Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from October - December 2013
 
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Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Jan. 9
Posted on December 31, 2013 at 07:00:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

***NOTE THE CHANGE IN MEETING DATE FOR JANUARY***
(meetings are usually held the first Thursday of the month, but not this time)

MFN meeting Thursday, January 9, at 7:30 p.m., in Bracebridge

MUSKOKA WATERSHED COUNCIL - BIODIVERSITY PAPER – by Ian Turnbull and Peter Sales
Ian and Peter will present the highlights of this recent biodiversity paper. This is a 52 page document which can be viewed on the Watershed Council website at:
http://www.muskokawatershed.org/?s=Biodiversity+Paper
Many local voices were included in the study. Biodiversity refers to a wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms – plants, animals – their habitats and genes. They will allow time within the program hour to have a discussion following the presentation. Come prepared to share your ‘biodiversity’ observations.

Meetings from September through January will be held at the Latter Day Saints Church located in Bracebridge at the corner of Taylor Rd. and Cedar Lane (at the traffic circle). Entrance to church is on Cedar Lane south. All meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Visitors welcome to attend.
source: MFN website - www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Re(1): Red Breasted Nuthatches in greater numbers this year
Posted on January 1, 2014 at 08:21:04 PM by dinnymccraney

Maybe they like that wonderful feeder!!

 

 

Re(1): Red Breasted Nuthatches in greater numbers this year
Posted on January 1, 2014 at 04:46:00 PM by coreyhkh

Odd I have seen far less this year.

 

 

Red Breasted Nuthatches in greater numbers this year
Posted on December 31, 2013 at 01:25:52 PM by michaelhatton

Many more Red Breasted Nuthatches at Leonard Lake this year. photo1  And the usual horde of Chickadees everywhere! This one is getting an earful. photo2
 

 

 

14 Turkey's and 4 Chipmunks
Posted on December 30, 2013 at 01:01:29 PM by Debbie Adams

Today there were 14 turkey's scratching at fallen seed under our feeders. And there are 4 chipmunks that are regulars also scavenging seed under the feeders.
An American Tree Sparrow is also hanging out here along with 2 Junco's, all fighting for seed with the 30+ Blue Jays and 20+ Mourning Doves.
(Walker's Point)

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on December 29, 2013 at 05:48:47 PM by J. Gardner

Distinct lack of Snow Buntings in this part of the country (Hurdville - Manitouwabing) for several years. At this time, have not seen a single bird. J. Gardner

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on December 29, 2013 at 04:23:46 PM by Goodyear

There was a flock of 16 Snow Buntings at the Bracebridge Hospital helicopter landing area this afternoon. Our flock of Goldfinches has grown to approx. 40 birds and we have had 4 to 6 Purple Finches visit our feeders the last few days. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on December 28, 2013 at 08:36:38 AM by DawidJuszczak

Hi everybody! I just wanna let you know that I spotted Bald Eagle in Huntsville flying near Robin Rd, 27.12.2013 around 12.30.

 

 

Re(1): correction Cedar not Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 04:49:13 PM by janice house

I saw 8 birds land in our white birch a short time ago, got photos. I ran for my binoculars and the camera was near by......I recall hearing Cedar WW's on the 28th but thought no... must be Bohemian WW's this time of year. Oops

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings - correction, Cedar Waxwings
Posted on December 28, 2013 at 08:02:59 AM by janice house

A small flock of 10 birds just flew out of a small white pine at the end of our driveway.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 December
Posted on December 26, 2013 at 07:44:06 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 26, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Visitor Centre is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from December 27 to
January 5. Opeongo Road is open and plowed right to the lake.

A half dozen Wild Turkeys continue to come to get seed below the Visitor
Centre feeders.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

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

Boreal Chickadee: Try the black spruce section along Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: About 15 are regular at the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: A small flock was on Highway 60 near
Lookout Trail on the 19th.

American Goldfinch: A few are regular at the Visitor Centre and occasionally
along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to about 45 were regular at the Visitor Centre this
week..

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm during winter. However, the Visitor Centre will be OPEN daily
from December 27 to January 5.

The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It is usually
possible to access the building on weekdays in winter from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase then, as well as the use of a microwave.

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

 

 

Re(1): Towhee
Posted on December 28, 2013 at 10:42:06 AM by Al Sinclair

Dan sent this photo of their Towhee.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Towhee
Posted on December 26, 2013 at 02:16:14 PM by DBurton

Any chance of it being a Spotted Towhee or is the back all black?

 

 

Towhee
Posted on December 26, 2013 at 08:39:19 AM by DanGoforth

Dec. 26, 2013. Muskoka Beach Road near Ennis Bay Rd.. We have a rufous sided Towhee living under the decks of the house. Has survived the cold so far and is managing to get some food from the base of the feeder but is obviously out of place as we see it multiple times on a daily basis.

 

 

Re(1): downy drumming
Posted on December 29, 2013 at 05:15:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Hairy Woodpecker drumming on a dead tree along the trail east of Henry Marsh, Bracebridge.

 

 

downy drumming
Posted on December 25, 2013 at 01:32:04 PM by John Challis

In addition to yesterday's swans a-swimming I heard a downy woodpecker drumming. So he either knows the carol and was adapting it to a natural setting or was enthusing a tad early about the lengthening of daylight.

 

 

tree sparrows, swans
Posted on December 24, 2013 at 04:56:59 PM by John Challis

We have a pair of 'winter chippies' on the ground under our feeder right now ( dusk), north Washago. At the river inflow from Lake Couchiching, frozen ice elsewhere has brought about 48 trumpeters together, along with several dozen Mallards & a few goldeneyes. Water steaming off the lake gives the whole image a spectacular beauty.

 

 

Kingfisher
Posted on December 24, 2013 at 06:47:13 AM by J. Gardner

Yesterday afternoon I saw a very sad-looking Kingfisher sitting on telephone wire close to dump on McDougall Road near Parry Sound. He was looking over a very tiny patch of open water. I don't think he had much of a future. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Flying Squirrel
Posted on December 22, 2013 at 12:47:11 PM by coreyhkh

Sweet too bad they didn't come out during the day, they are pretty cute.

 

 

Flying Squirrel
Posted on December 22, 2013 at 09:36:39 AM by Barbara Taylor

We had a Flying Squirrel visit our yard last night. Haven't seen any here since 2004. Since they are nocturnal, the chances of seeing one are fairly low as there aren't any lights near the birdfeeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): weasels?
Posted on December 27, 2013 at 09:19:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

Last fall some chickadees were acting upset and giving lots of "predator warning" dee-dees, but they were looking down at our brush pile. Suddenly up popped a weasel! That was the first and only time I've seen one in the area. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): weasels? and lack of birds?
Posted on December 22, 2013 at 08:53:12 AM by Debbie Adams

I have seen many weasels (long and short tailed) around our place and lots of mink. I watched a mink take and kill a huge mallard right in front of me about 2 months ago. Our local duck population has dropped off over the years I'm sure due to the mink population. Last winter, I noticed a weasel hiding under our stairs ready to pounce on unsuspecting birds feeding just beyond the steps.  (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): weasels? and lack of birds?
Posted on December 22, 2013 at 07:50:01 AM by Alex Mills

We did our annual Christmas Bird Count at Burk's Falls in central Parry Sound last Wednesday. It has two towns and some farmland, so there are many more human influences than Algonquin. But, without the towns (and dumps!) we would have struggled to find many birds. If natural food is good here (and not elsewhere), these natural systems can support many finches in some winters. But, there don't seem to be many finches around this winter. In the woods, however, there are the usual woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. We had Golden-crowned Kinglets in multiple places too.

(And yes, there are weasels, both Long-tailed and Short-tailed (Ermine) in Muskoka).

 

 

weasels? and lack of birds?
Posted on December 21, 2013 at 07:52:45 PM by coreyhkh

Hey everyone
I was just wondering do we have weasels in Muskoka I have never seen one?

Also I birded Algonquin today and was very surprised with the lack of birds, I went to the visitor centre where there was a large number of Grosbeaks and purple finsh plus a large number blue jays. I check out other hotspots like spruce bog and opeongo Rd and I didn't see a single bird!

 

 

Re(2): Henry the Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 08:44:08 PM by missyinmuskoka

How fantastic! Congratulations to all who helped.

 

 

Re(2): Henry the Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 07:27:23 PM by coreyhkh

that's great news

 

 

Re(1): Henry the Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 07:22:45 PM by Goodyear

The heron that Janice is referring to is one we saw at Henry Marsh during the Christmas Bird Count. It was sitting in a small pool of water at the marsh edge when we first came upon it. It didn't move and looked to be in trouble. It attempted to walk but fell over and could barely lift its wings. We were able to pick it up and carried it back to our car where we wrapped it in our emergency blanket and drove it over to the OSPCA. They later informed us that it had been close to death and had absolutely no body fat. we are happy to report that as of Tuesday, Henry is alive and standing and eating minnows!  photo

 

 

Henry the Great Blue Heron
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 02:40:37 PM by janice house

David, Regan: how is Henry doing?

 

 

20th Huntsville Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 01:47:57 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 20, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The 20th Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on
Tuesday, December 17. All lakes were frozen. Only open water
was in patches on Muskoka River in Huntsville where there was
enough current to deter ice formation.

Total Species: 33 (average is 39)
Total Individuals: 3,090 (average is 3,078)
Participants: 18

New Species for the Count:
-Song Sparrow: 1 at feeder for many days.

Noteworthy Species:
-Trumpeter Swan: male (#586) for 11th winter in Huntsville (Count week)
-Ring-necked Duck: Male in river at Main Street in Huntsville
-Gray Jay: 1 near Etwell Road
-American Robin: 1 (Count week)
-Common Grackle: 1 (Count week)

Finches:
-Purple Finch: 17
-Pine Siskin: 1 (at feeder)
-American Goldfinch: 384

Thanks to all participants.

Ron Tozer, Compiler
Dwight, ON

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 December
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 01:46:15 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 20, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

With the Christmas Bird Count season keeping many birders busy, the only
reports received here this week were of birds at the Visitor Centre feeders.
Winter finches remain low in numbers and limited to two or three species in
southern Ontario, including Algonquin Park, as reflected in CBC reports to
date.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

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

Boreal Chickadee: Try the black spruce section along Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Regular at the Visitor Centre in numbers up to 26.

American Goldfinch: A few are regular at the Visitor Centre and along
Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to about 25 were regular at the Visitor Centre this
week..

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm during winter. However, the Visitor Centre will be CLOSED on
December 21 and 22, but OPEN daily from December 27 to January 5.

The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It is usually
possible to access the building on weekdays in winter from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase then, as well as the use of a microwave.

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

 

 

Pine Martin in Raymond
Posted on December 20, 2013 at 01:08:04 PM by janice house

Tim Mason who lives on the Luckey Rd in Raymond saw a pine martin this week.

 

 

American Tree Sparrow
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 05:37:22 PM by Debbie Adams

Thanks to Barbara, she was able to identify for me an American Tree Sparrow that's still hanging around our feeders, along with 2 Junco's and a chipmunk.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Common Goldeneye, Port Carling
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 01:00:11 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Four Common Goldeneye on the river near Hannah Park in Port Carling, yesterday.

 

 

Re(1): Roosting Turkeys
Posted on December 19, 2013 at 01:41:34 PM by tedthevideoman

Turkeys still roosting here! Its really interesting to see them in the evening taking to the trees and then decending in the morning.

 

 

Roosting Turkeys
Posted on December 16, 2013 at 11:11:28 PM by tedthevideoman

We have had our local Turkeys roosting in the backyard for the last 3 nights. Very strange sight to see these giant birds 30 ft up!  (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 09:22:28 PM by Doug Smith

Yay Bracebridge!!

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 16, 2013 at 07:21:23 PM by Al Sinclair

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge (ONGB) Christmas Bird Count Results
Held Sunday December 15, 2013
Temperature -15 to -13C
Still water frozen
AM cloudy PM partly sunny
Snow depth 40 to 50 cm
Total species 35 (26 Gravenhurst 29 Bracebridge)(10 year avererage 35.6)
Total individuals 2123 (1176 Gravenhurst 947 Bracebridge)(10 year average 2455)
New count species: Gadwall (Muskoka River at Matthiasville Falls)
New count highs: Bald Eagle 3 (all at Gravenhurst Landfill), Pileated Woodpecker 13, Northern Cardinal 16
New count lows: none
Unusual species: Gadwall, Common Grackle(feeder Fraserburg Rd)
Finch species: Purple Finch, American Goldfinch

GREAT BLUE HERON 1
GADWALL 1
MALLARD 1
COMMON MERGANSER 1
COOPER'S HAWK 1
NORTHERN GOSHAWK 1
RED-TAILED HAWK 2
BALD EAGLE 3
RUFFED GROUSE 5
WILD TURKEY 79
HERRING GULL 19
ROCK PIGEON 102
MOURNING DOVE 207
BARRED OWL 1
DOWNY WOODPECKER 31
HAIRY WOODPECKER 49
PILEATED WOODPECKER 13
BLUE JAY 363
AMERICAN CROW 26
COMMON RAVEN 64
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE 483
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH 24
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH 30
BROWN CREEPER 3
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET 6
NORTHERN SHRIKE 1
EUROPEAN STARLING 243
NORTHERN CARDINAL 16
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW 53
DARK-EYED JUNCO 46
SNOW BUNTING 31
COMMON GRACKLE 1
PURPLE FINCH 1
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH 210
HOUSE SPARROW 5

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 01:16:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

The bird was there again this morning. Perhaps there are more Winterberry shrubs with berries at the back of the marsh out of sight...otherwise pretty slim pickin's.

(addendum: The bird was there again around 11 a.m. Dec. 19, feeding in the same single Winterberry shrub that has only a few berries left. No sign of the bird Dec. 21 morning.)

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on December 16, 2013 at 10:40:38 PM by Al Sinclair

We will add it to the bird count as a count week species.

 

 

Robin
Posted on December 16, 2013 at 04:15:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was an American Robin feeding on the few remaining Winterberries at Henry Marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Ring-necked Duck - Huntsville
Posted on December 16, 2013 at 01:38:30 PM by Goodyear

This morning I saw a male Ring-necked Duck with the many Mallards on the river near the swing bridge in Huntsville.

 

 

Re(1): Gadwall on Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count - photo
Posted on December 15, 2013 at 10:05:19 PM by coreyhkh

great find

 

Gadwall on Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count - photo
Posted on December 15, 2013 at 08:44:33 PM by Al Sinclair

Below Matthiasville Falls, Muskoka River south branch. Dec 15, 2013  photo

 

 

Christmas Bird Count today
Posted on December 15, 2013 at 12:54:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's the count for our yard today (Bracebridge):

Brown Creeper 1
Northern Cardinal 1 (male)
Mourning Dove 21
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Blue Jay 6
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Wild Turkey 2
American Goldfinch 1

and the Chipmunk was out and about again!

 

 

Re(1): junco
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 12:59:14 PM by Debbie Adams

We have 2 here. (Walker's Point)

 

 

junco
Posted on December 15, 2013 at 12:44:29 PM by John Challis

We have had a dark-eyed junco around our feeders for a couple of days. Green River Dr Washago.

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 26, 2013 at 08:46:01 AM by DanGoforth

Dec 26, 2013. Muskoka Beach Road. My chipmunk hasn't missed a day yet! It is still collecting at the feeder daily.

 

 

Re(5): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 09:41:58 PM by dinnymccraney

We had a chipmunk foraging under the feeder by the cedar hedge today. So cute to see him burrow in the snow and come up with his face covered. I think he shares this space with a red squirrel. Most days 2 black squirrels are high up in the maples eating the tiny clusters of keys that didn't fall.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(4): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 18, 2013 at 01:00:47 PM by Debbie Adams

We still have a Chipmunk foraging under a feeder and even burrowing through deep snow to get at a fallen peanut. I think it's living under our deck near where there is a hot line to the lake.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(3): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 17, 2013 at 07:49:21 PM by J. Gardner

Nice work Sherlock!!! J. Gardner

 

 

Re(2): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 17, 2013 at 11:29:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

You may be right, hadn't thought of that. We did notice the water table was much higher than normal before freeze up.

The Chipmunk was out again this morning, gathering up seeds under the birdfeeder closest to our house. I followed its path in the fresh snow back along the edge of the house, and then over to our neighbours. The tracks stopped at the base of a shrub next to their hot tub which sits on a wooden frame at ground level. So maybe the Chipmunk is staying warm enough there that it can manage a daily journey over to our feeder.

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 15, 2013 at 03:15:52 PM by J. Gardner

I think that some chipmunks may have had troubles with washouts due to heavy autumn rains. I saw them on the roads well past the time for hunkering down. They may well need assistance from chipmunk fanciers in some places. J. Gardner

 

 

Chipmunk!?
Posted on December 14, 2013 at 01:02:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

On this very cold day when even a Wild Turkey has to stand on one foot to keep the other warm, I couldn't believe a Chipmunk would dare come out...but here's proof.

photo1  photo2  photo3

These two Wild Turkeys are still here, having shown up early this morning. We saw a third one walking along the sidewalk near Kevin Cres./Glendale Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Reprise - Finches+
Posted on December 13, 2013 at 03:32:40 PM by Ontbirds

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

It was a cold day when Rick and I started out from the Ottawa area to see what was around in Algonquin Park. The car thermometer got down to -25C on the way there. On Hwy 60 between Whitney and the park entrance we picked up large flocks of Purple Finches on the road, up to 35 in a flock. Also on the road were flocks of Goldfinches totally over 100. Gray Jays sat on tree tops both before the park and within the park before the visitor center. At the visitor center by the feeders we found 20+ Evening Grosbeaks , 15+ Blue Jays and one lonely Snow Bunting tucked against the building wall. Spruce Bog was devoid of all birds in the cold and constant snow squalls which harassed us all day. On Opeongo road we got 2 Boreal Chickadees just 50m from the entrance off of 60 and further down close to the ferry terminal were several Red-breasted Nuthatches, 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets and another flock of Purple Finches. Overhead on Opeongo flew a Pileated Woodpecker with a second just outside the park on the way home.

It was a tough but enjoyable day partly inspired by our fellow birding buddies Kevin and Bruce who were there a few days earlier.

Directions:
Hwy 60 runs the width of Algonquin and can be reached from Hwy 17 north from Ottawa. Our birding concentrated on roadside Hwy 60 between Whitney and the Park entrance as well as the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog trail and Opeongo Road all in the eastern end of the park.

cheers
Iain

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 December
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 07:14:00 PM by Ontbirds

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

A Snowy Owl was observed at West Rose Lake on the Mizzy Lake Trail near
noon on the 8th. Searches for the owl later that day and on the 10th were
unsuccessful. This species is seen very rarely in Algonquin, even during
major irruptions to southern Ontario like this year. Occurrences here are
almost always on one day only, probably because productive foraging areas
are lacking and so the owls move through quickly.

A Great Gray Owl was seen seven kilometres up the Sunday Lake Road (a
logging road closed to public travel) on the 10th. This bird may have been
from farther north, but it could be part of the very small resident
population here.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male was just north of the register box on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on the 7th.

Gray Jay: Regular in Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake section of Mizzy Lake
Trail, along Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: Single birds were observed at the gate and north of there
in the black spruce section on Opeongo Road on the 7th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers at several locations this week, and over 30 at
the Visitor Centre today.

Pine Siskin: Three were in a flock of 50 American Goldfinches on Highway 60
at km 4 on the 7th, and three were near the West Gate on the 8th.

American Goldfinch: A few are regular at the Visitor Centre feeder, and
numbers are increasing along Highway 60 and Opeongo Road.

Evening Grosbeak: Numbers at the Visitor Centre feeder continue to grow,
reaching 38 on the 10th.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): Anyone seen any Owls yet
Posted on December 13, 2013 at 07:43:35 AM by Al Sinclair

Heard a second hand report of a Snowy near Torrance recently. No others.

 

 

Anyone seen any Owls yet
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 02:20:38 PM by coreyhkh

Down south we are getting a lot of snowy owls but I was wondering if other types are also on the move.

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count this Sunday
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:45:44 PM by Al Sinclair

The Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday Dec 15. Pot luck to follow in Bracebridge. We can always use more counters. Contact me if you would like to participate this year.
Here is a link to more info on Christmas Bird Counts.
http://www.bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/cbc/index.jsp?targetpg=cbcparticpate&lang=EN

 

 

Tree Sparrows near Bracebridge - photo
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:39:12 PM by Al Sinclair

We have had a small group here all fall at our feeders. Yesterday there were 10. This is a photo of one of them.  photo

 

 

Another Coywolf photo from Stan
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:33:22 PM by Al Sinclair

Caught on Stan Gragg's Trailcam near Vankoughnet. This one shows the face, looks mostly coyote.  photo

 

 

Goshawk
Posted on December 11, 2013 at 03:07:23 PM by Barb Staples

A goshawk just landed here, observed the pileated enjoying the suet for only a moment then flew away. Seems the PW never even realized it was here. Second time seen since building here 15 years ago. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Which Bird Feeder
Posted on December 12, 2013 at 10:18:31 AM by janice house

Eleanor, I use the little clear plastic feeder with the green top, I get mine at Canadian Tire. The American tree sparrow,juncos,chickadees,blue jays and mourning doves all feed with no trouble.

 

 

Which Bird Feeder
Posted on December 11, 2013 at 02:08:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There has been so much snow that keeping an open topped platform feeder clear of snow is an endless job. What type of feeders are people using that would allow sparrows to have easy access to distlefink seed?

 

 

goldfinches
Posted on December 9, 2013 at 08:10:54 PM by dinnymccraney

Have had a flock of goldfinches at the feeders for the last few days at approx. 10 a.m. Today, one perched on the windowsill and was looking inside..maybe he thought it looked warmer!(Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Hermit Thrush near Bracebridge - Photo
Posted on December 9, 2013 at 10:29:00 AM by ChrisStreet

If he's thinking of shacking up for the winter, he'll have a rough go. Hope you have a good supply of mealworms and raisins!

 

 

Re(1): Hermit Thrush near Bracebridge - Photo
Posted on December 8, 2013 at 04:52:09 PM by Al Sinclair

It was back again at 4pm, hopping around the foundation of the house. Put out some raisins in case it returns tomorrow.

 

 

Hermit Thrush near Bracebridge - Photo
Posted on December 8, 2013 at 02:44:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Hermit thrush seen today around the feeders for about 10 minutes this morning with a group of Tree Sparrows. Flew up a few times and picked at seed heads of Brown-eyed Susan, not much left in the yard for thrushes. 8 km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E.  photo

 

 

White Crowned Sparrow & Junco
Posted on December 8, 2013 at 09:36:18 AM by Debbie Adams

There is one lone white crowned sparrow and one lone junco hanging around our feeder.

Yesterday there were 2 chipmunks and 8 mallards under the feeder.
This morning an 8 point buck was eyeing the feeder and shortly thereafter a 6 point and 4 point buck wandered into the yard, heading for the feeder. Also I noticed fox tracks in the fresh morning snow around the feeder. It's a popular place!
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Wolf/coyote howls
Posted on December 7, 2013 at 01:54:14 PM by Al Sinclair

There was a question in a reply to the coywolf photo post. I said I heard coywolves at Big East Lake and the question was what do they sound like. I copied this from the ON Nature website http://onnaturemagazine.com/wolfsong.html.

What will I hear?
Carleton University biology instructor Michael Runtz describes the classic solo call as a “deep-throated, no-oscillation, riseand- fall howl that gets the hair raised on the back of your neck.

Generally, coyotes yip and yap at the start of a howl, and their howls tend to be higher in pitch and oscillate quite a bit.”

When they howl in groups, the two wolf species are harder to tell apart because wolf pups sound like coyotes. When trying to determine which species you hear, keep in mind that coyotes generally inhabit agricultural areas, while wolves stick to more densely forested zones. Chorus howls with lots of yip-yapping in the summer and early fall may be wolves with pups. A similar sound heard during the winter is likely to be that of coyotes.

 

 

Red-necked Grebes, Minden
Posted on December 7, 2013 at 01:00:02 PM by EdPoropat

With only a week remaining until the Minden Christmas Bird Count, Dan Busby and I did a quick scout this morning and turned up a few nice birds. There is less than 5cm of snow cover and other than the largest lakes, most are frozen.

We tried for the Great Gray Owl observed earlier in the week but struck out.

On Gull Lake, S of Minden, at the mouth of the Gull River, we found 3 Red-necked Grebes. There has been a single bird present here for a few week so it was nice surprise to find 3 together. Also present were Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, and several Mallards.

We just missed an adult Bald Eagle at the Minden Landfill (reported by the attendant). There were still about 30 Herring Gulls milling around.

A Kingfisher was briefly observed at the S end of Horseshoe Lake, at the outflow into the Wildwater Preserve.

Finally, we had 2 first-winter Iceland Gulls mixed with about 50 Herrings at the Haliburton Landfill.

Cheers,
Ed Poropat
Haliburton, ON

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park, Highway 60 corridor December 7
Posted on December 7, 2013 at 08:28:59 PM by Ontbirds

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

Starting at 8:43 a.m. with Common Raven at the West Gate entrance, then seeing flocks of finches at km 4 and 12, including 3 Pine Siskins and proceeding to Opeongo Store Road where we found a mixed flock of American Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Black-capped Chickadees and one Boreal Chickadee at the gate. About half way between the gate and the store we found another Boreal Chickadee with Black-capped Chickadees.

We found a male Spruce Grouse about 50 metres north of the suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk at about 12:45 p.m.
We had a mature Bald Eagle flying over the highway between Km12 and 11 as we headed west at about 2:15 p.m.

Arthur Needles, Howard Davidson, Bruce Brydon and Kevin Shackleton

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 December
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 09:08:20 AM by Ontbirds

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

Real winter arrived in the Park earlier in the week, with more snow and very
cold temperatures for the date. Lake of Two Rivers became completely
ice-covered on Friday (November 29), the second earliest date since
record-keeping was started in 1972. The earliest date for total ice cover on
this lake was 28 November 1995 and the latest was 27 December 2001 and 2006.
Mild temperatures and melting of snow occurred today but most of the lakes
are still ice-covered.

The Visitor Centre feeders continued to host Ruffed Grouse (female), Purple
Finch, American Goldfinch, and Evening Grosbeak. A flock of 14 Wild Turkeys
was photographed at Lookout Trail parking lot on the 2nd. A Northern Shrike
was at Mew Lake on the 4th.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

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

Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Try Spruce Bog and the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers continued at the Visitor Centre feeder.

White-winged Crossbill: Three at km 4 and about six at km 24 were reported
on the 28th. Several small flocks were along Highway 60 between Madawaska
and Whitney (east of Algonquin Park) on the same day.

American Goldfinch: A few are regular at the Visitor Centre feeder, and
small flocks are being seen getting salt and grit along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 23 have been seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeder
this week, especially early in the morning.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It
is usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays; hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

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

 

Bird Feeder Cam at Manitouwadge
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 08:41:45 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Cornell is sponsoring a feeder cam at a home in Manitouwadge, which is South of Geraldton. They have Gray Jays, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks and a single female Rose-breasted Grosbeak visiting. Chickadees, nuthatches and Blue Jays and woodpeckers too.

http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/38/FeederWatch_Cam/

 

 

Re(3): Turkey
Posted on December 8, 2013 at 09:56:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

The bunch of ten Wild Turkeys just showed up again in our backyard...and this time they found some spilled seed by the birdfeeder. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(2): Turkey
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 08:37:33 PM by tedthevideoman

They were back today...most likely the same group

 

 

Re(1): Turkey
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 09:43:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

Wonder if they were the same group of Wild Turkeys we had yesterday. Bev Bailey called to report several at their place, and just a short time later I counted 10 (one Tom) moving through our backyard on Glendale Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Turkey
Posted on December 5, 2013 at 10:48:33 PM by tedthevideoman

11 turkeys in the yard today, feeding under our feeders. 1 Tom and 10 hens...120 Meadow Heights BB

 

 

Hooded Mergansers
Posted on December 5, 2013 at 04:55:45 PM by BevEaston

At 2:30 p.m. observed 4 Hooded Mergansers, Sunset Bay, Lake of Bays; 2 males and 2
females, one of which looked like a juvenile.

 

 

Please support the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital
Posted on December 3, 2013 at 04:54:04 PM by diannawolfe

This post has been approved by the administrator.

The Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital has once again made it through to the semi-finals of the Aviva Community Funding competition, but needs your support today and every day until December 11th to obtain funding.

Every summer, hundreds if not thousands of turtles are critically injured and die on the roads of Parry Sound-Muskoka. Road mortality is the leading cause of turtle population declines, with all but one of our local turtle species considered to be species at risk. The Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital is a not-for-profit concept to reduce road-related turtle mortality, put forward by Jeff Hathaway, owner/operator of Scales Nature Park in Orillia, with input from the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. Jeff has local veterinary support, experienced and qualified personnel, and sufficient facilities, but he needs substantial funding for site modifications and equipment to get the turtle hospital off the ground. As such, he entered into a funding competition through Aviva Insurance and after preliminary voting in Oct-November, has made it to the semi-finals. The public can vote daily online until December 11, with the top 10 projects in each budget category receiving funding.

Please consider supporting this worthy conservation effort by taking a few minutes to register at the website below and voting every day until noon on December 11.

Please note that if you choose to support the turtle hospital project by submitting a vote, you will be required to register on a commercial website. The Muskoka Bird Board does not endorse or recommend any commercial entities. Product or services advertisements are not permitted on the board without prior approval by the administrator.

Link to support the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital:
http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17527

 

 

Leucistic Wild Turkey
Posted on December 1, 2013 at 04:23:26 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo sent to me by Stan Gragg. Unusual turkey with a couple of dozen normal ones near Vankoughnet. Smaller also.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Coywolf caught on a trail cam
Posted on December 2, 2013 at 09:17:06 AM by michaelhatton

I would be very interested in knowing what trail cam was used (brand and model) and if the photographer would recommend that type. Thanks. ( mjhatton@hotmail.com )

 

 

Re(4): Brush Wolf photos
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 09:36:37 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

These brush wolf photos were taken at my place in 2007.  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

Janet Fraser whose place is 1/2 km away as the crow flies, has heard them howling but I haven't heard them here.

Jack Jennings has seen a wolf that he believes is a timber or gray wolf by its size. About 4 years ago I saw what I believed to be a timber or gray wold cross Hwy 169 North of Bala. It trotted across in front of the vehicle ahead of mine and climbed a rock cut that had no real visible ledges. It went up on an angle and disappeared. No pictures taken.

All others I have seen have been in the 70-80 lb range.

 

 

Re(3): I believe you, but how do you know it's a coywolf...
Posted on December 6, 2013 at 08:24:08 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

It is my understanding that timber or gray wolves don't yip.

Twenty years ago when I lived on Lake Joseph Brush Wolves killed a deer several years in a row and twice out on the lake right in front of our house. I spent several days and nights watching what animals visited the carcass. Three brush wolves visited but only two were together. One late night on of the animals was asleep by the carcass while the other fed. The sleeping animal work up and began to howl. I assumed in response to another howl someplace beyond. I recorded those howls. It was a moonlit night and seeing those animals right out on the lake was magical.

A bald eagle visited, foxes, ravens and of note, no fishers. At that time I had never seen a fisher.

All my photography at that time was video.

A brush wolf visited here several years ago and I did get photographs of its prints in the snow.

 

 

Re(2): I believe you, but how do you know it's a coywolf...
Posted on December 5, 2013 at 06:54:35 AM by FrancesGualtieri

Al, you said you heard coywolves howling. I heard howling the other night - very loud and dramatic - how do I know if that was coywolves , or wolves? Is there a difference in their howling? Usually at night I just hear yipping - first time I have heard howling. We are not far from the Graggs.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Re(2): Coywolf caught on a trail cam
Posted on December 4, 2013 at 07:13:42 PM by Al Sinclair

Thanks Peter. Good info. Grey wolf genes here also!
Good story in the Raven on the latest wolf wisdom.

 

 

Re(1): Coywolf caught on a trail cam
Posted on December 3, 2013 at 10:17:04 PM by Peter Mills

Hi All,
Two things:
1. Coyotes, I would argue, usually sport white on either side of the snout, and it is crisply edged. Eastern Wolves can too, but less often it seems, and when they do it is less well-defined at the edges. Secondly, the width of the feet is also, I think, a good reliable indicator. Coyote feet are no wider than the leg itself, the foot being flush with the rest of the leg. Wolves have a much wider foot to carry the heavier load, and this is usually obvious if you can get a good look (not easy, I know!).

And, I know this doesn't help much with hybrids, and it doesn't help a lot with the picture--that animal has crisp white on the snout, but the feet are in profile and at a distance (and perhaps it is indeed a "coywolf"!).

2. Check this out: location map/genetic composition

The image, put into context by an article in Algonquin Park's newsletter can be found here:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/pdf/raven_2012_3.pdf

 

Al: Cool photo!

Attached are some pictures of a (presumably) pure Eastern Wolf from Algonquin Park in 2012 (I say this because the canids within the park boundaries mostly are, though no DNA profiling was done on this animal). It was killed by a vehicle on HWY 60.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): I believe you, but how do you know it's a coywolf...
Posted on December 2, 2013 at 11:03:56 PM by Al Sinclair

How do you know it's a coywolf? Hmmm. Good question. The way I understand the current wisdom, the two possibilities for Canis species observed in Muskoka are eastern wolf or coywolf (coyote x eastern wolf hybrids). Some research I did online tonight leads me to believe that it is not possible to tell the difference in most cases without a DNA test. So the canid in this photo could be either. Pure or close to pure eastern wolves are larger and heavier on average but weights overlap with coywolves. The forest east of Vankoughnet seem to be suitable habitat for eastern wolf, "Forested ecosystems distanced from high human activity". Muskoka habitat in general is more suited to coywolves so we always assume that wolf sightings are coywolves. Maybe that's not always a good assumption. If anyone knows how to tell a pure eastern wolf from a photo please let us know.
Stan said they had two of them hanging around their backyard, maybe looking for the wild turkeys. And we know there are coywolves east of Vankoughnet. We heard their howls one night while camping on Big East Lake.

Here is a link with more info:
http://easternwolfsurvey.ca/index.php/understanding-canis-species/

 

 

Re(1): I believe you, but how do you know it's a coywolf...
Posted on December 2, 2013 at 12:52:05 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A true coyote wouldn't be seen here. The ones around here are almost twice the size of a coyote. Brush wolf or Eastern coyote are the names I go by.

 

 

I believe you, but how do you know it's a coywolf...
Posted on December 1, 2013 at 04:40:55 PM by Alex Mills

...and not a coyote, or a some other mix?

 

 

Coywolf caught on a trail cam
Posted on December 1, 2013 at 04:16:08 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo taken by a trail cam in Stan and Helena Gragg's back yard near Vankoughnet.  photo

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Dec. 5
Posted on December 1, 2013 at 11:18:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

MFN meeting Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m., in Bracebridge

PHOTOGRAPHING WESTERN BIRDS by nature photographer Eleanor Kee Wellman
Eleanor spent two weeks in March photographing birds on Vancouver Island and Alaska "to see the birds I wanted to see and those I got to see." She will share her finds with us through her amazing photography.

The annual Silent Auction will also be on this evening’s agenda. Members donate the items and the revenue supports club initiatives.

Meetings from September through January will be held at the Latter Day Saints Church located in Bracebridge at the corner of Taylor Rd. and Cedar Lane (at the traffic circle). Entrance to church is on Cedar Lane south. All meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Visitors welcome to attend.

source: MFN website - www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 09:34:38 PM by dinnymccraney

I saw one yesterday by the hospital helipad

 

 

Robin
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 08:13:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a lone American Robin feeding on some Winterberries at Henry Marsh. Unfortunately most of the crabapple and mountain ash trees around town have already been picked clean by Starlings, so not much fruit left for any lingering Robins...or for any Bohemian Waxwings that may decide to move south. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Where are the birds??
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 08:28:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

In general there were pretty good tree seed crops this year, so perhaps the birds aren't feeling the need to visit birdfeeders yet. They'll most likely show up once we get our first good snowfall.

 

 

Where are the birds??
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 04:08:47 PM by FrancesGualtieri

It's great to find out the best price for bird seed - but our feeders here in Vankoughnet have been up for nearly a week, and not a sign of even a chickadee. I never remember waiting for more than half a day before.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Rusty Blackbird
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 04:07:17 PM by Goodyear

Early this afternoon we saw a single Rusty Blackbird feeding along the edge of the small creek which flows north out of Henry Marsh. Farther along the trail towards the Lagoons a Sharp-shinned Hawk was being chased by Jays.

 

 

Chipmunks & Buck
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 09:20:17 AM by Debbie Adams

At least 2 of our Chipmunks are putting off hibernating at the moment. There was one under the feeder this morning along with a 6 point buck. He was a treat to see because our local deer population we've noticed (neighbours too) has greatly dwindled from last year.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Bird Suet/Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Posted on November 29, 2013 at 05:28:16 PM by Barb Staples

Sobeys has increased from free a couple of years ago, to $2.99 and now a whopping $4.17 for their 2-ball pack. Pricey every couple of days as the pileated here eats a lot of it. Lynn at the Donkey Shack (Doe Lake Rd.) will be holding her price for 50# black oil at $26.95 (think that is it) for the winter, $10 less than 40# elsewhere.

 

 

Bird Suet
Posted on November 29, 2013 at 02:10:58 PM by janice house

Metro in Bracebridge has a new supply of large chunks if anyone is looking.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 November
Posted on November 28, 2013 at 06:40:41 PM by Ontbirds

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

Algonquin Park now has shallow snow cover (less than 10 cm), and all small
lakes and ponds are ice-covered. Larger lakes are developing ice in bays but
are mainly open. Most water-oriented birds have departed, but there was a
Common Loon on Lake of Two Rivers today.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail
(accessible via Arowhon Road) and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Regular along Opeongo Road, the Wolf Howl Pond section
of Mizzy Lake Trail, and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Try Spruce Bog and the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers are regular at the Visitor Centre feeder.

American Goldfinch: A few are regular at the Visitor Centre feeder, and some
are being seen getting salt and grit along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 19 have been seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeder
this week.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It
is usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays; hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

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

 

 

Re(1): Winter Wren
Posted on November 28, 2013 at 06:58:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning near "the dip" in the trail east of Henry Marsh there were four American Tree Sparrows, a few American Goldfinches and Purple Finches, a Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays, and the usual merry band of Black-capped Chickadees looking for seed handouts. There were several Ruffed Grouse tracks along the trail. No sign of the Winter Wren today. On our way back to the Henry Rd. parking area some chickadees raised an alarm, and we looked up in time to see a Red-tailed Hawk fly past. On the Muskoka River near Kerr Park there was a Common Goldeneye and a pair of Mallards.

note: The trail condition from Henry Rd. to the marsh and east to the Bracebridge Ponds is excellent right now as any wet areas have frozen solid and there is only a small amount of snow on the ground. Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds are iced in.

 

 

Winter Wren
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 01:58:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a Winter Wren along the trail east of Henry Marsh at "the dip". (Bracebridge)

note: The flooded area by the "T" in the trail is still not frozen solid in places so waterproof boots can come in handy. The marsh is iced in.
Henry Marsh area trails map - (click on trail sections and markers for info; click Map or Satellite button at upper right to switch views)

 

 

Buffleheads in Raymond
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 09:07:11 AM by janice house

I counted at least 36 buffleheads yesterday at Skeleton Lake Rd 3 in the bay in front of the marina

 

 

Jays, Chickadees and Nuthatches
Posted on November 23, 2013 at 01:46:29 PM by michaelhatton

With the fresh snow and lower temperatures, the usual crowd showed up at Leonard Lake. The Blue Jays practice slow flight, with gear down, as they set up for a no-flap landing. The Nuthatches abscond with seeds they want to hide. The Chickadees are the most curious.  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 22, 2013 at 11:33:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found two Snow Buntings feeding at the edge of the road near #124 Meadow Heights Dr., Bracebridge. Perhaps they've been grounded by the fog.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 November
Posted on November 21, 2013 at 08:02:54 PM by Ontbirds

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

A Red-necked Grebe on Lake of Two Rivers off the Airfield Marsh on the 16th
was late. Two American Pipits along Opeongo Road on the 18th tied our latest
fall date.

The Visitor Centre feeders hosted up to 10 Wild Turkeys, a female Ruffed
Grouse (daily), and a few Purple Finches this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Reported at Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail
(accessible via Arowhon Road) and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Regular along Opeongo Road, the Wolf Howl Pond section
of Mizzy Lake Trail, and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: Reported from the Wolf Howl Pond area.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed 75 metres in from the start of the
Bat Lake Trail on the 13th, and a male was along Opeongo Road today.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers observed along Mizzy Lake Trail, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and at the Visitor Centre feeders.

White-winged Crossbill: One was reported on Mizzy Lake Trail on the 13th.

Pine Siskin: Four were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 16th.

American Goldfinch: Small numbers reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the West
Gate, and Opeongo Road.

Evening Grosbeak: Occasional birds are at the Visitor Centre in early
morning, but are not visiting the feeders. There were 12 near the West Gate
on the 13th and eight there today.

MAMMALS
Otter: There were three on Lake of Two Rivers off the Airfield Marsh on the
16th and four at the Opeongo Access Point on the 18th.

Beaver: Day-active individuals are being seen regularly as they construct
food piles in ponds along Highway 60.

Moose: One or two are noted daily along Highway 60, especially near dusk.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www. algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It
is usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

For more information see the 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 including how to unsubscribe visit http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdssetup

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on November 20, 2013 at 09:03:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning thanks to the warning chirps of a Red Squirrel and some very nervous Mourning Doves at our feeder, I looked around for a predator and discovered a Barred Owl roosting high up in a pine tree. It must be well fed since it continued to "snooze" even when a Chipmunk ventured out into the open under the feeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-necked Grebe, Iceland Gull, Haliburton Co.
Posted on November 17, 2013 at 04:39:06 PM by EdPoropat

Hi all,
In case you don't get Ontbirds, yesterday there was a Red-necked Grebe present on Gull Lake, S of Minden. It can be observed off Sandy Bay Rd.(off Hwy 35), east of the inflow of the Gull River. It was about 100m off shore.

Today, the first white-winged gull of the season appeared at the Haliburton dump...a dark, first-winter bird. The dump is W of the village, off Cty Rd 21. Take Industrial Park Rd. N until you see the landfill on your right.

Good birding,
Ed Poropat
Haliburton, ON

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 21, 2013 at 01:08:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning all cells were iced in except for a small section of open water in cell 3 with 8 Buffleheads and 2 Mallards. The Red-tailed Hawk was once again perched atop a hydro pole near the dumping ponds. It eventually flew down to the edge of the woods and came up with a Red Squirrel!

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 17, 2013 at 04:30:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon all the cells were completely free of ice. There was a Common Goldeneye in cell 4 along with 108 Canada Geese. In cell 2 there were 6 Lesser Scaup and about 90 Bufflehead. Cell 1 had 28 Mallards. A lone American Tree Sparrow was near the dumping ponds.

 

 

Saw-whet Owl hit by a car, Bracebridge
Posted on November 16, 2013 at 12:22:09 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night around 7:30PM a Saw-whet was hit and killed on the road in front of our house. We think it may have been chasing a Bruce Spanworm Moth caught in the cars headlights. It was in good shape, 8 in in length, weight 86 grams. 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 November
Posted on November 15, 2013 at 09:17:50 AM by Ontbirds

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

Rain and snow limited birding activity for much of the week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Not reported. Try Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk
and Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible via Arowhon Road).

Gray Jay: Regular along Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond section of
Mizzy Lake Trail.

Boreal Chickadee: Reported from Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 9th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Male seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 10th.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Last seen at the Visitor Centre feeders on the 7th.

White-winged Crossbill: Small flock at km 7 on Highway 60 on the 7th.

American Goldfinch: A few this week along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: two to four irregularly at the Visitor Centre, usually
early in the morning and not visiting the feeders; and 10 at the East Gate
on the 13th.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Moth
Posted on November 14, 2013 at 08:21:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

I haven't seen any moths around for a while, but today this one appeared in our yard...a Bruce Spanworm Moth. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club meeting, November 26
Posted on November 12, 2013 at 03:24:45 PM by BevEaston

To learn more about being a citizen scientist, come out to the next meeting of the Huntsville Nature Club on Tuesday, November 26, when Chief Algonquin Park Naturalist Rick Stronks will describe some of the many ways we can participate.

The Huntsville Nature Club meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville. The program begins at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

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

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds iced in now
Posted on November 15, 2013 at 04:53:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Still iced in this afternoon except for a section of open water in cell 3. Not many birds - 14 Bufflehead, 15 Mallards, and 2 American Black Ducks. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched atop a hydro pole by the dumping ponds. Three Common Ravens flew by, but didn't harass the hawk.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds iced in now
Posted on November 13, 2013 at 03:44:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon all the cells were completely frozen over. A Great Blue Heron came in from the north, but after a brief touch down beside cell 4, it decided to continue heading south. The only other birds we saw in the area were two Ravens and a Blue Jay.

 

 

Dunlin - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 12, 2013 at 03:21:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just got back from the Bracebridge Ponds. There is a Dunlin feeding at the edge of the ice along the west side of cell 4 near the north end. It stayed put as we walked by and just kept on eating. There are at least 22 Scaup in cell 2 along with many Buffleheads and 2 Common Goldeneye.

 

 

Robin and 2 Bears
Posted on November 10, 2013 at 04:45:34 PM by Debbie Adams

On our way in to town this afternoon, we spotted a Robin that was rummaging around in a creek and when we came along, it flew up into a tree.
Then on our way back from town about an hour later, 2 bears ran across the road. One was somewhat small and may have been a cub but the other was huge so it was probably mama.
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Snow Buntings - Bracebridge
Posted on November 10, 2013 at 01:52:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning about 25 Snow Buntings flew up from near the baseball field at Kerr Park and appeared to go back down just west of the gas plant. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Wood Duck
Posted on November 8, 2013 at 12:41:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we were surprised to find a female Wood Duck at the north end of cell 1 since they have been absent for some time now. There were still a few Lesser Scaup in cell 2 and some Ring-necked Ducks in cell 4, along with a Common Goldeneye, and the usual Buffleheads and Mallards. An American Black Duck was in the small pond north of cell 1. Three American Tree Sparrows were west of cell 3. There were still a few Woolly Bear caterpillars out and about, but they were moving verrry slowly.

(addendum: Don Bailey reports there was a male Blue-winged Teal in cell 4 yesterday, but we didn't see it today.)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: November 7
Posted on November 7, 2013 at 03:07:11 PM by Ontbirds

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

A Red-necked Grebe at the mouth of Costello Creek off the Opeongo Access
Point and a Lapland Longspur at the Old Airfield, both on the 3rd, were
noteworthy.

Other Northerners heading southward this week included Northern Shrike,
Horned Lark, American Pipit, Snow Bunting, and American Tree Sparrow.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Reports were from: the Opeongo Road; Spruce Bog Boardwalk
(displaying male close to female near the register box on the 5th); and Wolf
Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible by Arowhon Road).

Gray Jay: Regular along Opeongo Road; the Logging Museum parking lot; Spruce
Bog Boardwalk; and the Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake section of Mizzy Lake
Trail.

Boreal Chickadee: Reported from Opeongo Road in the black spruce area; and
the Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake section of Mizzy Lake Trail..

Black-backed Woodpecker: Seen at Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake area.

WINTER FINCHES: Very small numbers of a few species continued.
Purple Finch: a few irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

White-winged Crossbill: one noted at the Old Airfield on the 3rd.

American Goldfinch: reported at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
Mizzy Lake Trail.

Evening Grosbeak: up to five at the Visitor Centre; and a few at the Mew
Lake Campground entrance, this week.

MAMMALS:
Moose: are being seen regularly along Highway 60, especially at dusk.

Beaver: day-active individuals are at various ponds along the highway, and
regularly at Eucalia Lake (km 39), west of Lookout Trail.

Otter: two or three are regular at the mouth of Costello Creek off the
Opeongo Access Point.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
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 Information Guide (with a map of birding locations
mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also
described at: www. algonquinpark.on.ca

The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am
to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information. It
is usually possible to access the building on weekdays as well from 9 am to
4 pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch and use the restaurant
seating area on weekdays. Hot and cold beverages, and light snacks are
available to purchase, as well as the use of a microwave.

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

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on November 5, 2013 at 04:30:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Northern Shrike west of cell 4. Three Common Goldeneye were in cell 4 along with a few Ring-necked Ducks and several Bufflehead (but their numbers were way down).

 

 

Gray Jay - Algonquin Park
Posted on November 4, 2013 at 07:59:48 PM by michaelhatton

One of the "colour banded" Gray Jays in Algonquin. I saw this one earlier today on the Mizzy Lake Trail. This article ( http://www.sbaa.ca/projects.asp?cn=495 ) has a brief piece (near the end) on the study that is using colour banding.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Spruce Grouse
Posted on November 4, 2013 at 07:36:25 PM by michaelhatton

Spruce Grouse on the Mizzy Lake trail today, and seemingly disinterested in anything except seeds on the path. photo

 

 

Tundra Swans - Three Mile Lake
Posted on November 4, 2013 at 09:12:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

Bill Dickinson just called to pass along a report from Cheryl and Jim Tough that there are three Tundra Swans (2 adult, one imm.) at the east end of Three Mile Lake in front of the island. Bill suggested the best way to see the birds would be to take Three Mile Lake Road 1 and then go down Cove Rd. to the bay. A scope would probably come in handy.

Here is a google map with Cove Rd. marked.

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on November 3, 2013 at 12:19:06 PM by Dburton

The Carolina Wren was singing again this morning. This time from Segwun Blvd in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(2): Broad-winged Hawk?
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 09:28:46 PM by stuartimmonen

Fair enough-- thanks for the insight.

 

 

Re(1): Broad-winged Hawk?
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 07:32:36 PM by Al Sinclair

Blue Jays do a very good imitation of Broad-winged calls and Red-shouldered also. I don't record either hawk by call if Blue Jays are around.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk?
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 05:44:27 PM by stuartimmonen

I was working in the yard this afternoon when I heard the hiccuppy cry of a Broad-winged Hawk from somewhere high and east of me, followed by the ruckus of multiple Blue Jays.
I was unable to visually confirm.

A cursory exploration of eBird has Broad-wings at least being reported provincially in November, but not much north of shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie.
Additional info is welcome

thanks
Stuart Immonen, Novar

 

 

Re(1): Late Frogs
Posted on November 4, 2013 at 02:06:09 PM by John Challis

The poor frogs on our road in Washago were getting squashed regularly during the warm rainy nights.

 

 

Late Frogs
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 01:22:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we came across two Leopard Frogs at the edge of the roadway around cell 4. They were very lethargic...I tried nudging one with my shoe, and it barely moved. Perhaps the sudden drop in temperature since yesterday caught them by surprise.

Two Snow Buntings were near the dumping ponds, and several American Tree Sparrows were along the roadway south of cell 4. The Common Goldeneye was still there, in cell 3.

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 12:31:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

A juvenile Northern Goshawk just tried to grab some lunch near our birdfeeder, but missed. It eventually flew to the south along Glendale Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Dunlin
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 12:20:13 PM by Goodyear

This morning there was a Dunlin flying over cell 1. It circled and called several times before heading south. Still lots of ducks - Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked, Mallard, and a single Black Duck.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Nov. 7
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 09:54:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

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


Reptiles, Amphibians, and Other Interesting Natural History of Southeastern Arizona - by Rob Willson and Dianna Wolfe
The plants and animals of south eastern Arizona have remarkable natural histories that are strongly influenced by annual rainfall cycles. The summer monsoon is an amazing time to see life forms of all types become active, particularly amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects. Rob and Dianna will present some of the more interesting natural history features they have encountered on their numerous trips to the area.

Meetings from September through January will be held at the Latter Day Saints Church located in Bracebridge at the corner of Taylor Rd. and Cedar Lane (at the traffic circle). Entrance to church is on Cedar Lane south. All meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Visitors welcome to attend.

source: Muskoka Field Naturalists newsletter, the Wakerobin
MFN website: www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 09:38:28 AM by Goodyear

Late yesterday afternoon there were two Meadowlarks in the grass between cells 1 and 2 (I assume Eastern), but only had a distant view of them flying, 10 Snow Buntings near the dumping ponds, and 6 Robins flying over. Lots of Bufflehead, with smaller numbers of Mallard, Lesser Scaup,and a single Goldeneye.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 31
Posted on October 31, 2013 at 07:48:07 PM by Ontbirds

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

Migrating waterfowl this week included: Brant (194 over Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on the 25th); Green-winged Teal; Long-tailed Duck; Bufflehead; and
Red-breasted Merganser.

Hawk and eagle sightings continued, with: Bald Eagle; Northern Goshawk
(singles at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Visitor Centre driveway on the
25th); Red-tailed Hawk; and Golden Eagle (single adults near the Visitor
Centre and flying close to the cliff on Lookout Trail on the 24th).

Northerners such as Northern Shrike, Horned Lark, American Pipit, Snow
Bunting (including 42 at the Old Airfield on the 27th), American Tree
Sparrow and Fox Sparrow were observed on their way south.

A Blue-headed Vireo near Mew Lake on the 27th was our second latest record
ever, and a male Eastern Bluebird at the Old Airfield the same day
established a new latest fall date for Algonquin.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Reports this week were from the old railway near Wolf Howl
Pond (accessible by Arowhon Road); Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and the Opeongo
Road.

Gray Jay: Regular along the old railway from Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl
Pond/West Rose Lake; Opeongo Road; and the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: Reported from the Wolf Howl Pond area; and Spruce Bog
Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Seen at Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES
Very small numbers of Purple Finch, Red Crossbill and Evening Grosbeak (10
at the Visitor Centre feeder on the 30th) were noted.

MAMMALS
Moose and day-active Beavers were reported along Highway 60 by some
observers.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

rusty blackbirds
Posted on October 27, 2013 at 04:13:39 PM by John Challis

We've had a flock of 20-30 rusty blackbirds on Green River Drive, Washago, both days this weekend. Sounds like a caravan of squeaky baby carriages being pushed up and down the road.

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk
Posted on October 27, 2013 at 02:07:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today we checked out the Muskoka Highlands Golf driving range on South Monck Dr., Bracebridge. We had hoped to find some geese, but instead there was a Rough-legged Hawk and a Northern Harrier. The Harrier seemed to be trying to drive the other hawk away...the Roughie actually went into a roll as the Harrier dive-bombed it. The Rough-legged Hawk was still in the area at 1:30 p.m., but a bit further north along South Monck Dr. near McCranks farm. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched on a hydro wire at the north side of Hwy. 118W near Golden Beach Rd.

There were about 22 birds which appeared to be Horned Larks out on the driving range, but we couldn't get close enough for a better look since some golfers were using the area.

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Long-tailed Ducks
Posted on October 27, 2013 at 01:55:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Long-tailed Ducks in cell 2.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting October 29, 2013
Posted on October 26, 2013 at 01:51:13 PM by BevEaston

The Huntsville Nature Club will meet on Tuesday, October 29, at St. Andrews
Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, at 7 pm. Guests are
always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

Ron Tozer will present a new Nature Quiz, testing your knowledge of natural
history and providing interesting insights into the ecology of the flora and
fauna of Muskoka and Algonquin Park.

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

 

 

Eastern Meadowlarks in Raymond
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 06:48:02 PM by janice house

Reported by Tim Mason. While walking the Luckey Rd Tim saw 16 plus meadowlarks today.

 

 

Algonquin Birding Report: October 24
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 01:37:07 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Birders,
It has been an exciting week in Algonquin from a birder's perspective, and
with more birders out this week we have had more input as to what's out
there.

Hawks have been moving through the park this week in numbers on favourable
days. These included several Bald Eagles, individual Golden Eagles over the
Visitor Centre on the 18th and another on the 20th, and an adult Northern
Goshawk over Lake Opeongo on the 23rd. This coming week shows promises good
conditions for hawk movement and should be a good time to look for both of
these as well as Rough-legged Hawk.

Owls have apparently been moving as well. A Long-eared Owl was discovered
near the parking lot of the Old Airfield on the 20th. It was not seen again
after the initial discovery. Saw-whet Owls were recorded at Found Lake on
several days earlier this week, with two seen singing and chasing each
other on the 17th.

Migrant passerines have mostly fled the park but some hardy ones remain.
American Tree Sparrows have become common in the past few days, with a few
Fox Sparrows amongst them. Horned Larks continue at the Old Airfield and
Lake of Two Rivers Beach, and a single Snow Bunting on the 23rd was the
first for the season.

Waterfowl are also migrating through the Park, and the best time to observe
these is after rainy nights on the larger lakes. Surf Scoter, Long-tailed
Duck (Lake Travers, Oct 18) and Lesser Scaup (yesterday at Lake of Two
Rivers) were some of the goodies found this week.

A boat trip out on enormous Lake Opeongo yesterday tallied 77 Common Loons,
with rafts of up to 20 birds seen.

This will be my final report. Ron will take over next week and continue
through the winter. I hope you all enjoy the upcoming winter birding and
stay warm out there, and I wish you all the very best and a wonderful
holiday season! Looking forward to seeing you all next year and reading
your reports!

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Birds were reported this week from the north end of the
Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Opeongo Road. The most
recent report was of three at the north end of Mizzy on Oct 20.

Gray Jay: Birds are now easy to find. Birds were at the north end of the
Mizzy Lake Trail, Opeongo Road, the Trailer Sanitation Station and the
Logging Museum this week.

Boreal Chickadee: Birds were reported from the north end of the Mizzy Lake
Trail, and most recently four birds on Opeongo Road north of the bridge on
the 21st.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A birds was at the north end of Mizzy Lake Trail
at West Rose Lakeon the 20th, and a bird at the top of Lookout Trail on the
same day was likely a dispersing juvenile.

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, ON

 

 

Re(2): Lapland Longspur - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 25, 2013 at 04:29:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek reports there were about 10 Lapland Longspurs in the gravel area north of cell 4 this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds. They flew off though, but might be a good area to check in case more come in.

 

 

Re(1): Lapland Longspur - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 23, 2013 at 09:30:09 PM by Goodyear

The bird was still there late this afternoon.You can see the long nail/claw on the hind toe, for which the bird is named.  photo

 

 

Lapland Longspur - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 23, 2013 at 03:51:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 3:15 p.m. today at the Bracebridge Ponds we came upon a single Lapland Longspur feeding at the edge of the road between cells 1 and 2. It was about half way up the road when we left. Nothing much else of note...the Shrike was still there, perched on the fence south of cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Harrier and Northern Shrike
Posted on October 22, 2013 at 06:52:48 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A Northern Harrier banked to fly over Hwy 118 in that low curve where Hammonds live and it dropped its mouse on the side of the road and took off back North. The mouse was still there this afternoon.

 

 

Northern Harrier and Northern Shrike
Posted on October 22, 2013 at 12:19:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11:30 a.m. this morning there was a female Northern Harrier hunting low over the fields east of South Monck Dr., just south of Crawford Rd. A Red-tailed Hawk was being buffeted by the strong winds as it searched for a meal in the fields on the opposite side of the road, a bit further south. (Bracebridge) google map

Earlier this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Northern Shrike perched in a small tree at the west side of cell 3. A Red-tailed Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk were seen west of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Juncos/Fisher/Wild turkeys
Posted on October 22, 2013 at 10:23:13 PM by Barb Staples

Here also. One of them was pure junco beak/head/eyes/breast/feet while back/tail/wings were pure sparrow; close to it were a sparrow (ID unknown) and a junco, the three distanced from the others. Could not get a photo, maybe tomorrow if they return. Also the resident fisher was playing amongst the storm-downed trees 40' from house. The wild turkeys have formed groups of 12-15. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Juncos
Posted on October 22, 2013 at 09:05:41 AM by Debbie Adams

A flock of Juncos arrived here this morning. (Walker's Point)

 

 

Recent sightings south of us
Posted on October 21, 2013 at 07:23:42 AM by Goodyear

According to ebird there have been two recent sightings of this species in the Barrie area - 8 October 2013 2 birds at Kempenfeldt Bay and 18 October 2013 1 adult bird at Innisfil Beach Park.

 

Re(2): Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Posted on October 20, 2013 at 06:46:53 PM by janice house

I went back to the Gravenhurst Wharf at 4pm but no luck, a loon was swimming in the bay

 

 

Re(1): Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Posted on October 20, 2013 at 06:21:14 PM by Goodyear

As a consolation prize we saw two Surf Scoters at Muskoka Beach while searching the Gravenhurst area for the Lesser black-backed.

 

 

Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Posted on October 20, 2013 at 01:18:43 PM by janice house

This morning there were at least 50 gulls in the farm field across from the house (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst), it was pouring rain but I noticed one that was really dark. It was close in size to the ring-billed gull it was standing beside, I went out to the edge of the road with my binocs and could see clearly the yellow bill with a red spot and yellow legs, dark grey mantle. I took two photos from inside the house but you can only see the colour difference. David & Regan Goodyear and I went into Gravenhurst and checked the Wharf, Gull Lake, ball diamond west of Gravenhurst, Taboo and the Gravenhurst landfill but did not see the gull.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle and Bluebirds
Posted on November 2, 2013 at 11:32:57 PM by rustybronco2

tree-top sighting of bald eagle? cool.

i saw one soaring above me about a week ago over brown's lake near vankoughnet.

 

 

Bald Eagle and Bluebirds
Posted on October 20, 2013 at 11:53:35 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we couldn't find the Long-tailed Duck or the Ruddy Duck...but we did enjoy watching an adult Bald Eagle fly past at tree-top height! At the edge of the woods north of cell 4 there were four Eastern Bluebirds, a Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and both Kinglets. Two American Pipits were by the dumping ponds. The Pied-billed Grebe was still in cell 2.

 

 

Long-tailed Duck, Ruddy Duck reported at the Ponds noon today
Posted on October 19, 2013 at 02:11:24 PM by Al Sinclair

Reported on eBird at the Bracebridge Ponds, link to the checklist below.
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15441998

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 19, 2013 at 01:01:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 47 Buffleheads in cell 4 along with eight Ring-necked Ducks. Two Green-winged Teal, a Pied-billed Grebe, a couple Scaup, and a few Mallards were in cell 2. There was a large flock of American Goldfinch, along with several White-crowned, Song, and American Tree Sparrows in the weeds east of cell 3. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched atop a hydro pole near the Lagoon Lane deadend when we arrived and later we saw it fly to the west of cell 4.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 17
Posted on October 17, 2013 at 04:38:59 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Birders,
It was a busy week in the Park this week but there were few birders, which
accounts for fewer reports. Nonetheless, there were some interesting
sightings made this week.

Good numbers of sparrows continue to be present at the Old Airfield.
White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows were joined by American Tree and
Fox Sparrows this week. This is an excellent site for watching sparrows,
and at this time of year, who knows what might show up there.

Lapland Longspurs continued at the Old Airfield, with two being there on
the 11th and the 14th. On the 11th there were four Eastern Bluebirds at
the Old Airfield, and two were still there on the 14th.

The Park's first-of-season Northern Shrike was at the Airfield yesterday.

Ring-billed Gulls, rare to non-existent in the Park in summer, numbered 106
at the Opeongo Access Point on the 14th. This seems to be an annual
gathering spot for the species now and is worth checking for any other
gulls of interest.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: There were no reports this week, likely due to less
coverage. The north end of the Mizzy Lake trail and Opeongo Road are likely
spots.

Gray Jay: Birds were reported on Opeongo Road and the north end of the
Mizzy Lake Trail this week.

Boreal Chickadee: There were no reports this week. Your best best is at the
north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail, where several birds were last week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: This bird went unreported as well. Your best bet
is the north end of the Mizzy Lake trail or the Logging Museum, where birds
were last week.

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

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/

 

 

redpolls
Posted on October 17, 2013 at 07:48:59 AM by john Challis

Heard the cheerful questioning of a small flock of common red polls this morning on Green River Dr. Hadn't expected them this year, with Ron Pittaway's finch predictions.

 

 

Parry Sound District birds
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 08:17:32 AM by Alex Mills

On Saturday October 12, Peter Mills and I saw one Northern Pintail, 6 Green-winged Teal, 1 Bufflehead, and several Common Goldeneye at the Sundridge Sewage Ponds. An adult Bald Eagle was soaring over nearby Lake Bernard. We looked for Ammodramus sparrows, but it was a breezy afternoon, and we had no luck--one Savannah Sparrow among the usual sparrow fare.

As for dragonflies, there were numerous Meadowhawks and one Shadow Darner there.

That evening, we found a Northern Saw-whet Owl at Magnetawan.

 

 

Re(2): Shadow Darners?
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 11:05:36 AM by Al Sinclair

From my observations around Bracebridge the Shadow Darner has been the most common darner species this year.

 

 

Re(1): Shadow Darners?
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 09:06:40 AM by Peter Mills

I had Black-tipped, Canada, Shadow, and Ocellated Darners flying this past weekend in Magnetawan.

 

 

Shadow Darners?
Posted on October 14, 2013 at 04:14:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

On Saturday (Oct. 12) we came across a few dragonflies flying back and forth along a flooded section of the pipeline just west of the Bracebridge Ponds. I managed to grab these shots when one briefly landed in the weeds, and it appears to be a Shadow Darner. Would there be any other darners flying at this time of year?  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Another photo - 15 October 2013
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 07:09:13 PM by Goodyear

Here is a shot from this evening showing the back and tail. Slightly out of focus - darn the swaying grass. We also heard it call a couple of times. The last we saw of it was when it flew back over to the southeast corner of cell 2. Janice - how much do I owe you for the comments!!:)  photo

 

 

Re(5): Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 06:52:34 PM by janice house

I arrived just after 5 p.m. A tall handsome gentleman with a camera showed up shortly after and at 6:07 the sparrow popped up in the cattails in the southwest corner of cell 1. Yes, David Goodyear was the gentleman and he got some great shots of the sparrow.

 

 

Re(4): Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 05:40:56 PM by Rick Stronks

I spent about 2 hours there this afternoon (1 to 3 p.m.) but had no luck. There were a couple of potential sparrows that I did not get a good look at.

 

 

Re(3): Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 10:30:12 AM by Doug Smith

The Nelson's is still there -- had a nice look at it this morning. Is there more than 1? There seemed to be 1 or 2 more sparrows in the exact same spot -- south end of cell 2, in the smaller clump of weeds nearest the lane between cells 1 and 2.

 

 

Re(2): Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 09:42:40 AM by Goodyear

We couldn't believe that we finally found a Nelson's in Muskoka. This is a bird we have been hoping for for many years. It was great to get photos of it to document the record. Many years ago we had a very fleeting look at a bird in appropriate habitat that appeared to have some orange/yellow in the face. What will the next new bird for Muskoka be? I look closely at all the Turkey Vultures in hopes that one of them will be a Black Vulture!!

 

 

Re(1): Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 07:52:54 AM by Wayne Bridge

Your pictures are a perfect match for mine of last week - especially the one showing the crown. I did an extensive comparison, using 6 reference books, of LeConte vs. Nelson (after your and Al & Barbara's decision on Nelson) and my skepticism vanished. I totally agree on Nelson's. I managed a couple of photos that clearly show the grey nape (and also the throat that has no lines).

 

 

Nelson's Sparrow - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 14, 2013 at 12:08:18 PM by Goodyear

This morning around 10:00, Regan and I found a Nelson's Sparrow at the south end of cell 2. The grey nape and central crown stripe were clearly seen. I took some photos, not the best quality, but they serve to confirm its identity. Will post after I upload them. I saw what I thought was a Nelson's yesterday morning and managed one long-distance photo but it was not conclusive. We returned to the Lagoons this morning in hopes of refinding it and were successful! A great Thanksgiving Day treat. To the best of our knowledge this is the first record of this sparrow for Muskoka. If anyone knows of any other sightings of Nelson's Sparrow for Muskoka please let us know.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on October 13, 2013 at 03:04:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there was a Northern Shrike at the Bracebridge Ponds west of cell 4, and one was seen this morning by the east end of cell 3. Seems a bit early, but I checked my records and last fall Oct. 13 was the first date we saw one.

 

 

Re(1): Weasel? Mink? Marten?
Posted on October 11, 2013 at 05:23:06 PM by J. Gardner

Sounds like a mink... J. Gardner

 

 

Weasel? Mink? Marten?
Posted on October 11, 2013 at 02:15:40 PM by Debbie Adams

Earlier, a weasel looking animal came out from under our dock and snatched a big male Mallard that was paddling by. It grabbed the drake by the neck and pulled it underwater. I tried smacking it with a broom to no avail and it went under the dock and into the cribs leaving not a trace of the poor duck.
No wonder our chipmunk population has diminished and our squirrels are completely gone.
I was surprised that such a small animal took on such a large and powerful duck.
Meanwhile there's a lone female hanging around out front of our boathouse......
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 12
Posted on October 12, 2013 at 08:23:20 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Birders,
It has been an exciting week of birding here in Algonquin Park, with some
rare East Side coverage as well as good weather conditions allowed for an
interesting set of birds to be found in the Park.

Sparrows continue to be thick, especially in places like the Old Airfield
at the Mew Lake Campground. On the 10th and 11th, a handful of Lapland
Longspurs were at the airfield in the long grass, mixed with many American
Pipits and Horned Larks.

One lucky birder during a storm encountered a record 29 Nelson's Sparrows
in the Lake Travers marsh on the 6th, with about 15 or so birds remaining
on the 7th and the 10th. Le Conte's Sparrows were reported from there with
one on the 6th and 2-4 on the 10th. There have been no reports to my
knowledge from the West Side, however this is evidently the best time to
look, and places like the Lake of Two Rivers Marsh (Nelson's) and the south
end of the Airfield (Le Conte's) being likely spots.

Waterfowl diversity is usually difficult to come by in Algonquin, but on
the 6th there were 5 Northern Pintail, 4 Surf Scoters, 6 Long-tailed Ducks,
and 30 Brant at Lake Travers. The next day, when the storm had past, there
was only one Pintail left in the Marsh and a flock of 60 flyover Brant. A
Lesser Scaup was in Lake of Two Rivers on Oct 10.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Birds were reported this week from the north end of the
Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Opeongo Road. The most
recent report was of a male and a female at the Opeongo Road on Oct 11
(yesterday).

Gray Jay: Birds are now easy to find as they're after handouts. Birds were
at the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail, Opeongo Road and the Logging
Museum this week.

Boreal Chickadee: Birds were reported from the north end of the Mizzy Lake
Trail at West Rose Lake this week. The most recent report was on Oct 11
from there.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Two birds were at the north end of Mizzy Lake
Trail early this week.

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, 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. The Visitor Centre has recent bird sightings and information.

 

 

Nelson's Sparrow sighting at Kearney...Photos
Posted on October 10, 2013 at 11:23:07 PM by Al Sinclair

Reported and photographed by Wayne Bridge:
The photos were taken Oct. 9, 8:00 a.m. beside the boardwalk along Sucker Creek, Lions' Park, Kearney. This individual seemed to be alone but there were other small birds foraging nearby (yellow-rumped, song sparrow, and ruby-crowned kinglet for sure). [Lions' Park: Hwy 518 into Kearney from Hwy 11; turn right at flashing light onto Main St.; follow Main Street to the Park - about 1/4 mile - park is on right and boardwalk starts near the parking lot.]  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Fox Sparrows
Posted on October 10, 2013 at 01:17:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Fox Sparrows at the edge of the woods north of cell 4 - first ones I've seen this fall. Also north of cell 4 there was a male Common Yellowthroat, six Yellow-rumped Warblers, Song, Swamp, and White-crowned Sparrows, an Eastern Phoebe, and about a dozen American Pipits. The American Coot was still in cell 3. Two Bufflehead were in cell 4. Ten Turkey Vultures were circling in a thermal over the TransCanada gas plant.

 

 

Pipits
Posted on October 9, 2013 at 03:52:42 PM by michaelhatton

Many Water Pipits on the north and west sides of cell 4 today. Several, but two in particular, stayed quite visible for us -- "walking" in and out of the grasses on the road track while continually bobbing tails. At one point, one of them, while on the ground, spread its tail quite nicely showing the outer white feathers. Best look at Pipits ever for me thanks to their willingness to stay on or near the road track allowing an approach within 15 - 18 feet. One was flushed into its up and down flight by a muskrat that ran across the track from a swampy area north of cell four into the cell. One Coot, 7 or 8 Mallards, half a dozen Wood Ducks and several Goldeneye were in cell three. A pair of Lesser Scaup maintained their distance in cell two. White Crowned Sparrows east of cell three as well as other Sparrows that were too far, fast and skitterish for us to id. A lone Turkey Vulture hung around for a bit and a Kingfisher came through, strangely from north to south. Crows were also evident. (Bracebridge Lagoons)

 

 

Re(2): Coot
Posted on October 9, 2013 at 01:22:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

The American Coot and two Common Goldeneye were still in cell 3 around noon today. There were at least 40 American Pipits around the dumping ponds. An American Bittern flew up from the north edge of cell 2.  American Coot:  photo

 

 

Re(1): Coot
Posted on October 9, 2013 at 09:53:22 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there was an American Coot in the SE corner of cell 3 yesterday afternoon. Also the two Goldeneyes were still there as well as a pair of Shovelers and two Scaup.

 

 

Common Goldeneyes
Posted on October 8, 2013 at 01:58:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Common Goldeneyes in cell 3. Only about ten Ring-necked Ducks now in cell 4. The sunny skies were perfect conditions for migrating Turkey Vultures - we counted 22 rising in a thermal column, and later had another 8 soar by on their way south. Two Palm Warblers were at the north side of cell 4, as well as a single Rusty Blackbird.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park (Lake Travers): Nelson's Sparrow and Le Conte's Sparrow
Posted on October 11, 2013 at 09:17:53 AM by Ontbirds

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

Inspired by Jeff Skevington's amazing report of 29 Nelson's Sparrows on
October 6, and knowing that the timing was perfect for the relatively short
fall migration periods of these sparrows through Algonquin Park (Nelson's:
September 30 to October 14; Le Conte's: September 19 to October 20), four of
us made the long drive to Lake Travers today.

The lack of wind aided spotting the movements of sparrows in the marsh
vegetation, and pishing appeared to encourage them to perch briefly for
great views. After about an hour of wading the sedge marsh we had seen a
minimum of 12 to 15 Nelson's Sparrows and 2 to 4 Le Conte's Sparrows.

Directions (as per Jeff Skevington):

Lake Travers is the last access point (~km 77) on the Barron Canyon (Sand
Lake) Road. Closest access is via Highway 17 near Petawawa. You can walk the
shoreline from the Lake Travers parking lot. The wetland is midway along the
south shore. Boots are recommended. A short cut to the centre of the south
shore is from the orange flashing light at the intersection to the radio
observatory (the only such light on the road). Walk north at the light (do
not block the gate) until you get to a staff house. Follow the road to the
right of the staff house down to the lake, turn right and you are at the
wetland.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Nelson's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, Lake Travers, Algonquin Park
Posted on October 6, 2013 at 10:28:13 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hi Ontbirders,
Today I visited Lake Travers on the East side of Algonquin Provincial Park.
This site is typically most productive during groundings in inclement
weather so it was a decent day overall. Highlights were: 30 Brant, 12
Northern Pintail (rare in the park), 4 Surf Scoters, 6 Long-tailed Ducks, 5
Bald Eagles, 4 Peregrine Falcons, 2 European Starlings (unusual here), 1
LeConte's Sparrow and a remarkable 29 Nelson's Sparrows. The latter were
abundant in the wetland on the south shore of the lake and were only
outnumbered there by Swamp Sparrows (64 counted!). I have never seen more
than a dozen Nelson's at this site so it was pretty crazy to see. They are
most abundant nearest the creek that flows through the wetland. The
LeConte's was in the more sparse sedges closest to the lake edge. Seeing 4
Peregrine's in a day in Algonquin is also quite special. I have only seen
this once before, also in early October at Lake Travers on an east wind
with rain.

Lake Travers is the last access point (~km 77) on the Sand Lake Road.
Closest access is via Highway 17 near Petawawa. Access to the lake is best
by canoe, but you can walk the shoreline from the Lake Travers parking lot.
The wetland is midway along the south shore. Boots are recommended. A short
cut to the centre of the south shore is from the orange flashing light at
the intersection to the observatory (the only such light on the road). Walk
north at the light (do not block the gate) until you get to a house. Follow
the road to the right of the house down to the lake, turn right and you are
at the wetland.

My day's observations are summarized on ebird:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15338072. If you eBird, park
staff will appreciate you sharing your Algonquin ebird observations with
APPbirds.

Good birding,
Jeff

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on October 6, 2013 at 03:47:17 PM by DBurton

There is a Carolina Wren hanging around the mailbox and pathway adjacent to 295 Lorne Street in Gravenhurst now (3:45pm).

 

 

Common Mergansers
Posted on October 5, 2013 at 07:09:38 PM by michaelhatton

Common Mergansers paddling by these days on Leonard Lake.  photo

 

 

Northern Shovelers
Posted on October 5, 2013 at 01:32:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were six Northern Shovelers in cell 4, along with a Hooded Merganser, and 53 Ring-necked Ducks. A Northern Harrier was hunting low to the west of cell 4, and a Red-tailed Hawk circled overhead. A Pied-billed Grebe was in cell 2 along with four Lesser Scaup. Five Green-winged Teal were in cell 1. Two American Wigeons were in cell 3 along with several Wood Ducks, and Mallards. A small flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets was south of cell 4, as well as two Common Yellowthroats, and White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows. No sign of the Marsh Wren.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 4
Posted on October 4, 2013 at 05:18:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 4, 2013) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello Birders,
It's been a good week for birders in Algonquin Park, with many migrants
present as well as all the boreal specialty birds showing nicely for
birders and photographers.

A Surf Scoter was seen by many at Kearney Lake yesterday and was still
there today.

A trio of lucky birders observed and photographed a young Golden Eagle low
over West Rose Lake on the 1st of this month. A Mourning Dove, rare in the
park, was at the Track & Tower trailhead on the 29th. A Goshawk was
observed over the highway this week. Northern Saw-whet Owls have been vocal
this week, with birds being heard at km 20 yesterday and on the 27th.

Most of the warblers have left the park, however there were still six
species at the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail yesterday, and a couple of
reports of Orange-crowned there which should be increasing this week.

Sparrow diversity and numbers are increasing. Large mixed flocks of
White-crowned, White-throated, Lincoln's and other sparrows are now
becoming a regular feature in open areas like the Old Airfield at Mew Lake.

This is the week to find Nelson's and LeConte's Sparrows, and while no
reports have come in yet, check the Lake of Two Rivers Marsh (Nelson's) or
the South end of the Old Airfield (LeConte's) for these two sought-after
sparrows, which are both regular in the park at this time.

Rusty Blackbirds have been in the Airfield almost every day, with a max of
twenty-one birds there on the 29th. Also there, American Pipits and Horned
Larks are increasing. This is a good time to look for Longspurs or Hoyt's
Horned Lark amongst them.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: A hen was on Opeongo Road on the 26th. A male was at Spruce
Bog on the 30th, and two birds were there on October 1st. Two were seen at
the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail on 1st. Two were seen at Opeongo Road
on the 1st as well.

Gray Jay: A pair of birds were at the Logging Museum on the 25th. Reports
from the North end of Mizzy Lake trail of these birds were made almost all
week.

Boreal Chickadee: A grand total of six birds were found in two flocks at
the north end of the Mizzy Lake trail yesterday. These are quite vocal now.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was at the Logging Museum on the 25th. On the
27th, a bird was at the Algonquin Logging Museum. On Oct 1st, a bird was at
the Two Rivers trail.

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, ON

 

 

Re(1): Late Warblers
Posted on October 4, 2013 at 06:26:29 PM by diannawolfe

I had a rather late Black-throated Blue Warbler in a balsam beside our driveway this afternoon, also. (Kilworthy)

 

 

Late Warblers
Posted on October 4, 2013 at 01:05:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we had an interesting mixed flock of small birds feeding in/under our birch trees. In addition to the usual Chickadees, there were several Chipping Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Northern Cardinal, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, two Palm Warblers, and surprisingly, a Nashville and a Tennessee Warbler. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Marsh Wren, Pied-billed Grebes - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 4, 2013 at 08:05:59 PM by Goodyear

The Marsh Wren was still there this evening. An Orange-crowned Warbler was in the ditch on the west side of the dumping ponds, and as we were leaving, 500+ Ring-billed Gulls flew over, heading out to the lake.

 

 

Marsh Wren, Pied-billed Grebes - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 3, 2013 at 12:01:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Marsh Wren in the cattails east of cell 4. Two Pied-billed Grebes were in cell 2. Two American Wigeons and two Green-winged Teals were in cell 3. The numbers of Ring-necked Ducks continue to increase in cell 4, now around 50. Two Palm Warblers were at the north side of cell 4, as well as four Eastern Phoebes and several White-crowned and Song Sparrows. As I was leaving there were five Turkey Vultures streaming by on their way south.

 

 

Wasp mimic
Posted on October 1, 2013 at 07:34:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today's warm sunshine brought several Flower Flies to our garden. Here are a couple photos of my favourites. (Bracebridge)
Spilomyia longicornis (a great wasp mimic): photo

Hemophilus sp.:  photo

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