... story and editorial in Bracebridge Examiner Jan 21
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 00:37:24 AM by Burke Korol

How did this land owner get around Ontario's new Endangered Species Act legislation?

 

 

Henry Marsh... story and editorial in Bracebridge Examiner Jan 21
Posted on January 25, 2009 at 06:55:28 PM by Al Sinclair

In case you missed it, in the Bracebridge Examiner this week there was another story and an editorial on the draining of Henry Marsh. Click on the links below.
http://www.muskoka-news.com/article/127174
http://www.muskoka-news.com/article/127194

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 23 January
Posted on January 23, 2009 at 09:49:04 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 23, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Conditions and birds present are similar to those reported
for early January. A summary of reported sightings this
week follows:

Spruce Grouse: no reports this week; try Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Wild Turkey: two still visiting feeders at campsites in
Mew Lake Campground.

Black-backed Woodpecker: two along the Summer
HQ/WRS road opposite Mew Lake Campground
(road accessible on foot only).

Gray Jay - Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog
Boardwalk parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: One noted 700 m north of culvert
(beyond locked gate) on Opeongo Road on January 20.

American Tree Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco:
single birds at Visitor Centre feeders.

Pine Grosbeak: 25 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: no recent reports.

White-winged Crossbill: common along Highway 60
and on trails.

Common Redpoll: small flocks along Highway 60,
and heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: 15 at Visitor Centre feeders, and along
Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: 6 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 2 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Note: Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.


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

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). 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): great gray owl photo
Posted on January 22, 2009 at 06:27:14 AM by ron tozer

Gary, would you please provide the date and approximate location of this Great Gray Owl for the Algonquin Visitor Centre records. Thanks.

 

 

great gray owl photo
Posted on January 21, 2009 at 09:59:56 AM by garyschultz

had a great day at Amhurst Island, on the way home on hwy #60 south side east side of algonquin park at 5.15 came across a great gray on the hydro wires,the light was almost gone....poor quality i know but i don't care it was great to see....  photo

 

 

Red-tailed hawk
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 08:52:33 PM by DiannaWolfe

This morning, a red-tailed hawk flew low over the house causing the lone blue jay at the feeder to create quite an uproar. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

White-winged crossbill
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 04:44:01 PM by CatMacLean

A small flock of white-winged crossbills seen at Avery Beach in Huntsville this morning

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 20, 2009 at 01:14:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were a few Bohemian Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks at Memorial Park around 11:30 am. They seem to prefer the mountain ash berries...the crabapple tree was still loaded with fruit. (Manitoba St., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 07:04:11 PM by Al Sinclair

At 2:00 pm today 6 Pine Grosbeaks were feeding in a crabapple tree on Shoreline Drive at Ecclestone Drive (near Muskoka Veggies) south end of Bracebridge.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 02:57:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 2:30 p.m. today there were 14 Bohemian Waxwings in the birch tree in front of 39 Meadow Heights Dr. and about a dozen Pine Grosbeaks flew overhead but didn't stop. The small crabapple tree just east of there didn't have much fruit left, so the birds will probably be on the move looking for more food. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): albino moose photo
Posted on January 19, 2009 at 11:43:48 AM by Burke Korol

One of the photos in this series has a Black-billed Magpie in it, which raises some doubts as to whether this photograph was actually taken near Timmins.

 

 

Re(1): albino moose photo
Posted on January 18, 2009 at 03:32:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

That's a great photo...it looks like one of a series that were making the rounds a while back...photographer unknown. In 2006 the white moose near Timmins were officially protected under new regulations:
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Newsroom/LatestNews/MNR_E004227.html

 

 

albino moose photo
Posted on January 18, 2009 at 02:46:41 PM by garyschultz

this was emailed to me from timmins.....enjoy !!  photo

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings- Photos
Posted on January 18, 2009 at 11:22:33 AM by SteveAbouldahab

David's flock of Bohemian's made it to my miniature crabapple this morning at 14 Mary St. West in Huntsville.

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Red- tailed Hawk
Posted on January 17, 2009 at 01:03:28 PM by MaryWillmott

Gliding high over Beaumaris Gulf Course at Beaumaris this AM, was a Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. I also have two American Tree Sparrows remaining at the feeders.

 

 

Re(1): Common Grackle
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 05:52:59 PM by Ted Gardner

Over here!... he comes in daily since Christmas.
120 Meadow heights

 

 

Common Grackle
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 04:15:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I was surprised to see a Common Grackle at our feeder. Wonder where it's been hiding all winter. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Redpoll - photo
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 05:55:09 PM by Ted Gardner

Nice pic!! someone has great talent (enough time)Ha!

 

 

Redpoll - photo
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 01:10:40 PM by J. Gardner

This strange little redpoll is in the flock coming to our feeders in Hurdville. The white face is startling in the group on the feeder. Seems this fellow can't decide just what he is. June Gardner  photo

 

 

Re(1): Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Posted on January 17, 2009 at 08:35:32 AM by janice house

Geoff was raking the snow off the sheds this morning and saw the hawk dive off our antenna and take a chickadee that was fluttering above our cedar hedge

 

 

Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 07:58:50 AM by janice house

This morning while checking my feeders I heard some white-winged crossbills, I went in to get my binoculars to get a closer look and while I was standing on the deck a sharp-shinned hawk flew out of our cedar hedge chasing a chickadee. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Raptors at Arrowhead
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 10:46:29 AM by B. Korol

This morning (15 Jan) there were a few interesting things at Arrowhead Provincial Park.

A juvenile SHARP-SHINNED HAWK just circled by my office window, with prey - probably a Black-capped Chickadee, which is our most common feeder bird.

Also this morning: a clear track, in fresh snow, of what was almost certainly a BARRED OWL attempting to capture a Peromyscus sp. mouse, which are regular, unwelcome visitors to our office.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Back again
Posted on January 18, 2009 at 07:48:37 PM by Bob Bowles

Common Buckthorn have grown in this area for many years but recently I am observing more Glossy Buckthorn moving into the area. Both species are European and invasive but Glossy Buckthorn has proven much more aggressive crowding out native species not only on uplands but in wetlands. We have areas in Simcoe where Glossy Buckthorn has completely crowded out Winterberry in wetlands. I always like to make trips up to Muskoka in the fall to see Winterberry berries since this has not happen in Muskoka at this time. Neither species of Buckthorn should be planted or encouraged but should be cut out. Birds love the seeds which is the real reason for its success since it is carried to new locations by birds and establishes itself from bird droppings. Common Buckthorn is not near as agressive as Glossy Buckthorn. Crabapple is a much better shrub to plant for birds.

 

 

Re(5): buckthorn berries?
Posted on January 16, 2009 at 11:55:34 AM by Al Sinclair

Common Buckthorn grows (or used to grow) along the steep slope near the railway station, not far from there. In the early 1980s a Townsend's Solitaire was seen there eating the berries. This tree attracts some interesting birds but is considered an invasive alien that displaces native species, so I wouldn't recommend that anyone plants it. In some parks and conservation areas they are trying to eradicate it.

 

 

Re(4): buckthorn berries?
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 08:21:36 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I would say that buckthorn is what I saw today from the pictures you posted, Barb. There aren't many left on those bushes so they'll have to find something else. There is an ornamental crab covered with fruit at the lights on the main street.

 

 

Re(3): buckthorn berries?
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 07:09:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Could the shrub be a buckthorn?
See: http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/species.php?id=2022

 

 

Re(2): Back again
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 03:51:53 PM by Goodyear

I'm not sure what kind of berries they are. They are on a bush that is approx. 3 - 4 m high. The berries are a dark, deep purple, about 3/4 cm, and each grows from a branch of the bush on its own stem that is also about 3/4 of a cm long. Not many of the birds were actually feeding on the berries this morning. They were here for about half an hour and for most of that time the majority of the birds were simply sitting in the tops of trees that border the lower playground. When the recess bell rang they all flew up into a nearby spruce? tree where they stayed for about 5 mins. They then flew away to parts unknown. I have a class of 20 students who now seem to be spending more time looking out the windows than looking at their work!

 

 

Re(1): Back again
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 01:58:22 PM by Al Sinclair

David
What are they eating? I know, berries, but what kind?
Curious

 

 

Re(1): Back again
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 01:57:30 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I was there about 1 pm today and didn't see any sign of waxwings. I drove around the school several times and did see where there were some dark berries but no indication that anything had been feeding on them nor did I see them in any trees. Oh, well! Thanks for the post, David!

 

 

Back again
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 11:11:05 AM by Goodyear

They're back again this morning. An amazing sight to see so many at once.

 

 

Now 250+
Posted on January 14, 2009 at 11:03:28 AM by Goodyear

The flock of Bohemian Waxwings has now grown to over 250. I couldn't see any Cedars amongst them.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 14, 2009 at 10:37:47 AM by Goodyear

There is a flock of approx. 40 Bohemian Waxwings feeding in bushes that border the lower playground area of Huntsville Public School (Huntsville - Caroline Street). Another species for my schoolyard list!

 

 

Re(1): White-winged Raven Bracebridge
Posted on January 14, 2009 at 03:20:21 PM by Ted Gardner

Ive seen this Raven in the past 3 years or so, i think i may have a relative visiting my platform feeder lately.
he has 2 white eye rings. He looks like his eyes are bulging ,very wierd.

 

 

White-winged Raven Bracebridge
Posted on January 13, 2009 at 02:26:06 PM by Doug Smith

Early this afternoon I saw a raven in the A&P parking lot with white on the underside of each wrist, and possibly some white on the top of its head. It was being harassed by another raven, (territorial dispute?) which chased it from the A&P pkg lot across the 118 to the Dollar Store pkg lot, then to Cdn. Tire. The last I saw was the normal raven still chasing the white marked raven across the back of the YIG bldg.

 

 

Re(1): waxwings...
Posted on January 13, 2009 at 12:59:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bohemians are larger, grayer overall, large black throat patch, rusty undertail, white and yellow markings on wings. Cedars are smaller, browner overall with yellowish belly, white undertail, no white and yellow markings on wings. See this website for good discussion and photo comparison: http://10000birds.com/cedar-waxwing-vs-bohemian-waxwing.htm

 

 

Redpolls - Beaumaris
Posted on January 13, 2009 at 11:55:15 AM by MaryWillmott

Forty plus Redpolls at the feeder at Beaumaris for the last week. Also the usual birds. Are there any hints for IDing the two Waxwing species?

 

 

Annual General Meeting – Couchiching Conservancy
Posted on January 13, 2009 at 11:19:54 AM by GayleCarlyle

The Couchiching Conservancy will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, January 24th at 2:00pm at Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club, 1151 Hurlwood Lane, Orillia.
Come and find out what we've been up to this past year and see what we have planned in the future.
Guest Speaker will be Jean Iron, Past President of Ontario Field Ornithologists. Her presentation will be Shorebird Research and Natural History of Akimiski Island James Bay.
There will also be information booths and raffle tickets for a uniqe wood carving.
For more info call Gayle at 326-1620 or gayle@couchconservancy.ca

 

 

Algonquin park pine siskin photo
Posted on January 12, 2009 at 06:24:22 PM by garyschultz

dropped by the visitors center today lots of activity on the feeders,about 10 pine siskin,4 american goldfinch,6 evening grosbeak,8 pine grosbeak  photo

 

 

Swans, pine Grosbeaks, crossbills
Posted on January 12, 2009 at 09:20:34 AM by GayleCarlyle

This past weekend we were outside quite a bit and came across a flock of about 6 white-winged crossbills near Bass Lake in Oro Medonte.
Yesterday we observed a flock of about 10 male and female pine grosbeaks in Washago Centennial Park as well as trumpeter swans in the open water of Lake Couchiching. One of the swans is quite dark which is a bit unusual at this time of year.
There were also two ducks way out on the lake but I couldn't tell what they were because of the distance.
At our home feeder we have goldfinches, pine siskins, and redpolls eating tons of niger seed. We live on Green River Drive in Washago.

 

 

Belted Kingfisher
Posted on January 12, 2009 at 07:44:45 AM by Jim Griffin

I observed a male Belted Kingfisher on the muskoka river (north branch)at Port Sydney yesterday morning at about 9:15, south of the Road 10 bridge. Last observed heading down river.

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire update - photo
Posted on January 14, 2009 at 04:18:28 PM by J. Gardner

Yet another photo from Larry Connelly, of the Townsend's Solitaire. The photo was taken through the glass door onto the balcony of his apartment on Georgina Street. Larry says that he has seen it so often it has become "common". June Gardner
Townsend's Solitaire - Parry Sound ON - 2009-01-13 photo

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire
Posted on January 12, 2009 at 07:17:48 AM by J. Gardner

On Thursday, January 8, I saw the Townsend's Solitaire on Georgina Street in Parry Sound and got some photos. Believe it or not, a second Solitaire showed up and was pursued by the first bird on two different occasions. I did get a very poor shot at a distance of the two birds sitting in adjacent trees. I'm virtually certain of my I.D., but, has anyone else see the second bird?

 

 

Pine grosbeaks
Posted on January 12, 2009 at 00:06:24 AM by Marilyn Kisser

3 female pine grosbeaks were feeding on the ground below the sunflower feeders this morning .. Rosseau

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 08:02:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was a Red-tailed Hawk flying along the east side of Hwy. 11, opposite the Bracebridge Fairgrounds.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 08:24:00 AM by mmcanally

We had 5 Pine Siskins at our feeder this morning in Huntsville. First time this year.

 

 

Algonquin Park birding
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 07:16:35 PM by garyschultz

dropped by the visitors center today to check the feeders,found 8 pine grosbeaks,6 evening grosbeaks,
4 american goldfinch and 1 pine siskin,and 1 dark eyed junco.around 3pm

 

 

Re(1): red-bellied alive and well
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 02:43:41 PM by ron tozer

The female Red-bellied Woodpecker that was first seen at our feeder in Dwight on Deember 10 is still visiting daily as well. As with the Rosseau bird, it feeds on sunflower seeds. It threatens Blue Jays with its substantial bill if they crowd it at the seeds, and they back off. The Blue Jays dominate all other species here, but not this woodpecker.

 

 

red-bellied alive and well
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 01:55:05 PM by Marilyn Kisser

the female red-bellied is still visiting the feeders daily - she certainly has become rather vocal around the feeders also - she is hard to pin down as to the time of day she comes but lately it seems she comes first thing in the morning and late afternoon ..however today she was here at 11a.m. – Rosseau  photo

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 11:32:37 AM by Barbara Taylor

In case you missed it, here's my earlier post of the 2008 Highlights. We are off to a good start in 2009 with several great sightings. Thanks to everyone for all your reports.

The complete set of posts for the years 2000-2008 can be found in the Archived Reports. There is also a download link so you can browse those reports on your computer without having to go online.

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.

Barbara Taylor
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

Northern Shrike - N. Muldrew Lake
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 10:25:27 AM by Kip Daynard

A Northern Shrike took a pass at the flock of 25 or so Common Redpolls at our nyjer feeder yesterday afternoon. We've had at least one Goldfinch visiting our feeders as well as about 6 Wild Turkeys who come daily to feed from the feeder which they can reach by standing on our deck railing. North Muldrew Lake is 4kms south-west of Gravenhurst.

 

 

Bald Eagle/Snow Buntings
Posted on January 8, 2009 at 06:12:01 PM by janice house

Geoff saw 8 snow buntings in the field near the water plant on Beaumont Drive today and an adult bald eagle flew over Allport Marina. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(3): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 04:44:00 PM by garyschultz

Was back there also today,@ 12.00 saw 3 pine grosbeaks, and about 10 waxwings did show but almost immediately took off again back across the road but even further back up the hill and appeared to join a larger group that was feeding in that area,
no luck with the great gray owl, will keep on dropping by.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings, Not Seen
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 01:30:09 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning between 8 am & 11:30 the Bohemian Waxwings were not seen feeding on the Mountain Ash at Tim's. Three grosbeaks were there for awhile and joined by another three until they were scared off. Still enough berries for another day.

 

 

Re(3): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 05:53:47 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I arrived at Tims at 7:30 this morning and there were 4 Pine Grosbeaks in the tree then. They stayed for about 1/2 hr and then left. The Bohemian Waxwings started coming in about 8:30.

They feed for such a brief time that it seems impossible they could get enough fuel for all that flying around in the short feeding time.

When I left about 11:30 there seemed to be enough berries for another day. They have cleaned out the top and are working on the middle to bottom branches now.

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 04:33:28 PM by Al Sinclair

The Bohemian's were back again today. We had lunch at Tims at around 2pm, sat against the windows so we could see the berry tree. I would estimate that there were 60 to 70 birds in the flock but they didn't sit still long enough for an accurate count. They came in twice while we there there but flushed after only a few seconds, the first time they went up on the hill to the north and sat in the poplars, the second time they flew east towards downtown. There was also a single Pine Grosbeak there for a few minutes.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge (Photos)
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 08:10:49 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the Bohemian Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks today.

The waxwings are the tidy but skittish ones and the grosbeaks unafraid and messy. This is the first time I have seen them together. The waxwings swallow the fruit whole while the grosbeaks remove the fruit from the seed before swallowing.

The Pine Grosbeaks stayed in the tree to eat no matter what was going on around them even landing 4 ft from my feet to check for seeds on the ground. The Bohemian Waxwings flew in grabbed 1 or 2 berries and took off again.  The waxwings flew off about 11 am and didn't return until about 4 pm for a couple of visits only.

Bohemian Waxwing Eating - photo

Pine Grosbeak, Juvenile Male, Late Day Sun - photo

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 05:56:05 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Good thing you got him up here yesterday as all those berries are gone! Nice to have the male with the blue sky! I didn't see him at all this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 10, 2009 at 04:22:06 AM by garyschultz

was also today able to get this pine grosbeck from the same location.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 08:47:50 PM by garyschultz

first post.  as you can see plenty of berries still left ,so they should continue to feed for the next few days.
and you can't beat the location a tim hortons parking lot !!! hot coffee bathrooms and sit in your car and enjoy the show..  photo

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks - Bracebridge
Posted on January 8, 2009 at 12:46:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 12:20 p.m. there were at least 50 Bohemian Waxwings in tall poplars behind #341 Wellington St. (the section north of Monck Rd.) They were taking turns flying down to the mountain ash tree by Tim Hortons at the intersection of Monck and Wellington. Several Pine Grosbeaks were feeding on the mountain ash berries along with the Bohemians. The tree is currently heavy with berries so the birds may stick around.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owl...Bracebridge
Posted on January 15, 2009 at 10:52:54 AM by B. Korol

By coincidence, I had to be near this location on Saturday (10 Jan). I had a quick look for these birds but was not able to find either of them.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owl...Bracebridge
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 08:32:23 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I checked for the Great Grays a couple of times today and did not see them. The last time would have been about 4:30 pm.

 

 

Re(2): Great Gray Owl...Bracebridge
Posted on January 8, 2009 at 05:15:46 PM by ron tozer

At about 5 p.m. today (January 8), my daughter Laura reported two Great Gray Owls at this Cedar Lane location.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owl...Bracebridge
Posted on January 8, 2009 at 10:34:56 AM by Al Sinclair

Barry reports that the owl is in the same location this morning. Jan 8, 2009 10:30am

 

 

Great Gray Owl...Bracebridge
Posted on January 7, 2009 at 07:19:56 PM by Al Sinclair

Between 4 and 5 pm today a Great Gray was hunting in a field beside 1680 Cedar Lane north of Bracebridge. It was found by Barry Faulkner who noticed it sitting on a small tree on the fence line on the south side of his driveway (1680). I arrived at about 4:30 and had a good view, definitely a Great Gray Owl, but too much snow falling to get a usable photo. Later it flew over to a fence post behind the barn to the south and was still there when I left.
1680 is on the west side of Cedar Lane approx. 3 km north of Taylor Rd (north entrance to Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 7, 2009 at 09:45:03 AM by richardcorcelli

Eleanor: No, we are in a cul-de-sac and it's very hard to see from the street. As well, there is no telling when they'll arrive, morning, noon or evening. No sign of them at all this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 7, 2009 at 08:18:19 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Hello Richard,
Are they visible from the street? I would like to get some pictures if they are. Looks like that tree is almost bare.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 6, 2009 at 10:55:57 AM by RichardCorcelli

A large flock of Bohemian Waxwings feeds at our Buckberry Bushes every day at our home in Gravenhurst on Muskoka Bay.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on January 7, 2009 at 08:15:15 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Second day in a row, that I know of! It was there when I woke up. It is quite a large bird and so thinking it is a female. I had two juveniles squawking nearby in the summer so glad they are still around. This would account for the low number of squirrels I have.

 

This was taken at 7:40 am and was the soonest I could get my lens to focus. Well used branch. Same tree that the wild turkey was sitting in yesterday!  photo

Full frame, Canon MK2N, 300 2.8 IS, .05 @ f2.8, Manual, Spot Metered, handheld (should have put it on the tripod). High ISO and poor light caused high noise level.

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on January 6, 2009 at 09:00:13 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There was a Barred Owl near my feeders at first light this morning. I was hoping it would stay long enough for better light but the jays drove it off.

I heard the birds complaining and thought it must be a fisher or fox. After looking down to the ground several times I saw the owl not 15 ft from me.

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire seen today...photo
Posted on January 6, 2009 at 04:22:17 PM by J. Gardner

Larry Connelly took this picture of the Solitaire this morning, off his balcony on Georgina Street, near the Sound. This bird appears to be working its way from food source to food source along the Sound. Here, it is in some sort of ornamental juniper.  photo

 

 

Townsend's Solitare
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 02:02:56 PM by wilsonbrucea

Have there been any more sightings of this bird since just before Christmas?
Bruce Wilson
Barrie, Ontario

 

 

Re(1): Common Goldeneyes
Posted on January 6, 2009 at 12:38:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were six Common Goldeneyes on the Muskoka River out near the end of Beaumont Farm Rd. PVT. There was also one on the river near Santa's Village and one by the George Rd. public docks. (Bracebridge)

directions: From the traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr./Wellington St., 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 look towards the mouth of the river and also you can look towards the George Rd. dock.

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.)

 

 

Ducks
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 11:51:32 AM by sam robinson

Olive Tomlinson, who lives on the Muskoka River near McVittie Island, reported seeing 16 common goldeneye and what she thought to be 3 northern pintail this morning - all frolicking about as though it was summer - would that it were!

 

 

Re(1): Redpolls
Posted on January 7, 2009 at 01:38:22 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Gayle, we also has 4-5 Redpolls show up on Jan 2, 2009, about 5k east of your location. Nice to see them back! Terry

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 09:21:00 AM by GayleCarlyle

This past weekend I noticed we had a couple of redpolls at both the niger and the sunflower seed feeders. There only seems to be two or three, not the dozen or so we have had in previous years.
We are on Green River Drive in Washago

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 06:37:03 AM by ron tozer

There was a day-hunting Barred Owl near our place here in Dwight yesterday as well. Actively hunting during the day at this time of year is usually a sign that Barred Owls are food-stressed. They frequently focus on the small mammals, especially shrews, that are attracted to the seed below feeders. In some winters, when the deer mouse population is low (as it appears to be here and in Algonquin this winter), Barred Owls starve before spring.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 05:49:36 AM by Marilyn Kisser

we usually have a barred owl hunting at our feeders during the day in the winter months ... he seems to prefer the squirrels but I have seen feathers strewn around also

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 08:42:51 PM by dinnymccraney

I have had a Barred Owl around the feeders and in the trees in my garden in Bracebridge for a few days. He swoops down on his prey and leaves his wing prints in the snow. I think it's unusual to have one of these around, especially during the day.  photo

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker, Bala
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 07:55:34 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Most of my place is rock with very little soil over it and so is a challenge for the growth of trees. I only cut trees or part of them when their falling would be a problem for my house or road. Even then just the tops are removed and so I have several dead snags.

To my delight a male Pileated Woodpecker has started working on three of them that can be seen from my windows. It doesn't take long for it to make a good sized hole!

I better get some suet mix out and see if I can keep it coming around!

 

 

35th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 01:31:58 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 4, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 35th annual Algonquin Provincial Park Christmas Bird Count
(sponsored by The Friends of Algonquin Park) was held on Saturday,
January 3. A record high 69 observers tallied 30 species (average is
28) and 6,787 individuals (average is 4,918). Moderate cone crops
resulted in better than average results, and the clear and not overly
cold temperatures made for good birding conditions. The recent
major thaw allowed walking in many areas without snowshoes.

Unusual species:
-Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
-Golden Eagle: 2 (previous highest was 1)
-Wild Turkey: 3 (new species for count)
-Hoary Redpoll: 1 (photo)

Northern species:
-Spruce Grouse: (count week only)
-Black-backed Woodpecker: 14
-Gray Jay: 35
-Boreal Chickadee: 28
-Red-breasted Nuthatch: 1,016

Finches:
-Pine Grosbeak: 280 (notable increase in numbers in last week)
-Red Crossbill: 71
-White-winged Crossbill: 1,504
-Common Redpoll: 1,010
-Hoary Redpoll: 1
-Pine Siskin: 135
-American Goldfinch: 88
-Evening Grosbeak: 24

Thanks to all our observers and organizers, many of whom
travel long distances to participate.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, Ontario

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11
and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From
Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers 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 park locations.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open on weekends (10 to 4) through the
winter. Recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found
there. Birders visiting during the week are welcome to contact staff for
birding information via the service entrance (right end of the building
as you face it from the parking lot).

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 01:38:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

Perhaps they are running out of food in the north and are starting to move south now. Around noon today we found ten Pine Grosbeaks and a few White-winged Crossbills along the Trans Canada Trail east of Henry Marsh. The birds were in balsam firs where the trail enters the forest east of the marsh, and some were further east by the "dip" in the trail (right after you have to duck under a fallen tree). These are the first Pine Grosbeaks we've seen this winter.  In town look for them feeding on crabapples and mountain ash berries as well as at sunflower seed feeders.


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 Pine Grosbeaks or turn right to view the frozen marsh.

 

 

Pine Grosbeak-photo
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 10:01:58 AM by Debbie Adams

Today, a Pine Grosbeak landed on our feeder. It was the first time I have ever seen this bird, and bonus, got a good photo of it too! Walker's Point  photo

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 09:15:09 AM by janice house

yesterday there was a flock of snow buntings flying around our yard, not sure how many, I was in Algonquin Park at their CBC. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 4, 2009 at 08:14:19 AM by mmcanally

Saw a mature Bald Eagle sitting on top of a large tree just past Cliff House on Port Sydney Road No. 10.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl near Orillia
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 05:14:11 PM by Al Sinclair

Just in case anybody missed it, there has been a reliable Northern Hawk Owl near Casino Rama for a few weeks now. Not too far from Muskoka, good chance to see this unusual species. Check the Simcoe Bird Board for directions and a photo (look for posts from Dec 29 and Jan 3).

 

 

Aerobatics...photo
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 04:54:05 PM by J. Gardner

Jim got a series of pictures of this raven and his eagle partner doing aerobatics over the MacDougall Dump. They put on a good show. June Gardner  photo

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 03:45:55 PM by SteveAbouldahab

Spotted a Bald Eagle while walking on Hunter's Bay Trail in Huntsville.

 

 

American Goldfinch- Photo
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 12:18:01 PM by SteveAbouldahab

Some goldfinch made their way to my feeder this morning...here's an action shot.  (Huntsville)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grosbeak
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 07:53:54 AM by Wayne Bridge

I had 7 at my striped sunflower seed yesterday, Jan. 4, in Kearney - the first I've seen this winter.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grosbeak
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 11:59:02 AM by J. Gardner

We have a flock of 5 to 15 Pines which have just started to feed on the feeders here in Hurdville.

 

 

Pine Grosbeak
Posted on January 3, 2009 at 10:34:11 AM by Goodyear

We have one male Pine Grosbeak visiting our feeders this morning (117 Meadow Heights Drive, Bracebridge). This is the first Pine Grosbeak we have seen this winter.

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 1, 2009 at 06:39:20 PM by SteveAbouldahab

A pileated woodpecker has been visiting my suet feeder filled with left-over bacon fat (thanks for the tip David) for the last couple of days. I finally snapped a good shot of it. Mary Street West and Lorne Street in Huntsville.
photo

 

 

New Year's Birds
Posted on January 1, 2009 at 11:34:46 AM by goodyear

Happy New Year. We are off to a good start this morning with a wonderful mixed flock of birds that are roaming the Meadow Heights neighbourhood. About 60 - 70 birds descended on our feeders this morning including Common Redpolls (10), Pine Siskins (18), Goldfinches (15), White-winged Crossbills (3), Purple Finches (5), Juncos, Chickadees, Jays, and one each of Hairy and Downy. We have also had a Turkey that's been making the rounds of neighbourhood feeders but she hasn't shown up yet.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

White-Winged Crossbills
Posted on January 1, 2009 at 11:31:22 AM by TheodoreSmith

Happy New Year Folks,
While enjoying our coffee this morning around 10:30 we had the pleasure of witnessing a flock of white-winged crossbills swoop into a spruce tree in our backyard. About 15 birds were gorging themselves on cone seeds for 10-15 minutes before flying off. Not quite time enough to get out the tripod and big lens, but my 2 1/2 year old son, Jack, got some great tiny speck shots from 100' with his brand new Little Tikes camera! The white-winged crossbills were gorgeous.

Take care,
Ted
Location: Meadow Heights Subdivision in Bracebridge near the intersection of Meadow Heights and Moreland Crt.

 

 

2008 Highlights
Posted on January 1, 2009 at 11:02:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

The year began with a sighting of Snow Buntings east of Gravenhurst. A lack of tree seed crops in the north caused many winter finches to head south in search for food. In January a Hoary Redpoll was found amongst several Common Redpolls east of Bracebridge, and another was photographed just outside of Rosseau. The feeders at Algonquin Park brought in a nice flock of Pine Grosbeaks – at times up to 40 birds.

A Red-breasted Merganser was seen in open water at Port Sydney in early January. A Song Sparrow spent some time at a Barkway feeder during our “January thaw”. In mid-February a Winter Wren visited a Bracebridge yard and a Black-backed Woodpecker was seen in Kearney. A Northern Saw-whet Owl used a birdfeeder for a perch at Bent River in late February. In late March four Trumpeter Swans were spotted on the Muskoka River in Bracebridge. An Eastern Towhee came to a feeder in Hurdville in April, and a Cattle Egret made a brief appearance in Algonquin Park.

In early May a Red-headed Woodpecker was found at Ahmic Lake. A Red-bellied Woodpecker visited a feeder in Bracebridge while another was seen at a feeder west of Port Carling. Two Short-billed Dowitchers were seen at the Bracebridge Ponds in May, and a Clay-colored Sparrow was discovered nearby. Several Black-bellied Plovers were flying overhead the Ponds during the Baillie Birdathon, and a Surf Scoter was seen there in early June. Common Nighthawks were reported in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst in late June, while Chimney Swifts were observed in Huntsville – it’s nice to know there are still some of these birds in Muskoka as their numbers have been in decline. A Great Egret spent some time at a marsh north-west of Port Sydney in August.

In late September two American Golden-Plovers were seen at a golf course in Bracebridge. In October the Bracebridge Ponds offered up Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, and Gadwall to name a few. In November a Snowy Owl spent a few days at Huntsville. A Red-bellied Woodpecker was still visiting a feeder near Rosseau in December, and one also appeared at a feeder in Dwight. Christmas Bird Count results included a Townsend’s Solitaire for Parry Sound, a Glaucous Gull for Gravenhurst, and a Northern Shoveler for Huntsville. White-winged Crossbills seemed to be everywhere as the year came to a close. And it appears that an awful lot of Blue Jays decided to stay through the winter this time around…guess an extra bag of cracked corn and some striped sunflower seeds should have been on Santa’s list!

Other interesting bird sightings included Northern Shrike, Bohemian Waxwing, Black-billed Cuckoo, Sandhill Crane, Caspian Tern, Wilson’s Warbler, Northern Parula, Philadelphia Vireo, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, American Coot, Northern Pintail, White-winged Scoter, Brant, Virginia Rail, Sora, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Brewer’s Blackbird, Oregon Junco, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, and Great Horned Owl.

Some of the other nature sightings included Red Fox, Fisher, Mink, Otter, Coyote, Flying Squirrel, Black Bear, Blanding’s Turtle, Four-toed and Blue-spotted Salamanders, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Eastern Hognosed Snake, and several interesting Spiders, Moths, Dragonflies, and Butterflies.

The complete set of posts for 2008 can be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your reports.

Happy New Year,
Barbara