Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2015
 
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Walnut Sphinx Moth
Posted on June 30, 2015 at 11:03:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

This Walnut Sphinx Moth was on our deck this morning. None of the common host trees listed for their caterpillars are nearby, so they must have an alternate food source since I've seen this species here before. photo1 photo2  (Bracebridge)  addendum: I just found a reference on bugguide.net that mentions prunus spp. as a host. There are many Black Cherry trees in our neighbourhood so must be what the larvae eat here.

 

 

Pine Warbler with fledgling Cowbird
Posted on June 29, 2015 at 08:00:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

I was very happy to see a male Pine Warbler using our birdbath today, but not so happy to see he was feeding a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird. (Bracebridge)
This website has pictures of a young Cowbird: http://nestwatch.org/learn/general-bird-nest-info/brown-headed-cowbirds

 

 

Re(1): Common Loon
Posted on July 1, 2015 at 02:17:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Loon and Bufflehead were still there this morning. There has been another hatch of Wood Ducks recently...one female had 16 very young ones with her in cell 2 at the west side nearest the woods. Total count of Wood Ducks today was 54. Two Green Herons flew over and two Indigo Buntings were singing.

We drove over to Leon's and found a Herring Gull atop the roof where we think the nest might be. The gull became very agitated when we parked close below it, snapping its bill over and over. Next door by the Carpet shop parking lot there was a Killdeer walking around on the grass. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Common Loon
Posted on June 29, 2015 at 05:07:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Common Loon in cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. A male Bufflehead was in cell 2.

 

 

Ugly-nest Caterpillar Moth larvae
Posted on June 28, 2015 at 04:36:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

We found this interesting nest but definitely ugly bunch of caterpillars at the Bracebridge Ponds yesterday. At least the resulting moth is a bit prettier.  photo1  photo2

reference: Archips cerasivorana (Ugly-nest Caterpillar Moth) - http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=3661

 

 

Re(6): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 4th instar
Posted on July 19, 2015 at 02:59:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

Two of the caterpillars are now 4th instars. They now have a greenish-white body without any black striping and the 4 "knobs" at the head end have changed from yellow to bright orange.  photo

 

 

Re(5): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 3rd instar update
Posted on July 18, 2015 at 06:56:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

They are growing fast. Here's a photo from July 16. Looks like the next instar should be soon.  photo

 

 

Re(4): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 3rd instar update
Posted on July 11, 2015 at 05:53:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the remaining four caterpillars have become 3rd instars. In the photos below, the one almost centered (and appears paler with more yellow) has just finished crawling out of its old skin. After a short rest they will consume the skins and then start feeding again on the Black Cherry leaves I supply.  photo

 

 

Re(3): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 3rd instar
Posted on July 11, 2015 at 10:56:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

Took a little longer than I thought, but finally one of the caterpillars has transitioned into the 3rd instar. It hasn't quite finished eating its old skin...you can see a tiny piece still attached to the leaf near its head.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 2nd instars update
Posted on July 6, 2015 at 02:12:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here are photos of the 2nd instars taken today.  photo1  photo2

They have split up into just two caterpillars per leaf and looks like their skins are pretty stretched so should be a transition to the next instar very soon. 

 

 

Re(1): Promethea Moth caterpillars - 2nd instar
Posted on July 3, 2015 at 08:54:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon three of the caterpillars became second instars. They stopped eating and lay still for two full days before finally making the transition. The photo below was taken through the clear side of their container so I wouldn't disturb them. Their heads are at the bottom as they have all just finished walking out of their old skins which you can see still attached to the leaf. Those skins have since been eaten by the caterpillars and they have moved on and are now feeding on some fresh Black Cherry leaves. More photos to follow.

 

 

Promethea Moth cocoons and caterpillars
Posted on June 28, 2015 at 03:52:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Last week we noticed some Promethea Moth cocoons hanging from a small dead tree at the Bracebridge Ponds, but the moths had already come out of them. After searching nearby live cherry trees we found a small group of eggs on the underside of a leaf not far from another empty cocoon. On Friday we found a second group of recently hatched eggs and six tiny Promethea Moth larvae nearby. I have put them in a protective cage to prevent parasitic wasps and tachinid flies from harming them. If all goes well, I will post updates with photos of the growing caterpillars. Their appearance changes quite dramatically through the five instars. The early instars stay together and line up in a row to feed on the same leaf.  cocoon photo  egg photo  catphoto

 

 

Re(2): Downy feeding young
Posted on June 29, 2015 at 07:34:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

For a few days we had a male Downy Woodpecker feeding his daughter peanut bits, but today she has "graduated" and is on her own. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Hairy feeding young
Posted on June 30, 2015 at 04:04:52 PM by janice house

This morning junior was on the peanut feeder, if birds can look perplexed he had that look. At lunch time Mom was there with junior and his sister

 

 

Re(1): Hairy feeding young
Posted on June 29, 2015 at 11:57:18 AM by janice house

We had a female feeding her son peanut pieces this weekend

 

 

Hairy feeding young
Posted on June 28, 2015 at 10:49:51 AM by michaelhatton

This bird has been storing seeds in the "Oak Bank". He is now making withdrawals for the kid. However, a squirrel has managed to get his PIN and is also making withdrawals when the Hairy is absent.  photo

 

 

Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager
Posted on June 24, 2015 at 12:45:20 PM by DBurton

There was a Scarlet Tanager singing between Pinedale Rd and the Gull Lake narrows bridge this morning, while a male Indigo Bunting was singing in the ravine on the north-east side of the narrows.

 

 

Re(1): Woodpeckers
Posted on June 25, 2015 at 07:00:11 AM by missyinmuskoka

I have had many woodpeckers feeding their young at my place on Kahshe Lake. Only the odd skittish bluejay though, and none feeding their young

 

 

Birds, Bala
Posted on June 24, 2015 at 08:25:14 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Today is the first day in over a month that there has been more than one bird in the pin cherry trees outside my studio windows. Either they are finding bugs or testing the ripening cherries. The only bird I have seen by the house other than Purple Finches and a few goldfinches is a single Red-breasted Nuthatch. The woodpeckers have not brought in their young ones and neither have the Blue Jays.

It has been pretty scary and depressing, to say the least.

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 24, 2015 at 08:06:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had two in our yard today in the Red Elderberry checking out the ripening berries. We've recently seen Waxwings as well as Robins and Starlings feasting on the ripe elderberries near the Lagoon Lane deadend and along the east side of cell 3 too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Cedar Waxwings at Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on June 22, 2015 at 09:28:36 PM by michaelhatton

Yesterday and today Waxwings spotted at the lagoons.  photo  photo2

 

 

Scarlet Tanager, Purple Finch activity
Posted on June 22, 2015 at 09:20:30 PM by DBurton

In my yard an angry female Tanager flew down and hung on to the bark of a pine tree like a woodpecker. It was either after another bird or gray squirrel. I haven't heard any Tanager vocalizations here this year, so not sure why she was here now. Also a male Purple Finch has been singing in my yard the last few days.  (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Snowberry Clearwing
Posted on June 20, 2015 at 05:05:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This Snowberry Clearwing Moth was feeding on our Mock Orange today. (Bracebridge)  photo
(Scroll below photo for information about identifying the three species of Clearwing Moths in our area.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Shovelers
Posted on June 21, 2015 at 11:56:17 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning other than the regular Wood Ducks and Mallards, there were three Northern Shovelers in cell 1 - two males and a female.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - male ducks
Posted on June 20, 2015 at 01:46:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 9 male ducks moving around together in a group - none of them were there yesterday morning. They seemed nervous and flew from cell 3 to 4, eventually back to cell 3 for a while, and just before noon they flew out of sight to the west. I wonder why they are travelling together and where are they headed?

The 9 males were:
3 American Wigeon
3 Gadwall
2 Green-winged Teal
1 Northern Shoveler

Of note, there was also a Sandhill Crane calling west of cell 4 and a Black-billed Cuckoo calling near the SW corner of cell 4. For the first time this year a Herring Gull took interest in us and swooped down twice - look out once their young fledge! Last summer was actually dangerous for a week or so.

 

 

Brown Thrasher singing madly
Posted on June 19, 2015 at 09:27:08 AM by michaelhatton

At the top of dead tree (50 feet) to the west of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons, this thrasher entertained for 15 minutes on Thursday evening. Photo digiscoped with an iPhone 5. 

 

 

Re(2): Giant Silkworm Moths...3 species last nght
Posted on June 18, 2015 at 03:34:02 PM by Al Sinclair

Mercury Vapour lights are best I think because of their hi UV output but any light will attract some moths. Leave it on all night to get Giant Silkworm moths. June is the prime flight period for them.
The light I am using currently is an Exo Terra Solar Glo 160 Watt MV lamp available from petsandponds.com - Get their recommended fixture as well as MV lights get really hot.

 

 

Re(1): Giant Silkworm Moths...3 species last nght
Posted on June 18, 2015 at 12:36:07 PM by coreyhkh

very cool, what kind of light do you need? I am interested in photographing them.

 

 

Re(1): Giant Silkworm Moths...3 species last nght
Posted on June 18, 2015 at 12:24:40 PM by Doug Smith

Fantastic! Great photo.

 

 

Giant Silkworm Moths...3 species last nght
Posted on June 17, 2015 at 05:51:46 PM by Al Sinclair

At the moth light this morning: cecropia, polyphemus, and luna. I would say moth numbers are increasing again this year.  photo

 

 

Late Least Sandpiper
Posted on June 17, 2015 at 10:29:16 AM by Goodyear

Last night there was a single Least Sandpiper on the floating mat of discharge in cell 3 at the Bracebridge Lagoons.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shovelers
Posted on June 18, 2015 at 01:06:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

The two male Northern Shovelers were still in cell 1 this morning along with a female Common Goldeneye. A Common Loon was in cell 2, staying underwater for long periods of time and only surfacing for brief moments. The young Spotted Sandpipers are growing quickly...today we saw three with an adult up the middle roadway. Two Broad-winged Hawks were perched in dead trees west of cell 4 and eventually both took to the skies, calling while they circled overhead. As we were leaving Lagoon Lane a Wild Turkey flew across the road right in front of us and a Merlin zipped by in a hurry.

 

 

Northern Shovelers
Posted on June 16, 2015 at 03:46:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two male Northern Shovelers in cell 1. Two young Spotted Sandpipers were with an adult along the middle roadway, but kept disappearing into the grass if we got too close. A Merlin was hunting dragonflies at the west side of cell 4...several Common Green Darners and Common Whitetails were flying in the area. Three male Indigo Buntings were singing from favourite perches in dead trees around the Ponds.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Virginia rail
Posted on June 16, 2015 at 12:24:51 PM by John Challis

A Virginia rail started calling last night just before dusk, in the swamp behind our place. (Green River Drive, Washago) I heard it clacking again this morning while walking the dog.
The rail had been calling earlier in the spring, but had stopped after about a week or two. Would it have finished raising one brood and be starting on another already? That seems early.

 

 

Re(1): A Birdy Day at Doe Lake
Posted on June 16, 2015 at 09:28:08 AM by janice house

One of my co-workers saw a swan yesterday on the Muskoka River. The swan was standing on the front lawn of a cottage close to Patterson Kay Lodge. The property is on Golden Point Rd, it also has a big black bear statue. She did not notice if the swan was tagged.

 

 

Re(1): Swan background info
Posted on June 15, 2015 at 10:14:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

I asked Bev Kingdon if she could get some background on your tagged Trumpeter Swan. I received the following info from Kyna Intini who keeps all the records on the sightings for Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration: "J04 is a 2010 hatch. Female, banded at Washago in Jan 2011. Her parents were untagged, so we don’t have much family history. She is 1 of 6 cygnets from that year, we got one other tagged J24."

Here's a webpage with photos of Kyna helping tag a Trumpeter: http://www.birdcanada.com/tagging-trumpeters/
and a video of one being tagged at LaSalle Park in Burlington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKYmXh-1z-8

 

 

A Birdy Day at Doe Lake
Posted on June 15, 2015 at 07:42:23 PM by Carol Wagg

A pair of bluebirds scouted out the premises on the weekend and today started nest building. This pair is much more muted in colour than any we have had in the past, and rather than choose the 'usual' box in the back yard, they opted for one in front next to the road.  photo  photo2

It is located about thirty feet from a tree swallow nest. The adults have been kept busy all day feeding however many nestlings there are. This evening there was a major scuffle, down and dirty, on the driveway between three tree swallows and a bluebird. They seem to have come to an entente now.   photo

A real oddity this morning was the sight of two swans paddling in to the landing across from us, then flying down the lake. There have, to my knowledge, only ever been swans on Doe Lake once before and that was in early April of this year. One of them today had a yellow tag J04.  photo

 

 

Sharp-shinned.
Posted on June 15, 2015 at 11:38:14 AM by michaelhatton

Sharp-shinned Hawk cleared the area of all small birds. It is disconcerting when the bird swivels only its head to scan you with those beady looking eyes.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Cape May Warbler
Posted on June 13, 2015 at 08:41:29 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon we had a singing male Cape May Warbler in our yard in Bracebridge. We have heard one singing the last couple of days and finally spotted it today. Last year we had a male that stayed around until June 10.

 

 

Wood Duck family enjoys brackish cell 3 water at Bracebridge Sewage Plant
Posted on June 13, 2015 at 04:22:57 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Re(1): Spotted Sandpipers continue at Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons
Posted on June 19, 2015 at 02:10:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning an adult Spottie (maybe the same one posing on the post) was with two of its young along the roadway west of cell 3...the kids were almost the same size as their parent. Another adult Spottie had three young with it up the middle roadway, but they were much smaller.

 

 

Spotted Sandpipers continue at Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons
Posted on June 13, 2015 at 04:17:08 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2

 

 

Sundridge area Birds
Posted on June 12, 2015 at 08:43:42 PM by DBurton

On Rodeo Rd near Sundridge Thursday:
Brewster's Warbler
Black Billed Cuckoo
Indigo Bunting
Sandhill Crane

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on June 13, 2015 at 01:46:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Black-billed Cuckoo calling from the wet woods west of cell 3.  One of the adult Spotted Sandpipers had two chicks with it.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 12:12:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few unexpected waterfowl. In cell 4 there were two female Buffleheads, and in cell 1 there was a pair of Lesser Scaup along with a female Common Goldeneye. There were three adult Spotted Sandpipers trying their best to lure us away from their nests (or maybe chicks by now) by calling noisily and running down the road ahead of us.  (There is still some work being done at the dumping ponds and also at the north end pond, with heavy equipment and large trucks...so a rather busy place during regular business hours.)

photo just for the record - Scaup pair and Goldeneye (at far right)

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on June 10, 2015 at 10:40:44 AM by janice house

On Saturday I watched as a pair gathered clumps of wool from a sheep paddock, considering the weather that would make a cozy nest lining. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Butterflies and close up with a Vulture
Posted on June 9, 2015 at 02:22:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several butterflies along the Trans Canada Trail near Kerr Park - Arctic Skipper (photo), Silvery Blue, Little Wood-Satyr, Northern Crescent, Cabbage White, Hobomok Skipper, and Canadian Tiger Swallowtail. At Henry Marsh there was a White Admiral...first we've seen this year. (Bracebridge)

At Henry Marsh we were suddenly surprised by a Turkey Vulture flying up from the tall grass very close to us near the footbridge. It had been feeding on a dead muskrat, which apparently had been dead for some time as indicated by both the aroma and number of carrion beetles present. In the ditch near the "T" in the trail there were some Blue Flag Iris in bloom (photo).

 

 

Algonquin Provincial Park Odonate Count
Posted on June 8, 2015 at 02:38:46 PM by Peter Mills

 

Hello Fellow Dragon and Damsel Hunters,
This year's Algonquin Park Odonate Count is taking place on July 2nd, the day following the Butterfly Count.  (announcement pic)

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

On the morning of the 2nd, we will meet in the Visitor Centre board room downstairs. Though normally off-limits to the public and for employees only, you will find that the Service Entrance (adjacent to the Main Public Entrance, up a small driveway) will be open, and there will be signage to direct you downstairs to the meeting place. We will meet here at 8:45 AM. After a quick briefing by me, some final groupings, and a time to answer any questions you may have, we will split up and head into our assigned areas, returning to the Visitor Centre board room for 4:30 PM, at which time we will tally our results and share our findings. It is at this point that any noteworthy, new-to-the-count, or difficult-to-identify species are likely to be present in envelopes for all to see and deliberate over. Otherwise, all dragons and damsels caught over the day will be released, alive, where they were captured after being identified.

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

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

If you don't feel you are a Dragonfly/Damselfly expert do not worry! There are always many beginners at each count; we like to have you along, and we will ensure you are with a friendly and knowledgeable partner who is familiar with this group of insects and the Park as well.

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

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

Peter Mills
peter.b.mills@hotmail.com

 

 

Tortoise Beetle
Posted on June 8, 2015 at 10:33:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I found this little Tortoise Beetle in our garden...strange looking creature. (Bracebridge)
Clavate Tortoise Beetle (Plagiometriona clavata)  - photo1  photo2

The larvae of these beetles have an interesting way of deterring predators...they have a special "tail" that holds excrement over their back like an umbrella.
See http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/tortoise-beetles-for-weed-control.html for some pictures.
reference: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/Plagiometriona_clavata.htm

 

 

Annual Forest Bird Survey
Posted on June 8, 2015 at 09:33:35 AM by George Bryant

Yesterday I conducted the Canadian Wildlife Survey forest bird inventory for the 24th year in Pine Lake bush. It consists of recording all birds for 10 minutes at five discrete forest sites. Most persistent sound was Eastern Chipmunk which are having a boom year. (So are Deer Mice which nested in the air blower of my over-wintering 1994 Mazda = $1,000.). Only two American Crows—it was not garbage day. A gobbling Wild Turkey could be heard for a km. Two loose flocks of moult migrant Canada Geese (~30 birds each) heading from the GTA to Hudson Bay lowlands. One Common Loon flyover (only second I’ve heard this year). The vernal ponds were totally dry killing all Spotted Salamander larval masses for this year. Only two pink ladies’-slippers—formerly there were hundreds—deer browsing and climate change are severely impacting our native orchids. Oh—the forest birds—six warbler species—about normal and one White-throated Sparrow, still declining.

 

 

Silvery Blue
Posted on June 7, 2015 at 03:11:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I came across this Silvery Blue...very pretty blue colour on the top of its wings, but never sits still with wings open. Also flying were several Common Ringlets, Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, a few Viceroys, a Hobomok Skipper, Northern Crescent, and an American Copper. Several Dot-tailed Whiteface and Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonflies were also out.   photo

 

 

Hobomok Skipper
Posted on June 6, 2015 at 10:20:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

This Hobomok Skipper visited our garden today...first one I've seen this year. Lots of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails flying around too.   photo (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Wood Ducks
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 07:17:43 PM by George Bryant

I've always considered Bracebridge sewage lagoons to be a Wood Duck (and Snapping Turtle) factory. If you can get up to over 100, it will be a remarkably high count for interior Ontario

 

 

Wood Ducks
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 02:56:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past few days the Wood Duck eggs have been hatching and this morning we counted 45 Wood Ducks in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds. Two females had only 3 ducklings each, but one female was tending 33! The large group must have been a sort of duckling daycare as there was one female off by herself, and another was in the company of a male.

A Mourning Warbler was singing by the Lagoon Lane deadend. A pair of Common Goldeneye were in cell 1 and a Killdeer was at the north end.

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:42:17 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports the Northern Goshawk is still in our neighbourhood and it caught a Crow this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(5): Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 06:59:56 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you Barbara. You always have sound advice. I planned to space the bricks further apart as the time goes on as to give enough room for the hatchlings to escape between the bricks. I thought that may be better than raising the bricks since they weigh a ton.... If you have any more feedback I would really appreciate you passing it along.

 

 

Re(4): Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 03:24:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Looks like that setup might create a lot of radiant heat and keep the nest temperature on the hot side. Timing of the hatch and sex of the hatchlings is dependent on the nest temperature. So if successful, you might end up with a very early hatch and all females. Not sure how you will let the hatchlings escape with that design unless you raise up a couple of the blocks at its base after a few weeks once the turtle smell has dissipated and predators won't find it so easily. Hope nothing tries digging under the blocks to get to the nest. Good luck.

excerpt from http://jeb.biologists.org/content/201/3/439.2.full.pdf
EMBRYONIC TEMPERATURE INFLUENCES JUVENILE TEMPERATURE CHOICE AND GROWTH RATE IN SNAPPING TURTLES CHELYDRA SERPENTINA by SHYRIL O’STEEN
"In the study population, C. serpentina eggs are generally viable between 20 and 32 °C, produce males between 23 and 27 °C, and produce females above 28 and below 21 °C .

Egg incubation temperatures of 21.5 and 27.5 °C produced
mixed sex ratios in both years, as predicted. The 21.5 °C
incubations produced 18 males and five females in 1992, and
18 males and 23 females in 1993. The 27.5 °C incubations
produced 22 males and 32 females in 1992, and 25 males and
15 females in 1993. Sexed turtles from 24.5 and 30.5 °C
incubations were all males and all females, respectively."

 

 

Re(3): Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 12:34:25 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you for posting this link. We reached out to everyone for guidance. This is the finished project and I did sprinkle black pepper around it too.   photo Fingers crossed that this works.

 

 

Re(2): Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 9, 2015 at 07:37:24 PM by DBurton

There is a discussion on the Simcoe board about this:
http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1433510696.83453&user=simcoenatureboard

 

 

Re(1): Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 07:22:11 PM by missyinmuskoka

the good people at Home Hardware building centre helped me put together a fortress for the eggs. I will report back in the fall how we did!  photo

 

 

Snapping turtle eggs
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:30:12 AM by missyinmuskoka

I watched a Snapping turtle lay eggs on my cottage property this am. Does anyone have suggestion on how to protect the eggs till they hatch. I thought about the cages they built over the eggs at tiny marsh. I was wondering if any of you have experience or advice about building such a cage with materials to be bought at a local hardware store.
Thanks for your assistance
Missy

 

 

Carden Alvar Nature Festival 2015
Posted on June 3, 2015 at 08:23:13 PM by AStinnissen

There's still space in some terrific events: Watch a forensic entomologist determine when an animal died by the behaviour of the insects that are attracted to it in Voices from the Dead. Experience the delights of Wylie Road, the Birders' Highway, while Terry and Marion Whittam show you grassland birds close up through their scope in Birding for Absolute Beginners. Explore for the ferns or the special wildflowers of the alvar. Brave the rough terrain of North Bear Alvar and find signs of wildlife with an experience hunter/tracker. Lots more at www.cardennaturefestival.ca. And if you can't make the whole festival, phone 705-326-1620 to reserve a space in one event. See you there!

 

 

Re(1): Monarch Butterfly, Bala
Posted on June 4, 2015 at 04:32:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I found 3 Monarch eggs on my milkweed today.

 

 

Monarch Butterfly, Bala
Posted on June 3, 2015 at 06:59:20 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Very late posting - last Friday, May 29th in my garden.

 

 

E. Small-footed Bat
Posted on June 3, 2015 at 11:34:16 AM by George Bryant

On Sat May 30, several of us were strolling in Severn Barrens Provincial Reserve. We flushed not one but two bats from under rock overhangs. Son-in-law Dominic Stones photo'ed and googled the critter. The bat had a black mask and was roosting under a rock, both features of Small-footed. I've never seen a bat under a rock before. We have four species of small brown "vesper" bats in Ontario, Little Brown being by far the most abundant. For the first time last year I did not find Little Browns roosting behind our shutters. I hope the populations will eventually recover from White-nose syndrome.

 

 

Found at Torrance Barrens
Posted on June 2, 2015 at 06:51:35 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning I found the battery door for a Canon camera East of the parking lot.
If you think this belongs to you or someone you know please email for more information.

 

 

Re(1): Mourning Warbler - Wilson's Falls
Posted on June 3, 2015 at 09:16:06 AM by janice house

I heard a Mourning warbler yesterday by the skate board park on Hiram St and today one was calling behind Dr. Parlett's office on Ann St ( Bracebridge )

 

 

Mourning Warbler - Wilson's Falls
Posted on June 1, 2015 at 02:47:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Mourning Warbler singing at the east side of the Muskoka River north of Wilson's Falls. It was near the spot where the Trans Canada Trail turns away from the river and heads up to Cedar Lane. Several other birds were in the area, including Alder Flycatcher, Cedar Waxwing, Gray Catbird, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Yellow, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Phoebe, Veery, and Red-eyed Vireo. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Lake Bernard Birds
Posted on June 1, 2015 at 01:58:43 PM by DBurton

At Sundridge lagoon RR crossing: Mourning Warbler
At S.Lake Bernard Rd and Crescent Rd: N Parula (very obliging), Cape May Warbler, Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher.
Private Rd: Canada Warbler
At Peacock Rd: Lincolns Sparrow

 

 

Black-bellied Plover
Posted on May 31, 2015 at 08:10:22 PM by Goodyear

This evening around 7:30 we saw a single Black-bellied Plover in breeding plumage at the Muskoka Airport. It was seen well with a scope and was foraging in the grass on the far side of the runway opposite the last curve in the Gravenhurst Parkway (coming from Bracebridge) just before the MNR building.

 

 

Re(2): Scarlet Tanager
Posted on June 2, 2015 at 02:12:40 PM by Carol Wagg

I love stories like that. I had a bluebird come for a visit on April 19th, my 60th birthday, some years ago. I was more pleased with that that I was the surprise party. (Hope my kids don't see this)

 

 

Re(1): Scarlet Tanager
Posted on June 1, 2015 at 06:28:56 PM by missyinmuskoka

A scarlet tanager came to visit me on Kashe Lake on my Birthday May 23rd. He sang outside my bedroom window, and waited patiently for me to snap some images :) Never saw him again.  photo

 

 

Scarlet Tanager
Posted on May 31, 2015 at 01:09:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a male Scarlet Tanager was singing in a dead tree along South Monck Dr. at the edge of the "thicket swamp" which is just north of Partridge Lane. A Northern Waterthrush was also singing, but wouldn't come into view. (near Bracebridge)

An American Kestrel was flying over the fields near the intersection of Hwy. 118W and Ziska Rd.

 

 

Re(1): odonate question
Posted on May 31, 2015 at 01:16:36 PM by Al Sinclair

Eyes of emeralds are brown when they first emerge. American Emeralds emerge first here, haven't seen Racket-tailed yet but you could have seen some. Yellow is obvious on all so maybe you have something else. Got a photo?

 

 

Re(1): odonate question
Posted on May 31, 2015 at 01:10:20 PM by John Challis

...or maybe an American emerald with an abnormally thin abdomen before the flare at the end?

 

 

odonate question
Posted on May 31, 2015 at 01:05:49 PM by John Challis

There have been a number of dragonflies trying to warm up on the asphalt on our road this morning. Would a racket-tailed emerald be among them? Most markings suggest it, but brownish eyes rather than green,and I didn't notice any yellow on the first abdominal sections.it might be that this fellow had just been through some hard times and had lost a lot of its bright colours.

 

 

Great Crested Flycatchers have been around for days.
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 04:32:04 PM by michaelhatton

Photo taken from the deck by Christine Hatton -- photo

 

 

Re(1): Hummingbird Moth
Posted on June 1, 2015 at 09:34:29 AM by LindaActonRiddle

I'm happy to see the photo, Barbara. Friends have told me they too have seen this moth!

 

 

Hummingbird Moth
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 03:41:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

We've had a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) visiting the Moss Phlox blooms in our garden. They never sit still! Here are the best photos I could get while being eaten alive by black flies. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

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

 

 

Minnows at Henry Marsh
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 03:02:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

Recently there have been several varieties of minnows swimming into the flooded sections of trail west of the footbridge at Henry Marsh. There was also a large "fire-belly" leech. I wonder where all the minnows have come from since the marsh was completely drained a few years ago.

The largest ones are Pumpkinseed, but they wouldn't take their eyes off me and turn sideways to show off their pretty colours.  photo1  photo2

North American Medicinal Leech (Macrobdella Decora):  photo

 

 

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Water Arum
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 02:30:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we noticed these plants in bloom on a walk out to Henry Marsh in Bracebridge.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit -- photo

Water Arum (aka Wild Calla) -- photo1  photo2

 

 

Chimney Swift
Posted on May 29, 2015 at 02:54:32 PM by janice house

A lone swift just flew over the Bracebridge Arena

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 07:28:59 AM by Ron Tozer

These are Canada Geese of the Giant or maxima subspecies from southern Ontario/Quebec and the northern U.S., mainly non-breeding yearlings and two-year olds but also failed breeders. They are undertaking a molt migration north to the Hudson Bay and James Bay lowlands. Successful breeders molt near the nesting areas. Most molt migrant Canada Geese move north through Muskoka from late May to mid June. They remain in the north during their flightless molt period and then fly back south, starting in early September.

 

 

Canada Geese
Posted on May 29, 2015 at 02:53:07 PM by janice house

This morning at least 100 geese flew over the house, at noon on hwy 11 near the Doe Lake Rd exit another string of geese flew over.

 

 

Nightbirds on the Barrens
Posted on May 28, 2015 at 11:17:41 AM by george bryant

On May 27 evening five of us attended the Dark Sky Torrance Barrens site for goatsuckers. We observed ~8 Nighthawks, a higher than usual number, displaying overhead. About 8:30 p.m., (before sunset) a Barred Owl called once. At dark we heard ~8 Whip-poor-will alongside Muskoka Road 13. In one hour only one vehicle came by---a good thing as three Woodcocks including a 1/2 grown young, no longer displaying, were on the road, possibly hunting for worms.
Sandhill Cranes and Canada Goose were vocal, but Common Loons, alas, now seem to be a bird of the past.

 

 

Four Heron Evening
Posted on May 28, 2015 at 11:05:01 AM by George Bryant

Last night after supper five of us visited Bracebridge lagoons for shorebirds. None on the sewage mat with a Green Heron at the Lagoon Road gate being the only good sighting before we were driven out by a sudden downpour. We checked out the alder-sedge marsh at the corner of Muldrew Lake Road and Peninsula Road (does it have a name?). A Blue Heron flew by and American Bittern called as we exited the car. Then at sunset the Least Bittern coo-coo-cooed a few times. I suspect the LEBI is un-mated as this is the edge of their range.

 

 

Re(1): Baltimore Oriole - Huntsville
Posted on May 30, 2015 at 08:17:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

I just checked eBird and there haven't been many Oriole sightings submitted for the Huntsville area. The most recent was a report May 24 this year and another on May 12 in 2014. Here's a link to the species page on eBird, but you will have to zoom in a lot and at the right side menu choose to "show points sooner":

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/balori?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2015

 

 

Baltimore Oriole - Huntsville
Posted on May 26, 2015 at 04:32:25 PM by drongo

On Sunday, May 24th I found a Baltimore Oriole singing on my neighbour's property around 107 Hunters Bay Drive. This is the first Oriole I've found in Huntsville. I've lived in town here since Oct. 2010 and in the area since 2002. Have others seen them in Huntsville, and if so, where?
Kip Daynard
Huntsville, ON

 

 

Re(1): Blackpoll Warblers
Posted on May 26, 2015 at 09:56:41 AM by janice house

p.s. Sunday morning an olive-sided flycatcher was calling from the top of a dead tree on Laycox Road, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Blackpoll Warblers
Posted on May 26, 2015 at 08:54:21 AM by janice house

This morning about 7:30 as I left for a doggy walk one calling in the mugo pines in our front yard, one in the row of white pines and another behind our neighbour's garage. Since 8am another has been calling from the back of the yard. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

Grasshopper Sparrow
Posted on May 25, 2015 at 04:21:37 PM by DBurton

Grasshopper Sparrow heard at Muskoka Airport. Location is south end at the curve in the road. There is an orange fiber-optic cable marker beside the fence. Sounds like it is on the opposite side of the runway, so not easy to hear.

 

 

Shorebirds
Posted on May 25, 2015 at 12:39:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds after the rain stopped there were two Semipalmated Sandpipers, two Least Sandpipers, and a Semipalmated Plover on the sludge island in cell 3. A Killdeer was calling near the old plant and several Spotted Sandpipers were flying about. Two Cedar Waxwings were perched in a dead tree at the west side of cell 4...first ones I've seen this year. A pair of Canada Geese walked out of the fenced area by the new treatment plant with 11 goslings. Many Swallows were flying low over the main three cells - mostly Tree, Barn and Bank, but also a few Northern Rough-winged and Cliff.

 

 

Re(1): Virginia Rail shows off at Henry Marsh
Posted on May 26, 2015 at 01:16:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Great photos! This morning there were two Virginia Rails calling at Henry Marsh, but neither one came into view.

 

 

Virginia Rail shows off at Henry Marsh
Posted on May 24, 2015 at 01:41:06 PM by michaelhatton

Heard then, after some patience, seen during the MFN Birdathon on Saturday.   photo1  photo2

 

 

female black capped yellow bellied sapsucker is back
Posted on May 23, 2015 at 06:36:48 PM by Peter

Last year around the same time of year we saw a mysterious woodpecker, it was a female black capped yellow bellied sapsucker. Now she is back here at our feeder in Fraserburg  photo

 

 

Hawk found
Posted on May 23, 2015 at 09:52:49 AM by Missyinmuskoka

The hawk came back everyone

 

 

Lost Hawk
Posted on May 23, 2015 at 09:43:42 AM by Missyinmuskoka

Missing! Ferruginous hawk from school of falconry on doth wood road. Bird has tethers on. Looks white underneath and has a 5 foot wingspan. If seen please call 705 689-2229 Laurie. This bird is a full imprint looking for food.

 

 

Re(2): Killdeer nest, Dunlin, Lincoln's Sparrow
Posted on May 21, 2015 at 06:00:36 PM by michaelhatton

This afternoon at 3ish, there was a strong breeze and no sign of dunlin. One or two Least sandpipers were around but it was pretty quiet except for ... I counted more than 70 turtles in cell 3 (on Isle de la ... and around that shore). Most were painted but at least half a dozen were large snappers. Oh, oh! Song sparrows, bufflehead (cell 4), a solitary turkey vulture, one yellow warbler, two wood ducks (flying over cell 3), and the regular geese, mallards and RWBs made for a slow afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer nest, Dunlin, Lincoln's Sparrow
Posted on May 21, 2015 at 12:24:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

The fourth egg hatched...around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were four baby Killdeer roaming around with one of their parents nearby. The pair of Canada Geese still have all ten goslings. A female Mallard swam out from shore with 11 ducklings in tow.

Three Dunlin were on the sludge island in cell 3. A Green Heron was in the SE corner of cell 3 along with a Least Sandpiper and two Spotted Sandpipers. Two Broad-winged Hawks were circling above the ridge south of cell 4. A Lincoln's Sparrow was at the west side of cell 4.

 

addendum:  no Killdeer seen May 22 in nest vicinity, but Dan Burton reported seeing one by cell 1.  Wonder if they will have a second brood...we saw the pair of Killdeer mating on May 13 close by the first nest when they were still tending the 4 eggs in that nest.

 

 

Killdeer nest
Posted on May 20, 2015 at 07:15:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we checked the Killdeer nest at the Bracebridge Ponds. No adult birds were in sight and with our binoculars we could see there was only one egg left in the nest instead of four...but there were no eggshells which gave us hope (the adult removes the eggshell after a chick is newly hatched). Eventually we located three little Killdeer amongst the stones. They were very difficult to see until they moved. An adult Killdeer eventually appeared and went onto the nest to brood the final egg for a while. The young birds headed back to the nest and tucked themselves in under the adult, probably trying to get a bit of warmth on this cool windy day. Here's a long zoom shot which I've cropped to show one of the chicks...didn't want to get closer in case I left a scent trail for a predator to follow.  photo

 

 

Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 20, 2015 at 08:40:22 AM by Goodyear

This morning there was a flock of 80+ Swifts circling over the downtown area.

 

 

Re(1): Canada Goose hatch
Posted on May 20, 2015 at 07:30:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I posted that the pair of Canada Geese at Henry Marsh gave signs that their eggs might be hatching. This afternoon we checked and found five goslings on the water with the two adults. This seems to be a more "normal" number of offspring as compared to the ten goslings at the Bracebridge Ponds. Perhaps the two intruder geese that had been pestering the nesting pair at the Bracebridge Ponds managed to do an "egg dump" into their nest.

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoos
Posted on May 19, 2015 at 02:26:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds the strong wind kept most birds hidden low in the shrubbery, but we were lucky to see two Black-billed Cuckoos at the west side of cell 4. They were just sitting there out in the open in a sheltered spot, perhaps resting after a meal of tent caterpillars (lots in the area). It was a bit of a stretch for my little camera, but here's one of the Cuckoos.  photo

 

A few Dragonflies were out and about, including this Four-spotted Skimmer.  photo

 

The pair of Canada Geese at Henry Marsh were both standing next to their nest on the old beaver hut...must mean the eggs are hatching. This is the same behaviour we noticed with the pair at the Bracebridge Ponds on Sunday morning and then on Monday morning there were ten goslings travelling with them. They still had the full ten with them this morning, so no Snapping Turtle incidents yet.

A Killdeer was still on its nest at the Bracebridge Ponds, but the hatch date should be very soon.

 

 

Some weekend birds at Magnetawan
Posted on May 19, 2015 at 09:41:40 AM by Alex Mills

I spent Saturday and Sunday at Magnetawan. On Sunday morning I was pleased to hear some Long-tailed Ducks on the lake (Ahmic Lake). As the lake was like glass and they were very vocal, it was easy to spot the group of 3 pairs. I thought their visit might be brief, but I heard them again in the afternoon and evening. I left early Monday morning, so I don’t know whether they remained overnight; I have most often found these birds in Muskoka-Parry Sound at night, as they call while migrating overhead, and I suspect they took off for parts further north.

I also enjoyed other late spring migrants on Sunday—about 4 Mourning Warblers, a Wilson’s Warbler, and a Canada Warbler among 17 warbler species.

 

 

lawrence's warbler back on canning drive
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 11:28:40 PM by coreyhkh

Its the 3rd year that he has been back since I first found him, unfortunately he is getting harassed by other photographers hopefully it breeds again.

 

 

American White Pelican
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 08:26:27 PM by stuartpaul1

Just saw three American White Pelicans flying south over the covered bridge community. Unmistakable! I was sitting on my back deck with binoculars in hand watching our resident oriole when the trio flew right over my house and I watched them for about three minutes as they flew south. Probably heading to the Muskoka River or Lake Muskoka.

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 02:01:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher calling from the top of a tall dead pine tree. It was at the far edge of the wet open area west of the pipeline...thanks to the Goodyear's eagle eyes and scope, I actually got to see it. A Golden-winged Warbler was singing near the SW corner of cell 4. A Wilson's Warbler was in the shrubbery at the west side of cell 4 near the south end and a Black-billed Cuckoo was calling nearby. There were only turtles on the sludge island in cell 3, no shorebirds.

It is now safe to walk down the middle roadway between cells 1 and 2 since the Canada Geese have left their nest. Yesterday the adults were acting very protective and both were staying very close to the nest, so we wondered if the eggs had hatched. This morning the nest was empty and there were 10 goslings resting on the edge of the roadway at the south side of cell 2. As I approached, they slowly moved down the bank with one adult in the lead and one standing guard on the roadway until all the goslings were safely in the water. I snapped a couple quick pics:  photo1  photo2

 

 

wild chase
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 10:59:47 AM by John Challis

Just watched a merlin giving chase after a turkey vulture. I have never seen a TV fly that fast. In Washago on Green River Dr. There is a pair nesting not far from where the chase began.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Big Day
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 08:03:36 PM by Doug Smith

Congratulations! Sounds like it was a super day!

 

 

Muskoka Big Day
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 08:06:28 AM by Goodyear

On Saturday 16 May, Regan and David Goodyear, Janice House, and Michael Hatton (George Bryant joined us for a while) did a Muskoka Big Day. We started in Bracebridge at South Monck Drive, hit the Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh, then headed down to Gravenhurst, with stops at Muldrew Lake Road marsh, Baseline Road, and Canning Road. It was a great day of birding and we ended the day with 111 species. The day started with duetting Barred Owls and an unka-lunking Bittern. Other highlights included a drumming Ruffed Grouse about 40 feet away, a very cooperative Blackpoll Warbler at the Lagoons, a photogenic "Lawrence's" Warbler and Vesper Sparrow, several species of shorebirds at the Lagoons on "Ile de la Merde", a calling Least Bittern at Muldrew Lake Road marsh that popped up into view for several minutes for all to see, a Yellow-throated Vireo that gave us great looks and an Osprey with a fish in its talons at Wenona Lodge Road. The Muskoka Big Day record of 127 species, set back in 1996 by Ron Tozer, Doug Tozer, Bill Crins, Dennis Barry, and Margaret Carney, still stands! Maybe next year.

 

 

Sora - Henry Marsh
Posted on May 17, 2015 at 01:24:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we heard two Sora calling at Henry Marsh. They were both in the flooded area to your right as you exit the woods coming in from Henry Rd. One was not very far from the outflow by the footbridge...could it be the same bird that was seen there December 20-21 last year?! Even though the marsh was frozen over then, the Sora was still finding lots to eat where there was a bit of open water by the outflow. It would be nice to think it managed to survive and headed south for the winter.

In case you missed it, here's a photo of that Sora taken by David Goodyear Dec. 20, 2014:  photo

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

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Wood-Pewee
Posted on May 17, 2015 at 02:07:02 PM by janice house

Just came back from a bike ride to the Donkey Shack and back, indigo bunting calling across from the old Dinsmore Sheep farm, broad winged hawk screaming near the drive in.

 

 

Eastern Wood-Pewee
Posted on May 17, 2015 at 09:25:33 AM by janice house

Our neighbourhood pewee is back, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Looking for advice on identifying this bird ...
Posted on May 18, 2015 at 10:04:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

Was your Lawrence's Warbler singing a Blue-winged or a Golden-winged song?

Here are a few interesting articles about the hybrids:

Hybrids of Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers: More than Meets the Eye
http://aba.org/birding/v37n3p278.pdf

Comparing our Blue-winged, Golden-winged and Brewster’s Warblers (Warning: Genetics Included!)
https://braddockbaybirdobservatory.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/comparing-our-blue-winged-golden-winged-and-brewsters-warblers-warning-genetics-included/

The Genetics of the Golden-winged X Blue-winged Warbler Complex by Kenneth C. Parkes
http://www.atlas-oiseaux.qc.ca/download/parkes_1951.pdf

 

 

Re(1): Looking for advice on identifying this bird ...
Posted on May 16, 2015 at 10:14:09 PM by EthanMeleg

Great photos! It looks like a male Lawrence's Warbler - the rarer, recessive hybrid of Blue/Golden-winged. Nice find!

 

 

Looking for advice on identifying this bird ...
Posted on May 16, 2015 at 10:04:21 PM by michaelhatton

Perspective on identifying this hybrid (?) will be appreciated by the 4 amigos who located it in the Severn Bridge area this afternoon. Thanks!

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(1): Dunlin, Cliff Swallows
Posted on May 16, 2015 at 09:09:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 8 p.m. this evening the Dunlin was still on the sludge island in cell 3, along with three Semipalmated Plovers. Two Lesser Yellowlegs and a couple Least Sandpipers were at the north edge of cell 3. The Northern Shoveler was still hanging around the pair of Mallards in cell 3. A Wilson's Warbler was foraging low in the willows west of cell 4 near the south end of the roadway...first one we've seen this year.

 

 

Dunlin, Cliff Swallows
Posted on May 16, 2015 at 01:05:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

As of 12:15 p.m. today when we left the Bracebridge Ponds there were six Semipalmated Plovers, a Dunlin, and a few Least Sandpipers on the "sludge island" in cell 3. Two Lesser Yellowlegs were in the NW corner of cell 3. Earlier there was also a Pectoral Sandpiper, a Greater Yellowlegs, and a Solitary Sandpiper at cell 3. There was a male Northern Shoveler in cell 3 and he seemed to be trying to steal a female Mallard from her mate.

A cloud of Swallows were flying low over cells 2 and 3 and landing on the roadway - many Tree, Barn and Bank, and also three Northern Rough-winged and two Cliff Swallows. Two Eastern Kingbirds were also hawking insects in the same area. Near the Lagoon Lane gate there were several Warblers, including Magnolia, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, and Yellow-rumped. A male Bobolink was singing nearby. Five Chimney Swifts circled overhead, chittering away.

 

Just for the record, a poor photo of the Dunlin (at right) and a Semipalmated Plover (at left):  photo 

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting May 26
Posted on May 16, 2015 at 11:18:07 AM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, May 26, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a talk about Tree Health by Kristie Virgoe, Executive Director of the Muskoka Conservancy. Kristie will focus particularly on invasive species that threaten our forests. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

 

 

Swainson's Thrush
Posted on May 15, 2015 at 08:13:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

This evening we had a Swainson's Thrush in our yard. It kept picking something off the bark at the base of a white pine tree where the suet cage hangs (ants? leftover suet bits from the winter?). First one we've seen this year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Shovelers
Posted on May 15, 2015 at 01:05:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were two male Northern Shovelers at the Bracebridge Ponds - cell 2 and cell 4. Two Green Herons were west of cell 4.

 

 

Scarlet Tanager
Posted on May 14, 2015 at 09:49:26 AM by janice house

At 7am on my doggy walk I heard the tanager and a number of warblers including a blackburnian, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Gadwall and Blue-winged Teal
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 08:45:57 PM by Goodyear

There was a female Gadwall and 4 Lesser Scaup in cell 4 and a male Blue-winged Teal in cell 3 this evening at the Bracebridge Lagoons.

 

 

Muldrew Lake Road + Peninsula Rd
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 03:50:25 PM by DBurton

At the marsh: Virginia Rails
On Muldrew Lake Rd: Yellow-throated Vireo, Raven
On Peninsula Rd: Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Vireo,variety of warblers (12 sp. total)

 

 

Wood Thrush
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 02:12:04 PM by janice house

I heard one calling on Monday at my brother's in Bent River around 6pm, what a thrill!!

 

 

Another Bonaparte's Gull - Huntsville
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 11:17:41 AM by Goodyear

A friend at school saw a small gull with a black hood along the shore of Fairy Lake behind the Canadian Tire store in Huntsville yesterday around 5:00. He managed a picture with his phone. Although small and taken from a distance, the picture seems to indicate a Bonaparte's.

 

 

Chimney Swifts - Huntsville
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 11:12:56 AM by Goodyear

Chimney Swifts have returned to Huntsville. The last couple of afternoons about 40 birds have been flying around the downtown core.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons Shorebirds
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 07:42:07 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday evening there were several shorebirds seeking cover along the edge of cell 3 - Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, and 17 Least Sandpipers.

 

 

Re(1): new arrivals
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 05:33:08 PM by cathycraig

Listening to frogs in the spring is one of my very favourite things.

 

 

new arrivals
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 03:07:35 PM by John Challis

Quite quiet on Green River Drive this morning with the cool and the wind, but I did watch a chestnut-sided warbler sing his little heart out on a branch overhanging the road.
In the distance a great crested flycatcher was calling -- but I note that Dan Burton has beaten me by a day.
This afternoon Gayle called to tell me she had pish-called a redstart into a bit of a frenzy at the Centennial Park in Washago.
Last night the bullfrogs had started up in the quiet water on the east side of our peninsula, along with green frogs, grey treefrogs and the peepers filling the air as usual. Kind of like a frog quartet doing the Anvil Chorus GRRRM-chrrr-Plonk! GRRM-chrr-Plonk! GRRM-chrr-Ponk! peeepeeepeepeee. Plonk.

 

 

Re(1): hummingbirds mating
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 10:58:11 AM by DinnyNimmo

That is am amazing sighting. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone actually seeing hummingbirds mate.

 

 

hummingbirds mating
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 07:21:07 PM by cathycraig

Today we saw a female hummingbird attach herself to the screen of our porch (only a couple of feet away from the feeder) and then a male had his way with her. I have never seen that before. Afterward she landed on a wooden railing on the porch and has been there now for about 20 minutes.

 

 

Re(2): Parula, Cape May, Bonapartes
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 06:54:24 PM by Goodyear

The Bonaparte's were still there tonight at 6:00. Thanks for the heads up - gorgeous breeding plumaged birds.

 

 

Re(1): Parula, Cape May, Bonapartes
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 05:17:58 PM by DBurton

I found a second Northern Parula on Winhara Road, along with common warblers and an American Bittern.
Another recent arrival: Eastern Kingbird

 

 

Parula, Cape May, Bonapartes
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 12:44:37 PM by DBurton

At the end of Lorne Street in Gravenhurst:
Cape May Warbler 1
Northern Parula Warbler 1
Bonaparte's Gulls 24
Recent: Gt Crested Flycatcher
Red-Eyed Vireo (arrived yesterday)

 

 

Common yellowthroat
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 10:38:50 AM by John Challis

The common yellowthroat is back in the marsh-and-pond by Green River Drive in Washago this morning. There have regularly been several pairs with territory around this spot for years.

 

 

Re(5): Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 10:55:52 AM by janice house

A conservative number, 130. I was counting and got to 80 then another flock flew in, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(4): Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 11, 2015 at 09:43:58 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

At least a dozen Pine Siskens at my feeders in Bala this morning.

 

 

Re(3): Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 05:38:08 PM by missyinmuskoka

I also had a flock of at least 50 pine siskins at my feeders today. I ran out to put out more when I saw them all waiting! The chatter was unbelievable! South Kahshe lake road

 

 

Re(2): Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 02:52:26 PM by ksmith

Northern Flicker on the front lawn.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 02:36:08 PM by ksmith

These were photos I grabbed with my phone, poor image.
http://i57.tinypic.com/2yugeo4.jpg

 

 

Pine Siskens and more...
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 02:31:31 PM by ksmith

Large flock of Pine Siskens at my feeder and in surrounding trees, along with male Goldfinches, male Purple finch, female Purpe finch, nuthatch and chickadees. First time seeing Pine Siskens at my feeders. Male ruby throat hummer, no female hummers or female goldfinches yet. American Redstart, male seen and heard all weekend long. Hood Road east of Port Sydney.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins on the move
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 03:29:19 PM by dinnymccraney

I wish they would move away from my feeders! They clean them all out every day and have kept the goldfinches away. A little house wren yells at them because it is trying to build a nest.

 

 

Pine Siskins on the move
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 01:36:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three large flocks of Pine Siskins feeding in Tamaracks along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Lagoons...about 100 birds in total. Two male Magnolia Warblers were back on territory, singing away. An American Bittern was calling at Henry Marsh. A Solitary Sandpiper was at the Lagoons. Two Eastern Kingbirds were at Kerr Park. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks, Cape May Warbler, Pipits
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 11:02:00 AM by DBurton

2 Pairs of Evening Grosbeaks flew over Main Street in Sundridge yesterday and I heard a Cape May Warbler singing at Varigated Devas Nursery north of Huntsville. There was also a flock of American Pipits there and a singing Pied Billed Grebe.

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on May 9, 2015 at 05:15:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports a male Northern Goshawk caught a Gray Squirrel in their yard. The Goshawk has been hanging around the neighbourhood so perhaps has a nest nearby. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Audubon's Warbler - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 9, 2015 at 01:08:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a male Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler in the shrubbery west of cell 4. There were also several other Warbler species around the Ponds, but not in large numbers - American Redstart, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Nashville, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow-rumped (Myrtle), and Common Yellowthroat. Several Gray Catbirds were back, and two Green Herons flew over cell 4. A Lesser Yellowlegs was near the south-west corner of cell 3 and a Greater Yellowlegs called as it circled over cell 1 along with three Killdeer. Some Gray Treefrogs were calling today and Garter Snakes were active.

 

 

Red Admiral
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 10:19:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a Red Admiral butterfly appeared in our yard - first one I've seen this year. (Bracebridge)
reference: http://www.cbif.gc.ca/eng/species-bank/butterflies-of-canada/red-admiral/?id=1370403265746

 

 

Re(1): hermit thrush, red-eyed vireo & more
Posted on May 10, 2015 at 10:30:23 AM by janice house

This morning I heard my first red-eyed vireo, also heard an alder flycatcher and hermit thrush in the swamp between Laycox Rd and Tomingas Rd, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst. Two dozen pine siskins just now in the basswood tree, some were clinging to the peanut feeder, must have confused it for a niger seed feeder.

 

 

hermit thrush, red-eyed vireo & more
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 07:53:58 PM by John Challis

We have a hermit thrush conducting evensong tonight...just across the swamp behind our house. I have recorded hermits passing through here around April 19 in past years. This morning heard the first red-eyed vireo on our street. As for warblers, the morning walks have yielded black and white, oven bird, northern waterthrush, Nashville, pine, a lone black-throated green call, yellow-rumped ( but not recently)... I think that’s it so far. (Washago)

 

 

Chimney Swifts
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 03:10:13 PM by DBurton

A small number of Swifts were flying around Gravenhurst yesterday evening.

 

 

Re(1): Warblers
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 02:09:55 PM by DBurton

Cape May is an EXCELLENT yard bird. I have not seen one for a few years.

 

 

Warblers
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 10:21:44 AM by janice house

This morning I saw a cape may warbler and chestnut sided warbler in the white birch in the back yard. I heard but did not see a yellow warbler. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Bluebirds - Kerr Park
Posted on May 7, 2015 at 11:07:01 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports this morning there was a pair of Eastern Bluebirds checking out one of the nestboxes at Kerr Park. A pair of Tree Swallows were using the other nearby nestbox. A Cooper's Hawk flew overhead.

 

 

Yellowlegs, Palm Warbler
Posted on May 7, 2015 at 11:00:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning there were two Lesser Yellowlegs at the west end of cell 3 (water level high in all cells). A Palm Warbler was at the edge of the woods west of cell 2 along with many Yellow-rumped Warblers. Two male Baltimore Orioles were back. Several Spotted Sandpipers were calling and flying around. A Merlin zipped past into the woods and all the birds went silent.  The Toads started calling this morning.

 

 

Solitary Sandpiper
Posted on May 6, 2015 at 02:50:28 PM by DBurton

Seen on HocRoc River. Warblers in very low numbers. Most recent: Blackburnian, Ovenbird, Chestnut-sided, Blue-headed Vireo.

 

 

Virginia Ctenucha caterpillars
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 10:19:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Over the past week we've noticed several of these caterpillars wandering around cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. I've finally identified them as the larva of the Virginia Ctenucha Moth. Last summer there were many of those moths flying in the area and nectaring at various flowers - they are daytime flyers.  photo

references:
http://www.prairiehaven.com/?page_id=7757
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8262

 

 

Re(4): Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Posted on May 8, 2015 at 01:47:55 PM by missyinmuskoka

Had a male at my feeder on Kahshe lake this am :)

 

 

Re(3): Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Posted on May 6, 2015 at 11:31:28 AM by dinnymccraney

Just had one at the feeder this morning (Bracebridge)
2 days earlier than last year.

 

 

Re(2): Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 07:28:15 PM by tedthevideoman

I always get my Rose Breasted's in May and early June

 

 

Re(1): Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 05:02:08 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Darn it, Cathy, I took down our feeder two days ago, giving up on seeing any grosbeaks this year. Should have waited...
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 12:33:10 PM by cathycraig

Saw two of these at the feeder today in Vankoughnet.

 

 

Re(2): hummer
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 07:13:24 PM by Debbie Adams

One male just came to our window too as much as if to say "I'm back!"
(Walker's Point)

Also saw a moose earlier today at the junction of Hwy#169 and Walker's Pt. Rd.

Truly a red letter day!

 

 

Re(1): hummer
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 03:51:02 PM by tedthevideoman

Put the feeder out Saturday...one very wet male just now! (Bracebridge)

 

 

hummer
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 11:54:16 AM by Wilf Yusek

Put my feeders up yesterday and saw my first Ruby throat hummer at 11.00 this morning, this is the earliest I have seen them here, Prospect Lake

 

 

Eleanor Island bird sanctuary
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 11:31:20 AM by Debbie Adams

Out on Lake Muskoka Sunday, we stopped by Eleanor Island National Wildlife Area to count Blue Herons nesting.
We saw only 1 sitting on a nest.
Last year we counted 8.
When I was a kid we counted 20 or more each spring.

Lots of Cormorants and Gulls nesting though.

We also noted that the coniferous trees didn't have much greenery as in past years.

 

 

Muldrew Lake Rd+Peninsula Lake Rd
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 10:59:53 AM by DBurton

American Bittern
Ovenbird
Black and White Warbler
Yellow Warblers
Black-Throated Green Warbler
Broad-Winged Hawk
Brown Thrashers
Wild Turkey

 

 

Re(2): warblers
Posted on May 5, 2015 at 01:27:25 PM by DBurton

Nashville, Black and White, Black-Throated Green, N Waterthrushes are recent in town in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): warblers
Posted on May 5, 2015 at 10:31:53 AM by janice house

I heard a chestnut sided warbler, least flycatcher and house wren this morning

 

 

warblers
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 09:39:07 AM by John Challis

I'd just finished a disappointing walk with the dog, hearing only a nuthatch and redwing blackbirds, when back at the house a pair of Blackburnian warblers was darting through the tops of the poplars. And off by the edge of the yard a black-throated blue was singing.
The first trilliums have come into bloom as well...but along with them, the blackflies have begun working their way into our ears. You take the good with the bad... usually we don't see them before the black cherry blossoms have opened, but the frost has been so deep I guess the bugs weren't going to wait for the trees to catch up. We watched a small cluster of bats feeding in the ball diamonds at the Washago waterfront at dusk last night - so there are bugs aplenty around.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 09:15:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

Some new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning:
Blue-winged Teal
Warbling Vireo
Yellow Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler

Northern Waterthrush
Least Flycatcher

Other recent arrivals:
Spotted Sandpiper
Black-and-white Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Meadowlark

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh - Virginia Rail
Posted on May 5, 2015 at 02:38:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Corey. The Virginia Rail was calling at Henry Marsh this morning near the "T" in the trail. Ovenbirds were singing along the trail out to the marsh from Henry Rd. There were a few Warblers singing east of the marsh, including Black-and-white, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Nashville, and Yellow-rumped. A few White-throated Sparrows were in full song too.  A nice morning for a walk...the black flies were just checking us out, no biting yet. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Sightings from the weekend
Posted on May 3, 2015 at 11:28:51 PM by coreyhkh

This weekend proved to be pretty good, I saw a Virginia rail at Henry marsh Saturday evening and this after noon I located a pocupine and a fisher in the forest across from the Fed ex place, unfortunately I didn't get any good shots of the fisher but it was still awesome to see.

 

 

Horned Grebes
Posted on May 3, 2015 at 03:53:45 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon around 2:00 we saw 5 Horned Grebes swimming together on Lake Muskoka. They were well out from the mouth of the Muskoka River at Golden Point.

 

 

Re(1): Purple Finch pair continue daily at our feeder
Posted on May 4, 2015 at 06:25:16 AM by missyinmuskoka

I too have one pair frequenting my feeders

 

 

Purple Finch pair continue daily at our feeder
Posted on May 3, 2015 at 01:34:06 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Sitting all alone beside the trail at Henry Marsh
Posted on May 2, 2015 at 01:55:31 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Re(1): blue-headed vireo
Posted on May 2, 2015 at 09:06:17 AM by John Challis

Took the binoculars and went back out and found him, foraging more than singing. Very striking eye rings.

 

 

blue-headed vireo
Posted on May 2, 2015 at 08:34:22 AM by John Challis

Heard but did not see a blue- headed video singing in the,woods across from our house, Green River Drive, Washago.

 

 

First Hummer
Posted on May 1, 2015 at 05:12:13 PM by MaryWillmott

RT Hummingbird today
Beaumaris Island

 

 

Northern Waterthrush
Posted on May 1, 2015 at 12:46:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Waterthrush singing in the swampy stretch along South Monck Dr. a bit north of Partridge Lane. There were also Tree Swallows, Swamp Sparrows, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Bluebird in the area. Some Wood Frogs were "quacking" too. (Bracebridge)

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

 

 

Loon
Posted on May 1, 2015 at 08:37:03 AM by John Challis

My first loon, flying over Green River Dr this morning. No calls, just busy flying.

 

 

Common Mergansers
Posted on April 27, 2015 at 03:12:47 PM by cathycraig

A male and female Common Merganser swam by on the Black River today.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Phoebe
Posted on April 27, 2015 at 05:12:48 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Same here, Cathy! I'm amazed at all the spring birds people are spotting - there is one redpoll at our feeder, and one red-winged blackbird. I'm ready to take down the feeders for the season.

 

 

Eastern Phoebe
Posted on April 27, 2015 at 03:09:41 PM by cathycraig

An Eastern Phoebe is back for the second year making a nest under our eavestrough.

 

 

Flock of Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 27, 2015 at 01:07:07 PM by Alex Mills

Sunday morning (April 26), I came upon a flock of Fox Sparrows--about 15 birds--in an upland forest a few km outside of Magnetawan. Many were singing. With them were a few Juncos.

 

 

Huntsville
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 07:56:37 PM by Dwenger

For those of you in Huntsville, Wee Duck Lake has been very productive over the last week. I have seen Ring-necked duck, common and hooded merganser and bufflehead. Also many mallards and red-winged blackbirds.

 

 

Re(1): Bufflehead duck, North Bay of L. Muskoka
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 06:48:39 PM by ihender

P.S., Also many white-breasted nuthatch visiting the bird feeder this weekend.

 

 

Bufflehead duck, North Bay of L. Muskoka
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 06:45:14 PM by ihender

At the cottage this weekend, North Bay of Lake Muskoka. A pair of mergansers swam into the cove several times. But I also saw two male and one female of a variety called Bufflehead that I have never seen before. Very beautiful. Edited to say I was originally wondering if any one else has seen this kind around Muskoka - but then I used the "search" feature and see there's been many sightings.

 

 

Loons, Bala
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 05:46:22 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I am sorry to say that only the female loon has returned to my lake so far. I guess there is still a chance but a slim one.

 

 

Pine Warbler, Six Mile Lake
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 05:39:48 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Anne Lewis reported that a Pine Warbler has been eating suet at her feeders for two weeks.

 

 

Swallows - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 01:35:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were about 200 Swallows hawking insects over Henry Marsh. We were able to pick out one Barn Swallow and one Bank Swallow among all the Tree Swallows. A Yellow-rumped Warbler was also making forays out over the marsh from a clump of cattails. A few Leopard Frogs were calling as well as many Spring Peepers. A Canada Goose was sitting on her nest atop the old beaver hut. A Great Blue Heron and a Belted Kingfisher were at the back of the marsh. A Pine Warbler was singing near the parking area at Henry Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Hermit Thrush
Posted on April 26, 2015 at 05:49:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Hermit Thrush foraging together in that same area...so perhaps a mating pair.

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on April 24, 2015 at 02:00:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Hermit Thrush along the trail east of Henry Marsh. It perched close to the ground while searching the area and eventually flew down into a weedy patch...hopefully it found something to eat. Two Ruby-crowned Kinglets appeared to be having a territorial conflict and both had their usually well-concealed red crests raised. A Winter Wren and a Brown Creeper were singing, but not much else on this cold windy day. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Merlin
Posted on April 24, 2015 at 01:17:19 PM by DBurton

A male Merlin is flying around Gravenhurst, stopping to perch in various pines.

 

 

Osprey, Between Bala and GLen Orchard
Posted on April 24, 2015 at 07:22:39 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Thursday about 2:30 pm an Osprey was sitting on a utility pole about half way between Medora Lake Rd S and N.
Dead battery or I would have been able to post a picture.

 

 

Spruce Grouse - Algonquin
Posted on April 23, 2015 at 06:54:08 PM by michaelhatton

Best look ever (for me) of a Spruce Grouse. Thanks to Ron Tozer and his crew on the OFO trip this past weekend. photo

 

 

Eastern Towhee x 2
Posted on April 23, 2015 at 10:03:48 AM by janice house

My female towhee has a male friend, looked out this morning and to my surprise the two were feeding among the red-winged blackbirds and grackles. (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Kildeer gives me the "eye"
Posted on April 22, 2015 at 11:38:25 PM by michaelhatton

Saw this Kildeer and one other at the lower gate to the sewage treatment plant in Bracebridge.  photo

 

 

Ruddy Duck
Posted on April 22, 2015 at 08:12:32 PM by Goodyear

This evening there was a handsome male Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage in cell 4 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. We also had three Gadwall (two male and a female), along with many Bufflehead and Ring-necked Ducks.

 

 

Re(1): A Lone Cormorant
Posted on April 27, 2015 at 08:06:40 PM by DinnyNimmo

The Lone Cormorant had a friend today ( a mate?) The two of them were together on the same dock in the corner of Butterfly Lake.

 

 

A Lone Cormorant
Posted on April 20, 2015 at 04:26:33 PM by DinnyNimmo

Today we spotted a lone cormorant standing on a dock that had floated into the corner of Butterfly Lake where Hwy 169 meets 118. It looked like it was waiting for his friends to arrive.

 

 

Bala Blue Jays Gathering Nest Material
Posted on April 20, 2015 at 02:01:44 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I don't remember ever getting to see them do this before. One twig must have been 8" long.

 

 

Algonquin Park OFO trip: 18 April
Posted on April 18, 2015 at 10:31:25 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 18, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Over 90 people attended today's birding trip to selected sites in the
Highway 60 Corridor, the 26th year of this event in Algonquin Park.
The final species tally was 64 species. The total list can be seen at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/algonquin_park_birding_report.php

The four target boreal specialties were all found, although unfortunately
the Boreal Chickadee was heard only by one of the leaders and a female
Black-backed Woodpecker was observed only briefly as it flew, both species
being along the northern black spruce section of Opeongo Road. A Gray Jay
took food from the hands of many people at the same location.

After extensive unsuccessful searches for Spruce Grouse at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk (twice) and in the northern section of Opeongo Road, a displaying
adult male was finally located south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk after lunch.

First-of-spring sightings today were: Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant,
Osprey, Wilson's Snipe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped
Warbler, Chipping Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow.

I would like to thank all the trip participants, and especially my
co-leaders (Kevin Clute, Justin Peter and Dawn Sherman) who did such a great
job searching for birds and making sure that our large group got around
safely. Support by The Friends of Algonquin Park was also much appreciated.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Pied Grackle - photo
Posted on April 18, 2015 at 09:31:57 PM by JohnPurchase

Our pied grackle, “Whitey” is back for his or her third year. This grackle comes with a flock of grackles, redwings, and cowbirds. I don’t know where it nests around here, if at all. I have never seen any more than the one black and white bird.  photo

 

 

Re(1): House Sparrows
Posted on April 20, 2015 at 11:41:26 AM by DBurton

I have yet to see any young successfully raised by this group. Their number seems to be static. Does anyone know a spot in the area where I could put up a nest box?

 

 

House Sparrows
Posted on April 18, 2015 at 04:41:18 PM by janice house

3 were sitting in the tree by the entrance to YIG's in Gravenhurst just now, First St by the Firehall

 

 

Fox Sparrow picture
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 10:27:33 PM by tedthevideoman

I've waited a while but finally caught a Fox Sparrow this spring...a few other spring birdies @ www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com  photo

 

 

Re(1): Siskin Day at Leonard Lake
Posted on April 22, 2015 at 02:51:31 PM by GayleCarlyle

We had a lone siskin on our feeder last week for about an hour or so. Never saw one all winter.

 

 

Re(1): Siskin Day at Leonard Lake
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 09:10:04 PM by missyinmuskoka

I too have had at least 10 Siskins at S Kahshe Lake Road

 

 

Siskin Day at Leonard Lake
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 06:09:38 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting, Tuesday April 28, 2015
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 04:10:43 PM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, April 28, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a talk by Dan Strickland about the natural wonders of Borneo. He will relate his adventures last year with orangutans, hornbills, fish that live on land, the world’s largest flowers and blood-sucking leeches on trailside shrubbery. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall on West Street, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

 

 

Re(1): Bala, Purple Finch and Loon
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 04:36:19 PM by janice house

two purple finch males in our yard this morning, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Bala, Purple Finch and Loon
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 02:33:19 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday morning there was a brilliantly coloured male at my feeders.
A loon called from Porter Lake this morning about 6:30 am.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 01:28:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Broad-winged Hawk was calling and flying around Henry Marsh...first one we've seen this year. Spring Peepers were calling too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 01:17:09 PM by janice house

I took a short walk at lunch between cell 1 & 2, common loon in cell 1 along with lesser scaup, wood ducks, Canada geese, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads. Cell 2 also had a pair of American wigeon

 

 

Eastern Meadowlark
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 09:16:13 AM by janice house

This morning a meadowlark was calling from the farm field across from our house, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

wood ducks and flickers
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 11:13:46 PM by John Challis

Many flicker calls this morning, combined with red-bellied woodpecker drumming, yellow-bellied sapsucker caterwauling, and hairy woodpecker barks.
But what startled me most was the wood duck pair in a tree down the road from us. I had no idea they produced such a variety of songs, having only heard the standard whining call notes. But this pair gave me the whole Suite for Wood Ducks. The whining was interspersed with a series of high-pitched cheeps, somewhat drawn out, that had me wondering if there was a brood of chicks in a tree already. Then a series of lower rapid whoop-whoop clucks. Then some yowls that could best be described as the keening of a mentally delayed gull. I kept looking for other birds I'd never heard before, but it turned out to be all from this pair.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 16 April
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 10:26:22 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 16, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The lakes and ponds remain ice-covered and there is still extensive snow
cover in shaded areas, but some open water is developing where creeks and
rivers enter lakes and there are large areas of bare ground present now.
Much milder temperatures this week encouraged more migrants to arrive.

First-of-spring sightings included: Mallard (April 10); Common Goldeneye
(April 11); Sandhill Crane, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Tree Swallow, Winter
Wren and Rusty Blackbird (April 12); American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher,
Northern Flicker and Fox Sparrow (April 13); and Green-winged Teal,
Ring-necked Duck and Brown Thrasher (April 15).

At least one Ruffed Grouse continued to come to feed on sunflower seed at
the Visitor Centre.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male was walking on the pavement at the north end of
Opeongo Road on April 12 and a female was on the road there the next day.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was excavating a cavity in the first utility
pole west of the km 53 marker on April 12.

Gray Jay: Noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One was seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 11, but
there were no reports after that this week. Winter chickadee flocks are
breaking up and pairs are establishing nesting territories.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: One was at the Visitor Centre on April 15.

Common Redpoll: About 60 were coming to the Visitor Centre seed on April 12.
There were only 25 there the next day, and none on April 15 and today. It
appears that most Common Redpolls may have left Algonquin now.

Hoary Redpoll: Two were at the Visitor Centre seed on April 12 and 13, but
those were the last observations of the week. As with the Commons, the Hoary
Redpolls have probably headed north.

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

 

 

Our Mallard Friends
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 08:15:24 PM by tedthevideoman

This evening we looked out the back and under our platform feeder are a Mallard pair. Last year we had a pair visit daily and they became quit tame. I could go out with some mixed feed and shake it a few times and they would approach. I have several great pictures from last spring. Well these two are more than likely our pair from last year, as they came running when I came out with some feed tonight.The most interesting thing is where our yard is...120 Meadow heights Bracebridge and land locked...you gotta love spring!

 

 

Horned Larks
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 06:55:59 PM by JohnPurchase

At about 5:00 p.m. to-day at the Bracebridge sewage lagoons Betsy and I observed a small flock (5 or 6 ind.) of horned larks foraging in the weeds on either side of the long central causeway. There were also a couple of pairs of wood ducks, mallards, and lots of buffleheads in the ponds. A pair of ring-bill gulls appear to be nesting on top of the lamp at the entrance of the sewage plant gate.

 

 

Loon
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 11:25:17 AM by Jim Griffin

We have our first Common Loon sighting of the year on the river at Port Sydney this morning. First Osprey this morning as well and first Yellow rump warbler calling last evening.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh
Posted on April 16, 2015 at 03:15:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds the male Gadwall had moved to cell 4 and the Lesser Scaup were gone. All cells were completely free of ice.  A few Painted Turtles were sunning themselves on the west bank of cell 4.

At Henry Marsh a couple Swamp Sparrows were singing and also a Chipping Sparrow. The marsh is mostly free of ice now.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh
Posted on April 15, 2015 at 04:27:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the male Gadwall was still in cell 3 at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were also several Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, and three Canada Geese. A Northern Flicker was calling from the woods west of cell 2.  Cells 3 and 4 were completely free of ice, but cells 1 and 2 still had about 50% ice.

A pair of Green-winged Teal, Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, and Buffleheads were at the east side of Henry Marsh where there is now a large area of open water. Other species seen at the marsh included Great Blue Heron, Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, Turkey Vulture, and Red-tailed Hawk. An Otter was sitting on the ice for a while watching us, but then disappeared down below.  Note that the area by the "T" in the trail is flooded so rubber boots are useful.

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on April 15, 2015 at 03:30:58 PM by cathycraig

Spotted a lone Evening Grosbeak at our feeder in Vankoughnet this afternoon.

 

Purple Finch
Posted on April 14, 2015 at 07:19:42 PM by Goodyear

This evening we had a male Purple Finch at our platform feeder - first one this year. Still many Redpolls hanging on, and we are enjoying a large mixed flock of Fox Sparrows, Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and Juncos that seemed to fall out of the sky during yesterday's rain storm.

 

 

Sandhills
Posted on April 14, 2015 at 06:44:01 PM by J. Gardner

This morning (9.30) three Sandhill Cranes flew over my house on Killdeer Crescent, Bracebridge, their calls getting my attention first. J. Gardner

 

 

Chipping Sparrow/ Tree Swallow
Posted on April 14, 2015 at 09:06:48 AM by janice house

Last night at dusk a chipping sparrow arrived, still here this morning. Tree swallows calling when I went out to the car this morning to leave for work. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): fox sparrow
Posted on April 14, 2015 at 05:30:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to your post I kept checking our yard this morning and eventually had five Fox Sparrows as well as an American Tree Sparrow and twenty Juncos. (Bracebridge)

 

 

fox sparrow
Posted on April 14, 2015 at 07:02:03 AM by John Challis

Finally have a fox sparrow in our yard, Washago.

 

 

Bala, So Far, Today
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 02:56:23 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

1 Eastern Phoebe, singing
5 Fox Sparrows
5 Tree Sparrows
Unknown number of juncos

 

 

Gadwall - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 01:52:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a male Gadwall at the Bracebridge Ponds in the area of open water in cell 3. Other cells still frozen except bits of open water at edges. Lots of Wood Ducks and Mallards were flying around today. Four Rusty Blackbirds were in the wet woods north of cell 4.

 

 

Wilson's Snipe - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 01:25:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three Wilson's Snipe at Henry Marsh. They were at the east side of the marsh where there is some open water now. Four Ring-necked Ducks were on the Muskoka River near Henry Rd. (Bracebridge)   (trail is flooded at the "T" so rubber boots come in handy)

 

 

Pine warbler
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 01:02:57 PM by GayleCarlyle

Heard and saw a pine warbler singing, where? in the pine trees on our road, in Washago.

 

 

morning songs
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 07:14:14 AM by John Challis

First swamp sparrow of the season singing on Green River Dr., Washago -- one of 17 species counted this morning. Nice to hear all those songs coming back to the woods. No merlins this morning, but there have been several caterwauling around the neighbourhood. The checklist:
Red-bellied woodpecker (a pair; hoping they're considering nesting here)
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Hairy woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
American crow
Blue jays - galore
RW blackbird
Robin
Song sparrow
Chickadee
Dark-eyed junco
White breasted nuthatch
Goldfinch
Eastern phoebe
Wood duck
Mallard (a lazy drake wandering down the road, plus others)
Canada goose

 

 

Harrier and Swallows
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 10:50:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a female Northern Harrier hunting low along the west side of cell 2. The ponds were still frozen except for an area of open water in cell 3 by the outflow from the treatment plant.

We checked the fields around Bardsville but no sign of a Harrier back on territory there. Instead we found two Swallows - a Barn Swallow and a Tree Swallow.

 

 

Bluebirds!
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 05:51:12 PM by Carol Wagg

Two males on the wires alongside Doe Lake (Gravenhurst) this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Bent River Birds
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 07:17:03 PM by janice house

I just got a call, a blue bird was sitting on top of one of the boxes

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 05:27:51 PM by janice house

At my brothers home the tree swallows were gliding over the field today, a kingfisher was seen, lots of golden crowned kinglets and a sapsucker tapping. This week sand hill cranes flew over as well.

 

 

Re(1): Yellow-rumped warbler
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 12:01:48 PM by John Challis

Missed it! I was playing the call this morning to refresh my memory, but didn't hear anything like it on the dog's walk.

 

 

Yellow-rumped warbler
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 03:14:20 PM by suereese

Yellow-rumped warbler in Washago today.  Spring is really here.

 

 

Re(1): Sapsucker
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 09:45:56 PM by John Challis

They took their time moving north. There have been a few in Washago for a good two weeks, I think.

 

 

Sapsucker
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 09:52:27 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was "knocking" on a tree out behind our house. First arrival here. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Juncos and Sparrow
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 08:42:55 AM by ksmith

Juncos and a Sparrow with a white Bar on wings, I was not able to see the head of the Sparrow, at my Niger Feeder this morning. Robin singing as well. Hood Rd, north of Port Sydney.

 

 

Re(1): Sparrows
Posted on April 12, 2015 at 07:53:22 PM by janice house

A fox sparrow just arrived

 

 

Sparrows
Posted on April 11, 2015 at 03:22:52 PM by janice house

This morning a white-throated sparrow joined the eastern towhee, American tree sparrows, song sparrow and juncos under the feeders. Just now a clay coloured sparrow was calling from the back of the yard. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 9 April
Posted on April 11, 2015 at 08:29:09 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 9, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

First-of-spring sightings this week included: Great Blue Heron (April 2);
American Black Duck, Song Sparrow (April 3); Merlin, Mourning Dove (April
4); Brown-headed Cowbird (April 5); and Northern Saw-whet Owl (April 7).

Two Wild Turkeys in the Two Rivers Trail parking lot on April 4 were the
first seen here since December 13. Turkeys have been observed in Algonquin
during every winter since 2008, but none were found this year. This week's
birds may have been returning to the Highway 60 Corridor after wintering
outside the Park.

Four American martens were active in Mew Lake Campground and one
was often seen at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk suet feeder this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: An optimistic male was displaying near four disinterested
females close to the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 5 and
some of them were seen most of that day. A female was photographed there on
April 6.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
April 5 and 6.

Gray Jay: Noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road at
Cameron Lake Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were near the suet feeder on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk this week, and continued to thrill birders who got to feed them
sunflower seeds from the hand.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: About 50 to 80 were at the Visitor Centre feeders for most
of the week. A flock feeding on seed at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk
numbered 140 on April 3 and over 100 on April 6. A small flock continued at
seed provided on Opeongo Road near the locked gate as well. However, by
today, the Visitor Centre flock had only about ten birds. Perhaps they are
starting to head northward.

Hoary Redpoll: One to three were seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders.
One was with a large flock of Common Redpolls at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
April 5 and two were there on April 6.

Pine Siskin: One was reported on April 3, but the location not specified.

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

 

 

Snapping turtles
Posted on April 10, 2015 at 11:20:47 AM by GayleCarlyle

I know they're not birds but I am excited to re-discover the large snapper that has been overwintering in the same little pond on our property in Washago. Now that the ice is finally gone on the pond, there was the turtle, and wow, it has a buddy. There are now 2!

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on April 10, 2015 at 07:50:49 AM by Debbie Adams

This morning a Phoebe was calling. What a welcomed sound! (Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Redpoll
Posted on April 11, 2015 at 06:21:48 PM by janice house

We have 4 feeding on black sunflower seeds, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Redpoll
Posted on April 10, 2015 at 07:44:41 AM by Debbie Adams

We had a similar experience. 3 redpolls arrived early in the winter but left after a few days. Then last weekend well over 50 arrived and stayed for a several days. I went in to town to get more niger seed and when we got back they were gone! (Walker's Point)

 

 

Redpoll
Posted on April 9, 2015 at 06:22:25 PM by missyinmuskoka

I have been waiting all winter to see a redepoll. When I got up to Kahshe lake this morning I found a flock of more then 30 at my niger feeders. I hope they hang around long enough for me to snap a few pictures tomorrow :)

 

 

Pine Siskin
Posted on April 9, 2015 at 10:53:28 AM by DBurton

I saw a lone Pine Siskin lingering on Lorne St in Gravenhurst. There is still a flock of Redpolls remaining also.

 

 

Re(1): great blue heron
Posted on April 9, 2015 at 10:05:28 AM by janice house

Hwy 11 near Sedore Rd south of Gravenhurst yesterday about 5:30pm. It flew up from a small swampy area on the west side of the highway.

 

 

great blue heron
Posted on April 8, 2015 at 12:59:52 PM by bfoell

Limberlost Rd, within 100yd N of Hway 60; flying overhead yesterday, april 7, mid afternoon

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 8, 2015 at 12:45:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Pied-billed Grebe on the Muskoka River near #228 Beaumont Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

woodcock display in Washago
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 10:34:28 PM by John Challis

I heard my first full flight display of a woodcock tonight, just as twilight was creeping in. He went through three cycles of the twittering flight loops, followed by a series of chirps, then the silent plunge into an area of sedge and cattails beside the creek we call Swamp Sparrow Creek at the north end of our property. I could hear an odd hiccup between its "peent" calls while it sat among the grasses -- and another woodcock responded with a gutteral chatter I haven't heard before. There was another male going through its own flights further back in the same swamp, and at one point it came quite close. On the third ascent into its flight loop, the nearer of the two dropped on the opposite side of the road, just a few metres from where I was standing; I could hear a gentle plop into the leaves as it landed. As it gave its peent calls, the same gutteral chatter approached from the other side of the road. I could just barely make out the shape of an approaching bird as it crossed the road but it was so dark I couldn't tell whether it was trotting across or flying. The nearer male took off with the other in pursuit, and I thought I could make out a third dark dot in the sky tagging along. That was it: There was no more display after that. It was either too cold or there was a dispute going on between competing males. Or perhaps a male and female had discovered they were meant for each other.

 

 

Re(1): More Kestrels
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 08:48:28 PM by Alex Mills

I see fewer Kestrels than I used to, but I had a similar experience on Sunday (April 5). I drove from Magnetawan to Burk's Falls and saw four Kestrels--the most common bird next to Crow.

 

 

American Kestrels
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 05:19:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

On a short tour this afternoon we found three Kestrels.

The first was perched on a hydro pole along Hwy. 118W west of Pearcey Rd. - where the open fields are by the Evans place.

The second was perched atop a dead tree in the swampy area along Beatrice Townline Rd. just north of the junction with Falkenburg Rd. Not much open ground around Bardsville yet.

The third was atop a hydro pole along Falkenburg Rd. where there is an open area just east of Doherty Rd.

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 06:51:16 AM by J. Gardner

Woodcock beeping in ravine behind Killdeer Crescent Bracebridge this morning. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Merlin
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 12:41:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Merlin was calling from atop a Pine Tree by our driveway just a few minutes ago. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Merlin
Posted on April 6, 2015 at 12:35:49 PM by janice house

Yesterday a merlin arrived in my neighbourhood, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Winter Wren Singing Bracebridge
Posted on April 11, 2015 at 04:19:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Winter Wren singing at the dip in the trail east of Henry Marsh. Eventually it popped up from under a fallen tree so we got to see it briefly.

(rubber boots are needed now to access the marsh as the trail is flooded by the "T")

 

 

Winter Wren Singing Bracebridge
Posted on April 5, 2015 at 01:01:46 PM by Al Sinclair

Surprised to hear 1 singing here this morning April 5 considering the snow depth in the woods. Arrival date here last year was April 14.

 

 

Wood Ducks, Medora Lake Rd etc
Posted on April 5, 2015 at 12:40:32 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

One pair of Wood Ducks in the creek along Medora Lake Rd as well as 5 Hooded Mergansers, 1 pair of Black Ducks and numerous pairs of Canada Geese. One Great Blue Heron.

Out Go Home Lake Rd several pairs of Canada Geese, 1 pr Black Duck, 1 pair Wood Duck and mallards.

Only 1 pr Canada Geese up at Bruce Lake Marsh this morning. Very little open water at 8:30 am.

No sign of a phoebe yet.

 

 

Re(1): Another Barrow's Goldeneye???
Posted on April 6, 2015 at 03:24:44 PM by janice house

My brother works out on the lakes and the ducks are around all winter where the ice is open because of the bubblers, maybe she never left the area.

 

 

Another Barrow's Goldeneye???
Posted on April 5, 2015 at 08:26:03 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday morning we briefly observed a female Goldeneye with an all pumpkin-orange coloured bill and a prominent mane at the back of the head. The forehead appeared to be steeper when compared to a nearby male Common Goldeneye. The bird was in an open lead of water at the mouth of the Muskoka River, visible from 1073 Golden Point Road (accessed from Golden Beach Road, between Patterson Kaye Lodge and Boyer's Beach Road, just outside of Bracebridge). The bird flew out of sight and we didn't see it again the rest of the day until early evening, when it was at the far end of the open lead of water. No scope with us, so couldn't get much detail. Visitors are welcome to come out and have a look for it. We will report if we see it today. Maybe the same female Barrow's that was present at this location last November??

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 04:30:48 PM by janice house

Yesterday my family reported robins, sandhill cranes flying over, a red tailed hawk watching the bird feeder and a turkey vulture circling. Today the eastern phoebe arrived.

 

 

Golden-Crowned Kinglets, picture
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 02:44:29 PM by tedthevideoman

The trail into Henry marsh today was alive with Kinglets!  photo

4 more images @ t-boneimages.BlogSpot.com

 

 

Hooded Mergansers, Bruce Lake Marsh
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 10:49:58 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A pair of Hooded Mergansers, 2 prs Canada Geese and one pr mallards at Bruce Lake Marsh early this morning. Numerous Red-winged Blackbirds as well.

 

 

Swift Rapids Road
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 10:29:22 AM by John Challis

On the approach to Swift Rapids Road on Carlyon Road yesterday, we saw our first hooded merganser.
Also seen or heard, sandhill cranes, song sparrows, red- bellied woodpecker, American woodcock (both those at our house in Washago), and the usual spring harbingers, robins & red-winged blackbirds.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Ponds - Wood Ducks
Posted on April 7, 2015 at 12:47:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

A pair of Wood Ducks were in the small area of open water in cell 3 this morning. A flock of ten Robins was foraging west of cell 4.

There is a bit of open water at the south end of cell 1, but that is only because some trucks are dumping their loads there...most recently some leachate from the Port Carling landfill.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Fox Sparrow
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 01:21:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Fox Sparrow next to the trail between the pipeline and the NW corner of cell 4. Four Killdeer flushed as I walked around cell 3. No sign of the Merlin.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 02:06:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was only a small area of open water in cell 3 by the treatment plant outflow. A Herring Gull was poking around in the aromatic sludge piles which have built up there over the winter.

A Red-tailed Hawk and a Turkey Vulture circled low overhead and then continued on their journey northward. A Great Blue Heron flew up from the south edge of cell 1.  A Song Sparrow was in a weedy patch of bare ground north of cell 3, an Eastern Phoebe was hawking some sort of flying insect (midges?) west of cell 3, and an American Robin was calling nearby.

As we were leaving we heard the call of a Killdeer as it came in looking for a place to land. The bird had barely touched the ground when suddenly it shot back up into the air, with a Merlin in hot pursuit. After taking several evasive dips and turns, the Killdeer seemed tired. The persistent Merlin caught it and landed on the ice to consume its meal.  Ponds map

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 2 April
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 01:01:25 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 2, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Until today, the continuing knee-deep snow, cold temperatures, very little
bare ground and even less open water had combined to limit new arrivals this
week to American Tree Sparrow on March 27. But today's balmy 13 degrees and
southwest winds opened the migration floodgates with first observations of
Wood Duck, Common Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Killdeer,
American Woodcock, Eastern Phoebe and American Robin. This was about
normal timing for most of these species but the two robins were ten days
later than the average arrival.

The Visitor Centre is open again following completion of maintenance work.
Mammals made a good showing at the feeders, including irregular visits by a
fox, two martens and a fisher. Two Ruffed Grouse are still coming daily.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Search Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Males should be doing some
flutter flight displays soon.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
in the black spruce section north of the locked gate.

Gray Jay: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road at
Cameron Lake Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three continued at and near the suet feeder on
Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: Up to 80 were at the Visitor Centre feeders. Small flocks
continued at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road
near the locked gate, where seed was provided by birders.

Hoary Redpoll: Three were seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Pine Siskin: One or two visited the Visitor Centre feeders during most of
the week.

Evening Grosbeak: Three were at the Visitor Centre on March 31. Perhaps
these were birds moving back north. The species was last reported in the
Park on November 27.

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): empidonax
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 09:31:56 AM by John Challis

Also have a cluster of ruby-crowned kinglets singing in the same area this morning.

 

 

Re(2): empidonax - correction
Posted on April 4, 2015 at 10:20:55 AM by John Challis

Gayle went out an hour or so after me and heard an eastern phoebe's calls in the same location. So the morning sun was playing tricks with the plumage when I saw it. Mea culpa. We eventually saw two or three yesterday, so they are on the move.

 

 

Re(1): empidonax
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 02:52:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

We usually see the Least Flycatchers first, but so far no reports on Ontbirds and eBird only shows them up to Texas. A few Eastern Phoebes are around now...saw one here today at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

empidonax
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 09:20:43 AM by John Challis

One, possibly two Empidonax flycatchers seen by by little pond & stream at the edge of Green River Dr this morning, Washago. Yellow-green flanks were quite evident, and it had very little tail wagging. Other than that, all I could say is that it was one of the empids. Any thoughts as to which would show up this early in spring?
Also found the splat of a small frog on the road, likely a peeper, but we didn't hear any songs last night.

 

 

Brown-headed Cowbird
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 09:08:51 AM by janice house

My first male cowbird this morning, calling at 7:30 and just got a photo on the finch feeder, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

yellow goldfinches&cardinal
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 09:39:19 PM by dinnymccraney

Had 2 yellow goldfinches yesterday at the feeder and 4 today.
Also heard a northern cardinal singing behind the Archdekin clinic this morning  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Song Sparrows
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 07:04:23 PM by TheCardys

Small flock of Song Sparrows northeast of Rosseau today. Got a good look and a few pics.

 

 

Wahta, Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 05:04:41 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This afternoon there was a pair of Wood Ducks and a pair of Hooded Mergansers in the shallow area by the road just East of the Wahta community building at Muskoka Rd 38.

 

 

Spring has made it to Port Sydney
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 09:05:43 AM by Jim Griffin

Spring arrivals are starting to show up: first Robin this morning, Common grackle at the feeder last evening and this morning, two pairs of noisy Canada Geese, pairs of Mallards trying to be noisier than the geese, a pair of Hooded Mergansers this morning, a pair of Common Mergansers for the past few days,and a Merlin flying and calling (actually last Wednesday)

 

 

Killdeer
Posted on April 1, 2015 at 07:36:01 PM by Debbie Adams

Late this afternoon I spotted several Killdeer in the parkette by McD's and GT in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Blue Heron
Posted on April 1, 2015 at 07:31:59 PM by Debbie Adams

This morning I spotted a Blue Heron sitting on a lofty nest in the swamp/pond just beyond Home Hardware in west Gravenhurst.
Several Blue Herons usually nest each year in that pond and they can be seen from hwy 169.

 

 

Re(1): Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on April 3, 2015 at 01:13:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Pied-billed Grebe on the Muskoka River by #332 Beaumont Dr. There were also 14 Hooded Mergansers until a couple of canoeists flushed the birds upriver. There was a pair of Mallards there too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on April 1, 2015 at 01:17:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was a Pied-billed Grebe on the Muskoka River beside Beaumont Dr. just east of Stephens Bay Rd. (Bracebridge)

We then checked the south branch of the Muskoka River along Matthiasville Rd. and spotted a Pied-billed Grebe by the "S-curve" east of #1210. There was also a male Common Merganser, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, three Common Goldeneyes, and some Canada Geese.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl & Red Squirrel
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 05:01:51 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

On the five or so days a Barred Owl was around my place a couple of the red squirrels did the same thing. One did get caught but left at least 8 of its cousins.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl & Red Squirrel
Posted on April 2, 2015 at 12:14:27 PM by Leslie

Thank you! The owl stuck around all day yesterday and eventually a couple of red squirrels resumed their normal feeding patterns on my deck and the ground below. I didn't see a strike by the owl, but wasn't always around. Today the owl is gone and the squirrels are full speed ahead (about 6 of them). Cheers!

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl & Red Squirrel
Posted on April 1, 2015 at 09:07:38 PM by michaelhatton

Your photo is amazing. And that is a really stupid squirrel.

 

 

Barred Owl & Red Squirrel
Posted on April 1, 2015 at 10:04:20 AM by Leslie

This morning I have a barred owl snoozing in my maple tree. Usually when the owl is present the red squirrels are absent, but today a few of them are venturing out. On two occasions I saw a red squirrel investigate the owl in very close quarters, scampering away only to return about six times. In a half hour the behaviour was repeated. The owl paid very little attention. I'm posting a photo, but I wonder if anyone out there has seen this behaviour before and has an explanation for it. It seemed bizarre!  photo