Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2012
 
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Yellow-billed cuckoo
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 07:23:15 AM by Doug Smith

Heard and saw a yellow-billed cuckoo at 1007 Hawn Road in Uffington, in our sideyard. When I finally found him he was calling from the very top of a poplar, facing into the morning sun. He would inflate his throat pouch and then call 'too, too, too' about 9 or 10 times, until he ran out of breath. Then he would pause and start again. I could see the large yellow bill and the rufous coloured primaries. Probably the best look I have ever had of a yellow-billed.

 

 

Garden insects - photos
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 07:56:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

A few of the interesting creatures I've recently found in our yard (Bracebridge):
Net Winged Beetle (Family Lycidae - appears to be Caenia dimidiata) - photo

Caterpillar of the Purple-lined Sallow Moth (Pyrrhia exprimens)  -  photo

Parasitic Wasp (Family Gasteruptiidae - appears to be Rhydinofoenus)  - photo

Large Lace-Border Moth (Scopula limboundata)  - photo

Welcome to my Aphid farm, with an Ant standing guard...  - photo

 

 

Bala Butterfly Count tomorrow
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 03:45:03 PM by Al Sinclair

Meeting at Ragged Rapids 9:30am Saturday. Bring a lunch. Everyone welcome. Should see Great Spangled Fritillaries this year. Photo taken today near Bracebridge.

4522 - Great Spangled Fritillary - Speyeria cybele  - photo

 

 

dragonfly flight
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 12:56:03 PM by John Challis

Four-spotted skimmer, on our deck railing - photo.  The Algonquin Field Guide to dragonflies and damselflies is a beautiful resource, but it dangled a mystery in front of me. The pterostigma, a black, longish dot at the end of the wing on its leading edge, aids in flight it says, without saying how. I came across an article online by Richard Rowe in Australia - scientifically a bit complex but still short and a good explanation - about the astonishing variety of wingpower that odonata possess. It's linked below. The pterostigma, he says, is a bit of a counterweight that adds to the wing's flexibility and boosts aerodynamic efficiency. There you go.  Dragonfly Flight

 

 

Lesser Yellowlegs
Posted on June 25, 2012 at 01:30:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Lesser Yellowlegs feeding at the south shore of cell 1...so presumably the southbound migration has begun for the shorebirds. Nothing of note this morning except a couple Cliff Swallows amongst several Tree, Barn, and Bank Swallows hawking insects over cell 1.

You never know what you might find at the Ponds...this morning north of cell 4, a deer in the daisies: photo

 

 

Phoebe nestlings
Posted on June 24, 2012 at 07:11:20 PM by FrancesGualtieri

This is a photo taken by our neighbour here in Vankoughnet, Ray Wilson. He calls them flycatchers, which I assume are the same as phoebes.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bala Hermit Thrush Update
Posted on June 24, 2012 at 01:16:16 PM by Stan Fairchild

They have started singing in Parry Sound as well

 

 

Bala Hermit Thrush Update
Posted on June 22, 2012 at 07:08:03 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Hermit Thrushes are singing around my place again, thank goodness!

 

 

Re(1): Pied-billed Grebes - photos
Posted on June 23, 2012 at 09:22:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the adult Pied-billed Grebe was still in cell 4, and again it called frequently as I walked by. I didn't see the second Grebe today, but after examining some photos from yesterday, it does look like a juvenile. Here is an awful digital zoom of the young bird (if you squint you can see some white markings on its face) and also two photos of the adult.  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on June 22, 2012 at 03:45:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an adult Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4. It was calling frequently and kept an eye on me as I walked around. A second Pied-billed Grebe was in cell 3, but this one didn't call as I walked by. It looked as though it had a few faint white markings on its face and no obvious white/black on its bill, but was too far away to be sure...wonder if it is a juvenile. Two adult Green Herons were at the north edge of cell 4. A Northern Waterthrush was calling from the wet woods near the north-west corner of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): mystery spider
Posted on July 19, 2012 at 10:03:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks similar to Arabesque Orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca).

 

 

Re(1): mystery spider
Posted on July 3, 2012 at 01:43:37 PM by jessb

Hello John,
It looks like an orb weaver.
A quick search on google revealed some pictures of these types of spiders eating birds!

 

 

mystery spider
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 01:38:41 PM by John Challis

Can anyone put a name to this lovely creature? As you might be able to tell, it's perched in the centre of a poison ivy plant. No itch, no rash, so I managed to snap this without rubbing any plants around me.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Gadwall
Posted on June 25, 2012 at 12:04:13 PM by DavidBywater

Interesting about the Spotted Turtles, we did some Species at Risk training with the District of Muskoka this spring, so perhaps its getting put to use! Who did he/she work for?
Please let us know if you do confirm seeing Spotted Turtles there.
Thanks, David Bywater, conservation@gbbr.ca

 

 

Gadwall
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 12:56:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I was surprised to find a male Gadwall in cell 1. Many Dragonflies were along the south and west sides of cell 4, including several Common Whitetail, Widow Skimmer, and Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

One of the fellows who works at the Lagoons mentioned they had seen a couple Spotted Turtles in one of the ponds, and recognized them after taking a course about species at risk. I wonder if someone has dropped them off at the Ponds thinking it is suitable habitat...I will post back if I find them. I've only seen Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles around the Ponds - has anyone seen any other species of turtles there?

 

 

Osprey
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 08:06:37 AM by CatMacLean

I saw a wonderful sight on Saturday night at our cottage on the North west corner of Algonquin Park. I heard an Osprey calling and when I looked up there were five circling overhead. Is this because the babies are just out of the nest? How long do they stay with the parents? I usually see a lone Osprey fishing.

 

 

Thanks for the Swallow data sent so far
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:25:10 AM by Alex Mills

On June 6, we made a plea for swallow nesting records. (See below for June 6). We have some responses, which are appreciated! Remember, you can help us figure out why swallows are declining so badly by sending your observations to us (swallow.declines@gmail.com)

 

 

Virginia rails, brown creeper
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 10:05:49 AM by John Challis

Gayle reports that this morning a pair of rails has been on either side of our road in Washago, calling from the marsh/creek that passes under it. We had a Virginia rail doing territorial song into the night last week so are assuming it's the same bird and he's attracted a mate. Gayle trying to get visual confirmation as I write this.
There have also been brown creepers calling up and down our road over the last week. Must be getting ready for a second brood.

 

 

Re(2): Hermit Thrush!
Posted on June 17, 2012 at 07:53:13 AM by janice house

While sitting on the dock after supper last night (Skeleton Lake Rd 3) we heard 4 birds calling around the bay. My brother lives in Bent River and it is the last bird call he hears at night.

 

 

Re(1): Hermit Thrush!
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 07:34:31 AM by janice house

Hermit thrush singing this morning, Laycox Rd/Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Hermit Thrush!
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 01:19:12 PM by DebbieAdams

Finally heard a Hermit Thrush a few minutes ago in the woods.(Walker's Point)

 

 

Garden bugs - photos
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 01:31:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found several of these bugs on our Columbines this morning. They are a type of Stink Bug which feeds on plants, and unfortunately they were mating and laying eggs on the Columbine seed pods. (Bracebridge)
Cosmopepla bimaculata (aka C. lintneriana) - common names include Twice-stabbed Stink Bug, Two-spotted Stink Bug, or Wee Harlequin Bug:  photo1  photo2

This insect was innocently resting on a Bellflower stem...but it damages plants too. Appears to be a Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus lineolaris):  photo

This Flower Fly (might be Temnostoma vespiforme) was taking a break after feeding on the Mock Orange blooms.  It's a pretty good wasp mimic:  photo

 

 

Re(2): Home Depot Spider
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 05:10:44 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

After seeing the photo I definitely agree with Al. Terry

 

 

Re(1): Home Depot Spider
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 10:02:02 PM by Al Sinclair

This one I think, have them around our place.
Gray Cross Spider aka Bridge Spider
Larinioides sclopetarius - Female
http://bugguide.net/node/view/609353/bgimage

 

 

Re(1): Home Depot Spider
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 08:41:44 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Hi Ted,
I'd say its a "dolomedes tenebrosus" or Dark Fishing Spider. Notice the 8 eyes!, all not real of course. Terry ,,,,, thats my guess. BTW Great photo!

 

 

Home Depot Spider
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 08:09:11 PM by tedthevideoman

We have an amazing amount of spider activity currently at the Home Depot garden centre...snapped this fellow this morning...
an ID would be appreciated!  photo

 

 

Since 1980 ...
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 02:23:49 PM by Alex Mills

The first time I noted a moult migration here was on June 12, 1980, when a flock of 21 Canada Geese was seen flying north over Magnetawan. At that time, Canada Geese were a relatively recent addition to southern Ontario as a breeding species. Interestingly, that flock also contained 2 Snow Geese.

 

 

Re(1): Canada Goose Moult Migrants
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 10:50:36 AM by Barbara Taylor

The annual moult migration seems to have stretched out over a longer period than usual this year. Started early and with your report, it appears it is still ongoing in fits and starts. The Bird Board archives have reports of large flocks of Canada Geese heading north between May 27 and June 4 in previous years.

I don't have access to the complete articles, but here are links to two abstracts from studies on the molt migration:
Molt Migrant Canada Geese in Northern Ontario and Western James Bay
Management Implications of Molt Migration by the Atlantic Flyway Resident Population of Canada Geese

and an excerpt from Canadian Hinterland:
"In addition to the annual migration from breeding to wintering grounds, Canada Geese sometimes undertake a special voyage called a moult migration. Every year, geese must replace their worn-out flight feathers. The feathers are replaced all at once, so the geese cannot fly during the four- to five-week moulting period. The best places for the geese during this time are those with lots of open water where the birds can seek refuge if threatened and where they may find a good supply of the protein-rich food needed for growing new feathers. Most of the geese that don’t breed during the season undertake this migration, which usually involves travelling north, often well beyond the normal breeding range, between late May and early June. Successful breeders moult later in the season, remaining with their young goslings, which have not begun to fly."

 

 

Canada Goose Moult Migrants
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 11:01:34 PM by george bryant

We had two flocks today, one of ~40 birds @ 9 am, another of ~30 at 8 pm, both flying north and remarkably low, honking incessantly. I understand flocks consist of failed breeders, young or unmated birds heading to James Bay lowlands where they moult. I assume they originate from southern Ontario. A fascinating and new phenomenon--the latest of any northbound migrants. I wonder if they overnight on Lake Muskoka or keep flying all night.

 

 

Re(1): At Last! Hermit Thrushes Singing, Bala
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 11:38:06 AM by CatMacLean

I have been hearing a Hermit Thrush in our back bush in Huntsville since April 19 and at our cottage on the North West corner of Algonquin park for about a month. He was singing again this weekend. I saw a Bobolink this am on the fairy Vista Trail.

 

 

Re(2): At Last! Hermit Thrushes Singing, Bala
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 09:49:45 PM by Al Sinclair

7.45pm tonight, working in the garden, Hermit Thrush singing! First for the yard list this year. Further back in the woods than last year, maybe that's how we missed it till now.

 

 

Re(1): At Last! Hermit Thrushes Singing, Bala
Posted on June 11, 2012 at 12:35:13 PM by Doug Smith

We heard one last night, as well, down the Uffington Rd., near the large radio tower.

 

 

At Last! Hermit Thrushes Singing, Bala
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 08:12:14 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday I heard a Hermit Thrush singing on my neighbours property while out in my kayak.
Just now, I heard one here. Very pleased they haven't disappeared!

 

 

Common Merganser
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 07:15:24 PM by janice house

Around noon today at Skeleton Lake Rd 3 Dad & I watched a female with 32 young in tow.

 

 

Re(3): Asian Long Horn? (photo)
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 10:12:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Beech trees may be dying from Beech Bark Disease which is unfortunately spreading through our area. Here's a link to an MNR article which includes a recent disease distribution map: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/OFRI/Publication/groups/lr/@mnr/@ofri/documents/document/stdprod_096009.pdf

The dying Birch trees may be infested with birch borers. We've also had several periods of drought-like conditions over the past few years which stresses the trees, making them more susceptible to disease and insect damage.

 

 

Re(2): Asian Long Horn? (photo)
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 06:42:54 PM by DebbieAdams

Phew! Glad it isn't an Asian Longhorn beetle. There are a lot of dying Beech and Birch trees on my neighbours property. But I'm now worried about the Spruces I planted a few years ago for privacy. I'll go check they haven't been invaded by this beetle. Thanks for the ID.

 

 

Re(1): Asian Long Horn? (photo)
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 04:03:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

That looks like a Whitespotted Sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus). The Asian Longhorn doesn't have that prominent white spot on the "back of its neck" between the wing covers. Also, the beetle in your photo seems more brownish than true black like the Asian Longhorn would be. The Whitespotted Sawyer tends to attack already weakened conifers, and is commonly found in dead or dying White Pines as well as Balsam Firs and Spruces.

 

 

Asian Long Horn? (photo)
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 03:15:23 PM by DebbieAdams

We've noticed quite a few of these insects around here lately.  photo

Are they Asian Long Horn Beetles? (Walker's Point)

 

 

Least Bittern & Sedge Wren ...CORRECTION Marsh not Sedge
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 08:50:58 AM by Al Sinclair

See reply to original post June 6.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 05:15:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Pied-billed Grebe in the south-east corner of cell 4. Four adult Green Herons were around cell 4. Nothing else of note.

 

 

Northern Flicker
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 02:38:58 PM by Greyowl291

I spotted a Northern Flicker on Lankin St. in Bracebridge. He was very busy trying to coax a snail out of its shell.

 

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bala
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 10:34:20 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Just saw a newly fledged Red-breasted Nuthatch coming in to the feeders. Pale black eyeline but cap still very pale gray. Very short tail.

 

 

Golden-Winged Warbler
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 07:32:46 AM by janice house

I heard the warbler at 7 this morning, wet land on the west side of Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst between Laycox Rd and Tomingas Rd. Lots of other warblers, sparrows & flycatchers calling too. No water snakes today, thank goodness.

 

 

virginia rail
Posted on June 8, 2012 at 03:33:23 PM by John Challis

In the swamp behind our house (Washago, just off Coopers Falls Road) we heard a Virginia rail calling, around 10 p.m. It continued for quite some time, and seemed to be responding when we played a call through a speaker...but didn't come any closer. A first in our swamp since we moved there.

 

 

Re(1): Black Swallowtail in Dwight
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 10:39:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

We used to get them in our garden when we planted dill and parsley. Their caterpillars especially loved those plants. But we haven't seen any for several years, ever since we closed down the vegie garden due to lack of enough sun...pine trees got too big. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Black Swallowtail in Dwight
Posted on June 8, 2012 at 07:43:01 AM by Rick Stronks

After spending a couple of days at Point Pelee chasing swallowtails (Pipevine, Spicebush, Eastern, Giant and Black) I came home and my wife showed me a picture of what I missed in our yard while I was away....a Black Swallowtail. This is the first for our property (between Dwight and Dorset) in 14 years. Have there been any other Black Swallowtail records in Muskoka this year?
Rick

 

 

Bala, Hairy Woodpecker, Fledgling
Posted on June 7, 2012 at 10:18:18 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Adult Hairy just came into feeders to show newly fledged young where to go for breakfast!

 

 

Tracking Swallow Populations
Posted on June 6, 2012 at 10:09:23 PM by Alex Mills

As many of you know, aerial insectivores such as swallows have been declining and the decline has been more pronounced in the Canadian Shield region. We have been using Tree Swallow boxes in 2012 with the goal of comparing breeding success on and off the Canadian Shield. However, we have a small sample due to low numbers in the Shield.

So, with the permission of this Board, we are seeking help from naturalists in the southern Shield (Muskoka, Haliburton, Parry Sound) and adjoining areas to the south (Simcoe County and Kawartha Lakes). We are asking you to help us by forwarding to us at swallow.declines@gmail.com any records of nesting swallows you have in these areas for 2012. Ideally, you will provide the exact location, a brief description of habitat, key dates, clutch size (number of eggs) and hatching and fledging (i.e. leaving the nest) success. Although we would like these data for each nest, we know that you might not be able to see in the nest and that key events (like leaving the nest or hatching) are not always noted.

Thank you very much.
Alex Mills and Neelab Nedai

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Field Naturalists - one correction
Posted on June 6, 2012 at 10:53:15 PM by Al Sinclair

One correction: The outing after the meeting will be only a few minutes away on N. Muldrew Lk Rd. We expect to be on our way home by 10pm.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting June 7
Posted on June 6, 2012 at 07:39:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

...from Muskoka Field Naturalists website:
JUNE 7 meeting - Note the change of topic! Ken Morrison's presentation on New Zealand will now be on July 5.

WHIP-POOR-WILLS
Audrey Heagy from Bird Studies Canada at Long Point has been one of the leaders of the Whip-poor-will Survey which has been going on for some years. Audrey will speak to us about this bird and its status as a species at risk as well as leading us on an outing immediately after the meeting. We will carpool from Grace and Speed and will arrive there at about 10 p.m.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Whip-poor-will in a bug free environment at Grace and Speed and then in the field in a not so bug free environment. REMEMBER bring bug jackets and spray!!

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
Meetings from April through June will be held in GRAVENHURST at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre – Grace and Speed, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst (at the Wharf). Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Re(2): Least Bittern & Sedge Wren ...CORRECTION Marsh not Sedge
Posted on June 10, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM by Al Sinclair

Glad you saw them. Hear any wrens? I called them wrong maybe because we had Sedge there before and there are no cattails. Anyhow Dan Burton corrected me. Thanks DB. I recorded the bitterns, just played it back now and I hear Marsh Wrens in the background not Sedge. Marsh Wrens are probably a better sighting here on the shield.

 

 

Re(1): Least Bittern & Sedge Wren ...Gravenhurst
Posted on June 9, 2012 at 06:44:32 PM by Goodyear

Friday night we went out and heard and saw the two Least Bitterns. We stood on a rock outcrop on the south side of North Muldrew Lake Road that gave us a good view of the west end of the wetland. Between 7:30 and 9:00 the Bitterns called continuously and made about 5 short flights around the marsh. A couple of times they put up after being harassed by Red-winged Blackbirds. One of the birds sat on the lower branch of a small shrub giving us great scope views. Thanks for the post, Al.

 

 

Least Bittern & Sedge Wren ...Gravenhurst
Posted on June 6, 2012 at 08:08:31 AM by Al Sinclair

Last night at around 8:30pm I heard 2 Least Bitterns and a few Sedge Wrens calling in a wetland near Gravenhurst on North Muldrew Lake Rd opposite the Peninsula Rd corner. Link to map below. I think this is a new location for Least Bittern in Muskoka but Sedge Wrens have been seen there in other years. We will be going out there Thursday night with the Muskoka Field Naturalists to listen for Whip-poor-wills. Last night they started calling at 9:30 and were up to full speed by 10:00.
https://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=213352590091382220306.0004c1cc78a62ec920138&msa=0&ll=44.907593,-79.395876&spn=0.018267,0.045447

 

 

Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on June 8, 2012 at 03:35:20 PM by John Challis

The Skipper looks to have a very heavy abdomen. Is that characteristic, or was it still emerging from pupal stage? Or gravid female?

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on June 5, 2012 at 01:58:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Black-billed Cuckoo calling from the east side of Henry Marsh. (Bracebridge)
There were several butterflies and dragonflies enjoying the sunshine. This Arctic Skipper was resting beside the trail:  photo

 

 

Bufflehead, Wood Ducks - photos
Posted on June 5, 2012 at 01:39:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two families of Wood Ducks in cell 2 and a third group in the ditch north of cell 4. Surprisingly for this time of year there was a Bufflehead lounging amongst the Mallards on the south shore of cell 2. A Least Sandpiper was at the south shore of cell 1. Two Green Herons flew overhead towards the flooded area west of cell 4. Some of the adult Red-winged Blackbirds were particularly serious in their "attacks" as we walked by...then we realized why...fledglings!
Wood Ducks photo  - Bufflehead photo  -  Fledgling Red-winged Blackbird photo

 

 

Carden Alvar Provincial Park
Posted on June 4, 2012 at 08:46:29 PM by RonPittaway

Wonderful news - proposal for establishment of Carden Alvar Provincial Park is posted on the Ontario Government's Environmental Registry

Please paste this link into browser if the Environmental Registry link doesn't work.
http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE2NTI4&statusId=MTc0NDU2&language=en
Environmental Registry - Carden Alvar Provincial Park

 

 

Snapping Turtles laying eggs
Posted on June 2, 2012 at 10:18:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were signs of recent egg laying, and we found this Snapping Turtle still digging her nest in the gravel roadbed.  photo1

Here's another Snapper at the side of the roadway.   photo2

 

 

Whip-poor-wills
Posted on June 1, 2012 at 10:32:51 AM by Goodyear

Last night we ran our route for the Ontario Whip-poor-will survey in the Barkway area. We heard 16 individuals. It was a little cool and there was thin cloud cover, but they were noisy!

 

 

Torrance Barrens Birds
Posted on May 31, 2012 at 11:34:55 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning I heard 2 Sandhill Cranes calling over about 2 hours somewhere near the pond.
I saw, briefly, and heard a Yellow-throated Vireo past the main parking lot.
Many other regular species heard and seen.

 

 

Bala, Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on May 31, 2012 at 11:31:50 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have heard a cuckoo a couple of times over the last week and yesterday afternoon it flew right in by the house, grabbed a caterpillar from the siding and stayed, fairly hidden in foliage for about 15 minutes.   Not heard so far this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 31, 2012 at 01:02:48 PM by jim griffin

Dawn Sherman reported about 100 swifts entered the small chimney at 16 Main St.W, Huntsville, last night. They were quite late,9:30, but showed their usual spectacular mass entry form.

 

 

Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 31, 2012 at 10:32:50 AM by Goodyear

The last three afternoons I have seen 2 - 4 Chimney Swifts circling above Main and Centre Streets in Huntsville.

 

 

Canada Warbler
Posted on May 30, 2012 at 10:32:48 AM by Goodyear

Last night I checked out the wet area at the north end of South Monck Dr. for the Golden-winged Warbler that Barbara heard earlier - no luck. But I did hear and see a Canada Warbler.

 

 

Re(2): Semipalmated Sandpipers
Posted on June 3, 2012 at 07:38:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Four Semipalmated Sandpipers and a Least Sandpiper were along the south shore of cell 2 this afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds.

Here's the best I could do as the birds wouldn't co-operate and neither would the weather...
Semipalmated Sandpiper photo   Least Sandpiper photo

 

 

Re(1): Shovelers, Green Heron, Semipalmated Sandpiper
Posted on June 2, 2012 at 09:59:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Green Heron in the ditch north of cell 4, a pair of Northern Shovelers in cell 1, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper at the south shore of cell 2.

 

 

Shovelers, Semipalmated Plovers
Posted on May 30, 2012 at 09:59:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two pairs of Northern Shovelers in cell 2. Along the south shore of cell 2 there were two Semipalmated Plovers, and a Least Sandpiper. A Veery was singing in the woods to the SW of cell 4. Nothing else of note.

 

 

Re(3): Eastern Red Damsel in Kilworthy
Posted on May 28, 2012 at 02:11:37 PM by Al Sinclair

Amazing find! You must have a spring-fed sandy bottomed stream nearby, same habitat requirements as the Delta-spotted Spiketail you found earlier. It could be a first for Muskoka but we would have to contact Colin Jones at NHIC to be sure. Here is the Ontario Ode Atlas map http://nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca/odonates/Southern_Ont/Amphiagrionsaucium.jpg but it is 10 years out of date. Ther have been many records added recently due to the new interest in Odes and new field guides.

 

 

Re(2): Eastern Red Damsel in Kilworthy
Posted on May 28, 2012 at 11:01:14 AM by diannawolfe

Thanks, Terry. I actually found her again yesterday evening and again this morning, all within a 4-metre-diameter area. When found yesterday evening, she was attempting to oviposit in the stem of an English Plantain seed-head (see pic below), a poor choice given that she is supposed to lay eggs on emergent or submerged vegetation. Our small wetland and stream complex is about 30 m away, so she is either a wayward flyer or was blown on the wind away from the wet area.

The slit in the stem created by her ovipositor can be seen below the bend in her abdomen:  photo

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Red Damsel in Kilworthy
Posted on May 27, 2012 at 11:33:13 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Very very nice Dianna! A beautiful specimen! Well done! Terry

 

 

Eastern Red Damsel in Kilworthy
Posted on May 27, 2012 at 02:33:59 PM by diannawolfe

After taking photos of a small, red damselfly on one of our patio chairs earlier today, I discovered it to be a female Eastern Red Damsel. This may be a first for Muskoka.

On June 3, 2010, Al Sinclair posted that there had been no sightings of Eastern Red Damsel in Muskoka or Parry Sound, with one sighting in Algonquin. Since then, I am not sure if there have been any sightings that have not been documented on this board.

Although perhaps not in the most natural of settings or of the best quality, here are the photos:

photo1  photo2

 

 

Golden-winged Warbler and Mourning Warbler
Posted on May 27, 2012 at 08:57:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

Early this morning along South Monck Dr. just north of Partridge Lane, there was a singing Golden-winged Warbler and a Mourning Warbler (my first one this year). (Bracebridge)

 

 

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth - photo
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 09:50:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) visited our garden tonight. (Bracebridge)

Here are a couple quick shots I grabbed before it flew off:  photo1  photo2

Hemaris thysbe references:
http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=545
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/hthysbe.htm
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hemaris-thysbe

excerpt from entomology.ualberta.ca - "H. thysbe can always be told from other species of Hemaris by the row of dark scales bisecting the forewing discal cell (absent in other Hemaris species)"

excerpt from butterfliesandmoths.org - "However, thysbe can always be distinguished from gracilis and diffinis by two characteristics: 1) the lack of any banding on the lateral side of the thorax; 2) thysbe always has yellowish or pale colored legs."

 

 

Cedar Waxwings, Bala
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 07:56:18 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The blossoms have only just finished on the pin cherry trees at my place. As if on cue two Cedar Waxwings arrived today to check the the barely formed cherries to see if they were ripe. Not ripe enough as they left again just as quickly!

 

 

Polyphemus Moth, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Ruddy Duck
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 12:50:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

A large Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) was on the ground near the Lagoon Lane gate at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. It appeared to be injured and couldn't fly away so I was able to get this photo.  Also near the Lagoon Lane gate there was a Clay-colored Sparrow singing briefly. There had been one seen in a prior year at the edge of a field near the Kia dealership, which isn't too far away. Still lots of Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers everywhere, but the other shorebirds have moved on - only a single Least Sandpiper at the south shore of cell 2. In cell 1 there was a male Ruddy Duck - could this be an immature from last year's hatch since not in breeding plumage? These photos are severely cropped but just for the record: photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Hermit thrush
Posted on May 29, 2012 at 06:23:47 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday morning along Ragged Rapids Rd., Bala, heard several Hermit Thrushes and Veerys.
I'm just hoping the new snowmobile trail through my place hasn't affected their location at my place. Unfortunately my hearing hasn't improved and I'm not hearing birds as well as I did even last year.

 

 

Re(4): Hermit thrush
Posted on May 27, 2012 at 08:12:36 PM by diannawolfe

We had many here in Kilworthy earlier in the spring, with the usually expected number still here now. As Eleanor said, they aren't singing much now, but are still making their nasal call notes every day and evening.

 

 

Re(3): Hermit thrush
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 07:38:40 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Don't give up hope yet! I have found that they sing only for a short time after arrival and then again after nesting. As it was cold when they would have arrived I'm hoping we'll hear them in a couple of weeks.  It would be a tragedy if you are right and they haven't made it back. I usually have at least 3 singing around me.

 

 

Re(2): Hermit thrush
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 04:38:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Have not heard one here for the first time in 30 years! Perhaps it's the weather, still hoping and listening every evening. 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Hermit thrush
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 10:39:57 AM by DebbieAdams

I was thinking the same. The woods used to be filled with their flute-like song. Not this year, sadly.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Hermit thrush
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 07:06:19 AM by lflemming5

I have been very disappointed this year not to have heard the usual musical songs of hermit thrush in the municipal forest behind Meadow Heights/Covered Bridge. I heard one once this spring and that's it. Are others finding them absent? For the last dozen years they seemed plentiful here. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Delta-spotted Spiketail
Posted on May 25, 2012 at 01:25:26 PM by diannawolfe

While gardening this morning, I was distracted by this Delta-spotted Spiketail, flying with the other more commonly seen dragonfly species. (Kilworthy)

photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Dragonfly and Damselfly Count
Posted on June 20, 2012 at 09:54:07 AM by Peter Mills

Hi All,

Just a quick comment: some of you may be aware that the Algonquin Butterfly Count is July 4th, the day before the Dragonfly and Damselfly Count. For those who will be arriving the night before either of the counts (or those who are participating in both and will be needing a place to stay the night in between), there will be FREE CAMPING offered at the Whitefish Group Campground (accessed through the Pog Lake Campground access road). Nights for free camping will be Tuesday July 3rd (the night before the Butterfly Count) and Wednesday July 4th (the night after the Butterfly Count and the night before the Dragonfly Count).

Simply arriving at the Pog Lake Campground Office (just off HWY 60; it’s well signed) and stating who you are, that you are there for the Insect Count(s), and how many nights you plan to stay should be sufficient. We will make sure the staff at the Campground Office know this is happening. If there are any problems, you can ask them to phone or radio the Visitor Centre and ask for myself, Justin Peter, Brad Steinberg, or Ian Shanahan (one of us should be around so long as it is before closing time for the Visitor Centre (i.e. before 5pm)).

Please note that it is ONLY sites, and not camping gear, equipment, and food, that is provided.

I hope that may make planning to participate in one or both of these counts more enjoyable and affordable. Looking forward to the fifth.

See you all then,

Peter Mills
Park Naturalist

 

 

Algonquin Park Dragonfly and Damselfly Count
Posted on May 24, 2012 at 07:35:20 PM by Peter Mills

Hello Fellow Dragon and Damsel Hunters,

This year's Algonquin Park Odonate Count is taking place on July 5th.

For those of you new to Insect Counts, the day's event will consist of dividing the group's participants into smaller groups, each of which will be assigned an area of a large circle that covers much of the area around Highway 60, the most accessible part of the Park. Within this ‘sub-area’ of the count-circle, you and your group members will be tasked with sampling the number of species AND the number of individuals of each species seen in your area. ID's can be made merely by seeing certain species (those that are distinctive enough to allow on-the-wing-identification), or by capture via net and in-hand identification.

On the morning of the 5th, we will meet in the Visitor's Centre board room downstairs. Though normally off-limits to the public and for employees only, you will find that the Service Entrance (adjacent to the Main Public Entrance, up a small driveway) will be open, and there will be signage to direct you downstairs to the meeting place. We will meet here at 9:00 AM. After a quick briefing by me, some final groupings, and a time to answer any questions you may have, we will split up and head into our assigned areas, returning to the Visitor Centre board room for 4:30 PM, at which time we will tally our results and share our findings. It is at this point that any noteworthy, new-to-the-count, or difficult-to-identify species are likely to be present in envelopes for all to see and deliberate over. Otherwise, all dragons and damsels caught over the day will be released, alive, where they were captured after being identified.

You will need a vehicle pass for your vehicle if you are bringing one. These can be picked up at THE VISITOR CENTRE (you will be given a free courtesy pass for the day's event).

If you are interested in being a part of this year's Dragonfly and Damselfly Count you can contact me by email at peter.b.mills@hotmail.com ,or (preferably) by phone at the Algonquin Visitor Centre (613-637-2828)and asking for me by name. I simply need to know your name and whether or not there are other participants who are coming with you, and with whom you would like to be grouped for the day.

This count offers a great experience to see Algonquin, and a chance for those interested in Dragons and Damsels to broaden their Odonate-repertoire. We often have both Jewelwings in the Park's many creeks, a plethora of Bluet species from marshy shorelines, many Spreadwings in the wetlands that abound in the count circle, some early Darners, a good variety of Clubtails, Rusty Snaketails, Spiketails, Emeralds (Somatochlora!), Skimmers, and the twilit-portions of the day after the count typically produce the dusk-flying Stygian Shadowdragon and Vesper Bluets. If you don't feel you are a Dragonfly/Damselfly expert do not worry! There are always many beginners at each count; we like to have you along, and we will ensure you are with a friendly and knowledgeable partner who is familiar with this group of insects and the Park as well.

One last thing: you will enjoy your day much more if you have a net to capture Dragons and Damsels with! Any net is good, though one with a deep bag is best. There are likely a few here we can loan out, and there are also some for sale in our book store which will be open that morning.

That's all for now and please contact me if you have questions,

Peter Mills
Park Naturalist

 

 

Re(1):and Ruddy Duck?
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 12:51:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

If it's the same bird...a male Ruddy Duck (not in breeding plumage) was in cell 1 this morning.

 

 

American Wigeon and Ruddy Duck?
Posted on May 24, 2012 at 00:07:42 AM by Goodyear

Tonight around 8:00 there was an American Wigeon in Cell 3 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. Fewer shorebirds - 8 Least, 2 Semi-palmated Plover, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs. Only saw one male Shoveler. As we were leaving we saw what looked like a male Ruddy Duck in non-breeding plumage - large white clean cheek patch with black cap, and no line extending through cheek. Bill was a uniform dark colour. Would male Ruddy Ducks still be in winter plumage at this time? Black Scoter female? It was in Cell 1, diving frequently and on the far side (of course!). It had the small compact body of a Ruddy Duck. From what we could see the white was restricted to the cheek and did not extend down into the neck area as with a female Black Scoter.

 

 

Cecropia moth
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:55:47 PM by tedthevideoman

This fellow sat all day yesterday on a cart of strawberry plant at the Home Depot garden centre...the day before they had a Luna Moth...add to that a Northern Mocking bird,common yellow throat warbler, song sparrow (and nest) and a Robin and young in nest our garden centre is full of interest...all birds are fairly regular and over the last 3 years we always have a great collection of moths...picture of the cecropia here and more on my blog...http://t-boneimages.blogspot.ca/

photo

 

 

Re(4): black widow spider
Posted on May 25, 2012 at 12:55:18 PM by diannawolfe

We had one living with her egg sacs in our sandpit in Kilworthy last summer (not too far north of the Severn River). We also saw one in a gravel pit area west of the Torrance Barrens the year before. They are infrequent, but are definitely breeding in the area.

 

 

Re(3): black widow spider
Posted on May 24, 2012 at 04:56:51 PM by John Challis

Paul is maintenance manager at Shamrock Lodge trailer park on the north side of the Severn River. As a reassurance to people who might use that lodge, I am not sure if he actually found it on site or off but it was near there, and as Al points out there's very low risk of a bite from these spiders. He was keeping it in a terrarium for a while; both his kids are fascinated with the natural world.

 

 

Re(2): black widow spider
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:31:30 PM by Al Sinclair

I would agree. It is a Northern Black Widow, Latrodectus variolus. Rarely deadly and not likely to bite. No need for panic. Where was it found? Muskoka or Simcoe Co. I saw one in Haliburton Co near Minden. There was one on Beausoleil Is a couple of years ago. Check the link below for more info.
BugGuide

 

 

black widow spider
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 10:30:06 PM by John Challis

Our neighbour across the road sent me these photos of what he identifies, with help from the Internet, as a black widow spider. Anyone able to confirm this for him?
photo1  photo2

 

 

Eye-spotted Lady Beetle
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 08:00:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found this little guy while I was doing a bit of gardening. They are a predator of aphids, so I gently moved it out of my way. (Bracebridge)
Anatis mali (Eye-spotted Lady Beetle): photo

 

 

Re(1): Monarch Eggs, Bala
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 07:58:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After seeing several Monarchs around I checked my milkweed plants again and counted 20 eggs on only four plants! Going to be a good year for Monarchs!

 

 

Monarch Eggs, Bala
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 06:54:11 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After being away for a few days I arrived home to see a Monarch Butterfly flitting around my garden. This afternoon I see that each of 6 or so milkweed plants each has one egg. I had three plants last year and have at least double that this year. Plants are 5=10".

 

 

Re(2): Perhaps a Spring Azure?
Posted on May 24, 2012 at 01:33:39 AM by DebbieAdams

Looked up your suggestion and that appears to be what we saw. Thanks.

 

 

Re(1): Perhaps a Spring Azure?
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 08:04:23 AM by Alex Mills

(no message)

 

 

Moth/Butterfly ID please.
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 07:43:30 AM by DebbieAdams

Yesterday we were at the Lion's Lookout in Huntsville and spotted a blue moth or butterfly. It was about the size of a quarter.
So now we are wondering what they are called.
We tried to look it up on various internet sites to no avail.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Semipalmated Sandpiper
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 07:17:54 AM by Goodyear

Made a quick visit to the Lagoons last night around 8:00. Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and about 12 Least still at the south end of Cell 2. Shovelers were disturbed by an incoming septic truck and flew around for a while before settling in Cell 3. In addition, had great scope views of a single Semipalmated Sandpiper at the south edge of Cell 2.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - shovelers and shorebirds
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 01:01:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were five pairs of Northern Shovelers (cell 2 and 3). Along the south shore of cells 1 and 2 there were three Semipalmated Plovers, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, and about 25 Least Sandpipers. Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer were abundant and noisily making their presence known. In cell 4 there was an American Coot (thanks for the tip George) at the west edge and also a Pied-billed Grebe which stayed submerged most of the time in the south-east corner. A Green Heron flew out of the flooded area west of cell 4 heading north-east.

Semipalmated Plover: photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Ermine
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 12:37:12 PM by John Challis

We had one in our outside basement stairwell a number of years ago when we lived on Rocksborough Road. We took it by surprise, and it ran up and down the stairs a few times in a great fret and worry. It was just halfway through its spring change of coat and was mottled brown and white.

 

 

Re(1): Ermine
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 10:15:44 AM by Al Sinclair

Weasels are common in Muskoka but not often observed because they are mostly nocturnal. There are 3 species here: Ermine or (Short-tailed Weasel), Long-tailed Weasel and Least weasel. Least weasel is rare in Muskoka. Short-tailed and Long-tailed are hard to separate unless you have one in hand (ie "dead"). I have examined a few dead ones (road kills) in southern Muskoka and all were Long-tailed.

 

 

Re(1): Ermine
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 07:32:33 AM by DebbieAdams

There is one (maybe more) in our neighbourhood. It is bold too and isn't afraid of us or our dog at all! (Walker's Point)

 

 

Ermine
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 10:40:53 AM by CatMacLean

I had a "present" left for me yesterday of a very dead Ermine. I had never seen one before and was wondering how common they are in this area?  (Huntsville)

 

 

Re(1): Nighthawks
Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:50:03 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

So nice to hear they are still around Gayle! Great bird! I will watch for them at the lake!
Thanks Terry

 

 

Nighthawks
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 09:48:56 AM by GayleCarlyle

Saw and heard my first nighthawks last night flying over our home in Washago.
Nice to have them around!

 

 

Luna Moths flying Bracebridge
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 04:51:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night we had our first Luna of the year here. Saturday 2 were reported at a residence on Wellington North St in Bracebridge.

7758 - Luna Moth - Actias luna - photo  (Photo taken with a LG Optimus LTE Smartphone)

 

 

Windermere area birds - Sandhill Crane and Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 01:16:25 PM by dbritton

I spent a couple of hours birding on Rostrevor Road this morning. There was a nice selection of the usual suspects, including Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole and Indigo Bunting, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Nashville, Wilson's and Black-and-White Warbler.

The first highlight was a male Golden-winged Warbler singing in the alder thickets on the east side of the road just north of the Dee River bridge. This bird was singing a Blue-winged-type song, so I had to track him down to confirm the identification. This is a traditional spot for Golden-winged but, over the years, I've had Brewster's here two or three times and Blue-winged once.

The second was a group of three Sandhill Cranes kettling over the same area and calling loudly. Only my second record of this species for the Windermere area.
David Britton

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrows - Bracebridge
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 09:38:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three Clay-colored Sparrows and a Field Sparrow singing in the field north of the Covered Bridge Trail deadend. Other birds in the area included Northern Harrier, Alder Flycatcher, Bobolink, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, and Nashville Warbler. Along the South Monck trail in the woods north-east of the field there were Eastern Wood-Pewee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Great Crested Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, and Warblers - Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, and Black-and-white.   Area Map

 

 

Porcupine
Posted on May 19, 2012 at 02:48:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today some crows were making a ruckus out back so I thought there must be a fox or raccoon, but instead I found this beast. Never seen one in our neighbourhood before. Hope the crows realize quills can be dangerous...they were getting awfully close. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

foxes
Posted on May 19, 2012 at 11:05:35 AM by carolwagg

In the back yard this morning, a mom and 2 kits. They frolicked for a bit, and then she told them to say put while she went off hunting. Wonderful! (Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst)

 

 

Fairy Vista birds
Posted on May 18, 2012 at 11:09:28 AM by CatMacLean

On the trail this am... indigo bunting, brown thrasher, catbird, common yellow throat, chestnut-sided, baltimore oriole and alder flycatcher. (Huntsville)

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting: May 29, 2012
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 01:07:29 PM by Beveaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, May 29, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street South, starting at 7 pm. “Climate Warming and Sustainability” will be presented by the Town of Huntsville’s Chris Marshall and Rebecca Francis. Ron Tozer, retired Algonquin Park Naturalist, will speak specifically about climate warming and the apparent effects on birds. 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

 

 

Henry Marsh makeover...photos
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 12:22:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the town was doing some work out at the marsh. (Bracebridge)
Here is the flooded area as you approach the "T" in the trail - before and after. But no culvert was put in, so we'll see...  photobefore  photoafter

 

These piles of branches by the wooden bridge will be removed today. They have accumulated since last fall as the beavers keep trying to plug up the hole just as quickly as people keep removing them. photo

 

Henry Marsh (for those who've never been there): photo

 

 

Swainson's Thrush singing...Bracebridge
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 09:41:27 AM by Al Sinclair

We had a Swainson's singing here this morning at 8am. Likely a migrant as we haven't had a resident in our woods for about 10 years.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Lagoons - Ruddy Duck
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 08:56:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Ruddy Duck was still in cell 3 this morning. A Blackpoll Warbler and a Wilson's Warbler were in the shrubbery west of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons - Ruddy Duck
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 12:35:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a female Ruddy Duck in cell 3. It was very busy today with several rumbling sewage disposal trucks scaring up the birds. Only one Lesser Yellowlegs was seen at the east end of cell 3 and a few Least Sandpipers were scattered along the south end of cell 2. No Semipalmated Plovers were found. The Swallows were still there (including at least one Cliff), primarily flying over cell 1. A Green Heron flew overhead towards the flooded area west of cell 4.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Shorebirds and Swallows
Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:05:40 PM by Goodyear

Around 8 this evening we saw a number of shorebirds along the south edge of Cell 2 - 3 Semi-palmated Plovers, 9 Least Sandpipers, 3 Lesser Yellowlegs. Over cells 3 and 4 there was a large flock of about 125 swallows, mostly Tree Swallows and a large number of Bank Swallows, along with Rough-winged and Barn, and at least two Cliff Swallows.

 

 

Snowberry Clearwing - photo
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 04:53:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis) visited our yard in Bracebridge. This is the first time we've seen one here. We usually get the larger Hemaris thysbe at the Moss Phlox and later at the Lilac blooms. This moth was very shy so these photos are the best I could do...some better photos can be found at the references I've listed below my pics.

photo1  photo2

 

Hemaris diffinis References:
http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=544
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/hdiffinis.htm
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hemaris-diffinis

excerpt from entomology.ualberta.ca - "while in diffinis the ventrum of the abdomen has significant black and the legs are black... in addition, there is a black stripe running across the thorax from the eyes to the abdomen" (J. Tuttle, pers. corr., September 2001)."

excerpt from butterfliesandmoths.org - "However, diffinis can always be distinguished from gracilis and thysbe by two diagnostic characteristics: 1) the black band that crosses the eye and travels down the lateral side of the thorax; 2) diffinis always has black legs."

 

 

Re(2): Monarch Butterfly
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 07:55:52 PM by dinnymccraney

Glad someone else has seen them..thought I was dreaming. One yesterday morning and another today, feeding on the choke cherry blossoms.
Also yellow swallowtails around the lilacs today (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Monarch Butterfly
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 08:04:12 PM by Al Sinclair

Our first was today May 17. One adult flying in our yard, nectaring on dandelions. 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Monarch Butterfly
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 03:44:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the south breeze carried a Monarch Butterfly into our yard...first I've seen this year. (Bracebridge)
You can see a migration map and report your first sighting at Journey North.

 

 

Re(2): beauties and a puzzle - Baltimore Oriole
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 02:15:12 PM by George Bryant

BAOR's make a variety of songs / calls. I heard one this morning singing "Peter, peter" at Torrance. The giveaway is the oriole chatter before or after the song.

 

 

Re(2): beauties and a puzzle
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 09:41:24 PM by carolwagg

The sound is coming from the woods, but I'm sure that's not it either.

 

 

Re(1): beauties and a puzzle
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 01:46:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

If the mystery song is from the woods, not the fields, then maybe Ovenbird?
http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=88

 

 

beauties and a puzzle
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:01:53 AM by carolwagg

Sunday started with a flash of yellow (underwing) at the hummingbird feeder outside the window. A male baltimore oriole spent the whole day between here and our neighbour's. At 5 p,m, a pair of bluebirds spent time scoping out our backyard boxes. It made for a great Mother's Day, but unfortunately, they all seem to have moved on.

A puzzle from yesterday - an oft repeated song that, to us, sounds like "peter peter peter pete". We found tufted titmouse in the Cornell website, but it isn't quite right, missing that syllable at the end. Any ideas, experts?

Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst, north side of Doe Lake.

 

 

Eleanor Island Bird Sanctuary
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 08:14:51 AM by DebbieAdams

It seems that the Cormorants have just about taken over Eleanor Island. I counted only 6 Blue Herons in nests (there may be more hidden in the leaves/branches) but lost count of the Cormorant nests; maybe 60+? There were easily over 100 Cormorants flying around and perched in the trees. There were plenty of gulls sitting on nests but no sign that any have hatched.
(Lake Muskoka)

 

 

Caspian Terns, Glen Orchard
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 09:46:47 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For anyone doing the Baillie Birdathon there have been two Caspian Terns loafing on several days in the wetland attached to what was the old Hacienda. There is a dry place out from the docks.  This is between Glen Orchard and Bala on Hwy 169.

 

 

Browning Island birds
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 03:16:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a trip over to Browning Island (Lake Muskoka) turned up our first Scarlet Tanager of the year, but no Loons!
Other birds included:
Great Crested Flycatcher
Cedar Waxwing
Eastern Phoebe
Nashville Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

American Redstart
Red-eyed Vireo
Ovenbird
Song Sparrow
Common Merganser
Great Blue Heron
Double-crested Cormorant

 

 

Re(1): Beetle - photo
Posted on May 13, 2012 at 09:15:09 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

Nice find Barbara..... you id'ed it right on!
http://bugguide.net/node/view/44543
Thanks Terry

 

 

Beetle - photo
Posted on May 13, 2012 at 03:22:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found this interesting looking beetle on a Trillium this afternoon in Bracebridge.  photo
Appears to be Evodinus monticola in the Family Cerambycidae (Long-horned Beetles) - Subfamily Lepturinae (Flower Longhorns).

 

 

Algonquin Park Birds
Posted on May 13, 2012 at 12:51:44 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (May 13, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
It has been an exciting week here in Algonquin. While there haven’t been
any rarities found yet, the resident birds are showing exceptionally well
and many of our migrant birds are back.

Noteworthy migrants include Cape May, Black-and-White, Bay-breasted and
Yellow Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Northern Rough-winged
Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers and American
Pipit.

Warblers are widespread in the Park, but the best places continue to be the
Old Airfield and the North part of the Mizzy Lake Trail.

The Boreal specialty birds of the Park were very cooperative this week.

Spruce Grouse: A male was displaying at the Arowhon crossroads on the 10th,
and birds were observed at Wolf Howl Pond on the railway bed., including
today. This bird is becoming increasingly difficult as the display period
is almost done.

Boreal Chickadee: These are still very vocal and are heard easily along the
north part of the Mizzy Lake trail, and also at the south end of the
airfield – both locales had several sightings this week, including
yesterday. They respond quite well to pishing.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A bird was seen on the 10th at the Arowhon
crossroads, and this morning an astounding FOUR birds were on one tree at
West Rose Lake on the Mizzy Trail. Single birds were seen there throughout
the week.

Gray Jay: These now have fledged young and are difficult to see.
Nonetheless, a pair and two youngsters were seen on the 11th at the locked
gate at the old railway bed., and another pair were there today. Two birds
were observed mobbing a Great Gray Owl on the 9th west of the Visitor
Centre. Also try Opeongo Road at the gate near Cameron Lake Road.

Northern Saw-whet Owl: These are still calling vigorously all over the
highway, but mostly west of KM 20.

Great Gray Owl: A male was singing on the early morning of the 8th just
west of the Visitor Centre deep in the extensive bog there. It was being
mobbed by a pair of Gray Jays. Subsequent efforts to hear or see this bird
have failed.

Moose are really common now on warm mornings and evenings - six were seen
within a few hours yesterday. Lots of good butterflies out as well.

 

Directions: (Courtesy Ron Tozer)
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and
60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400.

From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 *to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate
(km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56). Get your park permit and the park
tabloid (with a map of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and
information. There is currently no restaurant but snack food and
microwaveable food is available, as well as many places to sit and have
your own lunch. The Visitor Centre is now open daily from 9-5.

For more info, visit the Friends of Algonquin website at
www.algonquinpark.on.ca.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid
Algonquin Park

 

 

Re(4): Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 09:52:17 AM by DavidBywater

Thanks for the feedback, the audio file on birdjam is quite good. That's definitely what I heard, but based on other audio recordings, I was expecting the bee-bz-bz-bz. There is quite a difference in pitch and tempo between the three and two buzz's.

 

 

Re(3): Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 05:36:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

I've heard both versions here, but the three buzz seems to be more common. The bird yesterday at South Monck Dr. was doing the bee-buzz-buzz-buzz. Here's a link to BirdJam which has some nice long recordings from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, including a Golden-winged two buzz version:
Warbler menu: http://www.birdjam.com/habitat.php?id=7

 

 

Re(2): Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 12:37:28 PM by DavidBywater

What do the Golden-winged warblers around here sound like? I heard a couple that I thought were Golden-winged warblers, but couldn't find them to ID. However, they were in suitable GW habitat. They both did a "bee, buzz, buzz", but at a different tempo than the audio on websites such as allaboutbirds.com. The usual song also seems to have a third "buzz." Thanks for your feedback.

 

 

Re(1): Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 11:37:54 AM by John Challis

On the Uhthoff Trail, north of Orillia and in a stretch between Burnside Line and Wainman Line, we heard three or four golden-winged warblers, including a pair that were arguing with each other on either side of the trail. We had a good view of one of the pair in among some small poplars.
The trail also had a number of Baltimore orioles, a Nashville warbler & Northern waterthrush. And the farm fields along the way were alive with bobolinks - in particular, the field opposite the trail parking lot at the gravel quarry on Burnside Line, where there was an enormous chorus of them singing.

 

 

Golden-winged Warbler
Posted on May 13, 2012 at 12:35:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today we walked along part of South Monck Dr. just north of Crawford Rd./Partridge Lane where there is a low lying flooded area. At the east side of the road there was a singing Golden-winged Warbler. On the west side of the road there was a Northern Waterthrush and a Virginia Rail. There were several butterflies too, including Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Red Admiral, Clouded Sulphur, American Lady, Cabbage White, Spring Azure, and Duskywings. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Parula
Posted on May 13, 2012 at 12:19:49 PM by Goodyear

This morning we heard and then saw a singing Northern Parula at the intersection of the TransCanada Trail and the snowmobile trail at the northwest corner of Cell 4 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. Two Solitary Sandpipers were using some exposed mud flats at the newly formed beaver pond about a third of the way over to Henry Marsh.

 

 

American Bittern - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 11:29:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at Henry Marsh an American Bittern flew up from close to the trail as we approached the wooden bridge. It flew out of sight to the south-west following the creek that flows into the marsh. Also saw a Wilson's Snipe and heard two Sora calling from the back of the marsh. Haven't heard or seen any Golden-winged Warblers yet. A nice male Magnolia Warbler was singing along the trail east of the marsh just before "the dip" in the trail.  A Red-eyed Vireo was singing nearby.

 

 

Re(2): Least Sandpipers - Lagoons
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 12:22:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Early this morning there were eight Leasts, a Greater Yellowlegs, and a Solitary Sandpiper all at the south edge of cell 2. A Wilson's Snipe was at the west side of cell 3. Less than an hour later I only saw three Leasts. Only waterfowl were a few Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Canada Geese.

New first of the year bird for me was Gray Catbird - one east of cell 3 and two near the NW corner of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Least Sandpipers - Lagoons
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 11:42:29 AM by Barbara Taylor

Didn't see any Solitary Sandpipers this morning but some Yellowlegs and the four Least Sandpipers were still there. A Wilson's Snipe and a Green Heron were west of cell 4. Had two new birds of the year for us - an Indigo Bunting at the end of Lagoon Lane, and a male Bobolink at the south side of cell 2.
Least Sandpipers at south shore of cell 1 (Bracebridge Ponds): photo

 

 

Least Sandpipers - Lagoons
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 08:47:21 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday evening we saw 4 Least Sandpipers at the south edge of Cell 2 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. The Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs were still present (2 and 5), as were the 4 Solitary Sandpipers, seen in the sw corner of Cell 3. There were also very large groups of what we think are Whirligig Beetles in Cell 3 and 4. It didn't seem as though any of the swallows or shorebirds were interested in eating them.

 

 

Scarlet Tanager
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 08:13:51 AM by CatMacLean

We have singing this am along with black and whites and a red-eyed vireo in Huntsville.

 

 

Re(1): warblers and thrushes
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 02:39:33 PM by John Challis

Forgot to mention the brown thrasher signing on the Coopers Falls Road. Or is it Cooper's with an apostrophe? Either way the thrasher was there.

 

 

warblers and thrushes
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 02:38:41 PM by John Challis

Stokes' CDs recording of Blackburnian warblers is a rising trill that eventually seems to sweep up past normal human range. We have had a number of birds in the top of the pines on Green River Drive (Washago) that regularly call with three or four slow, very high "weess" notes rising in pitch - but not a trill. I finally got a look at one this morning. They are also Blackburnians; at least three males in the general vicinity, all with same call. Damn warblers.
Last night at dusk, on a bike ride on Cronk Side Road, outside Washago, three hermit thrushes, a Northern waterthrush, two rose-breasted grosbeaks and American bitterns were all singing. It's a great road for birds of deep woodland, open fields and wet woodland marshes.

 

 

Orange-crowned Warbler
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 01:16:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found an Orange-crowned Warbler along the South Monck Trail north of Meadow Heights Dr. (west end) in Bracebridge. Other warblers in the area included Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Nashville, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, Yellow-rumped, Pine, and Chestnut-sided. There were two male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks fighting in mid-air near the bridge crossing Beaver Creek.

 

 

Arrowhead Migrants
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:23:15 AM by Kip Daynard

My eight-year old daughter and I went for a 40-min walk at Arrowhead this morning (Mayflower Lake) and found quite a few birds including the following:

Black-throated Green Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Scarlet Tanager
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Wood Duck (x3)
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Pine Siskin (12 or so)
Broad-winged Hawk
American Robin
Blue Jay
Spotted Sandpiper (x2)

 

 

Parry Sound birds
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:02:48 AM by DavidBywater

Some new birds I've seen and heard in and around Parry Sound:
GC Flycatcher (at the Museum)
Chimney Swift (near the Museum)
American Redstart (Foley)

Anyone else heard or seen the Swifts in town?

 

 

Re(1): Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, but No Grebes
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:27:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we didn't see any Red-necked Grebes at the Bracebridge Ponds. Two Greater Yellowlegs were wading at the south end of cell 1, and about ten Lesser Yellowlegs and four Solitary Sandpipers were along the west shore of cell 3. Possibly a Least Sandpiper which we only saw in flight. Several Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer scattered about.

A few Swallows - Bank, Barn, Tree, and Northern Rough-winged. A Merlin was on the hunt with a few flybys, and each time the Red-winged Blackbirds warned us of its presence.

Two Virginia Rails were out in the open for a while, feeding along the flooded snowmobile trail just west of cell 4. A Green Heron was perched in a dead tree nearby. A Sora was calling, but we didn't see it. Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Wood Thrush were singing from the edge of the woods SW of cell 4. Other birds in the area included Warbling Vireo, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Common Yellowthroat. Also the usual Swamp, Song, Savannah, and White-throated Sparrows, and two White-crowned Sparrows.

Still about ten Lesser Scaup in cell 3. Several Wood Ducks at the west edge of cell 1. About forty Buffleheads in cell 4. An American Wigeon flew up from cell 4 headed north.

Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top, west at left)

 

 

Red-necked Grebes, Bald Eagle
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:19:44 PM by Goodyear

This evening around 6:30 there were 6 Red-necked Grebes in Cell 4 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. We also had an immature Bald Eagle fly over.

 

  

Re(1): Mr. Ruby
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 05:08:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Finally got our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird (a male) at the feeder at 5 p.m. today during a rainshower.

 

 

Mr. Ruby
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 07:24:30 PM by tedthevideoman

Put the hummer feeder out at 5:45 pm today and at 6:15 he was here!...one day later than last year from my yard records. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 11:33:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

We saw our first Indigo Bunting of the year this morning at the end of Lagoon Lane in Bracebridge.
Very nice bird to have at your feeders!

 

 

Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 05:14:10 PM by edieov

We had an Indigo Bunting at our feeders this morning, he stayed around for an hour or so. First one that we have seen here. (Carling Township, near Nobel)

 

 

Re(1): Oriole
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 06:07:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Since the male has already been on territory for a few days, I suspect your new bird would be its mate. Otherwise the male would probably try to chase off the new bird.

Here's a webpage which shows both sexes at various ages:
http://www.migrationresearch.org/mbo/id/baor.html

 

 

Oriole
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 02:29:42 PM by Rosie

Had a male baltimore oriole at our hummingbird feeder May 5 and everyday since. Today he was joined by a paler but still quite orange friend. Could this be a young male or a female? (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): House Wrens
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:33:09 AM by Goodyear

This morning we had a pair of House Wrens checking out a bird house in our backyard. They were removing last year's nesting material from the bird house. We put it out last year more as a decorative feature to replace a hanging plant that broke during a windstorm, but it was soon claimed by a House Wren pair. It hangs from a plant hanger, about 3 feet off the ground.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): House Wrens, Bala
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:36:47 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

New yard bird for me this morning, House Wren.

 

 

House Wrens
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:30:50 AM by Barbara Taylor

There must have been a big move of House Wrens yesterday. I counted at least 8 singing along Glendale Rd. and Covered Bridge Trail this morning after the rain stopped. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): and now finally a Clay-colored Sparrow
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 12:25:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:30 a.m. this morning we first heard, and then saw a Clay-colored Sparrow (first one this year for us). It was perched atop one of the larger round-shaped young white pines in the field north of the Covered Bridge Trail deadend, in the same area they were found last year. A Field Sparrow was also singing nearby. There was a pair of Eastern Bluebirds sitting on the fenceline at the west edge of the field.

On the South Monck trail heading north from Meadow Heights Dr. (west end), we watched a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers taking turns feeding their young in a nesthole way up high in a maple tree. The young were making begging sounds almost constantly, and we could hear them from quite some distance away.

 

 

Field Sparrows
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 08:42:16 AM by Goodyear

We checked out the field to the north of the Covered Bridge Trail deadend yesterday evening and had 5 Field Sparrows. We saw 3 foraging around the base of a low juniper?? and could hear two others singing to the north and south. No sight or sound of the Clay-colored Sparrows. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Rusty Blackbirds/Hummingbird
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 06:52:40 AM by janice house

Around 6pm yesterday a female was at one of the feeders, this morning the male was there. Saw my first hummingbird this morning. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Virginnia Rail and Bluebirds
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 00:17:49 AM by sylviapurdon

Virginnia Rail (2) in the Wenona Marsh off Canning Road.
Bluebirds on MFN bluebird box trail on Southwood Road near Baseline Road - 2 pr.
Tree Swallows in nesting boxes on Southwood Road.
Meadowlark
Catbird
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler (heard)

Wippoorwills on Beiers Rd. reported by Maggie Purdon while riding horses in the Super moonlight Saturday night.
American Woodcock
-aerial display

 

 

Re(2): Swifts
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 07:07:43 PM by janice house

I have seen a pair entering the small chimney of the Trinity United Church 290 Muskoka Rd N. It is the small chimney on the side of the church facing Gravenhurst Manor. The owner of the house beside the laundry mat (First St & Sharpe ?) told Wendy Hutchings she has swifts in her chimney.

 

 

Re(1): Swifts
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 00:10:30 AM by sylviapurdon

Where are the Swifts roosting at night, Dan.

 

 

Swifts
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 10:33:32 PM by DBurton

Chimney Swifts are in Gravenhurst now. I also had a Blackburnian Warbler at Stephenson Road today.

 

 

Hummers & Whip-poor-will
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 09:05:59 PM by lflemming5

I'm thrilled to report that I just heard a whip-poor-will behind Meadow Heights. I heard them here every year from 2000 to 2009; nothing in the last 2 years. Nice to hear one again. Hummers are back, too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Hummers, Bala
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 07:13:32 AM by Wilf Yusek

My hummer also returned yesterday afternoon at 2.40 p.m. Nice male.

 

 

Re(1): Hummers, Bala
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 07:19:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A male announced his presence this afternoon by hovering in front of my window as I sat at the computer. Fast fill and we're in business!

 

 

Hummers
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 07:09:57 PM by DebbieAdams

Finally! I just spotted 2 Hummers at a feeder duking it out. We have 3 feeders, spaced well apart but it doesn't matter. They both want the same feeder at the same time.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 05:08:57 PM by janice house

Heard before noon today, oven bird, hermit thrush, wood thrush, least flycatcher, rose-breasted grosbeak and yellow-bellied sapsucker.

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs Prospect Lake...photo
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 02:53:07 PM by Al Sinclair

Wilf Yusek found this bird on the public beach at Prospect Lake east of Bracebridge early Thursday morning. I took this at 8:30am. Slight upturn on the bill, more barring on the sides separated greater from lesser.  Greater Yellowlegs - Prospect Lake - May 3, 2012 photo

 

 

Sora - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 01:50:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we heard a Sora at Henry Marsh. We also had our first Common Yellowthroat of the year. A pair of Hermit Thrush were along the trail east of the marsh.

Directions: From traffic lights at Wellington St. & Ecclestone Dr.(aka Hwy.118W) in Bracebridge, take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River and turn left at Henry Rd.
Area Map with trails marked

 

 

Re(1): Whip-poor-will, Bala
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:42:37 PM by Barb Staples

The one here started calling Tuesday night. Agreed glad to have back! Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Whip-poor-will, Bala
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 09:31:57 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Tonight as I walked up from seeing the full moon rise over my lake a Whip-poor-will began calling from its usual place across from my front door.
Very happy to have it back!
A couple of beavers were out enjoying the moon. They cris-crossed through its path many times.

 

 

Annual MFN walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 09:17:10 PM by janice house

We met at Kerr Park and also went to the Henry Marsh, the highlight of the morning was the black bear at the Henry Marsh, who could out run the bear? Species seen and heard:
broad-winged hawk
osprey
turkey vulture
american crow
common raven
canada goose
double-crested cormorant
bufflehead
american coot
lesser scaup
mallard
wood duck
green-winged teal
hooded merganser
pied-billed grebe
green heron
eastern kingbird
song sparrow
savannah sparrow
swamp sparrow
american tree sparrow
white-throated sparrow
brown thrasher
brown-headed cowbird
red-winged blackbird
common grackle
warbling vireo
northern flicker
ring-billed gull
hairy woodpecker
pileated woodpecker
yellow-bellied sapsucker
belted kingfisher
eastern bluebird
spotted sandpiper
black-capped chickadee
northern rough-winged swallow
tree swallow
american gold finch
killdeer
nashville warbler
palm warbler
black-throated green warbler
yellow warbler
ovenbird
great crested flycatcher
least flycatcher
purple finch
ruby-crowned kinglet
american robin
blue jay
winter wren
red-breasted nuthatch

mourning dove

european starling

mourning cloak, red admiral, spring azure, question mark
muskrat, painted turtle, red squirrel, black bear

 

 

Re(2): and more
Posted on May 6, 2012 at 04:16:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning Red Admirals seemed to be everywhere along the trails around Henry Marsh in Bracebridge. There were also Mourning Cloak, Spring Azure, Question Mark, American Lady, and Juvenal's Duskywing.

 

 

Re(1): Red Admirals
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 07:24:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

I noticed a "second wave" of Red Admirals passing through our yard yesterday too, blowing in from the west. We had the first wave back on April 16th but then the colder weather and north winds must have held a lot of them back. Today there are still many flitting about the yard. Nice to see, but they keep making me think a hummingbird has just zoomed past the window...still waiting for our first one here. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red Admirals, Gravenhurst to Bala
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 04:50:19 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday afternoon while driving from Gravenhurst I counted more than 100 Red Admirals crossing Hwy 169 North between Boston Pizza and Muskoka Rd 38 in Bala from 1:30 pm - 2 pm.
Most were flying West to East. More were between Bala and my own driveway 1 km from 169. At least a dozen were right around the house.
I didn't see any flying on my way into Gravenhurst at 11 am.
Lots here again today.

 

 

HUMMER
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 12:10:22 PM by CatMacLean

I put our feeder out yesterday as people where seeing Hummers in Bracebridge and we just had our first one today in Huntsville.

 

 

Red-eyed Vireo
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:49:14 AM by DebbieAdams

Just heard my first Red-eyed Vireo of the season. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Mourning warbler
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:22:24 AM by CatmacLean

Latest arrival singing this am in Huntsville

 

 

GC flycatcher, upland sandpiper
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 04:25:11 PM by GayleCarlyle

Heard and saw our first great crested flycatcher this morning at our place in Washago. I love their call!
This afternoon, I took a drive out to McArthur Sdrd and heard an upland sandpiper. Couldn't see it though. It's usually hanging around a big boulder in a farm field but the call was coming from another field.
Also watched a male harrier hunting in another field.

 

 

Re(2): Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:27:33 AM by DebbieAdams

We had one here yesterday morning on the feeder. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 09:30:04 PM by dinnymccraney

One here this afternoon as well (Bracebridge)Thought I saw a female this morning, but not sure..so much to-ing and fro-ing going on between the feeders it's hard to tell what's what!

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 04:06:57 PM by CatMacLean

Just had the male at our feeder in Huntsville.

 

 

Birds this Week in Algonquin Park
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 01:45:08 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (May 4, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hey folks,
In the spirit of the migration and Ron Tozer's reports from the Park,
here's what's been going on in Algonquin Park birdwise -

On May 1st there was an influx of migrants, including many Myrtle Warblers,
and yesterday there were many warblers of several species in the Park. New
arrivals included Black-throated Blue and Green, Palm, Nashville and
Black-and-White Warblers, Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Least Flycatcher
and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

The best places for observing spring warblers here are the Old Airfield
near the Mew Lake Campground and the North part of the Mizzy Lake trail,
which can be accessed by taking Arowhon Road up to a crossroads with the
old railway bed and taking a right to a small parking area with a gate, and
walking past the gate along the trail. This is also good for boreal species.

All the Boreal birds have been showing well this week:

Spruce Grouse: There was a male at Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake trail
displaying almost every day, and was joined by a female on the 2nd. Another
male was seen at the crossroads of Arowhon Road and the old railway bed
today, and yet another male was displaying past the gate on Opeongo Rd.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to four birds were seen along the North section of the
Mizzy trail (including today) as well as in south portion the Old Airfield.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A bird was seen yesterday at Wolf Howl Pond on the
Mizzy trail and a male was at Km 44 on the 1st.

Gray Jay: Birds are now becoming difficult to see as they're attending
fledged young but try Opeongo Road, where there were three birds on the 1st.

Northern Saw-whet Owl: Birds were singing every day this week at several
sites along the Highway, mostly West of Km 20 - Whiskey Rapids Trail,
Western Uplands Trail entrance (km 3), two birds at West Gate, Arowhon Rd.
etc.. but also at Brewer Lake east of Opeongo Road.

Finches: Evening Grosbeaks are hanging around the Visitor Centre
(especially in the mornings) and are heard flying over, but we have stopped
feeding and they will soon disperse. Purple Finches are singing from
territories now and Pine Siskins are widespread.

A Mourning Dove at the feeders was a nice surprise on the 3rd. This is an
uncommon species in the Park.

In terms of mammals - Moose are being seen regularly along HW 60 and a few
Black Bears were seen as well.

Directions: (Courtesy Ron Tozer)
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11
and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400.*
* *From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 *to
the park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56). Get your park permit
and the park tabloid (with a map of birding locations mentioned here)
at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and information.
There is currently no restaurant but snack food and microwaveable food
is available, as well as many places to sit and have your own lunch.
The Visitor Centre is now open daily from 9-5.

For more info, visit the Friends of Algonquin website at
www.algonquinpark.on.ca.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh - Black Bear
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 01:22:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Black Bear was in the open area to your right where Henry Trail exits the woods. Maybe it was looking for a Wild Turkey or its eggs since they do nest in that area. The Bear ran off into the woods once it realized it had company.

No sign of the Great Egret, but a Pied-billed Grebe popped up on the beaver pond.

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 01:19:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we had two male Magnolia Warblers in our birch tree, so we decided to check for more new arrivals over at Henry Marsh. The best spots were around the parking area at the end of Henry Rd. and where the trail enters the woods east of the marsh. You can still access the marsh from Henry Rd. without rubber boots, but the Trans Canada Trail heading east from the marsh is very "soggy" due to heavy rains yesterday and we were happy to have worn rubber boots. Blackflies were out, but not biting yet. (Bracebridge) Area Map

Didn't see the Great Egret.
Here are some of the highlights:
Blackburnian Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
American Redstart
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Ovenbird
Blue-headed Vireo
Baltimore Oriole
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Great Crested Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher

 

 

Re(1): More warblers
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 08:10:00 AM by CatMacLean

After our walk through the bush I can add a Brown Thrasher and an Ovenbird. The Nashville Warbler and Hermit Thrush were singing as well.

 

 

Re(2): More warblers
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 11:41:31 AM by CatMacLean

Not a Yellow-Rumped, more musical. Somewhat like a Cardinal but not. I can add a black-throated Green this am.

 

 

Re(1): More warblers
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 08:54:46 AM by Al Sinclair

"It goes dear, dear, dear, terche, terche, terche."
Yelow-rumped Warbler???

 

 

More warblers
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 07:41:33 AM by CatMacLean

Standing on my front porch in Huntsville, I could see a Blackburian and a Chestnut sided as well as the Blue Headed Vireo.
I have been hearing another bird in the last two weeks that sings at the edge of field and forest that I can't identify. It goes dear, dear, dear, terche, terche, terche. It is not an ovenbird.

 

 

Re(1): HUMMINGBIRD!!
Posted on May 5, 2012 at 01:24:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports a male Hummer showed up at their feeder about an hour ago. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): HUMMINGBIRD!!
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 04:13:23 PM by carolwagg

Two hummers this afternoon at out feeders at Doe Lake Gravenhurst. Four days earlier than usual.

 

 

Re(1): HUMMINGBIRD!!
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 08:28:07 AM by MaryWillmott

Saw my first Hummer this am at Beaumaris.

 

 

HUMMINGBIRD!!
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 07:01:05 PM by dinnymccraney

Same date as last year..in Bracebridge next to South Muskoka Golf course at about 4:30 p.m.

 

 

Re(1): Chestnut-sided
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 12:33:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they had a Chestnut-sided Warbler at their place this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Nashville and Black and white
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 08:30:49 AM by CatMacLean

Heard the Nashville and Black and White warblers this am in Huntsville. We also have a pair of Hooded mergansers on our pond.

 

 

Ovenbirds
Posted on May 2, 2012 at 01:29:55 PM by diannawolfe

Multiple Ovenbirds arrived overnight and announced their presence on our property this morning. (Kilworthy)

 

 

Re(2): Great Egret - not seen this morning
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 01:04:13 PM by Goodyear

Last weekend we walked from the Lagoons to Henry Marsh, but not along the trail. We donned rubber boots and bushwacked through the woods/wet areas that are south of the trail. Along the way (about a third of the way over to Henry Marsh) we encountered a very large beaver pond that would be another suitable hiding area for the Egret.

 

 

Re(1): Great Egret - not seen this morning
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 12:50:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we checked Henry Marsh and west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds, but did not see the Great Egret. There are many places at the marsh where it could simply be out of view...please report if you see it.

 

 

Great Egret now at Henry Marsh
Posted on May 2, 2012 at 12:33:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Egret has moved west to Henry Marsh (Bracebridge). Just before noon today it was wandering amongst grassy clumps near an old muskrat hut towards the back of the marsh. We stood about half way between the "T" in the trail and the wooden bridge and the bird was straight out from there. There were also two Great Blue Herons, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, a Belted Kingfisher, and some Otters. Area Map (note: the flood has receded so you can now access the marsh from Henry Rd. without needing rubber boots.)

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Spotted Sandpiper at the south shore of cell 1 and a Wilson's Snipe at the south shore of cell 3. The pair of Northern Shovelers were in the NW corner of cell 1. The American Coot and the American Wigeon were still in cell 3.

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on May 2, 2012 at 09:41:38 AM by J. Gardner

Nesting Tree Swallows continue their downward trend. Many fewer in number, again this year. The last 10 years have seen a dramatic dropoff on our wetland. Hurdville June Gardner

 

 

Bull Frog
Posted on May 1, 2012 at 06:13:37 PM by Barb Staples

At 1 p.m. saw a bull frog on my gravel driveway, a good 150' away from lake and creek, hundreds of feet away from closest wetland. He seemed "out-of-it" and leaf litter was stuck to him. Eventually started hopping even further uphill, rested again for a while then turned around and headed towards the creek, a bit at a time. Whole process once I spotted him took just under an hour. Eastern shoreline of Sunny Lake at Jevins & Silver Lake Conservation Reserve boundary, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Fox
Posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:48:26 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday evening we watched a fox raid a Turkey nest and make off with one of the eggs, carrying it delicately in its mouth without breaking it. The turkey strutted around and vocalized to no avail. We think there are two fox families in the Meadow Heights area. There is a den just off the Covered Bridge hiking trail at the edge of the field that is about halfway between the covered bridge and Keall's Falls. We have seen a fox here several times. Last week we found the skull of an as yet unidentified mammal just below the den. A neighbour reports that they have a family of foxes living under the exposed root system of a fallen tree behind their house on the north end of the Meadow Heights loop (Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(3): Great Egret
Posted on May 2, 2012 at 01:11:40 PM by Al Sinclair

Wednesday morning: Barbara reports it has moved to Henry Marsh.  Map

 

 

Re(2): Great Egret
Posted on May 1, 2012 at 01:28:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Egret was still in the flooded area west of cell 4 near the south end when I left around noon today. Two Wilson's Snipe were also there, and the Virginia Rails were calling almost constantly. A female Northern Harrier flew low along the south side of cell 4 and then headed south along the pipeline. The American Coot and a male American Wigeon were in cell 3. A pair of Northern Shovelers were still in cell 1.   Great Egret photo

The Red-tailed Hawk was perched near the dumping ponds again. A Killdeer appeared to be sitting on a nest already in the gravel area north of cell 4. A Broad-winged Hawk was circling and calling over the Ponds as I left. The pair of Eastern Bluebirds were atop the nestbox near the Kerr Park Trail sign at Kerr Park.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Great Egret
Posted on May 1, 2012 at 11:22:04 AM by Bob Burt

Barb Taylor just called to say that the Great Egret is still in the same location to the west of Cell 4

 

 

Great Egret
Posted on May 1, 2012 at 09:31:47 AM by bpfrimmer

Yesterday before noon I observed a GREG about 75 metres west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge lagoons. Also hear 2 and saw one Virginia Rail in same area.

 

 

Sparrows
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 01:30:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we checked the fields north of the Covered Bridge Trail deadend in Bracebridge. There was still no sign of any Clay-colored Sparrows, but there was a Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and a Chipping Sparrow. There was also a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, American Goldfinch, a Northern Harrier, and a Wild Turkey. Pine Siskins, Purple Finch, and some Ruby-crowned Kinglets were at the edge of the forest, and a Winter Wren could be heard singing nearby.

 

 

Re(1): Ducklings
Posted on May 2, 2012 at 01:53:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we noticed the first batch of Mallard ducklings swimming along with mom in cell 3.

 

 

Goslings
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 12:59:28 PM by J. Gardner

Our first brood of Canada geese appeared on the creek this morning. Six dandy young. Early for this place. Hurdville June Gardner

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting May 3
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 12:23:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre

FINDING CORAL - A JOURNEY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
Dorthea Hangaard is currently a Project Coordinator at the Couchiching Conservancy but not so long ago she was a marine conservationist on the west coast. For seven years she worked for Living Oceans Society on the Central Coast of British Columbia educating Canadians about destructive fishing practices and working to protect deep sea corals and sponges.

Deep sea corals and sponges exist at depths beyond the reach of scuba divers and were poorly studied up until a decade ago. When her campaign began in 2003 almost nothing was known about the location or the type of corals which existed in BC waters beyond those reported coming up in the nets of trawlers. By 2009 Living Oceans had planned their own expedition, complete with a world renowned science team and one-person submarines capable of travelling to depths of 2,000 feet.

Come along with Dorthea on this adventure to the bottom of the Queen Charlotte Basin and learn about these fascinating creatures and their significance to the ocean ecosystem. There will be a 15 minute film about the expedition as well as many photos. If there is interest, there will also be the opportunity to discuss making sustainable seafood choices and the implications of supporting fish farming.

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
Meetings from April through June will be held in GRAVENHURST at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre – Grace and Speed, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst (at the Wharf). Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to attend.

 

 

Woodcock on nest
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 11:45:44 AM by jim griffin

At Kerr park this morning I flushed a Woodcock; that was neat, but when it flew only a short distance and started with the broken wing act I realised I had probanly flushed her off the nest. I moved away but did not see her return. I went back to the area a little later and looked around carefully and sure enough only about 3 ft from where I was standing I spotted her snuggled down on the ground looking very small and "hidden" refusing to budge. I watched for a minute and quietly left.

 

 

Bittern
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 11:14:30 AM by GayleCarlyle

On Friday afternoon I flushed a bittern up from the wetland at our home in Washago.
Last year we heard a male "singing" so hopefully there will be a pair around again this year.

 

 

Butterflies yesterday
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 09:31:42 AM by Al Sinclair

In our yard yesterday:
1 American Lady
8 Red Admirals
8km east of Bracebridge

4434 - American Lady - Vanessa virginiensis - April 29,2012  photo

There is a new site to report butterfly sightings in Canada:
http://www.ebutterfly.ca/

 

 

Virginia Rail - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 01:24:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they saw a Green Heron and heard a Virginia Rail calling west of cell 4 this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

Great Blue Heron in Huntsville
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 07:03:23 AM by dclark32

There was a Great Blue Heron in the marsh by the pioneer village in Huntsville at 6:30 this morning. Unfortunately I discovered it by flushing it, and I never saw it land. So, it's hard to say where it may be now. Also, a previously mentioned Pine Warbler is still hanging around with a Yellow-rump near the top of Lion's Lookout.

 

 

Re(2): Another possibility Chickadees
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 06:52:08 PM by DebbieAdams

I don't know a whole lot about birding, but over the past couple of days I've noticed Chickadee's sitting on our deck railing and fluttering like they're waiting to be fed. I presumed it was some sort of courtship but after reading this post, perhaps the courting has already happened and these fluttering birds are the outcome? If so, it seems very early this year.

 

 

Re(1): Another possibility for the Hairy Woodpeckers...
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 08:58:45 AM by Barbara Taylor

It does seem early, but I think the pair of Hairy Woodpeckers in our neighbourhood may have nestlings now. Yesterday afternoon when the female came to our feeder, she seemed to be stuffing her bill with bits of suet instead of swallowing them as usual, and then flew off with a full bill. I saw her do this again about an hour before sunset. Then she returned and this time she fed at the suet as usual, swallowing each morsel. There are several mature poplars nearby which might contain their nest...I'll have to keep a closer watch on where she goes with her loot. I've never observed this suet collecting behaviour before, but in past years the feeder would have been empty by now because of roaming raccoons...don't know where they've gone to.

 

 

Another possibility for the Hairy Woodpeckers...
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 06:22:04 AM by Alex Mills

Another possibility (perhaps more likely given the time of year?) is that the male is feeding the incubating female.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskin...fledged young
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 08:57:59 PM by Goodyear

This evening after dinner we went for a walk along the Keall's Falls Trail in the Meadow Heights area and heard high trilling, begging sounds coming from the top of a snag. Moments later a male Hairy woodpecker landed on the snag with what appeared to be grubs in its bill and entered a cavity near the top of the snag. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskin...fledged young
Posted on April 30, 2012 at 09:36:06 AM by Al Sinclair

Hmmm. Noted that there are Pine Siskins still moving. Had 8 here yesterday. So can't guarantee that the "family" were actually hatched here. Still think they were young ones and not adults doing mating displays.

 

 

Pine Siskin...fledged young
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 03:23:29 PM by Al Sinclair

This week I think we had a "family" of 5 Pine Siskins around the yard. In March I suspected a pair was nesting in a large hemlock at the edge of the yard. They had stayed behind after all the other wintering Siskins left. A few days ago the 5 birds started coming to the feeder some making begging calls and wing fluttering. These are the first fledged young of any species I have seen this year. Here is a photo of 3 of them. Pine Siskins - April 28, 2012 - photo  location 8km east of Bracebridge
 

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 01:45:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was an Osprey hovering over Henry Marsh, but it eventually gave up and flew to the west. A Broad-winged Hawk and three Turkey Vultures circled overhead for a while. Several Tree Swallows and a Barn Swallow were flying low over the beaver pond. A Hooded Merganser and a pair of Mallards were the only waterfowl seen. Along the Trans Canada Trail heading east from the marsh (near the dip) we had our first Blue-headed Vireo and Nashville Warbler of the year.  Area Trails map

 

 

Coot, Northern Waterthrush
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 01:05:00 PM by Goodyear

This morning at the Bracebridge Lagoons we saw a single Coot in Cell 3, and our first Northern Waterthrush of the year in the wet area west of Cell 4.

 

 

Merlins
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 09:26:18 AM by janice house

On Wednesday morning I thought I heard two birds. I saw the two merlins this morning, perched about 15 feet from the top of a white pine, Laycox Rd & Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Sewage Lagoon
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 01:25:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found the Greater Scaup in cell 3. Two pair of Northern Shovelers were in cell 1. Didn't see the Yellowlegs anywhere. An American Coot was in cell 3.  A Palm Warbler was in the shrubs west of cell 3. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched atop a utility pole by the dumping ponds. A Green Heron was perched in a dead tree in the flooded area west of cell 4.   Ponds Map

 

 

Bracebridge Sewage Lagoon
Posted on April 27, 2012 at 07:25:20 PM by dclark32

Visited the sewage ponds in Bracebridge in the late afternoon. A Broad-winged Hawk and a Greater Yellowlegs were both present, plus 10 species of waterfowl. Approximate counts were as follows:

Bufflehead - 150
Mallard - 25
Wood Duck - 7
Canada Goose - 9
Hooded Merganser - 1
Ring-necked Duck - 3
Greater Scaup - 2
Lesser Scaup - 2
Green-winged Teal - 2
NORTHERN SHOVELER - 2

Cheers,
Doug Clark

 

 

Bird Videos website
Posted on April 27, 2012 at 05:08:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

I just found this website with fantastic videos of several bird species - a great way to imprint a song with the bird. Try it out...highly recommended.
The Music of Nature - Multimedia Celebrations of Nature by Lang Elliot and Friends

 

 

Re(1): Birding in Muskoka and Algonquin, April 24-26
Posted on April 27, 2012 at 02:33:09 PM by dclark32

A further addition... just had an American Tree Sparrow at my grandparents' feeder!

 

 

Birding in Muskoka and Algonquin, April 24-26
Posted on April 27, 2012 at 08:46:58 AM by dclark32

Hi all,
I'm from Newfoundland and am in Huntsville for a few visiting my grandparents. Though of course the trip is mainly for visiting, I've taken advantage of the fact that I'm used to being up at 5:15 Ontario time and have had a chance to do a fair bit of birding around town and in Algonquin. Nothing too outrageous found, but highlights were as follows:

Tuesday, April 24
Only birding done was incidental from the Northland bus driving up from Toronto and from my grandparents' car driving around Huntsville.
-Saw a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree overlooking a field in Bracebridge.
-In Huntsville, a flock of 12 Turkey Vultures was seen soaring over the big hill in the center of town (don't know what it's called). As of yesterday, the flock was still hanging around in roughly the same location.

Morning of Wednesday, April 25
Was up at 5am and went for a pre-dawn/dawn walk around Huntsville. Locations checked included a brief visit to the sewage treatment plant, the marsh near the Centennial Center, Lion's Lookout and points in between.
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet heard along Brunel road
-(Multiple?) Golden-crowned Kinglets in the trees outside the Pioneer Village...was unable to pish them out however.
-Song, White-throated and Swamp Sparrows were all quite conspicuous
-A Pine Warbler was heard singing at the top of Lion's Lookout, hanging around with a Yellow-rump.
-A Cardinal was heard singing by the river.

Tuesday, April 25th
Drove into Algonquin with my grandparents and sister and did some dude birding from the car (plus several stops when I thought I saw something interesting).
-Ring-necked Duck x 2 in one of ponds next to the Opeongo Road
-Six Bufflehead in the pond by the Art Gallery
-A Ruffed Grouse was heard drumming in the woods by Rock Lake
-Four Double-crested Cormorants at Lake Opeongo
-Two juvenile Bald Eagles being harrassed by a crow over the highway
-Had a flyover of a Goshawk at roughly kilometer 30 of the park
-One Broad-winged Hawk perched on a telephone wire
-A Winter Wren was heard singing along the Opeongo Road
-In Huntsville, a pair of Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers regularly visit my grandparents' feeder. Also, two Ring-necked Ducks in Fairy Lake.

Morning of Thursday, April 26
Biked into Arrowhead Provincial Park early in the morning and had the park entirely to myself.
-Mayflower Lake was very active. On the lake itself had a pair of Wood Ducks, two Mallards, three Hooded Mergansers and a Bufflehead.
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping and White-throated Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadee and Hermit Thrush were all conspicuous around the park. Many woodpeckers heard tapping though I was largely unable to locate them. Did however observe singles of Downy, Flicker, Sapsucker and what I think may have been a Hairy.
-One, probably two Winter Wrens along the entrance road to the park.
-Arrowhead Lake and surrounding area was much quieter. Single Canada Goose on the lake, a pair of Phoebes, Swamp Sparrow and several of the more common birds around it.
-There was a small group of some mystery bird on the road leading to Arrowhead Lake. I suspect they were Tree Sparrows (which would have been a lifer for me), but I was unfamiliar with the song and lighting was poor.

Cheers,
Doug Clark

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 06:27:34 PM by Barb Staples

The little fellow has been working a clump of maples just outside my window for the past 25 minutes, and has been rewarded with some nice snacks.  (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Black-throated Green Warbler
Posted on April 27, 2012 at 12:09:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Black-throated Green Warbler singing along the South Monck trail just north of Meadow Heights Dr. (west end) near the bridge that crosses Beaver Creek. There was also a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Winter Wren in the same spot. (Bracebridge)

Trail Guide can be found at:
http://muskokatrailscouncil.com/bracebridge-trails.php

 

 

Black-throated Green Warbler
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 01:51:37 PM by diannawolfe

Our first Black-throated Green has been singing in our back woods since early this morning, despite the dreary weather. (Kilworthy)

 

 

White-throated Sparrows
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 07:45:56 PM by Greyowl291

I spotted and photographed a number of white-throated sparrows (white-striped morph) in the Covered Bridge area tonight. They were taking food from my feeders off the ground.  photo

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Shovelers still there
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 03:15:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the four Northern Shovelers were in cell 1 along with about 300 Bufflehead, and a few Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Wood Ducks, and Mallards.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 25 April
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 08:08:40 AM by Ontbirds

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

My book, Birds of Algonquin Park, has now been published by
The Friends of Algonquin Park. Please see the following for details:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2012-04-21_birds_of_algonquin_park_released.php

Twenty centimetres of wet snow on the ground yesterday morning
reminded us that a heat wave in March does not necessarily
translate into continued warmth in April. However, new arrivals
continued to trickle in this week, including Osprey, Greater
Yellowlegs, Blue-headed Vireo, and Chipping Sparrow.

The Visitor Centre will be open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, starting
April 28 (Saturday).

This is my final Ontbirds post for the spring. Thanks very much
to all who have contributed records. My reports will start again
in late fall.

BOREAL SPECIES
Spruce Grouse
Reports included a female near Wolf Howl Pond, and a male doing flutter
flights along Opeongo Road north of the bridge.

Black-backed Woodpecker
No reports to me this week, but try along Highway 60 at km 8.

Boreal Chickadee
Try the black spruce area along the northern part of Opeongo Road.

Gray Jay
Best place to try is the black spruce area along Opeongo Road.

FINCHES
Purple Finch
Widespread and regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Pine Siskin
About 20 coming to the Visitor Centre feeder daily.

Evening Grosbeak
Ten or more are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

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

Good birding.
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 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.

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

 

 

Bluebird
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 01:19:12 PM by GayleCarlyle

Saw my first bluebird today at lunch. Poor thing, the wind was howling across the field, blowing the cold rain/sleet almost horizontally.
Just outside of Orillia on Fairgrounds Rd.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club, April 24, 2012
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 08:44:53 AM by Beveaston

The Huntsville Nature Club meets tonight, Tuesday, April 24, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street South, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome to attend. A $3 voluntary donation is appreciated.

Mark Peck, Ornithology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, will share recent field research on James Bay shorebirds.
Also, the widely anticipated book, “Birds of Algonquin Park”, by Ron Tozer, will be released. This 480-page masterpiece retails for $49.95.
For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (705) 789-1407

 

 

Re(2): And No Bird Sang
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 01:17:29 PM by GayleCarlyle

Well in Washago this morning the goldfinches were singing their little lungs out. Perhaps they were delighting in the weather...or the newly filled niger feeder.

 

 

Re(1): And No Bird Sang
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 10:07:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

Only heard a Song Sparrow singing here this morning as I cleaned the snow off the feeder, but just briefly. I figure he was probably thanking me for the fresh seed. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): And No Bird Sang
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 11:30:28 AM by J. Gardner

Not to worry. The bird song was merely overwhelmed by the sounds of humans bewailing the weather. J. Gardner

 

 

And No Bird Sang
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 08:07:41 AM by CatMacLean

Very quiet in the bush this am, only a partridge drumming. (Huntsville)

 

 

Sandhill Crane east of Washago
Posted on April 23, 2012 at 12:15:03 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

We spotted our "Spring" Sandhill crane in its usual spot on Brooks Sideroad east of Washago Ontario. Using every bit of my 500mm lens I got the attached picture!

Cheers Terry  photo

 

 

Blue Headed Vireo
Posted on April 23, 2012 at 08:20:13 AM by CatMacLean

Despite the inclement weather forecast I have heard a Blue Headed Vireo singing this am in Huntsville.

 

 

Sandhill Crane, Bala
Posted on April 23, 2012 at 07:47:43 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Both yesterday and today I have heard single Sandhill Cranes flying overhead.

 

 

Possible Fish Crow
Posted on April 22, 2012 at 04:49:54 PM by DBurton

We heard a crow giving Fish Crow calls in Sundridge. It was a lone bird flying away from Lake Bernard about 1 km south of town. If so, this would be a leap frog move from the area where they are currently being seen, and they could possibly turn up anywhere. The American Crows are still evicting Ravens from the area and there have been no fledglings, and none are anticipated for a long time.

 

 

Butterflies and Hawks
Posted on April 22, 2012 at 02:28:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there were several butterflies enjoying the sheltered sunny spots along the Trans Canada Trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. There were many Red Admirals, a Question Mark, Mourning Cloaks, and an American Lady. The rest wouldn't sit still long enough for an ID.

A pair of Broad-winged Hawks were putting on an aerobatic display just west of the pipeline. A male Northern Harrier was hunting to the north of cell 4 and then flew out of sight towards the south-east.

Area Trails Map
Note: Henry Trail is still badly flooded by the "T" in the trail as you approach the marsh, so rubber boots are advisable.

 

 

OFO Algonquin Park Trip: 21 April
Posted on April 21, 2012 at 07:48:14 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Apr. 21, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Over 55 enthusiastic birders enjoyed cool breezes and periodic light snow
squalls today while recording 58 species along the Highway 60 Corridor of
the Park.

We had good looks at a male Spruce Grouse doing flutter flights, a Gray Jay
and two Boreal Chickadees along Opeongo Road. Some reported hearing a
Black-backed Woodpecker there as well.

Two Sandhill Cranes flew over as we watched the Evening Grosbeaks at the
Visitor Centre feeder. Two or more Pine Warblers were seen and heard in Lake
of Two Rivers Campground. Two Rusty Blackbirds were noted at km 8.

I want to thank my co-leader, Justin Peter, for his great help finding birds
today. Thanks also to all the participants who once again made this a fun
day in Algonquin Park.

Ron Tozer

 

 

Report of a Yellow-headed Blackbird
Posted on April 21, 2012 at 08:54:28 AM by Alex Mills

I have been told of a Yellow-headed Blackbird visiting a feeder somewhere near (but not in) Magnetawan. But, I have no further information on the date(s), duration, sex of the bird, exact location, etc...

 

 

Warbler and swallows
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 05:14:06 PM by CatMacLean

Heard a yellow-rumped warbler behind the Huntsville High School this am and the barn swallows are back at the barn, where we keep our horses, off District Rd 10.

 

 

Re(1): Shovelers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 21, 2012 at 12:05:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds in addition to the ducks reported yesterday, there were two pair of Northern Shovelers in cell 3 and a male Green-winged Teal in cell 1. The pair of Hooded Mergansers had moved to the beaver pond west of cell 4. We didn't see the Pied-billed Grebe - the ponds were choppy due to strong north wind so may have missed it.

An Osprey came in from the south and hovered over cell 4 a couple of times before continuing north. Two Rusty Blackbirds were in the wet woods north of cell 4. A Wilson's Snipe was in the SE corner of cell 1 where there is now a small bit of muddy shoreline.

 

 

Green Heron - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 01:33:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lots of action at the Bracebridge Ponds at noon today. A Green Heron was back on territory in the flooded area west of cell 4. There were also five Wilson's Snipe and a Belted Kingfisher. A Pied-billed Grebe and a pair of Hooded Mergansers were in cell 4. Didn't see the Pintail anywhere, but there were over 300 Bufflehead in cell 3 along with about a dozen Ring-necked Ducks, and four Blue-winged Teal. A few Lesser Scaup were in cell 2 along with some Wood Ducks. Several Killdeer were flying around and calling incessantly. There were only a few Mallards scattered about and just three Canada Geese.

Other birds seen included a House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Flicker, Osprey, Broad-winged Hawk, and Turkey Vulture. There was a flock of about 50 American Robins feeding on the Kerr Park lawns.

 

 

Eastern Towhee
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 09:39:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

John Purchase reports:

An Eastern Towhee, male, was in our east side yard this morning (April 20/12, 9:15 a.m.) feeding on the ground below a hanging feeder at 1113 Fraserburg Road. Observed, identified, and confirmed by both of us.
John and Betsy

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 April
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 08:37:59 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Apr. 19, 2012) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

New arrivals this week included Green-winged Teal, Double-crested
Cormorant, American Bittern, American Kestrel, Wilson's Snipe,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Horned Lark (Northern), Tree Swallow,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Pine Warbler,
Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow.

NOTEWORTHY RECORDS
Grasshopper Sparrow
One was observed on the Old Airfield near the row of alders bordering Lake
of Two Rivers on April 17 and 18. This was the seventh record for Algonquin
Park. The previous earliest Park date was May 28 and the most recent
observation had been in 1989.

Le Conte's Sparrow
Birders looking for the Grasshopper Sparrow on April 18 were surprised to
discover this sparrow on the Old Airfield as well. The previous earliest
date for Algonquin was April 28.

BOREAL SPECIES
Spruce Grouse
On April 14, two males were along Arowhon Road near the Old Railway, two
males and a female were near Wolf Howl Pond, and a male was along Opeongo
Road north of the bridge.

Boreal Chickadee
Four were observed near West Rose Lake on April 13.

Gray Jay
Observed on Arowhon Road near the Old Railway, and along Opeongo
Road at the Cameron Lake Road junction and north of the bridge on April 14.

FINCHES
Purple Finch
Widespread and regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill
One at Lake Travers in the Park's East Side on April 14.

White-winged Crossbill
On April 14, one was observed at Wolf Howl Pond.

Pine Siskin
About 20 coming to the Visitor Centre feeder daily. Widespread elsewhere but
not as obvious as earlier, and perhaps lower numbers.

Evening Grosbeak
Ten or more are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

 

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Brown Thrashers
Posted on April 19, 2012 at 07:42:49 PM by lflemming5

Brown thrasher at Meadow Heights today.

 

 

Hawks, Cranes, Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on April 19, 2012 at 04:21:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we checked the fields west and north of the Covered Bridge Trail deadend, in Bracebridge. No sign of any Clay-colored Sparrows yet, but there were several Song Sparrows, some White-throated Sparrows, and a Savannah Sparrow singing. It was a great day for hawkwatching as we saw a Northern Harrier, three Broad-winged Hawks, and a Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead. We also saw four Sandhill Cranes flying very high, but headed south.

Along the Beaver Creek trail in the Covered Bridge subdivision (near the footbridge washout last spring) there were three Rusty Blackbirds. Other birds seen in the area included Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Purple Finch, and Chipping Sparrow.

Red Admiral butterflies were plentiful, there were a few Mourning Cloaks, and an American Lady was on a dandelion flower.

 

(P.S. - there is a big new sign at the deadend of Covered Bridge Trail indicating where the Phase 3 build-out of the subdivision will be located, so I guess they are getting ready to go with this. Plans are for a new road called Country Lane to extend from the end of Covered Bridge Trail over to South Monck Dr. It looks like this new road will be pretty much on top of that section of the South Monck hiking trail.)

 

 

Hermit thrush
Posted on April 19, 2012 at 08:59:15 AM by CatMacLean

I heard a hermit thrush in our bush in Huntsville this am.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Pintail
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 03:04:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was a female Northern Pintail in cell 3. Also two pairs of Blue-winged Teal in cell 3 and a pair of Hooded Mergansers in cell 4. Most of the birds were in cell 3...several Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Wood Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose.

 

 

Grasshopper Sparrow - Algonquin Park
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 02:50:47 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Justin Peter on ONTBIRDS (Apr. 18, 2012 at 11:45 a.m.) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi birders,
There is a Grasshopper Sparrow at the east end of the Old Airfield along Lake of Two Rivers. I stumbled upon it yesterday evening in the alders/Viburnum at the northeast-most corner. Others re-found it just now, in the same spot. It flushes from the grass/blueberries, where it prefers to hang out. This is the 7th record for Algonquin and the earliest ever record (previous early is May 28)...and the last record was in 1989.
Good birding,
Justin

 

 

Re(1): A Merge of Mergansers?
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 07:40:50 AM by jim griffin

The count this morning is 11 females and 3 males

 

 

A Merge of Mergansers?
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 08:59:22 AM by jim griffin

I don't know what a gathering of Common Mergansers would be called, but I have a growing number on the river in Port Sydney just south of the road 10 bridge. "Current"count is 4 males and 9 females.

 

 

White-throated Sparrow - Huntsville
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 08:32:23 PM by Kip Daynard

A couple of White-throated Sparrows arrived on Sunday and have been hanging around under the feeders ever since. Other recent arrivals to my yard are a lone Purple Finch (female) and a Pine Siskin.

 

 

Re(1): Merlin
Posted on April 21, 2012 at 02:57:36 PM by janice house

I heard the merlin again this morning in the tall white pines at the corner of Laycox Rd and Doe Lake Rd

 

 

Merlin
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:24:21 AM by janice house

A merlin flew overhead calling this morning on my doggy walk then about 20 mins later streaked through the yard. The 50 or so common grackles, red-winged blackbirds and mourning doves were not to be found. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Mating Green Darners
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:13:37 AM by diannawolfe

Yesterday despite the high winds, several pairs of Green Darners were ovipositing in the wetland behind our property. (Kilworthy)

 

 

Re(1): Pine & Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bala
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 04:40:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Had our first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the year here this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Also Drumming Downy Woodpeckers
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:00:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have turned on my second outdoor microphone and I am hearing a Downy Woodpecker drumming.

 

 

Pine & Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bala
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 09:35:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Several Pine Warblers around my place today and had a yellow-rumped singing here yesterday.

 

 

Veery
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 08:12:32 PM by DavidBywater

Heard my first Veery this evening calling behind my house on Rankin Lake Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Toads and salamanders
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 08:49:18 AM by GayleCarlyle

We had a red eft in our garden pond a few weeks ago and it stayed around under water for about 3 days. Haven't seen it lately.
Washago

 

 

Toads and salamanders
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 05:11:58 PM by CatMacLean

I have seen and heard the American toads today and I saw a red-backed salamander as well as the yellow-spotted salamander.

 

 

Re(1): eButterfly - Project Migration
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:05:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

You can report your butterfly sightings at www.ebutterfly.ca.
There are migration maps for certain species such as Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on their Project Migration page.
(so much for butterfly sightings in Bracebridge...it is currently snowing!)

 

 

Re(2): Red Admirals have arrived
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 06:08:09 PM by DebbieAdams

We had quite a few around our place today. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Red Admirals have arrived
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 05:54:04 PM by Al Sinclair

There was a mass migration this last weekend. Large numbers reported as far north as Ottawa. We also had around 10, nectaring on coltsfoot, the only flowers available here now.

 

 

Red Admirals have arrived
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 04:26:13 PM by Barbara Taylor
The warm south winds have brought several Red Admiral butterflies to our yard this afternoon. There must be at least ten of them. (Bracebridge)
(photos taken last summer - upper wing  & under wing)

 

 

White-throated Sparrow
Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:12:33 AM by DinnyMcCraney

This little fellow appeared on April 9th. I haven't seen him since, but hopefully his friends will arrive soon! (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Rose Point Trail
Posted on April 14, 2012 at 07:33:47 PM by DavidBywater

I noticed a number of new (this spring) species along the Rose Point Trail today. I was out last week, but the species listed below seem to be new arrivals since then:

Great blue heron
Belted kingfisher
Winter wren
Red-winged blackbird
Broad-winged hawk
Chipping sparrow
Fox sparrow
Sapsucker
Flicker

This week there were only five Painted turtles up, however last week on a sunny day I counted 25 painted turtles. Garter snakes and Hog-nose are also up along the trail.

This evening I noticed the first mosquitoes around our house, but they aren't biting yet.

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on April 14, 2012 at 07:29:06 PM by DavidBywater

Does anyone have photos of an Olive-sided Flycatcher?

I work for the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve and we're updating the species at risk section of our website. As you guys are probably aware, the OSFL is now listed as Special Concern by COSSARO and Threatened by COSEWIC. We create a webpage for each species at risk in GBBR, which includes information about description, food, reproduction, habitat, threats, conservation actions, etc. Link to our species at risk page: http://www.gbbr.ca/our-environment/species-at-risk/

We don't currently have photos of an OSFL and since our website is used to educate the public about species at risk, it would be beneficial to have photos so that people know what this bird looks like. Of course if anyone did volunteer their photo(s); we always provide photo credit.

Thanks and if you have any questions please email me at conservation@gbbr.ca

 

 

Re(1): Pine Warbler
Posted on April 15, 2012 at 12:30:00 PM by DBurton

I had one Pine Warbler today in my yard also. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Pine Warbler
Posted on April 14, 2012 at 01:51:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a male Pine Warbler a short distance west of Henry Marsh along the Trans Canada Trail. He was in the White Pines (of course) at the top of the hill you climb after leaving the marsh. A pair of Canada Geese were checking out their old nest site at the west side of the marsh.  There was a Pied-billed Grebe at the marsh on April 6, but we didn't see it today.

There was a pair of Eastern Bluebirds perched near an old nestbox set back a bit at the east side of Stephens Bay Rd., not far south from Taplin Trail. Five Turkey Vultures went streaming overhead just as we returned to the Strawberry Bay Rd. parking area. (Bracebridge)   Area Map

 

 

Loon
Posted on April 14, 2012 at 10:55:32 AM by DebbieAdams

This morning I heard my first Loon and it was calling for quite some time. Last year the first loon spotted in our bay was on April 18th. For the past few years there has been a family of Loons nesting in the channel between Eileen Gowan and Browning Islands. Perhaps the one I heard today was from that family. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 04:04:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at Henry Marsh a Broad-winged Hawk circled low overhead for a while, giving us great looks. Other birds seen at the marsh included Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, and Belted Kingfisher. An Eastern Phoebe was hanging around the wooden bridge. A Pileated Woodpecker was near the Henry Rd. parking area and there were a couple Ruby-crowned Kinglets along the trail too. (Bracebridge)

Note: the trail coming in from Henry Rd. is still flooded by the "T" in the trail as you near the marsh so waterproof boots are advisable
Area Trails Map

 

 

Tree swallow and heron
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:13:01 PM by CatMacLean

I saw a tree swallow and a great blue heron along the Fairy Vista Trail this am.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 April
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 08:38:16 AM by Ontbirds

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

Cool temperatures and frequent north winds appeared to continue to
slow the arrival of new migrants. Fifteen species have now been
observed this spring on earliest ever dates.

NOTEWORTHY REPORTS:
Common Loon
Following last week's comment on no reports, a photograph of one
on Lake of Two Rivers on April 1 was submitted. This is a
record-early date for Algonquin by two days.

Broad-winged Hawk
An experienced observer saw a very early individual soaring with a
Red-tailed Hawk over Highway 60 just west of Mew Lake on April 7.
This was four days earlier than this hawk has ever been recorded here
before.

Snowy Owl
A report of one at km 38 along Highway 60 on April 9 is under review.
It would be just the second spring record of this extremely rare owl in
Algonquin.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male near the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on the weekend amused itself by letting some birders see it and totally
vanishing for others, including myself.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A female was a little north of the bridge on
Opeongo Road on April 7.

Gray Jay: Reports from Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along
Opeongo Road on the weekend.

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Frequently heard singing.

Red Crossbill: Two were seen near Lookout Trail on April 7.

White-winged Crossbill: One was noted on Opeongo Road at the Cameron
Lake Road on April 7.

Pine Siskin: Still numerous.

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

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 but visitors
are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the seating area.
Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are available to purchase,
as well as the use of a microwave.

Birders visiting during the week are usually 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/

 

 

Strange Pairing..
Posted on April 12, 2012 at 07:21:42 PM by J. Gardner

This afternoon, Jim and I witnessed a very odd pairing of ducks. Through the telescope in the livingroom, we watched the ducks on the creek working over our corn offering. A male Hooded Merganser and a female Wood Duck came into view, an obvious pair. He was wooing her, and driving the Woodie drakes off. And, the Hoodie was diving on and eating the corn with his lady love. And it appeared that the Woodie appeared to like the Hoodie's attentions. We watched for 10 minutes and the strange behaviour continued. Romance in Hurdville. June Gardner

 

 

Woodcocks Displaying
Posted on April 12, 2012 at 09:38:27 AM by janice house

Last night at 8:15 I watched the display in the farm field across the road from our house. One bird was at the far side of the pasture but the other was 20 feet from the fence. When the bird was doing his "peent" call his little head jerked forward and his wings came up like he was doing the chicken dance. At 8:30 I gave up as it was too dark to see anymore. Several killdeer were also calling. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on April 12, 2012 at 09:27:46 AM by J. Gardner

First Fox Sparrow of the season turned up under the feeder this morning in Hurdville. Can the Chippers be far behind? J. Gardner

 

 

Loon Calls, Bala
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 08:26:29 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A male loon woke me up calling from my lake last night! Glad one is back!

 

 

Goldfinches
Posted on April 10, 2012 at 03:40:38 PM by CatMacLean

I noticed that our male goldfinches are starting to get their summer plummage. Is this early?

 

 

Tricolored Bumble Bee
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 09:52:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a queen Tricolored Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius) feeding in a large patch of Spring Beauty flowers along part of the South Monck trail in Bracebridge. Another sign of a very early spring...according to an article The Bumble Bees of Southern Ontario by Colla and Dumesh (JESO Vol. 141, 2010), this species exhibits early spring emergence with the earliest record April 15.

We didn't see many birds along the trail but heard a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Siskins, three Winter Wrens in full song, and two singing Brown Creepers. Also had our first Spring Azure butterfly of the year.

 

 

Re(2): Chipping Sparrows
Posted on April 15, 2012 at 03:47:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Had one singing in our yard this morning - new arrival. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Chipping Sparrows
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 07:52:31 AM by Wayne Bridge

We had a couple feeding below the finch feeder up here in Kearney on Saturday.

 

 

Chipping Sparrows
Posted on April 8, 2012 at 12:41:39 PM by janice house

I just heard one calling in our back yard, there were several in the neighbourhood this morning. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

sandhill cranes
Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:54:58 AM by John Challis

On the Fairgrounds Road, outside Washago and in farm fields just west of MacArthur Sideroad yesterday, we watched two sandhill cranes feeding.
A bit earlier in the day on the Cambrian Road we had to stop the car to wait for a woodcock to cross the road. It was a very leisurely stroll with a lot of butt bobbing. We reckoned he was listening to a song by Usher; the beat seemed right.

 

 

Muskoka Magazine articles - Ospreys and Eleanor
Posted on April 7, 2012 at 09:58:46 AM by Barbara Taylor

The current Muskoka Magazine has one of Eleanor Kee Wellman's Osprey images on the cover and an informative article by Doug Smith, illustrated with more of Eleanor's photos. The issue also contains an article about Eleanor, written and illustrated by Scott Turnbull with his photographs and some of Eleanor's photos.

Eleanor, the Barred Owl photo looks very familiar...is that "our" resident owl?

(note: if you don't have access to a copy of the magazine, there is currently a free trial online access if you register on their website)

 

 

Re(1): tree swallows
Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:07:40 AM by janice house

Morning Carol, we have a pair at our house this morning, 5 km east of Gravenhurst on Doe Lake Road

 

 

tree swallows
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 01:27:11 PM by carolwagg

We saw our first tree swallows of this spring this morning. They were checking out the boxes already.
10 km east of Gravenhurst on Doe Lake Road.

 

 

Re(4): recent sighting
Posted on April 7, 2012 at 07:49:35 AM by Akstinnissen

According the Project Feederwatch it is fairly unusual. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/Albinism_Leucism.htm
and thanks!
Arni

 

 

Re(3): recent sighting
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 02:27:39 PM by BrianJacques

Thanks. Al Sinclair suggested the same thing and I checked a few websites. It looks like that is very likely what it is. Is this a rare occurence? By the way, your website is beautiful.

 

 

Re(2): recent sighting
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 01:38:05 PM by AKStinnissen

That appears to be a leucistic Common Grackle. Leucism is a genetic mutation that prevents pigment from being properly deposited on a bird’s feathers. It may be the same bird that was seen and photographed in the Carden area on March 13.
Arni
www.pixelz.ca

 

 

recent sighting
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:20:50 AM by BrianJacques

Yesterday morning (April 5, 2012)I had a bird appear at my backyard feeder with a few Brewster's blackbirds. It had a pure white head and black and white shoulders with a white pattern down its back. The tip of its tail feathers was also white. It was the same size as the blackbirds. I have never seen this bird nor have any of my friends. I managed to get four pictures with my point and shoot camera. Any idea what this bird is? Here is the link to the photos I took of the bird :  http://imgur.com/a/POjUL

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 April
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 09:49:49 AM by Ontbirds

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

Cooler temperatures continue to slow the appearance of
new migrants. There have been no reports of Common Loon yet
despite all the open water.

NOTEWORTHY SIGHTING:
Yellow-rumped Warbler: A male was seen near the East
Gate on April 1. This ties the earliest ever date in Algonquin
for this warbler.

BOREAL SPECIES:
Spruce Grouse: A pair near Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance
on April 1.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Check along Opeongo Road and at km
8 on Highway 60.

Gray Jay: Reports from Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Observed along the Old Railway east of Arowhon
Road on April 1.

FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers are being seen regularly along Highway 60.

Red Crossbill: Two were at the Old Airfield parking lot today.

White-winged Crossbill: Male was seen near Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy
Lake Trail on April 1.

Pine Siskin: Still numerous. Nesting has probably started.

American Goldfinch: Reported as fairly common in Highway
60 Corridor.

Evening Grosbeak: At least 20 continue at the Visitor Centre
feeders and some were at the East Gate as well.

MAMMALS:
Moose: Observations are regular along Highway 60 as moose
visit roadside puddles and wet areas seeking the slightly salty
water resulting from winter road maintenance operations. Many
of these moose are showing moderate hair loss in patches where
they have rubbed in response to the presence of winter ticks.
Many engorged ticks are particularly obvious on the rear ends
of these moose.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Woodcock, Wood Frogs
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 09:04:18 AM by mmcanally

Heard my first displaying Woodcocks last night here on Britannia Road in Huntsville. Also a few Wood Frogs calling.
Also a few neighbours in full song up the road.

 

 

Osprey
Posted on April 5, 2012 at 03:35:49 PM by J. Gardner

First Osprey of the season flew and fished the creek through our place today. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 08:04:41 AM by CatMacLean

I saw a pair last Sunday in Powassen

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 5, 2012 at 01:45:14 PM by RosemarieHinzmann

The sandhill cranes are back! Near Barkway. I could hear them calling as they flew. Rose

 

 

Loon Migration Map Link
Posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:57:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Last year 20 loons were fitted with radios and the latest update is that half have returned to northern areas and half are still in the Gulf of Mexico.
http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/terrestrial/migratory_birds/loons/migrations.html

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 4, 2012 at 01:03:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nothing new at the Ponds this morning. The water level in all cells is quite high. Strong north winds were keeping most birds hunkered down out of sight. There were actually some waves with "white-caps" in cell 2.

Highlights were a pair of American Wigeon in cell 2, and 19 Ring-necked Ducks in cell 4. Also a couple Lesser Scaup, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Buffleheads. Heard a Kingfisher, and a Flicker.

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on April 3, 2012 at 01:14:01 PM by J. Gardner

The first Tree Swallows were flying over the pond and creek this morning. According to my records, they are neither early nor late, but the other spring arrivals are on the early side. June Gardner Hurdville

 

 

first cormorant
Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:18:47 AM by John Challis

Saw my first cormorant of the season, flying west from Lake Couchiching this morning.

 

 

Bracebridge birds
Posted on April 2, 2012 at 08:34:17 PM by mmcanally

Today while golfing at Muskoka Highlands in Bracebridge, Jim Mavity and I saw a single Meadowlark and a single Tree Swallow. On our drive home to Huntsville we watched 15 Turkey Vultures soaring in the updrafts heading north.Here at my property on Britannia Road in Huntsville the Robins have been passing through in good numbers the last two days.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting April 5
Posted on April 2, 2012 at 09:52:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION:
Meetings for April through June will be held in Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Heritage and Boat Centre – Grace and Speed, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst (at the Wharf).

MFN meeting Thursday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst
ENDEMICS GALORE
Retired Algonquin Park Biologist, DAN STRICKLAND, will present a program of his fall 2011 trip to northern Peru. His "Endemics Galore" birding tour took him to some of the least known endemic-rich areas of South America. Targeted geographic specialities included some remote and wild areas.

MFN website: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com
(Meetings for April through June will be held in GRAVENHURST at the Muskoka Heritage and Boat Centre – Grace and Speed, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst (at the Wharf). Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to attend.)

 

 

Raptors near Washago
Posted on April 2, 2012 at 09:40:28 AM by GayleCarlyle

Yesterday John and I were out birding on the McArthur Sdrd near Washago and saw about 8 harriers (male and female) soaring over the fields.
We also saw a large raptor we think might have been a short-eared owl. Wide wingspan, white underneath, round head, short tail, with a deep strong wingbeat as it flew.
Sun. April 1 at about 4:30pm.

 

 

Swamp Sparrow
Posted on April 1, 2012 at 09:04:00 AM by janice house

I heard my first swamp sparrow this morning in the wetlands between Laycox Rd & Tomingas Rd, (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst). A pair of pileated woodpeckers were flying about and a red-tailed hawk has been cruising since 7:30.