Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2016
 
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Re(1): Peepers and a woodcock
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 10:41:17 AM by janice house

I heard a woodcock twittering last night in our yard, also saw a red tailed hawk soaring over the north end of Gull Lake in Gravenhurst

 

 

Peepers and a woodcock
Posted on March 31, 2016 at 08:49:33 PM by John Challis

First peepers calling tonight. I can hear about a dozen voices. And the woodcock is back for the second night, doing its twitter flight and dropping to the bare rock hummocks by the road and peenting his heart-struck soul out. After hours of rain, a beautiful close to the day.

 

 

Gt Blue Heron
Posted on March 31, 2016 at 06:25:01 PM by DBurton

First of season Gt Blue Heron flew over Hwy 11 about 11 km north of Bracebridge today. Also, I heard a Merlin today in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): Ring Necked Ducks
Posted on March 31, 2016 at 07:50:26 AM by janice house

Yes Jim, good looking ducks

 

 

Ring Necked Ducks
Posted on March 30, 2016 at 03:57:44 PM by Jim Griffin

There are six male Ring Necked Ducks on the river at Port Sydney today; south of the Road 10 bridge. Those are the ducks with the prominent white ring around their bills right?

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on March 30, 2016 at 12:27:21 PM by janice house

I believe a northern harrier glided over the car on my way home at lunch. It flew from the paddock of the old Dinsmore Sheep farm on the west side of Doe Lake Rd (Gravenhurst) over to the Whipp farm fields on the east side of the road. Hard to get a good luck while driving......

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on March 29, 2016 at 12:58:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three male Buffleheads and a Mallard in a large section of open water in cell 3 by the treatment plant outflow. The other cells were still iced in. Two Snow Buntings, a Red-winged Blackbird, a Robin, and a Song Sparrow were all near the Lagoon Lane gate. A single Golden-crowned Kinglet was hanging out with a small flock of Chickadees near the NW corner of cell 4 where it was sheltered from the cold wind. (note: the roadways were getting very mucky in places, especially around cell 3)

 

 

Chipping Sparrow
Posted on March 28, 2016 at 09:44:07 PM by IvanEvanoff

Seen Chipping Sparrow on ground underneath feeder at home in Vankougnet.
 

 

 

Re(1): Lichens - photos
Posted on March 28, 2016 at 11:06:28 PM by John Challis

It's like a little planet all on its own, reminding us to look closer at the world around us. I'm flashing back to Horton Hears a Who. Thanks for sharing.

 

 

Lichens - photos
Posted on March 28, 2016 at 02:14:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Lichens up close...macro shots reveal how amazing they really are!  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

coyote
Posted on March 27, 2016 at 02:39:50 PM by dinnymccraney

Last night at dinner time a coyote wandered through the back part of the property adjacent to S. Muskoka Golf course. He was noticeably limping.

 

 

Re(2): Common or Hoary
Posted on March 26, 2016 at 06:09:37 PM by missyinmuskoka

Thank you all. I really appreciate the explanations. Here is another image of this sweetie :)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Common or Hoary
Posted on March 26, 2016 at 05:49:46 PM by DBurton

Great photo! Shows white unstreaked rump,all-white undertail coverts, short bill and "pushed-in" look to the face.

 

 

Re(1): Common or Hoary
Posted on March 26, 2016 at 03:24:02 PM by ksmith

Definitely a hoary in my opinion due to the white/pale rump. I saw a lot of male common Redpolls this winter and they did not look like this.

 

 

Re(1): Common or Hoary
Posted on March 26, 2016 at 10:02:18 AM by Al Sinclair

In my opinion it fits Hoary on all counts. Very nice shot, and shows why Hoary should remain a species.

 

 

Common or Hoary
Posted on March 26, 2016 at 02:04:59 AM by missyinmuskoka

As most, I have had an influx of redpolls in the last few weeks. This one looked very different from the others. Could this be a Hoary? I know there is talk about combining the species but I was just curious. Thanks  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 to 24 March
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 11:58:59 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 24, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The status of migrants this week reflected the effect of the Algonquin Dome
being 200 metres higher than the nearby surrounding area. Birds such as
waterfowl, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle that
have returned in large numbers to much of southern Ontario are just starting
to become common in Algonquin. Extensive snow cover, all still-water being
ice-covered and sub-freezing night-time temperatures here deter many early
migrants from pushing onward onto the dome at this time of year.

New migrants reported were: Mallard (March 17), American Black Duck (18th),
and Mourning Dove (20th).

The presence of winter finches on the highway and its shoulders has been
infrequent this winter compared to many years when this has occurred
commonly. Thus, about 10 flocks of mainly Pine Siskins totalling over 500
individuals along the road between the Visitor Centre and the West Boundary
on the 22nd were unusual. Perhaps they were birds on the move? That was the
only day this week when so many flocks were reported on the road.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: On the 22nd along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, a male was
displaying to two disinterested females and another female was seen a little
farther along the trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports again this week.

Gray Jays: They are regularly seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along
Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Four were observed along Opeongo Road on the 20th and
one was heard with Black-caps at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 22nd.

WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: There were five to twelve reported at the Visitor Centre
feeders.

Red Crossbill: Four were along Lookout Trail on the 20th and two were
observed at the Visitor Centre on the 21st.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre feeder on the 19th and seven
were noted along Opeongo Road on the 20th.

Pine Siskin: As many as 65 were seen daily at the Visitor Centre this week.
The "green morph" bird first spotted on March 6th was still present on the
18th. A leucistic individual with a mostly white head was photographed there
today.

American Goldfinch: The only report involved a single bird at Eos Lake on
the 23rd.

Evening Grosbeak: Peak numbers at the Visitor Centre were about 40 birds,
but 100 were reported there on the 21st. Up to 15 were seen at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk regularly.

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

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).

The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 on Highway 60 are open
on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm, including Easter Weekend (March 25 to 28).
On weekdays, there is access to the exhibits and limited services (including
light snacks, coffee and other drinks) 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): Pine Siskin green morph - photos
Posted on March 27, 2016 at 06:41:08 PM by missyinmuskoka

Barbara, you are so lucky to have this rare visitor, and we are lucky you had your camera ready. What a sighting!

 

 

Pine Siskin green morph - photos
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 11:24:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we had a "green morph" Pine Siskin in a large mixed flock of Purple Finches and regular Pine Siskins. The greenish-yellow back, yellow undertail coverts, wide yellow wingbar, and overall yellow wash on the bird really stood out when next to a female Purple Finch and regular Pine Siskin for comparison. According to some online references, the "green morph" is quite rare, estimated to be only 1% of Pine Siskins. Here are a few photos I managed to get during the raining ice pellets:  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4  photo5  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): desiccated mealworms
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 01:03:31 PM by Al Sinclair

A very nutritional food good for man or beast I've read. So what birds eat them rather than seeds? Never tried them here but apparently bluebirds caught by cold weather will eat them, maybe robins woodpeckers would also. The carolina wren wintering in Huntsville is eating peanuts, suet and DRIED MEAL WORMS.

 

 

desiccated mealworms
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 10:25:27 AM by John Challis

I noticed a tub of freeze-dried meal worms in the bird seed section of the Orillia Home Hardware a while ago. You're supposed to soak them before putting out. I'm intrigued but skeptical. Has anyone ever tried them? (for the birds that is, not you personally!) any potential risks to birds, as in disease, lack of nutrients?

 

 

Canada Jay
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 10:23:57 AM by Nancy6

We have had a Gray or Canada Jay at our feeders for the third day. Looks in good shape but have never seen one here before.
Also have more siskins then ever before.

 

 

Wasaga Beach & Port Severn
Posted on March 24, 2016 at 07:34:39 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday afternoon there were 6 Turkey vultures flying over Wasaga Beach as I drove through. A Great Blue Heron flew over the 400 Ext. flying East at Port Severn.

 

 

Re(4): Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 12:53:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

We had about 50 Purple Finches yesterday as well as 40 or so Pine Siskins, but only a couple Goldfinches. There were also three Common Redpolls...one was rather feisty and kept trying to steal sunflower seeds from the Purple Finches. Here he is in a tug-of-war.   photo  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(3): Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 10:29:25 AM by John Challis

And in Washago, too, but joined by goldfinches, and purple finches. I'd estimate 50 or 60 siskins though.

 

 

Re(2): Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 07:46:32 AM by Jim Griffin

Similar experience in Port Sydney, only about 100 birds, but they stayed around until after 6 pm; a real feeding frenzy!

 

 

Re(1): Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 25, 2016 at 07:17:30 PM by coreyhkh

wow, that is alot of birds!

 

 

Re(1): Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 24, 2016 at 08:49:20 PM by ksmith

Wow, that is one serious irruption!

 

 

Year of the Siskins
Posted on March 24, 2016 at 05:14:21 PM by Al Sinclair

The storm today brought in the most pine siskins I have ever seen here in 40 years. Best estimate I have using photographs is 300 individuals. Filled the feeders 3 times. Below is a view out the back door around 4pm.  photo

 

 

Wood Ducks
Posted on March 23, 2016 at 01:46:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three Wood Ducks (2M,1F) on the Muskoka River near Santa's Village, seen from Beaumont Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club
Posted on March 23, 2016 at 10:14:50 AM by CortneyL

Retired Park Naturalist Ron Tozer will speak about "Algonquin Park before 1950: Birds, Habitats and Observers" at the Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Tuesday, March 29. 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.
Visit our Facebook Page

 

 

more from Severn Twp
Posted on March 22, 2016 at 07:35:13 PM by John Challis

Walked the Fairgrounds Road East of Washago yesterday and observed 2 turkey vultures, an American kestrel, the dog flushed a woodcock, and the highlight: a Northern shrike was singing its heart out on a treetop on a granite ridge. Gayle has worked Carden a lot and is more used to the loggerhead shrike's quiet, rarely uttered squawk, so hearing something bordering on a mockingbird's complexity astounds her.

 

 

Swans Beatrice townline
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 02:31:50 PM by Al Sinclair

Two swans beside Beatrice Townline Rd. Mar 20. Reported by Barry Faulkner.

 

 

Bruce Lake Marsh, American Tree Sparrows.
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 11:28:58 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

One pair of Hooded Mergansers, at least a dozen Canada Geese, 2 male mallards. Along the side of the road, changing sides as traffic passed, nine American Tree Sparrows.

 

 

weekend birds, Severn Twp
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 11:22:37 AM by John Challis

On the Green River the buffleheads were back this weekend. We've heard or seen sandhill cranes on several occasions. While walking the Simcoe County forest off Fairgrounds Road (I think it's called the Woods Tract), we heard then saw a red shouldered hawk soaring by. Thought it was blue Jays faking it at first. Then driving north along Burnside Line we saw our first bluebirds! Great hurrah in the car. Then to cap our day off we saw a northern strike in a sapling on Hampshire Mills Rd.between Maple Valley and Cambrian Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Looking for opinions
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 06:03:28 PM by DBurton

Looks like A.h.exilipes, a variety of Southern Hoary Redpoll. The undertail coverts should be white.
Perhaps Ron Pittaway will comment.
Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron have an excellent article at the following link:
http://www.jeaniron.ca/2015/redpollsRP.htm

 

 

Re(2): Looking for opinions
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 05:43:55 PM by michaelhatton

Thanks for the response. There were two of them, looking very similar. They arrived near the end of the day and hung together (never more than two feet from each other) but within a group of about 10 very active Siskins. All were grubbing after niger seeds. I would not describe these two Redpolls as tame. Several times they left with the Siskins when startled, only returning when Siskins returned. They did appear to be very hungry and on a couple of occasions it appeared one of these Redpolls was offering seeds to the other. Their colouration was certainly different than the Common Redpolls that are here every day, none of whom could be described as "sharers." The lighting was poor as this area is in shade late day. Typically, the Siskins here try to drive off the Redpolls with aggressive posturing, but in this case they seemed slightly more tolerant of this pair. That might have been a time of day issue.

 

 

Re(1): Looking for opinions
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 02:56:19 PM by Al Sinclair

Late in the day, looks puffed up,was it unusually tame? If so it may have salmonellosis. Birds returning north in spring are the ones likely to have it.

Could be a winter male common or dark hoary, lighting is poor though. Head shape I think is more like common.

Anyhow by the end of this year it won't matter as the AOU is taking a vote soon on lumping the two species. I predict it will pass based on a new genetic study. Yes the geneticists are robbing us of another species even though they look different.

Here is the final sentence of the proposal to lump: "Given these recent findings, we feel that the burden of proof now lies on those who would recognize multiple species within Acanthis; a more parsimonious explanation may be that Acanthis consists of a single, polymorphic evolutionary lineage that may be experiencing ongoing bouts of local adaptation, which has induced continuous, yet geographically heterogeneous, phenotypic variation among redpoll types."

Say what???

 

 

Re(2): Looking for opinions
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 05:40:06 PM by michaelhatton

Thank you for your response.

 

 

Re(1): Looking for opinions
Posted on March 20, 2016 at 06:14:59 PM by ksmith

I would say a Hoary because of the very light rump colour

 

 

Looking for opinions
Posted on March 20, 2016 at 05:43:08 PM by michaelhatton

Looking for opinions on this Redpoll photographed late day March 20. Perhaps a hornemanni?
Same bird, three angles.  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk, Merlin
Posted on March 20, 2016 at 04:05:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 3 p.m. today a Red-shouldered Hawk was back on territory along Matthiasville Rd., calling as it circled overhead. There were also about a dozen Hooded Mergansers and two Common Mergansers on the river there.

Earlier today a Merlin was calling as it flew across the Muskoka River by Santa's Village. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on March 20, 2016 at 01:17:46 PM by IvanEvanoff

Woodcock sighted on Black River - Vankoughnet on Wed. March 16, 2016, as it was flushed out while I was walking near the river.

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on March 20, 2016 at 09:50:42 AM by Goodyear

One scratching in the leaf litter at the edge of our yard this morning (Bracebridge).

 

 

Re(1): Hooded Mergansers
Posted on March 21, 2016 at 11:26:40 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Fourteen in the wetland going to Miner's Bay which is accessed from Go Home Bay Rd., West off the 400 Ext and Muskoka Rd 38. Two pairs of Black Ducks several pairs of Mallards and, of course, lots of Canada Geese.

 

 

Hooded Mergansers
Posted on March 19, 2016 at 12:59:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were 18 Hooded Mergansers on the Muskoka River by Santa's Village. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 10 to 17 March
Posted on March 18, 2016 at 04:54:56 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 17, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Milder and sometimes rainy weather this week caused much melting of the
snow but the limited patches of bare ground are mainly on south-facing
slopes. The granular snow is knee-deep in many places. All lakes and ponds
remain ice-covered right to the shore.

New migrants reported included: Red-tailed Hawk, American Tree Sparrow and
Red-winged Blackbird (March 11th); Herring Gull, Merlin and American Robin
(12th); Turkey Vulture (15th); and Hooded Merganser (today).

Bald Eagles were observed along the highway on three days. There was a
Northern Goshawk along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 12th. A juvenile Golden
Eagle was over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 11th and an adult was
photographed over Mew Lake Campground on the 12th. A calling Northern
Saw-whet Owl was heard from Mew Lake Campground on the evening of
the 11th.

The compacted layer of snow which had accumulated on Arowhon Road has
now turned to ice and slush. Birders are advised to avoid these hazardous
conditions and not use the road at this time.

The siding-replacement work on the Visitor Centre is continuing, but
visitors can access the south end of the viewing deck and see birds coming
to the suet and sunflower seed from there. The feeder in the Visitor Centre
parking lot attracts many birds also.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: No reports this week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports this week.

Gray Jays: They are regularly seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Gray Jay researchers in the
Highway 60 Corridor have now located 18 nests, with females incubating
eggs in six of them.

Boreal Chickadee: Birds were observed on Opeongo Road near the locked
gate and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. One heard on the 15th was
giving the "musical trilled call" that typically occurs during winter flock
break-up.


WINTER FINCHES
Pine Grosbeak: As expected with the onset of warmer weather, most appear
to have left for the north. There was only one report this week, a single
bird seen at West Smith Lake on the 12th.

Purple Finch: Numbers were down to about ten at the Visitor Centre feeders
by the end of the week.

Red Crossbill: One was at the Trailer Sanitation Station road entrance on
the 11th, and four were seen at km 41 on the 13th.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre feeder on the 12th.

Pine Siskin: Up to 100 were estimated at the Visitor Centre this week. The
"green morph" bird first spotted there on March 6th was still present on the
15th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 40 to 50 were at the Visitor Centre feeders. A few
continued to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on the
Opeongo Road as well.

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

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 5 pm., and daily now during March Break
from March 12 to 20. On winter weekdays, there is access to the exhibits and
limited services (including light snacks, coffee and other drinks) 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.

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on March 17, 2016 at 06:46:29 PM by janice house

Buffleheads in the creek by the old Dinsmore Sheep farm this morning, first song sparrow under the feeders tonight

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on March 16, 2016 at 05:01:54 PM by VivienVezina

Just now saw my first Brown Creeper of this spring outside my window which is situated on a hill looking over the Black River in Vankoughnet, Vivien Vezina March 16, 2016.

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on March 16, 2016 at 04:08:40 PM by VivienVezina

Pileated Woodpecker, female, on side of trees on hill overlooking Black River, Vankougnet, March 16, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

 

 

Re(1): Sounds of Spring
Posted on March 18, 2016 at 03:16:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday morning there was a Killdeer calling as it flew around Gagnon's YIG. This morning there were two Song Sparrows singing by the end of Lagoon Lane. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Sounds of Spring
Posted on March 15, 2016 at 11:18:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I heard a Ruffed Grouse drumming at Henry Marsh and Wild Turkeys gobbling near cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds.

(The trail heading east from Henry Marsh was badly flooded just past the "T" - even rubber boots didn't help. The trail heading west was still okay. Although still frozen over, Henry Marsh is full of water and the new culverts by the footbridge are carrying the excess to the north. Much of that open area is flooded, but no waterfowl were seen.)

(There was only a small area of open water at the Bracebridge Ponds, in cell 3 by the treatment plant outflow. Four Mallards were already checking it out.)

 

 

Re(1): another possibility?
Posted on March 15, 2016 at 11:25:34 AM by Alex Mills

Hello John:
I don't write this to say you are incorrect, but to suggest another possibility, especially since you didn't see the bird.

In the past I have occasionally been tricked by a Purple Finch into thinking I was listening to a Blue-headed Vireo. In fact, I had this experience on Saturday. I was enjoying a snow-shoe hike at Magnetawan and heard what sounded like a vireo. Not believing my ears--since it was mid-March--I spent some time looking and was able to spot a male Purple Finch at the top of a leafless poplar. It was emitting these short vireo-like phrases, not the extended full-throttle exuberance of a normal Purple Finch. I listened for a long time, and eventually, it switched from the vireo-like song to the more familiar celebration for which the Purple Finch gets so much deserved credit as a songster.

 

 

vireo
Posted on March 15, 2016 at 10:02:13 AM by John Challis

At 7 this morning while walking the dog, I was startled to hear the "here I am, where are you" of a vireo at the edge of the marshlands down the road from our house. I couldn't tell which call it was though: would have expected the blue-headed vireo since it's generally the first of the vireos, but it seemed more quickly repeated than the usual call. The fact it was in the swamp and not in the woods nearby seemed odd too. It flew out to the road, but darted around too much to get a good look - and of course the binoculars were in the house.
Green River Drive, Washago.

 

 

New for Bala Yard Bird List
Posted on March 13, 2016 at 06:55:30 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A first year male Snowbunting! It was eating black-eyed susan seeds near my front door when I drove in and disturbed it. It has stayed around but not close enough for more than ID photos.
Six turkeys feeding on seeds below the feeders this morning.

 

 

ring-necked ducks
Posted on March 13, 2016 at 10:01:16 AM by John Challis

On the Green River this morning, five Ring-necks, 3 of them male, were chattering to each other.
 

 

 

Pileated Drumming
Posted on March 13, 2016 at 09:37:46 AM by Jim Griffin

This morning there is a Pileated Wood Pecker drumming away on a tall dead pine tree in my yard, same time same place as last year. That is why I keep dead trees around.

 

 

song sparrow, kildeer
Posted on March 12, 2016 at 04:16:30 PM by John Challis

At Washago's waterfront Park this morning we heard a song sparrow. Later by the Trent waterway in the Fawcett Reserve I heard a killdeer calling as it flew overhead.

 

 

Springish in Port Sydney
Posted on March 12, 2016 at 01:11:28 PM by Jim Griffin

Along with crows pairing up, our first grackle this morning. A pair of hooded mergansers on the river with 5 male common mergansers and three females. All our purple finches and gold finches seem to have moved on, just siskins now.

 

 

Re(1): Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 13, 2016 at 12:49:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Turkey Vulture was soaring above the still frozen Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons this morning. A Fox was checking out some bare ground by the dumping ponds. A Red-winged Blackbird was singing north of cell 4.

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 12, 2016 at 12:40:41 PM by janice house

Just got back from Gravenhurst, vulture soaring at the north end of Gull Lake.

 

 

Swans at Port Carling
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 03:37:47 PM by Al Sinclair

Ken and Virginia Pray report that 2 swans were on the river in Port Carling yesterday, black bills.

 

 

Chipping Sparrow
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 03:19:37 PM by janice house

Pretty sure I saw one this morning feeding with the pine siskins, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst. Seems early.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 3 to 10 March
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 03:05:08 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 10, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The first flush of spring migrants was associated with sustained very mild
temperatures during the last four days and resulted in sightings of European
Starling on the 8th; Canada Goose and Common Merganser on the 9th;
and Snow Bunting, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird today.
The cowbird was six days earlier than the previous earliest date for the
Park.

Noteworthy observations this week included: Bald Eagle at km 29 on the 3rd
and over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th, Golden Eagle flying low over
Arowhon Road at the rail bed crossing on the 6th, and Northern Saw-whet
Owl calling in the evening along Opeongo Road on the 3rd.

Construction work continues at the Visitor Centre, but visitors can access
the south end of the viewing deck and see the suet and seed feeders there.
The feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot attracts many birds also.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Sightings of one or two occurred near the start of Spruce Bog
Boardwalk every day from March 5 to 8, in a significant increase of success
in locating this elusive species.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail
rail bed on the 3rd and 4th, and one was noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
the 7th.

Gray Jays: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Gray Jay researchers have
now located nests under construction of fourteen pairs in the Highway 60
Corridor.

Boreal Chickadee: Two to four were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed on four days this week. One was reported at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk
suet feeder on the 6th. Listen for their vocalizations to help locate these
birds.

WINTER FINCHES
Pine Grosbeak: One was seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 3rd;
seven were in Mew Lake Campground on the 5th; and two were along Opeongo
Road on the 8th. The warmer temperatures will likely result in this species
heading northward soon; the average date of the last spring sighting is
March 27.

Purple Finch: As many as 50 were at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Red Crossbill: Two to four were observed getting grit along the Visitor
Centre driveway on four days this week.

White-winged Crossbill: One was heard calling in flight over the Mizzy Lake
Trail rail bed on the 3rd.

Common Redpoll: On March 3, five were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed and eight were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Pine Siskin: Numbers are increasing at the Visitor Centre feeders, peaking
at about 140 this week. A pair was observed copulating at a feeder near
Oxtongue Lake a little west of the Park on the 5th, indicating that nesting
is underway. A "green morph" Pine Siskin photographed at the Visitor Centre
feeders on the 6th and 7th was only the second Algonquin record of this
recognizable form.

American Goldfinch: After no reports of this species here for a month, three
were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and one was at the Visitor Centre on the
5th, and six were noted at the East Gate on the 7th and 8th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 70 continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeders
this week. A few were also noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, near the locked
gate on the Opeongo Road and at the East Gate.


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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 06:20:19 PM by missyinmuskoka

I thought we had a lot last weekend, but today I probably had over 100 at my place too. In the mix were redpolls and a few american tree sparrows

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 02:43:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 2 p.m. today a large flock of Pine Siskins came into our yard. At least 120 and probably more up in the trees. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Coyotes - Henry Marsh
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 02:39:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Coyotes along the trail just west of Henry Marsh. There was also a Chipmunk out and about. (Bracebridge)
Note: the trail heading east from the marsh was partially flooded just past the "T", so rubber boots came in handy there.

 

 

#SignsOfSpring - Barred Owl calling
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 11:29:01 AM by Al Sinclair

Barred Owl calling 8km east of Bracebridge at 9:30 Mar 10,2016

 

 

Re(3): Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 06:18:50 PM by missyinmuskoka

One this morning feeding from the ground on South Kahshe Lk rd. One grackle too

 

 

Re(2): Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 08:38:19 AM by stuartpaul1

I saw a few this morning in my backyard in Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on March 9, 2016 at 10:22:26 AM by Barbara Taylor

One was singing at Henry Marsh this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on March 9, 2016 at 07:49:16 AM by janice house

Yesterday and this morning, singing from the basswood tree. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(2): Grackles and Am. Robin
Posted on March 11, 2016 at 08:38:00 AM by stuartpaul1

I saw a couple this morning in my backyard in Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Grackles and Am. Robin
Posted on March 9, 2016 at 09:51:18 AM by John Challis

One landed in a tree over my head while I was watching a flock of goldeneyes on the Green River this morning. And a robin started yelling an alarm call a few minutes later.

 

 

Grackles
Posted on March 9, 2016 at 07:19:20 AM by Goodyear

Five at our feeders this morning.

 

Hawkwatch
Posted on March 7, 2016 at 10:25:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Migration is picking up. Thirty Turkey Vultures were counted today at Beamer (Grimsby). Yesterday at Derby Hill, NY they had 32 Red-tailed Hawks and 9 Bald Eagles, and today they noted over 14,000 Snow Geese and more than 12,000 Red-winged Blackbirds. The daily tallies for various Hawkwatches can be found at www.hawkcount.org

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on March 7, 2016 at 03:57:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was an immature Northern Shrike east of Henry Marsh by "the dip" in the trail. It was perched high up in a Maple tree and was being mobbed by several Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Pine Siskins.

 

 

Re(1): Brown Creeper Singing Bracebridge
Posted on March 7, 2016 at 11:20:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

I heard one singing at 10:30 this morning along the trail east of Henry Marsh...they must have synced their calendars. A White-breasted Nuthatch was whinnying too.

There were about 25 Pine Siskins and 4 Common Redpolls at the east feeder, enjoying a generous amount of Nyjer seed someone had left for them. The trail between Henry Marsh and Kerr Park was in excellent condition - too bad rain is on the way.

 

 

Brown Creeper Singing Bracebridge
Posted on March 7, 2016 at 09:45:24 AM by Al Sinclair

Brown Creeper Singing Bracebridge 9:30 am Mar 7/16

 

 

Barred Owls
Posted on March 6, 2016 at 12:17:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning just after 10:30 there were two Barred Owls calling back and forth from the ridge east of Stephens Bay Rd. near the entrance to the old "Royal Muskoka" property.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on March 6, 2016 at 09:23:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

An adult male Cooper's Hawk was hunting in our yard this morning. It was not interested in the smaller birds which had flown up high into the trees, but instead was searching the snowpack below as it moved from one low branch to another. After a few minutes he gave up and flew off to the south-west towards the Beaver Creek ravine. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Port Carling Waterfowl
Posted on March 5, 2016 at 08:08:56 PM by janice house

Today after the snowshoe outing at Jack & Doreen's Linda Boon and I stopped at the park in Port Carling. There were 16 common golden eye and 6 Canada geese. We also watched a mink swimming about.

 

 

Re(3): Gray Jays
Posted on March 7, 2016 at 07:54:18 AM by J. Gardner

Two Gray Jays just made a quick visit to my backyard. Two! High excitement for the couple of minutes they were here. J. Gardner Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(2): Gray Jays
Posted on March 5, 2016 at 01:25:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

I just got a report that a Gray Jay is still visiting the feeder at the corner of Tamarack Trail and Pinecone Dr. Only one has been seen there so far. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Gray Jays
Posted on March 4, 2016 at 05:29:50 PM by J. Gardner

Whoohoo! I haven't seen the whiskyjack recently, and thought he might have left... looking for a mate. It would be neat if they decide to raise a family in this area. J. Gardner Bracebridge.

 

 

Gray Jays
Posted on March 4, 2016 at 04:48:22 PM by Goodyear

Two have been reported coming to a feeder at 32 Covered Bridge Trail. This is the same area where one was reported earlier. They have been coming up out of the ravine, so may be visible from the hiking trail that runs along Beaver Creek behind the houses. Breeding!!!???

 

 

Re(1): Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagles
Posted on March 5, 2016 at 08:20:08 AM by janice house

I was there on Sunday, two adult bald eagles were sitting at the edge of the hole where recent garbage had been dumped along Sedore Rd and two younger eagles were sitting in a tree watching the action. The red-tailed hawk was also there, no turkeys inside the fence at the corner where they usually feed. There were at least 20 gulls circling very high over the dump, not sure how many were herring gulls.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagles
Posted on March 4, 2016 at 01:49:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was a Red-tailed Hawk and two Bald Eagles perched in the trees at the east side of Sedore Rd. by the Gravenhurst dump. There were at least three other Eagles flying around the area. The only Gulls seen were six Herring Gulls.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 25 February to 3 March
Posted on March 4, 2016 at 01:35:20 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 3, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

We are experiencing the "in-between" season now. The arrival of the first
migrant species (single American Crows in Mew Lake Campground and at the
West Gate on the 28th) awakened thoughts of spring, but getting 25 cm more
snow and a night-time temperature of 30 degrees below C. by week's end put
that fantasy into perspective. There is still time to head up to Algonquin
to view the spectacular winter scenery and see some winter finches..

Construction work continues at the Visitor Centre, but visitors can now
access the south end of the viewing deck, and both suet and seed feeders are
operational in the area below that section. The feeder in the Visitor Centre
parking lot is still attracting plenty of finches as well.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: One was seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 27th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports this week. Listen for this woodpecker
calling and drumming in black spruce bog areas.

Gray Jays: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. The Gray Jay research team has
now located nests under construction of five pairs in the Highway 60
Corridor.

Boreal Chickadee: The Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed produced two on the 26th and
three on the 27th. Two were noted on Opeongo Road on March 1.

WINTER FINCHES
Pine Grosbeak: On the 28th, four were found on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
three were on the highway at km 25. Eight were seen in the Lookout Trail
parking lot on the 1st.

Purple Finch: Up to 45 came to the Visitor Centre feeders this week, and
thirty were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 27th.

Red Crossbill: On the 27th, three were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed and two were observed at the Visitor Centre. There were four at the
entrance to the Visitor Centre driveway today.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 28th.

Common Redpoll: Eight were along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 27th,
and six were at the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder today.

Pine Siskin: A flock of about 100 was at Mew Lake on the 25th, sixty were
seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 27th, and 35 to 50 are
coming to the Visitor Centre feeders daily now. A pair engaged in
courtship-feeding at the Visitor Centre was photographed on the 26th.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 70 came to Visitor Centre feeders this week. Smaller
numbers continue to be attracted to seed provided by birders at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and near the locked gate on the Opeongo Road.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): siskins, redpolls
Posted on March 6, 2016 at 08:36:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Three male and one female Purple Finch, 2 Pine Siskins, Flock of goldfinches. Up until Thursday had only 2 golfinches and then the others began coming in. Not the number others have but lovely to see them!

 

 

Re(2): siskins, redpolls
Posted on March 4, 2016 at 08:33:13 AM by Carol Wagg

Thanks for that article. The nyjer feeder goes out today!

 

 

Re(1): siskins, redpolls
Posted on March 3, 2016 at 04:55:35 PM by ksmith

Although this information is from last year it has a lot of interesting information about siskins and redpolls.
Www.allaboutbirds.org/the-redpolls-are-coming-the-redpolls-are-coming-and-siskens-too/

 

 

Re(1): siskins, redpolls
Posted on March 3, 2016 at 06:49:00 PM by missyinmuskoka

I arrived today to find the same wonderful chaos at my feeders on Kahshe Lake in Kilworthy

 

 

siskins, redpolls
Posted on March 3, 2016 at 10:59:02 AM by John Challis

This morning the mobs of siskins and redpolls were busy filling the trees with their chatter around our feeders. Several male redpolls are already in brilliant plumage. While I was out watching, a siskin flew under a ninebark in the yard a few feet from me. Another dropped in beside it with a seed in its beak; the first lowered itself onto its belly in the snow and held its beak out, for all the world looking like a chick begging to be fed. The second obliged by passing its snack over. For a few seconds the two gently pecked back and forth at each other's beaks, and then flew off into the trees. A bit early for spring romancing, I thought, but a welcome little scene. Green River Drive, Washago.

 

 

Fox
Posted on March 1, 2016 at 07:42:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a nice healthy looking Red Fox on the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. It appeared to be checking out a fresh set of Snowshoe Hare tracks near the east birdfeeder.

There were only a few Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and Common Redpolls along the trail today, but there were large numbers of friendly Chickadees, as well as the usual Red-breasted Nuthatches, White-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays, and Hairy Woodpeckers.

 

 

Re(2): Winter Finches
Posted on March 2, 2016 at 00:03:34 AM by coreyhkh

Wow those are good numbers!

 

 

Re(1): Winter Finches
Posted on March 1, 2016 at 05:12:08 PM by Al Sinclair

Same here 8km east of Bracebridge. They know there is a storm coming. We took some photos to get a better estimate of numbers. Pine Siskin 150, Purple Finch 40, Goldfinch 6, Redpoll 4

 

 

Winter Finches
Posted on March 1, 2016 at 03:55:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon for over an hour there was a feeding frenzy in our backyard. The feeders were picked clean by about 75 Purple Finches, 25 Pine Siskins, 2 Common Redpolls, and 4 American Goldfinch. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pecking order
Posted on February 29, 2016 at 09:42:18 PM by michaelhatton

Lining up for the suet on a snowy morning.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on February 28, 2016 at 07:55:36 PM by missyinmuskoka

I had my first pine siskin today. One lonely one. I hope there are more to follow

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskins
Posted on February 28, 2016 at 07:24:10 PM by ksmith

I also had many pine siskens and common red polls at my feeders these past two days. Hood Road, Pt Sydney.

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on February 28, 2016 at 02:44:57 PM by michaelhatton

Lots of Pine Siskins these past few days.  photo

 

 

coyote
Posted on February 27, 2016 at 10:49:50 AM by dinnymccraney

My suspicions are confirmed. A coyote showed up this morning in the wooded area adjacent to the 6th hole of the S. Muskoka golf course. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the camera out fast enough...the dogs' barking scared him away. Up until now I wasn't sure if what we had seen at night was a fox or coyote, though we had seen a fox quite regularly during the day in the late fall.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 18 to 25 February
Posted on February 26, 2016 at 11:13:55 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 25, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Additional signs of impending spring were detected this week, amid the
continuing spectacular winter conditions and scenery.

The first Gray Jay nest-construction activity observed in the Park this year
was on the 19th. Data from Dan Strickland's 45-year Gray Jay research
project in Algonquin show the average first date of nest-building was
February 19 over the last ten years, ranging from February 14 (2010) to 28
(2009).

Courtship-feeding by a pair of Pine Siskins at a feeder near Oxtongue Lake
(west of the Park) on the 22nd indicated the onset of nesting may soon occur
in that species. The earliest ever observation of Pine Siskin nest-building
in Algonquin was on March 20 (1990).

Construction work continues at the Visitor Centre and so the viewing deck
and adjacent feeders are still closed down. In the interim, a feeder in the
parking lot is attracting lots of finches and allowing close-up viewing.
More birds come to the feeder during the morning than in the afternoon.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: No reports received again this week. Try Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, Opeongo Road north and the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were noted at the Algonquin Logging
Museum Pond on the 19th and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 23rd.

Gray Jays: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: Birders are reporting increased vocalizing by this species
which is aiding in locating these birds. The Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed
produced two on the 21st and four on the 22nd.

WINTER FINCHES
Pine Grosbeak: Four were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the
18th and 21st. Six were on the highway at the Lake of Two Rivers Picnic Area
on the 19th.

Purple Finch: A few were noted at the Visitor Centre feeders, Mizzy Lake
Trail rail bed and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Red Crossbill: Three were observed at km 24 along Highway 60 on the 22nd.

Common Redpoll: Small numbers were seen along the km 8 logging road,
Arowhon Road and Opeongo Road. There were two groups totalling 15 birds
along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 21st.

Pine Siskin: Still the most widespread and frequently-observed finch, but
not overly numerous. Typically, observers are seeing several small flocks
during a day of birding. For example, walking along the Mizzy Lake Trail
rail bed produced 40 to 60 siskins this week.

Evening Grosbeak: There were 40 to 50 at the Visitor Centre feeders every
day this week. A few were also noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on
Opeongo Road.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(3): Great Black-backed Gull
Posted on February 27, 2016 at 07:43:02 AM by originalwinger

Thanks for the quick response and very good information. I see a road trip in my future.
Dave

 

 

Re(2): Great Black-backed Gull
Posted on February 26, 2016 at 10:33:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

We've had good luck seeing Bald Eagles around noon on a town garbage collection day, but there is still a fair chance of seeing some at other times. Sometimes they perch in trees along Sedore Rd. but often they are flying around the area and in and out of the dumpsite. At this time of year our garbage is picked up bi-weekly, but there is always some collection from the Bracebridge/Gravenhurst areas on Mondays and Fridays. You can see the full schedule in the Waste Management Guide at: http://www.muskoka.on.ca/en/live-and-play/Waste-Management-in-Muskoka.aspx

Although you can't go right into the active dumping area, you can check in at the weigh scale building by the Beiers Rd. entrance and they will let you park in the yard waste compost area.

 

 

Re(1): Great Black-backed Gull
Posted on February 26, 2016 at 04:15:44 PM by originalwinger

Hi Barbara, I have always wanted to photograph an eagle and was wondering if this was a good place to do so ? Are they generally there, best time of day, are they perched, can you get close ?? I'm south of Orillia and wondering if it's worth the trip, any info you have will be a big help.
thanks Dave

 

 

Great Black-backed Gull
Posted on February 26, 2016 at 12:43:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Great Black-backed Gull and three Herring Gulls at the Gravenhurst dump on Beiers Rd. There were also six Bald Eagles (2 adults). In addition to the usual large number of Ravens, there were also about 40 Crows.

 

 

Crow arrivals
Posted on February 24, 2016 at 09:34:58 AM by Barbara Taylor

Two Crows have returned to our neighbourhood and are already reclaiming their territory with lots of cawing this morning. They are also eating the crushed eggshells which I put out for the Blue Jays. (Bracebridge)

P.S. - beware of at least six deer frequently crossing Glendale Rd. and Kevin Cres. during daylight hours as they usually do in late Feb.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on February 24, 2016 at 03:39:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning six Snow Buntings flew low over Tamarack Trail near the school. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings today at the Bracebridge Hospital helipad.
Posted on February 23, 2016 at 01:26:26 PM by Doug Smith

Great photos! Thank you.

 

 

Snow Buntings today at the Bracebridge Hospital helipad.
Posted on February 22, 2016 at 05:52:03 PM by michaelhatton

A pair of Snow Buntings appeared to be enjoying the grass today at the hospital helipad in Bracebridge. Likely a good thing, as it will soon be covered in snow.

photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Nine species at Magnetawan
Posted on February 21, 2016 at 01:01:45 PM by DBurton

Cheer up Alex, the spring migration has just started. Today my first Northern Parula showed up here. He is on his way to Ontario.

 

 

Nine species at Magnetawan
Posted on February 20, 2016 at 04:33:55 PM by Alex Mills

I spent the past three days at Magnetawan and managed to find only nine species of birds: Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hairy Woodpecker, Raven, Bald Eagle (1 adult), Mallard (3), and Trumpeter Swan (2).

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 11 to 18 February
Posted on February 20, 2016 at 02:30:01 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 20, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

As noted last week, the Visitor Centre viewing deck and adjacent feeders are
closed down while construction work continues in that area of the building.
The Evening Grosbeak flock readily switched to a feeder in the Visitor
Centre parking lot, allowing observers close-up views from their vehicles.

A Wild Turkey at km 23 on the 15th was only the third report of the species
here this winter, in a year of moderate snow depth and temperatures when
higher survival might be expected.

Pileated Woodpeckers are common in Algonquin Park, but often difficult to
locate on any given day. One observer found five on the 16th: three near the
West Gate and two on the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Drumming by some of
them helped in locating the birds.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: No reports this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the black
spruce habitat bordering Opeongo Road north of the locked gate, and the
Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed near Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen on the Track and Tower Trail on the
14th. Vocal imitations of Barred Owl calls attracted one west of Wolf Howl
Pond, another at West Rose Lake, and one about 100 metres south of Highway
60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 16th.

Gray Jays: They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One was seen along the Track and Tower Trail on the 13th
and 14th. From one to seven were observed each day from the 14th to the 16th
along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: More observers resulted in more reports. Up to seven were
seen regularly this week along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. One was at km
35 and six were in Mew Lake Campground on the 12th.

Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be observed at: Mizzy Lake Trail
rail bed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were at the Visitor Centre and two were along
the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 15th.

Common Redpoll: A few were reported by several birders, but there were also
some larger numbers observed such as the several finch flocks containing a
total of about 100 redpolls along the Mizzy Lake Trail bed on the 15th.

Pine Siskin: This species continues to be the most numerous and widely
observed small finch here. Several mixed flocks along the Mizzy Lake Trail
bed on the 15th contained a total of 150 siskins.

Evening Grosbeak: About 50 to 60 are now utilizing the newly-established
feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot, which will remain operational
while construction work continues on the building. A few were also reported
from Leaf Lake Ski Trail, Opeongo Road near the locked gate, along the Mizzy
Lake Trail bed and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (where there were 25 on the
17th).

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): Warbler ID?
Posted on February 20, 2016 at 08:24:15 AM by Al Sinclair

Black-throated Green Warbler - 1st winter female?
"Yellow across the vent" Sibley Birds android phone app
The yellow wash below seems a bit extreme, maybe the camera software or lighting is exaggerating it. Photos can be more difficult to ID than the real bird, that's why the best field guides are illustrated (in my opinion).

 

 

Re(1): Warbler ID?
Posted on February 19, 2016 at 11:17:56 PM by ksmith

Female, Black Throated Green Warbler

 

 

Warbler ID?
Posted on February 19, 2016 at 08:00:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

I'd appreciate some help in identifying this Warbler. It makes me think Black-throated Green, but the underside looks too yellow. Any thoughts?
The photo was taken August 18, 2015 in Bracebridge by Colin Erricson.  photo

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagles
Posted on February 18, 2016 at 05:13:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Gravenhurst dump on Beiers Rd. there were three Bald Eagles, a Red-tailed Hawk, and several Ravens.  photo

 

 

Re(4): Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 18, 2016 at 04:04:35 PM by missyinmuskoka

It was about 7 am when I spotted it outside my window. I hid and tried to watch it through my window. It stayed for about 10 minutes until if spotted me and flew into the woods. The bluejays were going crazy for some time so I assumed it was hanging out in the trees for a while. There are several bird feeders at the front of my house, and a resident mouse living under my porch. I assumed it was there for the mouse, since it was not facing the feeders.

 

 

Re(3): Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 18, 2016 at 08:33:46 AM by Al Sinclair

Good sighting. I'm wondering what it was doing? Did it stay long? Feeder nearby? Time of day?
Normally these nocturnal owls are well hidden and sleeping by daylight. Maybe it is in trouble. Catching mice when the snow is crusty from all the rain could be a problem.

 

 

Re(2): Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 17, 2016 at 09:03:06 PM by missyinmuskoka

It is a short stand that I use for photography

 

 

Re(1): Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 16, 2016 at 09:20:25 PM by dlemkay

Very nice pic! What is the bird resting on? Near your window.

 

 

Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 16, 2016 at 03:35:40 PM by missyinmuskoka

I woke up yesterday to this sweetie outside of my window. I am at the end of South Kahshe Lake Road in Kilworthy  photo

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count Saturday Checklist
Posted on February 13, 2016 at 05:32:20 PM by janice house

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst 2 km east of Hwy 11, flipping cold
2 mo do
2 dwp
3 hwp
1 pwp female
12 bl j
9 chick
2 wbr nut
1 rb nut
4 am tr sp
8 pine siskin
2 junco
3 g finch
1 crow
3 raven
3 starling

 

 

Backyard Bird Count Saturday Checklist
Posted on February 13, 2016 at 04:50:39 PM by Al Sinclair

Feb 13, 2016
8km east of Bracebridge
Temp -31C to -20C

1 Mourning Dove
2 Downy Woodpecker
2 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Blue Jay
6 Black-capped Chickadee
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 American Tree Sparrow
35 Purple Finch
6 Common Redpoll
15 Pine Siskin
2 American Goldfinch

 

 

Some of Today's Backyard Birds
Posted on February 12, 2016 at 10:43:16 PM by michaelhatton

pine siskin  white-breasted nuthatch  american goldfinch

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 4 to 11 February
Posted on February 12, 2016 at 08:04:13 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 12, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Birders should note that the Visitor Centre viewing deck and the feeders
visible from it will be closed down for at least one week starting on
Tuesday (February 16) due to ongoing refurbishing of the building. During
this closure, a feeder will be operating in the Visitor Centre parking lot
and it will likely attract the continuing Evening Grosbeaks.

A recently reported observation of a Belted Kingfisher along the open
Madawaska River adjacent to the Wildlife Research Station Road (closed to
public travel) on January 31 was noteworthy. Kingfishers rarely attempt to
over-winter in Algonquin, and sightings this late in the winter are
extremely rare. This bird is probably utilizing the open parts of the river
adjacent to Mew Lake Campground as well.

A Common Raven on the 6th along the Opeongo Road had what looked like
an old songbird nest in its bill and may have been a very early individual
engaged in relining its nest.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Three were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on
the 6th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was photographed along the Mizzy Lake
Trail rail bed on the 6th, and one was along the highway near Mew Lake on
the 11th.

Gray Jays: They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo
Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One to three were noted regularly during the week along
the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Two were along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 5th, and
four females were there on the 10th.

Purple Finch: Small numbers were observed at: Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed,
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Visitor Centre and Opeongo Road.

Red Crossbill: A road-killed male was photographed near the Visitor Centre
entrance on the 6th, and a few were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed and the Visitor Centre driveway on the 10th.

White-winged Crossbill: A male was photographed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on the 6th.

Common Redpoll: A few were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed
and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 10th.

Pine Siskin: They were seen at various locations, with some observers
reporting 200 or more in a day.

American Goldfinch: One was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 6th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 50 to 60 continued to utilize the Visitor Centre
feeders this week, with a few of them occasionally taking seed provided by
birders at Spruce Bog Boardwalk across the highway.

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

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 5 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.

 

 

Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 12, 2016 at 07:39:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

At times it was hard to see the birds with heavy snow coming down, but here's our yard count from today, Feb. 12. (Bracebridge)

12 species total:

3 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
4 Blue Jay
7 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Northern Cardinal
21 Purple Finch
4 Pine Siskin
2 American Goldfinch

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting
Posted on February 11, 2016 at 08:16:21 PM by DavidLeGros

Retired MNR ecologist Bill Crins will present an illustrated talk about the diverse wildlife of Namibia in southwest Africa at the Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Tuesday, February 23. 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.

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count - Feb. 12-15
Posted on February 11, 2016 at 01:51:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count begins tomorrow.
Information about the count and how to participate: http://gbbc.birdcount.org

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Posted on February 10, 2016 at 04:45:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and 14 Common Redpolls along the trail east of Henry Marsh. By "leech lake", a Sharp-shinned Hawk chased a small bird out of the trees and up high in the sky. The Hawk just wouldn't give up and the little bird was almost caught twice as it seemed to struggle in the wind. The two eventually went out of sight so I don't know how things turned out. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Huntsville: Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on February 7, 2016 at 04:37:15 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Barry Coombs on ONTBIRDS (February 7, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Flock of 27 at Hunters Bay Radio building at 40 Main Street West at 2:30pm.
With Karen Copeland, Bob Cumming and Dave Purcell.

 

 

Re(2): Savannah Sparrow?
Posted on February 7, 2016 at 12:55:15 PM by Al Sinclair

It's been the best winter in a long time for seeing Purple Finches at feeders in Muskoka. Some large counts are being submitted to eBird, 50 to 70 birds. At our feeders I estimated around 60 this week, the majority being the sparrow look-alike females.

 

 

Why isn't it a Savannah Sparrow
Posted on February 7, 2016 at 12:51:22 PM by Alex Mills

I agree with the initial answer that it is a female purple finch. But, you may wonder how the two species differ, because they are both brownish, streaked songbirds with conical beaks.

As one gets to know more about bird timetables, one clue is that Savannah Sparrow is not found in Muskoka in the winter, although it is a fairly common meadow bird here in the spring and summer. Purple Finches are fairly common here in some winters (although they are absent in other winters).

Savannah Sparrows are much whiter and sharper looking than a female purple finch. The breast streaks are distinct, against a white chest, and the belly is a clean white. They also usually have at least a small dash of yellow on the lores (the space between the eye and the beak). The Savannah Sparrow beak is largely pink, whereas the beak of the Purple Finch is dark (but sometimes with pinkish tones). Finally, Savannah Sparrows are smaller and more delicate--mid-way in size between Goldfinch and Purple Finch.

I hope that helps.

 

 

Re(1): Savannah Sparrow?
Posted on February 6, 2016 at 11:10:57 PM by tedthevideoman

Female Purple finch

 

 

Savannah Sparrow?
Posted on February 6, 2016 at 02:23:37 PM by johndouglas

Is this a savannah sparrow?  photo

 

 

Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on February 6, 2016 at 01:05:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along the trail east of Henry Marsh there were two Golden-crowned Kinglets by "the dip". There were also a few Common Redpolls, Purple Finches, and several Pine Siskins in addition to the usual bunch of friendly Chickadees and Nuthatches. An immature Bald Eagle soared overhead, heading southwest into the wind. Two Ravens were putting on a nice aerial acrobatic show at the marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 January to 4 February
Posted on February 5, 2016 at 10:34:53 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 4, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Ruffed Grouse were often observed this week, including at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Visitor Centre.

A good variety of finch species continued to be seen, but often in low
numbers away from sites where sunflower seed was available.

A marten came to the Visitor Centre suet feeder today.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Singles were found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 1st and
along Opeongo Road north of the gate on the 2nd.

Gray Jays: They were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road,
and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One was observed on Bat Lake Trail on the 28th, and two
were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 30th and 1st.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One flying over was noted at the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed
on the 30th, and a male was at km 33 on Highway 60 on the 2nd.

Purple Finch: Up to seven came daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: One was reported along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the
1st.

White-winged Crossbill: On the 30th, one was calling in flight at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and two were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Common Redpoll: Small numbers were reported again this week at various
locations.

Pine Siskin: They remain widespread in very low numbers, but a few larger
flocks were seen as well.

American Goldfinch: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 1st.

Evening Grosbeak: The 120 individuals coming to the Visitor Centre feeders
at the beginning of the week had dropped to half that number by today, but
they were still numerous enough to be impressive. Some were also at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk and near the gate on Opeongo Road.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Swans and Eagles
Posted on February 5, 2016 at 01:48:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were 9 Bald Eagles at the Gravenhurst dump on Beiers Rd. Two were adults and the rest were immatures of varying ages. Best places to watch them soaring and talon touching were at the pullout across the road from the dump entrance, and also by #1246 Sedore Rd. Lots of Ravens and a huge flock of Starlings were also enjoying garbage day.

A quick trip to the Washago dock off Quetton St. was successful too - 14 Trumpeter Swans, Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, and a few Canada Geese.

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 3, 2016 at 10:03:33 AM by davidlegros

At one point last week, we had three Pileated Woodpeckers in our yard. I believe 2 males and a female. One male did not stick around, but the pair did come in and land on the suet feeders.They have been regular this winter. (Huntsville)

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 5, 2016 at 03:20:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

A male Pileated just flew into our yard...no sign of the females today. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 1, 2016 at 03:54:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were two female Pileated Woodpeckers in our yard. One had a duller back and more brown feathers overall....perhaps an immature from last summer's nest? They seemed to be tolerating one another without any obvious aggression. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Cardinal singing
Posted on February 1, 2016 at 09:03:22 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning our resident male Cardinal is singing. The pair often visit our feeder at dusk. (Bracebridge).

 

 

Snow Fleas
Posted on January 31, 2016 at 01:00:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today's mild weather has brought the Snow Fleas bubbling up to the surface of the snow in many areas along the trails. If you see what looks like a lot of black pepper sprinkled on the snow, look closely...it will move. (Bracebridge)
http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/snow_flea.htm

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 to 28 January
Posted on January 29, 2016 at 00:15:33 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 28, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

More birders this week resulted in more sightings. Eagles put in an
appearance, with a Golden Eagle photographed soaring over km 26 on
the 23rd and a Bald Eagle perched at the West Gate on the 27th. Ruffed
Grouse were seen regularly along the Visitor Centre driveway and at least
one was at its feeders.

Evening Grosbeaks continued to put on a tremendous show that for many
birders has not been experienced for decades. Rather than splitting up
between sunflower seed on the ground at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the
Visitor Centre feeders as they have recently, the main concentration today
was at the Visitor Centre and peaked at about 120 birds. This colourful,
swirling mass with constant loud calling was indeed impressive.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Two males were spotted in a spruce near the start of the
trail at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 21st, frustrating news for those who
have searched unsuccessfully there in recent days.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed at campsites 71 and 72 in
Mew Lake Campground on the 24th.

Gray Jays: They continue to be seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
near the locked gate and north of there on Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were reported from Arowhon Road on the 24th,
probably from along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: There was an upswing in numbers observed this week,
perhaps mainly because more birders were looking. A dozen were getting grit
on the road in Mew Lake Campground on the 21st, and there were five on
Arowhon Road plus three at km 36 on Highway 60 on the 24th.

Purple Finch: A half dozen are coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders,
and others can be seen occasionally along the highway.

White-winged Crossbill: The small numbers detected on the Christmas Count
are likely persisting. This species was reported along the Leaf Lake Ski
Trail on the 23rd, without details about how many.

Common Redpoll: Some continue to be seen along the highway, with a total of
75 reported by two birders between the west boundary and the West Gate on
the 21st.

HOARY REDPOLL: One was observed along Opeongo Road, north of the
gate, on the 27th.

Pine Siskin: This finch is still being seen regularly, often in small
flocks. However, a flock of 100 in the treetops was noted at km 51 on the
22nd.

American Goldfinch: Two were at the Visitor Centre on the 27th.

Evening Grosbeak: Good numbers continue at the Visitor Centre and Spruce Bog
Boardwalk. A few are also being attracted to sunflower seed provided by
birders near the Opeongo Road gate.

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

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 5 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(4): Foxes
Posted on January 30, 2016 at 03:07:01 PM by dinnymccraney

I know, but it was dark, the animal was facing me and foraging in the snow where I usually see the foxes. so really hard to see the exact size or features.

 

 

Re(3): Foxes
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 08:53:25 PM by coreyhkh

ermine are notably smaller then a fox and dont have the bushy tail

 

 

Re(2): Foxes
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 07:33:12 PM by dinnymccraney

Aww, your poor fox.
I am wondering if the white "fox"it could have been an ermine? My neighbours across the road say they saw one climbing a tree behind their house. Just remembered that. Since it was dark, it was hard to see more than the colour and shape. The fox came along later..definitely a dark silhouette.
Our fox seems healthy. Just wish he would catch a few of the squirrels!

 

 

Re(1): Foxes
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 02:48:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Dinny, could your white fox have been an albino? They are known to occur, but don't know how rarely.

We haven't seen a Red Fox in our neighbourhood since summer, but one appeared this morning, foraging under the birdfeeder. It was quite small and appeared to be suffering from mange with a tail almost bare in places and eyes partially closed like it was squinting. Poor guy. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Foxes
Posted on January 26, 2016 at 04:51:48 PM by dinnymccraney

We've had regular visits from one or more red foxes since the fall , often sighted at different times of the day and night. Last night when the dogs sounded the alarm at 11 p.m. I looked out to see what I am sure was a white fox! It was foraging at the edge of our property where the red ones are seen criss crossing the golf course. Was I seeing things? (South Muskoka golf course, Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Broad Winged Hawk
Posted on January 31, 2016 at 12:05:26 PM by Dawn Sherman

We had a Sharp-shinned Hawk take a Blue Jay at our feeder on January 26th. As the bird flies, we aren't too far from you, Cat.

 

 

Re(3): Broad Winged Hawk
Posted on January 26, 2016 at 12:50:15 PM by ChrisStreet

Blue Jays also make Broad-winged calls when they are faced with a predator. The likelihood of your bird being a Broad-winged Hawk is very small. Especially considering there has only been one accepted winter sighting in Ontario since 1976.

The other species to consider is Red-shouldered Hawk.
Chris

 

 

Re(2): Broad Winged Hawk
Posted on January 26, 2016 at 07:55:18 AM by catmaclean

Hi Al,
I had a really good view of this Hawk and was able to play the call on my cell phone (iBird)
and it was very definitely not a Coopers or Sharp Shinned call.

 

 

Re(1): Broad Winged Hawk
Posted on January 25, 2016 at 09:19:46 PM by Al Sinclair

Broad-wings are long distance migrants that spend the winter in Central and South America. Could it have been a Cooper's? This is the hawk species we usually see here hunting other birds around feeders. Less common are Sharp-shinned and Goshawk.

 

 

Broad Winged Hawk
Posted on January 25, 2016 at 11:59:09 AM by catmaclean

This morning I was hearing a Blue Jay yelling and a hawk call so being smarter now, I looked for the hawk and saw a Broad Wing sitting not 20 feet from me so I had a good look and then it flew so I had another really good look. Anyone else seen one this winter?

 

 

Re(3): Trail running east from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 03:01:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bobcat? Snowshoe Hares are an important part of their diet.
I haven't noticed any cat tracks, but will be sure to look when I'm there.

 

 

Re(2): Trail running east from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 09:41:48 AM by Leslie

I saw 6 turkeys out there last week enjoying the seed from one of the stumps. With respect to the squirrels, I notice that one of those red squirrels is getting positively obese - the boldest of the bunch!

There are lots of hare tracks, but I wonder if anyone else has seen what appears to be large cat tracks? They aren't canine tracks, and I saw them near the T-intersection following the hare trail. They're not fishers (much larger) and very broad with no claws showing. Any thoughts anybody?

 

 

Re(1): Trail running east from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 25, 2016 at 04:32:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Nice photos Michael.
I was out there this morning and had a Red-breasted Nuthatch land on my hat while it waited for me to dig some seed out of my pocket. I also found several Wild Turkey feathers next to the trail just east of the dip. There was no carcass or blood in the area, just the feathers. I wonder if the turkey toms are already fighting over the females, or maybe a coyote managed to briefly grab hold of a turkey without seriously injuring it.

 

 

Trail running east from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 24, 2016 at 11:02:50 AM by michaelhatton

Three WBNUs were upset at an audacious red squirrel. However, they didn't seem to care about me. photo

Chickadees everywhere, some looking for handouts and others just curious.  photo  photo

Saw just one of these about mid-way between Henry Marsh and the pipeline.  photo

 

 

Purple Finch
Posted on January 23, 2016 at 10:50:58 AM by tedthevideoman

50 plus Purple finches with a smattering of Golds in the feeders the last two days 120 Meadow heights

 

 

Wild Turkeys
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 09:12:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Wild Turkeys walking along the snowshoe trail in the woods north of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons. That section of trail is packed down now and any wet areas have frozen up so you can go from Kerr Park over to Henry Marsh without having to walk along the snowmobile trail/pipeline. The hiking trail is also in good condition west of Henry Marsh over to Stephen's Bay Rd. (no snowshoes needed)

There was a large mixed flock of Purple Finch and Pine Siskins in the woods just east of Henry Marsh, in addition to many friendly Chickadees and Nuthatches.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 to 21 January
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 10:01:02 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 21, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Sunflower seed brought by visitors to Spruce Bog Boardwalk continues to
attract numbers of Evening Grosbeaks and appreciative photographers.
These birds are part of the large flock coming to the nearby Visitor Centre
feeders.

Gray Jays are regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and around the
suet feeder near the trail register box, as well as in the vicinity of the
locked gate on Opeongo Road.

Eight Common Ravens were attracted to a carcass (likely a wolf-killed deer)
on the ice of Brewer Lake today.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: This species continues to be present but in very low numbers.
Single birds were heard along Arowhon Road and Opeongo Road on the 17th.

Purple Finch: A few were noted in mixed finch flocks along the highway and
some came to the Visitor Centre feeders, including 12 birds on the 18th.

Common Redpoll: A few were reported in mixed finch flocks along the highway.

Pine Siskin: Some were seen in mixed finch flocks along the highway.
Observers on the 15th reported a total of 100 along the corridor.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 60 came to the Visitor Centre feeders this
week, and up to half that flock are now also a daily occurrence at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(2): Another feathered friend - ID?
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 01:25:16 PM by ChrisStreet

Scratch that last post. I realized you also had the Catbird and White-crowned coming to your feeders. You have quite the winter bird diversity going on in your backyard!

 

 

Re(1): Another feathered friend - ID?
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 10:44:18 AM by ChrisStreet

You have yourself a Song Sparrow there. Note the dark malar marks on either side just beneath the beak. That is a pretty good winter bird for the Muskoka region. Where about's are you located?
Chris

 

 

Another feathered friend - ID?
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 09:40:32 AM by TinaJacobson

I've another loner coming to feeder last two days, another sparrow, not sure on the ID ?  photo  (Parry Sound)

 

 

Re(1): Update catbird and white-crowned sparrow
Posted on January 24, 2016 at 12:32:13 PM by DBurton

Sounds like a 5 star hotel for birds! Perhaps you could post some pictures of your set-up?

 

 

Update catbird and white-crowned sparrow
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 09:37:00 AM by TinaJacobson

Update on catbird, and white-crowned sparrow, they are both doing fine. The catbird drinks a lot of water (more than other species) and enjoys winter bathing in my heated bird bath. They are both eating my home made suet, loaded with seeds, nuts, chopped fruit (apples,oranges,cranberries).  (Parry Sound)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 03:50:23 PM by janice house

Wonderful photo Michael!

 

 

Trumpeter Swans
Posted on January 21, 2016 at 11:03:02 PM by michaelhatton

Sixteen seen today in the Gloucester Pool / Port Severn area.  photo

 

 

evening grosbeaks
Posted on January 19, 2016 at 07:54:59 PM by PatWelch

We had a small flock (10 at least) of evening grosbeaks at our feeders yesterday morning. We haven't seen grosbeaks around here for a few years. (south west of Huntsville)

 

 

Bald Eagle Mortimers Point
Posted on January 19, 2016 at 05:18:58 PM by NigelEves

On Lake Muskoka all day, picking at a dead bird in the ice
Here is a pic  photo

 

 

Re(1): Purple Finches
Posted on January 22, 2016 at 10:12:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Purple Finches were back again today, including several colourful males.  photo

 

 

Purple Finches
Posted on January 19, 2016 at 01:19:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

We've had a flock of about 50 Purple Finches coming to the feeders today and now they've been joined by a few Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches. The Cooper's Hawk must be hunting elsewhere for a change...
(Bracebridge)

 

Re(4): Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 30, 2016 at 03:43:06 PM by Ontbirds

We saw approximately 80 just down from River Mill Park atop the trees at the edge of the Park, chattering at around 1pm. Resting and preening as well. 
http://discovermuskoka.ca/directories/1332-river_mill_park.html

Good Birding,
Stephen Derraugh

 

 

Re(3): Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 30, 2016 at 03:41:00 PM by Ontbirds

Bohemian Waxwings near Station Street and Main Street at 1:15pm, approx 65 of them.
Resting and preening, then circled back towards River.
Tracy Patterson

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 29, 2016 at 09:37:06 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Lev Frid on ONTBIRDS (January 29, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Greetings Birders,
Amanda Guercio and I observed 130+ Bohemian Waxwings today in the town of
Huntsville. While this isn't a groundbreaking sighting, this quantity of
birds in an area easily accessed from Toronto, with lots of foraging
opportunities is probably going to be reliable and of interest to some
birders.

Initially we saw a flock of 70 or so behind The Mill on Main off Main
Street. There is a parking area that is signed off Main Street that takes
you behind the buildings and to the dock. The birds were feeding in a
fruiting shrub right beside the docks.

We again saw another flock, this time it was 130+ birds strong, on Iris
Street, near the mailbox (it is a tiny street). It was unclear whether it
was a different flock or the original one joined another.

Directions:
Huntsville is about two hours north of Toronto. It is easily reached via Hw
400 and 11. Take the Muskoka Road 2 exit from Highway 11 and continue east.
Iris St. is just east of the intersection with Centre St. There are many
crabapple trees here for them to feed on.

Going back to Rd 2. from Iris St, continue eastward until you hit Main
Street. Make a right (west) and follow to the parking area (signed with a
green "P") on the right (north) side of the street to the docks, where the
initial sighting was.

There are lots of crabapple trees around town so exploring beyond this
route could be rewarding as well.

Cheers,
Lev Frid

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 20, 2016 at 01:13:04 PM by Ron Tozer

Probably the same flock was in the top of a deciduous tree at the junction of King William Street and Fairy Avenue at 10 am today.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings - Huntsville
Posted on January 18, 2016 at 06:32:22 PM by Goodyear

Today there was a flock of approx. 90 Bohemian Waxwings around the downtown area. Last seen atop a tree on Church Street at Main Street.

 

 

Algonquin P.P. January 16
Posted on January 18, 2016 at 02:32:33 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Karl Konze on ONTBIRDS (January 17, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

My son William and I travelled to Algonquin Park yesterday. Aside from the feeders (or places where people regularly give handouts) birding was pretty quiet.

Here is a list of what we saw:
Evening Grosbeak - 40 to 50 at the Visitor Centre feeders, as well as a few others scattered elsewhere.
Pine Grosbeak - 1 heard along Opeongo Road; another heard along Arowhon Road. None seen unfortunately.
Blue Jay - Quite a few at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road (at closed gate)
Gray Jay - Several seen at the suet feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
Common Redpoll - Mixed flock seen along Hwy 60 near west boundary of Park. Another flock of 5 seen along Arowhon Road.
Pine Siskin - Mixed flock seen along Hwy 60 near west boundary of Park.
Purple Finch - Mixed flock seen along Hwy 60 near west boundary of Park.
Hairy Woodpecker - Two at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
Pileated Woodpecker - One along Arowhon Road, a few hundred metres in from Hwy 60.
Golden-crowned Kinglet - Two along Arowhon Road, a few hundred metres in from Hwy 60.
Black-capped Chickadee - Mostly near feeders; a few scattered around elsewhere
Red-breasted Nuthatch - Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
Common Raven - Here and there throughout

We DIDN'T see or hear any of the following species:
Spruce Grouse
Ruffed Grouse (but one was at the Visitor Centre feeders)
Black-backed Woodpecker
Boreal Chickadee
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill

Mammals
We saw a River Otter along Opeongo Road, a Moose along Hwy. 60, and several Red Squirrels. Others saw a Pine Marten at the garbage cans at Mew Lake campground.

Good birding,
Karl Konze
Guelph, Ontario

PS. Thanks to Ron, Angie and Ken for helpful suggestions on where to look.

 

 

Common Hoary Redpolls may merge to one species
Posted on January 18, 2016 at 12:27:18 PM by DBurton

http://www.gizard.org/nacc/proposals/PDF/2016-A.pdf

 

 

Bald Eagle downtown Huntsville
Posted on January 17, 2016 at 10:58:09 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Stephen Derraugh on ONTBIRDS (January 17, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Spotted being mobbed by Crows just up from the Muskoka River / Summit Centre in downtown Huntsville.  Fully mature female. Neighbours have chickens so perhaps that was the
venture away from the rivers intent. 
Good birding,
Stephen Derraugh

 

 

Re(1): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on January 16, 2016 at 12:58:29 PM by Goodyear

Now in our yard! Made a pass at a flock of Evening Grosbeaks at our platform feeders, but the Cooper's was unsuccessful . Perched in a nearby tree.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on January 16, 2016 at 11:03:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

A few minutes ago a Cooper's Hawk chased after a Mourning Dove as it flew out of our yard heading west towards Rockwell Ave. I guess that's why the birdfeeders haven't seen much action even with all the snow overnight. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 to 14 January
Posted on January 15, 2016 at 02:19:29 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 15, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Rain on the weekend, followed by snow plus colder temperatures, were
features this week that contributed to fewer bird reports. However, the
dramatic winter scenery and some colourful finches were an attraction for
those who did come to enjoy the Park.

Surprisingly, Boreal Chickadees are not regularly visiting the suet feeder
near the register box at Spruce Bog Boardwalk yet. They have usually been
attracted to it during the last four winters, and may still show up this
year. Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Gray Jays are
coming to the feeder, and readily take food from the hands of visitors.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse
Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker
One was observed along Opeongo Road on the 7th, and another was near the
start of Big Pines Trail on the 8th.

Gray Jay
They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce
section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee
One was heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th, and a single bird was
observed along Opeongo Road on the 8th.


WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak
Four in a Balsam Fir were photographed along Opeongo Road on the 8th.

Purple Finch
Seven were reported on Opeongo Road on the 8th. This species is probably
still fairly widespread in moderate numbers.

Red Crossbill
Two were seen along Opeongo Road on the 7th.
.
White-winged Crossbill
Two were observed on Opeongo Road on the 8th.

Common Redpoll
No reports were received, but moderate numbers are undoubtedly still
present.

Pine Siskin
Probably still the most numerous winter finch, but the only reports were 32
birds on Opeongo Road and three at the Visitor Centre, on the 8th.

American Goldfinch
Three were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th. The availability of Balsam
Fir seeds is likely sustaining the small numbers here this winter.

Evening Grosbeak
Between 50 and 90 individuals were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders
this week, allowing spectacular views. Sunflower seed provided on the ground
across Highway 60 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk was also attracting some of the
birds from this flock.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 31 December to 7 January
Posted on January 8, 2016 at 02:40:59 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 8, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Lake of Two Rivers became completely ice-covered in the hours before
dawn on January 4th, setting a new latest date for that event in records
going back to 1972. Smoke Lake, the last open lake along Highway 60,
became completely frozen on January 5th.

The bumper crop of Balsam Fir cones produced large numbers of seeds lodged
in the branches following the normal disintegration of the cones in the
fall. In the absence of most other cone crops, many seed-eating birds are
feeding on the Balsam seeds here. This was reflected in the record high
tally of Black-capped Chickadees (2,135) and large numbers of
Red-breasted Nuthatches (947) on the count.

Four Wild Turkeys near Smoke Lake on the 4th were the first reported in the
Park since November 2nd.

The early winter status of birds in Algonquin becomes clearer by looking at
the results of the annual Christmas Bird Count, which 110 participants
undertook on January 2nd. Numbers in brackets following the finch species
names below are the total number of individuals observed on the count.


WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak (20)
Numbers remain low. Most Pine Grosbeaks must be still in the north. Listen
for calling birds flying over.

Purple Finch (180)
Small numbers are present. Purple Finches were reported feeding on
Balsam Fir seeds and maple buds.

Red Crossbill (22)
A few are being observed, often as individuals calling in flight.

White-winged Crossbill (21)
Similarly, this crossbill is here but in very low numbers. A few crossbills
have been seen seeking sand and salt on the highway, including three
White-winged Crossbills near the East Gate on the 7th.

Common Redpoll (436)
Moderate numbers are being seen along the highway and Opeongo Road.
This finch is also feeding on Balsam Fir seeds.

Pine Siskin (1,205)
This is the most numerous finch, with some big flocks of 200 birds or more.
They have been noted feeding on yellow birch and white birch seed, and often
on Balsam Fir seeds. Watch for siskin flocks on the highway.

American Goldfinch (37)
There are relatively few goldfinches. Most left in the fall.

Evening Grosbeak (129)
Most of these grosbeaks tallied on the count were at the Visitor Centre
feeders. On January 3, numbers at the Visitor Centre skyrocketed to about
175 birds, and there were 75 to 100 present there (especially in the
morning) for the rest of this week. It is reminiscent of the 1970s when
spruce budworm-fueled breeding success resulted in huge numbers of Evening
Grosbeaks at southern Ontario feeders.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was located south of the highway opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on the count.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Thirteen were found on the count, including birds
at Beaver Pond Trail, Jake Lake, and along the portage to Blackfox Lake
which starts at the Trailer Sanitation Station.

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: Only nine were found on the count. Try Wolf Howl Pond,
Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the closed gate. Check the
suet feeder neat the Spruce Bog Boardwalk register box.

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(2): Insect ID?
Posted on January 20, 2016 at 10:20:59 AM by dinnymccraney

Thank you so much! I always know who to go to for an answer

 

 

Re(1): Insect ID?
Posted on January 8, 2016 at 02:15:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Your bug looks like a Western Conifer Seed Bug. I've often found some around our house in the fall when they are looking for a nice spot to overwinter. Considered harmless to humans. See my November 1 post for a photo comparison.

references:
http://www.guelphlabservices.com/files/PDC/070WesternConiferSeedBug.pdf
http://bugguide.net/node/view/3393

 

 

Insect ID?
Posted on January 8, 2016 at 02:13:08 PM by DinnyMcCraney

I keep finding these bugs in the house and have no idea what they are or where they are coming from. They are in rooms on the north side of the house where vent from the bathrooms exhaust and there are some old fir trees on that side as well.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Winter Finches
Posted on February 18, 2016 at 07:56:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

Most of the Siskins seem to have moved on in the past week, with only a few scattered along the trail. On Feb. 16 there were two by the east feeder. One came to my hand for sunflower seeds and even defended its new feeding station from the chickadees. That was a first!

 

 

Re(1): Winter Finches
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 08:09:08 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there were many Chickadees and Nuthatches in a handfeeding frenzy east of the dip by the beaver dam. All the action brought in the Siskins...eventually one got up the courage to hover just above my hand but was too afraid to land and take a seed. Several Siskins were drinking and bathing in bit of open water in creek south of the trail.

(The trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds was still in pretty good condition after the rain and refreeze - no flooding and no icy spots.)
 

 

Winter Finches
Posted on January 8, 2016 at 01:13:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

There continues to be a large number of "Winter Finches" moving around the forest between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. This morning there was a nice mixed flock of Siskins, Redpolls, Goldfinches, and Purple Finches along the trail near the beaver dam.

 

Re(2): Gray Jay and White-crowned Sparrow
Posted on January 8, 2016 at 01:58:23 PM by janice house

I went for a cruise at lunch, no jay but an adult bald eagle was circling over Covered Bridge Trail

 

 

Re(1): Gray Jay and White-crowned Sparrow
Posted on January 7, 2016 at 08:19:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Gray Jay is also visiting a suet feeder in a birch tree by the corner of Tamarack Trail and Pinecone Dr. (I received the update today. This is the same spot where I reported seeing it on Dec. 5.)

 

 

Gray Jay and White-crowned Sparrow
Posted on January 6, 2016 at 08:44:53 PM by Goodyear

The Gray Jay first reported in November was seen again this morning. It very briefly visited a feeder in the Covered Bridge subdivision (near the corner of Lankin and Covered Bridge Trail). The same feeder has also been visited by an adult White-crowned Sparrow three or four times over the last week or so. We received a photo today confirming its identity. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Sparrow ID?
Posted on January 6, 2016 at 09:27:12 PM by PatWelch

We have been seeing this sparrow at our feeder since mid November. We live southwest of Huntsville.

 

 

Re(2): Sparrow ID?
Posted on January 6, 2016 at 04:26:24 PM by Alex Mills

Tina, you've had two winter rarities in one week! First a Catbird, now a White-crowned Sparrow. Are they coming to your feeder, or are you just a sharp birder who lives in a particularly bird-friendly spot?

 

 

Re(1): Sparrow ID?
Posted on January 6, 2016 at 04:17:36 PM by Al Sinclair

White-crowned - pink bill, rusty head stripes.
Interesting photo.

 

 

Sparrow ID?
Posted on January 5, 2016 at 10:27:18 PM by TinaJacobson

Has been here since big winds early December. Parry Sound.

White-throated or White-crowned?  photo

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkeys
Posted on January 7, 2016 at 08:04:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

Only one Wild Turkey on the trail this morning, but still lots of Pine Siskins and Purple Finches hanging around.

Today's count:
1 Wild Turkey
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Common Raven
40 Black-capped Chickadee
8 Red-breasted Nuthatch
6 White-breasted Nuthatch
20 Purple Finch
50 Pine Siskin
2 American Goldfinch

 

 

Wild Turkeys
Posted on January 5, 2016 at 02:39:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were five Wild Turkeys walking along the trail just east of Henry Marsh. There was also a nice mixed flock of Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, and Purple Finches. (Bracebridge)

 

 

42nd Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count: 2 January
Posted on January 3, 2016 at 09:50:11 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 3, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Conditions were good for observing, despite a little very light freezing
drizzle around dawn and infrequent very light drizzle and light wind gusts
during the day. Temperatures ranged from minus 4 to 0 degrees C. The
Madawaska River was completely open and Lake of Two Rivers was nearly
all open (for the first time on a count), but no waterfowl were observed. A
maximum of about 25 cm of snow on the ground made walking fairly easy.

Total Observers: 110 (beating the previous high of 87)
Total Species: 31 (average is 27)
Total Individuals: 6,258 (average is 4,581)

New Species for the Count: none

Noteworthy Species:
-Red-tailed Hawk: 1 (8th time on count)
-Golden Eagle: 1 (7th time on count)
-Belted Kingfisher: 1 (3rd time on count)

Noteworthy Total Individuals:
-Black-capped Chickadee: 2,135 (previous high was 2,108)
-Red-breasted Nuthatch: 947 (highest is 1,384)

Finches:
-Pine Grosbeak: 20
-Purple Finch: 180
-Red Crossbill: 22
-White-winged Crossbill: 21
-Common Redpoll: 436
-Pine Siskin: 1,205
-American Goldfinch: 37
-Evening Grosbeak: 129

Complete count results are posted at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/christmas_bird_count_results_2015.php

Thanks to all the participants and those who helped organize and undertake
the count this year.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, ON

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 3, 2016 at 01:39:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there were a few Purple Finches and Pine Siskins by the dip in the trail east of Henry Marsh. As I was scanning the treetops looking for more finches, a very large bird soared into view...an adult Bald Eagle! It circled fairly low over the forest south of the dip for some time before descending out of sight. (Bracebridge)

The trail is in excellent condition (no snowshoes needed) from the parking area at Henry Rd. all the way over to the pipeline adjacent to the Bracebridge Ponds. Lots of friendly Chickadees and Nuthatches along the way - take some black oil sunflower seeds and unsalted peanuts for them if you go.

There were about a dozen Mallards on the Muskoka River by Annie Williams Park.

 

 

Re(4): Finches
Posted on January 7, 2016 at 11:02:03 AM by ksmith

I had a female Purple Finch and a Solitary Gold Finch at my feeder this past weekend. I have never had them at my feeder before in January.
Hood Road, Port Sydney

 

 

Re(3): Finches
Posted on January 6, 2016 at 04:10:57 PM by Al Sinclair

Today we had 18 Purple Finches at the feeders, highest number this year.

 

 

Re(2): Finches
Posted on January 5, 2016 at 08:08:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Beautiful photo Ted. Had two female Purple Finches at our feeder this afternoon. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Finches
Posted on January 3, 2016 at 09:01:20 AM by tedthevideoman

Mixed flock of Finches in the feeders this morning about 20 Golds and Purples.  photo

 

 

Great photo and also very unusual
Posted on January 3, 2016 at 08:21:30 AM by Alex Mills

It looks healthy, so I hope it makes it.

 

 

Re(1): Gray Catbird - Parry Sound
Posted on January 2, 2016 at 12:21:36 PM by michaelhatton

Fantastic photo.

 

 

Gray Catbird - Parry Sound
Posted on January 1, 2016 at 08:21:18 PM by TinaJacobson

I have never seen a catbird in the winter, he's been here for 3-4 days. He is eating winter berries I had hanging in feeding area, and seems to like suet.  Parry Sound.  photo

 

 

Flying Squirrel
Posted on January 1, 2016 at 06:30:43 PM by Peter Mills

I enjoyed watching a Flying Squirrel on New Year's Eve. It seemed essentially undisturbed by my flashlight as it busied itself on Basswood trunks near our kitchen window.

I think it was pilfering sunflower seeds that our resident White-breasted Nuthatches so often hammer into the bark crevices to store for later.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 24 to 31 December
Posted on January 1, 2016 at 09:27:22 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (December 31, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Algonquin has at least 15 cm of snow on the ground now. Small lakes and
ponds are ice-covered. However, the larger lakes are still wide open, with
ice forming only along the shorelines and in shallow bays. Records of the
date of the first total ice cover on Lake of Two Rivers back to 1972 show
the previous latest date was December 27 (in 2001 and 2006). The new
record will likely be several days into January. Despite this unprecedented
presence of extensive open water, there were no reports of water birds this
week.

The Visitor Centre is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from December 27 to January
3 (inclusive). The seed and suet feeders are operational at the Visitor
Centre.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One was calling in flight at West Rose Lake on the 26th, and
there were five at Sims Pit on the Arowhon Road today.

Purple Finch: A few were noted this week at the Visitor Centre, Pinetree
Lake Portage and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Common Redpoll: Sightings in low numbers were regular throughout the
Highway 60 Corridor. Some flocks contained Pine Siskins as well.

HOARY REDPOLL: One was seen in a large flock of Common Redpolls on
Arowhon Road on the 26th.

Pine Siskin: Small flocks were observed throughout the Highway 60 Corridor
this week.

Evening Grosbeak: Flocks of up to 34 birds were seen daily this week at the
Visitor Centre feeders.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Two were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the
24th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On the 26th, one was near Wolf Howl Pond, another
was on Arowhon Road south of the rail bed, and two were at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk.

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: Two were seen and heard near Wolf Howl Pond and two were
at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on the 26th.

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

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.
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS including how to unsubscribe visit http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdssetup
Posting guidelines can be found at http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdsguide

 

 

Lingering birds in Bracebridge
Posted on January 1, 2016 at 09:05:14 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday we saw a Song Sparrow at Henry Marsh. It was seeking cover in clumps of dead grass. A Robin was at our mini crab apple tree first thing this morning, but with fewer apples left it will have to move on soon. The Gray Jay was seen again on Tuesday visiting a feeder near the intersection of Lankin and Covered Bridge Trail.