Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2013
 
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Sandhill Cranes
Posted on March 31, 2013 at 01:25:41 PM by J. Gardner

Three Sandhills flew into our pond just at dark last night. They stayed a short time and then we heard them rattle their way out again. Black birds of all sorts, including Brown-headed Cowbird, are here in numbers today. And robins were abundant enough this morning to make a mini dawn chorus. All in all, very satisfying.. June Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(1): Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on March 31, 2013 at 02:16:46 PM by janice house

I heard an eastern meadowlark call 3 times but could not find the bird, male American kestrel on the wires around the house/barn at the entrance to Doe Lake Estates Rd, now 3 pairs of hooded mergansers in the creek

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on March 31, 2013 at 10:17:44 AM by janice house

The creek is flowing from Doe Lake under the Tree Museum Rd into Lowe Lake. Lots of Canada geese in the fields and on the ice, a female northern harrier , a pair of black ducks, several pairs of mallards, a pair of American wigeon, killdeer calling, 5 great blue herons flew over, 2 pairs of hooded mergansers, a pair of buffleheads, lots of robins, crows and a raven soared over too. Yesterday at the beach near Taboo there were 60 Canada geese and 3 mallards in the open water by the creek.

 

 

Grackle
Posted on March 30, 2013 at 05:49:45 PM by catmaclean

Never thought I would be happy to see a Grackle but as it is one of the first spring birds this year I was excited. Near Huntsville this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Waterfowl and Kingfisher on the Muskoka River
Posted on April 2, 2013 at 12:57:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we drove out to the end of Beaumont Farm Rd., and found good numbers of all the same waterfowl species - Canada Geese, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, and Hooded Mergansers. But no sign of the Kingfisher. There were also a few Hooded Mergansers at the big bend in the river near Santa's Village. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Waterfowl and Kingfisher on the Muskoka River
Posted on March 30, 2013 at 01:31:32 PM by dbritton

This morning there was a good selection of waterfowl on the Muskoka River near the mouth at Lake Muskoka at the very end of Beaumont Farm Road. There were approximately 50 Canada Geese, 50 Mallards, 2 American Black Ducks, 6 Ring-necked Ducks, 13 Common Goldeneyes and 10 Hooded Mergansers. There may have been more species at the site but I didn't have a scope. There was also a Belted Kingfisher in the same general area.

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawks Bracebridge
Posted on March 30, 2013 at 01:06:06 PM by Al Sinclair

2 Red-shouldered Hawks seen today calling and circling high over their territory near Matthiasville. Hwy 118E 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Snow Buntings, Killdeer - Bardsville
Posted on March 30, 2013 at 12:24:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we checked the farm fields at Bardsville, near the intersection of Beatrice Townline Rd. and Falkenburg Rd. There was a flock of about 60 Snow Buntings, a Killdeer, a couple Robins, a large flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and many Starlings on the patches of open ground. We also saw a Raven flying overhead. (note: Beatrice Townline Rd. was still "dry" through the swamp where it usually floods at this time of year)

(directions: see Bardsville google map)

 

 

Uhthoff Trail Orillia
Posted on March 30, 2013 at 06:25:34 AM by janice house

Last week I asked John Challis for suggestions for walking the Orillia Rail Trail. Linda Boon and I went yesterday and walked from Division Rd at Carlyon Line to Burnside Rd. We saw a turkey vulture, crows, a doe and fawn, an osprey being harassed by a crow (I checked my bird books this morning re the flight pattern and I believe it was the osprey because of the M wing position, second guess would be a light morph rough-legged hawk) chickadees, heard a pileated woodpecker, heard a white-breasted nuthatch, hairy woodpeckers, a mallard, red squirrel and a killdeer. Thanks John, we had a great day.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on March 29, 2013 at 02:22:45 PM by Goodyear

Earlier this afternoon there was a Pied-billed Grebe at the big bend in the Muskoka River (at Santa's Village). We also counted 7 Hooded Mergansers (5m 2f)between there and town.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds
Posted on March 29, 2013 at 11:46:53 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two newly arrived Red-winged Blackbirds singing at Henry Marsh and another singing north of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. (note: no open water yet)
Near the dip in the trail east of Henry Marsh there was a Ruffed Grouse foraging on some bare ground under the fir trees.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 March
Posted on March 29, 2013 at 08:41:31 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 28, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

New spring arrivals this week included: Canada Goose and Hooded
Merganser (March 25); American Black Duck and Great Blue Heron
(March 26).

Great Gray Owl reports along Highway 60 were:
-March 21, one between East Gate and East Boundary
-March 23, one near the East Gate
-March 26, one at km 15
-March 27, one (photo) at km 13.5

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A female was along Opeongo Road on March 25.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to three are still being seen regularly around the suet
feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. At least
one of them will take seed from the hand.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One was still coming to the Visitor Centre feeders today.

Red Crossbill: An experienced observer reported a total of 200 along the
Barron Canyon Road on the Park's East Side, including 100+ at Lake Travers,
on March 25. Many pairs and singing males were noted.

Common Redpoll: Up to about 60 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.
At least two Greater Common Redpolls (rostrata) have been seen this week.

Hoary Redpoll: One or two of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) were
still at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Evening Grosbeak: Two males at the Visitor Centre feeders on March 22
were the first of this species here since late December, and were likely
birds returning from the major southward irruptive flight this winter.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 35 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Ring Neck Ducks
Posted on March 29, 2013 at 07:56:28 AM by Jim Griffin

There are two males on the river at Port Sydney this morning. A male Hooded Merganser was here yesterday

 

 

Swan Species, Bala
Posted on March 28, 2013 at 07:41:32 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Two swans flew over my place yesterday. Species unidentified.

 

 

GBH!
Posted on March 27, 2013 at 04:30:41 PM by John Challis

While out for a run last night at dusk I watched a great blue heron fly over Cooper's Falls Road, roughly following the path of the Green River. It was southbound though; may have not had open water where it intended to land.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swan - no
Posted on March 28, 2013 at 01:05:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I scanned the Muskoka River from the Riverside Inn out to the big bend by Santa's Village, but no Swan. There were several pairs of Canada Geese, a few Common Mergansers, and a pair of Mallards. A Common Grackle flew by near the Wellington St. bridge. A Northern Cardinal was singing at Henry Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Trumpeter Swan Santa's Village Rd, Bracebridge
Posted on March 27, 2013 at 02:09:03 PM by Al Sinclair

Bill Dickinson reports that there was a Trumpeter Swan on the river beside Santa's Village Rd at Leslie Dr this morning. Photo Kim Dickinson 

 

 

The Land Between documentary (on TVO tonight)
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 05:13:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Janice House just reminded me of this documentary on TVO tonight between 7-8 p.m., and I thought it might be of interest. It is a three part series airing March 26th, April 2nd and April 9th at 7:00pm. Each episode repeats on Saturday at 4:00 P.M. For more details and a "trailer" video, see: http://www.visualheritage.ca/thelandbetween/

excerpt:
"Known as an "ecotone", The Land Between is a liminal space between the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. It is home to a host of overlapping species from the north and the south, which has encouraged sharing between First Nations cultures for thousands of years. But European settlers couldn't figure out what to do with its incredibly diverse patchwork of rock barrens, rivers, lakes and marshlands. It was not until the Victorian fascination with "wilderness" that The Land Between found a place in the collective psyche of Canadians – when people gave parts of it names like “Muskoka” and “The Kawarthas.” And it’s only recently that recreational use and urban resource needs have placed this biologically diverse region under threat."

 

 

Pileated Pair
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 04:00:34 PM by tedthevideoman

Lucky to have both male and female Pileated in the the yard this afternoon both banging away at our wash line post. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Hawk
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 05:03:25 PM by catmaclean

Possible although this afternoon I was chasing a Red-Shouldered in Huntsville.

 

 

Re(1): Hawk
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 02:35:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Northern Harrier male?

 

 

Hawk
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 01:01:40 PM by catmaclean

Just had a mid size hawk fly overhead that was white underneath with black points. Any ideas?

 

 

Re(1): binoculars
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 08:18:18 PM by AKStinnissen

Here are a couple of links to articles on the basics of binoculars buying even though the first one is a bit dated. Santa brought the Vortex Talon HD binos which are 8x42, are guaranteed for life and I am enjoying them very much.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/spring99/binos.html
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/binoculars.html

 

Re(1): binoculars
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 12:42:08 PM by stuartimmonen

Mine are Pentax 8X43 DCF EDs which I love. I read many reviews prior to purchase which compared them favourably to high quality binoculars in the $2000 range, but the Pentax bins can readily be found under $1000CDN.

stuart

edit: I should also point out that I wear glasses and there's no issue with eye relief.

 

 

binoculars
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 10:01:04 AM by Dennis Wilks

I would appreciate any information on recommended binoculars for long distance bird ( and other creature ) watching

 

 

Re(1): Turkey vultures
Posted on March 27, 2013 at 09:25:28 PM by dinnymccraney

On Monday around 5 p.m I watched two (maybe these 2?) riding the thermals above the Muskoka River north of Taylor Road(Bracebridge)

 

 

Turkey vultures
Posted on March 25, 2013 at 09:09:47 PM by John Challis

At Oro-Medonte Road 5 (near the Big Curve Acres farm south of Orillia) we saw two turkey vultures heading northward. I guess they figure the frozen morsels roadside are set to thaw soon.
We still haven't seen our first red-winged blackbirds, but the TVs are a pretty good consolation.

 

 

Re(4): Canada Geese!
Posted on March 26, 2013 at 07:19:14 AM by Wayne Bridge

There was a pair on the Magnetawan River (by the bridge in downtown Kearney) yesterday morning - March 25. [Kearney is 1/2 hour N-E of Huntsville]

 

 

Re(3): Canada Geese!
Posted on March 25, 2013 at 09:15:28 AM by Barbara Taylor

There was one pair of Canada Geese on the Muskoka River west of Henry Rd. on Mar. 16, and a pair was on the river Mar. 23 near the entrance to Kerr Park. Yesterday we heard some calling as they flew over near Henry Marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Canada Geese!
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 11:44:23 PM by Al Sinclair

We had our first Canada Goose here today also, a single bird flying over heading north at 10:30am. 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese!
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 09:54:09 PM by Ron Tozer

The average arrival date of Giant Canada Geese (the subspecies that nests here) over the last decade was March 22 in Algonquin Park. Thus, the timing of your observation is about normal.

 

 

Canada Geese!
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 08:07:52 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We were astounded at dinner-time to see a pair of Canada geese on the small open area of our pond - they stayed until dark. We usually have a pair visiting us for a while, but not until June. Isn't this a bit early? There's certainly no grass here yet for them to eat. Heck, we haven't even started making maple syrup yet.
Frances Gualtieri
Vankoughnet

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 11:27:37 AM by janice house

One male was at the feeders this morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on March 23, 2013 at 01:24:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a small flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets just east of "the dip" in the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. Other than one singing Brown Creeper, nothing else of note.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting March 26, 2013
Posted on March 22, 2013 at 04:10:37 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, March 26, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

With spectacular photography and sound recordings, Huntsville Nature Club member, Dan Strickland, will describe his recent trip to northern India. Dan’s talk will include the Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, exotic birds, and other wildlife.

For more information about the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (705) 789-1407

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 March
Posted on March 22, 2013 at 09:18:50 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 21, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

At this time last year, we were in an unprecedented warm spell that
ultimately resulted in the record early arrival of 14 species in the
Park during March. To learn which 14 birds were involved, see updates to
Birds of Algonquin Park at: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/bap

There will not be a repeat this year! Below average temperatures, some new
snow almost daily, deep snow on the ground, and very little open water may
result in later than average arrivals this spring. Despite the influx of new
arrivals elsewhere in southern Ontario this week, none were reported in
Algonquin.

There were only two reports of Great Gray Owls. Locations this week
were:
-March 17: one at km 38 at 8 am.
-March 20: one photographed at km 50.5 at 3 pm.

Fourteen Bohemian Waxwings observed at the Visitor Centre on
March 18 were likely birds moving back to the breeding range.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk
parking lot on March 16.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to three are being seen regularly around the suet
feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Three were
heard along Opeongo Road on March 20.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three were still at the Visitor Centre feeders, and a
few small flocks were noted along the highway. Most will head north
when milder temperatures next occur.

White-winged Crossbill: One was reported at the Visitor Centre on
March 17.

Common Redpoll: Up to 60 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: One or two of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) were
still at the Visitor Centre feeders today.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 32 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Re(1): Spring 2013 - migration maps and first sightings
Posted on March 22, 2013 at 00:20:42 AM by coreyhkh

Cool thanks for the links I got a few flight pictures of those falcons in the winter hunting I had no idea there was a webcam.

 

 

Spring 2013 - migration maps and first sightings
Posted on March 21, 2013 at 03:49:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

With the official start of Spring yesterday and hopefully a sunny weekend ahead, I decided it was time to post my list of migration websites. A Chimney Swift has already been spotted in Alabama, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are moving through Georgia, and Purple Martins have been seen in Ohio. Several Turkey Vultures have already been tallied over Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby, but expect much larger numbers and more species by the end of the month (note: their Open House is March 29). And keep an eye on the Hamilton Peregrine Falcon webcam...the pair is spending more time at their nest ledge now in preparation for egg laying.

The following collection of websites will be helpful in following the 2013 Spring Migration. Some of these websites include data from past years which will give you an idea of peak migration times...or just check the recent posts on regional email lists to see what's coming our way.


Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map

Journey North (first sightings of Orioles, Barn Swallows, Loons, Monarch Butterflies, and more)


HawkCount - daily reports

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists


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

Long Point Bird Observatory (active in April)

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (Spring Birding Festival May 11–20)

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

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Migration of Birds

 

 

Leucistic Black-capped Chickadee at Algonquin Provincial Park
Posted on March 19, 2013 at 07:10:10 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Charlie Hastings on ONTBIRDS (March 19, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Yesterday (March 18,2013) I saw a Leucistic Black-capped Chickadee at the
second gate parking lot on Opeongo Road.
Other sightings were Boreal Chickadees at the feeders at Spruce Bog
boardwalk.
I also saw a Pine Martin at both of these locations and of course the Gray
Jays were present at the Opeongo Road location.

Here's a picture of the Leaucistic Chickadee:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30394904@N08/8572951730/in/photostream/

 

 

Re(1): Mystery footprints -- photo
Posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:32:53 AM by lauragilmour

The tracks are not very clear and without scale, identification to species is difficult. The trail is very direct, and thus the assumption it must be a wild canid is valid. The angle of the photo is odd, so I may not be interpreting accurately, but I see groups of tracks, and depending on scale this could be rotary lope or gallop. Not the typical direct register trot of wild canids. Dogs can move like this for short periods, especially if they are chasing something, like a snowmobile. There are wild canids in this area, wolf maybe, coyote yes, wolf-coyote hybrid call it what you will. I would not rule out dog from this photo alone. I'd track it further to bet a better gauge on behavior and take a few measurements to see when the size range falls. I always recommend people tack photos of tracks from directly above and place something in the photo for scale, like a pen or ruler if you have one. Wild canid possible, but so is dog on this one, its a difficult call.

 

 

Re(2): Mystery footprints -- photo
Posted on March 22, 2013 at 08:17:36 AM by Debbie Adams

I agree that a Coywolf mades these tracks.
We have the same tracks here on Walker's Point criss-crossing just about everywhere!

 

 

Re(1): Mystery footprints -- photo
Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:31:43 PM by Al Sinclair

Joan Sinclair (my spouse) says it is a wolf, in our area a hybrid coywolf. Single tracking, hind and front feet in the same track and in a straight line, the most energy efficient gate. Dogs can not do it because of their structure. Joan breeds Labrador Retrievers.

 

 

Mystery footprints -- photo
Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:20:40 PM by Doug Smith

The photo below was taken on Kahshe Lake just over a week ago. The photographer thinks it could be from a wild canid as opposed to a dog, but wants to confirm this -- anyone have any ideas who might have made these prints?  photo

 

 

Brown-headed Cowbird
Posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:19:36 AM by janice house

We had our first cowbird yesterday, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Hooded Merganser
Posted on March 17, 2013 at 06:51:28 PM by Jim Griffin

There is one male "hoody" on the river at Port Sydney along with four common goldeneye. Had 2 male common mergs last week as well.

 

 

Finally...
Posted on March 17, 2013 at 11:42:23 AM by J. Gardner

We have had our first Red-winged Blackbird of the year in Hurdville. There will be a Spring! June Gardner

 

 

Winter Wren - Covered Bridge Trail
Posted on March 16, 2013 at 03:06:59 PM by Goodyear

Earlier this afternoon we saw a single Winter Wren along the trail near Keall's Falls (Bracebridge). It didn't sing - too busy looking for something to eat in a fallen tree.

 

 

Robin
Posted on March 16, 2013 at 01:02:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an American Robin near the corner of Glendale Rd. and Tamarack Trail in Bracebridge. I was surprised to see it since there is very little bare ground and no berries or crabapples anywhere (the Bohemian Waxwings cleaned them off months ago).

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 March
Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:08:51 AM by Ron Tozer

Additional record of Great Gray Owl missed in report:
-March 12: one at km 48 on Highway 60

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 March
Posted on March 15, 2013 at 09:01:13 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 14, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 will be open daily from March 9 to 17,
9 am to 5 pm., for March Break.
A guided bird walk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk will occur from 1 to
2:30 pm on March 15 (Friday).

There were fewer reports of Great Gray Owls this week. Locations were:
-March 8: one on Highway 60 at Opeongo Turn (km 46.3)
-March 9 and 10: one near km 38 on Highway 60

New spring arrivals this week: European Starling (March 8); Red-tailed Hawk
and Mourning Dove (March 10 ); Herring Gull (March 12): Red-winged
Blackbird (March 13).

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A displaying male and a female feeding on balsam needles and
ignoring him were near the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 9.
One was reported along Leaf Lake Ski Trail on March 12.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Male and female reported near gate on Opeongo
Road on March 10.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to three are being seen regularly around the suet
feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. One was noted
along Opeongo Road on March 9 and 14.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Up to four were still at the Visitor Centre feeders, and a
few small flocks were noted along the highway and Opeongo Road.

Red Crossbill: Four were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and at the Visitor
Centre, on March 8.

Common Redpoll: Up to 60 are now at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: One or two of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) were at
the Visitor Centre feeders most days this week.

American Goldfinch: One at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 14.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 30 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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

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

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Red Winged Blackbird
Posted on March 15, 2013 at 06:17:07 AM by janice house

A male was calling from the top of our cedar hedge last night. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:26:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Barred Owl was in the same general area, but this time was perched on a branch overlooking the east birdfeeder. It stayed put while we walked by, and seemed very focused on the brush pile at the south side of the trail.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on March 14, 2013 at 01:09:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Barred Owl perched beside the hiking trail a short distance west of the Bracebridge Ponds. Just east of "the dip" in the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh, there was a female woodpecker checking out the dying hemlock trees by the beaver dam...but it was only a Hairy, not the Black-backed.

Directions: From traffic lights at Wellington St. & Ecclestone Dr. in Bracebridge, take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River and turn left at Henry Rd.
Area Map with trails marked (at upper right of map, click Satellite for terrain, or Map for roads only)

 

 

Common Grackle
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 06:13:30 PM by janice house

We have a lone grackle in our yard this evening, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Counting Redpolls
Posted on March 13, 2013 at 08:51:48 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Now I know where all the redpolls went, from our feeder in Vankoughnet! Send some back, Al - I still have an unopened bag of nyger seed.

 

 

Counting Redpolls
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 03:44:33 PM by Al Sinclair

I estimated conservatively that there were about 120 Redpolls in the yard yesterday. Took this photo to get a better count by dividing it with a grid and counting each square separately. Turns out it was closer to 144.  photo

 

 

First robins
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 09:34:36 AM by GayleCarlyle

Heard my first robins of the year this morning on our road in Washago.

 

 

Re(1): Eagle/osprey
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 03:50:39 PM by Al Sinclair

It could have been an immature Bald Eagle, they do not have a white head or tail. It is not uncommon to see Bald Eagles in Muskoka in winter beside roads scavenging on road kills.
 

 

 

Re(1): Eagle/osprey
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 02:46:50 PM by coreyhkh

Maybe a bald eagle

 

 

Eagle/osprey
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 02:10:17 PM by BryanGrant

At the end of Miriam Dr in Vankoughnet - at a distance, I saw what I think to be an eagle. Standing the bird was as large as a Canadian Goose. When in flight it's underside was mainly dark. The chest was black and white, the legs and underside of the wings were dark . Also it's body was not as narrow as the osprey I have seen.

 

 

Re(2): Butterfly?
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 04:22:31 PM by Al Sinclair

The smaller White-headed Grape Leaffolder I think.
Desmia maculalis #5160 You must have some grapes around your place somewhere.

 

 

Re(1): Butterfly?
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 12:04:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

At first glance, looks like a Grape Leaffolder Moth, but have to check my guides.

 

 

Butterfly?
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 11:48:18 AM by GeorgeMoroz

Attached you will find photos of a butterfly(?) that hatched recently within our window frame.
As you can see it is relatively small. I have been unable to identify it so far. Can someone provide an answer? (Bracebridge) photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Redpoll Numbers...just late today
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 04:23:49 PM by Al Sinclair

About 100 showed up a noon, nyger feeder empty again!

 

 

Redpoll Numbers
Posted on March 11, 2013 at 10:04:10 AM by Al Sinclair

We had the largest Redpoll count here yesterday, 120 ( conservative estimate). Today down to 30 but it could be the weather.
8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk - migration underway
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 10:39:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Although I only saw one Red-tailed Hawk soaring northward over Bracebridge today, the southerly winds have helped move the hawks a little closer to us.

The Derby Hill Hawkwatch (south-east end of Lake Ontario) reported a nice selection of species for this early in the migration, including 139 Red-tailed, 64 Rough-legged Hawks, 18 Northern Harriers, and 5 Golden Eagles. See the full report at: http://hawkcount.org/month_summary.php?rsite=358&go=Go+to+site

The Erie, Pennsylvania hawkwatch (south side of Lake Erie) also had a pretty good day with 129 Red-tailed, 13 Red-shouldered, and 6 Rough-legged Hawks, and 208 Turkey Vultures. See the full report at: http://hawkcount.org/month_summary.php?rsite=671&go=Go+to+site

Hawkcount.org has daily updates from North American Hawkwatches. The reports often include counts of other species migrating through such as Killdeer, Horned Larks, and Snow Buntings. Today was a big blackbird day, and the Crows keep on coming...

 

 

Redpolls have disappeared
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 08:41:04 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Our large flocks of redpolls have also disappeared in the past week. I could hardly keep up with filling the nyger feeder. I found it interesting that they would never touch the fat container that the chickadees and woodpeckers flock to.

 

 

Re(1): Merlin
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 06:00:09 PM by John Challis

...and the redpolls, which have been abundant at our feeders all winter seem to have flown the coop. Must be at those feeders in Bracebridge where they have suddenly made their first appearances this season.

 

 

Merlin
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 05:57:52 PM by John Challis

Over the Green River in Washago this afternoon we heard a merlin calling, and caught glimpses of it as it flew over the neighborhood. There is usually a pair or two nesting in the taller pines here, but this is very early. They usually appear after the red-winged blackbirds, and more or less coincide with the arrival of song sparrows.

 

 

Re(1): Black-backed Woodpecker - photo
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 01:35:38 PM by janice house

A photo of the black-backed woodpecker we saw yesterday afternoon.  photo

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 01:02:27 PM by janice house

A group of us saw the woodpecker yesterday afternoon east of Henry Marsh. We tried in the morning but the bird did not appear. She showed up after 3pm and we got some good photos.

 

 

Killdeer
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 12:59:44 PM by janice house

I heard my first killdeer this morning calling from the farm across the road, seems a bit early. We also had 30+ common redpolls and one hoary visit the feeders. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Flock of Seagulls!
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 10:19:10 PM by Goodyear

Late this afternoon there was a large group of 40+ Herring Gulls on the ice out from Golden Beach Road, Lake Muskoka. They were hanging around two icehuts - perhaps there were fish scraps on the menu.

 

 

Flock of Seagulls!
Posted on March 10, 2013 at 09:32:48 AM by Debbie Adams

No not the rock band .... at least 6 gulls squawking and announcing their return.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

More signs of spring
Posted on March 8, 2013 at 04:22:17 PM by catmaclean

Pussy willows are out and I came across a freshly killed carcass of a porcupine on a snowmobile trail. Looked as if it was killed by an animal not a snowmobile.

 

 

Swan/Sparrow
Posted on March 8, 2013 at 09:15:49 AM by janice house

Geoff saw a swan fly over our front yard this morning heading west and he also heard a white throated sparrow singing while walking the dog ( Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 March
Posted on March 7, 2013 at 10:12:54 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 7, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 will be open daily from March 9 to 17,
9 am to 5 pm., for March Break.

Guided bird walks at Spruce Bog Boardwalk will occur from 1 to
2:30 pm on March 12 (Tuesday) and on March 15 (Friday) as part of
March Break Programming.

Locations where Great Gray Owls were reported this week included:
-March 1: one in the km 37 to 38 area on Highway 60
-March 4, 5 and 6: one on Highway 60 at the Opeongo Road turn
-March 7: one at km 47.5 to km 48 (Brewer Lake) on Highway 60

Two American Crows reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 1
involved the first spring migrant species in Algonquin Park, and
were right on the average arrival date.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 1 and 3.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
March 2 and 3. A male was at the junction of Opeongo Road and the Cameron
Lake Road, and a female was seen from the Visitor Centre deck on March 7.

Video of a female Black-backed Woodpecker flaking off bark in search of
wood-boring beetle larvae at Spruce Bog Boardwalk can be seen at:
http://frametoframe.ca/black-backed-woodpecker-sighted-algonquin-provincial-park/

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. The first Gray
Jay nest with an egg this year was noted on March 6.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to three are being seen regularly around the suet
feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. This species
was noted near the gate on Opeongo Road on March 2 and 7. One was heard
south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 7.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: A few continue to be regular on the highway. Some are around
the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days, including adult males.

White-winged Crossbill: The adult male that first appeared in early
January was last seen at the Visitor Centre feeders on March 1.

Common Redpoll: About 30-40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.
An apparent "Greater" Common Redpoll (rostrata) was there on March 3.

Hoary Redpoll: Two or three females of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes)
were reported daily at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.


CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 48 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

BIRDS OF ALGONQUIN PARK
The latest updates of my book are available at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/bap

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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

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

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Brown Creeper singing
Posted on March 6, 2013 at 12:26:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we walked part of the snowshoe trail system that follows the Beaver Creek ravine north of Meadow Heights Dr. We came across a flock of Chickadees mobbing a Barred Owl, a female Pileated Woodpecker excavating a large hole in a tree, and a Brown Creeper singing its pretty spring song. The Brown Creeper that frequents our yard hasn't started to sing yet. (Bracebridge)

You can listen to a Brown Creeper at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/brown_creeper/sounds.
The Macaulay Library is another great online source of bird calls and songs.

 

Re(4): Hawk and eagle
Posted on March 6, 2013 at 06:49:21 PM by Al Sinclair

Jack Jennings - lives at Glen Orchard

 

 

Re(3): Hawk and eagle
Posted on March 6, 2013 at 05:29:26 PM by Goodyear

I have been working on collecting sightings data for Muskoka, particularly for the years between the publication of Birds of Muskoka and Parry Sound (Alex Mills -1981) and the startup of the Muskoka Bird Board in 2000/2001. So far the two earliest records I have found for Red-shouldered Hawk for these years are 29 February 2000 Glen Orchard (J. J.) and 6 March 1998 Gravenhurst (Dan Burton). Just recently Vonnie Heron had one "amazingly early" in Huntsville 28 February 2012 (The Chickadee 54(4):3). Al, I found the 2000 record in the Muskoka Arrival data that you gave me. Any idea who J. J. is?

 

 

Re(2): Hawk and eagle
Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:34:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

I searched the Bird Board Archives for Red-shouldered Hawk reports. With one exception all of the "first sightings" were after March 15, with most after March 22. The earliest date I could find was March 12 in 2002. I also found some interesting historical data posted by Ron Tozer which I've reprinted below. Incidentally, there was a Red-shouldered Hawk reported at the Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby yesterday.

From the Bird Board Archives:
Re(1): Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 08:24:08 AM by ron tozer

Terry Spratt has kept track of the first observation date of Red-shouldered Hawks at a nesting territory on Limberlost Road, east of Huntsville, since 1995. The average (13 years) is March 27. This year, the first observation was on March 23. The dates have ranged from the earliest on March 11 in 1995, during a mild spring with extensive bare ground developing by mid-March, to the latest first observation on April 9, 1998, in a year when deep snow persisted into April. (From: The Chickadee 48(5): 1, newsletter of the Huntsville Nature Club)

 

 

Re(1): Hawk and eagle
Posted on March 5, 2013 at 07:55:58 PM by Al Sinclair

About 2 wks earlier than than normal I think. Blue Jays can do a very good imitation so I wouldn't count it unless I saw a hawk soaring at the same time.

 

 

Hawk and eagle
Posted on March 5, 2013 at 05:49:24 PM by catmaclean

I am pretty sure I heard a Red Shouldered Hawk this am. Could they be here this early? Shortly after I saw a mature Bald Eagle soar over our house near Deerhurst.

 

 

Horned Larks
Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:24:23 AM by sylviaandjim

Terry Whittam reports on Facebook that he observed Horned Larks near Zephyr Ontario last week. Can the Muskoka Airport be next in line for spring Horned Larks?

 

 

Re(1): moose,owl, shrike
Posted on March 4, 2013 at 09:23:28 AM by GayleCarlyle

A minor correction to John's posting. We were actually on the Turnbull Tract, which is close to the Haines Tract on Cambrian Rd.

 

 

moose,owl, shrike
Posted on March 3, 2013 at 06:14:37 PM by John Challis

In the Haines Tract Simcoe County Forest off Cambrian Road in Washago we watched a cow moose for several minutes. The thin crust of snow that makes it possible for us to walk on top was making progress difficult for the moose. It made its way back to the Couchiching Conservancy's new Thomas C. Agnew Nature Reserve. While we headed back to the car we flushed a barred owl. And heading back home on Green River Drive a Northern shrike was perched on a dead tree in the swamp by our place.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting March 7
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 04:05:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst
GRASSLAND BIRDS by Ron Reid
Ron has over 35 years of professional experience in natural heritage planning with a particular focus on alvars and grassland birds during the past ten years. He is currently the Carden Program Coordinator for the Couchiching Conservancy. Ron has led consultation workshops as part of the project team developing Recovery Strategies for the Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Barn Swallow. His presentation will focus on the declining populations of grassland birds, the causes, how farmers are part of the picture and what landowners can do to help.

Meetings for February through June are held at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre at Muskoka Wharf, 275 Steamship Bay Road in Gravenhurst.
Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to attend.
(source: MFN website - http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com)

 

 

Re(1): Redhead Ducks Huntsville
Posted on March 3, 2013 at 01:42:36 PM by Ron Tozer

The Redheads were still below the locks this morning with about 9 Common Goldeneyes.

 

 

Redhead Ducks Huntsville
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 03:40:05 PM by BrianPfrimmer

I saw a pair of Redhead ducks with 6 Common Goldeneye today at 2:30 pm on the river below the locks on Brunel rd. From the Main St in Huntsville travel 3.2 km south on Brunel Rd. Scan the open water on the west side of the road just north of the river bend.

 

 

Ermine photos
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 09:27:29 AM by Janice House

Photos of the Ermine from Feb. 11 (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle & Blue Jays
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 11:24:30 PM by gerald

I saw it at Leonard lake road 2. It flew in front of me to Mud Lake just before Beaumaris rd where it landed in a large hemlock tree.

 

 

Bald Eagle & Blue Jays
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 06:51:36 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Seen at feeders of Joyce & Hal Pegg, Torrance, Blue Jays feeding each other.

Adult Bald Eagle perched on snag on the North side of 118 W just before Huckleberry Cut yesterday at 11:30 am. Flew off to the North.

 

 

Goldeneyes and Mergansers
Posted on March 1, 2013 at 12:42:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today we drove along Beaumont Dr. and Beaumont Farm Rd. out to the mouth of the Muskoka River - the river is wide open now. At the big bend in the river by Santa's Village there were 14 Common Mergansers. By the mouth of the river there were 12 Common Goldeneyes. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Black-backed Woodpecker - east of Henry Marsh
Posted on March 3, 2013 at 02:48:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

No sign of the bird this morning. There was a Pileated Woodpecker at the dip in the trail. Another Pileated was excavating a hole high up in a tree near the Kerr Park end of the snowshoe/ski trail.

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker - east of Henry Marsh
Posted on March 1, 2013 at 12:38:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 10:30 a.m. this morning we came upon a female Black-backed Woodpecker along the trail heading east from Henry Marsh. The bird was knocking bark off the dead and dying hemlock trees by the beaver dam just east of "the dip" in the trail. After chipping away at one spot, she finally pulled something out and swallowed it. Must be "productive" trees as she was still there an hour later on our return trip.

I wonder if this is the same bird we reported along Henry Trail on Dec. 30, 2012...haven't seen her since then.

Directions: From traffic lights at Wellington St. & Ecclestone Dr. in Bracebridge, take Beaumont Dr. along the Muskoka River and turn left at Henry Rd.
Area Map with trails marked (at upper right of map, click Satellite for terrain, or Map for roads only)

 

 

Fur lined Raven's nest
Posted on March 1, 2013 at 10:34:53 AM by Debbie Adams

There was a deer kill on our neighbours front yard a month ago (they're in Florida) and Raven's have been around lately pulling up tufts of fur for their nest. I've been watching them neatly collecting mouthfuls of deer fur and flying off across the bay to a tree top.
The other day, I watched them collect grassy material. The fur must be the final bit of insulation.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 February
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 08:14:47 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 28, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A Wild Turkey at km 16.7 on February 26 was typical of occasional sightings
along Highway 60 this winter. Turkeys did not occur naturally in the Park,
but introduced birds from surrounding areas were first observed in Algonquin
during 2002 and the first records of winter occurrence here were in 2008.
Unlike conditions in most of southern Ontario, turkeys are able to winter
here with no access to feeders or crop fields, and in deep snow.

Locations where Great Gray Owls were reported this week included:

-February 21: one at km 38 on south side
-February 23 or 24: one reported at km 37
-February 25: one on south side of Highway 60 at Opeongo Road turn (km 46.3)
at 11 am
-February 25: perhaps same owl as above at entrance to Beaver Pond Trail (km
45.2) at 3 pm
-February 26: one on south side of Highway 60 at Opeongo Road turn (km 46.3)
-February 26: one along Costello Creek on west side of Opeongo Road north of
Costello Picnic Area

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male and female were near the register box on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on February 23, and one of these grouse was still in that area on
February 25 and 26.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Sightings increased this week and these woodpeckers
are calling and drumming more now. Single birds were reported near the
register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 25, and along Opeongo Road
north of the bridge on February 24 and 25. One was at the Access Point at
the north end of Opeongo Road on February 25. Another was near the bench on
the east side of the Sunday Creek Bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February
25. Two were noted along Opeongo Road at the north end before the sharp
curve on February 26.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. Nine nests under
construction had been located by today in Dan Strickland's long-term
research project on this species.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two continue to be seen regularly around the suet
feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. This chickadee
was heard regularly along the northern section of Opeongo Road as well.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: A few continue to be regular on the highway. Some are around
the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days, including adult males.
Numbers are declining with the warming temperatures, and most will likely
head back north during the first half of March.

Red Crossbill: One was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 21.
A small flock (likely the smaller-billed Type 3) was heard calling in flight
over Opeongo Road on February 25.

White-winged Crossbill: The adult male that first appeared in early
January is still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders. A male and
female were down on the road in the northern section of Opeongo Road on
February 25.

Common Redpoll: About 30-40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: Two or three of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes)
were reported at the Visitor Centre feeders irregularly this week. Only a
female has been seen consistently.

MOOSE CARCASS IN SUNDAY CREEK BOG
An occasional wolf and numerous Common Ravens continue to feed on the moose
carcass in the Sunday Creek Bog opposite the Visitor Centre viewing deck.
Paste the following into your browser for details:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2013/2013-02-14_feeding_on_
misfortunes.php

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 43 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

BIRDS OF ALGONQUIN PARK
The latest updates of my book are available at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/bap

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Re(1): Brown Creeper
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 07:46:37 PM by Ron Tozer

In Algonquin Park, the average date of the first record of singing by the Brown Creeper is March 19 (33 years), and the earliest date was February 28. So your Huntsville observation today is early.

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 04:23:01 PM by catmaclean

Just heard a Brown Creeper singing East Browns Rd Huntsville. Is this early for them? I usually hear them around March Break. I have also been seeing many snow fleas for the past four days.

 

 

Re(1): Another sign of spring?
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 07:50:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

We have seen Snow Fleas a few times this winter along the trail just west of the Bracebridge Ponds. They seem to "bubble up" onto the surface of the snow on the warmer "springlike weather" days. Here's an interesting article about them: http://www.curiousnature.info/A1-Springtail.htm

 

Re(1): Another sign of spring?
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 04:25:12 PM by J. Gardner

Snow fleas everywhere here the past few days. Not necessarily a sign of spring... I saw them in January too. Give me a good old Redwinged Blackbird. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Another sign of spring?
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 02:57:41 PM by dinnymccraney

SNOW FLEAS on the pile of snow behind my shed. (Bracebridge)

 

 

pair of Merlins in Port Carling
Posted on February 27, 2013 at 10:19:00 PM by Doug Smith

Yesterday afternoon there was a pair of Merlins calling and flying about the tall white pines across from the library on the main street (Joseph Street) in Port Carling. There has been a pair around each summer for several years, but I don't recall seeing or hearing them this early. Perhaps they followed the flocks of tree sparrows that are now in the area.

 

 

Raven nesting
Posted on February 27, 2013 at 11:17:42 AM by Debbie Adams

Yesterday I noticed a Raven collecting nesting material from under a fallen tree that was over a swampy area. It was lucky to find some grassy material given all the snow that's on the ground.   (Walker's Point)

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club, February 26, 2013
Posted on February 25, 2013 at 07:14:53 PM by BevEaston

The next meeting of the Huntsville Nature Club will be held on Tuesday, February 26, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, at 7:00 p.m. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

Dr. Doug Tozer, Aquatic Surveys Biologist with Bird Studies Canada, will discuss the status of the Common Loon in Canada. The number of Common Loon chicks fledged in southern Canada has decreased during the last 20 years. Doug will explain the probable causes of this decline which appear to be linked to mercury pollution and acid rain.

For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison, (705) 789-1407.
 

 

Common Goldeneye
Posted on February 25, 2013 at 02:16:36 PM by janice house

I stopped by Kerr Park yesterday to see the common mergansers but only found a lone male common goldeneye in the open river by the entrance to the park.

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count results
Posted on February 24, 2013 at 05:55:17 PM by stuartimmonen

Hey, my Wild Turkey sighting was the one and only report for Parry Sound! Not only that, but it was a new yard bird for me.  photo

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count results
Posted on February 24, 2013 at 02:45:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Backyard Bird Count "merged" with eBird this year so they don't have their usual lists of species by towns. Here's a quick way to see what was reported for Muskoka and surrounding areas...high count by species:
Muskoka
Parry Sound
Nipissing
Haliburton
Kawartha Lakes
Simcoe

 

 

Re(1): Looking for new locations
Posted on February 23, 2013 at 02:00:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Still too early for migrants so not much around now. We've only been seeing Chickadees, both Nuthatches, the usual Woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy, Pileated) and the occasional Wild Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, Barred Owl, and Raven along the Trans Canada Trail between Stephens Bay Rd. and Kerr Park in Bracebridge. Best bet is to find a good birdfeeder setup which might have Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, or Evening Grosbeaks, but I don't know of any that you can see well from the road. We aren't getting those at our feeder.

You could try visiting Washago Centennial Park (Quetton Rd.) or Port Severn for Trumpeter Swans, and possibly other waterfowl. You might find Bald Eagles at the Gravenhurst dump (Beiers Rd.), or the MacDougall Rd. dump by Parry Sound. See the Feb. 19 post by Mark Kubisz.

For other locations around Ontario you might want to check Ontbirds. If you don't subscribe to Ontbirds, you can still read all the recent reports at: http://birding.aba.org/maillist/ON

 

 

Looking for new locations
Posted on February 23, 2013 at 10:57:52 AM by coreyhkh

Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone can recommend me a good place to go birding right now. I am unsure where to go other then algonquin park.

 

 

Re(1): Crows
Posted on February 28, 2013 at 01:25:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

A pair of Crows showed up in our yard this morning. (Bracebridge)

I figured it wouldn't be long after noticing on Feb. 26 that the Derby Hill Hawkwatch reported they had 644 migrating American Crows. (Derby Hill is at the south-east end of Lake Ontario.)

 

 

Crows
Posted on February 22, 2013 at 03:44:08 PM by Goodyear

Crows seem to be returning to Muskoka. We had one visit our feeders yesterday and today. I saw a few along the Highway 11 corridor and there were several calling in the Huntsville downtown area this morning.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 February
Posted on February 22, 2013 at 09:00:32 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 21, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The latest updates of my book, Birds of Algonquin Park, are available at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/bap

Continued observations of Great Gray Owls, and reports at new locations,
may reflect increasing numbers. The owls appear to be doing well as they
benefit from the very high small mammal populations in the Park recorded
by researchers at the Wildlife Research Station last summer.

Locations where Great Gray Owls were reported this week included:
-February 15: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway 60)
-February 16: one on south side of Highway 60, just east of Rock Lake Turn
(km 40.3)
-February 16: one on utility wire at km 39 on Highway 60
-February 16: one near start of gated logging road at km 8 on Highway 60
-February 17: one on north side of Highway 60 at km 38
-February 18: one photographed along northern part of Opeongo Road
-February 20: one seen at 8 am on north side of Highway 60 at km 38
-February 21: one seen at 8 am and 5 pm on north side of Highway 60 at km 38

Two pairs of Gray Jays storing nest material, despite the minus 30 degree C.
temperature in early morning on February 17, were right on schedule in
providing one of Algonquin's early signs of spring. Nests under construction
in the Park have been observed mainly from late February to early April in
Dan Strickland's ongoing study of 40+ years.

The Black-capped Chickadee exhibiting pied leucism continues to be seen on
Opeongo Road at Cameron Lake Road, near the open gate.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports received this week. Try the well-packed trails
made by people searching the area north of the register box on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the northern section of Opeongo Road where it passes
through black spruce bog.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were reported: near the suet feeder on
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 15; near Costello Creek along the Opeongo
Road on February 16; and at Track and Tower Trail on February 17.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two are being seen regularly around the suet feeder
near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. One was observed
briefly at the entrance to that trail in the afternoon of February 16 by the
80 people who attended the Winter Festival bird walk. One was near the
skating rink in Mew Lake Campground on February 20.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
About ten are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days,
including several adult males.

Red Crossbill: The only report this week was of four at km 30 on the Basin
Lake Road on February 14. This road is on the East Side and is accessible
from Highway 58 at Bonnechere Provincial Park.

White-winged Crossbill: The adult male that first appeared in early
January is still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders. Five were
reported at Track and Tower Trail on February 17.

Common Redpoll: About 30-40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: At least one bird of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes)
was reported at the Visitor Centre feeders on February 17, 18 and 21.

American Goldfinch: Two reported at the Visitor Centre on February 16
were the first noted in several weeks.

MOOSE CARCASS IN SUNDAY CREEK BOG
One or two wolves at night or near dawn and numerous Common Ravens
have consumed most of the moose now.
Paste the following into your browser for details:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2013/2013-02-14_feeding_on_
misfortunes.php

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 37 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Re(1): Common Mergansers
Posted on February 22, 2013 at 11:55:50 AM by Barbara Taylor

The four Mergansers were still there this morning, standing on the edge of the ice.

 

 

Common Mergansers
Posted on February 21, 2013 at 05:09:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were four Common Mergansers on the Muskoka River in a large area of open water near the entrance to Kerr Park. (Bracebridge)

 

 

10 Bald Eagles, Parry Sound
Posted on February 19, 2013 at 07:42:01 AM by MarkKubisz

February 17 there were 10 Bald Eagles, 3 of which were adults, at the McDougall Road dump on McDougall Road at Haines Road, about 6 km east of Parry Sound, along with about 130 ravens. There was also one sub-adult bird at the Trent-Severn Waterway at Hwy 400. Waterfowl at the latter location were 35 Trumpeter Swans, 7 Black Ducks, 3 Mallards, 2 Canada Geese, 60 Common Goldeneye, 3 Ring-necked Ducks, 10 Common Mergansers and 1 Hooded Merganser.

Two additional Bald Eagles were seen February 18 near Pointe Au Baril. Pointe Au Baril is on Hwy 69 about 40 km north of Parry Sound.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Cardinal singing
Posted on February 18, 2013 at 05:57:00 PM by Goodyear

We haven't seen Cardinals since the fall either, but yesterday a male turned up at our feeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Cardinal singing
Posted on February 18, 2013 at 02:07:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Cardinal was singing from somewhere across the street from us. Where have all the Cardinals been this winter? There were several around the neighbourhood in the fall but none have been visiting our feeder as in past winters. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Backyard Count
Posted on February 19, 2013 at 04:31:09 PM by janice house

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst, Feb 18th
Am Tree Sparrow 6
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Blue Jay 6
Black-Capped Chickadee 16
European Starling 10
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Mourning Dove 3
Down Woodpecker 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Raven 1 flew through the yard
Am Gold Finch 2
Common Redpoll 18
Hoary Redpoll 1

 

 

Re(2): Backyard Count
Posted on February 19, 2013 at 04:14:53 PM by janice house

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst, Feb 17th
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 6
Mourning Dove 9
Black-capped Chickadee 24
Dark-eyed Junco 1
European Starling 6
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Am Tree Sparrow 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Count
Posted on February 18, 2013 at 06:00:26 PM by Goodyear

Our count Feb. 17, Bracebridge:

Mourning Dove - 12
Blue Jay - 12
Black-capped Chickadee - 5
Dark-eyed Junco - 5
Hairy Woodpecker - 1m
European Starling - 1
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1
Common Redpoll - 7
Northern Cardinal - 1

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Count
Posted on February 17, 2013 at 04:49:23 PM by Al Sinclair

Hoary showed up today
Hwy 118E Bracebridge Feb 17

1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 Blue Jay
4 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
4 American Tree Sparrow
40 Common Redpoll
1 Hoary Redpoll

 

 

Backyard Count
Posted on February 17, 2013 at 08:54:00 AM by J. Gardner

Count in my Hurdville yard was

1 Tree Sparrow
5 Chickadee
32 Blue Jay
3 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Mourning Dove
1 E. Starling

Our Blue Jays run between 30 and forty daily. Occasionally we have an invasion of a roving flock of jays, and have counted as high as 78 around the feeders. The noise of alarm calls from the local jays and the hooting from the visitors was amazing.

I spent about a half hour this morning counting. J. Gardner

 

 

Great Gray Owl
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 10:26:14 PM by SueReese

Great Gray Owl this morning on Hughes Rd. in Port Sydney in the trees along the unopened section of road.

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks at a feeder near Bracebridge
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 04:22:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Isobel Heathcote reports that 15 Pine Grosbeaks have been visiting Bill Ruttan's feeder daily since mid January, Hwy 117 east of Bonnie Lk Rd. Bracebridge.

Photos by Isobel Heathcote photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count List Feb16
Posted on February 19, 2013 at 04:11:37 PM by janice house

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Am Tree Sparrow 4
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Black-capped Chickadee 12
Mourning Dove 3
European Starling 6
Blue Jay 4
Downy Woodpecker 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1

 

 

Re(2): Great Backyard Bird Count List Feb16
Posted on February 17, 2013 at 08:35:32 PM by Al Sinclair

A Barred Owl is being seen by Barry Faulkner on Cedar Lane. It was at his place all Sat morning until sometime between 1 & 3pm. He lives 3 km north-east from Barbara. Same owl???

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count List Feb16
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 04:57:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Feb. 16, Glendale Rd., Bracebridge
Barred Owl - 1
Common Raven - 1
Blue Jay - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpecker - 2
Pileated Woodpecker - 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 12
Mourning Dove - 16
Brown Creeper - 1

Usually the good birds disappear on count days, but this Barred Owl came into our yard for a while this afternoon!  photo

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count List Feb16
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 03:35:37 PM by Al Sinclair

9 species
Nice weather - numbers were down

Mourning Dove 6
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 2
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Tree Sparrow 4
Common Redpoll 30

 

 

Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 03:30:38 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by James Helmer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 16, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Great day in Algonquin so far with a Boreal Chickadee at Spruce Bog boardwalk and great views also of the leucistic Black-capped Chickadee along Opeongo road. Both locations are around km 43 near the visitor centre inside the park. The Boreal Chickadee can be viewed just past the first bridge around the suet feeder, be patient it seems to come around every 10 minutes or so. The Chickadee is along Opeongo road at the first offshoot parking area to the right and actively feeding.

Good luck
James Helmer

 

 

Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 01:36:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Feb. 15, Glendale Rd., Bracebridge:
Wild Turkey - 2
Blue Jay - 3
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpecker - 3
Pileated Woodpecker - 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 8
Brown Creeper - 1
Mourning Dove - 15

We very seldom see Wild Turkeys right in our yard, but yesterday these two showed up for the first time this winter.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Golden Eagle?
Posted on February 17, 2013 at 07:56:41 AM by Debbie Adams

Probably coywolves as you suggested. They didn't consume the stomach of the deer and I read that is typical of coyotes. They came back several days later and dragged the remains of the carcass to another neighbours front yard and again, read that is typical coyote behaviour. There were fresh tracks to the carcass this morning, so tonight I'll put out the 'stealth cam' and see what passes by.
Thank you for Golden Eagle confirmation. It was an enormous bird.

 

 

Re(1): Golden Eagle?
Posted on February 16, 2013 at 06:27:11 PM by Al Sinclair

Coywolves probably are the culprits, hybrids between Eastern Wolf and Coyotes, latest DNA research says that's what we have here. An eagle with a white patch on each wing would have to be a golden juvenile. Golden is rare but occasionally seen here in winter scavenging and flying over during migration.

 

 

Golden Eagle?
Posted on February 15, 2013 at 05:33:41 PM by Debbie Adams

Last Saturday a coyote or wolf killed a deer on our neighbours property. (They're in Florida right now). I knew something was up when several Raven's appeared. One neighbour counted 27 in the trees! Soaring high above watching all of this was a massive black bird with a wingspan looking eagle-like. It had, for lack of a better description, roundels on the underside of the wings. To identify the bird, the closest comparison I could find was a juvenile Golden Eagle. Would it possible that was indeed what I saw soaring over Walker's Point? Do they show up here in Muskoka?
Also, whatever killed the deer seems to be hanging around our cottages and fearless of dogs and people. The deer herd however has moved on.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 February
Posted on February 14, 2013 at 10:36:06 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 14, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Visitor Centre will be open 9 am to 5 pm daily from February 16 to 18.
See WINTER IN THE WILD FESTIVAL below for details on events
including guided bird walks. Again this year, a moose carcass has been
placed in Sunday Creek Bog opposite the Visitor Centre deck. See below
for details about attracted wolf, other mammals and birds.

A Horned Grebe photographed in open water on the Oxtongue River at
Whiskey Rapids Trail (km 7.2 on Highway 60) on February 7 is the first
winter record for Algonquin Park, and a remarkable occurrence here.

Sadly, one of the Great Gray Owls was hit and killed on Highway 60
this week. Locations where these owls were reported included:

-February 9: one found dead on road edge (killed by vehicle) at km 38
-February 9: one along the northern part of Opeongo Road
-February 10: two together along Highway 60 at the Opeongo Road turn
-February 11: one along Highway 60 at the Opeongo Road turn at 10 am and
3:30 pm
-February 12: one at km 38 on Highway 60
-February 12: one at 3:25 pm at the first pull-off a little under 1km up
Opeongo Road

The leucistic Black-capped Chickadee continues to be seen on Opeongo
Road at Cameron Lake Road, near the open gate.

Twelve Snow Buntings at the Visitor Centre feeder on February 12 could
possibly have been very early spring migrants since winter sightings here
usually involve smaller numbers.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Two males were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
February 10.

Black-backed Woodpecker: None reported this week in the Highway 60
Corridor.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two are being seen and photographed regularly
around the suet feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk. Single birds were reported along Opeongo Road on February
10 and 12.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
About ten are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days,
including several adult males.

White-winged Crossbill: The adult male that first appeared in early
January is still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: About 30-40 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: A female of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) was reported
at the Visitor Centre feeders on February 10, 11 and 12.

WINTER IN THE WILD FESTIVAL: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16
This event includes a morning and an afternoon guided bird walk at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, winter photography tips, a winter wildlife excursion by
snowshoe, and a wolf howl and night hike.
Paste the following into your browser for details:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2012-12-14_winter_in_the_wild_
festival.php

MOOSE CARCASS IN SUNDAY CREEK BOG
A road-killed moose was placed in the Sunday Creek Bog on February 12.
As in other years, it is visible from the Visitor Centre deck. The carcass
has already attracted a wolf and ravens.
Paste the following into your browser for details:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2013/2013-02-14_feeding_on_
misfortunes.php

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 37 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Where to bird in Muskoka?
Posted on February 14, 2013 at 07:27:21 PM by Sarathebirder

I'm heading up to Muskoka for the weekend and would like to do some winter birding.
Can anyone suggest some good birding spots?
I would love to see any owls or crossbills. Please email me directly with ideas.

Thanks so much,
Sara

 

 

Red Crossbills, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Great Gray Owl
Posted on February 14, 2013 at 09:33:42 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Michael Runtz on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 13, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Today I birded the two eastern access roads in Algonquin Provincial Park.
First I covered the Barron Canyon Road from the gate to Lake Travers.
Red-breasted Nuthatches were the most common birds. There were several
small flocks of Red Crossbills of the small-billed type. There were only a
few of the larger-billed types but one of those was in full song. The only
other finches observed was a small flock of White-winged Crossbills.
Notably there were 5 Black-backed Woodpeckers, 20 Gray Jays, and one Boreal
Chickadee along the road. NOTE: log hauling is taking place on weekdays
from the gate to Km 52 (Lake Travers is at km 72). A CB radio is
recommended if going on a weekday (there is no hauling on weekends). The
Basin Road, which I birded from 3 to 5 p.m., also had a few Red Crossbills
and Gray Jays, as well as one Barred Owl. When I left the park I came
across a Great Gray Owl at dusk on the north side of Highway 60, half a km
west of the 512 intersection at Killaloe.

The Barron Canyon Road can be accessed just off Highway 17 near Petawawa,
and the Basin Road from opposite Bonnechere Provincial Park.

Good birding!
Michael Runtz

 

Pileated Woodpecker Behaviour
Posted on February 14, 2013 at 08:44:01 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Joyce and Hal Pegg, Torrance, reported watching a male and female pileated attending their suet feeder together. The male fed the female a few days ago.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on February 13, 2013 at 09:41:36 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning when I stepped outside, a Cooper's Hawk flew through our back yard...probably explains the Mourning Dove feathers scattered on the snow. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count -- Feb. 15-18
Posted on February 13, 2013 at 09:35:46 AM by Barbara Taylor

The 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. As usual we will have our own informal bird count here on the Bird Board...just post your backyard bird list for any of those four days.

Information about the GBBC and how to participate: www.birdsource.org/gbbc
"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds."

Last year's highlights:
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/science-stories/2012Summary

 

 

Ermine
Posted on February 12, 2013 at 02:36:29 PM by janice house

Yesterday at noon I watched the ermine run from the cedar hedge to the basswood tree beside the gazebo. He hung on the suet feeder for a few minutes so I was able to get a few photos.

 

 

Varied Thrush...photos
Posted on February 11, 2013 at 07:04:08 PM by Al Sinclair

Roy Snell just sent more info and photos of a Varied Thrush first reported on January 29. He was having trouble with his wireless internet stick.

Male Varied Thrush, Healey Lake Lodge, (30 Healey Lake Lodge Rd., Township of the Archipelago, District Parry Sound) Photos taken January 22, 2013. Bird observed regularly at feeder January 3, 2013 to late January thaw (January 30, 2013). Photos taken through a window.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Raccoon
Posted on February 11, 2013 at 04:39:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Raccoon was foraging under our feeders for a while this afternoon. It must have misunderstood that memo from the Groundhog...supposed to be an early spring, but not this early! (Bracebridge)

 

 

trumpeter swans
Posted on February 11, 2013 at 03:23:03 PM by John Challis

Centennial Beach park in Washago is alive with waterfowl, but dominated by trumpeters. On Sunday there were by my count between 55 and 60 of them, and they're beginning to indulge in social honking together. Honk, tuck neck in a graceful arch, find a partner who will do it along with you. Soon there are 55 to 60 all doing the same thing.  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 February
Posted on February 7, 2013 at 10:08:22 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 7, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A Golden Eagle (2nd year or older) was soaring over the Visitor Centre
in late morning on February 6. A few Golden Eagles that are probably
from northern Quebec and Labrador regularly spend the winter in
Algonquin, feeding mainly on wolf kills.

Great Gray Owls were seen at two locations, but without follow-up
sightings.

-February 3: one reported at km 38.1
-February 3: one seen at 1 pm along Opeongo Road

The leucistic Black-capped Chickadee first reported last winter is still
being seen on Opeongo Road at Cameron Lake Road, near the open gate.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Four were observed near the north end of Opeongo Rad on
February 4. Two adult males were eating needles in trees near the register
box at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 6.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was along Opeongo Road past the bridge
on February 1.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Spruce Bog Boardwalk observations included one on
February 1 and two on February 3. Look for this species around the suet
feeder near the trail register book. There were two along Opeongo Road
on February 4.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
Up to a dozen are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days,
including several adult males.

White-winged Crossbill: The male is still coming regularly to the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: About 40-50 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.
The apparent "Greater" Common Redpoll (rostrata subspecies) was last
reported on February 3.

Hoary Redpoll: The female of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) at the
Visitor Centre feeders was last reported on February 4.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 25 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding! Please let us know what you see.
Ron Tozer

 

 

Golden Eagle at Algonquin Park
Posted on February 6, 2013 at 01:11:45 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ian Shanahan on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 6, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Greetings birders:
An adult-type Golden Eagle was briefly seen soaring out over the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre viewing deck at 11:05am this morning.

The Algonquin Park Visitor Centre-signed-is located south from Km 43 on the Parkway Corridor section of Highway 60. The villages of Whitney (east) and Oxtongue Lake (west) are located just outside Park boundaries on either end of the Parkway Corridor.

 

Good birding!
Ian Shanahan
A/Natural Heritage Education Specialist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting February 7
Posted on February 5, 2013 at 08:18:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

***Note: meeting will be held in GRAVENHURST at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre at Muskoka Wharf, 275 Steamship Bay Road.***

MFN meeting Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst
We are welcoming back Norm Yan.
Norm’s program will be ‘The Spread of Spiny Invaders in Muskoka Lakes’.

Since his last presentation to MFN Norm has been admitted as a Fellow to the Academy of Science in the Life Sciences category of the
prestigious Royal Society of Canada for his life’s work in the study of freshwater. Congratulations Norm!

Meetings for February through June are held at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre at Muskoka Wharf, 275 Steamship Bay Road in Gravenhurst.
Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. Visitors welcome to attend.
(source: MFN website - http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com)

 

 

Re(1): Melanistic Hairy Woodpecker
Posted on February 7, 2013 at 01:43:40 PM by George Bryant

The grey breast is probably an artifact of consuming suet.
Hairies and Downies rub against the base of suet feeder, absorbing oil, this in turn picks up dirt from tree trunks.

 

 

Melanistic Hairy Woodpecker
Posted on February 5, 2013 at 10:13:42 AM by stuartimmonen

Had four Hairies at the suet on the weekend; the usual pair, plus two more females. This one was particularly dark on the front, with a dusky face. I've never seen one like it.
photo

stuart immonen, south Perry Township

 

 

Re(1): Hoaries?
Posted on February 5, 2013 at 09:37:02 AM by Al Sinclair

I think yes, 2 in one photo

 

 

Hoaries?
Posted on February 4, 2013 at 07:15:03 PM by Doug Smith

Not sure if these are 2 hoary redpolls at the feeder. -- what do you think?  photo1  photo2

 

 

Northern shrike
Posted on February 4, 2013 at 01:18:52 PM by GayleCarlyle

On Thursday morning, I had a northern shrike land on the top of our SquirrelBuster feeder right outside our kitchen window. Stayed for about 15 seconds.
Needless to say, there were no other birds in sight, and none around for about 20 minutes after he/she left. (Washago)

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker Huntsville
Posted on February 3, 2013 at 09:45:58 AM by BrianPfrimmer

There is a female Red-bellied Woodpecker coming regularly to a feeder at 16 Hibberd St. at the north end of Huntsville. Hibbert St is west off of Muskoka Rd 3 North Huntsville.

 

 

Another Accipiter to ID
Posted on February 2, 2013 at 02:53:19 PM by Al Sinclair

OK This is a Cooper's Hawk for sure - white tipped tail. A facebook friend sent photos for ID, taken near their bird feeder.

I'll go one step further - Adult female  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(2): Hoary Redpoll photos
Posted on February 4, 2013 at 03:30:28 PM by Al Sinclair

Found this on David Beadle's blog, covers all the fine points of ID - http://adventuresinmothland.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/frosted-in-the-rain/

"stubby bill, bull-necked appearance, peachy face and upper breast and rather sparse streaking on the underparts that are mostly restricted to the flanks. The rump mostly white above the more mottled upper tail coverts. This bird does have some under tail coverts that have streak-like dark centers, but this is pretty variable me thinks."

 

 

Re(1): Hoary Redpoll photos
Posted on February 4, 2013 at 02:26:53 PM by John Challis

Are the cheek colours or the low number of stripes along the flanks the better identifying marks?

 

Hoary Redpoll photos
Posted on February 2, 2013 at 02:45:08 PM by Al Sinclair

Our first Hoary Redpoll this year arrived Jan 26. We don't see it every day, finally got some photos yesterday. Common Redpoll numbers are 30 to 60 daily. 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Red-bellied Woodpecker - photo
Posted on February 2, 2013 at 01:26:34 PM by edieov

The Red-bellied Woodpecker that was visiting our feeder on Nov. 11 is still around. Today I finally got a good photo. (Carling Township on Georgian Bay)  photo

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker - photo
Posted on February 2, 2013 at 11:35:55 AM by TinaJacobson

(visiting my feeder in Parry Sound) - photo

 

 

Re(2): Algonquin Park Birding Report: 31 January
Posted on February 1, 2013 at 10:01:11 AM by Ron Tozer

Yet another Great Gray Owl flew low over Highway 60 just west of the Opeongo Road turn late in the day on January 30.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding Report: 31 January
Posted on February 1, 2013 at 07:18:22 AM by Ron Tozer

Another Great Gray Owl was reported in the open bog of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 26.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 31 January
Posted on January 31, 2013 at 07:38:37 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 31, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Single Great Gray Owls were observed at three locations this week,
but there were no follow-up sightings reported at those sites. It continues
to be difficult to find this species here on any given day.

-January 26: one photographed late in the day at Brewer Lake (km 48)
-January 27: one seen at 2:15 pm on Opeongo Road, 2 km north of the
open gate
-January 29: one photographed on telephone cable about 9 am at km 38

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 26.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Five single birds were seen or heard along the
Opeongo Road on January 26.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were reported at both Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road on January 26.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
Up to a dozen are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days.

Red Crossbill: Three were reported at the Visitor Centre on January 26.

White-winged Crossbill: A male is still coming regularly to the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: About 30 are at the Visitor Centre feeders regularly.
One identified as a "Greater" Common Redpoll (rostrata subspecies) was
photographed there on January 26, and seen on subsequent days.

Hoary Redpoll: An apparent female of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes)
was photographed at the Visitor Centre on January 26, but was not reported
on following days.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth reached 45 cm earlier in the week but much melted later.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer

 

 

Great Gray Owl, Muskoka
Posted on January 31, 2013 at 05:03:55 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by John Thompson on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 31, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Posting a bit late, but for the record, there was a Great Gray Owl on
Muskoka Regional Road 117 about halfway between Highway 11 and
Baysville on Wednesday, January 30/13. I noticed it while driving
toward Bracebridge and stopped to check, expecting a Barred Owl, but
I was surprised, when I got a clear view of it, to see that it was a
Great Gray. The exact location was at the access point to Stoneleigh
Road closest to Baysville; if approaching from Highway 11, there is a
total of four roads on the south side of 117 which are marked for
Stoneleigh Road. This is the last one of the four, and has 911
addresses marked on it as "1000-1517" (the first access closest to
Highway 11 also has these numbers on it, but that's not the place!).
The owl was perched on the utility wires on the north side of Rd 117.

Muskoka Road 117 runs east off Highway 11, approximately 5
kilometres north of the Taylor Road entrance to Bracebridge; look for
the exit for Baysville (my home town) and Dorset. I was thoroughly
PO'd that I didn't have my camera with me... :-(
John Thompson
______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Red Fox
Posted on January 31, 2013 at 09:39:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a very healthy looking Fox was foraging for bits of dropped beef fat around the base of the tree where we hang our suet cage. He eventually trotted out our driveway and headed west towards Rockwell Ave. As soon as he left, our yard was suddenly filled with Woodpeckers. Guess they had all been watching from a distance, waiting their turn. Less than five minutes later the Red Squirrels came out of hiding too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): varied thrush
Posted on January 29, 2013 at 08:14:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Roy, could you please email me the location of the bird for our records, and also if you could include one of your photos that would be great. Thanks.
My email is: muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

A Varied Thrush is a great find for our area!

 

 

varied thrush
Posted on January 29, 2013 at 05:12:34 PM by RoySnell

i have a male v thrush at my feeder since jan 3. spectacular bird and my first ever sighting in area. very skittish so i have only identifiable but fuzzv photos thru the window.eats seeds and fat.

 

 

Boreal Chickadee
Posted on January 27, 2013 at 05:13:12 PM by MaryAnnKosela

Both yesterday and today we have had one Boreal Chickadee at our bird feeder. It is chumming around with the Black Capped Chickadees. Balsam Chutes, Port Sydney

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on January 28, 2013 at 02:23:00 PM by Goodyear

Last Friday, and again this morning, there was a Barred Owl hunting beside High Falls Road, along the flat stretch.

 

 

Barred Owl - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on January 27, 2013 at 02:39:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today we detoured off the snowshoe trail from Kerr Park to take a look around cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. As we approached the north-west corner a Barred Owl flew low across the roadway ahead of us. It ended up perched in a tree overlooking the ditch north of cell 4.

 
Directions to Bracebridge Ponds/Henry Marsh: see Area trails map (click "Satellite" button at upper right to view terrain or "Map" for just roads)

 

 

Re(3): pileated woodpecker
Posted on January 29, 2013 at 09:54:00 AM by janice house

my pair like both suet and peanuts, they seem to be frustrated by the peanut feeder because the holes are so small

 

 

Re(2): pileated woodpecker
Posted on January 28, 2013 at 09:28:04 PM by dinnymccraney

they did come to the peanut feeder in the summer, but now seem to like the fat

 

 

Re(1): pileated woodpecker
Posted on January 28, 2013 at 01:53:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

I've heard they will come to a peanut feeder, but the female Pileated that visits our yard only feeds at the suet.

 

 

pileated woodpecker
Posted on January 27, 2013 at 09:24:19 AM by NancyTho

I have 2 pileated woodpeckers come daily to my feeders.
I do have fat hung out but is there anything special they would like/need?
Beaumont Drive, Bracebridge

 

 

White-winged Crossbill
Posted on January 26, 2013 at 11:30:32 AM by BobBurton

Yesterday and today a male White-Winged Crossbill joined the flock of Red Polls at our feeder on Partridge Lane, Bracebridge.

 

 

photos not loading?
Posted on January 25, 2013 at 03:58:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

There have been intermittent server problems at tinypic.com recently, so you might find some photos aren't loading in the posts (just a placeholder will appear). They will load again once their servers are working, so check back.

(Photobucket.com and Flickr.com are alternative free photo upload sites, but you have to register first to use them.)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 24 January
Posted on January 24, 2013 at 10:05:28 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 24, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Old-time winter cold temperatures this week likely reduced the
amount of birding done in the Park, but some people were out there.

Reports of Great Gray Owl included:
-January 19: one seen at km 54 as darkness approached at 5 pm.
-January 21: one on wires at about km 37.4
-January 23: one landed on wires at Big Pines Trail entrance (km 40.3)
at 4:15 pm

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A female was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot
on January 19.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen along Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on January 19..

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Three are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were noted north of the bridge on Opeongo
Road and one was on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on January 19.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
Up to a dozen are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days.

Red Crossbill: Opeongo Road had a small flock north of the bridge on
January 18 and one bird farther north on the 19th.

White-winged Crossbill: A male is still coming regularly to the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: There were 35 at the Visitor Centre on January 19.
Numbers appear to be increasing as winter advances.

MAMMALS:
A few Moose are being seen every day along Highway 60. They may be
moving around more than usual at this time of year due to less snow depth.

Martens are being seen frequently in Mew Lake Campground and at least two
are now fairly regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow depth is now about 30 cm.
See: http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/algonquin-winter

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
___________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/

 

 

Robin yesterday
Posted on January 23, 2013 at 09:09:19 AM by Leslie

I tried to post this photo yesterday but it doesn't seem to have worked. This robin was at my platform feeder for awhile yesterday morning. Haven't seen it today. Are other folks seeing robins? This was in Bracebridge - Meadow Heights.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Red Polls
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 06:46:55 AM by FrancesGualtieri

We also have a huge flock of redpolls at our niger seed feeder all day, here in Vankoughnet. This is the first time I remember having to fill the feeder every day. They are very skittish - constantly flying off, and returning a minute later.

 

 

Re(1): Red Polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 08:57:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wow, that's a big bunch of Redpolls. I was happy to see just six Redpolls here yesterday - 1st time any have visited our yard this winter. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red Polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 02:37:33 PM by BobBurton

We have had 80 to 100 Red Polls(too many to count)at our feeders at Partridge Lane during the last two weeks.They have pecked through half a 50 lb.bag of Niger seed.

 

 

Re(1): Red polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 05:12:06 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had lots of redpolls until it warmed up and they all disappeared. A few have been coming in irregularly since Saturday.

 

 

Re(1): Red polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 02:52:14 PM by J. Gardner

Between 40 and 50 Red Polls arrived at our feeder this morning, first time in 2013. I hope they stick around for a while. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(2): Red polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 05:19:07 PM by Doug Smith

Have about the same number of redpolls here -- 20 to 30 -- as you, Al. It could very well be the same flock, doing the rounds.

 

 

Re(1): Red polls
Posted on January 21, 2013 at 09:40:17 AM by Al Sinclair

Redpolls started coming to feeders here about a week ago, now up to 30+ daily. 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Red polls
Posted on January 20, 2013 at 04:47:52 PM by CatMacLean

Saw the first red polls of the season this afternoon at our feeders in Huntsville. This could be because I have been busy bird watching in the Caribbean!

 

 

Re(1): looking for tips
Posted on January 19, 2013 at 08:16:53 AM by CatMacLean

I saw a small flock of Bohemians along the Hunters Bay Trail Huntsville on Thurs.

 

 

Re(2): looking for tips
Posted on January 19, 2013 at 10:10:01 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I spent all day yesterday at Algonquin Park. No great grays or Northern Hawk Owl were sighted. Neither were any Black-backed Woodpeckers found by anyone I spoke with.

 

 

Re(1): looking for tips
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 11:19:50 PM by coreyhkh

Algonquin is your best bet for black backs. Not sure about waxwings.

 

 

looking for tips
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 07:55:53 PM by RonReid

Has anyone seen Black-backed Woodpecker or Bohemian Waxwings lately? We are hoping to get out on Sunday, and would appreciate any tips on these species. Thanks

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles - photo
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 01:59:59 PM by Gail

Today I saw 2 juveniles.

 

 

Bald Eagles
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 09:51:15 AM by Gail

Like others, I've been watching the bald eagles around the Gravenhurst Landfill, for the past few weeks. I usually see them around 9am when I drive past on Sedore Road. I've seen two adults, together... and finally remembering my camera today...I got a couple of great shots of a juvenile.  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 January
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 09:17:56 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 17, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Northern Hawk Owl that has been seen very irregularly in Costello
Creek Bog on the east side of Opeongo Road since November was reported
on January 12, 13 and 14. It was perched atop a tall spruce near the sharp
turn at the north end of the road and was being mobbed by Gray Jays on
January 13.

One or two Great Gray Owls continue to be reported almost daily, but the
times and locations vary and persistence is usually required to find one.

Reports this week included:
-January 12: one along Opeongo Road
-January 12: one in the bog near Post 7 on the Big Pines Trail (km 40.3)
-January 13: one near km 24
-January 13: one that captured and ate a star-nosed mole between km 43
and 44
-January 14: one between Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Visitor Centre
-January 14: one on the west side of Opeongo Road, 1 km north of Costello
Creek picnic area
-January 15: one between Lookout Trail and Rock Lake Road (km 40)
-January 16: one near Post 4 on the Algonquin Logging Museum Trail
(km 54.5)

The leucistic Black-capped Chickadee first seen last winter at the junction
of Opeongo Road and the Cameron Lake Road was photographed there on
January 13.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Look and listen for them along Opeongo
Road.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Three are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: One was at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance on
January 14. Check the feeder area near the register box.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
A few are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days.

Red Crossbill: Best chance to see this species continues to be watching
for small groups attracted to the highway for grit.

White-winged Crossbill: A male is still comihg regularly to the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: Small numbers are at the Visitor Centre feeders,
regularly, perhaps reflecting tree seed depletion. Nineteen were counted
at the feeders on January 14.

MAMMALS:
A few Moose are being seen every day along Highway 60. They may be
moving around more than usual at this time of year due to less snow depth.

Martens are being seen frequently in Mew Lake Campground and
irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow cover has been reduced to about 18 cm following the thaw.
See:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/algonquin-park-we
ather.php#snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/winter-in-algonquin-p
ark.php

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer

 

 

Re(3): Help with identification?
Posted on January 19, 2013 at 09:18:16 PM by michaelhatton

Ron, Al and Barbara - thanks for your help. The Sharp-Shinned takes the day.

 

 

Re(3): Help with identification?
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 09:05:12 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked my Sibley. Legs look thin too. I believe Ron is correct. Nice photo to analyze.

 

 

Re(2): Help with identification?
Posted on January 18, 2013 at 06:19:37 PM by ronpittaway22

I feel that this is a juvenile female Sharp-shinned Hawk for the following reasons. (1) The heavy extensive streaking reaching down to the lower belly at the feet is not typical of juvenile Cooper's. (2) The reddish barring (almost adult-like) on the sides is typical of young female Sharp-shinneds. (3) Cooper's has a noticeable white tip to the tail which this bird lacks. Ron Pittaway

 

 

Re(1): Help with identification?
Posted on January 17, 2013 at 01:54:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Fits Cooper's Hawk well. Breast streaks fine on white background, large head, long rounded tail.

 

 

Help with identification?
Posted on January 17, 2013 at 11:54:43 AM by michaelhatton

Any suggestions with respect to identifying this juvenile are appreciated! It was spotted near Port Colborne about a week ago. Thanks.  photo

 

 

Snow Bunting - photo
Posted on January 15, 2013 at 12:03:10 PM by J. Gardner

Here's a picture taken this date of a Snow Bunting on our deck feeder. Sightings have been non-existent this year, and then three of the little fellows turned up this morning, on the feeder. We used to have 50 or so on the feeders years ago and then the numbers dwindled to nothing, several years ago. So, we were very happy to have this visit. June Gardner (Hurdville)  photo

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 14, 2013 at 06:24:36 PM by Dawn Sherman

15 Bohemian Waxwings on the Hunter's Bay Trail today (across from the Train Station).

 

 

Re(2): Great Gray Owl along Opeongo Road Algonquin Park
Posted on January 19, 2013 at 09:23:21 PM by michaelhatton

Incredible photos. In the second one, the eyes just pop. National Geo stuff for sure. I am going to sell my camera.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owl along Opeongo Road Algonquin Park
Posted on January 15, 2013 at 08:32:13 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Paul Reeves on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 15, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

I drove up to Algonquin yesterday to find one of the many reported Great Gray Owls. I tried the Great Pine Trail first but didn't see it. Of course that doesn't mean it wasn't there. Eventually I gave up and headed to Opeongo Road.
Initially it was a no show and when the weather rolled in I was going to head home. I briefly saw the Northern Hawk Owl @1KM south of the store but it was way, way far away and was gone in less than five minutes. I then met a Park Ranger who told me some people had spotted a Great Gray south of the gates on Opeongo.
So, instead of heading home as I had planned, I spent the next 2.5 hours watching and waiting for the bird come close. The photos can be found on my website at the following link.

http://www.paulreeves.ca/html/nature/birds/great_gray_owl.html
I also photographed a Common Raven in the Spruce Bog parking lot and the shot can be found here.
http://www.paulreeves.ca/html/nature/birds/common_raven.html
To get to Algonquin Provincial Park, drive north from Toronto on highways 400 and 11 to Huntsville then east on highway 60. From Ottawa, take Highways 417 west to Amprior then highway 17 to Renfrew. From there take highway 60 west to the park. Both routes are about 2.5 hours. It's $16.00 per car for the day and there are automated pay stations at both gates. Starting from the west gate, Opeongo Road is located near the 46KM marker.

 

 

Great Gray Owl along Big Pines Trail in Algonquin Park
Posted on January 12, 2013 at 10:22:47 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Noah Cole on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 12, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This morning, I scouted the Hwy 60 corridor in Algonquin and did not see
any owls, though it was a considerably foggy morning in the region.

This afternoon, I hiked the Big Pines trail, just east of Km 40 in
Algonquin Park and saw a Great Gray Owl perched on the top of a spruce in
the wetlands by the seventh post at 2 PM.

 

 

Green-winged Teal in Parry Sound
Posted on January 11, 2013 at 03:37:40 PM by Stan Fairchild

Today i saw a female Green-winged Teal at the Parry Sound Town beach it was with some Mallards I have never seen one in winter before up here.There was also a Glaucous gull there.Last week I counted 10 Bald Eagles at the Mcdougall dump 6 matures and 4 imm.this is a great place to take close pictures of eagles at the back in the trees.I also saw 5 different Barred Owls they sure are easier to see at this time of year.

 

 

Coopers Hawk, Bala
Posted on January 11, 2013 at 02:13:17 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Today at about 1 pm a beautiful adult male Coopers Hawk flew into my feeder area. Stayed for less that a minute and flew off. He didn't get anything.

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 10 January
Posted on January 11, 2013 at 08:49:58 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 11, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Great Gray Owls were observed in the Cache Lake area (km 22 to 23),
near Ring-neck Pond (km 42 to 43), along the Opeongo Road north of
the bridge, and near West Smith Lake (km 52.1) fairly regularly this
week. Along Highway 60, they were often perched on the utility wires
and frequently visible during the day as well as near dawn and dusk.

There were no reports of the Northern Hawk Owl in the Costello
Creek Bog on the east side of Opeongo Road this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Search in coniferous areas. A male was
on a dead spruce off the Visitor Centre deck on January 10.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Three are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: There were six along the north end of Opeongo
Road in the black spruce on January 5..

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
A few are under the feeders at the Visitor Centre on most days.

Red Crossbill: Best chance to see this species continues to be watching
for small groups attracted to the highway for grit.

White-winged Crossbill: A male is coming regularly to the Visitor
Centre feeders.

Common Redpoll: Present in small numbers. A few are
irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

MAMMALS:
A few Moose are being seen every day along Highway 60. They may be
moving around more than usual at this time of year due to less snow depth.

Martens are being seen frequently in Mew Lake Campground and
irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow cover has reached a maximum of about 36 cm.
See:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/algonquin-park-we
ather.php#snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/winter-in-algonquin-p
ark.php

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 is open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. It is
usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well. The Visitor
Centre has recent bird sightings, feeders and information. Visitors are
welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant 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/

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on January 10, 2013 at 06:28:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Between 4:15-4:30 pm a Barred Owl was seen in a birch tree 25 ft in from Hwy 169 at Long Lake Road at the South end of Bala.

 

 

Northern Pintail, Trumpeter Swans, Haliburton Co.
Posted on January 9, 2013 at 06:19:29 PM by EdPoropat

There is a drake Northern Pintail in amongst a flock of Mallards and Blacks in the village of Haliburton. The bird is along the Drag River, upstream of the Highland St. bridge. It is best observed from Riverside Dr.
Also, last Sunday, there were 2 Trumpeter Swans in the open water at Moore Falls along Hwy 35.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on January 10, 2013 at 01:23:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

Barred Owls are in our area year-round. There were two of them in our neighbourhood calling back and forth last spring, but I never saw them then. They're certainly easier to find in the winter since there are no leaves on the trees. Also, since it's harder for them to find food in the winter, they often hang out near birdfeeders as rodents and red squirrels are attracted to the spilled seed.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on January 9, 2013 at 08:23:22 PM by coreyhkh

cool I saw my first one this year, are they only around during the winter?

 

 

Barred Owl - photo
Posted on January 9, 2013 at 12:43:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Our regular feeder birds were upset yesterday and didn't come in to feed as usual, but I couldn't find any predator out behind our house. This morning a Pileated Woodpecker was "clucking" loudly and hammering against the top of a dead tree. She was soon joined by Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Chickadees, all making a ruckus. So I went out with my camera and this time I found the problem...a Barred Owl. (Bracebridge)  photo1 The owl was perched quite high in the tree so not very good photos on this very gray day, plus a branch in the way in this one...  photo2

 

 

Great Grey Owl on Fraserburg/Purbrook Road
Posted on January 7, 2013 at 09:39:50 AM by Peter

My friend took this picture yesterday from a Great Grey Owl sitting on the hydro cable and watching him and his son.  photo

 

 

northern shrike's successful hunt
Posted on January 6, 2013 at 09:04:14 PM by John Challis

On Dec. 31, we were hiking the Bruce Trail at the Kemble Mountain Loop just east of Wiarton (a great way to ring in a new year, by the way) and we spooked up what appeared to be a meadow vole; it burst out of the snow, and our dog immediately began to give chase, although the vole quickly disappeared back into the snow by the base of a tree. While Gayle and the dog pursued the vole, I watched a northern shrike land in the same tree on a bough about five feet up. It waited patiently while I called Gayle to haul the dog out of the way. Once the way was clear, the shrike dove straight into the snow. Its aim was unerring; it promptly popped back out of the snow with the vole in its beak and flew off. One can only guess whether the bird was seeing motion in the snow we didn't, or was able to hear its scuffling well enough to gauge its exact location. It even managed to catch the little rodent by the back of its neck, which likely paralyzed or killed it.
This more than made up for the fact that I was leading us north when I thought we were heading due east, adding about 90 minutes and five more kilometres to our walk than planned.

 

 

Evening Grosbeak & American Tree Sparrow
Posted on January 6, 2013 at 12:21:34 PM by Debbie Adams

Just now on our feeder there was an Evening Grosbeak (haven't seen any since mid-November) and an American Tree Sparrow which is a first for us here.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Bald Eagle Gravenhurst Landfill
Posted on January 5, 2013 at 12:46:11 PM by Al Sinclair

Rob Abbott reported an adult Bald Eagle flying over the Gravenhurst Landfill located off Muskoka 19 at Sedore Rd. 10:30 am Sat Jan 5.

 

 

Anyone Getting Cardinals Regularly?
Posted on January 4, 2013 at 08:50:56 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

If anyone is getting cardinals at their feeders on a daily basis I would love the opportunity to photograph them. The best situation would be where I could put up a couple of branches as perches and be able to sit in my car so they wouldn't be disturbed and I wouldn't freeze!

Post here and I'll get back to you. Thanks!

 

 

Snowy Owl Gravenhurst
Posted on January 4, 2013 at 02:00:44 PM by janice house

Geoff just got back from a doggy walk and spotted the owl as it flew from one side of the Doe Lake Rd to the other just past the Tomingas Rd (Gravenhurst). The owl flew into a white pine tree, he waited for a few minutes but did not see it fly out.

 

 

Red-Squirrel vs Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 4, 2013 at 12:18:33 PM by janice house

Geoff watched a red squirrel chasing the woodpecker around the trunk of our basswood tree this morning. The squirrel was also jumping at the other birds flying into the tree, he wasn't just chasing them away from the feeders. Could he be real hungry?

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 3 January
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 10:11:01 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 3, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Observations of Wild Turkeys, each involving two birds, occurred
along the north shore of Lake of Two Rivers (December 29); at km 17
and at the West Gate (December 31); and near Found Lake (today).
These birds are living off the snow-covered land without human
assistance. The species was first observed in the Park in 2002.

A Red-tailed Hawk (rare in winter here) was between km 51 and 56 on
December 29.

The usually hard-to-find but long-present Northern Hawk Owl was
photographed in the Costello Creek Bog on the east side of Opeongo
Road, north of the bridge on December 29. It was not visible from
Opeongo Road.

Great Gray Owls were reported at five places in the Highway 60
Corridor again this week. Locations and dates were:
-one at Eucalia Lake (km 39): December 29
-one near Ring-neck Pond (km 41): December 31
-one at Opeongo Road turn (km 46.3): December 27 and 29
-one north of the bridge on Opeongo Road: December 29 and 30 and
January 1, 2 and 3
-one near the East Boundary: December 28 and 29

A single Snow Bunting visited the Visitor Centre feeders today. This
species is very scarce here in winter due to the scarcity of open areas
for foraging.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Search in coniferous areas. Sixteen were
found on the December 29th CBC. One was along Opeongo Road on
December 31.

Gray Jay: Regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Three are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the north end
of Opeongo Road where it passes through black spruce bog.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Small groups continue to be regular on the highway.
A few are regular under the feeders at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: Watch for a few on the highway.

White-winged Crossbill: Small numbers persist. A male came to
the Visitor Centre feeders yesterday and today.

Common Redpoll: Present in small numbers. Two or three are
irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

American Goldfinch: Also present in small numbers.

Evening Grosbeak: Rare. Only six on the December 29th CBC.

MAMMALS:
A Marten is coming to the Visitor Centre feeders fairly regularly now.

CONDITIONS IN ALGONQUIN
Snow cover has reached a maximum of about 35 cm.
See:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/algonquin-park-we
ather.php#snow

To learn more about Winter in Algonquin Park, see:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/winter-in-algonquin-p
ark.php

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial 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 will be open 9 am to 5 pm daily from
December 27 to January 6. It has recent bird sightings, feeders and
information. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the
restaurant 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/

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer

 

 

Blue Jay is back/Redpolls
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 01:05:10 PM by Barb Staples

Happy to see the tail-less BJ back today with partner after last sighting December 23. Still looking vibrant. Also hundreds of redpolls after years absent. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Haliburton Forest Wolves Escape
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 07:32:09 PM by dinnymccraney

I read in today's Star that the alpha male was shot. Apparently the remaining wolves are having difficulty without the alpha pair. Very sad indeed.

 

 

Re(1): Haliburton Forest Wolves Escape
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 11:00:13 AM by coreyhkh

wow alot of animal rights activists tend to have a very low IQ .

 

 

Haliburton Forest Wolves Escape
Posted on January 3, 2013 at 08:05:53 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

In the weekly Cottage Life Report there is an article stating that four of the Haliburton Forest captive wolves, including the alpha pair, escaped New Year's Eve. The fence had been cut.

http://cottagelife.com/63571/blogs/wolves-escape-haliburton-wildlife-reserve?utm_source=Cottage+Life+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5c9c2fea1d-Dockside_January_31_2_2013&utm_medium=email

Very sad for the wolves as they have never learned to hunt for themselves as they were born and bred in captivity.

 

 

2012 Parry Sound Christmas Bird Count results
Posted on January 2, 2013 at 04:14:53 PM by smromaniuk

The 21st Annual Parry Sound Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 15th, 2012

It was a sunny -8 when we started and warmed to zero after clouding over in the afternoon. Wind was
negligible! There were only 0-5cm of snow and lots of open water – back bays just froze days before.

Total observers: 25 (12 feederwatchers)
Total species: 43 (NEW RECORD FOR COUNT)
Total individuals: 1632

Canada Goose (1)
Mallard (26)
Bufflehead (1)
Common Goldeneye (49)
Hooded Merganser (1)
Common Merganser (16)
Bald Eagle (5)
Unidentified Eagle (1)
Northern Goshawk (1)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (1) NEW SPECIES FOR COUNT
Red-tailed Hawk (count week)
Rough-legged Hawk (1)
Barred Owl (1)
Ruffed Grouse (4)
Herring Gull (426)
Ring-billed Gull (7)
Gr. Black-backed Gull (1)
Glaucous Gull (2)
Mourning Dove (43)
Rock Pigeon (134)
Pileated Woodpecker (3)
Hairy Woodpecker (15)
Downy Woodpecker (8)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)
Blue Jay (153)
American Crow (4)
Common Raven (68)
Black-capped Chickadee (273)
White-breasted Nuthatch (29)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (10)
Carolina Wren (1) NEW SPECIES FOR COUNT – at a feeder in Taylor Subdivision
Northern Shrike (1)
European Starling (204)
Northern Cardinal (5)
Am. Tree Sparrow (1)
White-throated Sparrow (1) 2ND RECORD FOR COUNT – at a feeder in town
Dark-eyed Junco (14)
Pine Grosbeak (15)
Purple Finch (3)
Common Redpoll (69)
Hoary Redpoll (1)
Pine Siskin (17)
American Goldfinch (4)
Wild Turkey (12)

Notable missed species:
-Brown Creeper
-Crossbills
-Evening Grosbeak

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on January 2, 2013 at 12:00:29 PM by smromaniuk

We also have a Carolina Wren frequenting a feeder at the edge of Parry Sound. It was seen on the Christmas Bird Count, December 15th, 2012.

There was one a few years back in North Bay that frequented a feeder for 18 months before dying. She had it eating live mealworms by hand. She tried to feed it a dried mealworm one day: it took the worm and them returned moments later and returned it to her hand. Cheeky :)

Thought I'd share... will be posting the Parry Sound Christmas Bird Count results shortly.
Steph Romaniuk

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on January 2, 2013 at 09:49:45 AM by Wayne Bridge

I have a customer who has a carolina wren coming to their feeding station every day. It showed up on November 26 and continues to be seen daily but is very timid. My customer lives full-time at Sand Lake about 40 minutes north-east of Huntsville along the Magnetawan River system. They have provided me with photographic proof.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 1, 2013 at 04:19:03 PM by Dawn Sherman

Four on the Hunter's Bay trail this afternoon.  (Huntsville)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 1, 2013 at 01:28:25 PM by BobBurton

Today while eating lunch and gazing out our back window off Partridge Lane Joan and I watched a mature bald eagle circling far up in the sky in a blaze of sunshine. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): 2012 Highlights - a review of the year's sightings
Posted on January 4, 2013 at 01:51:06 PM by coreyhkh

excellent post Barb.
I had no idea Green Herons are rare in Muskoka, I saw more in the ponds then any where else.

 

 

2012 Highlights - a review of the year's sightings
Posted on January 1, 2013 at 10:08:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

2012 Highlights - printable pdf format


The year began with the sighting of Bohemian Waxwings north of Bracebridge. In early February a Band-tailed Pigeon visited a feeder east of Bracebridge - a new species for the Muskoka Checklist and a rare visitor to Ontario. Also in February a Northern Goshawk was seen in Port Sydney, a Northern Saw-whet Owl was heard in Kearney, and a Mute Swan was discovered amongst the group of Trumpeters at Washago. In March a Golden Eagle was seen soaring over Bracebridge. A Great Egret was spotted near the Bracebridge Ponds at the end of April. In May two Caspian Terns were reported near Glen Orchard, a Black-billed Cuckoo was found in Bala, and a Yellow-throated Vireo was seen at the Torrance Barrens. Although listed as rare in Muskoka, ten Northern Shovelers made a brief appearance at the Bracebridge Ponds in May.

In early June two Least Bitterns were observed at a wetland in Gravenhurst, with Marsh Wrens singing in the background as a bonus. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen in Uffington in late June. In July a Carolina Wren was seen near Bracebridge, and a Baird's Sandpiper was photographed at the Bracebridge Ponds. Green Herons are considered to be rare in Muskoka, but the species continues to breed successfully in an area around the Bracebridge Ponds - a high count of 12 birds was noted there in July. In August a family of five Sandhill Cranes was reported in the Windermere area. A Lincoln's Sparrow was found in a field near Pine Lake in September. In October an Eastern Towhee was reported near Huntsville, and seven Ruddy Ducks stopped by the Bracebridge Ponds on their way south.

In early November a Snowy Owl appeared on the bell tower of a church in downtown Bracebridge...it was found the next day in more suitable habitat. Also in November a very late Bay-breasted Warbler was seen in Gravenhurst, an Eastern Screech-Owl was heard calling in Bracebridge, and Great Black-backed, Iceland, and Glaucous Gulls were reported in Haliburton. A lingering American Robin was spotted in Dwight at the end of the month. Also of note in November, there were several reports of Northern Cardinals appearing at feeders in rural areas - usually this species is only seen in the towns this far north. And while considered very rare in Muskoka, there were also several sightings of Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the month. Perhaps both species had a very successful breeding season, with greater than usual numbers dispersing in the fall.

Some infrequent but welcome visitors to our area began appearing in November...Pine Grosbeaks and White-winged Crossbills. In December, a Boreal Chickadee, a Black-backed Woodpecker, and a Hoary Redpoll were found at different locations in Bracebridge. Christmas Bird Counts found some new species for their lists - Gravenhurst/Bracebridge added Red-throated Loon, Huntsville added Red-bellied Woodpecker and Great Blue Heron, while Parry Sound added Carolina Wren and Sharp-shinned Hawk. In late December two Great Gray Owls were seen in Algonquin Park, with photographs posted. Four Great Grays were found on Algonquin Park's Christmas Bird Count as well as a Northern Hawk Owl. Could the owls be headed south this winter? Let's hope...

Other interesting bird sightings included Clay-colored Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Eastern Whip-poor-wills, Chimney Swifts, Gadwalls, Northern Shrikes, Northern Parula, Philadelphia Vireo, Blackpoll Warbler, Golden-winged Warblers, Wilson's Warbler, Dunlin, Pied-billed Grebes, Red-necked Grebes, White-winged Scoters, Northern Pintail, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and Evening Grosbeaks.

Other nature sightings included Yellow-spotted Salamander, Green-margined Tiger Beetle, Flying Squirrel, Black Bear, Mink, and Ermine. Several Moths were reported including Hummingbird Clearwing, Snowberry Clearwing, Polyphemus, and Cecropia. There were also photos of interesting caterpillars such as the Abbott's Sphinx Moth, Imperial Moth, and Chain-dotted Geometer. Notable Dragonflies included Eastern Pondhawk, Black Saddlebags, and Delta-spotted Spiketail. There was also an Eastern Red Damsel. Some of the Butterflies reported were Black Swallowtail, Common Buckeye, Coral Hairstreak, Little Glassywing, and an "invasion" of Red Admirals.

The complete set of reports for 2012 can soon be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your posts.
Happy New Year!