Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from October - December 2015
 
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Glaucous at Gravenhurst Landfill
Posted on December 31, 2015 at 03:02:47 PM by michaelhatton

photo1

 

 

17 Trumpeter Swans !
Posted on December 31, 2015 at 12:12:03 PM by LindaBurdett

photo1  Lake Couchiching Washago

 

 

Suet Day for Downy & Hairy
Posted on December 30, 2015 at 07:18:22 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2

 

 

Redpolls and Siskins
Posted on December 30, 2015 at 02:34:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I walked "the Chickadee trail" between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons. In addition to the usual bunch of friendly Chickadees and Nuthatches, I found a dozen Common Redpolls in the alders at the dip in the trail. There were also some Purple Finches, American Goldfinches, and at least 100 Pine Siskins feeding in the Yellow Birches and Balsam Firs. The Siskins could be heard well before I could see them...very talkative this morning. I didn't see a Ruffed Grouse or Snowshoe Hare, but their tracks were visible crossing the trail in a few places.

The trail condition was very good from the deadend parking area at Henry Rd. all the way over to the pipeline adjacent to the Sewage Lagoons. Snowshoes were not necessary as a snowmobile had gone through ahead of me and the earlier wet areas were partially frozen and filled in with snow. Two fallen trees have been removed from the trail towards the east end...thanks to those responsible for the clean-up!

Directions: 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)

 

 

Eagles - photos added
Posted on December 30, 2015 at 10:38:37 AM by LindaBurdett

Two Eagles seen daily for over a month, shores of Lake Couchiching,Floral Park Washago.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk near Windermere
Posted on December 30, 2015 at 09:11:46 AM by dbritton

This morning there was light-phase Rough-legged Hawk perched in the treetops in the old fields on the east side of Rostrevor Road, just north of the bridge over the Dee River.
My first RLHA for Muskoka!

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 27, 2015 at 03:06:12 PM by Al Sinclair

Preliminary Results
Report errors to sinclair@muskoka.com

36th Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count Results ONGB
Held Sunday December 20, 2015
Observers 25
Temperature -4 to +2C
Lakes and moving water open
AM cloudy PM clear
Snow depth 30 to 40 cm
Total species 44 (10 year avererage 37.7)(39 Gravenhurst 30 Bracebridge)(2 additional species under review)
Total individuals 2510 (10 year average 2462)(1500 Gravenhurst 1010 Bracebridge)
New count species: 2 under review
New count highs: Mallard 98, Red-tailed Hawk 4, Bohemian Waxwing 220
Unusual species: Lesser Scaup, Great Black-backed Gull, Gray Jay (count week), Bohemian Waxwing, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird
Finch species: Purple Finch, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak

COMMON LOON - 1 (Alport Bay)
CANADA GOOSE - 3
MALLARD - 98
LESSER SCAUP - 1 (Gull Lake)
COMMON GOLDENEYE - 5
BUFFLEHEAD - 5
COMMON MERGANSER - 18
RED-TAILED HAWK - 4
BALD EAGLE - 4 (Gravenhurst Landfill)
RUFFED GROUSE - 4
WILD TURKEY - 6
RING-BILLED GULL - 40
HERRING GULL - 257
GLAUCOUS GULL - 2
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL - 3 (Gravenhurst Landfill)
ROCK PIGEON - 145
MOURNING DOVE - 113
BARRED OWL - 1
DOWNY WOODPECKER - 21
HAIRY WOODPECKER - 31
PILEATED WOODPECKER - 7
GRAY JAY - COUNT WEEK (Covered Bridge Trail in Bracebridge)
BLUE JAY - 159
AMERICAN CROW - 53
COMMON RAVEN - 57
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE - 375
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 25
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH - 78
BROWN CREEPER - 1
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET - 3
AMERICAN ROBIN - 2 (Bracebridge)
BOHEMIAN WAXWING - 220 (Sarah Street in Gravenhurst)
NORTHERN SHRIKE - 1
EUROPEAN STARLING - 346
NORTHERN CARDINAL - 14
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW - 22
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW - 2
DARK-EYED JUNCO - 60
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD - 1 (Kahshe Lake)
PURPLE FINCH - 46
COMMON REDPOLL - 54
PINE SISKIN - 10
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - 172
EVENING GROSBEAK - 25
HOUSE SPARROW - 15

 

 

Re(1): anyone know where to find Snowshoe hare?
Posted on December 28, 2015 at 08:36:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

They tend to be more active between dusk and dawn so that makes them harder to find, especially when there's no snow on the ground. With snow expected in Muskoka overnight, you might be able to track one down. One good place is the trail east of Henry Marsh just before the first bend. There are usually lots of their tracks in that area. Someone used to set snares in the woods north of the hiking trail, closer to the snowmobile trail...so watch your step if you go off trail.

 

 

Re(1): anyone know where to find Snowshoe hare?
Posted on December 28, 2015 at 02:55:20 PM by John Challis

There has been one on Green River Drive in Washago, over the last few weeks, Corey. Both my wife and a neighbour have seen it. It's likely a bit elusive though, because there is a lot of swamp and wetland that you wouldn't be able to get through.

 

 

anyone know where to find Snowshoe hare?
Posted on December 27, 2015 at 12:26:23 PM by coreyhkh

Been looking to photograph one but so far no luck so far

 

 

Gravenhurst Birds
Posted on December 27, 2015 at 06:31:48 AM by janice house

I stopped at the landfill on Beiers Rd yesterday and saw 3 bald eagles, no sign of any black backed gulls. I spoke with a lady from Morrison Lake who told me they had several pairs of loons and just that morning a flock of buffleheads had flown in. Morrison Lake is in between Muldrew Lake and Sparrow Lake.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on December 25, 2015 at 11:11:15 PM by coreyhkh

I was there around 11 and there was also a flock of purple finch, a female was at the feeder.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on December 25, 2015 at 01:15:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning near the west end of the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds there was a flock of about 30 Pine Siskins and 2 American Goldfinches. They all flew down to the trail to get a drink from a puddle and then worked their way along the ground foraging for fallen Balsam Fir seeds. They ended up only 10 feet from me before a Red Squirrel barged in and sent them up into the trees...wish I'd had my camera.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 to 24 December
Posted on December 24, 2015 at 10:22:25 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 24, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Last weekend produced about 5 cm of snow, and ice formed on small lakes and
ponds. Now, the snow has mostly disappeared and some of the ice has melted
due to rain and mild temperatures. All the larger lakes remain completely
ice-free. The lack of snow and ice is unprecedented for this date during the
last 45 years in the Park.

Notably late species for Algonquin were Hooded Merganser, Common Loon and
Herring Gull on the 18th and American Black Duck on the 22nd.

The Visitor Centre will be closed on December 24 to 26 (inclusive) and open
daily from 9 am to 5 pm on December 27 to January 3 (inclusive). The seed
and suet feeders are operational at the Visitor Centre.

Birder reports were limited once again, but below is a little information:

WINTER FINCHES:
White-winged Crossbill: One was observed along Opeongo Road on the 18th.

Pine Siskin: Some were noted along Bat Lake Trail, on Opeongo Road and near
Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail.

Evening Grosbeak: At the Visitor Centre feeders, there were four on the 18th
and 29 on the 21st.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen along Opeongo Road on the 18th.

Gray Jay: Seen again along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: This elusive species was noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail
rail bed yesterday. Check the suet feeder at the register box on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk to see if any have been attracted to it yet.

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

Happy Holidays and Good Birding in 2016!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400.
From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

In winter, the Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 on Highway 60
are open on weekends from 9 am to 4 pm. There is access to the exhibits and
limited services (including light snacks, coffee and other drinks) on
weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.

Your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) are available at the East Gate, West Gate and
Visitor Centre.

 

 

Re(1): Gray Jay
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 03:52:43 PM by Al Sinclair

Ha! Last day to be counted as Count week for the Christmas Bird Count. Great work.

 

 

Gray Jay
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 03:22:50 PM by Goodyear

The Gray Jay is still hanging around. About 1:00 this afternoon it was seen very briefly at a feeder behind a house near the intersection of Covered Bridge Trail and Lankin Ave. (Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(2): Common Redpolls
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 08:29:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yes, the feeders are back up, so take some black oil sunflower seeds if you go. I haven't seen the Barred Owl and haven't heard of any recent sightings.  I have seen a Ruffed Grouse near the west end of the trail a few times though.

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 05:09:44 PM by coreyhkh

are the feeders still up along the trail? any sign of the owl this year?

 

 

Common Redpolls
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 12:49:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were four Common Redpolls along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds...first ones I've seen there this season. There were also a few Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, and American Goldfinches in addition to the usual friendly bunch of Chickadees and Nuthatches. (The trail is very wet and mucky in several spots with very little snow remaining.)

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl in the rain...Photo...Bracebridge
Posted on December 22, 2015 at 05:28:57 PM by coreyhkh

nice shot Al

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl in the rain...Photo...Bracebridge
Posted on December 22, 2015 at 02:53:15 PM by tedthevideoman

great shot Al!

 

 

Barred Owl in the rain...Photo...Bracebridge
Posted on December 22, 2015 at 10:44:14 AM by Al Sinclair

The resident owl was back on its favorite perch this morning in our backyard. Of course it was hiding out on Christmas Bird Count day.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings in Gravenhurst
Posted on December 22, 2015 at 11:04:17 AM by DBurton

We found the same group at 1:30 that Steve and Judy had in the morning, but by then only 40 were still around- they make a lot of noise though.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings in Gravenhurst
Posted on December 21, 2015 at 03:25:13 PM by Al Sinclair

On the Christmas Bird Count Dec 20: 220 Bohemian waxwings were counted by Stephen O'Donnell and Judy Aral at 615 Sarah Street in Gravenhurst (Blue House). Feeding on mountain ash berries.

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 23, 2015 at 01:24:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

The female Pileated was back at the suet this morning and right now as I type this. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on December 21, 2015 at 10:31:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

A female Pileated Woodpecker showed up at our suet feeder this morning and stayed for 15 minutes...where was she yesterday for the Christmas Bird Count?!
The male Cardinal was here this morning too - yesterday only the female. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 10 to 17 December
Posted on December 19, 2015 at 03:19:50 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 17, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

All lakes and ponds were ice-free and the bare ground continued this
week. There were few birder reports and so new information was limited.

Lake Travers (on the Park's East Side) had record late Canada Goose and
Bufflehead on the 16th. Two female Canvasbacks photographed there
the same day were just the second record for Algonquin. None of these were
seen when Lake Travers was checked by canoe again today, unfortunately.

A juvenile Common Loon on Grand Lake and two juveniles at the Opeongo
Access Point today were very late.


WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll
and Pine Siskin were observed at Lake Travers on the 16th.


BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen at Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy
Lake Trail on the 12th.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.


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(4): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 24, 2015 at 02:13:22 PM by michaelhatton

Great photo. Makes me cold just looking at it.

 

 

Re(3): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 20, 2015 at 10:30:47 PM by missyinmuskoka

South Kahshe Lake Road is the location that I saw this bird today.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 20, 2015 at 08:34:40 PM by DBurton

We did not have any Blackbirds on the count. Where is your feeder located? We might be able to add it to the count total.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 20, 2015 at 06:46:29 PM by missyinmuskoka

I came up this afternoon to find a red winged bb hanging around my feeders. I have several images of it, not sure if it is a juv male or female. 25 or more American goldfinches and 3 American tree sparrows.

 

 

Re(1): Christmas Bird Count
Posted on December 20, 2015 at 04:35:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

In case you need Siskins...this afternoon there were at least ten Pine Siskins at the west end of the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. Also a Ruffed Grouse there.
The female Cardinal showed up at our feeder this morning, but nothing else of note. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count is this Sunday
Posted on December 18, 2015 at 10:16:02 AM by Al Sinclair

On Sunday December 20 make sure your feeders are full for the Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count. We will be counting all the birds in a 24 km (15 mile) diameter circle centered between the two towns. For more information on the count and how to join in email sinclair@muskoka.com. We can always use more counters.

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk
Posted on December 17, 2015 at 05:26:25 PM by DBurton

On Hornibrook Rd near Sundridge yesterday there was a Rough-legged Hawk in the west field north of Adams Road. Also, a Canvasback duck that was found on the Burk's Falls count yesterday was still at the Burk's Falls lagoons today.

 

 

22nd Huntsville Christmas Bird Count: Tuesday, December 15
Posted on December 16, 2015 at 08:19:09 PM by Ontbirds

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

The 22nd Huntsville Christmas Bird Count was held on Tuesday,
December 15. There was no snow on the ground and all water was
ice-free. Mild temperatures and only occasional light flurries made
for good viewing conditions.

Preliminary results show:

Total Species: 42 (average is 39)
Total Individuals: 3,341 (average is 3,079)
Observers in the Field: 21

New Species for the Count:
Lesser Scaup (male; observed well by experienced birders)

New Highest Counts (previous high in brackets):
Bufflehead: 52 (23)
Northern Cardinal: 17 (10)

Finches:
Purple Finch: 142
Common Redpoll: 178
Pine Siskin: 119
American Goldfinch: 139
Evening Grosbeak: 19

Thanks to all participants.

Ron Tozer, Compiler
Dwight, ON

 

 

American Goldfinches, Bala
Posted on December 15, 2015 at 06:35:50 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Monday about noon I noticed at least a dozen goldfinches feeding on coneflower seedheads and evening primrose in my prairie meadow. As I was photographing them they scattered when a very healthy fox trotted by my front door. I have had a huge infestation of mice this year and caught 11 in the last week. The fox must be the animal benefitting from the bodies.

The goldfinches have not returned.

 

 

Re(1): peepers
Posted on December 15, 2015 at 12:32:25 PM by Doug Smith

They may be as confused about the weather as we are! I had someone in Port Carling say they had stopped for a frog crossing the road near their home in Falkenburg.

 

 

peepers
Posted on December 14, 2015 at 08:01:43 PM by John Challis

Gayle reports hearing several spring peepers behind our house on Green River Dr, Washago. Previous latest around here has been around November 4-11.

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on December 14, 2015 at 11:57:39 AM by janice house

Buffleheads on Doe Lake on Saturday and 3 buffleheads on the beaver pond in the Tree Museum

 

 

Common Grackle in Dwight
Posted on December 13, 2015 at 02:14:53 PM by Rick Stronks

We have a Common Grackle at our feeder today.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on December 12, 2015 at 04:20:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a dead tree west of cell 4. There were 30 Mallards and 4 Buffleheads in cell 2. A lone Snow Bunting was near the dumping ponds.

 

 

Port Sydney Activity
Posted on December 12, 2015 at 07:59:09 AM by Jim Griffin

One male common merganser and four common golden eye on the river south of the road 10 bridge

 

 

Snowshoe Hare
Posted on December 11, 2015 at 10:32:50 AM by Leslie

Saw a snowshoe hare at the bush next to Peake Fields yesterday - fully white! Not very helpful camoflage this year!

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 3 to 10 December
Posted on December 11, 2015 at 09:29:45 AM by Ontbirds

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

Single Common Loons this week on Smoke Lake, Lake Opeongo, Lake Travers
(Park's East Side) and flying near Park Lake were late. A Belted Kingfisher
at Lake of Two Rivers on the 6th was also notably late for Algonquin. These
occurrences reflect the continuing abnormally warm temperatures and open
lakes and rivers. There is no snow either, which made the all-white Snowshoe
Hare I saw today rather conspicuous.

Numerous Ruffed Grouse being seen along Highway 60 and on trails are
indicative of good production and survival of young this year.

The gate on Opeongo Road is now closed for the winter. Birders are
encouraged to walk the black spruce section north of the gate for boreal
species and finches. Ongoing work to replace the siding on the Visitor
Centre is causing only occasional disruption of birds coming to the feeders.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Singles were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Mew Lake
Campground, and there were two along Opeongo Road, on the 6th.

Purple Finch: A few were observed at various Highway 60 locations.

Red Crossbill: A few, often singles calling in flight, were noted along the
Highway 60 Corridor this week. Some were observed at the lookout on the
Barron Canyon Trail on the Park's East Side on the 5th.

White-winged Crossbill: A large flock of 50 was reported on Opeongo Road
on the 5th.

Common Redpoll: This species is being seen regularly now, usually in small
flocks but occasionally in larger groups such as the 31 near Wolf Howl Pond
on the 8th.

Pine Siskin: Small and larger flocks continue to be seen along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: Numbers have dwindled but five were observed at the
East Gate on the 5th.

Evening Grosbeak: Three were at the Visitor Centre on the 6th, and there was
one there and another along Opeongo Road on the 7th. Forty were reported in
Whitney, on Highway 60 east of the Park, on the 7th.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male and a female were observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on the 5th, and a male was photographed near that trail's register box on
the 6th. A female and a displaying male were along Opeongo Road north of
the locked gate on the 7th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was first heard tapping as it flaked off
bark in search of wood-boring beetle larvae and was later photographed on
the east side of the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed just north of Wolf Howl Pond
on the 8th.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Look and listen for them along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

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): OntBirds Bird Alerts
Posted on December 10, 2015 at 03:31:20 PM by janice house

Michael, wonderful photos. Linda Boon and I were in Prince Edward County checking out lodgings and outings for MFN weekend away in March 2012. We had the good fortune to see a female mountain bluebird that was wintering there.

 

 

OntBirds Bird Alerts
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 09:10:20 PM by michaelhatton

If you follow Ontbirds bird alerts, you'll have noticed the ongoing postings regarding the female Mountain Bluebird seen daily near Whitby. I saw a male Mountain Bluebird 35 or 40 years ago, in Alberta, and the visual is still fresh in my mind. It is a delightful bird, both male and female. Today I dropped by the Hall's road location to search. I saw the bird after one minute of looking, and within three minutes the bird flew to where I was standing, by myself, landing on top of a newly planted sapling. For several minutes I watched the bird fly from its perch to capture bits of food on the ground, then return to one of three saplings very close to me. If you have any interest in seeing this rarity, I think your chances are 95% through this weekend, which is forecast to be quite mild. The bird appears to be strong and willing to keep house in this one location.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Ants
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 07:51:20 PM by John Challis

I was out tossing sticks for the dog in our driveway tonight and came across a large black ant sluggishly making its way across the gravel. It was the species with a reddish thorax. Not something one expects to see on the 9th of December...

 

 

Re(1): Plovers in Muskoka
Posted on December 8, 2015 at 09:22:32 PM by Goodyear

Hi Burke
I have been compiling records for Muskoka (from eBird and other published and unpublished sources) and this is what I have found so far:
Black-bellied Plover - 36 records, 21 spring, 15 fall
American Golden Plover - 12 records, 11 fall, 1 possible spring record
The numbers don't help you, unfortunately!

In Birds of Algonquin Park, Ron Tozer quotes Godfrey (1986) who states that the American Golden Plover's spring migration route is "up the Mississippi Valley over the Prairie Provinces and west of Hudson Bay", thus accounting for fewer spring records for this species.

David

 

 

Plovers in Muskoka
Posted on December 7, 2015 at 11:50:21 PM by Burke Korol

Hello All,
On 15 October 2000 I had a poor look at a plover at the Muskoka Airport. I couldn't see this bird very well. It flew out over the airfield, not far from the ground (~15 m) and gave a call that sort of sounded like a Pine Grosbeak. I later heard it give a more 'plover-like' call note.

eBird suggests that the only Muskoka records for Black-bellied Plover are from the spring and that the only Muskoka records for American Golden-Plover are from the fall.

Can anybody comment on the probable ID of this bird?
I'd be grateful if others with experience with either plover species in Muskoka would post comments to me or the bird board.
Thanks
Burke Korol
Barrie

 

Moose tracks
Posted on December 7, 2015 at 03:05:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds in addition to the usual deer tracks, there were Moose tracks along the roadway by the treatment plant. I didn't see the animal, but it had been heading east, then more tracks going north towards Kerr Park.  Only ducks seen were 3 Buffleheads and 9 Mallards.

 

Common goldeneyes, Lake of bays
Posted on December 7, 2015 at 02:17:03 PM by IanP

There has been a flock of 3-10 common goldeneyes hanging around haystack bay on lake of bays for the past couple weeks. They have been mixed male and female, today these three males were around.  photo

 

 

Spruce Grouse
Posted on December 7, 2015 at 12:13:14 PM by DBurton

Steve McDonnell and I found 2 male Spruce Grouse in the spruce bog near South River yesterday. The second one was displaying on the road, which was odd considering it's December.

 

 

Re(1): bald eagle, juvenile
Posted on December 9, 2015 at 02:33:10 PM by DBurton

There are now at least 3 Eagles at the Gravenhurst dump. Two are 2nd year or 3rd year Bald Eagles with extensive white mottling. The other bird has no mottling and is likely the bird found by John and Gayle. They sit in the pine trees at the far side of the dumping area as viewed from Sedore Road.

 

 

Re(1): bald eagle, juvenile
Posted on December 6, 2015 at 09:36:03 PM by John Challis

Also for the count, a very busy couple of bird feeders at the home of Ian and Pru Donaldson, Lone Pine Drive east side, just south of Stephenson Road 1 -- if that's within our circle. Good for purple finches and chickadees at the very least.

 

 

bald eagle, juvenile
Posted on December 6, 2015 at 09:34:16 PM by John Challis

This sighting was last week actually -- just getting caught up now -- but we saw a juvenile bald eagle perched on a mound of fill at the Gravenhurst landfill, Sedore Road side. Worth checking during the Christmas count on the 20th.

 

 

Re(2): Pine Siskins
Posted on December 6, 2015 at 08:06:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Seems to be a common behaviour. The Chickadees check out the old webworm nests in our birch trees all the time. I've even seen a Downy Woodpecker hanging from one of the collapsed nest blobs as it probed and poked. I'm not sure what they are finding since the webworms go down to the ground to pupate. I suppose there could be leftover bits of dead caterpillars that were killed by parasitic wasps or flies, or maybe some tree seeds get stuck in the mess as they fall to the ground. Now you've got me curious so I'll have to see if I can reach one and have a good look.

This morning the large flock of Pine Siskins had moved further east along the trail and were dining on Tamarack seeds. Quite a varied diet.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on December 5, 2015 at 01:37:54 PM by J. Gardner

Barbara.. I have noticed birds picking over the Web Worm messes left hanging in the trees. The Whiskyjack, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jays and Chickadees have been seen picking. I did not notice that last year. Is it common behaviour? J. Gardner

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on December 5, 2015 at 01:26:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I walked the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. A short distance east of Henry Marsh I came across a large flock of at least 50 Pine Siskins. They were feeding in the Balsam Firs and Birches, but also seemed to be picking something off the trunk of a large dead tree. I couldn't see any insects where they were feeding, so perhaps tiny eggs laid on the bark? There were also a few Purple Finches in the area as well as several Red-breasted Nuthatches, a couple White-breasted Nuthatch, and a large flock of friendly Chickadees.

All the cells at the Bracebridge Ponds were free of ice, but there were only 4 Bufflehead, 5 Mallards, and a lone Herring Gull. The only birds I saw at Henry Marsh were two Ravens. The water level was still holding nicely, but no sign of any beaver activity.

 

 

Re(2): Whiskyjack
Posted on December 5, 2015 at 01:41:17 PM by J. Gardner

Thanks Barbara. I have noticed that the bird flies in from the south and east so he has expanded his territory. Super that he will pick up offerings as Gray Jays are wont to do. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack
Posted on December 5, 2015 at 01:14:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

As I was driving home along Tamarack Trail around 12:30 p.m., the Gray Jay flew over my car and landed in a birch tree by Pinecone Dr. I turned around and parked at the school and could see the bird moving back and forth in some evergreens behind the houses across the road. There were also several Blue Jays in the same area, so probably there is a feeding station back there (walking south from Pinecone Dr. along the pipeline/snowmobile trail might give better looks). Eventually the Gray Jay came to a front yard and when I threw a peanut onto the grass, the bird came down and grabbed it! It must be getting used to people...finally got to see it. Thanks for all the updates June. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Whiskyjack
Posted on December 5, 2015 at 12:16:14 PM by J. Gardner

Whiskyjack turned up around noon, after missing for a week. Hoped that he was heading for home territory, but glad to see him anyway. So, he is still in the neighbourhood folks. Killdeer Crescent, Bracebridge. J. Gardner

 

 

Coyote
Posted on December 4, 2015 at 09:43:41 PM by tedthevideoman

Came home just now from an evening out and a Coyote ran through the backyard caught in the head lights...Meadow Heights Bracebridge

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 November to 3 December
Posted on December 4, 2015 at 11:28:11 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 3, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.
(follow-up addendum post included at bottom of sightings)

Last week's snow cover has nearly all melted and the larger lakes remain
free of ice, as the unusually mild conditions for this date continue.

A single Bohemian Waxwing on the 26th at Lake Travers (on the Park's East
Side) was the latest of a very small number seen here since late October.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One was heard along Barron Canyon Road (on the Park's East
Side) on the 26th, and two were along the Old Railway Bike Trail
between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

Purple Finch: Low numbers continue to be observed.

Red Crossbill: A few were noted at Lake Travers on the 26th, and two
were seen along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and
Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

Common Redpoll: Numerous small flocks were noted along the Barron Canyon
Road from the Sand Lake Gate to Lake Travers on the 26th. Some were
in large Pine Siskin flocks observed along the Old Railway Bike Trail
between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

Pine Siskin: Small and large flocks are being seen regularly on the Park's
East Side and along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: There are still a few coming to the Visitor Centre feeders
fairly regularly, including two on the 2nd.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond
area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf
Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: A good place to look and listen for them continues to be
the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Fifteen in total were observed along the Old
Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the
2nd.

Addendum:
White-winged Crossbill: Two were noted at Lake Travers (on the Park's East
Side) on the 27th.

HOARY REDPOLL: One in a flock of Common Redpolls was observed
along the south shore of Lake Travers on the 27th.

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): Algonquin Park -- Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak
Posted on December 6, 2015 at 04:00:04 PM by Peter Mills

This past weekend (5-6 Dec) I again had big flocks of siskins and some redpolls, one red crossbill, and a single Pine Grosbeak. This is near the town of Magnetawan.

 

 

Algonquin Park -- Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak
Posted on December 3, 2015 at 08:41:09 AM by Peter Mills

On a walk between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh (west along the railbed), we had 15 BOREAL CHICKADEE. I had never seen them so abundant as this past summer, and it looks like these high numbers have kept on into this fall. Three GRAY JAY followed us for quite some distance (and we had an additional two at the Spruce Bog Trail). Large flocks of PINE SISKINS intermittently flew over or fed in trees along our route. At least some of these greater flocks had some COMMON REDPOLLS within them. Low numbers of PURPLE FINCH passed overhead, and two separate individual RED CROSSBILL flew over. At Head Creek Marsh we flushed five HOODED MERGANSERS. Our best birds of the day were two PINE GROSBEAKS, which we had excellent looks at in firs on our return journey (which were part of a greater group of birds that in the same tree included Gray Jay and both Chickadee species).

Also, a single distant flyover gull sp. is somewhat noteworthy in a landscape that doesn't support any gulls through the winter (only the larger lakes seemed ice-free yesterday).

Two Moose browsed at the side of HWY 60 just east of the West Gate.

 

 

Bald Eagle near Port Carling
Posted on November 30, 2015 at 09:37:26 PM by Doug Smith

Saw an adult bald eagle over the 118 west at Windermere II garden centre mid morning today, flying south, towards Lake Muskoka.

 

 

Doe Lake Gravenhurst
Posted on November 30, 2015 at 08:45:29 AM by janice house

Yesterday afternoon there were 8 common mergansers, 7 hooded mergansers, 7 gulls and 3 ducks I could not stop to id.

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh update
Posted on November 29, 2015 at 10:30:01 AM by Al Sinclair

We have to thank Walt Schmid, Director of Public Works, and his staff at the Town of Bracebridge. They acting quickly to fix the problem after being alerted to the draining of the marsh by calls and emails from nearby residents, Muskoka Trails and others as well as a letter from the Muskoka Field Naturalists urging fast action to get the water level back up before freeze-up. Since this is a recurring problem the Town is also working on a Memorandum of Understanding with the landowner on how water levels will be controlled in the future.

 

 

Henry Marsh update
Posted on November 28, 2015 at 04:06:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I checked out Henry Marsh (Bracebridge) and found the dam rebuild and installation of new culverts had been completed. The recent rain and snow melt has helped refill the marsh back to "normal" water levels, with excess water flowing out through the culverts. No sign of any beavers, but with the marsh completely drained for so long, they may have moved on to find a more suitable area to prepare for winter. The only birds I saw were a Song Sparrow and two Blue Jays.

Along the trail heading east from Henry Marsh there were several friendly Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a couple White-breasted Nuthatches. There were also a few Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, American Tree Sparrows, Pine Siskin, and two Golden-crowned Kinglets.

The Bracebridge Ponds were all free of ice, but not many ducks...about 40 Buffleheads, 12 Mallards, and 5 Lesser Scaup. Two Muskrats were feeding at the west shoreline of cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 30, 2015 at 08:30:33 AM by michaelhatton

Just wondering if they are daily visitors or just passing by?

 

 

Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on November 28, 2015 at 01:28:50 PM by edieov

Today about ten evening grosbeaks arrived at our feeders. We've been waiting for a few days now for them to come so are glad they are here.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on November 29, 2015 at 08:22:47 PM by gerrywebb

Nice Missy

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on November 28, 2015 at 08:52:23 AM by missyinmuskoka

I observed a Barred owl hunting on South Kahshe Lake Rd mid day yesterday  photo

 

 

Re(2): Looking for assistance in identifying a large gull
Posted on November 28, 2015 at 08:08:05 AM by michaelhatton

Thanks! Much appreciated.

 

 

Re(1): Looking for assistance in identifying a large gull
Posted on November 27, 2015 at 10:58:22 AM by Al Sinclair

1 yr old Great Black-backed Gull in transition from 1st summer to 2nd winter plumage (reference Sibley Guide to the Birds 2nd edition pg 281)

 

 

Looking for assistance in identifying a large gull
Posted on November 26, 2015 at 12:49:30 PM by michaelhatton

Looking for assistance with identification of this large gull. The second photo below is of the key bird alongside a Ring-billed Gull. Photos were taken yesterday on the shoreline of Lake Ontario.  photo1  photo2
Thanks.

 

 

Fox seen in Algonquin last week
Posted on November 26, 2015 at 12:51:12 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 November
Posted on November 26, 2015 at 08:46:14 AM by Ontbirds


*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (November 26, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week brought us our first persisting snow of the fall. There were fewer
birders reporting but several winter finches were still being seen.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be observed, including at the
Visitor Centre.

Common Redpoll: Reported again this week, but in low numbers.

Pine Siskin: Seen regularly, including some larger flocks.

American Goldfinch: One or two observed. Most appear to have left.

Evening Grosbeak: Still a few coming to the Visitor Centre feeders on most
mornings.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond
area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf
Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: The best place to look and listen for them continues to be
the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

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

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 25, 2015 at 02:44:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning it was easy to count the ducks since most had left when the ponds froze over. There was still some open water at the east side of cell 4 where there were 17 Scaup, 12 Bufflehead, and 6 Mallards.  Two Chickadees followed me along the north side of cell 4, probably hoping I had remembered to bring some peanuts...disappointed again.

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on November 25, 2015 at 02:37:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Brown Creeper visited our yard this morning. It spent several minutes searching every nook and cranny in the bark of a White Pine tree. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Gt Black-backed Gull
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 04:19:36 PM by DBurton

A first cycle Great Black-backed Gull was on the docks on Gravenhurst Wharf about 3:45 today. It is larger than a Herring Gull with a much larger dark bill and a very light-coloured head.

 

 

Whiskyjack
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 04:10:25 PM by J. Gardner

I filled my suet feeder with fresh beef fat and moved it to another pole. The whiskyjack was at it several times this afternoon, taking a few bangs at the suet, and then flying back to cover across the garden. Repeat... 6 or 7 times. A low flying Cooper's Hawk made him disappear, only to reappear 10 minutes later. This will be my last sighting report on this subject... unless something startling happens. J. Gardner Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Robin
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 04:10:00 PM by DBurton

6 on Sarah St today.

 

 

Robin
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 03:15:23 PM by DBurton

The Robin numbers are dwindling, but there is still one left at the south end of Austin Street in Gravenhurst. Last week there were several in the same area.

 

 

Re(1): Gray Jay- yes
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 01:57:37 PM by J. Gardner

Thanks for posting your sighting Dan. This bird doesn't hang around the suet post for more than seconds. Your patience paid off. J. Gardner

 

 

Gray Jay- yes
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 11:10:23 AM by DBurton

The Gray Jay found by June Gardner stopped briefly at the suet feeders of her neighbour at 54 Killdeer this morning. It attempted to get at the suet in the hanging logs but kept falling off. It then went to the suet in the cage feeder. It did not seem to relish either or get large amounts of suet like the woodpeckers that come to my identical feeder at home.
Mrs. Gardner told me that she is going to try to get real suet to put up, and then a few minutes after that I saw the Jay (at 10:17). It stayed less than a minute, and was not part of a group and was not interested in seed.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 07:35:06 AM by Jim Griffin

Observed a mature Bald Eagle perched along the river at Port Sydney yesterday afternoon. It was right down at water level at one point, but when it flew, I lost it in the snow covered trees.

 

 

whiskyjack
Posted on November 22, 2015 at 02:49:43 PM by J. Gardner

The Gray Jay, better known in the north as Whiskyjack; was at my neighbour's feeder at 2.30 this afternoon. She managed to get a photo on her phone through the door window and screen. He is shy (understandably) and the slightest movement moves him along. J. Gardner Bracebridge

 

 

Tough to see the green
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 04:17:41 PM by michaelhatton

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Birds
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 10:34:43 AM by janice house

At 4:30 Saturday a healthy fox sparrow was under the feeders. Last night at 4:50 the injured fox sparrow was back flicking the snow. I raked under the feeders to help the poor bird.

 

 

Re(2): Birds
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 03:20:49 PM by janice house

It is possible, I was thinking more of a cat or dog. The body feathers were a mess too and the bird seems very slender.

 

 

Re(1): Birds
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 04:47:07 PM by DBurton

It is possible this bird escaped a predator such as a Shrike. The damage could be from an attempted neck bite that is used to kill the victim bird.

 

 

Birds
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 03:40:02 PM by janice house

This morning an injured fox sparrow was back(it was here all last weekend feeding with the juncos and m doves), skin can be seen around the neck and last weekend feathers were really a mess. Three house sparrows were flitting about on the Independent Grocer letters at the store in Gravenhurst.....hope they stay until Dec 20th.

 

 

Bird Studies Canada
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 03:19:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

from Bird Studies Canada:
Latest News - 20 November 2015 – Bird Studies Canada recently hosted a visit from the prominent satirist and television personality Rick Mercer. We were honoured to have the opportunity to chat with him at our national office in Port Rowan, Ontario about birds and conservation, and to introduce him to migration monitoring research at our Long Point Bird Observatory. To see the segment, tune in to the Rick Mercer Report on CBC TV on Tuesday, December 1! Or you can stream the video online in the days following the broadcast by visiting the Rick Mercer Report YouTube channel.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 03:06:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were about 330 Bufflehead, 60 Mallards, 22 Lesser Scaup, and 5 Green-winged Teal. A few American Goldfinch and American Tree Sparrows were by Lagoon Lane. Two Black-capped Chickadees seemed to be looking for seed handouts by cell 4, but were disappointed.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 November
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 10:04:27 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (November 19, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

What a difference a year makes. On this date last year we had 38 cm of snow
on the ground here. Not a trace of snow (yet!) today and a high temperature
of 13 degrees C. But the end is near!

A single Bohemian Waxwing was observed along the Opeongo Road on
November 15.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be seen, including at the Visitor
Centre.

Red Crossbill: A few were observed along the Barron Canyon Trail and at
Lake Travers on the East Side.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were reported at Mew Lake Campground on
November 14.

Common Redpoll: Some birders observed from 25 to 50 per day this week
along Highway 60 and on the East Side.

Pine Siskin: Seen regularly, including one report of over 100 in a day along
Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: A few were still present here this week, but some
southern Ontario hawk watch reports indicate they are on the move.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to nine were at the Visitor Centre on most days, but
usually only in the morning.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond
area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on
November 14, and a male was seen along the Barron Canyon Trail on the
East Side, on November 17.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed on November 14.

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

 

 

Pussy Willows
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 12:50:13 PM by J. Gardner

Pussies popping out on the willow in the backyard... just in time to freeze. The weather has the even the trees confused. J. Gardner Bracebridge

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting: November 24
Posted on November 18, 2015 at 05:42:37 PM by Ron Tozer

The Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Tuesday, November 24, will feature Members Night presentations about Somerset Island (Nunavut), weasels, winter finches, the California Condor,turtles and beavers. 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): Feeder Watch - live cam
Posted on November 18, 2015 at 03:47:08 PM by Wilf Yusek

Nice site thanks Barbara
Wilf

 

 

Feeder Watch - live cam
Posted on November 17, 2015 at 04:36:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird cam is active again at Tammie and Ben Hache's feeders in Manitouwadge.

See the live action at:
http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/38/Ontario_FeederWatch

I rewound the recording about 2 hours and found a bunch of greedy, but beautiful Evening Grosbeaks visiting.

 

 

Re(1): Do Blue Jays seem abundant this year?
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 10:31:03 AM by coreyhkh

More so then last year, we had a pretty big migration along Lake Erie this year.

 

Do Blue Jays seem abundant this year?
Posted on November 16, 2015 at 08:51:42 PM by michaelhatton


photo

 

 

Re(3): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 17, 2015 at 04:13:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Although I missed the Canada Jay when it showed up at the suet just after noon today, I did see a nice variety of birds around the area this morning. A few Bohemian Waxwings were feeding on ornamental crabapples at Killdeer Cres. and also at Pinecone Dr. Near the entrance to the Covered Bridge subdivision along the hiking trail, there were a few Purple Finch, Common Redpoll, American Goldfinch, and Dark-eyed Juncos. Further up the trail there was also a White-throated Sparrow. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 17, 2015 at 06:18:11 AM by J. Gardner

I am at 50 Killdeer. I have seen the bird on suet feeders at neighbour's on either side, and sitting in willow at back of my house. The ravine runs most of the way down the street, and the bird seems to disappear into it when he leaves. This ravine joins one that runs all the way up to Meadow Heights. Can't guarantee anything. Is your photo of one in the study in Algonquin Park? J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 16, 2015 at 08:23:32 PM by michaelhatton

I'd like to see this bird in Muskoka ... would you mind giving me suggestions as to where I might look on Killdeer? My plan is to walk up and down the street tomorrow morning!
Thanks.
P.S. Photo from earlier today, but further north.  photo

 

 

Whiskyjack
Posted on November 16, 2015 at 02:09:19 PM by J. Gardner

The Gray Jay came over my head and sat above my head in the willow shrub in my backyard at ll.30 this morning. He wasn't alarmed by my movements. He then used the suet feeder next door, and took off into the ravine behind. It seems obvious that the ravine system is good cover and the suet feeders are worth exploring. Killdeer Crescent, Bracebridge J. Gardner

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on November 16, 2015 at 01:17:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were small flocks of Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, American Goldfinches, and American Tree Sparrows, along the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds
Posted on November 15, 2015 at 01:20:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two lingering Red-winged Blackbirds at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were still many Buffleheads, Mallards, several Lesser Scaup, an American Black Duck, and five Green-winged Teal in cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): mushrooms out of the closet
Posted on November 14, 2015 at 02:59:44 PM by Al Sinclair

Flammulina velutipes
Also search for winter mushroom or Enokitake for more info

 

 

mushrooms out of the closet
Posted on November 14, 2015 at 02:34:38 PM by John Challis

The wind this week knocked a dying maple down in Centennial Park, Washago and revealed the microrhysae (spelling?)underneath.  photo  Sorry about the file size; I'm on my phone and it's too fiddly to change it now.

 

 

Re(4): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 04:33:26 PM by J. Gardner

I saw the whiskyjack on the suet at the neighbour's on the other side of my house. I suspect he is hanging out up and down the ravine behind. Have not seen that junco among the hordes visiting. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(3): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 03:37:33 PM by DBurton

I saw an "Oregon" Junco in your neighbour's yard today on the side with the single garage. They had a suet feeder up that is visible from the road but no Gray Jay at the time.

 

 

Re(2): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 12:29:38 PM by J. Gardner

I don't think you can see my neighbour's feeder from the street. I see it through my kitchen door. But, this bird is not what you could call a "regular" thus far. If he starts turning up with regularity, I will make my kitchen door available. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 11:18:12 AM by DBurton

Can the suet feeder be seen from the street?
 

 

 

Whiskyjack
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 09:31:27 AM by J. Gardner

Just spotted the whiskyjack on the feeder next door (for the Goodyears.. the other side of the house) feeding on suet. Delighted. Killdeer Crescent, Bracebridge. 9.30 a.m.
J. Gardner

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 November
Posted on November 12, 2015 at 10:32:31 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (November 12, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Bohemian Waxwings were on the move this week, with small flocks briefly
attracted to the birds feeding at the Visitor Centre: nine were seen on
November 9, and groups of two, five and four on November 10.

Single dispersing female Northern Cardinals were observed along the McManus
Lake Road (East Side of the Park) on November 6 and at the Visitor Centre on
November 10. This Algonquin rarity occurs here irregularly, usually during
October and November. There have been reports of 51 cardinals (26 males and
25 females) during 21 of the 55 years since the first in 1961.

WINTER FINCHES:
There were reports of eight species in Algonquin this week, but all except
one were in low numbers.

Pine Grosbeak: The first of the fall was photographed along the Mizzy Lake
Trail rail bed (accessible from Arowhon Road) on November 9.

Purple Finch: A few were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and at
the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: Seven were observed on the Park's East Side at Lake Travers
on November 6.

White-winged Crossbill: A couple were heard flying over along the Mizzy Lake
Trail rail bed on November 7.

Common Redpoll: Two were seen on the Park's East Side at Lake Travers on
November 6, and one flew over the Visitor Centre on November 8.

Pine Siskin: Becoming widespread, with a few flocks of 20 to 30 birds this
week.

American Goldfinch: A few were seen at the Visitor Centre on most days this
week.

Evening Grosbeak: There were 16 on November 3 and 10 on November 10 at the
Visitor Centre.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road in early morning for birds
getting grit along the edge, and check the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake
Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On November 8, two males were seen along the Mizzy
Lake Trail rail bed.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and Opeongo
Road. Listen for their distinctive calls.

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): American Goldfinches
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 04:50:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are usually some Goldfinches that spend the winter in Muskoka, so if there is plenty of food for them, they may stick around.

 

 

American Goldfinches
Posted on November 9, 2015 at 07:04:35 PM by ksmith

This weekend I saw 2 American Goldfinches in their Winter plummage for the first time at my Nyger feeder in "Winter' (November). Do you think they will stay for the winter?
Hood Road, Port Sydney

 

 

Long-tailed Duck, Otter
Posted on November 9, 2015 at 04:55:47 PM by DBurton

There is currently a Long-Tailed Duck at Muskoka Beach. I also saw an Otter in Gravenhurst Bay near the wharf.

 

 

Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-necked Grebe, Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on November 8, 2015 at 01:32:29 PM by Goodyear

Around noon today we made a quick stop at Muskoka Beach in hopes that there might be some winter ducks on the lake. In addition to a flock of Common Goldeneyes and Buffleheads, there were 6 female/juv Red-breasted Mergansers and a single winter-plumaged Red-necked Grebe. A flock of about 40 Bohemian Waxwings perched briefly in one of the tall trees across the road behind us and then flew off to the west. A profitable stop!

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on November 14, 2015 at 11:29:03 AM by DinnyNimmo

Yesterday (Nov 13) I spotted about 30 snow buntings on Muskoka 38 just past Hurlings Point heading west. I wonder if they were the same flock. Bala

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on November 8, 2015 at 11:50:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were about 30 Snow Buntings feeding just inside the fence by the entrance to the treatment plant. They eventually flew towards the dumping ponds and landed east of cell 4. The two Northern Shovelers were still in cell 2.

 

 

Redwings
Posted on November 8, 2015 at 11:18:49 AM by J. Gardner

A small flock of late departing Redwings at the feeder this morning. Killdeer Crescent, Bracebridge. J. Gardner

 

 

Henry Marsh addendum
Posted on November 6, 2015 at 02:52:05 PM by John Challis

The November issue of Municipal World, a magazine that is in most town and city offices in Canada, has a thematic focus on wetlands and water conservation. It's very timely given the rash act at Henry Marsh. I've pasted the story summaries below:
• WETLANDS MATTER – Canada’s municipalities are facing a massive infrastructure deficit that requires significant investments just to catch up. Discover how wetlands preservation can help to alleviate some of the infrastructure burden, improving water quality and supply for both urban and rural communities.
• WATERSHED STRENGTH THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS – Sustaining a healthy watershed is about more than benefiting the environment; additional benefits to health and the economy come from this valuable practice. Find out how stakeholders in the Coquitlam River watershed are working together to develop a new kind of watershed plan.
• PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES A TEAM EFFORT – Municipalities need to continue to step up to the plate in order to combat climate change, but can’t go it alone. Read how the City of Vaughan has made environmental sustainability a core theme in its operations – and some of the lessons that can extend to your community.

 

 

Carolina Wren - returns
Posted on November 6, 2015 at 07:51:17 AM by DavidLegros

I saw the/a Carolina Wren at my feeder this morning, 6:50 am. 51 Florence st w, Huntsville.
David

 

 

Re(1): Monarch, Turtles, and Frogs
Posted on November 6, 2015 at 02:54:54 PM by John Challis

Spring peeper was singing at our place last night in Washago, too. And this morning my wife watch a snapping turtle hike along our driveway. Not sure what was going on through her/his mind, but the warmth has obviously made its way deep enough into the mud that it may be bringing the reptiles out of dormancy.

 

 

Re(1): Clouded Sulphur, Bruce Spanworm Moths
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 09:51:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were several Bruce Spanworm Moths flying around our yard, and a Clouded Sulphur Butterfly was enjoying the warm sunshine. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Monarch, Turtles, and Frogs
Posted on November 5, 2015 at 04:05:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

This nice warm spell has brought out a few creatures normally not seen or heard at this time of year. This morning some Spring Peepers were calling, Painted Turtles were sunning on logs, and this male Monarch Butterfly was trying to take flight. (Bracebridge)  photo  There was also a very healthy looking Fox trotting across the road between Leons and the old Dura building...fortunately no cars were nearby and the Fox continued on its journey out behind Premiere Self Storage (old Dura) and into the woods.

 

 

Re(2): Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 5, 2015 at 11:03:01 AM by DBurton

Bring food. Maybe it will find you!

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 5, 2015 at 10:13:20 AM by Goodyear

Regan and I tried for it this morning (Thursday) but no luck. Our consolation bird was an Evening Grosbeak calling from the top of a tree behind 50 Killdeer Cres. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 5, 2015 at 06:12:43 AM by J. Gardner

The bird was here once (that I saw) feeding on a suet feeder that is visible from the street. If it turns up again.. I will report. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 4, 2015 at 09:12:28 PM by michaelhatton

I'd be very interested in knowing if it comes back on any sort of regular basis. If so just one ... and can it be seen from the street?

 

 

Re(1): Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 4, 2015 at 04:19:12 PM by DBurton

They are rare in Muskoka. I am happy to see one at any time.

 

 

Whiskyjack.
Posted on November 4, 2015 at 04:10:36 PM by J. Gardner

I just spotted a Whiskyjack on my neighbour's suet feeder. First one I have seen in Bracebridge. Are they rare here? June Gardner Killdeer Crescent Bracebridge.
 

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Nov. 5
Posted on November 3, 2015 at 06:51:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 5
Algonquin Park's Rick Stronks will present a program on The Wolves of Algonquin Park. Discover what type of wolf is found in Algonquin Park, some of the latest results from research and why thousands of people come out to Public Wolf Howls. Rick Stronks is the Chief Park Naturalist and has managed the education program for the park since 1997. He has a biology and education degree and has also worked as a high school teacher and fisheries biologist.

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)

 

 

Re(1): Lapland Longspur Photo
Posted on November 3, 2015 at 03:43:57 PM by michaelhatton

As per the first post by Barb, this Lapland Longspur was spotted this morning (10:20) on the road and in the grass on the north side of cell 3 near the "T".  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Lapland Longspur
Posted on November 3, 2015 at 11:04:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Lapland Longspur was still at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning in the same area. It was feeding in the weeds at the edge of the roadway at the north side of cell 3 near the middle T intersection - still there as of 10:30 a.m.  Only got a "just for the record shot":  photo

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh update
Posted on November 4, 2015 at 08:52:53 PM by pcross4

Hi John - thanks for your efforts and for the picture of Henry Marsh. I am a neighbouring property owner and am quite upset at whoever drained this beautiful marsh and ecosystem.
Our District and Town need to adopt much stricter environmental laws and guidelines to prevent something like this from happening again. Unfortunately a past developer also drained this marsh several years ago. Our local politicians need to take some urgent and positive action. Muskoka should be a positive leader in developing and enforcing strict environmental laws. There are so many wonderful and even some protected animal and plant species in the Henry Marsh area. I urge others to contact their local politician - I am contacting our Bracebridge Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney who chairs the environmental committee with my concern and to get this issue on their agenda.
Thanks again, Peter

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh update
Posted on November 3, 2015 at 12:34:35 PM by coreyhkh

thanks john for the update

 

 

Henry Marsh update
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 11:30:27 PM by John Challis

I have heard back from the Town of Bracebridge public works department on the draining of Henry Marsh. They been in touch with the landowner upstream of the marsh, asking if he/she was responsible for knocking out the berm that regulates the water levels in the marsh. Although the landowner had not replied, I am presuming there will be some sort of resolution to the issue. It was stated strongly that the Town was not responsible for the water draining out and they have been surprised to learn of it. If I get more word, I'll post it here.

 

 

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 05:01:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

This fellow was trying to find a way into our house this afternoon. We usually see a few around this time of year since there are several White Pine trees in the area. Considered harmless. Beautiful pattern on its back.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(3): No Long-tailed Duck...Lapland Longspur - yes
Posted on November 2, 2015 at 12:28:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

No sign of the Long-tailed Duck this morning. A Lapland Longspur was feeding in the weeds at the edge of the roadway north of cell 3 near the middle T intersection, and was still there as of 11:30 a.m. The two Northern Shovelers were still in cell 2 as well as four Green-winged Teal and an American Black Duck. Some Lesser Scaup and a male Ring-necked Duck were in cell 4. Still lots of Bufflehead and Mallards.

 

 

Re(2): Long-tailed Duck
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 04:34:35 PM by janice house

Long-tailed duck still there when I left at 3:45

 

 

Re(1): Long-tailed Duck
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 02:18:04 PM by DBurton

One bird flew off from between cell 1 and 2 to over the sewage treatment plant, giving a flight call of a twitter followed by a cheer. Our looks were so brief that there were several possibilities, but the flight song indicates it was one of the Lapland Longspurs. Long-tailed Duck was still there when we left about 1:45.

 

 

Long-tailed Duck
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 11:56:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

There is a male Long-tailed Duck in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds and two Lapland Longspurs near the middle intersection. Still there when I left around 11:15 a.m.

 

 

Re(2): Last week in Algonquin
Posted on November 1, 2015 at 04:40:16 PM by janice house

Handsome fellow, nice photo Michael

 

 

Re(2): Last week in Algonquin
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 09:08:22 PM by michaelhatton

I'd estimate he was 800 or so metres west of Opeongo Road, about halfway between the highway and the lake, and well out from the trees in a marshy area. I first caught sight of him from a much longer distance to the north. I worked my way west through trees and then the marsh, well to the north, before turning south so that the late day sun was at least slightly in my favour. Snow and wind seemed to keep him from being overly interested in me.

 

 

Re(1): Last week in Algonquin
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 06:23:38 PM by coreyhkh

Wow your lucky, where did you see him?

 

 

Last week in Algonquin
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 01:23:10 PM by michaelhatton

Last week I went looking for Horned Larks in Algonquin, but this fellow showed up just as it started to snow. (Saw the Horned Larks as well.)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Bald eagle
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 01:16:09 PM by johndouglas

A pair of bald eagles flew along the south shore of Three Mile Lake several times today.  photo

 

 

Re(3): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 15, 2015 at 04:09:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a Cooper's Hawk was again hunting in our back yard, but had no success as the Blue Jays were on it right away.

 

 

Re(2): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 13, 2015 at 07:35:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

It was back again today shortly after 1 p.m.

 

Re(1): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 04:42:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Cooper's Hawk was back in our yard today. It ignored the screaming Blue Jays and instead checked around the bottom of some hemlocks, probably looking for the Red Squirrel that had been out in the open just moments before.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on October 29, 2015 at 08:16:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon an adult Cooper's Hawk made at least three circuits around our neighbourhood. Each time it came into our yard the Blue Jays sounded the alarm which gave me a chance to get a look at it. It didn't seem to have any luck catching anything. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(6): Shovelers- still there
Posted on November 5, 2015 at 06:26:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

The two Northern Shovelers (immature male and a female) were still in cell 2 this morning. Four Green-winged Teal were in the small dumping pond north of cell 1. Two male Ring-necked Ducks, an American Black Duck and about twenty Lesser Scaup were in cell 1. Still many Buffleheads and Mallards.

 

Re(5): Redhead - still there and Shovelers as well!
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 05:03:26 PM by michaelhatton

This photo is of the second or shy Shoveler we saw this morning. The angle is a bit off from a direct side shot, creating an odd perspective. However, it is the best photo I have of this bird showing the features that I think you want to consider.  photo

From the article you reference, which includes a photo not dissimilar to the one above, it notes that "the stronger face-crown contrast [is] suggestive of a male [Shoveler]. Note also that the eye is quite yellow with an olive wash and that the bill is quite dark, both features of males. Because adult males have clear, bright yellow eyes, we can be certain that this is not an adult male. However, the dark feathering around the gape and the new sooty uppertail coverts confirm this bird as a male, thus it must be an immature male." It would seem this article fits nicely.

 

 

Re(4): Redhead - still there and Shovelers as well!
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 02:49:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Michael, did you get a head shot of that shy Northern Shoveler? It had a noticeably darker bill and I'm still wondering if it may be an immature male.

Here's an interesting article I just found online:
When is a "female" Northern Shoveler not a female Northern Shoveler?
http://cmboviewfromthecape.blogspot.ca/2012/12/when-is-female-northern-shoveler-not.html

 

 

Re(3): Redhead - still there and Shovelers as well!
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 02:01:53 PM by michaelhatton

One shy and one spry Shoveler, preening in shallow water at the south end of cell 2.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Redhead - still there
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 01:44:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Redhead was still in cell 2 this morning, but only two of the Northern Shovelers remain.

 

 

Re(1): Redhead - still there
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 01:08:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today the Redhead was resting on the beach at the south end of cell 2. There were also nine female Northern Shovelers feeding just offshore. In cell 4 there were three Common Goldeneye. A few American Pipits were by the dumping ponds until a Sharp-shinned Hawk attacked, and they scattered. The Hawk missed and went north of cell 4 where I had earlier seen a few American Goldfinches, Purple Finches, and American Tree Sparrows.  photo

 

 

Redhead - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on October 29, 2015 at 01:20:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I took a quick check of the Bracebridge Ponds before the rain moved back in. The only "new" birds were a female Redhead and a female Common Goldeneye. Still many Buffleheads as well as Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, and American Black Duck.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 28 - Boreal Owl
Posted on October 28, 2015 at 08:08:26 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (October 28, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Folks,
This is an excellent time of year for birding in Algonquin, with the
potential to see some rarities. It has been a good week for birding even
though there were few birders out, with the resident birds showing well, a
good smattering of finches and some nice highlight birds. This will be my
last report for the year and Ron Tozer will take over from now on.

The bird of the week was a Boreal Owl late last night (Oct 27) at km 20. It
was vocalizing and was recorded. These owls have been on the move this year
at Hilliardton Marsh and there is always the possibility of finding
migrants in places like Algonquin Park. They are probably regular but
not-often-detected migrants here due to lack of coverage and difficulty of
detection.

Snow Buntings arrived in Algonquin Park this week, with birds being seen in
a few locations alongside the highway. A Vesper Sparrow on Oct 21 at the
Old Airfield was a new late date. American Tree Sparrows and Juncos are
common throughout now.

A juvenile Northern Goshawk put on a good show for a group from Paris
yesterday (Oct 26) at the top of the Mizzy Lake Trail.

Boreal Specialties:
SPRUCE GROUSE: These have gone back into anonymity here in Algonquin, and
none were reported this week. The Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
the top of the Mizzy Lake Trail are likely your best chances.

GRAY JAY: Birds were at the Algonquin Logging Museum, the north end of
Mizzy Lake Trail, Arowhon Road, and Opeongo Road this week looking for
handouts.

BOREAL CHICKADEE: Excellent views were had by a group yesterday at the
north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail. This location seems to be the prime spot
at this time.

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: Reported at the Costello Creek Picnic Area and the
north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail this week.

FINCHES:

PURPLE FINCH: Several were flying over various areas this week.

COMMON REDPOLL: One flying over yesterday (Oct 27), and more to come.

EVENING GROSBEAK: A flock has been irregular at the Visitor Centre Parking
Lot, with 15 birds there on Oct 23.

RED CROSSBILL: A singing male was at km 20 on Oct 26th.

Mammals:
A Blue Jay was depredated by a Short-tailed Weasel below a crowd of awed
onlookers off the viewing deck yesterday afternoon.

We have heard reports of photographers feeding mammals to get photos this
week and last week. This is not only dangerous to both human and animal,
but also unlawful. Please keep our wildlife wild.

Algonquin Provincial Park is located 3 hours north of Toronto via Hw 400,
11 and 60. It's also about three hours from Ottawa via Hw 60.

Directions to each individual location mentioned above can be found in the
park tabloid available at either gate, and also on www.algonquinpark.on.ca
where recent birding, mammal viewing and fall colour updates will be posted.

Please send your observations to Ron Tozer and share your ebird
observations with Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Cheers and Good Birding!!
Lev Frid
Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Re(2): Henry Marsh - Photo
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 11:58:55 AM by Al Sinclair

photo

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh
Posted on October 27, 2015 at 08:52:02 PM by John Challis

I have a call in to Walt Schmid, the public works commissioner for the town of Bracebridge. Muskoka Trails Council has been getting phone calls from worried hikers as well.
There was some water drained from the marsh around September (discussion on this board), but only theories at that time.
I know that the Trans Canada Trail has had representatives through the area, basically ensuring that the Muskoka leg of the trail meets their standards -- and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this event wasn't the result of a request of theirs.

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on October 27, 2015 at 12:48:59 PM by Nancy

Does anyone know why the Henry Marsh has been drained?
Looks like someone used a machine to dig a ditch to empty the Marsh.
Do you know the future plans for this important wetland?

 

 

Barrie Waterfront
Posted on October 26, 2015 at 06:36:56 PM by DBurton

At the Barrie waterfront today were some pretty good birds:
Horned Grebes
Red-Necked Grebes
Peregrine Falcon scaring Gulls at Minet's Point Park at 1PM
White-winged Scoters at Tyndale Park
Greater Scaup flock
Redhead flock
All Merganser types
Parasitic Jaeger chasing a Ring-billed Gull at Minet's Point at 4PM right above my head and then he later decided to sit on the beach while I went to Home Hardware to get new batteries for my camera. He obliged me with photos after I drove back. He was still sitting on the beach at 4:30 when I left!   photo

 

 

red-tailed hawk
Posted on October 25, 2015 at 09:36:00 PM by John Challis

The red-tailed hawk continues to hunt and prowl around the Green River in Washago. This is a bit of an anomaly for the area. The hawk itself has an almost pure white breast; a colour phase, a neighbour tells me.

 

 

Snow Goose
Posted on October 25, 2015 at 01:03:08 PM by Goodyear

The single Snow Goose is still hanging around. Today around 12:30 it was in the bay below the Bracebridge Falls with a flock of approx. 50 Canada Geese.

 

 

Re(2): Carolina Wren
Posted on October 24, 2015 at 02:39:10 PM by DavidLeGros

We will keep the feeders full and update folks if it reappears. Ron Tozer suggested that it may stick around for a bit. He noticed that CAWR tend to make a circuit, returning every few days, foraging elsewhere in between. We did not see it Friday or Saturday morning.
David

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren
Posted on October 24, 2015 at 11:31:05 AM by michaelhatton

Thanks for the post and the directions. I visited Friday afternoon and spent some time on the township property behind your place, and specifically watched your feeder for a bit. No luck with the bird, but it appears you have a great set up for attracting some interesting sightings.

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on October 23, 2015 at 02:19:02 PM by DavidLeGros

We observed a Carolina Wren at our bird feeder on Thursday October 21, at 8:15 am, and again on October 22, at 6:10 p.m. Both times it was seen for about 10 minutes, visiting the feeder, foraging in a nearby tree, and inspecting crevices in a nearby building. It was not seen this morning.
51 Florence St W, Huntsville ON.
You may park in the street. The best view of the feeder and trees where it was seen is around the right side of the house, from the fence.
David

 

 

Re(3): Snow Goose - still there at 2:30 p.m.
Posted on October 23, 2015 at 03:39:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Snow Goose was still in cell 3 with several Canada Geese at 2:30 p.m. The six female Northern Shovelers were at the south end of cell 2. A pair of Ring-necked Ducks were with some Lesser Scaup in cell 1. Still many Mallards, Buffleheads, Green-winged Teal, and a couple American Black Ducks. There was a Wilson's Snipe at the east end of cell 3, but no other shorebirds seen.

 

 

Re(2): Snow Goose - came back
Posted on October 23, 2015 at 11:55:50 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were only two Canada Geese until 11 o'clock when two large flocks came in from the west and brought the Snow Goose with them. Still there at the east end of cell 3 when I left at 11:30 a.m.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Snow Goose
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 01:00:48 PM by Al Sinclair

Probably the same one reported from Doe Lake and Kirby's Beach. This photo was taken by Donna Ried at Kirby's on Oct 18.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Snow Goose
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 01:02:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Snow Goose flew off with a few of the Canada Geese just before noon. They appeared to head north-west towards the river, but I couldn't find them - searched river near Kerr Park and also the Muskoka Highlands Golf driving range. There was still a large group of Canada Geese in cell 3 at noon and they were all a smaller version, not the usual large ones seen at the Lagoons.  photo1  photo2  photo3

The only shorebirds seen were three Greater Yellowlegs which flew in from the north, touching down briefly at the south end of cell 2 while calling loudly, and then continuing their flight off to the south.

 

 

Snow Goose
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 10:31:43 AM by janice house

Barbara Taylor just called from the lagoons, single snow goose with Canada geese in east end of cell 3

 

 

Re(3): Hairy-tailed Mole
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 10:22:34 PM by John Challis

Our old hound mix, Pogo, dug one up the week we were moving out of Roxborough Road a decade ago. She ended up with the mole hanging from her lower lip: it put up a valiant fight. But that nip turned into an infection that swelled on the dog's neck to the size of a softball. Their habitat makes them pretty septic animals.

 

 

Re(2): Hairy-tailed Mole
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 12:41:36 PM by Al Sinclair

I recall reading somewhere that a dead mole without injury was most likely killed by internal parasites. Tried to locate the story with google but no luck.

 

 

Re(1): Hairy-tailed Mole
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 08:46:39 AM by George Bryant

I once picked up a live Hairy-tailed Mole with gardening gloves. The strength of their forelegs was like shaking hands with a muscleman. I have talked to many mammal aficionados--as far as I am concerned, there is no good explanation for why shrews and moles choose to die in the middle of a path.

 

 

Hairy-tailed Mole
Posted on October 21, 2015 at 02:38:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday I found this dead Hairy-tailed Mole. There was no obvious sign of trauma. You can see why they are so efficient at digging tunnels through your lawn with those big paddle shaped front feet. (Bracebridge)

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

owls & bluebirds
Posted on October 21, 2015 at 07:42:05 AM by John Challis

Had a duo, or perhaps a trio of barred owls sing us to sleep last night.
Sunday, at the corner of Macarthur and M-N Sideroad saw a flock of bluebirds poking around the side garden of a home. All in Washago.

 

 

Counted 108 Buffleheads at the Lagoons today
Posted on October 20, 2015 at 06:37:07 PM by michaelhatton

And this was one of them.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Dunlin, Red-breasted Mergansers
Posted on October 21, 2015 at 12:12:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11:30 a.m. this morning there were 3 Pectoral Sandpipers and 2 White-rumped Sandpipers at the south end of cell 2. Don Bailey reports they had also seen a Dunlin there a bit earlier. There was a female Red-breasted Merganser in cell 1, but none in cell 4. There was a female Northern Pintail and six female Northern Shovelers in cell 2 near the north end, along with the usual ducks. A Greater Yellowlegs kept moving around, but was last seen at the west side of cell 1 near the north end. A few Rusty Blackbirds were feeding in the small dumping pond at the north end (currently undergoing "renovation").  Two Eastern Phoebes were north of cell 4.

 

 

Dunlin, Red-breasted Mergansers
Posted on October 20, 2015 at 12:46:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two female Red-breasted Mergansers in cell 4 - they looked like they were sleeping, and were still there when I left them at 11 a.m. As I was leaving I noticed a few shorebirds had appeared at the south end of cell 2...three White-rumped Sandpipers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, and a Greater Yellowlegs. They eventually flew to the small mudflat at the west side of cell 1 near the north end...surprise, a Dunlin was with them! The birds were contently feeding and preening when I left just before noon. Dunlin at back left, Pectoral at front left:  photo

There was still one Wilson's Snipe at the east end of cell 3 and another was seen in flight. There were six female Northern Shovelers in cell 2, as well as the usual ducks. Some American Pipits were flying over and appeared to descend onto the baseball field at Kerr Park. There were several Song, White-crowned, and American Tree Sparrows out in the open, but I did not see the Nelson's. Three Rusty Blackbirds were at the south shoreline of cell 1.

 

 

Nelson's still present
Posted on October 19, 2015 at 06:19:52 PM by Goodyear

Tonight at 5:45, as I was quietly scoping out the ducks in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Lagoons, the Nelson's Sparrow popped up into view for a few seconds. It was in the cattails immediately to the east of the concrete bunker at the south end of cell 1.

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper
Posted on October 19, 2015 at 12:03:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a White-rumped Sandpiper at the south end of cell 2. There were two Greater Yellowlegs flying around and eventually both settled at the south end of cell 1. Two Wilson's Snipe were at the east end of cell 3. There were lots of Buffleheads and Mallards, as well as some Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, American Black Duck, and three Wood Ducks. A male Common Goldeneye was in cell 3.

Most of the Sparrows had either moved on or were hunkered down out of the cold wind. There were a few American Tree Sparrows near the dumping ponds, as well as one Eastern Bluebird and a single American Pipit. Two Rusty Blackbirds were at the south shoreline of cell 2 and two Red-winged Blackbirds were in the cattails near the entrance to the treatment plant.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting October 27
Posted on October 19, 2015 at 09:36:46 AM by BevEaston

At the Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Tuesday, October 27, Algonquin Park Seasonal Naturalist, Lev Frid will give a presentation called “The Other End of Migration”, about the behavior of Ontario breeding birds on their wintering grounds in the American tropics based on his experiences with birds while guiding in Costa Rica and Ecuador. 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.

 

 

Lapland Longspurs
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 07:00:39 PM by Goodyear

Tonight around 5:30 we watched a flock of approx. 40 birds at the driving range at Highlands Golf Course in Bracebridge. The flock was disturbed several times by Canada Geese landing on the driving range, and would briefly take flight, circle for several seconds, and then land in a short grass area, but would quickly disappear from view. Some birds were seen scurrying through the grass after they landed. At least 8 birds popped up into view and were Lapland Longspurs with a dark auricular frame, bold supercilium, reddish wing coverts, pale bill, dark line extending from base of bill down throat. When seen in flight all the birds appeared to be the same size and had a similar flight style with limited white in the tail and none appeared to have white in the wing.

 

 

Re(2): Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on October 26, 2015 at 09:35:56 AM by janice house

A single woodpecker was there on Friday, sitting on the deck railing as Dad and I had a cup of tea. I did not see it on Saturday morning but my brother saw it in the afternoon

 

 

Re(1): Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 04:44:33 PM by janice house

I just spoke to my brother, 2 woodpeckers were at there house yesterday. One hanging around the wood pile and the other feeding in the lawn with the robins

 

 

Re(1): Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 05:45:20 PM by janice house

forgot to mention e. phoebe sitting in one of the apple trees too. Just came back in from checking the birds (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst), fox sparrow flicking the ground under one of the spruce trees.

 

 

Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 03:51:23 PM by janice house

I got a call from my brother this morning, he saw four birds this week and asked me for id. Very camera shy but we got some photos of the juvenile woodpecker. Bent River

 

 

Snow Bunting
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 02:52:35 PM by DBurton

At BB lagoons today there was a single Snow Bunting in winter plumage at the T by the old treatment plant.

 

 

Ruffed Grouse Bala
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 10:56:01 AM by DinnyNimmo

On Friday as I was turning on to Hurlings Point from Muskoka 38 there was a female ruffed grouse on the road. I had to stop the car and wait for her to decide which side of the road she wanted. No comments, please!!

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 15
Posted on October 17, 2015 at 05:12:26 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (October 15, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi folks,
Once again it was a great week for Algonquin Park, with many interesting
birds being seen and reported throughout the park.

On October 10th, a trip to Lake Travers on the East Side produced good
birds for Algonquin, including five shorebird species - Pectoral, Spotted
and White-rumped Sandpipers, Dunlin, and Wilson's Snipe. Four Lapland
Longspurs were also seen feeding on the mudflats with numerous Horned Larks
and American Pipits. Lots of shorebird habitat remains.

Also in the Lake Travers Marsh was one Le Conte's Sparrow on the 10th. No
Nelson's Sparrows were present in the marsh on the 10th or today. Waterfowl
at Travers was comparatively good with Surf Scoter, American Wigeon,
Long-tailed Duck and Red-necked Grebe being reported from there this week.

A Horned Grebe was present at Park Lake on the 13th.

Finches seem to be spread widely, except Pine Siskins which seem to be
everywhere. A flock of Evening Grosbeaks was at km 20 on Oct 12th. Except
for resident Red Crossbill flyovers on the East Side, I had not heard of
crossbill reports this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES

BOREAL CHICKADEE: This species was reported from the top of the Mizzy Lake
Trail most of this week. Other places to check include Opeongo Road and
Spruce Bog, though I have not heard reports from there in a while.

SPRUCE GROUSE: The place seems to be Opeongo Road this week for this
species, with some sightings from the trail register at Spruce Bog and
Arowhon Road as well.

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: Few reports this week. The Mizzy Lake Trail had
one on October 11th at March Hare Lake and the north end of that trail had
reports from earlier in the week.

GRAY JAY: Widely reported - Spruce Bog, Arowhon Road, Opeongo Road, Mizzy
Lake Trail and the Algonquin Logging Museum had birds this week.

Algonquin Provincial Park is located 3 hours north of Toronto via Hw 400,
11 and 60. It's also about three hours from Ottawa via Hw 60.

Directions to each individual location mentioned above can be found in the
park tabloid available at either gate, and also on www.algonquinpark.on.ca
where recent birding, mammal viewing and fall colour updates will be posted.

Please send your observations to Ron Tozer or myself, and share your ebird
observations with Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Cheers and Good Birding!!
Lev Frid
Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Re(2): Ammodramus nelsoni
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 10:47:34 PM by michaelhatton

Thank you, but all the credit for finding it goes to David Goodyear. Luckily, I was in the right place with a camera when the bird fully "showed." I am pretty sure it is one sighting that I'll never forget!

 

 

Re(1): Ammodramus nelsoni
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 10:39:24 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Good find, Michael!

 

 

Ammodramus nelsoni
Posted on October 17, 2015 at 03:20:09 PM by michaelhatton

Nelson's Sparrow photo1  photo2
Orange-yellow face, gray cheeks and nape, streaks on breast and flanks, and short, rounded tail with pointed tail feathers.
Located October 17 at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons, 11:20 a.m. Single bird seen in the grasses and reeds on both sides of the road between cells 1 and 3.

 

 

Re(2): Juncos
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 05:45:37 PM by ksmith

After doing some reading. I think they had flown all night and were resting and eating in the morning. There sure were a lot of them. On the move to more southern areas.

 

 

Re(1): Juncos
Posted on October 18, 2015 at 01:36:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

A lone Junco was in our yard this morning and a few were at the Bracebridge Ponds. Also saw my first Pine Siskins of the season and a Hermit Thrush at the Ponds.

 

 

Juncos
Posted on October 17, 2015 at 09:26:22 AM by ksmith

Large flock of Juncos around my feeder and garden this morning. They are such a beautiful bird, yet so shy. I saw them last year at the same time of year. I wonder where they are going? Hood Road, Port Sydney.

 

 

Strange Hybrid Duck
Posted on October 14, 2015 at 01:40:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a strange duck in cell 2 hanging around with some Mallards. It looks like it has some Mallard genes, but what else?
Here's the strange duck in the foreground:  photo

 

 

Ruddy Ducks, Gadwall
Posted on October 14, 2015 at 01:00:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are 9 Ruddy Ducks at the sheltered west end of cell 3 at the Bracebridge Ponds - still there around 12:30 p.m. when I left. The Greater Yellowlegs was still hanging around the south end of cell 2. A male Gadwall was in cell 3 and two female Northern Shovelers in cell 2. Three Hooded Mergansers in cell 4 including a nice male. Also several Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Buffleheads, Mallards, and a few American Black Ducks and Wood Ducks. Three Common Mergansers flew over, heading north towards the river.

I didn't see the Yellow-headed Blackbird, but after a long wait, four Rusty Blackbirds and a Red-winged Blackbird came out into the open at the south end of cell 1. It might still be there, but hunkered down out of the strong cold wind.  Some of the Ruddy Ducks: photo

 

 

Re(1): Ross's Goose
Posted on October 14, 2015 at 12:03:01 PM by DBurton

Very rare, but not the first one for Muskoka.

 

 

Ross's Goose
Posted on October 14, 2015 at 08:00:52 AM by Carol Wagg

Our neighbours on Doe Lake report seeing a solitary Ross's Goose on Doe Lake (Gravenhurst)on Saturday afternoon. It seemed very hungry and fed heavily on their lawn for some time before walking along the length of their dock and flying off. Is this an unusual sighting in Muskoka?

 

 

Re(1): Greater Yellowlegs
Posted on October 16, 2015 at 02:19:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a Greater Yellowlegs at the south end of cell 2 again this morning. Some Rusty and Red-winged Blackbirds were in the cattails near the entrance to the treatment plant, but no sign of the Yellow-headed Blackbird.

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs
Posted on October 13, 2015 at 10:35:28 PM by michaelhatton

The continuing Greater Yellowlegs at the Bracebridge Lagoons seems quite content to stay in and around cells 1 and 2, providing nice opportunities for photos. photo1  photo2  photo3 These were taken yesterday, Monday the 12th.  

 

 

Golden crowned kinglet
Posted on October 13, 2015 at 07:44:20 PM by DinnyNimmo

My friend Mike Malone at the end of Hurlings Point reported that a golden crowned kinglet hit his window but fortunately just stunned itself. He did get a photograph and was able to identity it.Bala

 

 

Re(2): Yellow-headed Blackbird - photo
Posted on October 12, 2015 at 11:08:41 AM by Al Sinclair

From this morning Oct 12, south end of cell 1  photo

 

 

Re(2): Yellow-headed Blackbird - still there
Posted on October 12, 2015 at 12:17:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 10 a.m. the Yellow-headed Blackbird flew into a shrub near the SE corner of cell 1 along with some Rusty Blackbirds. Then they flew south and appeared to go down into the weedy grass on the hill near the entrance to the treatment plant.  photo

I did not see the bird again, however, as I was leaving there were two Rusty Blackbirds feeding at the south-east end of cell 3, so might still be around. There was also a Pectoral Sandpiper and a Wilson's Snipe in the same area, partially hidden in the weedy shadows.  No sign of the White-rumped Sandpipers this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Yellow-headed Blackbird - still there
Posted on October 12, 2015 at 09:00:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Goodyears report that the bird is still there this morning. It was with Rusties and Redwings at the south end of cell 1, then the flock flew to the nearby pines at the east side.

 

 

Yellow-headed Blackbird at Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 11, 2015 at 12:36:53 PM by Goodyear

This morning when we arrived at the Lagoons we saw a Yellow-headed Blackbird fly up into a tree just inside the Lagoon Lane gate. It appears to be a first year male bird. It had a uniformly brown body, with dull yellow on the throat and chest, and below and above its eye. It had limited white primary coverts, and some faint white speckling where the yellow on the chest met the brown belly. According to the records that I have compiled, this is the seventh record for Muskoka, and the first sighting since 1984, when a pair of birds was observed in a marsh just south of Glen Orchard. If anyone knows of any other sightings please let me know so I can update the records.

 

 

Pectoral Day at the Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 07:21:41 PM by michaelhatton

Same bird, but it was willing to present a variety of poses for willing photographers at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons this morning.

photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Why was Henry Marsh drained?
Posted on October 12, 2015 at 11:02:36 PM by Leslie

On Sunday I spotted 2 great blue herons there - having a loud skirmish before one left - 13 wood ducks and a kingfisher. So it seems to be busy although the water is low.

 

 

Re(1): Why was Henry Marsh drained?
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 08:26:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

The water level had become so high that it was breaking apart some of the dike and washing out the road allowance/snowmobile trail. Usually that's when action is taken to lower the water level, but is the marsh now completely drained?

We noticed on Sept. 25 that part of the beaver dam by the footbridge had been removed and the water level was going down, but a week later the level seemed stable, although a lot lower. Last week the previously flooded area north of the marsh had also lost a lot of water, so maybe that dam across the creek was also taken out. Looked like a beaver had started to rebuild the dam by the footbridge, but we haven't had much rain recently to refill the marsh.

 

 

Why was Henry Marsh drained?
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 06:35:21 PM by coreyhkh

Was there today and was just wondering

 

 

Snipe in the weeds at Bracebridge Lagoon Today!
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 06:30:17 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Butterflies
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 01:51:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few Clouded Sulphurs flying as well as this rather late Monarch Butterfly.  photo

 

 

Re(3): White-rumped Sandpiper - still there
Posted on October 11, 2015 at 01:16:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Three White-rumped Sandpipers at the south end of cell 2 this morning.

 

Re(2): White-rumped Sandpiper - still there
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 12:56:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 11:30 a.m. a White-rumped Sandpiper and a Pectoral Sandpiper were at the south end of cell 2. A Greater Yellowlegs was at the west side of cell 1. A female Greater Scaup was in cell 2 (it was flying around with a female Lesser Scaup, then both landed, making for a nice comparison of the two species). There were a few American Pipits and Rusty Blackbirds near the middle intersection.

Bit of a reach for my little camera, so just for the record...
Pectoral Sandpiper:  photo

White-rumped Sandpiper:  photo

 

 

Re(1): White Rumped at Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons Friday Oct 9th at 17:45
Posted on October 10, 2015 at 06:33:13 AM by Goodyear

Excellent photos, Michael, especially the ones showing the white rump! The recent sightings of this species are the first for Muskoka since 2000. Large numbers have also been reported across southern Ontario, including flocks of 310 birds at the Exeter Sewage Lagoons on 7 October and 180 birds at Wildwood Reservoir near Stratford on 7 October.

 

 

White Rumped at Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons Friday Oct 9th at 17:45
Posted on October 9, 2015 at 08:06:28 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: October 9
Posted on October 9, 2015 at 03:59:10 PM by Ontbirds

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

Hello Folks,
It has been an exciting week for birding in Algonquin Park, with many good
birds around and still moving through the park.

Although not from this week, a Townsend's Solitaire was seen and
photographed on September 30th, making it the 280th bird species recorded
in Algonquin Park.

A trip to the Lake Travers Marsh on the East Side on Oct 2 produced the
expected Nelson's Sparrow but also a Yellow Rail as it fleed on foot.
Originally I posted this as the first sight record, but the first record,
discovered in the Grand Lake Marsh on May 23, 2993 as a singing bird was
later seen(!) as it came in to clicking stones on May 29, 1993 by several
park staff. The marsh may hold several of these tiny, secretive rails so
birders coming here to look for sparrows should also watch their feet.

Also on the East Side on Oct 2, a female Northern Pintail was present in
Forbes Lake along the Lake Travers road.

SPRUCE GROUSE: Birds were seen on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
this week. Males have been displaying.

GRAY JAY: Birds were reported from the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail,
the Opeongo Road, the Big Pines Trail and the Logging Museum. They are now
readily approaching people.

BOREAL CHICKADEE: The most reliable location for these this week was the
north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail. Yesterday (Oct 8), there were 8+ birds
up there. They are quite vocal in the mixed flocks now.

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: A bird was seen yesterday (Oct 8) at the north end
of the Mizzy Lake Trail at Wolf Howl Pond and and Oct 6 a bird was seen in
the bog on the Big Pines Trail.

PINE SISKIN: On Oct 5, there seemed to be a flood of siskins into the park,
and flocks are being seen in several locations this week.

Algonquin Provincial Park is located 3 hours north of Toronto via Hw 400,
11 and 60. It's also about three hours from Ottawa via Hw 60.

Directions to each individual location mentioned above can be found in the
park tabloid available at either gate, and also on www.algonquinpark.on.ca
where recent birding, mammal viewing and fall colour updates will be posted.

Please send your observations to Ron Tozer or myself, and share your ebird
observations with Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Cheers and Good Birding!!
Lev Frid
Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Bull Moose
Posted on October 6, 2015 at 10:11:17 PM by tedthevideoman

Just now watched a big Bull Moose come up out of the ditch and cross Brian Rd about 500 ft away...That is a first!!...and me with no camera! (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): White-rumped Sandpiper
Posted on October 9, 2015 at 09:13:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a White-rumped Sandpiper in cell 1. Unfortunately it flew off when a big truck drove past and it left the area. I did get a few photos which show the long wings, rufous tips on some feathers, slightly orange base of its lower bill, some streaking on its breast, and prominent white eyebrow. There was also a Greater Yellowlegs and a Wilson's Snipe at the south end of cell 1.  photo1 photo2  photo3

 

 

White-rumped Sandpipers
Posted on October 6, 2015 at 11:56:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds around 11 a.m. a Greater Yellowlegs flew in from the north and landed on the mudflat at the south end of cell 2. Then four Sandpipers came in and as they flew low right past me, I could clearly see they were White-rumped Sandpipers! I was pulling my camera out as fast as I could, but not fast enough...suddenly a Merlin appeared out of nowhere and flushed the shorebirds. The Yellowlegs eventually landed at the south-east shore of cell 1, but I could not find the Sandpipers after much searching with my binoculars. I only turned up several Rusty Blackbirds feeding at the muddy edges and a Spotted Sandpiper at the east end of cell 3. There were many Sparrows in the weeds at the south end of cell 2 - mostly White-crowned, a few Song, and a Lincoln's. A few Palm Warblers and a couple Eastern Phoebes were north of cell 4. Four female Northern Shovelers were in cell 2.

 

 

kinglets and others
Posted on October 5, 2015 at 10:24:37 PM by John Challis

A ruby-crowned kinglet was engaged in a wonderful singing performance this morning. Green River Road in Washago. There have been quite a few sparrows passing through, but while I'm walking the dog the morning light is too dim to distinguish who's who. A large posse of turkeys (Oxford calls them rafters, News Zealand calls them gangs, but this bunch looked like a posse) has taken up residence on the road this year - apparently they didn't get the message that coyotes thinned last winter's flock by at least half. I hope the salamander numbers don't suffer too greatly from the turkeys' presence.

 

 

Re(5): Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 7, 2015 at 09:23:47 PM by Doug Smith

It would be a find!

 

 

Re(4): Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 7, 2015 at 01:14:19 PM by DBurton

Count yourself lucky if you see a Gyrfalcon at any hawk watch. They are an arctic bird that seldom shows up here. I found a white one in Echo Bay near Sault Ste Marie about 30 years ago and saw a brown one reported in Toronto maybe 20 years ago.

 

 

Re(3): Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 6, 2015 at 06:51:37 PM by Doug Smith

Good to know -- thank you. Are Gyrfalcons later?

 

 

Re(2): Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 6, 2015 at 11:21:46 AM by DBurton

I looked at the Hawk Cliff webpage and last year the peak day for Peregrines was Oct 3rd.

 

 

Re(1): Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 5, 2015 at 08:03:36 PM by Doug Smith

A peregrine - what a great find! Is it early for them?

 

 

Matchedash Bay
Posted on October 5, 2015 at 05:05:43 PM by DBurton

Yesterday at Matchedash Bay:
Sedge Wren (at Lawson Line)
Peregrine Falcon
5 Trumpeter Swans (no tags)
Northern Harrier

 

 

Re(1): Born this year
Posted on October 5, 2015 at 08:51:55 PM by michaelhatton

Thank you very much.

 

 

Born this year
Posted on October 5, 2015 at 07:59:42 PM by Alex Mills

I spoke with Ron Pittaway, and he adds that the bright black and white spangling above and the fine breast streaking that extends to the legs indicate that it's in juvenile plumage i.e. hatched this year.

 

 

Re(1): Plover Identification?
Posted on October 4, 2015 at 05:22:10 PM by Alex Mills

This is a Black-bellied Plover in winter plumage. It is a stout shorebird with a stout black beak. The only similar things are the Golden Plovers, but they are a bit smaller and are truly a golden-brown colour. The Europeans call this a Grey Plover, based on this winter plumage. If you could get a good look at that wing pit, you would see a nice patch of black--quite distinctive in flight.

I had one fly over Ahmic Lake at Magnetawan about two weeks ago, but they spend little time in the Canadian Shield.

 

 

Plover Identification?
Posted on October 3, 2015 at 08:15:17 PM by michaelhatton

Brian Ball saw a few interesting birds just before noon on September 27 near his place on Three Mile Lake (Muskoka). He managed to get some nice photos which I've uploaded here on his behalf. Brian (and I) would appreciate any thoughts regarding identification and, if possible, plumage and age.  photo1  photo2
Thanks.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 1 October
Posted on October 2, 2015 at 02:04:10 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (October 1, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hello folks,
It is October so we are going to start these up again as this is the time
sought-after birds are appearing in Algonquin and the resident specialty
birds are also easier to observe.

Warblers have largely departed Algonquin but flocks of Yellow-rumped
Warblers persist in many areas, with most large ones containing an
Orange-crowned Warbler or two. It seems to have been a good year for that
species and Blackpoll Warbler, also being reported this week, usually a
scare migrant here.

Sparrows are making a good showing with White-crowned Sparrows invading the
park in numbers this week. Both Nelson's and Le Conte's Sparrows have
already been observed and this following week should be very good for
birders wishing to locate them. Le Conte's was in the long grass the east
end of the Old Airfield on the 26th, and two Nelson's were in the Lake
Travers Marsh on the East Side also on Sept 26th (a new early record).
Their numbers should increase.

Remarkably, two Trumpeter Swans were observed in the Lake Travers Marsh on
Sept 26th, a very rare bird for Algonquin.

Yesterday, Sept. 30th, was a good day for raptor migration and two hours of
watching from the viewing deck at the Visitor Centre produced two
Peregrines and a total of six Bald Eagles amongst a smattering of
Red-tails. Many folks including a large international bus group got to
observe Bald Eagles over the gorgeous autumn landscape. Today was a modest
flight compared to yesterday but Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks were
certainly on the move.

SPRUCE GROUSE: One was seen today at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk trail
register and yesterday birds were seen on the Opeongo Road. Both are
excellent places to look, especially early in the morning. Males have been
displaying.

GRAY JAY: Birds were reported from the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail,
the Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum. They are now readily approaching
people.

BOREAL CHICKADEE: The most reliable location for these this week was the
north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail and a bird was heard at Opeongo Road
yesterday. They are quite vocal in the mixed flocks now.

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: A bird was seen on Sept. 27 on Opeongo Road. The
north end of Mizzy Lake Trail is also a good place to check.

MAMMALS: Moose have been scarce lately but a cow with a calf is somewhat
regular near km 20. An Eastern Wolf was seen early this morning running
across the highway near the East Gate.

Algonquin Provincial Park is located 3 hours north of Toronto via Hw 400,
11 and 60. It's also about three hours from Ottawa via Hw 60.

Directions to each individual location mentioned above can be found in the
park tabloid available at either gate, and also on www.algonquinpark.on.ca
where recent birding, mammal viewing and fall colour updates will be posted.

Please send your observations to Ron Tozer or myself, and share your ebird
observations with Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Cheers and Good Birding!!

Lev Frid
Park Naturalist
Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

Re(2): Nelson's Sparrow - no
Posted on October 3, 2015 at 01:13:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

I did not see the Nelson's Sparrow this morning. The strong cold wind didn't help. A Greater Yellowlegs and a Pectoral Sandpiper were at the south end of cell 1, but both flew off to the west shortly after a Merlin streaked by. A Spotted Sandpiper, Rusty Blackbirds, and American Pipits were around cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): Nelson's Sparrow
Posted on October 2, 2015 at 01:52:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Nelson's Sparrow popped up from the tall grass at the SE corner of cell 2 and stayed in the open long enough to get a great look at it. I checked the area again as I was leaving, but only saw a Swamp Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Five Tree Swallows were flying over cell 2 - I was surprised to see any this late in the year. A Lincoln's Sparrow was at the west side of cell 4 and an Orange-crowned Warbler was at the south side of cell 4. There were a few Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Teal, Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, and lots of Mallards. Also a few American Pipits and Rusty Blackbirds near the middle intersection.

 

 

Nelson's Sparrow
Posted on October 2, 2015 at 10:20:25 AM by Bob Burt

At 10:15 this morning Barb Taylor reported a Nelson's Sparrow was found in the weeds at the SE corner of Cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

Re(1): Behind the LCBO in Port Carling
Posted on October 2, 2015 at 09:57:16 AM by Leslie

Always a treat to see what you've captured with your camera! Thanks for sharing your photos.

 

 

Behind the LCBO in Port Carling
Posted on October 1, 2015 at 11:44:04 PM by michaelhatton

Sitting on the dock behind the LCBO. It was having trouble keeping its eyes open. Really.  photo

 

 

Re(2): unknown bird
Posted on October 1, 2015 at 09:40:45 PM by Peter

Thanks Doug for your reply.
I looked at my bird books at rusty blackbird, yes it really could be, I haven't seen one here in a long time

 

 

Re(1): unknown bird
Posted on October 1, 2015 at 06:53:55 PM by Doug Smith

Peter -- it looks like it could be a rusty blackbird, possibly a female. Was it alone?

 

 

unknown bird
Posted on October 1, 2015 at 06:47:58 PM by Peter

We saw this bird at the Kapagwakog Marsh east of Fraserburg, can anybody help and can identify this one? photo
Thank you
Peter