Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from October - December 2011
 
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Snowy Owl
Posted on December 31, 2011 at 03:21:35 PM by jim griffin

What a spectacular wrap up for 2011: A rather large first year female Snowy Owl made two passes up and down my driveway at about 2:45 this afternoon and is currently sitting in the top of a large white pine on the river side, just south of the road 10 bridge in Port Sydney.

 

 

38th Algonquin Park CBC
Posted on December 31, 2011 at 11:02:45 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 31, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 38th Algonquin Park CBC was held on Friday, 30 December 2011.
Conditions for birding were fairly good all day: mostly calm, light snow
flurries throughout, and temperatures from minus 13 to minus 6 degrees C.
All still water was frozen but there was some open water on the
Madawaska River. Snow depth was unusually low (maximum of about
15 centimetres or six inches in the open and less under trees) which
allowed observers to cover more area.

A limited cone crop resulted in a very good variety of finches but in
relatively low numbers compared to years with a bumper crop. There
were many more finches than during the last two winters when cones
were virtually nonexistent on nearly all conifers.

Total Observers: 82 (second highest ever)
Birds per Party Hour: 21 (compared to 4 and 8 on the last two counts)

Total Species: 32 (average is 28; highest ever is 34)
Total Individuals: 4.977 (average is 4,780)
New Species for the Count: none

Noteworthy Species:
-Wild Turkey: 1 (Sunday Lake Road)
-Great Horned Owl: 1 (heard in late afternoon on Lookout Trail)
-Northern Saw-whet Owl: 1 (photographed on Leaf Lake Ski Trail)
-Winter Wren: 1 (heard at seepage area along old railway between East
Boundary and Rock Lake)

Finches:
-Pine Grosbeak: 16
-Purple Finch: 26
-Red Crossbill: 36
-White-winged Crossbill: 792
-Common Redpoll: 567
-Hoary Redpoll: 1
-Pine Siskin: 836
-American Goldfinch: 219
-Evening Grosbeak: 80 (all at the Visitor Centre feeders)

Notable Missed Species:
-Spruce Grouse

A big thanks to all those who participated in the count, many of whom
travelled a long distance. The work of those who arranged
the excellent catered meal for over 100 people, facilitated the electronic
tally, and carried out fee payment by credit and debit card is much
appreciated.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler

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.

 

 

Yard birds - Bracebridge
Posted on December 31, 2011 at 10:22:07 AM by Goodyear

With the onset of winter our feeders have been seeing more action. Blue Jays, Chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, 6 Purple Finches, a flock of approx. 50 Goldfinches, a lone Pine Siskin, 2 D.E. Juncos, and 6 Tree Sparrows have been regular visitors over the last few days. This morning we had 5 Cedar Waxwings visit our miniature crabapple tree. (117 Meadow Heights Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 29 December
Posted on December 30, 2011 at 03:00:35 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 29, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Maximum snow depth in the Park now is about 15 centimetres
(6 inches). The last lake along Highway 60 with open water
(Smoke Lake) froze over by week's end.

Few birders visited during the Christmas period and
so reports are very limited this week.

Notable sightings this week:
Bald Eagle: adult reported near the West Gate on December 26.
Northern Shrike: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk today.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Opeongo Road.
Gray Jay: seen regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, at the Visitor Centre and at the Logging Museum.
Boreal Chickadee: no reports. Try Sprucebog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: one reported at the Visitor Centre parking lot
today.
American Goldfinch: a few seen occasionally.
Evening Grosbeak: about 40 are coming to the Visitor Centre
feeders now.

VISITOR CENTRE WILL BE OPEN DAILY FROM
DECEMBER 27 TO JANUARY 8, FROM 9 AM TO 5 PM.

For more information see Algonquin Park events calendar at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/involved/calendar/

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. Locations are also described at:
www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. The Visitor Centre restaurant is not be open this winter but
visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating area.
Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are available to purchase,
as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor
Centre to view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find
out what birds are being seen.

 

 

Christmas Bird Count in the news
Posted on December 30, 2011 at 11:42:31 AM by Al Sinclair

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count writeup in the local newspaper.
Cottage Country Now Article

 

 

Re(2): And a second Robin the next day
Posted on January 1, 2012 at 04:25:02 PM by Alex Mills

On Dec 31, I was walking near Magnetawan again, about 6 km from the spot I reported waxwings and a robin on Dec 30 (previous post). I was surprised to find a second Robin, this time in an upland area. The only fruits I could see nearby were buckthorn.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings and a Robin too
Posted on December 30, 2011 at 12:48:08 PM by Alex Mills

I saw about 50 Bohemians near Magnetawan on Dec 29. There is a very rich crop of holly berries in floodplains there this year. Nearby at the same time was an American Robin too, no doubt also relying largely on the holly berries.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on December 27, 2011 at 02:38:03 PM by CliffRummenie

I spotted 62 Bohemian Waxwings at Macrae Lake, south end, by the cliff's. An abundant crop of berries on the lakeshore shrubs may be attracting them.

 

 

Re(2): Merry Christmas
Posted on December 24, 2011 at 11:18:49 AM by Wilf Yusek

A Very Merry Christmas to you too,and all who peruse this wonderful board. Wilf

 

 

Re(1): Merry Christmas
Posted on December 22, 2011 at 09:22:08 PM by dinnymccraney

Thank you for the good wishes and beautiful photos! I enjoy your website so much. Hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

 

 

Re(1): Merry Christmas
Posted on December 23, 2011 at 04:39:22 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Merry Christmas Barbara! Have a good holiday! Cheers Terry & Marion

 

 

Re(1): Merry Christmas
Posted on December 24, 2011 at 08:38:55 AM by carolwagg

Merry Christmas from Mike and me. I check the bird board daily, so thanks for tending it for us. I envy you a deer at your feeder! We seldom see them any more, but live in hope.

 

 

Merry Christmas
Posted on December 22, 2011 at 11:21:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

Christmas card photo

 

 

Hooded Merganser
Posted on December 20, 2011 at 03:55:42 PM by CatMacLean

I saw one male Hooded Merganser on Hunters Bay, Huntsville this am possibly with several females.

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count - Species Seen
Posted on December 20, 2011 at 02:16:25 PM by Al Sinclair

Count Date December 18, 2011
temperature -8C to -3C windy in morning, snow flurries
snow cover zero to 1cm, lakes and rivers open
3115 individuals of 39 species counted
New for the count: Blue-winged Teal

SPECIES LIST
CANADA GOOSE 4
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK 3
MALLARD 37
BLUE-WINGED TEAL 1
LESSER SCAUP 4
COMMON GOLDENEYE 35
BUFFLEHEAD 45
COMMON MERGANSER 9
RED-TAILED HAWK 2
BALD EAGLE 1
RUFFED GROUSE 5
WILD TURKEY 40
RING-BILLED GULL 27
HERRING GULL 159
ROCK PIGEON 160
MOURNING DOVE 70
BARRED OWL 1
DOWNY WOODPECKER 20
HAIRY WOODPECKER 31
PILEATED WOODPECKER 5
BLUE JAY 180
AMERICAN CROW 52
COMMON RAVEN 73
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE 427
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH 17
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH 33
BROWN CREEPER 3
NORTHERN SHRIKE 1
EUROPEAN STARLING 646
NORTHERN CARDINAL 8
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW 15
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW 1
DARK-EYED JUNCO 11
SNOW BUNTING 230
PURPLE FINCH 3
COMMON REDPOLL 83
PINE SISKIN 47
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH 599
HOUSE SPARROW 27

 

 

Purple Finches, Snow Buntings
Posted on December 20, 2011 at 01:51:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a nice mixed flock of Purple Finch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-capped Chickadees along the Trans Canada Trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh. They were just east of the dip in the trail, near the spot where the new beaver dam was built in late summer and water has backed up across the trail. There were 35 Snow Buntings feeding beside the large hill of dirt north of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. All the Ponds were completely frozen over.

 

 

Chipmunk
Posted on December 20, 2011 at 11:26:58 AM by janice house

Geoff saw a chipmunk in our back yard yesterday (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Bald Eagle Bracebridge
Posted on December 19, 2011 at 04:43:36 PM by Al Sinclair

On the Christmas Bird Count yesterday at 2pm we saw a 2nd yr Bald Eagle flying south over Alport Bay. This morning likely the same bird was seen by Jan and Bill Dickinson flying north over Santa's Village Rd.

 

 

Burk's Falls CBC
Posted on December 19, 2011 at 11:59:56 AM by Kip Daynard

The 35th Burk's Falls CBC was held on Friday, December 16 and covered on the area from Burk's Falls to Sundridge and west to Magnetawan along Highway 11 between Huntsville and North Bay.

A total of 55 species were found -- a new count high. The previous high was
45 species in 2001. This year and in 2001 the major lakes were open resulting in the presence of lots of water birds.

New species for Count
Red-necked Grebe -- 1 on Lake Bernard
Greater Scaup -- 2 in Magnetawan area
Merlin -- 1 in Magnetawan area

There were a total of 11 species of waterfowl:
Canada Goose (1), Trumpeter Swan (1), American Green-winged Teal (1), American Black Duck (6), Mallard (62), Greater Scaup (2), Long-tailed Duck (1), Common Goldeneye (30), Bufflehead (10), Hooded Merganser (3), Common Merganser (27) and Red-breasted Merganser (1) Common Loon (1), Red-necked Grebe (1) Ring-billed Gull (20), Herring Gull (489). Iceland Gull (4), Glaucous Gull
(6)

One American Robin in the Magnetawan area.
Both Bohemian (81) and Cedar (1) Waxwings.

Six species of winter finches including Purple Finch (1), White-winged Crossbill (67), Common Redpoll (118), Pine Siskin (85), American Goldfinch (331), Evening Grosbeak (6 with more to be added with feeder watcher results).

Martin Parker, Compiler
Peterborough

Posted by - Kip Daynard, Huntsville

 

 

Bald eagle
Posted on December 19, 2011 at 10:48:56 AM by GayleCarlyle

I watched an adult bald eagle soaring over Geneva park in Ramara twp. on Friday morning.
It was heading out over the lake; possibly the same one that's been spotted in Washago recently.

 

 

Waxwings, Torrance
Posted on December 17, 2011 at 11:13:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning at 8 am there were approx. 150 waxwing species in the wetland on the West side of Hwy 169 South of Southwood/Torrance Rd. Lots of winterberry on both sides with some very close to the road so better ID should be possible at some point. Some were visible further back into the West side at 11 am.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 19, 2011 at 08:59:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Our yard list for Sunday's count:
2 Northern Cardinal (1M, 1F)
1 Pileated Woodpecker (F)
3 Hairy Woodpecker (1M, 2F)
2 Downy Woodpecker (1M, 1F)
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch
7 Black-capped Chickadee
2 American Goldfinch
3 Blue Jay
12 Mourning Dove

Had a Brown Creeper for "Count Week"...was here again today but not yesterday on the actual count day. (Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 16, 2011 at 10:19:08 AM by Al Sinclair

Everyone is invited to join us on the Christmas Bird Count this Sunday. A fun day of finding and counting birds in a 15 mile circle. Send me an email for more info.

 

 

Huntsville CBC
Posted on December 15, 2011 at 08:37:35 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 18th annual Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on
Wednesday, December 14. Temperatures were above freezing all
day, there was very little snow on the ground, and all water was
open. Light rain began at 3 pm but had minimal effect on the results.

Total Species: 44 (ties second highest; average is 39)
Total Individuals: 3,365 (average is 3,061)
Participants: 18

Noteworthy Species for the Count:
-Trumpeter Swan: male (#586) on Lake Vernon for ninth winter
in Huntsville.
-Ring-necked Duck: female on river in Huntsville in count week
(likely same bird as on 2009 and 2010 counts).
-White-winged Scoter: 2 on Peninsula Lake (new for count)
-Long-tailed Duck: 2 on Peninsula Lake
-Red-necked Grebe: 1 on Peninsula Lake (new for count)
-Red-tailed Hawk: 6
-Red-winged Blackbird: 1 at feeder

Finches: variety, but low numbers except for goldfinch
-Purple Finch: 13
-Red Crossbill: 2
-White-winged Crossbill: 2
-Common Redpoll: 14
-Pine Siskin: 39
-American Goldfinch: 471
-Evening Grosbeak: 1 at feeder

Thanks to all participants.

Ron Tozer
Compiler

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 15 December
Posted on December 15, 2011 at 08:35:37 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Well above freezing temperatures and rain on several days this
week kept the big lakes wide open and melted away nearly all
the snow. Very unusual for this date on the Algonquin Highlands.

Common Loon: Adult on Lake of Two Rivers on December 13.
Late.
European Starling: One at Visitor Centre feeders. Ties latest
fall date ever in Algonquin.


BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Male at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 13.
Black-backed Woodpecker: three seen along Opeongo Road on
December 10 and one there on December 13.
Gray Jay: seen regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, at the Visitor Centre and at the Logging Museum.
Boreal Chickadee: Three on Arowhon Road about 1 km north
of the old railway on December 13.


FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: five at km 53 on Highway 60 on December 10
and one flying over Opeongo Road on December 13.
White-winged Crossbill: a total of about 50 during a day of birding
along Highway 60 on December 10. Flock of 20 over Opeongo
Road on December 13.
Red Crossbill: 10 feeding on white pine cones at the entrance to
Lake of Two Rivers Campground and one flying over Wolf Howl
Pond on December 10.
Common Redpoll: a total of about 50 during a day of birding
along Highway 60 on December 10.
Pine Siskin: a total of about 140 during a day of birding along
Highway 60 on December 10.
American Goldfinch: 30 near East Gate on December 10.
Evening Grosbeak: at least 30 are coming to the Visitor Centre
feeders regularly, especially in the morning.

MAMMALS:
A Marten is visiting the suet feeders at the Visitor Centre
occasionally.

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. Locations are also described at:
www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. The centre will be open on weekends only until
December 27, from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will
not be open this winter but visitors are welcome to bring a packed
lunch and use the seating area. Hot and cold beverages, and light
snacks are available to purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor
Centre to view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find
out what birds are being seen.

 

 

Snow Buntings Gravenhurst
Posted on December 15, 2011 at 10:29:11 AM by janice house

I am posting this message for Linda Boon, she saw a huge flock of snow buntings in Gravenhurst on Tuesday. They were in the vacant lot between Canadian Tire and Sobeys

 

 

Frogs!
Posted on December 15, 2011 at 10:27:06 AM by GayleCarlyle

Couldn't believe it; this morning at 6:05am while taking the dog out, I distinctly heard a spring peeper peeping in the wetland behind our house in Washago. And then I heard a few more while out on our morning walk. We also rescued a small green frog from the road and put it in a nearby pond.
Strange to hear peepers in December; especially with Christmas next weekend!

 

 

White throated sparrow
Posted on December 15, 2011 at 07:49:30 AM by janice house

A white throated sparrow popped out of our cedar hedge to feed this morning (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Blue Heron
Posted on December 14, 2011 at 03:29:33 PM by DebAdams

Just saw a Blue Heron flying low between Gravenhurst Bay and #169 near Narrows Road.

 

 

Re(1): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on December 25, 2011 at 04:05:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday afternoon the hawk was once again hunting the weedy areas east of cell 3 near the back of T&A Tire. Along the Trans Canada Trail a short distance east of Henry Marsh, there were three Ruffed Grouse feeding high in a Yellow Birch. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snow Buntings, Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on December 14, 2011 at 12:44:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was a Red-tailed Hawk hunting the weedy areas between the Bracebridge Ponds and E.P. Lee drive. At one point it was perched in a small tree next to Servicemaster and later we saw it catch a rodent near the back of T&A Tire, east of cell 3. While we were watching the hawk, about 50 Snow Buntings flew past towards the north-east (possibly heading for the helicopter landing pad at the hospital where they've been seen in prior years). (note: the Ponds were all iced in, but tomorrow's warm-up will probably open them up again)

 

 

Purple finches
Posted on December 14, 2011 at 09:46:47 AM by GayleCarlyle

We have 2 female purple finches at the feeders here at Grant's Woods, outside of Orillia. No sign of any males yet.

 

 

Robin
Posted on December 14, 2011 at 08:53:51 AM by DebAdams

While dashing outside to take a photo of 15 turkey's in the yard, I heard a Robin. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Kingfisher in Raymond
Posted on December 13, 2011 at 02:02:20 PM by janice house

Tim Mason just saw a kingfisher by the open creek at his home on the Luckey Rd

 

 

Gull Lake Ducks Gravenhurst
Posted on December 12, 2011 at 04:48:00 PM by janice house

yesterday after shopping in the afternoon I stopped in at the park, I counted 10 and with no binoculars my best guess is buffleheads

 

 

Birds around Washago
Posted on December 12, 2011 at 09:30:13 AM by GayleCarlyle

I saw a pair of hooded mergansers in the Green River, Washago on Friday morning.
Also, there are about six trumpeters around the area.
On Saturday, we saw a red-tail hawk and a robin (!!!) at a wetland on Forest Rd. in Orillia.

 

 

Re(1): Adult Bald Eagle
Posted on December 12, 2011 at 09:32:05 AM by GayleCarlyle

Thanks Terry for letting us know about the eagle. We were away on Saturday. And we forgot to look for it yesterday. But now that we know there's likely one in the area, we'll keep our eyes skyward.

 

 

Adult Bald Eagle
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 03:42:09 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Saturday at 11:45am we spotted an adult Bald Eagle circling on Coopers Falls road right at Green River road just east of Washago. When I first spotted it I thought it was a very late migrating turkey vulture, but the huge wingspan and the very flat wing profile was definitely eagle! Once I got out of the car and got the binoculars on it the head was a brilliant white as was the tail. I'd say it was a 5-6+ year old quite mature adult. What a sight! As I got my camera the eagle disappeared for a few minutes and I assumed it went to ground level. We spotted it again at tree top level heading down Green River road carrying something in its talons.
Cheers Terry

 

 

Bald Eagle video
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 06:17:03 PM by NigelEves

I grabbed my camera and shot this video through the cottage window. ( recorded about 1:15 pm Dec 11. nr. Port Carling)
Click on the blue link below to view.
Bald Eagle Dec. 11 Muskoka

 

 

Re(1): Bald eagle near Bracebridge
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 01:19:50 PM by NigelEves

I just saw a bald eagle in front of our cottage, circling and swooping low over Lake Muskoka (North Bay, East of Medaa Island- Mortimers Point )

 

 

Bald eagle near Bracebridge
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 12:53:34 PM by Doug Smith

There was an adult bald eagle flying over the intersection of hiways 11 and 118 east at approx. 9:30 am today. It was drifting westwards.

 

 

Re(4): Need a taller birdfeeder...
Posted on December 13, 2011 at 08:20:54 PM by dinnymccraney

Actually, we do have 2 big boys, but we have invisible fence and the deer seem to know the dogs won't "cross the line" Have seen a red fox twice at the edge of the golf course but he moves too fast to get a picture.

 

 

Re(3): Need a taller birdfeeder...
Posted on December 12, 2011 at 09:14:43 AM by GayleCarlyle

You folks clearly don't have canine companions! Our year old shepherd keeps all critters away from the yard; especially squirrels. So we see no deer around our feeders; although we have found fox tracks and domestic cat tracks through our backyard. They are more than welcome to feast on the mice around our place.
Fantastic photos everyone.

 

 

Re(2): Need a taller birdfeeder...
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 03:34:44 PM by dinnymccraney

Beautiful photos from both of you! I saw a young buck on the South Muskoka golf course this morning and suspect he, not the bluejays, took the peanuts from the feeder. Just wish I had seen him up this close.

 

 

Re(1): Need a taller birdfeeder...
Posted on December 11, 2011 at 11:13:32 AM by Debbie Adams

Our deer work in conjunction with the birds and squirrels that kick seed off the feeder. (Walker's Point)  photo

 

 

Need a taller birdfeeder...
Posted on December 9, 2011 at 07:16:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Well, I thought our birdfeeder was well protected from critters, but today this fellow quickly figured out a way to reach the food. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2
 

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding report: 8 December
Posted on December 9, 2011 at 10:26:03 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 8, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Suet feeders are now operational at the Visitor Centre and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk. It will be interesting to see whether Boreal
Chickadees are attracted at Spruce Bog as they were last year.

Warmer temperatures and rain on Sunday removed much
of the snow along Highway 60, but more came today.
Big lakes are mainly free of ice.

The open water resulted in record late fall dates for White-winged
Scoter (Lake Travers, December 2), Black Scoter (Lake of Two
Rivers, December 6-7) and Bufflehead (Lake Travers, December 2).

Common Loon: single birds were noted on several lakes through
the week.

Ring-billed Gull: 3 adults were last at Opeongo Access Point on
December 2. The second latest fall date ever for Algonquin.

Northern Shrike: 1 was chasing feeder birds at the Visitor Centre
on several days during the week.

Bohemian Waxwing: about 20 were briefly at the Visitor Centre
on December 7.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: no reports. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
Opeongo Road.
Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports.
Gray Jay: seen regularly on Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and the Visitor Centre.
Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Try the old railway from Arowhon
Road to Wolf Howl Pond.

FINCHES:
White-winged Crossbill: small numbers continue to be observed.
Red Crossbill: five were on the Opeongo Road at Costello Lake
on December 2 and there were 40 at km 5 on Highway 60 on
December 3.
Common Redpoll: small numbers are still being seen.
Pine Siskin: two flocks of 25 each were reported at the Opeongo
Access Point on December 2 and there were 12 along the Old
Railway east of Arowhon Road today.
American Goldfinch: two at Visitor Centre feeders today.
Evening Grosbeak: Up to 40 are coming to the Visitor Centre
feeders regularly, especially in the morning.

MAMMALS:
A Marten is visiting the suet feeders at the Visitor Centre.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

Barred Owl
Posted on December 9, 2011 at 10:16:06 AM by janice house

Geoff saw the owl sitting on the hydro wires near our house this morning, a first for us. It flew when he and the dog got close. ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on December 8, 2011 at 01:52:32 PM by janice house

My brother just called from Bent River, 2 dozen birds in the open field in front of their home

 

 

Barred owl
Posted on December 6, 2011 at 03:43:40 PM by GayleCarlyle

I stood underneath a barred owl yesterday on the trail at Grant's Woods here in Orillia. Very nice to see.

 

 

Large collection of bird books and field guides
Posted on December 6, 2011 at 03:38:55 PM by Ian

This message has been pre-approved by the administrator...

A friend of mine in Toronto is dealing with his father's estate. He has a very large and impressive collection of bird books. A good number of them are field guides both from North America and from all corners of the globe. If anyone out there is interested, e-mail me. He has photographed them all and I can send you the images via e-mail for your perusal.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - imm. Shrike
Posted on December 6, 2011 at 01:06:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning all the cells were completely free of ice, but only one bird...a Bufflehead in cell 4. An immature Northern Shrike was searching for food along the roadway west of cell 4.

 

 

Re(3): Chinese Swan Geese - photo
Posted on December 5, 2011 at 07:39:21 PM by ChrisKerrigan

So pleased they got a home!!

 

 

Re(2): Chinese Swan Geese - photo
Posted on December 4, 2011 at 03:36:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found an article about the geese here:
http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/news/article/1249285--chinese-swan-geese-need-home

Myrna Hamilton sent this photo of the geese. She reports they drove the geese to their new home today and "they seemed very happy to finally have a home and they were so tame - walk right beside you - they are just beautiful and make a cute couple he is always looking out for her".  photo

 

 

Re(1): Chinese Swan Geese on Gull Lk captured but need a home
Posted on December 4, 2011 at 10:24:25 AM by Al Sinclair

OK just heard that a home has been found north of Bracebridge and they are being transferred today. We hope it works out. They are imprinted on humans so were likely raised as pets until they got too big and too much trouble. Sad to see them just dumped in the nearest lake.

 

 

Chinese Swan Geese on Gull Lk captured but need a home
Posted on December 4, 2011 at 10:02:24 AM by Al Sinclair

2 Chinese Swan Geese abandoned on Gull Lake in Gravenhurst this summer have been rescued but need a home. They are commonly kept as pets, even "house" pets and guard geese. If anyone knows of someone who would take them email me privately.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report (Bohemian Waxwing): 1 December
Posted on December 2, 2011 at 09:59:59 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 1, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A dump of 20+ centimetres of snow on Wednesday has made the Park a winter
wonderland. Small lakes and ponds are freezing over but large lakes are
mainly open.

Canada Goose: the runt young bird, too weak to fly, was still at Opeongo
Access Point on December 1. This is the second latest record for Algonquin.

Bald Eagle: adult flying over Smoke Creek on December 1.

Golden Eagle: immature photographed over West Smith Lake on November 28.

Ring-billed Gull: 8 adults were last at Opeongo Access Point on November 27.
Very late for Algonquin.

Northern Shrike: 1 at Wolf Howl Pond on November 26 and another along
Opeongo Road on November 27.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING: one at the Visitor Centre on November 26 was
the first of the fall.

Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: male along Arowhon Road and two males along the Old Railway
east of Arowhon Road on November 26.
Black-backed Woodpecker: male along the Old Railway east of Arowhon Road on
November 26.
Gray Jay: 5 along the Old Railway east of Arowhon Road; 2 along Opeongo Road
and 1 at the East Gate on November 26. Gray Jays were at the Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and on the Logging Museum Trail on November 27.
Boreal Chickadee: 3 in a flock of several Black-capped Chickadees near the
chain gate along the Old Railway east of Arowhon Road on November 26. One
along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk on November 27.


Finches:
White-winged Crossbill: small numbers continue to be observed flying over.
Red Crossbill: 12 along Hwy 60, at km 41 (Ringneck Pond) on November 26.
Several were photographed feeding on dead wood at this site. Crossbills are
attracted to decaying wood that may be a source of ash and calcium. They
seek minerals from various sources that probably assist in the digestion of
conifer seeds.
Common Redpoll: A few continue to be observed, including one flock of about
40.
Pine Siskin: 2 along Highway 60 on November 26 and one at the Logging Museum
on November 30.
Evening Grosbeak: About 2 dozen are fairly regular at the Visitor Centre
feeders in the mornings. There were 8 getting grit on Highway 60 at Brewer
Lake on December 1.


Mammals:
6 Otters in the pond of the Logging Museum Trail on November 27 and 2 still
there on November 30.

A Pine Marten was at the Visitor Centre feeder on November 26.

Moose: still seeing bulls with large antlers along Highway 60.

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. Locations are also described
at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. The centre will be open on weekends only until December 27,
from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will not be open this
winter but visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating
area. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are available to
purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor Centre to
view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find out what birds
are being seen.

 

gray jays
Posted on December 2, 2011 at 09:18:42 AM by Wayne Bridge

I'm pleased to report that I have 3 gray jays (2 adults and a juvenile) visiting my raw suet daily. The trees behind our house are a typical deciduous/conifer mix. The fact that they've introduced their offspring (my assumption) to my feeding area is encouraging (not just to me but to the gray jay population status as well). [Kearney - 27 minutes N-E of Huntsville.]

 

 

Re(2): Red-tailed hawks
Posted on December 7, 2011 at 01:37:35 PM by janice house

at noon today there was a red-tailed hawk perched in a big tree on the east side of Cedarlane down by Sharp's Creek

 

 

Re(1): Red-tailed hawks
Posted on December 6, 2011 at 01:01:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a utility wire beside Hwy. 118W, just a bit west of South Monck Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-tailed hawks
Posted on December 2, 2011 at 08:49:11 AM by Doug Smith

Yesterday morning, around 9am, there was a red-tailed hawk perched on the hydro pole overlooking the south-west field where the Brackenrig Rd meets the 118 west, near Port Carling. Coming back in the late afternoon I saw a red-tailed hawk perched on a small tree on the south side of the 118 west near the Bracebridge Villa. Not sure if it was the same bird. It seems there has been at least one red-tail patrolling the fields along the 118 west this fall. Wonder if it will stay the winter?

 

 

Re(1): evening grosbeak
Posted on December 1, 2011 at 01:14:18 PM by rick stronks

We have at least 25 at the Algonquin Visitor Centre today. It is quite a sight (and sound!).

 

 

evening grosbeak
Posted on November 30, 2011 at 07:57:48 PM by dinnymccraney

At mid afternoon today I first heard then saw a solitary evening grosbeak at the feeder.Hope it didn't lose its way in the storm yesterday.Last year there were flocks of them here. (near South Muskoka GCC, Bracebridge)

 

 

Tree Sparrow
Posted on November 30, 2011 at 01:27:20 PM by rick stronks

I had an American Tree Sparrow as well as about a dozen American Goldfinchs at our house feeders today (just outside of Dwight).

 

 

Long-tailed Duck
Posted on November 30, 2011 at 12:29:37 PM by Dawn Sherman

There was a female Long-tailed Duck on Hunter's Bay in Huntsville this morning.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Dec. 1
Posted on November 29, 2011 at 09:59:44 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Bracebridge
"SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT MUSKOKA" by Erling Holm, biologist.

About 60 species of fishes live in the streams and lakes of Muskoka. Erling will introduce us to many of the common species and tell us where they are found and how to observe and identify them. He will also address the impacts of climate change, development and invasive species on Muskokaís fish fauna.

A Silent Auction will be held. Members donate the items that will inspire the shrewd to spend big bucks!!! Baked goodies and/or non-alcoholic, non-caffeine beverages donated from MFN kitchens will enhance the festive flavour of the evening.

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings from September through January are held in Bracebridge at the Church of Latter Day Saints at the corner of Taylor Road and Cedar Lane. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on November 26, 2011 at 11:02:07 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon there were 6 Hooded Mergansers at the back end of Henry Marsh and a Northern Shrike was frequenting the shrubs near the "T" junction.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park
Posted on November 27, 2011 at 09:13:54 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Nina Stavlund on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 27, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Ontbirders
Despite today's wet weather, we had an excellent weekend
birding the Hwy. 60 corridor of Algonquin Park.

Here are the highlights from Saturday:
3 male Spruce Grouse - 1 along Arowhon Road, and two along the Railway Bed, east of Arowhon.
1 male Black-backed Woodpecker along the Railway Bed, east
of Arowhon.
3 Boreal Chickadees in a flock of several Black-capped
Chickadees near the chain over the Railway Bed, east of Arowhon.
1 Northern Shrike in the swamp at Wolf Howl Pond.
12 Red Crossbills along Hwy 60, at KM 41.
5 Gray Jays were highly visible along the Railway Bed, east
of Arowhon, plus 2 more along Opeongo Lake Road and 1 at the East Gate.

Several finches kept flying high overhead throughout the
day. Most were Common Redpoll, including a flock of about 40.
Others include several individual White-winged Crossbills,
and two Pine Siskin

A Pine Martin at the Visitor's Centre Bird Feeder was a
bonus.

Highlights on Sunday included:
2 Ruffed Grouse, one at the Visitor's Centre Bird Feeder and
another along Opeongo Lake Road.
1 Boreal Chickadee along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
1 Northern Shrike along Opeongo Lake Road.
Gray Jays were encountered along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk
and the Logging Museum Trail.

6 River Otter in the pond of the Logging Museum Trail was
another bonus.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report (Pine Grosbeak): 24 November
Posted on November 25, 2011 at 04:48:40 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 24, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There was no snow on the ground by week's end but ponds were covered by
thin ice after Monday. Warmer temperatures should melt that soon.

Canada Goose: migrants were present at several locations through the week,
which is notably late for Algonquin and yet another indicator of climate
warming.

White-winged Scoter: 1 off Opeongo Access Point on November 19 was our
second latest fall date ever.

Ring-billed Gull: 3 adults persisted at Opeongo Access Point on November 19.
They were the last of a large flock of mainly adults (up to 100 birds) that
first appears there in September each year. The Ring-billed Gull does not
breed in Algonquin and adults are usually not present on Lake Opeongo in
summer.

Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: A male was just past the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on November 18 and 19. A male was displaying on Opeongo Road just north of
Cameron Lake road on November 19.
Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports.
Gray Jay: seen along along the old railway past the chain gate east
of Arowhon Road, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along Opeongo Road.
Boreal Chickadee: 2 were along along the old railway past the chain gate
east of Arowhon Road on November 17, and 2 were on Opeongo Road just past
Cameron Lake road on November 19.


Finches:
PINE GROSBEAK: one flying over at the Visitor Centre on November 21 was
the first of the fall.
Purple Finch: 2 were near the gate on the old railway east of Arowhon Road
on November 17.
White-winged Crossbill: scattered small flocks along Highway 60 continued.
Red Crossbill: 2 were at Ringneck Pond on Highway 60 east of Rock Lake Road
on November 21.
Common Redpoll: 8 were along the old railway past the chain gate east
of Arowhon Road on November 17, 10 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on November 19,
and a flock of 30 or 40 were feeding on tamarack along Opeongo Road on
November 19.
Pine Siskin: a total of 4 seen on November 17, at the old railway east of
Arowhon Road and the Old Airfield.
American Goldfinch: 1 was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and 1 was along Opeongo
Road on November 19.
Evening Grosbeak: up to 40 were at the Visitor Centre feeders this week, the
most there in several years. They are most regular before 10 in the morning.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. The centre will be open on weekends only until December 27,
from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will not be open this
winter but visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating
area. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are available to
purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor Centre to
view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find out what birds
are being seen.

 

 

Re(1): Finches
Posted on November 28, 2011 at 01:48:09 PM by GayleCarlyle

Thanks for the reminder about the purple finch, we had one at our feeder about a week ago; forgot to post it.
We also had a few goldfinches around our place over the weekend so I put out the niger feeder and it didn't take long for the finches to find it.
We're on Green River Dr. in Washago.

 

 

Finches
Posted on November 24, 2011 at 02:52:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they had a couple Purple Finch at their feeder yesterday. They also saw a small flock of Pine Siskins at the South Muskoka Golf course. (Bracebridge)

We had a few American Goldfinch in our yard today, but they didn't stay long. A Cooper's Hawk has been on patrol in the neighbourhood. Mourning Dove feathers were on the ground near our feeder this morning, so the hawk must have got lucky. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Turkeys
Posted on November 24, 2011 at 01:44:49 PM by janice house

I just came back to Bracebridge from lunch via Cedarlane, one turkey was on the road by the old OSPCA, two others flew over my car and another dozen were down by Sharp's creek

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 04:42:50 PM by CatMacLean

I am in Hamilton at the moment and there was a flock of about 20 feeding on the crabapples on the university campus and SINGING. It was lovely to hear the song. There was also a small flock of cedar waxwings.

 

 

Robin
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 01:23:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

We haven't seen any Robins for a while, but this morning there was one along Partridge Lane near South Monck Dr., Bracebridge.

 

 

Great blue heron and hawks
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 04:28:50 PM by GayleCarlyle

This morning we watched a GBH flying over the water and landing in the reeds at Washago Centennial Park, very late for this bird to be here I think.
Over the weekend we saw a red-tail hawk and a Cooper's Hawk in the Washago area.

 

 

Re(4): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 25, 2011 at 02:03:13 PM by janice house

A hawk was circling over highway 11 near the Doe Lake Rd overpass at 1pm today

 

 

Re(3): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 23, 2011 at 09:31:21 AM by Doug Smith

I also saw a red-tail near Bracebridge yesterday, (the 22nd). It was across from the Hammond's yard on Ecclestone Drive, near the railway tracks, around mid-morning.

 

 

Re(2): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 01:30:28 PM by janice house

last Friday while looking for the shrike at Kerr Park parking lot a red-tailed hawk was soaring over cell 1 & 2

 

 

Re(2): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 01:14:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were two Red-tailed Hawks along that stretch of Hwy. 118W around noon today. One was atop a hydro pole near Bruce Evans place and one was perched in a tree near #1377.

 

 

Re(1): Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 21, 2011 at 09:10:43 AM by Doug Smith

I had a good look at a red-tail perched on a tree beside the 118 west near Bruce Evans property early Saturday afternoon -- wonder if it is the same bird? I had seen what I thought was a red-tail at the Highlands golf course previously last week, and have seen a red-tail at various locations along the 118 west, between the Highlands golf course and Kirrie Glen since late October. Could be the same bird. Maybe it will stay the winter.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on November 19, 2011 at 12:23:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today there was a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree beside South Monck Dr. overlooking the Muskoka Highlands golf course. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 24, 2011 at 02:45:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

The cells were mostly free of ice this morning. Still several Buffleheads, Mallards, and a few Black Ducks. A Common Goldeneye was in cell 4. Didn't see the Coot. A young Red-tailed Hawk was perched atop a hydro pole west of cell 3. It was so determined to find something to eat, that it stayed put and continued to scan the ground even as we walked past.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Coot
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 01:20:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning all four cells were frozen over except for a small section of open water in cell 3. There were about sixty Buffleheads, thirty Mallards, six American Black Ducks, nine Canada Geese, and...the American Coot was still there!

There were a few Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls standing on the ice in the middle of cell 1.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Coot
Posted on November 19, 2011 at 12:18:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found the American Coot in cell 3 at the south shoreline with several Mallards. The only thing new was a male Common Goldeneye in cell 1.

 

 

hawk
Posted on November 18, 2011 at 07:15:58 PM by CatMacLean

Saw a Red-Tailed Hawk on the Fairy Vista Trail this am in Huntsville.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 November
Posted on November 17, 2011 at 09:46:34 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 17, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Very pleasant late fall weather prevailed for much of the week, but some
snow squalls occurred today.

Ruffed Grouse: birds along Opeongo Road, the old railway and the Visitor
Centre driveway were regular this week and particularly enjoyed by southern
Ontario birders that infrequently observe this species near home anymore.

Otters: there has been good viewing of small groups at Opeongo Access Point,
along Costello Creek beside Opeongo Road, and in Eucalia Lake west of
Lookout Trail.


Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: a male was getting grit on the edge of Opeongo Road last
weekend.
Black-backed Woodpecker: a male was at the parking area at the Cameron Lake
Road gate off Opeongo Road on November 11.
Gray Jay: seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, the
old railway east of Arowhon Road past the chain gate,
Boreal Chickadee: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, a small group of them along
Opeongo Road, and one along the old railway east of Arowhon Road, all on
November 11. There were two small groups of Boreal Chickadees near Wolf
Howl Pond on November 12.

Finches:
Observations were almost entirely of birds flying over or landing only
briefly, and clearly on the move. Very few are coming to the feeders at the
Visitor Centre to date.
Purple Finch: two along the old railway near Wolf Howl Pond on November 12.
White-winged Crossbill: small flocks along the old railway past the chain
gate east of Arowhon Road on November 11 and 12. Small flocks reported at
various locations along Highway 60 during the week.
Red Crossbill: about 20 were reported along the old railway past the chain
gate east of Arowhon Road on November 11.
Common Redpoll: small flock along the old railway past the chain gate east
of Arowhon Road on November 11.
American Goldfinch: at least one was at the Visitor Centre this week.
Evening Grosbeak: Five or less have been irregularly observed at the Visitor
Centre 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. Locations are also described
at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. The centre will be open on weekends only until December 27,
from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will not be open this
winter but visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating
area. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks will be available to
purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor Centre to
view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find out what birds
are being seen.

 

 

Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on November 17, 2011 at 04:16:46 PM by DebbieAdams

Assuming our neighbour bears have hibernated, I put out our suet feeders. It took less than an afternoon, despite snow squalls, for 2 Pileated Woodpeckers to find one of the feeders.
What a treat to see their bright red combs against a white background. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shrike - Kerr Park
Posted on November 20, 2011 at 02:00:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Shrike seems to be hanging around the area...there was one this morning perched at the edge of the woods north of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. Also at the Ponds this morning we saw two Red-tailed Hawks, and a Northern Goshawk which flew low over cell 4, then off to the south.

 

 

Northern Shrike - Kerr Park
Posted on November 16, 2011 at 03:35:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Shrike near the viewing stand at Kerr Park. No sign of the Dunlin or the Coot at the Bracebridge Ponds. (They have moved some water from cell 2 into cell 1, so there is now a muddy shoreline all along the south end of cell 2.)  Northern Shrike (typical pose...perched right at the tip-top of the tree): photo

 

 

Re(1): Spring peeper
Posted on November 16, 2011 at 10:11:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past few days we've seen some Leopard Frogs at the Bracebridge Ponds, and today there was a Green Frog crossing the roadway west of cell 4.

 

 

Spring peeper
Posted on November 15, 2011 at 04:21:47 PM by GayleCarlyle

Very strange to still be hearing spring peepers, "peeping" at night while I'm out walking the dog.
Hopefully the little guys scurry the nearest pond before the snow arrives this week.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Goose still there
Posted on November 14, 2011 at 12:37:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Snow Goose was still at the driving range at noon today.

 

 

Snow Goose, etc. - Bracebridge
Posted on November 13, 2011 at 01:24:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a single Snow Goose with about three hundred Canada Geese at the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range on South Monck Dr. It was still there as of 12:30 p.m.

A Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a tree overlooking the fields south of Hwy. 118W near Dandelion Lane (east of Bracebridge Villa Retirement Residence).

In the bay by the entrance to Touchstone on Lake Muskoka there were two Common Mergansers sitting on a rock, and swimming nearby there was a Common Loon, a few Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, and Mallards.

 

 

Re(2): Dunlin still there - photos
Posted on November 14, 2011 at 12:36:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Dunlin was at the west side of cell 1 near the north end where there used to be a small mudflat in past years. The Coot was at the south shoreline of cell 3. A Northern Shrike was perched in the Elderberry shrub at the south end of cell 2 and then flew up to the trees behind the new plant. A small Leopard Frog was on the roadway north of cell 4. A Common Goldeneye was in cell 4. Buffleheads were in all four cells, but most of the Mallards and a few American Black Ducks were in cell 2.  photo1 photo2

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Dunlin
Posted on November 13, 2011 at 01:18:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Dunlin on the mudflat at the south end of cell 1. It was very calm and kept feeding as we walked by. The Coot was in the south-east corner of cell 3. Still lots of Buffleheads, Mallards, and some Black Ducks in cell 2.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Coot
Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:31:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an American Coot in the SE corner of cell 3. A few American Black Ducks were still in cell 2 along with several Mallards and Buffleheads, but their numbers are way down. One female Scaup was in cell 1. Ten Wild Turkeys were feeding along the north side of Lagoon Lane just before the entrance gate. The water level has been dropped about a foot in cell 1 so there is a mudflat now at the south end...but too late for shorebirds, unless a couple stragglers show up.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 10 November
Posted on November 11, 2011 at 09:14:41 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 11, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Algonquin continued with relatively mild temperatures and no snow on the
ground until the end of the week.

Noteworthy Sightings:
Common Loon: an adult feeding a fish to a large but perhaps still flightless
young bird was photographed at the Opeongo Access Point on November 4. We
have only one later November date in our records for this behaviour. Common
Loons have been known to re-nest up to three times if failures occur early
in the nesting cycle, which rarely results in young being tended by an adult
very late in the fall.
Red-headed Woodpecker: a juvenile was flying over Highway 60 just east of
Opeongo Road on November 8. This extreme rarity here is the third in the
area this fall, following a juvenile photographed at a feeder in Whitney in
mid October and an adult at Wolf Howl Pond in the Park on October 30.

Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road
Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports on Highway 60. Five were observed on
the East Side along Barron Canyon Road on November 8.
Gray Jay: seen regularly at Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along Opeongo Road.
Boreal Chickadee: observed on Opeongo Road and in the Wolf Howl Pond and
West Rose Lake area.

Finches:
Observations were almost entirely of birds flying over or landing only
briefly, clearly on the move. A single American Goldfinch was at the Visitor
Centre feeders on November 10.

White-winged Crossbill: small flocks flying over occasionally.
Common Redpoll: small flocks flying over observed every day.
Pine Siskin: small numbers.
American Goldfinch: a few at various sites.
Evening Grosbeak: a few irregularly at the Visitor Centre, and one at km 8
on November 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. Locations are also described
at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre will be open on weekends only until December 27,
from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will not be open this
winter. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating
area. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks will be available to
purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week may be able to enter the Visitor Centre to
view the feeders and exhibits. Check in with staff to find out what birds
are being seen.

 

 

Barron Canyon, Algonquin Park - Common Redpoll, etc.
Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:07:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Nina Stavlund on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 8, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Ontbirders,
We had an excellent afternoon birding along the Barron Canyon Road in Algonquin Park.
We had Gray Jays at many roadside stops, 15 individuals in total.
We tallied 5 Black-backed Woodpeckers, including 2 along the Barron Canyon Trail.
Only one White-winged Crossbill was heard flying overhead.
Starting with 2 Common Redpolls just outside the park, we saw several more small flocks in the park, totaling about 120 birds.
Along Hwy 26 southeast of the park, we saw a juvenile Northern Goshawk.

Direction courtesy of Algonquin Park: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/recreational_activites/barron-canyon-trail.php

 

Re(1): Gray Jay
Posted on November 13, 2011 at 10:28:24 AM by janice house

Geoff saw the gray jay again yesterday, it is in the bush on my brothers property

 

 

Gray Jay
Posted on November 8, 2011 at 04:32:33 PM by janice house

Geoff was in the bush in Bent River on Sunday and saw a gray jay, I will have to check this out for myself

 

 

Steve and Joanne Sprague receive OFO Cert. of Appreciation
Posted on November 5, 2011 at 11:17:38 AM by Al Sinclair

Steve and Joanne were given a Certificate of Appreciation from the Ontario Field Ornithologists for helping visitors to their home to see the Harris's Sparrow at their feeder near Bracebridge last winter. 11 certificates were awarded across Ontario in 2010-2011 for courtesy, hospitality and helpfulness to the Ontario birding community.
Photo at http://twitter.com/#!/ajssinc/status/132823590713311232/photo/1

 

 

Mushroom photo yesterday
Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:55:13 AM by Al Sinclair

Link to a late fall mushroom:  Hygrophorus flavodiscus   Location is on Nichols Rd at the Upjohn Land Trust, Bracebridge.

Also posted a photo of the pond: http://twitter.com/#!/ajssinc/status/132832315679326210/photo/1

We saw 3 Buffleheads, 1 Hooded Merganser and 2 Mallards.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds - Gadwalls
Posted on November 7, 2011 at 01:57:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports that yesterday afternoon (Sunday) there were two Gadwall in cell 4. The two American Coots were still there, as well as three Common Goldeneyes, and many Buffleheads.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Shrike, Snow Buntings
Posted on November 5, 2011 at 01:53:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Coots in cell 4.

A Northern Shrike was at the west side of cell 4 - it kept dropping to the ground and then back to a low perch, most likely trying to catch the few moths or other insects scattered along the roadway, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Three small flocks of Snow Buntings were seen flying overhead at different times. One group seemed to be heading for a landing by the dumping ponds (east of cell 4) but we couldn't find them when we walked by. Maybe they kept going because of the shrike.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 4, 2011 at 12:46:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the American Coot was still in cell 4 along with seven Common Goldeneyes. A Great Blue Heron flew into the wet ditch north of cell 4. We couldn't find the Gadwalls and Northern Shovelers, and didn't see any Wood Ducks. There seemed to be fewer Mallards and Scaup, but still plenty of Buffleheads, and a couple American Black Ducks.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 3 November
Posted on November 3, 2011 at 06:20:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 3, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Mild temperatures continued this week. Birders were often successful in
finding the Algonquin specialties.

Noteworthy Sightings:
Horned Grebe: two on Lake of Two Rivers off the Old Airfield on October 30
and November 2.
Golden Eagle: a migrating adult soared over Highway 60 west of Mew Lake on
October 30.
Red-headed Woodpecker: adult flying over at Wolf Howl Pond on October 30.

Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: observed near Wolf Howl Pond, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
along Opeongo Road
Black-backed Woodpecker: female near Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail
(October 30)
Gray Jay: seen regularly at Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, the Visitor Centre, and along Opeongo Road.
Boreal Chickadee: two on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 29). Try the old
railway west of Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake.

Finches:
Purple Finch: two at the Old Airfield and two at Wolf Howl Pond on
October 30.
White-winged Crossbill: small numbers occasionally flying over.
Pine Siskin: a few at various sites. Flock of 40 near Wolf Howl Pond on
October 30.
American Goldfinch: a few at various sites and one or two larger flocks.
Evening Grosbeak: up to 12 at the Visitor Centre 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 will be open on weekends only until December 27,
from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre restaurant will not be open this
winter. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating
area. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks will be available to
purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

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.
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Common Mergansers
Posted on November 2, 2011 at 09:40:30 AM by carolwagg

This morning there were two common mergansers standing on the rock at the lakeshore (Doe Lake, Gravenhurst)right in front of our house. Then noticed three more in the bay just past us. All took flight - must be camera shy.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl
Posted on November 2, 2011 at 07:51:00 PM by DebbieAdams

We've had a Barred Owl around here every other night or so calling out the familiar "who cooks for you" echoing across the bay. But it hasn't been doing a very good job of decimating the mice population. I've caught 43 of the little varmints since September trying to seek refuge in our garage.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 09:57:48 PM by John Challis

While walking the dog yesterday morning, before sunrise, we saw the silhouette of a barred owl on the hydro line beside us (Green River Drive, Washago). It watched us for a few moments then noiselessly flew into the woods.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 07:26:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

At dusk tonight a Barred Owl was perched in a pine tree overlooking our birdfeeder. It flew off to the west after I opened the back door, so I don't think it was the same owl that has visited our yard in past years...that guy is fairly tame. The owls must be enjoying this continued mild weather since the chipmunks are still out, and there seems to have been a bumper crop of them in our yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 01:37:25 PM by lauragilmour

I saw a flock of 6 Snow Buntings along Hwy 117 between Baysville and Dorset yesterday (Oct 31) as well.

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 08:05:34 AM by janice house

yesterday on the way to and from work Geoff saw a flock of about 20 birds, corner of Beaumont Drive where it turns left to Allport Marina, Bracebridge

 

 

'Oregon' Junco
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 06:16:05 PM by Goodyear

Just before six this evening we had a flock of Juncos visit our feeders. One of the Juncos was a male of the 'Oregon' type. It had a black hood that contrasted quite sharply with a rich, chestnut coloured back and sides. We managed a very bad photo through a window in the fading light.

 

 

Fox Sparrows, Northern Shrike
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 08:38:53 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday we saw 2 Fox Sparrows along the TransCanada Trail, just west of Cell 4 (Bracebridge Lagoons). We also saw a Northern Shrike at the t-intersection at Henry Marsh. If walking in from the Henry Road parking lot you will need rubber boots. You can stay dry if you walk over from the lagoons.

 

 

Help Save the Snapping Turtle
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 07:15:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bob Bowles has asked me to post some information about their campaign to help save the Snapping Turtle. Here is some background from Bob:

"We have started a new group called the FRiends Of Ontario Snapping Turtles (FROST). The problem is that the Snapping Turtle was added to the Species At Risk list in September, 2009 as a Special Concern species. However, the Snapping Turtle is still listed as a game species in Ontario and with only a valid fishing license you can kill two a day or have 5 in your possession. This does not sound like a very good recovery plan for a species at risk."

"We have started a petition to get as many names as possible to support us in having the snapping turtle removed as a game and hunted species in Ontario. Our MPP Garfield Dunlop has told me that he will take our petition to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in January if we get enough names. We have a web site and a Facebook page to get the petition out. We hope to get 5,000 signed names before the holidays. We are asking everyone to have their friends and family sign it during the Holiday Season and then mail them in."

Get further information and download a printable copy of the petition from either:

FRiends of Ontario Snapping Turtles: http://www.frostpetition.webs.com/
or
Ontario Nature: http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/campaigns/snapping_turtle.php

Mail the completed petitions to Anne Lewis by Dec. 31, 2011 - address is at the bottom of the petition

 

(note: Use a new petition for each set of ten signatures, don't use the back.  Each person should enter their complete address, but city name and postal code at a minimum.  Petitioners must be residents of the Province of Ontario; it is acceptable for petitioners to be under the age of majority.)

 

 

Re(1): Merlin
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 05:08:00 PM by janice house

Just got back from a doggy walk, 2 swamp sparrows by the bridge at the old Dinsmore Sheep farm, a blue bird was calling in our neighbourhood today

 

 

Merlin
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 11:27:23 AM by janice house

A female merlin was chasing blue jays in our yard today, she landed on the basswood tree then flew up to our old tv antenna. She stayed for about 15 minutes, the blue jays kept on feeding. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Nov. 3
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 09:28:06 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Bracebridge

"Birding Alaska with the Big Boys!" by Mark Peck
Mark is an ornithologist in the Department of Natural History with the Royal Ontario Museum. His topic is a photographic birding holiday he took with his 85 year old father, George Peck, and their 69 year old friend, Jim Richards. Mark describes it as 'a birding adventure of a lifetime'. It was a 19 day journey including visits to the Bering Strait, the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta, and Nome and Anchorage, Alaska. The presentation will focus on the birds, arrangements and costs, and some of the new and old technologies that have made adventures like this possible, regardless of age.

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings from September through January are held in Bracebridge at the Church of Latter Day Saints at the corner of Taylor Road and Cedar Lane. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Re(2): Coot, Gadwalls still there
Posted on November 2, 2011 at 05:14:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the Coot was still in cell 4 along with seven Common Goldeneyes, three Hooded Mergansers (1M,2F), and several Bufflehead. The four Gadwall were in the east end of cell 3. The Shovelers and the rest of the "regulars" were in cell 2. Two Turkey Vultures soared overhead heading south.

male Gadwall photo: (they keep moving away too fast and too far for a decent photo, but I'll keep trying...)

female Gadwall photo: (at least you can see the bill with its orange side and black top - she flew out of range before a second shot attempt)

 

 

Re(1): Coot, Gadwalls still there
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 01:19:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the American Coot was still in cell 4 along with five Common Goldeneyes, and four Hooded Mergansers (1M,3F). The four Gadwall were in the east end of cell 3. The three Northern Shovelers were in cell 2. Found one Green-winged Teal in cell 2 along with many Mallards, Buffleheads, Lesser Scaup, and some American Black Ducks. Only a few Wood Ducks, mostly at the north edge of cell 1. A Great Blue Heron flew in and landed at the east side of cell 1. Most of the sparrows seem to have left - only two American Tree Sparrows and one White-crowned Sparrow along Lagoon Lane.

 

 

Coot - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 28, 2011 at 01:58:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an American Coot at the west side of cell 4. A Hooded Merganser and six Common Goldeneyes were also in cell 4. The four Gadwall were in the west end of cell 3. The three Northern Shovelers were in cell 2. Very few Wood Ducks and no Teal seen today, but still many Mallards, Buffleheads, Lesser Scaup, and a few American Black Ducks in cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 06:27:14 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 30, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Ontbirders
The birding today was very good with a number of the Algonquin Park specialties being found at various locations. Gray Jay were numerous with 3 along Opeongo Lake Road, 2 at Spruce Bog Trail, 4 along Mizzy Lake Trail/Old Railway bed and 2 near Mew Lake Road. Boreal Chickadee was found a Wolf Howl Pond and Spruce Bog Trail. We found a total 6 Spruce Grouse along Arowhon Road/Old Railway bed including a group of 5 feeding together. A female Black-backed Woodpecker was found at Wolf Howl Pond along with 2 Fox Sparrow. The biggest surprise was a Red-headed Woodpecker that flew over Wolf Howl Pond. Unfortunately we couldn't relocate it. At Lake of Two Rivers we observed 2 Horned Grebe, 11 Ring-necked Duck and 10 Hooded Merganser. Finches were scarce with 2 Purple Finch, 4 American Goldfinch and a flock of 40+ Pine Siskin.
Good Birding, Bruce

Directions: Courtesy Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to 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 will be open on weekends only after this weekend
(October 29-30) from 9 am to 5 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

Di Labio Birding Website
Courses and Field Trips
http://www.dilabiobirding.ca
http://www.brucedilabio.blogspot.com

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 27 October
Posted on October 27, 2011 at 10:07:31 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 27, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Visitors this week enjoyed the final colour of the fall as tamaracks blazed
in the bogs along Highway 60. Finches are being seen in small numbers. The
Visitor Centre feeders became operational today.

Boreal Species:
Spruce Grouse: two north of the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
(October 24) and one along Opeongo Road (October 26)

Black-backed Woodpecker: male and female on east side of Highway 60
at km 53.9, opposite Leaf Lake Ski Trail (October 24)

Gray Jay: conspicuous again as the fall advances. Being seen regularly at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Visitor Centre, and along Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: one north of the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
(October 24). Try the old railway west of Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl
Pond and West Rose Lake.

Finches:
White-winged Crossbill: very small numbers have been observed recently,
usually calling as they flew over. About 20 were flying over at tree-top
level at km 20 today.

COMMON REDPOLL: a few have been reported over the last 10 days.
Six were at the Visitor Centre today.

Pine Siskin: two were around the Visitor Centre today.
American Goldfinch: one was at the Visitor Centre today.
Evening Grosbeak: about 15 were at the Visitor Centre today.

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 will be open on weekends only after this weekend
(October 29-30) from 9 am to 5 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.

 

 

Re(2): Red-Tailed Hawk
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 03:10:32 PM by janice house

I saw a red tailed hawk near the Luckey Rd in Raymond yesterday sitting on a tall fence post, I assume it was the same bird from Thursday

 

 

Re(1): Red-Tailed Hawk
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 09:06:29 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Late Sunday afternoon three red tails were seen South and North of White's Fall Rd along the 400 Extension.

 

 

Re(1): Red-Tailed Hawk
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 01:11:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was an adult Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree along South Monck Dr., overlooking the fields west of #1134. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-Tailed Hawk
Posted on October 27, 2011 at 02:26:50 PM by janice house

The hawk was perched in a big tree just past the Raymond Firehall on 141 today, west side of the road

 

 

Northern Goshawk - photos
Posted on October 26, 2011 at 03:18:47 PM by diannawolfe

An adult Northern Goshawk perched for several minutes, high in a maple at the edge of our backyard this afternoon. It was accompanied by a lone Blue Jay that was intent on mobbing but that couldn't convince any others to join the cause. (Kilworthy) Photos zoomed through window on a dull autumn day...

Goshawk and Blue Jay, showing size difference:  photo1

Goshawk profile:  photo2

 

 

Red-backed Salamander - photo
Posted on October 25, 2011 at 07:24:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today while digging up some thyme that had been taken over by a large anthill, this little guy surfaced from about eight inches down in the soil. Fortunately it wasn't injured. These are the best photos I could get as it wouldn't stay put...didn't realize how fast these critters could move. Also, I never knew that ants are one of their favourite foods - see references below the photos. This is the first one we've seen here in our yard. (Bracebridge)

Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus):  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

references:
Ontario Nature - "It usually hibernates underground but may also overwinter in small mammal dens or even ant mounds."

The NorthWoods - "Red-backed salamanders feed primarily on small invertebrates, such as ants, termites, mites, beetles, flies, spiders, snails, slugs, centipedes, millipedes, and earthworms..."

Ontario Nature - Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario
Toronto Zoo - Salamanders of Ontario

 

 

Hermit thrush, fox sparrow
Posted on October 24, 2011 at 09:41:33 AM by GayleCarlyle

Saturday morning at about 10:30am, we heard a hermit thrush singing behind our house in Washago. Strange to hear one so late in the year!
About an hour later we heard a fox sparrow in the woods near our home.

 

 

Loon
Posted on October 23, 2011 at 04:19:23 PM by DebbieAdams

Watched a Loon diving in the bay Saturday afternoon and in to the evening. (Walker's Point)

 

 

rusty blackbird
Posted on October 22, 2011 at 11:17:45 AM by Wayne Bridge

Had a rusty blackbird at my ground feed this morning (Kearney).

 

 

Blue Jays & Sharp Shin, Bala
Posted on October 22, 2011 at 08:29:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

My three regular Blue Jays are, right now, actively attacking an adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk. He keeps coming back in by the house and they dive on him!

 

 

Re(4): Gadwalls still at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 27, 2011 at 04:58:48 PM by janice house

a great blue heron flew over my car today near the old OSPCA location this morning

 

 

Re(3): Gadwalls still at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 27, 2011 at 02:36:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found the Gadwalls in cell 3, Northern Shovelers in cell 2, Common Goldeneyes in cell 4 and a Wilson's Snipe in the wet ditch east of cell 3. Still lots of Buffleheads and Mallards in cell 2, along with a few Black Ducks, Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, and several Scaup. A Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead, heading south. There were still a few Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows scattered about, as well as several American Tree Sparrows, and a single Red-winged Blackbird. A Great Blue Heron was in the flooded area west of cell 4.

 

(note for the Archives...two pair of Ring-necked Ducks were in cell 2 on Oct. 24, but gone the next day)

 

 

Re(2): Gadwalls still at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 23, 2011 at 01:25:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today we found three Gadwall in the east end of cell 3 and Don Bailey reported they'd seen a fourth. We didn't see any Coots, but the Pintails and Shovelers were still in cell 2, along with all the other regulars. Common Goldeneye were in cell 1 and cell 4. Only thing new was a nice pair of Hooded Mergansers with the male in breeding plumage (in cell 4, then moved to cell 2). Appeared to be a big hawk migration day with several passing high overhead. Although most were too far away to ID, we did see at least one definite Red-tailed Hawk.

(best observation point for the Gadwall this morning was entering via Lagoon Lane - note, if the gate is open, do not drive in and stay well clear of the entrance as the sewage trucks make wide turns)  Ponds Map (north approx. at top, east at right)

 

 

Re(1): Gadwalls still at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 22, 2011 at 09:21:54 PM by michaelhatton

Where is the best observation position?

 

 

Gadwalls still at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 21, 2011 at 01:05:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the pair of Gadwall were in the NW corner of cell 3. Nothing new that I could find, but the numbers of Bufflehead have increased significantly. As usual, most of the ducks were in cell 2. (They haven't begun draining any of the cells yet.)

Species today:
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
American Coot
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
American Black Duck
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Mallard
Wood Duck
Common Goldeneye

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds
Posted on October 21, 2011 at 12:03:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Eastern Bluebirds perched next to South Monck Dr. a bit north of the Sprague's place, and one of them was singing as though to say "goodbye, so long 'til next year". (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bluebirds
Posted on October 20, 2011 at 02:01:18 PM by janice house

a flock of 10 birds flew over our house yesterday at noon, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Snake skin? (photo)
Posted on October 19, 2011 at 06:34:07 PM by DebbieAdams

I assume this is from a Garter snake? It's a little over 1 ft. long. (Walker's Point)  photo

 

 

Meadowlarks
Posted on October 18, 2011 at 12:35:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

We went looking for Snow Geese at the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range this morning, but no luck...only a few Mallards and some Wild Turkeys. But we were pleasantly surprised to find about 200 Canada Geese and many Meadowlarks further up the road in the fields west of #1134 South Monck Dr. It was impossible to tell just how many Meadowlarks there were because they kept flying up one or two at a time, but then right back down into the field out of sight. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Late Warbler
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 04:02:30 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon we had a Yellow-rumped Warbler foraging in our miniature crab tree.

 

 

Late Warbler
Posted on October 15, 2011 at 11:10:34 AM by DBurton

A nice male Black Throated Blue Warbler is in my yard today. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(2): red backed salamanders
Posted on October 20, 2011 at 10:45:34 PM by John Challis

No chance they were red efts. Too long, had the characteristic brown stripe along the back and black sides. The red efts were numerous on the road about two to three weeks earlier and haven't shown since.

 

 

Re(1): red backed salamanders
Posted on October 18, 2011 at 10:37:15 AM by GayleCarlyle

Actually John, they might have been red efts. I didn't really take a close look at them when you picked them up but at first glance they looked like red efts, not red-backed salamanders. Next time, I'll look closer.

 

 

red backed salamanders
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 05:03:44 PM by John Challis

Frogs have been out getting squashed on our road at night all this week (in spite of my nocturnal efforts to chase them back onto the shoulder), but this morning before sunrise, about eight red-backed salamanders were out basking in the dampness of the road. At first glimpse they looked more like the stems of maple leaves, without the leaf. But a prod of the toe would send the stem wriggling away in panic. It's hard to know how many were actually out on the road that I missed. (Washago)

 

 

American Woodcock
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:18:53 PM by janice house

This morning before 7 I heard several birds in the farm field across from our house, are they on the way south? (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(4): Coot still there
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 04:12:16 PM by Goodyear

We were at the Lagoons around 9:30 this morning and saw 3 Coots in cell 2. There were several mixed flocks of Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the woods between Henry Marsh and the Lagoons. Also had a Hermit Thrush just west of the pipeline. Pipits flew overhead west side of Cell 4.

 

 

Re(3): Coot still there
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 01:41:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they saw the Coot this morning in cell 2 - it must have been "hiding" when we walked around. Don said there had been a Red-tailed Hawk flying low over the Ponds.

 

 

Re(2): Gadwalls still there
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:40:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Very windy and cold at the Ponds this morning. The pair of Gadwall were with most of the other ducks in cell 2. Couldn't find the Wigeons or the Coot, but two Northern Pintails and two Northern Shovelers were still there in cell 2. Several newly arrived Bufflehead in cell 2. Four Common Goldeneye were in cell 4. A few American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows were scattered about. A dozen Rusty Blackbirds were in the wet woods north of cell 4. No shorebirds seen today. (They haven't started to drain cell 4 yet.)

There were also the "usual" other species in cell 2:
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
American Black Ducks
Lesser Scaup
Mallards
Wood Ducks

 

 

Re(2): Pectoral Sandpiper, Gadwall - photos
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:42:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here are a few photos of one of the Pectoral Sandpipers this morning and two distant shots of the male Gadwall.

Pectoral Sandpiper:  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

Gadwall in cell 3 before he moved to cell 2:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Gadwalls still there
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 11:58:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

Just got back from a check of the Ponds while the rain had stopped. The pair of Gadwalls were in cell 2 as of 11:20 a.m., but when we first arrived they were with the pair of Wigeon in the NW corner of cell 3. All the species from yesterday were still there, and in addition there are now two Bufflehead in cell 3. We only found 2 Pectoral Sandpipers today.

 

 

Gadwalls - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 13, 2011 at 05:03:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 4:15 p.m. today there was a pair of Gadwall in cell 2. A bit earlier they had been with the male American Wigeon in the NW corner of cell 3 (the female Wigeon was by herself near the SE corner).

About half way down the roadway between cells 1 and 2, there were about 25 Pectoral Sandpipers feeding in the grassy margins. A Great Blue Heron flew in from the north to join them and then walked down to the edge of cell 2. The American Coot was still in cell 3. Only one lone Mallard was in cell 4.

Most of the ducks were in cell 2:
Northern Shovelers
Northern Pintails (F)
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
American Black Ducks
Scaup
Mallards
Wood Ducks

Nine Wild Turkeys were feeding along the edge of the hill up behind the new plant south of cell 3.

 

 

Re(2): Sparrows
Posted on October 17, 2011 at 06:37:23 PM by Wilf Yusek

Had 2 here this afternoon under my feeders  (Prospect Lake)

 

 

Re(1): Sparrows
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:49:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Three White-throated Sparrows "blew" into our yard this morning and are enjoying some spilled seed under the birdfeeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(3): Sparrows (photo)
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 04:46:04 PM by DebbieAdams

Still hearing a Song Sparrow. Lots of Chipping Sparrows still at the feeder. Last week White Crowned Sparrows (photo) arrived along with some Juncos. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(2): Sparrows
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:21:08 PM by janice house

several song sparrows were at my brothers house in Bent River last weekend

 

 

Re(1): Sparrows
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 07:16:40 AM by jim griffin

Had 2 song sparrows and 2 white throats in my yard in Port Sydney yesterday

 

 

Re(1): Sparrows
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 09:42:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

Probably the mild weather encourages some to linger if food sources are abundant, and since Sparrows are seed eaters they can stay longer than other migrants which depend on insects. In and around Muskoka there are usually some reports of overwintering Song Sparrows or American Tree Sparrows when birdfeeders are available. Christmas Bird Counts often include a White-throated Sparrow, and in the past two years, even a Harris's Sparrow has overwintered here.

There were lots of adult and immature White-crowned Sparrows at the Bracebridge Ponds yesterday afternoon, as well as a few Song Sparrows. They love the dense patches of Smartweed, Asters, and Goldenrod.

Has anyone seen a Fox Sparrow yet?

 

 

Sparrows
Posted on October 13, 2011 at 03:11:15 PM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday there were 2 song sparrows searching for food outside our window here at Grant's Woods near Orillia.
This morning there was a beautiful white-throated sparrow here too.
Shouldn't they be gone by now? Or is the mild weather and food availability keeping them here?

 

 

Re(1): Pectoral Sandpipers
Posted on October 12, 2011 at 05:37:46 PM by Wilf Yusek

There are a lot of them, golf balls, in all the ponds.

 

 

Re(1): Pectoral Sandpipers
Posted on October 12, 2011 at 03:38:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like somebody almost beaned him with a golf ball! :)

 

 

Pectoral Sandpipers
Posted on October 12, 2011 at 03:36:49 PM by Wilf Yusek

There were 2 Pectoral Sandpipers at the Muskoka Highlands golf course this morning, they were in a pond between the 12th & 14th fairways. Attached is a picture.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Late Monarchs?
Posted on October 12, 2011 at 08:25:43 AM by rick stronks

I had a Monarch in Kilworthy (south of Gravenhurst) on Saturday, Oct. 8.

 

 

Late Monarchs?
Posted on October 10, 2011 at 09:19:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Is anyone still seeing Monarch butterflies around Muskoka?
Don Davis sent me the following email today with permission to share it here:

----
Hello Barbara:
I enjoyed reading about your monarchs sightings in Muskoka. I have heard today that there are many still in Manitoulin. Last weekend, heard of unhatched chrysalises in Tobermory! Saturday I counted 40 on flowering buddleia in Cobourg. Another 60 counted in Toronto on the Spit. I wonder if this is a late migration as spring arrived late. Today, east of Oshawa, a steady stream - say one per minute - of monarchs hitting Lake Ontario and then either crossing the lake in the light southerly winds or heading west to feed on New England aster, clover, etc.

Getting a bit late for these individuals to make it to Mexico, but all of eastern Canada and Ontario is warm, with record temperatures in Ottawa, Quebec and the Maritimes.

One monarch was seen one year during a Christmas bird count! Tough critters.

Also saw a report today of a "steady stream" of monarchs flying westward at Port Stanley on the north shore of Lake Erie near the Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch during a 3 hour period (Alan Adamson of Toronto). Another report today on the Scientific American blog of Monarchs Flooding into New York City. Late, late, late!

Don Davis
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
------

 

 

Re(2): Hey, look at me now!
Posted on October 12, 2011 at 09:01:35 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Thanks Debbie. We are so glad the little one has survived all the water skiers, PWC's, boats etc. I think it will survive! Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(1): Hey, look at me now!
Posted on October 11, 2011 at 02:21:21 PM by DebbieAdams

Thanks for sharing these photos. I especially like the third one; baby and parent. What a wonderful experience you had watching and filming this loon family.

 

 

Hey, look at me now!
Posted on October 10, 2011 at 04:51:58 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Hey, look at me now!  Baby Loon at 2.5 months photo

Here I am with mom and dad when I was little!  photo

Here I am when I could just swim and eat!  photo

My nest!  photo

(10k east of Washago)

 

 

Dark Eyed Junco
Posted on October 9, 2011 at 05:14:16 PM by LizMacD

Saw the first D.E. Junco of the season in my backyard in Barrie just now.

 

 

Re(1): Happy Thanksgiving...
Posted on October 10, 2011 at 09:48:32 AM by janice house

Yesterday morning the 11 turkeys were inside the fenced area of the treatment plant eating the grass seed, 7 others were on the road near the junction of cell 3 and 4.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving...
Posted on October 8, 2011 at 12:36:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Need a turkey? This bunch of eleven Wild Turkeys was on the roadway south of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning.  photo

The pair of Wigeons and this Coot (with Mallard "friend" behind) were still in cell 3 this morning.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Hundred of Bees, Bala
Posted on October 13, 2011 at 04:56:49 PM by lauragilmour

I have been noticing the same type of thing, but on the New England Aster which is still flowering at my place in Dwight.

 

 

Hundred of Bees, Bala
Posted on October 7, 2011 at 04:18:38 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The last few days there have been hundred of bees using the Stiff Goldenrod. They are the only thing left in bloom around my place. Each bloom head has a couple to six that stay overnight.

 

 

Re(1): Skipper? (Photo)
Posted on October 7, 2011 at 02:30:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Looks to me like a winter form Question Mark, 2nd brood in our area. This one will overwinter as an adult and emerge in the spring. In our area they are migratory, don't overwinter this far north. This one should be heading south real soon. Nice photo!

 

 

Skipper? (Photo)
Posted on October 7, 2011 at 01:48:20 PM by lauragilmour

I found this little beauty on a walk near Skeleton Lake. Anyone know who it is?  photo

 

 

Re(1): more Flower Flies
Posted on October 7, 2011 at 09:22:32 AM by Barbara Taylor

Several more species of Flower Flies visited our garden yesterday. Here are a few of them. (Bracebridge)
Family Syrphidae - Spilomyia longicornis - http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0364.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0397.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0362.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0376.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0396.jpg

 

 

Flower Flies - photos
Posted on October 5, 2011 at 06:49:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

The warm sunny weather has brought many different species of Flower Flies (Syrphidae) to our garden. Here are a few from today. (Bracebridge)

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0329.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0332.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0352.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0334.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/naturepics/insects/flowerflies/0353.jpg

 

Ontario Syrphidae website: http://www.canacoll.org/Diptera/Staff/Skevington/Syrphidae/Syrphidae.htm

 

 

sandhill cranes
Posted on October 5, 2011 at 09:46:17 AM by John Challis

Yesterday around 8:15 am, Highway 11 just north of Orillia, two sandhill cranes flying side by side .... northbound.
On the weekend we saw a sharp-shinned hawk south of Washago. As well, many American pipits (call notes seemed to indicate that's what they were) in a farm field on Fairgrounds Road east of WAshago.

 

 

Re(3): Wigeons - photo
Posted on October 7, 2011 at 10:46:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

The American Coot and the pair of American Wigeons were still in cell 3 at noon today.

Here are photos of the Wigeons (they tend to be in the north-west corner).  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Coot still there...
Posted on October 5, 2011 at 11:46:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

The American Coot was still in cell 3 as of 11 a.m. this morning (at the northern shoreline towards the east end). The pair of American Wigeon were in cell 3 at the west end along with some Blue-winged Teal. Three Northern Shovelers (F) and two Northern Pintails (F) were in cell 2. Most of the ducks were in cell 2 - many Mallards, a few Black Ducks, Scaup, a Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, and some Green-winged Teal. A Least Sandpiper was hunkered down in the south-east corner of cell 1. A Green Heron flew by heading south-west towards cell 4. Seven Wild Turkeys were feeding along the roadway east of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Kestrel - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 4, 2011 at 09:48:48 PM by janice house

Linda Boon and I were at the ponds after 3pm today, a lone american coot was in cell 3.

 

 

Kestrel - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 4, 2011 at 01:46:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds, the light north-west winds and sunny warm temperatures provided excellent conditions for hawk migration. In quick succession a Turkey Vulture soared by, a Red-tailed Hawk circled overhead, and an American Kestrel flew up west of cell 2 and rapidly gained altitude before heading off to the south. Nothing much of note otherwise...there was still a pair of American Wigeons in cell 3, and also a few Lesser Scaup in cell 2.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Oct. 6
Posted on October 4, 2011 at 08:46:04 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Bracebridge
Georgian Bay Landscapes by Ed Bartram.
See geology through the eyes of Artist/Photographer Ed Bartram.
Edís focus is Georgian Bayís 30,000 islands as photographed from his canoe.

MFN website:http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings from September through January are held in Bracebridge at the Church of Latter Day Saints at the corner of Taylor Road and Cedar Lane. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Hudsonian Godwit, Nelson's Sparrows and more, East side of Algonquin Park
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 09:57:30 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Jeff Skevington on ONTBIRDS (October 3, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

I had a fabulous day birding Lake Travers on the east side of Algonquin
Park. It rained hard early in the morning, a prerequisite for seeing
shorebirds and other migrants that normally bypass the park. Here are the
highlights (records based on the new update to the park checklist compiled
by Ron Tozer):

Snow Goose -12
Gadwall - 5 (~10th park record)
White-winged Scoter - 6
Black Scoter -1 (near early date for fall in Algonquin)
Pied-billed Grebe - 1 (rare in the park)
Horned Grebe - 3 (not quite as rare as PBGR)
Red-necked Grebe -1 (the most regular of the grebes, but still rare)
Bald Eagle -1
Northern Goshawk - 1
Merlin - 1
Peregrine - 4 (amazing total - all migrating in rain)
Black-bellied Plover -1
American Golden Plover - 3 (rare)
Semipalmated Plover -1 (late)
Hudsonian Godwit -1 juv (3rd park record)
White-rumped Sandpiper (6 - amazing count, rare in park)
Northern Shrike - 1 adult (nearly early fall date)
Lapland Longspur 1
Nelson's Sparrow - 10 (regular at this time, but a good count)
Pine Siskin - 140 (two flocks migrating)

To get to Lake Travers, Turn south off Highway 17 onto Doran Road (Rd 26).
Then take an immediate right onto Barron Canyon/Achray Road. Follow for 77
km to Lake Travers. A canoe is advisable but it is possible to walk the
shoreline and see everything. The Nelson's Sparrows are in a wetland midway
along the south shore (45.959074 N, 78.049864W). They can be found in nice
weather conditions (unlike all the non-passerines that left as soon as the
rain stopped). This year with the very low water levels they are
concentrated near where the creek enters the lake.

 

 

White Crowned Sparrows
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 05:46:49 PM by DebbieAdams

Just noticed a few White Crowned Sparrows that arrived today too along with the Juncos.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Nelson's Sparrow in Algonquin Park
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 05:44:05 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Mike Burrell on ONTBIRDS (October 2, 2011) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This morning (Sun.) I went to Algonquin Park, hoping to find some Nelson's and Le
Conte's Sparrows. While I dipped on Le Conte's Sparrow, I was successful
with Nelson's. I had one bird flush up from some vegetation into an alder
just east of the airfield. I had spent a fair bit of time working south
along the shoreline of Lake of Two Rivers from the northern River mouth and
gradually made my way into the mouth of the southern river where I had the
bird in a protected pickerelweed marsh surrounded by small sedge meadows.
You'll need rubber boots if you want to try and relocate it or search for
others.

Lots of other sparrow (and other bird) activity on and around the airfield.
Here's my full checklist for the morning:
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist?subID=S8887131

Directions:
A park permit is required to use park facilities (including walking
trails). These can be purchased at the Mew Lake campground office or the
east or west gate or the Visitor Centre (KM 43). The airfield is reached by
exiting Hwy 60 into the Mew Lake campground and driving past the gate
house. Go past the woodyard on the left and park in the first parking lot
on the left after the wood yard. You're now at the northern edge of the
airfield and a trail goes south across the airfield from here and one goes
east along the northern edge that will take you to the NE corner (where the
northern river mouth is). Le Conte's Sparrows are often found along the
eastern edge of the airfield at this time of year and Nelson's Sparrows are
usually a bit tougher to find in marshy areas, usually requiring rubber
boots (as did the one today).

Good birding,
Mike Burrell

 

 

Juncos
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 05:41:43 PM by DebbieAdams

A small flock of Junco's arrived this afternoon.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Northern harriers
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 09:50:24 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday we watched a pair of northern harriers hovering over the farm fields on McArthur Sdrd near Washago.
Beautiful sight, of course we didn't have a camera with us.

 

 

turkey vultures
Posted on October 3, 2011 at 09:48:43 AM by GayleCarlyle

On Friday afternoon I watched about 20 turkey vultures hovering the strong north winds coming off Sparrow Lake at Bayview Wildwood Resort.
The birds looked like kites, they barely moved at all.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Wigeon
Posted on October 1, 2011 at 05:40:29 PM by Goodyear

This morning we counted 11 American Wigeon in Cell 3. The wind kept most birds hunkered down, but there were lots of White-crowned Sparrows about.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists Fern Trip to Arrowhead
Posted on October 1, 2011 at 12:31:59 PM by Al Sinclair

On September 25 the MFN had a fern trip at Arrowhead Provincial Park. It was a great fall day, 16 species of ferns and 3 club-mosses. We chose Arrowhead because it is one of the few places where the regionally rare Goldie's Fern can be seen. Click on the link below to see photos from the trip.
MFN Fern Trip

Species List
Lycopodium clavatum var clavatum - Staghorn Club-moss
Lycopodium dendroideum - Round-branched Ground Pine
Lycopodium hickeyi - Equal-leaved Ground Pine
Osmunda claytoniana - Interrupted Fern
Osmunda regalis - American Royal Fern
Adiantum pedatum - Northern Maidenhair Fern
Pteridium aquilinum - Eastern Bracken
Athyrium filix-femina ssp angustum - Lady Fern
Athyrium thelypterioides - Silvery Spleenwort
Cystopteris fragilis var. fragilis - Fragile Fern
Dryopteris goldiana - Goldie's Wood Fern
Dryopteris intermedia - Evergreen Wood Fern
Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Wood Fern
Gymnocarpium dryopteris - Oak Fern
Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ostrich Fern
Onoclea sensibilis - Sensitive Fern
Phegopteris connectilis - Northern Beech Fern
Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas Fern
Thelypteris noveboracensis - New York Fern