Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from April - June 2017
 
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Re(1): Waxwing Courtship
Posted on July 2, 2017 at 08:17:09 AM by dinnynimmo

Your photos are amazing! I really enjoy them. Keep them coming! Dinny

 

 

Waxwing Courtship
Posted on June 30, 2017 at 09:23:29 PM by michaelhatton

Today at Muskoka Wharf, shortly after the rain stopped, a group of Cedar Waxwings arrived.

From Audubon - A Field Guide to North American Birds: “In courtship, [Cedar Waxwings] may perch close together, posturing, touching bills, and passing food items back and forth.” (See http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/cedar-waxwing )  photo  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Re(1): Dickcissels
Posted on July 4, 2017 at 06:49:41 PM by Leslie

Thank you for this excellent pic! I've been reading about the sitings south of here but haven't yet looked them up to see what they look like. I will be able to keep an eye out now! Too bad we're unlikely to see the magnificent frigate bird this far north, although one has been spotted at Pelee. Give it a few years...

 

 

Dickcissels
Posted on June 30, 2017 at 07:26:33 PM by michaelhatton

The past few weeks have witnessed an unusual number of Dickcissel sightings in southern and southwestern Ontario. However, even when this northeast push occurs, it is highly unlikely that there will be Dickcissels reported in Muskoka. So yesterday I headed to the sighting area in the Kawarthas and was immediately rewarded with a good look at a male Dickcissel (and later a female) singing away while perched on a wire just feet from the address noted by previous observers.

The Dickcissels in this location have been photographed carrying nesting materials. The specific location can be found on eBird by searching hotspots for “stakeout Dickcissel, Frank Hill Road (2017), Kawartha Lakes County.” Also perhaps interesting is that today's eBird splash page has a photo of a Dickcissel at this location.

Below is one of the pics I managed to snap.  photo

 

 

Butterflies and more, Bala
Posted on June 29, 2017 at 11:38:36 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday afternoon along Ragged Rapids Rd - 5 Monarchs, 2 caterpillars. 2 swallowtails, 1 White Admiral, Northern Crescent, Lots of dragonflies. Birds heard - Indigo Bunting, Ovenbird, Yellow Rumped Warblers, Veerys, Hermit Thrushes, Chrestnut Sided Warblers, Red-eyed Vireo. Saw the usual Broadwing. Bear, doe and small fawn. A few of the milkweed blooms are open and all will be in a few days. Dogbane just opening. Still a few twin flowers in bloom.

 

 

Caspian Terns
Posted on June 28, 2017 at 02:48:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Caspian Terns flying around cell 2. They kept looking down but didn't see anything of interest and eventually flew off to the northeast.

 

 

Checklist of Dragonflies
Posted on June 27, 2017 at 07:59:55 AM by brendalaking

An updated version of the Checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Muskoka is now available. If you would like a copy formatted in Microsoft Word or Excel, respond to this post or email me directly at sirpippin@sympatico.ca, and I will send you a file by email. Thanks, Brenda

 

 

Re(1): Barn Swallow
Posted on June 28, 2017 at 11:37:00 AM by John Challis

Two days ago at Washago's waterfront park, there were hordes of tree swallows, chattering in the trees and feeding on the wing. A few barn swallows were in with them. There are a lot of aerial insects right now, including some kind of small, pale moth or butterfly that gathers in crowds just inches above the water. I'm assuming that was the target of the swallow congregation--it's the largest numbers I've seen since we moved to the village 12 years ago.

 

 

Re(2): Barn Swallow
Posted on June 26, 2017 at 06:04:17 PM by J. Gardner

Suspicions confirmed! I was told I was wrong in my fears for swallows in general because "there are lots in Florida". J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Barn Swallow
Posted on June 26, 2017 at 03:38:32 PM by Alex Mills

George,

I have had the same impression for Magnetawan, but I hope to do a more thorough check in July. Barn Seallows seem to be nesting under the bridge there for the first time in many years.

Data show that the swallow crash began in the mid 80s, with swallow numbers in recent years being about 10 to 15 percent what they were in the 70s and early 80s.

 

 

Barn Swallow
Posted on June 26, 2017 at 10:32:32 AM by George Bryant

One did several swoops around our bay (Pine Lake w. of Gravenhurst) this morning, the first one I've seen here in ~35 years. Tree and Barn Swallows and Purple Martins crashed here in 1991-1992 (or was it 81-82?), never came back. This year I have seen several Barn and Tree Swallows east of Gravenhurst and wonder whether there might be a slight increase in Muskoka?

 

 

Ruddy Duck
Posted on June 25, 2017 at 01:30:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a male Ruddy duck in cell 2.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Wood lk
Posted on June 25, 2017 at 12:23:54 PM by J. Gardner

In a field... more like a Bobolink. They nested around the edges of the open field. J. Gardner

 

 

Wood lk
Posted on June 25, 2017 at 10:31:52 AM by BryanGrant

saw a black bird similar size to a robbin in a field on a thin young tree. The yellow crown was on the top of the head down the back of the head - not down the back though. Body was black with white on belly and edge of the wings. The white was more visible when in flight. Most say bobolink, Peterson has a description like a black-back woodpecker described as rare. Any opinions ?

 

 

Re(2): Eastern Pondhawk
Posted on June 26, 2017 at 02:59:49 PM by brendalaking

Nice photo! The first record was 10 Aug 2011 in Huntsville by Ken Morrison, the second was 7 Jul 2012 at the Ponds by Barbara Taylor (also the 10 Jul & 5 Aug). So that's 7 in total with your two, and our one female on the same day!

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Pondhawk
Posted on June 25, 2017 at 02:12:56 PM by Al Sinclair

This species seems to be expanding northward. On June 24th we had this immature male and an adult male Eastern Pondhawk at different locations near Bala. We were doing the annual butterfly count sponsored by the Muskoka Field Naturalists. We also had 19 species of butterflies.  photo

 

 

(no subject)
Posted on June 24, 2017 at 08:16:05 PM by brendalaking

At the ponds today I saw 14 species of butterflies including 3 Monarchs and a Viceroy. Checked out the claspers on a few Bluets and found Northern Bluets and Marsh Bluets. Slender Spreadwings were emerging. We got an Eastern Pondhawk (third record for the District I think). A total of 15 species of dragonflies and damselflies were seen.
Brenda

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Kestrel in the box!
Posted on June 24, 2017 at 09:19:28 AM by michaelhatton

I believe so. Or at least trying. However, the area is very busy and I think the bird would be challenged by that. I was watching in the early evening, from inside a car, and other activity was negligible at that time. It was also interesting in that various other birds were coming and going within 50 feet and all seemed unfazed by the presence of the Kestrel.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Kestrel in the box!
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 08:18:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

Great series of photos...and commentary. Are the Kestrels nesting in the box?

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Kestrel in the box!
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 07:14:30 PM by J. Gardner

Good thing the box was empty. Love kestrels but they can clean out a box very quickly. June Gardner

 

 

Muskoka Kestrel in the box!
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 05:25:19 PM by michaelhatton

Kestrel on a right-hand down wind pattern approach to land at entryway into a box.  photo1

Bird employs speed brakes and full flap with the goal of stalling precisely at touchdown.  photo2

Premature application of speed brakes leads to an early stall, and the bird misses.  photo3

In the next attempt the bird stablizes earlier with a higher and faster approach.  photo4

Full flap is employed at the last moment.  photo5

Leading to a successful landing.  photo6

The bird appears to be embarrassed and is perhaps checking to see if anyone saw the missed attempt.  photo7

 

 

Re(2): Damselfly - ID?
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 09:39:25 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Brenda. That is a wonderful online resource with very detailed photos, and free to download!

http://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/388

 

 

Re(1): Damselfly - ID?
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 08:53:29 AM by brendalaking

Male Bluets can be placed in 3 groups according to the amount of blue/black colouring on the dorsal surface: mostly black, intermediate, and mostly blue. Unfortunately many mostly blues can have intermedite forms. The only sure way is to check the claspers. I have seen Northern Bluets and Boreal Bluets recently. Your Bluet is mostly blue, has 8 & 9 blue, & has large eyespots so it probably a Northern or Boreal. Soon Familiar, Marsh, and Hagen's will be out and they are in the mostly blue group as well, but they can have intermediate colour forms. Some bluets have a unique pattern on the side of segment 2. Bluets have segments 7, 8, & 9 with varying amounts of blue and that can narrow down your choices. For an online resource, google the free download photo field guide called "Damselflies of Chicagoland" by Marla Garrison. Published by The Field Museum of Chicago it covers all Muskoka damselflies species except Subarctic Bluet.

 

 

Damselfly - ID?
Posted on June 22, 2017 at 09:01:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at the Bracebridge Ponds I managed to get these two photos of an Eastern Forktail and a Bluet. Is there any way to determine which Bluet species this is without examining the claspers?

Bluet:  photo

Eastern Forktail:  photo

 

 

Tadpoles
Posted on June 22, 2017 at 04:39:03 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Today I noticed along the edges of our pond, easily a zillion tadpoles. (I stopped counting after a billion). I've never noticed such numbers before.

 

 

Northern Shovelers
Posted on June 22, 2017 at 12:39:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three male Northern Shovelers at the south end of cell 2 in various stages of moult. An Osprey came in from the west, circled right over us by the east end of cell 3, and then flew off to the south. Two Green Herons were by cell 4. A male Baltimore Oriole was near the viewing stand north of cell 2, and a Scarlet Tanager was singing near the dumping ponds.

Northern Shovelers:  photo

 

 

Re(1): Beaverpond Clubtail
Posted on June 23, 2017 at 10:10:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

Brenda, I'd like a copy of the updated checklist when you get a chance...thanks. Impressive number of species!

(P.S. - the email link in your post bounced, so might need an edit)

 

 

Beaverpond Clubtail
Posted on June 22, 2017 at 09:08:03 AM by brendalaking

Yesterday, June 21, I celebrated the first day of Summer by strolling near my home in Huntsville, looking for butterflies and dragonflies. I caught a clubtail I haven't seen before, and it turned out to be a female Beaverpond Clubtail. As far as I know it is the first record for this species in Muskoka. Robert Bowles and I have been working on a checklist for Muskoka for Odonata. We now have 107 species. If anyone would like a copy of the checklist in Microsoft Word, contact me, and I would be happy to send you a copy in an email.

 

 

Wood duck family
Posted on June 21, 2017 at 12:36:09 PM by John Challis

Last night in the little pond at the end of our property we watched a female wood duck lead about eight very young ducklings into the reeds and out of sight. Seems a bit late for them to be still so small but the water levels were so high in the spring, it may have flooded out some of their nesting cavities and boxes. I know some merganser boxes were flooded and the number of broods on the water seems to be down.

 

 

Northern Parula at Bigwind
Posted on June 20, 2017 at 07:38:32 PM by Doug Smith

Biking at Bigwind Provincial Park east of Bracebridge this afternoon and heard a Northern Parula calling near the road into the park. There are dozens of trees down and across the road from Sunday's storm, so access is difficult.

 

 

Gray Catbird
Posted on June 20, 2017 at 12:07:09 PM by michaelhatton

South Monck Rd - a great place to see Catbirds.  photo  photo2

 

 

Nessus Sphinx Moth
Posted on June 19, 2017 at 11:57:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon I found an Amphion floridensis (Nessus Sphinx Moth) feeding on our lilac. This is only the third time I've seen this species. It disappeared by the time I got my camera, but here is a photo from June 15, 2007. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on June 19, 2017 at 08:09:36 AM by janice house

Last evening around 5pm an American Bittern landed in the pasture across from the house, a barn swallow was gliding around the neighbourhood. This morning a Blackburnian warbler was foraging in the white birch and the spruce trees in our backyard

 

 

Re(1): Sandhill Cranes
Posted on June 18, 2017 at 07:03:51 PM by michaelhatton

Sandhill Cranes still there at 17:40.

 

 

Sandhill Cranes
Posted on June 18, 2017 at 12:16:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today...three Sandhill Cranes, several Mallards, and over 170 Gulls in the recently plowed field along South Monck Dr. between #1100 and #1134. (Bracebridge)

photo  (too far away for my little camera with overcast conditions)

 

 

Re(3): Pine Siskin, Purple Finch--Feeder Birds
Posted on June 20, 2017 at 09:20:42 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The one pair of Purple Finches has been in with their chicks already.

 

 

Re(2): Pine Siskin, Purple Finch--Feeder Birds
Posted on June 20, 2017 at 09:19:18 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Over the past 5-6 years I have had at least 4 pairs of Purple Finches coming to my feeders from sometime in March-April to fall. This year I had one pair only and a single female. On Saturday 3 males arrived by themselves. I know I have a Broadwing nest close by and see an adult between my house and Muskoka Rd 38 often enough. Few others birds being seen either so believe they are staying out of the way of the hawks.

 

 

Re(1): Pine Siskin, Purple Finch--Feeder Birds
Posted on June 18, 2017 at 11:40:38 AM by dinnymccraney

I had a beautiful male purple finch at the feeder yesterday (Bracebridge)

 

Pine Siskin, Purple Finch--Feeder Birds
Posted on June 17, 2017 at 09:41:59 AM by George Bryant

We have a female siskin at the feeder. Last year they were nowhere in s. Ontario. I wonder if there are others in Muskoka? Also several female Purple Finches, no males in past few days. They nest in remote bogs, fens so often not at our feeders in June, July.

 

 

Sundridge Birds today
Posted on June 16, 2017 at 03:31:26 PM by DBurton

Lincoln Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on Peacock Rd.
Parulas on Joly Strong Rd and Sunny Ridge Rd.

 

 

Ruffed Grouse, Bala
Posted on June 16, 2017 at 01:12:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

While driving one of my favourite roads the other day I saw about 6 birds fly from a branch near the side of the road into the bush. Fortunately, one stayed on a branch in the light. I thought they were likely starling chicks but was thrilled to see what they really were!  photo

 

 

Re(2): Dragonflies and Butterflies
Posted on June 17, 2017 at 12:16:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I managed to get these two photos.

Common Ringlet:  photo

Viceroy (no, that's not a cigar...this butterfly is commonly found on dung, in this case from a Canada Goose):  photo

 

 

Re(1): Dragonflies and Butterflies
Posted on June 16, 2017 at 03:18:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a few Painted Lady butterflies. The one pictured below was seeking out thistles, one of its larval host plants. I also managed to get photos of an American Copper and a Hobomok Skipper. My favourite dragonfly was flying today, the male Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

Painted Lady:  photo

American Copper:  photo

Hobomok Skipper:  photo

 

 

Dragonflies and Butterflies
Posted on June 15, 2017 at 07:04:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at Henry Marsh there were several Common Whitetail and Dot-tailed Whiteface dragonflies, including the co-operative one pictured below. The only butterfly seen was a White Admiral. Over at the Bracebridge Ponds there were a couple Monarchs and a Silvery Blue which kept moving around, but I managed to get a few photos.

Dot-tailed Whiteface: photo

Silvery Blue:  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(1): Monarch, Bala
Posted on June 14, 2017 at 09:30:46 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

One Monarch on Ragged Rapids road approx. 5:45 today. Two Canada Swallowtails.

 

 

Monarch, Bala
Posted on June 14, 2017 at 01:56:58 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yay! I had one monarch in my milkweed this morning. I'll check for eggs later.

 

 

Re(4): A Question about Chipmunks
Posted on June 14, 2017 at 12:30:16 PM by dinnynimmo

Thanks everyone. This is a great sounding board for questions such as this. Dinny

 

 

Re(3): A Question about Chipmunks
Posted on June 14, 2017 at 11:16:57 AM by George Bryant

Last year Chipmunks were super-abundant, including at our cottage.This year for the first time in ~40 years we have zero Chipmunks. I expect we will lots by summers' end. Many mammals have a boom and bust cycle (voles, hares)--perhaps Chipmunks?
True hibernation is defined as lowered body temperature, lowered respiration, lowered heart rate so black bear, groundhog qualify, eastern chipmunk does not.

 

 

Re(2): A Question about Chipmunks
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 10:10:30 PM by dinnynimmo

Thanks Michael. So what you are saying it would be a damp spring that would ruin their food supply as opposed to the rain flooding the nests? Dinny

 

 

Re(1): A Question about Chipmunks
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 09:18:43 PM by michaelhatton

From various sources -

During the winter, most chipmunks hibernate in burrows or tunnel systems 3 to 10 metres in length. They don't, though, sleep through this entire period. Given their size and metabolism, they wake regularly to eat stored food. Damp winters or early springs can damage their food supply and reduce the chances for survival. During the summer or in more southerly climes, chipmunks may nest in hollowed out logs or thick bushy areas.

A recent study at Fordham University concluded warmer winter temperatures, perhaps related to global warming, have resulted in chipmunks becoming less likely to hibernate through the coldest months. However, chipmunks that do hibernate through the winter are thought to have a higher survival rate compared to those that stay more active in the winter. Alvin is an exception not only for his vocal capabilities (most chipmunks manage a very limited number of "calls" or squeaks) but also for his age. Alvin is now in his 50s, whereas his kin most often manage only a couple of years.

 

 

A Question about Chipmunks
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 08:34:39 PM by dinnynimmo

When I was at the dentist's I overheard a woman say that this year will be a poor year for chipmunks as all the rain flooded their nests. I thought chipmunks nested in hollows of trees. Dinny Bala

 

 

Yellow spotted salamander
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 05:26:04 PM by dinnynimmo

While putting up some weeds at the back door this afternoon I uncovered a yellow spotted salamander. I quickly covered him back up but what a lovely surprise! Dinny Hurlings Point Bala

 

 

Clay Coloured Sparrow
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 03:44:33 PM by janice house

I woke up this morning to the sparrow buzzing in the front yard. I managed to scramble outside at 5:43am and got a photo. He was still calling in my neighbours yard at lunch time. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Green-winged Teal
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 12:51:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two male Green-winged Teal in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds. A Black-billed Cuckoo was collecting tent caterpillars by cell 4. The Trumpeter Swan is still hanging around...in cell 3 today.

 

 

Golden Wing Warbler
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 11:31:06 AM by coreyhkh

On the weekend I found a golden wing warbler at the marsh on N Muldrew Lake Rd.

 

 

Re(2): Torrance Barrens Evensong
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 07:15:54 PM by George Bryant

About 1/2 hour after sunset. They start just when you've given up. Once I tallied ~40 in the 10 km. barrens stretch. There are four-five calling within earshot of the parking lot. Some land on the road shoulder. Put a flashlight beside your eyes to pick up eyeshine. Listen for the click between phrases when they are v. close.

 

 

Re(1): Torrance Barrens Evensong
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 11:31:48 AM by coreyhkh

What time do the Whip-poor-wills come out?

 

Torrance Barrens Evensong
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 11:15:19 AM by George Bryant

Last evening, an outing of Huntsville and Muskoka Field Nats. enjoyed the variety of barrens birdsong all within a few hundred metres of the Dark Sky parking lot. Kingbird, Swamp Sparrow, Brown Thrasher and Towhee all showed well. Pairs of Nighthawks coursed high overhead, booming and peenting, a real crowd pleaser. At ~9:30 p.m. several Whip-poor-wills began their chants. Normally we see their eyeshine as red, but an LED flashlight reflected silver. Trip highlights—en route we moved a huge female Blanding’s Turtle off Muskoka Road 13, returning we had to nudge a huge female Snapping Turtle off the same road.

 

 

Re(1): Bluebird Boxes
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 08:29:19 AM by J. Gardner

If you get Tree Swallows in the bluebird boxes.... hooray. We noticed a decline in populations of Tree Swallows in our field at Hurdville over the last 15 years or so. Always glad to have Tree Swallows because the bluebirds never filled up their share of boxes. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Bluebird Boxes
Posted on June 12, 2017 at 02:35:56 PM by DBurton

If Bluebird boxes are in pairs, 5 feet apart, the Tree Swallows in the first box will not allow a second pair of Tree Swallows to occupy the adjacent box, but will allow Bluebirds. The Bluebirds however will want a 300 foot distance between themselves and any other Bluebird pair.

 

 

Bluebird Boxes
Posted on June 11, 2017 at 06:29:20 PM by janice house

We now have two of the three bluebird boxes in the front yard occupied by tree swallows. I also checked the bluebird boxes on Fraserburg Road across from the entrance to the Bracebridge Fairgrounds, one box is occupied by tree swallows. I also saw and heard bank swallows flying over the Finch's gravel pit

 

 

firefly
Posted on June 11, 2017 at 07:57:19 AM by John Challis

Saw my first firefly, lightning beetle, whatever you like to call them, last night. Just one lone fellow. Hoping the wet spring has been good for their numbers.

 

 

Re(1): Raymond Birds
Posted on June 11, 2017 at 06:23:04 PM by janice house

I went to visit Dad today and stopped off at the Luckey Road first. Bugs are horrid......saw the cuckoos, bobolinks, meadowlarks, monarch butterflies, tree swallows, yellow and chestnut sided warblers, eastern kingbird, catbird walking on the road, got out of the car of 2 seconds....did I say the bugs were horrid. Wow!

 

 

Raymond Birds
Posted on June 9, 2017 at 03:38:39 PM by janice house

I spoke to Tim Mason this morning, he lives on the Luckey Rd in Raymond. He has seen 5 monarch butterflies this week, has 2 white crowned sparrows which may be nesting on his property, a black billed cuckoo pair are back, a brown thrasher is hanging around and he has also seen a shrike recently (not sure which species).

 

 

A few days at Pelee this spring
Posted on June 8, 2017 at 09:56:43 PM by michaelhatton

At Pelee, it seems to me that you don't really need to search for birds. Stand in one area, or meander around a few small areas, and sooner rather than later birds come to you or, at least, by you, and in some cases may be on their way to Muskoka.

Blue-headed Vireo - photo

Blackburnian Warbler - photo

Black and White Warbler - photo

Kirtland's Warbler - photo

Scarlet Tanager - photo

Blue-winged Warbler - photo

Northern Prothonotary (playing hide and seek) - photo

Common Tern - photo
Checking the ducks. Sunrise at the the southernmost point of mainland of Canada - photo

 

 

Monarch Butterflies
Posted on June 8, 2017 at 07:10:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there were several butterflies flying around the Bracebridge Ponds, including two Monarchs, Common Ringlets, Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites, and Juvenal's Duskywing.

 

 

Re(4): a female today - photos
Posted on June 10, 2017 at 01:47:24 PM by Al Sinclair

Unlike the other silk moths Promethea females release their male attracting pheromones late in the afternoon of warm days. One afternoon we had a female here that brought in 40 males.

Video here: https://youtu.be/-lQKqPvuocg

 

 

Re(3): a female today - photos
Posted on June 9, 2017 at 08:34:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a female Promethea Moth emerged from her cocoon. She will stay overnight in the moth cage to see if any suitors show up.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(2): another one - more photos
Posted on June 8, 2017 at 02:15:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

I took these photos today before he flew off. So far no action at the remaining cocoons.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): another one - photos
Posted on June 7, 2017 at 07:42:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

Another male Promethea Moth decided it was time to come out today. I didn't want to disturb it while it was still inflating its wings, so a bit of an awkward photo angle as the cocoons are suspended over a bucket.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Promethea Moth
Posted on June 6, 2017 at 08:46:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a male Promethea Moth emerged from one of the cocoons that I had kept over the winter after raising several caterpillars last year. I checked some cocoons at the Bracebridge Ponds today, but no action yet. The forecasted sunny, hot, and humid weather should convince them it is time.

 

 

Anyone seen a Mourning Warbler?
Posted on June 6, 2017 at 12:44:47 PM by coreyhkh

Looking to find one to photograph this weekend.

 

 

Re(1): Algonquin Park Dragonfly and Damselfly Count
Posted on June 6, 2017 at 07:15:07 PM by KENMORRISON

Dear Peter,
I will be there with my net and camera. I expect Brenda Laking will register on her own. I would like a meat meal. Thanks for doing this again.

Regards,
Ken

 

 

Algonquin Park Dragonfly and Damselfly Count
Posted on June 5, 2017 at 12:44:40 PM by Peter Mills

Hello Fellow Dragon and Damsel Hunters,

This year's Algonquin Park Odonate Count is taking place on July 6th which is the day following the Butterfly Count.

(see: http://s1366.photobucket.com/user/Peter813/media/odes2017_zpsk2bxkyxu.jpg.html)

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

On the morning of the 6th we will meet in the Visitor Centre theatre. 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 to the correct place. We will meet here at 8:45 AM. After a quick briefing we will split up and head into our assigned areas, returning to the Visitor Centre theatre for 4:30 PM, at which time we will tally our results and share our findings. It is at this point that any noteworthy, new-to-the-count, or difficult-to-identify species are likely to be present in envelopes for all to see and deliberate over. Otherwise, all dragons and damsels caught over the day will be released, alive, where they were captured after being identified.

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

If you are interested in being a part of this year's Dragonfly and Damselfly Count you can contact me by email at petermills@trentu.ca. I simply need to know your name, if anyone else is coming with you, your approximate level of experience, and whether you want a meat or veggie [complementary] dinner option.

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.

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

Peter Mills

 

 

Dead Snapping Turtles
Posted on June 3, 2017 at 06:07:03 PM by DBurton

In cell 3 there are 3 dead Snapping Turtles floating in the water. One is quite large. Perhaps there is some disease affecting them for so many to die at once. I doubt if the plant puts anything in the water that could cause this.

 

 

Re(1): The American white Pelican
Posted on June 3, 2017 at 02:52:32 PM by Goodyear

There are four records for this species for Muskoka, including a bird photographed at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons in July 2003. The other three sightings are all from May (16, 18, mid-May) of birds seen flying north over Bracebridge. This species has been expanding its range farther east into Ontario, and for several years, 2003 - 2010 (I'm not sure if they have been recorded since 2010) were an annual sight at Lake Nipissing just north of us.

 

 

Re(1): The American white Pelican
Posted on June 3, 2017 at 01:13:39 PM by AmandaGuercio

It is possible but would be quite remarkable! Has he seen it since?

 

 

The American white Pelican
Posted on June 3, 2017 at 08:11:16 AM by ksmith

My friend who lives on Penfold Lake (just southeast of Huntsville and east of #11) identified an American White Pelican on Thursday Morning. Hall He clearly saw the long beak and black tips on the wings. He is sure it was not a swan. Is this possible? I can't find it in ebird as a recent sighting.

 

 

Re(1): Black-billed Cuckoos
Posted on June 7, 2017 at 11:04:51 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Black-billed Cuckoo perched unusually high in a tree near the Lagoon Lane gate. A Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting, and a Brown Thrasher were in the same area. A second Black-billed Cuckoo was seen in the shrubbery west of cell 4. A Trumpeter Swan was in cell 4, but decided to fly over to cell 2 to harass the Canada Geese and Mallards. It nipped at them and drove them off the south shore.

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoos
Posted on June 2, 2017 at 11:55:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds we saw two Black-billed Cuckoos, three Eastern Kingbirds, and a Green Heron by cell 4. There were ten Chimney Swifts and a few Tree and Bank Swallows flying around trying to find something to eat at the east end of cell 3. The very strong NW wind wasn't helping, but it did keep the birds down low for better viewing. A female Wood Duck with 8 ducklings was in cell 1.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swan
Posted on June 7, 2017 at 08:32:57 PM by Doug Smith

The swan was still there this evening.

 

 

Trumpeter Swan
Posted on May 31, 2017 at 05:23:38 PM by DBurton

At cell 2 of the BB lagoons there was a lone Trumpeter Swan. Also there were 2 Semi-palmated Sandpipers desperately clinging to disappearing mud.

 

 

Common Terns
Posted on May 31, 2017 at 12:45:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two Common Terns flying around cell 2. Eventually both flew off to the south. Is there still a breeding colony at Sparrow Lake?

 

 

Caterpillar - Virgin Tiger Moth?
Posted on May 30, 2017 at 08:00:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found this interesting caterpillar today crawling out of a fresh cut patch of weedy grass. It looks to be a close match to the Virgin Tiger Moth caterpillar pictured in David Wagner's field guide Caterpillars of Eastern North America. I wish I'd scooped up the caterpillar to raise it to the moth stage after seeing how gorgeous it becomes (see http://www.ontariomoths.com/grammia-virgo/)...if indeed it is that species.  photo1  photo2  photo3

Virgin Tiger Moth reference: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8197

 

 

Binoculars
Posted on May 30, 2017 at 02:48:30 PM by Barb Staples

Can anyone advise where I may have my binoculars locally reset? Thanks in advance.

 

 

Great Crested flycatchers
Posted on May 29, 2017 at 02:59:04 PM by dinnymccraney

Just had a pair of these beautiful birds taking stock of the flowering hawthorn.(Bracebridge)
Very difficult to get a good photo, but the wheep wheep call was unmistakable

 

 

Gray Treefrogs
Posted on May 29, 2017 at 11:50:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

Several Gray Treefrogs were calling at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. Usually I find them in the summer on milkweed leaves and they've turned green to match the plant colour. This one was true to its name and blended in well with the patches of lichen on the tree.  photo  photo2

 

 

Whip-poor-will in Vankoughnet
Posted on May 29, 2017 at 06:10:08 AM by FrancesGualtieri

It was a pleasure to hear the whip-poor-will last night - we heard it last year, too, after many years of absence.
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Tiger Swallowtails and Giant Silk Moths
Posted on May 28, 2017 at 07:57:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today there were several Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies flying in Bracebridge, including one in our yard. The large "Silk Moths" will soon be coming out of their cocoons. I keep checking some Promethea Moth cocoons at the Bracebridge Ponds, but so far no action. I found what appears to be a Cecropia Moth cocoon along the Wilson's Falls trail, but it has a hole in it, so probably not viable. It may have been pecked by a Woodpecker or was parasitized.  photo
Promethea Moths at the Bracebridge Ponds last year on May 31 (was sunny, hot, humid): photo

 

 

Caspian Tern
Posted on May 28, 2017 at 01:28:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds a Caspian Tern was flying around for a while. It dove into cell 4 three times, but we couldn't see what it was after. Eventually it flew off to the west. The pair of Gadwalls were still in cell 1, but no shorebirds seen except the usual Spotted Sandpipers.

 

 

Northern Waterthrush
Posted on May 27, 2017 at 06:42:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I checked the "thicket swamp" along South Monck Dr. I was greeted by a Northern Waterthrush singing out in the open for a change. There were two Blackpoll Warblers singing as well, but they were well hidden in the shrubbery. I had almost given up trying to see one, when a Cedar Waxwing suddenly flew down from its perch and flushed a Blackpoll up out of its hiding spot. You just never know...

Today seemed to be Veery day by Wilson's Falls, with several singing along the trail north of the dam. There were also several warbler species including Mourning Warbler, Chestnut-sided, American Redstart, Nashville, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat. There were also some recent moose tracks in a muddy section of trail.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Black Terns - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 27, 2017 at 06:27:27 PM by Goodyear

There were four Black Terns flying around cell 1 late this afternoon. Last seen 30 minutes ago.

 

 

Re(1): White-rumped Sandpiper, Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on May 27, 2017 at 05:19:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was an Olive-sided Flycatcher singing and hawking insects from a dead tree west of cell 4 this afternoon - same bird? While I was watching the flycatcher, a Virginia Rail started calling nearby, but I couldn't see it. A Scarlet Tanager was singing from high atop a poplar tree to the SW of cell 4. As I was leaving, the White-rumped Sandpiper was still at the south end of cell 2 along with two Lesser Yellowlegs, three Least Sandpipers, and two Semipalmated Sandpipers. There had only been one Semipalmated at first, but it began to call and a second one dropped down from the sky and joined it. There was a family of Wood Ducks in cell 2 - first young ones I've seen this year.

Female Wood Duck with 8 ducklings:  photo

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper, Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on May 27, 2017 at 12:03:33 PM by Goodyear

The sandpiper was at the south end of cell 2, the flycatcher east of cell 1. Gadwalls still present in cell 1.

 

 

High Park
Posted on May 26, 2017 at 06:44:38 PM by DBurton

There is some kind of infestation in the oaks in High Park in Toronto. The oak leaves are full of holes like Swiss cheese. There are some warblers that must be happy about this though. I heard about 10 Tennessee Warblers and half as many more of Blackpoll Warblers.
Best birds were male Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2 Black-billed Cuckoos, female Bay-breasted Warbler. Wish I could have stayed longer than 75 minutes.

 

 

Re(1): Gadwalls
Posted on May 26, 2017 at 01:15:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there were two Gadwalls (M,F) in cell 1. There were still several Mallards and Wood Ducks, but numbers were way down from yesterday.

 

 

Large gathering of Wood Ducks
Posted on May 25, 2017 at 04:41:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

I got tired of waiting for the rain to stop and headed over to the Bracebridge Ponds after lunch today. I was surprised to see so many Wood Ducks gathered together in cell 2 - a quick count of 72, all adults, mostly males. There were many Mallards too - 67 adults (mostly males) and 19 ducklings. There was also a single female Bufflehead and a Trumpeter Swan in cell 3. I didn't make it over to cell 4 since the roadways have become a mucky mess after recent grading. There was a nice male Blackpoll Warbler singing in the rain near the viewing stand. Three Chimney Swifts and many Swallows were feeding over cell 1. A Green Heron was at the north end of cell 1.

 

 

Piliated Woodpecker
Posted on May 25, 2017 at 11:56:44 AM by dinnynimmo

Yesterday late afternoon we were at our friend Mike's at the end of Hurlings Point Bala. Our Hurlings Point resident male piliated woodpecker put in an appearance and enjoyed the bird feeder. They get different birds at the end of the Road. We have had very few birds around, only our hummingbirds, song sparrow, red-eyed vireo and great crested flycatcher. While visiting we saw purple finch, blue jays , chickadees. Mike has seen warblers but not close enough to have identified them. Dinny

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons - Big Days
Posted on May 24, 2017 at 10:01:32 PM by Goodyear

Every year when we do the MFN Birdathon we start at the Bracebridge Lagoons before heading out to bird other areas of Muskoka. We usually end up seeing between 60 and 70 species of birds at the Lagoons. We have often wondered how many we could see if we spent the whole day at the Lagoons. So... this last weekend, Janice House, Michael Hatton, Regan Goodyear and I, David Goodyear, set out to find out! On Saturday 20 May we arrived at the Lagoons at 4:30 a.m. in hopes of hearing some nocturnal birds. A Common Nighthawk was heard just after 5:00 and the dawn chorus began in earnest about the same time. Stephanie Lehman very kindly brought over tea and delicious warm muffins for us mid-morning, which was greatly appreciated given the chilly temperatures. Refuelled and warmed,we continued traipsing around the Lagoons in search of birds. By 1:30 we had observed 78 species of birds. We took a short lunch break and returned later in the afternoon for another 4 hours of birding. We only picked up another two species of birds, giving us a total of 80 species for the day. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great warbler day and we didn't have any shorebirds other than the local Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers.
We had so much fun that we decided to try it again on Monday 22 May (You thought we were crazy when you started reading this narrative. Now you know it!) We decided to sleep in and start at 5:30 a.m. Monday's weather of overnight rain ending in the early hours, fog in the morning,cloud with light drizzle in the late morning, mid-afternoon sun, and winds out of the south all day, proved to be a great combination for putting down the birds. Two Gray Catbirds were the first birds we heard singing and by 7:30 we had about 40 species under our belts. Janice joined us at this point and over the next two hours we added another 30 species, including a single Trumpeter Swan swimming in cell 3, a rare Olive-sided Flycatcher hawking for insects from the west side of cell 2, and a small flock of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers feeding at the south end of cell 2. As it turned out, it was a very good warbler day! We saw 19 species, including Wilson's, Mourning, and Blackpoll Warblers. By noon we had just over 80 species. After a quick lunch, we continued the rounds. The sun had brought out some raptors and we added Red-tailed Hawk and Osprey to the day's list. A Winter Wren singing from the woods south of cell 4 was the last new bird for the day. Our total for the day was an incredible 92 species. Interestingly, 12 species of birds that we saw on Saturday we did not see on Monday! In addition, other birders saw two other species that we did not record on either day. A 100 species day for the Lagoons is a possibility. Look out Pelee.

 

 

May 23 - Shellebrate World Turtle Day
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 04:30:13 PM by michaelhatton

Tell a turtle story, draw a turtle picture, take a turtle photo. This is the day to shellebrate!
photo
Not as much media coverage in Canada as elsewhere. 

 

 

Re(1): Red Foxes
Posted on May 24, 2017 at 10:52:03 AM by dinnymccraney

What wonderful photos! In the first two, it looks as though the kit is paying close attention to what she is saying!

 

 

Red Foxes
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 03:41:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon one of the neighbourhood foxes visited our yard with two of its kits. What fun watching them explore. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 11:33:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was an Olive-sided Flycatcher perched atop a dead tree near the west side of cell 4. It sat there preening for a while, showing us the white patches on its lower back. There were also two Alder Flycatchers in the same area. Five Turkey Vultures went streaming by to the north, a Broad-winged Hawk circled overhead, and a single Chimney Swift flew past. Two Black-billed Cuckoos were seen together in the shrubbery by cell 4. The male and female Ruddy Ducks were still in cell 1. A Brown Thrasher was singing in a dead tree and an Eastern Kingbird was using the same tree as a launchpad while hawking insects. With very little wind and finally some sunshine, the black flies were "thick"!

 

 

Re(1): New Bala Yard Bird
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 07:21:27 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

She is back today!

 

 

New Bala Yard Bird
Posted on May 22, 2017 at 01:42:34 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Female Northern Parula! Busy time with the pin cherry trees in bloom. Mostly male and female yellow-rumps. I have seen the Northern Parula here twice. The first time for at least half an hour and she is back again now! Also, male Magnolia. He has been here a few times in the last couple of days.

 

 

Lagoon Birds
Posted on May 21, 2017 at 02:49:24 PM by DBurton

Cape May Warbler and Wilson's Warbler behind the viewing platform. Wilson's Warbler in the pines at the cell 1 and 3 intersection. Ruddy Ducks in cell 1. Chimney Swifts, and exceptional numbers of Bank Swallows.

 

 

Washago sightings
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 08:13:46 PM by John Challis

Bobolinks and bluebirds are back in the farm fields here. Gayle says she heard Eastern peewee and redstart today.

 

 

Great Crested Flycatcher is back
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 07:55:55 PM by dinnynimmo

While out for a short walk about 5pm this afternoon I heard our resident Great Crested Flycatcher calling. The walk was short as the black flies were even inside my head net! Dinny Hurlings Point Bala

 

 

Re(1): Ruddy Ducks - still there
Posted on May 21, 2017 at 01:17:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

The two Ruddy Ducks (M,F) were together in cell 1 around 12:30 p.m. today. There were many Swallows flying low over the main three cells trying to find something to eat in the strong wind. Four Least Sandpipers were at the south end of cell 2. A male Bobolink popped up out of the tall grass near the middle intersection, was carried by the wind a few feet, and went right back down into the grass.

 

 

Re(2): Ruddy Ducks - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 08:07:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

No tag on the Trumpeter. I think this is the same "tame" Swan that has been hanging around the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh for a while. Today it swam right over to me, and seemed to be hoping for a food handout...probably got used to people feeding it at the Burlington overwintering area at LaSalle Park.

 

 

Re(1): Ruddy Ducks - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 01:23:56 PM by missyinmuskoka

Barbara do you recall if the swan was tagged? I will report it to the restoration program

 

 

Ruddy Ducks - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 11:38:44 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Ruddy Ducks and a Trumpeter Swan at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were about 300 Swallows flying low over the main three cells...Bank, Barn, Tree, and Northern Rough-winged. Six Least Sandpipers were at the south end of cell 2.

 

  

Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 08:15:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

A few minutes ago one was calling as it flew over our yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 20, 2017 at 07:49:32 PM by janice house

This morning around 5am at the Bracebridge Ponds a nighthawk called north of cell 4

 

 

Re(1): Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 01:28:01 PM by John Challis

Interesting. We were on Black River Road east of Washago last night, and heard what we assumed was a woodcock peenting; mosquitoes were too thick to wait around for the on-the-wing display. But maybe there's been a wave of nighthawks coming in.

 

 

Common Nighthawk
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 07:33:41 AM by janice house

Last night after taking down the bird feeders I heard a nighthawk calling at approximately 8:35. Doe Lake Road Gravenhurst

 

 

Hermit Thrush, Bala, At last!
Posted on May 18, 2017 at 07:07:32 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have been worried, once again, that few migrants were returning to my place. Thrilled to hear a Hermit Thrush at last just now! I do have microphones both driveway and lake sides of the house but have heard few migrant songs. Maybe today is the turning point.

 

 

Black-billed Cuckoo
Posted on May 18, 2017 at 01:44:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Black-billed Cuckoo was playing hide-and-seek in the shrubbery west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds.  photo  photo2

 

 

Re(2): Unusual Sapsucker
Posted on May 21, 2017 at 09:10:54 AM by StuartImmonen

Thanks for the link, Al. Hopefully, some more knowledgeable birders will be able to nail down an ID.

I haven't seen the individual since May 8 (and have since posted the photos from this thread to eBird), but there's lots of good potential nesting sites here, so I'll keep an eye out and report to the board if there's any news.

s

 

 

Re(1): Unusual Sapsucker
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 06:13:19 PM by Al Sinclair

Photos of this bird on Stuart's eBird checklist were noticed by one of the reviewers and a message requesting opinions on the ID was posted today about it and another bird in Michigan on the eBird regional editors list and the ID Frontiers list. You can read it here http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Mail/ID_FRONTIERS/2030071?year=2017
BTW it is Parry Sound District.

 

 

Unusual Sapsucker
Posted on May 18, 2017 at 08:15:15 AM by StuartImmonen

Since April 25, we've had a sapsucker on our property near Novar which seems to exhibit intermediate traits between Red-naped and Yellow-bellied, namely broken (or close to) black border on red neck patch, darker than Y-B dorsal area and of course, a red nape. Behaviour, call, drum pattern are consistent with Y-B. From my research, sightings in Ontario are almost nonexistent; there was a hybrid netted at Long Point in 2010, and sightings in upper New York State in 2016. A Red-naped was reported on the north shore of Lake Superior in '93, I think, and not accepted by the OBRC. Sibley says that Y-Bs sometimes exhibit a red nape, but it seems like the reality is that there is a spectrum of hybrid individuals showing a range of field marks.
photo1  photo2  photo3
Thanks in advance if you have thoughts and additional info to share.

stuart

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists Birdathon on May 13, 2017
Posted on May 17, 2017 at 10:31:37 PM by Al Sinclair

The Muskoka Field Naturalists did the Great Canadian Birdathon May 13, 2017, birding for 17 hrs in locations in Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, and Gravenhurst.  photo

 

The participants: David Goodyear, Janice House, Stephanie Lehman, Mara Goodyear, Lynn Huizer, Regan Goodyear, Al Sinclair, Dale Wenger, Dan Burton, Bill Dickinson, Ron Huizer. Photo by Michael Hatton.

The Locations birded:
Bracebridge Sewage Treatment Ponds
Bracebridge--Henry Marsh
Bracebridge--Henry Marsh to Sewage Treatment Ponds trail
Bracebridge--South Monck Drive
Bracebridge--South Monck Drive thicket swamp area : Gravenhurst--Muldrew Lake Road marsh
Bracebridge - Bangor Lodge
Bracebridge - Meadow Heights Subdivision
Muskoka Lakes - Ziska Road wetland at Pearcey's
Muskoka Lakes - Ziska Road - farm fields N of dip
Gravenhurst - Downtown
Gravenhurst - Kilworthy Road and Southwood Road
Gravenhurst - Sparrow Lake - Franklin Park

Total Species Seen: 102
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
Sandhill Crane
Killdeer
Wilson's Snipe
American Woodcock
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Common Tern
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Merlin
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Bay-breasted Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

 

 

Female Hummer on Menominee
Posted on May 17, 2017 at 03:12:03 PM by NadyaTarasoff

At last, our first female Hummer and two territorial males.

 

 

Alder Flycatchers and Wood Thrushes
Posted on May 17, 2017 at 01:23:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Alder Flycatchers were back this morning - one singing west of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds and one at Henry Marsh. There were two Wood Thrushes singing along "the chickadee trail" which goes between those two hotspots...this one was perched high in a tree near the trail:  photo

Beaver in cell 4...has been hanging around for a few days.  photo

 

 

Muskoka Beach Road Bracebridge to Gravenhurst
Posted on May 17, 2017 at 10:22:08 AM by janice house

I just came home from the Bracebridge ponds along the beach road, blackpoll, blackburnian and black throated green warblers calling. I heard the blackpolls closer to the section of road just before the Stagecoach Road intersection. Just a warning, the two dogs were at the ponds at 7:15 am, strutting along the east side of cell 1 and 3.

 

 

June beetle, and night calls
Posted on May 16, 2017 at 11:04:59 PM by John Challis

A very still night tonight, made even sweeter by the distant calls of long-tailed ducks flying north. While I listened, a June beetle -- May beetle I'll call him tonight -- dropped down onto some wood and flopped around. Toads are trilling in the yards across from us.
This morning I saw my first chestnut sided warbler of the spring, and heard a black-and-white warbler. They had also been singing on Saturday in the Haliburton Forest, but I'm not counting them as local season-firsts.

 

 

Sightings
Posted on May 16, 2017 at 10:46:56 PM by NadyaTarasoff

This a.m., at our residence on Menominee Lake, we had one male White Crowned Sparrow and two male Rosebreasted Grosbeaks.

 

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Posted on May 16, 2017 at 09:51:38 AM by michaelhatton

Based on the molt pattern, likely a second year bird?  photo

Comparing the beak size to the entrance hole for seeds, it is understandable why the bird spent little time at the feeder.   photo

 

 

Butterflies and Dragonflies
Posted on May 15, 2017 at 10:27:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Even though it was windy, today's warm sunshine brought out the butterflies...several Red Admirals, Spring Azures, Mourning Cloak, Cabbage White, and an American Lady. There were also many Common Green Darners flying. This mated pair flew down to the water so the female could deposit her eggs. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(1): White-rumped Sandpiper - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 16, 2017 at 01:14:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

The White-rumped Sandpiper was still there this morning. It was at the south end of cell 2 as we were leaving at 12:20 p.m. No Yellowlegs and only one Least Sandpiper. There was a nice influx of migrants overnight, with several American Redstarts, Warbling Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and a Gray Catbird.

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper - Bracebridge Lagoons
Posted on May 15, 2017 at 10:12:56 PM by Goodyear

This evening there was a single White-rumped Sandpiper at the south end of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Lagoons, along with 8 Least Sandpipers, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs. The lower water level in cell 2 is making it more attractive for shorebirds.

 

 

First Female Hummingbird Arrived
Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:52:46 PM by dinnynimmo

I first saw the courtship swooping of the male hummingbird then I saw her. She sat in a small tree for some time very close to our feeder. Dinny Nimmo Hurlings Point Bala

 

 

Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Posted on May 15, 2017 at 09:33:05 AM by DBurton

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker was singing on Segwun Blvd in Gravenhurst. We have often had Red-Bellied sightings in Gravenhurst before, but this is a new location. Pretty soon they will be as common as Cardinals.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawk
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 10:40:30 PM by LisaMcCoy

On May 12, 2017, I saw this Broad-winged Hawk with 'Snake Snack' on Loon Lake Road,Gravenhurst.  photo

 

 

Re(1): grosbeak - photo
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 05:16:50 PM by Al Sinclair

Wilf's photo from today.  photo

 

 

grosbeak
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 04:55:22 PM by Wilf Yusek

Just had a pair of Evening Grosbeaks at my feeders

 

 

A new yard bird: Red-headed Woodpecker
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 03:21:43 PM by michaelhatton

A Red-headed Woodpecker arrived at Leonard Lake today in conjunction with strong winds, rain and hail. Lots of other birds came at the same time, but the Red-headed controlled the "yard."

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Wood Thrush
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 02:31:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was a Wood Thrush singing high in a tree along "the chickadee trail" between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh. My camera couldn't find the bird through all the branches in the way...but I found this Lang Elliott website with a wonderful video of a Wood Thrush singing: https://musicofnature.com/video/wood-thrush/

 

 

New Arrivals
Posted on May 14, 2017 at 02:24:32 PM by DBurton

Winhara Rd- 1 Blackpoll Warbler.
BB Lagoons- Black-throated Blue Warblers, 1 Sora, 1 Parula.
Peninsula Rd- 1 Am Redstart.

 

 

Lots of birds today - photos
Posted on May 13, 2017 at 11:35:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a noticeable increase in the number of bird species around today as migration has ramped up. First of the season birds for me included Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole, White-crowned Sparrow, Cape May Warbler, Chimney Swift, and Cliff Swallow at the Bracebridge Ponds, Eastern Kingbird at Henry Marsh and the Ponds, as well as Great Crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, and Magnolia Warbler along "the chickadee trail" east of Henry Marsh.

White-crowned Sparrow: photo

Bobolink:  photo

Eastern Kingbirds:  photo1  photo2

Palm Warbler:  photo

 

 

One Hummingbird just arrived
Posted on May 12, 2017 at 06:51:42 PM by dinnynimmo

Luckily today I got my hummingbird feeder out after reading the emails last night. Just now as we were eating dinner one male hummer fed at the feeder then came to the window to tell us he was back. Dinny - Hurlings Point Bala

 

 

Bluebirds
Posted on May 12, 2017 at 08:21:15 AM by MaryWillmott

Male and Female Eastern Bluebird near the bird box at Beaumaris Golf Course

 

 

Re(1): Green Heron and a Swan
Posted on May 12, 2017 at 04:02:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Trumpeter Swan in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds. A female Common Merganser circled several times and finally landed in cell 2. Chestnut-sided Warblers have arrived and were singing. A pair of Northern Shovelers and a Green Heron were in cell 1. A Beaver was swimming in cell 4. A pair of Canada Geese were showing off their 5 goslings...two were camera shy.  photo

 

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

 

 

Re(1): Green Heron and a Swan
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 09:21:10 PM by Doug Smith

Great photo of the swan! Always enjoy all the 'lagoon' photos -- thank you.

 

 

Green Heron and a Swan
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 06:49:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today I found this Green Heron at the Bracebridge Ponds and this Trumpeter Swan at Henry Marsh.  photo1  photo2

 

Birds seen/heard today at the Bracebridge Ponds:
32 species

Canada Goose 4
Wood Duck 8
Mallard
Northern Shoveler 2
Ring-necked Duck 2
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Green Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Killdeer 2
Wilson's Snipe 1
Spotted Sandpiper 6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 4
Tree Swallow 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 1
Ovenbird 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 7
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
White-throated Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 6
Swamp Sparrow 2
Red-winged Blackbird 10

 

 

Cooper's Falls Rd
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 03:49:14 PM by DBurton

We birded the Muskoka section of this road today. Of interest: 1 American Kestral, Barn Swallows, Bobolinks,1 Snipe, Eastern Meadowlarks, several Brown Trashers, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, 1 White-Crowned Sparrow, House Sparrows. On the Simcoe section 1 Trumpeter Swan and some Yellow Warblers.
On Housey's Rapids Road opposite 1897 was a field with 1 very rusty-coloured Sandhill Crane, and 3 Turkeys.

 

 

scarlet tanager & blackburnian
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 09:11:12 AM by John Challis

A brilliant show of colours this morning when a Blackburnian warbler and a scarlet tanager both showed up in a poplar behind our house.

 

 

Hummer
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 09:00:41 AM by wilf yusek

Had my 1st hummingbird this morning, nice male

 

 

morning songsters
Posted on May 10, 2017 at 07:26:22 PM by John Challis

There was a lovely chorus this morning on Green River Dr, rose- breasted grosbeak, winter wren, ovenbird, chipping sparrows, a distant common yellowthroat, along with the usual accompanists, the chickadees, nuthatch, Robin, red-winged blackbirds, some percussion from pileated, yellow-bellied sapsucker and hairy woodpecker. The idiot chant of Canada geese was kind of like someone's cell phone ringing in the middle of the concert, but I put up with it.

 

 

FOS Least Flycatcher
Posted on May 10, 2017 at 04:28:12 PM by DBurton

On Peninsula Rd today I heard Least Flycatcher, Northern Waterthrush, Raven, Black-Throated Green, Blue-Headed Vireo, several Winter Wrens. Also of interest: Hooded Merganser

 

 

Yellowlegs
Posted on May 10, 2017 at 01:09:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were 3 Lesser Yellowlegs at the south end of cell 2. They flushed when a truck went by, but appeared to land at the east side of cell 1. The water level is being lowered in cell 1 at a faster rate now and cell 2 will be drawn down some too, so there should soon be better habitat for shorebird stopovers. There was a pair of Northern Shovelers in cell 1. A Broad-winged Hawk was perched in a dead tree north of cell 4. A Warbling Vireo was singing near the Lagoon Lane gate and two Yellow Warblers were singing west of cell 4. A Wild Turkey was treed by the three "wild dogs" (aggressive brown one, a white Samoyed and a black Samoyed) that are still being allowed to run free in the area even though the town's bylaw officer visited the owners last year.  photo

 

 

Dandelions are good for something...
Posted on May 9, 2017 at 05:29:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several Bumble Bees enjoying the dandelions. There was an American Kestrel perched in a dead tree west of cell 4, but a far reach for my little camera - the bird flew off to the south.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Kingbird
Posted on May 7, 2017 at 11:23:18 PM by DBurton

We found a frozen Eastern Kingbird in Sundridge today. I have never seen one while it was snowing out before. Others: Widgeons, Shovellers, Gtr + Lesser Yellowlegs, Palm Warblers.

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on May 7, 2017 at 01:20:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a female Northern Harrier hunting low over the wet field by the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range on South Monck Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Ruddy Duck
Posted on May 7, 2017 at 01:10:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a female Ruddy Duck towards the south end of cell 1. A male Green-winged Teal and a male Blue-winged Teal were in cell 3. Still some of the usual ducks spread around - Bufflehead, Mallard, Wood, Scaup and Ring-necked.

 

 

Shorebirds and Gulls
Posted on May 7, 2017 at 09:23:37 AM by Barbara Taylor

Shorebirds are migrating north now and flooded sections of fields are good spots to look for them. Yesterday Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs were seen along South Monck Dr. and Beaumont Farm Rd.

Some plowed fields along South Monck Dr. are attracting Gulls. Yesterday afternoon across the road from McCranks there was a Lesser Black-backed Gull along with many Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. It flew off to the south-west and I couldn't find it again after a quick search of the area. A Glaucous Gull was later found by the Goodyears in the same field.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(3): Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on May 5, 2017 at 08:49:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Red-bellied Woodpecker that spent the winter and continues to be in our neighbourhood was here in our yard that day, so a different bird then. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on May 5, 2017 at 05:40:06 PM by Al Sinclair

John reports that the woodpecker was seen on Windermere Rd on April 28 only.

 

 

Re(1): Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on May 5, 2017 at 12:57:39 PM by Al Sinclair

There has been one in Bracebridge all winter. Could this be the same bird? I'm wondering where you live.

 

 

Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on May 5, 2017 at 08:40:13 AM by johndouglas

This marks the 79th species seen on or from our property.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Hummingbird
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 07:57:32 PM by MaryWillmott

My first RTH this evening.
I've had my feeder up for at least a week.
Beaumaris

 

 

Bardsville area
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 04:56:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were two Northern Harriers in the fields near the intersection of Falkenburg Rd. and Beatrice Town Line. About eighty Swallows were flying low over the marsh - mostly Tree, and a few Barn and Bank. There were a few Canada Geese, Mallards, a pair of Wood Ducks, and a male Green-winged Teal. A Wilson's Snipe was winnowing and Eastern Meadowlarks were singing. Three Turkey Vultures were soaring overhead.

 

On the drive home there was a Broad-winged Hawk perched atop a hydro pole near Brookland's Farm on Butter & Egg Rd. and a Sandhill Crane was circling above the wet fields along Hwy. 118W near Golden Beach Rd. (it eventually headed west).

 

 

And here is one of them.
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 04:58:04 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Green Herons are back
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 04:41:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were two Green Herons at the Bracebridge Ponds today.

 

 

Re(1): Western Tanager in Dwight - no
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 09:00:07 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Rick Stronks on ONTBIRDS (May 4, 2017, 8:09 a.m.) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

We have been watching the feeders for 2 hours and have not seen the bird.

Rick and Kelly

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka records of Western Tanager
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 11:46:17 AM by DBurton

I nominate David Goodyear to make the next Official Muskoka List!

 

 

Muskoka records of Western Tanager
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 07:08:46 AM by Goodyear

I have found three previous records of Western Tanager for Muskoka, although none were confirmed by multiple observers or photos, and the last was almost 30 years ago. If anyone knows of any other sightings please let us know.

Mary Leacock - Huntsville - August 1975 (The Chickadee, September 1975)

Wilson Speicher - Barkway - September 1980 (Bob Bowles Journal)

Mr. And Mrs. MacAvery - Huntsville - August 1988 (The Chickadee, September 1988)

 

 

Re(2): Western Tanager continues to be seen near Dwight
Posted on May 3, 2017 at 10:56:29 AM by Al Sinclair

At 8:15am, near feeders at the back of the house. Feeding on suet. Drinking from a dog bowl.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Western Tanager continues to be seen near Dwight
Posted on May 3, 2017 at 10:46:36 AM by michaelhatton

The Western Tanager continues to put on a show early Wednesday morning.  photo  photo2  photo3

 

 

Western Tanager in Dwight
Posted on May 2, 2017 at 08:56:57 PM by KellyStronks

We had a Western Tanager show up this evening at our house. If people are interested, they can park by the garage or on the side of the road and walk up to the barrier on the driveway. The bird has been between the house and garage. The address is 24424 Hwy 35 (half way between Dwight and Dorset)  photo

 

 

Re(1): More Grackles this Year?
Posted on May 3, 2017 at 07:17:07 AM by Leslie

Yes, the grackles seem to be everywhere - kind of like the goldfinches were this past winter. What a terrific photo!

 

 

More Grackles this Year?
Posted on May 2, 2017 at 01:57:11 PM by michaelhatton

Am seeing more Grackles at the homestead this year than ever. You?  photo

 

 

Re(1): Henry Marsh
Posted on May 4, 2017 at 04:45:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Broad-winged Hawk and a Red-shouldered Hawk circling over the marsh...perhaps local birds as they stayed in the neighbourhood instead of heading north.

 

 

Henry Marsh
Posted on May 2, 2017 at 09:06:02 AM by Leslie

I took a stroll down the marsh trail this morning (wear rubber boots if you're going - it's overflowing!). There were very few birds. Here's what I saw: redwing blackbirds, one wood duck, one Canada goose, one mallard, one Scaup, and a pair of trumpeter swans, which flew in while I was there. (I posted the wing tag to the Wye Marsh site). These numbers seem very low compared to other years.

 

 

New yard bird
Posted on May 2, 2017 at 08:43:12 AM by janice house

The creek at the back of the yard is at an all time high, a double crested cormorant landed in the water today. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Gadwalls
Posted on May 1, 2017 at 07:38:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

Tonight there were two Gadwalls (M,F) in cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

Great Gray Owl Cam
Posted on May 1, 2017 at 05:58:40 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Chick alert! At least one hatched but unseen so far!
https://explore.org/live-cams/player/great-gray-owl-nest#disqus_thread

 

 

Re(1): Wildflower Shows
Posted on May 1, 2017 at 05:18:59 PM by janice house

I don't know how common Dutchman's breeches is but I have seen it for years in different locations around Muskoka, lovely flower.

 

 

Wildflower Shows
Posted on April 30, 2017 at 03:13:35 PM by George Bryant

Yellow non-native Coltsfoot at its peak now along roadsides is completely closed up with the heavy rain. But white Early Saxifrage is totally open and adorns all exposed rock including the cliffs on James St. Gravenhurst just west of the high school. I stopped for another white flower--Dutchman's-breeches also in full flower on the wall ledges. Can't remember seeing this before in Muskoka. How common is it here?

 

 

House Wren, Siskins
Posted on April 29, 2017 at 02:02:57 PM by DBurton

First of season House Wren here. Also 2 Pine Siskins still hanging around.

 

 

Re(2): More Blue Jays
Posted on May 1, 2017 at 11:50:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Derby Hill Bird Observatory (at south-east end of Lake Ontario) noted a big movement of Jays today - 10,695 counted.

 

 

Re(1): More Blue Jays
Posted on April 29, 2017 at 08:13:39 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yes, I noticed several on the move north yesterday, and the Ripley Hawk Watch noted 1000's moving through Thursday.
Several of the Hawkwatches give highlights of other bird movements...see http://hawkcount.org

 

 

Re(1): More Blue Jays
Posted on April 29, 2017 at 08:06:55 AM by J. Gardner

Had only one jay apparent after December. Yesterday, well over a dozen showed up, several times. Unusual not to have jays cleaning out the feeders through the winter. J. Gardner

 

 

More Blue Jays
Posted on April 29, 2017 at 07:51:08 AM by Doug Smith

After having only 2 pairs of blue jays visiting our feeders all winter we have suddenly jumped to about 10 very noisy jays dominating the feeders. I'm assuming they are back from their winter in the south. Has anyone else noticed an increase?

 

 

Re(1): warblers
Posted on April 28, 2017 at 01:04:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

Didn't notice any yesterday, but found a few this morning after it warmed up a bit. A Black-throated Green Warbler was singing near Henry Rd. West of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Palm Warbler, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a Blue-headed Vireo.

 

 

Re(1): warblers
Posted on April 28, 2017 at 11:23:01 AM by janice house

I noticed a lot of birds at noon yesterday, last night just ahead of the storm a white crowned sparrow and a male rose breasted grosbeak showed up

 

 

warblers
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 09:18:33 PM by John Challis

Has anyone else noticed a lot of warblers earlier today? There was quite a crowd of them on Green River Drive this morning. I heard black-thoated green, watched a few magnolia warblers (probably, but they were flitting around so much I couldn't get a definitive look -- too much yellow for yellow-rumped warblers) feeding in a maple. And pine warblers in several white pine. I played a call on my phone, and one dropped down to a branch a few feet from me and then flew straight at me and swatted my head with a wing. Seems like they were pushed ahead by the southerly winds that brought the storms up later in the day.

 

 

This one crossed my path at the sewage lagoons
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 07:43:35 PM by michaelhatton

photo

 

 

Turtles, Frogs, and a Snake
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 05:37:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were several Snapping Turtles wandering around at the Bracebridge Ponds as well as many Painted Turtles basking in the sunshine. There was a good chorus of Leopard Frogs, Spring Peepers, and some Wood Frogs. Even the Toads started trilling today. I also saw my first snake of the year.
Snapping Turtle: photo

Leopard Frog:  photo

Garter Snake:  photo

 

 

Re(1): Red Admiral Butterfly
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 06:13:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I saw my first Spring Azure of the year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red Admiral Butterfly
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 04:32:53 PM by dinnymccraney

saw one of these enjoying the pollen from the pussy willow catkins this afternoon.

 

 

Re(1): Salamander Eggs - Photo
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 04:35:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

What a great find!

I came across a couple websites that show the difference between Salamander and various Frog egg masses, which I thought might be of interest...

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=272

http://midatlanticnature.blogspot.ca/2012/01/winter-and-early-spring-vernal-pool-egg.html and
http://midatlanticnature.blogspot.ca/2012/02/winter-and-early-spring-vernal-pool-egg.html

 

 

Salamander Eggs - Photo
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 01:32:30 PM by Al Sinclair

Spotted Salamander eggs photographed by Allyn Abbott on April 24/17 in a vernal pool. North Kahshe Lake Road area.   photo

Good story on vernal pools in the latest Ontario Nature Magazine. http://www.vdocshop.com/doc/on-nature-magazine/on_nature_magazine_spring_2017/2017031401/#24

 

 

Loons Fighting
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 12:11:31 PM by annhansen

This morning there were 3 loons on our lake (Spence Lake) and we witnessed 2 of them fighting, we assume for territory. They chased each other around the lake for at least 10-15 minutes that we were aware of, and fought beak to beak and wing to wing. They must have been exhausted! Male loons will often fight until death, and we are not sure of the outcome of this battle. We saw 2 loons go below the surface and seconds later, only one emerged. We are so privileged to see this behaviour enfold right in front of us, but sad at the same time of the cruelty of nature.

 

 

Ruddy Duck - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 03:17:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Ruddy Duck was still in cell 3 at 2:30 p.m. today. A Wilson's Snipe was at the south end of cell 2. Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal were in cell 3. Although overall numbers are down, there were still many of the usual ducks spread around...Ring-necked, Scaup, Bufflehead, Wood Duck, and Mallard.

 

 

Loon calling
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 10:00:21 AM by DinnyNimmo

While at the Bala Post Office this morning I heard a loon calling while flying overhead

 

 

new arrivals
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 09:07:30 AM by John Challis

There was a brown thrasher singing by the Green River this morning (Washago). It would sing for a few minutes, then head to a new tree, generally making its way north with each stop. Could be in Gravenhurst by now...
And in the swamp behind our place, there was an American bittern gallumping.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Comma - photos
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 09:09:34 AM by John Challis

We had a few mourning cloaks in our yard on the weekend, too.

 

 

Eastern Comma - photos
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 09:01:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

On sunny Monday this week, we had Mourning Cloaks flying around our yard and also a very co-operative Eastern Comma. It kept coming back to the same spot so I was able to get a photo of its white "comma" on the underside of its hindwing. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2

 

 

Pine Warbler, Bala
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 07:48:58 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Pine Warbler searching for something to eat here just now. The yellow-rump I saw last week stayed about a minute and haven't seen any other warblers until just now.
 

 

 

Re(1): Great gray?
Posted on April 26, 2017 at 09:14:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

They will move south in winter if their food source crashes in the north. This winter was not a major irruption year, so most stayed north of here. A few were being seen in Ottawa and Thunder Bay. I was lucky to see one on Feb. 14 east of Henry Marsh, but no further sightings of it, and coincidentally one was seen on the same date in the Marmora area. The Owl you saw was probably headed back north.

Here's a link to a story about the Thunder Bay owls:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/great-grey-owl-irruption-thunder-bay-1.3998365

Unfortunately for the owls, when they pick a good hunting spot near a city, they can become a "tourist attraction" and sometimes over-enthusiastic people don't give the owl enough space to continue its hunt for food (as in the video in the above link). Also, the owls don't understand the danger of swooping low across busy roads and there can be several fatalities in a major irruption year.

 

 

Great gray?
Posted on April 25, 2017 at 05:19:54 PM by IanP

I saw a huge owl on a bush in a swamp just south of the frost centre on the east side of Hwy 35. Unfortunately I didn't have binoculars but I saw some detail. It was all dark, even the belly, with a huge face, a white collar on its breast, and it was massive! Do great greys ever come here?

 

 

Wood ducks - photos
Posted on April 25, 2017 at 12:27:09 PM by johndouglas

I hope this pair choose my tree!  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Tri-colored Bumble Bee
Posted on April 24, 2017 at 04:02:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a queen Bombus ternarius seemed to be looking for a suitable nest site in our garden. She went down into a small hole in the oregano patch for a while but soon came back out and carried on with her search. (Bracebridge)

references:
http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/Eastern_Bumble_Bee.pdf (see page 38)
http://bugguide.net/node/view/15062

 

 

snipe, upland sandpiper
Posted on April 24, 2017 at 10:42:26 AM by John Challis

On the MacArthur Sideroad yesterday before dusk, a number of snipe were in their display flight and calling from the fields. Off in the distance I could hear two upland sandpiper whistling. Meadowlarks are in abundance on the road, too. The Tom turkeys were busy displaying and gobbling on the Cronk Road to the south

 

 

White crowned sparrow
Posted on April 23, 2017 at 03:16:47 PM by dinnymccraney

Have seen this bird going in and out of the cedar hedge for the past week. Same spot as last year but 2 weeks earlier. (Bracebridge)

 

 

hermit thrush
Posted on April 23, 2017 at 11:04:59 AM by John Challis

Gayle heard two hermit thrushes this morning. Just now three or four morning cloaks are flitting around our yard.

 

 

Cowbirds
Posted on April 23, 2017 at 10:27:26 AM by John Challis

Not particularly welcome but I saw two cowbirds on Green RiverDrive this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Brown Thrasher
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 08:18:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Brown Thrasher was singing at Kerr Park up the hill near the viewing stand. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Brown Thrasher
Posted on April 22, 2017 at 03:21:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there was a Brown Thrasher singing near the Beer Store in Bracebridge. He was in the small group of trees at the south side of Ball's Dr. near the snowmobile trail.

 

 

Re(3): Ruddy Duck - still there
Posted on April 25, 2017 at 11:52:14 AM by janice house

the ruddy duck was still in cell 3 at 8:30 this morning

 

 

Re(2): Ruddy Duck - still there
Posted on April 24, 2017 at 12:26:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Ruddy Duck was still in cell 3 this morning. Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal still in cell 1. Two Spotted Sandpipers at SW corner of cell 3. An Osprey flew in from west of cell 4 and circled around...could this bird be nesting on the McVittie Island platform by the river mouth?

 

 

Re(1): Ruddy Duck - still there
Posted on April 23, 2017 at 12:23:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Ruddy Duck was still in cell 3 this morning at 11:45 a.m.

 

 

Ruddy Duck
Posted on April 22, 2017 at 01:36:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a nice male Ruddy Duck in cell 3. He was still there as I was leaving around 12:30 p.m.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Horned Grebe
Posted on April 22, 2017 at 02:42:16 PM by DBurton

Horned Grebe is still in Gravenhust Bay this afternoon. Yellow-rumped Warblers have begun to come into the area also.

 

 

Re(1): Horned Grebe
Posted on April 21, 2017 at 05:54:06 PM by janice house

Still there, closer to the stores in the west side of the bay

 

 

Horned Grebe
Posted on April 21, 2017 at 02:37:30 PM by michaelhatton

Horned Grebe showing very well NOW, just off the Boston Pizza deck at Muskoka Wharf. The bird seems to be focused on fishing one area.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bala
Posted on April 21, 2017 at 01:10:07 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

First warbler this season at my place!

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 20 April
Posted on April 21, 2017 at 12:07:55 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 21, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Significant melting of snow and opening up of some small lakes and ponds occurred this week. All larger lakes remain ice-covered. New arrivals continued to appear, but fewer than last week (see list below).

Fox Sparrows were at the Visitor Centre all week, peaking at seven birds on April 20.
 
BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: Persistent snow and meltwater puddles in prime locations for this species such as Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk are making searching difficult.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen along Opeongo Road on April 18.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road north of the gate (now open) is the most reliable place to look.

Boreal Chickadee: One was reported along the Logging Museum trail on April 18.
 
WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: A few were at the Visitor Centre feeder area this week.

Pine Siskin: There were up to 15 at the Visitor Centre on April 20.

American Goldfinch: One or two are still being seen at the Visitor Centre.

Evening Grosbeak: A few were still coming to the Visitor Centre seed, with 12 noted on April 20.
 

NEW ARRIVALS
April 13: Wilson’s Snipe

April 15: Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow

April 16: Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Apr1l 17: Common Loon, Killdeer, Chipping Sparrow

April 18: Broad-winged Hawk

April 20: Barn Swallow
 

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

Ontbirds posts about Algonquin Park birds will be irregular, as deemed appropriate, for the rest of the spring period. Good Birding!

Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON
 

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

The Visitor Centre exhibits, bookstore and restaurant at km 43 are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, starting April 22. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned here) at the East Gate, West Gate or Visitor Centre. Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Re(2): Great Horned Owl
Posted on April 20, 2017 at 10:25:42 PM by Al Sinclair

Agree, in Muskoka very few records of Great Horned Owl in Muskoka for 15-20 yrs now. Used to be widespread. Disruption in the food web? Lack of prey - Snowshoe Hare, Striped Skunk also rare now. Red Foxes and Eastern Coyote are more common. Could rabies control have had unanticipated consequences?

 

 

Re(1): great horned owl
Posted on April 20, 2017 at 11:46:27 AM by George Bryant

GHOW are declining in Ontario, not sure why. There are probably only a few pairs left now in Muskoka. I haven't heard them near Gravenhurst for decades unlike Barred Owls which are pretty reliable.

 

 

great horned owl
Posted on April 19, 2017 at 11:26:08 PM by John Challis

2 great horned owls are calling outside our bedroom window tonight. Washago.

 

 

Broad-winged Hawks
Posted on April 19, 2017 at 03:57:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon a Broad-winged Hawk was back on territory in our neighbourhood, calling as it circled overhead. Two more were seen at the Bracebridge Ponds. I found my first Savannah Sparrow of the year near the old treatment plant at the Ponds. There were still Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal in cell 1 but I didn't see the Coot anywhere. The usual ducks were spread around...Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Buffleheads.

See http://hawkcount.org for daily Hawkwatch results.

 

 

Re(1): Mourning Cloak
Posted on April 18, 2017 at 07:32:12 PM by janice house

We had a red admiral in our yard at lunch today

 

 

Mourning Cloak
Posted on April 18, 2017 at 04:05:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today's sunshine brought out this Mourning Cloak at Henry Marsh.   photo

 

 

Parry Sound District migrants
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 08:32:23 PM by Alex Mills

Yesterday (April 16), there were 3 Northern Pintails (2M, 1F) with some Mallards in a shallow bay of Ahmic Lake. At the same time, only hours after the ice had left, further out in the lake there were 10 Double-crested Cormorants.

Today (April 17), there was a Broad-winged Hawk at Magnetawan, as well as three Greater Yellowlegs in a flooded farm field near Burk's Falls.

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 05:28:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

The male Red-bellied Woodpecker just came in for peanuts along with two Blue Jays. We hadn't seen him in our yard since his last visit on April 7.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Busy Beavers
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 04:31:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at Henry Marsh there was evidence of some very busy Beavers building up their dam...nice to know they are still at the marsh. I was surprised to see an almost steady stream of Turkey Vultures migrating north on this very overcast day, but I guess the winds were right for them. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Early Coot
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 04:55:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

I suppose that's better than being "knee-capped" by the Goose...much more aggressive now that eggs are in the nest.

This morning there were five Green-winged Teal (3M,2F) at the far west shoreline of cell 4. Another pair had been in cell 2 but flew off to the north-west before I left. Some of these Teal may have ended up in the Beaumont fields. At 2 p.m. this afternoon there were four in a seasonal pond along Beaumont Farm Rd. There were also 56 Canada Geese, four Mallards, and a Wild Turkey there. (Bracebridge)

Beaumont Farm Rd. field:  photo

 

 

Early Coot
Posted on April 17, 2017 at 03:11:53 PM by michaelhatton

An early arriving Coot was observed shortly after noon today in Cell 2 of the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons. It was flushed from the east side of the cell, and then flew approximately 50 feet out into the cell where it landed and attempted to hide near a group of Buffleheads.

And further -
Immediately prior to spotting the Coot, a Canada Goose gave me a full-on, blindsided body check while in the air. It only honked AFTER clearing the air space. (This did not affect my ability to identify a Coot.)

 

 

Re(1): First loon of the season on Leonard Lake
Posted on April 18, 2017 at 07:54:48 PM by jhansen

The first loon showed up on Spence Lake last Thursday, April 13.

 

 

First loon of the season on Leonard Lake
Posted on April 16, 2017 at 05:28:10 PM by michaelhatton

Section by section the ice went out this week on Leonard Lake. During this period, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Mallards and some Ring-Billed Gulls enjoyed the open water. Late today, through the fog, we saw our first yard bird loon of the season. Visibility varied from 100 - 400 metres throughout the day, with precipitation changing back and forth from light drizzle to moderately heavy rain. Not a great day for flying.  photo  photo2

 

 

Shovelers
Posted on April 16, 2017 at 11:45:19 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were seven Northern Shovelers (5M,2F) and three Blue-winged Teal (2M,1F) in cell 1 and eight Common Mergansers (4M,4F) in cell 2. There were still many Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Scaup, Wood Ducks, and Mallards, although overall numbers are down. A Merlin flew overhead and seemed to be continuing its migration north even though there was a light rain. Two Belted Kingfishers were chattering away as they flew around the area. A Wild Turkey was walking along the roadway east of cell 1. Two Pileated Woodpeckers were near the Lagoon Lane gate. A few Leopard Frogs briefly joined the chorus of Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs.

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl
Posted on April 16, 2017 at 08:17:12 AM by Al Sinclair

Great sighting for Muskoka. There is no good winter habitat for these owls in Muskoka so they are only seen as they pass through spring and fall to/from the fields in southern Ontario. This past winter many were seen south of us but I think this is the first reported from Muskoka.
You should try posting your video on the Ontario Birds Facebook page or on YouTube and then post a link to it here.

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on April 15, 2017 at 04:06:11 PM by Snoozey

Observed a Snowy Owl Friday April 14 at mycottage on Whiteside Road Lake Muskoka. I have a nice video of it!

 

 

Tree Swallows
Posted on April 15, 2017 at 11:19:52 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were four Tree Swallows fighting over the nestbox near the dog park at Kerr Park. Last year a pair were successful in raising a family there.

The five Northern Shovelers and the male Blue-winged Teal were still in cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds. A Rusty Blackbird was east of cell 1. Five Killdeer were having loud arguments over territory and mating rights. Two Swamp Sparrows were singing west of cell 4. A Northern Flicker was busy preening as it perched in a dead tree. There were two groups of ten male Wood Ducks accompanying single females in cell 2. Three Belted Kingfishers flew past, heading north towards the river. A skein of 32 Canada Geese flew overhead, also heading north.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst Birds
Posted on April 15, 2017 at 09:03:13 AM by janice house

A male white throated sparrow just arrived, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Gravenhurst Birds
Posted on April 15, 2017 at 08:43:07 AM by janice house

At Muskoka Beach/Taboo late afternoon there was one common loon, one double crested cormorant, 4 ring necked ducks, 6 common golden eyes, 12 bufflehead, 3 Canada geese and several ring billed gulls. At Doe Lake there were 14 common mergansers, 6 ring billed gulls, lots of Canada geese, 4 bufflehead, one American kestrel and 2 sand hill cranes in the field at the end of the lake near the Tree Museum road.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 13 April
Posted on April 14, 2017 at 07:22:08 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 14, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

An influx of warm southern air, new migrants and many birders from Saturday to Monday resulted in some excellent early spring birding. See the list of new arrivals below. However, knee-deep snow persists in north-facing and shaded areas. There is good walking on trails. There is more open water on lakes now where creeks and rivers enter, but most lakes are still essentially ice-covered.

Rarities included a dispersing female House Sparrow (photos) at the Visitor Centre feeders on Sunday and an adult Trumpeter Swan (photos) in the Airfield Marsh on Monday. The last House Sparrow record for Algonquin was eight years ago. A flock of five Bohemian Waxwings was in a cedar at Smoke Creek Bridge on Wednesday.

Otters resting on the ice edge while consuming prey were noted on Park Lake and off the Old Airfield on Lake of Two Rivers. Moose are starting to be seen more regularly at roadside puddles.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: No reports.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was attracted by imitating Barred Owl calls near the kettle bog of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Sunday’s OFO Trip.

Gray Jay: Look for them at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Pairs have dispersed to breeding territories.

WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: From two to six were at the Visitor Centre feeder area each day this week. One or two were observed on Opeongo Road as well.

Red Crossbill: Sightings were of one to four at: Two Rivers Picnic Area, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and km 23 on the highway.

White-winged Crossbill: One was heard along Opeongo Road during the OFO Trip on April 9.

Common Redpoll: One or two were at the Visitor Centre feeder area until April 9. Three were on Opeongo Road on April 9 and one was at the Old Airfield on April 10.

Pine Siskin: There were up to 55 at the Visitor Centre feeder area until April 9, but numbers there had dwindled to three today. A few were reported at other locations along the highway this week.

American Goldfinch: Numbers at the Visitor Centre went from 20 on April 9 to just two today.

Evening Grosbeak: Fifty were at the Visitor Centre early in the week, but the number there was down to 20 today.

NEW ARRIVALS
April 8: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Winter Wren, Brown-headed Cowbird (female at Visitor Centre feeder)

April 9: Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Northern Harrier, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Hermit Thrush, Pine Warbler (record early; previous earliest was April 14), Fox Sparrow (Visitor Centre feeder)

April 10: American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird

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

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON

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

The Visitor Centre exhibits, bookstore and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm in winter. The Visitor Centre is also open on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm with limited facilities, including self-serve hot and cold beverages plus snacks available in the restaurant.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS including how to unsubscribe visit http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdssetup
Posting guidelines can be found at http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdsguide
Visit the OFO Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OntarioFieldOrnithologists

 

 

Pine Warblers
Posted on April 14, 2017 at 01:10:58 PM by DBurton

Pine Warblers are back and singing along Peninsula Rd today. I was entertained by one bold individual that sat on a branch and sang right in front of my face only a fe

 

 

Re(2): kinglets et al
Posted on April 16, 2017 at 08:55:10 PM by DBurton

Only 1 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in Sundridge yesterday, but lots of Goldens.

 

 

Re(1): kinglets et al
Posted on April 14, 2017 at 02:35:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets along the trail east of Henry Marsh this morning too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

kinglets et al
Posted on April 14, 2017 at 11:50:29 AM by John Challis

The ruby-crowned kinglets are passing through. Several of them at it with their lovely chattering song. Also heard out first swamp sparrow. American tree sparrows quite numerous today. A sandhill crane calling overhead; flickers calling (pretty sure of that but maybe pileated?)

 

 

Northern Cardinal
Posted on April 13, 2017 at 07:12:17 PM by jackiemattice

Northern Cardinal - Male
Date: April 10, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Ewing St & Santa's Village Rd, Bracebridge

I have been in Bracebridge for 2 1/2 years and this is the first cardinal I have seen so far. A great way to welcome spring!

 

 

Turtles
Posted on April 13, 2017 at 01:46:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were several Painted Turtles sunning themselves at the north end of cell 2 and in the marshy area near the north-west corner of cell 4. The only new arrivals were two Swamp Sparrows and a Barn Swallow. The five Shovelers were still in cell 1. A Canada Goose was busy constructing her nest, pulling up bits of dried grass and tucking them around her as she lay in the middle of the nest site.

 

 

Re(1): Chipping Sparrow Correction?
Posted on April 13, 2017 at 04:53:46 PM by janice house

At lunch today a chipping sparrow was feeding among the tree sparrows in the back yard

 

 

Re(1): Chipping Sparrow Correction?
Posted on April 12, 2017 at 05:04:15 PM by DBurton

Juncos have a mechanical sound. Chippies are more dry, insect-like. Thirdly are Pine Warblers which can sound like Chippies, but usually are more musical sounding. This is not an easy triad to tell apart.

 

 

Chipping Sparrow Correction?
Posted on April 12, 2017 at 04:02:36 PM by janice house

I swear I heard a chipping sparrow on March 31 and posted this on the board, now I am wondering if it was a junco. I was listening to my Stokes cd and the junco has a similar trill. Any thoughts.....

 

 

Boreal Chickadee
Posted on April 12, 2017 at 09:51:23 AM by J. Gardner

A Boreal Chickadee just made a very brief visit to my feeder. First I have seen here on Killdeer Crescent. J. Gardner

 

 

swallows!
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 07:02:11 PM by John Challis

I was watching a turkey vulture catching thermals tonight when a few swirling birds beside it caught my eye; swallows. It appeared to be tree swallows, although they were so far off it was hard to see much more than a flash of indigo and white breasts. About 14 of them were working the area. Wonderful to see.
The rain has enthused the birds generally. Seen and/or heard, in addition to the swallows, today:
Brown creeper; goldfinch; purple finch; dark-eyed juncos; song sparrow; American tree sparrow; Eastern phoebe; brown creeper; RW blackbird, American robin, American crow; downy woodpecker; yellow-bellied sapsucker; hairy woodpecker; pileated woodpecker; turkey vulture; mourning doves (pair seem to be taking up home in our yard); common mergansers, buffleheads, mallards, Canada geese. A barred owl was calling last night. The fox sparrows visiting last week have moved on.
Spring peepers and woodfrogs have been in full chorus in the wetland behind the house. Although winter had its warm periods, it's certainly welcome to have the warmth and the birds showing up.

 

 

Sandhill Cranes, Kinglet
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 06:14:23 PM by DBurton

2 Sandhills flew up from somewhere around Henry Marsh today heading west. In Gravenhurst I heard 2 Golden Crowned Kinglets.

 

 

Re(2): Trumpeters and Shovelers
Posted on April 12, 2017 at 12:45:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

The five Shovelers were still in cell 1 this morning, but no sign of the Swans. There were still over 100 Ring-necked Ducks and about 160 Buffleheads, as well as a single male Blue-winged Teal and a male Common Goldeneye in cell 1. More Lesser Scaup have arrived and several Wood Ducks were flying around.

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

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeters and Shovelers
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 06:12:20 PM by DBurton

The Trumpeters were facing each other exhibiting courtship behaviour. Worth watching if you get the opportunity.

 

 

Trumpeters and Shovelers
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 02:04:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there were two untagged "friendly" Trumpeter Swans in cell 2 and five Northern Shovelers (3M,2F) in cell 1. A pair of Canada Geese were upset that the Swans were hanging around their nesting area. There were 104 Ring-necked Ducks (most in cell 4), a male Blue-winged Teal in cell 1, 8 Lesser Scaup (4M,4F), a Pied-billed Grebe (cell 4), two Common Mergansers (M,F), and several Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Buffleheads. About ten Tree Swallows were flying low over cell 2, and three Belted Kingfishers were checking out the area. Fifteen American Tree Sparrows and three Eastern Phoebes were seen as well as many Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds. Four Killdeer seemed to be fighting over territory by the middle intersection.  photo  photo1  photo2

 

 

Northern Flickers
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 10:11:20 AM by janice house

My brother called from Bent River this morning, he saw 6 flickers and was really excited. Bent River is on hwy 141 about 10 minutes south of Rosseau

 

 

Re(2): Spring Peepers and Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on April 14, 2017 at 08:05:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wood Frogs were calling from the wet woods west of cell 3 at the Bracebridge Ponds today, as well as the usual bunch of Spring Peepers.

Guide to Ontario frog species along with a sample of their calls at:
https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/#frogs
and
http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/frogs.asp

 

 

Re(1): Spring Peepers and Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 06:13:27 AM by John Challis

Woodfrogs are also calling in our backyard wetland, Washago, along with a full chorus of peepers.

 

 

Spring Peepers and Rusty Blackbirds
Posted on April 10, 2017 at 08:38:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a loud bunch of Spring Peepers calling at the Bracebridge Ponds tonight. There were also some Rusty Blackbirds doing their squeaky gate call west of cell 3. A male Blue-winged Teal was in cell 1 and Green-winged Teal in cell 3.

 

 

Re(1): First Butterfly
Posted on April 11, 2017 at 07:55:03 AM by Al Sinclair

We had our first butterfly yesterday also, a Mourning Cloak here east of Bracebridge.

 

 

First Butterfly
Posted on April 10, 2017 at 01:28:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds I saw my first butterfly of the year. I also found a groundhog peeking out of his home at the back of the old treatment plant.  butterfly photo  photo  photo

 

 

Northern Shovelers
Posted on April 10, 2017 at 12:32:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a pair of Shovelers in cell 1. They were still there as I was leaving at 11:30 a.m. but hard to see as they were tight to the west shoreline.  photo

 

 

28th Annual Algonquin Park OFO trip: 9 April
Posted on April 9, 2017 at 10:45:07 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 9, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

About 40 OFO members and friends enjoyed great early spring birding in Algonquin Park today. The temperature reached a balmy 16 degrees by late afternoon. The final species count reached 50, a good total for this date. Eight of them were first-of-spring sightings for the Park. All the species recorded on the trip can be seen on eBird, thanks to Kelly and Rick Stronks.

Gray Jays were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road. Many of the group got to see a Black-backed Woodpecker attracted by Barred Owl imitations near the kettle bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Unfortunately, the persistence of deep snow and an additional 30 cm added late last week combined to severely limit the areas we could search for Spruce Grouse, and we failed to see one.

It was a good day for raptors, including a Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, four Sharp-shinned Hawks, about 20 migrating Red-tailed Hawks and a couple of Merlins. Bird seed on the ground at the Visitor Centre attracted Fox Sparrow (3), Purple Finch (3), Common Redpoll (1), many Pine Siskins, American Goldfinches and Evening Grosbeaks, and the rarest bird seen on today’s trip, a female House Sparrow.

Thanks to the participants for a wonderful day. The assistance of Stacey Finch, Lev Frid, Amanda Guercio, Justin Peter, Dawn Sherman, Kelly Stronks and Rick Stronks with logistics and finding birds was really appreciated by everyone.

Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

 

 

Ice Out
Posted on April 9, 2017 at 05:47:40 PM by DBurton

The ice is out at Muskoka Beach and partially out in Gravenhurst Bay. Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Mallards, Canada Geese and Herring Gulls are the first visitors. Gull Lake is still solid. Usually it goes first.

 

 

Hermit Thrush
Posted on April 9, 2017 at 01:22:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Hermit Thrush in the woods by Henry Marsh. A pair of Lesser Scaup were new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds.

 

 

Great Gray Owl live nest cam!
Posted on April 9, 2017 at 10:03:34 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Live from Montana!
https://explore.org/live-cams/player/great-gray-owl-nest
I'm going to be watching!!!

Plus, juncos arrived here in Bala, overnight, at last!

 

 

Brown headed cowbird
Posted on April 9, 2017 at 09:59:05 AM by janice house

A male was just perched on my finch feeder.

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe
Posted on April 8, 2017 at 02:00:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Pied-billed Grebe in the north-west corner of cell 4. There was a single Tree Swallow flying low over cell 2. At Henry Marsh I counted 29 Hooded Mergansers.

 

 

Northern Flicker
Posted on April 8, 2017 at 09:28:15 AM by janice house

My first flicker just arrived, feeding under the big blue spruce. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 05:23:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon all four cells were free of ice and many ducks had arrived since my visit yesterday. Here's my list for today:

Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 7
Mallard 50
Ring-necked Duck 24
Bufflehead 60
Common Goldeneye 18
Turkey Vulture 1
American Woodcock 1
Ring-billed Gull 4
Herring Gull 6
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
American Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 1
American Robin 1
Song Sparrow 2

 

 

Re(2): Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 07:09:53 PM by missyinmuskoka

I had two fox sparrows in my yard today too

 

 

Re(2): Fox Sparrows - and more
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 01:42:32 PM by John Challis

Mallards have become quite blase about the dog. If she woofs and them they simply hop into the garden pond in our front yard.
Last night there were two pairs of mallards and a pair of wood ducks in the low area in our back yard. Each spring it become a bit of an ephemeral pond back there.

 

 

Re(1): Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 01:40:31 PM by John Challis

You had us beat by about an hour, Janice. Gayle reports fox sparrows in our yard in Washago.

 

 

Fox Sparrows
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 11:36:50 AM by janice house

this morning 2 fox sparrows were flicking about under one of our huge blue spruce trees, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 6 April
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 11:28:07 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 7, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

First-of-spring species reported this week were: April 1: Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco; April 2: American Woodcock; April 4: Wood Duck, Golden-crowned Kinglet (apparent migrants); April 5: Mallard, Sandhill Crane, Turkey Vulture, Belted Kingfisher, Winter Wren; and April 6: Ring-billed Gull.
 
A flock of 11 Bohemian Waxwings stopped briefly near the Visitor Centre in late afternoon on April 3.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES
Spruce Grouse: There were observations at: the trail from Mew Lake Campground to Track and Tower Trail; Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road north of the second bridge.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Reports were received from Opeongo Road north of the locked gate and Mizzy Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: Look for them at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: They were observed along Opeongo Road and on Mizzy Lake Trail. 

WINTER FINCHES
Purple Finch: One was at the Visitor Centre on April 1 and 5.

Red Crossbill: Small groups continued to be seen occasionally along Highway 60 this week.

White-winged Crossbill: One was observed along Opeongo Road on April 1.

Pine Siskin: Typical counts at the Visitor Centre were of 15 or fewer by week’s end.

American Goldfinch: The highest number at the Visitor Centre was about 25, with fewer by the end of the week.

Evening Grosbeak: The peak number was 75 at the Visitor Centre.


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

For those wishing to learn more about Algonquin Park’s birds, please note the following workshop presented by The Friends of Algonquin Park:

Spring Birds and Bird Research in Algonquin Park – May 12 to 14, 2017 — During this Experience Algonquin Workshop, participants will visit a variety of habitats to observe and better understand the diversity of Algonquin Park’s bird species, and learn about ongoing and historical bird research that has shaped our understanding of these complex avian communities. Join Dr. Doug Tozer, Hugo Kitching and Ryan Rea, all long-time Algonquin Park seasonal naturalists and bird researchers to explore the spring splendour of Algonquin Park. Food and accommodation for the workshop is provided by the Wildlife Research Station established in 1944. Pre-registration is required. Details can be found at http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/programs/experience-algonquin-workshops.php

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Posted on April 7, 2017 at 09:04:42 AM by Barbara Taylor

The male Red-bellied Woodpecker continues to make brief appearances in our yard. This morning he came in for peanuts along with some of the other resident woodpeckers. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Harrier
Posted on April 6, 2017 at 06:32:30 PM by janice house

A male is gliding across the farm field in front of the house as I am typing.....Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - ice out
Posted on April 6, 2017 at 01:13:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the main three cells were completely free of ice, and cell 4 was nearly half open. There were eight Ring-necked Ducks, forty Buffleheads, one male Wood Duck, two Canada Geese, and several Mallards. A Killdeer and an Eastern Phoebe were near the old treatment plant. No sign of yesterday's Swans.

 

 

Ruffed Grouse feathers?
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 07:44:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Ruffed Grouse drumming by Henry Marsh. I was glad to hear it since I had found a pile of feathers on the trail a couple days ago, which I think are from a Ruffed Grouse. No sign of blood or a carcass, just the feathers. I brought a few feathers home so I could take this photo.  photo

(update: Ken Morrison has confirmed these are Ruffed Grouse feathers - thanks Ken)

 

 

Re(3): Woodcock
Posted on April 6, 2017 at 06:34:45 PM by janice house

My brother sent me a text last night near 8 pm, several woodcocks were displaying in their field. Bent River

 

 

Re(2): Woodcock
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 11:17:04 PM by John Challis

Just at the last light of the day is when they get active here. It's dim enough out that they are just barely visible in the air during twitter flight display.

 

 

Re(2): Woodcock
Posted on April 6, 2017 at 06:44:27 AM by J. Gardner

I heard the woodcock peenting while it was still dark in the morning on the dog's first trip out. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Woodcock
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 07:59:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

After reading your post tonight I decided to head outside to listen for Woodcock. Instead, I heard a "cronk", looked up, and there were two Great Blue Herons flying over our yard heading north...at 7:55 p.m. (Bracebridge)

When is a good time to hear the Woodcock peenting?

 

 

Woodcock
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 02:39:46 PM by J. Gardner

Heard several woodcock peenting in the ravine behind my house. J. Gardner Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): 3 Swans
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 12:38:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

As of 11:30 a.m. when I left the Bracebridge Ponds, the three Swans were in cell 3 which is almost completely free of ice now. They are untagged Trumpeters. In cell 3 there were also 8 Buffleheads (7M,1F) and several Mallards.

 

 

3 Swans
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 11:04:35 AM by DBurton

There are 3 Swans in cell 2. I was without optics and just stopped there by happenstance. Probably Trumpeters; best to avoid scaring them off.

Phoebe arrived today also.

 

 

Cats do swim!
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 09:32:27 AM by Leslie

This morning I spent a good 20 minutes watching a cat stalk a pair of ducks on the Muskoka River below Dill Street. The orange and white tabby was barely visible but for the flashing tail with a patch of white on the tip. The pair of mallards were behaving very oddly, to my mind, swimming very close to the cat and quacking. The female especially was taking the greatest risk, while the male kept his distance from the shoreline. The cat stalked the ducks for about 30 feet of shoreline and then hunkered down in a patch of dead reeds to wait. The female duck approached the shore - it was alarmingly close from my perspective on the other side. All of a sudden the cat made its move and lept at the ducks, who moved quickly out of reach. The cat splashed into the river and swam to shore, a distance of about 5 feet. It pulled itself out and ran immediately to a fallen log where it licked itself dry. I left about that time, noting the ducks continued to swim quite close to the shore, the female quacking incessantly. All I could think was that they might have a nest in the area, but isn't it too early for that?

 

 

Re(1): Phoebes back and a frog
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 02:17:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Phoebe was back at Henry Marsh this morning too. Yesterday's rain has caused a bit of flooding by the T in the trail, so rubber boots are recommended now, especially if heading east along "the chickadee trail". (note: all the birdfeeders have been removed since we are now in bear season) (Bracebridge)

 

 

Phoebes back and a frog
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 07:53:55 AM by John Challis

Heard two eastern phoebes this morning along Green River Drive, Washago. Gayle very pleased. Gayle also picked a small leopard frog off the road last night too. Damn fool out so early so he could risk getting squished.

 

 

Beautiful
Posted on April 4, 2017 at 08:57:53 AM by johndouglas

A pair of adult bald eagles flew side by side over southern Three Mile Lake on Sunday.

 

 

Re(1): Merlin returns
Posted on April 5, 2017 at 07:45:51 AM by John Challis

Heard them on the Green River too, on the 4th.

 

 

Merlin returns
Posted on April 3, 2017 at 10:02:02 AM by DBurton

There is at least one Merlin flying around town in Gravenhurst today. They are resident birds. Also, I heard a Pine Siskin among a large flock of Goldfinches.

 

 

American Kestral
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 05:58:40 PM by janice house

On my doggy walk this morning a kestral was calling and landed in a dead pine tree, it was harassing a crow.

 

 

Bent River Birds
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 05:43:30 PM by janice house

A tree swallow was sitting on one of my brothers bluebird boxes today, an eastern phoebe has also returned

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Bluebird
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 11:15:04 PM by DBurton

There were Canada Geese behind our place this morning and 3 flew low quite over the house for good views from the living room.

 

 

Eastern Bluebird
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 04:28:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a male Bluebird along Beaumont Farm Rd. About forty Canada Geese and four Mallards were in a large melt water pond in the field. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Death Watch Beetle
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 02:27:22 PM by Al Sinclair

Several of these beetles were found in the house after we brought in some hardwood boards to acclimatize them.  photo - PTILINUS RUFICORNUS (A Death Watch Beetle)

This is a male Ptilinus ruficornus. Members of this genus are know as death watch beetles and make tapping noises to attract mates. But when heard in your house walls at night it was believed to be a countdown to your death.

 

 

Re(1): trilling
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 11:16:39 PM by DBurton

I saw Redpolls today; they are still around.

 

 

trilling
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 12:40:39 PM by John Challis

Okay, something across the road is trilling exactly like common redpoll but we haven't seen one all winter. Any other birds with a similar call? Or would there be a straggler coming back from wherever the seed crops were good?

 

 

Re(2): LBJ
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 05:36:10 PM by janice house

House sparrows in Windermere, had to take a detour because of a fire on hwy 141 today. Heard and saw the sparrows on the roof of a farm house on Windermere Rd ( # 2287) on my way to check out Rostrevor Road. One of the sparrows was flying down I assume to gather dry grass and fly back up to the edge of the roof to complete a nest.

 

 

Re(1): LBJ
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 04:42:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were some Song Sparrows singing at Henry Marsh and also at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. An American Tree Sparrow was at the Bracebridge Ponds as well.

(for those who aren't familiar with the term LBJ, it is a birding short form for "Little Brown Job", which is one way to describe many of the Sparrow species)

 

 

Re(1): LBJ
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 12:41:38 PM by John Challis

Gayle heard her first down here around midweek last week.

 

 

LBJ
Posted on April 2, 2017 at 09:48:18 AM by janice house

My first song sparrow was in the yard this morning, grabbed a quick bite and is now singing in the neighbours yard

 

 

Wood Ducks
Posted on April 1, 2017 at 02:40:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds two male Wood Ducks flew in from the south and circled around the still frozen ponds, but then headed off towards Henry Marsh. Two Mallards were in a small pool of open water in cell 3 by the treatment plant outflow. Five Ring-billed Gulls and two Canada Geese were standing on the ice in cell 2. A Robin and a Chickadee were both singing near the Lagoon Lane gate.