Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from October – December 2009
 
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Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks/Pine Grosbeaks just west of Algonquin Park
Posted on January 2, 2010 at 09:43:06 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ken Williams on ONTBIRDS (January 1, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Happy New Year,
We had a wonderful holiday in Algonquin this week and started our bird list off today with 11 Evening Grosbeaks at the Algonquin Inn just east of the Oxtongue Lake Bridge on Hwy 60 (about 8km east of Dwight, or 30 km east of Huntsville). They have several feeders and, what caught Angie's attention initially, was a large accipiter above the Inn, which dropped down while we were turning around to take a look.

We had 9 Pine Grosbeaks 1 km west of the west gate of the park on hwy 60 yesterday on the road and in the trees. It is very quiet in the park, with no Crossbills or any finches beside the 5 dozen Godfinches at the visitor centre ove our 3 day visit. This afternoon, we had 2 Boreal Chickadees on the track between the top of Arrowhon Rd. and Mizzy Lake Trail. There is a quite tame Red Fox there as well as 3 Canada Jays. The Whitethroated Sparrow was at the vistior centre yesterday and the female Pine Grosbeak was there today. A Ruffed Grouse was feeding at the gate on Opeongo Road today and up the logging road yesterday in high branches of birch trees.

We could not re-find the Black-backed Woodpecker that we had 2 days ago in the same location as the Boreal Chickadees we had today halfway between the Mizzy Lake trail and the "parking area" for the grader off Arrowhon Road. I'm sure that it counts for count week, though. One Wild Turkey was walking across the Lake of Two Rivers yesterday.

18 inches of snow made our new snowshoes feel like greased lightening. I'll never do the level trails on boots again. It snowed some every day this week but what a wonderful trip. Directions: From Hwy 11 at Hunstvile, follow hwy 60 east of Huntsville through Dwight and watch the trees at the roadsides for grosbeaks and other birds. Get a permit and a map at the west gate so you know where to spend some quality time. P.S. Wolves were howling at the west gate parking lot last night at 6:00

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 31 December
Posted on December 31, 2009 at 01:00:12 PM by Ontbirds

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

A few birders and photographers enjoyed the spectacular winter scenery here
this week amid cold but often sunny conditions. The Opeongo Road gate was
open, and the road plowed all the way to the lake, allowing easier than
usual access. Aggressive "come-to-your-hand-for-seed" Black-capped
Chickadees were appreciated by several people at the Opeongo Road gate.

The White-throated Sparrow persisted all week at the Visitor Centre.

The 60 or more American Goldfinches continued to come to the Visitor
Centre feeders. One female Pine Grosbeak was around the feeders from at
least December 27 to 29.

Boreal Species:
-Spruce Grouse: No reports. Check Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
-Gray Jay: There were four at the Visitor Centre regularly.
-Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Try Opeongo Road.
-Black-backed Woodpecker: One was at the gate on Opeongo Road on December
28.

Mammals:
-Marten and at least one Fisher were fairly regular at the Visitor Centre.

THE VISITOR CENTRE IS OPEN DAILY (10 TO 4) FROM
DECEMBER 27 TO JANUARY 3.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records.

Good birding and Happy New Year.
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

Re(1): evening grosbeaks near Huntsville
Posted on December 30, 2009 at 02:55:53 PM by J. Gardner

The last three days have brought a flock of about 20 Evening Grosbeaks into the trees near our feeders. They are not eating from the feeders however. They are picking dessicated Black Cherries that are still hanging onto the branches, which indicates how few birds there were in the autumn as well. Normally, these trees are picked clean long before the autumn is over. (Hurdville)

 

 

Re(1): evening grosbeaks near Huntsville
Posted on December 31, 2009 at 08:55:17 AM by Wayne Bridge

[Kearney]: I have had various numbers of evening grosbeaks at my feeders since mid November. On Sunday past, a Project Feederwatch day for me, there were 43 of them sitting in two aspens near my feeder area. They were resting and I was able to get an accurate count using my binoculars. A new grosbeak record for me after 14 years of PFW.

 

 

evening grosbeaks near Huntsville
Posted on December 30, 2009 at 01:12:38 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Sylvia Naylor on ONTBIRDS (December 30, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Ever since the heavy snows of about three weeks ago, about 30 evening grosbeaks have been coming daily to feeders at a home in the woods, about 25 mins northwest of Huntsville. sylvia naylor

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count ...final draft
Posted on December 27, 2009 at 03:59:31 PM by Al Sinclair

The full report is now available in pdf format at the link below. Please report any errors by email to sinclair@muskoka.com.
Gravenhurst-Bracebridge 2009 Christmas Bird Count

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on December 25, 2009 at 12:55:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was a Cooper's Hawk perched in our backyard. I only noticed the hawk after seeing the Carolina Wren and a Downy Woodpecker both staying perfectly still by the suet cage...so I knew something was up. As soon as I stepped outside the hawk flew off and the rest of the birds came out of hiding and enjoyed their lunch. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 24 December
Posted on December 24, 2009 at 02:48:01 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 24, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Cold temperatures prevailed this week, sealing Algonquin Park firmly in
winter's grip. Snowshoes are now required for getting around off trails and
roads. Birders were busy elsewhere and so little reporting occurred.

The White-throated Sparrow lingering at the Visitor Centre feeders survived
until early this week, and may still be present.

The large flock of American Goldfinches continued to come to the Visitor
Centre feeders.

Boreal Species:
-Spruce Grouse: No reports. Check Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

-Gray Jay: There were two at the Visitor Centre and three at the Opeongo
Road gate on December 21.

-Boreal Chickadee: Five were seen along the Opeongo Road, 1.1 km north of
the gate, on December 21.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was just past the first fork in the Western
Uplands Backpacking Trail (km 3 on Highway 60) on December 21.

Mammals:
-Pine Marten: Two continue to be fairly regular at the Visitor Centre.

THE VISITOR CENTRE WILL BE OPEN DAILY (10 TO 4) FROM
DECEMBER 27 TO JANUARY 3.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. Good birding and Happy Holidays.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

Directions:
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near 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, feeders, and
information. Access to the building through the service entrance to observe
the feeders is usually possible on weekdays. Hot and cold drinks and snacks
are available in the restaurant this winter on weekends, but not full meal
service.

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on December 23, 2009 at 06:40:48 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I noticed the Barred owl near my feeders yesterday. It has been about a month since the last time I saw it. It hasen't caught anything here that I know of. At that time I managed to get a bit of video. Here is the link. http://www.vimeo.com/8308728

 

 

Re(3): Northern Hawk Owl sighted near Bracebridge
Posted on December 24, 2009 at 12:29:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked this morning at 11am, no owl. Moved again maybe into the fields along Falkenburg Rd. Didn't have time to check, last minute shopping to do, stores closing early today.

 

 

Re(2): Northern Hawk Owl sighted near Bracebridge
Posted on December 23, 2009 at 04:45:12 PM by Al Sinclair

That's only 2 km or less south of the first location, has to be the same bird. Sounds like it would be worth checking tomorrow.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Hawk Owl sighted near Bracebridge
Posted on December 23, 2009 at 11:47:42 AM by jim griffin

this morning at 0900hrs, a Northern Hawk Owl was perched on a small poplar tree along Muskoka Rd 4 at the north end of the Muskoka Timbermill site just north of Falkenberg Rd. I had a friendly staring match with it at pretty close range. There is an extensive spruce bog here that extends northward and can been seen from rd4 at the railway crossing. Maybe a good hang out for this bird.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl sighted near Bracebridge
Posted on December 22, 2009 at 02:44:38 PM by Al Sinclair

Jon Grandfield saw a Northern Hawk Owl today at 1pm. It was perched on the top of a tamarack on the west side of the road at 1149 Lone Pine Drive north-west of Bracebridge. I was there at 2pm but couldn't find it, location didn't look like a good hunting area. It must be still moving, may turn up further south soon. Note the "9" is missing on the south side of the mail box.

 

 

American Goldfinch
Posted on December 22, 2009 at 08:03:17 AM by janice house

we have 3 here this morning feeding with the chickadees (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

McDougall Landfill, Parry Sound
Posted on December 21, 2009 at 06:21:36 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

While on a visit to the McDougall Landfill site this afternoon one adult Bald Eagle was seen. Not on a photographable perch, however.
Gary Shulz was there when I arrived and Jim Gardner arrived later.
I reported to Jim that I saw at least 3 Glaucous Gulls and one Iceland Gull. That's good for the Parry Sound CBC count week.

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count prelim. results
Posted on December 21, 2009 at 03:47:32 PM by Al Sinclair

Preliminary results
Watch for final report after count week

30TH GRAVENHURST-BRACEBRIDGE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
COUNT DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2009
SPECIES: 38 (LAST 10 YR AVERAGE 34)
INDIVIDUALS: 2376 (LAST 10 YR AVERAGE 2567)
OBSERVERS: 28
NEW BIRD FOR THE COUNT: CAROLINA WREN

COMMON LOON 2
CANADA GOOSE 6
MALLARD 1
COMMON GOLDENEYE 11
COMMON MERGANSER 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK 1
COOPER'S 1
RED-TAILED HAWK 2
RUFFED GROUSE 3
WILD TURKEY 106
RING-BILLED GULL 6
HERRING GULL 109
GLAUCOUS GULL 4
ROCK PIGEON 206
MOURNING DOVE 141
GREAT HORNED OWL COUNT WEEK
BELTED KINGFISHER 1
DOWNY WOODPECKER 31
HAIRY WOODPECKER 60
PILEATED WOODPECKER 10
BLUE JAY 94
AMERICAN CROW 29
COMMON RAVEN 142
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE 793
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH 11
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH 74
BROWN CREEPER 8
CAROLINA WREN 1
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET 1
NORTHERN SHRIKE 1
EUROPEAN STARLING 273
NORTHERN CARDINAL 10
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW 7
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW 1
DARK-EYED JUNCO 10
PINE SISKIN 12
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH 136
EVENING GROSBEAK 44
HOUSE SPARROW 24

 

 

Bird Count. Usual suspects.
Posted on December 20, 2009 at 06:39:38 PM by Debbie Adams

Didn't have much time today to do serious bird counting, but here is my list, nothing noteworthy, just the usual suspects.
Walker's Bay on Walker's Point.

1 Pileated Woodpecker (M)
2 Downy Woodpeckers (M&F)
2 Hairy Woodpeckers (M&F)
2 Whitebreasted Nuthatches
8 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Raven
7 Blue Jays

 

 

Bird Count...got the wren!
Posted on December 20, 2009 at 12:33:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Carolina Wren has been at our feeders a few times today.  All the regulars have visited too.  If anything else turns up later, I'll post an update.
wrenphoto1  wrenphoto2


96 Glendale Rd., Bracebridge:
1 Carolina Wren
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 Brown Creeper
2 Northern Cardinal (1M,1F)
4 Hairy Woodpecker (2M,2F)
3 Downy Woodpecker (1M,2F)
2 Pileated Woodpecker (1M,1F)
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch (1M,1F)
2 White-breasted Nuthatch (1M,1F)
5 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Common Raven
2 American Crow
5 Mourning Dove
2 Blue Jay

 

 

Turkeys
Posted on December 20, 2009 at 07:17:00 AM by janice house

Moira has been feeding 2 females at her home on Houston Rd north of Bracebridge. She figures they must be really hungry as they fly up to her deck and the cats at the sliding door don't deter them one bit. They have also kept feeding when she is close by and doesn't make any sounds or move too fast.

 

 

Gray Jays near Fraserburg
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 10:07:17 AM by Al Sinclair

Mary Ann Johnson reports that a pair of Gray Jays is coming to a feeder at 1035 Sherwood Forest Rd near Fraserburg (15km east of Bracebridge).

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is tomorrow Dec 20
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 09:46:41 AM by Al Sinclair

The bird count is tomorrow and we can always use more counters. The two teams are meeting at 9:00am behind the Bracebridge Post Office and McDonalds in Gravenhurst. We divide into groups and count all the birds in the 24 km diameter circle. If you live inside the circle and can't join the groups you can participate by counting the birds at your feeder. At the end of the day email the maximum count seen at one time of each species to sinclair@muskoka.com. Also include any unusual birds that you may have seen in the circle during count week (three days before and after count day).The circle boundary is on the map below.  (map)  The results will be tallied at the potluck supper following the count, 5pm at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Bracebridge.  This year we are celebrating 30 years of consecutive counts in this circle.

 

 

Re(7): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 23, 2009 at 10:10:55 AM by Marilyn Kisser

I can bring in about 10 when I throw out peanuts on the deck ... in past years the number's could be up to 30 ...just outside of Rosseau ..

 

 

Re(6): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 20, 2009 at 07:11:46 AM by janice house

I have at least 6 here on Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(5): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 05:09:06 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had three but am now down to two as I think a sharp-shin got one. (Bala)

 

 

Re(4): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 04:03:49 PM by Debbie Adams

We have 10 or more at the feeder several times a day. One in particular waits for me every morning to put out the peanuts.
Walker's Point

 

 

Re(1): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 12:04:37 PM by J. Gardner

Last year we had 30 plus Blue Jays. This year we have 2 Blue Jays, semiregularly. Miss those wings. (Hurdville)

 

 

Re(3): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 11:27:39 AM by Ted Gardner

we have between 6 and 10 coming in daily but only once or twice a day. 120 meadow heights BB

 

 

Re(2): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 09:49:40 AM by Al Sinclair

No Blue Jays here 8km east of Bracebridge. Last one seen about a month ago, guess they've all gone south. It will be interesting to see how many we find on the Christmas Bird Count tomorrow.

 

 

Re(1): No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 09:06:16 AM by Wayne Bridge

[Kearney]: We have 2 regulars (i.e. daily) and 2 only. Last year was a bumper year - 6 has been the norm for the winter. Ron Pittaway's annual winter forecast suggested blue jays would be scarce due to poor nut crops and he was bang on it appears. No redpolls or siskins here and this will be my first PFW reporting year since 1996 w/o a red-breasted nuthatch!

 

 

No Blue Jays?
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 07:01:08 AM by FrancesGualtieri

I haven't seen a single blue jay at our feeder in Vankoughnet. Have they disappeared?

 

 

Re(4): Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 20, 2009 at 07:14:12 AM by janice house

Moira's neighbour saw an eagle flying over Hillman Lake north of Bracebridge this week. (Houston Rd off Falconburg Rd)

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 09:54:32 AM by Al Sinclair

That's a Winner! Amazing to me that we now can see Bald Eagles and get photos like that in our area. We had our first successful nest in Muskoka last year and I believe there are some in Parry Sound also.

 

 

Re(3): Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 07:38:26 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Thanks, June,
I found the directions by Googling MacDougall Landfill, Parry Sound.
I'll try during the week.

 

 

Re(2): Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 07:33:22 AM by J. Gardner

The MacDougall Township dump is off the MacDougall Road which can be accessed from Exit 224 on the 400. I believe the dump is open only during the week and you should check in with the gateman. There are many gulls around.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 06:48:58 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Jim did a great job of the eagle!!! You can be sure I'll head up there and try to get it, too!
Where is the MacDougall dump? Is it open on the weekend and is it open to anyone who want to go in?
Any winter gulls?

 

 

Bald Eagle - photo
Posted on December 18, 2009 at 07:51:22 PM by J. Gardner

Jim went out looking for the flock of Bohemians that are in town, no luck. On the way home, he stopped into the MacDougall dump and this fellow was more than willing to have his picture taken. This is probably the best of a lot of good pictures. June Gardner   photo

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren again...photo
Posted on December 19, 2009 at 10:18:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Wren came in around 8:45 a.m. this morning but only stayed long enough to grab a bit of peanut since the suet cages were occupied by woodpeckers. It then returned at 9 a.m. and fed for a while at the suet cage on the pine tree. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)
Sorry for the poor quality photo...the bird flew off before I could even try for a second shot.  photo

Update...came back at 2:15 p.m. and again just after 3 p.m.  photo

 

 

 

Carolina Wren update...
Posted on December 18, 2009 at 10:24:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

Well, at least the Bracebridge/Gravenhurst Christmas Bird Count can include a Carolina Wren for count week! Let's hope it reappears on the official count day, December 20. The Wren was in our yard this morning at 10 a.m., first sampling some tidbits on the platform feeder, and then feeding for a while at the suet cage hanging on the pine tree. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 17 December
Posted on December 18, 2009 at 08:16:44 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 18, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The last open water along Highway 60 is freezing. Lake of Two Rivers is now
ice-covered, and Smoke Lake nearly so, after last night's cold temperatures.
Water birds are gone until spring.

A Wild Turkey was seen along Highway 60 near Canisbay Campground road on
December 14.

An adult Bald Eagle was near the Visitor Centre on December 15.

A single Bohemian Waxwing was at the Visitor Centre on December 14.

The White-throated Sparrow lingering at the Visitor Centre feeders persisted
through today.

Winter finches this week:
-Pine Grosbeak: one or two occasionally at the Visitor Centre, and a very
few along the highway.
-Pine Siskin: one or two with goldfinches at the Visitor Centre feeders,
irregularly.
-American Goldfinch: up to 70 at the Visitor Centre feeders by today.
-Evening Grosbeak: two at the Visitor Centre on December 16.

Boreal Species Info:
-Spruce Grouse: Check Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
-Gray Jay: Reliable locations are Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Three are coming to the Visitor Centre suet feeders daily.
-Boreal Chickadee: At least two near Post 5 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
December 16.
Black-backed Woodpecker: Check black spruce bog areas, including Opeongo
Road.

Mammals:
-Pine Marten: two continue to be fairly regular at the Visitor Centre.
-A Fisher showed up at the Visitor Centre feeders today. Remains to be seen
how frequent its visits will become.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. 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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open weekends only until December 20, from 10 am
to 4 pm. Access to the building through the service entrance to observe the
feeders is usually possible on weekdays. Hot and cold drinks and snacks are
available in the restaurant this winter on weekends, but not full meal
service.

 

 

One in Magnetawan too
Posted on December 18, 2009 at 10:38:15 AM by Alex Mills

We saw a grackle in Magnetawan yesterday (Thursday). It looked healthy, although it had a very unusual voice for a grackle. None of the three experienced birders who heard it calling from a conifer could identify it until it showed itself.

 

 

grackle (photo)
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 03:37:33 PM by Wayne Bridge

Kearney: Here's a picture of our resident grackle. Any comments re. that feather causing it to forego long distance flight?  photo

 

 

Sunflower seed deal....
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 02:02:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Janice House just called with a good tip:

Muskoka Vegeez (Eccelstone Dr., Bracebridge)
50 lb. bag Black Oil Sunflower Seed
$20.00 plus tax

 

 

Huntsville CBC
Posted on December 16, 2009 at 11:28:43 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 16, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 16th annual Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on Tuesday,
December 15. Good weather prevailed, a rare thing here recently. The big
lakes were all open, as was the Muskoka River. Deep snow (80 cm plus in
places) made off-road travel, and on-road travel at times, challenging. Very
few feeders were in operation, likely a result of low feeder-bird numbers
this winter, deep snow between houses and feeders, and the economy. The
species total was a little below average, and numbers of birds about
average.

Preliminary results show:
Total Species: 36 (average is 39)
Total Individuals: 2,779 (average is 2,899)

Record highs were set for two species (previous highs in brackets):
Wild Turkey: 106 (64)
Common Raven: 144 (134)

New Species for the Count:
Wood Duck: male on Muskoka River in Huntsville with Mallards and Blacks.

Noteworthy Species for the Count:
Trumpeter Swan: male (#586) on river in Huntsville for seventh winter.
Ring-necked Duck: female on river in Huntsville.
Merlin: 1
Ring-billed Gull: count week
Bohemian Waxwing: 101

Finches:
Pine Grosbeak: 5
Pine Siskin: count week
American Goldfinch: 52
Evening Grosbeak: 28

Thanks to our 20 field observers, several feeder watchers, and our devoted
team of after-count meal providers.

Ron Tozer
Huntsville CBC Compiler

 

 

northern shrike
Posted on December 14, 2009 at 09:04:27 AM by Wayne Bridge

[Kearney: 25 mins N-E of Huntsville] Had a northern shrike visit the feeder area yesterday morning. It only stayed a couple minutes. Our resident grackle is still here [it seems quite healthy, good appetite, flies normally, looks normal, and at the risk of being anthropomorphic, seems quite content!] The female pheasant escapees I reported a week or so ago are still in the neighbourhood but down to 2 from 3.

 

 

evening grosbeaks (photo)
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 08:13:23 PM by garyschultz

with all the fresh snow has driven the birds to the feeders,had 6 evening grosbeaks (5m)in today.
algonquin inn on hwy 60  photo  photo2

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 12:53:54 PM by Ted Gardner

Male Pileated was on the suet today, 1st time we have seen him since early November.

 

 

Rollin' Raven
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 12:04:53 PM by J. Gardner

Just watched a raven snow bathing out on the pond snow. It then started the rolling action that has been exhibited here before when we had a flock of ravens rockin' and rollin' out there. Birds are few and far between this year, so any action is welcomed. June Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on December 15, 2009 at 03:02:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Wren was back at our feeder just before noon today and about an hour later had moved up the street to visit the Bailey's yard. So far it seems "hit and miss" to try and see the bird, but perhaps it will get into a more regular feeder schedule as we go through the winter. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl...photo
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 11:21:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

After the crows left, he came down for a closer look. (but once again it's snowing...)  photo

 

 

Barred Owl, Carolina Wren
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 09:24:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Carolina Wren came in with the chickadees this morning and enjoyed some bits of peanut on our platform feeder. Then a couple of crows flew into the yard making quite a ruckus about something up in the pine trees...a Barred Owl. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Ducks...Gravenhurst
Posted on December 12, 2009 at 02:15:20 PM by Al Sinclair

Jim Goltz phoned from Bala to say he saw, Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, and Buffleheads in the little bay beside Hwy 169 in West Gravenhurst, where the creek flows down the rock face just before the tennis courts heading out of town.

 

 

Re(1): Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on December 13, 2009 at 09:50:09 AM by janice house

This morning an american tree sparrow arrived at our feeders along with a red-breasted nuthatch. We now have 5+ blue jays, and the junco is still here. For several winters a junco and american tree sparrow have stayed in our yard, they were always together under one of the spruce trees.

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 03:32:04 PM by janice house

We have a lone junco feeding in the yard and 3 pine siskins arrived today. This morning I heard some snow buntings calling as I was cleaning the snow off my car.

 

 

unexpected visitor
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 02:42:12 PM by Wayne Bridge

Kearney: I have had a very healthy looking common grackle at, or near, the feeders all day.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on December 12, 2009 at 09:10:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

The snowsqualls have stopped this morning (at least for now) allowing the birds to move about the neighbourhood. Don Bailey reports the Carolina Wren showed up at their suet feeder around 8:30 a.m. The pair of Pileated Woodpeckers have been feeding at our suet feeders again this morning. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 01:01:12 PM by Goodyear

The Carolina Wren that has been frequenting feeders in the Meadow Heights area was at our suet feeder this morning (117 Meadow Heights)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 12:34:55 PM by richardcorcelli

About 50+ Bohos at our home in Gravenhurst on Muskoka Bay this morning,....

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 12:01:09 PM by CatMacLean

Saw a Bald Eagle yesterday at the locks in Huntsville.

 

 

Large flock of Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 11:27:29 AM by ron tozer

Laura Tozer reported that a flock of about 100 Bohemian Waxwings stopped briefly on Milton Street in Bracebridge this morning. The flock quickly moved on, in search of persistent fruit.

 

 

Re(1): UNID buteo east of Bracebridge
Posted on December 12, 2009 at 08:08:38 AM by Doug Smith

The hawk made another appearence this morning, making an unsuccessful attempt at grabbing a mourning dove. I had a better look at it and believe it is a red-tail, probably an immature.

 

 

UNID buteo east of Bracebridge
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 09:08:57 AM by Doug Smith

There is an UNID buteo in my backyard in Uffington this morning, chased here by a couple of ravens. It is perched on a large willow, but is hard to see due to all of the snow. The head and tail are visible, and the tail is not red - possibly a rough-legged?

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 10 December
Posted on December 11, 2009 at 08:43:17 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 10, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Well, it didn't last! We now have over a foot of snow on the ground and all
the lakes along Highway 60 except Smoke and Two Rivers are ice-covered. Wind
and falling snow for the much of the week resulted in relatively few reports
of birds, as well.

However, again this week, an intrepid birder was active on the "East Side"
at Lake Travers and Grand Lake, accessible via the Barron Canyon Road north
of Pembroke (although perhaps not now after all the snow). On December 5, a
male Long-tailed Duck, a calling Red-necked Grebe, an adult Bald Eagle, and
five Bohemian Waxwings were noted at Achray on Grand Lake. Lake Travers
produced 331 Common Mergansers, five Red-breasted Mergansers, two Common
Goldeneyes, a Common Loon and a very late Hermit Thrush (photographed) on
the same day. The previous latest date for the latter species in Algonquin
Park was November 11.

Also on the East Side this week were five or six Red Crossbills along the
McManus Lake Road (off the Barron Canyon Road) on December 4. These
crossbills were likely part of the small resident population of Algonquin's
East Side pine forests.

Along the Highway 60 Corridor, three Common Mergansers were on Smoke Lake on
December 8, and single Common Loons lingered at Lake Opeongo Access Point
(December 4) and Lake of Two Rivers (December 5).

Winter finches this week were: Pine Grosbeak (one at the Visitor Centre on
December 6, and three at km 4 on Highway 60 on December 8); and 10 to 40
American Goldfinches at the Visitor Centre feeders throughout.

The White-throated Sparrow persisted all week at the Visitor Centre, but is
reliably seen at the feeders only near dawn and dusk.

Boreal Species Info: No reports this week, except for Gray Jay.

Spruce Grouse: Check the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Gray Jay: Reliable locations are Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, and the
Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail. Three are coming to the Visitor
Centre suet feeders daily.

Boreal Chickadee: Try Wolf Howl Pond area and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Check black spruce bog areas, including Opeongo
Road.

Mammals:
Pine Marten: two continue to be fairly regular at the Visitor Centre suet.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Re(2): pair of Pileateds...photo
Posted on December 10, 2009 at 04:41:19 PM by J. Gardner

Great shot Barbara. The snow makes it all the more compelling. June Gardner

 

 

Re(1): pair of Pileateds...photo
Posted on December 10, 2009 at 02:29:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Well, now the female has come in to join her mate. They are currently hogging both suet feeders so the Hairy Woodpeckers are very upset. I guess we'll have to put up a third suet cage now. ;)

Unfortunately we are in the midst of a snow squall and my little camera doesn't zoom well even at the best of times. But at least you can see them both...the male at the right and the female above him at the left side of the pine tree. The red colour of the male's crest extends all the way down his forehead giving him a much more impressive look - the female only has red on the top of her head. The male also has a red "moustache" line across his check whereas the female's line is black. photo

 

 

Brown Creepers, Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 10, 2009 at 01:55:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

A pair of Brown Creepers have been feeding at our suet cages the past few days. And today an adult male Pileated Woodpecker found the suet. The female Pileated I reported on Dec. 5th has been coming in several times a day ever since she realized the suet trees were back in operation...I presume this guy is her mate. (Glendale Rd./Kevin Cres., Bracebridge)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 10, 2009 at 09:50:22 AM by Goodyear

A flock of approx. 30 Bohemian Waxwings has been touring the Meadow Heights subdivision area for the last couple of days. They have been feeding on the miniature crab apple trees in the neighbourhood.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on December 8, 2009 at 07:43:37 AM by Wayne Bridge

There was a smaller flock of snow buntings over a farm field by Sand Lake (about 40 minutes N-E of Huntsville).

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on December 7, 2009 at 05:25:35 PM by Ted Gardner

A flock of 75 plus Snow buntings flew over our yard at about 2 pm today.
120 Meadow Hieghts BB

 

 

otters on the run (photo)
Posted on December 5, 2009 at 11:10:59 PM by garyschultz

With the best weather in days and great light, took a drive into Algonquin Park.on the way in spotted way out in the middle of the Lake 5 Otters having fun as they do rolling in the snow in the sun, but when one catches a large fish ? then the chase starts.  photo

 

 

Cardinal
Posted on December 5, 2009 at 05:16:09 PM by Ted Gardner

We had a female Cardinal visit this morning, she had a good feed and then just sheltered for 20 minutes or so.
We also have a female Purple Finch who has been a regular for the last several days.
120 Meadow Heights BB

 

 

Snow Buntings in Bracebridge
Posted on December 5, 2009 at 03:48:35 PM by Doug Smith

A flock of approx 30 to 40 snow buntings was on the lawn near the entrance to Fenner-Dunlop (formerly Scandura) in Bracebridge this afternoon.

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 5, 2009 at 12:56:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

A female Pileated Woodpecker visited our yard at noon. It's probably the same bird that came daily last winter since she seemed to know her way around the yard, feeding at both suet cages without any hesitation. The last time I saw her was back in October when she was checking out the still empty suet cages which we leave hanging on the trees all year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 3 December
Posted on December 4, 2009 at 08:48:54 AM by Ontbirds

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

For yet another Thursday, we had no snow on the ground and almost no ice on
any lake or pond in Algonquin Park. This will not last!

The "East Side" of Algonquin Park (accessible as far as Lake Travers via the
Barron Canyon Road north of Pembroke) has consistently yielded higher
numbers of migrating water birds than the Highway 60 Corridor. Factors which
may contribute to this difference include the East Side's proximity to the
Ottawa River and the area's comparatively small number of large lakes, which
tend to concentrate these birds. Two birders paddling Lake Travers and the
adjacent Petawawa River to Big Thompson Rapids on November 28 observed:
American Black Duck 7, Mallard 70, Greater Scaup 1, Lesser Scaup 4,
Bufflehead 11, Common Goldeneye 3, Hooded Merganser 18, Common Merganser 44,
Red-breasted Merganser 1, Red-throated Loon 1 juvenile (4th Park record),
and Common Loon 2. In comparison, a few Hooded Mergansers and one or two
Common Loons were noted along the Highway 69 Corridor.

Two Canada Geese were on Clarke Lake on November 30, a very late date for
Algonquin.

Two Common Loons were on Cache Lake on December 2.

An adult Golden Eagle was at Lake Travers on November 28.

Four very late Ring-billed Gulls were still at Opeongo Access Point on
November 26, and an adult Herring Gull was there on December 3.

Most local Blue Jays migrated this fall. Where last year there were 30 or 40
at the Visitor Centre feeders all winter, the total is about five now. The
extremely poor state of natural food crops is the cause.

Fourteen Bohemian Waxwings were at the Visitor Centre on November 28.

A White-throated Sparrow frequented the Visitor Centre feeders from November
30 to December 3.


Winter Finches:
Pine Grosbeak: one female was at the Visitor Centre on November 30 and
December 1.

Pine Siskin: three came to the Visitor Centre feeders, November 30 to
December 3.

American Goldfinch: up to 25 were at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.
Not sure what they are eating away from feeders. Perhaps weed seeds are
still available due to the lack of snow.

Boreal Species Info:
Spruce Grouse: No reports, but check the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Gray Jay: Reliable locations are Spruce Bog Boarwalk, Opeongo Road, and the
Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail. Three are coming to the Visitor
Centre suet feeders daily.

Boreal Chickadee: Try Wolf Howl Pond area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Black spruce bog areas have them, but
you have to find them.

Mammals:
Pine Marten: two are fairly regular at the Visitor Centre suet.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. 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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open weekends only until December 20, from 10 am
to 4 pm. Access to the building through the service entrance to observe the
feeders is usually possible on weekdays. Hot and cold drinks and snacks are
available in the restaurant this winter on weekends, but not full meal
service.

 

 

Re(1): Bear Hibernation
Posted on December 3, 2009 at 11:25:23 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I don't know from personal experience but Jan McDonnel, MNR Biologist, that they were hibernating now.

 

 

Bear Hibernation
Posted on December 3, 2009 at 04:41:50 PM by FrancesGualtieri

When do I know when the bears have gone into hibernation? I'm tired of carrying bear spray with me when I go into the bush on our property in Vankoughnet.

 

 

Re(4): evening grosbeaks
Posted on December 4, 2009 at 07:51:40 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Evening grosbeaks appeared at our feeder in Vankoughnet today, also goldfinches.

 

 

Re(3): evening grosbeaks
Posted on December 3, 2009 at 08:40:36 AM by GayleCarlyle

No grosbeaks at our home in Washago or at our feeder station here at work in Orillia. We do have about 8 or so goldfinches around.

 

 

Re(2): evening grosbeaks
Posted on December 2, 2009 at 09:30:01 PM by Al Sinclair

Zero Grosbeaks here east of Bracebridge. Had a single evening about a month ago, none since. Had 8 Goldfinches today eating Nyger seed.

 

 

Re(1): evening grosbeaks
Posted on December 2, 2009 at 08:06:20 PM by TrishaHealy

I have had 4 pairs of grosbeaks every day at the feeder for more than two weeks and as of Monday there are 12 of them. We are in the south part of Huntsville.

 

 

evening grosbeaks
Posted on December 2, 2009 at 09:32:14 AM by Wayne Bridge

Kearney: Is anyone experiencing a significant number of evening grosbeaks? We have had a flock of about 30 emptying the sunflower feeder daily for over a week now.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Dec. 3
Posted on November 30, 2009 at 04:29:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thursday, December 3 - Meeting 7:30 p.m. Bracebridge
MAGICAL MONARCHS & MYSTERIOUS MUSHROOMS

Eleanor Kee Wellman will be presenting photographs of the results of her daily monitoring of the development of the Monarch Butterfly from egg to flight.

Karen Love and Al Sinclair will show Karen’s photos from the Hardy Lake mushroom outing with Al providing the commentary.

The Chimney Swift Tower is now complete! A brief summary with photos will be given on the construction and installation of the Tower by Sam & Earle.

September through January meetings are held at the Latter Day Saints Church located on Cedar Lane, Bracebridge (corner of Taylor Road and Cedar Lane near Home Depot). Visitors welcome to attend. MFN website: http://muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club
Posted on November 27, 2009 at 04:54:45 PM by rick stronks

The next Huntsville Nature Club meeting will take place on Monday, November 30 at 7:00 pm at Club 55 in downtown Huntsville.

After a short business meeting, the guest speaker will be Rick Stronks, Chief Park Naturalist, Algonquin Provincial Park. Rick will be speaking on some of the results of the wolf research program that has been taking place in Algonquin for the past 7 years.

The Huntsville Nature Club meets on the last Monday of every month. Guests are always welcome.

 

 

Algonquin Park bird report: 26 November
Posted on November 26, 2009 at 09:43:26 PM by Ontbirds

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

Mild temperatures and no snow on the ground continued, with all lakes and
ponds free of ice. This is very unusual here for the date.

Twenty Canada Geese on Long Lake on November 25 were extremely late for
Algonquin, and reflected the open water and mild conditions.

The juvenile Brant foraging on lawns near the Oxtongue Lake Highway 60
bridge, west of Algonquin Park, was present until at least November 21.

Single Common Loons were on Lake of Two Rivers (November 23) and Lake
Opeongo (November 25).

A few Ring-billed Gulls were at the Opeongo Access Point dock on November 25
and 26, after this species had seemingly disappeared for the season.

A Northern Shrike was at Wolf Howl Pond on November 23.

A few Pine Grosbeaks, American Goldfinches and Evening Grosbeaks were seen
occasionally near the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Species Info:
Spruce Grouse: Seen along the old railway near Wolf Howl Pond this week.

Gray Jay: Reliable locations are Spruce Bog Boarwalk, Opeongo Road, and the
Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Boreal Chickadee: Heard near Wolf Howl Pond this week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: There was one in the Wolf Howl Pond area this week,
and one was heard calling near the Jake Lake parking lot on November 26.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. 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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open weekends only until December 20, from 10 am
to 4 pm. Access to the building through the service entrance to observe the
feeders is usually possible on weekdays. Hot and cold drinks and snacks are
available in the restaurant this winter on weekends, but not full meal
service.

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on November 22, 2009 at 03:27:08 PM by janice house

I took our dog Casey for a walk around noon today, there was one great blue heron, 10 male mallards and 6+ canada geese at the south west corner of the marsh. The bridge has been hauled back to the east side of the trail and sports an orange cone, as I was not wearing chest waders we were unable to go west on the trans canada trail......

 

 

Re(1): Snow Geese - Bracebridge
Posted on November 23, 2009 at 12:01:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Checked the geese around 11 a.m. - still lots of Canada's but the Snow Geese were gone. There were 30 Wild Turkeys near the driving range gate.

 

 

Snow Geese - Bracebridge
Posted on November 22, 2009 at 01:05:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 12:45 p.m. today we found two Snow Geese with about 300 Canada Geese at the Muskoka Highlands driving range on South Monck Dr., Bracebridge. One Snow Goose was taking a bath in a large puddle in the field, best observed from the community mail boxes.

We also stopped by the Bracebridge Ponds but only saw Mallards, Buffleheads, and a few Black Ducks.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren once more...
Posted on November 28, 2009 at 10:59:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports that the Carolina Wren was at their feeder this morning...so still in the neighbourhood. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Carolina Wren once more...
Posted on November 22, 2009 at 10:40:17 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Carolina Wren returned to our yard at 10:30 a.m. today...hadn't seen it since my last update. It was feeding at the suet cage hanging on a pine tree. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birds: 19 November
Posted on November 19, 2009 at 08:52:30 PM by Ontbirds

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

Mild temperatures and no snow on the ground prevailed this week, but
migrants continue to move on in response to factors such as day length and
food scarcity (including a very poor conifer seed crop). Larger lakes remain
open, but there has been thin ice on small lakes and ponds.

A Common Redpoll at the Visitor Centre on November 15 was the first here
this fall. The irregular presence and diminishing numbers of American
Goldfinches and Evening Grosbeaks at the feeders this week, likely indicates
they are moving through. A Dark-eyed Junco and a White-throated Sparrow were
at the feeders occasionally.

Nearly all the Snow Buntings along the Highway 60 Corridor have moved on to
suitable field wintering range to the south. Many years it seems that they
go when snow arrives to cover up weeds, but that is not the case now.

A dozen Common Loons were off Opeongo Access Point on November 15, and there
were still four there on November 17.

At least one Great Blue Heron lingered at the Old Airfield Marsh on November
17.

Flocks of Canada Geese foraging on the grass of Mew Lake Campground beach
and on Park Lake between the West Gate and the boundary on November 17 were
the second latest fall date on record here.

The juvenile Brant foraging on lawns near the Oxtongue Lake Highway 60
bridge, west of Algonquin Park, was still present today. It has been in that
area since at least November 4.

Adult Bald Eagles were reported at Opeongo Access Point on November 15, and
at Tea Lake on November 17.

Boreal Species Info:
Spruce Grouse: Try Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake area of Mizzy Lake Trail
(accessed via Arowhon Road), and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, along Opeongo Road
north of the gate (still open), and the Visitor Centre suet feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: Two seen at Post 7 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on November 17.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports this week. Check Spruce Bog Boardwalk
and Opeongo Road.

Mammals:
At least one pine marten continued to irregularly visit the Visitor Centre
suet feeders, with no predictable schedule.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Re(1): ring-necked pheasants (reprise)
Posted on November 25, 2009 at 04:53:30 PM by John Challis

I seem to recall, back in the 1980s and early 1990s, calls to the newspaper about ring-necked pheasants. I wish I could remember what communities people claimed they were being raised in.  There was a pair of pheasants being kept in captivity on Cooper's Falls Road, but that person moved about six months ago. Haven't heard them calling since.

 

 

Re(1): ring-necked pheasants (reprise)
Posted on November 24, 2009 at 11:48:57 AM by Al Sinclair

I believe that all pheasants in central Ontario can be considered as recently escaped/released. They do not survive long enough to reproduce. In southern Ontario there are areas where they do reproduce and in some cases have maintained a small local population. However unlike wild turkeys these colonies have been dieing out and in recent years the "wild" population is declining everywhere perhaps due to predation by coyotes.

 

 

ring-necked pheasants (reprise)
Posted on November 19, 2009 at 08:14:09 AM by Wayne Bridge

Further to my posting last week re. escaped ring-necked pheasants in Kearney, one of my birdseed customers reports that he has two male ring-necked pheasants feeding daily on his property. [Bay Lake - roughly between Kearney and Arrowhead P.P.]. I have seen his photographs of them and can confirm. We could assume that these, also, are escapees from the local hunt club, however this gentleman assures me that prior to the the hunt club he had a male visit one winter about 10 years ago. He also insists that pheasants have been seen outside of Huntsville over the years. Should we assume they have all been escapees from various places or does MNR, or other, have any evidence that ring-necked pheasants, like wild turkeys, are expanding their range?

 

 

Redpoll - Algonquin Park
Posted on November 15, 2009 at 04:52:17 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Justin Peter on ONTBIRDS (November 15, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Ontbirders,
By no means a rarity but for your interest, the first redpoll of the
season in these parts has just arrived at the Algonquin Park Visitor
Centre.

Cheers,
Justin Peter
Park Naturalist
Algonquin Park

 

 

Purple Finches Houston Rd Bracebridge
Posted on November 15, 2009 at 04:15:14 PM by janice house

Moira has had a small flock at her home this past week (Houston Rd off Falconburg Rd N of Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): juvenile brant goose new photo
Posted on November 15, 2009 at 07:21:51 PM by garyschultz

at last after a week of waiting found the Brant on the water ,and not on land eating on the lawn. photo

 

 

juvenile brant goose
Posted on November 15, 2009 at 11:29:08 AM by barbw

The juvenile brant goose is still here. We spotted it today and yesterday (Nov. 14 & 15) on the lawn in front of Blue Spruce's Lodge by Oxtongue Lake.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 12 November
Posted on November 13, 2009 at 01:39:38 PM by Ontbirds

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

A noteworthy change this week was the arrival of Bohemian Waxwings. There
were three on November 6 and at least six on November 8 at the Visitor
Centre, and up to 15 at Lake of Two Rivers on November 7 and 8.

A sub-adult Bald Eagle was along the km 8 logging road on November 8.

A Northern Shrike continued to frequent the Visitor Centre feeders area on
November 9 and 10.

About 15 American Goldfinches and the occasional Evening Grosbeak were at
the Visitor Centre feeders this week. Two Pine Siskins were there on
November 7, for the first observation of this species in many weeks.

Boreal Species Info:
Spruce Grouse: One along Arowhon Road on November 7; and two males and a
female on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on November 8.

Gray Jay: Seen at the Visitor Centre suet feeders regularly; five at Wolf
Howl Pond area on November 8.

Boreal Chickadee: One at Wolf Howl Pond on November 7.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and one at the Old
Airfield, on November 8.

Butterflies:
A Compton's Tortoiseshell flying around and landing on a sun-warmed metal
building at the Jake Lake Tower on November 8 set a new late fall date for
the species here.

Mammals:
A pine marten continued to irregularly visit the Visitor Centre suet
feeders, with no predictable schedule.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. 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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open weekends only until December 20, from 10 am
to 4 pm. Access to the building through the service entrance to observe the
feeders is usually possible on weekdays. Hot and cold drinks and snacks will
be available in the restaurant this winter on weekends, but not full meal
service.

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 07:35:28 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A couple of days ago my neighbour called to report that there had been a Barred Owl outside his door the evening before. Yesterday morning there was one by my bird feeders. Probably the same one I have seen in the same tree at other times. She, very large, sat there for awhile being harassed by Blue Jays, chickadees and nuthatches. It flew to another tree and then disappeared.  This was taken through my window which is why there are some odd markings on the image. Canon 7D with 70-200 @ 153mm, 1/13 sec at f4, ISO 3200 - it was early! Uncropped.  photo

While I was up at Oxtongue Lake today, Gary Shultz, who reported the Brant Goose, mentioned Barred Owls and that reminded me to post this sighting!

 

 

Carolina Wren again
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 02:17:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Carolina Wren returned to our yard at 2 p.m. today...hadn't seen it since the brief visit on Nov. 6. This time it stayed a while since it found the suet cage hanging on a pine tree. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): ring-necked pheasants
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 09:47:06 AM by Al Sinclair

Thanks for solving the mystery. There is a post on the Simcoe board Oct 17 that reports Pheasants at Sand Lake near there. We speculated it must be escaped birds from a farm or hunt camp but didn't know for sure.

 

 

ring-necked pheasants
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 09:25:29 AM by Wayne Bridge

Kearney - 25 mins N-E of Huntsville: Yesterday there were 3 female (or immature) ring-necked pheasants on my neighbour's property. I was driving by, saw them, and thought ruffed grouse. But that wee small voice inside said "uh, maybe you should check closer". I turned around, stopped, and got a long hard look at 3 pheasants!

Now for the rest of the story: A wealthy Concordian has spent considerable time, energy, materials and money on a hunt camp out Rain Lake Road not too far from the Algonquin border. Pheasants are one of the game birds they stock - and shoot. These must be 3 fugitives. I and my neighbours shall cheer them on through the winter.

 

 

late snake
Posted on November 11, 2009 at 10:24:46 PM by Alex Mills

A sluggish but living red-bellied snake was under a sunny board at the side of a Magnetawan area beaver pond today. Nearby, there was ice on the pond.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl Gravenhurst
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 09:14:36 AM by GayleCarlyle

John and I were driving back from Bracebridge later on in the day around 3:30 and didn't see the owl in the same tree but it may still be around.
If people go to look for it, it was in a dead birch tree just south of the church and adult store on Hwy. 11 South before the Sedore Road turn off. There is a large wetland to the west of the highway where the owl may be hanging out in looking for food.

 

 

Snowy Owl Gravenhurst
Posted on November 11, 2009 at 02:26:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Just checked my messages. John Challis called to report a Snowy Owl sitting in a birch tree just south of the Muskoka Store south of Gravenhurst on Hwy 11, southbound side, 10:20 am this morning Nov 11.

 

 

Bald Eagle west of Bracebridge
Posted on November 10, 2009 at 07:03:10 PM by Doug Smith

Saw an adult bald eagle flying west over the 118 W just before the former Kerrydale riding stable yesterday (Nov. 9) at about 1:30pm, (sorry for the late posting).

 

 

Re(2): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 9, 2009 at 05:41:22 PM by Ted Gardner

He missed one this afternoon at our feaders, just caught him swooping about 1.00pm (Meadow Heights, Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 9, 2009 at 02:03:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just heard a Blue Jay screaming in the yard, looked out, and there was the hawk on the ground with a late lunch...a Mourning Dove.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 9, 2009 at 12:56:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Cooper's Hawk joined us for lunch today, but fortunately for the Downy Woodpecker that was on the suet, the hawk left our yard still hungry. (Glendale Rd/Kevin Cres, Bracebridge)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 8, 2009 at 02:07:09 PM by Goodyear

Just now seven Bohemian Waxwings landed in our miniature crab apple tree in our front yard. They fed for about 10 minutes and then flew off. (117 Meadow Heights, Bracebridge)

 

 

Common Mergansers
Posted on November 8, 2009 at 09:10:31 AM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We had a dozen common mergansers in front of the cottage for about 30 minutes yesterday. They just seemed to be playing around in the shallow water stirring up the bottom! Location is 10k east of Washago. Terry

 

 

Re(3): Archived Brant sightings
Posted on November 11, 2009 at 10:28:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just checked the Bird Board archives for Brant sightings:

1 at Bracebridge Ponds Oct. 21, 2000
1 at Bracebridge Ponds Oct. 23, 2005 (Wilf Yusek's photo)
24 at Bracebridge Ponds Oct. 18, 2007
1 at Bracebridge Ponds Oct. 31, 2008

In a 2004 Ontbirds post Ron Tozer mentioned sightings of Brant on lakes in Algonquin Park:
Oct. 14 - 300
Oct. 26 - three separate groups of 30,75,and 150


I think I was the only one that saw the 24 birds in 2007 as they didn't stay long. They were gone by mid morning, and probably only stopped there at all because of heavy fog rolling in the night before.

 

 

Re(3): juvenile brant goose photo
Posted on November 12, 2009 at 10:36:04 PM by garyschultz

confirm we are in Haliburton by 3kms, can also confirm he is still here spent the whole day on the lawn of the blue spruce resort right next to hwy 60 at oxtongue lake, an easy an great photo op.

 

 

Re(2): juvenile brant goose photo
Posted on November 11, 2009 at 08:46:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Brant is a rare goose in Muskoka seen only during migration, 3 sightings I think from the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons of single birds in the last 20 years. Also a few sightings of a flock flying over, different locations. Their main migration route in Ontario is east of Muskoka and they seem to prefer large bodies of water for stopovers. The location you describe is in Haliburton Co. is that correct? Just checking to make sure it should not be added to the Muskoka records. BTW I am sure that this is the best photo of a Brant taken in our area, thanks for posting it.

 

 

Re(1): juvenile brant goose photo
Posted on November 10, 2009 at 05:48:59 PM by garyschultz

had the Brant arrive on our lawn this afternoon,Algonquin Inn on Oxtongue Lake, it also swims between this inn and that of the Blue Spruce opposite,located by the bridge on hwy #60.  photo

 

 

juvenile brant goose
Posted on November 7, 2009 at 12:11:37 PM by barbw

My husband and I spotted a juvenile brant goose on Oxtongue Lake. It was on the grassy area on the lakeside of Oxtongue Lake Road. We first spotted it the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 4th and we spotted it again yesterday, afternoon, Nov. 6th, further west on another grassy area. We have never seen a brant goose in this area before and would be interested in hearing of any other sightings.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on November 8, 2009 at 01:07:18 PM by Goodyear

We just had the Carolina Wren pay a visit to our yard. (Meadow Heights)

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on November 6, 2009 at 05:05:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Carolina Wren made a brief appearance in our yard this afternoon but so far has not returned. (Glendale Rd./Kevin Cres., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park - Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Siskins and more
Posted on November 7, 2009 at 09:27:29 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Birders,
Myself and Colleen McClease spent a great day today birding Algonquin Park.

On Arowhon Road near Camp Ahmek, we spotted a male SPRUCE GROUSE collecting
grit on the side of the road. Along various portions of the Mizzy Lake trail
from Wolf Howl Pond to West Rose Lake we had about 6 GRAY JAYS. We heard a
BOREAL CHICKADEE at Wolf Howl Pond.

At the Old Airfield, the major highlight was a flock of eight BOHEMIAN
WAXWINGS, flycatching at the Northwest end of the Airfield where it meets
Lake of Two Rivers. There was a flock of about 25 SNOW BUNTINGS also present
on the Airfield.

At the Visitor Centre Feeders, many AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES were present, along
with three PINE SISKINS (First noted by Justin Peter).

Photograph:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/levfrid/4084357556/

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,
takeHighway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park.

The Old Airfield is located along the Mew Lake Campground access road, park
ata small parking lot on the left at the beginning of the Old Railway Bike
Trailand walk around the airfield.

The Wolf Howl Pond & West Rose Lake area can be accessed by driving 4.8 km
up Arowhon Rd and then turning right onto an abandoned railway and follow
0.6 km to chain gate, park well to the side and walk in 1.5 km to Wolf Howl
and another 1 km to West Rose.

Good Birding, Lev Frid
 

 

Bohemian Waxwings in Algonquin Park
Posted on November 6, 2009 at 05:02:33 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (November 6, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Justin Peter reported three Bohemian Waxwings at the Algonquin Visitor
Centre this morning (November 6).

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario
 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 5 November
Posted on November 5, 2009 at 12:52:20 PM by Ontbirds

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

Fewer birders this week, so less information to report.

There was a single Black Scoter on Lake Travers on the East Side (reached
via Barron Canyon Road) on November 3.

Two Wild Turkeys along the highway just east of Found Lake (km 20) were seen
again this week.

An adult Northern Shrike unsuccessfully chased Gray Jays at the Visitor
Centre suet feeders on October 30.

The male Northern Cardinal at the Visitor Centre feeders was last seen on
October 29.

Small groups of Snow Buntings are numerous along the highway margin
this week.

A few Purple Finches, American Goldfinches and Evening Grosbeaks were at the
Visitor Centre feeders.

The first Pine Grosbeak of this fall was a single bird at Lake Travers on
November 3.


Boreal Species Info:

Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy
Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: seen at the Visitor Centre suet feeders regularly.

Boreal Chickadee: Try the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try the Wolf Howl Pond area.

As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for our Visitor
Centre records. 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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open weekends only until December 20, from 10 am
to 4 pm.

 

 

Bala, Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 3, 2009 at 08:08:12 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning before I drove to Quebec, where I am now, two evening grosbeaks stopped by. Hope they stay around!

 

 

Goldeneyes
Posted on November 3, 2009 at 06:58:42 PM by Dawn Sherman

There were four Goldeneyes (3M, 1F) in the river by the locks on Brunel Road today. Also a pair of Hooded Mergansers.

 

 

winter finch arrival's
Posted on November 3, 2009 at 01:49:08 PM by garyschultz

At last some new arrival's at the feeders today we had in small numbers Evening Grosbeaks as well as a Pine Grosbeak.
feeders located at the front of the algonquin inn on hwy 60

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Nov. 5
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 08:33:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thursday, November 5 - Meeting 7:30 p.m. BRACEBRIDGE
Rock with Ulrich!! - Ulrich Kretschmar is currently Vice President Exploration for Liberty Mines, a nickel producer in Timmins. His talk will focus on what we currently know about the Grenville geological province in Bracebridge and surrounding areas. He researched and produced Earth Science inventories for O’Donnell Pt., Noganosh, Magnetawan, Dalton- Digby Provincial Parks and Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, during the Ontario Living Legacy conservation effort. Ulrich is also an accomplished photographer with hundreds of published photographs to his credit.

September through January meetings are held at the Latter Day Saints Church located on Cedar Lane, Bracebridge (corner of Taylor Road and Cedar Lane near Home Depot). Visitors welcome to attend.
MFN website: http://muskokafieldnaturalists.com/

 

 

Waterfowl Gravenhurst
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 07:04:34 PM by janice house

Saturday at noon there were 3 buffleheads, 40+ common goldeneyes and 1 loon at Muskoka Beach Park near Taboo Resort

 

 

Re(1): snow buntings
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 07:06:07 PM by janice house

this morning several buntings flew over our yard (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

snow buntings
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 01:37:16 PM by Wayne Bridge

There was a small flock of snow buntings beside Loon Lake Road this morning (not far from the Algonquin border at Tim Lake).

 

 

Magnetawan
Posted on November 1, 2009 at 09:57:35 PM by Alex Mills

74 Ring-necked Ducks and 3 Hooded Mergansers were frequenting one beaver pond at Magnetawan today. While we watched them, a dozen Snow Buntings flew overhead.

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys and geese
Posted on November 2, 2009 at 08:59:08 PM by Al Sinclair

350 geese there today Nov 2, turkeys were with them but closer to the north fence. No Snow Geese.

 

 

Wild Turkeys and geese
Posted on October 31, 2009 at 01:04:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today we went over to the Muskoka Highlands driving range on South Monck Dr. to check for geese...about 150 Canada Geese were there, but no Snow Goose amongst them. Just north of there across from #1094 there were about 30 Wild Turkeys along the fenceline and up in the apple trees. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gray Catbird
Posted on October 30, 2009 at 07:14:13 PM by Dawn Sherman

There was a Catbird on the Hunter's Bay Trail in Huntsville today.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 29 October
Posted on October 30, 2009 at 02:39:14 PM by Ontbirds

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

Three noteworthy species this week were:

A first year male Eastern Bluebird at the Visitor Centre (km 43) on October
26, which tied the latest fall date ever for this species here.

A male Northern Cardinal first seen at the Visitor Centre on October 25 and
still present today. Cardinals are very rare in Algonquin Park, occurring
primarily as dispersing birds during the period from late October to late
November. They typically pause briefly at feeders, and then wander onward in
search of suitable breeding habitat. Most probably perish in this quest.

Two Chipping Sparrows at the Two Rivers Picnic Area on October
29, for our second latest date for the species in fall in Algonquin.

Ducks are being seen in larger numbers as migrants move through, such as 90
Blacks and Mallards on Smoke Lake (October 25); and 35 Ring-necked Ducks at
Opeongo Access Point (October 28).

Two Wild Turkeys along the highway just east of Found Lake (km 20) were seen
on several days this week.

The Old Airfield and Two Rivers Marsh produced seven Green-winged Teal and a
Merlin on October 26; and a Rusty Blackbird on October 29.

Small groups of Snow Buntings are regular along the highway margin this
week. There were two Lapland Longspurs calling in flight over the Trailer
Sanitation Site on October 29.

Small numbers of American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak were at the Visitor
Centre feeders. The only other winter finch reported was a single Purple
Finch at Lake of Two Rivers on October 29.

Boreal Species Info:

Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy
Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, near Wolf Howl
Pond, and at the Visitor Centre suet feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: three observed near the kettle bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on October 28.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one at Bat Lake on October 24, and one at the Old
Airfield on October 29. Try the Wolf Howl Pond area.

A Pine Marten was at the Visitor Centre suet feeders today, and may continue
to come on an unpredictable schedule.

Good birding. As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for
our Visitor Centre records.

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 near 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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily until November 1, from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

 

Re(1): Drunken Bear picked up in Gravenhurst
Posted on November 1, 2009 at 01:16:06 PM by Al Johnston

Thanks for the report, Al. I hope the bear sobers up OK. Now I'll know what to do if I ever run out of scotch.

 

 

Drunken Bear picked up in Gravenhurst
Posted on October 30, 2009 at 11:40:31 AM by Al Sinclair

Wednesday afternoon residents on Mary Street near Farquhar in Gravenhurst became concerned about the health of a young black bear lying in their back yard that appeared to be sick. It had been in the area for a few days eating apples and MNR had installed a trap to try and catch it. It was still there late in the evening so MNR was called and they came check it out yesterday morning. Before they arrived it was up and eating more apples. They were able to tranquillize it and look for injuries but found none. They concluded that the bear was drunk from eating fermented apples. They loaded it up and said they were relocating him, probably west of Algonquin Park. I heard this story first hand from Ursula Keck who had the bear in her yard.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans Six Mile Lake
Posted on October 30, 2009 at 11:35:59 AM by Anne Lewis

To quote Bev Kingdon " Trumpeter Swans are a happy pill"
We have been privileged for the past few years to have a nesting pair on the lake.
Sharing their space are a pair of loons still here and female common mergansers.
Enjoy these up close and personal pictures of a bright spot on a gloomy day.....
photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Black-Backed Woodpecker
Posted on October 27, 2009 at 12:23:48 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We have one black spruce on the property 10km east of Washago. On Sunday afternoon I heard a distinct loud harsh "chic" calls from a woodpecker loudly tapping in the spruce tree. As I got closer the yellow patch on the top of the head was very visible. Back of the woodpecker was solid black. Nice bird! I keep watching for a return visit! Terry

 

 

Re(1): unknown finch?
Posted on October 27, 2009 at 10:14:25 PM by Ted Gardner

Pine Sisken perhaps.

 

 

unknown finch?
Posted on October 27, 2009 at 12:08:10 PM by griff

 

can not tell if this is a finch of some sort  photo

 

 

birding in Jamaica
Posted on October 26, 2009 at 08:21:44 PM by John Challis

We're planning on a vacation this winter in Jamaica, and I'm wondering if anyone's had any experience with the birding there. Any recommended locations?
I've heard some wonderful birding trivia about the country; that the real, original James Bond was a respected ornithologist and author of several books on Jamaican birds, and when Ian Fleming met him, he (Fleming) decided this was the perfect cover for a fictional spy of the same name. And so the legendary series was born.
Not anticipating any espionage adventures, but any help from travellers with experience there would be welcome.

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on October 26, 2009 at 07:34:57 PM by J. Gardner

Jim managed to get this shot of the elusive Fox Sparrow this afternoon, in far less than ideal light. We have seen more Fox Sparrows this autumn than ever before. Hurdville. -- June Gardner  photo

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on October 25, 2009 at 01:36:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today there was a Northern Shrike hunting along the east side of Henry Marsh and a Red-tailed Hawk was soaring overhead. Four Hooded Mergansers and a few Mallards were in the beaver pond. Along the Trans Canada Trail west of the marsh there was a Hermit Thrush, American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, and Golden-crowned Kinglets. (Bracebridge - from traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr./Wellington St., take Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd.)

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on October 25, 2009 at 10:33:19 AM by janice house

I watched a flock of 2 dozen american pipits in the neighbours yards this morning, 2 pine siskins with 2 american goldfinches at our feeder

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding Update addendum: 23 October
Posted on October 23, 2009 at 08:13:55 PM by Ontbirds

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

A little additional information not received until today:
Black-backed Woodpecker: male and female at Wolf Howl Pond, October 20.
Spruce Grouse: female on old railway west of Wolf Howl Pond on October 20,
and a male at Sims Pit on Arowhon Road a few days earlier.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 22 October
Posted on October 23, 2009 at 01:45:39 PM by Ontbirds

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

The most interesting bird this week was a small juvenile Canada Goose
(probably a runt of the Interior race) at the Opeongo Access Point that I
initially thought was a Cackling Goose. We had doubts after seeing Michael
Runtz's photos of the bird today, and later expert opinions from Ken Abraham
and Ron Pittaway set the record straight.

A Brown Thrasher at Mew Lake Campground on October 17 was notable as this
species is rare here at any time now, and the date tied our second latest
fall record.

Bald Eagles were reported from Canisbay and Lake of Two Rivers.

A Golden Eagle flew over Lake of Two Rivers on October 22.

The Old Airfield produced American Pipits, Rusty Blackbirds and two Eastern
Bluebirds on October 18.

The only winter finch reported was Evening Grosbeak, with small numbers at
the Visitor Centre and elsewhere along Highway 60.

Spruce Grouse: singles on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail (October
17).

Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk; Opeongo Road and near Wolf Howl Pond.

Boreal Chickadee: Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy Lake Trail.

No reports this week of Black-backed Woodpecker.

Good birding. As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for
our Visitor Centre records.

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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily until November 1, from
10 am to 5 pm.

 

 

Bala Sharp-shin etc
Posted on October 22, 2009 at 07:06:27 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday an adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk kept the Blue Jays busy for most of the morning and kept most other birds away. At one point an adult Pileated Woodpecker allowed itself to be chased.  I saw a single Fox Sparrow briefly and lots of juncos. A Northern Flicker is still around and a Yellow-rumped Warbler was the first for several days. Both species of kinglet were here as well.

 

 

Re(3): Questions about ID of Cackling Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on October 22, 2009 at 05:00:51 PM by ron tozer

After consulting experts, I am now satisfied that the goose seen yesterday and today at Lake Opeongo was most likely a very small ("runt") young-of-the-year Canada Goose of the interior race. It was definitely not a Cackling Goose. Sorry for the false alarm.

 

 

Re(2): Questions about ID of Cackling Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on October 22, 2009 at 11:22:28 AM by ron tozer

Following detailed examination of photographs of this goose this morning, I have concerns about features such as bill and overall body size. I have forwarded the photos to MNR goose expert Ken Abraham and others for evaluation. For now, I want to tentatively withdraw my assertion that the bird is a Cackling Goose, pending further study.

 

 

Re(1): Cackling Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on October 22, 2009 at 08:45:12 AM by ron tozer

The Cackling Goose was still present at the Opeongo Access Point at 7.45 this morning, as reported by Chief Park Naturalist Rick Stronks.

 

 

Cackling Goose in Algonquin Park
Posted on October 21, 2009 at 07:33:06 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Kevin Clute on ONTBIRDS (October 21, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

OntBirders,
A single Cackling Goose with two interior Canada Geese was first observed by
Ron Tozer this morning (October 21) at the Opeongo Access Point in Algonquin
Provincial Park. The Opeongo Access Point is 6 km north of Highway 60 at km
46.3. The goose was observed along the shoreline and feeding on grass
around the Access Point Office and outfitter store.

The bird was still present as of noon today.
This is the fourth record of this species in Algonquin Park.

Sincerely,
Kevin Clute
--
Kevin Clute
Special Projects Leader & Group Education Program Coordinator
The Friends of Algonquin Park
Box 248
Whitney, ON K0J 2M0

Phone: (613) 637-2828
Fax: (613) 637-2138
E-mail: education@algonquinpark.on.ca
Web: www.algonquinpark.on.ca & www.sbaa.ca

 

 

More Fox Sparrows...photo
Posted on October 21, 2009 at 04:02:34 PM by Al Sinclair

We have had one Fox Sparrow here every day since Oct. 17th but today we had two. They don't get along, one chased the other away from the feeders. Snapped a couple of photos through a double window, low light, not the best but confirms the ID. Hwy 118E, 8km east of Bracebridge  photo1  photo2

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on October 21, 2009 at 01:42:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were a few Rusty Blackbirds at Henry Marsh this morning and we also saw our first American Tree Sparrows of the season. (Bracebridge)

 

 

swainson's thrush?
Posted on October 21, 2009 at 09:45:23 AM by John Challis

On the dog walk this morning, I think we heard what sounded like a Swainson's thrush. Theirs is the veery call in reverse, isn't it? This was probably a juvenile as it was having a struggle with purity of tone. The call note was very clearly a thrush.
Location in 5-acre wetland off Green River Drive, Washago.

 

 

Loon
Posted on October 20, 2009 at 07:00:46 PM by Debbie Adams

Just heard a lone Loon call out in Walker's Bay (Walker's Point). Haven't seen any Buffleheads yet, but have seen Mallards and a pair of Canada Geese paddling around.

 

 

Black Bears, 400 Extension, Parry Sound
Posted on October 19, 2009 at 08:42:47 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

On the way home from Manitoulin Island late yesterday afternoon I saw a black bear with two small cubs run up to the guardrail along the highway and run across both North and South traffic lanes. The sow got across but not sure if the cubs made it. I could see in my rearview that many cars were able to stop. Hope they all made it!

 

 

DeKay'sBrown snakes
Posted on October 19, 2009 at 08:00:33 AM by janice house

On my dog walks I have noticed quite a number of these little snakes. Unfortunately all have been road kill, do their numbers go up and down in cycles? I don't remember seeing before.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 18, 2009 at 12:59:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today in cell 4 there were six Common Goldeneye, several Scaup, ten Green-winged Teal, Buffleheads, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, and Wood Ducks. A Wilson's Snipe and two American Pipits were along the north shoreline of cell 4 (it is being drained now).

 

 

backyard birds
Posted on October 18, 2009 at 07:40:00 AM by Wayne Bridge

Great b/y birding yesterday (Kearney, 25 mins. n-e of Huntsville): at least 10 b-c chickadees, 3 blue jays, many white-crowned sparrows, a few white-throated sparrows, at least 1 fox sparrow and tree sparrow, d-e junco, 2 hairy woodpeckers, one downy, white-breasted nuthatch, 4 male purple finches, and one lonely grackle that has been here the last few days.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on October 17, 2009 at 04:40:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl has just showed up in our yard. I think it's the same one that hunted here last winter since he's using the same favourite perch. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrow
Posted on October 17, 2009 at 03:38:39 PM by Al Sinclair

One Fox Sparrow here also, about an hour after yours. Didn't stay long, checked out the area where the other sparrows were feeding then left, only about a minute or two.
8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on October 17, 2009 at 11:45:38 AM by Wilf Yusek

Had a Fox Sparrow in my yard approx. 1/2 an hour ago.
Prospect Lake, off Hwy 118E

 

 

Algonquin Park birding update: 15 October
Posted on October 16, 2009 at 09:30:38 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (October 16, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Several "first of the fall" migrants have been observed recently, about on
schedule. Examples (with the average first fall date in brackets) include:
-Horned Grebe: October 10, Lake of Two Rives (October 4)
-Northern Shrike: October 14, Lake Travers (October 14)
-American Tree Sparrow: October 10 (October 8)
-Fox Sparrow: October 10 (October 5)
-Snow Bunting: October 14, Lake Travers (October 15)

Sparrows of note recently include:
-Clay-colored Sparrow: two (photos), October 10, Old Airfield
-Field Sparrow: one, October 7, Old Airfield
-Vesper Sparrow: one, October 8, Opeongo Road
-Le Conte's Sparrow: one or two, October 5 to 11, Old Airfield in long grass
at east end near Lake of Two Rivers; and one at Lake Travers marsh, on
October 14.
-Nelson's Sparrow: one, October 5, Old Airfield Marsh; and two at Lake
Travers marsh, October 8.

Winter Finch news:
-no recent reports of Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin
-American Goldfinch and Purple Finch: a few still present.
-Evening Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeder on October 15.

Boreal Species recent reports:
-Spruce Grouse: two at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 14).
-Black-backed Woodpecker: one at Lake Travers (October 14); pair on a
utility pole opposite Leaf Lake Ski Trail, between km 54 and 55 (October
14); and a female near the parking lot at the junction of Opeongo Road and
Cameron Lake logging road (October 14).
-Gray Jay: two at locked gate on Old Railway off Arowhon Road (October 10);
five at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 14); and two at the junction of
Opeongo Road and Cameron Lake logging road (October 14).
-Boreal Chickadee: two at West Rose Lake on Mizzy Lake Trail (October 10).

Winter Preview:
-In response to the lack of food here, and as predicted in Ron Pittaway's
winter finch forecast, Blue Jays and Red-breasted Nuthatches are becoming
very scarce.

Good birding. As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for
our Visitor Centre records.
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, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily until November 1, from
10 am to 5 pm.

 

 

Snow goose
Posted on October 14, 2009 at 10:19:52 PM by John Challis

 

I don't know if it's still there, but this snow goose had joined a small flock of Canada geese at Couchiching Beach Park (Orillia) back on Sunday, Oct. 4. photo

 

 

Algonquin P.P. - Black-backed Woodpeckers, Am. Tree Sparrows
Posted on October 14, 2009 at 08:07:06 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello everyone:
I arrived early at Algonquin (around 7:30am) and was delighted to find a pair of BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS boring into a telephone pole between Kilometers 54-55. Judging by the number of holes in most of the poles there, I would say the woodpeckers frequent this area.

Next I headed over to the old airfield, where I ran into fellow Ottawa birder Brian Young. We searched for the LE CONTE'S SPARROWS that had been observed last week by Mike Burrell and Lev Frid, but came up empty. It was rather cold this morning, and a thin layer of snow was covering most of the park, so it's likely the sparrows have moved on. On the bright side, we did find several AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and at least two dozen HORNED LARKS. Eight COMMON MERGANSERS were lined up on a log in Lake of Two Rivers.

Our next stop was to the Spruce Bog, where we fed about five GRAY JAYS. According to another birder we met there (didn't get a name), there was a pair of SPRUCE GROUSE, which we missed by mere minutes. About ten HERMIT THRUSHES were also present, as were a few AMERICAN ROBINS.

At this point Brian headed over to the Visitor's Centre, to return to the airfield after a quick bite, and I carried on to Opeongo Road. At the parking area off of the old logging road, I found another female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER. There were two more GRAY JAYS, and a smattering of DARK-EYED JUNCOS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. No sign or sound of any BOREAL CHICKADEES, however.

Good birding!
Pat

 

 

Lincoln's Sparrow east of Bracebridge
Posted on October 12, 2009 at 06:52:23 PM by Al Sinclair

We had a single Lincoln's Sparrow here today picking around under the shrubs near the feeder. It was with White-throated Sparrows but disappeared as soon as I got the camera out. New yard bird for us, always have trouble finding this species, October seems to be the best month. 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 11, 2009 at 01:18:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there were about 130 Canada Geese in cell 4, along with a few Common Goldeneye, Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, American Black Ducks, Mallards, and Wood Ducks.

 

 

Algonquin P.P - Oct. 10 - LeConte's, Clay-colored Sparrows & more
Posted on October 11, 2009 at 09:24:44 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (October 10, 2009) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
Birding Algonquin Park this morning proved to be very productive. There were
two BOREAL CHICKADEES and two GRAY JAYS on the Old Railway near West Rose
Lake on the Mizzy Trail. Also present were AMERICAN PIPIT, PALM +
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and some more common species.

On the eastern end of the Airfield, I located, in a mixed sparrow flock, two
CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS. Also present were SWAMP, SAVANNAH, WHITE-CROWNED,
AMERICAN TREE and CHIPPING SPARROWS, plus D.E JUNCOS.

The two LECONTE'S SPARROWS previously reported by Mike Burrell were
re-located in the alders near Lake of Two Rivers on the east side of the
airfield (Thanks Ron!). There was also a PINE WARBLER amongst numerous
yellow-rumps. Flocks of HORNED LARKS and AMERICAN PIPITS were prominent on
the Airfield.

Photographs -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/levfrid/3999482606/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/levfrid/3999479874/

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.

The Old Airfield is located along the Mew Lake Campground access road, park at
a small parking lot on the left at the beginning of the Old Railway Bike Trail
and walk around the airfield.

The Wolf Howl Pond & West Rose Lake area can be accessed by driving 4.8km up
Arowhon Rd and then turning right onto an abandoned railway and follow 0.6km to
chain gate, park well to the side and walk in 1.5km to Wolf Howl and another
1km to West Rose.

Good Birding,
Lev Frid

 

 

Sharp Shinned Hawks
Posted on October 11, 2009 at 11:22:57 AM by janice house

This morning from 9 to 10 a pair of hawks were chasing the bluejays in our yard, the male kept sitting on top of my different feeders with no attempt to hide. The jays seemed more annoyed than afraid, they kept screaming in his face. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs
Posted on October 10, 2009 at 05:07:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was a Greater Yellowlegs at Henry Marsh. It was standing on a sunken log near the trail and appeared to be feeding on some sort of water beetles. The water level was quite high (overflowing the beaver dam), but even so we didn't see any ducks or geese this trip. (Bracebridge) 

 

 

Re(2): Orange-crowned Warbler and others
Posted on October 11, 2009 at 11:14:08 AM by janice house

Yesterday at Skeleton Lake Rd 3 beside the beaver pond I had a winter wren up close chipping at me.

 

 

Re(1): Orange-crowned Warbler and others
Posted on October 10, 2009 at 05:09:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we also had an Orange-crowned Warbler. It was feeding in our front birch trees along with Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Windermere Migrants - Orange-crowned Warbler and others
Posted on October 10, 2009 at 11:21:33 AM by dbritton

Spent a couple of hours birding along Rostrevor Road outside of Windermere this morning in perfect fall weather, cool, clear and calm.

There was a good movement of passerines including 1 Easten Phoebe, 2 Blue-headed Vireos, 10+ Ruby-crowned Kinglets, about half a dozen American Pipits overhead, 40+ Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers and 1 Nashville warbler. On the sparrow front, White-crowned were the most numerous at 60+, with smaller numbers of Song Sparrows and one each of Swamp, White-throated and Dark-eyed Junco

 

 

American Pipits
Posted on October 8, 2009 at 05:19:04 PM by Dawn Sherman

There were four American Pipits feeding along the shoreline at Bella Lake this afternoon.

 

 

Red headed Woodpecker
Posted on October 7, 2009 at 07:28:25 PM by janice house

Moira spotted what she believes to be a red headed woodpecker on the Houston Road north of Bracebridge on Friday morning on her way to work.

 

 

MFN Mushroom Hike
Posted on October 5, 2009 at 01:45:05 PM by Al Sinclair

About a dozen mycophiles trekked along the east trail at Hardy Lake on the Muskoka Field Naturalists outing Sunday morning. We found about 30 fungi species or more to practice our identifying skills on before the rain poured down. Not a bad number for early October, probably would have been better if we had more rain in September. Below are a photos of a couple of interesting ones we found.  Polyporus mori photo  Peniophora rufa photo

 

 

Re(1): Birds today
Posted on October 7, 2009 at 08:52:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Still seeing Blue-headed Vireo and Yellow-rumped Warblers today. Both Kinglets, too.

 

 

Re(1): Birds today
Posted on October 4, 2009 at 05:45:15 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There were a couple of pairs of Wood Ducks and two Hooded Mergansers in the wetland across from the entrance to the golf course on the way to North Muldrew Lake Rd.

 

 

Birds today
Posted on October 4, 2009 at 02:14:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I left at 7:30 am this morning to try for a couple of places with some fall colour. Along Southwood Road there were a couple of flocks of robins of about 20 birds each. Also, a flock of at least 8 flickers.

I have had several Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Yellow-rumped warbler White-throated Sparrows.

 

 

Juncos, Kinglets
Posted on October 2, 2009 at 04:52:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

The past couple of days we've seen several Dark-eyed Juncos and Golden-crowned Kinglets around the neighbourhood. Today a female Pileated Woodpecker was checking out the empty suet cage on our pine tree...still a little early for refills with bears and raccoons roaming about. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Grouse
Posted on October 2, 2009 at 01:02:59 PM by Alex Mills

I know other naturalists have noticed this before. I remember thinking it was odd the first time I heard it too. After months of no drumming during the summer, why do male grouse start to drum again in the fall?

I think there are two possibilities. One idea is that the daylength ("photoperiod") now is similar to the daylength at the start of the drumming season in the spring. Daylength is known to influence bird hormones and so the similarities in light levels between now and the spring produce this result. That would make the drumming now a conseqeunce of hormones and it would not really have a function.

The other idea is that since grouse are non-migratory, they actuallly start to assert their territorial claims in the fall. This may be a communication to other grouse that this piece of real estate will be a taken parcel in the spring. That would make fall drumming actually have a purpose. This is like the behaviour of some non-migratory songbirds that do sing periodically in the fall and winter (like Carolina Wrens).

Any other ideas?

 

 

Grouse
Posted on October 2, 2009 at 08:15:39 AM by CatMacLean

For the second year in a row we have heard Ruffed Grouse drumming in the fall. In all the years that we have lived here we have never heard this. Any idea as to why?
Also last week my "bird" dog was attacked by a wild turkey and had minor puntures and scratches. The turkey flew away.  (Huntsville area)