Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2016
 
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Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Posted on June 30, 2016 at 03:46:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several Dragonflies around cell 4 including this co-operative Twelve-spotted Skimmer.  photo  There was also a Monarch Butterfly...only the 3rd one I've seen this year! The young Belted Kingfishers have not fledged yet, but two of them were very close to the nesthole, peeking out at the world.    A Killdeer was still incubating four eggs. 

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Phoebe Renestings
Posted on July 8, 2016 at 09:03:35 AM by George Bryant

On July 5, the nest held five eggs, on July 6 the nest was on the ground with eggs gone. As the nest was over the garage door and quite protected, I suspect it simply collapsed from age and use. Raccoons would get the eggs on the ground.

 

 

Eastern Phoebe Renestings
Posted on June 27, 2016 at 01:54:10 PM by George Bryant

Last year a pair of Phoebes nested over our garage door.The young fledged in early June and before I knew it, the adults were laying eggs in the same nest and successfully fledged a second brood. Access to all my gardening tools was limited for two months! This year again in the same nest, again fledged two weeks' ago and today five eggs in the same nest. Four broods from one nest--I guess parasite accumulations are not that significant. Interestingly, when you approach the nest, the brooding adult falls vertically to within one foot from the ground, makes a right turn and flies away just above the ground. If you're not watching, you would never see the bird.

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper chicks
Posted on June 27, 2016 at 12:11:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three recently fledged Spotted Sandpiper chicks with their parents at the Bracebridge Ponds. One of the adults pretended it couldn't fly and tried to distract me by scooting along the roadway flat on its belly with wings flapping. The display was similar to a Killdeer's broken wing trick, yet distinctively different.

The pair of Herring Gulls that frequent the area (seem to have a nest atop Leons) are getting more interested in anyone walking around the sewage lagoons...today one made several low passes over some workers in the treatment plant parking lot, but no serious swoops yet. Once the young gulls fledge, watch out!

 

 

Ermine / Short-tailed Weasel
Posted on June 27, 2016 at 11:58:38 AM by George Bryant

This morning I observed an Ermine skittering across Hwy. 169 out of West Gravenhurst. It was 1/2 size of a Mink, head and tail both held up in the air and back leg gait seemingly unrelated to front. In the past ten years here, I have seen 10+ Mink, three Fisher, two Otter but this is the first Ermine, although I did find a dead one (identified by skull) in the garage ~20 years' ago. More dramatic is one in white winter pelage, which I have seen once.

 

 

young bear visitor
Posted on June 26, 2016 at 09:11:31 PM by dinnymccraney

Around noon I looked out to see a young bear in the garden..adjacent to the South Muskoka Golf course. I managed a photo before the dogs realized it was there and scared it off with their barking. Several neighbours saw it throughout the day  photo

 

 

Chickadees fledged
Posted on June 26, 2016 at 09:05:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today the Black-capped Chickadees fledged from their nest in our yard. (Bracebridge)
I didn't think they had chosen a very safe spot since the nesthole was only 28 inches off the ground, but I guess they knew better...photo

 

 

Re(1): Belted Kingfishers
Posted on June 29, 2016 at 08:23:22 PM by janice house

I stopped by Monday after 5pm, I could see something blue moving further back into the nest.

 

 

Re(1): Belted Kingfishers
Posted on June 26, 2016 at 07:25:19 PM by DinnyNimmo

I learned something there ! I didn't know belted kingfishers nested in burrows and that they were monogamous. Thanks Barb. Dinny

 

 

Belted Kingfishers
Posted on June 26, 2016 at 12:46:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I noticed the earth around the Kingfisher nesthole had been freshly dug and moved around, so I was worried something had predated the nest. I tried to see into the hole from a distance with my binoculars, and could see two feathery lumps back in the shadows in the nest tunnel. Then two eyes blinked at me. Hurrah, they are ok. Perhaps the young birds are coming out of the nest a short distance to get first dibs on the food now, and that is why the earth looked disturbed.
entrance hole to Kingfisher nest:  photo

reference: http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Megaceryle_alcyon/

 

 

Photo from the Bala Butterfly Count yesterday
Posted on June 26, 2016 at 12:35:52 PM by Al Sinclair

Butterfly numbers were below average, no Monarchs. More results later.  Great Spangled Fritillary photo

 

 

Re(1): Possible Golden Eagle
Posted on July 5, 2016 at 06:40:12 PM by patti

We've seen a pair of Golden Eagles soaring around on Long Bay, Skeleton Lake last week July 3rd/16, one came down quite close while we were in paddle boat with little shih tzu needless to say I held on to the little dog the rest of the way as they soared up above but not out of sight

 

 

Possible Golden Eagle
Posted on June 25, 2016 at 12:06:41 PM by J. Gardner

Returning from Parry Sound, evening of June 22, near Raymond, a large bird flew up from the edge of the road, across in front of windshield, and into trees on the other side. The markings unlike anything I had seen before. Golden Eagle possible... googled and saw almost exactly the same markings on the topside of a juvenile Golden Eagle. Never saw a Golden from that aspect before. Between Google and Sibleys very sure it was a juvenile Golden. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(2): Bluebirds & Tree Swallows
Posted on June 25, 2016 at 08:41:45 PM by janice house

Our (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst) tree swallows fledged today, last time I check the box there were 6 eggs. I was out on the back deck at 8pm and saw 2 swallows fly into the top of a white pine, I assume a parent and baby. No chatter from the box, cleaned out and no unhatched eggs. Yipee......

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds & Tree Swallows
Posted on June 25, 2016 at 06:30:57 PM by janice house

Forgot, an eastern kingbird was also in one of the pastures.

 

 

Bluebirds & Tree Swallows
Posted on June 25, 2016 at 11:51:07 AM by janice house

After Stephanie and I finished at the Rotary Gardens we went out to Rocksborough Rd looking for the mourning warbler. We heard it and a blackburnian warbler was calling from the tree above the log church. We also checked my bluebird boxes across from the driveway into the Bracebridge Fairgrounds, there are at least 3 baby bluebirds in one box and a tree swallow has the box next door. A meadowlark was calling too.

 

 

River and Ebony Jewelwings
Posted on June 25, 2016 at 07:55:40 AM by Alex Mills

Seen in numbers on June 24.  photo

 

 

Killdeer chicks
Posted on June 23, 2016 at 09:50:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were four very young Killdeer chicks with their parents at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons. Some Killdeer are still incubating a second set of eggs after their first attempt failed.

A pair of Belted Kingfishers have been busy taking food to their nest - hopefully their offspring will fledge in the next few days. Some recently fledged Tree Swallows were being fed by their parents in mid-air.  A Black-billed Cuckoo was calling from a high perch in a maple tree north of cell 4 - usually I've seen them much lower down in the alders. There were seven Turkey Vultures circling together by cell 4. A Broad-winged Hawk flew over to them and tried to drive them away by swooping at them over and over...eventually they got the message and soared off to the west. There were some Cedar Waxwings feeding on the Red Elderberries at the east end of cell 3 and by the Lagoon Lane deadend.
 

 

 

Yellow Iris
Posted on June 23, 2016 at 09:22:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found this large clump of Yellow Iris in a wet area along the Covered Bridge trail yesterday. Today I noticed there is a large patch of this plant in bloom at the Kerr Park pond and also some west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons.   photo  It is not native and is considered invasive. Apparently over time it can form dense stands and can cause wetlands to become a drier environment. (reference: http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-aquatic/yellow-iris

 

 

Re(1): Jewelwings
Posted on June 22, 2016 at 10:34:48 PM by michaelhatton

Wow. Great photos.

 

 

Jewelwings
Posted on June 22, 2016 at 09:58:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I came across both species of Jewelwings that can be found in our area. There were four male River Jewelwings and a female by the long footbridge on the Covered Bridge hiking trail. At the edge of a wooded section of trail I found an Ebony Jewelwing. (Bracebridge)
River Jewelwing (male)  photo1

another male, which displaced the first as they performed their courtship displays for the female photo2

Ebony Jewelwing (female - note the white stigma at the wingtips)  photo3

 

 

Re(1): Prairie Warbler
Posted on June 22, 2016 at 11:02:47 AM by Al Sinclair

Tim
Great sighting. We rarely get prairie warbler reports that far from Georgian Bay. Could you keep us posted on how long it stays?

 

 

Prairie Warbler
Posted on June 20, 2016 at 08:47:43 PM by tank6163

Having birded Bracebridge, mostly St. Elmo, for over 60 years its a special occasion when I get a new bird. Yesterday I was down on our dock when I heard this bird sing. I said to myself that's a Prairie Warbler. He kept singing but I couldn't see him. He stopped singing and I said to myself maybe he's an odd Parula. Next morning at 6:15 or so he's singing again just outside my 2nd story bedroom window. A little pishing and he's trying to join me in my bedroom. Didn't see the red stripes on his back but all other field marks seem well. Tim

 

 

Northern Mockingbird
Posted on June 19, 2016 at 03:29:57 PM by tedthevideoman

Just now there is a Northern Mocking bird singing up a storm, high up in a spruce tree at 38 Brian Rd BB

 

 

Dryad's Saddle
Posted on June 18, 2016 at 09:09:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today I found this lovely bracket fungi growing on a dead elm tree. It is commonly referred to as Dryad's Saddle. (Bracebridge)
Polyporus squamosus:  photo1  photo2

reference: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/polyporus_squamosus.html

 

 

Re(1): A Piping Plover family.
Posted on June 18, 2016 at 09:25:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

According to Glenn Coady's June 16 post on Ontbirds: "This represents the first Piping Plover chick born on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario since 1934 !! "

Glenn Coady's earlier Ontbirds post with background on the adult birds:
http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=1133244&MLID=ON&MLNM=Ontario

 

 

A Piping Plover family.
Posted on June 18, 2016 at 07:57:08 PM by michaelhatton

Happening now, on the shore of Lake Ontario at Darlington Provincial Park, the earlier and often reported pair of Piping Plovers now have four juvenile birds up and running. Darlington is less than two hours from Bracebridge and the birds are easily seen well with binoculars and extraordinary well with a scope.  photo

 

 

Mourning Warbler Rocksborough Road
Posted on June 18, 2016 at 10:59:42 AM by George Bryant

After spending hours over the past many mornings listening to thousands of warblers throughout Muskoka, thanks to John Challis for the tip, I finally heard and saw a Mourning Warbler right at the intersection of Rocksborough and Fraserburg Roads. Two kms. down Rocksborough, one discovers hayfields surrounded by forest--right out of the 19th century; 3 Bobolinks, 1 Bluebird, 2 Savannah Sparrows, 4 Barn Swallows, 4 female-type Purple Finches picking up gravel off the road + one vocal male Peacock.

 

 

Scarlet Tanager
Posted on June 17, 2016 at 09:44:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I finally saw the male Scarlet Tanager that has been teasing me with his song almost every day I'm there, but always remaining hidden in the woods by cell 4. Today he actually perched out in the open for several minutes and I managed to grab a quick photo before he disappeared again.  photo

There were several Snapping Turtles busy digging their nests along the gravel roadways and already several nests have been predated with eggshells strewn about.
Here are some of the birding highlights from early this morning:

1 Gadwall
2 American Wigeon
1 Lesser Scaup (continuing male in cell 2)

2 Green Heron
1 Wilson's Snipe
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Northern Flicker
2 Alder Flycatcher
2 Warbling Vireo
2 Veery
2 Brown Thrasher
7 Cedar Waxwing
3 Common Yellowthroat
4 American Redstart
4 Yellow Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager
2 Indigo Bunting
2 Baltimore Oriole

 

(note: They are now moving water from cell 4 into cell 3 with an industrial strength pump which is very noisy - it may be a 24 hr. operation since it was running when I arrived.)
Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top, west at left):  map

 

 

Fledglings starting to appear at the sewage treatment plant
Posted on June 16, 2016 at 02:46:37 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Milk Snake - photos
Posted on June 16, 2016 at 05:17:23 PM by Doug Smith

Wow! What a beautiful snake, and such a good sized one, as well. Great sighting!

 

 

Eastern Milk Snake - photos
Posted on June 16, 2016 at 12:16:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning as I was leaving the Bracebridge Ponds, this large snake was crossing the road near the Lagoon Lane gate. I believe it is an Eastern Milk Snake - please correct me if I'm wrong. It is always difficult to judge the length of a snake, but this one appeared to be about 39 inches once it straightened out as it moved off the road.  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(1): Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on June 16, 2016 at 12:35:14 PM by Leslie

Nice shot, Linda!

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird
Posted on June 15, 2016 at 05:32:37 PM by LindaActonRiddle

I caught this male on-the-wing at Henry Marsh today. He was excited and likely guarding the nest as he flew around with open beak and epaulets ablaze!  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Dragonfly and Damselfly Count
Posted on June 15, 2016 at 09:22:32 AM by Peter Mills

Hello Fellow Dragon and Damsel Hunters,

This year's Algonquin Park Odonate Count is taking place on Thursday June 30th, the day following the Butterfly Count.

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

On the morning of the 30th, we will meet in the Visitor Centre board room. Though normally off-limits to the public and for employees only, you will find that the Service Entrance (adjacent to the Main Public Entrance, up a small driveway) will be open, and there will be signage to direct you downstairs to the meeting place. We will meet here at 8:45 AM. After a quick briefing, some final groupings, and time to answer any questions you may have, we will split up and head into our assigned areas, returning to the Visitor Centre board room for 5:00 PM. A free meal with meat/vegetarian options will be provided by Algonquin Park for all participants at this time. Afterwards, we will compile our findings in the theatre. It is at this point that any noteworthy, new-to-the-count, or difficult-to-identify species are likely to be present in envelopes for all to see and deliberate over. Otherwise, all dragons and damsels caught over the day will be released, alive, where they were captured after being identified.

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Mills
Park Naturalist

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker collecting eggshells
Posted on June 14, 2016 at 06:56:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

A male Pileated Woodpecker has been a regular visitor to our yard in the past week. He has been collecting small pieces of eggshells from our finished compost pile and then he flies off to the west with a beak full. A female Pileated would come for some eggshells in the early spring, but this is the first time we've seen the male interested. There must be young Pileateds in need of a calcium supplement.

Last summer a family of Crows often strolled through our gardens eating bits of eggshell strewn about from my springtime top-dressing. Blue Jays have also been seen eating the eggshells.

 

 

Least Bittern
Posted on June 12, 2016 at 10:11:04 PM by Leslie

I flushed a least bittern from the marsh to the right of Cell 4 at the Lagoons today. It perched on a dead tree long enough for a good look.

 

 

Re(2): Snapping Turtle incubation ...
Posted on June 17, 2016 at 03:13:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yes, from last year. There were a couple wee Painted Turtles around earlier too, also from last year's nesting.

 

 

Re(1): Snapping Turtle incubation ...
Posted on June 16, 2016 at 12:33:38 PM by Leslie

Query re incubation: if snapping turtles usually lay their eggs in June, three months incubation would result in baby turtles being around in September. So far I've already seen one, about an inch in diameter. Would that have been one of last year's offspring?

 

 

Snapping Turtle incubation ...
Posted on June 13, 2016 at 04:14:11 PM by Alex Mills

... here is about three months.

 

 

Ms. Snapper
Posted on June 12, 2016 at 10:14:28 AM by Leslie

A snapping turtle chose a wonderful garden along the Trans Canada Trail behing Anglo Street, Bracebridge, to lay her eggs yesterday. Fortunately for her, the homeowner protected the nest with a wire grate held down by rocks. She made some inquiries and found that the eggs will hatch in approximately 4 weeks, so she'll remove the wire cover in about 3.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Photo of Wilson's Phalarope
Posted on June 12, 2016 at 08:00:11 PM by DBurton

Not there today at 6pm.

 

 

Photo of Wilson's Phalarope
Posted on June 11, 2016 at 09:15:04 PM by Goodyear

A female in stunning breeding plumage.  photo

 

 

Wilson's Phalarope - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on June 11, 2016 at 05:00:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Regan and David Goodyear report at 4:55 p.m. there is a Wilson's Phalarope in cell 3 at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

Canada Goose Moult Migrants
Posted on June 11, 2016 at 09:59:11 AM by George Bryant

Last night at 8 p.m, 200 Canada Goose flew right overhead north from Lake Ontario to James Bay coast--in several skiens forming a ragged W. They honked incessantly but I could also hear the whish of their wings. This morning at 7 a.m., another 60 followed a few minutes later by 90. A week ago two other flocks flew over, one I heard only at 2 a.m. Moult migrants are failed nesters, unmated and subadult birds, flying north in June for their flightless moult period. They must be following an avian highway as these flocks cannot be equally abundant elsewhere?

 

 

Re(1): Western Kingbird
Posted on June 10, 2016 at 11:57:49 AM by DBurton

I don't believe there have been any reports of Western Kingbird in Ontario this year, but they do come here. The closest resembling bird would be Great Crested Flycatcher, which are common here in Muskoka. Can you photograph it?

 

 

Western Kingbird
Posted on June 10, 2016 at 11:07:17 AM by Malachi51

I saw a bird I had never seen before perched high up in a tree near my home in Vankoughnet. With the help of my binoculars I took a closer look and I am almost positive it was a Western Kingbird. Anyone aware of other sightings in Eastern Ontario?

 

 

Re(1): Osprey
Posted on June 10, 2016 at 05:55:39 PM by ksmith

There is one at Penfold Lake just south of Huntsville

 

 

Osprey
Posted on June 9, 2016 at 04:35:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

An Osprey was flying around the Bracebridge Ponds today and eventually flew off to the west. Has anyone seen an active Osprey nest in the area this year?
There were several Common Baskettail dragonflies (photo) by cell 4 and I saw my first American Lady butterfly of the season.

 

 

Cardinal fledgling
Posted on June 8, 2016 at 07:43:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the resident male Northern Cardinal was feeding a fledgling in our back yard. He was finding some small green caterpillars in a Red Elderberry bush and also took a few of the peanut bits I put out on the platform feeder. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Cuckoos and Chimney Swifts
Posted on June 8, 2016 at 02:45:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

I went looking for Leslie's Mockingbird around noon, but couldn't find it at Kerr Park or around the Bracebridge Ponds. Instead I found two Black-billed Cuckoos at the north side of cell 4 (no bear this time). The strong north wind and showers at times caused many Swallows and four Chimney Swifts to gather together by cell 4 where they flew low over the water hawking insects. There were about 170 Swallows, mostly Bank and Tree, but also several Barn, a few Northern Rough-winged, and at least one Cliff Swallow.

They have recently cut back the weedy grass edges of all the roadways around the Lagoons. A Spotted Sandpiper and a Killdeer did not look pleased...hope their nests weren't destroyed. At least the cut was early this year, before most Monarch Butterflies arrive and lay eggs on the milkweed.

Black-billed Cuckoo calling while it played hide-and-seek with my camera:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Mockingbird
Posted on June 8, 2016 at 09:37:22 AM by Leslie

I watched a mockingbird at Kerr Park this morning. He was doing some kind of display where he would partially lift his wings every 8 steps or so. The thrashers and robins nearby weren't impressed.

 

 

Worth the drive from Muskoka to Grayling
Posted on June 7, 2016 at 11:54:43 AM by michaelhatton

Only eight hours from Bracebridge and a very easy find in the Grayling (central Michigan) area, these birds are seemingly undisturbed by the presence of birders. In 90 minutes, heard almost 20 and saw half a dozen. Overcast and rainy conditions didn't dampen the excitement.  Kirtland's Warbler photo

 

 

Re(1): skipper of some kind
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 07:44:07 PM by Al Sinclair

This is a male hobomok skipper. One of the most common and earliest skippers found in Muskoka (and Simcoe too). What I look for on orange skippers are the pattern of the yellow patches (if present) on the hind wing underside. In hobomok one of the middle ones is larger and sticks out past all the others. The dash near the tip of the hind wing makes it a male.

 

 

skipper of some kind
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 06:15:50 PM by John Challis

This rather worn-out looking fellow was dipping into the nectar on a dwarf lilac in our back yard (which smells a bit like mothballs, so don't get one for the perfume). Can someone help me identifying it? There are a great many skippers on this continent -- I think it's one of them. Two views:  photo1  photo2  apologies for the monstrous size. I forgot to adjust before loading them.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Bear
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 05:13:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon around 2 p.m. there was a Black Bear at the edge of the woods north of cell 4. It had not detected my presence until I was right across the ditch from it as I was downwind and walking quietly. I had not seen it partially hidden in the shadowy undergrowth until the loud snap of a twig caught my attention. It ran off into the woods as soon as it turned and saw me. The Black-billed Cuckoo starting calling nearby, but I decided to keep moving along...

There were several ducks lounging on the beach at the south end of cell 2, including a Gadwall and an American Wigeon. There was a Semipalmated Plover and a Semipalmated Sandpiper there too. The male Lesser Scaup continues to hang around, also in cell 2. Two Green Herons were near the dumping ponds.  photo

 

 

Colombia Silkmoth--Not
Posted on June 8, 2016 at 01:36:09 PM by George Bryant

Barbara Taylor has pointed out this is actually a female Promethea Silkmoth. Having seen many Polyphemus, not so many Promethea, I was blindsided by the tiny size of this critter, not realizing that Promethea and Colombia have the same measurements and are appreciably smaller than Polyphemus. Back to the tamarack mercury lights

 

 

Re(1): Colombia Silkmoth - photos
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 05:57:13 PM by Al Sinclair

Photos by George Bryant:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Colombia Silkmoth
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 02:49:11 PM by George Bryant

June is the month for the Giant Silkmoths. For the past ten years I've monitored an ultra-violet moth light on our white siding. Some years I've seen dozens of Imperial Moths, up to five Luna moths one night, up to 20 Io's one night, many Polyphemus, a few Cecropia and a couple of Prometheus. My big miss was always Colombia Silkmoth until Saturday night when one appeared. They look just like a miniature Cecropia so people may misidentify them. They feed on Tamarack so this is as far south as they occur--I had even been planning to drive up to Novar to find one--one more off my bucket list.

 

 

Trumpeter swans Parry Sound
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 10:37:37 AM by Stan Fairchild

There is a pair of Trumpeter swans that have been hanging around Lake Manitouwabing since early spring last night they stayed on my dock no sign of tags or a nest

 

 

Re(2): Spider - ID?
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 08:54:00 PM by John Challis

Great. The one spider Gayle's not terrified of, and they have a bite like a wasp's sting. I will withhold this information from her...

 

 

Re(2): Spider - ID? PHOTO
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 10:12:27 AM by Al Sinclair

This is a photo of one of our Niagara jumpers. Note the fangs and iridescent jaws. Spots are red on some individuals.  BOLD JUMPING SPIDER photo

 

 

Re(1): Spider - ID?
Posted on June 5, 2016 at 09:18:52 PM by Al Sinclair

Bold jumping spider - Phidippus audax
They sometimes bite, pains like a wasp sting I have been told. We found a dozen or so one time on some grapes we picked in Niagara, handled them carefully, speculated they were eating aphids.

 

 

Spider - ID?
Posted on June 4, 2016 at 05:26:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This spider hitched a ride on our car window today, and it would not sit still for a photo. These are the best I could get as it scurried around. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Photos from today
Posted on June 4, 2016 at 09:51:39 PM by Goodyear

Here's one of the birds from today. When off the nest they were very actively searching for food.  photo

The birds switched duties several times, with both taking turns sitting on the nest.  photo

 

 

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers breeding at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park
Posted on June 4, 2016 at 05:21:08 PM by Goodyear

A couple weeks ago Kim Topham posted an eBird record for 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. This morning, Janice House, Regan, and I decided to travel down to see if they were still around. Within seconds of getting out of the car we heard their harsh, scolding call. While enjoying great views of one of the birds, Janice found the other sitting on a nest, about 25 feet up a Basswood tree. The tree is at the foot of the handicapped accessible parking lot facing Maple Beach. Interestingly, a pair of birds was reported from the Park, and suspected of breeding, back in May and June of 1996 at campsite 123, which is about 50 feet away from today's sighting.

 

 

Monarch Butterfly
Posted on June 4, 2016 at 01:25:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I saw my first Monarch of the season - she was flying around searching for milkweed and happened to land on a plant near me. A Silvery Blue butterfly was by cell 4, but it wouldn't co-operate for a photo. There were also several Four-spotted Skimmers at the south end of cell 4.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Birds in Raymond
Posted on June 3, 2016 at 12:44:17 PM by janice house

I spoke with Tim Mason who lives on the Luckey Rd. His bluebirds had a mocking bird attack the bird house, all h...broke loose. Red winged blackbirds, bobolinks and the bluebirds were squawking like crazy. He has a pair of barn swallows nesting, 7 pairs of tree swallows and a pair of cuckoos are back close to his home, he also said the sandhill cranes are back

 

 

Re(1): Tundra or trumpeter
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 10:15:00 PM by Al Sinclair

Most likely trumpeter this time of year. Tundras migrate though Muskoka after breakup in April. The shape of the body on the water is a good diagnostic feature at a distance. Tundra is rounder and looks like it is riding higher, trumpeter longer and lower.

 

 

Tundra or trumpeter
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 08:32:43 PM by IanP

I saw a swan in a swamp near lake of bays while driving by, that was not a mute, but I'm not sure of what kind. It didn't have a dirty looking neck, just a tiny bit around the head, the bill appeared all black and it seemed quite large. Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture or a good look. Any advice will be appreciated. I think it looked more like a tundra, but I don't know how likely that would be.

 

 

Henry Marsh Letter in Examiner
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 02:17:18 PM by Al Sinclair

Letter from Muskoka Field Naturalists President David Goodyear
Thank you to all who helped save Henry Marsh

 

 

Re(1): Boy meets girl...
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 05:26:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Two male Promethea Moths flew into our yard from out in the wild about 5 p.m. Here is the first one to find the female. (Earlier I had moved the female still hanging onto her cocoon to a fresh cut cherry tree twig and placed it in an open cage.) We have never seen any Promethea Moths in our neighbourhood, but now we know they are out there. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

It's a girl! (Promethea Moth)
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 12:30:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

Four male moths and finally the last cocoon is a female!
Here she is, still slowly pumping her wings at noon today.  photo

 

 

Burk's Falls birds
Posted on May 31, 2016 at 09:26:53 PM by DBurton

Heard Sedge Wrens and an American Bittern on Hwy 520 near Dairy Lane today. Also 2 Mourning Warblers enroute.

 

 

Virginia Rail update
Posted on May 31, 2016 at 06:38:16 AM by John Challis

The Virginia Rail seems to have set up residence in the swamp behind our house this year. It has been ticking away all night long and often in the daytime as well.
I heard a second rail in a wetland east of us on Cooper's Falls Rd last night. Bullfrogs were in full voice there as well.

 

 

Thirteen Amphibians in a Muskoka Day
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 08:14:09 PM by George Bryant

During a few strolls yesterday, my sons-in-laws, a few friends and I encountered thirteen species of frogs and salamanders. At our cottage under a tarp at the beach we found a YELLOW-SPOTTED SALAMANDER. A GREY TREE FROG called. At Torrance Barrens I know of a secret pond which abounds with clicking MINK FROGS. BULLFROGS were in chorus there, while GREEN FROGS were everywhere. At the Gibson River Reserve, we noted many LEOPARD FROGS, several AMERICAN TOADS, and for the second time, two PICKEREL FROGS. At Hardy Lake we found a BLUE-SPOTTED SALAMANDER and in a vernal pond, two FOUR-TOED SALAMANDERS and a WOOD FROG. RED-BACKED SALAMANDERS were omnipresent. SPRING PEEPERS had ceased calling in the day—we heard one that night. Missing was RED EFT, although I saw one a week ago on my septic tank.

 

 

Re(2): BOLI
Posted on June 1, 2016 at 07:02:25 PM by tedthevideoman

Bobolink

 

 

Re(1): BOLI
Posted on June 1, 2016 at 07:56:51 AM by ksmith

Sorry, I am not a birder, what is BOLI an abbreviation for?
Fantastic photo!

 

 

BOLI
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 05:55:07 PM by michaelhatton

Bobolink photo

 

 

Re(4): more Promethea Moths...mating
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 10:23:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

Promethea cocoons stay attached to the branches over the winter so unless you were doing some heavy pruning, you wouldn't have damaged any. Luna Moth cocoons are not secured to the branch so they will fall to the ground when the tree drops its leaves, but most will spin up their cocoon in the leaf litter under the tree they were feeding on. White Birch is a favourite with Luna Moth larvae and Black Cherry is commonly used by Promethea larvae.   Promethea Moth cocoons - March 26, 2016 - Bracebridge Lagoons  - photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(3): more Promethea Moths...mating
Posted on June 2, 2016 at 09:30:24 PM by dinnymccraney

Fascinating fabulous photos and information!!
What do the cocoons look like? Hope I haven't destroyed any over the years

 

 

Re(2): more Promethea Moths...mating
Posted on June 1, 2016 at 07:42:47 AM by Al Sinclair

Amazing photos. What a great event to witness "in the wild".

 

 

Re(1): more Promethea Moths...mating
Posted on May 31, 2016 at 10:02:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I decided to check some of the cocoons at the Bracebridge Ponds. I found two female Promethea Moths still hanging from their cocoons, but no sign of any males in the area. So tonight I took over a male Promethea from here...but my planned match-making didn't work out...other males had already got there first.

Female Promethea Moth (three photos of the same female):  photo1  photo2  photo3

Mating Promethea Moths (two photos of the same pair in sun and in shade - male is the dark one at left):  photo1  photo2

 

 

Promethea Moth
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 04:56:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Last summer I found six very tiny Promethea caterpillars and posted some photos as they grew (see all here). One did not make it to the second instar, but five eventually made cocoons. They spent the winter in our cold cellar and once the temperature warmed up this spring they went outside. Today around noon, I found a male Promethea Moth had emerged from its cocoon. It has finished pumping up its wings now and seems to be resting...soon it will have to fly off to find a female.  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Groundhog found the sweet grass patch
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 04:29:48 PM by Al Sinclair

I was trying to photograph the sweet grass flowering at the end of our driveway when this guy popped up.  photo

 

 

Butterflies, dragonflies, and birds
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 03:16:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several butterflies including American Copper (photo below), Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, and Hobomok Skipper. Some Dot-tailed Whiteface and Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonflies were sunning themselves at the west side of cell 4. A Merlin appeared to be feasting on a Common Green Darner. Seventeen Cedar Waxwings were perched in a dead tree. In cell 2 there was still one male Lesser Scaup, a male Gadwall, and two pairs of Northern Shovelers along with the usual bunch of Mallards and Wood Ducks. No shorebirds were seen except the resident Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer.

I heard an Eastern Bluebird calling from Kerr Park so I went over to check the nestbox there. To my surprise, it was occupied, but not by a Bluebird...instead, a Tree Swallow.  nestboxphoto  americancopperphoto

 

 

Re(1): 1st Luna Moth - 2 more
Posted on May 30, 2016 at 08:15:54 AM by Al Sinclair

This morning, May 30: 2 Lunas at our moth light 5 km west of Prospect Lake. We use 2 compact fluorescent black/uv lights timed to come on 3 nights a week. The off nights allow moths trapped by the light to escape.

 

 

1st Luna Moth report May 28
Posted on May 29, 2016 at 04:25:53 PM by Al Sinclair

Photo by Wilf Yusek at Prospect Lake east of Bracebridge,05/28/16

 

 

40 gulls on the Moon River
Posted on May 29, 2016 at 12:43:13 PM by DinnyNimmo

I stopped counting at 40 ring billed gulls on the Moon River. More kept coming in. We have only ever seen 2 at the most. They seemed to be feeding on something on the surface of the water, maybe larva?

 

 

Eastern Kingbird?
Posted on May 29, 2016 at 08:53:28 AM by ksmith

I have seen a larger Bird with all white underside and a Black pointy head catching insects over Penfold Lake (just east on Stephenson Rd 12). Also a Brown Thrasher sitting on a nest on the ground with 5 eggs.

 

 

Re(1): Baltimore Oriole
Posted on May 29, 2016 at 08:48:57 AM by ksmith

Saw and heard one last night at Penfold Lake (east on Stepheson Road 12).

 

 

Baltimore Oriole
Posted on May 28, 2016 at 12:24:33 PM by annhansen

We had a Baltimore Oriole hanging around the treetops all day Thursday at our home on Spence Lake. I awoke to him singing on Friday morning, but haven't seen or heard him since.

 

 

Mourning Warbler
Posted on May 28, 2016 at 10:34:04 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a new arrival at the Bracebridge Ponds - a nice male Mourning Warbler singing near the viewing stand north of cell 2. A few more Alder Flycatchers have arrived too...four were calling west of cell 4. A Scarlet Tanager was singing east of cell 4 and an Indigo Bunting was singing at the Lagoon Lane deadend.

 

 

House Wren Image
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 10:38:08 PM by tedthevideoman

The House Wrens have found our bird box...hoping for Bluebirds, but we are happy with almost anything..I'll leave the Blue Birds to the pro..My Mother!
4 more images @ www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com  photo

 

 

Seen again today
Posted on May 28, 2016 at 10:18:25 PM by Al Sinclair

So Joan saw it again today, going under the garage door. I should explain that skinks aren't hard to find in southern Muskoka on the rocky barrens near ponds. Just lift a few rocks and you should find one. However I believe that I am the first to ever report one living in their garage or anywhere near a house. I find it very strange and this is a first sighting for me in our neighborhood in the 40 years we have lived here.

 

 

Re(1): Skink on our veranda - No kidding
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 03:31:44 PM by DBurton

The last COSEWIC assessment lists this species (Five-lined Skink) as endangered.
Good find Al!

 

 

Skink on our veranda - No kidding
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 02:02:43 PM by Al Sinclair

May 27, 12:18 PM, Hwy 118E 8km east of Bracebridge
Spotted a skink scooting down the veranda, called Joan and Sarah who followed it while I got the camera. Took this photo of it coming out from a flat of seedlings. It had the blue tail of a young one.
I first saw a skink here last fall when one sped into the garage under the door. It happened so fast I thought it was a delusion. Now confirmed, new reptile for the yard list.   FIVE-LINED SKINK photo

 

 

Semipalmated Plover
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 12:28:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Semipalmated Plover and a Least Sandpiper on the sludge island in cell 3. Two male Lesser Scaup are still hanging around in cell 1. A pair of Canada Geese had six goslings with them in cell 4. Three Broad-winged Hawks were calling as they circled overhead, eventually soaring northward.

 

 

Re(3): Sundridge Birds
Posted on May 29, 2016 at 04:50:42 PM by DBurton

Today 1 Cape May Warbler, 3 Mourning Warblers, and about 40 Bobolinks. Bluebirds were singing in the yard so I quickly constructed an ugly bird box from scraps. Hope they like it.

 

 

Re(2): Sundridge Birds
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 08:42:44 AM by DBurton

Because the song is almost the same as Red-Eyed Vireo, they are difficult to find unless seen. Nobody has one for this year yet in Muskoka as far as I know, but I would have expected that someone should have seen one or more by now.

 

 

Re(1): Sundridge Birds
Posted on May 26, 2016 at 09:02:31 PM by Doug Smith

Dan -- great list! How common are Philadelphia Vireos in Muskoka?
 

 

 

Sundridge Birds
Posted on May 26, 2016 at 04:43:20 PM by DBurton

Afternoon birding was a bit better in Sundridge than Muskoka yesterday.
Birds of interest: 12 Blackburnians, 8 Parulas, 1 Canada, 1 Blackpoll, 1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, 1 Scarlet Tanager, 2 Blue Headed Vireos.
Still looking for a Bay-breasted Warbler and a Philadephia Vireo for this year though.

 

 

Evening Grosbeak
Posted on May 26, 2016 at 03:41:37 PM by janice house

A male made a brief appearance in our back yard this morning.

 

 

Ladybug
Posted on May 26, 2016 at 11:50:27 AM by Barbara Taylor

I found this Ladybug near the Lagoon Lane gate this morning as I was leaving the Bracebridge Ponds. It looks like a Seven-spotted Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata, which was introduced from Europe many years ago to supposedly help fight aphids.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Barred Owls
Posted on May 25, 2016 at 10:06:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 10 p.m. Barred Owls were calling near Kevin Cres./Daleman Dr., Bracebridge.

 

 

Virginia Rail
Posted on May 25, 2016 at 08:52:53 PM by John Challis

We have a Virginia rail calling in the swamp behind our house right now. Green River Dr, Washago.

 

 

Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 28, 2016 at 06:15:18 PM by janice house

Had one calling at our house Thursday night. Also saw 3 chimney swifts flying above the clock tower in Bracebridge about 8:30pm Thursday

 

 

Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 27, 2016 at 08:07:43 AM by John Challis

I saw a pair fly by last night at the District offices in Bracebridge.

 

 

Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 25, 2016 at 08:21:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Common Nighthawk just flew over our yard, calling as it went by. (first one this year)

 

 

Re(2): Swallowtail and Darners
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 07:42:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

I think it depends on the weather. Looking at the Bird Board Archives, I found several first of the year records between May 24-26, but also some May 12-13, and the earliest I found was May 5.

 

 

Re(1): Swallowtail and Darners
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 07:11:38 PM by janice house

I had a Canadian tiger swallowtail in the yard at lunch today, is this early?

 

 

Swallowtail and Darners
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 02:11:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there were several Common Green Darners flying around the Bracebridge Ponds and a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (first one seen this year).

 

 

warbler and merganser
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 08:33:42 AM by VivienVezina

This morning sighted a Hooded Merganser on the Black River (east side of Vankoughnet area) and also a Chestnut Sided Warbler came down to investigate me from his riverside branches.

 

 

Re(1): headbanging cardinal
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 02:32:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

The bird probably thinks her reflection is a rival female and she is trying to drive it away. To stop the reflection appearing in the glass, I think you would have to hang something on the outside of the window...so you might have to just wait for breeding season to be over and she will calm down and leave the windows alone. It seems to be a fairly common problem, although fortunately our resident pair of Cardinals have never attacked our windows.

http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/birds/birds-attacking-windows
http://birding.about.com/od/birdbehavior/a/Stop-Birds-Attacking-Windows.htm

 

 

headbanging cardinal
Posted on May 23, 2016 at 07:46:37 PM by dinnymccraney

A female northern cardinal has been repeatedly flying into several of the windows of our house and garage. The male is always nearby,
I have tried closing curtains, putting up boards etc, to no avail. What is going on? She doesn't appear hurt by all this, but it goes on for most of the day and evening!

 

 

Re(1): BB lagoons birds of interest
Posted on May 24, 2016 at 01:27:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Common Loon in cell 1 (eventually it flew to the west, perhaps to Lake Muskoka). There were still a few Northern Shovelers, as well as two male Lesser Scaup, a male Blue-winged Teal and a male Gadwall. A Wilson's Snipe and four Least Sandpipers were at the south end of cell 1.  There was a female Wood Duck with several ducklings in cell 1.  A Cedar Waxwing was near their old nestsite in a Sumac.

 

 

BB lagoons birds of interest
Posted on May 23, 2016 at 02:38:32 PM by DBurton

Bobolink
Blackpoll Warblers 2
Tennessee
N Parula
Alder Flycatcher

Henry Marsh Trail- resident Black-Throated Blue, and Green
Henry Marsh- Green Heron, Scarlet Tanager female, FOS Cedar Waxwing (only new bird), Alder Flycatchers 3

 

 

Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 23, 2016 at 09:19:09 AM by SandraDewsbury

Last evening had 2 male Indigo Bunting at feeder. Two days ago saw 1 Magnolia Warbler. This is the first time I have seen either of these birds. Beautiful!

 

 

Re(2): Killdeer nest update
Posted on May 26, 2016 at 11:32:40 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Killdeer was off that nest and I could see 4 eggs now. First time I've checked since there were still just the 2 eggs on Monday morning, May 23. A Wilson's Snipe performed its winnowing flight display for over 10 minutes above cell 4. The male Gadwall was keeping two male Northern Shovelers company in cell 1. Three male Lesser Scaup were in cell 2. An Eastern Kingbird was hawking insects west of cell 4. Two Green Herons flew over heading north-east.  killdeer nest photo

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer nest
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 09:49:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

That's interesting about the Killdeer nest. Usually there would be 4 eggs, so perhaps she isn't finished laying them yet. Or maybe there were two chicks hiding nearby waiting for their siblings to hatch. They are very hard to see unless they move.

Last year the Killdeer nest north of cell 4 was successful with four chicks hatched on May 20. It takes about 25 days to hatch.

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 07:56:50 PM by Goodyear

Tonight we first heard, and then after some patient searching, saw a Black-billed Cuckoo on the east side of cell 1. We also stumbled upon a Killdeer nest on the south side of cell 3. While watching a Killdeer doing its distraction display, Regan looked down by her feet and saw the nest with two eggs in it. The nest is in the gravel on the edge of the roadway.  (Bracebridge Lagoons)

 

 

Bike Ride Bird Sightings
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 06:54:06 PM by VivienVezina

During an afternoon bike ride from Vankoughnet Road to Hwy. 118, to Oakley Road, to Caribou Lodge Road, and then to the public dock on Rignals Road on Wood Lake, had some bird sightings, being a Wild Turkey on Hwy 118, and a beautiful friendly Mallard duck with her 12 new ducklings swimming at the said public dock area. They were a delight to see and the ducklings were very active and also were jumping up from the water to reach any overhanging vegetation. On my return bike ride home, I saw 2 female Common Mergansers resting on some rocks near the lower falls on Vankoughnet Road, and then upon reaching my long driveway, there was a Ruffed Grouse that soared down the driveway in front of me and then up my driveway I heard a Barred Owl doing its call nearby.

 

 

Robin nest
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 04:41:50 PM by John Challis

All five eggs have hatched in the nest in our garage this morning. Two more weeks and I can have my workshop back!
There was a minor panic in the garage when a pair of great crested flycatchers came in. The Robin knew the way out..the flycatchers battered themselves on the windows until Gayle ushered them out. One had to be carried out by hand; it was a bit stunned by the impact with the window but recovered after about 10 minutes.

 

 

Re(1): Virginia Ctenucha caterpillars
Posted on June 6, 2016 at 05:20:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Found this one today at the Bracebridge Ponds:  photo
 

 

Virginia Ctenucha caterpillars
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 02:35:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I found several Virginia Ctenucha Moth caterpillars wandering about. The larvae overwinter. Quite striking in this instar.  photo  (Bracebridge)
references:
http://www.prairiehaven.com/?page_id=7757
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Ctenucha-virginica

 

Re(1): American Redstart
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 12:38:25 PM by ksmith

I have heard several male Redstarts staking out their territories on Hood Road near Port Sydney. They have such a distinctive song. I look forward to hearing them and getting a glimpse of them every May long weekend

 

 

American Redstart
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 12:27:01 PM by VivienVezina

This morning at approximately 9:30 while walking near the Black River (on the East side of Vankoughnet Village, a male American Redstart flew lower down on a bush to see me and my supervised walking cat. It is amazing how curious birds can be at this time of year. Anyways, I think I may have seen the female American Redstart earlier too as I remember seeing an olive brown bird with a flash of yellow on her spread tail.

 

 

Whip-poor-will
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 06:22:08 AM by FrancesGualtieri

it was a delight to hear a whip-poor-will briefly the other evening, here in Vankoughnet. A neighbour also mentioned hearing one.
Frances Gualtieri

 

Gravenhurst Swifts
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 07:09:40 PM by DBurton

Chimney Swifts were flying over Gravenhurst today May 21. I have previous arrival dates of May 7 for 2015 and May 5 for 2013. Did anyone see them in GHurst this year prior to today?(This is a threatened species)

 

 

Least Bitterns
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 05:50:44 PM by Goodyear

This afternoon we had a pair of Least Bitterns at the North Muldrew Lake Road marsh. One was calling. The female was seen very briefly, but the male was seen well. They were behind an old beaver or muskrat lodge at the far end of the marsh (across the road from the rock outcrop) near the treeline.

 

 

Re(2): 1 good tern deserves a swan
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 02:50:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

No Swans this morning, but had my first Alder Flycatcher of the season calling from a dead tamarack west of cell 4. A nice male Cape May Warbler was singing in full view at the east side of cell 1. A nearby Tennessee Warbler only gave me a quick glimpse, but sang for a while out of sight. Six Northern Rough-winged Swallows were flying around the north end of cell 1 but kept landing on a pile of dirt where they seemed to be finding something to eat.  photo

 

 

Re(1): 1 good tern deserves a swan
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 03:23:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

We were at the Bracebridge Ponds briefly around 11:30 a.m. and got some photos of the Trumpeters in cell 3. They may have overwintered at the feeding station at Burlington's LaSalle Park since they swam over to us and seemed to expect a handout. No wing tags though.  photo1  photo2  photo3

There was also a Gadwall in cell 3 and a Lesser Yellowlegs too.

 

 

1 good tern deserves a swan
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 02:13:37 PM by DBurton

3 Trumpeter Swans landed briefly in cell 2 and then flew again but went down to the north of Kerr Park. (The Goodyears had 3 Common Terns earlier).
I found 1 Wilson's and 1 female Black-throated Blue along cell 2-3, but could not see the singing Tennessee Warbler which was somewhere between the Warbling Vireo and Northern Waterthrush.

 

 

Re(1): Life Bird on Bala Yard List
Posted on May 23, 2016 at 06:45:53 PM by janice house

Linda Boon and I just returned from Presquile, the blackpoll's were calling everywhere we went. We arrived Friday afternoon and several were calling at our campsite. Drove me nuts until I finally saw one at the visitor's centre today just before we left the park. Good Luck Eleanor....

 

Life Bird on Bala Yard List
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 06:41:08 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Blackpoll Warbler in pin cherry trees at 6:40 am today. Hope to photograph them on territory in June.

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 08:03:04 PM by Terri


The hummingbirds arrived at my house (118 E Bracebridge) on May 10th, I have two males and one female visiting my feeders right now. Hoping for more.. Here is a picture of the female.  photo

 

 

White-winged Scoters Peninsula Lake
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 02:41:14 PM by Al Sinclair

Stephen Scholten, MNRF High Falls, reports that he saw 30 White-winged Scoters in the middle of Peninsula Lake yesterday.

 

 

A plethora of Chestnut-sided Warblers
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 01:39:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I walked the trails around Wilson's Falls in Bracebridge. Nothing new, but I couldn't believe the number of singing male Chestnut-sided Warblers...a conservative count of 15 between the parking area and the spot where the trail turns away from the river on the west side. Other Warblers in the area included Nashville, Magnolia, Black-and-white, Black-throated Green, American Redstart, Blackburnian, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, and a Northern Waterthrush. Other birds included Northern Flickers, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Veery, Purple Finch, Eastern Phoebe, Brown Thrasher, Pileated Woodpecker, and Great Crested Flycatcher.

 

 

Re(1): Dragonflies - ID?
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 10:08:17 PM by Al Sinclair

Male Beaverpond Baskettail - Epitheca canis
Note the hairy thorax, just small black marks at the wing bases. Spiny Baskettail similar but has T-spot on top of frons, male claspers differ also if you examine with a hand lens.
Some years this species is plentiful around the Ponds.

 

 

Dragonflies - ID?
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 07:24:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

On Tuesday there were a number of these Dragonflies enjoying the sunshine along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(4): S. Monck Dr
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 10:52:53 AM by coreyhkh

On the weekend I had several Veery also at this location.

 

 

Re(3): S. Monck Dr
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 07:38:03 AM by Al Sinclair

Thanks Dan. Yes anywhere close to 1250 is the location. I would be happy to receive lists of sightings by anyone birding near there. .

 

 

Re(2): S. Monck Dr
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 10:45:36 PM by DBurton

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Virginia Rail in wet area opposite 1250. Towhee distant on dry land.
Pewee was on dry land on the 1250 side, which I believe has the Conservancy signage.

 

 

Re(1): S. Monck Dr
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 10:12:28 PM by Al Sinclair

How many of these were in the wetland past Partridge Lane? We are making a species list for that area, South Monk Thickets, future Conservancy Nature reserve.

 

 

S. Monck Dr
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 06:37:57 PM by DBurton

Of interest: Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee, Virginia Rail, Eastern Towhee, Bobolink.
I stopped in at the BB lagoons and had 2 Barred Owls, a Turkey, and a singing Orange Crowned Warbler.

 

 

correction - I think
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 09:19:08 AM by John Challis

I might have to recant on Canada warbler sighting yesterday. This morning I was in some scrub across the road from where I saw the "Canada" and a magnolia warbler flitted by for three or four minutes. Got a good look at the white wing patch & eyebrows, which aren't on a Canada. So in the brief glimpse yesterday I may have seen the same fellow. Back out to double check.

 

 

Washago birds
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 01:09:09 PM by John Challis

This morning I watched a Canada warbler pop in and out of a cedar tree on Green River Drive. Also heard a raven calling, then watched two of them being chased away by a crow. Other,sightings this week:
Nashville warbler
Black and white warbler
Yellow-rumped warbler
Chestnut sided warbler
Common yellowthroat
Ovenbird
Veery
Swamp sparrow
Song sparrow
Red eyed vireo
yellow throated vireo
White throated sparrow (Peterson describes a white stripe colour morph, which this would have been)
The Robin in our garage has laid five eggs, should be on the verge of hatching.
Blue Jays everywhere,
chickadees,
white breasted nuthatch
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Flicker
Crows chased a Cooper's hawk across the road yesterday morning

 

 

Re(1): Wood Thrush
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 01:20:33 PM by DBurton

There were 2 Wood Thrush that appeared to be scolding each other on the trail to Henry Marsh and a 3rd bird singing in the direction of the lagoons. I only saw one of the 3.

 

 

Re(1): Wood Thrush
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 04:15:14 PM by janice house

This morning in the tree line west of cell 3 there were several blackpoll warblers calling, 2 chimney swifts flying about. I also went to South Monck Rd, bugs were bad but lots of warblers and thrushes and a brown creeper. At Rostrevor Rd in Windermere there was a cape may warbler, snipe, blue headed vireo and bittern. Lots of tree swallows there too. A bluebird flew in front of the car by three mile lake rd 1 flying west.

 

 

Wood Thrush
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 11:33:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Wood Thrush singing west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were nine Northern Shovelers in cell 3 and another two over at Henry Marsh. There were 7 Least Sandpipers on the sludge island in cell 3 and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs at the south end of cell 2.  Listen to a Wood Thrush song at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Thrush/sounds

P.S. - The Lagoon Lane gate has finally been fixed and is no longer propped open all the time. It closes automatically on a timer when a sewage truck passes through. So do not drive in if you see the gate open, or you may get "trapped" inside the gate...not good on a holiday weekend!

 

Re(1): Bala Birds
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 05:37:54 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

As above, birds eating buds and flowers of pin cherry trees on Wednesday.
Thursday and Friday have not seen a single bird repeating that behaviour!
Anyone want to guess at the reason they would eat them one day and not the next? They are still in bloom and lots of flying insects nectaring.

 

 

Bala Birds
Posted on May 19, 2016 at 07:53:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Male and female American Redstarts, M & F yellow rumps, M Black-throated Blue, M & F Pine Warblers, M chestnut-sided, M Blackburnian, M Palm this morning, M & F Rose-breased Grosbeaks. M & F Common Yellowthroats yesterday along Ragged Rapids Road. Peewee calling there as well as 2 Scarlet Tanagers. Two Sandhill Cranes heard and seen from my house for the first time this year.

Yesterday about 8 American Goldfinches, several Purple Finches and a Pine Siskin spent most of the day plucking and swallowing the buds and open flowers of my pin cherry trees.
Also yesterday, a female hummingbird for the first visit. No males seen yet.

It was a busy day watching and listening. At least 3 Tri-colored Bumblebees nectaring on the pin cherry blossoms.
A calling Barred Owl woke me at 4 am!!!

 

 

Penninsula Rd
Posted on May 18, 2016 at 05:08:44 PM by DBurton

Penninsula Rd birds of interest:
Yellow-Throated Vireo pair (4 Vireo sp on this road today)
Blackburnian
Black-Throated Blue males (no females seen yet- anyone got one?)
Redstarts and Chestnuts everywhere
Hooded Merganser female with male Mallard (huh?)
Raven

I also had a FOS Blackpoll Warbler on Winhara Rd. late afternoon, and still getting Pine Siskins every day.

 

 

Swainson's thrush (possible)
Posted on May 18, 2016 at 02:00:02 PM by John Challis

The night before last we listened to wood thrush singing, and a pair of Baltimore orioles disputing territory, at Mcmillan Sideroad where it meanders over the Black River, Washago.
And an additional rising spiral song began that was more characteristic of a Swainson's thrush. It sang repeatedly for quite a while, but it was farther off in the woods and we never saw it. Had to play the Stokes recordings again at home to make sure. It was the first time Gayle or I had heard anything like it.

 

 

Colourful birds
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 09:25:09 PM by dinnymccraney

3 male and one female rose breasted grosbeaks for the last few days.
A female cardinal repeatedly flew into the windows yesterday while the male watched. This went on most of the day despite my efforts to chase her off. No sign of them today.
4 Bluejays, too many goldfinches to count, and hummers visiting the feeders.
still waiting for indigo bunting and orioles!!

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 06:58:43 PM by PaulSprunt

Spotted at Gull Lake, Gravenhurst  photo

 

 

Re(1): Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 20, 2016 at 01:53:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

One was singing by the Lagoon Lane deadend this morning. (first one of the season for me)

 

 

Indigo Bunting
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 04:08:10 PM by tedthevideoman

Nice bright male under my feeders this afternoon coming home from work...ran to get the camera..then he was gone!
120 meadow heights BB

 

 

Re(1): Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 05:05:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Paul, I edited your post so you can see the photo now. Nice shot! When did you see the bird?


P.S. - the reason the photo wouldn't automatically load in your post is because there is a space in the name of your photo (between Quick and Preset). But don't change it now, or the link I added to your post will "break". In the future just make sure there are no spaces in the photo name before you upload the photo to Photobucket and then it will work. Thanks for your report.

 

 

Red Headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 04:04:34 PM by PaulSprunt

Visited our feeder on Gull Lake  photo

 

 

Another or Same Red-bellied Woodpecker Bracebridge
Posted on May 18, 2016 at 01:17:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Irma Coyne reported a Red-bellied Woodpecker this morning at her place on McVittie Is which is at the mouth of the river west of Bracebridge. This is 15 km east of where we saw one yesterday.

 

 

Re(1): Red-bellied Woodpecker near Bracebridge
Posted on May 18, 2016 at 01:43:51 PM by John Challis

Nice find! We haven't heard any around our house this year, although Gayle came across one on a bike ride a few days ago. There was a pair that stayed the season last year and we were hoping they'd be back.
Red-bellied woodpeckers were commonplace in Niagara-on-the-lake where my parents used to live. They moved to Brampton four years ago (or three;can't keep track) -- so in that time the woodpeckers have begun to encroach on Muskoka. This could be an indication that they're moving along with mean temperature increases year over year.

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker near Bracebridge
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 10:59:12 AM by Al Sinclair

Showed up at the feeders this morning at 10:15, stayed 5 minutes, hasn't returned. A new species for our yard list! Hwy 118E, 8km from Bracebridge.  photo  photo2

 

 

Semipalmated Plover
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 10:42:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there is a new arrival at the Bracebridge Ponds - a Semipalmated Plover on the sludge island in cell 3.

 

 

Colourful Birds, Bala
Posted on May 16, 2016 at 05:16:03 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

During today's grayness I had bright spots! A male Blackburnian Warbler, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a female American Redstart! What a treat!

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on May 16, 2016 at 03:31:09 PM by DBurton

Some nice birds and new arrivals at Henry Marsh:
Bluebird
Canada Warbler male (a threatened sp)
Wilson's Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
several Baltimore Orioles
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Pine Siskin (late date)
RC Kinglet
10 Shovellers

At BB lagoons:
Green Herons
Scarlet Tanager
Alder Flycatcher
same 10 Shovellers
5 species of Swallows (Barn and Bank are threatened sp)
No Chimney Swifts at the lagoons or in Gravenhurst. Hope they aren't gone.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club
Posted on May 16, 2016 at 09:14:33 AM by cortneyl

At the Huntsville Nature Club meeting on Tuesday, May 31, Algonquin Park seasonal naturalist Peter Mills will talk about writing and illustrating his new book, Metamorphosis: Ontario's Amphibians at all Stages of Development. 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.

 

 

A nice bunch of Warblers
Posted on May 15, 2016 at 05:28:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along the trail between the Bracebridge Lagoons and Henry Marsh there was a nice mixed flock of Warblers feeding high in a white birch tree where it was partially sheltered from the wind. Ten species were seen, including Bay-breasted Warblers, Blackburnians, American Redstarts, Magnolias, and my first of the season Orange-crowned.

At the Bracebridge Ponds the American Coot was still in cell 4, but no sign of the Redhead. Ten Northern Shovelers (6M,4F) were in cell 2 on my arrival, but only four were there as I was leaving...the ever changing lagoons. The only shorebirds seen were a couple Solitary Sandpipers, five Lesser Yellowlegs, six Least Sandpipers, as well as the usual Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer. Besides the regular bunch of Wood Ducks and Mallards, there were only a few Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and a pair of Lesser Scaup. Four male Bobolinks were at the fenceline east of cell 1 and a Green Heron was in the SE corner of cell 3. Many Swallows (5 species) were flying low over cell 1 trying to find insects as they were being bombarded by ice pellets at noon.

 

 

Just a Robin...Pic
Posted on May 15, 2016 at 05:01:12 PM by tedthevideoman

I like to call this "Birds Eye"... www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com  photo

 

 

indigo bunting
Posted on May 15, 2016 at 12:27:47 PM by Nancy6

We have an indigo bunting at our feeder this morning.
First I have seen along Beaumont Drive
We used to have a nesting pair in Bent River.

 

 

MFN Great Canadian Birdathon/Global Big Day
Posted on May 15, 2016 at 10:32:57 AM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists Team started at 5 am and birded around Bracebridge for 5 hrs.

Then, waterlogged and all our bins fogged we called it off because of the incessant and at times pouring rain.

photo  IT'S a CAPE MAY!

Muskoka Birdathon - 44.985x-79.208, Muskoka, Ontario, CA
May 14, 2016 10:39 AM - 3:39 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
Comments: MFN Birdathon
Submitted from eBird Android 1.2.0
80 species

Canada Goose 5
Wood Duck 50 Mostly males
Mallard 14
Northern Shoveler 3
Redhead 1 Female cell 4
Ring-necked Duck 6
Lesser Scaup 4 Late migrants
Bufflehead 8
Wild Turkey 3
Double-crested Cormorant 1
American Bittern 1
Green Heron 3 Not unusual here
Turkey Vulture 1
American Coot 1 Cell 4 Continuing bird
Killdeer 6
Spotted Sandpiper 10
Solitary Sandpiper 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 5
Least Sandpiper 8
Wilson's Snipe 2
Ring-billed Gull 50
Herring Gull 5
Mourning Dove 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Least Flycatcher 4
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
Warbling Vireo 2
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 3
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 8
Tree Swallow 20
Bank Swallow 60 Feeding over cells
Barn Swallow 12 Feeding over cells
Cliff Swallow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
House Wren 3
Winter Wren 1
Veery 2
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 7
Gray Catbird 3
European Starling 12
Ovenbird 5
Northern Waterthrush 3
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Nashville Warbler 3
Common Yellowthroat 13
American Redstart 2
Cape May Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 28 Common here
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Palm Warbler 2
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 8
Chipping Sparrow 9
Fox Sparrow 2 Late migrants
White-crowned Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 2
Savannah Sparrow 5
Song Sparrow 12
Swamp Sparrow 8
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Bobolink 2
Red-winged Blackbird 40
Common Grackle 36
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
Purple Finch 2
Pine Siskin 1
American Goldfinch 11

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29644418
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

 

 

Spotted Sandpipers underfoot
Posted on May 15, 2016 at 08:04:57 AM by michaelhatton

Friday the 13th seemed to be the day for inquisitive Spotted Sandpipers at the sewage lagoons in Bracebridge.  photo

 

 

new arrivals
Posted on May 13, 2016 at 12:44:46 PM by DBurton

Least Bittern
2 Caspian Terns-end of Lorne Street
2 Red Eyed Vireos
1 cold Black-Throated Blue Warbler- waiting at the start of Penninsula Road for Barb to show up

 

 

A spring wave today
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 09:30:56 PM by John Challis

All I recorded this morning was our first red-eyed vireos, a chestnut-sided warbler and the song of a scarlet tanager. But later in the morning Gayle got out for a bike ride on the Cambrian Road, west side of Highway 11, and recounted this summary. The red-bellied woodpeckers have been making incursions to Severn Township for a couple of years. We had a pair nesting across the street from our house last year, and waiting to hear them again. Anyway, Gayle's list:
Red-bellied woodpecker
Northern flicker
Downy woodpecker
Eastern phoebe
Great crested flycatcher
Red-eyed vireo
Blue jay
Crow
Chickadee
House wren
Winter wren
Hermit thrush
Robin
Warblers:
Yellow
Chestnut-sided
Black-throated blue
Yellow-rumped
Black-throated green
Blackburnian
Pine
Black-and-white
Ovenbird
Common yellowthroat
Sparrows:
Savannah
Song
White-throated
Field
Meadowlark
Red-winged blackbird
Grackle
Baltimore oriole

I'm kind of jealous.

 

 

Re(1): Spring arrival lifting off
Posted on May 14, 2016 at 12:10:22 PM by Carol Wagg

I am so envious! I can barely catch a glimpse of a warbler, let along focus on one! Well done!

 

 

Re(3): Spring arrival lifting off
Posted on May 13, 2016 at 09:17:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

It is a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. (my nemesis bird, but everybody else seems to find them easily...nice photo Michael)

 

 

Re(2): Spring arrival lifting off
Posted on May 13, 2016 at 08:09:43 AM by ksmith

What bird is this? Beautiful shot!

 

 

Re(1): Spring arrival lifting off
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 06:45:46 PM by janice house

Great photo, at Leonard Lake?

 

 

Spring arrival lifting off
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 02:21:04 PM by michaelhatton

photo - Black-throated Blue

 

 

Re(2): Pewee, Warblers
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 09:33:42 PM by John Challis

I thought I heard a warbling vireo a couple of days ago. But I wasn't sure they'd be around this early. So, Dan, you have confirmed the possibility of one around here.

 

 

Re(1): Pewee, Warblers
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 03:39:23 PM by DBurton

Afternoon additional birds:
Yellow Warblers
Least Flycatchers
Eastern Kingbird
Northern Waterthrush
Nashville Warblers
Philadelphia or Red-eyed Vireo heard at Penninsula Road

 

 

Pewee, Warblers
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 11:24:27 AM by DBurton

Neighbourhood birds:
American Redstarts
Chestnut-sideds
Black-throated Green
Common Yellowthroats
Black and White
Yellow-rumped
Pines
Ovenbird
Winter Wren
Gt Crested Flycatchers
Eastern Wood-Pewee (early for me)

 

 

Catbird, Least Sandpipers
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 11:19:16 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were some new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds, but most of the ducks have gone. Four Least Sandpipers were keeping a few Yellowlegs (Greater & Lesser) company. A Gray Catbird and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak were singing west of cell 3 and a pair of Baltimore Orioles were nearby. The American Coot and a Green Heron were in the NE corner of cell 4 and a Red-tailed Hawk circled overhead. A male Northern Shoveler was in cell 1. Counts for all four cells totalled only six Buffleheads, seven Ring-necked Ducks, five Lesser Scaup, eleven Wood Ducks, and ten Mallards.

On my way home I heard a House Wren singing by Tamarack Trail.
American Coot: photo

 

 

Eastern Towhee
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 08:15:34 AM by janice house

A female was feeding by our cedar hedge last night, I wonder if it was the same bird that stayed over the 2015 winter?

 

 

Rose Breasted
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 09:53:58 PM by tedthevideoman

Spring is really here to stay, or Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are back! A pic taken this evening. Some more on my blog www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com

 

 

Kingbirds and other new arrivals
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 09:47:27 PM by John Challis

Kingbirds were lining the fencerow along Mcarthur Sideroad east of Washago yesterday. The fields were filled with the songs of meadowlarks, woodcock and savannah sparrows -- all of them having been here for a few weeks now. Two brown thrashers were also adding to the sunset songfest.
We heard a black-and-white warbler this morning and yesterday morning, and a great crested flycatcher in the Turnbull Tract county forest on the west side of the highway.
And one of the common yellowthroats has set up in its usual territory by the swamp sparrow pond at the edge of our property.
Sunday morning I watched a pair of blue jays fighting; two or three others were watching much the way you'd see kids gathering around a schoolyard fistfight. A wad of underfeathers wafted down towards me as I watched, after the two had locked themselves together in a wild, silent spiral down through the trees. They were into a serious dispute. But then a pair of robins lit into all the jays and sent them scattering.

 

 

Bobolinks - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 09:24:17 PM by Goodyear

Tonight there were 5 Bobolinks at the Lagoons, east of cell 2.

 

 

Re(1): Vesper Sparrow ?
Posted on May 12, 2016 at 08:13:40 AM by janice house

It was just walking around in the grass, I could not see white outer tail feathers.

 

 

Re(1): Vesper Sparrow ?
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 07:32:21 PM by DBurton

Did it have white outer tail feathers like pipits and juncos?

 

 

Vesper Sparrow ?
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 05:20:18 PM by janice house

This morning I watched what I believe to be a vesper sparrow walking around the back of our yard, I watched as long as I could before racing for my sparrow book. Also had a male evening grosbeak, chestnut sided warbler, yellow rumped warbler, common yellow throat and heard a black throated blue on my dog walk.

 

 

Gt Crested Flycatcher
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 04:41:55 PM by DBurton

FOS Great-Crested Flycatcher heard today in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Hummers
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 11:56:42 AM by dinnymccraney

Both a male and a female RT inspecting the feeders this morning (Bracebridge)

 

 

Chimney Swifts
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 07:47:20 AM by Goodyear

There were three Chimney Swifts at the Bracebridge Lagoons last night around 8:00.

 

 

Fly Honeysuckle
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 05:27:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Fly Honeysuckle shrubs are in bloom now along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. I've seen Cedar Waxwings eating the red berries in mid-June. According to the Ontario Hummingbird Project, the shrub attracts Hummingbirds, but I've never seen one at the flowers.

Here's a photo taken by the dip in the trail.
Lonicera canadensis:  photo

 

reference:
http://www.northernontarioflora.ca/description.cfm?speciesid=1000688

 

 

Photos not appearing
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 01:29:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

There is currently a problem with some photos from Photobucket not appearing in messages automatically. Instead you will just see a little placeholder box. If you right-click on that box and choose "view image" then you will be taken to the photo. Or if you click on the box and choose "copy image location" and then paste that in your browser address bar, you can still get to the photo.

Hopefully the Photobucket problem will be fixed soon.

 

 

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 12:55:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a nice influx of birds overnight. Several Warblers were singing this morning along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds, including a Magnolia.
I couldn't believe my eyes when a male Black-throated Blue came close enough for me to see him even without binoculars. Hurrah! This is usually my nemesis bird and I have a hard time finding one every year.

 

 

Swallows
Posted on May 9, 2016 at 10:02:02 PM by DBurton

A good Swallow day at Henry Marsh and Bracebridge lagoons due to cold winds making flying insects harder to get elsewhere. Henry Marsh had mostly Barns with Rough-winged and Bank and Cliff; and a Greater Yellowlegs. The lagoons had mostly Trees with a few Banks and Barns; and a few Lesser Yellowlegs. 3 Shovellers flew over; 3 Crows were beating up a Raven.
We had a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak beside the driveway waiting for us at home.

 

 

Re(2): Yellowlegs and a Coot
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 12:26:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was an American Coot at the NE corner of cell 4. It was still there at 11:30 a.m. as I was leaving. I counted 14 Lesser Yellowlegs as I walked along the east/west middle roadway. A Warbling Vireo was singing near the Lagoon Lane gate. Two Eastern Kingbirds were hawking insects near the NW corner of cell 4.

 

 

Re(1): Yellowlegs
Posted on May 9, 2016 at 12:46:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were at least ten Yellowlegs feeding and flying around the main three cells. A Greater flew up from the south end of cell 2, but the others seen were all Lessers. A pair of Northern Shovelers flew in from the west and landed in cell 4. A male Shoveler was by himself in cell 1. Two Wilson's Snipe were west of cell 4. A Broad-winged Hawk was by the dumping ponds.

 

 

Green Heron, Yellowlegs
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 12:00:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just got back from a very chilly walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons. There was a Green Heron perched in a dead tree across from the treatment plant gate. Three Lesser Yellowlegs were at the south end of cell 1. Three Northern Shovelers (2M,1F) were at the south end of cell 2. A female Northern Harrier flew up from the west side of cell 4, slowly gained altitude circling over the ridge, and then soared off to the north.

 

 

red breasted grosbeak
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 08:19:56 AM by Nancy6

Had a male and female red breasted grosbeak at our feeders this morning.

 

 

MFN Lagoon Ramble
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 07:44:24 AM by Goodyear

Yesterday a group of 8 enjoyed the annual MFN walk around the Bracebridge Lagoons in search of early spring migrants. We managed to tally 47 species. Highlights included a flyby Green Heron, two male Kingfishers battling for control of territory, a trio of Northern Flickers vying for each others' attention with calls and tail fanning displays, and a very vocal and cooperative Brown Thrasher. There were some lingering Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead ducks. Warblers were thin, but we managed to find Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, and Palm. A non-birding highlight was a pair of mating Snapping Turtles. Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed a wonderful morning walk.

 

 

Re(1): black-throated green warbler
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 04:36:45 PM by DinnyNimmo

Our resident black throated green was calling today. Lovely to hear him back. Bala

 

 

black-throated green warbler
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 00:38:42 AM by John Challis

East of Washago this afternoon, there were two black-throated green warblers in song. Farther down the same road a pair of brown thrashers were answering each other

 

 

Hummer
Posted on May 7, 2016 at 03:42:21 PM by wilf yusek

3.37 pm today May 7 had my first hummer Male.

 

 

Re(1): Blanding's Turtle - photo
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 06:33:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's one of David's photos of the turtle by Henry Marsh on May 7.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Another Blanding's Turtle
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 02:07:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

In the spring of 2012 I posted that one of the fellows that works at the Lagoons had seen what might be a couple of Spotted Turtles. Sometimes Blandings can have yellowish spots on their shells, so perhaps that's what he saw. Did you get a photo?

 

 

Another Blanding's Turtle
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 12:50:30 PM by Goodyear

This morning we found another Blanding's, this one at the Bracebridge Lagoons. Yesterday's was a female, today's was a male.

 

 

Re(2): Blanding's Turtle
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 03:23:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Ontario Nature has a webpage that outlines the legal protection for endangered and threatened species:http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/legal_protection_for_reptiles_and_amphibians.php
Ontario Nature - Blanding's Turtle

 

 

Re(1): Blanding's Turtle
Posted on May 7, 2016 at 03:18:27 PM by J. Gardner

Doesn't the finding of a Blandings in a particular water area make that area sacred? I know that our neighbour was delighted when he found a Blandings in our pond that adjoined his property because the area could not be easily changed. J. Gardner

 

 

Blanding's Turtle
Posted on May 7, 2016 at 02:26:27 PM by Goodyear

This morning we found a Blanding's Turtle at Henry Marsh. Bright yellow throat. First one we have seen there.

 

 

Orioles
Posted on May 7, 2016 at 12:43:50 PM by Nancy6

Had our first Baltimore Oriole at the hummingbird feeders this morning. 

 

 

RT Hummer
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 09:56:13 PM by MaryWillmott

My first Hummer returned to my feeder today.

 

 

Yellow Headed Blackbird
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 05:06:56 PM by janice house

Just got a call from Tim Mason who lives in Raymond. His friend had an adult show up at the feeders yesterday with red winged blackbirds. Lives on # 4 ( Raymond Road ) between Camel Lake Rd and Windermere Corners. Tim went today but did not see the bird, his friend did not get a photo.

 

 

Moose tracks
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 01:36:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were some fresh Moose tracks along the trail just east of Henry Marsh. The tracks weren't there yesterday morning. The Beavers are back at Henry Marsh - fresh mud and branches at the dam by the footbridge. (Bracebridge)

 

Re(1): Threatened Bird Species
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 11:06:53 AM by J. Gardner

An alarming list, isn't it? Just from general observation over the last 15 years or so... add Tree Swallows. Their numbers just aren't what they were years ago. J. Gardner

 

 

Threatened Bird Species
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 10:12:19 AM by DBurton

We are lucky here in Muskoka to have several threatened bird species that breed here. Yesterday we were watching 2 Barn Swallows that have set up shop and must have a nest nearby. We used to take seeing them for granted. Most people know the endangered species, but here are the threatened species:


Bittern, Least | Ixobrychus exilis
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2009 (No Change)
Canadian Occurrence: MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Bobolink | Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2010 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL

Flycatcher, Olive-sided | Contopus cooperi
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: November 2007 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL

Meadowlark, Eastern | Sturnella magna
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: May 2011 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: ON, QC, NB, NS

Nighthawk, Common | Chordeiles minor
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2007 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL

Swallow, Bank | Riparia riparia
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: May 2013 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL

Swallow, Barn | Hirundo rustica
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: May 2011 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL

Swift, Chimney | Chaetura pelagica
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2007 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Thrush, Wood | Hylocichla mustelina
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: November 2012 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: ON, QC, NB, NS

Warbler, Canada | Cardellina canadensis
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2008 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS

Warbler, Golden-winged | Vermivora chrysoptera
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2006 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: MB, ON, QC

Waterthrush, Louisiana | Parkesia motacilla
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: November 2015 (In a higher risk category)
Canadian Occurrence: ON, QC

Whip-poor-will, Eastern | Antrostomus vociferus
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2009 (New)
Canadian Occurrence: SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Woodpecker, Red-headed | Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Status: Threatened
Last Examination and Change: April 2007 (In a higher risk category)
Canadian Occurrence: SK, MB, ON, QC

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on May 6, 2016 at 07:43:47 AM by janice house

This morning I watched a swallow putting nesting material in one of our bluebird boxes. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Humming Bird
Posted on May 5, 2016 at 07:45:33 PM by Jim Griffin

I put my feeder up yesterday (may 4) and had a male RBT visit at about 3 pm. One today as well. That's our earliest for Port Sydney

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - meeting May 5
Posted on May 5, 2016 at 02:12:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

from the Wakerobin:
MAY MEETING, Thursday, May 5: Alex Mills, a birder known throughout Ontario for his extraordinary birding
ID skills, will be our guest speaker. Alex wrote Birds of Muskoka & Parry Sound, 1981. Associate Dean of
Science at York University, Alex has been engaged in teaching a variety of university biology courses and also
field courses for Ontario Universities Field Program in Field Biology, most recently in Algonquin Park and
Belize. Weather permitting, an outing to see/hear the whip-poor-will will immediately follow the meeting. If the
weather is not suitable, the outing will follow the June meeting.

All meetings from September to June remain in Gravenhurst at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre located
at 275 Steamship Bay Rd. off Hwy 169 N towards Bala. Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.
Meetings are free and open to new members and visitors of all ages.
www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com

 

 

Sandhill Crane
Posted on May 5, 2016 at 12:53:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Sandhill Crane was calling as it circled Henry Marsh and then flew east into the wind. There were a few Warblers along the trail - Pine, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Black-throated Green, and an Ovenbird which I was lucky to see since it hadn't been singing. A Blue-headed Vireo was singing just east of the marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Yellow Warblers
Posted on May 5, 2016 at 10:21:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Yellow Warblers singing west of cell 4 (first ones I've seen this spring). There were still many Buffleheads, but only 4 Ring-necked Ducks, about a dozen Lesser Scaup, and seven Green-winged Teal, as well as the regular Wood Ducks and Mallards. A few White-crowned Sparrows were singing by the Lagoon Lane deadend.

 

 

this week in Washago
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 10:29:59 PM by John Challis

Well, we've been beaten on the first northern waterthrush and the white-throated sparrow. We heard and saw a pair of the waterthrush on a trail at the top end of New Brailey Line tonight, and there were a number of white-throated sparrows in song as the sun went down.
We also heard an ovenbird sing out, just the once. Snipe were also doing their evening routines. And a number of hermit thrushes were calling to each other in a scrubby area.
In the herps category, we were pleased to hear a number of American toads calling. First of season for them, too.
Monday evening on the Mcarthur Sideroad, east end of Washago, we watched a pair of upland sandpipers land in a field. Nice to know there is a pair in the area; we have seen a lone individual in past years. The woodcocks were busy, and meadowlarks were filling the evening air with song. And we added a porcupine in the middle of a farm field, and a black bear nosing around some tree stumps not much farther down the road.

 

 

Re(1): white throated sparrow
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 11:52:21 AM by Barbara Taylor

There was a White-throated Sparrow singing at the Bracebridge Lagoons yesterday. (first I'd heard this spring)

Some hummingbirds have already crossed the border!
http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
 

 

 

white throated sparrow
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 10:28:59 AM by dinnymccraney

under the feeder this morning. Can the hummingbirds be far behind?

 

Re(1): White Crowned Sparrow
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 12:43:24 PM by janice house

A brown thrasher showed up this morning too

 

 

Re(1): White Crowned Sparrow
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 10:30:01 AM by dinnymccraney

also one here (Bracebridge) by the cedar hedge

 

 

White Crowned Sparrow
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 07:06:49 AM by janice house

One was under the feeders with the grackles this morning by the cedar hedge, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Northern Waterthrush
Posted on May 3, 2016 at 12:51:24 PM by DBurton

Today we heard 2 Northern Waterthrushes singing near the fire college fence in Gravenhurst. Other species of interest House Wren (FOS) and Winter Wren. Caspian Terns did not show up this year (again).

 

 

Lesser Yellowlegs 
Posted on May 3, 2016 at 12:17:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 11 a.m. today at the Bracebridge Ponds, two Lesser Yellowlegs flew in from the south and settled down at the north end of cell 1. 

 

 

rufous-sided towhee
Posted on May 2, 2016 at 09:38:08 PM by PatWelch

We had a male rufous-sided towhee in our yard today eating seeds on the ground by the feeders. PatWelch SW of Huntsville
 

 

 

Re(1): Our Very Own Heronry
Posted on May 2, 2016 at 09:19:06 PM by Debbie Adams

They've been nesting there for years. You can still see them from the hwy after leaf-out.

 

 

Our Very Own Heronry
Posted on May 2, 2016 at 09:03:12 PM by George Bryant

Tonight we spied three Great Blue Herons on large nests, their heads just visible over the nest rim. Location is in a swamp .5 km. west of Home Building, 200 metres south of Hwy. 169 and visible in a gap between trees from the road shoulder (watch out it is on a curve). Since the nests are bulky, I assume they are not new. Once leaf-out occurs, the nests will be concealed, which I guess is why I never saw them last year. I am always amazed at how quickly summer resident birds get down to business.

 

 

Least Flycatcher
Posted on May 2, 2016 at 05:42:00 PM by janice house

Just got home from work....least flycatcher calling from the scrub under the hydro lines in front of the house. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.

 

 

Chickadee preparing nest
Posted on May 2, 2016 at 01:09:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a pair of Black-capped Chickadees were excavating a nest hole near Henry Marsh. You could hear little tap-tap-tap from down inside the hole and then the bird would reappear and have a look around. Its mate was standing guard nearby.  photo1  photo2  photo3 

 

 

RB Grosbeak
Posted on May 1, 2016 at 06:52:03 PM by DBurton

A Rose-Breasted Grosbeak is currently at my window feeder. First one in the yard in a long time.

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on May 1, 2016 at 12:25:39 PM by AnnHansen

Great Blue Heron seen twice this week on Spence Lake in Bracebridge
 

 

 

Great Egret
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 09:52:29 PM by TinaJacobson

Great Egret seen in Elmvale today, shot though windshield.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 08:53:32 PM by janice house

Killdeer calling in the farm field across from our house. Woodcock display opposite our driveway. I assume it is the same bird, lands in the same area a few feet from the fence.

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 08:39:59 PM by janice house

Finally heard my first yellow rumped warbler after lunch today calling behind a neighbours house. I got back from a dog walk about 7:45pm, at 1160 Doe Lake Rd (old Dinsmore Sheep Farm) there was a sandhill crane in the field with Canada geese and a pair of turkeys.

 

 

Re(1): American Bittern
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 06:13:48 PM by John Challis

We have one calling right now in the swamp behind our house. (6:10 p.m.). Don't know if it breeds out there but we have heard it many springs here. There used to be one in the Meadows by the Bracebridge sewage lagoons, but the lot I watched it in is probably occupied by a building now.

 

 

American Bittern
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 12:19:04 PM by George Bryant

An American Bittern was pumping away last night at our cottage on Pine Lake. It was in the swamp east side of Snider’s Bay Road, ˝ km. west of #169. Last year, I heard one there on May 06, the only other time was July 01, 1986. Despite Muskoka’s abundant wetlands, AMBI are scarce here—I wonder if this was a vocalizing migrant—they nest up to Hudson Bay. A better place to see AMBI and occasionally Least Bittern is the large marsh at the junction of N. Muldrew Lake Rd. and Peninsula Road. The road shoulders have been cleared of alders making for excellent viewing.

 

 

Lagoons Saturday
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 09:17:51 AM by Leslie

I was at the lagoons this morning and saw the usual bunch of buffleheads and wood ducks. I had a very good view of a male shoveller and male green-winged teal. The colours are so wonderfully vivid this time of year! Also saw a mother mallard and 10 ducklings on the Kerr Park Pond - no wasting time for this mother! She must have been sitting on eggs during our last bouts of snow.

 

 

Black & White Warbler, Bala
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 07:46:17 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Just watched a Black and White Warbler foraging in the pines by my house!

 

 

Re(1): Lagoon dogs
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 09:15:34 AM by Leslie

I've seen these dogs all winter around the area between the marsh and lagoons. As far as I can tell, they come from the area on Beaumont Drive where there is a property for sale with a barn on it and what looks to be a landing strip. I've seen them come barking out from the barn area. They've never really bothered me and my dog other than to look rather aggressive.

 

Re(2): Lagoon dogs - photos
Posted on April 29, 2016 at 08:19:20 PM by DBurton

Yes. That's the pair. White dog was limping, but quiet.

 

 

Re(1): Lagoon dogs - photos
Posted on April 29, 2016 at 07:29:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Barking brown dog with a white dog?
Unfortunately those dogs have been running free at the Lagoons and Henry Marsh very frequently this spring. There were a few sightings of them along the trail between those two spots in the winter too. The brown dog has not only barked, but growled (with fur raised on its neck) at me and others. There are sometimes 3 or 4 dogs together on the loose, which is a little disconcerting since they are all large dogs. I was finally able to get some decent photos of them this week and will ask the town if there is something that can be done.

Does anyone recognize these dogs and know who they belong to?

Photos

 

 

Lagoon dogs
Posted on April 29, 2016 at 02:18:00 PM by DBurton

Watch out for 2 dogs at the lagoons, no collar, no leash. One won't stop barking at you until you leave.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawks
Posted on April 29, 2016 at 01:02:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning two Broad-winged Hawks were circling over the Bracebridge Ponds. A pair of Northern Shovelers and a Double-crested Cormorant were in cell 1 along with the regular ducks. A Brown Thrasher was foraging on the ground near the viewing stand at Kerr Park.

 

 

Re(1): thrush
Posted on April 30, 2016 at 07:47:22 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Birds are the best excuse!!!

 

 

thrush
Posted on April 29, 2016 at 01:02:11 PM by John Challis

A hermit thrush made me late for work this morning. It was singing right in our front yard. A beautiful serenade. To tell the truth I'm always late for work, so the bird is just an excuse.

 

 

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Posted on April 28, 2016 at 04:22:15 PM by Malachi51

First sighting yesterday of a Rose Breasted Grosbeak at the feeder.

 

 

Re(1): Osprey
Posted on April 28, 2016 at 05:07:13 PM by ksmith

Hi I have friends on Penfold Lake just south of Huntsville that noted an Osprey on Sunday April 24.

 

 

Osprey
Posted on April 28, 2016 at 01:24:21 PM by DBurton

First Sundridge Osprey arrived today

 

 

common tern
Posted on April 28, 2016 at 07:39:11 AM by John Challis

Tuesday evening at Centennial Park in Washago, saw our first common tern fishing along the western shores. A group of rusty blackbirds (at least we're pretty sure they were rusty bbs) were also chattering in the trees in the park.and a meadowlark was flitting around in the baseball diamonds.

 

 

Re(1): Wigeons
Posted on April 27, 2016 at 11:59:34 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was no sign of the Yellowlegs. A pair of Shovelers was still in cell 1 and a newly arrived pair of American Wigeon were in cell 2. A Brown Thrasher was near the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Yellowlegs and Shovelers
Posted on April 26, 2016 at 04:01:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there were five Greater Yellowlegs at the west side of cell 1, three Northern Shovelers (2M,1F) in cell 1, and a pair of Gadwall in cell 2. The Wilson's Snipe was calling again west of cell 4. There were also several Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Wood Ducks, three Green-winged Teal, a Common Goldeneye, Mallards, and two Spotted Sandpipers. A Savannah Sparrow was singing by the middle intersection.

 

 

Re(1): Mother Bear +++
Posted on April 26, 2016 at 02:19:39 PM by dinnymccraney

smart cubs!!

 

 

Mother Bear +++
Posted on April 25, 2016 at 05:17:02 PM by Jim Griffin

On our way south on Sunday morning we saw mama bear in a low area beside hwy 11 just south of Muskoka airport; she was thinking about crossing the highway, standing on her hind legs surveying the traffic, but her three little cubs had other ideas and were high tailing for the bush in the opposite direction.

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on April 25, 2016 at 05:00:54 PM by DBurton

Found a Hermit Thrush near South River today. There is still snow on the bush roads up here making them undrivable.

 

 

Sundridge area birds
Posted on April 24, 2016 at 04:13:06 PM by DBurton

Of interest:
Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestral, 3 Bald Eagles, Fox Sparrow, Winter Wren, Meadowlark, Brown Creepers, Hooded Mergansers, Ruffed Grouse. Yesterday Brown Thrasher. Some were FOS (first of season) birds.

 

 

Phoebe in Bala
Posted on April 24, 2016 at 12:01:35 PM by DinnyNimmo

I saw our first phoebe of the season on our back septic bed. Neil had done some raking and that may have attracted it. A second bird had flown up just before I saw the phoebe. It may have been its mate. Dinny Bala

 

 

Doe Lake Gravenhurst
Posted on April 24, 2016 at 10:05:06 AM by janice house

Just got back from checking out the lake, of course I left my scope at home. A sandhill crane is in the farm field close to the Tree Museum Road, 2 northern harriers, a kestrel, meadowlark calling, a dozen plus tree swallows, 3 cormorants, mallards, gold finch flew over calling, Canada geese and I believe 4 ring necks

 

 

Re(1): Baby Painted Turtle
Posted on May 21, 2016 at 06:03:53 PM by DBurton

I found a baby turtle walking straight down the middle of the road between cell 2 and 3 today. Same size.

 

 

Baby Painted Turtle
Posted on April 22, 2016 at 04:29:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This little Painted Turtle was on the roadway west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds this afternoon. There were also about 30 Tree Swallows flying overhead.

photo1  photo2  Looks like it recently emerged from its nest.

 

 

Re(1): this week in Washago
Posted on April 22, 2016 at 07:48:27 AM by John Challis

Just saw the white throats. A little group of them. And would northern water thrush be on their way through now?

 

 

this week in Washago
Posted on April 22, 2016 at 07:44:28 AM by John Challis

On a bike ride east of town heard the first meadowlarks in Farm fields, a merlin calling over the Severn River, snipe in flight at the Cronk Sideroad, and a Tom turkey giving his all to impress a few females. Swamp sparrows were back as of Thursday in our swamp on Green River Dr. We think we heard our first yellow rumped warbler by the canal yesterday, no visual. White throated sparrow and a blue headed vireo heard on the dog walk this morning.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 to 21 April
Posted on April 22, 2016 at 07:22:46 AM by Ontbirds

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

Some ponds and shallow lakes had developed extensive open water by today.
However, most lakes remain ice-covered. Bare ground is widespread in
deciduous forest and on south-facing slopes, but knee-deep snow persists in
many shaded areas.

New migrants arrived in numbers this week, especially during the warm
temperatures of the 15th and 16th, including Common Loon, Winter Wren,
Hermit Thrush and Rusty Blackbird (15th); Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked
Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern
Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping
Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow (16th); American Kestrel, Pine Warbler
and Savannah Sparrow (17th); and Broad-winged Hawk (21st).

Feeders at the Visitor Centre have now been shut down but birds continue to
come for accumulated seed on the ground, including up to three Fox Sparrows.

Moose seeking the slightly salty meltwater puddles along the highway are
being seen more often now. This is also a great time to see Otters that
often frequent ice-edge areas where they consume their prey. Costello Creek
along Opeongo Road was a good place to see them this week.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Two males were in the black spruce along the northern part
of the Opeongo Road (east side) on April 16, and one was observed near the
parking lot of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 17th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was on Opeongo Road, 200 metres north of
the gate (now open), on the 17th, and another was heard drumming on the
north side of Highway 60 at Park Lake today.

Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road continue to
produce this species.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were found on Opeongo Road on the 17th.

WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: This species is widespread but in low numbers now.
Many males are in full song.

Red Crossbill: A single bird calling in flight was noted on Opeongo
Road at the gate on the 16th.

Common Redpoll: It appears that only a few remain now.

Pine Siskin: Late in the week, most observers were reporting five or
fewer per day.

Evening Grosbeak: One to three were seen at the Visitor Centre by
week's end.


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

Thanks to Kelly Stronks for tallying birds seen during Saturday's very
successful OFO trip as shown on the following eBird links:

Airfield:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29004328

Opeongo Road:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29004332
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29017929

Spruce Bog Boardwalk:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29017942

Visitor Centre:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29017924

Park Lake:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28994546

West Gate:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28994547

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Merlin
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 09:28:32 PM by DBurton

I heard a Merlin today in the pines at the Latter Day Saints church beside Tim Horton's in Bracebridge

 

 

Moose on Hwy 169
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 08:01:11 PM by DinnyNimmo

This afternoon about 5.30pm coming back from Gravenhurst I spotted a moose on Hwy 169 between Walkers Point and Black Lake Road. It was down in a depression beside the road. I have never seen a moose along that stretch of road in 20 years. Dinny Nimmo Bala

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 06:04:40 PM by cortneyl

Patrick Moldowan will talk about "Turtle Sex and Other Shell Games" based on his research on Painted Turtles in Algonquin Park. Tuesday, April 26 starting at 7 pm. Meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall on High St. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

 

 

Re(1): Warblers
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 12:12:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were four Yellow-rumped Warblers at the edge of the woods west of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds. A Wilson's Snipe flew down to the pipeline west of cell 4 and called for nearly 10 minutes. It was too distant for my little camera, but I found a good youtube video of one making the same sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCtUJQwcOfs

 

 

Bala Warblers
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 09:09:04 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Tuesday had a Nashville Warbler here and just saw 2 male yellow rumps. Anne Lewis on Six Mile Lake had a Pine Warbler on Monday.

 

 

RC Kinglets singing
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 05:56:54 PM by DBurton

Ruby Crowned Kinglets are singing around Gravenhurst today. I heard one April 17th, but none the last 2 days.

 

 

Re(1): Blocking ads
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 05:58:29 PM by DBurton

I have Firefox with Adblock Plus and no ads appear.

 

 

Blocking ads
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 05:53:16 PM by FrancesGualtieri

We use Ghostery, which blocks alot of ads. I can't see any ads in Barbara's message.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Please read - Ads on the message board
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 01:15:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

This is a free message board but the owner of the hosting service has placed ads at the bottom of each message as a way to try and cover their costs. I have no way to stop these ads which appear under the heading "you might also like". You can try an adblock app or add-on in your browser, or try to just ignore the ads. Sorry, but there is nothing I can do about it.

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 12:43:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Spotted Sandpiper at the south end of cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds. First one I've seen this spring.

 

 

Four Frog Species
Posted on April 19, 2016 at 09:23:22 AM by George Bryant

On Apr 17 two Green Frogs were basking on the shore of a pond by our cottage, dark from having just emerged from the mud. That night we watched a Woodcock displaying beside Muldrew Lake Road, the air resonating with Spring Peeper calls. After stopping at several likely ponds, we finally found one with our target—Wood Frogs uttering their muted quacks, like people gossiping. Then at 9 p.m. back on our cottage road, we noted three frogs on the road, not Green as I expected, but Leopard and all cold to the touch—just out of the water. I rarely see Leopards here and wondered why they were leaving the ponds.

 

 

loon
Posted on April 18, 2016 at 08:16:51 PM by John Challis

Watched a loon this evening at McLean Bay, Sparrow Lake. First I've seen. Gayle saw an osprey over Green River this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Lepidoptera
Posted on April 20, 2016 at 02:35:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Spring Azures were flying today by Henry Marsh. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Lepidoptera
Posted on April 18, 2016 at 04:57:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

The warm weather has brought out some Mourning Cloak butterflies and The Infant which is a day-flying moth. They wouldn't sit still long enough for a photo, so I've included some references below. (Bracebridge)

The Infant:
http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=3953
http://bugguide.net/node/view/38897

Mourning Cloak:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/3188

 

 

Algonquin Park OFO trip: 16 April
Posted on April 17, 2016 at 02:48:48 PM by Ontbirds

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

About 85 people enjoyed a magnificent sunny early spring day in Algonquin
Park on Saturday. The 18 degrees reached in the afternoon must surely be the
highest temperature in the 27 years of this OFO trip. Although the extensive
snow on the ground in shaded areas restricted our movements, we had a great
day of birding.

The two male Spruce Grouse and the Gray Jays feeding from the hand, both
north of the gate on Opeongo Road, were a highlight for many. Two
Black-backed Woodpeckers were seen by a few lucky latecomers on Opeongo
Road, but the main group was unfortunately farther north at the time.

Several first-of-spring in Algonquin species were seen: Green-winged Teal,
Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, Wilson's
Snipe, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped
Warbler, Chipping Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow.

At the official final stop at Tea Lake Dam, there were 51 species on the
day's list. A check of the West Gate (Yellow-rumped Warbler) and Park Lake
(Wood Duck, Common Goldeneye, Common Loon, Belted Kingfisher,
European Starling) after that brought the final tally to 57 species. All the
species observed on the trip can be seen on eBird.

Thanks to all the trip participants for helping make the day so enjoyable.
It was particularly pleasing to see so many young birders. I want to thank
Justin Peter, Dawn Sherman and Rick Stronks for their help with the
logistics for our 35-vehicle procession and for their efforts in finding
birds and helping participants to see them.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(1): FOS Warbler
Posted on April 19, 2016 at 07:32:42 AM by janice house

A chipping sparrow was in the feeder at the back of the yard last night, this morning a woodcock flew through our yard heading for the farm field across the road.

 

 

Re(2): FOS Warbler
Posted on April 18, 2016 at 08:33:04 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Pine Warbler was singing in our yard and then flew down to the platform feeder to check out the menu. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): FOS Warbler
Posted on April 18, 2016 at 08:22:08 AM by janice house

Pine warbler, savannah sparrow, killdeer, northern flicker yesterday Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst. This morning our first white throated sparrow of the season.

 

 

FOS Warbler
Posted on April 17, 2016 at 01:55:13 PM by DBurton

First of season Pine Warbler arrived. Gateway Drive, Gravenhurst. Newer birds: both Kinglets, and 2 Sapsuckers.

 

 

Gadwall
Posted on April 17, 2016 at 02:52:22 PM by Goodyear

As we were leaving the Lagoons this morning, a male Gadwall flew up from cell 1 and headed towards cell 4

 

 

Green-winged Teal
Posted on April 17, 2016 at 12:41:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were five newly arrived Green-winged Teal at the north end of cell 1. Six Killdeer were on the roadway south of cell 2. A few Swamp Sparrows were singing west of cell 4. As I was leaving, four Tree Swallows flew in from the south.

Bracebridge Ponds map (north approx. at top, west at left): http://www.muskokafieldnaturalists.com/Archives/pondsmap.jpg

 

 

Wood Ducks
Posted on April 16, 2016 at 08:23:07 AM by NigelEves

A flock of Wood Ducks just swirled and dropped into the lake while I was looking out the window... such fast and acrobatic flyers! Nine males and one female.
Mortimers Point Lake Muskoka

 

 

Re(1): leopard, wood frogs
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 04:24:55 PM by John Challis

Should add this morning's birds to the post. Ruffed grouse drumming, winter wren in song, phoebes have resumed singing, and heard one per-lunk that sounded a lot like an American bittern - can't confirm it though.

 

 

leopard, wood frogs
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 04:21:59 PM by John Challis

I'm glazing over in the sun, listening to a handful of Leopard frogs, a woodfrog and a peeper or two in the swamp behind the house, Green River Drive, Washago. Meanwhile Grieg's piano concerto in A is on the music box. Picked a perfect day to take off work.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 to 14 April
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 04:20:55 PM by Ontbirds

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

Abnormally cold temperatures this week preserved extensive deep snow and
mainly ice-covered lakes and ponds.

New arrivals included: Sharp-shinned Hawk (April 13); Killdeer,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, and Eastern Meadowlark (April
14). Single Northern Shrikes were seen at the Airfield on the 8th and 14th.

A Nocturnal Owl Survey between the East Boundary and Eucalia Lake on the
13th recorded Great Horned Owl (1 site), Barred Owl (1 site), and Northern
Saw-whet Owl (3 sites).


BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Try Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road continue to
produce this species.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were observed near the recycling facilities in Mew
Lake Campground on the 13th.


WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: A few were seen at various sites, including East Gate, Visitor
Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Found Lake.

Red Crossbill: Single birds calling in flight were noted at the Airfield and
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 13th, and there were
12 at the Airfield and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Pine Siskin: This finch continues to be widespread. For example, an
estimated 530 were noted along the highway on the 9th, and there were
170 on the 10th and 90 on the 12th at the Visitor Centre.

American Goldfinch: There were two at the East Gate on the 8th.

Evening Grosbeak: Numbers are dwindling. There were 10 at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and 15 at the Visitor Centre on the 9th, but just two at both the
Visitor Centre and the Airfield on the 14th.


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): Common Loon in Dwight
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 07:32:58 PM by missyinmuskoka

I also saw the first common loon on Kahshe lake today

 

 

Common Loon in Dwight
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 01:56:23 PM by Rick Stronks

This morning I had a Common Loon on Lake of Bays at the mouth of the Boyne Creek, Dwight.

 

 

Brewer's Blackbird
Posted on April 15, 2016 at 12:22:47 PM by DBurton

What I thought was a Rusty Blackbird doing a weird song I have just confirmed is actually a Brewer's Blackbird at Bracebridge lagoons. It sounds like a cross between a Rusty Blackbird and a Cowbird. Location: viewed from the gravelled area off cell 4 in the trees between cell 3 and 4. There is also a Snipe in the ditch near the entrance gate.

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Northern Shovelers, Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 09:27:51 PM by Goodyear

This evening there was a pair of Shovelers in cell 1, along with a frequently diving Pied-billed Grebe.

 

 

Fox Sparrow
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 08:10:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

Finally got a Fox Sparrow tonight. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Oregon Junco
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 06:34:44 PM by janice house

Just got video of a male feeding in the backyard, its been a while

 

 

Re(1): Tree Swallow
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 03:14:16 PM by janice house

and then there were three.........

 

 

Tree Swallow
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 01:08:35 PM by janice house

One is sitting on the hydro wires chittering right now.....lovely. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Winter Wren
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 12:52:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Winter Wren singing along the trail east of Henry Marsh...first one I've heard this spring. (Bracebridge)

Three Double-crested Cormorants were in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds...nothing else of note.

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Bala
Posted on April 14, 2016 at 08:41:51 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

First sighting here this year - Yellow-bellied Sapsucker!

 

 

Re(1): Red Breasted Nuthatch
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 10:08:52 PM by Leslie

Wow, what an awesome collection of photos! Thank you!

 

 

Red Breasted Nuthatch
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 08:46:54 PM by tedthevideoman

5 images @ www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com

photo

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 05:57:03 PM by Malachi51

Saw a flock of redpolls in Vankoughnet today. Also watched an otter play in a pond.

 

 

Merganser Pair
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 05:54:11 PM by Leslie

There was a lovely pair of hooded mergansers at the Kerr Park pond this afternoon.

 

 

Re(3): Woodcock
Posted on April 16, 2016 at 10:07:40 AM by DBurton

Also, a Woodcock was doing a display flight in the cemetery nearby at dusk last night. We were able to approach to less than 10 feet. The peent calls are actually pretty loud.

 

 

Re(2): Woodcock
Posted on April 16, 2016 at 07:25:57 AM by janice house

woodcocks were doing the display last night in the farm field across from our house, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
 

 

Re(1): Woodcock
Posted on April 12, 2016 at 09:49:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a Woodcock peenting near our house tonight...haven't heard one here for many years. (Bracebridge)

Listen to a Woodcock:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Woodcock/sounds

How to see and hear a Woodcock by Ron Pittaway:
http://www.jeaniron.ca/2015/woodcock.htm

 

Woodcock
Posted on April 12, 2016 at 08:07:26 PM by Bettyann

Nice to look out the window and see a woodcock having breakfast. It stuck around for a couple of hours.

 

 

Ring-necked Ducks
Posted on April 12, 2016 at 05:19:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 34 Ring-necked Ducks in cell 4. Eight were paired up and off by themselves, but 25 males were in a tight bunch around a single female. Where are all the females?!

There were two Eastern Phoebes finding something to eat along the north side of cell 4 where it was sheltered from the wind. I noticed a few midges flying close to the ground as well as many snowfleas atop the melting snow, but couldn't tell if that's what the birds were eating.

 

 

White-throated Sparrow
Posted on April 11, 2016 at 12:40:02 PM by DBurton

At a friend's feeder in Sundridge there is a White-Throated Sparrow which I saw yesterday. He also has a Green-phased Pine Siskin, and there was a Brown Creeper nearby. I had 2 Hoary Redpolls there a week ago, but did not see one in yesterday's group. There are Pine Siskins everywhere in Sundridge; perhaps 1000 altogether. I had several land on me.

 

 

Re(1): Mink
Posted on April 11, 2016 at 06:56:51 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Great photo, Terri!
Frances in Vankoughnet

 

 

Mink
Posted on April 11, 2016 at 11:44:52 AM by Terri

I know this isn't a bird post but thought I would still share this. Second time I've seen this mink coming around our property. First time I seen it, he was chasing a chipmunk up the tree and second time he was running across the lawn. Both times it disappeared under our shed. Possible house under there I guess. :)  photo

 

 

Re(2): Siskins etc
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 07:36:38 PM by ksmith

It was crazy at my feeders near Port Sydney. Pine Siskens, Common Redpolls and the odd chickadee and WBNH and RBNH. Today I had the Greater Common Redpolls,(fatter and fluffier with a whiter breast) Purple finches Male and female. Not one Goldfinch in sight. Today the Siskens were particularly aggressive. I saw some pretty nasty head peckings. They were so busy squabbling they had a hard time eating at the Niger feeder. It was very entertaining indeed. By the Way--Fantastic Photo!!

 

 

Re(1): Siskins etc
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 06:40:38 PM by janice house

Great shot Ted! Siskins, purple finches and common redpolls were numerous in Bent River today. My brother counted 47 robins at one point this last week.

 

 

Re(1): Siskins etc
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 06:26:45 PM by John Challis

The pine siskins certainly are aggressive little things...they pretty much defend their roosts on the feeder against every other challenger.

 

 

Re(1): Siskins etc
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 06:18:22 PM by michaelhatton

That is one very, very sharp image!

 

 

Siskins etc
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 04:06:15 PM by tedthevideoman

The backyard is full of Siskins, Purple and Gold finches, Redpolls , Tree Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Juncos and 1 Fox Sparrow...Meadow Heights BB  photo

 

 

Wood Ducks
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 02:35:53 PM by Malachi51

Four Wood Ducks on the Black River in Vankoughnet today.

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 12:56:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Red-shouldered Hawk calling loudly while perched near the dip in the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. A Ruffed Grouse was feeding under a fir tree close to the trail and another was heard drumming.

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on April 9, 2016 at 05:43:50 PM by Jim Griffin

A Great Blue Heron was on the river at Port Sydney this morning, I hope it snags some rodents, as history does not favour the survival chances of this early arrival (from personal observation at least). The river is very high and haven't seen or heard much in the way of frogs etc.

 

 

Re(3): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on April 11, 2016 at 03:48:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Coop is headed your way June. A few minutes ago he came in low at the front of our house and hugged the wall until he got around back where the finches were feeding on the ground. Didn't work...he missed again. He flew to our deck railing and had a brief look around, but then flew off to the south.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on April 11, 2016 at 11:18:00 AM by J. Gardner

I have not yet seen the Coopers hawk in the neighbourhood... but the smear of feathers across the snow tells the story. They are working the area. J. Gardner BB

 

 

Re(1): Cooper's Hawk
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 04:33:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Many of the winter finches had returned to our yard this afternoon and were getting into a bit of a feeding frenzy as the first flakes of snow began to fall. Oops...the male Cooper's Hawk just took a run at them. He missed, but followed the fleeing finches to the west.  So yesterday the female and today the male. It seems the pair of Cooper's Hawks have reunited and are planning to nest in the neighbourhood again.

 

 

Cooper's Hawk
Posted on April 9, 2016 at 03:02:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just after 2:30 p.m. a Cooper's Hawk swooped into our yard at high speed, missed all the finches under the hanging feeder, then abruptly turned to try under the platform feeder, but missed again. She flew up into a tree, searched the area for a few minutes, and then flew to the north across Kevin Cres. Amazing that the Hawk couldn't catch one bird out of the 200 or so feeding in the yard, but I guess that shows there really is "safety in numbers". (Bracebridge)

 

 

Sandhill Crane
Posted on April 9, 2016 at 11:00:28 AM by janice house

I just got back from a dog walk, heard then finally saw a crane way up there, circling over a neighbour's house. Laycox Rd/Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(3): kinglet song
Posted on April 17, 2016 at 02:05:38 PM by DBurton

Thanks John Challis for your post. As I was listening to Kinglets today, I was reminded of your good description of the song. I usually just listen for the triple hissy sounds.

 

 

Re(1): kinglet song
Posted on April 9, 2016 at 10:30:01 AM by George Bryant

Golden-crowns rarely sing during migration unlike male Ruby-crowns which sing persistently. Golden-crowns song while lovely, is extremely high pitched--like Brown Creeper or Black-poll Warbler. I was amazed at their song when I first heard it in Newfoundland, then not for 40 years (loss of high frequency hearing) until I got Birdsong headphones (frequency-lowering) last year and enjoyed the song once again in Algonquin.

 

 

Re(2): kinglet song
Posted on April 10, 2016 at 12:07:01 PM by John Challis

Well there you go. Thanks Barb -- we have heard the ruby-crowned when there has been a wave of them coming through, but I was able to get within eight feet of the little golden crowned last week to watch, even with the dog not far away.

 

 

Re(1): kinglet song
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 02:44:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

John, that is a good description of a Golden-crowned Kinglet's normal song. I've rarely heard them singing and usually just notice their high-pitched call notes. Here are a couple websites with good samples of their songs:
https://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/213650
http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/learn/identification/thrushes-allies/golden-crowned-kinglet.php

 

 

kinglet song
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 11:30:27 AM by John Challis

For a couple of days running this week, I have heard the high-pitched rising series of tsee-tsee notes of a yellow-crowned kinglet -- ending in a chickadee's chatter. I was assuming it was a chickadee mimicking a kinglet, but on Tuesday I got a good look at the kinglet doing the performance. Barb Taylor, or Al Sinclair -- or Dan Burton -- would a kinglet hang around chickadees long enough that it would pick up some of their vocabulary?

 

 

finch frenzy
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 07:54:38 AM by John Challis

There are hundreds of them this morning. Purple finches, redpolls, including a hoary I'm sure, siskins, goldfinches, juncos, and a few intimidated chickadees slipping in when they can. They were so hungry that they wouldn't leave the niger feeder until I actually reached to pick it up to refill it. This is going to be an expensive spring if the cold spell persists.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Harrier
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 03:33:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds a female Northern Harrier was flying low around cell 4.

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 06:14:10 AM by janice house

Last night at 5:40 a male harrier glided through the yard and all the birds scattered. I watched him glide around the farm field across from the house and disappear, 20 minutes later he made a second pass through the back yard. I have had two fox sparrows here all week, could it be a pair?

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 31 March to 7 April
Posted on April 7, 2016 at 01:54:33 PM by Ontbirds

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

Recent snowfall, including 20 cm Wednesday over night and lingering cold temperatures have slowed the arrival of migrants.
New migrants this week include: 1 male Common Goldeneye was seen on the Opeongo Road on April 1, and 1 Fox Sparrow was seen at the Visitor Centre on April 2.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: A male was seen on Spruce Bog boardwalk, on the unofficial trail that begins near the guest registry on April 1 and again on April 5.

Gray Jay: They continue to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road. Of course, with many females now incubating eggs, there are fewer Gray Jays out there to be observed.

Boreal Chickadee: One individual reported up the Opeongo Road, near the fork to access the Cameron Lake road (near the gate) on April 3.


DUCKS and GEESE
In addition to the Goldeneye mentioned above, American Black Duck was seen at the intersection of Hwy 60 and Opeongo Road, A male Wood Duck, several Hooded Mergansers and a pair of Common Mergansers were seen on the Opeongo Road on April 1.


SPARROWS
A small number of American Tree Sparrows (up to 4), 1 Song Sparrow and up to 3 Dark-eyed Junco continue to be seen at the Visitor Centre.


WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: Up to 20 were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Common Redpoll: Several Common Redpolls were seen at the Visitor Centre this week, and reported from other locations along Highway 60.

Pine Siskin: This continues to be the most numerous finch here. The total seen at the Visitor Centre feeders reached 90 on April 1, and several flocks getting grit along Highway 60 contained a total of 250 birds on the April 2.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 35 continued to come to the Visitor Centre.


Please be very careful around waterways; ice conditions are extremely dangerous this time of year and the current can be very swift.
Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good birding!

David LeGros
Algonquin Park Naturalist
Algonquin Visitor Centre

 

 

Re(3): Frantic Bird Activity
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 03:33:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Large flocks here too...over 200 Pine Siskins, and many Purple Finches, Common Redpolls, a Hoary Redpoll, and some Goldfinches. Had to put out a temporary "birdbath feeder" on the deck to try and keep up with them all. I thought Evening Grosbeaks were supposed to be the "greedy birds". :)   (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Frantic Bird Activity, Bala
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 10:40:03 AM by dinnymccraney

Gee, I thought they were all at MY house!!

 

 

Re(1): Frantic Bird Activity, Bala
Posted on April 7, 2016 at 09:58:52 AM by J. Gardner

Hi Eleanor. Thursday. After an almost bird-free winter, the backyard feeders are literally covered in migrants.. redpolls, goldfinches and siskins. The ground is covered and the nearby trees are a bouncing mass. There is hope... J. Gardner (Bracebridge)

 

 

Frantic Bird Activity, Bala
Posted on April 6, 2016 at 07:27:00 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have missed the large number of boreal species that bird feeders East of Bracebridge have experience. Until today, that is. Several dozen Pine Siskins, about a dozen Common Redpolls, at least a dozen Purple Finches including 8 males, juncos and American Tree Sparrows. At one point this afternoon a fox ran in and got something but couldn't see any feathers. The Mourning Doves and red squirrels flushed the others every once in awhile.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 6, 2016 at 12:11:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 1. There were several newly arrived Wood Ducks...two mated pairs resting on the shore, plus 11 males vying for the attention of one female swimming in cell 2. About 40 Ring-billed Gulls were gathered at the north end of cell 2, perhaps grounded by the sudden driving snow. A few Ring-necked Ducks and a pair of Common Goldeneyes were in cell 4, in addition to the usual Buffleheads, Mallards, and Canada Geese scattered about.

 

 

Sandhill cranes
Posted on April 5, 2016 at 05:06:47 PM by johndouglas

A pair of sandhill cranes passed over 3 Mile Lake this afternoon and then headed back to the open water at the mouth of Bennett's Creek. Rattling call is so distinctive.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Bluebird
Posted on April 5, 2016 at 04:48:51 PM by janice house

I was speaking with Tim Mason today, he lives on the Luckey Rd in Raymond. As we were speaking a bluebird hopped onto one of his boxes, 2 dozen golden crowned kinglets were flitting about by his creek. Several weeks ago he watched a bald eagle take down a wild turkey on his property.

 

 

Eastern Bluebird
Posted on April 5, 2016 at 04:15:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an Eastern Bluebird singing by the NW gate leading to Kerr Park. I wonder if they will still try to nest in that area, now that the new dog park is in operation where their nestbox used to be.  Some of the other birds seen were 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 5 Lesser Scaup, 2 Common Goldeneye, 12 Ring-necked Ducks, a male Hooded Merganser, about 40 Buffleheads, and a Belted Kingfisher.

 

 

Re(1): New Guide to Amphibian Larvae
Posted on May 8, 2016 at 06:53:13 PM by DinnyNimmo

I bought a copy of this beautiful book and gave it to my friend Jackie Litzgus who is a professor of biology at Laurentian University. She was delighted and said it was going to be invaluable. Jackie and Peter co-authoured a paper in Algonquin . Dinny

 

 

Re(3): New Guide to Amphibian Larvae
Posted on April 13, 2016 at 09:11:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Thanks, Peter! I've sent you an order. Eleanor

 

 

Re(2): New Guide to Amphibian Larvae
Posted on April 7, 2016 at 01:10:07 PM by Peter Mills

Hi Eleanor,
The links seem to be working okay for me and others. The link to my site is below the last image (of the spotted salamanders).
Either way, here it is again:
http://www.peterbmills.com/metamorphosis.html
If there are still problems accessing it, you could email me to work things out isntead.
Thanks!

 

 

Re(1): New Guide to Amphibian Larvae
Posted on April 6, 2016 at 07:22:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Where is this book available, Peter? There don't seem to be working links on your website.
I'm hoping to get one soon!

 

 

New Guide to Amphibian Larvae
Posted on April 5, 2016 at 11:22:36 AM by Peter Mills

Hi All,
Please forgive the shameless self-promotion. I have just released a field guide to Ontario's larval amphibians. Attached are some sample spreads, and a link to purchase/more information can be found at the bottom of the page. It is a good resource for naturalists living in cottage country.  image1  image2  peterbmills.com

 

 

Wood Duck Cavity Search
Posted on April 5, 2016 at 08:36:43 AM by Jim Griffin

There was a pair of Wood Ducks checking out the trees on our waterfront this morning presumably looking for suitable nesting cavities.  (Port Sydney)

 

 

Pine Siskin green morph
Posted on April 3, 2016 at 08:05:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

A large flock of Pine Siskins came to our feeders this afternoon and brought a "green morph" with them. I hadn't seen it since March 24th when I got some photos (see my March 25 post).  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Winter wren, song sparrow
Posted on April 3, 2016 at 07:56:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

The White-breasted Nuthatches that visit our yard will go to the ground under the feeders sometimes, usually for spilled peanuts or bits of suet. It may depend how safe they feel. If a Hawk has recently been in the yard or if it is very windy, then they tend to be more cautious and stay up higher on the feeders.

 

 

Winter wren, song sparrow
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 05:42:12 PM by IanP

Heard my first winter wren of the season singing. I have a song sparrow picking up seeds under my feeder along with the usual siskins and two white breasted nuthatches, which I've never seen scrounging on the ground before, is this normal? Also I saw a couple turkey vultures.

 

 

Re(1): Brown headed Cowbird
Posted on April 3, 2016 at 05:46:06 PM by janice house

A fox sparrow is flicking about under a spruce tree, 2 dozen robins in a neighbours yard at noon today.

 

 

Brown headed Cowbird
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 05:18:13 PM by janice house

Just now, a male feeding with the grackles and red winged blackbirds in our yard, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Northern Harrier - Bardsville
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 05:12:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a male Northern Harrier was hunting low over the open fields where Beatrice Townline Rd. meets Falkenburg Rd. There were eight American Black Ducks, a Bufflehead, three Ring-necked Ducks, seven Hooded Mergansers, and several Mallards and Canada Geese in the nearby swamp at the east side of Beatrice Townline Rd. That section of road has recently been built up so it was not flooded like in past years. Two Turkey Vultures were soaring overhead.

 

 

Skunk
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 12:12:14 PM by Jim Griffin

By tracks and at least a tail photo on my trail camera (missed the aim a bit) I have a skunk digging into my shed to check out my green bin, got fed last week so returning for more!

 

 

Winter wren
Posted on April 1, 2016 at 08:58:36 PM by DavidBywater

Heard my first winter wren today, singing just south of Parry Sound.

 

 

Raccoons
Posted on April 1, 2016 at 08:30:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just caught two Raccoons prying the last bit of beef fat out of the suet cage hanging on a pine tree. We had seen their tracks a few times during the winter, but until tonight they hadn't found the suet and were happy with spilled sunflower seeds. The Woodpeckers will be upset tomorrow...
(Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 24 to 31 March
Posted on April 1, 2016 at 04:33:58 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 1, 2016) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

New migrants this week included: Sandhill Crane and Northern Shrike
(March 26th), and Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco (March 28th). The crane
record was the second earliest ever here.

A Ruffed Grouse coming close to the feet of people to pick up seeds and
peanut pieces thrown to it has been popular and much photographed near the
entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: A male was photographed near the start of Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on the 26th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed about 100 metres past the long
boardwalk of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th, and another was seen along
Peck Lake Trail on the 26th.

Gray Jay: They continue to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along
Opeongo Road. Of course, with many females now incubating eggs, there are
fewer Gray Jays out there to be observed.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 27th.

WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: Up to 20 were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: Three were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th, and
two in flight were observed at Mew Lake on the 30th.

Common Redpoll: Four were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th; from
one to six were at the Visitor Centre feeders during the week; and one was
observed along Opeongo Road on the 30th.

Pine Siskin: This continues to be the most numerous finch here. The total
seen at the Visitor Centre feeders reached 120 on the 28th, and several
flocks getting grit along Highway 60 contained a total of 150 birds on the
30th.

American Goldfinch: There was one at the Visitor Centre on the 26th.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 40 continued to come to the Visitor Centre
feeders.

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): Phoebes - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 8, 2016 at 03:58:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

At least one of the Phoebes is still okay after all the snow and freezing temperatures. This morning it was trying to find something to eat at the shoreline of cell 4 where it was sheltered from the wind. There was a Robin and a Song Sparrow in the same area.

 

 

Re(1): Phoebes - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 01:45:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

More new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning, including a Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and two Eastern Phoebes.

 

 

Re(1): Buffleheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 3, 2016 at 05:43:03 PM by janice house

Phoebes in Bent River yesterday. a mourning dove and woodcocks twittering, lots of golden crowned kinglets today along with loads of pine siskins, common redpolls and American robins

 

 

Re(1): Phoebes - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 2, 2016 at 01:45:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

More new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning, including a Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and two Eastern Phoebes.

 

 

Buffleheads - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 1, 2016 at 01:28:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were about 25 Buffleheads, two Mallards, a Wood Duck, and a pair of Canada Geese at the Bracebridge Ponds. A male Common Merganser flew by, heading north. All the cells are free of ice now and water levels are quite high.

 

 

Kingfishers - Henry Marsh
Posted on April 1, 2016 at 01:19:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Belted Kingfishers (M&F) at Henry Marsh. They appeared to be doing some sort of courtship flight and eventually flew off together towards the Muskoka River.

After all that heavy rain yesterday, the trail is flooded at the "T" and also by the footbridge as the culverts can't handle the outflow from the marsh. The beaver pond is still mostly frozen over, but the creek and surrounding areas are open and flooded. Only a couple Mallards were seen.