Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2012
 
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YBSA
Posted on March 31, 2012 at 05:47:18 PM by DBurton

Heard my first Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker today

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on March 31, 2012 at 04:32:01 PM by Goodyear

We enjoyed a walk from Henry Marsh to the Lagoons and back. A nice selection of waterfowl:

Bufflehead - 37
L. Scaup - 4
C. Goldeneye - 1 male
Ring-necked Duck - 18
American Wigeon - 1 pair
Green-winged Teal - 1 male
Mallard - 8
Hooded Merganser - 2 pair

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on March 31, 2012 at 11:50:44 AM by Goodyear

This morning we had 4 Evening Grosbeaks visit our feeder. At the same time we had a male Cardinal, several Blue Jays, Purple finches, and American Goldfinches, making for a very colourful display against the backdrop of snow.

 

 

Great Blue Heron Nest Video Cam
Posted on March 30, 2012 at 05:56:54 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There are wonderful things to be seen from the Cornell Sapsucker Woods video cam of a Great Blue Heron nest. One robin's egg blue egg. Bringing in sticks. Preening. May be another egg laid any time.    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2433

I think you will have to copy and past this into your address bar to see it.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 29 March
Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:22:32 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 29, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The return of cooler temperatures seemed to largely end the
influx of new arrivals. All lakes along Highway 60 became
ice-free during the week, setting all-time early records for that.

NOTABLE SIGHTINGS:
Long-eared Owl: One photographed roosting in white pines
on the south side of the Old Airfield on March 23 was the
earliest spring record of a rarely observed species in Algonquin.

House Finch: A male at the Visitor Centre feeder on March 23
was the first record in the Park since 2008.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on March 25.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On March 25, a male was on
a sign post at km 8 and another male was on red pine between
Posts 7 and 8 on the Lookout Trail.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road is the best location.

Boreal Chickadee: Try the strip of spruce between the south
side of the Old Airfield and the Madawaska River. Along the
black spruce section of Opeongo Road north of the bridge is
also good.

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Widespread and in song.

Red Crossbill: Two reported at Mew Lake on March 25.

White-winged Crossbill: Ten on Opeongo Road on March
23 and two at km 8 on March 25.

Common Redpoll: Singles heard in flight at the Old Airfield
on March 23 and at Lookout Trail on March 25. At least two
were at the Visitor Centre feeders today. Notably, despite fairly
good numbers of this species during the winter, very few have
visited feeders in Algonquin.

Pine Siskin: Heard and seen almost everywhere.

American Goldfinch: Regular.

Evening Grosbeak: At least 20 continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Hooded Mergansers - Huntsville
Posted on March 29, 2012 at 05:08:46 PM by Kip Daynard

There's a pair of Hooded Mergansers on Hunter's Bay near the river mouth this afternoon. I've been away for a couple of weeks, so not sure if they've been around here recently or not. I understand that the ice came off here about 8 days ago but I wasn't here to see the break-up. Amazing to see open water in March!

 

 

Re(1): Blue Heron
Posted on April 3, 2012 at 11:51:39 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

What good eyes you have, Debbie! There was one on a nest in a short snag and two standing in another tree. Could be another nest starting.

 

 

Blue Heron
Posted on March 29, 2012 at 08:26:13 AM by DebbieAdams

I noticed a nesting Blue Heron on the west side of hwy169 just a little north of Home Hardware lumber.(Gravenhurst) It's in a swamp area and can be seen from the road, until of course, the leaves come out.
Also noticed a new web camera on a Blue Heron nest from Cornell Lab.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2433

 

 

Saw-whet still calling
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 08:19:39 PM by Doug Smith

The saw-whet at Uffington was calling again late last night. It was closer to our house at the corner of Hawn & Peterson, and calling from the north-west direction.

 

 

6 Turkey Vultures
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 08:09:27 PM by DBurton

We went looking to see if the ice was out (must have been several days ago... anyone know?) on Gravenhurst Bay. There were 6 Turkey Vultures hanging around the lakeshore, perhaps the same group that were hanging around there last summer.

 

 

Sand Hill Cranes - 4 this time
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 05:11:28 PM by carolwagg

The two cranes seen earlier this week continued to spend some time each day in the same field on the south side of Doe Lake. This afternoon there were four cranes - the first time we have ever seen more than three here. There were a few moves that looked like their courting dance.

 

 

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 09:19:35 AM by janice house

I heard the kinglet while on a dog walk this morning, Laycox Rd/Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Crane
Posted on March 26, 2012 at 08:34:14 AM by Goodyear

We had 4 Sandhill Cranes fly over our house last night around 6:00 - flying SW.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Sandhill Crane
Posted on March 24, 2012 at 06:39:55 PM by Goodyear

This morning at 10:00 we had a single Sandhill Crane circle low over Cells 3 and 2 at the Lagoons, and then it gained altitude and headed north.

 

 

Re(1): Golden Crowned Kinglet
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 03:17:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several small groups of Golden-crowned Kinglets along Henry Trail and the trail heading east towards the Bracebridge Ponds. The male Ring-necked Duck was still at Henry Marsh...but that was it.

(note: Henry Trail is badly flooded near the "T" so rubber boots are needed to access the marsh. Also, the beaver pond is overflowing the Trans Canada Trail in several spots heading west from the wooden bridge.) (Area Map)

 

 

Golden Crowned Kinglet
Posted on March 24, 2012 at 02:05:26 PM by DBurton

On Thursday I had one Golden Crowned Kinglet in the driveway. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Hoodies
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 01:15:05 PM by gerald

I was at Hazlewood trail in Port Carling and saw 8 hooded merganzers. Also saw more hoodies on muskoka by beaumaris. There were 7 ring-necked ducks at cook's swamp in Bardsville (Beatrice Town Line and Falkenburg Rd)

 

 

Re(1): Wigeons - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on March 24, 2012 at 06:38:19 PM by Goodyear

This morning there were two pairs, all in Cell 2.

 

 

Wigeons - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 12:47:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a pair of American Wigeon near the NE corner of cell 2. Several Buffleheads, Mallards, and four Scaup were in cell 4.
Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top, east at right)


At Kerr Park a pair of Eastern Bluebirds were carrying pieces of dry grass into the nestbox closest to the Kerr Park Trail sign. After we walked by, the male flew over and perched atop the sign while he watched the female on the nestbox.

A bit earlier at Henry Marsh there was a male Ring-necked Duck and a Belted Kingfisher. A Brown Creeper was singing along the Henry Trail. On the way over to the marsh we saw our first Turkey Vulture of the year. (note: the trail is badly flooded near the "T" so rubber boots are needed to access the marsh. Also, the beaver pond is overflowing the Trans Canada Trail in several spots heading west from the wooden bridge.) (Area Map)

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 22 March
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 08:55:09 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 22, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The past week of extremely warm temperatures resulted
in the largest number of very early arrivals during March in
the 60 years of detailed record-keeping in Algonquin Park.

Observations on record-early dates occurred for: Blue-winged
Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron,
Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern
Phoebe, Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark.

Earliest-ever dates were also recorded this week for two
butterflies (Green Comma and Eastern Pine Elfin; both
photographed) and three herps (Spring Peeper, Snapping
Turtle and Garter Snake).

To put these events in perspective, the higher elevation of
Algonquin Park's west side means that the timing of spring
occurrences is typically later than most of southern Ontario
and comparable to areas farther north.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Male and female seen at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 18.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was on the south side of the
Old Airfield on March 20. A female responded to Barred Owl
imitations at km 8 on Highway 60 on March 20. Today, 4 or 5
were observed along Opeongo Road.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road is the most reliable location now.
Most females are incubating eggs.

Boreal Chickadee: One was observed on Opeongo Road on
March 18. There were two on March 20 and one on March 21
on the south side of the Old Airfield near the bike trail. Today,
one was near the register box and another at Post 6 on Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

FINCHES:.
Pine Grosbeak: No reports. They may all be gone north.

Purple Finch: Widespread and in song.

Red Crossbill: Heard at Old Airfield parking lot today.

White-winged Crossbill: Very small groups noted at 3 or 4
locations today. Reduction in numbers probably due to cones
releasing seeds in warm temperatures.

Common Redpoll: One or two birds were reported at four
locations today. Most have left.

Pine Siskin: Abundant. Some can be heard at any
location along the highway. Many are in pairs. An apparent
male passing grit to a female was noted today. Breeding
activity is likely underway.

American Goldfinch: Numerous. Some singing.

Evening Grosbeak: At least 30 continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders. Others were reported at several locations along Highway
60 today.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

Brown-headed Cowbirds
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 08:05:52 AM by janice house

three cowbirds arrived in our yard yesterday, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Green-margined Tiger Beetle
Posted on March 22, 2012 at 04:48:00 PM by diannawolfe

A rather early Green-margined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela limbalis) was found skittering over a rock barren near Torrance this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Flickers
Posted on March 25, 2012 at 08:14:58 PM by DBurton

One flicker appeared today
(Gravenhurst)

 

 

Flickers
Posted on March 22, 2012 at 10:00:28 AM by J. Gardner

Flickers this morning. Twelve days earlier than any previous record of mine here. June Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Great Blue Heron & Phoebe, Bala
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 08:25:42 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Late yesterday afternoon a Great Blue Heron was standing in one of the nests in the small colony on the East side of Hwy 169 North of Bala and just South of Busch's Ski School.
An Eastern Phoebe landed in a tree ouside my computer room window about 5 pm yesterday.
The ice went out on my lake yesterday.

 

 

sand hill cranes
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 07:20:39 PM by carolwagg

After three days of hearing them, and brief glimpses on two of those days, we finally got a good look at two sand hill cranes in the fields south of Doe Lake (6 kms east of Hwy 11 north of Gravenhurst. They have been around for most of the day.

 

 

Barred Owls are hooting a lot
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 06:45:44 PM by Al Sinclair

The local Barred Owl pair have been hooting a lot the last two days. The male last night only but at 5:30pm today we heard a female reply for the first time this year. 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Spring Sightings
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 05:43:44 PM by sylviapurdonandjimmaguire

Headed out to Sparrow Lake to check out the Trailing Arbutue and other spring sightings:

Spring Peepers

Turkey Vulture
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Common Merganser
Hooded Merganser
Bufflehead
Common Merganser
Scaup
Canada Goose
Wild Turkey
Wigeon
Common Raven
American Crow
Red-winged Blackbird
Mallard

Small skiffs of ice in the bays.

 

 

Wood frogs
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 09:13:01 AM by GayleCarlyle

We heard (just barely above the peeper din) quite a few wood frogs calling last night at about 7:30pm.
Washago

Also saw my first great blue heron this morning flying over a field near Orillia.

 

 

Lagoons - Wood Duck
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 10:39:29 AM by Goodyear

There were 4 at the Bracebridge Lagoons last night, too, along with about 20 Mallards. Cells 1 and 2 are now ice free, 3 and 4 still have a little bit of ice left, but will probably be gone by today.

 

 

Wood Duck
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 08:15:40 AM by jim griffin

There was a male Wood Duck on the river at Port Sydney this morning along with 2 pairs of common mergansers and a pair of Buffleheads

 

 

Snipe
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 07:05:11 AM by J. Gardner

I heard several snipe this morning when I let the dog out. Insanity. I begin to fear for the safety of these early birds. June Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Woodcock
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 10:47:22 AM by CatMacLean

We have had one at our place in Huntsville for the past two evenings. Today I heard a winter wren and yesterday the song sparrows and killdeer were singing.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 09:42:33 AM by gerald

For the past few days there have been a few woodcocks calling around covered bridge in Bracebridge. This morning about 6:30 they were calling non-stop.

 

 

Re(2): Saw-whet Owl still calling near Uffington update
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 09:51:31 PM by Al Sinclair

Quiet here except for a single Spring Peeper.

 

 

Re(1): Saw-whet Owl still calling near Uffington update
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 08:06:50 PM by Doug Smith

Al -- there is a saw-whet calling just south-east of the corner of Hawn & Peterson this evening.

 

 

Saw-whet Owl still calling near Uffington update
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 11:02:06 PM by Al Sinclair

A Saw-whet is calling tonight (Monday) behind our house, about 1.5 km west of the original location at Peterson Rd at Hawn Rd near Uffington (8km east of Bracebridge). Maybe the same owl moving around?

 

 

mosquitoes
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 08:37:15 PM by John Challis

Mosquitoes are already vigorously attempting to feed here in Washago. Any guesses as to what species?

 

 

Golden Eagle
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:48:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11:30 a.m. this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we thought we could see a Turkey Vulture way off in the distance, flapping its wings, trying to gain altitude over the ridge to the south-west. But it didn't quite look right. As it came closer and found some better air to soar in, we realized it was a Golden Eagle! It spent nearly 15 minutes circling overhead until it managed to get high enough and then soared off to the north.

Although the ice in cell 1 was very black, it was still strong enough to support several Ring-billed Gulls. A few Mallards were in a thin strip of open water at the south end of cell 2. The small area of open water in cell 3 had several Mallards and some Canada Geese. Two Rusty Blackbirds were in the flooded area west of cell 4.

 

 

Small kettle of Red-shouldered Hawks
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:40:54 PM by diannawolfe

Three Red-shouldered hawks formed a small kettle over our house in the noon sun today, calling continuously, circling, and diving.
Our resident Winter Wren and Eastern Phoebe returned this morning, as well.
(Kilworthy)

 

 

Phoebes, Song Sparrow and Flicker
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 11:46:09 AM by DebbieAdams

Everyone is arriving at once!
There are at least 6 Phoebes singing in the woods along with a Song Sparrow and a Flicker.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Meadow larks
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 08:27:12 AM by janice house

I saw my first meadow lark this morning, when he finished singing he flew in the direction of the old Dinsmore Sheep Farm ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst )

 

 

Meadow larks
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 10:01:33 AM by GayleCarlyle

There are two meadowlarks singing away in the farm field across the road from our office here at Grant's Woods near Orillia.

 

 

Re(1): Bluebird at Kerr Park
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 02:09:11 PM by janice house

I heard a bluebird calling at 1:45 today, he was over by the ball diamonds, only 1 male mallard in the Muskoka River

 

 

Bluebird in Bent River
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 09:09:09 AM by janice house

My brother just called, at 8:45 a bluebird was checking out the two bluebird boxes in the field in front of their house ( Neil Bethune Rd )

 

 

Fox Sparrow, Juncos & Peepers
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 08:56:01 PM by DebbieAdams

Today we had a Fox Sparrow hopping about in the leaves, a least 8 new arrived Juncos and along with the cacophony of music from Robins, Mourning Doves, Jays, Chickadees and Goldfinches, one would think spring had officially arrived. Tonight the air is filled with the sound of spring peepers. So maybe it has!
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Eastern Comma
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 07:02:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This is our first butterfly of the year today in our yard. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Sparrows
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 05:22:57 PM by CatMacLean

We have a large flock of tree sparrows here in Huntsville this afternoon. Also we have a small flock of juncos and two broad wings were circling in the thermals above our house.

 

 

Re(1): Lagoons open for business
Posted on March 21, 2012 at 10:16:44 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday morning a Great Blue Heron and a pair of Hooded Mergansers were in the flooded area just west of cell 4. A Northern Flicker was calling from the woods nearby. There was a bit more open water in all cells but "nothing new".

 

 

Lagoons open for business
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 01:23:36 PM by Goodyear

We enjoyed a walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons this morning. Cell 3 has an area free of ice that was being used by about 20 Mallards and 8 Canada Geese. Herring and Ring-billed Gulls were sitting on the still ice-covered Cells 1 and 2. We walked over to Henry Marsh and had singing Creepers, several Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and small flocks of Pine Siskins. One each of Sharp-shinned Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead. Several large flocks of Canada Geese were making their way north.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 12:52:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Shrike perched in a small tree near the intersection of Falkenburg Rd. and Beatrice Townline Rd. (Bardsville)
(note: Beatrice Townline Rd. has "road closed" signs at both ends of the marsh, but the road is "passable" now)

 

 

Song Sparrow
Posted on March 17, 2012 at 05:37:58 PM by jim griffin

Our perennial song sparrow was warming up his vocals by the river in Port Sydney this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Song Sparrow
Posted on March 17, 2012 at 04:14:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Song Sparrow was singing this afternoon near the corner of Tamarack Trail and Glendale Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

White-crowned Sparrow
Posted on March 17, 2012 at 10:38:17 AM by Goodyear

This morning we had a single White-crowned Sparrow show up at our feeders. Still many Goldfinches and Purple Finches. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Peregrine Falcon - Hamilton webcam
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 04:10:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Peregrine Falcons are now spending quite a bit of time at their nest site so there is a good chance of seeing one if you check the webcam. One is on the ledge right now as I type this.

Hamilton Falconwatch webcam: http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org

 

Other Peregrine sites: http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca

Some Spring Migration websites:
The following collection of websites will be helpful in following the 2012 Spring Migration. Some of these websites include data from past years which will give you an idea of peak migration times...or just check the recent posts on regional email lists to see what's coming our way.

Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map


HawkCount - Daily reports

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists


Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Toronto's Leslie St. Spit) (active in April)

Long Point Bird Observatory (sightings board active in April)

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (Beamer) -- (daily count data)

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Journey North

Migration of Birds

 

 

Re(1): Saw-whet Owl still calling near Uffington
Posted on March 17, 2012 at 02:39:00 PM by Doug Smith

It was calling again last night, closer to the corner of Hawn & Peterson. It started before dusk.

 

 

Saw-whet Owl still calling near Uffington
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 02:06:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night, March 15, we heard the Saw-whet Owl first reported on March 11 by Doug Smith. At 9pm we heard it in the distance from Doug's place on Hawn Rd. then I drove down Peterson Rd. to get closer. It was beside the Rd in a small group of trees in a low area about 500 metres east of Hawn Rd. Link below shows the location on google maps. I just started recording it on a camcorder with a zoom mic attached when somebody yelled "have you got a problem?" from a nearby house. The owl flew back too far to record. People are just too helpful sometimes.
Saw-whet Location

 

 

Spring?
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 01:29:20 PM by DBurton

Yesterday (March 15) we were surprised to see 3 crocus flowering up against the house. Seems pretty early to me.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 07:39:53 AM by J. Gardner

New arrivals last evening, Woodcock. Heard several "beeps" in the dark. This morning, while out at the feeders, I seemed to be surrounded by their "beeps". June Gardner, Hurdville

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 15 March
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 10:31:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 15, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Warm temperatures and some rain have dramatically reduced
the depth but there is still extensive snow cover in Algonquin.
Only areas on exposed south-facing slopes are bare. The very
limited open water is in creeks and rivers with significant current.

New migrants this week that were 7 to 10 days earlier than the
average arrival date were: Canada Goose, Herring Gull,
American Robin and Common Grackle. Turkey Vulture on
March 13 was record-early and 19 days earlier than the average.
Song Sparrow on March 15 was 14 days earlier than the average.

A Ruffed Grouse heard drumming at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
March 12 was the earliest spring date ever for that behaviour here.
The average is April 10 (31 years). A Brown Creeper singing at
Spruce Bog on March 12 was a week earlier than the 33-year
average date of the first song heard.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Male near the entrance of Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 12.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male and a female were seen at
the entrance to Spruce Bog Boardwalk and two females and a
male were along Opeongo Road on March 14.

Gray Jay: Noted along Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: One was heard 250 m north of the gate on
Opeongo Road on March 11. They should be vocalizing more
now just prior to winter flock breakup.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: A few still being seen, but the mild
conditions will result in them heading north soon. Ten were
reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 14.

Purple Finch: A few observed, including a singing male on
March 10 at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: A few were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk from
March 10 to 14, and some were seen on Highway 60 on
March 12.

White-winged Crossbill: Observed in flight and on
Highway 60. Some along Opeongo Road on March 12.

Common Redpoll: A few reported regularly.

Pine Siskin: Widespread in small numbers.

American Goldfinch: One or two at the Visitor Centre.

Evening Grosbeak: At least 50 continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders. There were 25 or more in Mew Lake Campground
and some at the gate on Opeongo Road.

MAMMALS
Marten: Several are regular around the suet feeder near the
register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and at the Opeongo
Road gate where they feed on black sunflower seed and peanuts
left by visitors.

Wolves: A pack in the Sunday Creek valley opposite the Visitor
Centre was heard howling during the day on March 12 and 14.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from
March 10 to 18 for March Break.

Arowhon Road is becoming very soft and muddy due to
the recent warm temperatures and should not be used.

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 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. The Visitor Centre is open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

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.

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

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl...two calling
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 10:11:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

I heard both of them calling just before 9 p.m. tonight. One seemed to be over by Kevin Cres. at Daleman, and the other was a bit south of there, east of Glendale Rd.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl...two calling
Posted on March 20, 2012 at 09:39:04 PM by ann hansen

Was just sitting out on my front porch (Daleman Dr.), approx 9:30pm, listening to the Barred Owl calling from what sounds to be close to the pipeline. There may have been a second one calling, not entirely sure.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl...two calling
Posted on March 18, 2012 at 08:35:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

We didn't hear any calls Friday night, but last night there were two Barred Owls calling. The one that sounded like the owl from Thursday night was a few houses away, but the second owl was closeby. For about an hour they called back and forth every 10-11 seconds, but the calls stopped just after 11 p.m. (Bracebridge)

Here's a great video I found on YouTube - daylight shot of a Barred Owl calling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fppKGJD3Y6c

 

 

Barred Owl calling
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 09:35:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl has been calling steadily for the past ten minutes out behind our house. (Bracebridge)

(update: at 10 p.m. still calling)
(update2: the calls finally stopped just after 11 p.m. - never heard any responses)

 

 

Sandhills
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 07:07:54 PM by J. Gardner

A beautiful pair of Sandhill Cranes flew over the house and settled down in the pond/marsh behind us. We hope every year that they will nest back there. Maybe this year... June Gardner, Hurdville

 

 

Broad wing
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 05:58:58 PM by CatMacLean

Many birds around today in Huntsville. Robins, red-wings, grackles, geese. Over Hunters Bay this am a flock of snow buntings and an eagle. Over our house I saw a Broad winged hawk!

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club, March 27, 2012
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 05:39:25 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, March 27, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street South, at 7 pm.
Algonquin Park Senior Naturalist, Justin Peter, will share his observations and insights from his recent travels in Peru.
Guests are always welcome to attend. A $3 voluntary donation is appreciated. For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (705) 789-1407

 

 

Re(3): First Butterfly: Port Sydney
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 06:59:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Had our first of the year Compton Tortoiseshell at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning, and our first Mourning Cloak this afternoon in our yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): First Butterfly: Port Sydney
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 09:25:23 AM by GayleCarlyle

We also saw a Compton tortoise shell yesterday as well as a mourning cloak just outside of Washago.

 

 

Re(1): First Butterfly: Port Sydney
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 05:40:49 PM by Al Sinclair

We also had a Compton Tortoise Shell today, our first butterfly this year. 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

First Butterfly: Port Sydney
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 05:05:33 PM by jim griffin

My first butterfly of the season is a really bright looking Compton Tortoise Shell hanging around the sunny side of my wood shed this afternoon.

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 02:05:39 PM by Goodyear

This morning we saw a flock of about 100 Snow Buntings at the Muskoka Airport and there were 3 at the Lagoons.

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 12:44:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

A male Northern Harrier is back on territory at Bardsville. At 11:30 a.m. this morning he was hunting low over the open fields and marsh along Beatrice Townline Rd. near the intersection with Falkenburg Rd. While we were watching the hawk, about 60 Snow Buntings flew by heading north. There were several male Red-winged Blackbirds in the area, and a Killdeer was calling.

Google Map of area - (note: Beatrice Townline Rd. is flooded where it goes through the marsh, as it usually is in the spring...a pick-up truck managed to make it through slowly, but a low clearance car might get in trouble)

 

 

Spring birds
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:46:46 AM by CatMacLean

We have the first grackle on our feeder today in Huntsville and I heard a Brown Creeper on Sun. morning. Also more geese and gulls around.

 

 

Re(2): Robin
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 01:39:03 PM by J. Gardner

Flocks of 10 and 12 robins each around today. Trees full of gossiping blackbirds. The sounds of Spring! J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:41:57 AM by ann hansen

Went out for a walk around Meadow Heights this morning and saw one singing in a tree. Also grackles, blue jays and a mourning dove.
(Bracebridge)

 

 

Robin
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:37:36 AM by DBurton

First Robin in my yard arrived today. Any others? (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Merlin
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 08:57:29 AM by Gaylecarlyle

I heard and saw a merlin streaking across our property yesterday afternnoon. And this morning it was down near the end of our road.
We have had a pair nesting somewhere in our area for several years now.
Quite the noisy little raptors!
Green river drive Washago.

 

 

Raven carrying nesting material
Posted on March 13, 2012 at 06:35:49 AM by mmcanally

Yesterday here on Britannia Road in Huntsville I watched a Raven carrying nesting material flying back to its traditional nest site. Also had 6 Red-winged Blackbirds, 2 Starlings and 2 Pine Siskins at the feeders. Two Purple Finches and 1 Tree Sparrow are making regular visits and I also saw a nice Porcupine drag track through the woods.
Saw 2 Buteos fly overhead but could not identify them positively. Exciting times.

 

 

Re(1): Gulls
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 05:08:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was one Herring Gull amongst a large flock of Ring-billed Gulls at the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range this morning. Lots of open ground already...the snow is melting fast! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gulls
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 02:56:34 PM by DebbieAdams

On Saturday a pair of gulls returned to their nesting island just off Walker's Point. This is the earliest we've noted their return.

 

 

Re(1): Kildeer
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 02:39:27 PM by janice house

one in our yard today, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Killdeer
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 02:51:14 PM by DebbieAdams

Earlier today while in Bracebridge by Robert Dollar Drive I heard a Killdeer in a nearby field, but didn't see the bird.
A little later in Gravenhurst, I saw a Killdeer in the field adjacent to the Canadian Tire parking lot.

 

 

Re(2): Canada Geese
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 12:20:47 PM by DBurton

2 Canada Geese flew over my yard at dusk yesterday (Mar 13)
(Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 02:54:38 PM by DebbieAdams

Several have made their way here and this morning were standing on the thin ice.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Canada Geese
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 10:18:57 AM by janice house

Geoff walks the dogs into the Tree Museum every morning, today there were hundreds of geese standing on the ice on Ryde Lake. When he got home a V of approximately 150 geese flew over the house ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Common Grackle
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 10:06:10 AM by janice house

A lone grackle was feeding with the mourning doves and red-winged blackbirds this morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

spring peeper already
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 09:53:35 PM by John Challis

Took advantage of the spectacular weather today to hike around the Matchedash Wetlands (entered from Kinnear Sideroad). First time either of us has been there, and it's beautiful. One notable moment was the calling of a spring peeper. That is the earliest we've ever heard one. No birds in the marshes yet -- at least not in mid-afternoon -- but the RW blackbirds were in the trees alongside the highway in good numbers on the way back home.
Matchedash IBA description

 

 

Saw-whet calling
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 07:51:45 PM by Doug Smith

There is a saw-whet calling this evening, just east of my house in Uffington.

 

 

Re(1): Spring getting to Port Sydney
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 06:55:48 PM by J. Gardner

March 12, lst day of Spring? Robins, first thing, then Grackles and Redwings in numbers. They are in my book a few days earlier, but today was the first flush of Spring Birds. J. Gardner Hurdville.

 

 

Re(1): Spring getting to Port Sydney
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 07:11:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thankfully no pigeons here, but there are a few "randy" Mourning Doves. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Spring getting to Port Sydney
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 07:06:54 PM by jim griffin

Can't beat Barbara's numbers, but two male hooded mergansers and 1 male ring necked duck are on the north branch of the river at Port Sydney. Hey Barbara, got any fornicating pigeons? I have.

 

 

Ring-necked Ducks
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 12:45:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were eight Ring-necked Ducks on the south branch of the Muskoka River near the west end of Matthiasville Rd. Two male Hooded Mergansers and many Canada Geese were scattered along the Muskoka River next to Beaumont Dr. Out by the mouth of the river there were several Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, and more Canada Geese. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Red-winged Blackbird and Great Blue Heron
Posted on March 11, 2012 at 08:59:38 AM by janice house

We had 4 red-winged blackbirds at our feeders yesterday, this morning while on a dog walk heard my first Robin.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird and Great Blue Heron
Posted on March 10, 2012 at 08:58:58 PM by Goodyear

Yesterday we had two Red-winged Blackbirds at our feeder (Meadow Heights, Bracebridge) and this morning we saw a Great Blue Heron heading north, just north of Port Severn.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 8 March
Posted on March 9, 2012 at 09:01:17 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 8, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week featured very cold and very mild temperatures.
Arriving migrants included Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow,
American Tree Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbird.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from
March 10 to 18 for March Break.

A conducted bird walk will be held at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on Saturday, March 10, from 10 to 11:30 am.
Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee will be
sought. Park permit required.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: One on Opeongo Road, March 6, about1 km
beyond the gate. Male at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 7.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports.

Gray Jay: Several were along Opeongo Road and at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were reported at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 1 and 3. At least 5 on Opeongo Road
on March 6.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three to five birds were reported this week
at Arowhon Road, Mizzy Lake Trail, Mew Lake, Spruce
Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Purple Finch: One was observed on the Visitor Centre drive.

Red Crossbill: Three were on Opeongo Road on March 6.
Three were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance on March 6 and 8.

White-winged Crossbill: Small groups were reported at Arowhon
Road, Lake of Two Rivers, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo
Road.

Common Redpoll: A few were seen on Arowhon Road, along the
highway and on Opeongo Road. A flock of 50+ was at Brewer
Lake on March 6.

Pine Siskin: Widespread.

American Goldfinch: One or two at the Visitor Centre.

Evening Grosbeak: Thirty or more continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders. Others were reported from Opeongo Road and Mew Lake.

MAMMALS
Marten: One or two are regular around the suet feeder near the
register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

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 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. The Visitor Centre is open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

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.

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

 

Spring Migration 2012
Posted on March 7, 2012 at 02:30:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

With this sudden burst of springlike weather, I decided to check my list of migration websites. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been spotted north of Florida, and Purple Martins have reached Indiana. Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, and even a couple of Red-shouldered Hawks have already been tallied at the Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby.

The following collection of websites will be helpful in following the 2012 Spring Migration. Some of these websites include data from past years which will give you an idea of peak migration times...or just check the recent posts on regional email lists to see what's coming our way.


Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map


HawkCount - Daily reports

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists


Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Toronto's Leslie St. Spit) (active in April)

Long Point Bird Observatory (sightings board active in April)

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (Beamer) -- (daily count data)

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Journey North

Migration of Birds

 

 

Hooded mergansers
Posted on March 7, 2012 at 11:29:36 AM by GayleCarlyle

What an incredible day today! I went for a walk earlier this morning to the back of our property where we can see the Green River and there with 4 swans were 2 pairs of hooded mergansers catching fish. Nice to see these gorgeous birds back. We're in Washago by the way.

 

 

Re(1): Red winged blackbird in Severn
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 03:14:48 PM by janice house

Linda Boon and I were in Kingston on the weekend and we saw several small flocks. We also went to Prince Edward County and saw the mountain bluebird, 3 robins, a yellow rumped warbler, several thousand redhead ducks, 2 killdeer, the list goes on.

 

 

Red winged blackbird in Severn
Posted on March 6, 2012 at 08:37:57 AM by GayleCarlyle

I couldn't believe it yesterday. At about 5:15pm, I was picking up my dog at a kennel on Fairgrounds Rd. north of Division Rd outside of Orillia and there was a red winged blackbird singing from the top of a tree overlooking an open creek. And it was about -13 with a wind chill. This is the earliest I have ever heard one.
Very early sign of spring?

 

 

Re(2): id help request
Posted on March 4, 2012 at 10:31:14 AM by michaelhatton

The bird was about 15 feet off the ground in a loosely treed area just preening, and moved to another tree about thirty feet further away when bothered by, of all things, a squirrel. Three people have suggested immature Coopers for a variety of reasons, all which make sense to me (after the fact). Thanks.

 

 

Re(1): id help request
Posted on March 3, 2012 at 02:11:40 PM by Al Sinclair

I would say juvenile Cooper's.
breast white not buff
many fine streaks on breast that stop higher up
wide terminal band on rounded tail

It always helps to know when, where and what the bird was doing, can you give us more info?

 

 

id help request
Posted on March 2, 2012 at 03:04:40 PM by MichaelHatton

Looking for help with identification.
Goshawk?  photo1  photo2

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 1 March
Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:07:06 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 2, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

More signs of spring this week included Common Ravens
gathering material to line nests and the arrival of our first
migrant, a starling briefly at the Visitor Centre feeder on
February 27 (about a week earlier than the average).

A conducted bird walk will be held at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on Saturday, March 10, from 10 to 11:30 am.
Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee will be
sought.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on February 25.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was 200 metres past the
gate on Opeongo Road on February 25.

Gray Jay: Several were along Opeongo Road and at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were heard on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on February 27 and there were at least three there near the
parking lot today.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Two near the East Gate on February 23; two
at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot on February 26; and
six along Opeongo Road on February 27.

Red Crossbill: Two on the road at Mew Lake and two at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 23. Three were at Spruce
Bog on February 26 and this crossbill was heard flying
over at that location on February 27.

White-winged Crossbill: Still being seen in small flocks.
Observed getting seed from black spruce cones along
Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February
27.

Common Redpoll: Reports were numerous and widespread.

Hoary Redpoll (exilipes) : One was near the West Gate and
two on Arowhon Road with Common Redpolls on February
23. One was with 50 Common Redpolls on Highway 60 at
km 9 on February 25.

Pine Siskin: Large numbers reported. Many were extracting
seeds from spruce cones and some were feeding on eastern
hemlock. Pairs seen on the highway suggested nesting may
occur soon.

American Goldfinch: Thirty observed at the East Gate on
February 27.

Evening Grosbeak: About 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders
and two dozen at the Opeongo Road gate.

MAMMALS
Moose: One or two are seen regularly along Highway 60.

Marten: Two were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk near
the suet feeder and one near the gate on Opeongo Road.

Otters: Two reported on Costello Creek along Opeongo
Road on February 23.

Eastern Chipmunk: Several reported this week.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Barred Owl at Night
Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:51:49 PM by tedthevideoman

Bob the Barred owl was back again in the yard...guess he's getting lots to eat under our feeders...this is the 1st time ive been able to get a night shot. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(2): Wolverines in Muskoka
Posted on February 29, 2012 at 08:58:17 PM by EugeneJankowski

They found a wolverine in Michigan in 2004. Maybe they are slowly starting to wander south again. Here's hoping they get a picture.
Michigan Wolverine

 

 

Re(1): Wolverines in Muskoka
Posted on February 29, 2012 at 07:05:44 PM by Al Sinclair

I wouldn't bet on it, we're away south of its normal range. Tracks are most likely Fisher. Hope the camera catches them, would like to see the photo.
Link to Range map below
Ontario Range Map

 

 

Wolverines in Muskoka
Posted on February 27, 2012 at 06:28:57 PM by janice house

I spoke with someone who has been seeing tracks over the last few months, last week there were a set of tracks believed to be the male and his mate. A trail cam has been bought and hopefully will confirm we have wolverines in our area.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting March 1
Posted on February 26, 2012 at 08:37:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst
GRASSLAND BIRD SPECIES AT RISK

Two Masters students in the Environmental and Life Sciences program at Trent University (under the supervision of Joe Nocera who has spoken to us in the past on the Chimney Swift) will be speaking on grassland bird species at risk, particularly the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. The talk will be specific to Southern Ontario for the most part.

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings for February and March are held in GRAVENHURST at the Calvary Baptist Church, corner of First and Brock Streets. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkey
Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:56:42 PM by tedthevideoman

2010 We had 11 then 12 over most of the winter...its really weird to look out on the back deck and see Turkeys all over the platform feeder! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkey
Posted on February 26, 2012 at 06:27:20 PM by neilnimmo

Dinny and I were remembering at when we saw a wild turkey for the first time at our place in Bala...winter 1996...no one believed us.

 

 

Wild Turkey
Posted on February 25, 2012 at 04:13:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This Wild Turkey has been scratching up spilled seed under the birdfeeder for over an hour. The only other time we've seen this species in our yard was in February 2010 when there were briefly two of them. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding Report: 23 February (Update)
Posted on February 24, 2012 at 02:07:45 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 24, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A female was reported near the skating rink beside
the comfort station in Mew Lake Campground yesterday.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 23 February
Posted on February 24, 2012 at 09:23:01 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 23, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week will be the last chance for winter listers to look here
for those boreal species and winter finches they still need.

Please note there will be no access to the Visitor Centre exhibits,
restaurant area or the viewing deck from February 27 to
March 2 since the floors are being refinished. However, the
feeders below the viewing deck can be viewed by walking
carefully around the south end of the building.

The Winter in the Wild Festival on February 18 was a great
success, with about 80 people attending the morning bird walk
at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

NOTEWORTHY SIGHTINGS:
Wild Turkey: One was observed in Kearney Lake Campground
on February 22. There have been very few sightings this winter
despite the seemingly more favourable conditions.

Bald Eagle: An adult soaring over Opeongo Road was seen
on a February 19-20 visit.

For the first time this winter, there was a report from the
East Side. On February 20, birders visiting Barron Canyon
Road reported: Black-backed Woodpecker (3), Gray Jay (15),
White-winged Crossbill (3), Common Redpoll
(200 flying over in flocks), and Northern Shrike (1).

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the
weekend.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports in the Highway 60
Corridor.

Gray Jay: Several were along Opeongo Road and at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk. The first Gray Jay nest of the "spring" was
found in an early stage of construction on February 16. Dan
Strickland had found five nests by today, as part of his 40-year
research project in Algonquin Park.

Boreal Chickadee: One was found near the bridge north of the
gate on Opeoongo Road on a February 19-20 visit. Another was
noted at the end of the long boardwalk on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on February 21.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Singles on Opeongo Road near the gate.

Purple Finch: One reported at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: About 30 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on a
February 19-20 visit.

White-winged Crossbill: About 12 along Opeongo Road on
February 19-20. Some singing is being heard now, perhaps
indicative of nesting activity to come.

Common Redpoll: Observed on Opeongo Road near the gate.
When observed feeding, they are usually on tamarack.

Pine Siskin: Observed on Opeongo Road near the gate. A few
are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders. Some singing
birds now, so nesting may begin in March.

American Goldfinch: A few at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: Large numbers are still coming to the
Visitor Centre feeders and some at campsite feeders in Mew
Lake Campground as well.

MAMMALS
Moose: One or two are seen regularly along Highway 60.

Marten: Three individuals were reported at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk near the suet feeder.

Fisher: One was running away from Highway 60 just before the
East Gate at about 5:45 pm today.

Eastern Wolf: Three were at km 53 on Highway 60 about
5:15 pm 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. 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 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. The Visitor Centre is open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

For more information see Algonquin Park events calendar at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/involved/calendar/
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker Port Carling
Posted on February 23, 2012 at 09:41:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Photographed by Richard Feb 23 on Harris St in Port Carling. Reported by Bill Dickinson.  photo

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club
Posted on February 23, 2012 at 02:31:18 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, February 28, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street South, starting at 7 pm. Club member, Ken Morrison, will present a selection of exotic flora and fauna from his trip to New Zealand. Guests are always welcome to attend. A $3 voluntary donation is appreciated.

Last year, Ken Morrison and his family ventured to New Zealand. They were very fortunate to see many species of marine birds and several endangered species. New Zealand has many ecological problems due to the importation of plants and animals which concerned citizens and government agencies are actively trying to remedy. The Morrisons were in downtown Christchurch when a 6.3 earthquake stuck the city with serious effects. Come out and see some dramatic photos of this quake along with examples of New Zealand’s unique Nature. For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (705) 789-1407

 

 

Back Yard Bird Count
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 04:59:35 PM by BobBurton

Feb.19 &Feb.20 @ 1108 Partridge Lane B.B.by Joan Paget &Bob Burton
One time count for each species
27 Mourning Doves
9 Blue Jayes
9 B.C.Chickadee's
4 Gold Finches
2 Downey Woodpeckers m&f
2 Hairey Woodpeckers m&f
2 Red Breasted Nuthatch
2 White Breasted Nuthatch
2 Pine Siskins

 

 

Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Crossbills and Grosbeaks Algonquin Park
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 09:04:34 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Andrew Don on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 20, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Just got back from a 2 day trip to Algonquin Park and we saw most of what we wanted to see. Finch numbers are quite good right now, we had ~30 Red Crossbills at Spruce Bog and ~12 White-winged Crossbills on Opeongo Road. Evening Grosbeaks as said in other emails are plenty at the Vistor Center feeders and are also at feeders in Mew Lake Campground. Pine Grosbeaks we saw in singles on Opeongo Road by the closed gate.
Also on Opeongo Road at the gate were Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins, with the female Purple Finch and Goldfinches at the Vistor Center feeders we had 8 finch species.
Other notables were Spruce grouse in Spruce Bog, Boreal Chickadee north of the gate on Opeongo Road by a metal bridge, Bald Eagle soaring south on Opeongo Road, Brown Creeper at the Spruce bog by the suet feeder and Gray jays all along Opeongo Road and in the Spruce Bog.
Also in the Spruce bog by the suet feeder were 3 different Pine Martens.
Have photos from the trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew-don/sets/72157629412290579/

 

 

Northern Cardinal singing
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 10:20:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a Northern Cardinal singing this morning near the west end of Meadow Heights Dr. First one we've heard this year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Crows vs. Barred Owl
Posted on February 24, 2012 at 02:13:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Barred Owl visited our yard again today at 1:30 p.m. (he seems to only show up when its snowing). Unfortunately it was a very short stay...four Crows chased him across the street to the west towards Rockwell Ave. The crows just arrived back Wednesday and were already noisily claiming their territory today. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): a little late...Barred Owl
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 05:07:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Barred Owl must have read my post. He came flying into the yard around 4 p.m. today, but missed a Red Squirrel under the feeder. After about 15 minutes of searching and listening, he came up with a Shrew...yum. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Squirrel bonanza
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 10:10:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Well, if you like Squirrels, our yard was the place to be this weekend. There were seven Red Squirrels and eight Gray Squirrels chasing each other around. Needless to say, the bird count was practically nil, what with all the squirrels leaping through the trees. Today we were down to only two Gray Squirrels (both black morph) and three Red Squirrels. All were calmly eating spilled seed under the birdfeeders, so I guess the mating chases have ended for now. I don't think we've ever had that number of Squirrels here all at one time...the neighbourhood Barred Owl sure missed a squirrel bonanza. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count Feb 19 checklist
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 04:46:40 PM by janice house

Feb 19, 4 hairy wp, 2 downy wp, 2 red breasted nh, 1 white breasted nh, 3 mourning doves, 6 blue jays, 3 starlings, 8 chickadees, 1 white throated sparrow, 3 american tree sparrows, 1 junco, 12 goldfinch, 3 pine siskins, 2 purple finch

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count Feb 19 checklist
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 06:51:10 PM by diannawolfe

Our list for Feb 19 in Kilworthy (which apparently doesn't get aggregated with the Gravenhurst data...)

Weather: excellent
Snow Depth: 4 - 6 in (10.2 - 15.2 cm)
Habitat(s):
deciduous woods
coniferous woods
urban
Number of Species: 7
All Reported: yes
Checklist:
Hairy Woodpecker (Eastern) - 1
Common Raven - 3
Black-capped Chickadee - 35
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) - 1
Common Redpoll - 5
Pine Siskin (Northern) - 3
American Goldfinch - 35

 

 

Backyard Bird Count Feb 19 checklist
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 12:24:20 PM by Al Sinclair

My checklist for Sunday 8km east of Bracebridge
New today we had 4 Pine Siskins eating hemlock seeds.

Weather: excellent
Snow Depth: 8 - 10 in (20.3 - 25.4 cm)
Habitat(s):
deciduous woods
coniferous woods
rural
Number of Species: 10
All Reported: yes
Checklist:
Mourning Dove - 8
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Pileated Woodpecker - 1
Blue Jay - 9
Common Raven - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 4
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Purple Finch - 15
American Goldfinch - 7

 

 

Re(1): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 03:49:55 PM by Wayne Bridge

Al, thanks for the GBBC idea. Last year I picked out a spot and helped with the release of a pair of saw-whets from Kay McKeever's Owl Sanctuary. I had also mentioned another possibility and couldn'r remember if the person in charge had used that location also. It is an ancient bog grown in with spruce and tamarack and it was from that general direction the saw-whet was calling on the first night (much closer to our home the second night).

 

 

Re(2): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 12:20:42 PM by Al Sinclair

Just checked Backyard Bird Count data, only 2 Saw-whets reported in ON so far, both in GTA. These would be wintering owls likely. Yours could be an early migrant.

 

 

Re(1): saw-whet owl
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 09:40:12 AM by Al Sinclair

Saw-whets start calling around this time but this is the 1st I've heard about in our area. I think most migrate south of here in winter but head north again in Feb/Mar. Could be one passing through or if the small rodents are abundant it could stay and you will here it into April. Or because of the mild weather and lack of snow this year it could have been there all winter. A Facebook friend in Michigan heard one calling on the weekend and submitted it to the Backyard Bird Count, it was flagged as unusual. You should submit yours also.

 

 

saw-whet owl
Posted on February 20, 2012 at 07:57:41 AM by Wayne Bridge

Has anyone heard (or seen) a saw-whet owl? I have heard one calling (Kearney) two of the last 4 nights; in the early hours after midnight. This morning it (or another) was quite close to our bedroom window (say, within 100 metres or so). Clear cold night: maybe farther with the sound carrying.

 

 

Re(1): backyard bird count
Posted on February 19, 2012 at 11:15:09 AM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Feb 18th:
1 Bald eagle, 1 mute swan, 2 trumpeter's all at Washago docks. 29 goldfinch, 2 mallards, 30 chickadee's, 3 wbnh, 1 rbnh, 1 mourning dove, 1 downy Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(1): backyard bird count
Posted on February 19, 2012 at 07:05:27 AM by janice house

Feb 18th, 4 purple finch, 2 hair wp, 2 downy wp, 2 red breasted nh, 1 white breasted nh, 3 mourning doves, 4 blue jays, 2 starlings, 8 chickadees, 1 white throated sparrow, 3 american tree sparrows, 2 juncos, 24 goldfinch (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): backyard bird count
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 05:39:59 PM by Goodyear

Bracebridge Feb. 18:
Mourning Dove (6)
European Starling (4)
Blue Jay (12)
Goldfinch (31)
Purple Finch (17)
Dark-eyed Junco (3)
Pine Siskin (5)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Downy Woodpecker (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (2)

 

 

Re(1): backyard bird count
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 02:51:31 PM by J. Gardner

In the feeders in the yard today ... 4 Chickadees, 33 Blue Jays, 1 Common Grackle (winter resident this year), 2 Tree Sparrows and 3 Hairy Woodpeckers. Visiting the trees in the yard ... 17 Bohemian Waxwings. June Gardner, Hurdville

 

 

backyard bird count
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 12:34:40 PM by sakeary

Feb.18/12 in Cumberland Beach Ontario
50 Gold Finches
7 Junkos
1 fem. Cardinal
2 female purple Finches
2 Chickadees
1 male Cardinal
1 male Downy
3 pine Siskens
1 male purple Finch
1 red breasted nuthatch
2 bluejays
1 white breasted nuthatch
11 mourning doves
3 starlings

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 19, 2012 at 07:02:20 AM by janice house

1 hairy wp, 1 downy wp, 1 red breasted nh, 6 mourning doves, 6 blue jays, 1 starling, 2 chickadees, 1 white throated sparrow, 2 american tree sparrows, 2 juncos, 24 gold finch (Feb 17, Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 05:36:18 PM by Goodyear

White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Purple Finch (9)
European Starling (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (8)
Bracebridge Feb. 17

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 11:04:36 AM by diannawolfe

Our count for Saturday, Feb. 18 (Kilworthy)
American Goldfinch (60)
Pine Siskin (3)
Common Redpoll (2)
Black-capped Chickadee (14)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)

 

 

Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 17, 2012 at 03:09:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Our Backyard Count for Friday, Feb. 17 (Bracebridge):
Purple Finch (20)
American Goldfinch (12)
Hairy Woodpecker (3)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Brown Creeper (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (6)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Mourning Dove (5)
Blue Jay (6)

-----
The 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is now underway, taking place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20. As usual we will have our own informal count here on the Bird Board so we can compare notes with other birders in our area. Post your backyard bird counts for any of the four days.

Information about the GBBC and how to participate: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 16 February
Posted on February 17, 2012 at 08:22:11 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 16, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Winter birding continued to be great this week, although there
were fewer reports from birders.

Noteworthy sighting:
Red-winged Blackbird: A male first reported on January 25 was
seen again on February 12 in Mew Lake Campground, this time
at campsite 36. It is surviving solely on seed supplied at camper
feeders.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen along Opeongo
Road on February 14.

Gray Jay: Several were at the gate on Opeongo Road and at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: One was heard near the register box on Spruce
Bog Boardwalk and 3 were found north of the gate on Opeoongo
Road on February 14.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Reports continue along Opeongo Road.

White-winged Crossbill: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Hoary Redpoll: One was reported near Opeongo Road Gate on
February 12.

Pine Siskin: Numerous flocks continue to be reported along
Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Large numbers are still coming to the Visitor
Centre feeders.

MAMMALS
Moose: One or two seen regularly along Highway 60.

Marten: Singles were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near
the gate on Opeongo Road.

Plan to attend the Winter in the Wild Festival in Algonquin Park on
Saturday, February 18. Events include: a Park Naturalist-guided bird
walk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (10 to 11:30 am); a tour of the Visitor
Centre plant and animal collections room (12:30 to 1:30 pm); and a
fireside and night hike wolf howl program at Mew Lake Campground
(6 to 8 pm) -- free with your park permit. More details are available at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2012-01-17_winter_festival.php

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Snow Fleas - photo
Posted on February 16, 2012 at 09:58:52 AM by DinnyMcCraney

I was surprised to see this group of springtails on the snow in my empty pots this morning! (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Pileated pair
Posted on February 15, 2012 at 11:50:02 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers checking out a previously excavated hole in a hydro pole on Daleman Dr., Bracebridge. In 2008 another hole in the same pole was filled in with some sort of industrial strength spray foam, but apparently Pileateds don't give up easily.

 

 

Northern Shrike - Kerr Park
Posted on February 13, 2012 at 12:24:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Shrike perched at the top of a tree beside the toboggan hill at Kerr Park. Two Ruffed Grouse were along the ski/walking trail that meanders through the woods west of the Bracebridge Ponds. One was a male showing off its ruffled neck and fanned tail. We often hear grouse drumming in that area in the spring.

On the way home a Cooper's Hawk flew across the road in front of us near the school on Tamarack Trail. It was having a bit of difficulty controlling its flight with the strong west wind at its back.

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 08:21:04 PM by tedthevideoman

thanks Al!

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 06:57:31 PM by Al Sinclair

Great shots! I'll be posting your link on twitter.   twitter: @ajssinc

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 04:06:10 PM by tedthevideoman

Our local Barred Owl spent 3/4's of the day in our backyard. His new favorite is our laundry pole which is about 15 ft from our back bedroom window. We had a serious staring contest!...got this pic and many more..Also got to witness his stealth as he dropped on to a patch of snow a brought out his lunch,,,a hapless vole! alll around an amazing day! (Bracebridge)  photo

The rest of the best are here...http://t-boneimages.blogspot.com/

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count -- Feb. 17-20
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 12:56:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

The 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20. As usual we will have our own informal count here on the Bird Board so we can compare notes with other birders in our area. Post your backyard bird counts for any of the four days.

Information about the GBBC and how to participate: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc
"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds."
2011 GBBC Canada Highlights

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle!
Posted on February 15, 2012 at 06:46:30 PM by MichelePotter

Congratulations Debbie!
You will never get tired of that sight. And you will learn to breathe while you watch in awe..........

 

 

Bald Eagle!
Posted on February 10, 2012 at 09:52:42 AM by DebbieAdams

I can barely type this because I am so excited!!
A Bald Eagle just flew overhead!!
It flew from the point of Walker's Point and is headed overland toward Hardy Lake.
(Now I'm hyperventilating .... a Bald Eagle!!!)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 9 February
Posted on February 10, 2012 at 09:16:16 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 9, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A notable change this week was the fresh fall of significant amounts
of seed from yellow birch, white spruce and balsam fir onto the snow
beneath these trees. This typical late winter occurrence may result in
more finches at feeders in the coming days, as noted for Purple
Finch last week.

For those watching for signs of spring, a male Blue Jay at the Visitor
Centre today was engaging in courtship feeding as it passed a seed to
a female. Some Gray Jay pairs will be starting to build nests within
the next 10 days, especially if today's milder temperatures persist.

Note: Arowhon Road is closed to public travel as log hauling
is underway on it seven days per week. The gate on the Opeongo
Road was reported closed and locked today..

Plan to attend the Winter in the Wild Festival in Algonquin Park on
Saturday, February 18. Events include: a Park Naturalist-guided bird
walk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (10 to 11:30 am); a tour of the Visitor
Centre plant and animal collections room (12:30 to 1:30 pm); and a
fireside and night hike wolf howl program at Mew Lake Campground
(6 to 8 pm) -- free with your park permit. More details are available at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2012-01-17_winter_festival.php

Noteworthy sightings:
Ruffed Grouse: A group of six including a displaying male was
seen near the start of the Visitor Centre driveway on February 4.

Black-capped Chickadee: The bird exhibiting leucism or partial
albinism reported earlier was seen at the Opeongo Road gate
again today.

Bohemian Waxwing: A flock of about 30 was observed in flight
along Highway 60 west of Opeongo Road on February 5. One
was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 7. Late
winter records are rare here.

Pine Marten: One or two have been fairly regular at the suet
holder near the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: At dawn on February 4, a total of 5 flew from
south of Highway 60 where they had probably roosted and landed
in trees beside the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot Two were
seen at Spruce Bog the next day.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A female was seen along Opeongo
Road on February 4 and another female was at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on February 5.

Gray Jay: Several were observed along Opeongo Road and at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the weekend.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were reported on three days this
week along Opeonog Road, near the gate and north of the bridge.
It was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 5.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: There were 7 along the northern section of
Opeongo Road on February 4 and 1 at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on February 7.

Purple Finch: Up to 6 were at the Visitor Centre feeders this
week.

Red Crossbill: Flocks of up to 25 were reported at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on the weekend. Twelve were seen on Opeongo
Road on February 4.

White-winged Crossbill: Flocks were widespread this week,
including along Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
getting grit on Highway 60.

Common Redpoll: Flocks of up to 75 were reported at various
locations. They were feeding on tamarack on Opeongo Road.

Hoary Redpoll: A female exilipes was among Common Redpolls
feeding on tamarack along Opeongo Road on February 4.

Pine Siskin: Numerous in flocks along Highway 60, often mixed
with Common Redpolls.

American Goldfinch: At least 2 were at the Visitor Centre feeders
on the weekend.

Evening Grosbeak: Large numbers continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders, mainly in the morning. Other flocks were at Mew Lake
Campground, Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the
weekend.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): Common Goldeneye
Posted on February 12, 2012 at 06:39:51 AM by janice house

at Centennial Park in Washago yesterday, there were 6 common goldeneye's along with a northern pintail, a dozen swans and lots of mallards.

 

 

Common Goldeneye
Posted on February 9, 2012 at 07:35:49 PM by Goodyear

Late this afternoon one male Common Goldeneye was on the river below High Falls.

 

 

Re(1): When do Salamanders Start Moving?
Posted on February 9, 2012 at 07:03:37 PM by Doug Smith

I have seen the spotted (yellow spotted) and blue spotted along the roads at the first warm rain, usually in early April. But Ernie Giles may have a better idea, as he has several vernal pools right on his property.

 

 

When do Salamanders Start Moving?
Posted on February 9, 2012 at 05:52:22 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I would really appreciate salamander watchers letting me know when they see any beginning to move toward ponds. I am worried about early movement this year.

 

 

Belted Kingfisher
Posted on February 8, 2012 at 11:05:28 AM by jim griffin

At about 10:30 this morning I spotted a Kingfisher sitting in an alder beside Hwy 141, a couple of km west of Utterson. There was a small creek that may have had a bit of open water; probably not as much as was availble over the weekend.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on February 7, 2012 at 04:48:34 PM by janice house

A shrike has been sitting in the top of different trees behind the home at Tavener Rd and Doe Lake Rd. just east of highway 11 for the last week, remembered to take my binoculars with me to work this morning

 

 

Band-tailed Pigeon...Bracebridge More Photos
Posted on February 7, 2012 at 10:35:00 AM by Al Sinclair

Here is a link to a good series of photos taken here on Sunday by Jean Iron.

Jean Iron's photos

 

 

Re(2): Band-tailed Pigeon - Update Tuesday night
Posted on February 7, 2012 at 10:20:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Band-tailed Pigeon - Update Tuesday night
The band-tailed Pigeon was not seen today. To me the bird appeared brighter and moved around more yesterday. I think we can assume that the it has continued on its odyssey across North America (but we will be watching in case it backtracks).

 

 

Re(1): Band-tailed Pigeon - Update Tuesday morning 10:30
Posted on February 7, 2012 at 10:38:39 AM by Al Sinclair

NOT seen yet.

 

 

Band-tailed Pigeon - Update Monday night
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 10:41:49 PM by Al Sinclair

10 birders here today, all saw the bird but some who came later had to wait a couple of hours while it was resting out of sight, we think in the top of some large hemlocks.

Bird arrived 9:15. Came into the feeder, flew out at 10:30. Relocated at 11, appeared to be eating snow on the branches of a maple, left when nobody looking around 12, reappeared at the feeder at 2:00, last seen 2:45 when it flew back into the hemlocks.

Directions:
Take Hwy 11 to the south exit for Bracebridge, exit 182. Go 8 km east towards Haliburton on Hwy 118E. Come up the laneway at 911# 1852.
CAUTION the laneway is very steep & slippery so come up fast. It is not a good idea to park on the highway because of the heavy traffic. Be warned that the parking lot and walkways are icy, be careful when walking. The feeder is behind the house. Knock on the front door for assistance. Please plan on arriving after 9am.

 

 

Female Cardinal
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 07:58:00 PM by dinnymccraney

Just happened to catch sight of a female cardinal with a bright red beak on the feeder this afternoon. No sign of the male, but that's not to say he wasn't there first.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 10:58:23 AM by gerald

Hello all!
A bald eagle flew over highway 118 at Brandy Lake on Sunday about noon.
Gerald Willmott

 

 

Dark-eyed Junco, Cardinal - Huntsville
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 09:47:51 AM by Kip Daynard

We have at least one Dark-eyed Junco wintering at our house. We also have a pair of Northern Cardinals making occasional visits to the feeder. The male is seen most commonly.

Another peculiarity of winter living in Huntsville is seeing small flocks (sords?) of Mallards flying back and forth in front of our house (presumably between the open water of the Vernon Narrows and the river). They stop regularly on our back lawn to eat the bits of seed that have fallen below the feeders.

Kip Daynard

Huntsville

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, etc. at Algonquin
Posted on February 6, 2012 at 09:02:53 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Norm Murr on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 5, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Good evening.
Just arrived home from a very productive Algonquin trip and following are some of the birds Jay Peterson, Ian Cannell and I found.

Female Black-backed Woodpecker, Common Raven, Boreal Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Red and White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskin and Evening Grosbeak at start of west end of the Spruce Bog Trail.

Hairy Woodpeckers, 135+ Evening Grosbeaks and 2 Purple Finches at the Visitor Centre (front and back feeders) as well as Evening Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls and a Hoary Redpoll on the road into the centre (about 100 feet short of the buildings).

Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatches, White-winged Crossbills and Pine Siskins along Opeongo Road (past the bridge over the creek).

Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-winged Crossbills, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins at the winter gate on Opeongo road.

We also found another 2 dozen Evening Grosbeaks during a quick trip into Whitney.

On our way home we stopped at the location of the reported Band-tailed Pigeon east of Bracebridge. Our days luck continued as just about 1 minute after we exited the car we were shown the pigeon sitting in a tree about 20 feet (6 meters) in front of us. How lucky can one or three get.

We then headed home and on the way down Hwy 11 in about 10 miles we spotted 2 Northern Shrikes.

The pigeon was a great end to a very nice trip, weather and bird wise.

 

 

Washago swans
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 04:29:52 PM by GayleCarlyle

We were down at the Washago Centennial Park this afternoon and watched a group of swans out in the open water. John suddenly realized that one of the birds had an orange bill. And sure enough, we looked through the binos and it is indeed a mute swan in with the trumpeters.

We also saw a northern shrike on Cronk Sdrd. outside of Washago.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 10:57:39 AM by mmcanally

A Northern Shrike flew onto a small birch tree next to our bird feeders here on Britannia Road in Huntsville yesterday. Didn't stay long but what a beautiful bird.

 

 

Re(2): Band-tailed Pigeon UPDATE
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 06:48:09 PM by Al Sinclair

The Band-tailed Pigeon was last seen at 3:30 pm today. It was very cooperative all day, in view most of the time. Everyone that came today got the bird, final count 37.

 

 

Re(1): Band-tailed Pigeon UPDATE
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 12:43:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Update 12:30
All getting good views this morning. Came into the feeder and filled up 9am to 9:30, Now resting on a branch in the open.
So far today about 30 birders have seen it from Toronto, Bancroft, Guelph, Caledonia, Lindsay, Peterborough, Alliston, Long Point.

 

 

Band-tailed Pigeon UPDATE
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 09:09:10 AM by Al Sinclair

Band-tailed Pigeon - Bracebridge UPDATE
Just flew in 5 minutes ago. Sitting above feeder.

Directions:
Take Hwy 11 to south exit for Bracebridge, exit 182. Go 8 km east towards Haliburton on Hwy 118E. Come up the laneway at 911# 1852, CAUTION very steep & slippery so come up fast. Feeder is behind the house. Knock on the front door for assistance.

 

 

Goshawk in Port Sydney
Posted on February 5, 2012 at 08:50:16 AM by jim griffin

At about 8:30 this morning a juvenile Goshawk made a run at the pigeons at my feeders; they all escaped, but hopefully it will try again. The hawk perched for a few minutes on a tall dead spruce before heading off to the west across the river.

 

 

Henry Marsh and yard birds
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 05:46:34 PM by Goodyear

This morning we enjoyed a great walk from Henry Marsh over to the Lagoons and back. A large flock of approx 80 -100 Pine Siskins in the "dip" area. We have had a large flock of about 30 Purple Finches and 40 American Goldfinches eating us out of house and home the last couple of days (Meadow Heights Drive, Bracebridge).

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Birds Gravenhurst
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 04:28:14 PM by janice house

Yesterday Geoff heard unfamiliar shreaking from our antenna, blue jay size with white belly, all the birds scattered, I think it was the northern shrike again. Today 2 dozen pine siskins flew into the white birch with a dozen gold finch and 1 common redpoll

 

 

Re(1): Band-tailed Pigeon...Bracebridge
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 02:09:02 PM by Wilf Yusek

Great shot, hope you can keep it there for a few months.

 

 

Re(2): Band-tailed Pigeon...Bracebridge
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 10:46:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Last seen 2:00pm Saturday. Will update here if it returns tomorrow.

 

 

Re(1): Band-tailed Pigeon...Bracebridge
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 02:18:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Flew into a big Hemlock at 2:00, can't locate it. Others will be here at 3:30 so I'm leaving it alone for now. Janice House and Goodyears have see it.

 

 

Band-tailed Pigeon...Bracebridge
Posted on February 4, 2012 at 11:40:48 AM by Al Sinclair

Found at my feeder at 10:00am this morning, still here 11:35.  photo
Direction: From Hwy 11 take exit 182, turn east towards Haliburton. Go 8km on Hwy 118E to 911# 1852. Come up the steep hill fast, Feeder is behind our house. Knock on the front door. All welcome.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 2 February
Posted on February 2, 2012 at 08:56:56 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 2, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The largest snowfall of the winter on the weekend and fairly
comfortable temperatures this week made great conditions for
exploring winter in Algonquin. Most visiting birders were
rewarded with a variety of finches, but Spruce Grouse and
Black-backed Woodpecker eluded those who reported their
finds.

Noteworthy sighting:
Bohemian Waxwing: Five were perched in trees at the Visitor
Centre parking lot on January 26.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports.

Gray Jay: Six reported along Opeongo Road and six at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 31.

Boreal Chickadee: Look for them in flocks of Black-capped
Chickadees. Two on Bat Lake Trail on January 29. One at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 28 and 31. Two reported
near the gate on Opeongo Road on January 31 and today.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three along the northern section of Opeongo
Road on January 31.

Purple Finch: At least four were at the Visitor Centre feeders
today. Natural seed sources farther north or locally may be
diminishing now as suggested by increased numbers of this
species recently at nearby Muskoka feeders as well.

Red Crossbill: Observations appear to be increasing. Several
sightings of birds on the highway getting salt and grit this week.

White-winged Crossbill: Reported regularly in flight and on the
highway. Some larger flocks observed.

Common Redpoll: Flocks continue on the highway, often mixed
in with Pine Siskins.

Pine Siskin: Watch for flocks on the highway. Flock of 60-70 on
Opeongo Road on January 31.

American Goldfinch: A few coming daily to the Visitor
Centre feeders. Some noted regularly along the highway.

Evening Grosbeak: About 60 are regularly at the Visitor Centre
feeders, mainly in the morning. Flocks of 27 at Mew Lake
Campground on January 28 and 50+ on Opeongo Road on
January 31.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

Barred Owl
Posted on February 2, 2012 at 12:29:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just a few minutes ago there was a Barred Owl perched atop the streetlight pole by 78 Glendale Rd., Bracebridge.

 

 

Algonquin Active
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:20:40 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Richard Pope on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 31, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today Margaret Bain, Paul Riss and myself birded Algonquin Park. The visitor
Centre was slow except for 40-50 Evening Grosbeaks, many Blue Jays, a pair of
Hairy woodpeckers and a Red-breasted Nuthatch.
The Spruce Bog Trail had several sizeable flocks of White-winged Crossbills, 1
Red Crossbill (female), 6 Gray Jays, Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, many Black-
capped Chickadees and 1 Boreal Chickadee at the parking lot.
The Opeongo Road was good (and completely ploughed): 60-70 noisy Pine Siskins in
a flock 500 metres before the lake; 3 Pine Grosbeaks (halfway between the lake
and the winter gate); immediately south of the winter gate was very active with
2 Boreal Chickadees, many Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Ravens, many Blue Jays and
a half dozen Gray Jays some of which landed on us, 50+ Evening Grosbeaks
(probably the same flock as at the Visitor Centre), 20 common Redpolls, 2
Red-breasted Nuthatches, many White-winged Crossbills, and 1 Golden-crowned
Kinglet.
No Spruce Grouse or Black-backed Woodpeckers (or Dark-eyed Juncos or Tree
Sparrows) anywhere that we looked.
Directions: Enter the Park at the east gate past Whitney and proceed east to all
three signed locations.

 

 

Re(4): Murder of Crows/Grouse
Posted on February 1, 2012 at 11:00:57 PM by tedthevideoman

Hey!! Thanks...hope you like it!...your blog is GREAT!...need to know how to attach the birdboard etc???

 

 

Re(3): Murder of Crows/Grouse
Posted on February 1, 2012 at 12:51:55 PM by theadams

Great photos!  I joined your blog.

 

 

Re(1): Murder of Crows/Grouse
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:07:42 PM by tedthevideoman

This was a Murder of Crows i caught at the mouth on the Muskoka River in April of 2009...very overcast day, so instead of a gray background, I photoshopped a white background.  photo

For this and more feathered friends, try my blog...if you use the "lables" on the right hand side you can see just "Bird" images...http://t-boneimages.blogspot.com/

 

 

Murder of Crows/Grouse
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 09:37:03 PM by DebbieAdams

Finally got to use that term!
Today there were at least 20 Crows hopping around the treetops behind our place in the woods. They were mostly chasing each other and generally having a good time. (There doesn't seem to be a carcass anywhere around.)
Then a short time later, spotted a Grouse making it's way through the woods.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 07:49:47 PM by mmcanally

A fellow worker who lives on Lindgren Road in Huntsville has a Red-bellied woodpecker coming regularly to one of his suet feeders.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Feb. 2
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 01:52:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

Please note meetings from February and March are held in GRAVENHURST at the Calvary Baptist Church, corner of First and Brock Streets.

MFN meeting Thursday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst
OUR PLANET DOES NOT HAVE TO DIE by Peter F. Sale

Peter is the Assistant Director, Institute for Water, Environment and Health at the United Nations University and author of Our Dying Planet. An ecologist’s view of the crisis we face. Peter is a coral reef ecologist and has a particular perspective on the environmental crisis.

He will make four important points in this talk:
.We currently face a single, multifaceted, complex environmental problem, not a set of several smaller problems, one of which is climate change.
.The problem is much more serious than most people realize, for people and ecosystems such as coral reefs or the arctic.
.The decisions we take, and the changes in behaviour we adopt, over the next few years will determine which of several possible futures we will experience.
.While most of these futures are quite bad, it is still possible to reach a future in which people enjoy prosperous, culturally rich lives in a sustainably managed environment.
Will we make the right choices?

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings from February and March are held in GRAVENHURST at the Calvary Baptist Church, corner of First and Brock Streets. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Re(1): lotsa Goldfinch
Posted on February 1, 2012 at 01:17:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we had a large flock of American Goldfinch come to our yard - over a hundred of them! They were feeding on some remaining Purple Coneflower seedheads in the garden as well as crowding onto the birdfeeders. There were also about 30 Purple Finch and I managed to pick out one Common Redpoll and one Pine Siskin amongst them. (Bracebridge)

Until the past few days it had been a very "quiet" winter at our birdfeeders, so this is a nice change even though our stores of sunflower seeds are disappearing quickly. I wonder where these birds are coming from. Are they moving south because food has run out further north, or are they on their way back to the north earlier than usual because of recent mild weather and winds from the south?

 

 

Redpoll, Purple Finches
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 11:27:57 AM by Barbara Taylor

The snow has brought more birds to our feeders this morning. One Common Redpoll has joined the growing numbers of Purple Finch (over 60 now) and American Goldfinch (over 30). (Bracebridge)

 

 

siskin
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 07:48:17 AM by GayleCarlyle

While filling up our niger feeder yesterday, I saw one pine siskin in the tree just above me.
Couldn't see others but there may be more around.
John went down to the Washago Park yesterday to look for the bird (shrike or mockingbird) but there were so many snowmobilers zipping around, no bird in its right mind would hang around.
Oh well, it probably was a shrike, we had one here at our house last week.Green River Drive Washago.

 

 

Re(4): Mockingbird
Posted on January 29, 2012 at 08:32:11 PM by SueReese

Newbie here, adding my 2 cents also: There certainly are Shrike along Fairgrounds Rd., Washago! Three weeks ago we watched from inside a house on Fairgrounds Rd. while a Shrike dropped from a tree into the snow, caught a mouse(?), dispatched it and flew off with it. Wow.

 

 

Re(4): Mockingbird
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 12:26:16 PM by John Challis

On Sunday evening there was a flurry of snowmobiles careering through the park, so anything with feathers had left. No signs of shrike or mockingbird.
However, out on the water there were at least 52, possibly as many as 56 trumpeter swans having a late afternoon social; originally I counted 42 but more groups arrived as the dusk lengthened. Several pairs were engaged in a courtship?socializing? ritual, facing each other with wings cupped out over the water, heads bobbing up and down and calling frequently. This little performance created a great deal of honking from others nearby -- whether in approbation or disapproval, I could not divine.

 

 

Re(3): Mockingbird
Posted on January 29, 2012 at 04:21:05 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Hi John, just to add my 2 cents worth. I've been seeing quite a few Shrikes around Washago this winter. Most weekends we spot one along McCarther side road or Fairground Rd. 2 weeks ago we looked for the Snowy near Brechin and saw a Shrike instead! I have also seen a number of Mockingbirds this winter in the Rouge Valley. All were quite tame and silent! In the summer I see them and hear them around Toronto and they all are quite loud mimicking anything and everything around! Good luck on your ID!
We were at the Washago dock on Saturday! I noticed the swans were gone! Last week we had 51+ there!
Good birding.... Terry   Rouge Park Mocker!

 

 

Re(2): Mockingbird
Posted on January 28, 2012 at 06:40:30 PM by John Challis

Well! Checked the calls, and yes, it may well have been a shrike after all but it's very hard to tell whether this bird was mimicking a variety of calls ... they did seem to repeat three or four times ... or was basically calling like a shrike would. I had always assumed they were mainly songless. We'll take some binoculars down there Sunday and see if we can't get a better look.

 

 

Re(1): Mockingbird
Posted on January 28, 2012 at 02:37:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Shrikes aren't often vocal when they are wintering here but on a mild day they will sing an unusual song much like you describe. I would listen to recordings of both species before deciding. There are Mockingbirds wintering around Toronto and winters are warmer, so you can't rule them out.

 

 

Mockingbird
Posted on January 28, 2012 at 11:31:15 AM by John Challis

As implausible as it seems, Gayle and I believe we saw a mockingbird in Centennial Park, Washago this morning. We were drawn to an alarm-call, saw what appeared to be a shrike, but then the song changed to a series of undefineable calls. It flew from the east side of the beach area to the west, and then flew across the marsh area to the point by the Trent canal. We could see the white wing-flash; the head was grey and slender.
My guess is the southwest flow of air brought the bird along. Given the snow that was falling, my loose translation of its calls would be "where in god's name am I?"

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 January
Posted on January 26, 2012 at 10:31:16 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 26, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Mild temperatures and some rain followed by additional snowfall
occurred this week. Good conditions prevail for winter birding, skiing
and walking the trails. Moose at several locations and a wolf at km 37
were seen along Highway 60 this week. A Red Fox was eating black
sunflower seed at the Visitor Centre yesterday. There were two Pine
Martens along Opeongo Road yesterday and one at Mew Lake
Campground today.

A leucistic Black-capped Chickadee was photographed in a flock
being fed by birders near the gate on Opeongo Road on the weekend.
It has a large white area on the head, pink legs and feet, and some
pink areas on the bill. See a photo by Kathy and Tony DeGroot at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/algonquin_park_birding_report.php

A single Snow Bunting was at the Visitor Centre feeders most of
the week. Observations in the continuous forest of Algonquin Park
during winter are infrequent and typically of one or two birds.

Despite the presence of Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin and
American Goldfinch in some numbers this winter, these finches
continue to largely ignore nyger seed at the Visitor Centre feeders.
The few that have come to the feeders consume black sunflower
seed.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Two were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk today.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was reported again at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on January 22.

Gray Jay: Eight reported along Opeongo Road and four at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk on January 25.

Boreal Chickadee: Three seen and heard near the trail register
box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and two along Opeongo Road on
January 25. Not observed to be visiting the Spruce Bog suet
holder. The supply of natural food this year may be contributing
to less interest in suet, which is normal for this chickadee.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three were along Opeongo Road on January 25
and one today. Watch for them on the highway after sanding/salting
operations. Very low numbers this winter.

Red Crossbill: Three on Opeongo Road on January 25.

White-winged Crossbill: Small flock at start of Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and 10+ along Opeongo Road on January 25 and
20+ along Opeongo Road today.

Common Redpoll: On January 24, there were several large flocks
along Highway 60 including one of 120 at Hemlock Bluff
Trail.

Hoary Redpoll: One was reported in a Highway 60 Common
Redpoll flock on January 24.

Pine Siskin: They continue to be seen and heard in flocks overhead.
A flock of 60 was reported on January 25.

American Goldfinch: About three coming daily to the Visitor
Centre feeders. A few noted regularly along the highway.

Evening Grosbeak: About 80 are regularly at the Visitor Centre
feeders, mainly in the morning. About 12 were at Mew Lake
Campground 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. 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 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. The Visitor Centre is open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

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.

For more information see Algonquin Park events calendar at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/involved/calendar/
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Re(1): Busy Beavers
Posted on February 2, 2012 at 02:35:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were a lot of new cuttings and more muddy beaver paths from the edge of the trail down to the creekbed. There were still large numbers of Pine Siskins between the dip in the trail and Henry Marsh.

 

 

Busy Beavers
Posted on January 26, 2012 at 10:15:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today by the dip in the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds, there were lots of signs of recent Beaver activity. At first we thought it might have been Otters that made the muddy trails through the snow and along the creek where there are now patches of open water. But then we came upon fresh piles of wood chips right next to the trail where a Beaver had almost finished felling a small tree, and there is a well worn muddy path leading from there down to the creekbed.

Many Pine Siskins and Purple Finch were feeding in the yellow birch trees between the dip in the trail and Henry Marsh.

 

 

Re(6): Snow fleas
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 05:23:18 PM by dinnymccraney

At 5 pm tonight they were on top of my snow-covered patio pots! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(5): Snow fleas
Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:28:46 AM by J. Gardner

Snow fleas moving around on the snow on my back steps this morning. Two hundred yards or more away from forest setting. Never seen there before. Warm winter causing all sorts of strange goings on.

 

 

Re(4): Snow fleas
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 01:52:04 PM by Al Sinclair

Interesting theory in the Curious Nature Blog. It's a method of dispersal. On the snow they dry out and blow in the wind! Hmmm It seems to me that most must go back down, I don't see any away from the main groups. Maybe I should look harder next time.

 

 

Re(3): Snow fleas
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 12:02:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is one theory (excerpt from It's Only Natural: Snowfleas):
"Professor Christiansen of Grinnell College, who has studied snowfleas for the last several decades, has a relatively simple and somewhat anti-climactic explanation. He hypothesizes that due to breeding, snowflea numbers multiply at such a fast rate down in the soil that by late winter they simply run out of space and the overflow (of snowfleas) ends up on the snow’s surface. He feels they climb to the top of the snow and wander around aimlessly all day until it’s time to go back down into the upper layers of the soil as the temperatures drop."

Here's another interesting article about Springtails:
Curious Nature - Snowfleas

 

 

Re(2): Snow fleas
Posted on January 29, 2012 at 04:41:46 PM by Al Sinclair

We saw many dozens of them today on the snow in different places for no apparent reason. What are they up to? A quick search on Google turned up no explanation for these congregations. Maybe they are mating? Not looking for food surely. A mystery.

 

 

Re(1): Snow fleas
Posted on January 29, 2012 at 01:46:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning while I was putting out a fresh piece of beef fat in the suet cage on our pine tree, I noticed the snow at the base of the tree was "covered" with Springtails (Snow Fleas). That's the only place I saw them. Could they have been attracted to the fallen bits of beef fat? I thought they were "vegetarian".

 

 

Snow fleas
Posted on January 26, 2012 at 08:18:31 PM by CatMacLean

Even though it was cloudy today there were a lot of snow fleas visible in the woods this afternoon. (Huntsville)

 

 

goldfinch frenzy
Posted on January 26, 2012 at 02:46:44 PM by dinnymccraney

There were at least 25 goldfinches feeding at the feeders and on the ground at about 9:30 this morning. They were moving around too quickly to count or photograph, but stayed for about 15 minutes (Bracebridge)

 

 

Evening grosbeaks
Posted on January 26, 2012 at 12:51:33 PM by GayleCarlyle

I got an email message from someone at Sandcastle Estates just south of Washago behind the ambulance station and it sounds like she has evening grosbeaks at her feeders and in the neighbourhood.
Haven't had a chance to check it out for sure.

 

 

Algonquin and area - winter finches, Boreal Chickadee, Bohemian Waxwings, etc
Posted on January 25, 2012 at 10:31:31 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Tony Bigg on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 25, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

On the way up to Algonquin Park today, Jerry Ball, Drew Monkman and I saw
several large flocks of finches 'gritting' on Hwy 127 between Maynooth and
Whitney. The finches were Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls with a few
American Goldfinches. At one point there were half a dozen Evening Grosbeaks
in the trees. The feeders in the village of Whitney were very active with a
lot of the same finches, one large flock of Evening Grosbeaks, and, in one
crabapple tree, three Bohemian Waxwings.

Finches in the park were surprisingly scarce, with no redpolls, one Pine
Siskin flock of about 60 birds and a few other small groups. We did see
three Red Crossbills on Opeongo Rd and one small flock of White-winged
Crossbills at the start of the Spruce Bog Trail. The usual large flock of
Evening Grosbeaks and a few American Goldfinches were at the Visitors
Centre. Also on Opeongo Rd we had two Boreal Chickadees, one seen and one
heard, eight Gray Jays, and a single Golden-crowned Kinglet. We also saw
three Boreal Chickadees on the Spruce Bog Trail, and four Gray Jays.

The final great sighting was an Eastern Wolf at km37 crossing the road in
front of us, pausing on the top of the snow bank and looking at us, and then
calmly trotting into the woods - a life mammal for all three of us.

 

 

Bald Eagles
Posted on January 25, 2012 at 11:07:23 AM by lauragilmour

Hello, I have seen two Bald Eagles in the last few days. One was while driving on Hwy 117 near Grandview Lake. The second was at the intersection of Aspdin Road and Hwy 11 right in Huntsville. It's so nice to see them, they are quite incredible birds.

 

 

Re(2): Purple Finches
Posted on January 25, 2012 at 07:55:03 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I didn't see either bird today. Also, about 1/4 the number of other species visiting today. Must have been the snow storm we had that brought them in.

 

 

Re(1): Purple Finches
Posted on January 25, 2012 at 01:47:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had just one pair of Purple Finch on and off for a couple of weeks. Then yesterday five more showed up. I guess they were just the advance scouts because this morning we had thirty-five! Most were females and immatures, but at least five colourful males. It sure would be nice if they stick around the neighbourhood for a while. (Bracebridge)   photo

 

 

Purple Finch & Common Redpoll, Bala
Posted on January 24, 2012 at 06:24:16 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I single male Purple Finch has been coming in to my feeders sporadically. Today a single Common Redpoll arrived late in the afternoon. Hope this is a growing trend!

 

 

Ruffed Grouse
Posted on January 24, 2012 at 10:12:57 AM by janice house

this morning while walking the dogs a grouse was pecking at the sand on the road, we got pretty close before it and the second bird flew into the bush (Laycox Rd off Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Flying Squirrel (photo)
Posted on January 24, 2012 at 11:37:54 AM by GayleCarlyle

Great photo! And wonderful to the cute little guy/gal. We used to have 4 of them at our feeders about 10 years ago in Bracebridge. Haven't seen any since. I keep checking our feeders at night at our feeders in Washago where we live now but alas none so far.

 

 

Flying Sqirrel (photo)
Posted on January 23, 2012 at 08:46:59 AM by Debbie Adams

Caught this flying squirrel during the day chowing down on seed from the 'Squirrel Proof Feeder'. It can put most of it's head inside one of the seed ports. Most nights we see 2 flying squirrels sitting on this feeder. They sure are cute but a neighbour doesn't agree as several have made their winter home in his attic.   photo
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Common Goldeneye
Posted on January 22, 2012 at 06:22:38 PM by mmcanally

Ten Common Goldeneyes at Indian Landing in Port Sydney and six below the locks on the Muskoka River in Huntsville today.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans
Posted on January 24, 2012 at 11:38:59 AM by GayleCarlyle

While out walking our dog at about 10pm last night, I could hear a few swans trumpeting out over the Green River.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans
Posted on January 21, 2012 at 05:14:21 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Today there were 51 Trumpeter swans at the Washago dock. They come there yearly in January and February to enjoy the open water at the north end of Lake Couchiching. There was also a beaver enjoying the fast moving water! Cheers Terry

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on January 21, 2012 at 02:40:56 PM by Al Sinclair

Surveying: Royal Muskoka property including Henry Marsh, (approx) 400 acres, has been sold to an Asian developer. I would assume it has been done because of the sale. Or perhaps they have a new development plan, hope not.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on January 21, 2012 at 01:42:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a large flock of Pine Siskins along the Trans Canada Trail just east of Henry Marsh. There were also a few Purple Finch, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and the usual troop of Black-capped Chickadees. The trail coming in from Henry Rd. is now frozen over at the "T" and is in good condition all the way over to Kerr Park. (Bracebridge)   Area trails map

There has been recent surveying work done along the south side of the trail from just west of the Bracebridge Ponds, right through Henry Marsh (didn't check if it goes further west past the marsh). Does anyone know what that's all about?

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 20, 2012 at 07:25:27 PM by dinnymccraney

Around noon today, I caught a quick glimpse of a snow bunting on the Liddard St. side of the Bracebridge Hospital helipad.
From now on, I guess I had better slow down as I drive by so I can see how many there are!

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl (photo)
Posted on January 21, 2012 at 11:05:37 AM by Debbie Adams

Perhaps it was indeed the owl I heard give out a quick call the other day. At the time I didn't see who was making the sound. And after listening to all the owl sound samples on All About Birds, I found it difficult to pinpoint exactly what I heard! Great resource though.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl (photo)
Posted on January 20, 2012 at 03:59:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Good find and nice photo. This was probably the owl that you heard calling? From my experience Snowy Owls don't call when they are down here in winter.

 

 

Barred Owl (photo)
Posted on January 20, 2012 at 02:24:24 PM by Debbie Adams

Spotted this fellow having a nap this afternoon.  photo
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 January
Posted on January 20, 2012 at 08:45:08 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 20, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Finches continue to be reported in good numbers. Yellow
Birch seed is an attraction for many.

Northern Shrike: one at km 53 on Highway 60 on January 15.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Wolf Howl
Pond/West Rose Lake area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One reported at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on January 15.

Gray Jay: Seen regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: Two allowed great viewing in the open along
Opeongo Road on January 14.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Five were on Highway 60 near Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and also reported east of Opeongo Road on the
weekend.

Red Crossbill: Six at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 15.

White-winged Crossbill: Flocks on the weekend at Spruce Bog,
Opeongo Road, Logging Museum and on Highway 60.

Common Redpoll: Many on Highway 60 and on the Visitor
Centre parking lot on the weekend.

Hoary Redpoll: Watch for this rarity in flocks of Commons.
One was seen on Highway 60 west of Cache Lake and three were
reported east of Opeongo Road on the weekend.

Pine Siskin: They continue to be seen and heard in flocks overhead.
Noted on Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the
weekend.

American Goldfinch: Often detected in flight as individuals or in
Pine Siskin flocks.

Evening Grosbeak: up to 90 are regularly at the Visitor Centre
feeders, mainly in the morning. Also seen at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road on the weekend.

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 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. The Visitor Centre is open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

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.

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

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 19, 2012 at 05:10:27 PM by Kip Daynard

I had a flock of 200+ Bohemian Waxwings visit the ornamental crab apple in my front yard on Hunter's Bay Dr. in Huntsville this afternoon around 4:30pm.

Back in December I had come home from a weekend away to find a dead Bohemian Waxwing in the shrub below our window facing the crab apple and suspected that a flock had been feeding on them. However, this is the first time I've actually seen them feeding at this tree.

I took some photos of the dead waxwing and will post them when I get a chance.

Kip Daynard
Huntsville

 

 

Re(1): Northern shrike
Posted on January 22, 2012 at 12:14:31 PM by janice house

I just saw a northern shrike in our basswood tree, first for our yard ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Northern shrike
Posted on January 19, 2012 at 11:18:44 AM by GayleCarlyle

I just looked our front window and saw a northern shrike checking out the feeder area for his/her next meal. Don't think we've had one here before that we know of.
We're in Washago on Green River Drive.

 

 

Algonquin Park Winter Finches
Posted on January 17, 2012 at 10:49:54 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 16, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hey folks,
This weekend (January 14-15th) I was guiding a trip to Algonquin Park with
Janice Melendez and Ann Brokelman, and we had an amazing weekend with many
great birds under blues skies and sunshine, but especially notable was the
abundance and diversity of Winter Finches. The following were seen -

RED CROSSBILL - Two birds were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. These were of
a slender-billed subspecies (likely Type 3) adapted to feeding on Spruce.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL - Algonquin is full of this crossbill - flocks were
seen daily at Spruce Bog, Opeongo Road, Logging Museum and on HW 60.

COMMON REDPOLL - Many of these as well, almost exclusively on the ground at
roads - on HW 60 and the Visitor Centre Parking Lot.

HOARY REDPOLL - A female of the exilipes ssp. was seen on HW 60 west of
Cache Lake with a flock of Commons. Another birder reported three East of
Opeongo Road. Definitely something to watch for!

PINE SISKIN - Also numerous. Mainly overhead, but looks were had at perched
birds on Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - These were around, with a few associating with Siskin
flocks and loners overhead.

EVENING GROSBEAK - Easy to see in the morning at the Visitor Centre, also
seen at Spruce Bog and a sizeable flock on Opeongo Road.

PINE GROSBEAK - A flock of five birds were well seen on the highway near
the Spruce Bog parking lot, including two stunning adult males. Also
reported East of Opeongo Road.

We also had great, prolonged looks at a pair of BOREAL CHICKADEES in the
open on Opeongo Road, and pairs of GRAY JAYS at Opeongo Road, Cameron Lake
Road, The Logging Museum and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. No Black-backed
Woodpeckers, despite determined searching and myself obtaining a sore
throat from speaking Barred Owl!

We also saw a dark PINE MARTEN at Spruce Bog, on the suet feeder. All in
all, a fantastic, if a little frigid weekend to be out looking for birds!

Good Birding,
Lev Frid
Maple, ON

Directions:
Algonquin is located on Highway 60, which can be reached via Highway 400 &
11 from Toronto area, or from Ottawa taking Highway 17 to Renfrew and then
following 60. All the locations mentioned above are on the Park tabloid,
which is provided free of charge at the West and East Gates, and the
Visitor Centre, which also has recent bird sightings and feeders. Ron
Tozer's weekly birding report and other Algonquin info can be found 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/

 

 

Re(1): hawk?
Posted on January 18, 2012 at 07:56:51 AM by Al Sinclair

To me this sounds more like a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Kestrels are rare here in winter, Sharp-shinned seen frequently. Squirrels are a bit big and heavy for them as their usual prey are small songbirds, but no doubt they could take down a red squirrel. If the hawk was larger, around crow sized, we could assume it was a Cooper's Hawk. Thanks for the interesting report.

 

 

hawk?
Posted on January 17, 2012 at 08:42:41 AM by NancyR

I saw what was possibly a hawk on Beaumont Drive about 8:30 Monday morning. It was grayish about robin size with a stripped tail. It had caught a small squirrel.
Could this have been a kestrel??

 

 

Re(3): Snowy Owl?
Posted on January 17, 2012 at 04:19:50 PM by DavidBywater

Hi Debbie,

If you head over to www.allaboutbirds.org you can listen to the call of a Snowy Owl and compare it to similar species such as a Great Grey Owl. Let us know if you're confident of an ID by sound.

 

 

Re(2): Snowy Owl?
Posted on January 17, 2012 at 10:22:48 AM by Debbie Adams

Bradley Road @ Walker's Point Road.

Something has just flown in the trees and has the Jay's screaming and squirrel's (what's left of our population) scurrying.
I heard the owl yesterday in the woods calling or warning.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl?
Posted on January 17, 2012 at 09:20:25 AM by Doug Smith

Hi Debbie -- where exactly is this on Walker's Point?

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl?
Posted on January 18, 2012 at 01:43:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Your description of "completely white with black spots" certainly matches a Snowy Owl and they are active during the day. Have you seen it again?

 

 

Snowy Owl?
Posted on January 16, 2012 at 08:07:24 PM by Debbie Adams

Myself, along with several neighbours, have seen a white owl at various times of the day recently. While we haven't been able to get a good long glimpse at it, it appears to be completely white with black spots and a wing span of roughly 3' wide.
While we are all novice bird watchers, can it be a Snowy Owl?
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Bald eagle
Posted on January 16, 2012 at 04:40:14 PM by CatMacLean

I saw a bald eagle along Hwy 60 and Canal Rd at lunch.

 

 

chipmunk
Posted on January 15, 2012 at 09:34:58 PM by John Challis

Unbelievably this afternoon, a chipmunk apeared beneath the nyger seed feeder in our front yard (Green River Drive, Washago). The temp outside: -12C. I sincerely hope he/she is back hibernating tonight.

 

 

Feeders busy - cold snap
Posted on January 15, 2012 at 10:07:18 AM by Al Sinclair

Coldest day in 2012? -25C this morning east of Bracebridge. Feeders were busy yesterday, here's a photo of some Purple Finches taking their turn.
Purple Finches

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 13, 2012 at 04:53:42 PM by RichardCorcelli

A flock of 60+ Bohemian Waxwings in an ash tree beside Muskoka Bay at Gravenhurst Lookout Park, Friday January 13 at 4:30 pm. Drinking from a run off puddle on the rocks and eating buckthorn berries.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 January
Posted on January 13, 2012 at 10:22:40 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 12, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A significant snowfall (20 centimetres?) occurred in the Park today
for the first time in many days. Relatively few birders were noted
this week.

Notable sighting:
Red-winged Blackbird: An adult male with an injured wing
but capable of flight at campsite 49 in Mew Lake Campground
on January 8 was only the third winter record for Algonquin.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Wolf Howl
Pond/West Rose Lake area.
Black-backed Woodpecker: Try the Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose
Lake area.
Gray Jay: Seen regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and at the Visitor Centre.
Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were observed near the gate on
Opeongo Road on January 7 and 8.

FINCHES:
Red Crossbill: Seen near Mew Lake on January 7 and along
Highway 60 on January 8.
White-winged Crossbill: A flock of 40 was reported at km 22 on
Highway 60 on January 7.
Common Redpoll: A few were reported along Highway 60.
Pine Siskin: Seen near Mew Lake on January 7 and along
Highway 60 and at the gate on Opeongo Road on January 8.
American Goldfinch: A few at the Visitor Centre and along
Highway 60.
Evening Grosbeak: up to 90 are regularly at the Visitor Centre
feeders. Seen near Mew Lake on January 7.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Bohemian Waxwing
Posted on January 10, 2012 at 01:56:41 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We had a flock of over 40 Bohemian waxwing at the cottage 10km east of Washago. They stayed for about 1 hour or so feeding on red (Alder?) berries. 10-12 would feed frantically while the others sat above them. Then they switched places and another 10 or so would feed. Beautiful birds. Cheers Terry
Bohemian Waxwing

 

 

Re(1): Another video - Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 10, 2012 at 06:42:49 PM by MichelePotter

Thanks, Al, for posting that. Amazing birds and it was really great to see such a close up.

 

 

Another video - Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 10, 2012 at 01:44:27 PM by Al Sinclair

The bird was at my feeder yesterday checking out the seed cake I got for Christmas. Didn't seem to like any of it. This is the first time I have had one on the feeders even though they are around here all year. Note that the last few seconds of the video are in slow motion, 1/3 normal speed.
Pileated Woodpecker

 

 

Re(1): Video of Marbled Godwit in Muskoka
Posted on January 11, 2012 at 09:15:13 AM by Doug Smith

What a great video! and what a beautiful bird, (wish I had seen it!). Nice to have this record, and so well done, too.

 

 

Video of Marbled Godwit in Muskoka
Posted on January 10, 2012 at 01:27:50 PM by Al Sinclair

Click on link below. Video taken by Janice House on Sep 5,2011 at Muskoka Highlands Golf Course.
I was incommunicado in the Haliburton backwoods when this bird was found, so I missed it, my biggest miss in many years. However this intimate video makes me feel like I was there and experiencing some of the thrill of seeing a new bird in Muskoka.
Marbled Godwit Video

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 10, 2012 at 06:33:20 AM by mmcanally

I watched a Bald Eagle soar over one of our back meadows today for about 5 minutes. Could be the same adult I reported a few days ago over Brunel Road near Riverside School. Also saw one Ruffed Grouse and noted there were loads of Snowshoe Hare tracks. I live on Britannia Road in Huntsville.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on January 8, 2012 at 01:50:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a large flock of Pine Siskins at the dip in the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh. There were also a few Purple Finch, a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, and a Ruffed Grouse.

(note: the trail coming in from Henry Rd. to the marsh is still flooded and not completely frozen yet near the "T", but the trail coming over to the marsh from Kerr Park/Bracebridge Ponds is in good condition)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 8, 2012 at 10:06:51 AM by mmcanally

Saw an adult Bald Eagle flying over Brunel Road in Huntsville just south of Riverside School.

 

 

Pine Grosbeak
Posted on January 8, 2012 at 08:42:11 AM by janice house

A lone bird was calling from the top of a white pine tree behind our house just a few minutes ago, 16 crows flew over while walking the dogs (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Hawk and ducks
Posted on January 7, 2012 at 06:25:07 PM by CatMacLean

I saw a red-tailed hawk on Muskoka Rd 3 north of Williamsport fly up from the road with a small rodent in its mouth. Also we were down in the city this weekend and at the waterfront there was a large flock of Oldsquaw ducks.

 

 

Re(2): What is this?
Posted on January 8, 2012 at 01:59:05 PM by Debbie Adams

We are beside the lake. There was a muskrat living on the bank under the stairs leading to the lake but it has disappeared and this critter has moved in. A lot of
squirrels have disappeared too, even squirrels that seem larger than it is. Inside the boathouse, I noticed some small spiral shaped droppings and I've never seen those before. The white markings on this animal are just small splotches under it's chin and along it's belly.

 

 

Re(1): What is this?
Posted on January 7, 2012 at 10:09:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Mink I think. Martin has more white underneath. Are you near water?

 

 

What is this?
Posted on January 7, 2012 at 01:16:48 PM by Debbie Adams

The photos aren't very good, I know, but the animal is about grey squirrel size and was sitting under a stair waiting and watching our regular squirrels. It had white markings under it's chin and on it's belly. I've looked on-line and it might be a mink but I'm not completely sure about that. Our local squirrel population has decreased lately, so I suspect this fellow has something to do with it.   photo1  photo2

Thanks,
Debbie Adams
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 7, 2012 at 11:37:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Bohemians were in the same area just before 11 a.m. today. A Pileated Woodpecker was "clucking" nervously near the corner of Moreland Cres. and Meadow Heights Dr. Suddenly a Red-tailed Hawk flew out from there and headed west towards the fields at the end of Covered Bridge Trail where we had seen a hawk yesterday. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 6, 2012 at 05:01:32 PM by Ted Gardner

at about 1:30 this afternoon a flock of 20 or so flew into the nieghbors maple and the went next door to some berries at 114 meadow heights BB

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on January 6, 2012 at 03:57:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 3 p.m. today there was an adult Red-tailed Hawk actively hunting over the fields at the end of Covered Bridge Trail in Bracebridge. A bit earlier a Crow had been harassing a Red-tail perched in a tree near the entrance to the Covered Bridge subdivision...so probably the same bird.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 January
Posted on January 6, 2012 at 12:56:29 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 5, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Snow depth remains about 15 centimetres or less, but some colder
temperatures occurred this week.

Observations from December 30 mentioned below were on the
Algonquin Christmas Bird Count.

Notable sightings this week:
Bald Eagle: Adult near a road-killed deer at km 8.5 (Tea Lake area)
on Highway 60 on December 29.

Golden Eagle: One near a road-killed deer at km 8.5 on Highway
60 on December 29.

Northern Shrike: four reported on December 30. One was along
Opeongo Road on December 31.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: Observed at Wolf Howl Pond today.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Nine reported on December 30.
Observed at Wolf Howl Pond today. Watch for it where there
are dead conifers with bark recently removed.

Gray Jay: Seen regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and at the Visitor Centre.

Boreal Chickadee: Observed at Wolf Howl Pond today.
Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk around the suet feeder near the trail
register box.

FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three were getting grit in the Visitor Centre
parking lot on January 3 and it was reported at Wolf Howl
Pond today.

Purple Finch: A few are present. Just 26 tallied on December 30.

Red Crossbill: Scarce. Only 36 noted on December 30. A road-
killed female was picked up on December 31 at km 3.

White-winged Crossbill: Fairly good numbers. Many of the 792
counted on December 30 were heard calling in flight.

Common Redpoll: Observed regularly, usually as flocks
calling in flight. There were 567 counted on December 30.
Not coming to the Visitor Centre feeders yet. Forty reported at
Minnesing Ski Trail today.

Hoary Redpoll: One was noted with Common Redpolls in the
Rock Lake area on December 30. One was with Common
Redpolls at Minnesing Ski Trail today. Redpoll flocks should be
checked carefully for this species.

Pine Siskin: Good numbers, with 836 reported on December 30.
Not coming to the Visitor Centre feeders yet.

American Goldfinch: A count of 219 on December 30. Frequently
in mixed flocks with Pine Siskins. Not coming to the Visitor
Centre feeders yet.

Evening Grosbeak: up to 80 are regularly at the Visitor Centre
feeders. Not reported anywhere else on December 30 CBC.

VISITOR CENTRE WILL BE OPEN DAILY UNTIL
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 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.
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Huntsville Christmas Bird Count in the news
Posted on January 5, 2012 at 01:25:00 PM by Al Sinclair

The count results and discussion by compiler Ron Tozer. Also news that the man feeding the Trumpeter Swan and ducks on the river for many years has died.
Huntsville CBC/Bird Feeding on the river

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Jan. 5
Posted on January 4, 2012 at 09:32:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, January 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Bracebridge
THE EFFECTS OF NOISE ON AMPHIBIAN BREEDING by Glenn Cunnington

Glenn is a Senior Terrestrial Ecologist/Species at Risk Specialist. In nature, many species use songs or calls to attract potential
mates. Recently, scientists have become concerned that the calls might be drowned out by “noise pollution” in the same way our voices are drowned out by loud music! The major source of noise pollution is road traffic.

Glenn will talk about the effects of traffic noise on the breeding behaviour of local frogs and toads and how they find that special someone amongst all of our noise!

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.)

 

 

hawks
Posted on January 2, 2012 at 05:43:49 PM by John Challis

In Washago this afternoon at the corner of McArthur Sideroad and M-N Concession Road, we saw a kestrel carrying a mouse around in its talons; I will guess it was looking for a spot to settle down and dine. At -7C and with snow blowing around it was quite a surprise to see him (I believe it was male). There were also three red-tailed hawks hunting in the farm fields around the same intersection, one of which was on the ground feeding when we first saw it.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 2, 2012 at 01:47:15 PM by Goodyear

Around noon today we saw a flock of approx. 80 Bohemian Waxwings. They were sitting on the branches of a large tree in the swamp (west side) about 1.5 km north of Muskoka Timber Mills on Muskoka Rd. 4. We also drove out to Butter and Egg and Falkenburg but didn't find any owls.

 

 

2011 Highlights
Posted on January 1, 2012 at 10:22:02 AM by Barbara Taylor

The year began with the sighting of a Barred Owl near Germania. In early January large flocks of Redpolls included a Hoary Redpoll in Kearney. A Black-backed Woodpecker was seen near McKellar, and a Northern Hawk Owl hunted the fields near Bardsville. A Carolina Wren spent some time in Port Sydney and another showed up in Bracebridge. Two Boreal Chickadees were regulars at Gravenhurst, and a Harris's Sparrow continued to frequent a feeder at Bracebridge, ultimately staying 'til spring.

In mid-March a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch hit a window in Carling Township, but survived...only fifteen previous records of the species in Ontario, and just two of those in the south. In late April a Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen at Bell Lake, while a Horned Grebe was spotted on Lake Muskoka. Although Clay-colored Sparrows are very rare in Muskoka, one was seen at Gravenhurst in mid-May, and then three singing birds were found in a field at Bracebridge. Other notable sightings in May included a Yellow-throated Vireo in Washago, a Connecticut Warbler behind the Muskoka Airport, an Olive-sided Flycatcher in Bracebridge, and a Northern Mockingbird at Port Sydney.

A Whip-poor-will was calling at Bala in late May. A Ruddy Duck spent most of June at the Bracebridge Ponds, and in July eight Green Herons and a family of Virginia Rails were seen there. In early September a Marbled Godwit was photographed at a golf course in Bracebridge...a new species for the Muskoka Checklist. Red-headed Woodpecker is considered a rarity in Algonquin Park, but three sightings of the species were had in the area between mid-October and early November. In mid-November a Dunlin and a Snow Goose made brief appearances in Bracebridge.

As testament to the relatively mild weather and lack of snow, Spring Peepers were heard calling in mid-December at Washago. Christmas Bird Counts found some new species for their lists. Gravenhurst/Bracebridge added Blue-winged Teal. Burk's Falls added Red-necked Grebe, Greater Scaup, and Merlin. Huntsville added Red-necked Grebe and White-winged Scoter. A nice finish to the year was a Snowy Owl in Port Sydney, just making the cut-off for this write-up.

Other interesting bird sightings included Common Nighthawk, Rusty Blackbird, Bald Eagle, Pied-billed Grebe, Golden-winged Warbler, Sandhill Crane, Black-bellied Plover, Scarlet Tanager, Osprey, Bohemian Waxwing, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Philadelphia Vireo, Caspian Tern, Chimney Swift, Northern Goshawk, Gadwall, Oregon Junco, and Ring-necked Pheasant.

Other nature sightings included Northern Amber Bumblebee, Blanding's Turtle, Northern Black Widow Spider, Dekay's Snake, Red-backed Salamander, Goldie's Wood Fern, and several animals such as Moose, Otter, Fisher, Muskrat, and Red Fox. Interesting moths included Columbia Silkmoth, Polyphemus Moth, Canary Ypsolopha, Grote's Sallow, Variable Carpet, and Pistachio Emerald. Butterflies reported included Pepper and Salt Skipper, Harris' Checkerspot, Green Comma, Harvester, Striped Hairstreak, and Delaware Skipper.

The complete set of reports for 2011 can soon be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your posts.

Happy New Year!