Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July - September 2014
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Posted on October 1, 2014 at 08:17:18 AM by Ron Tozer
Although very rare in Algonquin Park, there are three late Yellow-billed Cuckoo records: September 24, 26 and October 22.
Posted on September 30, 2014 at 05:40:01 PM by Al Sinclair
Pretty good sighting for Muskoka and much later than expected also. Thanks for posting it. No doubt on the ID with such a great photo! Looks like it might be a juvenile.
Posted on September 30, 2014 at 03:07:30 PM by janice house
great photo, was the bird calling?
Posted on September 27, 2014 at 10:59:56 PM by John Challis
This brilliant show of colour appeared on a stalk of goldenrod by our house this morning. The adult moth is an amazingly hairy thing, but otherwise quite drab. The teen years are always the showiest... photo
There is a sighting map on the link included. Moth photographers website
Posted on September 27, 2014 at 02:16:22 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning along the Covered Bridge trail there were three Orange-crowned Warblers, a Tennessee Warbler, six Blue-headed Vireos, two Red-eyed Vireos, and a Gray Catbird. (by the footbridge near the south end of the trail, not far from the entrance to the Covered Bridge subdivision -- Bracebridge)
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 04:43:38 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a lone Bufflehead in cell 4, as well as five Hooded Mergansers, and a few Mallards and Wood Ducks. In the shrubbery west of cell 4 there were Blue-headed Vireos, Purple Finch, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Phoebe, and American Goldfinch. North of cell 4 near the hill of dirt there were a few Warblers - Palm, Black-throated Green, Nashville, and Yellow-rumped.
Several Clouded Sulphur butterflies and a bright Orange Sulphur were seen as well as a few Monarchs, a Cabbage White, and a Mourning Cloak. After seeing our first European Mantis at the Ponds just a few days ago (see earlier post), today we saw six of them flying around cell 4.
Re(3): Pileated ant
Posted on September 27, 2014 at 08:50:55 PM by Barbara Taylor
I hadn't noticed any scent, but I didn't disturb them then. Luckily tonight there was a second eruption of the ants at a different spot in our yard...and yes, after disturbing some of the yellow-orange ants, there was definitely a lemony/citronella scent. So then I guess the species would be in the Lasius subgenus Acanthomyops. I think Lasius claviger is the most common one.
Re(2): Pileated ant
Posted on September 27, 2014 at 11:08:42 AM by John Challis
I've been able to find the golden ants under rocks in sandy soil. Have you noticed the citronella smell they give off when disturbed?
Re(1): Pileated ant
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 08:53:38 PM by dinnymccraney
Pileated ant feast
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 03:30:41 PM by Barbara Taylor
Yesterday around 5 p.m. I noticed a large gathering of ants by our back steps. This seems to be an annual one-day event when they come above ground for their nuptial flight in September. The large dark winged ones are queens, the smaller winged ants are males, and the colourful ones are workers. We never see the little yellow-orange ants at any other time of year, and already today there is no sign of them. The resident male Pileated Woodpecker spent over an hour hopping around our lawn grabbing as many of the flying ants as he could. (Bracebridge)
(Lasius sp.?) - photo Pileated - photo
Posted on October 2, 2014 at 08:30:22 PM by Barbara Taylor
This afternoon we had our first Juncos of the season visit our yard. There were also several White-crowned Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and White-throated Sparrows. A few Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Pine Siskins stopped by briefly too. (Bracebridge)
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 10:24:28 AM by Alex Mills
I was banding at Toronto's Leslie Street Spit on Tuesday the 23rd, and I was surprised to catch a Junco. It was their first of the year.
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 08:53:59 AM by Debbie Adams
This morning there were several Junco's in the garden. They are the first I've seen since they left last spring. (Walker's Point)
Re(1): Phoebe and
Posted on September 23, 2014 at 01:57:54 PM by Barbara Taylor
There was a Blue-headed Vireo singing in our yard this morning...nice to hear birdsong at this time of year. (Bracebridge)
Phoebe and Song
Posted on September 23, 2014 at 08:28:26 AM by Debbie Adams
This morning there was a lone Phoebe singing, half heartily, but singing just the same as well as a Song Sparrow. Such a welcome sound as I thought they were long gone.
Much more welcome than the sounds we heard last night. There were at least 6 coyotes/wolves howling on our laneway. We're sure 2 were in our driveway and the others spread out between the neighbours cottages. No wonder all the deer have disappeared. (Walker's Point)
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 04:38:25 PM by Barbara Taylor
Ron Pittaway has posted his Winter Finch Forecast.
You can find it here: http://www.jeaniron.ca/2014/forecast14.htm
Thanks Ron. Sounds like we might get some Redpolls this winter.
Club Meeting Sept. 30, 2014
Posted on September 21, 2014 at 08:08:50 PM by BevEaston
On Tuesday, September 30, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a presentation by member Dan Strickland about Birding in Colombia. Over 1800 bird species occur there, making Colombia the country with the longest bird list in the world. In January of 2013, Dan and five other birders managed to see over 500 of those species, including everything from dozens of tiny hummingbirds up to the huge Andean Condor. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall on West Street, 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.
Posted on September 21, 2014 at 02:35:24 PM by Al Sinclair
Photo forwarded by Dan Burton photo
Posted on September 21, 2014 at 12:20:04 PM by DBurton
On the 15th of September there was a Cackling Goose in Sundridge on a lawn facing Lake Bernard. I saw of photo of it today.
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 09:52:53 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
I just got home from two weeks up near Ungava Bay. The most numerous birds seen were White-crowned Sparrows. In fact it was assumed that any small bird was a white-crowned. It will be nice to see them here!
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 12:36:27 PM by janice house
We had two white crowned sparrows under the feeders on the weekend (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 11:12:43 AM by dinnymccraney
We have 2 white crowned sparrows under the feeders this morning. Have also had a male rose breasted grosbeak the past few days, (Bracebridge)
Posted on September 20, 2014 at 03:51:10 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three White-crowned Sparrows east of cell 4...first ones we've seen since spring migration took them well north of here. Just ahead of the rain there were several Turkey Vultures trying to soar southward. A Red-shouldered Hawk decided to come down and take cover in the woods behind the dumping ponds...the resident Blue Jays were not very happy about that. Five Palm Warblers were at the south side of cell 3.
Praying Mantis -
Posted on September 20, 2014 at 03:12:53 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we found a Praying Mantis at the east side of cell 4. I think this is the first one we've seen in Muskoka - they are not native to Canada. The one we found is a European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) which was introduced into eastern North America in the 1890s and is now a common species in southern Ontario. The black-ringed white spot on the inner base of the procoxa is diagnostic of Mantis religiosa -- see inner top segment of front leg in second photo. (ref.: http://journal.entsocbc.ca/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/101/98)
Another introduced species, the Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia) is commercially produced and is available as a biological control agent and in the pet trade. The Asian species is not as well established in southern Ontario as the European variety, but can be found along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Apparently both of these Mantids are very indiscriminate feeders and will devour other beneficial insects as well as each other, so I'm not sure how effective they really are as "biological control agents".
European Mantis (Mantis religiosa): photo1 photo2 photo3 (The Mantis started making a hissing sound when I moved the camera in close to take that last shot.)
killing the snakes?
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 03:14:41 PM by Barbara Taylor
It was not full size yet...maybe a "teenager".
there were two live Garter Snakes in the same area. One was quite large and the
other about half its size.
They moved too fast for me to get a better shot. photo
killing the snakes?
Posted on September 22, 2014 at 01:35:12 PM by coreyhkh
Thats not good, was the garter an adult?
What's killing the
Posted on September 19, 2014 at 01:59:44 PM by Barbara Taylor
Today at the Bracebridge Ponds we found a "fresh" dead Garter Snake at the west side of cell 4. This was almost the same spot where we found a dead Hognose Snake on August 23. Once again no sign of any injury, and like the Hognose, the Garter Snake had its mouth open. Hmmmm...is there some sort of virus affecting them or something toxic in cell 4?
huge flock of jays
Posted on September 19, 2014 at 11:53:13 AM by John Challis
Yesterday morning I watched what was likely more than a hundred birds fly overhead. It took a bit of time to recognize because they were fairly high up, but they were all blue jays. They seemed to be making a beeline south. My guess is they were in Timmins, took one look at the 10 cm of snow there and packed their bags.
Posted on September 19, 2014 at 01:59:44 PM by J. Gardner
We had several hatchings of Snapping Turtles over the 24 years we lived at Hurdville (Lake Manitouwabing), several from nests on the front lawn. We rescued as many as 8, several times, as they made their way out the driveway being attacked by various bird species. It is very sad to find the headless remains of hatchlings in the driveway. June Gardner Now living in Bracebridge and hoping to get to the lagoons when the boxes are empty.
Posted on September 19, 2014 at 01:44:48 PM by Barbara Taylor
We've seen several very large Snapping Turtles at the Ponds, but I don't recall seeing any hatchlings before - must have just timed it right yesterday.
Today we only found this little one beside cell 1. photo
There were a few American Pipits along the roadway south of cell 2 and an American Wigeon in cell 1. A Bald Eagle flew overhead heading south.
Posted on September 18, 2014 at 09:27:21 PM by George Bryant
Five baby Snappers is remarkable. I've only seen a couple of baby Snappers ever and never heard of anyone ever seeing multiples. Bracebridge lagoons must be filled with Snapping Turtles, what with all the bite-size ducklings.
Re(3): more baby
Posted on September 21, 2014 at 04:45:05 PM by Barbara Taylor
This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds we found six recently hatched Snapping Turtles by cell 4 and eight more by cell 2. One little guy had just crawled out of the nest so we were able to find the exit hole only a few inches away. There was an eggshell visible down in the hole.
Since we've never noticed any hatchlings at the Ponds before, I don't know when the normal hatch date would be for our area. Bob Bowles said the first hatch date at Tiny Marsh this year was September 5, just one day later than last year, and surprisingly, numbers have been higher this year than
Posted on September 19, 2014 at 02:06:40 PM by Alex Mills
I was very interested to see this. I am surprised that there were successful nests this year. We had so much less total heat than in more recent summers, I would have thought the summer would end before the turtles reached a state of development allowing them to hatch.
Posted on September 18, 2014 at 02:19:48 PM by Barbara Taylor
Here are a couple of the young Snapping Turtles - shells were only about 1.5 inches in length and seemed to be coated with sand. I almost stepped on the first one since it was so small and blended in with the surroundings. photo1 photo2 mapleleavesphoto
Posted on September 18, 2014 at 01:18:56 PM by Barbara Taylor
Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two American Wigeons in cell 3 as well as a Solitary Sandpiper and three Green-winged Teal. An American Black Duck was in cell 2. Five very tiny Snapping Turtles and a Garter Snake were along the roadway at the west side of cell 4.
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 01:46:10 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were eight American Pipits amongst the weeds in the gravel area north of cell 4. A Wilson's Warbler, Gray Catbird, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and some Common Yellowthroats were in the shrubbery west of cell 4. A few Palm Warblers were in the webworm infested trees at the west side of cell 3. A Green Heron was at the south end of cell 1 and a Belted Kingfisher flew past. Only a few Hooded Mergansers, Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and a couple Green-winged Teal were on the ponds. Several Turkey Vultures were soaring southward.
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:08:04 AM by John Challis
A couple of days ago I noticed some tiny, orange-yellow aphids on our milkweed plants.
Checked, and they are Aphis nerii. There appeared to be a few ants bustling around them, as though they were corralling them. But I wonder if the sap the aphids are feeding on would be toxic to the ants, or whether they'd be using the aphid 'milk' as a defensive mechanism for their nest... Anyone have any insight?
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 10:30:46 AM by John Challis
On the Green River this morning, with the early sun streaming through banks of mist on the river, a yellow-throated vireo broke into song. Another began answering, with the songs occasionally interrupted by their quarrel-like chattering. Chickadees and other warblers/kinglets? in the shadows picked through the maples at water's edge.
A very satisfying way to start a day.
Posted on September 14, 2014 at 01:57:03 PM by Barbara Taylor
The Wigeon was still in cell 1 this morning but had disappeared by the time we left. A few Palm Warblers were in the shrubs along the west side of cell 3. An adult Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a dead tree west of cell 4, and a Merlin went shooting past from the woods north of cell 4. Two Savannah Sparrows were feeding at the edge of the roadway south of cell 2. Two Great Blue Herons flew up from the NW corner of cell 3 and headed south.
Posted on September 13, 2014 at 05:34:11 PM by Goodyear
Late this afternoon between rain showers i took a walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons. Almost 100 Canada Geese were in cell 3, a female American Wigeon and a Green-winged Teal were in cell 1, and two Blue-winged Teal were in cell 4.
Posted on September 12, 2014 at 02:06:23 PM by Barbara Taylor
Around noon today there were two Lincoln's Sparrows at Henry Marsh in the alders near the footbridge. A Merlin flew past and played a game of tag with two Blue Jays for a while.
At the Bracebridge Ponds there were at least six Palm Warblers feeding on the weedy hill of dirt north of cell 4. There was also a lone juvenile Cedar Waxwing, an Eastern Phoebe, and a Black-throated Green Warbler nearby. Five Hooded Mergansers were in cell 4. Several fresh looking Monarch Butterflies were flying around.
Posted on September 12, 2014 at 11:20:26 AM by janice house
Lots of chickadees & red breasted nuthatches calling this morning on my dog walk, 100+ canada geese flew over the house in v formation (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst) Every day this week a pileated woodpecker has crossed hwy 11 between the Reay Rd and Skyways. There is a huge bald-faced hornet nest in my neighbours cedar hedge, I estimate it is about a foot high, actually very interesting. Lots of hornets around the entrance this morning, of course we keep our distance.
Posted on September 8, 2014 at 08:52:15 PM by Barbara Taylor
I found this Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (aka P-14) in our garden...first one I've seen here. This is an introduced European species. Although it is sometimes referred to as the Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle, that common name is also used for another species that can be found in Ontario. (Bracebridge) photo
Posted on September 7, 2014 at 08:00:24 PM by Barbara Taylor
Scarlet Tanagers are considered to be common in Muskoka, but I hardly ever see one...so it was nice that one spent some time feeding in our birch trees this afternoon even though its plumage was greenish-yellow, not scarlet. There were also a few Red-eyed Vireos, and some Warblers - a Blackpoll, several Black-throated Green, and Nashvilles. A Brown Creeper was singing its spring song or I would have missed it working its way up a pine tree. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk circled overhead to gain altitude, and then continued on its migration southward. And still one female plumage Ruby-throated Hummingbird hanging around. (Bracebridge)
Bracebridge Ponds -
Sora, Green Herons
Posted on September 6, 2014 at 01:41:05 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Sora at the south-west corner of cell 1 (thanks to the Goodyears for finding it). A Pied-billed Grebe was in cell 3. An adult and a juvenile Green Heron were at the north side of cell 4 - the young bird still had some white downy feathers on its head. In cell 4 there were 7 Hooded Mergansers, a Common Merganser, a Bufflehead, and 8 Blue-winged Teal. Three Solitary Sandpipers were around cell 4.
Re(2): Mushroom -
Posted on September 9, 2014 at 09:31:37 PM by dinnymccraney
Sorry, it split and disintegrated by the time we were able to get another look
Re(1): Mushroom -
Posted on September 5, 2014 at 06:23:30 PM by Al Sinclair
Interesting pattern of cracks but can't say what it is. More photos of stem and underside would be helpful.
Mushroom - ID?
Posted on September 5, 2014 at 10:44:42 AM by dinnymccraney
Can anyone identify this mushroom growing at my sister's cottage near Gravenhurst? photo
Re(1): Grey County
Posted on September 3, 2014 at 09:18:16 PM by Barbara Taylor
I don't know of any sightings board for that area other than what you can find on eBird. You can see recent checklists submitted to eBird by County or Hotspot. This link should take you to the Grey County page: http://ebird.org/ebird/subnational2/CA-ON-GR?yr=all
Grey County Bird
Posted on September 2, 2014 at 07:20:46 PM by lauragilmour
Does anyone know of a good bird board like this one for the Grey County area?
Naturalists - Sept. 4 meeting in Gravenhurst
Posted on September 2, 2014 at 04:48:42 PM by Barbara Taylor
Thought I'd give a heads up for anyone planning to go hear George Bryant's talk about "60 years of birding in Muskoka - changes we've seen". All the Muskoka Field Naturalists meetings will now be held in Gravenhurst instead of the usual switch back to Bracebridge.
from www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com -- Change in Location:
All meetings will now be held in Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre (Grace and Speed Museum), located at 275 Steamship Bay Road off Hwy. 169 N (towards Bala).
Pigeon...Extinct 100 Years
Posted on September 1, 2014 at 09:07:49 AM by ChrisKerrigan
Let us pause at 1pm today, September 1st, and remember "Martha", the very last living Passenger Pigeon who died at age 29, in the Cincinnati Zoo. Once numbering in the billions, now zero...I hope we have learned!!! R.I.P Passenger Pigeons........
Vireo, Wilson's Warblers
Posted on September 2, 2014 at 12:47:26 PM by Barbara Taylor
Yesterday we found a few Warblers along the trail east of Henry Marsh, but it was fairly quiet. There was Magnolia, Nashville, Black-throated Blue, Common Yellowthroat, and American Redstart. Also a Winter Wren. (Bracebridge)
Posted on August 31, 2014 at 11:51:22 AM by Barbara Taylor
This morning a large mixed flock of Warblers and Vireos moved through our yard, spending most of their time feeding in the birch trees. There were at least two Wilson's Warblers among the many Black-throated Green, Nashville, Bay-breasted, Pine, Blackburnian, and Chestnut-sided Warblers. A Philadelphia Vireo gave me great views as it devoured a large sawfly larva. There were also some Red-eyed Vireos but they lagged behind the main group. (Bracebridge)
Here's a photo of an Elm Sawfly larva which I took last summer - their colour is quite variable, but most of the ones I've found are pale yellowish-white. This colourful one is similar to the one the warbler was feeding on today. photo
Yellowlegs - photos
Posted on September 2, 2014 at 12:20:17 PM by Barbara Taylor
Nice photos. I love the first pic of the Solitary Sandpiper...the way you caught it in mid-step almost looks like it's showing off its green leg. There has been one at the Bracebridge Ponds for a few days, but was too far away for me to get a decent shot.
Lesser Yellowlegs -
Posted on August 31, 2014 at 11:10:46 AM by michaelhatton
Yellowlegs moving south in numbers. These pics were taken last weekend just south of Muskoka.
Posted on August 30, 2014 at 02:04:49 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three Green-winged Teal and a Solitary Sandpiper in cell 3. In cell 4 there were three Hooded Mergansers, two Pied-billed Grebes, and about thirty Canada Geese that flew in from the north-west. A few Turkey Vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk were soaring southward. A Least Flycatcher was calling near the Lagoon Lane gate.
Posted on August 30, 2014 at 01:50:54 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we found some large Monarch larvae on the milkweed...hope they are "natives" and not progeny of the butterflies which were released at a special event in town earlier this summer. We also found an empty chrysalis and a nearby Monarch butterfly still pumping up its wings. photo1 photo2 photo3
Posted on August 31, 2014 at 06:48:26 PM by Debbie Adams
I found a brown snake IN MY BEDROOM not too long ago. Someone left the sliding screen door open just enough for the critter to get in. I was not a happy camper nor was the snake!
Posted on August 29, 2014 at 10:48:42 PM by coreyhkh
I checked out the TB this evening and to my horror I found a hognose snake dead on the road, worst part is it looked pretty fresh.
A little depressed I carried on and was able to find 2 five lined skinks,ring-neck and a brown snake.
Mostly I just found lots of millipedes..... creepy looking if you ask me.
other then that the only other thing I saw sandhill cranes, They must of bred because they where around all summer.
Re(2): Is this a
Lawrence's or a Brewster's-warbler?
Posted on August 29, 2014 at 02:40:07 PM by DBurton
Top photo is a Lawrence's and bottom with black eye line is a Brewster's. Since neither is sterile, back-crosses involving hybrids can produce considerable variability in offspring.
Re(1): Is this a
Lawrence's or a Brewster's-warbler?
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 07:32:23 PM by missyinmuskoka
I have been confused by these two warblers I got this summer up here. I thought the first was a lawrences, and the second a brewsters.... Can you confirm? The one I thought was a lawrence's looks different than Corey's. photo1 photo2
Re(1): What will
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 04:03:55 PM by coreyhkh
Thanks Alex for the help, no this is a different bird, the Lawrence's I posted was the same one I found last year and it returned to the same spot to breed on cannings Rd.
What will happen
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 02:26:25 PM by Alex Mills
Based on range and population trends, it seems likely that the Blue-winged Warbler type will ultimately win. That does not mean that the Golden-winged genes will entirely disappear. But it may mean that in the future we have birds that look essentially like Blue-winged Warblers, but which will have some genetic material from Golden-winged Warblers that is maintained in the population.
This would be like the current situation with Townsend's Warblers in much of western BC. They look like the "pure" Townsend's Warblers of the Rockies, but if you sequence their DNA, the population has genetic material from Hermit Warblers, presumably from a period of multiple hybridizations in the past.
Re(1): Is this a
Lawrence's or a Brewster's-warbler?
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 02:18:10 PM by Alex Mills
What a wonderful photo! Is this the "Lawrence's" from Muskoka that you posted images of earlier? Or a different bird?
Although pure Golden-winged populations still exist (mostly at the far northwest--perhaps only in Manitoba now) and pure Blue-winged populations appear to still exist (further south in the U.S.), most populations have some significant degree of introgression. Introgression occurs where there has been multiple hybridization events, so that many individuals may be primarily one "species" but still have some genes from the other (and hence exhibit some expression of those other genes, as in plumage colour and pattern).
Theoretically at least, a typical Brewster's is a first generation offspring of a pure Golden-winged and a pure Blue-winged. And then, when a Brewster's breeds with a parental species, a back-cross occurs to produce, theoretically, a typical Lawrence's. But when you get birds that are varying degrees of one parent species or the other, back-crosses are often not typical. A bird that is 3/8 Blue-winged, breeding with a bird that is 3/16 Golden-winged, may very well produce some atypical plumage pattern.
Your image is of a bird that is certainly of "mixed" parentage, as you know. It is certainly not a classic first-generation Brewster's (it is too good looking!), but it is not a classic Lawrence's either. And neither is it a pure Blue-winged or Golden-winged. The bottom line is, there is not a name to apply to all the possibilities. I would call it an Atypical Lawrence's Warbler (as a default name, since it is not a Golden-winged, not a Blue-winged, and not a Brewster's (i.e. not a first generation hybrid)).
Here's a good article on the subject.
Is this a
Lawrence's or a Brewster's-warbler?
Posted on August 28, 2014 at 11:49:38 AM by coreyhkh
It was taken in Bracebridge in the spring, I thought it was a
Brewster's-warbler but the eye patch is more like the Lawrence.
Posted on August 25, 2014 at 06:55:10 PM by Bob Burt
We often see Kingfishers around Muskoka, usually near bodies of water. As their name implies they like to feed on fish and other aquatic life. We always see them around the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh, especially in the springtime.
Posted on August 24, 2014 at 11:34:31 PM by Terri
Are Belted Kingfishers rare around Muskoka because we have one that is always around our place.
Posted on August 24, 2014 at 04:17:16 PM by Barbara Taylor
This afternoon there were two American Kestrels and a Belted Kingfisher along the section of Beatrice Townline Rd. just north of Falkenburg Rd.
Warblers on the
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 07:11:57 PM by StuartImmonen
Briefly this afternoon, when the weather was at its most humid and still, a loose mixed flock of warblers passed through our property. In attendance (mostly in fall colours) were Black-and-white, Nashville, Am. Redstart, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Bay-breasted and Yellow-rumped. Best twenty minutes of the year for me.
Stuart Immonen, Novar.
Re(1): Rattle Snake
Posted on August 25, 2014 at 04:42:07 PM by coreyhkh
excellent did it make it safely across the road?
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 05:41:37 PM by michelpotvin
as I was driving down North Loon Lake Road in Gravenhurst I saw a thick two foot snake. When I came along side it I identified it as a massasauga rattlesnake. Watched it for a while along the road rattling
Re(4): Milk Snake
Posted on August 25, 2014 at 04:43:11 PM by coreyhkh
That sucks but still a great sign to see a young one.
Re(3): Milk Snake
Posted on August 24, 2014 at 09:49:24 AM by Barbara Taylor
No sign of any obvious trauma, but I didn't flip it over to check underneath. Couldn't have been dead for long since only one fly on it and no Carrion Beetles yet.
Thanks Dianna for the corrected ID. I wondered about the oversized head and why a young milk snake would be near a wet marshy area. Hognose makes much more sense. Never seen one at the Bracebridge Ponds before.
Re(2): Milk Snake -
Posted on August 24, 2014 at 08:51:06 AM by Al Sinclair
Any ideas on what happened to it, see any tire tracks from ATVs or motor bikes?
Re(1): Milk Snake -
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 11:45:34 PM by diannawolfe
Your Milksnake was actually a young Hog-nosed Snake. Nice find, albeit unfortunate that it was dead.
Milk Snake -
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 03:19:42 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we found a dead Milk Snake at the west side of cell 4. It wasn't much more than a foot long. This is the first one we've seen in the area. photo
We hadn't seen a single Red Admiral butterfly this year around Muskoka...finally got one by cell 4. There were a few Black Saddlebags dragonflies as well. A Common Goldeneye was in cell 3 and the family of Indigo Buntings was still hanging around the Lagoon Lane gate.
Posted on August 21, 2014 at 09:33:38 PM by dinnymccraney
Haven't seen one for awhile but spotted him perusing the territory at the edge of the garden at dusk tonight. Sure hope he rids us of the annoying squirrels that are taking over the place!
Re(3): Loon ID
Posted on August 20, 2014 at 10:59:08 AM by missyinmuskoka
I got this reply from Kathy at Birds studies. " it is probably a second or a third year non-breeder, funny they do not normally stick around the “smaller” Lakes.
Re(2): Loon ID
Posted on August 20, 2014 at 10:15:13 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
Juveniles don't have red eyes and they don't turn red until 2-5 years.
Re(1): Loon ID
Posted on August 20, 2014 at 07:46:53 AM by Debbie Adams
I saw a young loon exactly like this a few weeks ago on Lake Muskoka near Jannock's Narrows (lake side of Bala Park Is) and it was with it's mom. When we came close to take a photo, it dove and mom called out a warning.
Great photo BTW.
Posted on August 19, 2014 at 07:30:01 PM by missyinmuskoka
I am trying to decipher whether this common loon is a non-breeding adult, or a juvenile. This is the second summer I have seen this loon, but finally got a chance to photograph it. Thank you. photo
Warblers photos from the spring and summer.
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 03:21:49 PM by michaelhatton
Wow! Thanks for posting.
Posted on August 19, 2014 at 07:32:34 PM by missyinmuskoka
Corey, these images are all so spectacular! Congratulations, they are so difficult to photograph and you have made it look so easy!
photos from the spring and summer.
Posted on August 19, 2014 at 12:25:56 PM by coreyhkh
All taken around gravenhurst and Bracebridge.
Lawrence's Warbler photo
Blue-Wing Warbler - Golden Hour photo
Blackburnian Warbler photo
Magnolia Warbler photo
Chestnut-sided Warbler photo
Black and White Warbler photo
Posted on August 18, 2014 at 08:31:13 AM by Carol Wagg
We were always under the impression that monarchs were the only ones to eat milkweed, but there was a horde of these guys who had stripped milkweed leaves right to the veins, which were left dangling like fringe. Can someone please identify for us? photo
Posted on August 18, 2014 at 08:20:31 AM by Carol Wagg
Great picture with background detail. We have found three caterpillars but I hope they have found a safe place to cocoon, as we have not seen them for several days now.
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 05:53:53 PM by Debbie Adams
Found the only monarch caterpillar I've seen this year. photo
Imperial Moth Caterpillar
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 10:32:22 AM by janice house
I managed to save two this weekend, same spot on Laycox Rd.(off Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst), too much traffic to let them waddle across the road on their own
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 10:35:20 AM by janice house
Broad-winged hawks have nested again this year at the cottage (Skeleton Lake Rd 3), there are two calling constantly which I assume is parent and juvenile. I have yet to find the nest.
Posted on August 15, 2014 at 06:59:02 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning Don Bailey called to say they had a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk perched on their roof and it had flown off towards our house. I heard some Blue Jays making a fuss, and sure enough, there was the hawk perched in a tree overlooking our brush pile. (Bracebridge) photo1 photo2
& More, Bala
Posted on August 20, 2014 at 10:12:04 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
there has been a male Wilson's Warbler around for the last two days.
& More, Bala
Posted on August 15, 2014 at 03:48:35 PM by janice house
This last week I have had a catbird and king bird in one of the spruce trees behind the house, no calling but just popping in and out of the tree (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)
Warbler & More,
Posted on August 15, 2014 at 12:40:54 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
For the past week there has been a flurry of warblers and other bird species feeding in the pin cherry trees along the side of my house. So far today I have seen a family of American Redstarts, A family of Red-eyed Vireos, blackburnians, Nashvilles, Tennessee, Black & White, Chestnut-sided, Black throated Greens, male & female juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Have had flickers, Black-throated blues - M & F, Ovenbirds and waterthrush.
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 08:47:08 AM by diannawolfe
Sadly, at least 2 of our monarch larvae perished a couple of weeks ago (we had at least 6). I watched two of them on the same plant acting strangely (they had stopped foraging and each sat motionless on the top of a leaf) and looking bloated. An hour later, one of them had liquified to nothing but a small shred of "skin" and all traces of its innards had disappeared on the plant by the next day. The second was still suspiciously motionless and bloated when the first expired, and was never seen again. I suspect they succumbed to a zombie virus (baculovirus), which I had seen potential evidence of two years ago, when a full-sized monarch caterpillar hung as though to pupate and instead liquified to an oozy, gooey, dripping green mess.
The other monarch caterpillars in another part of the garden appeared unaffected this year, but I haven't seen them for two weeks. Fingers are crossed that they moved to other plants and I just can't find them.
Here's a link about baculovirus: http://www.livescience.com/15962-zombie-caterpillar-virus.html
Posted on August 14, 2014 at 08:51:53 PM by John Challis
By this morning the case had begun to take on the classic milky green colour with gold dots, but it still had some changing to go.
Posted on August 14, 2014 at 08:48:11 PM by John Challis
The milkweeds at the side of our house (Washago) have been home to about half a dozen happy monarch caterpillars. On Monday, Gayle found one of them hanging from the siding of our garage, having glued its posterior. About 24 hours later it began squirming and twisting, and within a few hours had burst its skin, revealing the chrysalis beneath. photo
Posted on August 21, 2014 at 12:50:54 PM by Terri
Thank you Debbie. I have seen 8 on the feeder at one time but I haven't been able to get that picture. I did get 5 in a picture though. :) Oh and you're right this is Paradise...
Posted on August 14, 2014 at 05:46:23 PM by Debbie Adams
Great photo! Thanks for sharing. Our Hummers keep scaring each other away so we only ever see one at the feeder.
Oh, and welcome to Paradise. Best place in the world to live IMO!
Posted on August 13, 2014 at 11:52:03 AM by Terri
Hi Everyone, New to the board and to Muskoka, coming up on a year that we moved here. Loving it so far and really enjoying seeing all the birds. I know Hummingbirds are common to the area but I was very lucky enough to get this picture of three on the feeder at the same time. Love these little birds, they are really neat. photo
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 04:36:08 PM by NigelEves
Corey! These are beautiful! As nice as the pileated pair photo of yours.
Thanks for posting them.
Posted on August 11, 2014 at 08:39:34 PM by AkStinnissen
Awesome photos Corey, thanks for sharing these.
Posted on August 8, 2014 at 02:33:12 PM by EClough
I have been doing a lot of morning birding at TB in the last week. Seen a small garter or two but that is all. I walk around the walks in my flip-flops but I think I will start at least wearing some shoes!
Nice pictures - thanks for sharing
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 08:55:50 PM by coreyhkh
On the long weekend I went in search of reptiles to photograph and I had good luck. I was able to find two rattlesnakes in about 10mins under rocks on the Torrance Barrens.
I am desperately looking for a hognose but have not been able to find one anywhere, looks like I will have to check out Henry marsh.
Massasauga Rattlesnake photo
Dekay's Brown Snake photo
Northern Redbelly Snake photo
Eastern Garter Snake photo
Eastern Milk Snake photo
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 04:08:58 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at Henry Marsh we flushed an American Bittern and a Great Blue Heron at the north side of the trail. At the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Green Herons at the west end of cell 3 - note: work being done at the dumping ponds is ongoing with lots of activity during regular working hours.
Hog-nosed Snake (photos)
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 10:09:28 PM by Barbara Taylor
We found the snake around 11 a.m. Yes, it was definitely a different snake than the one you found last year Corey, and also different from the one photographed by Bruce Ripley. This one is well marked with blotches and smaller, only about 20 inches or so.
Hog-nosed Snake (photos)
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 08:43:25 PM by coreyhkh
This is a different one from last year! this is great news!
What time of day did you see it and how long would you say it was?
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 02:58:44 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning we came upon this Hog-nosed Snake on the trail east of Henry Marsh in Bracebridge. Luckily I had my camera! As we walked past, it raised up its head and took on the typical "fake cobra" look and began to hiss. On our return trip there was no sign of it. I will be submitting a report to document the sighting.
Posted on August 6, 2014 at 04:14:51 PM by George Bryant
This morning we observed two Common Nighthawks over Highland Pond, Torrance Barrens, circling, with one at least diving and "booming" for ~20 minutes. We also have a Whip-poor-will still calling at Pine Lake, Gravenhurst. I read that the young should now or very soon be fledged. I assume adults display until then although I do hear Whip-poor-wills as late as September. Nice to have some birds still calling at this time of year. BTW, the barrens are lush and green unlike most summers. Blueberries are at their peak, the best I've seen in ten years. Blackberries will also be excellent in another week or so.
Bees Not Only
Insect Absent, Bala
Posted on August 6, 2014 at 11:33:07 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
As usual I have an abundance of oregano in flower and one of the reasons I tolerate its spreading habits are that it normally hosts hundreds of nectare eating insects. Usually I can hear the hum of the flying hoards from my doorway. Not this year. There are bumble bees and that is about it.
The only abundant insect around my place this year is mosquitos!
Morning at RRR (MagnoliaWarbler)
Posted on August 10, 2014 at 02:07:54 PM by Barbara Taylor
I've enjoyed your reports Eric. Hope you manage to find some Indigo Buntings before your departure. There was a family of four by the Lagoon Lane entrance gate at the Bracebridge Ponds yesterday morning.
Saturday Morning at
Posted on August 9, 2014 at 09:51:30 AM by EClough
another fantastic morning of birds at RRR. When I got to the first hydro plant just past the bridge I stopped and immediately found a very large mixed flock. beautiful sunlight for viewing, no workers and very little car traffic. The birds hung around for over an hour before dispersing. I've never seen so many Nashville Warblers. just guessing at about 75 birds total and nearly a third were Nashvilles. Every third bird I got glass on was a Nashville. I kept trying to make one of them into a Mourning or Connecticut or Tenessee but only Nashville Nashville Nashville. There were BT Greens and plenty of CS Warblers with the other regulars (vireos, chickadees, nuthatches, peewees, etc...). The "best" bird and another first for me at RRR was a fall adult male Magnolia Warbler.
I have only a couple of days left for birding and this will likely be my last posting.
Posted on August 8, 2014 at 02:29:05 PM by EClough
I don't mean to clog up your bird board with my reports so I thought it might be best to just add replies to my original post. Hope that is OK.
I did go out to TB again late this morning. it took a little while to find birds but when I did - wow! Sparrow-
Palooza! I am coming to grips with a recognition that I am not very good at identifying sparrows. The majority seemed to be Field and Chipping Sparrows - both adults and juveniles. A few Song Sparrows easily identified by their voice and plumage. Earlier I posted juncos were present but I think that was wrong. I think I was seeing the white tail feathers of Vesper Sparrows. Any comments on that from others who might know better would be appreciated. I think I saw some Lincoln Sparrows based on the finely patterned streaking washed with brown and combined with the rufous color on the head. I'm not very familiar with Clay-colored Sparrows so could be confused... A person could spend a long time sorting out sparrows.
Finally caught-up with the Nighthawks overhead calling and swooping. A flock of Eastern Bluebirds passed through. Saw a non-male Baltimore Oriole. Kind of expecting to see a meadowlark but no luck. No more calling Cuckoos either. A House Wren was present and singing. Chickadees, RE Vireos, nuthatches and mixed warbler (yellow, Myrtle, B&W, Nashville, Chestnut-sided, yellowthroat) flock were present. Had a Green Heron fly over the road on the way there.
What a beautiful place!
Re(1): Update: Ragged
Posted on August 11, 2014 at 08:22:04 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
I thought, late May & June, that lack of Indigo Buntings along Ragged Rapids Road was notable.
Posted on August 8, 2014 at 08:23:52 AM by EClough
Just a few days left for me here in Muskoka land. I certainly have been enjoying myself. I have returned to Ragged Rapids Road and Torrence Barrens almost daily. Every day something new turns up it seems. Most notably, at RRR I continue to find a good concentration of birds at one particular spot. Best for me was extended close-up encounters with Yellow-throated Vireos. All three vireos at that location, in fact. No Philadelphia Vireo - that would be a lifer for me. Finally found a pileated woodpecker. Still no Inidgo Buntings. Lot's of warblers I couldn't get a solid ID on. oh yes, also heard but did not see Great-crested Flycatcher at RRR.
At Torrence Barrens I found a Brown Thrasher and a Canada Warbler and I keep hearing what I think is a BB Cuckoo off in the distance. I am really surprised at how many calling and singing waterthrushes there are in the forest just before you get to the Barrens.
At Medora Road I found my first Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Posted on August 7, 2014 at 09:19:32 PM by coreyhkh
Ragged Rapids Birds
Posted on August 5, 2014 at 11:19:13 AM by EClough
I am visiting family in Bala and have been birding Torrence Barrens and Ragged Rapids road the last few days. Thought I would share my observations.
Ragged Rapids Road (RRR) has produced its usual mixed flocks. lots of birdless space but when you get into one of the flocks it is quite exciting. I spent an hour at one flock this morning. Traffic was pretty heavy today and seems to be less on the weekend. Here is a list of what I could identify with confidence. of course, there best birds, like the biggest fish, were the ones that got away.
BC chickadees, RB & WB Nutaches and RE Vireos have been the most abundant species with Common Yellow-throats, Chestnut-sided wablers, Blackburnian and B&W warblers a close second. Yellow warblers, YR warblers(myrtle), Nashville and Pine Warblers and American Redstarts. one Orange-crowned warbler, which was a first for me at RRR. One of the best birds for me and another first at RRR was a first fall Golden-winged wabler. Only a couple Black-throated Greens and no Black-throated Blues yet. No Indigo Buntings either wich seems unusual to me. Non-
warbler types I've seen at RRR include lots of RE Vireos and a couple of BH Vireos. Downy, Hairy, and Northern Flickers. No Pileateds so far. Brown Creepers. Rusty Blackbirds. Maybe one Alder Flycatcher but no other flycatchers. Eastern Peewee and Eastern Phoebe. great looks at a pair of Broad-wing Hawks. I'm probably forgetting a few...
At Torrence Barrens I have been treated to an abundance of Field Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Song and Swamp Sparrows, juncos and lots of singing Eastern Towhees. Singing Alder Flycatchers, Sandhill Cranes (heard only) and Black-billed Cuckoo (heard only). Also had a great look at singing Northern Waterthrush. Several of the warblers and vireos noted above at RRR. and a female Tanager that I assume was a Scarlet.
I hope to continue birding here for another week and will post again with any new or unusual sightings.
Posted on August 2, 2014 at 11:07:58 AM by John Challis
We have a good half-dozen monarch caterpillars on the milkweed around our house, getting nice and fat. Hoping for full success into adulthood. In recent years we've had trouble with some kind of parasite killing the chrysalis stage.
Re(3): hawk on the
Posted on July 31, 2014 at 07:13:57 PM by Barbara Taylor
The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas shows breeding was confirmed or probable near Washago in past years.
Here's a link to the latest data map for Goshawk: http://www.birdsontario.org/maps/nogo_be_full_en.png
Re(2): hawk on the
Posted on July 31, 2014 at 03:56:34 PM by John Challis
I'd say it was more brown across the back than grey, and Gayle felt it had a short tail -- juvenile goshawks seem to be more brown than grey though. Would a goshawk nest this far south? Maybe we can start looking for a nest.
Re(1): hawk on the
Posted on July 31, 2014 at 08:19:14 AM by John Challis
It had a short tail, heavy body and breast feathers dark (juvenile?). But it was a strong flier, as it went straight into a cluster of poplars and ash and came out with the crow in its talons.
Re(1): hawk on the
Posted on July 31, 2014 at 01:29:48 PM by Barbara Taylor
Sounds like something a Goshawk might do.
hawk on the hunt
Posted on July 31, 2014 at 08:14:49 AM by John Challis
At Washago last night we watched a large hawk take down a crow. Dark plumage but it was in shadow so couldn't identity what species it was. Anyone care to venture a guess as to what hawk would care to kill another bird almost the same size?
Posted on July 27, 2014 at 10:29:13 PM by pmoase
the pair of cranes were very loud last sat.and today they were seen without any young.torrance barrens south end of area.i had seen them before the post of 1 chick and was worried something was up last sat.BUT i did NOT have time to follow the upset calls.
Bald Blue Jays
Posted on July 27, 2014 at 10:03:20 PM by Barbara Taylor
It's that time of year again...several of the Jays in our neighbourhood always go bald when they molt, but the feathers soon grow back.
This guy stopped by for a peanut today. (Bracebridge) photo
Nature festival in
Posted on July 25, 2014 at 08:56:35 PM by FredPinto
The Nipissing Naturalists Club is organising a nature festival to be held on August 23-24, 2014. The festival is named after world renowned naturalist and nurse: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence. A number of events take place on Sat Aug 23 including a bird banding demo. On the 24th there will be an open house at the Louise de Kiriline Lawrence's cabin. All events are free. You can find the draft of our website at www.naturefestival.jimdo.com.
Like us on facebook for updates.
Posted on August 10, 2014 at 01:49:43 PM by Barbara Taylor
Whenever you see one, kill it...they aren't hard to catch. You could just squish one in a kleenex or if you have several, then throw them in some soapy water in a container that has a lid. I do that with Rose Chafers to try and keep their population down. Apparently Roses are also favourites of the Japanese Beetle, so avoid those or check them often.
Here's are a few helpful links:
Posted on August 8, 2014 at 07:58:45 PM by dinnymccraney
I found 5 in the garden today..recalled your post. What do I do?
Posted on July 25, 2014 at 08:23:50 AM by Al Sinclair
A friend in a Huntsvlle subdivision lost the battle with Japanese beetles. Tore up the lawn and replaced it with wood chips, flowering shrubs and plants. A big improvement from my point of view.
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:36:43 PM by Barbara Taylor
Today at the Bracebridge Ponds I noticed a few Japanese Beetles around cell 4 (photos below).
These are the first ones I've seen in the area. How prevalent are they in Muskoka?
Last summer I panicked after finding several shiny bronze-green beetles in our yard, but they turned out to be St. John's Wort Beetles - phew!
Japanese Beetles: photo1 photo1
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 02:42:23 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
Sandhill Crane and Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling Monday evening not far from my little lake. (Bala)
Re(2): Attack of
the Wild Snapping Turtle
Posted on July 25, 2014 at 08:29:11 AM by Al Sinclair
I once dangled my bare feet off a dock at a camp where people often cleaned fish. I felt something tickle my toe and saw a very large snapper just checking me out. I assumed it was thinking fish guts, realized it wasn't and backed off without biting.
Re(1): Attack of
the Wild Snapping Turtle
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:28:41 PM by coreyhkh
This surprises me as I have worked with snapping turtles alot and never had an issue, The only thing I can think of is that you scared it. Was it a big one?
Attack of the Wild
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 02:27:15 PM by George Bryant
Yesterday, the hottest day of the summer (water temp. 82oF), I was easing myself from the dock ladder into the lake preparatory for a swim. Wham--a Snapping Turtle bit my foot. I jumped back to the dock and observed a beady-eyed snapper poised for another attack. I was left with slightly painful bleeding curved bite marks around the middle toes--not a pretty picture. I thought Snapping Turtles never attack people. Wrong. I read now they rarely attack. So endeth any future thoughts of skinny dipping!
Whip-poor-will in Vankoughnet
Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:21:10 PM by George Bryant
We've had two calling here at Pine Lake (west of G.hurst) for the past 2-3 summers after an absence of 25 years. Makes cottaging here special. Despite the forest continuing to close in, they seem to be increasing hereabouts (they are a species at risk), unlike Nighthawks.
Posted on July 22, 2014 at 06:53:10 AM by FrancesGualtieri
On many evenings this summer, I hear a whip-poor-will very close by, start to call out around 9:30 pm - a real pleasure to hear the song, after so many years of absence!
Posted on July 21, 2014 at 01:55:28 PM by janice house
Just now 6 swifts were circling over the library, any ideas on where they are roosting?
Posted on July 21, 2014 at 08:18:15 AM by John Challis
Dining at the Dock of the Bay at Gravenhurst Wharf last night we watched an adult merlin carrying something across the water towards the point where it was met by four juveniles L competing to grab the tidbit from Mom/Dad's talons. Great hubris from all.
Posted on July 19, 2014 at 07:41:02 PM by Barbara Taylor
Today at the Bracebridge Ponds we found several caterpillars in the small willows along the west side of cell 4 and also at the east side in some young poplars. They are either Viceroy or White Admiral larvae, but I don't know a sure way to tell them apart. There were both the green and the brown colour variants - here are some of my photos:
Re(1): Don't be
encouraged by Monarchs seen in Bracebridge
Posted on July 23, 2014 at 02:11:12 PM by janice house
Bob Bowles posted large numbers of monarchs on butterfly counts on the Simcoe Nature Board starting two weeks ago, does he know about the release?
Re(1): Don't be encouraged
by Monarchs seen in Bracebridge
Posted on July 21, 2014 at 01:57:45 PM by janice house
One fresh and one faded in our yard yesterday, I could only find one big fat caterpillar on the milkweed.
Don't be encouraged
by Monarchs seen in Bracebridge
Posted on July 18, 2014 at 02:08:40 PM by Al Sinclair
Don't be encouraged by monarch sightings around Bracebridge. The fresh ones are probably from the Butterfly Release Day, a fund raiser for Muskoka Hospice. 575 monarchs were released July 13 in Memorial Park in downtown Bracebridge. Seems like a bad idea to me, importing butterflies from another location and releasing them to mate with wild ones here. There could be a negative impact on the local population, nobody really knows.
Posted on July 16, 2014 at 10:06:40 PM by Goodyear
This evening around 8:00 at the Bracebridge Lagoons there were 13 Least Sandpipers,3 Lesser Yellowlegs, and a Solitary Sandpiper at the east end and along the north edge of cell 3.
Posted on July 30, 2014 at 05:16:24 PM by Terri
I just saw a Bluebird today in my front yard on Hwy 118 E Bracebridge. I will try to get a picture if it comes back. Very pretty bird...
Posted on July 20, 2014 at 06:20:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman
Saturday was the first day Cedar Waxwings came in to the pin cherries at my place.
Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:19:58 PM by Barbara Taylor
We added a new species to our yard list this week...Eastern Bluebird. There was an adult male and female and at least one juvenile. The male was carrying Red Elder berries up to the young bird which was perched nearby. A neighbour down the street where there are large areas of open lawn and gardens had a pair of Bluebirds nesting in their birdhouse, so that is probably where these came from. (Bracebridge)
There have been several species feeding on the berries, including Crows, Robins, Cardinals, Phoebes, a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Hairy Woodpeckers. Usually we see Cedar Waxwings at the berries, but so far this year they haven't showed up. photo The Bluebirds look a little out of place in a pine tree...juvenile at top: photo
Posted on July 17, 2014 at 09:29:10 PM by diannawolfe
The black mark on the dorsal aspect of S2 should be U-shaped, with the arms of the U running up the sides of S2, if this were a Taiga Bluet. On this guy, the S2 marking appears to be more like that of a Marsh/Hagen's or Boreal/Northern/Vernal Bluet. In those species, from above the mark looks kind of like a mushroom, with no black running up the sides of the segment.
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 09:31:55 PM by Al Sinclair
Could be Taiga Bluet. Wait a week and see if you can photograph a mature blue one at the same location.
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 11:34:27 AM by diannawolfe
Looks like an immature male Marsh or Hagen's Bluet to me, going by the thoracic and abdominal markings and the size of the eyespots. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell them apart without a close-up view of the claspers found at the end of the abdomen. You can tell it's immature by its brownish eyes (adults tend to be blue or green). The narrowness of its abdomen indicates it's a male.
There are several other species in our area that look very similar and I find it impossible sometimes to ID them without catching them. If someone else has other thoughts on the ID, please weigh in!
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 10:01:45 AM by wayne bridge
Can anyone help me with species name for this damselfly, please? [and thank you Al & Barbara for the skipper ID]
Beside our driveway; Kearney; late June. photo
Posted on July 14, 2014 at 08:41:45 PM by George Bryant
On Torrance Barrens this morning I was delighted to observe a pair of orange Sandhill Cranes escorting an 8" chick. I watched and photo'ed the adults from a distance. They were stabbing their bills into the muck, picking up mouthfuls and then flicking them away, presumably attempting to catch frogs. The chick, a brilliant rust colour, I saw for one second twice as it walked between gaps in the tall grass.
Posted on July 14, 2014 at 07:24:20 PM by George Bryant
Inspired by Ontbird posts this morning, I checked a large nearby hayfield. I was delighted--it was still not cut. There were two adult male Bobolinks on station plus ~10 fledged Bobolinks making trial flights. Essentially they flew up from the middle of the field for 50' and then back down into the grass. I'm not sure I've appreciated this before. At any distance they are just a buffy bird with a Bobolink shape. One Savannah Sparrow was the only field bird still singing. The field is on the north side of Hwy. 169 just west of Pine Lake Road.
Posted on July 18, 2014 at 02:04:10 PM by Al Sinclair
Don't be encouraged by monarch sightings around Bracebridge. The fresh ones are probably from the Butterfly Release Day.
Eastern Tailed Blue
Posted on July 14, 2014 at 02:10:45 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three Eastern Tailed Blue butterflies around cell 4 - first ones I've seen this year. There were also several very fresh looking Monarchs and a few rather worn ones. Eastern Tailed Blue (male): underside - photo upperside - photo
August MFN meeting
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 09:04:15 PM by John Challis
Muskoka Field Naturalists who received their July-August Wakerobin will no doubt be confused by the erroneous date for the August meeting. Please note that it will be held Thursday, August 21, at the cottage of George and Stephanie Bryant. All other details in the newsletter are accurate. I hope.
first, Kirtlands Warbler - another photo
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 09:16:44 PM by tjack
Here is a photo of the Kirtland's Warbler singing. He was quite vociferous, thats how I found him. Named him "Chuckles" photo
Re(3): Thomas also
reported another new species for Muskoka
Posted on July 17, 2014 at 12:50:52 PM by Doug Smith
As for new species -- I would like a Cave Swallow and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, please.
Re(2): Thomas also
reported another new species for Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 07:07:34 PM by Al Sinclair
There was but it was just north of the Parry Sound boundary, at Bay Lake. ID was confirmed but it was not in Muskoka.
Re(1): Thomas also
reported another new species for Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 05:31:17 PM by DBurton
Wasn't Blue Grosbeak reported on the board a several years ago?
reported another new species for Muskoka
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 03:01:16 PM by Goodyear
Thomas has also seen Purple Sandpipers at Gray Island in Georgian Bay on two occasions. Another new species for Muskoka, bringing the total number recorded in Muskoka to 295. We are now on the countdown to 300! Any thoughts to what the next new species might be? I would never have guessed Kirtland's!! I'm still placing my money on Black Vulture, Blue Grosbeak, and American Avocet.
first, Kirtlands Warbler
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 01:23:14 PM by Al Sinclair
It's true. David Goodyear confirms that there has been no previous records of this species in Muskoka.
Thanks Thomas for sharing your photo on the Bird Board. It was found by Thomas Jackman at Go Home Bay on May 27, 2014 and was present until June 10. He rightly did not report the location of this endangered species until he was sure that it was not nesting. A report has been sent to the Ontario Rare Birds Record Committee. Kirtland's have been doing better recently due to conservation measures on their breeding territory in Michigan, and there is a small colony established in Ontario near Petawawa. It doesn't appear to have any bands so it's hard to say which location this bird belongs to.
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 09:04:53 AM by DinnyNimmo
A monarch at our back door yesterday on the swamp milkweed. July 14th. Hurlings Point Bala
Posted on July 11, 2014 at 09:34:20 PM by missyinmuskoka
Also saw my first Monarch today, fluttering about in the milkweed on South Kahshe Lake Road.
Posted on July 10, 2014 at 09:47:22 AM by Barbara Taylor
Judy Moore sent this photo of some Monarch larvae on milkweed planted in a sidewalk garden in Gravenhurst - July 9 on John St. photo
to see such large caterpillars, almost ready for the pupa stage.
You can follow the Monarch Butterfly migration at Journey North.
Posted on July 9, 2014 at 09:20:20 PM by Barb Staples
The tenant here this week saw a lone Monarch on the milkweed early this morning, will keep me updated. Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.
Posted on July 8, 2014 at 11:29:16 PM by Al Sinclair
purplish shading along the rear wing edges
single row of yellow cells on hindwing with one longer.
Posted on July 11, 2014 at 05:41:11 PM by Goodyear
Yesterday we saw one of the young dead on the road without its head. Too big a prey item for the Merlin?
Posted on July 10, 2014 at 08:28:15 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper and an adult on the roadway east of cell 4. Thankfully there was only one of the aggressive Herring Gulls hanging around cell 3 and no sign of the young ones, so our walk was much less hazardous today with only a couple swoops at us.
One of the young Canada Geese had somehow become separated from its three siblings and parents - it was inside the fence around the treatment plant and they were all on the outside by cell 3. The young bird couldn't find a way out since most of the fence is tight to the ground. It would walk along the fenceline in tandem with one of its parents, but they couldn't figure how to get back together. As we were leaving we decided to give them a hand and slowly shooed the young bird towards the open gate at the east end. The adult bird was hissing at us through the fence all the while, but calmed down once the kid was "free". The rest of the family quickly came over to get reunited with their wayward adventurer.
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 07:58:38 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we found our first Eastern Pondhawk of the year. Other dragonflies seen included several Black Saddlebags, Widow Skimmer, Common Green Darner, Calico Pennant, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Dot-tailed Whiteface, and Four-spotted Skimmer. An Acadian Hairstreak butterfly was resting on some milkweed - although considered common, it's the first we've seen. We couldn't find the Black-billed Cuckoos, but did see a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Merlin in the area. Beware of two very aggressive gulls near the Lagoon Lane entrance - they had two young with them and were determined to drive us away...we were divebombed continuously until we got all the way over to cell 4.
Acadian Hairstreak photo
Widow Skimmer (male) photo
Widow Skimmer (female) photo
Eastern Pondhawk (male) photo
Calico Pennant photo
HARRIS' CHECKERSPOT photo
PECK'S SKIPPER AND LONG DASH (ACCIDENTS HAPPEN) photo
LEAST SKIPPER photo
16th Annual Bala
Butterfly Count results
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 05:45:13 PM by Al Sinclair
16th Annual Bala Butterfly Count results
June 28, 2014, sunny 18C to 29C
19 species 166 individuals
5 observers: George Bryant, Cyril Fry, Janice House, Al Sinclair, Rick Snider
The weather was good on count day but numbers were lower than average. Some early species were still flying while later ones had not yet emerged likely due to the cool spring.
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail 4
Cabbage White 2
Silvery Checkerspot 18
Harris' Checkerspot 16
Northern Crescent 17
White Admiral 10
Eyed Brown 4
Little Wood Satyr 9
Common Ringlet 2
Northern Cloudywing 1
Least Skipper 4
European Skipper 32
Indian Skipper 1
Peck's Skipper 5
Tawny-Edged Skipper 5
Long Dash 27
Hobomok Skipper 7
Dun Skipper 1
Re(2): A pair early
Posted on July 8, 2014 at 11:15:11 AM by janice house
We had one June 30th on the milkweed in one of my gardens and Sunday afternoon there was one resting on the honeysuckle bush at the back of the yard
Re(2): A pair early
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 07:21:05 PM by Debbie Adams
The edges on Walker's Point Rd were cut back a few weeks ago taking out many milkweeds plants :(
Re(1): A pair early
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 04:31:04 PM by Barbara Taylor
Nice to see some Monarchs around this year...three of them at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. So far they haven't cut back the edges of the roadways, so lots of milkweed in bloom.
Posted on July 5, 2014 at 04:11:14 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning we came across a family of Bobolinks in the field just north of the Covered Bridge deadend. There were four fledglings perched in a low shrub along with the adults. Another pair of adults were flying in the area, but we didn't see any young birds with them. We noticed that several of the nearby fields along South Monck Dr. have already been cut...hope that wasn't too soon for many of the nesting birds. (Bracebridge)
Bitterns and Yellow-throated Vireos
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 04:57:07 PM by diannawolfe
That's interesting. We stopped there a couple weeks ago in the early evening for 20 minutes or so, but didn't hear the Bitterns. Glad to hear they are back.
Least Bitterns and
Posted on July 5, 2014 at 02:05:59 PM by Goodyear
Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at the Muldrew Lake Road marsh. Two very cooperative Least Bitterns kept popping up, calling, and flying about, making for very easy observations of this typically secretive species. We also had excellent views of a Yellow-throated Vireo and could hear another singing in the distance.
Park Odonate Count, July 2nd 2014
Posted on July 6, 2014 at 10:28:21 PM by Al Sinclair
VERY impressive list. Now if we could just find some of these in Muskoka!
Odonate Count, July 2nd 2014
Posted on July 4, 2014 at 03:04:23 PM by Peter Mills
Highlights from the count based on their local rarity, significance, or charisma, included:
10 ELEGANT SPREADWINGS
49 EASTERN RED DAMSEL
1 SUBARCTIC BLUET
15 AZURE BLUET
10 VESPER BLUET
1 VARIABLE DARNER (early)
2 BLACK-TIPPED DARNER (early)
60 LILIYPAD CLUBTAIL
3 RUSTY SNAKETAIL
1 EASTERN LEAST CLUBTAIL
4 SKI-TIPPED EMERALD
1 FORCIPATE EMERALD
2 DELICATE EMERALD
4 CLAMP-TIPPED EMERALD
5 BRUSH-TIPPED EMERALD
(and, including "count week", we can add KENNEDY'S, LAKE, and OCELLATED to our Somatochlora list)
1 DOT-TAILED WHITEFACE
1 WIDOW SKIMMER
Here is the Lake Emerald: photo
...and the rest of our Somatochlora emeralds from lately (clockwise from top right: Ocellated, Ski-tipped, Clamp-tipped, Brush-tipped, Kennedy's, Delicate, and Forcipate).: photo panel
had 67 species--a tie for our highest ever (2011).
Thanks to all who participated.
Posted on July 4, 2014 at 09:29:48 AM by John Challis
What I was assuming was atypical calls of black-billed cuckoo around our house finally revealed itself this morning, as a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos in some oak trees by the roadside next to the marsh and creek at the end of our property. No mistaking the yellow lower bill, caught in the morning light, and the white markings on the under tail feathers. The male actually mounted the female briefly. Green River Drive, Washago.
Cuckoo - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 11, 2014 at 07:15:53 PM by Barbara Taylor
This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we finally spotted one adult Black-billed Cuckoo in the shrubbery near the NW corner of cell 4. It wasn't calling, so just lucky seeing it.
Cuckoo - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 5, 2014 at 02:07:10 PM by Goodyear
Two seen again this morning, west of cell 4.
- Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 3, 2014 at 02:04:02 PM by Goodyear
This morning we heard and saw a Black-billed Cuckoo at the edge of the woods west of cell 2.
Posted on July 3, 2014 at 10:09:56 AM by diannawolfe
Once again, not the best pic (it flew away before I could adjust exposure), but I found a couple Orange Bluets while wading around looking for the dog’s sunken Frisbee at Franklin Park on Sparrow Lake the other evening. Lovely little creatures. (Kilworthy) photo
A Beetle and a
Posted on July 2, 2014 at 08:12:19 PM by Barbara Taylor
Today I found two of my favourite insects - photos below. I also came across an intergrade White Admiral/Red-spotted Purple butterfly. Although White Admirals are common here, that was the first intergrade I've seen. (Bracebridge)
Six-spotted Tiger Beetle - photo
Ebony Jewelwing (male) - photo
Re(1): Veeries -
Posted on July 3, 2014 at 08:19:13 AM by missyinmuskoka
I too have been hearing the Veery's call behind my cottage on South Kahshe Lake Road.
Veeries - many!
Posted on July 2, 2014 at 02:14:00 PM by John Challis
This morning I was serenaded by no fewer than five veeries within 250 metres of our house. One directly behind our house, three more in the fringes around the swamp behind our place and a fifth across the road. In the minutes before storms blow through, they like to kick into song, too.
We hear a veery or two in the spring usually, but nothing like we're getting this year.
Many of the birds have resumed territorial calls right now: ovenbird, chestnut-sided warbler, common yellowthroat (well, they never gave up, really), Blackburnian, black-and-white, swamp sparrow. I'm assuming they're working on inspiring the females into going for second broods.
Posted on July 1, 2014 at 08:43:37 PM by diannawolfe
While not the best photos, one can clearly see the exclamation marks on the shoulders of this damselfly, indicating it's a Fragile Forktail. There were several on the emergent vegetation of the pond beside our property in Kilworthy. Fragile Forktail: photo1 photo2