Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from July - September 2015
 
Return to the Index of Archived Reports
 
Go to the Muskoka Bird Board

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Oct. 1
Posted on September 30, 2015 at 05:02:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 1
Couchiching Conservancy's Ron Reid will present a program on Managing Pastures for Grassland Birds. A founder of the former Muskoka Heritage Foundation (now Muskoka Conservancy), and the Couchiching Conservancy, author and raconteur Ron Reid is now working as program coordinator for the conservancy's properties in Carden Township. Over the past 15 years, the Couchiching Conservancy has been very active in helping to acquire and manage properties on the Carden Alvar, which has some of the most diverse grassland bird communities in southern Ontario. About half of the 9000 acres acquired so far has active cattle ranching. They focus especially on four species at risk - Loggerhead Shrike, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Barn Swallow - but many other species benefit as well. Ron lives in Washago with his wife Janet Grand, who runs the Bird House Nature Store in Orillia.


Meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. in Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre (Grace and Speed Museum), located at 275 Steamship Bay Road off Hwy. 169 N (towards Bala). Meetings are free and open to new members and visitors of all ages. (source: http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com)

 

 

American Coot
Posted on September 29, 2015 at 07:14:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 4:30 p.m. today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an American Coot at the east side of cell 4 and a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 1.

 

 

Re(1): Virginia Creeper birds
Posted on September 28, 2015 at 03:22:09 PM by DBurton

Additional species eating virginia creeper berries today:
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue-headed Vireos

 

 

Virginia Creeper birds
Posted on September 28, 2015 at 10:02:28 AM by DBurton

The abundant virginia creeper berries continue to attract lots of birds to my back-yard today. As many as 3 Swainson's Thrushes at a time; Robins, a Flicker, a female Scarlet Tanager, and Red-eyed Vireos; all dining on these berries. A Sharp-shinned Hawk threatened from above twice. I recommend checking thrushes carefully, as it is possible to see Gray-cheeked Thrushes around now. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Snow Geese
Posted on September 27, 2015 at 04:52:46 PM by Goodyear

This morning at the Bracebridge Lagoons around 8:30, we saw two Snow Geese heading south, flying with a flock of 33 Canada Geese. Snow Geese were also seen today east of Casselman in eastern Ontario, a traditional staging area during fall migration.

 

 

Pectoral hangs at BBSL today
Posted on September 27, 2015 at 03:00:37 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Pipits @ BBSL
Posted on September 27, 2015 at 02:43:01 PM by michaelhatton

Five today between cells 1 and 3.  photo

 

 

Swainson's Thrush, Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on September 27, 2015 at 01:28:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Swainson's Thrush eating Virginia Creeper berries in a tree east of cell 1. Nine Rusty Blackbirds were feeding along the shoreline of cell 3 near the SW corner. The female Northern Pintail was still in cell 3. There were also a few Northern Shovelers, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Bufflehead, and the usual bunch of Mallards and Wood Ducks. A Lincoln's Sparrow was west of cell 2.

 

 

Warblers etc. Bala
Posted on September 26, 2015 at 11:58:22 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning a flock of about 30 warblers and Blue-headed Vireos fed in my prairie meadow and not in the pin cherry trees. Tennessee, yellow-rumps, Nashvilles. That is the first time I have seen them here in the goldenrod and on other wildflowers.

I only ever see Tennessee Warblers and have yet to see an Orange-crowned Warbler!

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on September 25, 2015 at 01:13:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were only a few Mallards and Wood Ducks, and also a Great Blue Heron at Henry Marsh around noon today. A portion of the beaver dam has been removed by the footbridge and the water level is going down...already good sections of exposed mud, but didn't see any shorebirds. Four Palm Warblers were in the alders along the trail.

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(2): Stilt Sandpiper - no
Posted on September 26, 2015 at 06:58:11 PM by janice house

Four female northern shovelers in cell 2 and the pectoral sandpiper at noon, female pintail in cell 3, kinglets at the lagoon gate

 

 

Re(1): Stilt Sandpiper - no
Posted on September 26, 2015 at 11:37:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

I didn't find the Stilt Sandpiper this morning, but there were Pectoral, Solitary, and Spotted Sandpipers. Seven Hooded Mergansers, two male Ring-necked Ducks, and a male Lesser Scaup were at the north end of cell 1, but something startled them and they all flew off along with several Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Green-winged Teal. A Bufflehead was in cell 4. A female Northern Pintail was in cell 3 and two Rusty Blackbirds were feeding at the shoreline. A few Palm Warblers were west of cell 2. Three American Pipits were feeding by the treatment plant gate.  Some Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were near the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Stilt Sandpiper
Posted on September 25, 2015 at 12:43:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they found a Stilt Sandpiper in cell 3 at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons around 11 a.m. today.

 

 

White throated sparrows
Posted on September 25, 2015 at 11:01:29 AM by DinnyNimmo

A pair of white throated sparrows have been feeding all morning on the plants on our septic bed. Some of the black eyed susans are over 6' tall. We haven't seen white throats here in ages. Hurlings Point Bala

 

 

Re(1): White-Crowned Sparrows
Posted on September 26, 2015 at 07:43:44 AM by janice house

A dark-eyed junco appeared last night, 30 pipits were feeding and circling the farm field across from the house this morning

 

 

White-Crowned Sparrows
Posted on September 25, 2015 at 08:52:21 AM by janice house

Two were feeding with the white-throated sparrows this morning by our cedar hedge. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Bluebird Flight?
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 12:38:54 PM by J. Gardner

Had a visit from a family of Eastern Bluebirds this noon hour. Two adults and two young together as a family... Plus 6 or 8 independent bluebirds... whistling to each other. A delightful 30 minutes. June Gardner  (Bracebridge)

 

 

The Last Hummingbird
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 09:53:45 AM by DinnyNimmo

Saw our last hummingbird here at our feeder on Monday Sept 21st. I thought it was rather late. One came to the window on Sunday 20th as if to say goodbye. Bala Hurlings Point

 

 

Fall Warblers
Posted on September 22, 2015 at 04:54:02 PM by DBurton

Today at Ruttan Rd East off Housey's Rapids Rd I came across a nice mixed group of warblers:

Orange-Crowned
Cape May
Northern Parula
Magnolia in spring colours
Black-Throated Green
Nashville

 

 

Pipits
Posted on September 21, 2015 at 02:07:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three American Pipits feeding along the roadway by the middle intersection. A few White-crowned Sparrows were in the weeds west of cell 3, mostly immatures. A male Redhead was still in cell 4. There was a small flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers west of cell 2, as well as a couple Nashvilles and a Blackpoll.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting September 29, 2015
Posted on September 21, 2015 at 10:14:32 AM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, September 29, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a presentation by former Algonquin Park Chief Naturalist Dan Strickland about his three wildlife photography trips to the Pacific Northwest and his progress studying the mysterious “Oregon Jay.” 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 September 20, 2015 at 04:33:28 PM by DBurton

One migrant Swainson's Thrush was just now feeding on Virginia Creeper berries growing in my neighbours cherry tree.
Also saw one Cape May Warbler on the Hahne Trail in Gravenhurst this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds birds
Posted on September 15, 2015 at 08:44:39 PM by michaelhatton

Still in cell 2 at 5:30 p.m.  Pectoral photo

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds birds
Posted on September 15, 2015 at 10:36:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

The birding was quite good at the Bracebridge Ponds early this morning. As I arrived around 7:30 a.m. there was a nice mixed flock of Warblers feeding in the trees by the Lagoon Lane deadend, including Black-throated Blue, Wilson's, Black-throated Green, Palm, Chestnut-sided, and American Redstarts. Three Blue-winged Teal flew up from the east end of cell 3. A Pectoral Sandpiper was at the south shore of cell 2 (west of the middle). It kept moving into the weedy edge out of sight and I might have missed it except for a Spotted Sandpiper that flew in and landed right next to its hiding place. As I rounded the south-west corner of cell 2, a few Sparrows flew into a nearby shrub, including two Lincoln's Sparrows. There were many Warblers and Vireos moving along the sunny edge of the woods west of cells 2 and 3. Some of the highlights were two Northern Parulas, two Philadelphia Vireos, three Wilson's Warblers, a Bay-breasted Warbler, a Mourning Warbler, Blackburnian and Magnolia Warblers, and a couple Blue-headed Vireos. By 9:30 a.m. most of the songbirds had moved on, but the Pectoral Sandpiper was still there as I left.

 

 

Pintails, Pectoral Sandpiper
Posted on September 14, 2015 at 10:32:13 AM by Goodyear

Late yesterday afternoon there were three female Northern Pintails in cell 1 and a single Pectoral Sandpiper at the south end of cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Redheads, Wigeons, Sora
Posted on September 12, 2015 at 01:01:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today the pair of Redheads were at the north end of cell 1 where it was sheltered from the wind. There were also two American Wigeons, a Northern Shoveler, six Hooded Mergansers, an American Black Duck, three Blue-winged Teal, and several Mallards and Wood Ducks. There was a small pocket of birds west of cell 3 - a pair of Wilson's Warblers, a few Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers, Red-eyed Vireo, Brown Creeper, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Several Savannah Sparrows were in the weeds around the middle intersection and a Swamp Sparrow was nearby. The only shorebirds seen were two Spotted Sandpipers at the south end of cell 2. A Sora flew up from the cattails at the south end of cell 1 and quickly dropped down into the Smartweed, disappearing from view.

 

 

Redheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 11, 2015 at 12:04:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a pair of Redheads at the south end of cell 2. When two large flocks of Canada Geese came in (80 of them), the Redheads flew over to cell 4 where I also found two Bufflehead, a Lesser Scaup, and three Blue-winged Teal. Some Mallards, Wood Ducks, and a couple Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal were in cell 2. The only shorebird seen was a Spotted Sandpiper.  It was tough to find any songbirds today ...only a few Common Yellowthroats, Palm Warblers, Red-eyed Vireo, Least Flycatcher, Song and Savannah Sparrows. Several Monarch Butterflies were flying today.

 

 

Re(1): Snapping Turtle hatch
Posted on September 11, 2015 at 09:02:13 AM by missyinmuskoka

I have 24 eggs that were protected all summer. none have hatched

 

 

Snapping Turtle hatch
Posted on September 10, 2015 at 07:43:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today I found this recently hatched Snapping Turtle. There was no sign of any other turtles in the area. I wonder if the recent spell of hot weather has meant an early hatch this year. Last year we didn't see any until September 18. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Yellow-throated Vireo in Algonquin Park
Posted on September 10, 2015 at 04:45:17 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (September 10, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi folks,
There is a Yellow-throated Vireo making rounds with an immense warbler
flock in the Algonquin Art Centre parking lot at km 20 on Highway 60.

Park in the lot and walk up the driveway towards the handicapped parking
lot. The flock wheels around the area for most of the day. Different birds
on different days - today is an excellent day!!

Algonquin is accessed via HW 400, 11 and 60.

Cheers!
Lev Frid
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Stories From The Wild presented by John and Janet Foster
Posted on September 10, 2015 at 04:34:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

from Muskoka Trails Council website:
Come see a spectacular multimedia show
from John and Janet Foster
Date: Sept. 22
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Port Carling Community Centre
Admission by donation

From the 1960s through to the 1980s, John and Janet Foster were household names for many Canadians. Their television documentaries brought Canada's wild spaces to the homes of millions of viewers. John Foster got his start on television as host of the long-running program This Land of Ours in the 1960s. (Those with long memories may be permitted a moment of nostalgia to hum a few bars of the theme song "Something to Sing About", performed by the The Travellers.)

John teamed up with Janet in the 1970s on To The Wild Country, narrated by Lorne Greene, a series that featured their photography trips across Canada; it was a program that average 2.5 million viewers. That show was followed up by 13 one-hour shows in the series Wild Canada, which tracked their work from Nunavut to the Queen Charlottes to the Bay of Fundy. Sounds of the wilderness, engineered by nature recordings pioneer Dan Gibson, added to the overall impact of all their shows.

The two have continued to trek the wilderness and record their exploits on film in the years since. Their program for this evening, "Stories from the Wild," will feature images and footage a little closer to home: through the wilds around their farm in Madoc.

This event has been jointly organized by the Muskoka Trails Council, Muskoka Field Naturalists and the Township of Muskoka Lakes Trails Committee, with support from the District of Muskoka's Pay It Forward community development program.

 

 

Feeding Flocks, Bala
Posted on September 9, 2015 at 12:09:41 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Have had the addition of a family of Wilson's Warblers since Friday. Quite the crowd here today as there always seems to be on wet days.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebes
Posted on September 9, 2015 at 10:54:48 AM by Barbara Taylor

There are three Pied-billed Grebes at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning - in cells 1 and 2. Six Green-winged Teal were in cell 1. There had been seven American Wigeon, but they left along with many Wood Ducks and Mallards shortly after 9 a.m. Water levels have risen so not much "beachfront" left in cell 2 - only three Spotted Sandpipers were seen. Forty-one Canada Geese were in cell 1.

A Lincoln's Sparrow and a few White-throated Sparrows were by the NW corner of cell 2. Several Warblers and Vireos were moving along the edge of the woods west of cell 2. Species seen included Orange-crowned, Magnolia, Tennessee, Wilson's, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, American Redstart, Blackburnian, Palm, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. There were also Red-eyed Vireos and a Philadelphia Vireo.

 

 

Yellow-throated Vireo
Posted on September 7, 2015 at 10:59:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Yellow-throated Vireo by the Lagoon Lane deadend. Also a family of five Indigo Buntings with fledglings still begging and being fed - seems a little late, so maybe a second brood? A Sharp-shinned Hawk was hunting near the dumping ponds. A Belted Kingfisher and a Green Heron flew past while four Northern Flickers were on the ground feeding north of cell 4. Twenty-five Canada Geese were on the grassy outfield at the baseball diamond in Kerr Park along with several Ring-billed Gulls.

 

 

Stilt vs Yellowlegs
Posted on September 6, 2015 at 01:16:22 PM by michaelhatton

1. Smaller versus larger.
2. Scalloped colouring versus dotted or spotted colouring.
3. Greenish legs versus yellowish legs.
4. Downcurve in the bill versus straight bill.

The Stilt was also notable in its sewing machine like way of attacking the mud in search of food.  photo

 

 

Looking for opinions
Posted on September 6, 2015 at 01:06:08 PM by michaelhatton

Bairds? Looking for opinions. Thanks.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Baird's Sandpiper
Posted on September 10, 2015 at 07:21:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a Baird's in the same spot late this morning along with a Spotted Sandpiper. I didn't find many Warblers today - only a Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-rumped, Nashville, and a couple Common Yellowthroats. A Brown Thrasher and two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were near the Lagoon Lane entrance.  A Belted Kingfisher was perched in a dead tree north of cell 4. An Osprey circled overhead until it gained altitude and then soared off to the south-west.

 

 

Baird's Sandpiper
Posted on September 6, 2015 at 11:32:23 AM by Goodyear

There was a juvenile Baird's Sandpiper at the Bracebridge Lagoons at the south end of cell 2 this morning. It was with a Least Sandpiper.

 

 

Re(5): Stilt Sandpiper - not this morning
Posted on September 5, 2015 at 11:31:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

I didn't see the Stilt Sandpiper or the Yellowlegs early this morning. There was a nice movement of warblers and vireos along the edge of the woods west of cell 3 - some of the highlights were Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue, Wilson's, and Philadelphia Vireo.

 

 

Re(5): Stilt Sandpiper - photos
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 10:41:55 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(4): Stilt Sandpiper - still there
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 04:29:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports the bird was still there around 4 p.m. It had moved back to the south end of cell 2.

 

 

Re(3): Stilt Sandpiper - still there
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 02:33:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

Michael Hatton just sent the following report:

As of 2:30 the Stilt is on the south side of cell one, almost married to a Yellowlegs. Best observed from the road between cells 1 and 2.

 

 

Re(2): Stilt Sandpiper - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 01:39:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Michael Hatton reports the bird is still there at 1:35 p.m.

 

 

Re(1): Stilt Sandpiper - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 01:00:31 PM by janice house

The bird is still there, when I arrived at 12:25 David Goodyear was there and kindly let me look through his scope

 

 

Stilt Sandpiper - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 12:07:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I found a Stilt Sandpiper at the south shore of cell 2, towards the south-east corner. It was still there as I left around 11:30 a.m., feeding with its characteristic sewing machine motion. There were also two Lesser Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, and three Least Sandpipers in the area.

By the Lagoon Lane gate there was a small mixed flock of songbirds, including two Palm Warblers, a Wilson's, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, and Brown Thrasher. Eight Turkey Vultures were soaring southward.

 

 

Re(1): Puffball?
Posted on September 5, 2015 at 12:30:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks for the ID. It does appear to be Purple-spored Puffball, Calvatia cyathiformis. This morning I found it had been torn apart, and a cloud of purple-brown dust dispersed on the wind when I nudged it.  photo

ref.: http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/DisplayBlock~bid~5701.asp

 

 

Re(1): Puffball?
Posted on September 5, 2015 at 05:49:01 AM by TheCardys

By the texture, looks like a Purple-spored Puffball. Too far gone, but def an edible type.

 

 

Re(1): Puffball?
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 05:02:17 PM by Al Sinclair

Looks like it has a stem into the ground. Must be puffball but an old dried-up one. Maybe Calvatia cyathiformis, have seen it here before.

 

 

Puffball?
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 04:34:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I found this large mushroom with rather interesting markings. Would it be some sort of a Puffball?  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Make that sixth record for Orchard Oriole
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 08:44:55 PM by Goodyear

I forgot to add that a female bird was also photographed at Spragues, along with the first spring male in 1991?, leading some to suspect possible breeding.

 

 

Fifth record for Orchard Oriole
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 08:32:56 PM by Goodyear

From what I have discovered so far, this is the fifth record for Muskoka. The first record was a first spring male found and photographed by Stephen Sprague at his house on South Monck Drive in Bracebridge sometime in the early 1990s, most likely 1991, but year not certain. Male birds were reported from Huntsville and Port Carling in spring 1997 (maybe the same bird?), and in May 2012 a bird was seen and photographed along the Georgian Bay shoreline. If anyone knows of other sightings please let me know so I can update our records.

 

 

Re(1): Female Orchard Oriole - HV
Posted on September 2, 2015 at 02:59:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Stephen, did you happen to get a photo of the bird? That would be a great record for Muskoka.

 

 

Female Orchard Oriole - HV
Posted on August 31, 2015 at 01:27:37 PM by StephenDerraugh

Female Orchard Oriole - Huntsville. Top of Florence St W. She was eating caterpillars and bugs atop our Black Cherry tree's. She was alone - no male or young.
Stephen

 

 

Monarch Butterfly Count, 27 Today
Posted on August 30, 2015 at 05:07:06 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I decided to do a careful count along Ragged Rapids Rd this afternoon.
Would you believe 27!
I counted only going out to Big Eddy so that there would be no duplication. I drove as slowly as my car would go and when I saw suitable nectar plants stopped and took a closer look.
Today they were mostly on asters and goldenrod.

 

 

Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 04:19:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

With breeding season over and migration underway, birds are moving around more. You never know what will turn up - this afternoon we had a pair of Pileateds visit our yard and yesterday a perky little Ovenbird dropped by. (Bracebridge)

Unfortunately the Ovenbird was too distant for a good shot, but at least it was out in the open for a while: photo

 

 

Re(2): cardinal
Posted on September 4, 2015 at 08:30:47 PM by dinnymccraney

haven't see the female lately, but the male still visits every day..almost a month now  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): cardinal
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 04:21:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

A male Northern Cardinal was here last evening and decided to entertain us with a "spring song". I think you may have a different Cardinal pair June - nice! (Bracebridge)

 

 

cardinal
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 03:00:56 PM by J. Gardner

Had great entertainment out of the pair of cardinals and their two young. The female cardinal spent a lot of time driving off blue jays, and other smaller birds that attempted to get onto her feeder. She then loaded up and fed the young in a nearby shrub. Both adults appeared to feed young. Dreary day fun. J. Gardner  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 06:38:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday as I drove very slowly up my driveway looking for beech nuts I realized a Barred Owl was staring at me just about level with my car window. It stayed for quite some time looking and listening. Flew down but didn't make a catch. Moved from tree to tree and then flew off.

Lots of pictures and video. That is why I try to keep my camera ready on the passenger seat at all times.

 

 

Feeding Flocks, Bala
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 06:32:30 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Even though I had very few birds around my house this year there have been quite a few birds feeding together in the last couple of weeks. There seem to be more when it is raining. These appear to be the same birds over and over several times a day and going in both directions. Families of Red-eyed vireos, families of American Redstarts, Black-throated greens, chestnut-sided, nashvilles, & Canada. One only black and white. A Black-billed Cuckoo did stop by to check out the web worms. Had a single Least Flycatcher last week.

 

 

Monarchs, Bala
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 06:25:16 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday afternoon I counted at least 10 monarch butterflies and about the same number of caterpillars along Ragged Rapids Rd. There is lots of Joe Pyeweed in bloom there along with asters that they are feeding on. Watched 3 caterpillars feeding on the same milkweed plant which I haven't seen for several years. This is one place where the roadsides are left alone at this time of year. Even the roadsides at Torrance Barrens were cut last week. They can't say it is to make driveway views safer!

 

 

Re(2): Butterflies?
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 04:31:32 PM by DinnyNimmo

Good news

 

 

Re(1): Butterflies?
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 04:00:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

I haven't seen many the past couple of weeks, but a few are flying now. We've had Great Spangled Fritillaries at the Purple Coneflowers in our garden and this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few Monarchs, Clouded Sulphurs, and Cabbage Whites.

 

 

Butterflies?
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 02:43:14 PM by DinnyNimmo

Has any one seen any butterflies this summer? We have not seen a single Monarch nor a single other species of butterfly this summer. We have a field of black -eyed susans on our septic bed and butterfly bush and swamp milkweed at the back door. Not a single butterfly feeding....very depressing. Bala Moon River

 

 

Re(1): Warblers
Posted on August 29, 2015 at 04:00:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds it was harder to find Warblers and only a couple Dragonflies were seen. The best birding was at the end of Lagoon Lane as I was leaving - two Wilson's, Tennessee, American Redstarts, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, Least Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak (eating Wild Cucumber flowers!), Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinches, and four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

The Bonaparte's Gull was still in cell 2.

 

Warblers and Dragonflies
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 01:53:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a nice mixed flock of Warblers at the edge of the woods west of cell 2, including three Canada Warblers, a Tennessee, a Wilson's, and what I believe was a Blackpoll, but I didn't get a very long look. Other Warbler species seen were Black-and-white, Magnolia, Nashville, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-rumped, and Common Yellowthroat. There were also several Cedar Waxwings, a Least Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Indigo Bunting, and Red-eyed Vireos. West of cell 4 there was a Gray Catbird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Nashville Warblers, and a few American Goldfinches. An Eastern Wood-Pewee was singing nearby.

There was a big movement of Common Green Darners heading south today. They were flying high along the west side of cell 4 and at one point it looked like a kettle of mini-hawks. A Merlin soon showed up to feast on them. While watching the action, a Praying Mantis flew over and practically landed at my feet...first one I've seen this year.

Praying Mantis:  photo  photo2

Merlin:  photo

 

 

Canada and Wilson's
Posted on August 27, 2015 at 04:06:33 PM by DBurton

Fall warblers feeding in my yard today:
Canada, Wilson's, Black and White; the rest are all Chestnut-sided. I wonder if it is the same Canada as last time? (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(2): Bonaparte's Gull
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 01:54:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Bonaparte's Gull was still in cell 2 late this morning. There were two Lesser Yellowlegs at the south end of cell 2 along with Spotted and Least Sandpipers.

 

 

Re(1): Bonaparte's Gull
Posted on August 27, 2015 at 01:53:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds the Bonaparte's Gull was still in cell 2 at the south end along with a few shorebirds - Semipalmated Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, and Leasts. At the west side of cell 4 there were three Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and three Gray Catbirds. At the edge of the woods north of cell 4 there were about 15 Cedar Waxwings, three Northern Flickers, and a Warbling Vireo. Three Eastern Phoebes were perched on the fence by the dumping ponds. By the Lagoon Lane entrance there were three young Indigo Buntings, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Chestnut-sided Warblers. Turkey Vultures were again on the move southward, with several small groups streaming past. A Green Heron flew by, heading north. The Bufflehead was still in cell 4, two Green-winged Teal and two Hooded Mergansers were in cell 2, and two American Black Ducks were in cell 1 as well as some Mallards and Wood Ducks.

Bonaparte's Gull (bit of a reach for my little camera with cloudy skies): photo

 

 

Bonaparte's Gull
Posted on August 26, 2015 at 03:49:46 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon around 3:00 there was a single adult Bonaparte's Gull in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Lagoons. There was also a small flock of shorebirds at the south end of cell 2 that included Least and Spotted Sandpipers, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, and a Lesser Yellowlegs.

 

 

Re(1): bald eagle
Posted on August 26, 2015 at 12:53:39 PM by ValeryRobinson

One full grown bald eagle was flying over Gaunt Bay on the Moon River for most of the afternoon.

 

 

bald eagle
Posted on August 25, 2015 at 04:39:56 PM by ValeryRobinson

Bald eagle seen on Gaunt Bay on the Moon River on August 25th, 2015 at 4:15 p.m.

 

 

Turkey Vultures migrating
Posted on August 25, 2015 at 03:35:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were six Turkey Vultures circling over Ecclestone Dr. near Lagoon Lane in Bracebridge. They eventually soared away into the south-west wind. A flock of 25 Cedar Waxwings were also headed south. Several Barn Swallows were feeding high above the Sewage Lagoons. A Merlin was perched in a dead tree east of cell 1. A Greater Yellowlegs, a Least Sandpiper, and two Spotted Sandpipers were the only visible shorebirds, all in cell 2.

 

 

Re(2): Trumpeter Swan
Posted on August 26, 2015 at 07:36:30 AM by Doug Smith

I saw a swan fly over the 118 west near the Kirrie Glen golf course about 3 weeks ago -- (sorry, I don't have the exact date).

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swan
Posted on August 25, 2015 at 02:29:00 PM by Al Sinclair

K80 was in that area this spring (May 20). Wonder where it was all summer? The Huntsville Swan died in Jan 2014 from lead poisoning.
They should enter the sighting at this address: http://www.wyemarsh.com/swan-sightings

 

 

Trumpeter Swan
Posted on August 25, 2015 at 08:56:22 AM by janice house

One of my co-workers lives on the river by Santas Village, yesterday swan tag # K80 was hanging around and also took bread handouts from her neighbor. Could this be the swan from Huntsville? She has photos.

 

 

Re(2): cardinals
Posted on August 26, 2015 at 03:27:00 PM by J. Gardner

Barbara, I seem to have your cardinal family in my backyard (3.30 p.m.) at this moment. It appears that there are two young and male and female attending. Killdeer Crescent. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): cardinals
Posted on August 26, 2015 at 01:36:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Our neighbourhood male Cardinal showed up last week after a long absence and he had at least one begging juvenile with him. There are also about eight Blue Jays visiting our yard now...nice to see some survived the hungry family of seven Cooper's Hawks, which seem to have left the area. (Bracebridge)

 

 

cardinals
Posted on August 23, 2015 at 09:46:00 PM by dinnymccraney

The last 2 weeks we have been delighted to see both a male and female visiting the feeders several times a day (Bracebridge)

 

 

Mark Peck
Posted on August 22, 2015 at 05:17:41 PM by Doug Smith

Mark Peck of the ROM Ornithology Dept. will be speaking at the Muskoka Lakes Museum next Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm. The Topic is "Ornithology in Ontario - A brief history of birds and birding”, (though he may cover some early naturalists, as well). Hope to see you there.

 

 

Caspian Tern
Posted on August 20, 2015 at 03:17:51 PM by DBurton

There is 1 Caspian Tern at Lorne Street beach sitting on the rocks.

 

 

Re(1): Wet Canada Warbler
Posted on August 20, 2015 at 03:16:10 PM by DBurton

Rain stopped; warblers left.
They were mostly Chestnut-sideds, with 2 or 3 Redstarts, 2 Magnolias, and a Canada. Also several migrant Least Flycatchers.

 

 

Wet Canada Warbler
Posted on August 20, 2015 at 11:47:44 AM by DBurton

Watch out the windows for migrating warblers. They are feeding in the rain. I just had a Canada Warbler a few minutes ago.

 

 

Bald Eagle at Doe Lake
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 07:43:00 PM by Carol Wagg

This morning about 7:30 I saw - to my surprise - the first ever sighting of a bald eagle on Doe Lake east of Gravenhurst. At least, no one I know of has seen one here before. It was low over the water when I caught sight of it. It may have been on the rock well out from shore. It flew across the lake and over the back field before disappearing in the fog.

 

 

research into frog mortality
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 09:31:33 AM by John Challis

I apologize for sending out this downer in midweek -- or any time for that matter. I just came across this paper on a newly discovered parasitic species responsible for mass die-off of tadpoles on three continents.
Most of it is over my head but the message about anthropogenic cause behind extinctions is plain.Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It's a PDF - I hope that works in the URL link.
Infections of tadpoles

 

 

Re(2): ID opinions appreciated!
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 05:28:43 PM by michaelhatton

Thanks. In this case I guess you could call it a Bell Support Line!

 

 

Re(1): ID opinions appreciated!
Posted on August 18, 2015 at 12:25:49 PM by Al Sinclair

Location is a good clue for the ID in this case. The Bell Cable Hawk, aka Broad-winged. This one is a juvenile that already knows where it should perch.

 

 

ID opinions appreciated!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 08:53:01 PM by michaelhatton

Looking for (more) opinions on an ID for this hawk? Thanks.  photo

 

 

Re(3): not migrants?!
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 12:40:45 PM by Doug Smith

That is interesting about the Least migrating so early -- thank you Alex. Always enjoy the Wind in the Willows - so masterfully done.

 

 

Re(2): not migrants?!
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 09:23:49 AM by John Challis

I had not known about the least flycatcher's migratory habits. Many thanks for the enlightenment, Alex. It was the first call I'd heard in our neighbourhood this year from a least flycatcher; they have been absent for at least five or six years.
And thanks, Doug, for the brief taste of the Wind in the Willows. I love that phrase "a sweet unrest".

 

 

Re(6): not migrants?!
Posted on August 19, 2015 at 06:37:16 AM by Alex Mills

"Ah yes! The call of the south! Of the south!"

 

 

Re(5): not migrants?!
Posted on August 18, 2015 at 09:39:51 PM by Doug Smith

'What, already,' said the Rat, strolling up to them. 'What's the hurry? I call it simply ridiculous.'

'O, we're not off yet, if that's what you mean,' replied the first swallow. 'We're only making plans and arranging things. Talking it over, you know— what route we're taking this year, and where we'll stop, and so on. That's half the fun!'

 

 

Re(4): not migrants?!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 08:49:50 PM by pmoase

it was ants on sat night with nighthawks and gulls that i had noted.

 

 

Re(3): not migrants?!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 03:17:27 PM by J. Gardner

On Saturday night, we had some sort of insect hatch come off, very apparent as swarms in the evening sunlight. About 7, we noticed 7 or 8 nighthawks diving on the hatch, followed a few minutes later by 30 or more gulls, doing the same. The gulls forced the nighthawks up higher, but the feeding went on for a good half hour. J. Gardner Bracebridge

 

 

Re(2): not migrants?!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 02:05:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Last evening there was a Common Nighthawk flying south over our house...first one I've seen here this summer, so most likely a migrant. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): not migrants?!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 12:50:21 PM by Alex Mills

I'd say almost certainly migrants.

Did you know, based on migration monitoring at Long Point on Lake Erie (published in 1981 by Dr. David Hussell, who died earlier this year) that adult Least Flycatchers move south mostly in July? The median date for southbound adult Least Flycatchers in that study was July 22, and 95% had passed through by August 13. For the young of the year, who delay their migration to moult into better feathers, the median date was August 29, with 95% having passed through by September 13.

 

 

not migrants?!
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 12:26:24 PM by John Challis

I was sitting on the front porch trying to say cool at dusk last night when I saw eight nighthawk (or whip-poor-wills; didn't have binoculars with me) heading in a southerly direction. This morning a Baltimore oriole and a least flycatcher her were singing and working their way through the trees behind our house...also moving south.
I am hoping these were not signs of migration, yet, although it is time for the earliest of the migrants to start heading south.

 

 

Re(1): Warbler arrives to drink from a pipe at Lagoon Lane
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 12:27:34 PM by John Challis

Redstart?

 

 

Warbler arrives to drink from a pipe at Lagoon Lane
Posted on August 16, 2015 at 02:04:22 PM by michaelhatton

photo  photo2

 

 

Orioles, Kingbirds, and Waxwings
Posted on August 16, 2015 at 10:18:45 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 4 Baltimore Orioles and 4 Eastern Kingbirds at the edge of the woods west of cell 3. Cedar Waxwings seemed to be everywhere with many juveniles amongst the adults. There were a few Warblers scattered around, but not in large groups so hard to find...look for them in trees with fall webworms. The Merlin came in just before 9 a.m. which sent a few Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers into hiding. Three Green-winged Teal were in cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Underground wasp nest
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 10:05:46 AM by JohnSchmelefske

Pardon this convoluted response, but I too have a wasp story. While staying at a cottage on Prospect Lake last week we found an underground wasp nest near a couple of out buildings. Our somewhat naive dog was actually stung by them. She was out of sorts for a couple days.

Later in the week, we heard, and then saw, a Carolina Wren several times in the same area. It was rather drab for a Carolina, so i assume it was a juvenile. There was also a winter wren hanging out at the same spot. I wondered perhaps if the wasp nest was part of the attraction, although the wrens seemed to like rummaging around under the two sheds which were both elevated. One of the sheds was open sided and contained a well-organized supply of cord wood for the fireplace. The pile offered lots of good nesting sites.

Do you know if wrens, like summer tanagers, hang around bee nests as a convenient food source?

 

 

Underground wasp nest
Posted on August 13, 2015 at 09:14:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had to get rid of an underground wasp nest because it was becoming too dangerous to cut the lawn. Got rid of the wasp problem, but then this guy came by tonight and dug up the nest. Thankfully the skunk hadn't sprayed recently so the windows could stay open on this rather warm evening. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Fly over
Posted on August 13, 2015 at 02:24:00 PM by janice house

This morning at 6:30 several yellow legs flew over the house calling as I started my doggy walk. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Posted on August 11, 2015 at 12:58:08 PM by Goodyear

This morning there was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at the thicket swamp area on South Monck Drive. Its yellow throat and belly, smudgy chest, and bold eye ring were clearly seen. Several species of warblers, including 2 Canada Warblers, were actively feeding along the edge of the woods.

 

 

Re(2): Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on August 15, 2015 at 07:43:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

It was a fairly quiet morning at the Bracebridge Ponds today as the fog seemed to get worse after I arrived. The highlights were a Northern Parula at the Lagoon Lane deadend and a Fisher at the west side of cell 4. The Olive-sided Flycatcher may have been making a "Pip" call high up in some dead trees near the NW corner of cell 4, but I couldn't see it to confirm.

 

 

Re(1): Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on August 13, 2015 at 11:10:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a nice assortment of birds at the edge of the woods near the NW corner of cell 2. I finally got my first Canada Warbler of the year - this is supposed to be a common species, but I rarely see one. The Merlin didn't show up until 9:15 a.m. so the early morning birding was pretty good. A Hummingbird was repeatedly flying into the face of a Cooper's Hawk perched in a dead tree by cell 4...the hawk didn't seem too concerned. Earlier, the Olive-sided Flycatcher had been sitting atop a dead tree west of cell 4. The Loon was still in cell 4. It's a little strange that it would be hanging around this long so I wonder if it is injured - has anyone seen it fly?


Here's a list of most of the birds I saw (besides the usual bunch of Song Sparrows, Mallards and Wood Ducks):

1 Common Loon
1 Green Heron
1 Cooper's Hawk
2 Killdeer
3 Spotted Sandpiper
1 Solitary Sandpiper
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
25 Least Sandpiper
2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
1 Merlin
1 Olive-sided Flycatcher
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Least Flycatcher
4 Eastern Phoebe
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
4 Eastern Kingbird
1 Warbling Vireo
4 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Blue Jay
4 Barn Swallow
5 Black-capped Chickadee
3 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Eastern Bluebird
2 Gray Catbird
12 Cedar Waxwing
4 Black-and-white Warbler
2 Nashville Warbler
5 Common Yellowthroat
2 American Redstart
2 Magnolia Warbler
2 Blackburnian Warbler
6 Yellow Warbler
4 Chestnut-sided Warbler
5 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Indigo Bunting
40 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
2 Purple Finch
6 American Goldfinch

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on August 11, 2015 at 09:29:25 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher calling and hawking insects from the top of a dead tree at the west side of cell 4 near the north end. It eventually flew to a stand of spindly dead trees at the west side of the pipeline. There were lots of warblers (including two Tennessees) and other songbirds moving along the edge of the woods west of cell 2...until a Merlin came speeding by. Two Eastern Kingbirds were flying out over cell 2 to catch insects. Most of the shorebirds seemed to have moved on unless they were just in hiding.

 

 

Road 13 to Torrance Barrens this morning
Posted on August 9, 2015 at 08:14:59 PM by eclough

I enjoyed a Muskoka sunrise over the Moon River from my futon bed this morning and a late start to some birding. The road to Torrance Barrens (highway 13?) starts from highway 169 and after a short few twists through forest the road crosses a large wetland before the railroad tracks. I frequently stop here because it usually produces some good birds. Today was no exception. I found a pair of beautiful yellow warblers, 2 or 3 Chestnut-sided Warblers (adult feeding young), White-breasted Nuthatches, goldfinches, catbird, Flicker/Pileated (heard only), Song Sparrow and a couple of Alder Flycatchers (adult feeding young). The Alders were also calling so that gave me some confidence in the ID. I stopped at the railroad tracks, where there is another nice wetland and found more Alders, a couple of Phoebes, and what I am pretty sure was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher plus, a colorless empid with an eye-ring that I would love to think was a Least Flycatcher but... In addition to the bonanza of flycatchers was a couple of chickadees, a couple of Black & White Warblers, Chestnut-sideds, a yellow throat, more WB Nuthatches. I made a couple of other roadside stops, inculding at the wel groomed residence on the road that has a hummer feeder and a thistle feeder. I found the following...

Am Robins
Am Crows
Am Goldfinches
Common Grackles
Common Raven
Common Nighthawk (near Torrance Barrens)
House Finches (feeder)
Baltimore Oriolw (female at the feeder)
RT Hummers (feeder)
Eastern Towhees
Eastern Wood Peewee
Eastern Phoebes
RE Vireos
Red-breasted Nuthatches
Broad-winged Hawk
Field Sparrows (near TB)
Chipping Sparrow (near TB)

I love birding in Muskoka but tomorrow is my last day!

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds birds
Posted on August 9, 2015 at 03:53:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds although there was nothing terribly exciting, there was still lots of activity. Good numbers of Warblers and Vireos were moving along the edge of the woods west of cell 2 and several shorebirds were at the east end of cell 3.

Species seen included:
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Indigo Bunting
Baltimore Oriole
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Barn Swallow
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper

A Lesser Scaup was in cell 3 and the Bufflehead was still in cell 4 along with a Hooded Merganser. Many Wood Ducks and Mallards were in the main three cells. Two Wild Turkeys were walking up the hill south-west of cell 4.

 

 

Re(2): Himalayan Balsam
Posted on August 11, 2015 at 04:22:53 PM by DBurton

It is also found in Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Himalayan Balsam
Posted on August 10, 2015 at 09:21:36 PM by dinnymccraney

you'll see this along the west side of South muskoka Drive in town!

 

 

Himalayan Balsam
Posted on August 9, 2015 at 11:05:36 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning near the Lagoon Lane deadend, I noticed some very impressive tall plants with large pink flowers amongst the Jewelweed and Wild Cucumber. I don't recall ever seeing them before. Apparently they are an alien invasive plant originally introduced from the Himalayas - Impatiens glandulifera, commonly referred to as Himalayan Balsam. (Bracebridge)

Here are a few quick shots I took just to help identify the plants:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): This afternoon at the Lagoons
Posted on August 17, 2015 at 08:23:52 PM by Leslie

Keep those terrific photos coming, Michael! Every time I see a post from you, I know there will be an amazing pic attached. Loved the more recent one of the warbler at the pipe. Great work!

 

 

This afternoon at the Lagoons
Posted on August 7, 2015 at 09:38:13 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Re(1): Ragged Rapids Road - Tuesday
Posted on August 7, 2015 at 03:14:07 PM by Leslie

I think that was a pretty good day! Thanks for posting the list; it's nice to see all the species and the numbers rather than just highlights (in my opinion!).

 

 

Ragged Rapids Road - Tuesday
Posted on August 5, 2015 at 05:45:16 PM by eclough

I spent about 3 hours birding Ragged Rapids Road yesterday morning. The first bird I encountered just off the highway was a broad-winged hawk perched in a birch and drawing the attention of some goldfinches, RE vireos and such. I found a large and busy mixed flock past the damn. I spent almost an hour with the flock before it moved on away from the road. After that I encountered only one other smaller mixed flock that was visible for only a few minutes but it did produce a couple of canada warblers for me - that was exciting. The birding here is challenging for me and I don't imagine that I get all my ID's correct. You know, confusing fall warblers and all that! I sure would like to find and identify a philadelphia vireo or a mourning warbler or a least flycatcher. Any tips out there for me?

Here is a list of what I saw. I have a few more days of birding and am also recording my observations in ebird. I wonder if it would be better to skip the species list here and just mention the highlights?

3 hermit thrushes (heard only)
1 GB Heron (in-flight)
1 hairy woodpecker
5 E phoebes
4 E wood peewees
2 RT hummingbirds
4 cedar waxwings
3 Am crows
4 blue jays
18 RE vireos
8 RB nuthatches
7 white breated nuthatches
33 BC chickadees
2 yellow-throated vireos
10 common yellowthroats
3 black-throated blue warblers
10 chestnut-sided warblers
9 blackburnian warblers
3 nashville warblers
7 pine warblers
2 canada warblers
3 american redstarts
6 black & white warblers
2 swamp sparrows
1 rose-breasted grosbeak
3 indigo buntings
7 Am goldfinches
3 rusty blackbirds

 

 

American Bittern
Posted on August 5, 2015 at 11:38:03 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds an American Bittern was at the west side of cell 4. There were fourteen Least Sandpipers at the east end of cell 3. Also seen were two Solitary Sandpipers, four Spotted Sandpipers, and a Killdeer.

 

 

Family of Cooper's Hawks
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 01:25:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Quite often in the winter we see a Cooper's Hawk checking out the local bird feeders, but this year a pair of them decided to nest in our neighbourhood. They were very successful and a few weeks ago there were five fledglings. Needless to say, the number of Chipmunks, Blue Jays, and Robins in the area have declined rapidly with all those mouths to feed. The young birds are flying very well now and although we can still hear them once in a while, they are spending most of their time travelling along the Beaver Creek ravine system towards the south entrance to the Covered Bridge hiking trail. (Bracebridge)

Here are some photos of the young hawks taken a few days after all five had left the nest:  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(2): Assistance with ID for this Yellowlegs?
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 07:43:49 PM by michaelhatton

Thanks very much for the help. The "flight" photo is interesting as it shows how the bird jumps or springs, before it then moves forward in flight. I think there is a similarity in this to the way the RAF's Harrier Jump Jet approaches a takeoff.

 

 

Re(2): Assistance with ID for this Yellowlegs?
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 06:58:13 PM by DBurton

Excellent information on this page:
http://birding.about.com/od/Tricky-Bird-IDs/fl/Greater-Yellowlegs-or-Lesser-Yellowlegs.htm

 

 

Re(1): Assistance with ID for this Yellowlegs?
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 03:36:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Nice photos especially the take off posture
That bird is a lesser. Bill shorter and straighter. Compare the length of the bill to the front to back length of the head. For lesser they are about the same. For greater the bill is obviously longer and slightly upturned. Also calls are different and seen side by side the greater is larger. At the ponds I would say the number of lessers seen outnumbers greaters 10 to 1.

 

 

Assistance with ID for this Yellowlegs?
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 12:01:44 PM by michaelhatton

Looking for opinions and assistance with the ID of this bird -- a lesser or greater?
Thanks.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Cardinal - Finally got a picture of her
Posted on August 8, 2015 at 01:37:45 PM by missyinmuskoka

photo

 

 

Re(2): Cardinal
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 03:42:04 PM by Al Sinclair

They are year-round residents in the larger towns in Muskoka, always get a few on the Christmas Bird Count. Normally you would only see them outside the main towns during post-breeding dispersal which is happening now.

 

 

Re(1): Cardinal
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 02:11:01 PM by coreyhkh

yeah they are not common at all in Muskoka, Greavenhurst area seems to have more then bracebridge, I guess they are at the limit of the range.

 

 

Cardinal
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 10:29:14 AM by missyinmuskoka

I saw my first cardinal ever in Muskoka this am. It was a juvenile and it was feeding at one of my feeders. Is this rare? or am I just overly excited for nothing ;)

 

 

Re(1): correction on Vesper Sparrows
Posted on August 4, 2015 at 10:17:04 PM by eclough

I realize now that I did not see vesper sparrows - there was no white outer tail feathers. I think I was seeing a lot of field and chipping sparrows and the adults and juvenile plumages were confusing me. I guess I better get back out there and study up on my sparrows!

 

 

Torrence Barrens This Morning
Posted on August 3, 2015 at 02:50:41 PM by eclough

I birded Torrence Barrens this morning. Thought I would share my sightings. Weather was cool, cloudy, windy with occassional shower until ten when the sun, bugs and birds came out. Before that the birds were laying low. I found one nice mixed flock of chickadees and warblers in the forest and a good straggly flock of sparrows on the rocks of the barrens. I am not very good with the sparrows and probably do not have some of the ID's correct.

10 red-eye viroes
2 (pair) great crested flycatchers
6 blue jays
3 canada goose
3 double-crested comorants
1 yellow-shafted flicker
4 american goldfinches
7 'drink!' towhees
10 robins
3 crows
1 raven
1 cedar waxwing
1 phoebe
1 eastern kingbird
1 yellow bellied sapsucker
1 hairy woodpecker
1 white breasted nuthatch
1 sandhill crane loping across the mossy rocks and looking incongruous
1 yellow warbler
1 blackburnian warbler
2 redstarts
2 black and white warblers
2 pine warblers
4 chestnut sided warblers
4 common yellowthroats
15 black capped chickadees
a large straggling flock of sparrows that included...
field sparrows (positive ID)
song sparrows
chipping sparrows
grasshopper sparrow (big bill and slope-headed shape)
swamp sparrow (uncertain ID)
vesper sparrows (uncertain ID)
white-throated sparrows
These sparrows were flighty and did not allow close approach. Most of them flashed a white unstreaked breast as they flew from the ground away from me repeatedly. I would welcome any suggestions on the ID of these.

I hope to bird ragged rapids road tomorrow morning

Eric Clough

 

 

Redhead, Northern Pintail - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 3, 2015 at 01:42:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

A late morning visit to the Bracebridge Ponds turned up some good birds. A male Redhead and a female Northern Pintail were in cell 2 along with four Green-winged Teal and a Blue-winged Teal. Three Yellowlegs flew in from the north around noon and landed on the large mudflat at the south end of cell 2. There were several other shorebirds in that area and at the west end of cell 3 - Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Killdeer, and Spotted Sandpiper. Shorebirds are migrating now, so the species seen can easily change within an hour.

 

 

Re(1): Loons, Bala
Posted on August 3, 2015 at 01:31:54 PM by DinnyNimmo

That is wonderful news, Eleanor! The most I have seen is one loon in Whitefish Bay and another on the river about the same time.

 

 

Loons, Bala
Posted on August 2, 2015 at 07:52:46 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Around 7:30 am Saturday morning a loon flew out of my little lake. About 10 minutes later 2 loons flew in together. Within another couple of minutes 2 more flew in. They did their diving and bill dipping for about 1 1/2 hours and then all four flew out together.

This morning at the same time four flew over the lake but did not land. That is the first time I have seen 4 loons flying together except during migration down at Hawk Cliff.

 

 

Sandhill cranes Milford Bay
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 07:15:36 PM by Doug Smith

There were 3 sandhill cranes in the fields at 1375 Butter & Egg Road (Brooklands Farm) this morning, and again at 6 this evening. Two adults and a juvenile.

 

 

Re(1): Buff-breasted Sandpiper - not found this morning
Posted on August 2, 2015 at 10:19:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

The bird was not seen this morning after a good look around all the cells. There were two Solitary Sandpipers, a few Leasts, and Spotties, but by the time I left, all had departed. The consolation prize was three Great Blue Herons which came in from the north, one taking the place of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the south end of cell 2. Four Green Herons were seen near the dumping ponds - one was perched on a hydro wire.

There is one less Wood Duck in cell 3...a Mink ran out of the grass at the west end, grabbed a young duck, and dragged it back into the grass. Two juvenile Cedar Waxwings were perched in a Sumac near their nest. An Eastern Wood-Pewee was singing west of cell 4 and a Hermit Thrush was singing south of cell 4.   The female Bufflehead was still in cell 4 and two immature Hooded Mergansers were in cell 1.

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing: photo

 

 

Re(2): Birders flocked to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 04:33:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don and Bev Bailey reported seeing a Merlin just after they saw the Buff-breasted Sandpiper around 11:30 a.m., so perhaps the bird moved into the grassy areas. The Merlin was not present earlier in the morning when the Buff-breasted was out in the open. I will post an update if anyone reports it again.

 

 

Re(1): Birders flocked to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 03:08:30 PM by Ron Tozer

I was unable to locate the Buff-breasted Sandpiper during the period from 12:30 to 2 pm. If it is still present, it is not always visible.

 

 

Third record!! Ooops!
Posted on August 2, 2015 at 07:40:48 AM by Goodyear

I stand corrected, Michael. I checked the records when I got home and this is the third record. The other two are: 15 August 1993, 1 bird found by Bill Crins at the Lagoons, and 19 September 2001, 1 bird found by Wilf Yusek at the Lagoons.

 

 

Birders flocked to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 01:42:27 PM by michaelhatton

Birders flocked to Bracebridge's sewage lagoons this morning to see and photograph the rare Buff-breasted Sandpiper. According to David Goodyear, President of the Muskoka Field Naturalists, this is only the second ever record of this species in the District of Muskoka. The bird was first located shortly after 7 a.m. by Barb Taylor.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Photo
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 10:37:21 AM by Al Sinclair

Photo from this morning.  photo

 

 

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on August 1, 2015 at 09:52:44 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper out in the open on the mudflat at the south end of cell 2. It was still there being viewed by other birders at 9:30 a.m. Photos were taken...might be only the second record of the species for Muskoka.  photo1  photo2

Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top, west at left): map

 

 

Monarch butterfly
Posted on July 29, 2015 at 02:18:36 PM by DonClement1507

First actual sighting this year of mature Monarch near Germania.

 

 

Northern Waterthrush
Posted on July 29, 2015 at 12:05:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds while scanning for shorebirds, I instead found a Northern Waterthrush in the SW corner of cell 2 - it is usually so hard to see these guys, but there it was poking around out in the open along with a couple Song Sparrows.Several Cedar Waxwings were hawking insects at the east end of cell 1. Six young Hooded Mergansers and a female Bufflehead were in cell 4. There were two Green Herons perched in a dead tree north of cell 4.  photo

 

 

Black-crowned Night Heron
Posted on July 29, 2015 at 00:18:17 AM by DBurton

I just heard a Black Crowned Night Heron making its "wok" noise. It must be in the wet area on Segwun Blvd.

 

 

Lunch at the sewage lagoons
Posted on July 27, 2015 at 05:35:53 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Sparrow - camouflaged at Henry Marsh
Posted on July 25, 2015 at 04:54:36 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka wildlife pics from 2015
Posted on July 26, 2015 at 11:08:33 AM by missyinmuskoka

Fantastic images Corey! Wildlife we don't often get to see.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka wildlife pics from 2015
Posted on July 24, 2015 at 04:45:42 PM by Carol Wagg

Lovely photos, and thank you for sharing.

 

Muskoka wildlife pics from 2015
Posted on July 24, 2015 at 12:30:09 PM by coreyhkh

Hey everyone here are a few of my favorite photos I have taken in Muskoka this year.

porcupine  golden-winged warbler  yellow spotted salamander  blue-winged teal drake  pine marten  spring peeper

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds birds
Posted on July 26, 2015 at 10:19:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

A good morning for Indigo Buntings at the Bracebridge Ponds - eight seen in total. The pair nesting near the Lagoon Lane deadend had three fledglings with them. Another pair by cell 4 were "spitting" at me as I walked by, so they probably had fledglings too, although I didn't see them. A male was singing from a favourite perch in a dead tree north of cell 4.

The Common Loon was still in cell 4, almost constantly diving and staying underwater a long time. What is it finding to eat? Snails?

A Belted Kingfisher was at the west side of cell 4 - hadn't seen any there for a while.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds birds
Posted on July 24, 2015 at 10:58:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning's birding started out slow as a Merlin was hunting west of cell 4 and a Broad-winged Hawk was perched in a tree north of cell 4. Eventually the Merlin flew away and the songbirds popped up into the open. The best spot was near the NW corner of cell 4 as several Warblers (many immatures) moved through as a mixed flock - Blackburnian, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat. A young Veery was eating the orange honeysuckle berries. There were also young White-throated Sparrows, Gray Catbirds, Eastern Phoebes, Red-eyed Vireos, Warbling Vireos, Alder Flycatcher, and Robins. As soon as the Broad-winged Hawk left the area, four Green Herons came into view, calling as they circled around, and finally landing in the wet ditch north of cell 4. A Common Loon and a Bufflehead were in cell 4.  An Indigo Bunting was singing from a favourite perch in a dead tree near the Lagoon Lane deadend. There was one Redhead in cell 1 when I left - see my post below.

 

 

Yard Birds Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on July 22, 2015 at 03:20:03 PM by janice house

Sunday while checking on a juvenile hairy woodpecker that hit our front window I scared a turkey vulture out of the white birch in front of the cedar hedge. Geoff said he had seen the vulture soaring through our yard several times since Friday. This morning a veery was in the back yard by the other white birch.

 

 

Re(3): Bracebridge Lagoons - only 1 Redhead
Posted on July 24, 2015 at 10:38:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

At 7:30 a.m. this morning there were 10 Redheads (9M, 1F) in cell 1, but an hour later I noticed they were circling overhead and they eventually flew out of sight to the west. On my return walk past cell 1, to my surprise there was a lone male Redhead!

Here are the 10 from early this morning...they were on the muddy shore at the south end of cell 1 and flew off a short distance when I walked by.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Lagoons - Redheads still there
Posted on July 22, 2015 at 11:46:53 AM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:15 a.m. today there were 8 Redheads (7M,1F) in the NW corner of cell 1. A Merlin was chasing after some Swallows so perhaps any shorebirds stayed hidden...only a Killdeer dared to venture out into the open. Finally no Herring Gulls, so we could view in peace - yippee!  photo - (photo just for the record - one of the males was off camera)

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Redheads
Posted on July 21, 2015 at 07:05:26 PM by Goodyear

This evening at 6:30 there were 11 Redheads in cell 1 - 9 males and 2 females. A small flock of Least Sandpipers, two Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, and a Lesser Yellowlegs were feeding on the mud flats at the south end of cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Promethea Moth caterpillars - update
Posted on July 20, 2015 at 10:02:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

Here are a couple photos from this morning...quite a difference from the fresh 4th instar yesterday. Also, the "knobs" at the head seem to be more red than orange today.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Promethea Moth caterpillars - update
Posted on July 19, 2015 at 08:08:42 PM by Wilf Yusek

Great pictures

 

 

Promethea Moth caterpillars - update
Posted on July 19, 2015 at 05:53:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

The caterpillars have transitioned into the 4th instar. This afternoon I noticed one had just finished wriggling out of its old skin (top photo). It will look quite different tomorrow after a rest - see bottom photo of a 4th instar which completed its transition yesterday. Original post with all the instar updates.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Pine Cone Gall, Virgin's Bower, and a Swallowtail Cat
Posted on July 18, 2015 at 03:56:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

There is always something interesting to see at the Bracebridge Ponds...here are a few photos from this morning.

Willow Pine Cone Gall photo
A fresh new gall has formed near an old darkened one which overwintered on the willow.

reference: http://www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org/pages/photosubpages/willowpinegall.html

 

Virgin's Bower photo
Pretty flowering vine when in bloom - a native clematis in the buttercup family.

reference: http://ontariotrees.com/main/species.php?id=2086

 

Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar photo
The larva rests on a silken mat it weaves on top of a leaf and then ventures out from this home base to feed.

reference: http://www.butterflygardeningandconservation.com/butterfly/st/tiger.php

 

 

Great Crested Flycatchers
Posted on July 16, 2015 at 02:45:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a family of Great Crested Flycatchers (2 adults with 4 young) were announcing their presence as they foraged high in our birch tree. They have nested nearby for several years, but it's unusual to see them all together. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Hooded Mergansers - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 18, 2015 at 03:26:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were six immature Hooded Mergansers in cell 4 along with a female Bufflehead. No Wigeons and no shorebirds seen. There was only one adult Herring Gull protecting its single fledgling in cell 1, so it was much easier to keep an eye on the "swoops".

 

 

Wigeons and shorebirds - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on July 15, 2015 at 06:23:49 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon there were two American Wigeon in cell 1 at the Lagoons. There are great mud edges around cell 1 as water is being drawn down, and a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Pectoral Sandpiper, and a couple Spotted Sandpipers were enjoying the newly exposed habitat.

 

 

Neighbourhood Hawk calling
Posted on July 14, 2015 at 10:30:18 AM by michaelhatton

This Broad-winged Hawk was observed twice this morning for a total of approximately 15 minutes in several spots, but always near the top of the forest canopy. Its piercing call was easily heard around much of the western edge of Leonard Lake and in close proximity to the swampy area to the west of the outlet. As it called, several songbirds flew perilously close to it with impunity, at least for today!  photo

 

 

Port Carling Breeding Bird Survey Route Results
Posted on July 12, 2015 at 01:30:40 PM by Al Sinclair

Breeding Bird Surveys are done by counting heard and seen birds for 3 minutes at 50 roadside stops 0.8km apart. This route starts at Port Sandfield and goes north on rd 7/632 then 3 ending at Tribble Rd north of Skeleton Lk.

Results from the last 5 years for comparison
Interesting that 4 of the 5 years had the same species total.

Date Species/Individuals
06/26/2015 57 / 453
06/26/2014 57 / 396
07/04/2013 64 / 465
06/27/2012 57 / 531
06/18/2011 57 / 490

2015 Results
Most numerous species
1. Red-eyed Vireo 81
2. Veery 40 (only 10 in 2011)
3. Ovenbird 26
4. Chestnut-sided Warbler 25
5. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker/American Redstart 16

Observer: S0839 - ALLAN SINCLAIR
Route: PORT CARLING, Ontario (68-052)
Run Method: 101-Standard BBS

Route Summary Information

Date Route Run: 06/26/2015
Start Time: 04:58
End Time: 09:48
Start Temp: 13 °C
End Temp: 20 °C
Start Wind: 1-Wind direction shown by smoke drift [1-3 mph, 2-5 Kph]
End Wind: 2-Wind felt on face; leaves rustle [4-7 mph, 6-12 Kph]
Start Sky: 0-Clear or few clouds
End Sky: 0-Clear or few clouds
Route Summary

Total Species : 57 Total ind. : 453

Species ind.
Wood Duck 2
Common Loon 1
Herring Gull 4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 16
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Alder Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 5
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 8
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 81
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 10
Common Raven 11
Black-capped Chickadee 14
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
House Wren 1
Winter Wren 1
Veery 40
Hermit Thrush 7
Wood Thrush 4
American Robin 15
European Starling 1
Cedar Waxwing 5
Ovenbird 26
Black-and-white Warbler 6
Nashville Warbler 3
Mourning Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 20
American Redstart 16
Northern Parula 1
Magnolia Warbler 3
Blackburnian Warbler 3
Yellow Warbler 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler 25
Black-throated Blue Warbler 4
Pine Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Black-throated Green Warbler7
Chipping Sparrow 14
Song Sparrow 9
Swamp Sparrow 9
White-throated Sparrow 4
Scarlet Tanager 6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Indigo Bunting 11
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Purple Finch 4
American Goldfinch 3
Chimney Swift 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Tree Swallow 1

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds on guard
Posted on July 12, 2015 at 05:02:21 PM by tedthevideoman

We are happy to say the 2 young flew today!

 

 

Bluebirds on guard
Posted on July 10, 2015 at 09:27:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

June Gardner reports she has two young Eastern Bluebirds doing well in a nestbox in her yard. Here are two recent photos of the adults guarding their nest - photos by Ted Gardner. (Bracebridge)
photo1  photo2
More photos can be viewed on Ted's blog at http://t-boneimages.blogspot.ca/2015/07/on-guard.html

 

 

Re(1): Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bracebridge
Posted on July 10, 2015 at 11:05:27 AM by coreyhkh

Wow great find in Muskoka!

 

 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Bracebridge
Posted on July 9, 2015 at 08:02:23 PM by Ontbirds

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

Good evening birders!
I'm reporting on behalf of Lev Frid, who just called to say that he found a
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher while driving southbound on Highway 11 in the
vicinity of exit 189, just north of Bracebridge. It was an adult bird with
tail streamers perched on a diagonal road marker on the west side of the
highway. It then flew over the highway and headed east, so the bird is no
longer in the immediate area (which is not an ideal place to stop
anyways!), but it may be worth checking out nearby side roads.

Cheers,

Amanda Guercio 

 

 

Re(1): Herring Gull attack
Posted on July 12, 2015 at 12:19:07 PM by janice house

I just took a quick walk around, a lone herring gull swooped at me by the T between cell 1 and 2. A sora was walking between grass clumps at the south end of cell 1, a bufflehead was still in cell 2, two solitary sandpipers were at the west side of cell 3 along with four black ducks.

 

Herring Gull attack
Posted on July 9, 2015 at 12:36:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I tried to enter the Bracebridge Ponds from Lagoon Lane, but had to turn back. This Herring Gull sentry swooped down over me twice, and then called in reinforcements. With two of them diving down within a foot of my head a couple times, I got the message and left. So the youngsters have fledged. Beware and keep an eye on the sky for a week or so just in case.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bobolinks
Posted on July 9, 2015 at 11:16:09 AM by J. Gardner

I noticed that there has been some early haying this year and worry that the bobolinks may have done a lot of work for no return. J. Gardner

 

 

Bobolinks
Posted on July 9, 2015 at 09:30:54 AM by janice house

I saw two males perched on the fencing by the old Dinsmore sheep farm this morning. I was worried about the fledglings because they cut the hay last week. I also found a really big northern water snake that had a run in with a vehicle, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

Solitary Sandpipers
Posted on July 8, 2015 at 01:58:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

The southbound migration of shorebirds has begun. This morning there were two Solitary Sandpipers at the Bracebridge Ponds at the east end of cell 3. Unfortunately with all the rain we've had, water levels are high in all cells so no more "islands" in cell 3.

Two young Hooded Mergansers, a Common Loon, and a Bufflehead were in cell 4. Two Green Herons were in the wet ditch north of cell 4. A male Bufflehead was in cell 2. An Eastern Phoebe was using an old Mullein seedhead as a convenient launching pad as it repeatedly flew out to catch insects. There were many Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonflies flying today as well as a few Common Whitetails.

 

 

Catbirds in Muskoka
Posted on July 7, 2015 at 10:16:21 AM by michaelhatton

Kerr Park and the sewage lagoons have turned out to be "almost guaranteed" for Catbird sightings this year. Or so it seems.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Canada's National Bird
Posted on July 10, 2015 at 02:42:00 PM by Jim Griffin

Got to be the RAVEN: present in every province and territory, significant in first nations cultures, and it is not a snow bird, it stays year round.

 

 

Re(2): Canada's National Bird
Posted on July 9, 2015 at 06:05:31 PM by DinnyNimmo

I voted for the Common Loon. It probably should be the Canada Goose but that is not my favourite bird. I have always loved chickadees. I think of them as "the children's bird" as they seem to be one of the first children can identify.They are curious little birds and fun to watch.

 

 

Re(1): Canada's National Bird
Posted on July 8, 2015 at 10:56:17 AM by coreyhkh

its not widely known and hardly seen, I voted for the Gray jay as it seems perfectly suited to being a Canadian symbol.

 

 

Canada's National Bird
Posted on July 6, 2015 at 09:45:28 AM by michaelhatton

The "contest" to identify a national bird for Canada is moving along, but to my surprise the Harris's Sparrow is not doing well.
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/nationalbird/

 

 

Stink Bugs
Posted on July 5, 2015 at 05:21:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

I was searching willow leaves for caterpillars today at the Bracebridge Ponds and found this little patch of Stink Bug eggs and nymphs. I didn't have a magnifying glass with me, but my camera's macro setting helped reveal the wee things. There are so many different species of these bugs, I can't be sure, but they do appear to be a match for the Spined Soldier Bug, a predatory stink bug which eats caterpillars amongst other things. I also found a single Japanese Beetle by cell 4, which was the first one I've seen this year...and hopefully the last.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Hooded Mergansers
Posted on July 5, 2015 at 02:58:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three young Hooded Mergansers in cell 4. Two Black-billed Cuckoos were calling softly while they preened in some alders north of cell 4. The Common Loon was still in cell 4. A recently fledged Yellow Warbler was being fed by its mother. A Green Heron was catching frogs along the south edge of cell 4. A male Blue-winged Teal was in cell 1 and a female Bufflehead was in cell 4. There were only about 10 Bank Swallows...what a difference from Friday.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Swallows and a Cuckoo
Posted on July 6, 2015 at 09:29:21 AM by janice house

On Sunday morning there were 21 barn swallows on the wires by the old Dinsmore sheep farm. A pair of tree swallows were feeding young in the bluebird box in the pasture by the drive shed. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Swallows and a Cuckoo
Posted on July 3, 2015 at 05:18:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were large numbers of Swallows hawking insects high above the west end of cell 3. Every once in a while they would land on the dead trees north of cell 4 which gave a good chance to get a rough count...at least 110 Bank Swallows. Also about 10 Tree Swallows and six Barn Swallows over cell 4.

A Black-billed Cuckoo was calling at the edge of the woods north of cell 4. Two Green Herons flew over. The Common Loon was still in cell 4 and the male Bufflehead was still in cell 2.

 

 

Northern Harriers
Posted on July 2, 2015 at 03:41:12 PM by janice house

Two harriers were gliding and soaring above the farm field across from our house today at lunch time, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): Some photos from the count
Posted on July 3, 2015 at 03:10:17 PM by michaelhatton

The photos are amazing. Please post more if available!

 

 

Some photos from the count
Posted on July 2, 2015 at 11:52:08 AM by Al Sinclair

Silver-bordered Fritillary photo

Summer Azure photo

Two-spotted Skipper photo

Peck's Skipper photo

Little Glassywing photo

 

 

Muskoka (Bala) Butterfly Count - Results
Posted on July 2, 2015 at 11:27:40 AM by Al Sinclair

17th annual Bala Butterfly Count results
June 27, 2014, sunny 16C to 20C
22 species 306 individuals
8 observers: George Bryant, Janet Fraser, Cyril Fry, Janice House, Al Sinclair, Rick Snider, Dominic Stones
The weather was warm but cloudy all day. Few butterflies were flying so they had to be found where they were resting.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail 3
Cabbage White 1
Summer Azure 1
Great Spangled Fritillary 1
Silver-Bordered Fritillary 1
Silvery Checkerspot 5
Harris' Checkerspot 2
Northern Crescent 22
Gray Comma 1
White Admiral 10
Little Wood Satyr 12
Common Ringlet 1
Monarch 2 (fresh)
Northern Cloudywing 1
Arctic Skipper 2
European Skipper 215
Peck's Skipper 1
Tawny-Edged Skipper 1
Long Dash 10
Little Glassywing 1
Hobomok Skipper 12
Two-Spotted Skipper 1
total 306

 

 

Rusty Blackbird
Posted on July 1, 2015 at 01:20:54 PM by J. Gardner

Have seen a Rusty Blackbird twice this week at the feeder. Not used to seeing them at this time. J. Gardner