Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July – September 2010
 
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Chickadee migration
Posted on September 30, 2010 at 08:52:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday afternoon there was a flock of about 40 Chickadees gathered together at the south end of Browning Island on Lake Muskoka. They made a few tentative flights out over the water but kept returning to the tall pines along the shoreline. I'm not sure if it was the south breeze that made them hesitate or if they decided to find a shorter stretch of open water to make their crossing. Later we saw several small flocks of Blue Jays "island hopping" as they headed south over Lake Muskoka.

 

 

Woodcock - Muldrew Lake
Posted on September 30, 2010 at 10:07:24 AM by Kip Daynard

Last week, Tuesday evening I believe, at dusk I was standing in our screened in porch when a Woodcock fluttered over the lawn silhouetted against the fading light.

Yesterday, I heard a late Black-and-White Warbler singing in our yard.

 

 

Interesting fall warbler photo on the Simcoe Board
Posted on September 26, 2010 at 08:46:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Check out the replies to the post of this good photo of a "confusing fall warbler" on the Simcoe Bird Board.
http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1285297719&user=simcoenatureboard

 

 

Re(3): Hummingbird!
Posted on September 27, 2010 at 02:43:51 PM by Wilf Yusek

Just had a female Hummer at my feeder a few minutes ago, suspect it is a migrant as I haven't seen one here for about a week.

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbird!
Posted on September 27, 2010 at 10:30:10 AM by Doug Smith

There was a female (or immature) hummer at our impatiens yesterday morning, the 26th, making this our latest fall sighting by more than two weeks over any previous sightings here. We are approx. 10 km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird!
Posted on September 27, 2010 at 09:17:44 AM by GayleCarlyle

Wow, I was wondering if all the hummers are gone but I guess not.
I have left our feeder up later this year just in case we got a last minute visitor but haven't seen anything yet.
I'll give it another week.
We live about 10km west of Terry & Marion on the Green River in Washago.

 

 

Hummingbird!
Posted on September 26, 2010 at 05:43:13 PM by Terry & Marion whittam

I noticed that our hummingbird feeder went down over the past week. On Saturday Sept 25th I saw 1 last female at the feeder just before noon. Nothing since. 10km east of Washago! Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(1): Orange-crowned Warbler
Posted on September 25, 2010 at 05:25:06 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

In Bala I had Yellow-rumps, Black-throated Greens, Nashvilles, Palm and never have had an Orange-crowned that I know of.

White-throated Sparrows along with the chipping and songs. At least one Blue-headed Vireo, a phoebe for a few days and a Brown Creeper(or 2) put on a great show. Lots of both kinglets. The vireo found a katydid so there are still lots of insects in those leaves they all keep looking at so carefully.

 

 

Orange-crowned Warbler
Posted on September 25, 2010 at 10:09:59 AM by Barbara Taylor

Most of the Warblers have already headed south, but this morning we had a small mixed flock feeding in our birch trees. There were several Yellow-rumped Warblers, a few Black-throated Green, Nashville, a Bay-breasted, and an Orange-crowned. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Sept.. 27th.
Posted on September 25, 2010 at 08:32:47 AM by rick stronks

At the next Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Monday, September 27, Barbara Burton, a local club member, will speak on Blooming Utah by Canoe and Llama. This slide talk will feature the natural beauty of Utah in the spring, with its amazing sandstone features and lovely cacti and wildflowers in bloom. It will focus on a canoe journey down the Green River to the Colorado River, and an archaeologist guided backpacking trip with llamas in Grand Gulch to see the ancient cliff dwellings and rock art. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a very unique area of the world.

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

 

 

MFN outing to Big Chute canceled
Posted on September 25, 2010 at 08:03:38 AM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists canoe trip at Big Chute Saturday September 25 has been canceled due to inclement weather.

 

 

Beaumaris Birds
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 01:09:31 PM by MaryWillmott

Birds seen this am of note

large flock American Pipit
White- crowned Sparrow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-throated Sparrow
Sharp-shinned Hawk attacking (unsuccessfully) a Sparrow

 

 

Beaumaris Birds
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 10:13:37 AM by MaryWillmott

On Wednesday on my hike around Beaumaris Birds seen

Eastern Phoebe
Gray Catbird
White Throated Sparrows
Song Sparrows
Chipping Sparrows
Purple Finches
American Goldfinch
6 Common Mergansers
Large flock of Robins (many young in the group)
Wild Turkeys

 

 

Re(1): Phoebe
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 12:21:40 PM by Alex Mills

It does seem like it's getting late for a flycatcher, but I can often still find a Phoebe at thanksgiving. Unlike most flycatchers, which fly to the tropics for the winter, most phoebes go only to the southern US, and they happily eat fruit during tough times.

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 09:27:27 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday we had a visit from a phoebe, happily eating insects around our front yard.
It has been around for a while, not every day, but often.
Seems a bit late for them to still be around.
Does anyone know when the last fall date is to see one?
We're in Washago by the way.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park: Carolina Wren
Posted on September 24, 2010 at 04:59:39 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Rick Stronks on ONTBIRDS (September 24, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Carolina Wren was seen again this morning at the Algonquin Logging
Museum behind station 3 (square log exhibit).

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 to Highway 11
and east on Highway 60. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then
follow Highway 60 to the park. The Logging Museum is located at km 54.5
(near the East Gate, Whitney).

Rick Stronks
Chief Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Algonquin Park: Carolina Wren
Posted on September 23, 2010 at 08:08:34 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Justin Peter on ONTBIRDS (3:08 p.m., September 23, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi Ontbirders,
A Carolina Wren is at the Algonquin Logging Museum right now. It was originally found by Lev Frid, who happened to be working at the museum today. It was successfully re-found by a bunch of us and is still there at this time. It has been hanging around in the Red Pine forest near Posts 5 and 6. It is singing intermittently. This is a new species for Algonquin Park!

Good birding!
Justin

Park Naturalist / Interprète-naturaliste
Visitor Centre / Centre d'accueil
Algonquin Provincial Park / Parc provincial Algonquin
Ontario, Canada
613-637-2828 x. 223
justin.peter@ontario.ca
www.algonquinpark.on.ca & www.sbaa.ca
www.youtube.com/FOAPAlgonquinPark

 

 

Winter Finch Forecast
Posted on September 23, 2010 at 01:13:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Ron Pittaway has posted his Winter Finch Forecast on Ontbirds. You can find it here: http://mailman.hwcn.org/pipermail/ontbirds/Week-of-Mon-20100920/025247.html

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on September 23, 2010 at 01:00:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were over 50 Rusty Blackbirds on the roadway at the south-west corner of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. They were feeding on a large hatch of insects (looked like small mayflies) that had gathered in that area since it was sheltered from the wind.

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on September 22, 2010 at 07:08:47 AM by janice house

A flock of american pipits have been hanging out in my brothers field, a red shouldered hawk has been calling, turkey vultures riding the thermals, red eyed vireo, blue headed vireo and golden crowned kinglets with the chickadees and goldfinch's

 

 

White Peacock/hen
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 09:06:25 PM by Shauna

We have spotted what we believe is a female peacock, in leucistic plumage, at our cottage on Lake Vernon in Huntsville. The bird seems fairly tame and appears to be staying close to our propery. We are concerned that this bird may belong to someone and has escaped. If you know of anyone looking for this bird please contact us.

 

 

great horned owls
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 08:13:21 AM by Wayne Bridge

Kearney: I've never seen or heard a great horned owl here before - saw-whet and barred being the two normally seen/heard - but this morning about 1 a.m. there was a great horned owl across the road calling to another further away. It went on for quite a while. I went back to bed and back to sleep.

 

 

Re(1): Lagoons
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 01:52:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports this morning there were three Rusty Blackbirds by the south end of cell 1, and some Field Sparrows. No Coot and no Pintail. There was a Lesser Scaup and American Wigeon in cell 1, and also several Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and some Black Ducks. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a tree near the Lagoon Lane entrance.

 

 

Lagoons - Coot, Pintail, Shovelers
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 02:11:33 PM by Goodyear

This morning at the Bracebridge lagoons we had a single Coot, a female Pintail, and two female Shovelers - all in Cell 1. Many Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, and Wood Ducks, as well as Green-winged Teal and Black Ducks.

 

 

Re(3): Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:48:39 AM by J. Gardner

Our last two hummers seem to have blown away with the big winds of the 21st September. Not seen since the morning of the 21st. Latest sighting at our place in Hurdville.

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 07:09:21 PM by J. Gardner

Still have two juvenile hummers here. I left the feeder out on recommendation of Hummingbird Project, and they still visit the feeder. Never have had them this late as I usually take the feeders in on or around the 10th of September.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 05:50:52 PM by Wilf Yusek

Have a female hummer here today not at my feeder but nectaring on my Fuschia flowers.

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 17, 2010 at 04:25:57 PM by Debbie Adams

We still have one lone female. As of 3:30pm today, she was busy at the feeder and then sharing perching space in our birch tree with several chickadees and 2 goldfinches. This is the latest we've ever noted a Hummingbird.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 17, 2010 at 12:54:37 PM by Wilf Yusek

Yes we had one here on Sept.29/2002 at Prospect Lake, in checking my records I also note that I had one on Sept. 23rd 2007 & 2008, same date.

 

 

Hummingbirds - seasonal migration pattern
Posted on September 17, 2010 at 11:49:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

I checked the Bird Board Archives to see what the usual last sighting date was for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. It varies from year to year, but Sept. 16 seems to be a common "last seen" date in our area. The latest report I found was Sept. 25, 2006 in Port Sydney. Has anyone recorded a later date than that?

There is an interesting article by Allen Chartier about the fall migration of hummingbirds over 22 years at the Holiday Beach Hawk Watch. The data is from 1976 to 1997 and there is a chart showing the peak migration days (see Figure 4): http://www.amazilia.net/MIHummerNet/22years.htm

 

Skeleton Lake Hawks
Posted on September 17, 2010 at 07:11:32 AM by janice house

Wednesday night on Skeleton Lake Rd 3 there was a broad winged hawk sitting on the bell wires that cross the road and a red shouldered hawk was calling from the trees on the north west corner of the beaver pond

 

 

American Pipits
Posted on September 14, 2010 at 01:17:15 PM by Wilf Yusek

Saw 4 American Pipits on the 3rd fairway at Muskoka Highlands Golf course this morning

 

 

Re(2): Migrants - N. Muldrew Lake
Posted on September 16, 2010 at 10:01:57 AM by Kip Daynard

Forgot to mention I had Nashville as well. Surprisingly I heard a Pine Warbler singing yesterday afternoon along Pinetree Rd. by Loon Lake. Black-and-White Warblers have been singing on and off here until recently. I think the Hummingbird has now left.

We had a Fox in our backyard yesterday - it had just caught a mouse and was eating it. A few mice have made their way into the house recently so that was a welcome sight indeed!

 

 

Re(1): Migrants - N. Muldrew Lake
Posted on September 15, 2010 at 05:25:44 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

My list is similar to Kip's with additons of two different Blue-headed Vireos, Red-eyed, Scarlet Tanager, Pine, Nashville and Black & White Warblers.

I haven't seen any of the several American Redstarts that were around. I have seen at least one Brown Creeper numberous times over the last few days. My only sightings have been during migration here.

My big one was a, heard only, Peewee! The only time I have heard one all summer.

 

 

Migrants - N. Muldrew Lake
Posted on September 14, 2010 at 11:57:22 AM by Kip Daynard

A small migrant fall-out came to the big white pine outside my office window this morning (which made getting anything done rather difficult!):

Pine Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (many)
Palm Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-throated Sparrow

Haven't seen Blue Jays here for a month or more but one was around this morning. Chipping Sparrows had a very good year this year. We have at least 6 first year birds feeding in close proximity in the back yard and at least one still in juvenile plumage. Hummingbird female was still here yesterday. Phoebe is still here as well. We had a few goldfinches around all summer and they are now moulting back into their winter plumage.

Three Wild Turkeys recently got in the habit of coming and drinking from a water bowl that we'd left outside on the front step from when my sister brought her Black Lab to visit. The resident bat still perches under the overhang of our entrance every night as evidenced by fresh droppings daily.

 

 

Osprey - N. Muldrew Lake
Posted on September 14, 2010 at 08:19:37 AM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday afternoon while on a run I saw an Osprey fly up from a perch carrying something large (a fish perhaps?) off Whippoorwill Rd. off North Muldrew Lake Rd. First I've seen on the lake this year.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Palm Warblers, no Redheads
Posted on September 12, 2010 at 02:25:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we couldn't find the Redheads, but there were five Scaup along with many Mallards, Wood Ducks, and a few Green-winged Teal and American Black Ducks. A Merlin swooped down over the ducks a few times and then headed north over Kerr Park. Shortly after it left, most of the ducks took off, flying towards the south-west.

Several Yellow-rumped Warblers were hawking insects along the roadway at the west side of cell 4 and a Lincoln's Sparrow was perched in one of the shrubs there. A few Palm Warblers were in the shrubs to the south of cell 4, along with a Gray Catbird and a small Flycatcher (Least?). A Northern Harrier flew overhead towards the south.  There was a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows in the thistles and goldenrod west of cell 2. A Green Heron was at the edge of the little frog pond in Kerr Park.

 

 

Redheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 11, 2010 at 01:32:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were two male Redheads (non-breeding plumage) in cell 2. Two Least Sandpipers and a Greater Yellowlegs were on a small strip of muddy shoreline near the north-west corner of cell 1. Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top and west at left)

 

 

Re(1): Gray Treefrog
Posted on September 14, 2010 at 09:42:51 AM by GayleCarlyle

We had a garden pond put in this spring and were thrilled to have treefrogs breed, lay eggs, and then have tadpoles hatch. Later on there were little treefrog froglets sitting along the edge of the pond; bright green little guys. We'll try to get some photos posted.
So maybe next spring, we'll have even more frogs at our pond!

 

 

Gray Treefrog
Posted on September 10, 2010 at 07:24:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This Gray Treefrog spent the afternoon on our sunny front window. photo  We usually just hear their calls so it was nice to actually see one. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): turkeys
Posted on September 10, 2010 at 05:24:03 PM by Wilf Yusek

It has twice in the last couple of years, but I rarely leave them out at night, forget once and it happens. last year as I was out getting them one bear came out of the woods behind my neighbors place, I roared at it, it stood up and ran back into the woods, I was only a short distance from my garage side door ready to run in and close it.

 

 

Re(1): turkeys
Posted on September 10, 2010 at 05:00:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Wilf,
Your birdfeeder looks like its seen more bears than turkeys!

 

 

turkeys
Posted on September 10, 2010 at 04:09:43 PM by Wilf Yusek

These 2 have been here most of the afternoon, they are eating sunflower seeds that other birds knock to the ground from my feeders  photo

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 01:56:27 PM by ejongran

A Carolina Wren, singing loudly, visited our garden about noon today. It explored under our canoe, then boat, and seems to have moved on. Acted more like a mouse than a bird. (We had one winter over here for 2 consecutive winters a few years back)

Jon Grandfield
20 Sallys Lane
Port Sydney
(Off district road 10, 3 km east on highway 11, exit 207)

 

 

Re(3): Hummingbird
Posted on September 16, 2010 at 05:14:42 PM by J. Gardner

September 16, left the feeder up in Hurdville on recommendation of Hummingbird Project. Picked up another juvenile, for a total of two. Cold miserable weather. I want to take off for Venezuela. What's wrong with these birds?

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbird
Posted on September 15, 2010 at 03:20:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

When I haven't seen any hummingbirds for about a week, then I take down the feeder mid-morning. I figure that way if there is still a hummingbird around, it can fuel up after a cold night before heading south.

You can leave your feeder up as long as you'd like since it won't prevent birds from migrating. You can also take it down whenever you'd like since they aren't dependant on it and will just go feed somewhere else.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird
Posted on September 15, 2010 at 02:17:25 PM by MikeWeiss

Im on Penetang bay.. I also have hummers at my feeder....Is it safe to keep the feeders still up... Im thinking when you suggest to take them down we do it at night... is that correct.. thanks

 

 

Re(6): Hummingbird
Posted on September 13, 2010 at 03:54:33 PM by Debbie Adams

Thanks Gayle for that info. The female that is still here has been busy at the feeder all day. I suspect she's happy to have it all to herself now that the others have gone.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(5): Hummingbird
Posted on September 13, 2010 at 12:55:35 PM by GayleCarlyle

We still have a hummer around our place in Washago as of yesterday (didn't have time this morning to look)
According to Cindy Cartwright with the Ontario Hummingbird Project, we should all be leaving our feeders up as long as possible (until heavy frost) because migrating birds that may be a little late in their travels will appreciate the food. And it may mean the difference between life and death for the little creatures.
So this year I'm leaving ours up until the solution starts to freeze over night.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird
Posted on September 13, 2010 at 10:32:40 AM by Debbie Adams

There is a female at our feeder as I write this. The others seem to have left.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(4): Hummingbird
Posted on September 12, 2010 at 03:29:21 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We still had 2 hummers fighting over the feeder today Sept 12 10km east of Washago! Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(3): Hummingbird
Posted on September 10, 2010 at 12:53:14 PM by Wilf Yusek

Have a female hummer here at Prospect lake today.

 

 

Re(2): Hummingbird
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 07:11:45 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Hummers still around my place in Bala. I saw a male this morning. There has been one here all along. Not as many coming around as last week, though.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 01:14:24 PM by J. Gardner

We seem to have only one adult female hummer left, since the other female and a juvenile departed yesterday. The 10th of September seems to be the latest departure date around our place in Hurdville. I usually take the feeder down after that date to encourage the stragglers to depart.

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 05:10:55 PM by Debbie Adams

Our Hummingbirds are still here and bulking up for the flight south. The feeder needs refilling! (Walker's Point)

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 11:48:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

I was going to take down our hummingbird feeder since all our "resident" hummers left a week ago. But one showed up at the feeder this morning and is hanging around...most likely a migrating juvenile bird.

 

 

Re(2): Strange Tomato...photo
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 00:59:03 AM by ted gardner

guess it would help to see it!  photo

 

 

Re(1): Strange Tomato...photo
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 00:57:11 AM by ted gardner

Wow...we have a strange tomatoe too! buts its different!

 

 

Strange Tomato...photo
Posted on September 7, 2010 at 09:47:10 PM by Al Sinclair

This morning Joan found this strange tomato on her cherry tomato plant.  photo (Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis)

 

 

Bold Jumping Spider...photo
Posted on September 7, 2010 at 09:33:32 PM by Al Sinclair

This spider arrived in Muskoka hidden in some grapes we picked on the Niagara Peninsula last Saturday. Note the iridescent chelicerae (jaws). This little spider has a painful bite.  Bold Jumper (male) - Phidippus audax photo

 

 

Re(2): Pine Siskins?
Posted on September 9, 2010 at 01:06:02 AM by ted gardner

Not Siskins they have finch bills...Purple young or females

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins?
Posted on September 7, 2010 at 08:11:51 PM by Alex Mills

Streaky like Pine Siskins and using a feeder like Pine Siskins, but, as you say, no yellow. They also have a bigger look to them, with a thicker bill. How about Purple Finches? The one on the left has the buffy wing feather edges of a bird born this year.

 

 

Pine Siskins?
Posted on September 7, 2010 at 06:46:17 PM by michaelhatton

What happened to the yellow?  photo

 

 

A new mushroom...hard to ID
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 06:27:56 PM by Al Sinclair

We found this mushroom near our place on August 30, 2010. It was new to me and I had some trouble putting it in the right genus. I initially assumed it had a white spore print because of the white gills. It had free gills (not attached to the stalk) and was growing on the ground so looked at amanita and lepiota species, eventually gave up for the day.

The next day I looked again at them and noticed where the caps overlapped that the spores were collecting and were brown, so I picked two and took them inside for a spore print. Next day I had a good print and to me they looked buff brown coloured and the gills were now brown. There is no mushrooms with free gills and brown spores, gave up for the day.

Next day looked at mushrooms again and decided their shape and size was like some Pluteus cervinus mushrooms growing nearby. Looked at this genus in Mushrooms of North America (Phillips) and there it was Pluteus petasatus. Most Pluteus mushrooms have pink spores. Phillips describes the spores of this species as dull pink, notes that they grow on sawdust piles, mine were on wood shavings. Mushrooms Demystified (Arora) describes the spore colour of petasatus as pinkish to deep flesh colour. I have included a photo of the spores, maybe deep flesh colour.

You can read about this mushroom at http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pluteus_petasatus.html. Others have had trouble IDing it too. I assume it must be not that common in eastern North America as it is not in Mushrooms of Ontario (Barron) or the Audubon Field Guide (Lincoff).

 

Pluteus petasatus:  photo   spore print photo

 

 

redstarts
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 10:00:14 AM by michaelhatton

Redstarts moving through - west end of Leonard Lake

 

 

Re(3): Bracebridge Ponds - Lincoln's Sparrows
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 12:08:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were still lots of Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats in the same area, but we didn't see the Le Conte's/Nelson's mystery sparrow. Instead we were treated to two Lincoln's Sparrows perched in a dead leafless shrub at the south-west corner of cell 2.  (Google Map of sparrow locations)

I forgot to mention yesterday that we saw several Turkey Vultures soaring southward. Today no vultures, but we had an Osprey fly overhead cell 4.

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 10:13:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

The roadway/dike between cells 1 and 2 intersects the roadway that runs along the north side of cell 3. The bird was a short distance west of that intersection, on the cell 3 side of the road, not too far in from the roadway. There is an Elderberry shrub nearby on the cell 2 side of the road. Some of the sparrows flew into that shrub as we walked by, but they quickly moved down into the weeds out of the wind and out of our sight.
(here's a Google map of the approximate location)

 

 

Re(3): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 03:05:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Formal? Sort of I suppose. There is no Muskoka Rare Birds Committee. So instead I have been keeping an informal list with some documentation but not as well organized as it could be. A list prepared by Bob Bowles is the basis of the list and I have added status codes and new species as they occur. I investigate reports of rare species and decide whether they are reliable enough to be added to the list. There are quite a few species that likely pass through during migration like Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrow but are not on the list because there have been no reliable sightings that I am aware of. You can see the list at: http://users.muskoka.com/sinclair/archives/muslst.html

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 08:51:05 AM by Alex Mills

Al refers to the Muskoka List. I'm wondering if there is a 'formal' list, and if so, who keeps it?

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 06:29:37 PM by Al Sinclair

Either would be a new species for the Muskoka List. Could you be more precise on the location? I might have a chance to look for it tomorrow.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 05:20:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was a Hooded Merganser and a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4. A Green Heron was perched in a dead tree west of cell 4. Many Mallards, Wood Ducks, and a few Blue-winged Teal were in cell 3. We didn't see any shorebirds except for a Spotted Sandpiper. (cell 3 is mostly overgrown with thick vegetation and no mudflats, but there is a very thin strip of shoreline along south end of cell 1)

Several Savannah Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats were feeding in the Smartweed along the roadway at the north side of cell 3. We got a quick look at one sparrow that stood out from the rest - possibly a Le Conte's Sparrow or a Nelson's Sparrow? Since we've never seen either one, and our field guides give seemingly conflicting descriptions, we can't be sure which. (note: Nelson's Sparrow is the newer naming for the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - it was renamed in the 2009 AOU 50th Supplement)

 

 

Re(3): Moths
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 10:57:44 AM by Al Sinclair

Sorry,I have seen Speckled Rustic but have it listed as Platyperigea multifera, not a common moth here. I kept the previous name because Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF) still uses it. I assume there is disagreement on the name change.

 

 

Re(2): Moths
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 10:45:53 AM by Kip Daynard

Thanks for your comments Al.
I did look at the Muskoka Moths website and noticed the images of Rosy and Speckled Rustic there.
Unfortunately I did not end up taking any photos. I had set the camera up on a tripod but the moths were so small in the frame it seemed pointless. In retrospect I should have snapped at least one frame as yes after blowing them up at least some useful detail could likely have been seen. Will do so next time and will see if I can locate this species again.

 

 

Re(1): Moths
Posted on September 5, 2010 at 10:28:51 AM by Al Sinclair

Moths do vary a lot in darkness, also change as the scales wear off. I have seen Rosy Rustic only once here, have not seen the others. Did you look at this website: http://www.moths.castillejalabs.com/ All these are from Muskoka. Also check this one: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/MainMenu.shtml

If you like, email your best photos to my address, take some from your closest focus and I will blow them up on the computer. I would be interested in what you are seeing at your location.

 

 

Moths
Posted on September 4, 2010 at 03:51:37 PM by Kip Daynard

I caught three moths in my garage last night in a jar.

One appears to be a typical Rosy Rustic (hydraecia micacea) http://bugguide.net/node/view/10779.
The second looks nearly identical except is quite a bit darker. Can they vary a lot in darkness/lightness or is this likely a different species?

The third I'm really not sure of but my best guess is either:

Speckled Rustic (caradrina multifera) http://bugguide.net/node/view/77324
or Civil Rustic (caradrina montana) http://bugguide.net/node/view/204341.

I'd say it looks more like the former although my specimen appears to be drabber than either with only a hint of dark patterning in the wings where the guide shows zig-zag patterning and orbicular/reniform spots. It does show some speckling mainly along the leading and terminal edges of the fore-wing, a hint of several lines running across both wings and a biggish dark smudge roughly where the reniform spot should be. No orbicular spot that I can make out.

Speckled Rustic appears to be more likely as Civil Rustic looks like more of a western species although I see there have been a couple of records in Toronto and one in Brantford. Any other suggestions?

I'd post a photo but unfortunately don't have a close-up lens so cannot obtain a decent photograph.

 

 

Pine Grosbeak - Killarney P.P.
Posted on September 3, 2010 at 03:23:32 PM by Kip Daynard

A highlight of my annual canoe trip to Killarney, and a big surprise for me this time of year, was a couple of Pine Grosbeaks seen on Aug. 24th on the portage between Freeland and Killarney Lake.

What drew my attention initially was a flash of a bird with bright red/pink overall with darkish wings and white wingbars. I quickly realised there were two birds but the second was mostly gray. Unfortunately I was not carrying my binoculars but was able to approach quite close to one of them.

I initially expected them to be White-winged Crossbills as I encounter these pretty regularly in Killarney at this time of year (and indeed did hear some a couple of days later giving their 'tyik tyik' in flight). However, the one I was able to get a good look at turned out to be all wrong for WW-Crossbill. It had a definite Grosbeak look to it being quite a bit larger than a Crossbill, stocky in the chest and long-tailed. It was also unusual in being in a stage of moult with a mostly plain gray breast but with a central area of pinkish-red. As far as I could tell the head was more of a russet colour but mixed with a bit of greenish. Its throat was a paler gray (slightly buffy?), lighter than its breast. I didn't get a good look at its rump.

After careful consideration I feel pretty convinced these were Pine Grosbeaks. The closest representation of this bird (photos by Brandon Holden via links to his site) I have found is as follows although the throat looked a bit more like the one in the 2nd image:  photo1  photo2

See Brandon's photo gallery showing variability in Pine Grosbeaks http://www.peregrineprints.com/zzzzArticle_PIGR.htm

My initial assumption was that it may have been an adult male and an immature male. I understand that Pine Grosbeak males don't acquire their full adult plumage until their 2nd year but can show some red in the breast. (See http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pine_Grosbeak/id). Could this have been a juvenile still in the company of its parent?

However, a quote from Peter Pyle on the above site suggests that this may also have been an older adult female.

He said: "It is well-known that older females can acquire male-like plumage (as estrogen levels decline and stop masking testosterone) but there may be other factors involved with Pine Grosbeaks. Whether the reddish color results from molt-timing or diet-related interactions or simply that adult females of this species more often can show red would make an excellent subject for further study."

Based on that it seems possible that this may have been a mated pair. In retrospect, the habitat was probably quite suitable being moist, mixed forest near water.

The 2001-05 Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas shows only one square with possible breeding evidence in central Ontario, and that in the vicinity of Britt, about 60kms to the south-east. I realize that seeing a pair, or even adult-juvenile at this time of year does not perhaps constitute breeding evidence but the possibility seemed interesting none-the-less.

Any comments would be most appreciated.
Kip

 

 

Northern Map Turtle
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 09:11:13 PM by DonScanlan

In Bracebridge today, Thur. Sept.2, I met a man and two boys, one of them carrying a turtle down to the water by the Entrance street bridge. They said they had found it uptown on the street. It was a full grown Map turtle. They released it downstream of the generating station.

 

 

Algonquin Park - Warblers, incl. Connecticut
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 06:22:03 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (Sept. 2, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
Hello Birders,
Here in Algonquin Park, warbler migration is in full swing. Yesterday (Sept
1st), birding along the railway bed at the Mizzy Lake Trail was phenomenal.
The birds were mainly concentrated about 200 m past the locked gate on the
railway bed. The flock was enormous. I came up with 17 species, with many
individuals.

75+ BLACKBURNIAN
50+ NASHVILLE
30+ BLACK-THROATED GREEN
30+ YELLOW-RUMPED

Also handfuls of the following -

BAY-BREASTED
BLACK-THROATED BLUE
AMERICAN REDSTART
MAGNOLIA
BLACK-AND-WHITE
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Many still on territory)

and singles of the following -

CAPE MAY
TENNESSEE
OVENBIRD
ORANGE-CROWNED (Early)
BLACKPOLL (Rare for Park)

CONNECTICUT - One of the few park records - was associating with the
abundant Nashvilles. A juvenile, with the brown hood barely contrasting with
the olive body and yellow belly. Very brief, but excellent look!

Also present were a male SPRUCE GROUSE, a pair of GRAY JAYS, and about a
half-dozen BOREAL CHICKADEES to spice things up.

This morning Justin Peter and myself birded the railway bed, and though the
numbers were down, most of the common species were observed, as well as many
BOREAL CHICKADEES!

'Tis the season, folks, so come on up here and enjoy the birds!

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!

 

 

Black Bears and Big Macs
Posted on September 1, 2010 at 08:52:37 PM by FrancesGualtieri

I read an article on black bears this summer in the Sudbury Star. I didn't realize that they need 20,000 calories a day - the equivalent of 37 Big Macs! And to think that instead they have to settle for grubs, berries...But they can see in colour, so at least they can identify the Golden Arch!

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Sept. 2 in Bracebridge
Posted on August 31, 2010 at 05:16:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Please note: Meeting location September through and including January – Church of the Latter Day Saints, corner of Cedar Lane and Taylor Road, Bracebridge.
SEPTEMBER 2, 7:30 p.m. in BRACEBRIDGE
BURROWING OWLS with Martha Martens
MARTHA MARTENS is a former director of the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre in Moose Jaw.
Martha will speak to us about the fascinating natural history and the challenges faced by the burrowing owl which is now listed federally as an Endangered Species. Current estimates suggest that only 500 to 800 nesting pairs remain through the prairie provinces.
http://muskokafieldnaturalists.com/

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl - begging calls
Posted on September 1, 2010 at 08:25:21 AM by dbritton

Coincidentally, there's an intersting blog post about Great Horned Owl begging calls vs. Barn Owl calls on the Earbirding site:
http://earbirding.com/blog/

 

 

Barred Owl - begging calls
Posted on August 31, 2010 at 04:59:34 PM by Al Sinclair

We heard a young recently fledged Barred Owl begging for food one night last week. The call is quite different than adult calls and sometimes is mistaken for Barn Owl calls. Finding a Barn Owl in Muskoka would be highly unlikely. The link below should open the default media player and play the call, file size is small about 190K.
Young Barred Owls Begging calls

 

 

Re(2): So does that mean...?
Posted on September 3, 2010 at 02:00:58 PM by Kip Daynard

I've seen just one Cliff Swallow in Muskoka all year. I saw it on May 2nd east of Gravenhurst on Doe Lake Rd. in the open fields east of Doe Lake.

 

 

Re(3): So does that mean...?
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 10:28:13 PM by Al Sinclair

Wilf has seen none this year, also fewer tree swallows.

 

 

Re(2): So does that mean...?
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 07:25:43 PM by Al Sinclair

I have not seen or heard of any Cliff Swallow nests in Muskoka this year. However, I have not gone looking for them except for the Baillie Birdathon when we found only single bird with other swallows at the Bracebridge Ponds on May 15. In 2009 they must have nested somewhere near the Muskoka Highlands Golf course at Bracebridge as they were seen there frequently. This year I did not see any there but perhaps Wilf Yusek did as he golfs there every day.

Alex, note that there was a post on this board earlier of nesting Puple Martins at Dollar Lake in Parry Sound District.

 

 

Re(2): So does that mean...?
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 02:02:50 PM by J. Gardner

We have had Cliff Swallows nesting under the eaves of our barn/garage for over 15 years, with the exception of this year. They arrived well past their normal nesting time, and checked the place out, and disappeared. They also nest under the eaves of the house across the road. We are at the bottom end of Lake Manitouwabing, in Hurdville.

 

 

Re(1): So does that mean...?
Posted on September 2, 2010 at 10:58:38 AM by Alex Mills

... that, like Purple Martins, it appears Cliff Swallows no longer nest in the southern Canadian Shield ("cottage country")? I would really appreciate knowing if there are still any Cliff Swallows nesting in Haliburton, Muskoka, or Parry Sound...

 

 

Cliff Swallows?
Posted on August 31, 2010 at 04:57:23 PM by Alex Mills

At Magnetawan on August 29, I found a single Cliff Swallow with 17 Barn Swallows, but that is the first Cliff Swallow I have seen in "cottage country" since 2008.
Did any visitors to this board find Cliff Swallows nesting in Muskoka or adjacent areas in 2010?

 

 

sharp-shinned hawk
Posted on August 31, 2010 at 04:48:29 PM by John Challis

This morning on Green River Drive, Washago, what I believe was a young sharp-shinned hawk -- male, judging by its size -- was being harassed by a small band of blue jays. Agressor and victim changed hands several times, when the hawk reverted to hunter, and the jays became a screaming panicked mob in retreat. Amazing to see the acceleration the hawk was capable of when it decided a jay was close enough to go after. But the jays managed to escape each time. The hawk would let out an angry squawk, land again, and become the harassee. This went on for more than half an hour and I had to leave for work. I'll look for blue feathers tonight to see whether the hawk finally got a meal for his pains.

 

 

Swift Chimney
Posted on August 30, 2010 at 07:51:17 PM by jim griffin

The replica chimney replacement for the Empire Hotel roosting site in downtown Huntsville will be set atop the Algonquin Theatre tomorrow morning at 06:30. This prefabricated chimney built by Greystone Project Management under the guidance of OMNR and Mayor Claude Doughty,is a simple plywood frame structure that is lined with a stone veneer that will hopefully provide the swifts with a new roosting site when they return next spring and can't find the Empire hotel chimney which will be torn down this fall.

 

 

Re(2): Virginia Meadow Beauty
Posted on August 26, 2010 at 03:15:24 PM by J. Gardner

Was it a wet or dry summer? Here, in Hurdville, it depends on which month you are talking about. May-dry. June-wet (6 inches plus). July dry. August-wet (6 inches). A difficult summer to describe.

 

 

Re(1): Virginia Meadow Beauty
Posted on August 26, 2010 at 09:25:31 AM by Al Sinclair

I was at Hardy Lake Tuesday, Meadow Beauty there was the same as you describe, fewer plants and not as healthy looking. The water level in the lake was low also, huckleberries were small and dry, blueberries shriveled. Almost looks like a drought has hit some areas of Muskoka? We have had frequent showers and some downpours here east of Bracebridge, what has it been like elsewhere? Comments?

 

 

Virginia Meadow Beauty
Posted on August 25, 2010 at 04:13:39 PM by terry & marion whittam

Virginia meadow beauty is in full bloom around our lake 8km east of Washago. I have noticed in the 4-5 patches we have that all have reduced numbers of individual flowers. Has anyone else noticed this with other patches in Muskoka this year? Cheers Terry
Virginia Meadow Beauty

 

 

Re(1): Warblers, Bala
Posted on August 26, 2010 at 06:21:04 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

If the 7 pm foraging meant that those warblers were intending to migrate they must have brought in all their cousins as there were many warblers around yesterday. Even had a family of Wilson's Warblers.

 

 

Re(1): Warblers, Bala
Posted on August 26, 2010 at 01:28:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

During fall migration I often seen warblers feeding quite late, usually high up in our birch trees where the last bit of evening sun is still lighting up the top branches.

 

 

Warblers, Bala
Posted on August 25, 2010 at 07:25:31 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last evening around 7 pm a flock of warblers was feeding in the trees alongside my house. This included all of the species I have seen here in the last few weeks plus a Wilson's Warbler.

This is the first time I have seen warblers feeding so late and wonder if this would have been a flock intending to migrate last night. Have others seen warblers feeding as late as 7 pm?

The only species, other than feeder birds, I have seen this morning is a Black-throated Green Warbler.

 

 

Critter Cam photos from Vankoughnet
Posted on August 22, 2010 at 04:52:01 PM by Al Sinclair

Stan Gragg sent these photos taken this week in his backyard near Vankoughnet with his new Critter Cam (a birthday gift). Note the time was incorrect on the coyote photo. Critter Cams record photos automatically when triggered by a motion detector. He uses no bait, the bear apparently likes the cherry tree.

photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Warblers on the move
Posted on August 22, 2010 at 02:26:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

We just had a very large mixed flock of Warblers feeding in our birch trees. The ones I could see clearly enough to identify were Nashville, Blackburnian, Tennessee, Black-and-white, Pine, Chestnut-sided, Wilson's, and Yellow-rumped. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Henry Road & Trans Canada Trail
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 06:56:34 PM by dbritton

I birded the Trans Canada Trail between Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Road late this morning.

Migrant/post-breeding warblers were present amongst flocks of Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches in several locations along the trail. The following species were observed:

Nashville Warbler (2)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Blackburnian Warbler (1)
Black-and-white Warbler (1)
Ovenbird (1)
American Redstart (5)
Wilson's Warbler (1) a little early
Common Yellowthroat (2)

David Britton
Ottawa

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on August 22, 2010 at 12:40:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning after the heavy rains eased off we checked out cell 3. Unfortunately a Merlin was on the hunt so any shorebirds were in hiding. At least we had great looks at the Merlin which eventually flew towards the south-west. We relocated the Merlin west of cell 4 perched in a dead tree where it was being pestered by two Flickers and a Kingfisher!

On our return to cell 3 we did see both Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, Killdeer, and Spotted Sandpipers, but no Snipe. A Least Sandpiper and both Yellowlegs were at the south shore of cell 1. Four Green-winged Teal were in cell 3 along with a Hooded Merganser, Mallards, an American Black Duck and Wood Ducks. A few Common Yellowthroats were in the tall weeds along the roadway and several Barn Swallows were swooping low over cell 3.

We didn't see the falcon with the jess.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 10:05:03 PM by Al Sinclair

The message below was on Ontbirds tonight. A Lanner Falcon is missing from Ottawa. A Lanner is the size of a Peregrine, looks similar, native to Europe and Africa. I emailed the owner tonight about your sighting.

From Ontbirds:
I am a falconer who performs work for the government . In June,I lost a Lanner falcon at the Ottawa Airport.
At one of my educational shows, a kind gentleman referred me to this website and mentioned that a similar falcon was seen in the Gatineaus' and that there were reports from Christina Lewis and Bruce DiAbalo.

Emma, 5 year old Lanner Falcon,wearing jesses, gold coloured leg band ALS 519 and Marshall RT Plus
transmitter at 216.085 mhz.
Last seen Sunday, Hanger 11, Uplands Airforce Base.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 05:45:36 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon there were 8 - 9 Solitary Sandpipers, both Yellowlegs, Least, Spotted, Killdeer, a single Snipe all in Cell 3. Also observed - a falcon with a leather jess took down a Ring-billed Gull. The falcon was observed from the lagoons but was flying around the industrial area to the east (Kia, Mazda, etc.)

 

 

Re(1): painted turtle advice sought
Posted on August 22, 2010 at 06:54:41 PM by Bob Bowles

Hi Don;
You are correct that some Midland Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles do overwinter in the eggs if they are not ready to hatch in the fall due to colder or wet weather. Since some of your turtles have hatched this should not be the case in your situation. I would take the little turtles to the nearest wetland with pools of about one meter deep. It may be hard to believe but baby turtles can not swim at first so do not put them in deep water but just along the shore in the vegetation. As for the unhatched eggs, be careful not to turn them over and I would bury them in the ground in a safe location. They should hatch soon. You could also take them to a centre which incubate turtle eggs but I don't think it will be long before they hatch so I would bury them again near where you found them.

 

 

painted turtle advice sought
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 04:20:31 PM by Don Clement

Just uncovered nine hatchling painted turtles and one still in shell while digging a drainage ditch near my garage. I'd like some advice on proper release methods. I've read that hatchings often overwinter in the nest, but that they survive only to -12C. With barely four inches of sand, this doesn't seem likely, so it's probably good I discovered them. I'm next to several large ponds and I'm thinking of releasing them near the shore, in hope that they'll find the bottom mud for winter. Any other advice? Also, any advice on helping the unhatched one?
Thanks!

 

 

Belted Kingfisher
Posted on August 20, 2010 at 07:43:55 PM by Bonnie

Around 7 pm I saw a beautiful Belted Kingfisher on the top of our dock railing here on Little Lake Joe in Muskoka.
August 20, 2010

 

 

Re(1): Was it eating the cherries?
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 04:20:24 PM by michmsg

Alex, during the time I was there I did not see them eat the berries.

 

 

Was it eating the cherries?
Posted on August 20, 2010 at 09:20:46 AM by Alex Mills

I have a few times watched Pileated Woodpeckers eating fall or late summer berries, including dogwood berries. Was this bird eating the cherries?

 

 

Re(1): Woodpecker in Port Carling - photo
Posted on August 18, 2010 at 05:03:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is Michele's photo of a Pileated Woodpecker.  photo
P.S. - in order to post a photo you first have to upload it from your computer onto the internet. One of the easiest ways to do this is with tinypic.com
You can practice posting a photo on the Nature Photos Board.

 

 

Woodpecker in Port Carling
Posted on August 18, 2010 at 04:50:00 PM by michmsg

August 6, 2010 during the MLA Boat Show @ the Port Carling Locks.
/Users/michelegoldfarb/Desktop/IMG_0295.JPG

 

 

Monarch caterpillar (photos)
Posted on August 14, 2010 at 08:00:02 PM by Debbie Adams

We have 3 pet caterpillars and today we watched them turn into chrysalis form.
The shedding process took less than 5 minutes, but waiting for the change took the whole day! Here are 3 photos of the event.
(Walker's Point)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on August 13, 2010 at 09:30:01 AM by Terry & Marion Whittam

While watching the meteor shower last night about 11pm, a Barred Owl was calling for quite some time. 8km east of Washago. "who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" Cheers Terry

 

 

Nighthawk flock
Posted on August 12, 2010 at 08:49:53 AM by GayleCarlyle

last night at about 7:00pm we watched several large flocks of nighthawks flying over our house in Washago.
A rough count of about 45 birds.
We guess they're getting ready to head south.

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 05:45:24 PM by DBurton

2 Evening grosbeaks flew over my house in Gravenhurst yesterday... very unusual for this time of year.

 

 

Re(1): Red Crossbills in Achray, Algonquin Park
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 05:18:46 PM by Alex Mills

I had a few Red Crossbills fly over last week at Magnetawan in Parry Sound.

 

 

Red Crossbills in Achray, Algonquin Park
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 04:45:09 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (August 11, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
Myself and Ian Shanahan, on the 7th and 8th (Saturday and Sunday) of
this month, whilst in Achray Campground doing
interpretive programming, heard and saw several Red Crossbills within the
vicinity of the campground. They were mainly near the entrance, feeding on
the ripe cones of the good crop of White Pine that has occurred in the
campground this year. Many sightings were of paired birds and some had
juveniles with them as well. Several males were strongly singing in the
morning. A few birds were also observed on Lake Travers road, eating grit on the side
of the road.

Directions: Lake Travers in Algonquin Provincial Park can be reached via the
Sand Lake Gate access point, located on Barron Canyon Road. This road is
reached by turningsouth off the Highway 17 bypass onto County Road 26, at a
point 3.5 km west of the Forest Lea Road (approximately 9 km west of
Pembroke),travelling 300 metres, and then turning right at Barron Canyon Road.
Eventually you will reach Sand Lake Gate. The kilometres are marked by
roadside signs. The turnoff to the Achray
campground is at km 38. The Lake Travers parking lot is at km 72.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid

 

New Yard Bird, Bala
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 04:32:14 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Another morning of many warblers feeding in the trees alongside my house and the most notable was a Golden-winged Warbler. No good pictures but a couple that confirm identity.

 

 

Quacking Duck
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 08:09:17 AM by Chris

We have a resident female mallard that incessantly quacks.
It seems to be on it's own. When it approaches other mallards they turn away but don't appear to be bothered
by her. When she stops quacking for seconds at close range
I could hear something like a grunting - wondering if this is normal behavior and she is just a yacky quacky duck.
The quacking starts just after sun rise.

 

 

Bonaparte's Gull - Dollar's Lake
Posted on August 10, 2010 at 04:39:24 PM by Kip Daynard

I forgot to mention I saw an adult Bonaparte's Gull on Sat. Jul 31st on the north end of Dollar's Lake in NW Parry Sound district. It's not a bird I often see in Muskoka/Parry Sound so thought it was worth mentioning. I see one most years on this lake at this time of year - I understand that the adults come south from northern breeding grounds in late July.

Google map location:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.644639,112.763672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Dollars+Lake&t=h&ll=45.963501,-80.175347&spn=0.02118,0.043859&z=15

Caspian Terns are also regulars on the lake, always single birds. This is about 45kms from breeding sites near the mouth of the French River so perhaps they are visiting from those colonies.

Osprey are also pretty regular and likely breed close by although I've never seen a nest.

 

 

Re(2): Nighthawks
Posted on August 10, 2010 at 08:57:00 PM by janice house

2 nighthawks flying around our neighbourhood at 8pm tonight, I watched them for 20 minutes

 

 

Re(1): Nighthawks
Posted on August 10, 2010 at 08:13:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before 8 p.m. tonight there were a few Common Nighthawks flying over our house. I wonder if they are the same ones Ted saw yesterday (we're only a couple blocks away), or if migration has started early this year? (Bracebridge)

 

 

Nighthawks
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 10:59:38 PM by ted gardner

A half dozen Nighthawks spent 10 minutes tonight feeding over the house at aprox 6:30 pm
120 meadow heights

 

 

Spotted Coral-root - an orchid
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 08:02:09 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo today at Hardy Lake PP  Spotted Coral-root - Corallorhiza_maculata photo

 

 

Re(2): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 14, 2010 at 01:48:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

It's about the right time...usually by mid-August some are moving south from our area.

 

 

Re(1): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 10:19:31 PM by rosebury

Tonight around 7:30pm there were hundreds of Monarch butterflies flying pretty high in a westerly direction, is it too early for their migration?
Severn Bridge, ON

 

 

Re(3): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 06:18:53 PM by ted gardner

Here are 3 of 8 i found on a small hill beside my driveway with a total of 3 plants.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 6, 2010 at 07:10:14 PM by Al Sinclair

Here east of Bracebridge Joan has some Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, in her flower garden. We only noticed one female monarch in the yard, about 3 weeks ago. I counted 6 caterpillars tonight, 4 almost ready to pupate, 2 only a few days old. We have had about the same in other years but they were earlier when the milkweed was still blooming so Joan makes me move them to wild plants down the road. This year they get to stay.

 

 

Re(1): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 6, 2010 at 02:41:49 PM by J. Gardner

Here in Hurdville, we seem to have a fair number of Monarchs flying about. But, we haven't seen any caterpillars yet. The milkweed (if anybody needs any, help yourself) is way past the flowering stage and the pods are already well-filled. Many of the milkweeds are in the process of drying up without flowers or pods.

 

 

Re(1): Missing monarchs
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 09:35:10 AM by mmcanally

We live on Britannia Road in Huntsville. I have seen more Monarch caterpillars around our property this year than ever. Also, more milkweed than previous years. I have seen three caterpillars on some milkweeds.

 

 

Missing monarchs
Posted on August 6, 2010 at 09:35:55 AM by GayleCarlyle

Is anyone else experiencing a lack of monarch caterpillars this year? We allow the common milkweeds to grow in the garden near our house so we can watch the caterpillars throughout the summer.
But this year, we have not seen any. Only one adult earlier in July on the swamp milkweed but that's it.
Hopefully this doesn't mean a serious decline in the population.
I'd be interested to hear from other folks.
Green River Drive, Washago

 

 

Common Buckeye in Algonquin Park
Posted on August 4, 2010 at 06:59:41 PM by rick stronks

We now have our second Common Buckeye record this summer in Algonquin Park. One was seen on July 31 at the old airfield at Mew Lake Campground. We also had one near Cauliflower Lake along the hydrocut south of Whitney on July 22nd.

Before this year, we only had two other records. Now I'm hoping for Little Yellow and American Snout!
Rick

 

 

Common Tern Colony
Posted on August 4, 2010 at 11:00:17 AM by sylviaandjim

The Common Tern Colony on the whalerock in the Severn River between the HydroGlen railway bridge and SwiftLock. The boundary is right on the line of Muskoka and Matchedash. Count is est. +-12juveniles on the wing from July 25 to Aug.2. Est. 15-20 adults reported active breeding in early May & June. Whalerock has no access and is surrounded by sharp rocks in the water, so our numbers are estimates. DCCormorants in the area on a pos. breeding tree on the mainland on the Muskoka side-(2-3 pr.) Caspian Terns active adults with young on the islets near our Island 32, but no evidence of nesting in the immediate area.

 

 

Re(2): Common Nighthawk Migration? - east of Grundy Lake
Posted on August 4, 2010 at 11:50:43 AM by Kip Daynard

Thanks George,
I think you must be right. I guess I just happened across a mini hot-spot for CONI. The numbers imply between 5 and 10 nests.
e.g. 2 broods of 2 chicks each (4 fledged birds per pair) with all birds in the sky: 27/6 = 5 nests. Two fledged per pair translates to 27/4 = 7 nests. 1 fledged per pair: 27/3 = 9 nests.

Re(1): Common Nighthawk Migration? - east of Grundy Lake
Posted on August 4, 2010 at 10:55:52 AM by george bryant

Kip,
I keep track of high counts of Ont birds
Here are my CONI figures:
2100 / August 16, 1975, TCHwy @ Massey, AW
1129 / August 27, 2001 High Park@ Bloor (GlCo)
1000 / Sept. 2, 1993, Victoria Park, Hamilton (WS)
340 / August 29, 2004, Kingston / 401 David Agro
800 / August 26, 1994 MT
706 / August 31, 1944, TO backyard, R.M. Saunders

I suspect some of your birds are just fledged young as it is 3 weeks too early for migration.

George Bryant
Gravenhurst

 

 

Common Nighthawk Migration? - east of Grundy Lake
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 02:54:50 PM by drongo

Monday evening at 7:40pm we saw 27 Common Nighthawks flying over a 1.5km stretch of Hwy 522 about 15kms east of Grundy Lake in NW Parry Sound district. They appeared to be hawking insects as one would expect at this time of night but I was surprised by the numbers. I can't see what would make this particular stretch of road more attractive than any other in the area.

Could this be an early migratory movement? The numbers suggest so but it seems early by a few weeks. That said, the following blog post suggests it may not be so early: http://stokesbirdingblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/nighthawk-migration-will-be-starting.html. According to that post the nighthawk migration survey in MA and NH starts Aug. 9th.

Based on the survey's website, the migration appears to peak in New England between Aug. 21st and Aug. 30th. http://www.borobirding.net/survey-historical-results.html

Does anyone know if any such survey is being done in Ontario?

Here's a Google Map link to the location of my sighting:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.644639,112.763672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Dollars+Lake&t=h&ll=45.901597,-80.36808&spn=0.087682,0.220242&z=13

Kip Daynard
Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Purple Martin colony - Parry Sound District
Posted on August 6, 2010 at 07:18:19 PM by Al Sinclair

This is the first active colony I have heard of in either district. It is surprising news! It is also good news and gives us hope that they will return to central Ontario in good numbers if their breeding success improves.

 

 

Purple Martin colony - Parry Sound District
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 02:22:48 PM by drongo

We spend a week every summer on Dollars Lake in north-central Parry Sound district (on Pickerel River system). I occasionally see a lone Purple Martin flying on Dollars Lake and have often wondered if there was an established colony somewhere in the area. This year I found it - a well-maintained pair of Martin houses, one of which the owner claims has been occupied for at least 35 years. The owner claims there are about 20 pairs which looked about right given the size of the house and the number of birds flying about.

Here's a link to the Google Map location:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.644639,112.763672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Dollars+Lake&ll=45.90312,-80.272079&spn=0.02192,0.05506&t=h&z=15

Has anyone else seen Purple Martins in Muskoka or Parry Sound this year?

Kip Daynard
Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Nectar mixes
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 11:25:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

ONLY use white sugar and water!
See this website for more info...
http://www.hummingbirds.net/feeders.html

 

 

Nectar mixes
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 09:54:54 AM by MikeWeiss

Hello All,,, Is it best when making Nectar mixes for Hummingbirds and Orioles to use White or Brown sugar ...

 

 

Re(1): strange loon behaviour with babies
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 06:40:14 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

When a loon chick is about 3-4 weeks old the adults will start to leave it on its own in places they consider safe. They are left on their own and told to stay there until the adults return.

This can happen when other loons come into the area or there is other danger.

You are right about the Canada Geese. Loons don't like them and will chase them away so don't know what would have been going on for one of the chicks to be with them.

If the fishing is not good for the loon adults and they are having a difficult time feeding two chicks they have been known to drive a chick away and abandon it. Usually they drive it onto land, though. Don't do anything about a chick that you think might have been abandoned until talking with Janice Enright at A Wing and a Prayer, though.

 

 

strange loon behaviour with babies
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 04:19:39 AM by GFarkas

We live on a small lake in the Parry Sound region. About a week ago, neighbours spotted a small baby loon that was all by itself in the water with no adult loons in sight. Obviously the baby appeared distressed and we could hear it crying. We watched it for a few hours and eventually a pair of adult loons appeared. For a few days we saw the baby again as part of this family and everything seemed normal. However, the fact that the baby appeared to be alone for so long seemed very strange to us. Do loons “abandon” chicks like this for any reason?

Then another strange behaviour was observed. A family of young geese was on one of the neighbours lawns and the baby loon was swimming in the bay in front of that lawn, again with no adult loons in sight. When the geese were shooed off the lawn, the baby loon swam away in the middle of the family of geese. Do geese ever adopt stray loon chicks? I was under the impression that geese and loons did not get along.

 

 

Yellowlegs
Posted on August 2, 2010 at 06:41:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Lesser and one Greater Yellowlegs in cell 3. They were towards the east end amongst a bunch of Canada Geese.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on August 2, 2010 at 00:24:52 AM by kfraser

I saw an odd little bird today on the side of Cedar Shores road and when it didn't fly or run away when I drove by , I backed up to see an odd little bird. I had never seen such a bird before but after searching on the Internet I deduced it was a Woodcock. I have never seen one before but was fascinated to see one today.
Karen

 

 

Imperial Moth Caterpillars
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 03:02:28 PM by DRHinzmann

We've found 6 or 7 Imperial Moth Caterpillars at Santa's Village during the last 2 weeks or so. Also found some there last summer.

 

 

Re(1): Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 09:47:03 AM by iheathco

Thanks to you all for your responses. Rick Stronks and his staff have identified the call as a Winter Wren, so I learned something new. It sure is a vigorous little singer! I have a clear recording of the call but can't figure out how to post it on this site. If you want to hear it, email me and I'll send it along by email.

 

 

Re(4): Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on July 28, 2010 at 05:35:53 PM by Doug Smith

Dos it sounds something like a coin dropping on a hard surface, with the noise accelerating as it finally stops?
If so it may be a field sparrow.

 

 

Re(3): Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 03:18:32 PM by rick stronks

Could the bird be American Goldfinch? You might want to try to listen to that track again.
A good website for bird song/calls is www.allaboutbirds.org
Good luck
Rick

 

 

Re(2): Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 08:27:01 AM by iheathco

I don't have a camcorder, but I think there's a voice memo feature on my phone. Maybe I'll try that. Good suggestion - thanks!

 

 

Re(1): Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 08:25:28 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Any possibility you have a camcorder or something else you could record the song with? Then you could post the song.

 

 

Need help identifying a bird call
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 10:17:04 AM by iheathco

Can anyone help me identify a bird I hear singing every day in the bush off Hwy 117 near Bonnie Lake Road? it's a complex vocalization beginning with a syncopated warble and finishing with a series of rapid notes, all on the same tone. It sounds like "deet-de-deet-de-deeee da da deet-de-deet-de-deee da da d-d-d-d-d-d-d" Sometimes the final series of notes sounds more like a buzz or brrrr than individual notes. Sometimes the sequence is followed by another warble.

I have been through all of Peterson's Birding by Ear CDs, volumes 1 and 2, and have not been able to identify a call anything like this. I'd be grateful for any information you can provide!

 

 

Wrens
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 08:58:56 AM by J. Gardner

Has anybody else noticed an increase in the House Wren population? Our bluebird and swallow boxes are rapidly being taken over, here in Hurdville and around the area. Noticed this morning that one pair, at least, which has already had two successful nests, is still interested in starting on another nest. And those boxes which don't have nests, are full of timber. They set one nest on top of a brood of swallows, which, considering the shrinkage in that population, was disturbing. Jim surmises that the rapid disappearance of open fields is inviting the little blighters in.

 

 

Ruddy Duck, Solitary Sandpipers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on July 24, 2010 at 01:29:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male breeding plumage Ruddy Duck reported July 19 is still in cell 1. Two Solitary Sandpipers and a Least Sandpiper were at the south end of cell 1. Unfortunately the Ponds are not very shorebird friendly right now since water levels are quite high and there are no exposed mudflats. Also, construction of the new plant continues south of cell 3 - seems they only stop work on Sundays.

A Green Heron flew past heading west of cell 4. A female Common Goldeneye was in cell 4...she has spent the whole summer there. We had thought she must be injured, but today she flew up and circled the pond briefly before coming back in for a landing.

 

 

Oriole Babies
Posted on July 23, 2010 at 07:02:17 PM by MikeWeiss

Hello All,, im in the Penetang area,,,what date do the Orioles usually have their babies... thanks Mike.. Also spotted 2 Gray Catbirds the other day ..(One was larger the the other)..

 

 

Bat Box Building Workshop
Posted on July 23, 2010 at 04:55:27 PM by Doug Smith

Saturday, July 31st, the Muskoka Lakes Museum is putting on a Bat Box Building Workshop, from 10 am to noon. All ages are welcome, with parental supervision. Cost is $10 per person, and includes materials. Please bring your own hammer or portable drill. Call the museum at 765-5367 to reserve a place. (this message was preapproved by Bird Board admin.)
The Muskoka Lakes Museum is located on James Bartleman Island Park in Port Carling -- between the locks. Parking is available on the village streets nearby.

 

 

Bat lecture at museum
Posted on July 23, 2010 at 04:51:09 PM by Doug Smith

On Wednesday, July 28th, at 7 pm Christy MacDonald, a biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources, is speaking about Bats. After the talk Christy will use a ‘bat detector’ to listen for bats outside the museum. Cost is $5 or $3 for members. (This message was preapproved by Bird Board admin.)
The Muskoka Lakes Museum is located on James Bartleman Island Park in Port Carling -- between the locks. Parking is available on the village streets nearby.

 

 

Bulbous Water Hemlock
Posted on July 21, 2010 at 04:20:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was very little in the way of bird life at Henry Marsh this morning...several Canada Geese on the beaver pond and a Belted Kingfisher perched on the bridge. Unfortunately it started to rain, but I did manage to grab a couple shots of these Bulbous Water Hemlocks in bloom. Delicate looking flower...but the plant is deadly poisonous apparently. (Bracebridge)   photo1  photo2
References:
http://www.ontarioweeds.com/weed.php?w=CIUBU
http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/species.php?id=116

 

 

Great Gray Owl in Algonquin Park
Posted on July 20, 2010 at 07:23:27 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (July 20, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A Great Gray Owl was observed and photographed in the
Dizzy Lake area (near post 12) of Mizzy Lake Trail on
18 and 19 July. This may be the same individual that was
seen in that area on 13 June. A small population of this
boreal species is believed to breed regularly within
Algonquin Park.

The Dizzy Lake area is most easily accessed by going
backwards on the Mizzy Lake Trail from its beginning
at the junction of Arowhon Road and Highway 60 at
km 15.4. There is a map of the trail in the trail guide,
available at the trail entrance.

We would appreciate receiving your Algonquin Park
bird observations for our Visitor Centre records.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

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 details on recent natural
history sightings and park information. Birders should
ask at the front desk about the latest bird observations.
The Visitor Centre is now open daily from 9 am to 9 pm.

 

 

Re(1): Young birds in the yard...
Posted on July 23, 2010 at 11:53:40 AM by Al Sinclair

Here in the last couple of weeks we have had recently fledged Purple Finch, Hairy Woodpecker, and White-throated Sparrow. 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Young birds in the yard...
Posted on July 20, 2010 at 01:52:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

We've been seeing several young birds foraging on their own now without any parents in sight. Over the past few days the zillions of Blue Jay fledglings have "graduated" and the Red-breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees are no longer begging for food. The juvenile White-breasted Nuthatches have been fending for themselves for some time and the young Great-crested Flycatchers, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Eastern Phoebes, and one young male Northern Cardinal also seem to be on their own now. Yesterday there were three immature Yellow-rumped Warblers taking turns in the bird bath. This morning we had a young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak stop by for a visit - he only had a bit of buffy orange tint on his breast but the red underwing linings were very colourful. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): A Greater Fritillary...Aphrodite
Posted on August 3, 2010 at 09:01:18 PM by Kip Daynard

Saw a Great Spangled Fritillary on Dollars Lake in NW Parry Sound district on Jul. 21st. Alas no pictures.

 

 

Re(2): A Greater Fritillary...Aphrodite
Posted on July 26, 2010 at 01:16:01 PM by Al Sinclair

eye colour reference: Kaufman Focus Guide - Butterflies
Seems to be reliable but these two species have been few and far between here for a few years, so haven't had a large sample to compare.

 

 

Re(1): A Greater Fritillary...Aphrodite
Posted on July 24, 2010 at 04:34:52 PM by rick stronks

Al - I've never seen a reference before for eye colour between these two species. Do you feel this is a reliable field mark? I will certainly start noting eye colour.
Thanks, Rick.

 

 

A Greater Fritillary...Aphrodite
Posted on July 20, 2010 at 12:26:05 PM by Al Sinclair

This Aphrodite was in our yard today feeding on Joan's oregano, best butterfly plant here at the moment. There are three Greater Fritillary species found in Muskoka, Aphrodite, Atlantis, Great Spangled. Note the eye colour is yellow-green, Atlantis is blue-grey. Atlantis also has black wing margins on the upper side of both wings. Great Spangled has broader band of yellow on the under side of the hind wing.  4451 - Aphrodite Fritillary - Speyeria aphrodite  photo

 

 

Frostweed/FBO field trip
Posted on July 19, 2010 at 06:16:34 PM by Al Sinclair

I was fortunate to participate in a Field Botanists of Ontario field trip in the Mactier area on July 10, 2010. Leader Jim Goltz, formally from Bala now Fredricton N.B., showed us dozens of interesting and rare plants in the bogs and sandy soils around town. The photo of Frostweed below was taken in the sand pits next to Hwy 69 and is the only know location for this species in Muskoka. It gets its name from the many white hairs on the stem and leaves that look like frost.  Canada Frostweed - Helianthemum canadense  photo

 

 

Ruddy Duck - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on July 19, 2010 at 01:44:16 PM by dbritton

A bit of a belated message, but yesterday (Sunday, July 18) morning there was a male breeding plumage Ruddy Duck in the NW corner of Cell 1 (the NE cell). It was visible from the viewing platform in Kerr Park.

Also of note an adult Green Heron flew over the ponds heading west towards the Henry Road Marsh.

 

 

A Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Posted on July 19, 2010 at 09:39:06 AM by Al Sinclair

White-Marked Tussock Moth found July 16 near Barkway by Nicholas Speicher.  8316 - White-marked Tussock Moth - Orgyia leucostigma  photo

 

 

Green Herons at Kerr Park
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 12:36:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at noon there were two Green Herons at the edge of the little pond at Kerr Park...one adult and one juvenile. This is the first time we've seen a young one this year and still haven't figured out where their nest was. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Phoebes & Deer Flies
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 07:20:15 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Deer flies are just slightly less this year 10km east of Washago. We also have a local Phoebe! This past weekend we noticed reduced deer flies for the first time! Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(3): Phoebes & Deer Flies
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 10:49:49 PM by dinnymccraney

Lots of deer flies here (Bracebridge) and quite a few black flies in the last few days...glad I wasn't imagining things!

 

 

Re(2): Phoebes & Deer Flies
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 01:45:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

When walking the trails by the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh there seemed to be a bumper crop of Deer Flies this year, although not so bad right now. And has anyone else noticed the recent return of some Blackflies? Seems they came early and then died off very quick this year which made for an unusually pleasant gardening season. But over the past week they've returned...at least to our yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Phoebes & Deer Flies
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 01:35:09 PM by J. Gardner

Deer Flies!!! No reduction in Hurdville. Care to lend me a pair of nesting phoebes? June

 

 

Phoebes & Deer Flies
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 11:29:02 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Since I bought my place in 1998 I have been plagued by deer flies.

This year, for the first time, phoebes have nested on a platform under the eaves. From video I have taken I can see that the phoebes are feeding deer flies to the young as one of their prey items.

I have very few deer flies this summer. Does it follow that the phoebes are reducing the population or is it just the weather? Has anyone else noticed a reduction in the deer fly numbers?

 

 

bobolinks
Posted on July 18, 2010 at 08:48:51 AM by carolwagg

Was scolded by 4 bobolinks this morning as I walked near the crest of the hill just past 1611 Doe Lake Road (Gravenhurst). There had been a pair, so Nature seems to be taking its course.

 

 

Re(1): mystery plant
Posted on July 17, 2010 at 10:35:08 PM by PatWelch

The plant is a flowering raspberry. My neighbour on the Aspdin Road has them growing in her yard. A few years ago she gave us some plants which have now become established in our yard.

 

 

Re(1): mystery plant
Posted on July 17, 2010 at 10:28:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like Rubus odoratus (Purple-flowering Raspberry).
http://www.ontariowildflower.com/shrub.htm#raspberrypurple

 

 

Re(1): mystery plant
Posted on July 17, 2010 at 07:15:05 PM by CatMacLean

Can anyone identify? I thought it was a striped or moose maple but the flowers don't match.  photo1  photo2

 

Two Hairstreaks
Posted on July 15, 2010 at 10:15:41 PM by Al Sinclair

Two hairstreak species on the same leaf, very unusual considering how hard hairstreaks are to find. Coral and Acadian, photo taken by Jim Goltz July 9, Depot Harbour Parry Sound District.  4275-4278 - Coral Hairstreak & Acadian Hairstreak - Satyrium titus- Satyrium acadicum photo

                                      

 

Yellow-throated Vireos...Torrance
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 08:44:44 PM by Al Sinclair

Jim Goltz sent the following sighting report from July 11.

On Sunday I found 2 singing Yellow-throated Vireos on the Southwood Road. When driving from Torrance, after you have passed the turnoff to Nine Mile Lake, and gone over the railway track and around the corner, you will see a cluster of signs on both sides of the road. The vireos were near the last of these signs. One was on each side of the road.

 

 

Question Mark flying at Bracebridge
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 06:27:46 PM by Al Sinclair

We had a nice fresh Question Mark drop in here on our veranda for a brief visit this afternoon. Got a shot of the underside but not the top. The underside shows the silver "question mark" that gives it its name.  4420 - Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis  photo

 

 

Bala Backyard Birds
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 07:24:20 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The pin cherry trees that are growing next to my house are bringing lots of birds in. They have eaten all the cherries and are looking for bugs. So far, Black-throated Green Warbler(only sighting here this year), Nashville feeding juvenile, Blue-headed Vireo several times, Red-headed Vireo is a regular. The chickadees and Purple Finches (two families) are in them regularly.

Yesterday three Nashville Warblers were looking for food in the cosmos right outside my door.
Ovenbird and Black & White around as well as family of Great-crested Flycatchers. The phoebe's second family has just hatched.

 

 

Re(1): ID needed
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 09:30:06 PM by Al Sinclair

8897 Metalic Looper, Diachrysia balluca

 

 

ID needed
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 09:11:29 PM by Ted Gardner

Can't seem to pin point this one....the green is very iridescent...once againf the Home Depot Garden centre.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka moth
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 09:27:41 PM by Al Sinclair

Badly beaten up but that's what it is.

 

 

Muskoka moth
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 09:01:09 PM by Ted Gardner

I think this is a Small eyed sphinx...Home Depot Garden Centre  photo

 

 

Whimbrel - Algonquin Park
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 05:08:37 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Justin Peter on ONTBIRDS (July 13, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Good morning birders:
A Whimbrel was seen this morning three times, flying and vocalizing over the Old Airfield and Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park, coincidentally during a guided bird walk. This would be only the 6th record of Whimbrel for Algonquin Park, ever.

Good birding!
Justin Peter

Park Naturalist / Interprète-naturaliste
Visitor Centre / Centre d'accueil
Algonquin Provincial Park / Parc provincial Algonquin
Ontario, Canada
613-637-2828 x. 223
justin.peter@ontario.ca

 

 

Sora in an odd place
Posted on July 12, 2010 at 03:07:27 PM by Kip Daynard

Last week shortly after dark around 9:30pm, while sitting in our Muskoka room one evening, I heard the unmistakable descending whinny of a Sora from the wet woods to the north-east side of the house. This is nothing like the usual habitat one would expect to find a Sora in - being entirely treed and lacking deep grasses or reeds, but I feel certain about the ID as I've heard them many times before and can think of nothing else this could be. There are a few marshes in the area suitable for Soras so all I can think of is that it was en-route somewhere, perhaps looking for other Soras to gather with before the fall migration.

Here is an interesting article on Soras: http://www.birdsbybent.com/ch61-70/sorarail.html from which I've taken a few quotes:

"Fall.--During the late summer and early fall, when the seeds of the wild rice, wild oats, and other aquatic plants are ripening and falling, the soras, greatly increased in numbers with their large broods of young, desert their breeding grounds and gather in great multitudes in the more open marshes on the rice-covered borders of the lakes and streams, where they feast and fatten on their favorite food. At such times a sudden noise, such as the report of a gun or the splash of a paddle or a stone thrown into the grass, will start a chorus of cries ringing from one end of the marsh to the other. In such places they remain until driven farther south by the first frosts. They are very sensitive to cold and are good weather prophets. After a frosty night, in late September of early October, a marsh, which was teeming with rails the day before may be found entirely deserted, every bird having departed during the night. They have started on their autumn wanderings, their fall migration."

"Once breeding has been completed, soras become gregarious, gathering in large numbers as they fatten up for migration. Although the sora appears to be a weak flyer, during migration it makes lengthy flights, sometimes crossing the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean as it overwinters in South America. Migration patterns are mostly nocturnal." (Kaufman, 1996)

For more of my sightings, please visit my nature blog:
http://www.kipdaynard.com/nature

 

 

Gray Wolf near Port Sydney
Posted on July 12, 2010 at 02:25:07 PM by Kip Daynard

On Tuesday, June 29th at around 7:30pm Andrew Paterson and I saw what we believe to be a Gray Wolf at North Granite Ridge golf course near Port Sydney. It was seen briefly on the 7th hole at close range (~40m) and then again on the 9th hole at longer range (150m). It appeared to be following a deer, as a good-sized doe had crossed the fairway within 30 ft of us just a minute or two earlier in a rather agitated state.

I think it was a Gray Wolf mainly because, in contrast with coyote sightings, I was immediately struck by its 'wolfness' - immense in size, it stood waist high and appeared stockier, with a stouter snout and overall build than any Coyote I've seen. I'd say it was fairly light-colored overall: mostly gray, but with a fair amount of reddish and a touch of black.

We also saw a Merlin fly low over the 5th or 6th hole.
For more of my sightings, see my nature blog at: http://www.kipdaynard.com/category/nature

 

 

my favorite frog
Posted on July 12, 2010 at 01:47:44 PM by John Challis

 

Grey treefrogs began congregating around the new pond we have built in our front yard (Washago, Green River Drive), almost as soon as the pump began running. In mid-June there was quite a chorus of competing males and I was able to capture one in full song -- by capture, I mean on camera. He stayed of his own volition, along with several other lovestruck males. He stayed all next day, apparently quite beat from the night's romance.   photo

I have photos of him resting on a Facebook page, if the link below works. He changed colours through the day quite nicely to match the driftwood. Hyla versicolor on Facebook

 

 

Re(2): ID for dragonfly
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 09:41:18 PM by John Challis

Thanks Al. Although I have some reservations about shouting "show me your genitalia" next time I'm photographing dragonflies.

 

 

Re(1): ID for dragonfly
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 01:29:51 PM by Al Sinclair

Eyes don't touch in the middle, therefore Clubtail (Gomphus)
Possible exilis, lividus, spicatus (side stripes, most common sp. here)
Need closeup of genitalia next time, side for male, underside for female. Also photo of spots topside of the last 3 segments of the abdomen.
My guess: Gompus spicatus, Dusky Clubtail

 

 

ID for dragonfly
Posted on July 12, 2010 at 01:34:02 PM by John Challis

 

We now have two good books on odonates, but haven't been able to track this creature down. It's a large dragonfly - 5 to 6 cm long - but kept its wings tucked back like a damselfly. Found on our side steps at home in Washago, back in June.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 04:45:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Thanks for checking your records, will start looking for the green one. It looks like the Six-spotted Tiger beetle, Cicindela sexguttata, the most common species in Ontario. The brown one looks like the same one I saw at Mactier. The Tiger Beetle website is at http://www.uoguelph.ca/debu/tiger-beetles.htm

 

 

Re(1): Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 12:13:59 PM by DiannaWolfe

We routinely see Tiger Beetles; however, I must admit that I have not been recording their locations. They are notoriously difficult to photograph as they are very flighty, being equally adept at both terrestrial and aerial movement. That said, I have three sightings for which I have archived photos and consequently know locations. In Muskoka-Parry Sound, I have a photo from near Mactier in 2009 (Photo 1). Photo 2 appears to be a similar or the same species as Photo 1 and was taken west of Sudbury this year. Photo 3 appears to be the same species you photographed in Mactier and was taken near Petroglyphs Provincial Park (Kawarthas) in 2008.

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(3): Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 09:22:05 AM by Dawn Sherman

Thanks for the info.! I think I will go and check it out sometime.

 

 

Re(2): Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 04:51:00 PM by Al Sinclair

I suppose this species is about one inch long, larger than the others. The Mactier sand plane covers a large area around the town. The beetle was seen in the sand pits beside hwy 69 and are not posted or fenced.

 

 

Re(1): Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 12, 2010 at 07:59:42 AM by Dawn Sherman

How big is a Big Sand Tiger Beetle? Also, is there public access to the sand plane?

 

 

Tiger Beetle in Muskoka
Posted on July 11, 2010 at 09:26:42 PM by Al Sinclair

This is the first one for me. Seen on the Mactier sand plane July 10. Anyone else seen Tiger Beetles? (photos are frame grabs from video)
Big Sand Tiger Beetle - Cicindela formosa  photo1  photo2  Cicindela formosa Location 45 7' 35.2"N, 79 44' 46.2"W : map

From Tiger Beetles of Ontario: The most conspicuous tiger beetle of inland dunes and sand blowouts, especially those close to the Great Lakes, is our largest tiger beetle, Cicindela formosa. These big brown or reddish brown beetles are distinctive not only for their size, but also for the cream-coloured markings that extend in a broad band around the edge of the wing covers, and extend onto the wing covers as thick, finger-like extensions. These elegant beetles occur as far north as Orillia and Ottawa, but they are most common farther south where large numbers can be seen in spring. Some adults can still be found through to late August.     

 

 

another Sphinx moth
Posted on July 11, 2010 at 08:29:53 PM by Ted Gardner

also taken at Home Depot garden centre, a Big Poplar Sphinx? photo

also spotted but no pic a Pawpaw sphinx

 

 

Sphinx moth
Posted on July 11, 2010 at 08:23:36 PM by Ted Gardner

pic today at Home Depot garden centre...believe it to be a
Laurel Sphinx, thanks to Muskoka Moths Live website.  photo

 

 

Re(2): (no subject)
Posted on July 11, 2010 at 07:55:02 AM by DebbieCrozier

Thanks ever so much for your help. I have been reading about them this morning. They definitely were Northern Flickers (Yellow Shafted). I was fascinated by their golden colour, when in flight. I actually thought they looked like a woodpecker, but I never researched that catagory, because they were feeding on the ground.
Thanks again.

 

 

Re(1): (no subject)
Posted on July 10, 2010 at 09:50:21 PM by ron tozer

Hi Debbie:
The birds are Northern Flickers. They are woodpeckers that specialize in feeding on ants on the ground, which is what the birds in your photos appear to be doing.

 

 

(no subject)
Posted on July 10, 2010 at 08:13:12 PM by DebbieCrozier

 

I do apologize beforehand. I am very new at birding. AND, I am very new at posting pics to websites. I saw 3 of these birds in my back yard yesterday, and I have no idea who or what they are. I would appreciate any info.  photo1  photo2

Thank you.  Debbie

 

 

Cicada's
Posted on July 8, 2010 at 08:37:16 AM by Debbie Adams

Since Monday, I've heard Cicada's. They seem to be earlier than previous summers but I suppose that is because it hasn't been as hot for this long in recent years.

 

 

New location for Arrowhead Spiketail
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 02:04:13 PM by Al Sinclair

On the Bala Butterfly count Rick Snider and George Bryant found Arrowhead Spiketails around a beaver pond north of the Moon River Road. This species is rare in Ontario but I don't know the current SRANK, the NHIC site is not totally working, making changes. We know of 2 other sites in Muskoka both discovered last year. Note the "spike" (ovipositor) at the end of the females tail. Photos taken by Rick Snider.

Arrowhead Spiketail (male) - Cordulegaster obliqua   photo

Arrowhead Spiketail (female) - Cordulegaster obliqua  photo

 

 

Ontbird posting--Whip-poor-wills
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 11:52:26 AM by george bryant

34 Whip-poor-will, 4 Common Nighthawk, 1 Barred Owl

By stopping every 1/3 km. between 9:30 & 10:45 pm last night Stephanie & I tallied 34 Whips (excluding overlaps) on Muskoka Road 13 between Torrance (km.0.0) & Southwood (km. 12)

At most stops 3-4 Whips were heard. None were heard after km 9.5 where deep forest takes over. The four Nighthawks were all at one stop, the ascent to the barrens at km 6.5. During the first few stops, 5-10 calling and singing Veeries (my guess ~25 individuals) drowned out most other noise. Early on we heard five Wilson’s Snipes by swamps.

No birds or eye shine were seen except km. 13 where a fledged Barred Owl mantling prey was astride the yellow centre line.

The din of frogs (Bull, Green, Mink and Grey Tree) on the barrens proper (between kms. 6.0 and 9.0) was deafening. It was hot (26oC) which brought four Massasaugas and two Garter Snakes onto the asphalt. Mosquitoes were delightfully few—dark skies superb.

Geo. Bryant

 

 

Piping Plovers...update on nests at Sauble Beach
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 01:18:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Sauble Beach is on the Lake Huron side of the Bruce Peninsula.
http://naturecanadablog.blogspot.com/2010/07/nest-updates-from-piping-plovers-at.html

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 02:27:40 PM by Al Sinclair

Ernie Giles took these photos at Henry on the birdathon in May. I haven't been in there lately.

Pied-billed Grebe photo

Golden-winged Warbler photo

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on July 3, 2010 at 02:56:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an adult Pied-billed Grebe calling from the middle of the beaver pond. It kept an eye on us, but also kept looking towards the west side of the marsh...so perhaps there are young grebes still in hiding. Has anyone seen any baby grebes at the marsh yet?

A Black-billed Cuckoo was calling from the shrubbery north of the bridge. Other than that, it was fairly quiet except for a couple of Great-crested Flycatchers flying around.

Note that the abundance of rain we had a week ago brought up the water level so the trail is badly flooded as you approach the "T". Rubber boots are advisable right now. Directions: from traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge, head west on Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd. There is a parking area by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Re(1): Butterfly Count this weekend
Posted on July 8, 2010 at 02:55:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Here is one of the Bog Coppers found in my little bit of cranberry bog.  I have worked on photographing them the last few mornings from my kayak. This morning I watched a large dragonfly catch and eat one of them!     photo

 

 

Re(4): Butterfly Count ...more photos...dash on a hat
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 01:05:17 PM by Al Sinclair

Northern Broken-dash checks out Al's cap. Bala Butterfly Count July 3, 2010   4047 - Northern Broken-dash - Wallengrenia egeremet photo

 

 

Re(3): Butterfly Count ...more photos...new count species
Posted on July 6, 2010 at 09:13:08 AM by Al Sinclair

Baltimore Checkerspot photos by Rick Snider. New species for the Bala count found on Moon River Road at the old driving range. Their food plant is Turtlehead. This species is rare in Muskoka.   4516 - Baltimore Checkerspot - Euphydryas phaeton  underside photo  topside photo

 

 

Re(2): Butterfly Count this weekend...some photos
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 02:43:30 PM by Al Sinclair

 

4568 - Northern Pearly-eye - Enodia anthedon  photo

4051 - Delaware Skipper - Atrytone logan   photo

4042 - Crossline Skipper - Polites origenes  photo

 

 

Re(1): Butterfly Count this weekend
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 11:12:57 AM by Al Sinclair

It was a good day for a butterfly count but total number of individuals was low, the weather hasn't been kind to butterflies in the last few years, too wet and cool. However we had a good number of species, 30 in all, some still to be verified after the photos come in. The cycle of butterfly emergence is early this year so we had 7 new species for the count, many were butterflies you usually don't see until later in the summer like Aphrodite and Delaware Skipper. Ron will be preparing a complete report that we will post here later.

 

 

Butterfly Count this weekend
Posted on July 2, 2010 at 12:32:27 PM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists are holding their annual butterfly count on Saturday (see details below). Anyone interested in butterflies is invited to attend, no expertise required. Looks like good butterfly weather on Saturday so we should find 30 species or more.

From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists:
July 3rd Saturday (long weekend) Butterfly Count led by Al Sinclair and Ron Stager. Meet at 9:30 a.m.
at Ragged Rapids Hydro Parking lot. Take Hwy 38 from Bala, roughly 5 km to Ragged Rapids Road (make right
turn), follow Ragged Rapids Road to the Hydro parking lot, keeping left all the way. Bring lunch. Spare nets will be
available. After initial introduction and ID of butterflies, the group will split up for different routes, reconvening at
Jaspen Park at 3:30 p.m. If it is raining heavily, or the wind is strong, postponement to Sunday is a distinct
possibility. If in doubt, phone Al at 645-2848 or Ron at 684-9194. A $4 donation is requested by the National
Butterfly Association (NABA) to defray publication results. (Rain date Sunday, July 4th)

 

 

Re(3): moth i.d. needed...Muskoka Moths website
Posted on July 2, 2010 at 11:00:34 PM by Ted Gardner

the pic was taken at the Home Depot garden centre surounded by Pines.

 

 

Re(2): moth i.d. needed...Muskoka Moths website
Posted on July 2, 2010 at 12:18:47 PM by Al Sinclair

It IS an Imperial Moth, nice photo. Another large member of the Saturniidae family (Royal moths and Giant Silkworm moths) wingspan 12 cm (5 in). The Imperial moth is in the royal moth subfamily. In Muskoka their larvae eat White Pine, rarely see them where I am as there are not many pines close by. I note in a previous post here that 3 were seen this year by George Bryant who is on Pine Lake near Gravenhurst.

Thanks for mentioning the Muskoka Moths website. It's been up for quite a while but is still missing some photos, still working on it. I built it on my home computer so I could quickly check the name of moths coming to my light, decided to put it on line for others to use also.

There is now 585 species listed and I am finding new ones regularly. Most of the photos were taken around my house, a few from elsewhere in Muskoka. I am aware of a few errors on there that I haven't fixed yet (and no doubt there are some I am not aware of) so anyone using it should check other sources to confirm IDs.

The address is http://www.moths.castillejalabs.com/
You need to enable scripts to get it to work. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.

 

 

Re(1): moth i.d. needed
Posted on July 1, 2010 at 09:48:11 PM by Ted Gardner

I think i found it....Imperial Moth...used Muskoka Moths Live website!

 

 

moth i.d. needed
Posted on July 1, 2010 at 09:30:34 PM by Ted Gardner

 

photo (Bracebridge)