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Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count: 30 December 2010
Posted on December 31, 2010 at 09:53:14 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 31, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 37th Algonquin Park CBC was held on Thursday, 30 December 2010.
Conditions for birding were excellent all day: mostly calm, mainly overcast,
relatively mild temperatures (minus 12 to minus 1 degrees C.), and no
drizzle until about 4:30 pm. All still water was frozen but there was some
open water on the Madawaska River.

As expected in this unusual second successive winter with very poor to
non-existent cone crops in Algonquin, bird numbers were low. However, the
number of species observed was notably higher than last year's 23 species.

Total Observers: 63
Birds per Party Hour: 8.6 (compared to 4 last year)

Total Species: 31 (average is 28; highest ever is 34)
Total Individuals: 1,892 (average is 4,862)

Noteworthy Species:
-American Black Duck: 1 (flying over the Madawaska River near Pog Lake)
-Bald Eagle: 2
-Wild Turkey: 6 (new high count; previous was 3)
-American Crow: 2
-Bohemian Waxwing: 3 (new high count; previous was 1)

Finches:
-Pine Grosbeak: 6
-Red Crossbill: 20 (feeding on white pine)
-White-winged Crossbill: 244 (feeding on Eastern hemlock and black spruce;
unexpectedly high number since relatively few were reported before the
count)
-Common Redpoll: 115
-Hoary Redpoll: 1 (only 4th time on count)
-Pine Siskin: 1
-American Goldfinch: 5
-Evening Grosbeak: none

A big thanks to all those who participated in the count and especially to
those who facilitated the electronic tally, gave short illustrated talks
after the tally, assisted with the catered dinner, and made payment by
credit card possible (a first on any Ontario CBC?).

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler

 

 

Northern Shrike, Bala
Posted on December 31, 2010 at 09:30:24 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A Northern Shrike did a quick survey around my feeders yesterday. Saw it land, look and take off again.

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count...Species List
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 04:37:06 PM by Al Sinclair

CBC Species List - Dec 19, 2010
CANADA GOOSE 1
MALLARD 4
COMMON GOLDENEYE 6
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER 1
COMMON MERGANSER 2
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK COUNT WEEK
COOPER'S HAWK 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK 1
RED-TAILED HAWK 3
BALD EAGLE 1
RUFFED GROUSE 1
WILD TURKEY 39
HERRING GULL 20
ROCK DOVE 173
MOURNING DOVE 69
BARRED OWL 1
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER 1
DOWNY WOODPECKER 22
HAIRY WOODPECKER 48
PILEATED WOODPECKER 6
BLUE JAY 256
AMERICAN CROW 45
COMMON RAVEN 93
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE 634
BOREAL CHICKADEE 1
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH 22
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH 41
BROWN CREEPER COUNT WEEK
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET 2
EUROPEAN STARLING 309
NORTHERN CARDINAL 13
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW 10
HARRIS'S SPARROW 1
DARK-EYED JUNCO 23
SNOW BUNTING 4
COMMON REDPOLL 25
PINE SISKIN 12
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH 135
EVENING GROSBEAK 135
HOUSE SPARROW 19

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker...near Port Carling
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 04:32:51 PM by Al Sinclair

A Red-bellied Woodpecker is coming regularly to a feeder on Eveleigh Road off 118w at Pine Lands. Go past the dump entrance, first house south on your right. Reported by Jik Jennings.

 

 

White-winged Crossbills
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 01:36:52 PM by Goodyear

We went for a walk along the Beaver Creek corridor that parallels the homes along Meadow Heights and we saw a flock of approx. 12 White-winged Crossbills. No sign of the Snowy Owl that we saw yesterday. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin PP - Black-backed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak, Boreal Chickadee
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 06:53:56 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by David Britton on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 29, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

I spent the day snowshoing and birding in Algonquin Park today. It was relatively warm (around 0 degrees) and calm, so it was nice to be out, although it was quiet for birds. Highlights included:

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER - Mizzy Lake Trail, first sighting was a female along the trail at the eastern edge of Wolf Howl Pond, the second was of another (or the same?) female seen along the trail at the southern edge of West Rose Lake. Both birds were quietly tapping and debarking black spruces.

PINE GROSBEAK - Mew Lake Campground, coming to a pile of seed that someone had left on the ground where the road from the kiosk comes down to the lake and turns towards the campground, two female-plumaged birds

BOREAL CHICKADEE - Spruce Bog Trail, heard calling in the spruces along the trail around the register box.

DIRECTIONS: Algonquin Park is located in central Ontario on Highway 60 between Whitney and Huntsville. From the western gate of the park, Mizzy Lake Trail is at km 15.4 and Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake are located along the northeastern part of the trail loop, where it passes along the old railway bed (also accessible by driving about 3.5 km down Arowhon Rd. to the intersection with the railbed and walking in that way), Mew Lake Campground is at km 30.8, and the Spruce Bog Boardwalk is at km 42.5.

 

 

Re(2): Varied Thrush
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 11:21:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Ted reports that the bird has been seen 4 times since Dec 26 but not today so it may have moved on. Property owners have asked that the location not be posted. Local birders wishing to try for it can email me for more information.

 

 

Varied Thrush
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 05:41:22 PM by Ted gardner

This Varied Thrush was 1st spotted on Boxing Day and see again in the last couple of days by friends...South Muskoka Drive off Lidard (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 05:33:36 PM by Ted gardner

at the corner of Rockwell and Daleman in a birch tree was our local Barred Owl at about 4pm (Bracebridge) 

 

 

Re(1): Redpolls
Posted on December 31, 2010 at 09:35:53 AM by janice house

I had 8 redpolls fly into our basswood tree earlier this week, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 05:31:47 PM by Ted gardner

30 plus Red Polls today!! first this winter!! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Two big birds at Magnetawan
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 05:29:09 PM by Alex Mills

We didn't see a Trumpeter Swan in Magnetawan on the Christmas Bird Count this year (first time in several years). However, there was one there on December 28. We also saw an adult bald eagle there on December 28 and 29.

At the other end of the size scale, we saw a Brown Creeper there on December 29.

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 04:41:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we had a Brown Creeper visit our yard. We usually have a pair overwinter here, but this year they "disappeared" before the first snowfall. Wonder where this one came from.  (Bracebridge) 

 

 

Snow buntings
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 02:32:49 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

12 snow buntings just east of McArthur sideroad south off Coopers Falls Road. They hang out in the tall poplar trees on the south side opposite the twin Churches. I spoke to the local home owner there and he has been feeding them for over 20 years! They continue to return yearly and enjoy all the seed put out for them. Cheers Terry

 

 

Trumpeter Swans @ Washago
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 02:25:48 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

There are approximately 20 Trumpeter swans hanging out at the Washago docks! I did not see any yellow tags on any of the swans! Nice to see them back! Cheers Terry

 

 

Snowy Owl and Redpolls
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 01:58:16 PM by Goodyear

We have had a flock of 50+ Redpolls visiting our feeders today. They come and go along with a flock of 10+ Juncos, 10+ Jays, Chickadees (117 Meadow Heights Bracebridge). We went for a walk along Beaver Creek behind our house and out towards the field at the end of Covered Bridge Trail we saw a Snowy Owl.

 

 

Pine Siskin
Posted on December 29, 2010 at 09:53:54 AM by Terry & Marion Whittam

One lone Pine Siskin at our feeders 10km east of Washago! The usual chickadee's, WB nuthatch, downey and a few junco's. Lots of turkey tracks around. Cheers Terry

 

 

Algonquin-Boreal Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak
Posted on December 28, 2010 at 08:14:11 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Dave Milsom on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 28, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today our group found a Boreal Chickadee and a male Pine Grosbeak just before the sign for Taylor Statten Camps, about 2.5 km north of Highway 60 on Arrowhon Rd. in Algonquin Park. We also saw 4 Blue Jays, 2 Golden Crowned Kinglets and a Pine Marten at this spot, plus 2 Common Ravens.
We also saw 15 Common Redpolls and 2 Gray Jays at the gate on Opeongo Rd.
Otherwise the park was extremely quiet with no signs of 3-toed woodpeckers or grouse. The Visitor Centre feeders were full but held no special birds.
A Wild Turkey was seen next to Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers.

 

 

Goshawk
Posted on December 28, 2010 at 07:28:31 PM by DebbieAdams

For awhile this morning all the birds and squirrels disappeared. Then we spotted a Goshawk in the trees. It sat for ages, quietly in the trees.

There's a Black Squirrel that has chewed off several Christmas lights and a Red Squirrel that chewed through our internet wire, son-in-laws brake lines and our transmission hose that I hope the Goshawk invited for dinner!
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Harris's Sparrow photos
Posted on December 30, 2010 at 03:26:05 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We tried for the Harris's sparrow today but no luck. It was seen by a couple from Buffalo just before we arrived. Had a nice chat with them about birding in NY etc. They were on their way to Algonquin. The owner then came along and I had a great talk with him. Very nice gentlemen and while not a birder he was very aware of nature in the area and how unusual the Harris sparrow was! Cheers Terry

 

 

Harris's Sparrow photos
Posted on December 28, 2010 at 05:05:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here are a couple links with photos of the Harris's Sparrow that has been visiting the Sprague's feeder at 1150 South Monck Dr., Bracebridge. (Birders are welcomed, but property owners ask that you park at the shop near the road and walk to the house, feeder is at the front.)
http://www.treknature.com/gallery/North_America/Canada/photo249737.htm
http://www.naturesbestcreations.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6048&p=31912#p31841

 

 

Algonquin PP - Northern Shrike, Boreal Chickadee & Bracebridge Harris's Sparrow
Posted on December 28, 2010 at 09:06:49 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Kim and Rick Brown on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 27, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today we went to find the Harris's Sparrow in Bracebridge and found it around 9:00am and then headed to Algonquin Provincial Park.
Many thanks to the home owner where the bird continues to be seen.

There was very few birds seen in the park today. We did find 1 Boreal Chickadee in a flock of about 10 Black-capped Chickadees on Opeongo Road along with 3 Gray Jays. At Spruce Bog Boardwalk we had 2 more Gray Jays and a Northern Shrike which was attacking one of the Gray Jays. We were just about to leave when I heard the commotion and noticed this light grey bird chasing and harassing a Gray Jay. I thought it was just the Gray Jays fighting over seed that was left for them when I put up my binoculars I noticed the aggressor was a Northern Shrike. A full list of birds listed below.

Gray Jays - 5
Boreal Chickadee -1
Blue Jay - 5
Hairy Woodpecker -1
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - lots
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
Common Raven - numerous
White-winged Crossbills - 3 flying over the road.

On the return trip to Huntsville we had 3 moose at the edge of the road

 

 

Song Sparrow
Posted on December 27, 2010 at 04:38:43 PM by Goodyear

We have a hardy Song Sparrow hanging around our feeders (117 Meadow Heights Bracebridge)

 

 

Christmas Bird Count Parry Sound Nature Club
Posted on December 26, 2010 at 10:09:36 AM by J. Gardner

Annual bird count conducted Saturday, December 18. Weather conditions poor, snow and brisk southwest wind. 4 teams recorded total of 23 species and 1,079 birds. Count week species added to the total brought it to 32 species, average.

Birds of note, Red-bellied Woodpecker and 2 Lesser Scaup (count week)

December 18 List included
Mallard 13
Goldeneye 10
Bald Eagle 4
Ruffed Grouse 1
Herring Gull 153
Mourning Dove 3
Rock Dove 169
Hairy Woodpecker 8
Downy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 86
Crow 9
Raven 270
Black-capped Chickadee 125
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Northern Shrike 1
Starling 14
Cardinal 2
Evening Grosbeak 56
Common Redpoll 1
Pine Sisken 10
American Goldfinch 36
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

 

 

Boreal Chickadees
Posted on December 25, 2010 at 11:50:42 AM by janice house

Must have been a good girl this year, while watching one this morning another was calling behind me, HO HO HO Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Posted on December 24, 2010 at 06:01:31 PM by Goodyear

The Red-bellied Woodpecker that was found/reported? during the Christmas Bird Count last weekend was still present today. It was visiting a feeder in the front yard at 340 Alexander Street in Gravenhurst. A great Christmas gift!

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 23 December
Posted on December 23, 2010 at 10:42:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 23, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee: no reports.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Single birds were along Highway 60 near km 3 (December 20)
and at the East Boundary (December 21).

Common Redpoll: As noted elsewhere, numbers are increasing. A few were
reported at km 3, the Visitor Centre, Opeongo Road and the East Gate this
week.

Pine Siskin: A flock of about 12 along Highway 60 (December 20).

OTHER OBSERVATIONS:
Wild Turkey: Two at Mew Lake Campground (December 17).
Pine Marten: Two are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders fairly regularly
now.

The Opeongo Road is expected to be un-gated and plowed right to the lake
this winter, which will allow easier access to the northern section where
boreal species occur. Drive, park and turn around carefully on this road; it
is narrow and there are no shoulders.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open daily from December 27
to January 2, from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

 

Redpoll
Posted on December 23, 2010 at 06:14:07 PM by DebbieAdams

A Redpoll showed up today for the first time this year. But the Pine Siskins, Goldfinches and the lone Cardinal disappeared. Talk about a shift change at the feeder buffet!
At least 10 Jays, 8 Chickadees, 4 nuthatches, 2 Hairy and 2 Downy woodpeckers are still regulars as are a pair of Ravens.
Plus there is no shortage of squirrels; red, gray, black and even one that's chocolate coloured and a gray one with a red tail.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 23, 2010 at 02:55:50 PM by janice house

Geoff watched an adult eagle cruising over Allport Marina this morning, end of Beaumont Dr Bracebridge

 

 

Correction - Merlin
Posted on December 23, 2010 at 01:31:51 PM by GayleCarlyle

The raptor I saw this morning on Fairgrounds Rd. outside of Washago was actually a merlin, not a sharpie.
I checked the bird book when I got into work and asked a few expert birders and it was indeed an immature merlin I saw.
I just didn't think there would be any around the area this time of year.

 

 

Re(1): Sharp-shinned Hawk
Posted on December 23, 2010 at 09:30:56 AM by GayleCarlyle

I saw a sharpie this morning too along Fairgrounds Rd. just outside of Washago. That area near McArthur Sdrd. with its open fields and woodlots is a really good birding area if anyone is in the vicinity. In the summer, there is a resident upland sandpiper nesting near a big rock in a cow field and there's lots of grassland birds too.

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Posted on December 22, 2010 at 09:39:18 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we had a Sharp-shinned Hawk visit our yard. It missed whatever it was after, but I think it may still be hiding somewhere in the pine trees. None of the usual feeder birds are coming in, except for the Pileated Woodpecker who must realize she's a bit too large for a wee Sharpie. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 21, 2010 at 08:50:43 PM by Al Sinclair

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count
Short summary

Sunday December 19, 2010
Temperature -8 to -4 C
Cloudy, wind 4 to 8 km/hr
18 observers
Total Species 38 (Gravenhurst 30 Bracebridge 26)
Total Individuals 2180 (Gravenhurst 1426 Bracebridge 754)

Unusual species:
Red-breasted Merganser
Northern Goshawk
Bald Eagle
Barred Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker (new count species)
Boreal Chickadee
Harris's Sparrow (new count species)

Finches:
Common Redpoll 25
Pine Siskin 12
American Goldfinch 135
Evening Grosbeak 135

Full report later.

 

 

Robin
Posted on December 21, 2010 at 11:19:22 AM by CatMacLean

I heard a Robin this am while walking behind the arena in Huntsville just at the Camp Kitchen Rd. The swan is still in the area as well.

 

 

Carolina Wren in Port Sydney
Posted on December 20, 2010 at 05:42:08 PM by jim griffin

After irregular visits from Dec 5-9, and not seen from Dec 10 through 14, a Carolina Wren is again making daily,Dec 15-20, visits to my feeder. Seems to have adopted cardinal like hours, showing up between 0730 and 0800 for the last three days. Likes suet but really seems to prefer the Lard/Peanut butter plus mix.

 

 

Re(1): Harris's Sparrow - Bracebridge
Posted on December 21, 2010 at 03:45:45 PM by janice house

I saw the bird today at 12:15, tried for a photo but it ducked into the hedge beside the garage

 

 

Re(1): Harris Sparrow, Bracebridge...
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 09:34:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bernie Monette on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 18, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

We saw this bird today and at one point were stuck in the garage as it ate
at the feeder. Many thanks to the Spragues for their kind hospitality! And
their son John for getting me out of the ditch!

Getting there: highway 400 north, then highway 11 north to 118. Go west to
South Monck Road and it is 1150. We have been asked to park by the shop.
Walk to the feeders at the front of the house. The sparrow tends come from
the cedar/pine windbreak.

 

Bracebridge area - Harris's Sparrow, Red Crossbill, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks etc
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 02:50:49 PM by Ontbirds

Note: in the following report "Uffingham Road" is actually Uffington Rd.

*This report was originally posted by Josh Vandermeulen on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 18, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Harris's Sparrow showed well this morning around 8:30. It appears to be a first-year bird.

Afterwards, I drove some of the roads southeast of Bracebridge to look for winter finches. My route was HWY 118 east of Bracebridge to Uffingham Road, right on Uffingham (HWY 20) to Doe Lake Road, right on Doe Lake to Housey's Rapids Road (HWY 6), left on Housey's Rapids Road to Cooper's Falls Road, right on Cooper's Falls Road to HWY 11.

-1 female Pine Grosbeak: 1 km west of Doe Lake and Uffingham intersection - feeding on the road
-1 female Red Crossbill: flyover near the town of Housey's Rapids
-2 male and 2 female Evening Grosbeak: in a tree at the intersection of Housey's Rapids Road and Riley Lake Road

To get to the Harris's Sparrow: Take HWY 11 North from Toronto. Exit at HWY 118, head west, it will take you into the town of Bracebridge. Once in town, turn left on Monck Road. Turn right onto South Monck Road, and the house will be on your right. Park at the workshop, and walk towards the feeder in front of the house. The bird is not very skittish.

 

 

Re(2): Pine Siskins
Posted on December 21, 2010 at 10:45:35 AM by janice house

we had 2 at our feeders on Sunday, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 04:25:06 PM by DebbieAdams

Two just arrived here today for the first time this year. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 02:18:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thank goodness the Cooper's Hawk left the yard. Five Pine Siskins have just found our feeder...first ones we've had here this winter. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 01:30:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just heard a Blue Jay give a warning call in our backyard, which alerted me to an adult Cooper's Hawk perched in the birch tree. After taking a good look around, the hawk flew to the south-east. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 01:21:07 PM by StephenDerraugh

An usually quiet morning at the feeder lent itself to curiosity and the investigation of foe afoot in the back lot / behind the house. With a quick survey we (Anna Marie, really) spotted, he, with a perfect perch, a Northern Goshawk - a mature male - resplendent over his domain.

Florence St W, south-side, Huntsville, top of Reservoir Hill - near the towers.

Good birding,
Anna Marie & Stephen

 

 

Harris's...first winter or winter adult plumage
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 12:36:35 PM by Al Sinclair

It has been pointed out that I am incorrect in assuming that this is the same bird as last year because the photo appears to show a bird in 1st winter plumage (see previous Harris's Sparrow post). If so it could not be the same one as last year! An amazing coincidence if that is the case. I would appreciate any comments from those who have seen the bird. It would be nice to see a front view photo that shows the throat area well.

 

 

White-winged Crossbill feeding technique - video
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 08:29:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek sent this link to an interesting video by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Thanks Wilf.

White-winged Crossbill Feeding Techique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NvU8WG9bg0
"Take an up-close look at the remarkable physical adaptations White-winged Crossbills use to retrieve seeds hidden inside tightly closed spruce cones."

 

 

Ruffed Grouse
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 04:08:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Ruffed Grouse just flew into our yard. I thought I saw a few grouse tracks in the snow under our birdfeeder this morning, but the squirrels had mussed them up so I wasn't sure. Nice of the bird to now give me a confirmation. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk, Port Carling
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 01:02:10 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning at 7:30 am while looking for the Long-tailed Duck a Red-tailed Hawk flew into a tree opposite the Bailey St. boat ramp. It was still there when I left.

 

 

Northern Shrike, Hwy 11 N of Novar
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 12:59:33 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

On my way up to Burk's Falls to try to find the hawk owl I saw a bird in a tree North of Novar on the West side of Hwy 11. I thought it could have been a hawk owl or a crow. On my way back I saw the bird again and twice more drove back and forth before finding out it was a Northern Shrike.
West side of the Southbound lane between Station Road and Rockliffe Road north of Novar.

 

 

Day before Bird Count
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 10:15:30 AM by J. Gardner

This morning we have had 55 Evening Grosbeaks and 29 Blue Jays and a dozen or so (they are so difficult to get a count on) Black-capped Chickadees. The grosbeaks are spending a good part of the day going in and out of the feeders, an unusual pattern compared to years past. We are at Hurdville, Lake Manitouwabing. Hope they all find their way here tomorrow, count day.

 

 

Re(1): starlings (photo)
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 01:53:16 PM by DebbieAdams

I spotted a large flock of Starlings on Wednesday at the dump. (Beiers Rd. Gravenhurst)  photo

 

 

starlings
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 09:33:34 AM by Wayne Bridge

There is a small flock of juvenile starlings that have stayed in Kearney so far. They regularly visit a number of backyard feeding stations. I have personally seen only one common redpoll so far this season. Wild turkey and ring-necked pheasant populations appear healthy.

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 16 December
Posted on December 16, 2010 at 09:26:26 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 16, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

All lakes along Highway 60 are now ice-covered and the snow is knee-deep in places.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee: no reports.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One at km 24 on Highway 60 on December 12.

Red Crossbill: At least two at the Visitor Centre on December 9.

Common Redpoll: One at the Visitor Centre feeders on December 9 and 12.

Pine Siskin: One at the Visitor Centre feeders from December 9 to 13.

OTHER SIGHTINGS:
European Starling: One at the Visitor Centre feeders on December
15 established a new latest fall date for Algonquin.

Bohemian Waxwing: One at the Visitor Centre on December 12.

American Tree Sparrow: One at the Visitor Centre until December 15.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open on weekends only until
December 19 and daily from December 27 to January 2, from 10 am
to 4 pm.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter via the service
entrance (right end of building) to view the feeders, after checking in
with staff first.

Algonquin Park birding updates and information are available at:
www.algonquinpark.on.ca
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Re(1): Long-tailed Duck, Port Carling
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 12:54:25 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Long-tailed Duck not seen this morning at 7:30 am. Six goldeneye seen.

 

 

Long-tailed Duck, Port Carling
Posted on December 16, 2010 at 05:22:10 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This afternoon when I went to look for the Red-throated Loon I saw a female Long-tailed Duck near the boat launch at the end of Bailey Street in Port Carling. Also seen were a dozen or so Common Goldeneye.

 

 

Redpolls/Boreal Chickadee
Posted on December 16, 2010 at 04:50:13 PM by janice house

Geoff saw 5 at our feeders yesterday, I heard the boreal chickadee twice today in our yard (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Northern Hawk Owl - Burk's Falls
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 12:56:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I did not find the Northern Hawk Owl anywhere near the area where it was seen last weekend. I drove around for about an hour but didn't see it.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl - Burk's Falls
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 10:37:14 PM by Kip Daynard

Today Martin Parker, Warren Wanless and I saw a Northern Hawk Owl on the Burk's Falls CBC at approximately 4pm. It was seen at the east end of Robbs Rock Rd. which is on the east side of town. Directions:
1. In Burk's Falls exit Hwy 11 at Ferguson Rd/County 520.
2. Follow Ferguson Rd. into Burk's Falls 1.9km
3. Turn right at Yonge St. 1.3km
4. Slight left at High St. 67m
5. Slight right at Chetwynd Rd. 190m
6. Slight left at Robbs Rock Rd.

After 600m Owl was on left at last residence before Robbs Rock Rd. rejoins Chetwynd Rd. It was perched at the tip-top of a spruce just beyond the driveway.

Here's a Google Map link:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=45.626404,-79.413557&spn=0.041657,0.090895&t=h&z=14&iwloc=0004977de6159a94587c7&msid=208531516112457158674.0004977de03f937ad3dbb

I'll post more Burk's Falls CBC results as soon as they are available.

 

 

Re(1): Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 12:57:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were at least two Golden-crowned Kinglets with a small flock of Chickadees at the north end of Glendale Rd. at intersection of Daleman Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 08:13:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there were a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets in their yard today. Hope they stick around for the Christmas Bird Count on Sunday. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Harris's Sparrow, Hoary Redpoll, etc.
Posted on December 17, 2010 at 07:04:10 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Dave Milsom on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 17, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today John Schmefelske and I birded from Bracebridge to Barrie.
We had great views of the Harris' Sparrow at 9.45 a.m. at the feeder of Steve and Joanne Sprague's house at 1150 South Monck Drive just outside Bracebridge (off Highway 118 west). The bird also fed on birch buds in the yard. Many thanks to the Spragues for their kind hospitality !

On Doe Lake Rd. / #6 south of Bracebridge before the road meets Highway 11 near Washago, we found several good birds. Best was a Hoary Redpoll with a flock of 8 Common Redpolls before reaching Coopers Falls. We also found a Northern Shrike, 2 flocks of Wild Turkeys, Common Ravens, 12 Snow Buntings, an American Robin, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pileated, Hairy and Downy woodpeckers, both Nuthatches and Ruffed Grouse.

At Barrie Lake Simcoe was completely open. Along the waterfont were 9 Glaucous (1 adult), I 1st-year Iceland and an adult Thayer's Gull.
At Minet Point were numerous rafts of ducks including Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye and Black Ducks. Also seen were Hooded Mergansers, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, 4 Trumpeter Swans, and a Pied-billed and a Red-necked Grebe.

 

 

Harris's Sparrow...update
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 06:15:30 PM by Al Sinclair

The bird has been seen every day since Sunday. It is coming to a feeder at 1150 South Monck Drive, Bracebridge, arrives early and visits frequently throughout the day. Birders are welcomed, property owners ask that you park at the shop near the road and walk to the house, feeder is at the front.

South Monk Drive is west of Bracebridge off Hwy 118W.
Search for "1150 South Monck Drive, Bracebridge, ON" on google maps

 

 

Re(1): Red-throated Loon Released, Port Carling
Posted on December 16, 2010 at 05:19:56 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The loon was not seen by me today.

I found out from Janice that the bird was brought to her by a man from Barry's Bay and he rescued it from a road in Wilno not Whitby. He kept it over Sunday night and delivered it to Janice Monday Morning.

 

 

Red-throated Loon Released, Port Carling
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 03:00:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Today at 1:30 pm I had the privelege of releasing a Red-throated Loon on the river in Port Carling. The bird landed on a road during a snow storm in Whitby. Janice Enright checked out the bird and had it xrayed. It was diving and preening when I left it at 2 pm.

 

 

Huntsville CBC: 14 December
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 09:45:13 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 14, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 17th annual Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on Tuesday,
December 14. It was cold with a gusty northwest wind and it snowed in the
morning. The big lakes were all open, as was most of the Muskoka River. The
total species and individuals were about average.

Preliminary results show:
Total Species: 39 (average is 39)
Total Individuals: 2,481 (average is 2,899)

Noteworthy Species for the Count:
-Trumpeter Swan: male (#586) on river in Huntsville for eighth winter.
-Wood Duck: male on river in Huntsville (likely same bird as on 2009 count).
-Ring-necked Duck: female on river in Huntsville (likely same bird as on
2009 count).
-Bald Eagle: 7 (previous high was 3)
-Red-tailed Hawk: 1
-American Robin: 1
-Bohemian Waxwing: 3
-House Sparrow: 1 (first on count since 2006)

Finches:
-Pine Grosbeak: 2
-Common Redpoll: 112
-Hoary Redpoll: 1 (at feeder with 15 Common Redpolls near Penfold Lake off
Stephenson Road 12 East, south of Huntsville).
-Pine Siskin: 4
-American Goldfinch: 31
-Evening Grosbeak: 81

Thanks to all participants for a great job on a bitterly cold day.
Ron Tozer
Compiler

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on December 14, 2010 at 05:21:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There was a Barred Owl on various perches around my bird feeders today. All that deep snow will bring them to where they know there is food.

 

 

Siskins
Posted on December 14, 2010 at 03:01:01 PM by GayleCarlyle

We finally had a pair of pine siskins at our niger feeder yesterday. They joined about 10 goldfinches in the feast.
Green River Drive Washago

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on December 13, 2010 at 05:49:50 PM by janice house

this morning about 8:45 a dozen plus birds were sitting on hwy 11 at the exit ramp to 118 east, they flew in front of my car over towards True North Log Homes

 

 

Bald Eagles - Huntsville
Posted on December 13, 2010 at 04:54:17 PM by StephenDerraugh

Posting for Anna Marie Iraci, my much better half:
She saw 2 Bald Eagles - one mature, one immature - in back of the Huntsville Summit Center @ ~ 3:20 PM today; circling above / around the bend of the Muskoka River which is still rich with waterfowl. She watched the pair until they disappeared from view towards the north-west.

Good birding,
Stephen Derraugh

 

 

Harris's Sparrow...it's back
Posted on December 12, 2010 at 09:38:33 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo taken today on South Monk Drive, Bracebridge. Considering how rare these birds are in Ontario it must be the same bird that spent the winter off Santa's Village Rd. last year. It was first seen at a feeder last night at dusk, today it returned and ID was confirmed, will update in a couple of days if it is reliable.  photo

 

 

White Throated Sparrow/Pine Grosbeak
Posted on December 12, 2010 at 10:19:42 AM by janice house

I got photos of the sparrow feeding near our cedar hedge yesterday with the juncos and american tree sparrows. Three pine grosbeaks landed in our pine trees for a brief moment. The boreal chickadee is still here, heard it this morning walking Casey. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Christmas Bird Counts
Posted on December 11, 2010 at 09:53:57 PM by Al Sinclair

The two week Christmas Bird Count period starts this Tuesday, Dec 14. Below is a map that shows the counts in Muskoka and nearby (from Bird Studies Canada). Each count is held on one day during the count period. To find out more about Christmas Bird Counts or participate check these websites: http://www.bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/cbc/index.jsp?targetpg=index(=EN  or  http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge count is Sunday December 19, everyone is welcome. Send me an email if you plan to attend, we can always use more counters. We usually find around 30 species and most years there are a few surprises. Last year we had a Carolina wren, this fall there were a few Red-bellied Woodpeckers around, maybe last years Harris's Sparrow will return. The info below on our count is copied from the Muskoka Field Naturalists website.

DECEMBER 19, Sunday
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT & POT LUCK SUPPER
This is a fun and rewarding day! The competition between the Bracebridge and Gravenhurst teams is heated with the loosing team receiving the dreaded plastic owl trophy.
Bird Count:
Counters will meet at 9 a.m. in Bracebridge at the rear of the Post Office Building, or in Gravenhurst at McDonalds parking lot. Bring binoculars, warm clothes, field guides and lunch. Questions about the count should be directed to Al Sinclair.
Pot Luck:
Gather at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on McMurray Street, Bracebridge between 4:00 & 5:00 p.m. for some warm-up refreshments to be followed by the pot luck. Karen Love is our co-coordinator again this year. Any questions about the pot luck should be directed to her.

 

 

Redpoll and Pine Siskin Bracebridge
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 08:37:04 PM by Al Sinclair

We had one of each at our feeders today. 8 km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 9 December
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 09:20:45 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 9, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Cold temperatures and calm conditions at night resulted in many of the large
lakes becoming ice-covered by the end of the week. Few birders were in
evidence, so there is less information than usual to report.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee: no reports.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One at km 62 of the Lake Travers Road on the East Side
(December 7). As expected, it appears that very low numbers will be present
this winter.

Red Crossbill: Very small numbers are occasionally seen, including: one at
km 38 on Highway 60 (December 4); three at km 48 (December 8); and two over
the Visitor Centre (December 9).

Common Redpoll: one to five birds at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Pine Siskin: A few were noted, but the small flocks that had been visiting
feeders appear to have moved on. Three at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 4)
and two at the Visitor Centre feeders (December 8).

American Goldfinch: One at the Visitor Centre feeders (December 6) was the
last seen this week. Goldfinches are likely moving out now.

Evening Grosbeak: none reported.

OTHER SIGHTINGS:
European Starling: One lingered at the Visitor Centre feeders until December
4. Late for here.

American Tree Sparrow: One remains at the Visitor Centre feeders and will
likely attempt to spend the winter now.

Pine Marten and Fisher: one or two of each coming to Visitor Centre
feeders, irregularly.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open 9 am to 4 pm on weekends
only until December 19. Birders visiting during the week may
be able to enter via the service entrance (right end of building) to view
the feeders, after checking in with staff first.

 

 

Northern Shrike in Port Sydney
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 08:48:27 AM by jim griffin

Got a quick look at a Northern Shrike chasing a chickadee around the bushes near my feeders yesterday about 4 pm. Did not see final result but it looked like the chickadee was getting away.

 

 

Bald eagle and bohemians
Posted on December 9, 2010 at 07:01:26 PM by Doug Smith

Spotted an adult bald eagle flying over the road near Wyldwood Road and the 118 west this morning. Also saw a couple of flocks of bohemian waxwings -- 20 to 30 each -- near the post office in Port Carling around noon today.

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk
Posted on December 8, 2010 at 08:56:25 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday around 8:20am I watched a rough-legged hawk soaring over a farm field on Division Rd., just north of the Orillia Square Mall.

 

 

Cardinal
Posted on December 7, 2010 at 04:06:25 PM by DebbieAdams

Our lone male Cardinal is still hanging around. He feeds morning and evening. No sign of a mate though. We keep a constant supply of sunflower seeds, so hopefully he'll stay with us for the winter.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 7, 2010 at 09:05:13 AM by nickbartok

Sunday and Monday morning had presumably the same flock of Bohemian Waxwings at Beach Road Storage in Gravenhurst...about 40 strong. They were only there in the mornings, possibly roosting.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on December 6, 2010 at 09:25:58 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Barred Owl has appeared in our yard. There are some large wing marks in the snow where a mouse had been feeding under the birdfeeder...perhaps the owl got lucky. This is probably the same owl that has hunted around our birdfeeder in past winters since he is currently perched on his "favourite branch". Since the perch is directly above the suet feeder, the woodpeckers are not very happy. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Boreal Chickadee
Posted on December 8, 2010 at 11:17:04 AM by janice house

still here, I have heard it calling every morning this week, tried for a photo this morning but the bird was hiding in the top of a spruce tree and I had to leave for work

 

 

Boreal Chickadee
Posted on December 5, 2010 at 11:03:33 AM by janice house

My very first, and in my back yard, picking at the cones in the spruce trees. I have been hearing the call for the last few weeks and thought it was a mixed up chickadee. Hope it stays for the CBC. ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst )

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on December 6, 2010 at 10:44:35 PM by jim griffin

Have seen the wren twice on 5th and twice on 6th. Likes suet and "martha's mix" the lard and peanut butter mix. May be taking shelter in my woodshed, and hunting spiders too.

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on December 5, 2010 at 10:28:40 AM by jim griffin

just had a Carolina Wren at my feeder in Port Sydney, I'll update if it stays around.

 

 

Re(1): White throated sparrow
Posted on December 5, 2010 at 09:26:18 AM by Al Sinclair

We have had White-throated Sparrow on 6 of the last 9 Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Counts. Only one in each year so they are rare here in winter but not unexpected. Once the snow catches one too far north they may stay for the winter at a reliable feeder.

 

 

White throated sparrow
Posted on December 4, 2010 at 09:47:01 PM by PatWelch

We had a white throated sparrow at our feeders today eating the mixed seed on the ground. Is it common to see one at this time of year? We have never seen one before in December. We are on the Aspdin Rd.southwest of Huntsville. Thanks.

 

 

Re(2): Bacon fat
Posted on December 5, 2010 at 01:50:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Excess salt is toxic to birds as well as animals, so hopefully they aren't consuming too much of it. I guess any harm done would depend on how much salt is in the bacon fat and how much of the bacon fat a bird consumes at any one time.

I found a few online references to salt toxicity in birds. There seems to be a growing belief that a lot of the roadkill of winter finches may be due to salt consumption which can affect their awareness and reaction time.


Road salt and deicer disorienting Washington birds
http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/02/road_salt_and_deicer_disorient.html
excerpt: "The road salt and deicer used on the state's roadways tend to disorient finches and other small, seed-eating birds that ingest them as they peck for grit. That, in turn, makes them roadkill when they're hit by snowplows and other vehicles."


Toxicity of Sodium Chloride to House Sparrows
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content/abstract/41/2/363
excerpt: "These results indicate that passerines ingesting relatively small numbers of road salt granules or small quantities of highly concentrated NaCl solutions are at risk of sodium poisoning."


Road Salts and Finch Mortality
http://www.jstor.org/pss/3785019
abstract: "There have been many documented cases of bird mortality along roadsides where salt was applied. Herbivorous and granivorous species, especially, are attracted to salt, probably to satisfy a dietary need. Because mortality appears to be primarily a result of vehicle strikes, most authors have assumed that salt was only indirectly responsible for the deaths-a case of "fatal attraction" to busy salted roads. Repeated observations of apparent behavioral toxicity along roadsides, as well as new information on the toxicology of oral salt ingestion in birds, now suggest that salt toxicity per se is contributing to the vulnerability of small songbirds to road traffic and perhaps is a direct cause of mortality in some birds. The difficulty of retrieving bird carcasses and the low rate of reporting suggest that kills probably are more widespread and frequent than indicated by documented reports alone....We conclude that the importance of road salt as a mortality factor in these species long has been underestimated by wildlife managers and transport personnel."


Suspected road salt poisoning in Bohemian Waxwings (Germany)
http://www.vertebrate-zoology.de/vz60-2/08_Vertebrate_Zoology_60-2_Toepfer.pdf
excerpt: "Therefore I argue that birds, particularly those with high daily water intake like the frugivorous waxwings, may consume high concentrations of dissolved road salt with melt water. A review of literature made apparent that salt overdoses lead to aberrant flight behaviour and impaired manoevrability, which render them likely to fall victim of road traffic or to collide with windows."

 

 

Re(1): Bacon fat
Posted on December 5, 2010 at 09:42:28 AM by Al Sinclair

We use beef fat trimmings from the grocery stores in town, seems to be the only other convenient and economical source. Does extra salt harm birds? I haven't seen any scientific studies that prove it but since salted meat is not one of their natural food sources it makes sense not to feed it. Why do some birds eat fat? I have observed chickadees and woodpeckers (also ravens, jays, eagles) scavenging on animal carcasses in winter, I suppose part of their survival strategy when food is scarce.

 

 

Bacon fat
Posted on December 4, 2010 at 07:43:36 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We've always saved our bacon fat, and put it out in the winter for the birds. Now someone has told me that we are hurting the birds, by giving them salt. (Well, we do buy the salt-reduced bacon). Any comments?

 

 

Pine Siskins, Bala
Posted on December 3, 2010 at 11:40:37 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

At first light I saw two Pine Siskins on one of my sunflower feeders. They and about 4 friends are still here at 11:40 am.

 

 

Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks - Huntsville
Posted on December 3, 2010 at 10:56:12 AM by Kip Daynard

Over the last few days we have had largish flocks of 30+ Evening Grosbeaks around our place on Hunter's Bay Drive, Huntsville (yes, we've moved again!). For the first time this season I also saw a flock of about a dozen Common Redpolls fly over my house making their 'chu-chu' calls.

 

 

Swan on Lake Vernon
Posted on December 3, 2010 at 10:46:19 AM by Kip Daynard

I meant to post about this sooner, but last week (Nov. 23 or 24th I think) I saw a swan in Huntsville flying westward over Hunter's Bay, Lake Vernon. I didn't get binoculars on it but assume it was a Trumpeter.

 

 

Algonquin Park Report: 2 December
Posted on December 3, 2010 at 10:38:53 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 2, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The theme here this week was snow. We have gone from late fall to early
winter with a vengeance (20 to 30 cm of the white stuff, although some
melting and compaction have occurred). Small lakes and ponds are
ice-covered but large lakes are still open.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee: no reports.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: four on Highway 60 east of Mew Lake Campground
(November 28).

Common Redpoll: one at the Visitor Centre feeders (November 29 and
December 1).

Pine Siskin: up to 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

American Goldfinch: 5 at the Visitor Centre feeders (December 2),
but not present most days this week.

Evening Grosbeak: 6 at the Visitor Centre feeders (November 25);
not reported since.

OTHER SIGHTINGS:
Ring-necked Duck: male on Hangar Bay of Smoke Lake (December 1);
the second latest date ever for this species here.

Wild Turkey: observations along Highway 60 of two near Canisbay
(November 30) and one near Canoe Lake (December 1).

American Robin: one in Mew Lake Campground (November 27).

European Starling: two (November 30 and December 1) and one
(December 2) at the Visitor Centre feeders; late for Algonquin.

Pine Marten and Fisher: one or two of each coming to Visitor Centre
feeders, irregularly.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open 9 am to 4 pm on weekends
only until December 19. Birders visiting during the week may
be able to enter via the service entrance (right end of building) to view
the feeders, after checking in with staff first.

Cardinal!
Posted on December 2, 2010 at 03:57:48 PM by DebbieAdams

I'm so excited I can hardly type this ..... a male Cardinal just landed on our feeder. It's been several years since we've seen one way out here in the middle of nowhere. Truly spectacular seeing a bright red bird against a pure white background.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(2): flocks of birds
Posted on December 1, 2010 at 08:32:06 AM by bnewman77

Thanks, they fly low in groups of 10 to 20, like to follow the road and i noticed them most about 2 to 3 weeks ago.what time do the snow buntings arrive, B.

 

 

Re(1): flocks of birds
Posted on December 1, 2010 at 08:17:43 AM by Alex Mills

I am wondering if they were juncos, which show flashes of white in the tail when they fly and which have white bellies. They are sparrow-sized (in fact they are sparrows), they commonly associate in groups of 10 - 15, and they are very common in October, arriving here in numbers considerably earlier than snow buntings. (Although they may very well be Snow Buntings, as Ted suggested).

 

 

Re(1): flocks of birds
Posted on November 30, 2010 at 10:39:36 PM by Ted gardner

most likely Snow Buntings.

 

 

flocks of birds
Posted on November 30, 2010 at 01:14:52 PM by bnewman77

Hi, can anyone help identify low flying small birds in groups of 10 or 15 along south portage road in Oct Nov maybe the size of a sparrow with some visible white, fly too fast to identify, thank, B.

 

 

Algonquin Park Report: 25 November
Posted on November 26, 2010 at 11:41:42 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (12:33 a.m. Nov. 26, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

No snow in Algonquin Park as of this evening, but that could change by
tomorrow. Bird numbers at the Visitor Centre feeders are slowly diminishing
but a variety of finches still remain. One or two pine martens are fairly
regular around the feeders as well.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: one on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 22).

Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: no reports. Try Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail (via
Arowhon Road) and in black spruce along northern section of Opeongo Road.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: one east of the Park in Whitney (November 24). One or two are
likely around in Algonquin.

Purple Finch: adult male at the Visitor Centre feeders (November 25).

White-winged Crossbill: still a few flying over.

Common Redpoll: one at the Visitor Centre (November 24).

Pine Siskin: one at the Visitor Centre feeder (November 25).

American Goldfinch: about 2 to 4 at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Evening Grosbeak: about 2 to 6 coming to the Visitor Centre feeders this
week.

OTHER SIGHTINGS:
Wild Turkey: sightings along Highway 60 of one near Canoe Lake (November 22)
and two near Track and Tower Trail (November 25).

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open 9 am to 4 pm on weekends
only until December 19. Birders visiting during the week may
be able to enter via the service entrance (right end of building) to view
the feeders; you must check in with staff first.

 

 

Re(1): Turkeys
Posted on November 26, 2010 at 04:44:04 PM by janice house

I see a large flock every morning on my way to work at either 240 or 350 Cedar lane Bracebridge (near Simcoe Block)

 

 

Turkeys
Posted on November 26, 2010 at 06:20:55 AM by mmcanally

Had to stop on Port Sydney Road at Bridgedale Crescent for 18 Wild Turkeys leisurely walking across the road.

 

 

Loon
Posted on November 25, 2010 at 08:05:28 AM by DebbieAdams

There was a Loon in our bay yesterday. Haven't seen one in over a month.
(Walker's Bay, Lake Muskoka)

 

 

Mexican Standoff
Posted on November 24, 2010 at 03:35:14 PM by J. Gardner

A Sharpie and a Shrike had a standoff in the shrubbery behind our feeders this morning. They both sat perfectly still for perhaps 8 or 10 minutes, as the jays hollered at them. Finally, the Shrike blinked, flew into deeper cover, and out the other side and away. The Chickadee had a wonderful time taunting the Shrike to "come out and play, if you dare". Hurdville.

 

 

Re(1): Snow buntings
Posted on November 22, 2010 at 03:49:46 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We saw the same large flock on Sunday at about 1PM along McArthur side road. They kept landing in front of the car as we slowly proceeded south on McArthur side road. Very nice to see such a large flock back here! Cheers Terry

 

 

Snow buntings
Posted on November 22, 2010 at 01:42:32 PM by GayleCarlyle

On Fri. Nov. 19, I watched a large flock of about 50 snow buntings flyng over a farm field on Concession M-N sideroad off MacArthur Sdrd. outside of Washago.
Beautiful birds and what a mesmerizing sight as they swoop back and forth.

 

 

Cedar Waxwings, Torrance
Posted on November 22, 2010 at 09:18:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I just had a call from Joyce Peg in Torrance. They had approximately 500 Cedar Waxwings land in a tree by their house. Five minutes later they were gone but she thought they had gone down to Torrance Rd and 169 where the Bohemians were last week. As I mentioned then, lots of winterberry in that marsh.

 

 

Mergansers, Otter - Toad Lake
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 08:59:40 PM by mmcanally

This morning there were 11 Common Mergansers and 5 Hooded Mergansers on Toad Lake, Limberlost Road. There was also one Otter up on the thin ice in the small bay in front of our cottage.

 

 

Common Redpolls
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 09:44:48 AM by janice house

Geoff spotted a small flock feeding in the tag alders at the corner of Tomingas Rd and Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst this morning

 

 

Re(2): Flock of Mergansers
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 09:39:17 AM by CarolWagg

There are quite a few gulls flying around over the mergansers, splashing into the water in the midst of the flock. Is there some type of symbiotic behaviour going on?

 

 

Re(1): Flock of Mergansers
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 09:33:13 AM by janice house

they are still there this morning as well as a dozen plus buffleheads and half a dozen Canada geese on one of the front lawns on the west side of the lake

 

 

Flock of Mergansers
Posted on November 20, 2010 at 01:30:21 PM by CarolWagg

There is a large flock of 75-100 Common Mergansers, mostly males, on Doe Lake east of Gravenhurst. They can often be seen from our house at 1557 Doe Lake Rd. Feel free to pull in the driveway or park across from our driveway between the mailboxes. Cars driving past don't bother them, but they are very skittish at the sight of a human.  photo

 

 

Otters at Henry Marsh
Posted on November 20, 2010 at 01:24:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Otters sitting atop a muskrat hut and one swimming over to join them at the west side of Henry Marsh. Three Hooded Mergansers and a couple Mallards were at the back of the marsh. Very quiet on the walk over from Stephens Bay Rd. - only a few Chickadees and a Blue Jay.

(note: thanks to some industrious beavers, the water level of the marsh is very high and overflowing the walking trail in several places...you'll need rubber boots if you want to walk the length of the marsh)  (Map of the area)

 

 

Re(1): Bird seed
Posted on November 20, 2010 at 08:32:48 AM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists negotiated a discount for its members last winter. It is probably still in effect. You could send an email to check your membership status. The contact info is on the MFN website: http://muskokafieldnaturalists.com/WebContact.jpg

 

 

Bird seed
Posted on November 20, 2010 at 07:03:22 AM by FrancesGualtieri

I don't know how to contact the right person, so I thought I'd post my request here. I notice that we get a discount on bird seed at Muskoka Vegeez (what a great idea!), with a membership card - but I notice that I never got a card for this year. Help!

 

 

Unusual Hawk Seen, Between Wyevale & Elmvale
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 08:36:14 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last night I was at a meeting of the Midland-Penetanquishene Field Naturalists at Wye Marsh. Two people mentioned a largish, short-tailed hawk seen between Wyevale and Elmvale. No markings on the breast, dark head with a redish collar. Sid Hadlington believes it is a Ferruginous Hawk.

 

 

Albino Red Tailed Hawk
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 04:43:24 PM by J. Gardner

Jim, returning from Parry Sound, on the MacDougall Road, near the Haines Lake hill, spotted what appeared to be a Red Tailed Hawk with partial albinism. The bird appeared to mainly white, with a few areas of rust on the tail feathers.

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 03:49:14 PM by ron tozer

Yes and yes! Canada Geese often migrate at night. Geese tend to remain in Muskoka at least until snow covers the grass areas where they graze. Some will remain after that, especially where food is available in farm fields or provided by people.

 

 

Canada Geese
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 09:59:03 AM by DebbieAdams

Last night around 9:30 p.m. a large flock of Canada Geese flew overhead on Lake Muskoka between Browning Island and Walker's Point. Because it was dark I couldn't see how large the flock was as it headed towards Gravenhurst but judging by the honking there must have been well over 20 birds.

Is it usual for geese to fly so late in the evening, also is it usual for them to be hanging around in Muskoka this late in the year?

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 18 November
Posted on November 18, 2010 at 10:16:55 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 18, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Mild weather continued this week. Best birding in the Highway 60 Corridor
was at the Wolf Howl Pond area, the Old Airfield Marsh, the Visitor Centre
feeders, and Opeongo Road and Access Point.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one on Opeongo Road just north of the bridge
(November 12).

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: try Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail (via Arowhon Road)
and in black spruce along northern section of Opeongo Road.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: a few single birds reported again this week. Four at the
Visitor Centre (November 13).

Purple Finch: one still coming to the Visitor Centre feeders (November 16).

White-winged Crossbill: several observers reported a few flying over. A
flock of 21 was at Eu Lake on the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail
(November 14)

Red Crossbill: a few singles continue to fly over. Two over West Smith Lake
(November 13).

Common Redpoll: a few flying over again this week. No redpolls at feeders to
date.

Pine Siskin: one at the Visitor Centre.

American Goldfinch: a dozen at the Visitor Centre feeders and a few reported
flying over elsewhere.

Evening Grosbeak: up to 12 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.
Four at Lake of Two Rivers (November 13).

OTHER SIGHTINGS:
Bald Eagle: adult perched in dead tree at Long Lake (November 16).

Ring-billed Gull: still two adults at Opeongo Access Point (November 16).
Getting late for Algonquin.

Northern Shrike: one near the Visitor Centre feeders (November 13).

Bohemian Waxwing: one or two flying over. One at Lake of Two Rivers and
eight at Opeongo Access Point (November 13).

MAMMALS:
River Otter: a group of four was still regular at the Opeongo Access Point
this week.

Pine Marten: one is visiting the Visitor Centre feeders daily, but at
irregular times.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 09:40:40 AM by janice house

there is a flock of approximately 100 at Muskoka Airport, I saw them last weekend, Sam Robinson said they were still there this week

 

 

Re(1): Snow Bunting
Posted on November 19, 2010 at 07:39:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we came upon a single Snow Bunting at the edge of the roadway west of cell 2. It may have a hurt wing since it just ran along ahead of us and never flew up.

Not much else at the Ponds today. A late Song Sparrow was north of cell 4. Cell 4 was frozen over so the Pectoral Sandpipers and Dunlins were gone - last seen by us Nov. 15. Cell 2 was still open water and had several Bufflehead, a few American Black Ducks, Mallards, and one Scaup.

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 18, 2010 at 11:33:13 AM by CatMacLean

There was a small flock of Snow Buntings at McCulley-Robertson soccer fields in Huntsville this am.

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 09:42:20 AM by janice house

we had a dozen in our yard this morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 18, 2010 at 10:22:27 AM by bobhealey

We had 12 Evening Grosbeaks at our feeders daily from Nov. 14 to 17. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on November 17, 2010 at 02:05:51 PM by J. Gardner

We have had a Fox Sparrow living in the shrubs behind our feeders, and scratching up a living under the feeders for a week. Hurdville on Manitouwabing Lake

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 02:48:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports this morning there was a Northern Shrike at the South Muskoka Golf Club near the 2nd hole. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Common Loon
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 01:06:07 PM by J. Gardner

A common loon was yodeling on the Manitouwabing River at Hurdville on November 15.

 

 

Common Loon
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 10:02:09 AM by Dawn Sherman

There was a Common Loon calling on Hunter's Bay in Huntsville this morning.

 

 

Buffleheads
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 08:59:22 AM by janice house

Geoff saw at least 2 dozen males at Allport Marina yesterday (Lake Muskoka)

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 15, 2010 at 10:50:36 PM by Ted gardner

75 plus Snow Buntings spent a good piece of the day in the empty lot between Home Depot and Wallmart again today.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings, Torrance
Posted on November 15, 2010 at 05:46:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

About 3:30 pm today there were approximately 4 dozen Bohemian Waxwings in two trees in the wetland at the NE corner of Torrance Rd. and Hwy 169. There are lots of berries on the Winterberry bushes in the marsh and they were flying down into the bushes to feed.

I have seen and photographed waxwings in those two dead trees in other years.

 

 

Re(1): duck ID, please
Posted on November 13, 2010 at 07:40:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like a mixture of domestic breeds, which would explain the larger size - perhaps Rouen and Cayuga, and who knows what else. And there's probably a Mallard underneath the cover somewhere...

Mallards are infamous for all their in-the-wild hybridizations and crosses with domesticated ducks. These two websites show photos of some of the strange looking outcomes:
http://10000birds.com/manky-mallards-domestic-feral-or-just-plain-odd-mallards.htm
http://10000birds.com/hybrid-mallards.htm

 

 

Re(1): duck ID, please
Posted on November 13, 2010 at 03:57:55 PM by Ted gardner

Hydrid with a domestic?

 

 

duck ID, please
Posted on November 13, 2010 at 09:01:07 AM by Wayne Bridge

A friend of mine asked me for an ID on this duck he photographed in Kempenfelt Bay near downtown Barrie. He insists the colours are accurate and that the bird was bigger than a mallard. It was by itself, aloof from all other waterfowl. I'm stumped. Any suggestions?  photo

 

 

Gray Jays
Posted on November 12, 2010 at 09:49:23 AM by Wayne Bridge

I just had a first for my backyard feeding area - two gray jays at 1st the suet, then sunflower seeds, then the breadcrusts I put out for the blue jays (the gray jays made VERY short work of the bread). Our back yard is narrow and abuts a green belt of pine, spruce, fir, aspen & cherry with a few maples interspersed. On the other side of the green belt is a creek and a beaver pond. This, as I said, is the first time gray jays have been seen on our property.

[the ring-neck pheasant escapees have proliferated] (Kearney, 25 mins N-E of Huntsville)

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 11 November
Posted on November 12, 2010 at 08:35:52 AM by Ontbirds

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

Beautiful sunny weather and great conditions out on the trails this week.
Finch numbers are low but the variety is good. The Visitor Centre feeders
continue to provide good viewing.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: one on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 6).

Black-backed Woodpecker: female at Wolf Howl Pond (November 6)

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, Spruce
Bog Boardwalk and Leaf Lake Ski Trail entrance.

Boreal Chickadee: Several at Wolf Howl Pond (November 7); one between F and
B (see winter brochure map) on Fen Lake Ski Trail (November 11).

FIRST OF FALL:
Bufflehead: six on Lake of Two Rivers (November 4)

Pine Grosbeak: see below

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 10).

Purple Finch: still one coming to the Visitor Centre feeders (November 11).

White-winged Crossbill: five over Centennial Ridges Trail; groups of four
and three near Gateway Creek on Fen Lake Ski Trail (November 11).

Red Crossbill: singles flying over Highway 60 (November 10 and 11).

Common Redpoll: Groups of 10 and two over Centennial Ridges Trail; and
groups of four, three, six and five over Fen Lake Ski Trail (November 11).

Pine Siskin: a few at the Visitor Centre feeders all week.

American Goldfinch: up to 15 at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 12 at Lake of Two Rivers (October 31) and up to 12 daily
at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SIGHTINGS:
Red-breasted Merganser: female on Costello Lake (November 7).

Double-crested Cormorant: juvenile at Opeongo Access Point (November 7).
Late.

Golden Eagle: juvenile over Cache Lake Dam (November 7)

Bohemian Waxwing: 19 (November 7) and 12 (November 10) at the Visitor
Centre.

MAMMALS:
River Otter: two or three have been regular at the Opeongo Access Point this
week.

Pine Marten: one is visiting the Visitor Centre feeders daily, but at
irregular times.

Eastern Wolf: a pack was heard howling near the East Gate at night this
week.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open 9 am to 4 pm on weekends
only from November 6 to December 19. Birders visiting during the week may
be able to enter via the service entrance (right end of building) to view
the feeders; check in with staff first.

 

 

Wild Turkeys
Posted on November 11, 2010 at 03:50:25 PM by Verity

Seven wild turkeys grazing -- Bethune Rd, Huntsville

 

 

Re(1): Northern Parula - Parry Sound
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 10:08:36 PM by Peter Mills

Very interesting. Algonquin Park data shows they "should" be gone by September 15th, with the majority gone even ten days earlier than that. What a trooper!

 

 

Northern Parula - Parry Sound
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 04:03:31 PM by J. Gardner

This Northern Parula was spotted today on Tina Jacobson's feeder in Parry Sound. The feeder was holding a small seed mixture, but the bird spent most time going over the bunches of dried flowers that she hangs from the fence.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Northern Cardinal
Posted on November 12, 2010 at 04:19:11 PM by janice house

We have had a female in our yard for the past 3 weeks, only see them in the spring and fall for 2 weeks maximum, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Northern Cardinal
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 10:33:20 AM by Verity

A male Northern Cardinal spent several hours around my feeder on November 7th. Huntsville, near the intersection of Etwell Road and Aspdin Road.

 

 

Snow Buntings, Parry Sound
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 10:21:46 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Early this morning a single Snow Bunting was foraging along the edge of a large rock behind the Waubuno Park Welcome centre. A flock of about 10 more joined it briefly and then flew off to an unknown location. The single bird was still there when I left at 9 am.

A single winter-plumage Common Loon was seen near the Smelter Dock.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemians
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 08:37:34 AM by Dawn Sherman

I found 10 Bohemian Waxwings on the Hunter's Bay Trail in Huntsville yesterday. There was a larger flock of 70 last Friday at the same location.

 

 

Bohemians
Posted on November 7, 2010 at 04:40:59 PM by J. Gardner

Had a flock of 24 Bohemian Waxwings stop briefly at our highbush cranberries, in Hurdville. Jim managed to get a couple of nice shots of them, but is still looking for "the" picture.

 

 

Coopers hawk again!
Posted on November 6, 2010 at 05:39:29 PM by Ted gardner

The Coopers has hit the pigeon population two more times! we have a backyard full of feathers!  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Dunlins, Pectorals, Horned Larks
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 12:16:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Dunlins with six Pectoral Sandpipers along the north shoreline of cell 4. Four Horned Larks flew up and headed towards cell 1 but we couldn't relocate them. At least two American Coots still in cell 3. A few Scaup and Buffleheads in cells 1 and 2, and a few Mallards, Black Ducks, and one male Green-winged Teal in cell 4. No sign of the American Golden-Plover.

Three Hooded Mergansers were on the river near the entrance to Kerr Park. Lots of Canada Geese on the lawn at Annie Williams Park.

 

 

Re(1): American Golden-Plover, Horned Lark
Posted on November 7, 2010 at 12:40:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was an American Golden-Plover in cell 4 along with a Dunlin and seven Pectoral Sandpipers. A Horned Lark was feeding in the gravelly area at the north side of cell 3 where the middle road intersects. There were still at least 5 American Coots in the east end of cell 3.

 

 

Dunlin - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 6, 2010 at 01:03:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a Dunlin with six Pectoral Sandpipers on the mudflat at the south-east of cell 4. There were still at least 9 American Coots in the east end of cell 3. Most of the ducks were in cell 2 - Buffleheads, Scaup, Mallards, and American Black Ducks.

 

 

Re(1): Red-bellied Woodpecker
Posted on November 7, 2010 at 05:37:15 PM by janice house

Stephanie Lehman had one in her yard at 8:30 this morning, she lives on Aubrey St in Bracebridge. Also had quite a few evening grosbeaks.

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker Gravenhurst
Posted on November 5, 2010 at 03:43:34 PM by Al Sinclair

Frank LeVay had a Red-bellied Woodpecker eating peanuts at his feeder today at noon, Nov. 5, 2010. The address is 255 Alexander Street, Gravenhurst. Follow Muskoka Beach Rd north to Catherine St. then west to the SW corner of Catherine & Alexander Streets.

 

 

Coopers Hawk
Posted on November 5, 2010 at 11:06:05 AM by Ted Gardner

Just had a Coopers hawk elimanate a pigeon!! Wow! quite the scene!! I was not fast enough with the camerA. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 4 November
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 02:33:14 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 4, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There was an obvious movement of birds from Friday to Sunday this week,
especially finches. Crossbills and redpolls were flying over to somewhere in
search of seed crops, while other finches lingered at feeders (see below). A
heavy covering of snow arrived on Saturday, with some persisting until
today. Ice formed on some shallow ponds and small lakes, but should
disappear in today's rain.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Wolf Howl Pond (via Arowhon Road), Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo
Road.

Gray Jay: regular on Opeongo Road, at the Visitor Centre suet, and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

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

FIRST OF FALL:
Lesser Scaup: female at the Old Airfield Marsh (October 31).

Common Goldeneye:: five over Lake of Two Rivers (October 31).

White-winged Crossbill: see below.

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: down to one or two at the Visitor Centre feeders. This species
appears to be moving out, as expected with this year's poor seed crops.

White-winged Crossbill: two in flight near Mew Lake (October 29) and three
flying over there (October 31).

Common Redpoll: total of 13 birds in three groups at the Old Airfield
(October 29); one at Opeongo Access Point (October 31).

Pine Siskin: up to 30 at the Visitor Centre feeders.

American Goldfinch: up to 15 at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 12 at Lake of Two Rivers (October 31) and up to 12 fairly
regularly at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

NOTEWORTHY SIGHTINGS:
Wild Turkey: two near km 28 on Highway 60 (October 30).

Double-crested Cormorant: juvenile at Opeongo Access Point (October 29 and
November 3). Late.

Rough-legged Hawk: adult (dark morph) over km 4 on Highway 60 (October 31).

Bohemian Waxwing: one over the Old Airfield (October 29); 20 at the Visitor
Centre (November 2).

Northern Cardinal: male was at the Visitor Centre feeders (from October 28
to 31).

Lapland Longspur: one at Two Rivers Campground beach (October 31).

Rusty Blackbird: one at Visitor Centre feeders (November 3).

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open 9 am to 4 pm on weekends
only from November 6 to December 19. Birders visiting during the week may be
able to enter via the service entrance (right end of building) to view the
feeders.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 12:59:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 10 American Coots in the east end of cell 3 and seven Pectoral Sandpipers in cell 4. Most of the ducks were in cell 2 since the other cells were partially frozen over - Buffleheads, Scaup, Mallards, Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal.

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on November 25, 2010 at 09:34:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Hurrah! She finally returned to our yard this morning and this time found the suet cage was back in operation. She seemed pleased and even returned for another meal in the afternoon. Now we will have to wait and see if her mate shows up.

(edit: Nov. 28 - the adult female Pileated came again this morning and then an adult male Pileated showed up in the afternoon)

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 09:37:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a female Pileated Woodpecker was checking out the empty suet cage hanging on our pine tree. Hopefully she and her mate will come back in early December like they did last year when the suet cages were back in operation...bears and raccoons have to go to bed first. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bird Board Update - improved Search
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 07:47:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

1. To find posts that contain a specific phrase, just put quotation marks around the phrase. For example, if you search for "fox sparrow", you'll only see posts that include that specific phrase. If you don't use quotation marks, the search results will also include posts about a fox and a sparrow, but not necessarily a Fox Sparrow.

2. Two new Search Presets have been added so you can choose to see only posts made in the past 24 hours or all the posts made in the past week.

3. The Search function will now search through all pages of the Bird Board instead of just the first page, and will return up to 100 results. The Bird Board will now hold up to ten pages of posts...you can still find all the older posts in the Archived Reports.

 

 

ruffed grouse - drumming
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 06:46:36 PM by John Challis

While walking the dog at dusk tonight, on Green River Drive in Washago, heard the characteristic drumming of a ruffed grouse. The first hesitant beats made me think it must be a car stereo with the big speakers, but the accelerating thrumming was clearly a grouse with a bit of an unseasonal ego.
Must be a teenager.

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 10:56:10 AM by GayleCarlyle

We just had a flock of about 10 grosbeaks arrive at the feeders here at Grant's Woods, near Orillia.
Guess we'll be going through a lot of sunflower seeds this year!

 

 

Re(2): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 08:36:05 PM by dinnymccraney

We had what was probably the same large flock of birds at our feeders on the South Muskoka Golf course for at least 2 weeks (see Oct. 13 post for photo) but had to stop feeding them when the chipmunks and red squirrel discovered the feeder.I guess they went West in seach of a better life!They are beautiful birds and their call is quite distinctive...they would fly into the trees and call while I put the seed out.

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 09:39:58 AM by Barbara Taylor

A flock of ten Evening Grosbeaks flew over our house this morning heading for Meadow Heights. Better buy more sunflower seeds Ted!
Listen to an Evening Grosbeak:
http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?sortBy=has+audio&curFamilyID=214&curGroupID=1&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=10

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 04:07:42 PM by Ted Gardner

We have had a flock of 25 plus Evening Grosbeaks in all day. Between them and the Blue Jays 15 plus we are really going through the seed!
120 Meadow Heights Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 06:56:30 PM by tedthevideoman

100 plus today between Home Depot and Wallmart.

 

 

Re(2): Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 01:17:18 PM by janice house

saw a dozen near Skeleton Lake Rd 3 yesterday

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 12:35:09 PM by John Challis

A flock of 25 to 30 buntings was working its way around the Torrance Barrens while we were hiking there on Sunday, Oct. 31. Last seen at the parking area to the reserve, foraging along the shoulders of the road. I hope this isn't some kind of forecast for the winter to come.

 

 

Re(2): Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 7, 2010 at 04:39:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

About a dozen Snow Buntings were at the helipad this morning. (reported by the Goodyears)

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 01:52:54 PM by dinnymccraney

They were at the helipad again today at noon

 

 

Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 12:08:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports this morning there were 75 Snow Buntings at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital helicopter pad by Liddard St.
map of area (helicopter pad is the square with white cross)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 09:11:59 AM by Goodyear

Just after 5:00 p.m. yesterday, a flock of approx. 35 Bohemian Waxwings landed in our miniature crab tree in our front yard. The Waxwings ate their fill and then took off up the street. We didn't see them this morning. We have a lot of apples left, so they may return. (117 Meadow Heights Bracebridge)

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 09:05:14 AM by Debbie Adams

There is a small flock of Snow Buntings that have been hanging around for the past several days on Walker's Pt. Rd., just east of the old Fire Stn.
This is the first time I've ever seen Snow Buntings up close and personal; beautiful little birds!

 

 

Pine Siskins, Goldfinches, Bala and Snowbuntings
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 08:10:41 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Over the last few days several Pine Siskins and a few American Goldfinches have stopped by. Neither species has spent any time at my feeders and they move on.
Yesterday afternoon, at the junction of South Gibson Rd and the Hwy 400 Extension there were about 40 Snow Buntings on S Gibson Rd.

 

 

Red-necked Grebe
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 07:56:54 AM by Alex Mills

One Red-necked Grebe on Ahmic Lake (3 km from Magnetawan) on October 30.

 

 

Canada Geese flying south
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 08:35:06 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We watched a big flock of Canada Geese flying south this morning -isn't this late for them to be leaving?

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 08:01:31 PM by Dawn Sherman

A flock of approx. 35 Pine Siskins at Rice Lane and Florence Street in Huntsville today. A pair of Evening Grosbeaks on the Hunter's Bay Trail at the pipe plant on Wednesday.

 

 

Pigeon
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 07:26:13 PM by janice house

for 2 days we have had a lone rusty coloured pigeon feeding in our yard, I was so busy trying to get a good photo I forgot to look and see if it is banded ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

10 minute bird watch
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 07:03:42 PM by tedthevideoman

Last evening about 5pm we saw these in our backyard...
Bluejays 15plus
Blackcapped chickadees 6
Darkeyed Junco 6 plus
Chipping Sparrow
White Crowned Sparrow
Mourning Doves 5
Hairy Woodpecker (male & Female)
Downey woodpecker (male & Female)
Goldfinches 4
Purple finch (male & female)
Northern Cardinal (male&female)
White breasted nuthatch
Red Breasted nuthatch
Starlings
Grackle
Crow

we have several different feeders and feed as well as bird baths
it was just plum amazing!!...winters coming!  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 12:55:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was a gorgeous juvenile Northern Harrier hunting low over the fields on the west side of South Monck Dr., a short distance north of the Muskoka Highlands driving range. The tawny-orange underside of the hawk was "glowing" in the sunshine.

There were many Canada Geese on the driving range, but no Snow Geese. (Bracebridge)
South Monck Dr. map

 

 

Another Blue Jay story
Posted on October 30, 2010 at 06:41:45 AM by FrancesGualtieri

Yesterday we watched a blue jay on our lawn, put down an acorn it had in its beak, dig a hole with its beak, place the acorn in the hole, cover it over with dirt, then a few leaves. Interestingly, we are seeing small oak seedlings in the area, although there are no oaks nearby. Now we know why!

 

 

Re(2): American Coots, Pectoral Sandpipers
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 04:33:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Still two Coots in cell 3 this afternoon and eight Pectoral Sandpipers in cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): American Coots, Snow Buntings
Posted on October 31, 2010 at 01:00:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

At least two Coots were still in cell 3 this morning. About 40 Snow Buntings were flying around cell 4. Seven Pectoral Sandpipers were on the mudflats near the east side of cell 4. A Red-tailed Hawk circled low over cell 2 and then continued on its way south. Several large flocks of Canada Geese kept streaming in to land in cell 4.

 

 

American Coots - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 29, 2010 at 01:14:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there were at least nine American Coots in cell 3, but difficult to see them until they swim out into the open. There were six Pectoral Sandpipers on the mudflat in the middle of cell 4. Most of the Scaup have left but still many Bufflehead, Mallards, Black Ducks, and Green-winged Teal. An American Wigeon was still in cell 4 but I didn't see the Gadwalls.

 

 

Algonquin Park report: 28 October
Posted on October 29, 2010 at 08:28:40 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 29, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: One along Opeongo Road (October 24).

Black-backed Woodpecker: Singles on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 21),
near Visitor Centre parking lot (October 22) and on Bat Lake Trail (October
23)

Gray Jay: most frequently reported on Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake section
of Mizzy Lake Trail, and along Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Three at Dizzy Lake Bog on Mizzy Lake Trail (October 21);
and three near Wolf Howl Pond (October 26).

FIRST OF FALL:
Northern Shrike: One around Visitor Centre feeders (October 22).

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: a few are being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying
over.

Red Crossbill: One over Visitor Centre (October 22).

Pine Siskin: two at Visitor Centre feeder (October 28).

American Goldfinch: about 10 at Visitor Centre feeder (October 28).

Evening Grosbeak: occasional birds at the Visitor Centre, and single birds
flying over elsewhere.

NOTEWORTHY SIGHTINGS:
Rough-legged Hawk: one (light morph) over Visitor Centre (October 27).

Sandhill Crane: flocks of 14 and 21 over Lostwater Lake in the Park's
southern panhandle (October 18). These are just the second and third fall
records ever for this species here. Spring and breeding season sightings
have been regular for the last 20 years, but surprisingly not autumn
observations.

Bohemian Waxwing: 25 flying over Visitor Centre (October 25).

Northern Cardinal: male at Visitor Centre feeder (October 28). Very rare in
Algonquin, typically from late October to late November.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre and restaurant are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm
during October, and 9 am to 4 pm on weekends from November 6 to December 19.

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks & Pine Siskins
Posted on October 28, 2010 at 03:20:23 PM by STEPHENDERRAUGH

First of the year for us, ~ 20 Evening Grosbeaks in the back lot; as well, 4 Pine Siskins, seen as a group this PM, 4 Goldfinches, a multitude of Junco's, blue-jays, Robins, Cardinal, Hairys, RB & WB Nuthatches, etc, etc - very active day...the Robins are feasting on the bountiful berry crop - no Waxwings here yet, which is odd. Is that normal for Huntsville - it's our first year in town - moved from Ottawa. (Florence St W, Huntsville, top of Reservoir Hill - near the towers.)

 

 

Re(1): Any redpolls?
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 08:56:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

Do two calling in flight Oct. 9 at Algonquin Park count?
See: http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1287104085&user=muskokabirdboard&page=1

 

 

Any redpolls?
Posted on October 27, 2010 at 03:31:49 PM by RonReid

As part of our fundraising Big Year, we are searching for Redpolls before the end of October. We have Siskins now in Washago, and a big flock of Evening Grosbeaks. If anyone has Redpolls, please let us know at bobolink.reid@gmail.com. Many thanks,
Ron & Janet

 

 

Re(1): Sharpie vs. Blue Jay
Posted on October 29, 2010 at 04:16:35 PM by janice house

I had the same thing happen, I think it was last year but there was a small flock of jays, they kept screaming in the hawks face, went on for about an hour

 

 

Re(1): Sharpie vs. Blue Jay
Posted on October 27, 2010 at 07:08:22 AM by J. Gardner

Several years ago, I watched a Sharpie take a Blue Jay. It was a horrible spectacal, but I had to watch as I had no camera at hand to record the incident. All in all, it took about 20 minutes for the hawk to subdue and kill the jay and start to defeather it. The hawk finally lifted the dead jay and carried it across the road, and out of sight. The jay fought all the way, but the hawk was the victor.

 

 

Sharpie vs. Blue Jay
Posted on October 26, 2010 at 08:08:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I happened to look out the window just as a small hawk flew across our yard at a Blue Jay. The Jay gave a loud squawk as it somersaulted away from the attack and then flew up to a high perch in our birch tree. The hawk perched about twelve feet away from the Jay, giving me the opportunity to identify it as a juvenile male Sharp-shinned Hawk. I stepped outside to get a better look and then the fun began...

The Sharpie gave a soft high-pitched call and attacked the Jay again. Once more the Jay gave a loud squawk and managed to outmaneuver the little hawk. These quick attacks continued until eventually the birds moved into some pine trees so it was harder to see them. But I was still able to keep up with them since the hawk always pre-announced its attack by giving that soft call and the Jay always squawked when the Sharpie flew at it. I wondered if the young Sharpie was desperately hungry, but why did it keep warning the Jay that it was about to be attacked again? The Jay seemed more annoyed by this torment than afraid for its life, so maybe the Sharpie was just "playing" as a way to test its attack skills.

This went on for nearly twenty minutes! I've never seen anything like it. Finally, the Sharp-shinned Hawk left the area and the Blue Jay came in for a drink at the birdbath. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): My daily / yearly bird list.
Posted on October 26, 2010 at 04:59:12 PM by Lorena905

I was multi tasking while typing my list....I didn't mean to type red headed and yellow bellied. Sorry. :)

 

 

My daily / yearly bird list.
Posted on October 26, 2010 at 02:28:45 PM by Lorena905

I read the postings on this sight as well as the Simcoe Nature board and surprised at some of the reports from all over.
I was wondering if we could do a survey with our town or area on the map as well as our usual daily / semi daily birds that are with us all year? I think it would be interesting to hear from everyone.

Here is my list:
Willow Beach - southern shore of Lake Simcoe

chickadee
cardinal
housefinch
goldfinch
blue jay
crow
house sparrow
red breasted nuthatch
white breasted nuthatch
mourning dove
downy woodpecker
hairy woodpecker
pileated woodpecker (once a month)
red headed woodpecker
yellow bellied woodpecker
sharp shinned hawk (couple times a
month)
coopers hawk (once every couple months)

 

 

Re(1): Pectoral Sandpipers
Posted on October 27, 2010 at 01:30:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there were five Pectoral Sandpipers on the mudflats in cell 4 this morning.

 

 

Surf Scoter, Pectoral Sandpiper
Posted on October 25, 2010 at 12:13:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of ducks at the Bracebridge Ponds 11 a.m. this morning. In addition to the regulars (Buffleheads, Mallards, Lesser Scaup, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Canada Geese)...

cell 1:
Surf Scoter
Northern Pintail

cell 2:
Ring-necked Duck

cell 4:
Gadwalls
American Wigeon
Pectoral Sandpiper

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on October 23, 2010 at 08:09:27 PM by mmcanally

I was walking in my back woods today in Huntsville, around noon, when I was surprised to hear a Barred Owl calling. Just a single elongated call note,but several times, about 1 minute apart.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Monday, October 25
Posted on October 23, 2010 at 11:15:25 AM by rick stronks

At the next Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Monday, October 25, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Joe Nocera, a Research Scientist with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), discuss the recovery efforts for Chimney Swifts and discuss the new Huntsville roost site.

In 2009, thanks to a report by Huntsville teacher Dave Goodyear, several members of the Huntsville Nature Club confirmed that the chimney on the Empire Hotel was being used by Chimney Swifts as a roosting site. A fire in October 2009 destroyed the hotel and although the chimney survived the fire, the future of the structure was in doubt as the building was slated for demolition.

Thanks to the efforts of Huntsville mayor Claude Doughty, MNR biologists Jan McDonnell and Dr. Joe Nocera, and Huntsville Nature Club member Jim Griffin, a prefabricated replica chimney was built and eventually installed on the Algonquin Theatre. The new chimney is built to resemble the Empire chimney in size and is lined with stone facing to give the swifts the rough surface they need to hang on. Now we wait to see if the returning birds use the new site next summer.

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 $3.00 donation is appreciated. For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (789-1407) or Rick Stronks (635-3315).

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 07:54:14 PM by janice house

several flew over on my dog walk this morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Algonquin Park Report: 21 October
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 06:26:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 21, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Many people on the Visitor Centre viewing deck got to view a rarely observed
sight on both Saturday and Sunday (October 16 and 17): moose mating in the
Sunday Creek bog.

At least one American marten has been seen irregularly eating sunflower seed
at the Visitor Centre.

More birders were in the field this week, as reflected in increased
sightings. Thanks to all who reported.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: two males along Arowhon Road at Sims Pit, just south of the
old railway crossing (October 16).

Black-backed Woodpecker: female at post 4 on Whiskey Rapids Trail (October
16) and a male and female at West Rose Lake on the Mizzy Lake Trail (October
17).

Gray Jay: as usual in the fall, these are becoming more conspicuous at
various sites, including: Old Airfield; from the chain gate along the old
railway to Wolf Howl Pond; and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: these are becoming more vocal and noticeable, including at
the chain gate on the old railway west of Wolf Howl Pond, West Rose Lake,
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road.

FIRST OF FALL:
Lesser Scaup: one on Lake of Two Rivers (October 14)

Surf Scoter: two on Lake of Two Rivers (October 14)

Red-necked Grebe: one at the Opeongo Access Point (October 16) and one on
Lake of Two Rivers (October 17)

Bohemian Waxwing: one at the West Gate (October 16). Two birds between posts
14 and 15 on Track and Tower Trail and two at Wolf Howl Pond (October 17).


FINCHES:
Purple Finch: a few are being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying
over.

Red Crossbill: Very small numbers continue to be heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: occasionally one or two flying over.

American Goldfinch: only one reported this week.

Evening Grosbeak: occasional birds at the Visitor Centre, and single birds
flying over elsewhere.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY SIGHTINGS:
Redhead: two males at the Old Airfield Marsh (October 18). Not seen on
October 19. This is only the fifth record for Algonquin Park.

Wild Turkey: one at km 24 on Highway 60 (October17).

Ring-billed Gull: up to 90 were loafing at the Opeongo Access Point this
week. The origin of the gulls in these annual fall gatherings at Opeongo
since 2001 is unknown. This gull does not breed in Algonquin Park and is
very uncommon here at other times of the year.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm during October.

 

 

Re(2): Wigeon and Gadwalls
Posted on October 23, 2010 at 11:15:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 10:30 a.m. there were several flocks of Canada Geese coming in from the north to land in cell 4. Then three ducks flew in...Gadwalls (2M, 1F). There is also an American Wigeon in cell 4 along with the "regulars". Didn't see the Yellowlegs. Still many Scaup and Bufflehead in cell 2. (Bracebridge Ponds)

 

 

Re(1): and Gadwalls
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 02:39:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey were at the Lagoons after us and found the pair of Gadwalls in cell 4. There were a lot of ducks flying around when we were there this morning so apparently we just missed them.

 

 

Re(1): Greater Yellowlegs - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 07:50:10 PM by janice house

Geoff spotted several common golden eye's in the river opposite the entrance to Kerr Park Wednesday morning

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 12:42:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Greater Yellowlegs on the muddy shore at the SW corner of cell 4. A Belted Kingfisher was west of cell 4. Didn't see the Gadwalls but still a few Common Goldeneye in cell 4. A female Northern Pintail was in cell 1 and many Scaup and Bufflehead were in cell 2. The usual Mallards, Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, and Canada Geese were in cell 4.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on October 20, 2010 at 07:30:43 PM by diannawolfe

This afternoon, while walking in our back woods, a Northern Shrike was being mobbed by a flock of chickadees. Judging by the pink, fleshy mass in its bill, it had already found dinner. Kilworthy

 

 

Buffleheads Bracebridge
Posted on October 20, 2010 at 02:43:57 PM by janice house

Geoff saw at least 200 buffleheads in the river by the entrance to Kerr Park on Monday morning

 

 

Port Sydney birds
Posted on October 20, 2010 at 11:00:36 AM by jim griffin

On the river in Port Sydney this morning; 1 Common Merganser(female), 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Belted Kingfisher(male)

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bala
Posted on October 20, 2010 at 09:16:52 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw one lone yellow-rumped carefully checking out every branch for bugs here this morning. That is the only warbler I have seen in the last week.

One Ruby-crowned Kinglet on Sunday.

 

 

Wood Ducks, Bala
Posted on October 19, 2010 at 05:41:10 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For the third day in a row I have heard and seen Wood Ducks, males and females, on my lake close to my shoreline. Several times a day I have seen them fly from the direction of my bush to the lake. I believe they have been in the bush feeding on acorns.

Before I moved here I flushed about 8 of them out of the bush one day in the fall.

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrow
Posted on October 19, 2010 at 01:07:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

Finally! Two Fox Sparrows just showed up in our yard - first ones we've seen this fall. (Bracebridge)

edit: and ten minutes later a third one has appeared but it looks rather odd since it is missing a tail. I wonder if it will be able to continue migrating or if it will have to stick around until the tail feathers grow back.

 

 

Re(2): Fox Sparrow, Bala - Photo
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 04:54:54 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

They are quite a bit bigger than Purple Finches! At least 1/3rd bigger.

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrow, Bala - Photo
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 04:50:32 PM by Debbie Adams

Fabulous photo!
I've had 2 of these birds feeding from the seed buffet for the past month and I thought they were young finches. Apparently not, thanks to your photo.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Fox Sparrow, Bala - Photo
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 04:24:45 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After spending hours sorting images for a slideshow I placed a Fox Sparrow with birds that visit during migration, eat seeds near my feeders but don't actually come in. Wrong!  photo  Yesterday and twice today this Fox Sparrow landed on the platform feeder with juncos. Distlefink on the menu.

 

 

Algonquin: Bohemian Waxwing, Black-backed Wdpk and Boreal Chickadee
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 09:10:39 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 18, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Ontbirders
Yesterday, October 17th, spent the day birding various sites along Hwy. 60 in Algonquin Park. Overall, somewhat quiet, but a few interesting birds. At Wolf Howl Pond area along Mizzy Lake Trail we had 2 Bohemian Waxwing fly over calling and 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker near West Rose Lake. Finches were scarce, we had 3 Evening Grosbeak and 7 Purple Finch at the Visitor Centre along with distant views of 2 Moose. At the Spruce Bog Boardwalk, 1 Boreal Chickadee was heard calling. Gray Jays were easy to find at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, Opeongo Lake Road and Wolf Howl Pond.

 

 

Algonquin Park: Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 09:07:50 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 18, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A single Bohemian Waxwing was seen at the top of a tree at the West Gate on
Saturday (October 16) by Brete Griffin and his group. Two Bohemian Waxwings
were observed by Doug and Ron Tozer on Sunday (October 17) between posts 14
and 15 on the Mew Lake extension of the Track and Tower Trail. These two
waxwings were feeding on winterberry holly (Ilex) berries, along with
several robins. Some of these berries are present along the Two Rivers
Campground (now closed) side of the Airfield Marsh and could be a good place
to look for other Bohemian Waxwings.

 

 

Algonquin - Evening Grosbeak, B-B Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadees
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 08:49:22 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Patrick Blake on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 17, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

My wife and I spent the day in Algonquin Park, birding at the old airfield and along Mizzy Lake Trail. Activity at the airfield was low, but we did see a single male EVENING GROSBEAK near the parking area. Mizzy Lake Trail had a little more to offer, with about five GRAY JAYS near the gate off of Arowhon Road. Just south of West Rose Lake we had excellent views of a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, and on the return leg near Wolf Hollow Pond was a nearly tame male PURPLE FINCH which almost ate from our hands, and did actually land on my jacket for a few seconds. As we left, at the gate were two BOREAL CHICKADEES within a group of several BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. A single full-grown bull MOOSE also crossed the Mizzy Lake Trail, sporting a large rack of antlers.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 06:58:28 PM by George Bryant

At 1 p.m., to-day, a sub-adult (most like a third year bird)circled very low over our cottage at Pine Lake-my first there in 30+ years. I assume it originated in northern Ontario but wonder where the closest nest is now. The Atlas shows them in the Kawarthas, and there is a pair now on the Holland River. Have they made it to Muskoka / Parry Sound yet?

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds
Posted on October 18, 2010 at 07:12:15 AM by nickbartok

Additional to this, 10 Bluebirds flew into a tree at eye level while I was walking my dog at Muskoka Beach Road Storage in Gravenhurst by Beechgrove Public School. A nice surprise.
On Oct 16th

 

 

Bluebirds
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 08:11:52 AM by janice house

I heard one in Bent River yesterday, saw 2 males just now on the bell wires in front of the house, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds - Gadwalls still there
Posted on October 19, 2010 at 12:48:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11 a.m. this morning we found the pair of Gadwall in cell 4 and a Wilson's Snipe on the muddy shore in the NE corner. Most of the birds were in cell 4 (Buffleheads, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, female Northern Pintail, Canada Geese), but about 40 Scaup were in cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Gadwalls
Posted on October 16, 2010 at 01:22:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today...
a pair of Gadwalls in cell 4

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 15, 2010 at 11:45:08 AM by Barbara Taylor

Of note this morning...

in cell 4:
9 Bufflehead
4 Common Goldeneye
1 Hooded Merganser
over 250 Canada Geese
(they have started to drain cell 4)

in cell 2:
2 female Northern Pintails
Mallards, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Scaup

(construction of the new plant is ongoing to the south of cell 3 and heavy equipment is driven back and forth to north of cell 4 - only day they don't work is Sunday)

 

 

Algonquin Park Report (14 October)
Posted on October 14, 2010 at 08:54:45 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 14, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: no reports. Try Wolf Howl Pond, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
Opeongo Road

Black-backed Woodpecker: still three at Wolf Howl Pond (October 10)

Gray Jay: Wolf Howl Pond, West Rose Lake; Opeongo Road, Logging Museum

Boreal Chickadee: three in black spruce along north end of Opeongo Road
(October 9) and one on Beaver Pond Trail (October 11)

FIRST OF FALL:
Fox Sparrow: one at Wildlife Research Station (October 11)

Snow Bunting: one calling in flight at Cache Lake and one at McManus Lake
parking lot on the East Side (October 6)

Common Redpoll: two calling in flight over Airfield Marsh (October 9)

OTHER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: a few being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying over.

Red Crossbill: Very small numbers are being heard calling in flight,
including two over the Visitor Centre (October 9); three over Rock Lake Road
(October 12); three over Mew Lake Campground (October 12)

Pine Siskin: occasionally one or two flying over.

American Goldfinch: only one or two reported this week.

Evening Grosbeak: ten at km 44 on Highway 60 (October 13)


OTHER NOTEWORTHY SPECIES:
Bald Eagle: one over km 53.5 on Highway 60 (October 9)

Wild Turkey: one along Highway 60 at Track and Tower Trail (October 7)

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm during October.

Algonquin Park birding updates and information are available at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Pine Siskins, Juncos
Posted on October 14, 2010 at 04:33:34 PM by Wilf Yusek

At least 6 Pine Siskins and 8 Juncos are visiting my feeders and yard, Prospect Lake.

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 09:40:11 PM by dinnymccraney

A flock of Evening Grosbeaks arrived at my feeders around noon today and stayed for most of the afternoon. A fantastic sight. (Bracebridge) photo

 

 

Re(1): Burning Bush...food for thrushes
Posted on October 14, 2010 at 09:22:10 AM by GayleCarlyle

A few years ago I planted a crabapple that produces small, red fruit (about the size of wild cherries) and the robins love it this time of year. Haven't seen any thrushes at it but maybe once the shrub gets bigger they will.

 

 

Burning Bush...food for thrushes
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 04:27:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were two Hermit Thrush and four Robins eating the fruit on our Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus). I've never seen any birds interested in other years, but perhaps this year's bumper crop made the food source more noticeable.  photo

 

 

trumpeter swans
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 02:55:50 PM by PeggyBeattie

There were 6 trumpeter swans - 2 adults and 4 young - in our swamp near Barkway.
We couldn't see if they had Wye Marsh yellow banding.

 

 

Re(1): Thrush and blackbird
Posted on October 17, 2010 at 08:10:04 AM by janice house

Friday morning there were 3 pairs feeding on the ground under our feeders, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Thrush and blackbird
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 02:54:07 PM by GayleCarlyle

I heard a red-winged blackbird this morning and saw a thrush (perhaps a Swainson's or a grey-cheeked?) in the forest here at Grant's Woods near Orillia.

 

 

Thanksgiving Odes
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 11:16:23 AM by Alex Mills

With such beautiful summery weather over the long weekend, there was a fair bit of dragonfly/damselfly activity. At Magnetawan we saw one Green Darner on Oct 9, and on Oct 10 we saw numerous Shadow Darners (two were captured and we watched a female laying eggs), numerous Autumn Meadowhawks, a few White-faced Meadowhawks, and some mating Spotted Spreadwings.

 

 

Kearney Feeder Birds
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 09:11:31 AM by Wayne Bridge

I have several chickadees, 3 or 4 blue jays, a pair of hairy woodpeckers, two crows, three juncos, 1 tree sparrow, yesterday was our first fox sparrow (a very healthy, attractive individual), one grackle (perhaps the same one that stayed into the winter last year?), and one male ring-necked pheasant.
[Kearney is 25 mins N-E of Huntsville.]

 

 

Northern Shrikes
Posted on October 11, 2010 at 03:19:08 PM by dbritton

I've seen two Northern Shrikes this weekend, which seems to me to be a bit early for this species. One was seen in Kerr Park on Saturday, October 9th and another today (Monday, October 11) on Rostrevor Road at the Dee River bridge, about 2 km outside Windermere.

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on October 10, 2010 at 08:03:50 PM by wilf yusek

Had this plus a female at my feeder on Prospect Lake this afternoon, 1st one here in a few years  photo

 

 

Indigo Bunting, American Tree Sparrows
Posted on October 10, 2010 at 06:44:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along Lagoon Lane there was a male Indigo Bunting and several American Tree Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, and Song Sparrows. The three Northern Pintails were still in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds...nothing else of note. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Robins
Posted on October 10, 2010 at 06:08:08 PM by Debbie Adams

Saw a small flock of Robins at Rosseau Falls this afternoon. No doubt they were taking in the lovely autumn scenery before heading south, much like the many tourists also at that locale.

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds east of Bracebridge
Posted on October 10, 2010 at 09:57:06 AM by Al Sinclair

We had a small group of Rustys (6?) here early this morning foraging under a mountain ash that has dropped all its berries (they flushed so didn't see them actually eat any berries). We used to see large flocks of this species, now its COSEWIC Assessment is Special Concern due to a recent large decline in numbers.
Hwy 118E, 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 11, 2010 at 01:03:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were seven Northern Pintails (1M,6F) in cells 1 and 2. A female Northern Shoveler was in cell 1 and a Hooded Merganser was in cell 4. There were many Mallards, American Black Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and Green-winged Teal in cell 2. Lots of Canada Geese in cell 4.

West of cell 2 there was a Yellow-rumped Warbler and an Orange-crowned Warbler. Also several American Tree Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 9, 2010 at 12:28:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today there were three Northern Pintails (1M,2F) in cell 1. An American Wigeon and a Hooded Merganser were in cell 4 along with about 180 Canada Geese. In cell 2 there were many Mallards, Black Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and a few Green-winged Teal. A shorebird flew overhead, circled the ponds twice, but decided there was no suitable place to land...it appeared to be and sounded like a Pectoral Sandpiper. (note: construction of the new plant is ongoing at the south side of cell 3, but they don't work on Sundays)

 

 

Honey Bee decline...
Posted on October 9, 2010 at 09:30:39 AM by Barbara Taylor

The latest theory about what has been killing off Honey Bee colonies:
Bloomberg news - Bee-Killing Disease May Be Combination Attack, Researchers Say

Science journal PLoS ONE - Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline
excerpt: "Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) continues to impact bee colonies in the USA in 2010 at levels seemingly equal to, or exceeding that of 2007, when this unusual syndrome first received worldwide press coverage. The disorder is characterized by sudden losses of bees. This results in nearly empty beehives that, at best, may harbor a queen and a small worker bee population. A vexing aspect of the disorder is that there are ample resources left in the hive, and few or no dead bees in or near the hive. Bees seem to disappear without a trace."

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 7 October
Posted on October 8, 2010 at 06:02:51 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 8, 2010) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

SELECTED SITES AND SOME SPECIES REPORTED THIS WEEK:
Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible via Arowhon Road at km
15.4): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker (three seen one day), Boreal
Chickadee

Old Airfield (south from km 30.6): Merlin, Horned Lark, American Pipit,
American Tree Sparrow (first of fall on October 3), Rusty Blackbird

Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray
Jay

Visitor Centre (km 43): Horned Lark, American Pipit, Purple Finch

Opeongo Road: (km 46.3) Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, Orange-crowned Warbler
(October 3)

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: a few being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying over.

Pine Siskin: a flock of 25 was at Odenback on Radiant Lake (not accessible
by public road) on October 5.

Red Crossbill: Very small numbers are being heard calling in flight
occasionally, perhaps passing through to areas with a better cone crop.

American Goldfinch: a few heard calling in flight.

Evening Grosbeak: Six were reported at the feeder of the Algonquin Lakeside
Inn at Oxtongue Lake (on Highway 60 west of Algonquin Park) on October 1,
and may still be around.

SPARROWS:
Despite several searches, there have been no reports to date of Le Conte's
Sparrow from the Old Airfield or Nelson's Sparrow from favoured marsh and
beaver meadow sites, including the Lake Travers Marsh (end of Barron Canyon
Road on the East Side). This is the peak migration period in Algonquin for
both of these rarely observed species.

We would appreciate receiving your 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 recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm until October 11,
and daily from 9 am to 5 pm for the rest of the month.

Algonquin Park birding updates and information are available at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on October 6, 2010 at 03:44:01 PM by GayleCarlyle

We just had a phoebe outside our office here (near Orillia) chasing insects in the sunlight.
Nice to see phoebes still hanging around.

 

 

Re(4): Squirrel fungi
Posted on October 9, 2010 at 08:22:13 AM by Al Sinclair

Thanks for the recipe, it does sound delicious. I will print it out and try it next time we find some fresh ones.

 

 

Re(3): Squirrel fungi
Posted on October 9, 2010 at 07:02:12 AM by FrancesGualtieri

Al:
I think if you find honey mushrooms a bit sour, it must be how you are preparing them. My Italian mother-in-law cooked up a huge frying pan full yesterday. She fried an onion, then added the mushrooms, which we had previously blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes (what I do before freezing them). She added a couple of large chopped tomatoes, first squeezing out the seeds. She cooked this uncovered for 20 minutes or so,uncovered, stirring so it didn't burn. Then she added chopped garlic, and some grated Romano. Delicious! I also use them in stews, beef stroganoff, and gourmet mushroom soup. Maybe the initial blanching removes the sourness you mention.

 

 

Re(2): Squirrel fungi
Posted on October 8, 2010 at 08:10:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

I didn't see any white mushrooms in the squirrel's cache, but apparently Red Squirrels are known to eat Amanita muscaria. See Far North Science article and this Swedish study (abstract only) which lists 14 species of fungi that are known food of their European Red Squirrels.

What you see in my photo is only about one third of what she had stored away...mostly Honey Mushrooms. We've found a few mushrooms in the shed in other years, but nothing like this! Must have been an excellent year for fungi, or it's a very poor year for pine cones so she's storing whatever she can find. I thought it was interesting that the squirrel had taken a bite out of several of the mushrooms, almost like she was making sure they tasted good before storing them. I checked this afternoon and she is nearly finished re-distributing the whole pile, hopefully up in the trees and not back in our shed.

 

 

Re(1): Squirrel fungi
Posted on October 8, 2010 at 01:39:51 PM by Al Sinclair

Red Squirrels are know to eat mushrooms and hoard them but I'm surprised to see how many and the variety of species. I have seen them eating fresh Russula species (the big ones turning black in the photo). The fresher rusty brown ones are Honey Mushrooms, Armillaria mellea, abundant this fall (see previous post by Francis). Squirrels must know how to avoid the deadly ones like Destroying Angel or perhaps they are immune. This mushroom is widespread and sometimes plentiful in Muskoka. One is enough to cause death in a human. I don't see any of these in the squirrel's stash. BTW Honey mushrooms get there name from the color not the taste, are listed as edible but they taste a bit sour to me.

 

 

Squirrel fungi
Posted on October 6, 2010 at 01:17:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Red Squirrel decided our shed makes a good storage place for her winter stash of fungi. Here's a photo of part of the squirrel's collection. She is already busy carrying off the rest to other more suitable storage spots...at least more suitable from our point of view since the smell emanating from the mushrooms is not very pleasant. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Fox sparrow
Posted on October 6, 2010 at 08:58:19 AM by GayleCarlyle

We heard a fox sparrow this morning at our place on Green River Dr. in Washago.

 

 

Honey mushrooms
Posted on October 5, 2010 at 08:22:48 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We are finding - and picking - and cooking - and eating - and freezing, an abundance of honey mushrooms, here in the woods of Vankoughnet.

 

 

weekend bird songs
Posted on October 5, 2010 at 12:55:20 PM by John Challis

Two weekends ago while hiking along Sam Cook Road and Three Mile Lake, Gravenhurst, there were several large flocks of white crowned sparrows around. Last Sunday, during the Couchiching Conservancy's Cycling Adventure, I was surprised by a variety of bird songs. White throated sparrow, song sparrow and swamp sparrow, and one lone white-crowned sparrow showed up on the shoulder of Cooper's Falls Road. At Ferry Fawcett Reserve, west of Highway 11 at Washago (a very nice walk alongside the Trent Severn waterway, if you're interested), a northern harrier flew over.

 

 

Bala Fox Sparrow
Posted on October 5, 2010 at 07:25:54 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

First Fox Sparrow I've seen this fall here at 7 am.

 

 

Re(2): Junco
Posted on October 4, 2010 at 02:15:46 PM by LMacDonald

We had our first Junco at the backyard feeder (in Barrie) late yesterday and frost was on the car windows this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Junco
Posted on October 4, 2010 at 02:09:22 PM by Wilf Yusek

Had 3 Juncos plus 1 Fox Sparrow on my front lawn a few minutes ago, all were flushed by passing cars.

 

 

Junco
Posted on October 4, 2010 at 01:10:55 PM by Debbie Adams

Just had our first Junco at the feeder late this morning.
Sure sign of autumn well underway!

 

 

Bluebirds
Posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:43:39 PM by Bob Burt

Today at noon there were two Bluebirds at Kerr Park in Bracebridge, as well as a Great Blue Heron near the pond.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on October 4, 2010 at 07:43:44 AM by Debbie Adams

There was a Barred Owl calling outside our bedroom window last night. It was so close it woke me up. Unable to see it the dark amongst the branches, I simply enjoyed listening to it.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Oct. 7
Posted on October 3, 2010 at 05:03:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thursday, October 7, 7:30 p.m. in Bracebridge
BUMBLEBEES with Sheila Colla
SHEILA COLLA studies the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee with Dr. Laurence Packer at York University. Sheila will discuss the decline of this bumblebee and how the species diversity has changed in Southern Ontario.

Meeting location: Church of the Latter Day Saints, corner of Cedar Lane and Taylor Road, Bracebridge. Visitors welcome to attend.
http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Re(1): Phoebe
Posted on October 3, 2010 at 08:58:09 PM by Debbie Adams

I saw a Phoebe this morning in the woods on Walker's Point Road.

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on October 3, 2010 at 12:50:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports this morning there was an Eastern Phoebe near the Lagoon Lane gate at the Bracebridge Ponds. They also saw a Ring-necked Duck in cell 4 (which had left by the time we got there), and a Sharp-shinned Hawk tried to catch a White-crowned Sparrow along the edge of cell 3.

 

 

Good Year for Fungi...photo
Posted on October 3, 2010 at 10:36:01 AM by Al Sinclair

It has been a good year for fungi, regular rain showers throughout the growing season. Many have been fruiting this fall in large numbers. This is the largest group of this species I have ever seen, approx 70 mushrooms in this photo taken yesterday at Cedarwood resort west of Bracebridge. Don't think about eating them, hallucinogenic!   photo  Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria

 

 

Re(1): Scoter, Pintails, Bonaparte's
Posted on October 3, 2010 at 12:46:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was still one female Surf Scoter in cell 4 along with a female Bufflehead, a Hooded Merganser, and a few Scaup. The Scoter and Bufflehead stayed close together in the middle of cell 4 and were diving a lot. A Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead as it headed south, and a single Rusty Blackbird was west of cell 4.

In cell 2 there were two female and one male Northern Pintail amongst several Mallards, Black Ducks, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Wood Ducks and Scaup. In cell 1 there was a female Northern Shoveler and a Bonaparte's Gull amongst several Ring-billed Gulls.

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on October 2, 2010 at 04:59:30 PM by J. Gardner

Phoebe is still here, about the latest I have seen her. But then, the cluster flies are still here, and she has plenty to feed on when the sun warms the south wall of the house.

 

 

Surf Scoters, Ruddy Duck
Posted on October 1, 2010 at 05:16:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds in cell 4 there were two female Surf Scoters and a male Ruddy Duck. A Green Heron and several Rusty Blackbirds were west of cell 4.