Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2013
 
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Re(1): black billed cuckoos and harrier question?
Posted on July 3, 2013 at 12:59:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Black-billed Cuckoos are never reliable, at least from year to year. They are usually only found where there is an outbreak of caterpillars. This year they seem to be scarce in Muskoka. I would say you are more likely to find black/yellow-billed cuckoos on the rocky barrens in the southern part of Muskoka and over near Georgian Bay. In the rest of Ontario look for a tent caterpillar outbreak.

 

 

Re(1): harrier question?
Posted on July 2, 2013 at 10:52:53 AM by Barbara Taylor

There are probably young ones if both adults are in the air a lot. I checked a few sources and found it takes about a month of incubation before the eggs hatch and then another 2 weeks of continuous brooding by the female. Then for another two weeks the female only broods at night, and the young birds will wander around the nest area during the daytime, awaiting food drops. The nest is on the ground. The young birds will usually take their first short flight when they are between 4-5 weeks old. The adult birds will continue to provide the fledglings with food for a further 2-4 weeks.

Northern Harriers were being reported in our area in early April this year, so adding in a couple weeks for nest building and about two months for incubation and brooding, the young birds could be ready to fledge any day now.

references:
Hawk Mountain
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

 

 

black billed cuckoos and harrier question?
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 08:06:52 PM by coreyhkh

I went out to the field at covered bridge trail looking for sparrows and around 6:30pm the cuckoos started to call it was coming from the forest near the road.

Does anyone no any other reliable location for these guys.

Also does any one no what the harrier nesting period is? those two always seem to be in the air and I was just wondering if they have babies as of yet.

 

 

Re(1): Gray Treefrog
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 07:58:16 PM by coreyhkh

Awesome I love when they are green.

 

 

Gray Treefrog
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 04:45:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a Gray Treefrog resting on a milkweed leaf. The frog has taken on a green colour which blends in nicely with its current surroundings. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 03:55:19 PM by Goodyear

This morning we visited Axe Lake and the Stisted Landfill Rd. Bog to look for these two birds. We were unsuccessful at Stisted, but did have cooperative Canada Warblers and a pair of Scarlet Tanagers, and a fleeting and obscured view of a Crossbill sp. We heard 3 Northern Parulas at one stop along Yearly Road on the way to the Bog. At Axe Lake we found our target birds. An O.S. Flycatcher hunted from the top of a dead Spruce giving us great views. Warblers still singing and many thrushes (mostly Veery). We walked Rome Rd. for a while and when we were about to leave we heard the chuwee call of a Y. B. Flycatcher. We pished a little and a minute or so later it came in for a look. It came into view very briefly and then skulked around us for a while, calling a few times. At the same time another Y. B. Flycatcher was heard calling a short distance away. The mosquitoes at both sites were incredible. Bug jackets and gloves required!!

 

 

Re(2): Henry Marsh trail
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 08:00:14 PM by coreyhkh

Thanks Barb

No I didn't see any though the warbler seem to be calling less now.

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh trail
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 07:24:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Corey, while around Henry Marsh did you hear or see any Golden-winged Warblers?
They used to be dependable there from 2002-2011, but I haven't seen them the past couple of years.
In 2011 there were three singing males.

(P.S. - congrats on finding the Wood Thrush...nice shot!)

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh trail
Posted on June 30, 2013 at 05:58:58 AM by TheCardys

Wow! Beautifully timed capture Corey, (as always). Love the composition, and that exquisite sharp detail of the Thrush against that buttery smooth background.
Looks like you had a great day out on the trail.

 

 

Henry Marsh trail
Posted on June 28, 2013 at 09:51:01 PM by coreyhkh

Hey guys the past two days I have spent alot of time in the forest between the ponds and the marsh supplying the black flies and mosquitoes with a source of blood lol.

Here are a few of the interesting birds:
Wood Thrush (3)  -  photo
Veery
scarlet tanager
Winter wrens
Cooper hawk - oven birds where going nuts and they ended up chasing him away.
Horned Owl - blue jays found him, I saw him a few weeks ago near the park also getting mobbed by crows.

 

 

Bala Butterfly Count on Saturday
Posted on June 28, 2013 at 12:19:58 PM by Al Sinclair

Everyone is invited to join us, no experience necessary. A great way to learn more about Muskoka's many species of butterflies.

From the Wakerobin, newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists
Bala Butterfly Count
June 29, Saturday (Rain date – Sunday, June 30) --
Butterfly Count led by Al Sinclair and Ron Stager. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at Ragged Rapids Hydro Parking lot. Take Hwy 38 from Bala, roughly 5 km to Ragged Rapids Rd. (make a right turn), follow Ragged Rapids Rd. to the hydro parking lot keeping left all the way. Bring lunch. Spare nets will be available. After initial introduction and ID of butterflies, the group will split up for different routes, reconvening at Jaspen Park at 3:30 p.m. If it is raining heavily, or the wind is strong, postponement to Sunday is a distinct possibility. If in doubt, phone Al at 705-645-2848 or Ron at 705-684-9194. A $4 donation is requested by the National Butterfly Association (NABA) to defray publication results.

 

 

Dragonflies
Posted on June 27, 2013 at 08:31:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several species of Dragonflies and Damselflies enjoying the hot sunny day. There were many Bluets, Common Green Darner, Common Whitetail, Widow Skimmer, Dot-tailed Whiteface, Chalk-fronted Corporal, Lancet Clubtail, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Black Saddlebags, and a male Eastern Pondhawk. All of these species were around cell 4.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer: photo

 

 

Barred Owls
Posted on June 26, 2013 at 01:40:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there were two Barred Owls calling near their house around 3 a.m. this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

whip-poor-will
Posted on June 26, 2013 at 07:43:00 AM by PamMaguire

We had a whip-poor-will singing in our yard on gull lake last night between 11 and midnight. After that he flew farther away but I could still here him.

 

 

great egret, Collingwood
Posted on June 24, 2013 at 12:30:06 PM by John Challis

Gayle and I were on our way back from Collingwood yesterday, taking the new Pretty River Parkway, when we saw a great egret. It was just east of the roundabout at Airport Road, beside what appeared to be a stormwater abatement pond.
Gayle learned that great egrets have been nesting on Nottawasaga Island for some time, in a surprisingly large colony. In 2009 a CWS survey found 240 nesting adults on the island.

 

 

Vesper Sparrows
Posted on June 23, 2013 at 02:57:54 PM by Goodyear

After seeing the Lawrence's Warbler this morning we stopped at the gravel pit on Baseline Rd. just south of Canning Road and heard three Vesper Sparrows singing in the grassy field adjacent to the pit. One bird gave us great looks as it perched on a small spruce.

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper baby
Posted on June 23, 2013 at 11:40:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

While leaving the Bracebridge Ponds this morning we noticed an adult Spotted Sandpiper walking along the muddy ditch east of cell 3. It was being followed by one of its offspring. Even at such an early age when still a ball of fluff, the wee bird was already bobbing its rear end as is typical with the species.

 

 

Eastern Whip-poor-wills, Y. T. Vireo, Marsh Wrens
Posted on June 21, 2013 at 08:10:24 PM by Goodyear

We ran our Bird Studies Canada Whip-poor-will survey route Wednesday night and met with great success. Our route runs along Barkway/Merkley/Housey's Rapids roads. We heard 17 singing birds in total, with the two most productive stops being the corner of Merkley and Lewisham, and a stop on Barkway Road 2 km south of Merkley Road, with 5 birds heard at each stop. Yesterday evening we visited the Muldrew Lake Road marsh. No Least Bitterns heard calling, but we did hear Marsh Wrens, and there was a Yellow-throated Vireo singing just to the west of the marsh. Two Whip-poor wills started singing at around 9:45. Bug wear highly recommended!

 

 

Re(1): Lawrence's-warbler
Posted on June 23, 2013 at 01:15:57 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you for the tip Corey (and all). I saw the Lawrence's warbler. I was able to get a photo of the indigo Bunting (photo) and the Eastern Kingbird (photo) which seemed to be protecting a nest site.

 

 

Re(1): Lawrence's-warbler
Posted on June 22, 2013 at 06:36:22 PM by DBurton

Lawrence's Warbler seen east of the transformer station on the north side of Canning Road at 5pm. Also there: Meadowlark, 2 Snipe, Indigo Bunting, Pine Warbler, Cedar Waxwings, Purple Finch.

 

 

Re(1): Lawrence's-warbler
Posted on June 22, 2013 at 01:28:59 PM by RonReid

Saw the Lawrence's Warbler at the same location this morning; some patience required but it eventually showed up - a beautiful bird!

 

 

Lawrence's-warbler
Posted on June 21, 2013 at 12:53:35 PM by coreyhkh

Hi I found a Lawrence's-warbler yesterday on canning Rd off hwy 11 near sparrow lake. It was at the power station past base line Rd.
The female looked to be a normal golden-wing and the male was singing a golden wing song.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 23, 2013 at 11:29:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 9:30 a.m. there was a Willow Flycatcher singing from the shrubbery between the undeveloped lot east of cell 1 and the Servicemaster lot. Best viewed from the parking lot along the south side of the Servicemaster building on E.P. Lee Dr. A Merlin was hunting in the area and flew by with something hanging from its talons...thankfully it was not the Willow Flycatcher!

We did not hear the Willow Flycatcher singing west of cell 4. So, is this another one or does it just move around? I originally reported hearing one east of cell 1 on June 5, but didn't hear it there again. On June 8 one was reported singing west of cell 4 and could be heard there for several days after.

Directions: see this Google map

 

 

Willow Flycatcher, Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on June 21, 2013 at 09:57:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 8 a.m. the Willow Flycatcher was once again singing west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. (I had not heard it for several days.)  It was moving around a lot while hawking insects, but then would perch in one of the small dead trees/shrubs, sing a couple times, then back to feeding. The Warbling Vireo was still sitting on its lopsided nest. A male Baltimore Oriole was standing guard near their nest. A Northern Waterthrush was singing from the wet woods near the NW corner of cell 4. To the SW of cell 4 there was an Indigo Bunting, a Scarlet Tanager, and a Veery. A Green Heron flew up from the north edge of cell 4.

A Pied-billed Grebe and a female Hooded Merganser were at the south end of cell 2. Several warblers and vireos were mobbing a Blue Jay that seemed to be trying to raid a nest west of cell 2.

 

 

Mourning Warbler
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 10:54:07 PM by DBurton

A Mourning Warbler was singing at BMLSS today. There was one in the same spot last year.

 

 

Loon & chicks
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 09:22:06 PM by jhansen

This afternoon at our cottage on Spence Lake (South Muskoka Falls area) I saw a pair of Loons with 2 chicks. They are nesting just off the point where our cottage is, on some small floating islands.

 

 

Peregrin Falcon
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 04:34:49 PM by BryanGrant

A Peregrine Falcon coasted past my kitchen window yesterday evening (June 19th)On Covered Bridge Trail, Bracebridge. The falcon was about 15 ft in the air just cruising & watching the bird feeder.

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 10:18:56 AM by Barbara Taylor

At least one Clay-colored Sparrow is still in the field north of the Covered Bridge subdivision deadend. This morning it was singing from the top of a young spruce tree in the field. A pair of Northern Harriers kept chasing after four Turkey Vultures which were trying to gain altitude. Three of the Vultures seemed to get tired of being dive-bombed in flight, and landed on the roof of the barn behind the Sprague's place. (Bracebridge)

 

Here's a rough map to the location (when you walk north from the Covered Bridge Trail deadend (the street, not the hiking trail), you have to jump across a wee creek before getting to the "sparrow field"): map

 

 

Re(2): Henry Marsh Bittern photo
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 10:04:51 AM by coreyhkh

Thanks Al
And yeah it was a mouse or vole, he latter sat down for a bite to eat.

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh Bittern photo
Posted on June 20, 2013 at 08:21:56 AM by Al Sinclair

Great collection in your photostream. I recommend that everyone take a look by clicking on the Flickr shots link. Just to prove I looked at them all, the caption on one of the Harrier shots should read carrying nest material not food, am I correct or was there a mouse in there.

Re Wood Thrush. There has been one singing on the west side of Henry Marsh all spring and one on the hill south-west side of cell 4 at the Bracebridge ponds. However the thrushes are not singing as much now as the breeding season is almost over for them. I think the best time to hear Wood Thrush is very early morning 5am to 6am.

 

 

Henry Marsh Bittern photo
Posted on June 19, 2013 at 11:30:45 PM by coreyhkh

I decided to go see what was up at the marsh, I was hoping to find some flycathchers and maybe a wood thrush but no luck.
As I was standing on the platform thinking how there was nothing except blackbirds around when he starting flying towards me, right place at the right time I guess.  photo

Anyway has anyone seen a wood thrush as of late? I have located veery and hermit but have had no luck with the wood as of yet.

If you would like to see more picture check out my photos on flickr, most are from Muskoka and Algonquin park. Flickr shots

 

Mourning Warbler
Posted on June 19, 2013 at 12:12:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Mourning Warbler singing along the trail heading north from the Wilson's Falls Rd. deadend in Bracebridge. This section of trail is on the west side of the Muskoka River and the location was where there is a culvert under the trail and a large brown house on the hill on the opposite side of the river. Other birds in that area included Chestnut-sided Warbler, Alder Flycatcher, Veery, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Purple Finch, Great Crested Flycatcher, Cedar Waxwings, two Broad-winged Hawks soaring overhead, and some fledged Chickadees being fed by their parents.

 

 

Otters
Posted on June 18, 2013 at 11:33:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Otters in the SW corner of cell 2. A female Wood Duck was slapping her wings on the water as she swam away from them. I guess she was hoping to distract the Otters from her brood of ducklings hidden along the weedy shoreline. It seemed to work as the Otters swam towards her.

A Green Heron flew up from the NW corner of cell 2. Two Broad-winged Hawks were perched high in the big dead tree on the ridge to the south side of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): House Wrens Raid
Posted on June 18, 2013 at 01:55:48 PM by janice house

I will have to check my tree swallows again to make sure the second attempt is ok, we have had a pair of bluebirds hanging around the other two boxes so hopefully they will be fine.

 

 

Re(1): House Wrens Raid
Posted on June 18, 2013 at 11:27:22 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning it appears that some young House Wrens have fledged from our neighbour's nestbox. Over the past few days the adult Wrens have been almost constantly carrying food to the nestbox and I've seen a few fecal sacs being carried away. But this morning no interest in the box, and a lot of renewed singing. There are at least two fledged White-breasted Nuthatches around our yard so thankfully the Wrens didn't find their nest hole.

Edit:
1:45 p.m. update: Oops...scratch that...I still hear squeaky begging sounds from within the nestbox, and the adult wrens are now carrying food to the nestbox. But there is still a lot of singing going on, so perhaps an intruder wren came onto their territory this morning?

 

 

House Wrens Raid
Posted on June 18, 2013 at 10:52:38 AM by J. Gardner

Just discovered that the House Wren has taken out five bluebird eggs from nest box at the garden. Found one egg in long grass at the foot of post with peck holes in it. So we have courting bluebirds on the deck railing again. This will be their third attempt to nest. They have chosen a nest box that swallows lost to wren. Mass murder at Hurdville... J. Gardner

 

 

Red shouldered hawk in Gravenhurst
Posted on June 17, 2013 at 09:09:20 PM by coreyhkh

I went for a walk across the road from my dads into the gravel-pit next to Chamberlain Dr and saw a red shouldered hawk I took some crappy shots for the ID. Also of note more then a few indigo buntings, and Great Crested flycatcher among the rest of the common birds.

 

 

Algonquin Butterfly and Odonata Counts
Posted on June 17, 2013 at 05:59:42 PM by Peter Mills

Hi All:
The following comes from Colin Jones, compiler of Algonquin Park's Insect Counts for this coming July. His contact info can be found at the bottom of the passage.


"The dates of the annual Algonquin Hwy 60 insect counts (butterflies and odonates) are just over two weeks away: Tuesday, July 2 for butterflies and Wednesday, July 3 for odonates (dragonflies and damselflies).

Those of you who have participated in the past, I hope you can make it again this year. For those of you who haven't participated in the past, you need not know how to identify butterflies or odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) to attend either of the counts as there are usually enough knowledgeable folks present that we are able to create teams consisting of those who can identify and those who are learning.

Please let me know ASAP if you plan to attend either or both counts so that I can begin to organize the count logistics.

Also, for any of you who would like to camp the night before and/or after the count(s) please let me know ASAP as we may be able to arrange some courtesy campsites (i.e. free-of-charge).

Additional details on each of the counts are found below.

For more information on butterfly counts in the Americas, check out the North American Butterfly Association Website at: http://www.naba.org/butter_counts.html

Please forward this message to others you may know who might be interested in attending.

Cheers,
Colin

ALGONQUIN HWY 60 BUTTERFLY COUNT
WHEN: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WHERE: Meet in the board room of the Algonquin Visitor Centre (S from km 43, Hwy 60) at 8:30 a.m. - enter the Visitor Centre via the service entrance (park in the main parking lot and walk up the driveway to the right of the main doors - go downstairs to the office area).

PERMITS: if entering the park just for the day, proceed directly to the Visitor Centre - you will be issued a "courtesy pass" free of charge to place on your vehicle dashboard. If camping overnight, your camping permit also serves as your vehicle permit.

ACCOMMODATION: camping is available in several of the campgrounds throughout the Hwy 60 corridor (e.g. Pog Lake, Kearney, Lake of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Canisbay Lake). See my note above if you would like to camp and take advantage of the possibility of a courtesy campsite. There are also some basic motels in Whitney (just outside the East Gate) including the Algonquin East Gate Motel (613-637-2652), the Algonquin Parkway Inn (613-637-2760). For a more complete listing of accommodation in the Algonquin area see:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/services/advertisers-map-and-database.php and enter “accommodation” in the search box.

POST-COUNT TALLY AND BBQ: following the count (5:00 pm), there will be a BBQ (free of charge to count participants and tally of the days butterflies (kept secret until then) at the Found Lake Staffhouse (located behind the Algonquin Art Centre at km 20 - park in the main parking lot and walk up the driveway to the right of the main stairs to access the staffhouse).

ALGONQUIN ODONATA COUNT
WHEN: Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WHERE: Meet in the board room of the Algonquin Visitor Centre (S from km 43, Hwy 60) at 8:30 a.m. - enter the Visitor Centre via the service entrance (park in the main parking lot and walk up the driveway to the right of the main doors - go downstairs to the office area).

PERMITS: if entering the park just for the day, proceed directly to the Visitor Centre - you will be issued a "courtesy pass" free of charge to place on your vehicle dashboard. If camping overnight, your camping permit also serves as your vehicle permit.

ACCOMMODATION: camping is available in several of the campgrounds throughout the Hwy 60 corridor (e.g. Pog Lake, Kearney, Lake of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Canisbay Lake). See my note above if you would like to camp and take advantage of the possibility of a courtesy campsite. There are also some basic motels in Whitney (just outside the East Gate) including the Algonquin East Gate Motel (613-637-2652), the Algonquin Parkway Inn (613-637-2760). For a more complete listing of accommodation in the Algonquin area see:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/services/advertisers-map-and-database.php and enter “accommodation” in the search box.

POST-COUNT TALLY: following the count (4:30 pm), there will be a tally of the days dragonflies and damselflies back at the Algonquin Visitor Centre. Following the tally, if desired, participants can eat dinner in the restaurant of the Visitor Centre. We normally then also have an evening excursion for those interested in seeing dusk flying species such as Enallagma vesperum (Vesper Bluet) and Neurocordulia yamaskanensis (Stygian Shadowdragon).

Hope many of you can participate!"

Colin Jones
Natural Heritage Project Zoologist
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
705-755-2166
colin.jones@ontario.ca

 

 

Re(1): Warbling Vireo nest
Posted on June 17, 2013 at 08:06:40 AM by Carol Wagg

Thanks for this Barbara -
From this I was able to identify a non-descript little bird we saw tending a nest on a trail in Gravenhurst last week. There was a little nest just like this one with four eggs in it, in a not-very-secure location.

 

 

Warbling Vireo nest
Posted on June 16, 2013 at 04:57:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three Green Herons west of cell 4. An Indigo Bunting was singing from a dead tree north of cell 4, and one was singing near the Lagoon Lane gate as I was leaving...no sign of either yesterday. I didn't hear the Willow Flycatcher - perhaps it only sings in the early morning or it has moved on. The heavy rain overnight may have damaged this Warbling Vireo's nest...it was only attached at one side. I only noticed it when the bird flew past and tried to get settled on the lopsided structure.  photo

 

 

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Posted on June 16, 2013 at 02:17:39 PM by DBurton

Heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo singing in the distance behind the marsh at Muldrew Lake Road. I have not heard one there ever before.

 

 

Re(1): Drake bufflehead gravenhurst
Posted on June 23, 2013 at 05:40:20 PM by george bryant

The drake bufflehead accompanied by a female returned this morning. The female disappeared, presumably to sit on eggs, while the male displayed in the bay most the day. Displays consisted of many mini-pattering take-off flights; the bird dropping into the water once airborne.

First nesting record for Muskoka?

 

 

Re(1): Drake bufflehead
Posted on June 16, 2013 at 04:24:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

On Friday morning (June 14) we were surprised to find a male Bufflehead at Henry Marsh in Bracebridge.

 

 

Drake bufflehead gravenhurst
Posted on June 16, 2013 at 12:24:58 PM by George Bryant

A drake bufflehead is swimming in our bay (pine lake, gravenhurst) at the moment.
In the last few days, we've seen a couple of other little brown jobs flying at a distance which could also be females of this species.

The breeding bird atlas showed only three sites in s. Ontario (sw of Algonquin) for this species but reported growing populations. Certainly the first I've seen here in June.

 

 

Green Frogs calling
Posted on June 14, 2013 at 06:08:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several Green Frogs calling from a small pond along the trail west of the Bracebridge Ponds. This is the same spot where earlier in the year we saw the leeches feeding on the Wood Frog eggs. Find info and listen to a Green Frog call at: http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/frogs.asp?fr=11 or http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/green_frog.php

Green Frog (at north side of culvert along big curve section of trail): photo

 

 

Re(1): Tree Swallows
Posted on June 14, 2013 at 12:00:43 PM by janice house

we do have a house wren that has been calling in our neighbourhood, hmmmmmm

 

 

Re(1): Tree Swallows
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 07:19:34 PM by J. Gardner

House Wrens have been known to pull eggs out of swallow nests and smash them. My neighbour watched the whole procedure last year at one of her swallow boxes. I guess they don't like the competition. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 04:38:01 PM by janice house

I have a pair re-nesting in one of my bluebird boxes in our front yard. I found broken eggs at the base of the pole several weeks ago so I added a squirrel guard. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Mallard & American Wigeon
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 04:32:21 PM by janice house

My brother called this afternoon from an island in Lake Rosseau and the female mallard they feed bread to had a male american wigeon with her. She refused to share the treats.

 

 

Re(3): Climbing False Buckwheat?
Posted on June 16, 2013 at 05:52:15 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have both red-leafed and green leafed here in Bala.

 

 

Re(2): Climbing False Buckwheat?
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 03:41:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Alex, I believe you were right! This morning I came across some identical looking plants along a trail in the Covered Bridge subdivision in Bracebridge. Some of these had green leaves, some were the purplish-red colour, and most of them were twining around other nearby plants. Funny that none of those plants at the Bracebridge Ponds were twining, but perhaps they will do that in time...I'll be keeping an eye on them.  Thanks for the ID.

 

 

Re(1): Climbing False Buckwheat?
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 09:33:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

It does resemble Climbing False Buckwheat, but the plants were standing upright on their own, not trailing along the ground or trying to twine around other nearby plants. I'll have to take a closer look next time I'm there.

 

 

Climbing False Buckwheat?
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 08:18:40 PM by Alex Mills

(no message)

 

 

Plant ID?
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 06:55:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I noticed a few purplish-red leaved plants coming into bloom at the east side of cell 1. They looked rather interesting, but I couldn't place them.

Any idea what they are? photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Big Day results
Posted on June 12, 2013 at 09:00:47 AM by bradleydavis

Al, we forget to set the odometer on three separate occasions, so we didn't get an accurate distance count. Nevertheless, we covered quite a lot of ground, starting on Lake Muskoka west of Bracebridge, swinging down to Gravenhurst/Muldrew, over to Doe Lake and Germania, through Bracebridge, up through the Bardsville area en route to Huntsville, then back down to Bracebridge/Lake Muskoka for lunch. Then it was down to Sparrow Lake, over to Torrance Barrens, and all the way west to Georgian Bay where we finished the day.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Big Day results
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 04:40:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Great list for Muskoka. How many kilometers did you do?
Thanks for posting it.

 

 

Muskoka Big Day results
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 02:31:47 PM by bradleydavis

On Sunday June 9th, my brother Andrew Davis and I undertook a Big Day within the boundaries of the District of Muskoka. The weather was near perfect, with a recorded high at the sites we visited of 25 degrees, mostly sunny all day, and no wind to speak of.

We started the day at St. Elmo on Lake Muskoka at 3:03 AM, and finished up at the Highway 400 marsh on Lone Pine Road near Port Severn at 21:17. We recorded 115 species during this period, which beat Andrew's past record of 109 species for these semi-annual Big Days.

Highlights included:

- Green Heron (3 at the Hwy 400 marsh, and 1 flying over Hwy 11 south Bracebridge)
- Sandhill Crane (Germania loop just N of Weismuller Lake)
- Sora and Virginia Rail
- 3 Barred Owls at Muldrew marsh
- 9 spp. of flycatchers including Olive-sided at Wilson's Falls in Bracebridge, Yellow-bellied at the Stisted Landfill bog, and Willow at Bracebridge lagoons (thanks to MBB for the reports!)
- Yellow-throated Vireo on the Germania loop, perhaps the first time we've had it there.
- 17 species of warblers including most of the expected breeders, missing only Golden-winged really.
- Vesper Sparrow at Muskoka Airport

Misses included ducks, shorebirds (we had Killdeer, Spotted SP, snipe, and woodcock but no migrants), hawks (we missed Harrier, Kestrel, Red-tailed, accipiters) Marsh Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Clay-colored Sparrow, House Finch, and House Sparrow. Also no Purple Martin (unsurprisingly I guess) or Brewer's Blackbird.

Our route:
1 - St. Elmo
2 - River Rd. marsh near Beaumont mountain
3 - Henry Marsh
4 - Muldrew Lake Rd. marsh
5 - Conservation Rd. / Doe Lake Rd.
6 - Germania Loop (Germania Rd. N to Hwy 118)
7 - Muskoka Airport
8 - Bracebridge & sparrow fields
9 - Bardsville Loop (S. Monck Dr. to Falkenburg Rd / Beatrice Town Line)
10 - Stisted Landfill bog
11 - Old Aspdin Rd.
12 - Arrowhead PP
13 - Bracebridge
14 - St. Elmo / Lake Muskoka
15 - Henry Marsh
16 - Bracebridge sewage lagoons
17 - Gravenhurst
18 - Sparrow Lake from Franklin Park
19 - Southwood Rd / Canning Rd / Wenona Marsh
20 - Torrance Barrens
21 - 12 Mile Bay Rd.
22 - E Georgian Bay south of Honey Harbour
23 - Highway 400 Marsh

In all, it was a great day and a terrific excuse to get out and bird in different corners of Muskoka.

 

 

Re(2): Cedar Waxwing
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 04:35:37 PM by janice house

I spotted several waxwings in our spruce trees behind the garage at 6:30 today. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwing
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 03:11:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

I hear their high-pitched call more often than I see them around here. But once the Red Elder berries ripen, then I finally get a good look...they love those berries. (Bracebridge)

This website has a good recording of the Cedar Waxwing calls:
http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=10

 

 

Cedar Waxwing
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 01:20:23 PM by SandraBeaumont

Seen at Port Sydney on June 10, 2013. I've not ever noticed one before - I had to refer to my bird book to identify it!

 

 

Ruddy Duck
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 01:16:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a male Ruddy Duck in cell 2. At least twenty-five baby Wood Ducks were with two adult females in cell 4 near the SW corner. There were fairly fresh Moose tracks along the roadway south of cell 4. The Willow Flycatcher was singing briefly west of cell 4 but didn't see it. A Green Heron was perched in a dead tree north of cell 4. Anyone familiar with the large hill of dirt north of cell 4 will realize how surprised we were to see two Snapping Turtles walking along the peak.

"King of the hill": photo1  photo2  (estimated verticle rise about 25 feet - only part of hill captured in photos)

 

 

Harlequin Darners
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 08:10:45 AM by Alex Mills

One of the less common dragonflies in the area is the Harlequin Darner. It is unlike most darners in its colouration, with the markings more green and orange than blue. On Sunday I caught a beautiful specimen north of Magnetawan, and later that day I found a road-killed one south of Magnetawan.

 

 

Sand Lake Breeding BIrd Survey
Posted on June 11, 2013 at 08:08:37 AM by Alex Mills

I did the annual Sand Lake Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) on Sunday. The weather was perfect (clear and windless and not too hot). All BBS routes are 50 stops, with 3 minutes spent at each stop. The Sand Lake route starts at the south end of Lake Bernard and winds its way through back roads to Sand Lake (almost making it to the lake).

This year, the species total was 71. First-ever species were Wild Turkey and Common Nighthawk. I had several Ruby-crowned Kinglets too (3 stops) and I don't think I have had that species before either. I was pleased to find a Gray Jay, numerous Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, several Wood Thrushes, several Brown Thrashers, several Bobolinks, an Eastern Meadowlark, 5 Mourning Warblers, and 2 Northern Parulas. As usual, Ovenbirds (54) and Red-eyed Vireos (65) were the most widespread and abundant species.

 

 

Indigo Bunting
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 07:17:18 PM by Catmaclean

... in Huntsville this am.

 

 

Hatched RBNuthatches
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 06:23:01 PM by sylviapurdon1

Jim has kept out feeder up with the suet on it because two adult RBNuthatches have been consistently visiting the suet and racing back into the nearby forest many times a day. Today 5 RBNuthatches turned up at the suet, one feeding the other our delicious suet. Successful breeding with gourmet food for these little birds.

 

 

Mourning Warbler - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 11:31:57 AM by Barbara Taylor

Forgot to mention this guy in my earlier posts. At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning there was a Mourning Warbler singing at the edge of the woods west of cell 2 near the south end.

 

 

Re(1): Snapper and Oriole nests
Posted on June 10, 2013 at 10:53:59 AM by Barbara Taylor

Well, that didn't take long...one of the turtle egg nests was already dug up this morning. But there are still some turtles making new nests. I may have been wrong about the Oriole gathering petals for her nest - took a closer look where she had been, and I think it might have been fluff off some willows (see photo below).

One nest destroyed already: photo

But another one being prepared: photo

Willow fluff for the Oriole nest lining?  photo

 

 

Snapper and Oriole nests
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 11:08:26 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebrige Ponds some Snapping Turtles were digging out their nests along the roadway by cell 4. We also found the nest of a Baltimore Oriole west of cell 4. The female Oriole was gathering white petals from what appeared to be choke cherry blossoms and she was taking these down into the nest...finishing touches? For such a large nest, it was extremely well hidden (see photos below).

Snapping Turtle digging out nest hole: photo

Baltimore Oriole nest:  photo

Here's the tree with the Oriole nest...can you see it? (hint - almost at center of photo)

 

 

First Monarch, Bala
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 10:11:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw my first monarch in my garden this morning. Yea, some made it!

 

 

Bracebridge ponds - Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 8, 2013 at 07:59:39 PM by missyinmuskoka

I visited the ponds today. I heard a lot but didn't see a lot. I did however manage to watch 3 Cedar Waxwings (photo) in a tree as you walk into cell #4. I also caught a glimpse of a wood duck with 3 duckings (photo). I am always interested in walking with a more experienced birder... who can help me identify the calls.

 

 

Re(2): Killdeer nest - photos
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 07:25:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Didn't see any Killdeer today, but last Wednesday there were two young ones with the adults running along the road ahead of me.
I only got a quick shot of this little one (digitally zoomed):  photo

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer nest - photos
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 06:55:27 PM by coreyhkh

that nest seems to be in the open, its a wonder a raccoon didn't get to it.
Have you seen the baby's at all?

 

 

Killdeer nest - photos
Posted on June 8, 2013 at 03:01:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday at the Bracebridge Ponds I photographed the spot where the Killdeer had nested north of cell 4. With the adult birds now off raising their chicks, it was a bit tough to find the nest site even though I knew where to look. Interesting that bits of wood chips were placed in the gravel depression as a sort of liner.

We spotted three families of Wood Ducks at the Ponds yesterday - the female in cell 4 had eleven ducklings with her. The Canada Geese kids are growing up fast (photo below) - first seen out of the nest May 21 by the middle intersection when there were still four goslings.

Killdeer nest site:   photo1  photo2

Canada Goose family:  photo

 

 

Re(2): Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 10, 2013 at 11:02:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

Still west of cell 4 this morning...sang for several minutes.

 

 

Re(1): Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 9, 2013 at 09:58:46 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Willow Flycatcher was still in the same area at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. It was perched in one of several small dead trees close to the roadway at the west side of cell 4, and sang for several minutes. It then moved out of sight into the shrubbery by the pipeline, but we could still hear it sing periodically.

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow and Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 8, 2013 at 10:51:04 AM by Goodyear

Early this morning we saw and heard 2 Clay-colored Sparrows in the field north of the Covered Bridge subdivision deadend. At the Lagoons a little later in the morning, we heard the Willow Flycatcher that Barbara found earlier in the week. It was in the shrubs west of cell 4. It sang repeatedly for several minutes. We took some pictures and video for the records.

 

 

Re(1): unknown spider
Posted on June 6, 2013 at 09:53:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like it could be Pisaurina mira (Nursery Web Spider).

 

 

unknown spider
Posted on June 6, 2013 at 09:11:49 PM by John Challis

Although I went on a spider tour with Tom Mason, formerly of the Toronto Zoo, last weekend, I can't identify this spider. They're common enough around the yard. Dolomedes, the fishing spiders, have similar colourings, but that's not always definitive.  photo

 

 

Broad Wing attack
Posted on June 6, 2013 at 10:32:12 AM by jim griffin

We have a Robin pair nesting under the eaves at the front of our house, everything has been fine until last evening between 6 and 7 pm when a Broad Wing Hawk tried twice to raid the nest. The Robins seemed to beat it off then it left, maybe because of the arrival of a curious human (me). It will be interesting to see who wins this contest, I doubt its over.

 

 

Swainson's Thrush, Scarlet Tanager
Posted on June 5, 2013 at 10:53:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night at 9:00, a Swainson's was singing and scolding in the woods behind the house. Not common in Muskoka but we usually have one here every year.
A Scarlet Tanager has been singing around our yard every day since May 30. 8km east of Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 5, 2013 at 10:40:20 PM by Al Sinclair

Willow Flycatcher - Good sighting for Muskoka, northern edge of their range. Several years since the last one I believe.

 

 

Willow Flycatcher
Posted on June 5, 2013 at 09:27:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Willow Flycatcher singing from the fenceline east of cell 1. Two Eastern Kingbirds were sitting atop a hydro pole near the old treatment plant. An Alder Flycatcher was singing west of cell 4 and a Least Flycatcher was singing north of cell 4. A Great Crested Flycatcher was calling from the woods NW of cell 4.

Two tiny young Killdeer were running along the roadway ahead of their parents near the NW corner of cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Mourning Warbler ?
Posted on June 5, 2013 at 12:06:36 PM by GayleCarlyle

Not sure how far you want to travel but we heard one at our home on Green River Drive in Washago and there's one singing here at Grant's Woods, 1485 Division Rd. West just outside of Orillia.

 

 

Re(2): Mourning Warbler ?
Posted on June 5, 2013 at 10:29:38 AM by Goodyear

We have also heard one for the last two years in the shrubs along Wharf Road (I think that is what it is called) below the condos overlooking Bracebridge Bay.

 

 

Re(1): Mourning Warbler ?
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 09:57:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

I haven't been out to check recently, but last year there was one near the intersection of South Monck Dr. and Partridge Lane. It was usually singing at the east side of South Monck Dr. And just a bit north of there is the swampy area where there is a Northern Waterthrush near the snowplow turnaround. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Mourning Warbler ?
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 09:40:41 PM by coreyhkh

Hey guys I am on the look out for this warbler it's the last one I need for the season. I spent two days in Algonquin with no luck.
Other then the one repeated on the covered bridge trail does anyone no any other locations to look?

Thanks
Corey

 

 

Bobolinks
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 07:30:11 PM by sylviapurdon1

On Monday June 2 we found the Bobolinks back at the rough hay fields along Canning Road (formerly SparrowLakeRt.'C'). Along Kilworthy Road we had another Bobolink group calling just at SpLakeRt.'D' and Kilworthy Road.

Hallejuah! The Bobolinks are back!

 

 

Baltimore Orioles
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 06:49:22 PM by jhansen

We watched a pair of Baltimore Orioles, male and female, in the trees at our cottage on Spence Lake, this past Saturday.

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 02:32:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

We decided to take our chances with the hungry hordes of black flies this morning and checked the fields north of the Covered Bridge subdivision deadend. We first heard and then saw one Clay-colored Sparrow perched in a small spruce tree in the field. It was singing a two-note buzz song. No sign of the Field Sparrows which were there last year. (Bracebridge)

At the edge of the forest where it was sheltered from the wind, there were several dragonflies catching insects. When I stood still for a while, the black flies all came to me (of course!) and the dragonflies had great fun plucking them off my head and even one from my cheek! A short distance into the woods, there was this male Ebony Jewelwing damselfly: photo

 

 

Re(2): Butterflies... American Copper
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 02:15:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Al. Unfortunately the skipper was surrounded by very thorny blackberry canes, so another viewing angle was impossible...and then of course it flew out of sight.

For some reason the butterflies just don't want to co-operate with me. There were many Common Ringlets in the field north of Covered Bridge Trail this morning, but none would pose for a photo. Here's the best I could get of an American Copper today at the South Monck trail access point north of Meadow Heights Dr. (west end). (Bracebridge)

American Copper photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Butterflies
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 09:21:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Unknown is most likely Hobomok Skipper. dark lines on hindwing, stigma thin. When photographing skippers try to get the hindwing underside, makes ID easier.

 

 

Butterflies
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 07:27:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we walked the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh. We saw our first Viceroy butterfly of the year east of cell 4. There were several Arctic Skippers along the grassy section of trail just west of the pipeline. By "the dip" in the trail there was a very colourful Skipper...photo below...any idea which species?

Birds along the way included an American Bittern, Green Heron, Alder Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Great-crested Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and several Warblers - Yellow, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, Nashville, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat. There were also three Hawk species - Broad-winged, Red-tailed, and Red-shouldered. At Henry Marsh we watched a male Yellow Warbler taking some food to his mate as she sat on their nest in a small bush. Back at the Bracebridge Ponds there were four Least Sandpipers at the north side of cell 3. At least ten Chimney Swifts were hawking insects over cell 4, as well as five Swallow species - Tree, Barn, Bank, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff.

Skipper - ID?  photo

Arctic Skipper  photo

Viceroy  photo

 

Directions to Bracebridge Ponds/Henry Marsh: see my Area trails map (click on trail sections and markers for info/photos; click Map or Satellite button at upper right to switch views)

 

 

American Redstart
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 11:25:50 AM by ksmith

American Redstart on May 18, 2013. Male calling to female. Hood Road, Port Sydney

 

 

Bluebirds Nesting
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 10:53:44 AM by Carol Wagg

A pair of bluebirds arrived in the yard late on Wednesday, negotiated on a suitable nest box until Saturday, and then got busy early Sunday, bringing in nesting material. Mr. is on blackbird patrol, putting up a ferocious defense of the territory. Mrs. was hard at work all day Sunday and into today, bringing in materials. Today she's bringing soft grass from a clump left by the lawn mower. Last year they never got past the negotiation stage, and she moved on. He was left alone, singing for an entire month, to no apparent avail.
Doe Lake, east of Gravenhurst.   photo1  photo2

 

 

Mourning Warbler
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 10:40:39 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday morning we walked the Covered Bridge/Keall's Falls trail in Bracebridge. We heard our first Mourning Warbler of the year and also heard Nashville, Chestnut -sided, Yellow, and Black and White Warblers, Purple Finch, Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Brown Thrasher, Winter Wren and House Wren. This trail is currently being upgraded. The boardwalk has been extended and raised to keep your feet dry, the bridges that cross Beaver Creek have been repaired, and most of the length of the trail has been woodchipped. The trail can be accessed at the Covered Bridge or at the end of Moreland Court (Bracebridge)

 

 

Hummingbirds Dwight Area
Posted on June 2, 2013 at 07:21:11 PM by lauragilmour

We have quite the population on Ruby Throated Hummingbirds at our property near Dwight this year. Today there were four females, one perched on each side of the feeder, most often chasing each other. As well, there are at least two males, who are keeping themselves very busy chasing the ladies. They are consuming about 700ml of feed a day between all of them. Hope to find a nest soon!

 

 

Re(1): Least Bittern
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 07:49:52 PM by sylviapurdon1

How did you get the Least Bittern, Dan? Did you hear it? We were out searching for Rails at Wenona Marsh but had no calls and few warblers...very windy conditions on Monday.

 

 

Least Bittern
Posted on June 2, 2013 at 03:48:57 PM by DBurton

At Muldrew Lake Rd Marsh:
Least Bittern
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Pewee
Cormorant
Virginia Rail

At Peninsula Road:
Yellow-throated Vireo

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on June 1, 2013 at 07:54:44 PM by janice house

I have been watching a pair of cranes since 7pm, in the farm field across from our house, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Widow Skimmer
Posted on June 1, 2013 at 01:12:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds this fresh looking Widow Skimmer was resting in a handy spot for me to take a photo. It was the only dragonfly I saw on my walk.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 4, 2013 at 06:48:09 PM by jhansen

We saw a cedar waxwing on Saturday afternoon at our cottage on Spence Lake (South Muskoka Falls area).

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 2, 2013 at 02:18:09 PM by Dawn Sherman

I saw four on the Hunter's Bay Trail this morning, also my first for the year.

 

 

Re(2): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 1, 2013 at 07:56:25 PM by janice house

We had a flock of 18 fly over our yard on Thursday morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 1, 2013 at 06:39:47 PM by missyinmuskoka

How exciting Barbara! The Cedar Waxwing is my most favourite. I saw one last year for a glimmer of a second, and never saw another. I hope they stick around for a while!

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 1, 2013 at 10:46:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were eight Cedar Waxwings north of cell 4 - first ones I've actually seen this year. There was a Pied-billed Grebe at the east side of cell 4. It called twice and then disappeared from view. There were several Swallows hawking insects over cell 2 - Tree, Barn, Bank, Northern Rough-winged, and at least one Cliff. The Killdeer was no longer on its nest in the gravel area north of cell 4, and there were no shell remnants...so hopefully the hatch was successful and there are tiny Killdeer around somewhere.

 

 

Re(1): Dunlin
Posted on May 30, 2013 at 10:29:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nice find! Dunlin are considered to be "uncommon" in Muskoka and are only seen if they stop over briefly during migration in the spring and fall. In the spring they are quite colourful as in your photo, but in the fall their plumage becomes very drab. You can still tell it's a Dunlin though if you look for the "droopy" bill.

The Natural History tab on this website has a map showing the summer breeding areas and wintering areas:
http://birds.audubon.org/species/dunlin

 

 

Dunlin
Posted on May 30, 2013 at 09:03:15 PM by missyinmuskoka

Hi everyone. I was on Kahshe lake today and saw this bird that I tried to ID, which matched the description of a Dunlin. My question is how common is this bird in this region?
Thank you.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Phalarope photos - ID?
Posted on May 31, 2013 at 06:21:04 PM by DBurton

The Wilson's will be the one with the possibility of a white nape, which is what your bird has. The other phalaropes will often have black or gray (in varying shades) there. Wilson's will also have the longest bill, which is the type your bird has.

 

 

And another link to a comparison photo
Posted on May 30, 2013 at 04:49:35 PM by Alex Mills

http://nicabirds.blogspot.ca/2011/10/red-necked-phalarope-at-salinas-grandes.html

 

 

Re(2): Phalarope photos - ID?
Posted on May 30, 2013 at 04:46:34 PM by Alex Mills

I think it is a male Wilson's based on plumage, and on its relative length--longer in the body, in the neck, and especially in the beak. It is a very washed out bird!

Here is a link to a FLICKR photo of side-by-side males of both Red-necked (=Northern) and Wilson's together.
http://tinyurl.com/lqbeuce

 

 

Re(1): Phalarope photos - ID?
Posted on May 30, 2013 at 09:18:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

I checked all cells early this morning and did not see the Phalarope. No sign of the Shovelers either. All the Mallards were out swimming in the open. There was a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 2.

Here are three photos David Goodyear took of the Phalarope in the fading light last night. We would appreciate a confirmation as to species ID. We are leaning towards a Wilson's. Also, does anyone know if the white stripe on the nape is only a trait of Wilson's or can a Red-necked Phalarope also show this?  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Phalarope - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 29, 2013 at 10:04:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 7:30 p.m. tonight we found a Phalarope near the south end of cell 1. It stayed with a group of Mallard ducklings, feeding as they slowly swam around. There were also two pairs of Northern Shovelers and a male Green-winged Teal. At least a dozen Common Nighthawks were circling overhead. Two Green Herons were at the edge of cell 4. It sounded as though there were "zillions" of Gray Treefrogs calling from the edge of the woods all around the Ponds...we've never heard so many before.

The Goodyears met up with us and got some photos of the Phalarope, and after a quick bit of research, we are leaning towards it being a Wilson's Phalarope. The bird was not in full breeding plumage. It appeared quite pale overall, had a long thin bill, and there was a white line down its nape. Photos will be posted once they can be retrieved from the camera.

 

 

A bluebird at last
Posted on May 29, 2013 at 07:26:46 PM by Carol Wagg

Actually, a pair dropped by briefly at 7 p.m. today, checked out all three boxes in the back yard, and have, for the moment at least, disappeared. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Carden Challenge Results
Posted on May 28, 2013 at 03:59:26 PM by John Challis

Thanks to those Muskoka Field Naturalists who sponsored me in the Carden Challenge, held on the weekend. The challenge was to identify as many bird species as possible in a 24 hour period. Our team, in the recreational category, came up with 78 species, and, I might add, was the only team to take the challenge on bicycles (nowhere near the champion team with 133 spp but still proud of our accomplishment). I'm amazed that we ID'd seven sparrow species, including vesper, savannah and clay-coloured. Other highlights: scarlet tanager, marsh wren, two sandhill cranes in a marital dispute, apparently, rough-winged swallows, redstart, Canada warbler, loggerhead shrike. And under a full moon over Sedge Wren Marsh Friday night, we were simultaneously serenaded by American bittern, whip-poor-wills, Wilson's snipe, woodcock and nighthawks. Absolute magic. Our team members: Dorthea Hangaard from Couchiching Conservancy, Jamie Ross (retired biology teacher), his daughter Liz and me.

 

 

Re(1): Swallowtail
Posted on May 28, 2013 at 08:09:19 AM by catmaclean

Saw my first one as well in Huntsville yesterday

 

 

Swallowtail
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 09:23:24 PM by dinnymccraney

Saw my first yellow swallowtail butterfly on the lilacs this afternoon. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snowberry Clearwing
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 04:46:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I thought I saw a bumblebee on some forget-me-nots, so went to grab my camera...but when I got back to the garden, it was actually a Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinus). It stayed just long enough to ID and take this blurry shot, but at least you can see the "black mask" and the black legs.   photo

The other two Clearwing Sphinx Moth species you might see in our area are Hemaris thysbe (Hummingbird Clearwing) and Hemaris gracilis (Slender Clearwing). See below for links to references.

 

References and photos for H. diffinis (Snowberry Clearwing):
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hemaris-diffinis
http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=544
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/hdiffinis.htm

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

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


References for Hemaris gracilis:
http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=817
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/hgracilis.htm
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hemaris-gracilis

excerpt from entomology.ualberta.ca - "The underside of the abdomen is completely yellow in thysbe, whereas gracilis has two longitudinal red-brown bands."

excerpt from butterfliesandmoths.org - "However, gracilis can always be distinguished from thysbe and diffinis by two characteristics: 1) the distinct brown or reddish-brown banding on the lateral side of the thorax, under the wing juncture; 2) gracilis always has red or reddish colored dorsal surface of the legs."


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

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

 

 

Re(1): Common Nighthawks
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 06:04:21 PM by Dawn Sherman

We had one fly low over Main Street in Huntsville last night at approx. 8:45 pm.

 

 

Common Nighthawks
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 03:17:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 3 p.m. today while working in the garden, I heard a buzzy "beent", looked up and there were four Common Nighthawks circling over our yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Woodcock
Posted on May 31, 2013 at 11:47:50 AM by IHender

Thanks, Al, that makes sense. Hope they got across OK in the end!

 

 

Re(1): Woodcock
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 10:22:09 AM by Al Sinclair

The woodcock was likely trying to coax its group of recently hatched young to cross the road. They were likely hiding in the grass.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 09:49:37 AM by IHender

Was very surprised to see, driving back from Port Carling, a woodcock sitting in the middle of the Mortimer's Point Road. It appeared there was something wrong - when a car came the other way, the driver stopped in time and shooed the bird to the side of the road.

 

 

Re(1): Long-tailed Duck
Posted on May 29, 2013 at 09:26:28 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Janice Enright had one in late last week. It could have been released near you.

 

 

Long-tailed Duck
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 08:55:11 AM by jim griffin

There is a male long-tailed duck(late spring/early summer plumage) on the river at Port Sydney as I write this. Can probably be seen from the landing by the road 10 bridge, a scope would help.

 

 

Brown Thrasher-Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 06:29:19 AM by TheCardys

Got a good view/shot of a Brown Thrasher out at the ponds just recently also.  photo

 

 

Re(2): South Kahshe Lake Road
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 09:43:19 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you Carol. I am so impressed with the knowledge that the members of the Birding Board have. I look forward to meeting some people for a walk so I can learn and leave my gear at home!

 

 

Re(1): South Kahshe Lake Road
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 08:31:01 PM by Carol Wagg

All your photos are amazing. Warblers never sit still long enough for me to ID them or even find them in the viewfinder!

 

 

South Kahshe Lake Road
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 04:23:27 PM by missyinmuskoka

I walked down road 1700, South Kahshe Lake Road and found two new Warblers
Black-and-white (photo), and black-throated Blue (photo)

 

 

Re(1): Bumblebee - ID?
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 05:03:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Bombus borealis is a good match I think.
Northern Amber Bumble Bee

 

 

Bumblebee - ID?
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 01:57:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

After watching the Barrie newscast about the lack of bees this year, I was pleased to find this healthy looking Bumblebee at Henry Marsh this morning. (Bracebridge)
I haven't tried to ID it yet...anyone know which species?

(it only stayed put long enough for this one shot) - photo

 

 

Re(1): Canada Warbler - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 11:49:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

I didn't see or hear any Wilson's this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds, but there were two Eastern Kingbirds and a male Indigo Bunting near the SW corner of cell 4. Two Red-shouldered Hawks flew up over the ridge to the south-west, called a couple times, then went back down out of sight. A Green Heron was at the west side of cell 3 as well as three Least Sandpipers.

Also finally saw my first Canada Warbler of the year north of cell 2 near the viewing stand at Kerr Park. With all the leaves fully open, it took a long time to pick him out of the dense thicket, even with his constant singing. Phew! In the same area there was also Chestnut-sided, Yellow, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, and a Gray Catbird. On the right day, this little spot can be a birding bonanza.

 

 

Wilson's Warblers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 26, 2013 at 01:42:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Wilson's Warblers (possibly a third but only got a glimpse) in the shrubbery west of cell 4. Besides the usual Spotties and Killdeer, the only shorebirds we found were three Least Sandpipers at the south end of cell 1. A pair of Northern Shovelers were in cell 2. A pair of Buffleheads were in cell 4. There was a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail feeding on some Choke Cherry blossoms - first one we've seen this year.

Here's one of the male Wilson's singing (a long reach for my little camera so heavily cropped): photo1  photo2

 

 

More birds on Kahshe Lake Road, Kilworthy
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 04:28:20 PM by missyinmuskoka

Same location on Kahshe Lake Road. Sightings from today
Red-eyed Vireo (photo), Nashville Warbler (photo), Yellow rumped Warbler (photo) & Common Yellowthroat (photo)

 

 

Least Sandpiper
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 06:34:08 AM by TheCardys

A shot of one of the dozen or so that we saw at the Bracebridge lagoons this past week.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Broad-winged Hawk
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 09:07:15 PM by coreyhkh

awesome I have never seen one up close.

 

Broad-winged Hawk
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 06:31:07 AM by TheCardys

Got a nice view of this Broad-winged as it was hunting along the roadside woods on Bear Cave rd just northeast of Rosseau.  photo

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher near Hardy Lake
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 03:15:08 PM by Al Sinclair

While working on an inventory for Muskoka Conservancy's Grand Family Memorial Land Trust we found an Olive-sided Flycatcher singing in suitable habitat. location: N 45.02953 W 079.50896

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Kingbird, Bluebird - Beaumont fields
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 03:33:33 PM by Carol Wagg

Glad to see the word "bluebird" on the board. Other years we have had them as early as April 10th, but have not seen even one this year yet. Is this general?

 

 

Eastern Kingbird, Bluebird - Beaumont fields
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 02:39:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an Eastern Kingbird perched on the fenceline along Beaumont Dr. where the road turns and passes through the fields. A male Eastern Bluebird was seen entering the nestbox at the corner. (Bracebridge)

 

 

South Kahshe Lk Road
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 01:39:36 PM by missyinmuskoka

I am not good enough to identify all the calls but in a short hour I was able to capture the following birds on road 1700 which is a road that leads off South Kahshe Lake Road. If you email me I can point you in the right direction.
Great Crested Flycatcher (photo), Common yellowthroat (photo), rose breasted grosbeak (photo), red-eyed vireo (photo), oriole (photo) and chestnut-sided warbler (photo)

 

 

Re(1): Dunlin photos
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 01:59:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(2): Dowitcher ID
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 01:05:54 PM by RonPittaway

It's a Short-billed Dowitcher. Probably almost a year old bird based on its
partial breeding plumage. All ages of Long-billed are richly rufous below at
this time of year. Best dowitcher ID is in the 6th edition of the National
Geographic field guide (2011).

Ron and Jean

 

 

Re(1): Dowitcher photos
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 02:16:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Short-billed or Long-billed?
I'm thinking Short-billed, but would appreciate any comments about how to tell these species apart.

photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4  photo5  photo6  photo7

 

 

Dowitcher, Dunlins - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 12:16:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just got back from a verrrry cold windy walk around the Ponds...but it was worth it! As of 11:55 a.m. at the SE corner of cell 3 there was a Dowitcher, a Dunlin, and a Least Sandpiper. Earlier five Dunlins had flown up from the south side of cell 3 and appeared to land near the NW corner. On the algae mats in cell 4 there were two Least Sandpipers and a Semipalmated Sandpiper. About 250 Swallows were flying low over cell 4 and seemed to be picking insects off the algae mats. There were at least 3 Cliff Swallows as well as the usual Tree, Barn, Bank, and a few Rough-winged. Three Bufflehead were in cell 4 (1M, 2F). Two Green Herons were west of cell 4.

 

 

Least Sandpipers - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 24, 2013 at 08:49:36 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday early evening we went for a brisk walk around the Lagoons. Quiet with the strong wind, but there was a flock of 17 Least Sandpipers feeding on the edge of the floating algae mat in cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Brant - Glen Orchard
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 11:11:39 PM by Al Sinclair

Jik estimated the number of Brants as 100 in the main flock and 2 smaller groups of 15 following.
Also I failed to note that they were heading south, reverse migration, I am speculating was caused by strong north winds that day.

 

 

Brant - Glen Orchard
Posted on May 23, 2013 at 05:27:48 PM by Al Sinclair

Jik Jennings reports that a large flock of Brant flew over his house near Glen Orchard at 8:00 AM this morning.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 23 May
Posted on May 23, 2013 at 03:49:11 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (May 23, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
The weather has been all over in the Park this week, and so were the birds.

Northern Mockingbirds seem to also have taken their vacation to cottage
country, with one being reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 18th and
another on Arowhon Road on that same day.

Rainy weather on the 21st caused a fallout of waterfowl on Lake of Two
Rivers, including a flock of 17 Brant, two flocks of Long-tailed Ducks (17
and 24) and a flock of 24 Red-breasted Mergansers. These birds usually do
not stay long and all but the mergansers were seen in flight, leaving the
lake as soon as the weather became suitable for migration.

Most warblers are back on breeding territory. The Old Airfield accessed via
the Mew Lake Campground road is still the best site for viewing migrants
and finding potential rarities. Here and the Lake of Two Rivers Campground
beach also provide the best viewing of any rare migrant waterfowl (best
after rainy nights).

New migrants this week include Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Wilson's and
Tennessee Warblers, Least Sandpiper, Red-eyed Vireo and Alder Flycatcher.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was seen in the 17th at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and two
birds were seen by two different observers there on the 18th. A bird was
seen off Arowhon Road on the 20th.

Gray Jay: Birds were seen at Rock Lake Campground on the 19th and 21st.
They are very secretive and difficult at this time of year as they are
feeding young.

Boreal Chickadee: This was not reported this week and it's likely that many
are attending nests. Try the North end of the Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Two were seen on Opeongo Road past the second
bridge on the 18th. Also try the North end of the Mizzy Lake Trail, where
there is an active nest at West Rose Lake in the deadwood near the bridge
(inaccessible on foot, but not too far to see from the bridge if the birds
are around)

MAMMALS:
Moose are all over the highway ditches and a Black Bear with three cubs was
seen at Km 20.5 on the 17th. Many Red Foxes with young kits are being
reported from the highway. Drive carefully, especially at night!

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with
theAlgonquin
Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid
Group Education Technician
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Re(2): Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 27, 2013 at 09:05:13 AM by jim griffin

Nancy Gardiner has been monitoring the music store chimney at 16 Main st w. She has reported a couple of counts over 500 and the most recent last night at over 200 swifts at this location going to roost in the evening. She has also had very low counts in the same period. Are they migrant groups passing through or is one going to stay, who knows? There is still no recorded activity at the "false" chimney on the theatre.

 

 

Re(1): Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 23, 2013 at 04:08:21 PM by Goodyear

Later this afternoon there were approx. 50 Swifts entering the chimney of the music store on Main Street. This is the same chimney they were observed using last year.

 

 

Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 23, 2013 at 03:10:44 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon at recess one of my former students saw about 20 Swifts circling over downtown Huntsville. She ran inside to let me know!! She saw them go into a chimney, but wasn't sure which building it was. I saw two Swifts circling over the music store on Main Street a little earlier in the day.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting, May 28, 2013
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 10:01:58 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, May 28, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

Retired Park Naturalist, Ron Tozer, will present an illustrated talk, “Changes in Algonquin’s Birdlife”, based on his 2012 book, “Birds of Algonquin Park”. Ron will discuss topics such as trends in bird numbers, changes in migration timing, and effects of climate warming on birds in the Park and throughout eastern North America.

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

 

Re(3): Dragonfly ID?
Posted on June 3, 2013 at 08:20:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Al and Alex. This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several Dot-tailed Whiteface dragonflies by cell 4. None would let me get close enough for a good shot, but you can at least see the yellow dot on the tail and the white face:  photo

 

 

Shape of spot
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 09:55:52 PM by Alex Mills

Without having it in the hand, I think the usual distinguishing mark is the shape of the "last" spot (on the 7th segment)... squarish in Dot-tailed and triangular in Hudsonian. Having said that, I cannot decide! But, Al's experience of having only seen Dot-tailed there is persuasive.

 

 

Re(2): Dragonfly ID?
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 03:28:19 PM by Al Sinclair

Checked the books: I think this one is a Dot-tailed WF. The last yellow spot is wider than the previous one and more square. On Hudsonian the last spot is longer than wide.

Also I have not seen Hudsonian WF at the Ponds, only Dot-tailed. However at home here we have only Hudsonian WF. There were some around this week, will try to get a photo if it stops raining.

 

 

Re(1): Dragonfly ID?
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 03:00:31 PM by Alex Mills

That is a possibility, but I think equally likely is a Hudsonian Whiteface. Both emerge in May and early individuals (and females) look more similar than later individuals (and males).

 

 

Dragonfly ID?
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 02:15:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were tons of these small dragonflies along the roadway at the west side of cell 4.
Could this be a female/immature Dot-tailed Whiteface?  photo

 

 

Goshawk Nest Cam, England
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 11:59:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Just found this goshawk nest cam with 3 small chicks. Very cute!
http://www.newforestgateway.org/Wildcam/LiveCameras/tabid/117/Default.aspx

 

 

Skinks & Snakes
Posted on May 25, 2013 at 08:08:46 PM by CliffRummenie

Yes. Several garter snakes and a smooth green snake, pictured below.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Skinks
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 10:26:02 PM by coreyhkh

Nice these are very hard to get a picture of out in the open.
Did you see any snakes?

 

 

Skinks
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 09:45:23 PM by CliffRummenie

Here are a pair of five lined skinks we photographed at Torrence Barrens.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Chimney Swifts - Bracebridge
Posted on May 28, 2013 at 10:51:50 AM by Barbara Taylor

Five Chimney Swifts were circling over the Bracebridge Ponds this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Chimney Swifts - Bracebridge
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:05:01 PM by janice house

several swifts were circling and calling over Yig's in Gravenhurst on Monday

 

 

Chimney Swifts - Bracebridge
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 09:08:56 PM by Goodyear

Earlier this evening there were 11 Swifts circling and calling above the Bracebridge Public Library.

 

 

Merlin
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 06:33:16 PM by DBurton

Merlin is now on my yard list. It is hanging around Lorne and Seguin in Gravenhurst and seems quite agitated. There is a crow building a nest across the street. It could have something to do with it.

 

 

Re(1): Red-breasted Merganser...gone
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 10:43:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

No Red-breasted Merganser this morning. New arrivals were an Eastern Wood-Pewee singing from the woods west of cell 2, and a male Indigo Bunting singing near the Lagoon Lane gate. Only other birds of note were a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 1 and two Green Herons flying by.

 

 

Re(4): Red-breasted Merganser - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 05:04:46 PM by coreyhkh

lol congrats on getting the bird Al.

Seems when there is bad weather they drop in.

 

 

Re(3): Red-breasted Merganser - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 04:38:49 PM by Al Sinclair

One more: Gray-cheeked Thrush
Should be coming through Muskoka this weekend
Please call me if you find one!!!!

 

 

Re(2): Red-breasted Merganser - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 04:26:31 PM by Goodyear

Congratulations, Al!! Do you have any other nemesis birds?

 

 

Re(1): Red-breasted Merganser - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 04:02:02 PM by Al Sinclair

Photographed it at 11:15. Didn't get a good shot because it was almost the full length of the cell away when I got there. Thunder and lighting were approaching fast so I had to get out of there. I was very pleased to finally get this species on my Muskoka list.  photo

 

 

Red-breasted Merganser - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:33:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I found a male Red-breasted Merganser in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds. It was still there around 11 a.m. as some thunderstorms were moving in, so might stick around.

The pair of Canada Geese that were nesting at the east side of cell 2 near the south end now have four goslings big enough to be out of the nest. They were parading them up the middle roadway. Hurrah, finally we can walk up the middle without being attacked!

As I walked along the north side of cell 4, an American Bittern flew up and headed towards the south-east.

 

 

Re(1): Cowbirds
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:48:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

The other species will stay on territory even with Cowbirds around, but over time Cowbirds can cause a reduced population of other species if they cause too many nest failures.

Hopefully many of the Cowbirds you've noticed were just migrating through, or perhaps they've found someone's winter deer feeding station and are taking advantage of the leftovers. I haven't seen more than usual numbers of Cowbirds in our neighbourhood in Bracebridge.

 

 

Cowbirds
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 03:42:58 PM by Mjhatton

There seem to be more, in fact many many more, cowbirds particularly evident on the west side of Leonard Lake than noticed in the past ten years. Will their parasitic nature noticeably affect the numbers of other species?

 

 

Re(2): Northern Waterthrush - South Monck Dr.
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 05:28:40 PM by Al Sinclair

Looks like a prize winner to me!

 

 

Re(1): Northern Waterthrush - South Monck Dr.
Posted on May 21, 2013 at 05:08:11 PM by coreyhkh

Awesome I love this bird for some reason, I finally saw one and after a few hours was able to get a good picture.

I took this in Algonquin:  photo

 

 

Northern Waterthrush - South Monck Dr.
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 09:47:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Waterthrush singing right next to the road by the swampy area along South Monck Dr. near the snowplow turnaround, just a bit north of Partridge Lane and Crawford Rd., Bracebridge.  An Alder Flycatcher was calling in the same area - first one this year for me.

That stretch of road can be very good for birding, but go prepared...this morning it was very buggy with both black flies and mosquitoes. There are fields to the south and forest to the north so great mix of habitat. I heard several Eastern Meadowlarks and Bobolinks singing en route.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh Walk
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 11:58:54 AM by missyinmuskoka

Will you be leading any more beginner birding walks? I would love to tag along!

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh Walk
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 07:59:06 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday, Regan and I led a beginning birder walk around the Lagoons and over to Henry Marsh. We were joined by 6 enthusiastic birders who had good looks at a male Bluebird at Kerr Park, a flock of 7 Least Sandpipers that put down less than 20 feet in front of us at the Lagoons, two Green Herons that perched in a tree for good scope views, cooperative Common Yellowthroats, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Northern Oriole, Warbling Vireo,and an Osprey overhead at Henry Marsh, in addition to many other species, bringing our mornig total to 49. By the end of the walk group members could distinguish Turkey Vultures from buteos at a distance, identify Spotted Sandpipers on the wing, and our blackbird specialist, Robin, learned to distinguish Grackles from Red-winged Blackbirds in flight!! Thanks to another birder, Bruce, who put us on to a couple of Bobolinks that put on a show for our group. We also spent some time listening to bird song, and we were able to pick out several species by the end of our walk. Thank you to all of those who participated and we hope to see you out in the field. Happy birding!

 

 

Re(1): map of our route
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 11:37:36 PM by coreyhkh

nice work

 

 

map of our route
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 02:49:20 PM by Al Sinclair

Blue line is our route taken from a GPS track file :  route map

 

 

Re(1): MFN Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 06:09:50 PM by mjhatton

Wow. So many on your list that I'm still looking for this spring!

 

 

Re(2): MFN Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 06:55:57 PM by missyinmuskoka

Congratulations on a very successful Birdathon! Wish I could have tagged along! Good work everyone!

 

 

MFN Baillie Birdathon
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 02:16:23 PM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalist's team did their Baillie Birdathon on Saturday May 18. In 10 hours of continuous birding we found 90 species in Muskoka from Bracebridge to Sparrow Lake. We added 5 more species to the list seen by members of the team before and after but within the 24 hr count period for a final total of 95 species. Below is the eBird checklist.
Team members were: Stephanie Lehman, Regan Goodyear, David Goodyear, Al Sinclair


Observer: Allan Sinclair
2013-05-18 12:12
Bracebridge, ON, CA
Protocol: Traveling
72 Miles
600 Minutes
Observers: 4
Comments: Birdathon Bracebridge to Sparrow Lake

X Canada Goose
X Wood Duck
X Mallard
X Blue-winged Teal
X Bufflehead
X Common Goldeneye
X Common Merganser
X Ruffed Grouse
X Wild Turkey
X Double-crested Cormorant
X American Bittern
X Great Blue Heron
X Green Heron
X Turkey Vulture
X Sharp-shinned Hawk
X Red-shouldered Hawk
X Broad-winged Hawk
X Virginia Rail
X Killdeer
X Spotted Sandpiper
X Lesser Yellowlegs
X Least Sandpiper
X American Woodcock
X Ring-billed Gull
X Herring Gull
X Caspian Tern
X Common Tern
X Rock Pigeon
X Mourning Dove
X Eastern Whip-poor-will
X Ruby-throated Hummingbird
X Belted Kingfisher
X Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
X Downy Woodpecker
X Hairy Woodpecker
X Northern Flicker
X Pileated Woodpecker
X Least Flycatcher
X Eastern Phoebe
X Great Crested Flycatcher
X Eastern Kingbird
X Warbling Vireo
X Red-eyed Vireo
X Blue Jay
X American Crow
X Common Raven
X Northern Rough-winged Swallow
X Tree Swallow
X Bank Swallow
X Barn Swallow
X Black-capped Chickadee
X Red-breasted Nuthatch
X White-breasted Nuthatch
X House Wren
X Winter Wren
X Eastern Bluebird
X Veery
X Wood Thrush
X American Robin
X Gray Catbird
X Brown Thrasher
X European Starling
X Ovenbird
X Northern Waterthrush
X Black-and-white Warbler
X Tennessee Warbler
X Nashville Warbler
X Common Yellowthroat
X American Redstart
X Northern Parula
X Magnolia Warbler
X Blackburnian Warbler
X Yellow Warbler
X Chestnut-sided Warbler
X Black-throated Blue Warbler
X Pine Warbler
X Yellow-rumped Warbler
X Black-throated Green Warbler
X Canada Warbler
X Chipping Sparrow
X Savannah Sparrow
X Song Sparrow
X Swamp Sparrow
X White-throated Sparrow
X White-crowned Sparrow
X Northern Cardinal
X Rose-breasted Grosbeak
X Bobolink
X Red-winged Blackbird
X Eastern Meadowlark
X Common Grackle
X Baltimore Oriole
X Purple Finch
X American Goldfinch
X Evening Grosbeak

 

 

Blackpoll, Tennessee Warblers
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 10:49:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Blackpoll Warbler and a Tennessee Warbler at the edge of the woods west of cell 2 near the south end. By the viewing stand at Kerr Park there were two more Tennessee Warblers, as well as Warbling Vireos, American Redstarts, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Nashville, and Chestnut-sided Warblers.  Ovenbird and Least Flycatcher were west of cell 3.  Black-throated Green, Yellow-rumped, and Black-and-white Warblers were at the edge of the woods south of cell 4. The Northern Waterthrush was again singing in the wet woods north of cell 4 towards the west end. A Scarlet Tanager was singing from the top of a dead tree to the SW of cell 4. A Solitary Sandpiper and two Least Sandpipers were at the west end of cell 3. A male Lesser Scaup was in cell 3.

Yesterday morning during the Baillie Birdathon there was a Northern Parula singing west of cell 2 near the north end, but no sign of it today.

 

 

Yellow-throated Vireo
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 07:06:27 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have searched all posted sightings of Yellow-throated Vireo for the last five years and finally saw and got documentary photographs yesterday. Two found on Ragged Rapids Road, Bala. Several Red-eyed Vireos as well. Lots of Chestnut-sided Warblers, also Nashvilles, Black & Whites, Yellow-rumps, a couple of Black-throated Green, Ovenbirds.

Still fairly quiet, though.

 

 

Merlin
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 04:03:57 PM by DBurton

After talking to Al and the Goodyears, we saw a Merlin on the way home. He is hanging around the cemetery at the end of John St.
Other birds:
Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Evening Grosbeaks

 

 

Dragonflies flying
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 12:35:56 PM by diannawolfe

The last few days have seen the emergence of at least two species of dragonflies here in Kilworthy. Beaverpond Baskettail and American Emerald have been seen. A damselfly was also seen yesterday but not caught to ID.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 22, 2013 at 09:31:35 AM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you. I use a Canon 1DX and a 500 mm lens with a 1.4 tele

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 08:29:32 PM by mjhatton

Incredible images. Can you share the camera type and lens?

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 08:19:55 PM by missyinmuskoka

I did not see any warblers other than the yellow unfortunately

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 08:01:42 PM by coreyhkh

Great captures. Did you see any cape may or blackpoll warblers by any chance.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 09:09:50 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thanks to Barbara Taylor I made it to the ponds today. I heard far more than I could capture. Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warbler, White-crowned sparrow, Song and White -throated Sparrow  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4  photo5

 

 

Re(1): Vireos
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 07:04:52 AM by Debbie Adams

One made it's way to Walker's Point Friday afternoon. It was a delight to hear it's song.

 

 

Vireos
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 07:32:54 PM by DBurton

Warbling and Red-Eyed Vireos arrived today in Gravenhurst at Gateway Dr.

 

 

Re(3): Wood Thrush
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 08:23:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

You can just park at the north side of the street by the vacant lot. The trailhead is not well-marked, but you will see a well-worn path through the vacant lot. Here's a link to a google map with the trail access point marked in yellow: http://goo.gl/maps/Y92BX

The trails take you through a very nice forest, but there are not a lot of open areas, so if you are hoping for great photos, you might be disappointed. Also, near the start of the trail there is a bit of a steep hill after you cross Beaver Creek.

 

 

Re(1): Wood Thrush
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 04:51:11 PM by coreyhkh

Thanks I will have to check it out I have been birding algonquin the lady two days and it was awesome though I am not good with the calls. 
Where is the best place to park and enter the South Monck trail?

 

 

Wood Thrush
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 12:09:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we walked part of the South Monck trail heading north from Meadow Heights Dr. (west end) and then looped west to follow the edge of the Beaver Creek ravine. There were lots of birds back on territory, including a singing Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Black-throated Green Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbirds, and Least Flycatcher. It was nice to hear a Winter Wren still singing as well.

We checked the "sparrow field" (west of the South Monck trail and north of the Covered Bridge Trail subdivision deadend), but no Field or Clay-colored Sparrows yet. There were lots of White-throated Sparrows though, and some Bobolinks. Along the forest edge and in the shrubbery there were a few warblers - Magnolia, Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat. Also tons of Black Flies! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): warbler question
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 10:29:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Recent Ontbird reports indicate that Cape May Warblers are still moving through. But I don't think they would stick around for any length of time since their summer habitat is "boreal coniferous forest with spruce" according to Stokes. Could your mystery bird be a Blackburnian? They don't always sing the typical whole song with that rising pitch.

This website has good quality Warbler songs sourced from Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
http://www.birdjam.com/habitat.php?id=7
(Cape May is in 4th row at left)

 

 

warbler question
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 09:12:12 AM by John Challis

Would it be likely for Cape May warblers to be around Washago right now? I've been chasing a bird around for two days -- actually several birds -- trying to get a glimpse. Damn things keep flitting off to another treetop out of sight. Mainly deciduous trees, if that helps. Song is an extremely high-pitched, drawled tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee. No double syllables, no change in pitch. It sounds very much like the Stokes CD's recordings of a Cape May. But there's also bay-breasted with a similar voice. The blackburnians in our neighbourhood have atypical calls that are quite similar, too, except rising in pitch til it's out of human range.

 

 

Sora - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 07:34:21 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday evening there was a Sora calling from the wet area west of cell 4. That area is much drier than previous years and we were wondering if they would return.Yeah!

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Birding Report: 16 May
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 06:34:38 PM by coreyhkh

I was n the park today and I can confirm there was alot of warblers, it was better then Pelee.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 16 May
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 05:50:48 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Birders,
The migrants continue pouring into Algonquin. Much of the warblers are
singing from the canopy on potential breeding territories and thus
difficult to see, but the Old Airfield accessed via Mew Lake Campground
road, as well as the north section of the Mizzy Lake Trail are producing
lots of warblers low down and easy to see. However, there were few birders
this week to see them!

There were few new arrivals this week due to poor weather, but American
Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler and Swainson's Thrush arrived this week.

On the 11th and since then, Long-tailed Ducks were heard every night
migrating over Found Lake at Km 20.

A rare East Algonquin birding trip resulted in some interesting sightings
from the park interior - most notably another Northern Mockingbird and four
Lapland Longspurs in stark full-alternate plumage.

A Bald Eagle was seen with a kettle of Turkey Vultures on the 15th.

Evening Grosbeaks are a daily feature of the Visitor Centre but almost
exclusively in the early morning or evening.

Arowhon Road, accessing the northern portion of the Mizzy Lake Trail, is
now fully open. This is an excellent spot to look for our Boreal specialty
birds.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: The Old Railway Bed at the north end of the Mizzy Lake
Trail produced two birds on the 15th and also two on the 16th. A bird was seen at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A pair of birds were seen at West Rose Lake on the
Mizzy Lake Trail on the 16th.

Gray Jay: None were reported this week. Try Opeongo Road, Mizzy Lake Trail
or Spruce Bog Boardwalk but they are difficult at this time of year.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports of this chickadee this week. Try along Opeongo
Road or the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail.

MAMMALS
Moose are now abundant along Highway 60 in roadside wet areas. Drive
carefully!

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid
Group Education Technician
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Re(1): Increasing Pine Siskins, Bala
Posted on May 19, 2013 at 07:01:37 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Down to two at a time Saturday.

 

 

Increasing Pine Siskins, Bala
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 03:36:35 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Pine Siskin numbers have increased to 2 dozen today! Very surprising. I have distlefink on the platform feeder and they are taking black oil sunflower seed as well.

 

 

Clay-colored Sparrow
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 12:20:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning there was a Clay-colored Sparrow feeding low in the shrubbery by the NW corner of cell 4. It stayed in clear view for several minutes and then moved further back into the bushes out of sight, but we could hear it singing a two-note buzz song.

Two Green Herons were at the west end of cell 3, and a third was west of cell 4. Three Blue-winged Teal were in cell 3, a pair of Northern Shovelers were in cell 1, and six Buffleheads were in cell 2. Several Wood Ducks were at the north end of cell 1. Two Lesser Yellowlegs were at the south end of cell 2, along with some Mallards. Spotted Sandpipers seemed to be everywhere. Least Flycatchers were calling west of cell 4 and west of cell 3. Baltimore Orioles were fighting north of cell 4, and a Northern Waterthrush was singing in the wet woods nearby. Many Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and Warbling Vireos were also singing.

Along the trail heading west from the Ponds towards Henry Marsh there were several Warblers. A male American Redstart and a Chestnut-sided Warbler were by the pipeline. A male Bay-breasted Warbler was first heard and then finally seen near the spot where the east birdfeeder was in the winter. A Black-throated Green Warbler was also nearby. There were at least five Magnolia Warblers along the trail - three males were "fighting" near the dip in the trail. A female Blackburnian Warbler was just west of the dip. Several Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Ovenbird, and Nashvilles too. Nothing of note at Henry Marsh except for a Broad-winged Hawk circling overhead.

 

 

Warbler Arrivals
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 08:46:23 AM by catmaclean

This am in our bush in Huntsville; Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut Sided and Northern Parula. Bay Breasted arrived yesterday.

 

 

Bala Birds
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 07:44:59 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday I saw the first push of warblers around my house. Have had a male yellow-rump for a couple of weeks but yesterday saw Nashville, Pine, Magnolia and Chestnut-sided.

Two male and one female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks today along with a dozen hungry Pine Siskins, Great Crested Flycatcher, American Redstart, Pine, Palm, M & F yellow rumps, Palm, two White-crowned Sparrows for the last 5 days, 1 white-throated, same 6 Chipping Sparrows and one is leuistic with all white body.
A Bay-breasted Warbler was a first for my home list.

I saw one hummingbird a few days ago but haven't seen one since.

 

 

Re(1): Anyone no where I can find northern waterthrush
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 09:56:25 AM by Barbara Taylor

Corey, where did you find the Northern Waterthrush? I see on your Flickr page that you finally got your photo - hurrah!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54773292@N07/8755235811/in/photostream/lightbox/

P.S. - there was a Northern Waterthrush singing right next to the road this morning along South Monck Dr., a bit north of Crawford Rd., Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Anyone no where I can find northern waterthrush
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 09:17:50 AM by John Challis

If you felt like venturing further south, waterthrush have been calling in Washago off the south side of Coopers Falls Road, along a kilometre-long stretch past Green River Drive. There are some wet woodlands there that seem to appeal to them. But they're further into the woods; might be tough to find one.

 

 

Re(1): Anyone no where I can find northern waterthrush
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 11:47:30 AM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds there is a Northern Waterthrush in the wet woods north of cell 4 near the west end. It was singing again this morning, but too far into the woods to see.

 

 

Re(1): Anyone no where I can find northern waterthrush
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 10:37:42 PM by Al Sinclair

Corey
There is one near us here, on territory for 3wks, was singing frequently until the cold weather this week, heard today only once. 10 minutes east of Hwy 11 on 118E. Email me if you are interested in coming out.

 

 

Anyone no where I can find northern waterthrush
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 06:50:21 PM by coreyhkh

Hello I am very interested in finding this bird and just wondering if anyone knows of any reliable locations to see them.
I checked out the Lagoons and Henry marsh today. A lot of oven birds, a few nashville and yellow-rumped. Didn't really look in the lagoons as it was too windy.

 

 

Re(1): Birds moving today
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 02:32:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Rose-breasted Grosbeak arrived in our yard today, but no room on the feeder for him since we are up to a dozen Evening Grosbeaks now. It's been so long since we've had any Evening Grosbeaks here, I had forgotten how much food they can consume! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Oriole photos
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 08:31:44 PM by Al Sinclair

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Grosbeak photos
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 08:34:40 PM by Al Sinclair

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Birds moving today
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 01:33:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Just had a record 6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders at once. Think I got a photo of 5. Also a Baltimore Oriole was on the feeder briefly. 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E

 

 

Lagoons
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 08:45:41 AM by Goodyear

We have walked the Bracebridge Lagoons the last couple of evenings in search of Barbara's possible Cave Swallow. No luck, but we have enjoyed becoming very familiar with the large mixed flock of swallows that are feeding there. We did find two Cliff Swallows, both with white foreheads, but couldn't find any light-rumped birds with dark foreheads. A Chimney Swift made a brief appearance and the 6 Lesser Yellowlegs took flight when a Merlin buzzed cell 3.

 

 

Veery
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 08:24:20 AM by Catmaclean

Hummers were back yesterday and this am I heard the Veery note and was able to call it close with my iphone app. (Huntsville)

 

 

Blackburnian Warbler
Posted on May 14, 2013 at 03:57:26 PM by janice house

I heard a blackburnian warbler calling the last two mornings on my doggy walks. Laycox Rd & Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(2): warblers
Posted on May 14, 2013 at 10:21:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

On May 11 (see posts) there was a good bunch of warbler species migrating through. Today at the Ponds there was Northern Waterthrush, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, and Chestnut-sided. Along the trail heading west of the Ponds, there was Black-throated Green, Pine, and Nashville. Recent cold windy conditions have kept the birds hunkered down trying to find something to eat. The next few days look warmer with southerly winds so should bring some more migrants our way.

 

 

Re(1): Least Flycatcher, Northern Shovelers
Posted on May 14, 2013 at 09:42:15 PM by coreyhkh

have you seen any warblers?

 

 

Least Flycatcher, Northern Shovelers
Posted on May 14, 2013 at 01:30:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Least Flycatcher calling near the NW corner of cell 4. A Northern Waterthrush was singing nearby in the wet woods north of cell 4. Two male Baltimore Orioles were "discussing" their territorial boundaries west of cell 4.

Four Northern Shovelers (2M,2F) were at the west end of cell 3. Four Lesser Yellowlegs were near the north-west corner of cell 3. The number of Buffleheads has gone back up a bit...about 30 now, most in cell 2. There were a few Swallows over cell 1 and cell 4, but didn't see any Cliffs or Cave.

 

 

Re(2): Cave Swallow?!
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 07:21:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks for the link Stuart. The bird we saw had a noticeably paler throat, and I don't recall a dark blotch separating throat from rest of chest area, so I don't think those Cliff subspecies fit. I've done some online research and apparently the Cave Swallow population and geographic distribution have increased over the years, and an excerpt from Pete Dunne's guide says Cave Swallows are "casual in spring on the e. Great Lakes". Since I had no prior experience with Cave Swallow identification at the time, and my memory has faded, I'll have to call it a "possible" Cave Swallow.

If anyone is interested, here are some of the interesting articles I've come across:
http://www.sibleyguides.com/bird-info/cave-swallow/
http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/04/dark-fronted-cliff-swallows-in-louisiana-and-mississippi/
http://www.sibleyguides.com/2010/05/mexican-cliff-swallows/


Scroll down to p.5 "Louisiana swallows":
http://losbird.org/news/0212_200_news.pdf


Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion...excerpt in google books:
http://tinyurl.com/ago3kg6


Cave Swallow: Colorado’s Stealthiest Vagrant:
http://tinyurl.com/b97932m


Cave Swallow - California:
http://fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/jmorlan/CaveSwallowP1090570s.htm

 

 

Re(1): Cave Swallow?!
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 03:36:39 PM by StuartImmonen

Pursuant to your ID question, I happened to come across this article on David Sibley's site:  Variation in Cliff Swallows
s
Novar

 

 

Cave Swallow?!
Posted on May 13, 2013 at 02:16:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 1 p.m. today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a large group of Swallows hawking insects over cell 4. While they flew about, we were able to identify five species - Tree, Barn, Bank, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff. Every once in a while some would fly over and perch in the trees at the west side, partially sheltered from the strong winds. A Cliff Swallow came in and started to preen, giving us good looks at its buffy rump and white forehead. Then another swallow with a buffy rump landed nearby...but this one had a cinnamon forehead and a paler throat. So, a Cave Swallow? Or is there some variant of Cliff Swallow that would be a match?

At the west end of cell 3 there were Six Lesser Yellowlegs, three Northern Shovelers (2M,1F), and two male Green-winged Teal. Two Green Herons were at the north side of cell 4.

 

 

Snowy Spring Warblers
Posted on May 13, 2013 at 10:15:54 AM by StuartImmonen

It's not the first time I've photographed warblers in the snow, but the last time, it was in November. Anyway, today it was a lovely morning (for November) and I walked the property to see how the migrant birds fared yesterday's chill.  photo1  photo2  photo3


I saw or heard most of what I've been seeing and hearing since the last week of April: Yellow-rumped, Nashville, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, Black-throated Green and Blue, Northern Waterthrush and Ovenbird. By 10am, quite a lot of the snow had melted, but it's still covering the ground in the shade. (Novar)

 

 

Re(1): Feeder birds
Posted on May 13, 2013 at 06:31:25 PM by Carol Wagg

We have had several evening grosbeaks over the last few days, sometimes as many as a dozen at a time.
Any other year that a rose-breasted grosbeak has dropped in, it was a male only and only for a few minutes, never more than one short visit in any given year. There have been two pairs hanging about over the period of a week now, becoming somewhat less skittish, too. What a thrill. Do I dare hope they will nest? (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Feeder birds
Posted on May 13, 2013 at 03:39:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Must be the weather...we never get Evening Grosbeaks in our yard, but just a few minutes ago there were five at our feeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Feeder birds
Posted on May 13, 2013 at 08:24:38 AM by Catmaclean

With the cold weather we have had some unusual birds at the feeders. Rose- Breasted and Evening Grosbeaks as well as White Crowned and Chipping Sparrows and this am a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. (Huntsville)

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on May 12, 2013 at 04:38:11 PM by Leslie

I took a couple of pics of a hermit thrush foraging in my backyard this afternoon. The fuzzy stuff in one of the photos is snow, coming across almost horizontally. Sigh.  (Bracebridge)

photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Large movement of warblers
Posted on May 11, 2013 at 07:35:07 PM by janice house

This morning there were quite a few northern water thrush's in the wetlands on the south side of Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst between Tomingas Rd and Laycox Rd (7am). Around 9am the thrush's were calling from the creek behind our house and in the scrub under the hydro/lines across from the house.

 

 

Large movement of warblers
Posted on May 11, 2013 at 04:49:36 PM by Rick Stronks

This afternoon I walked along the shoreline of Goose Lake (between Dwight and Dorset) and witnessed a large movement of warblers. The birds were high up in White Pine and White Birch trees and would briefly perch before grapping an insect and moving on. After a few minutes I decided I should try to estimate the size of this flock.

I picked a tree to watch and for 5 minutes I counted as 65 birds went by. In total, I witnessed this for about 15 minutes making the conservative estimate at 200 warblers! However, I think the number could be twice that as birds were also moving behind me.

It was difficult to identify most birds given the light conditions and the birds were constantly moving. The most common warbler was Yellow-rumped but I also saw Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Nashville, Palm and Black-and-White.

 

 

Henry Marsh Saturday morning
Posted on May 11, 2013 at 03:12:15 PM by Al Sinclair

With Orillia Nature Club

Observer: Allan Sinclair
2013-05-11 09:05
Bracebridge--Henry Marsh
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 Miles
200 Minutes
Observers: 7
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Orillia Nature Club

1 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
1 Mallard
3 Ruffed Grouse
1 Wild Turkey
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
2 Blue Jay
6 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
3 Winter Wren
1 Brown Thrasher
3 Ovenbird
1 Black-and-white Warbler
5 Nashville Warbler
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Pine Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrow
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
6 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Purple Finch

This report was created and sent using BirdsEye BirdLog (http://birdseyebirding.com/)

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds Saturday noon
Posted on May 11, 2013 at 03:09:46 PM by Al Sinclair

Notable
Blackpoll: woods on west side of cell 2 at south end.
Fairly large flock of warblers at this location. Could not find the Cape May

Observer: Allan Sinclair
2013-05-11 12:30
Bracebridge Sewage Treatment Ponds
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 Miles
60 Minutes
Observers: 1
All birds reported? Yes
3 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
10 Mallard
3 Northern Shoveler
2 Lesser Scaup
16 Bufflehead
1 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Green Heron
6 Spotted Sandpiper
1 Solitary Sandpiper
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Least Sandpiper
5 Ring-billed Gull
2 Mourning Dove
2 Northern Flicker
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Warbling Vireo
1 American Crow
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
30 Tree Swallow
15 Bank Swallow
5 Barn Swallow
1 Cliff Swallow
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Veery
1 American Robin
1 Brown Thrasher
15 European Starling
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Yellow Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
5 Yellow-rumped Warbler
5 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
10 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Eastern Meadowlark
2 Rusty Blackbird
2 Common Grackle
1 Purple Finch
1 American Goldfinch

 

 

Bobolink and more
Posted on May 11, 2013 at 01:18:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I found my first Bobolink of the year at the south side of cell 2. There were three Solitary Sandpipers, four Lesser Yellowlegs, and a couple Least Sandpipers, all in cells 3 and 1. Several Spotted Sandpipers were flying about. Four Northern Shovelers were in cell 3. A pair of Lesser Scaup, two Common Goldeneyes, and a few Wood Ducks were in cell 1. About a dozen Bufflehead remain. In cell 4 there was a male Gadwall, but it flew off to the north shortly after I spotted it. The Killdeer was still sitting on its nest in the gravel area north of cell 4.  There were lots of Swallows hawking insects over cell 4 - mostly Tree, a few Barn, Northern Rough-winged, and some Bank Swallows (first ones I've seen this year). Five Wild Turkeys were strolling along the pipeline south-west of cell 4.

I had a few first of the year warblers (for me anyways)...an American Redstart near the SW corner of cell 4, a Black-throated Blue west of cell 2, and a singing Cape May west of cell 3. A Rusty Blackbird was calling from the wet woods west of cell 3, but I couldn't see it. An Eastern Meadowlark and a Brown Thrasher were singing at Kerr Park. A few White-crowned Sparrows were east of cell 1. An Osprey circled overhead just as I was leaving. A nice finish to a very chilly walk around the Ponds...but at least the cold wind kept all the black flies away!

Here's a pair of Shovelers from this morning:  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 10 May
Posted on May 10, 2013 at 04:17:26 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (May 10, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
Many of the warblers have returned in numbers this week to Algonquin, with
Nashville, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Black-and-White,
Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush and Northern Parula singing from breeding
territories throughout the park.

Other migrants this week included: Barn Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Wood
Thrush, Least Flycatcher and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

The excitement this week was a Northern Mockingbird present at the Old
Airfield from May 4 - May 5th. This species is almost annual in the Park
but only one or two records per year.

Sandhill Cranes were seen over the Old Airfield on the 4th, and a
Red-necked Grebe was in Lake of Two Rivers on the 8th.

Evening Grosbeaks returned on the 7th and have been seen and heard
throughout since, especially in the morning at the Visitor Centre. Purple
Finches are also present in numbers at the feeders there, especially in the
morning.

Opeongo Road is now fully open and provides your best chance at our Boreal
specialties at the moment, as the Arowhon Road is still closed due to
extensive washouts. Hopefully it will be open sometime next week.

No Great Gray Owls were seen this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: There have been no reports this week. Try Opeongo Road or
Spruce Bog Boardwalk. The Old Railway Bed at the North end of the Mizzy
Lake Trail is an excellent spot but until Arowhon Road is repaired it is a
long hike.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Birds were seen at the nest at Tea Lake Dam Picnic
Area on the 3rd, a pair working on a nest at Opeongo Road past the bridge
on the 4th and 5th, and another pair at the nest three telephone poles west
of the Leaf Lake Ski Trail on the 7th.

Gray Jay: Birds were at the Old Airfield and Opeongo Road on the 4th. These
are very tough to see at this time of year as they are attending nests with
young chicks.

Boreal Chickadee: Two birds were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 4th.
Opeongo Road is a good spot as well.

MAMMALS
Moose are now abundant along Highway 60 in roadside wet areas. Drive
carefully!

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid
Group Education Technician
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Bracebridge Sewage Lagoon
Posted on May 10, 2013 at 01:02:33 PM by dclark32

Hi all,
In Huntsville visiting my grandparents for a few days and made my way down to the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons this morning for a bit of birding. Very few waterfowl, but did manage to turn up a pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS hiding in the grass of one of the middle ponds (not sure what cell it would be). Other highlights were a cloud of at least 250 swallows overhead which was comprised mainly of TREE SWALLOWS, plus small numbers of BARN and a single ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. Also a GREEN HERON flying out of the marsh towards the ponds, though I never relocated it. One LINCOLN'S SPARROW at the edge of the woods/marsh, plus a pair of LEAST SANDPIPERS.

Also, on the highway down, saw an AMERICAN KESTREL about 5 minutes outside of Huntsville along with a RAVEN closer to Bracebridge.

Good birding everyone,
Doug Clark

 

 

Raven
Posted on May 9, 2013 at 08:29:33 PM by DBurton

A Raven has been stubbornly remaining near the waterfront along Gateway Drive in Gravenhurst. I have seen Crows chasing it several times but he hasn't given up yet. Today they beat him to the ground and he slinked off into the woods with tail feathers skewed.

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 11:46:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there was a Red-shouldered Hawk flying around the west side of Henry Marsh this morning. Yesterday we thought we heard one calling from that area, but it never showed itself. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Virginia Rail
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 09:54:22 AM by John Challis

We had a Virginia Rail calling in the marsh behind our house last night. It had made a few calls a day or two earlier but this is the first time we were able to get a good listen to it. Playing the call over a small loudspeaker didn't lure it over to us though, so didn't see it.  (Washago)

 

 

Pileated Nest in Telephone Pole - Gravenhurst
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 09:33:07 AM by lauragilmour

We found a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers nesting in a telephone pole on James St at the Granite Ridge building driveway. Check it out if your driving by.

 

 

Re(2): Green Heron
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 11:36:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Green Herons west of cell 4. A Lesser Yellowlegs flew low across cell 1, and ended up in the undeveloped industrial lot east of the fenceline. There was still a pair of Lesser Scaup in cell 1 and another pair in cell 3. Only a few Bufflehead remain. Some Wood Ducks were at the north end of cell 1, and a few Mallards were in cell 2. At least six Spotted Sandpipers were calling and flying about. A Killdeer is once again trying to nest in the gravel area north of cell 4 (last year a predator got the eggs). No Swallows were seen today, although they could have got an easy meal by cell 4 - a cloud of recently hatched Mayflies.

 

 

Re(1): Green Heron
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 08:55:18 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday evening there was one Green Heron at the Lagoons. Also saw 2 Lesser Yellowlegs at the east side of cell 2, and a Merlin and a male Northern Harrier each made a pass by cell 4.

 

 

Green Heron - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 7, 2013 at 10:43:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

Early this morning there was a Green Heron at Henry Marsh - first one we've seen this year. An American Bittern was calling out in the open at the east side of the marsh so we were able to have a good look. We checked the Bracebridge Ponds, but no Green Herons there yet.

Directions to Bracebridge Ponds/Henry Marsh: see Area trails map (click on trail sections and markers for info/photos; click "Map" button at upper right for roads only)

 

 

new arrivals
Posted on May 7, 2013 at 10:24:29 AM by CarolWagg

Heard a loon calling early this morning. It seemed to be in flight. First hummer of the season at 9:20, a pair of killdeer flew over as we had coffee in the back yard, and very unusual for our place, a pair of evening grosbeaks is frequenting the feeder. Very skittish, though. Since we came inside they have been making several return visits. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on May 7, 2013 at 07:59:56 AM by Debbie Adams

A male at our feeder this morning.
(Walker's Point)

 

new arrivals in Washago
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 09:58:44 PM by John Challis

This morning, heard but not seen: Great crested flycatcher, Nashville warbler, Northern waterthrush, savannah sparrow...all along Cooper's Falls Road and Moynes Road. Black-and-white warbler, least flycatcher, meadowlark, white-throated sparrow, chipping sparrow and song sparrow also singing along the way.
Around here the trilliums seem to have come into bloom before the trout lilies. Only a few trout lily actually fully out.

 

 

Re(1): Owl Nest
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 05:57:53 PM by Barb Staples

Same thing has happened here a few times over the years and as recently as last week. My suspicions lie with the resident fisher. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Owl Nest
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 01:12:55 PM by MichaelHatton

This winter on Leonard Lake there was a regular Barred Owl hanging around our place. This past week, very close to where the owl was often seen, and under an oak tree, these Barred Owl eggs were found along with nest debris. Apparently, and very sadly, something had dinner of them.   photo

 

 

Piebald Grackle - photo
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 10:36:28 AM by JohnPurchase

We thought that you might be interested to see our unusual grackle. It shows up at the feeders at least once each day.
We saw this or a similar grackle last year, too. (Bracebridge) -- John and Betsy  photo

 

 

Re(1): Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 07:30:58 PM by Wilf Yusek

I also had both a male and female at my feeders yesterday. Prospect Lake

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 08:21:48 AM by tedthevideoman

A male Rose Breasted appeared at our feeder yesterday evening.
8 years running we have had a pair in the yard.
120 Meadow Heights BB

 

 

Male Merlin
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 09:46:27 PM by missyinmuskoka

A male Merlin was flying and perching down North Kahshe Lake Road at 7:30 pm

 

 

yellow rumped warbler
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 09:44:49 PM by missyinmuskoka

Saw several Yellow rumped Warblers in Ungerman park in Gravenhurst. Other sightings included several Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers and Northern Flickers

 

 

Some new arrivals
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 08:22:15 PM by DBurton

New arrivals in Gravenhurst today:
Chimney Swifts
Great Crested Flycatcher
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Yesterday:
Blackburnian Warbler
Evening Grosbeak

 

 

hummingbird
Posted on May 7, 2013 at 08:51:16 AM by GayleCarlyle

We had our first hummer at about 8:45pm on May 3rd. That's a day or two earlier than usual. Washago

 

 

Re(2): R.T.Hummer
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 12:17:01 PM by dinnymccraney

male and female hummers having lunch just now! Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): R.T.Hummer
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 07:15:19 PM by J. Gardner

First hummer of the season at our feeder tonight in Hurdville. J. Gardner

 

 

R.T.Hummer
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 06:05:07 PM by Wilf Yusek

Had my first of the season R.T. Hummingbird today, Prospect Lake

 

 

Henry Marsh songbirds
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 01:38:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning in the vicinity of Henry Marsh there was a Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blackburnian Warbler, Nashville Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ovenbirds, Hermit Thrush, American Goldfinch, and Purple Finch. So nice to hear the woods full of birdsong once again, although you know what that means...the blackflies are starting to bite.

Directions to Bracebridge Ponds/Henry Marsh: see Area trails map (click "Map" button at upper right for roads only; click on trail sections and markers for info/photos)

 

 

Northern Mockingbird in Algonquin Park
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 12:49:32 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (May 5, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hey Folks,
Yesterday eve, Verena Goldbach and I found a mockingbird in the Southwest
corner of the Airfield in Algonquin.

It is still there now, in full song.

The airfield is accessed by taking the Mew Lake Campground road to the bike
trail parking lot on yur right. Walk from there towards the lake.

Cheers!
Lev Frid
Seasonal Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 08:44:59 AM by janice house

I just took a quick walk down Doe Lake Rd between Laycox Rd and Tomingas Rd. Lots of birds calling from the wetlands on both sides of the road. Several northern water thrush, swamp & song sparrows, Nashville, yellow rumped, common yellow throat & pine warblers, American goldfinch, red winged blackbirds, 50 Canada geese flew over and a loon was flying above the geese, common grackles and a bittern.

 

 

MFN annual walkabout at the Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 4, 2013 at 08:01:00 PM by janice house

David & Regan Goodyear, Stephanie Lehman, Jan Dickinson, Barbara Taylor and myself had a good morning at the ponds. Our bird species list came to 51 along with lots of painted turtles, a muskrat, northern leopard frog, spring azure and north American medicinal leech (fire belly). I was hoping for a cerulean warbler, if there had been one we would have seen it.

common loon, great blue heron, Canada goose, turkey vulture, wood duck, mallard, American wigeon, lesser scaup, bufflehead, ring-necked duck, broad-winged hawk, killdeer, spotted sandpiper, least sandpiper, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, mourning dove, belted kingfisher, yellow-bellied sapsucker, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, northern flicker, eastern phoebe, tree swallow, blue jay, American crow, common raven, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, brown thrasher, European starling, warbling vireo, Nashville warbler, yellow warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, black-throated green warbler, black-and-white warbler, ovenbird, common yellowthroat, chipping sparrow, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, swamp sparrow, white-throated sparrow, red-winged blackbird, eastern meadowlark, common grackle, American goldfinch, evening grosbeak.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on May 4, 2013 at 07:47:08 PM by Barb Staples

Pretty sure it was a bald eagle that flew east towards to my wetland yesterday around 1 p.m. The white head/tail, yellow bill/feet were clearly visible and it was massive! Thrilling to see however briefly. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Hurlings Point sightings
Posted on May 4, 2013 at 07:39:29 PM by dinnynimmo

First hummingbird arrived today. It buzzed us while we were sitting on the deck. Had to hurry to get the hummingbird food ready. The resident black-throated green warbler was also sighted today and we heard a hermit thrush in our woods across the road.

 

 

Hermit thrush
Posted on May 4, 2013 at 12:56:16 PM by CarolWagg

A singer in the wooded area just east of us has been entertaining us periodically all morning. Only caught a glimpse once through binoculars. Not a clear sighting but movement matched vocalization. A welcome sound this late spring. North side of Doe Lake Road where the water is closest to the road.

 

 

snowshoe hare
Posted on May 3, 2013 at 08:52:08 PM by dinnymccraney

After dinner tonight a snowshoe hare in summer attire spent a good hour relaxing by the ceder hedge.
Still waiting for the hummers ..they were here last year on May 3. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 3, 2013 at 06:06:44 PM by CarolWagg

A thrill to see this guy at the feeder for a few minutes this afternoon. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

More arrivals
Posted on May 3, 2013 at 05:10:08 PM by catmaclean

Cow birds, White-crowned sparrows, goldfinches in full spring plumage, spotted sandpiper, killdeer, Barn swallow, Black and White Warblers, Evening Grosbeak and a shallow pond full of mating toads.

 

Re(1): more Warblers
Posted on May 4, 2013 at 01:30:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning the number of Warbler species was up a bit:
Common Yellowthroat
Chestnut-sided
Nashville
Ovenbird

Black-and-white
Yellow
Yellow-rumped

Also a few Warbling Vireos, and a Brown Thrasher singing at Kerr Park.

 

 

Yellow Warblers - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 3, 2013 at 02:13:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few singing Yellow Warblers and a Black-and-white Warbler. While the number of Savannah Sparrows is way up, the number of Ducks is way down. In cell 4 there were only five Ring-necked Ducks, a pair of American Wigeon, eight Bufflehead, and a pair of Wood Ducks. There were five Lesser Scaup in cell 1 and a few Mallards and Buffleheads in cell 2.

(Note: When accessing the Ponds via the Lagoon Lane entrance, do not drive through the gate if you happen to find it open. The automatic swing-arm is currently broken so sewage truck operators often leave the gate open as a matter of convenience...you could find yourself locked in if they leave ahead of you!)  Ponds Map

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 2 May
Posted on May 2, 2013 at 10:01:51 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ian Shanahan on ONTBIRDS (May 2, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Opeongo Road-- closed at Costello Creek Picnic Area due to a washout caused
by record high flooding-- is scheduled to re-open on May 3. All other
roads off Hwy 60 in the Park-- Shall Lake Road, Basin Road, and Barron
Canyon Road-- are also set to re-open May 3. See
www.algonquinpark.on.cafor updates.

Great Gray Owl reports this week:
-April 28: one at km 17.5
-May 1: one at km 28

A female Northern Cardinal-- likely the individual that was seen last week
at Spruce Bog Boardwalk-- was at the Visitor Centre seed on April 25. Most
observations here of this species are in late fall.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are being seen and heard throughout the Park; Pine
Warblers are being heard in pine stands such as at East Gate and Mew Lake
Campground.

An adult Bald Eagle flew over Canoe Lake on April 28.

An American Kestrel was seen at km 23 on April 27.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One male was photographed in the Spruce Bog Trail parking
lot on April 30.

Black-backed Woodpecker: 2 photographed on April 28 at Tea Lake Dam; 1 at
Spruce Bog Trail on April 28.

Gray Jay: Becoming very difficult to see as young are being fed in the nest.

Boreal Chickadee: The suet feeder at Spruce Bog Trail has been taken down
for the season. Consequently, there have been no reports of Boreal
Chickadee at Spruce Bog this week.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Regular at Visitor Centre seed and in full song nearby.

Common Redpoll: The presumed last 4 were seen at the Visitor Centre seed on
April 29.

Hoary Redpoll: A female was at the Visitor Centre seed on April 28.

Pine Siskin: One at the Visitor Centre seed on April 29.

SPRING ARRIVALS
-White-crowned Sparrow (2) (May 2): Visitor Centre seed
-Palm Warbler (May 1): Spruce Bog Trail
-Blue-headed Vireo (May 1): Spruce Bog Trail
-Eastern Bluebird (April 30): km 60
-male at Visitor Centre parking lot on May 1
-Double-crested Cormorant (April 29): flying past Visitor Centre

MAMMALS
Moose are now abundant along Highway 60 in roadside wet areas. Drive
carefully!

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

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

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 and restaurant at km 43 are open daily from 9 am
to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings
and information.

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

 

 

Black and white
Posted on May 2, 2013 at 09:13:16 PM by DBurton

Black and white Warbler in Gravenhurst today. Very friendly.

 

 

And more birds
Posted on May 2, 2013 at 09:37:42 AM by catmaclean

This morning I heard an Ovenbird, Hermit Thrush and saw a Blue-Headed Vireo, Huntsville.

 

 

Coot, Wigeon, Bittern - Lagoons
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 11:04:23 PM by Goodyear

An evening walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons tonight - Coot still in cell 4 on the east side, a pair of Wigeon in cell 4, and an American Bittern unka-lunking from the wet area to the west of cell 4. Several pairs of Lesser Scaup in cell 1, 40+ Bufflehead in all cells, and a few pairs of Ring-necked Ducks in cell 4. No sign of the Redheads.

 

 

New birds
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 04:19:31 PM by catmaclean

Today brought tree swallows, broad-winged hawks, black-throated green and nashville warblers, Huntsville .

 

 

Oriole
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 01:39:53 PM by J. Gardner

The first Baltimore Oriole of the season showed himself this morning. I thought I heard him yesterday, but couldn't find him. I put my hummer feeder out yesterday because I suspect the little ones will turn up a day or two early. According to my records, the oriole is about 10 days early. June Gardner  (Hurdville)

 

 

American bittern
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 10:03:47 AM by GayleCarlyle

We have an American bittern "singing" in the wetland behind our house in Washago.
A bit hard to hear him right now with the loud chorus of peepers, but with such a distinctive call, it was easy to identify.
Hopefully the bittern nests in our wetland.

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 06:03:09 PM by missyinmuskoka

A male Yellow-rumped Warbler was seen several times in the wetlands in a small pond at the end of road 1700 (end of south kahshe lake road).

 

 

Great Gray Owl Port Carling
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 02:58:06 PM by Al Sinclair

A Great Gray Owl was found and photographed on an iPhone by Mercy Patterson on Friday, April 26th around 6:50PM.

"It was sitting on a post just past a driveway with 911 address 3054 on Highway 118, just East of Port Carling. Coordinates 45 degrees 6' 20'' N, 79 degrees 33' 22'' W."

Photo below by Mercy Patterson:  photo  Map from Google Earth: map

 

 

Grey treefrog
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 02:25:13 PM by GayleCarlyle

We spotted a very still grey treefrog resting in the crook of a tree here at Grant's Woods today. And I heard another one calling from a tree nearby.
Very early for these guys!

 

 

Sapsucker
Posted on April 29, 2013 at 06:28:56 PM by DBurton

There is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker currently excavating a nest hole at Lorne Street Ungerman Park in Gravenhurst. House Wren was the only other new (for me) arrival today.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Redheads still there
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 02:48:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Didn't see the Coot, but the two male Redheads, a pair of American Wigeon, a Pied-billed Grebe, and several Ring-necked Ducks and Bufflehead were still in cell 4 late this morning. A Northern Harrier was flying low around cell 4. New this morning was a fresh set of moose tracks heading south along the roadway at the west side of cell 4.

On our way out to Henry Marsh this morning there were six Wild Turkeys on the trail ahead of us. A pair of Broad-winged Hawks were circling and calling overhead. Five Greater Yellowlegs were amongst some grassy clumps towards the east side of the marsh. A pair of Eastern Phoebes seemed to be very interested in the wooden footbridge...perhaps considering building a nest there.  photo

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Redheads, Coot, Wigeons
Posted on April 29, 2013 at 03:30:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I took a quick look around the Bracebridge Ponds...nothing new. The two male Redheads were still in cell 4 along with a pair of American Wigeon, an American Coot, about 20 Ring-necked Ducks, and a male Common Merganser (briefly). There were 12 Lesser Scaup in cell 2 and a few Wood Ducks in cell 1. Didn't see the Ruddy Duck anywhere. About 110 Buffleheads, some in each cell. A Broad-winged Hawk was circling above the woods north of cell 4. Several Yellow-rumped Warblers were in the shrubbery west of cell 4.

 

 

Great Egret, Glen Orchard
Posted on April 29, 2013 at 12:16:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

At 9:30 this morning there was a single Great Egret in the wet/flooded area South of Ada Lake across from the Glen Orchard Store. It was not there at 11:30 am. I drove and looked carefully all along Hwy 169 between Glen Orchard and Bala as well as Medora Lake Road and didn't see it.

 

 

Re(3): leech photos
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 09:46:27 PM by dinnymccraney

Poor frogs!!!

 

 

Re(2): leech photos
Posted on April 30, 2013 at 02:00:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the leeches were still feeding on the frog eggs. Here are a couple photos:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): orange leeches on the eggs!
Posted on April 29, 2013 at 04:25:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

While at the Bracebridge Ponds this afternoon I decided to check on the nearby Wood Frogs.  No frogs, but there were already several leeches feeding on the eggs!  Boy, that didn't take long.  The leeches were a striking orange on the underside, and there were orange dots along the center of the greenish back and black dots along the edges.  I don't recall ever seeing anything like them.  The only leeches I am familiar with are the small black ones that you can pick up sometimes when swimming in shallow water.

I didn't have my camera with me since it was threatening rain, but I found a couple websites with photos that look like what I saw...North American Medicinal Leeches:
http://mister-toad.com/blog/2012/03/27/leech-lunch-party/
http://bugguide.net/node/view/283062/bgimage

 

 

Wood Frog eggs - photos
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 05:18:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we came upon several Wood Frogs laying eggs in a pond close enough to the trail that I could get a couple photos. They were calling, or should I say "quacking" loudly, which is what first caught our attention. Then we noticed the large dark egg masses. (a short distance west of the Bracebridge Ponds, along the "big curve" section of trail at north side of the culvert) - photo1  photo2

 

You can hear a Wood Frog and find information about Ontario's Frogs at:
http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/frogs.asp?fr=10
and
http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/wood_frog.php

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting May 2
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 08:50:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst

WHY BIRDS SING by Margaret McLaren
Margaret is a retired wildlife biologist. During her career she worked as an environmental consultant on projects as diverse as baseline bird and mammal surveys on Canada’s arctic islands and methods for preventing bird strikes on aircraft. With MNR she held positions including Senior Wetlands Biologist, Provincial Inventory and Monitoring Biologist and Regional Wildlife Specialist.

We all know bird song is most obvious in the spring and early summer. This talk will explain why that is and will also cover the how, where and when of bird song. At the end of the talk, we will use a bird song identification program to help you identify some birds you may have heard but may not have been able to identify.

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): Tree Swallows
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 08:58:14 AM by janice house

just came back from a doggy walk with Casey, at the Whipp Farms closer to Gravenhurst, barn swallows flying over the fields, eastern meadowlarks singing and flying about and a savannah sparrow singing (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 08:05:56 AM by janice house

3 in front of the house right now (Doe Lake Rd. Gravenhurst)

 

 

Black-throated Green
Posted on April 27, 2013 at 10:23:31 PM by DBurton

Black-throated Green Warbler in Gravenhurst today. Other stuff: Yellow-Rumps, Pines, R.C.Kinglets, Cormorants all today. Flicker Apr 18; White-crowned, White-throated, Song and Chipping Sparrows (at BMLSS) Apr 19; Killdeer, Phoebe Apr 20; Hermit Thrush Apr 21.

 

 

Northern FLICKER
Posted on April 27, 2013 at 08:51:06 PM by BryanGrant

At my backyard feeder on covered bridge trail a Northern Flicker was run oft by 5 male robins (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Shoveler
Posted on April 27, 2013 at 03:11:28 PM by John Challis

At Lake St. John today, east of Lake Couchiching, in a flooded area beside the airport we spotted this guy paddling around. Apologies for the quality; Nikon D3100 vibration reduction is virtually nonexistent, and photo was taken from a distance. He was accompanied by a number of greater and lesser yellowlegs.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Redheads, Ruddy Duck...and a Coot
Posted on April 27, 2013 at 12:37:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

The two male Redheads were still in cell 4 at 11:30 a.m. today, but I couldn't find the Gadwalls. Instead, I was rewarded with an American Coot and a Pied-billed Grebe at the east side of cell 4. Also still some American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads in cell 4. Several Wood Ducks were in the "stir pond" north of cell 1 and the lone male Ruddy Duck was still in cell 1. Several Lesser Scaup were in cell 2. A Wilson's Snipe was at the south-east end of cell 1. Just as I was leaving a male Northern Harrier flew low around the edge of cell 1 right past me at eye level...kind of made up for the steady light rain all the time I was there.

 

 

Oops forgot Redheads
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:26:50 PM by Goodyear

Forgot the 2 male Redheads in cell 4!

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Ruddy Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:21:06 PM by Goodyear

There was a great selection of ducks at the Bracebridge Lagoons this evening. Good numbers of Ring-necked Duck and Bufflehead still present, Wood Duck, several Lesser Scaup in cells 1 and 2, a pair of Gadwall in cell 4, 4 pairs of American Wigeon in cell 4, a pair of Green-winged Teal in cell 4, and a lone male Ruddy Duck in cell 1, still in winter plumage. A male Harrier flew low around cell 4 before disappearing to the south.

 

 

House Sparrow - Gravenhurst
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:03:53 PM by janice house

A male was in the tree by the entrance to Yig's off First St. in Gravenhurst tonight, could not see the female but she was calling from somewhere close to the store.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Warbler at feeder
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 08:03:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday a Pine Warbler came to our feeder several times. I was hoping to get a better photo today, but didn't see him. They do nest in our neighbourhood since there are lots of White Pine trees, but this is the first time we've ever had one at the feeder. It seemed to be eating the chopped up bits of peanut. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

(if you're wondering why there is a chicken wire "roof" over the feeder, it helps deter the local Crows)

 

 

Pine Warblers
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 04:42:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were five singing Pine Warblers along the Strawberry Point Trail. Also many Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a few Golden-crowned Kinglets hawking insects at the lookout. Other birds seen included two male Yellow-rumped Warblers having a bit of a fight, a Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, and a large flock of American Robins. (Bracebridge)

(Directions: from Eccelstone Dr./Wellington St. traffic lights, take Beaumont Dr. to Stephens Bay Rd. to Strawberry Bay Rd. where there is a parking area and a trail map - trail follows Strawberry Lane, then through a wooded area out to the lookout for great views of Lake Muskoka)

 

 

House Wrens
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:37:13 AM by Goodyear

While taking out the recycling I heard a House Wren singing across the street. I quickly put up the bird house that has been used for the last 4 years by a pair of House Wrens. I no sooner got back inside the house and there was a pair of House Wrens sitting on top of the bird house singing away!(Bracebridge)

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warblers
Posted on April 25, 2013 at 01:47:15 PM by Goodyear

Last night we went to check out the flooding at our parent's place on Lake Muskoka. There was a flock of 25 Yellow-rumped Warblers foraging on the flooded lawn. They would land on the grass and then wade into the water a short distance (about an inch deep), and appeared to be eating something off the surface of the water. We took a look but couldn't see what they were eating. Perhaps insects forced to the surface by the water?

 

 

Re(1): Redheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:05:08 PM by janice house

gadwalls were in cell 4 tonight, redheads still there

 

 

Re(1): Redheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 26, 2013 at 08:34:05 AM by Goodyear

Thanks for the post, Barb. The Redheads were still there at 6:00. We also saw a Spotted Sandpiper, and we'll raise your Wigeon count to 11!

 

 

Redheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 25, 2013 at 11:43:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

Just got back from the Ponds...there are two male Redheads in cell 4. Also 9 American Wigeon and still many Buffleheads and Ring-necked Ducks. At least 16 Lesser Scaup in cell 1 and an American Black Duck in cell 2. A Greater Yellowlegs was at the east side of cell 2 near the south end. Couldn't find the Gadwalls reported on the 23rd. A male Northern Harrier was flying low along the ditch north of cell 4.

No sign of the Great Egret as we walked over to Henry Marsh. Only 4 Hooded Mergansers and a Belted Kingfisher at the marsh.

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

 

 

Fox with lunch
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 12:08:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

A few minutes ago a Red Fox trotted through our back yard with a Snowshoe Hare hanging from its mouth. Wow! It continued west across the road and down into the ravine between Glendale Rd. and Rockwell Ave. Must be pups in the den! (Bracebridge)

The colour of the fox was more gray than red, compared to the usual red foxes we've seen here in past years. A "cross fox" or just another colour variant?

 

 

Groundhogs, and other wildlife
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 10:40:44 AM by John Challis

First groundhogs yesterday. One by Highway 11 south of Orillia, the other off Fairgrounds Road in Washago. Also watched a mink watch us on the McArthur Sideroad, while out flood watching. Wildlife are loving the high water. Leopard frogs, wood frogs and spring peepers all in full chorus around the house. Pike are spawning in what used to be the marsh in our back lot...and an otter has been taking advantage of the smorgasbord; this morning saw a gill plate and part of the jaw of a fish in the creek. White throated sparrows, chipping sparrows, swamp sparrows, yellow-rumped warbler, veery and hermit thrush, first yellow-shafted flicker calling this morning.
Also a large group of lesser scaups taking advantage of a flooded farm field at 169 where it crosses over the Black River (seen Sunday). Yesteday on the drive home from work two Cooper's hawks, kestrel, osprey and something broad-winged sized with dark underbelly and wings (it might have only been the light), in various locations, all flying in a track along the highway. I wonder if the OPP are watching for ornithologically distracted driving?

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 23 April
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 09:39:46 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 23, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Opeongo Road is closed this week at Costello Creek Picnic Area due to a
washout caused by record high flooding. All other roads off Highway 60 in
the Park, Shall Lake Road, Basin Road, and Barron Canyon Road are closed
due to flood damage.

Great Gray Owl reports this week were:
-April 19: one (photos) near km 2
-April 20: one (photos) at km 24.5
-April 21: one (photos) at km 37

A Bohemian Waxwing was seen at Lake of Two Rivers Campground
on April 20. One was atypically hopping around on the ground among the
bird seed at the Visitor Centre on April 22.

A female "Oregon" Junco at the Visitor Centre feeders on April 20
and 21 was only the fourth Park record of this subspecies.

A female Northern Cardinal feeding on sunflower seed at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on April 19 and 20 was just the second April record of this rarity
in Algonquin. Most observations here are in late fall.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Two males were north of the register box at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on April 20.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen at Lake of Two Rivers East
Beach on April 20.

Gray Jay: Three were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 21.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two continue to be seen near the suet
feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, where they take seed from the hand.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: regular at Visitor Centre seed now.

Common Redpoll: About 10 are at the Visitor Centre regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: A female was at the Visitor Centre seed on April 20.

Pine Siskin: Observed at feeder in Mew Lake Campground on April 19.

SPRING ARRIVALS
-American Wigeon (April 19): Oxtongue River
-Osprey (April 20): km 27
-Broad-winged Hawk (April 20): km 53
-Barn Swallow (April 20): Old Airfield
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet (April 19): Spruce Bog Boardwalk
-Hermit Thrush (April 21): near Logging Museum
-Pine Warbler (April 20): Old Airfield border
-Yellow-rumped Warbler (April 19): several locations
-Rusty Blackbird (April 21): near Logging Museum

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

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 and restaurant at km 43 are open daily from 9 am
to 5 pm, starting April 27. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings
and information.

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

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Gadwall
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 08:15:17 PM by Goodyear

Earlier this evening there was a pair of Gadwall in cell 4, along with many Bufflehead and Ring-necked Ducks. The 5 Wigeon are still present (3 male, 2 female). No sign of the Egret.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Phoebe
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 02:12:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past week there have been midges flying close to the ground and some spiders were active at the marsh, so that may be what the Phoebe has been eating.

excerpt from Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
"Flying insects make up the majority of the Eastern Phoebe’s diet. Common prey include wasps, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies and moths, flies, midges, and cicadas; they also eat spiders, ticks, and millipedes, as well as occasional small fruits or seeds."`

 

 

Eastern Phoebe
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 05:26:01 PM by tedthevideoman

not sure what this fellow is feeding on? Spotted at Henry Marsh.  photo

I have more at www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 04:28:09 PM by janice house

I could hear the calls near the back of our yard at lunch today but only saw one male fly to a neighbours yard, not sure how many in total. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 02:41:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 10:30 a.m. three Greater Yellowlegs flew up from near the wooden footbridge at Henry Marsh. They called and circled overhead for a while, and then settled down on some clumps of grasses jutting into the beaver pond from the east side. There were several Hooded Mergansers and a Belted Kingfisher at the back of the marsh, but nothing else of note. Some Purple Finch and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were singing along Henry Trail.

The area at the "T" in the trail and the roadway/dike by the footbridge are currently not flooded, but the beavers have been busy and rain is in the forecast...

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

 

 

Re(2): White throated sparrow
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 08:59:14 AM by Jim Griffin

One in our yard in Port Sydney this morning.(white stripe)

 

 

Re(1): White throated sparrow
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 04:23:32 PM by janice house

we had two in the yard last night, one white-striped and one tan-striped  (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

White throated sparrow
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 09:20:01 AM by GayleCarlyle

Heard my first white throated sparrow this morning along the banks of the Green River Washago.
Water levels high right now at our place, not as bad (yet) as 2008 but pretty scary.
Ducks are loving it!

 

 

Re(1): Wood Frogs calling
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 09:18:34 AM by GayleCarlyle

We've had the wood frogs in full chorus in the wetland (now pretty much a lake) behind our house in Washago for about a week now.
Last night the leopard frogs joined the symphony, joining the wood frogs and of course the spring peepers.

 

 

Wood Frogs calling
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 08:52:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 7 p.m. tonight at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few Wood Frogs and many Spring Peepers calling from the wet woods west of cell 3/north of cell 4. No sign of the Great Egret reported earlier.

You can hear a Wood Frog and find information about Ontario's Frogs at:
http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/frogs.asp?fr=10
and
http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/wood_frog.php

 

 

Re(1): Great Egret - still there (photos)
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 12:48:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 11 a.m. the Great Egret was west of cell 4 just south of the Trans Canada Trail (near the Canada Goose sitting on her nest in the beaver pond). It flew up and headed south along the pipeline, but then circled and came back down out of sight to the west somewhere. We didn't see it on our return trip along the trail over to Henry Marsh. Nothing new at the Bracebridge Ponds - still American Wigeon in cell 4 along with Buffleheads and Ring-necked Ducks, and Lesser Scaup in cell 1.

Too much stuff in the way for a good photo, but for the record...  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Great Egret - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 06:46:37 PM by Goodyear

At 5:30 this afternoon we saw a Great Egret in the wet area just west of cell 4. We watched it for a minute or so before it flew farther back out of view. About 10 minutes later it vocalized and flew up and circled and then put down again. Maybe the same bird that was here last year?

 

 

Re(1): Dwight Area Birds
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 03:12:54 PM by lauragilmour

I made a mistake in the posting. We have White-THROATED Sparrows, not White-CROWNED. Thanks Rick Stronks for checking in with my about my ID. :)
~LG

 

 

Dwight Area Birds
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 02:25:27 PM by lauragilmour

We have had lots of spring arrivals the last little while.
-Huge flocks of Juncos, more than 25, been around for a few weeks, but flock getting larger by the day
-Chipping Sparrows
-White-crowned Sparrows
-Fox Sparrows
-Song Sparrow
-Golden-crowned Kinglets
-Winter Wren
-Hermit Thrush
-Belted Kingfisher
-Wood Duck
-Hooded Merganser
-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, started excavating nest hole already
Hwy 35 between Dwight & Dorset

 

 

Horned Grebes - Lake Muskoka
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 01:47:32 PM by Goodyear

Last night at 6:00 we watched 4 Horned Grebes on Lake Muskoka, out from Golden Point (the bay where Bangor Lodge was. One of the birds had well-developed "horns", while the other three were like the recent winter-plumaged Lagoon bird. We checked again at 7:00, but couldn't find them.

 

 

Pine Warbler
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 12:44:29 PM by DavidBywater

Just heard my first Pine Warbler at the Museum in Parry Sound. Also, a friend has reported a Hermit Thrush in Nobel.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes in Huntsville, et al.
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 09:46:16 AM by B. Korol

On Sunday morning, 21 April 2013, there two PIED-BILLED GREBES on the Muskoka River, near the Huntsville High School. Apparently at least one of these birds has been there for about a week.

Further south, on the 21st, I saw a BROAD-WINGED HAWK on a wire on Doe Lake Road, about 1 km west of Housey's Rapids Road. There was also a singng PINE WARBLER, an EASTERN PHOEBE and an EASTERN BLUEBIRD on Houseys's Rapids Road.

Arrowhead Provincial Park had 4 HERMIT THRUSHES, 12 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and a FOX SPARROW on 20 April 2013.

 

 

Birds around Washago
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 09:13:37 AM by GayleCarlyle

On Saturday, in the midst of a driving snowstorm, I saw my first thrush, not sure which species, but sure it was a thrush, distinctive spots on upper chest and reddish back. Poor thing though, really lousy weather.
Also a pair of yellow-rumped warblers. This was on the Orimat Rd. on the Severn River.
This morning a pair of sandhill cranes flew over our house in Washago. They were heading north.
We also have a broad-winged hawk calling from a tree beside our house.

 

 

Re(2): Bent River Birds
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:46:19 PM by Al Sinclair

Not too early. Sometimes they are found at bird feeders this time of year and are mistaken for Blue Grosbeaks which are also possible here, migration overshoots that will go back.

 

 

Re(1): Bent River Birds
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 08:17:28 PM by coreyhkh

It seems really early for indigo buntings? or is it normal?

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 08:20:32 PM by janice house

At my brothers home; yesterday a pair of indigo buntings were seen, today a pair of bluebirds were sitting on the bluebird boxes and a male purple finch was at the feeder

 

 

Torrance Barrens
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 09:06:46 PM by Leslie

I hiked the Torrance Barrens trails today and was delighted to see a pair of sandhill cranes. Other birds included phoebes, turkey vultures, and a woodcock.

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh and Lagoons
Posted on April 22, 2013 at 08:25:23 AM by tedthevideoman

forgot 2
Eastern Bluebird and Ospey.

 

 

Henry Marsh and Lagoons
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 03:10:53 PM by tedthevideoman

An outing today with my Pop presented us with...
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Brown Creeper
Song Sparrow
Turkey Vulture
Bufflehead
Lesser Scaup
Mallard
Swamp Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Robin
Black Capped Chickadee
Red Winged Blackbird
Double Crested Cormorant

 

 

24th Annual OFO Field Trip to Algonquin Park
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 09:07:34 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 20, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

An enthusiastic group of about 45 birders braved sub-freezing temperatures,
strong winds, frequent heavy snow squalls, and snow/ice-covered trails to
observe 54 species of birds today throughout the Highway 60 Corridor. Record
high flood levels that resulted in the breaching of Opeongo Road at Costello
Picnic Grounds meant that we could not go to that traditional hotspot, but
alternative locations produced some interesting birds.

A Boreal Chickadee taking seeds from the hand at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
thrilled everyone. Our second visit to Spruce Bog finally turned up a male
Spruce Grouse feeding high in a spruce. Despite extensive efforts, however,
we could not locate a Gray Jay or a Black-backed Woodpecker.

Other highlights included: the first Broad-winged Hawk at km 53; a Great
Gray Owl in the bog on the north side of the highway just east of Track and
Tower Trail; a Bohemian Waxwing flying over Lake of Two Rivers Campground;
a female Northern Cardinal feeding on bird seed near the register box at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and a female "Oregon" Junco and a female Hoary
Redpoll at the Visitor Centre feeders.

A few keen birders lingering after the late afternoon official end of the
trip observed a Bald Eagle chasing a Great Blue Heron near km 24, and the
first Barn Swallow and a flock of six Pine Warblers at the Old Airfield.

Special thanks to Kevin Clute, Justin Peter, Ian Shanahan and Dawn
Sherman for their bird-searching help. It was a fun day.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Rosebreasted Grosbeak
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 08:48:12 AM by J. Gardner

Saw a strange object on the lawn this morning. It turned out to be a Rosebreasted Grosbeak, hunched against the cold, on the lawn. It was in obvious discomfort. While I went into the garage to get seed, he moved from the lawn to near the feeder. I threw down seed, not five feet from him, and he picked a bit. While I went for more seed, he moved to another area. He has been in and out of the feeding area all morning, looking a little brighter every time I see him. He takes the sun, while tucked into a cedar. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(2): Identification help request
Posted on April 23, 2013 at 09:42:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

I agree with Doug. Looks like a "leucistic" Junco. The bird doesn't have pink eyes and although mostly white, there are some areas with dark colour, so not a true albino.
References:
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/Albinism_Leucism.htm
http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/08/abnormal-coloration-in-birds-melanin-reduction/

 

 

Re(1): Identification help request
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 11:07:02 PM by Doug Smith

It looks like a partial albino junco -- great picture, and great find!

 

 

Identification help request
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 10:20:08 PM by MichaelHatton

One of my birder friends sent me this pic from Port Colbourne, taken 10 days ago.   photo

He described it as sparrow size. I'd appreciate it if anyone could offer an opinion. Thanks.

 

 

Loon
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 07:04:53 PM by Debbie Adams

Just spotted a Loon on the lake. First one this year and perfect timing too as the ice just went out this morning.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Loon on Gull Lake
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 05:29:15 PM by coreyhkh

I was driving past the boat lunch on Bethune DR and there was a Loon 10 feet from shore.
This is the first time I have ever seen one on that Lake.
Last week in the London Area we had a large number on small pot lakes in the area.

 

 

Re(2): Bear, birds
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 07:25:46 AM by SueReese

On Thursday April 18 we came home to our feeders tossed and the evidence that the bear had made his exit THROUGH the pickets of the deck railing. It's definitely time!

 

 

Re(1): Bear, birds
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 07:03:20 PM by Debbie Adams

My feeders are still out and I'm praying a bear a doesn't come around for a while so I can enjoy the spring birds. I guess I'm just playing with fire!
(Walker's point)

 

 

Bear, birds
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 04:22:45 PM by Barb Staples

Last evening the first bear of the season enjoyed my suet and black-oil sunflower seed while inflicting very little damage on the feeders. Time to cease feeding 'tho had hoped to continue as like others have reported, have dozens of all the woodland birds mentioned. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds today
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 02:08:40 PM by coreyhkh

Hey guys I am up visiting my father and decided to check out the ponds. The wind was very strong and cold, but there was a good number of ducks.

-Bufflehead
-wigeon
- blue winged teal
-ring-necks
-Pin-tails (4) maybe more
-shoveler (8 or 9)
-Wood Duck
-red breasted merganser (1)
-Scaup
- song sparrow
- Swamp sparrow
- phoebe

 

 

Re(1): Lots of birds
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 01:58:52 PM by J. Gardner

Haven't seen a fox today, but the rest of Carol's sightings could have been made on our property at Hurdville, Lake Manitouwabing. We normally have a handful of juncos, but this year... 30 plus at a time. And we had a "flock" of cormorants make an appearance this morning too. Most unusual to see them in numbers like that. Don't have to go farther than the diningroom window to see this wonderful display. Just wish the weather would improve so that the birds could continue on their journeys. J. Gardner

 

 

Lots of birds
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 01:05:03 PM by Carol Wagg

The ground in the front and back of our place looks like it is alive with the movement of birds! We have never seen so many juncos, sparrows, blackbirds, flickers, grackles, and robins at once!

A few minutes ago I looked out and the place was deserted... except for a kestrel with feet full of junco.

An occasional cormorant has flown past over Doe Lake today, but we were watching out the front window when a string of 18 of them flew past. I hope they continue their westward flight...

Yesterday we watched a fox lope through the yard, disappear behind our neighbour's house, promptly return with a big mouthful of something black, and disappear into the bush. In a few moments (s)he returned but this time went along the road toward town. We didn't see the return trek.

Always something interesting going on this week, and from the comfort of home. (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

Re(4): Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 08:09:15 PM by Al Sinclair

Tonight at 7:30 - 13 Fox Sparrows kicking up leaves in the flower beds. Special! 8km east of Bracebrdige

 

 

Re(3): Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 03:17:10 PM by Al Sinclair

At least 5 Fox Sparrows here today, scratching in the leaves and under the feeders, a few were singing hidden from sight so there may have been more. We are about 1 km from the Smith's. 8km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(2): Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 02:26:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just had two Fox Sparrows come into the yard this afternoon...finally! Also about 40 Dark-eyed Juncos, a newly arrived White-throated Sparrow, two Song Sparrows, a Chipping Sparrow, and about a dozen Redpolls. (Bracebridge)

edit: 5 p.m. - make that three Fox Sparrows now.

 

 

Re(1): a dozen + Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 10:36:31 AM by catmaclean

We have just counted 20+ fox sparrows this am in Huntsville, several tree sparrows and a white-throated sparrow.

 

 

a dozen + Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2013 at 10:14:58 AM by Doug Smith

This winter weather has halted some migrants. There are over a dozen Fox Sparrows in our backyard this morning -- more than I have ever seen together at one time in our yard.  (Uffington)

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 19, 2013 at 02:13:17 PM by Ron Tozer

Eight members of the Huntsville Nature Club had a great (and largely dry!) morning of birding at the Bracebridge Ponds today. Noteworthy among the 43 bird species recorded were a Horned Grebe and three Pied-billed Grebes in Cell 4; an Osprey circling over the ponds; single individuals of Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Snipe; Eastern Phoebe; Tree Swallows and one Barn Swallow; and Savannah and Swamp Sparrows. There was no sign today of American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, and both teal seen recently at the ponds. Spring Peeper was heard and a large Northern Leopard Frog was along the dike on the west side of Cell 4. A quick walk in to Henry Marsh from the parking lot resulted in few birds and the start of some harder rain.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 18 April
Posted on April 19, 2013 at 08:47:30 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 18, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Birders planning to visit Algonquin Park this weekend should bring their
winter clothing and high waterproof boots. Significant snow cover and
deep melt water puddles are widespread in shaded areas, and forecasted
temperatures are near freezing.

Great Gray Owl reports this week were:
-April 11: one dead (killed by a vehicle) just beyond of the East Gate
-April 13: one just east of the Visitor Centre (km 43)

This is the second road-killed Great Gray Owl found here this winter.
Of the "thousands" of these owls reported in Ontario during the 2004-2005
irruption, 414 were found dead along roadsides; see Ontario Birds 23(3).

A Bohemian Waxwing was seen at the Visitor Centre on April 16.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Best place to look now is Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try black spruce areas along Opeongo Road.

Gray Jay: Hard to find now that most are feeding young in the nest.
Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two continue to be seen near the suet
feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, where they take seed from the hand.
Others were noted along Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: About 10 are at the Visitor Centre regularly.
A "Greater" Common Redpoll (rostrata) was there on April 17.

Hoary Redpoll: Four were at the Visitor Centre seed on April 17.

SPRING ARRIVALS
Reports this week are listed below. Most were up to a week later than the
average arrival over the last 25 years.

-Green-winged Teal (April 16): off Old Airfield Marsh
-Ring-necked Duck (April 16): Smoke Creek and Old Airfield Marsh
-Bufflehead (April 16): Old Airfield Marsh
-Common Goldeneye (April 11): Lake Travers on the East Side
-American Kestrel (April 16): Park Lake
-Sandhill Crane (April 17): Opeongo Access Point
-Belted Kingfisher (April 15): Opeongo Access Point
-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (April 17): Cache Lake
-Eastern Phoebe (April 16): Visitor Centre
-Tree Swallow (April 17): Opeongo Access Point
-Golden-crowned Kinglet (April 14): Spruce Bog Boardwalk
-Chipping Sparrow (April 16): Visitor Centre
-Fox Sparrow (April 15): Visitor Centre
-White-throated Sparrow (April 16): Visitor Centre
-Eastern Meadowlark (April 16): Old Airfield
-Purple Finch (April 15): Visitor Centre

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 18, 2013 at 05:27:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an Osprey circling and hovering over the main three cells. It spent about ten minutes checking things out, but never attempted to catch whatever was attracting its attention.

In cell 1 there were Wood Ducks and at least six Scaup. In cell 2 and cell 3 there were only a few Mallards and Buffleheads. In cell 4 there were about 60 Ring-necked Ducks, 80 Buffleheads, 3 American Wigeon, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, and a Pied-billed Grebe.

Three Belted Kingfishers seemed to be having a territorial fight at the north side of cell 4. Two Killdeer were on the large gravel area north of cell 4. There was a single Snow Bunting on the roadway east of cell 3. A few Spring Peepers were starting to call west of cell 4. A Northern Flicker was calling from somewhere up behind the new treatment plant.

My first Broad-winged Hawk of the year came in low from the south and circled above the dumping ponds for a few minutes before continuing northward. I was very surprised to see a Common Green Darner flying low in the sheltered SW corner of cell 2...must have blown in on the strong southerly winds.

 

 

April 30 Huntsville Nature Club Meeting
Posted on April 18, 2013 at 04:27:08 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet Tuesday, April 30, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

Algonquin Park’s acting Natural Heritage Specialist, Ian Shanahan, will present, “From Costello Creek to Costa Rica: Connections Between Ontario’s Oldest Provincial Park and Central America’s Rich Coast.” Recently, Ian Shanahan spent six weeks at the Cano Palma Biological Station, near the village of Tortuguero, Costa Rica, engaged in biological field work. His talk will highlight the key ecological, social and economic connections between two green spaces separated by nearly 4000 km.

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

 

 

Spring 2013 - migration maps and first sightings
Posted on April 18, 2013 at 09:02:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

I thought I'd repost my list of migration websites since it finally feels like spring is really on its way. Yesterday the Beamer Hawkwatch in Grimsby had their first good flight of Broad-winged Hawks and also noted many Common Loons flying though. And after much anticipation, the first egg has been laid by "Madame X" at the Hamilton Peregrine Falcon nest site (webcam).

repost:
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

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Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Toronto's Leslie St. Spit) -- (Spring Bird Festival May 11)

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

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

 

 

Mourning Cloaks and Compton Tortoiseshell
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 08:13:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon's warm sunshine brought out three Mourning Cloak butterflies at Henry Marsh. First ones we've seen this year. Not much of interest in the bird department - a few Hooded Mergansers, Great Blue Heron, and Mallards.  At "the dip" in the trail east of Henry Marsh there was a Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly. (Bracebridge)

Henry Marsh is now pretty much free of ice, so the beavers are back in business and have begun to rebuild their dam by the wooden footbridge. The area at the "T" in the trail was not flooded when we were there, but the water level is rising and with rain in the forecast, rubber boots may come in handy soon.

 

references:
http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/butterflies/species/ComptonTortoiseshell_e.php
http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/butterflies/species/MourningCloak_e.php
Butterflies of Ontario: https://sites.google.com/site/ontariobutterflies/families

 

 

White-throated sparrow
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 07:58:29 PM by dinnymccraney

A beautiful little white-throated sparrow appeared briefly on the cedar hedge late this afternoon. Two juncos, a male downy, and a male pileated woodpecker made brief appearances along with too many redpolls to even begin to estimate. They emptied 2 nyjer feeders and 4 sunflower seed feeders as well as the platform feeder. (Bracebridge)

 

Great Backyard Bird Count - 2013 Results
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 04:45:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's a link to the summary of results from the Great Backyard Bird Count which took place February 15-18, 2013:
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/science-stories/2013summary

 

 

And.....
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 04:47:36 PM by catmaclean

Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher, Hooded Mergansers, Phoebe, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet , Chipping Sparrow and Yellow-Rumped Warbler

 

 

Song birds
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 08:30:48 AM by catmaclean

Out for a walk and was serenaded by at least 3 Fox Sparrows, Juncos, Robins, Song Sparrow, Redpolls and saw a pair of Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. Lovely. East of Huntsville

 

 

Re(1): Common Loon - Port Sydney
Posted on April 18, 2013 at 06:34:17 AM by Wayne Bridge

I saw my first loon of the season in Kearney [30 mins NE of Huntsville] yesterday, April 17, snorkelling in the Magnetawan River where it enters Perry Lake.

 

 

Common Loon - Port Sydney
Posted on April 17, 2013 at 08:22:02 AM by jim griffin

Our first Loon on the river this morning waiting for ice out on the lakes: also had two american widgeon males drop in yesterday morning.

 

 

Shoveler, Wigeon, and more - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 16, 2013 at 08:43:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This evening we decided to check out the Bracebridge Ponds and found all cells are now completely free of ice. There was already a surprisingly good selection of waterfowl.

(Bracebridge Ponds map with cell numbers)

1 Pied-billed Grebe (cell 3)
1 male Northern Shoveler (cell 3)
1 male American Wigeon (cell 4)
3 Lesser Scaup (cell 2)
4 Blue-winged Teal (cell 3)
2 Green-winged Teal (cell 4)
2 American Black Ducks (west of cell 4)
2 Hooded Mergansers (cell 4)
2 Common Goldeneye (cell 4)
10 Ring-necked Ducks (cell 4)
13 Wood Ducks
45 Bufflehead
8 Mallards

Other birds seen:
Northern Harrier (female)
Great Blue Herons
Eastern Phoebes
Turkey Vultures
Song Sparrows
Red-winged Blackbirds
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Ring-billed Gulls
American Tree Sparrows
American Crows
Canada Goose

 

 

Wet Migrants-- South Perry Township
Posted on April 16, 2013 at 05:22:37 PM by stuartimmonen

Last night I watched blooms of birds emerge on various Nexrad radar maps and subsequently get swallowed up by the westerly storm front that passed over the Great Lakes, and wondered if there would be any fallout.

Nothing crazy showed up on our property, but it finally felt like spring this morning. Foraging low in the fog and the rain were first arrivals of American Tree Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Dark-eyed Junco (not seen here since fall), Ruby-crowned Kinglet plus a single Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Loads of robins, chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and this afternoon, a handful of redpolls also appeared.

-s
Novar

 

 

flickers
Posted on April 16, 2013 at 04:15:40 PM by Carol Wagg

Seven newly-arrived flickers are dining in the back yard. Doe Lake Gravenhhurst.

 

 

Great Black-backed Gulls Three Mile Lk nr Raymond
Posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:59:58 AM by Al Sinclair

Cheryl Tough reports that there are 4 Great Black-backed Gulls sitting on the ice this morning near the island in the north-east corner of Three Mile Lake near Raymond. They were seen from Cove Rd off Three Mile Lk Rd 1. Scope required for a good view.

 

 

D Day!!
Posted on April 16, 2013 at 09:59:59 AM by J. Gardner

The ducks arrived in numbers today. Finally. Blacks, Mallards, Hoodies, and Woodies... and an American Wigeon. The creek and pond are not completely opened, but enough that there are ducks circling around and landing. A treat on a rainy day. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrow & Chipping Sparrow
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 07:48:55 PM by janice house

just came in from watching 5 fox sparrows feeding, mostly under the spruce trees and under the cedar hedge

 

 

Fox Sparrow & Chipping Sparrow
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 04:21:12 PM by janice house

Finally, a fox sparrow was in our yard this morning and at noon, I also saw a chipping sparrow sitting on the empty finch feeder, I had heard the call yesterday but could not spot the bird.

 

 

Meadowlark
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 03:44:03 PM by J. Gardner

First Meadowlark spotted in our field today. Turkey Vultures scouring the countryside for a meal. Flocks of Tree Sparrows and Juncos. A large flight of robins. Finally, Spring seems to moving ahead. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Red-bellied woodpecker in Bracebridge
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 03:06:13 PM by Doug Smith

There is a report yesterday evening of a red-bellied woodpecker at the feeder at 7 Wyldwood Court in Bracebridge.

 

 

YB sapsucker, new songsters in Washago
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 09:59:03 AM by John Challis

Our first yellow-bellied sapsucker(s) appeared in the yard this morning, Green River Drive, Washago. Downy, hairy, yellow-bellied and pileated seemed to be everywhere this morning.
And there were a few calls in the woods around the swamp that were new. Faint, so I can't confirm but one sounded like a yellow-rumped warbler. And the soft babbling of a ruby-crowned kinglet just behind our house. Flocks of robins were moving through, too.
Last week's storm must have had quite a wave of birds waiting behind it.

 

Cranes, tree swallow, turkeys
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 09:06:27 AM by Carol Wagg

This morning I finally was able to see the cranes, all four of them. Two were in the field at the east end of Doe Lake, and two more flew in from the west. What a wonderful racket.
A newly-arrived tree swallow is huddling on a wire in front of the house.
Yesterday morning we woke to the sight of 16 cavorting turkeys outside the bedroom window. There were two toms, one much smaller than the other. The larger one was getting all the action. Three hens were the objects of his affection during the time they they stayed around - about 40 minutes. Did not take photos.

 

 

Henry Marsh and Lake Muskoka
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 05:19:45 PM by Goodyear

Early this afternoon a Northern Shrike was at Henry Marsh - probably the same one that was at the Lagoons yesterday. A Sharp-shinned Hawk was circling and calling at the small pond along the Trans-Canada Trail just before the junction with the snowmobile trail at the Lagoons. Several Turkey Vultures and 4 Red-tailed Hawks were taking advantage of the brief spell of sun. At the mouth of the Muskoka River (at Golden Point) we saw 100+ Herring Gulls out on the edge of the ice, 1 pair of Ring-necked Ducks, approx. 30 Common Goldeneye, a few Bufflehead, and a single pair of Wood Duck.

 

 

Re(1): Merlins
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 08:54:23 AM by Jim Griffin

There is a noisy merlin circulating here in Port Sydney, generally in the vicinity of the bridge. We usually have a pair in the area.

 

 

Merlins
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 06:50:50 AM by janice house

A pair of merlins were calling yesterday near the location of last year's nest. One was on a neighbour's antenna and the other was in a white pine. Laycox Rd & Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst. A phoebe was hopping along a split rail fence nearby.

 

 

Re(3): Woodcock
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 10:00:27 AM by John Challis

Remarkable video. Thanks for sharing. We have had woodcock performing their evening songs for about a week in Washago.

 

 

Re(3): Woodcock
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 09:06:45 AM by Al Sinclair

Interesting! Thanks for posting it. Nice to see how they hunt and can catch their food even in cold weather.

 

 

Re(2): Woodcock
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 09:33:05 PM by Peter

This bird is since 3 days in the same area. The woodcock is poking his long beak through the snow searching for worms,with lots of success. I shot even a short movie, where you can see how he/she pulled a long worm out of the snow/earth View My Video

 

 

Re(1): Woodcock
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 09:45:55 AM by Al Sinclair

Beautiful! What's the story behind the photo? Love to know how you got it and what the bird was doing.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on April 14, 2013 at 08:01:22 AM by Peter

Woodcock in Fraserburg  photo

 

 

Magnetawan and Ahmic Lake area
Posted on April 13, 2013 at 07:36:01 PM by Peter Mills

April 11
-Red-shouldered Hawk

April 12
-American Woodcock (day-flushed from field-edges where a few inches of snow had accumulated)
-Hooded Merganser

April 13
-Wild Turkey

Altogether, it looks more like December than April.

 

 

Re(1): Northern harrier
Posted on April 13, 2013 at 06:37:52 PM by J. Gardner

We have watched, several times, a male harrier sitting on a snag on the edge of our swamp, which is a rare sight. Usually we see them flying low over the field and swamp. This poor fellow sits for many minutes at a time, appearing hunched against the weather, looking quite miserable. Haven't yet seen him swoop in for a catch. J. Gardner Hurdville

 

 

Northern harrier
Posted on April 13, 2013 at 06:03:44 PM by Gerald

Northern harrier, adult male. Muskoka highlands
Hunting, no luck.

 

 

Northern Shrike - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 13, 2013 at 02:52:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Northern Shrike hunting along the west side of cell 4. Two Belted Kingfishers were chattering away in the same area. An Eastern Phoebe seemed to be catching some very low flying midges just west of the snowmobile trail.

At Henry Marsh there was a Red-tailed Hawk gaining altitude as it circled up over the southern ridge. Six Wood Ducks, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, a Belted Kingfisher, and six Great Blue Herons were also at the marsh, although there isn't much open water except at the edges. (currently the trail is not flooded)

Along Beaumont Dr. at the big bend in the Muskoka River by Santa's Village, there was a Common Goldeneye, two Buffleheads, and a Common Merganser.

In the field along Beaumont Farm Rd. there were at least twenty Mallards, four American Black Ducks, and about thirty Canada Geese.

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

 

 

Our eBird checklist from yesterday
Posted on April 13, 2013 at 01:46:14 PM by Al Sinclair

We had our first Fox Sparrow of the year yesterday, also a record number of redpolls. Alarming number really, too many concentrated at one location. As weather warms exposing spilled seed, and new birds move in from the south the risk of a salmonella outbreak increases. Now watching for sick birds and may have to shutdown the feeders.

Observer: Al Sinclair
2013-04-12 16:00
Bracebridge, 1852 Hwy 118E
Protocol: Incidental
Observers: 1
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: at backyard bird feeders

8 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
4 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Fox Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Common Grackle
315 Common Redpoll counted from photos
1 Hoary Redpoll (exilipes)

This report was created and sent using BirdsEye BirdLog (http://birdseyebirding.com/)

 

 

purple finch, otters
Posted on April 12, 2013 at 01:21:17 PM by John Challis

Gayle reports seeing a female purple finch at our feeder this morning (Green River Drive, Washago). No male in sight.
Also this morning, I noted the tracks of a pair of otters crossing the road from the little pond on our street, and back into the creek on the opposite side. With the water levels up in that creek, the pike are likely beginning to spawn, which would explain the sudden interest the otters have in the area. One of them managed to slide along the ice pellet slush that was covering the road, leaving a metre-long swoosh behind.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 11 April
Posted on April 12, 2013 at 08:43:43 AM by Ontbirds

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

Extensive deep snow cover and very limited open water
continue this week. Timing of the arrival of migrants appears
to be about average for the last two decades. For 26 species
seen so far, if we compare their arrival dates to the average, 13
were earlier, 3 were right on, and 10 were later. Most of the earlier
arrivals were in March and most later arrivals have been in April.

First-of-spring records this week included:
-Mallard (April 11): Canisbay Creek
-Common Loon (April 6): Lake of Two Rivers
(small patch of open water at Madawaska River mouth)
-Northern Harrier (April 3): km 25
-Sharp-shinned Hawk (April 6): Spruce Bog Boardwalk
-Golden Eagle (April 6): over Visitor Centre
-American Woodcock (April 8): km 26
-Winter Wren (April 10): Whitefish Lake
-Brown-headed Cowbird (April 7): Visitor Centre
-Song Sparrow (April 9): Visitor Centre

Great Gray Owl reports along Highway 60 this week were:
-April 6, one on telephone cable at km 10.5 all day.
-April 8, one on wire at km 15

Northern Shrikes returning to the northern breeding range were
at km 38 on April 5 and 6, at Brewer Lake on April 6, and at km
19 on April 10.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One reported along Opeongo Road on April 6.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On April 6, there was one at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, one on Opeongo Road, and a pair at km 53.

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

Boreal Chickadee: At least one continues to be seen near the suet
feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. There have been regular reports
along Opeongo Road as well.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: About 30 are at the Visitor Centre regularly.

Hoary Redpoll: Two were attracted to seed on the ground below the
feeders (now shut down for the season) at the Visitor Centre today.

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Juncos
Posted on April 12, 2013 at 07:52:44 AM by Debbie Adams

Through a gap in the ice covered windows, this morning I spotted 8 Juncos.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

junco and maybe a meadowlark
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 09:41:47 PM by John Challis

And along with the phoebes, there was a junco on the back porch this morning. (Washago)
Yesterday, on Highway 11 at Oro Rd 12 I saw in the distance a medium sized, brownish bird with white tailfeathers. Possibly a meadowlark but too far off to be sure.

 

 

Phoebes!
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 03:32:36 PM by GayleCarlyle

Finally, one of my favourite spring arrivals showed up today. Two phoebes flitting about in the trees and around our yard in Washago this morning and afternoon.
We also have one mourning dove; we rarely get visits from them, although I know some folks have them around all winter.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Harrier
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 02:01:08 PM by janice house

A male harrier flew over my car this morning from one side of the Doe Lake Rd to the other near the old Dinsmore Sheep farm

 

 

Northern Harrier - Beaumont Farm Rd.
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 12:53:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today there was a male Northern Harrier flying over the field along Beaumont Farm Rd. An Eastern Phoebe was moving along the fenceline next to the road, but didn't seem to be finding anything to eat. There were two American Black Ducks and a couple Mallards in one of the large melt ponds in the field. As we were scanning a flock of about 30 Canada Geese in the field, a Fox appeared out of nowhere. It was trotting along, when suddenly it did a half back flip...and came up with a large rodent in its mouth.

At the big bend in the Muskoka River (along Beaumont Dr. by Santa's Village) there were three Buffleheads - first ones we've seen this year. On the other side of the road in the large flooded area, there was a Great Blue Heron and five Hooded Mergansers - the three males were doing their mating displays.

Google map - Beaumont Farm Rd., Bracebridge

 

 

4 red-tails
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 12:29:41 PM by Doug Smith

Counted 4 red-tailed hawks along the 118 west this morning, between Bracebridge and Milford Bay.

 

 

frog and turtle
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 10:20:32 AM by GayleCarlyle

Last night at about 8:25pm we heard our first spring peeper in the wetland behind our house in Washago. Poor brave creature, he's probably gone back into hibernation given the forecast for the next day.
Also, yesterday I found the big snapping turtle that for the past 4 years has hibernated in a small pond on our property. He/she was just below the surface of the water with eyes closed. Probably awaiting warmer temps. too.
Lots of redpolls still hanging around the feeders.

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 08:50:51 AM by Debbie Adams

We still have a flock of about 30 Redpolls.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

New Arrivals on the River @Port Sydney
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 08:40:49 AM by Jim Griffin

Had an Osprey cruising the river first thing and a Great Blue Heron doing the shoreline. Not new, but an Otter showed up as well.

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrow, etc.
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 08:31:27 AM by Goodyear

You beat us to it! We had a Fox Sparrow show up this morning, Thursday. One of our favourite birds.

 

 

Fox Sparrow, etc.
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 07:41:50 PM by dinnymccraney

Yesterday morning there was a male northern cardinal on the ground between the cedar hedge and the driveway and in the afternoon, a fox sparrow in the same general vicinity.(Bracebridge)We have had chippies for several weeks...the dog has already dug several huge holes in an attempt to access the tunnels!The chipmunks and squirrels do a wonderful job of cleaning up the seed that has fallen onto the ground below the feeders!As well, yesterday morning a huge flock of redpolls joined in the cleanup.

 

 

Purple Finch
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 06:18:50 PM by catmaclean

Have a lovely male Purple Finch at our feeder in Huntsville. Haven't seen any all winter.

 

 

redpolls
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 08:38:32 AM by catmaclean

Still have a large flock of Redpolls at the feeders this am, Huntsville

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 01:58:59 PM by janice house

Carol, I looked for the cranes on the weekend but only saw two kestrels by the farm and 8 turkeys on your front lawn.

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on April 9, 2013 at 04:28:29 PM by Carol Wagg

Our neighbours saw and heard four sandhill cranes flying over Doe Lake (Gravenhurst) yesterday. I heard them this afternoon, but didn't catch a glimpse.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Harrier - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 01:07:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a male Northern Harrier flying low over Henry Marsh. A bit earlier, we had seen one flying low to the SW of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds - same bird?

Five pairs of Hooded Mergansers, three Wood Ducks, four Mallards, and a pair of Canada Geese were all in a small area of open water at the east side of the marsh. Two male Red-winged Blackbirds seemed to be having a territorial dispute. A few Golden-crowned Kinglets were singing along Henry Trail. Ruffed Grouse could be heard drumming in the woods.

Good news...the flood waters have receded by the "T" in the trail. Water is still overflowing the roadbed by the wooden footbridge, but volume is much reduced.

 

 

American Bittern - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 9, 2013 at 04:22:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was an American Bittern at the east side of Henry Marsh, as well as a pair of Hooded Mergansers and a pair of Wood Ducks. Six Great Blue Herons were strung along the west side of the marsh, waiting for the ice to leave. A Belted Kingfisher was chattering away at the back of the marsh, and Ruffed Grouse could be heard drumming in the woods.

Just west of the Bracebridge Ponds we flushed an American Woodcock. A female Northern Harrier was flying low back and forth over the open area to the south-west of cell 4.

There has been a lot of melting since yesterday and with the overnight rain, Henry Marsh is now flowing across the roadbed by the wooden footbridge as the culverts are too small to handle all the water. The west side of the footbridge looks to be "undercut" by the strong flow of water...so be cautious if you dare to cross it. The area by the "T" in the trail is also beginning to flood, but was still barely passable today without rubber boots.

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

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 07:29:58 PM by Rick Stronks

I had a Yellow-rumped Warbler at our feeder (Dwight area)tonight around 7:00 pm. I tried to take a digi-scoped picture but I ended up with an out-of-focus blob with a clearly visible yellow rump!

 

 

Song Sparrow
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 06:50:42 PM by catmaclean

Heard one at Camp Kitchen, Huntsville this am.

 

 

Eastern Phoebe - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 01:20:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at Henry Marsh there was an Eastern Phoebe catching some very small flying insects near the "T" in the trail. Where the creek flows into the east side of the marsh there was a pair of Mallards, a pair of Canada Geese, two pairs of Hooded Mergansers, and three Wood Ducks. At "the dip" in the trail east of the marsh there was a Winter Wren "chittering" and then it gave a brief rendition of its spring song. A flock of Dark-eyed Juncos, and a few Golden-crowned Kinglets were in the same area. There were a few Brown Creepers singing along the trail. In the small pond by the beaver dam just east of "the dip" there were seven Wood Ducks.

At the Bracebridge Ponds the cells were still iced in except for a small area of open water in cell 3. A pair of Wood Ducks considered coming in but then decided to continue their flight. A Song Sparrow was singing by the dumping ponds. A Red-tailed Hawk was circling low west of cell 4 and a couple Turkey Vultures soared overhead.

There were two Pied-billed Grebes on the Muskoka River at the foot of Stephens Bay Rd.

 

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

 

 

Spring Arrivals - Dwight Area
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 09:38:25 AM by lauragilmour

In the last week we have had the following spring arrivals.
-Turkey Vulture
-Red Tail Hawk
-Great Blue Heron
-Hooded Merganser (M&F)
-Wood Duck (M)
(Hwy 35 between Dwight and Dorset.)

 

 

Butterfly
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 08:52:14 AM by GayleCarlyle

While out walking near Washago on Saturday we saw our first butterfly of the year, a mourning cloak.
Poor thing, it's only going to get colder and snowier this week

 

 

Ducks in Washago
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 07:31:32 AM by SueReese

Many (50-100) Ring-necked ducks on the Severn in Washago south of Hwy 169 at Little Falls. A single Pied-billed Grebe yesterday and Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, and Canada Geese. Hooded mergansers last week, but none yesterday.

 

 

Firsts For The year
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 05:12:35 PM by TheCardys

Hello all. First post here and a few firsts for the year for us as we travelled down south to the area on Saturday. We were only "technically" in Muskoka a little. All of our avians were seen along hwy 118 between Orrville and Sprucedale, except for the three Sandhill Cranes on Bear Cave rd. east of Rosseau. Great Blue Heron east of Orrville, along with two Turkey Vultures flying overhead while viewing heron in marsh. Two Robins on Bear Cave rd., and four Moose on north side of 118 west of Bear Lake. Love the area, and will be spending much more time there soon.

 

 

Muskoka Beach/Taboo Birds
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 01:33:47 PM by janice house

Yesterday there were lots of Canada geese, ring billed gulls, a male wood duck, 8 pairs of hooded mergansers, one male common goldeneye, several pairs of mallards. This morning only one pair of hooded mergansers, 3 male common mergansers and 1 female, 7 male common goldeneye doing the throw the head back ritual and one female, 5 bufflehead males and a few females, one pileated woodpecker calling and drumming and a flock of golden crowned kinglets flitting about the pine trees, a lot less Canada geese and gulls.

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:59:57 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday about 1:00 we had a male (belly and flanks were lightly barred, not solid) Rough-legged Hawk, light morph, fly over Henry Marsh heading north.

 

 

Golden Eagle, Great Gray Owl, etc. in Algonquin
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 09:53:26 PM by Ontbirds

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

Good evening.
This morning Ian Cannell and I birded Algonquin Provincial Park and though we missed a Spruce Grouse that was reported wandering along Opeongo Road we did okay anyway.

At approximately 6;30 am we spotted a Great Gray Owl on a hydro wire along Hwy 60 at KM 10.5 and we then headed for the Spruce Bog area where we had the first of 4 Black-backed Woodpeckers and the first of 3 Boreal Chickadees. We also had several Common Redpolls and a Sharp-shinned Hawk there and on the boardwalk Ian spotted a tiny moth, our first of the season.

It was then off to Opeongo Road where we found another Black-backed Woodpecker and 2 more Boreal Chickadees along with a few more Common Redpolls.

We then headed to the East Gate so Ian could buy a park pass and on the way we stopped at KM 53 where Black-backed Woodpeckers had been seen earlier in the week and we lucked into a pair of them along with a Pileated Woodpecker.

Our last stop before heading down to the Carden Alvar was the park Visitor Centre. At the centre feeders behind the building were about 35 more Common Redpolls and as I stood there looking at them a very noisy Common Raven flew over heading south and it rose up and joined what I thought was another Raven that turned out to be a juvenile Golden Eagle that slowly circled as it drifted north overhead giving us nice views of the Golden Head as the sun shone on it.

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes - Bardsville
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:17:52 AM by Goodyear

After you left, Barb, the Cranes slowly made their way to the back of the field and eventually disappeared from view. We also saw a male Kestrel in the same area.

 

 

Sandhill Cranes - Bardsville
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 04:37:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon we found two Sandhill Cranes in the field just south of #1710 Falkenburg Rd. (mostly bare ground now). There was also a female Northern Harrier hunting low over the same field. Then two Red-tailed Hawks flew in and perched in a tree in the field west of there. A Northern Shrike was hunting from low shrubby perches at the east side of Beatrice Townline Rd. near the intersection of Falkenburg Rd. Several Turkey Vultures were seen streaming northward.

(directions: see Bardsville google map)
(note: Beatrice Townline Rd. was still "dry" through the swamp where it usually floods at this time of year)

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shrike - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 01:20:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Shrike hunting from low perches in the flooded area west of cell 4. (note: the cells are still iced in)

 

 

Northern Shrike, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 01:17:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Shrike just west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds and also a Belted Kingfisher. Four Turkey Vultures were seen soaring northward. A Great Blue Heron was by the little creek near "the dip" in the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh. At Henry Marsh we saw two Red-tailed Hawks and a Turkey Vulture high in the sky headed northward. A few Red-winged Blackbirds were singing at Henry Marsh and at the Bracebridge Ponds.

(note: the marsh and the Ponds are still iced in except for a small area of open water in cell 3 and where the creek flows into the east side of Henry Marsh)
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(1): Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 01:28:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 12:30 p.m. today there were two Pied-billed Grebes on the Muskoka River at the foot of Stephens Bay Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 01:08:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

At about 12:30 p.m. today there were two Pied-billed Grebes on the Muskoka River near #548 Beaumont Dr. and another one near #1021. At the big bend in the river by Santa's Village there were a few Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, and Canada Geese. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Song Sparrow/Cowbird
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 10:46:58 AM by janice house

After work yesterday there was a song sparrow and a female cowbird foraging under the feeders, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunks
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:58:39 AM by JanBryans

April 7 2013 Severn Bridge. First Chippy this morn as well as first Nuthatch, Red Wing Blackbird, and Hairy Woodpecker. March 17th we had a Pileated Woodpecker visit. Being on the Severn River we have had the Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Mallard, Canada Geese, and lots of Trumpeter Swans for the past month. Also Wild Turkeys.

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunks
Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:13:31 AM by Goodyear

When we got home after our walk Saturday morning there they were - cheeks full and scaring off the birds around our feeders. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Chipmunks
Posted on April 6, 2013 at 09:37:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning two Chipmunks were running around our yard...first ones I've seen this spring. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 4 April
Posted on April 5, 2013 at 01:46:25 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 4, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Extensive bare ground is developing on exposed slopes and open
areas but the snow is still deep and widespread in shaded places,
and open water is limited mainly to rivers and streams.

First of spring species reported this week included:
Wood Duck (March 31): Madawaska River south of Old Airfield
Common Merganser (March 31): Smoke Creek
Turkey Vulture (March 27): Opeongo Road
Merlin (March 30): north end of Opeongo Road
Northern Saw-whet Owl (March 30; photo): Park Lake
Northern Flicker (March 30; very early): heard at km 42.5
American Robin (March 30): Smoke Lake hangar
Snow Bunting (March 30): West Boundary
American Tree Sparrow (March 31): Spruce Bog Boardwalk
Dark-eyed Junco (April 1): Spruce Bog Boardwalk
Common Grackle (March 29): Visitor Centre feeders

Great Gray Owl reports along Highway 60 this week were:
-March 28, one at km 11
-March 29, one at Park Lake (near West Boundary)
-March 30, one at km 13.5
-March 31, one at km 17
-April 4, one at km 51
-April 4, one at Smoke Lake (Fisherman's Point)

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Male and female on utility pole at km 53
on March 30.

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

Boreal Chickadee: They are still being seen regularly around the
suet feeder near the trail register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
At least one of them is taking seed from the hand.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Perhaps the last one this spring at the Visitor Centre
feeders was seen on March 29. However, there were two at km 7 on
Highway 60 today. The average departure date (1986-2010) was March 27.

Red Crossbill: Three were on the highway shoulder at km 53 on March 30.

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

Hoary Redpoll: One of the "Southern" subspecies (exilipes) was at the
Visitor Centre feeders until at least March 31.

Birders reporting records through eBird can now share their lists with the
Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds). We encourage you
to do so.

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Ermine, YB Sapsucker and Turkey Vulture
Posted on April 5, 2013 at 01:38:14 PM by Barb Staples

All three of the above between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today. Previous earliest date for YBS was April 14, 2009. South portion of Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Peent
Posted on April 5, 2013 at 06:44:46 AM by gerald

A Woodcock in Covered Bridge Bracebridge.

 

 

Red Tail Hawks (2)
Posted on April 4, 2013 at 04:05:51 PM by BryanGrant

At about 3:45 a Red Tail hawk was in flight at 118E and Rocky narrows rd. Also, at about 4pm a Red Tail hawk was in flight above Balls Flats behind the Metro grocery in Bracebridge

 

 

Coopers Hawk
Posted on April 4, 2013 at 04:00:09 PM by BryanGrant

A Coopers Hawk was doing some aerial maneuvers, I'm thinking so as to attract the attention of others. This was at hwy118 and Muskoka Beach rd Apr. 3rd about 11:30am

 

 

Birds on the Muskoka River at Port Sydney
Posted on April 3, 2013 at 06:58:16 PM by Jim Griffin

As seen through my living room window late this afternoon:
5 common mergansers(4m,1f), 4 hooded mergansers(3m,1f), 5 ring-necked ducks(4m,1f), 2 common goldeneye(1m,1f), and 2 pied billed grebes(1m,1f)

 

 

birds around Washago
Posted on April 1, 2013 at 03:51:58 PM by John Challis

Not a lot going on this blustery April 1st, but we did see a small clutch of hooded mergansers on the Green River, males displaying for the females. A brown creeper called a few times. A flock of about 15 snow buntings rose up from the fields on the Fairgrounds Road. Last night at dusk I heard a woodcock doing its courtship twittering flight, on Green River Drive.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting April 4
Posted on April 1, 2013 at 03:44:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., in Gravenhurst

TROPICAL BIRDS
We are welcoming back Dan Strickland, retired Algonquin Park Naturalist, who will bring another amazing presentation from one of his many international adventures. This time he plans to talk about his trip to India last November. It was a birding trip that stretched from the Himalayas in the north to the Taj Mahal at Agra in central India. The focus of the trip was on birds but also took in cultural aspects and several national parks including Keoladeo N.P. (mainly waterfowl, storks etc.) and Corbett National Park where he saw and photographed two tigers.

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)