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Back-up Copy of Recent Reports:

October 1, 2017 – current   

 

 

 

Red Crossbills Today - Limberlost Road, North Muskoka
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 08:14:21 PM by michaelhatton

Female gathering grit alongside the road.  photo

Patterning variation for a 1st year bird.  photo

A male gathering grass and sticks.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans - Bracebridge
Posted on March 1, 2018 at 09:17:46 AM by John Challis

This seems to be corresponding with the number of swans dropping around Washago -- they're starting to head out in search of nesting territory, I think.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans - Bracebridge
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 05:00:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we spotted two Trumpeter Swans feeding along the Muskoka River in Bracebridge. Seen from #304 Beaumont Dr., no tags visible.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swan - Matthiasville
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 05:31:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

I just received the following from Julie at Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration (trumpeterswan@live.com), which confirms that information I found online:

"Thanks for this sighting! R89 is a male bird that was tagged in Washago in January 2017. He was tagged as a second year bird, meaning he would likely have been hatched in 2015 as he still had some grey feathering in his wings."

 

 

Trumpeter Swan - Matthiasville
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 12:06:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Irene Kneeshaw observed this Trumpeter Swan swimming on the south branch of the Muskoka River yesterday (Matthiasville Road just east of Black Bridge) and sent this photo. Thanks to Betsy and John Purchase for forwarding the report.   photo

I submitted the tag number to try and get some background info, but then found an online blog which refers to Swan R89 when it was spotted last November in Muskoka. Apparently it is a male swan, banded at Washago in January, 2017, and believed to have been hatched in 2015. I'll post any further details I receive in a follow-up.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 27, 2018 at 01:01:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was a Barred Owl along the Chickadee Trail east of Henry Marsh this morning. The trail was in better shape today as the heat of the sun softened up some of the icy sections. A few Canada Geese flew past, heading north. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Red-bellied woodpecker, and a robin
Posted on February 27, 2018 at 09:51:21 AM by John Challis

A red-bellied woodpecker was drumming in our front yard this morning. Confirmation when I heard the "churr" call. A few minutes later, heard an American robin calling and then watched a pair of downy woodpeckers in a courtship dance. All along the Green River in Washago.

 

 

Red Crossbills
Posted on February 27, 2018 at 08:13:58 AM by janice house

Abbey and I started on our walk and the birds were eating grit on the side of the road. We walked fast and I just got in from taking photos. They are hanging out in the pine trees under the bell wires in front of 1211 Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst and fly into a maple on our property across the road close to the mail boxes at the corner of Laycox Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Hawkwatch season
Posted on February 27, 2018 at 09:52:13 AM by John Challis

Red-tailed hawk in a tree on the edge of a farm field, just north of Barrie on Hwy 11.

 

 

Hawkwatch season
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 07:06:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Some of the hawkwatch sites are reporting now. See HawkCount.org for daily tallies. Beamer Hawkwatch (Grimsby) had a few Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks today and noted some other migrants passing through, including Horned Larks. Tussey Mountain in Pennsylvania had several Golden Eagles today.

 

 

Re(2): Red winged blackbird
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 02:24:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we had a Snow Bunting at the Bracebridge Ponds, but no Red-winged Blackbirds. Most of the snow has melted off the roadways there, but the cells are still frozen.

The flood water east of the “T” at Henry Marsh has gone down, so you can access the Chickadee Trail from there now...but lots of ice, so have to step carefully. There are also many icy sections along the trail, but we managed to maneuver around them ok. No Blackbirds at Henry Marsh yet. The main beaver pond is still frozen, but the creek is open.

 

 

Re(1): Red winged blackbird
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 08:30:58 AM by janice house

Several more here this morning, nice to hear them again. A snow bunting flew over calling as Abbey and I started our morning walk.

 

 

Red winged blackbird
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 04:45:40 PM by janice house

I just got home and photographed a male under my feeders by the cedar hedge. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(1): House Sparrows
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 03:40:48 PM by janice house

I made a quick trip into Windermere today, no sign of the house sparrows at the Beasley farm.

 

 

Re(3): House Sparrows
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 04:58:25 PM by janice house

I found a pair this spring/summer on Windermere Rd taking nesting material under the eaves of the Beasley's farm house. David Brittain also reported/saw them. Maybe they moved into town for the winter.

 

 

Re(2): House Sparrows
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 02:27:31 PM by Doug Smith

I agree with you David -- I think these are a resident population. I recall seeing house sparrows, and more of them, at the old Canadian Tire, (now the LCBO) in Bracebridge almost 30 years ago. They are in decline, and one reason may be merlins, as the fellow from Cornell, (friend of Bill Dickinson -- can't remember his name -- sorry) mentioned in his talk in Muskoka 2 summers ago. A few winters ago I saw a merlin hunting house sparrows near the dry cleaners on Wellington Street in Bracebridge. Maybe this is now a remnant population.

 

 

Re(1): House Sparrows
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 09:57:59 AM by Goodyear

House Sparrows were observed at feeders in the Covered Bridge subdivision in early February, and near the Catholic school (close to the Food Basics store) in early January. Maybe not migrants, but rather a hard to pin down group that are resident in the area?

 

 

House Sparrows
Posted on February 24, 2018 at 10:30:22 PM by George Bryant

In my ~70 years of birding, this is the first report I have ever seen of early spring migrant House Sparrows. Interestingly, I wish them well.

 

 

Re(1): House Sparrow
Posted on February 24, 2018 at 03:03:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were two House Sparrows in a tree near the shopping cart shed furthest from the entrance to Food Basics. The male was singing. These are the first ones I’ve seen all winter...newly arrived with the recent mild temps and south winds? (Bracebridge)

 

 

House Sparrow
Posted on February 24, 2018 at 11:39:28 AM by janice house

I just got home from the Gravenhurst Library, a male house sparrow was calling from a tree in the parking lot.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 22 February
Posted on February 23, 2018 at 01:22:25 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 22, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Algonquin Park began to experience “pre-spring” by the end of the week as temperatures went up and snow depth went down. American Crows, the first migrants, were spotted on February 19 and 21. Researchers found the first Canada Jay nest under construction on February 19. And a Northern Saw-whet Owl, that likely spent the winter here, was heard calling near dawn in Mew Lake Campground the same day.


Despite the influx of birders on Family Day Weekend, no Boreal Chickadees were reported again this week. Seventy-six observers on the Algonquin Christmas Count found only four. Is there a real population decline here? Boreal Chickadees in the Western Uplands of Algonquin Park are on the southern edge of their Ontario breeding range. The species is virtually absent from the East Side of the Park. Elevations are lower and temperatures are higher there. Could climate warming now be exerting a negative effect on this chickadee in the western part of Algonquin? Time will tell.


Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: one or two were found along Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: about seven are still coming to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a male and a female were reported fairly regularly on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Canada Jay (Gray Jay): look for them at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum.

-Bohemian Waxwing: three were seen briefly at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot on February 17.

-Evening Grosbeak: a flock of 30 to 40 came daily to the Visitor Centre feeders, and a few were observed on Opeongo Road as well.

-Pine Grosbeak: from one to four were observed at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and Hemlock Bluff Trail parking lot.

-Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill and Pine Siskin: moderate numbers continue to be seen throughout the Highway 60 Corridor.

-Common Redpoll: a few were along Opeongo Road on two days, but they remain scarce.

-American Goldfinch: common.


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

 

 

Re(1): Nature Club
Posted on February 23, 2018 at 07:58:03 AM by Al Sinclair

The Huntsville Nature Club is still going strong. I think their contact person was away on an extended vacation recently. Try the phone number again soon.

Here is the "About" info from their facebook page.

We meet at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Huntsville at 7:00 pm on the last Tuesday of each month (except summer).
General Information
Meets on the last Tuesday of each month (except the summer) at 7:00 pm in the meeting room at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Hall, 1 High St., Huntsville. Guest speakers are featured for the first hour of each meeting, with the business portion of the meeting following this together with a social period where home-made refreshments are served. Regular outings are scheduled. Guests are always welcome, and a donation of $3 is appreciated to offset speaker costs.

 

 

Nature Club
Posted on February 22, 2018 at 03:51:07 PM by Barrybirder4

I am new in the area and would like to join a nature group in Huntsville. I tried going online and phoned one number but nobody got back to me. I would like to know if there is one, the location and meeting dates and times. Thank you Barry Peyton

 

 

disabled squirrel (photo)
Posted on February 21, 2018 at 06:01:57 PM by Doug Smith

We have a disabled squirrel visiting our feeders in Uffington. It's left front leg appears to be quite useless. Also, it has distinctive white markings on the back of its ears. It just showed up yesterday -- haven't seen it around before.   photo

 

 

Re(1): Two signs of spring
Posted on February 21, 2018 at 09:57:29 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning our resident Mourning Dove was cooing/singing, and a Chipmunk was out running around. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Two signs of spring
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 06:13:18 PM by Alex Mills

At Magnetawan on Saturday, a pair of ravens engaged in a courtship flight, with one bird carrying nesting material.

At Magnetawan on Monday, a singing Brown Creeper.

 

 

Re(1): pine siskin and a busy weekend at the feeder
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 07:36:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

As long as you enter your Feb. 16 - 19 sightings by March 1, all the birds will get included in the GBBC data summaries. If you already have an eBird account you can just use that login. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is integrated with eBird now, so it doesn’t matter which site you use.

 

 

pine siskin and a busy weekend at the feeder
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 05:47:46 PM by John Challis

I'm kicking myself that we didn't register for the backyard bird count.
Today (Green River Drive, Washago) we had a pine siskin at the feeder in the afternoon; the first all winter. Both male and female purple finches appeared here as well, and the male has been singing in the trees around us. In the yard and nearby, both red and white breasted nuthatches, a hairy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker drumming in the distance, along with the usual mass of goldfinches and chickadees.
On Lake Couchiching a mature bald eagle was standing on the ice. Trumpeter swans were flying around the canal as well. There were some tufts of black feathers and some blood on the path alongside the canal to the Fawcett Agnew Reserve; likely a crow that played a little too fast and close while harassing a raptor or owl...there have been reports of a short-eared owl around here this winter although I haven't seen it. We also saw three American tree sparrows by the same trail.

 

 

Pileated dropped by today
Posted on February 18, 2018 at 04:25:31 PM by michaelhatton

photo  photo2

 

 

About those pileateds
Posted on February 18, 2018 at 04:59:13 PM by J. Gardner

Fabulous birds, despite the fact that Hydro workers hate them. They do a lot of damage. Unfortunately their poses are very similar in most photos... so the photo with the wing spread adds some interest. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): about those goldfinches
Posted on February 18, 2018 at 04:40:17 PM by janice house

Mine are showing bright yellow throats

 

 

about those goldfinches
Posted on February 18, 2018 at 12:42:25 PM by John Challis

Goldfinch males are beginning to show odd little patches of breeding colour. A yellow speed stripe across the crown of one, some epaulets on the shoulders of another.

 

 

purple finch
Posted on February 18, 2018 at 12:41:31 PM by John Challis

The female purple finch (assuming it's the same one) is back at our feeders this morning. She's been off somewhere else for quite a while, I'm guessing because she's been annoyed with the crowds of goldfinches around the feeder.

 

 

Cardinals singing
Posted on February 17, 2018 at 08:15:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning our neighbourhood male Cardinal began singing. A friend in a different part of town said they had a Cardinal singing today too. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 15 February
Posted on February 16, 2018 at 06:13:04 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 15, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The spotting of a female White-winged Crossbill returning to her nest high in a white spruce and then apparently incubating for the next 20 minutes of observation was a remarkable discovery on February 10. Despite research in Algonquin Park on crossbill behaviour and breeding activities dating back to the 1980s, this was the first record of a nest at the egg stage for either species here. In Algonquin Park, research by crossbill expert Craig Benkman indicated that White-winged Crossbills breed during three main periods which coincide with maximum availability of particular conifer seeds: summer and fall (July to November) associated with white spruce and tamarack; winter (January to March) associated with white spruce; and spring (March to June) associated with black spruce.


Tomorrow (February 16) will be the winter’s third Bird Feeder Friday when feeders at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre are broadcast live on the internet from 9 am to 4 pm. Multiple views allow you to watch for common bird and mammal species (perhaps including a marten). This live video feed is brought to you by The Friends of Algonquin Park. A special thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited Toronto for providing bird feeders and seed for the Visitor Centre. To see the broadcast, tune in to:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/feeder_friday.php

As part of the Winter in the Wild Festival in Algonquin Park on Saturday, February 17, Guided Bird Walks will occur at Spruce Bog Boardwalk in the morning (10 to 11:30 am) and afternoon (2:30 to 4 pm). See the following for details and other events: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/winter_in_the_wild.php


Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: about seven are still coming early in the morning to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: one was seen between posts 12 and 13 on the Logging Museum trail (February 11) and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (February 12).

-Canada Jay (Gray Jay): look at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum.

-Boreal Chickadee: only a single report, one with Black-capped Chickadees along the Big Pines Trail on February 10.

-Pine Grosbeak: one was found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 11.

-Purple Finch: a few are regular at the Visitor Centre feeders and they are frequently observed along the highway.

-Red Crossbill: small flocks reported regularly along the highway, and a few at the Visitor Centre daily.

-White-winged Crossbill: still being seen along the highway, at the Visitor Centre, and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

-Common Redpoll: three were observed along Opeongo Road and one north of Mew Lake, on February 10.

-Pine Siskin: good numbers along the highway.

-American Goldfinch: common.

-Evening Grosbeak: still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders but numbers have decreased to a maximum of 20 birds this week.

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

 

 

Re(2): Ruffed Grouse displaying
Posted on February 21, 2018 at 02:13:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

The “ruff” feathers were all black.

According to ruffedgrousesociety.org “The vast majority of ruffed grouse have a black tail band and a black ruff of feathers around the neck. Approximately five percent have a tail band and ruff that are bronze or chocolate in color.” and “The subterminal band near the tip of the tail may be black or copper-colored, but is always the same color as the bird's ruff. Males tend to have the copper or chocolate colored band about twice as often as females.”

http://www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/grouse-facts
https://ruffedgrousesociety.org/blog/blog/2016/05/27/grouse-color-phases-what-you-need-to-know

 

Re(1): Ruffed Grouse displaying
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 05:49:01 PM by John Challis

Is the ruff pure black, or with additional colours?

 

 

Ruffed Grouse displaying
Posted on February 15, 2018 at 01:19:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three Ruffed Grouse near the parking area at the end of Henry Rd., two females and a displaying male. Unfortunately I only had a very low resolution cellphone camera with me. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Re(1): Ontario summary so far
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 07:54:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

https://ebird.org/gbbc/region/CA-ON?yr=all
Above link shows most recent sightings of all species reported in Ontario for Feb. 16-19.
You can also choose individual Counties from there.

As I post this, there have been 135 species reported in Ontario and 35 reported in Muskoka.

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count (Feb. 16 - 19)
Posted on February 15, 2018 at 09:40:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

Starts tomorrow Feb. 16. Information about how to participate on this annual count: http://gbbc.birdcount.org.

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Posted on February 13, 2018 at 01:47:24 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along the Chickadee Trail we stopped to listen to several chickadees and nuthatches a short distance back in the woods, and wondered if they were mobbing an owl. We quickly got an answer as a little Saw-whet Owl flew into a tree right next to us, followed by the boisterous mob. The owl was actively hunting, scanning the snowpack all around it. It then flew a short distance, but out of our sight in the hemlocks, still being pestered by lots of chickadees and nuthatches. (Bracebridge - east of Henry Marsh)

 

 

The Chickadee Trail today - a busy place!
Posted on February 12, 2018 at 09:22:12 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Cooper’s Hawk
Posted on February 9, 2018 at 02:11:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Barred Owl left yesterday when the local herd of nine deer shuffled through the yard, browsing on what little remains of the hemlocks, boxwood, and spilled birdseed. This afternoon I thought the owl might have returned when some Blue Jays starting screaming, but instead I found an adult Cooper’s Hawk. A pair have nested nearby and overwintered in the area for several years, although we haven’t seen them around this winter...back on territory now? (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 8 February
Posted on February 8, 2018 at 11:48:44 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 8, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Winter finches are being seen regularly on Highway 60, especially after snowfalls when sand and salt have been applied to the roadway. Numbers are greater along the road before traffic becomes heavier by mid-morning. Some Red Crossbills are breeding now, with both mating and courtship feeding being reported this week. One or two American Martens are still coming irregularly to feed on black sunflower seeds below the feeders at the Visitor Centre.

Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: from six to nine are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail on February 3.

-Gray Jay: look at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum.

-Boreal Chickadee: remains surprisingly hard to find this winter; single birds at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along the Old Railway Bike Trail near Head Creek Marsh on February 3.


Winter finches continue to be widespread.

-Pine Grosbeak: scarce; two at Mew Lake Campground (February 3) and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (February 6).

-Purple Finch: a few at the Visitor Centre feeders and frequently observed along the highway.

-Red Crossbill: small flocks reported regularly along the highway, and a few at the Visitor Centre daily.

-White-winged Crossbill: observed along the highway, at the Visitor Centre, and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

-Common Redpoll: one reported at the Visitor Centre on February 3.

-Pine Siskin: flocks regularly seen on the highway.

-American Goldfinch: common.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 35 come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.

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

 

 

Re(1): Barred owl at feeder (photo)
Posted on February 8, 2018 at 03:12:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

We have a Barred Owl in our yard right now, but it is perched quite high in a pine tree as it scans the area for mice/shrews. It is being pestered by a Downy Woodpecker and some Chickadees, which is the only reason we found it. The Owl appears to be in good health as it is very alert and well-groomed. It has probably been here all day, which would explain the unusual absence of squirrels in the yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Barred owl at feeder (photo)
Posted on February 5, 2018 at 12:54:32 PM by Doug Smith

Had this owl at our feeders this morning, (in Uffington). It had been trying for mice under the feeder, but I'm not sure if it got one. It doesn't look happy, or perhaps isn't well.  photo

 

 

White-throated Sparrow
Posted on February 5, 2018 at 11:37:45 AM by J. Gardner

Just had a white-throated sparrow at the feeder... either very late or quite a bit early. J. Gardner Killdeer Cres. Bracebridge.

 

 

Purple Finches
Posted on February 2, 2018 at 03:55:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were over 30 Purple Finches feeding in the balsam firs along the Chickadee Trail east of Henry Marsh. This is the largest flock I've seen this winter and it was nice to hear them singing on this sunny but rather chilly day. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 1 February
Posted on February 1, 2018 at 11:02:52 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 1, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The most unusual bird reported this week was an American Crow at the parking lot near the winter gate on Opeongo Road on January 27. It was a classic day (above freezing temperature) and location (a place where people put out bird food) for a rare winter crow sighting here. The crow probably moved into the Park from a nearby wintering area in response to the milder conditions and likely departed when cold returned. Crows are almost never present in Algonquin during winter.

Tomorrow (February 2) will be the winter’s second Bird Feeder Friday when feeders at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre are broadcast live on the internet from 9 am to 4 pm. Multiple views allow you to watch for common bird and mammal species (perhaps a marten, but not a groundhog or its shadow!). This live video feed is brought to you by The Friends of Algonquin Park. A special thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited Toronto for providing bird feeders and seed for the Visitor Centre. To see the broadcast, tune in to:

http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/feeder_friday.php


Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: one was along Opeongo Road beyond the north bridge on January 25.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: up to nine are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk today.

-Gray Jay: look at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum. The wind of the last two days has made them hard to find.

-Boreal Chickadee: one was observed near the boardwalk over the creek on the return trail of Bat Lake Trail on January 26.


Winter finches remain widespread.

-Pine Grosbeak: very scarce; a singing male was noted near Mew Lake Campground on January 24.

-Purple Finch: regular at the Visitor Centre feeders and frequently observed along the highway.

-Red Crossbill: small flocks reported regularly along the highway, especially in early morning.

-White-winged Crossbill: reported regularly along the highway, at the Visitor Centre, and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

-Common Redpoll: no reports received this week.

-Pine Siskin: flocks regularly seen on the highway.

-American Goldfinch: still common.

-Evening Grosbeak: from 20 to 40 come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.


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

DIRECTIONS: Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56). The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm; and are also open with limited services through the week from 9 am to 4 pm. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned above) at the East Gate, West Gate or Visitor Centre. Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Owl
Posted on January 30, 2018 at 04:17:52 PM by J. Gardner

Yesterday I found an very large owl splat on the bare ground under trees at the back of the garden. And today, I found the pellet that the owl chucked, probably at the same time. It is frozen but I was able to knock a few pieces off to discover lots of mouse hair and lots of tiny bits of bone. Hope the owl returns for identification purposes. J. Gardner Killdeer Cres. Bracebridge.

 

 

Common Goldeneyes
Posted on January 29, 2018 at 01:25:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were three Common Goldeneyes on the Muskoka River, seen from Beaumont Dr. The increased flow of water with the recent melt has opened the river all the way out to the river mouth, but no other birds were seen there.

Note: the Chickadee Trail accessed from Henry Rd. is still walkable but has become icy/slippery in many sections with all the recent freeze/thaws. Today there were a few Pine Siskins along the trail just east of Henry Marsh, as well as the usual bunch of friendly Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Blue Jays looking for peanuts.

(Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Fishers - more photos
Posted on January 30, 2018 at 11:51:44 AM by Barbara Taylor

Here are some of Corey's photos:  photo1  photo2

 

 

Fishers
Posted on January 28, 2018 at 10:23:19 PM by coreyhkh

During the Christmas break, I moved a road-killed deer to the marsh and set up a remote camera, unfortunately, my trail cam that was taking video didn't work very good but my better cam did.
the only mammals were fisher and red fox, I was expecting mink, raccoon, and coyote but they were no shows. During the day Blue jays and Raven were common.

fisher photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 25 January
Posted on January 26, 2018 at 04:31:39 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 25, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The most notable bird this week was an adult Golden Eagle observed in flight near Smoke Creek Bridge on Highway 60, January 20.

Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: two were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and a male was along Opeongo Road north of the winter gate, on January 20.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: up to nine are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 21.

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum are the best places to see them.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports.


Winter finches remain widespread.

-Pine Grosbeak: two were in the Visitor Centre parking lot on January 21, and two were along Opeongo Road, January 24.

-Purple Finch: regular in low numbers, but 46 were counted at the Visitor Centre on January 21.

-Red Crossbill: small numbers regular; a few continue to be seen daily off the Visitor Centre viewing deck, with “courtship feeding” observed there on January 21.

-White-winged Crossbill: reported regularly at the Visitor Centre and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Common Redpoll: Opeongo Road produced 12 on January 20 and five the next day.

-Pine Siskin: widespread, with a total of 300 in several flocks along Highway 60 on January 21.

-American Goldfinch: good numbers; an estimated 150 along the highway and about 55 at the Visitor Centre feeders on January 21.

-Evening Grosbeak: from 20 to 40 continue to come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.


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

DIRECTIONS: Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56). The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm, and are also open with limited services through the week from 9 am to 4 pm. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned above) at the East Gate, West Gate or Visitor Centre. Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

Re(1): Cardinals
Posted on January 29, 2018 at 11:50:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are at least two pairs in the Meadow Heights and Covered Bridge areas in Bracebridge, but they wander around a lot. You might have better luck finding them in a couple weeks once the males start singing. The earliest I've heard any singing in our neighbourhood was Feb. 1 last year. There was also one singing at Henry Rd. by mid-February.

 

 

Cardinals
Posted on January 25, 2018 at 06:34:50 AM by BruceColes

Has anyone seen any Cardinals this year, would like to get some pictures of them

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles
Posted on January 23, 2018 at 11:11:12 AM by dinnymccraney

what wonderful photos!! Really brightened my day.Thanks for sharing.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles
Posted on January 21, 2018 at 05:32:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today we counted 105 Trumpeter Swans in the large area of open water by Centennial Park in Washago. Several were right at the dock as someone had brought some corn for them. There were also about 70 Common Goldeneyes, a few Common Mergansers and Mallards, a couple Canada Geese, and an immature Bald Eagle which flew past and landed on the ice. On our way there we checked the Gravenhurst Landfill on Beier's Rd. and found 12 Bald Eagles...most were sitting in the trees by the compost area.

Trumpeter Swans (the young birds still have lots of gray-brown feathers):  photo1   photo2

 

 

Another Saw-whet
Posted on January 21, 2018 at 03:46:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This time in our back yard! Currently the Northern Saw-whet Owl is resting way up high in a pine tree, far out on a branch, hidden in the greenery. It was very hard to find, even with the help of some chickadees and nuthatches flitting about the general area as they gave warning calls. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on January 19, 2018 at 02:15:57 PM by Barbara Taylor

One of our neighbours told me a Snowy Owl has been seen recently behind some houses along the west side of Glendale Rd. I will update if it is seen again. Might be a good idea to check the golf course and fields along South Monck Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

White-winged Crossbills
Posted on January 19, 2018 at 01:40:07 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two White-winged Crossbills along the Chickadee Trail east of Henry Marsh, by the dip in the trail. They were feeding high in a Balsam Fir.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 18 January
Posted on January 18, 2018 at 10:42:06 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 18, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

As an “old guy” myself, I was pleased when the male Spruce Grouse that was colour-banded in 2009 and is now at least 10 years old was photographed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 14. According to Birds of North America, the estimated annual survival rate of male Spruce Grouse (canadensis subspecies) is just 38 to 44%. The oldest recorded age for a Spruce Grouse is 13 years. Readers may also recall that a Northern Goshawk successfully preyed on at least one Spruce Grouse at Spruce Bog Boardwalk in January last year, so living there for 10 years or more is quite an accomplishment.


Tomorrow (January 19) will be this winter’s first Bird Feeder Friday when feeders at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre are broadcast live on the internet from 9 am to 4 pm. Multiple views allow you to watch for common bird and mammal species. This live video feed is brought to you by The Friends of Algonquin Park. A special thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited Toronto for providing bird feeders and seed for the Visitor Centre. To see the broadcast, tune in to:

http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/feeder_friday.php

Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: three or four were in large conifers near the start of the first short boardwalk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: up to nine are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was reported along Opeongo Road on January 15.

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum are the best places to see them.

-Boreal Chickadee: the only report was of one heard briefly on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, January 14. They have not been utilizing the suet feeder there this winter.

-American Marten: two continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeders fairly regularly.


Winter finches remain widespread, with most species being seen regularly but in moderate numbers.

-Pine Grosbeak: the only report this week involved two on Opeongo Road, January 14.

-Purple Finch: regular but not numerous, although 29 were counted at the Visitor Centre on January 16.

-Red Crossbill: about six have been regular off the Visitor Centre viewing deck early each morning, with some larger flocks often seen on the highway.

-White-winged Crossbill: typical observations were of five or fewer birds, but they are seen regularly. Listen for their distinctive calls.

-Common Redpoll: no reports received this week.

-Pine Siskin: up to 15 at the Visitor Centre feeders, and some larger flocks seeking grit and salt on the highway.

-American Goldfinch: flocks frequently noted on the highway, and up to about 20 were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 35 continue to come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.


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

 

 

Brown creeper
Posted on January 18, 2018 at 02:39:44 PM by BruceColes

On the chickadee trail today and saw a brown creeper and another one last week in the Fraserberg area

 

 

Re(4): American goldfinches
Posted on January 24, 2018 at 10:00:14 AM by dinnymccraney

A male purple finch was with my goldfinches this morning!

 

 

Re(3): American goldfinches
Posted on January 17, 2018 at 08:21:17 PM by LindaActonRiddle

I too have flocks of Am Goldfinches all year at my feeders with larger flocks in winter. This year one female Purple Finch has joined one group.

 

 

Re(2): American goldfinches
Posted on January 17, 2018 at 05:00:41 PM by dinnymccraney

I find that after an influx of goldfinches at the feeders, we usually get a good snowfall. I think they are great weather predictors

 

 

Re(1): American goldfinches
Posted on January 16, 2018 at 07:30:39 PM by missyinmuskoka

I had over 30 goldfinches at my feeders last weekend. It is quite normal to have high numbers at the feeders this time of the year. I have been mixing niger with sunflower chips which I have noticed they prefer more

 

 

American goldfinches
Posted on January 16, 2018 at 09:10:28 AM by Squareby

Hi I just moved here in October from Edmonton and I setup my feeders looking for some interesting new Birds and I noticed yesterday January 15th 2018 that's there were some American goldfinches at the feeders, is that a regular occurrence here in Muskoka over the winter?

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 15, 2018 at 01:55:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today there was an adult Bald Eagle circling high above Lake Muskoka near Hwy. 118W at Kirrie Glen. Several Ravens came flying in from all directions, taking turns swooping at the eagle, but the bird just ignored them and kept on circling.

 

 

Washago birds
Posted on January 14, 2018 at 09:43:09 PM by John Challis

With the cold weather freezing up the rivers again, the open flow at Washago's waterfront made it a busy place. There were more than 200 Trumpeter Swans there yesterday, along with a few dozen Goldeneyes, many Mallards. Two weeks ago there was a pair of Black Ducks but we didn't see them this time. Driving along the M-N Sideroad east of the village we saw a Northern Shrike, and in a large field, about 30 Snow Buntings. Our feeders have been loaded with Goldfinches with the Chickadees trying to make it through the squabbling to get to the sunflower seed. Today a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches were flirting with each other. Red-breasted nuthatch have also been around; a Downy Woodpecker has found our suet block; and a Blue Jay has been at the suet on a regular basis.

 

 

Barrie's next Brereton Field Naturalists meeting - Please join us for Galapagos Birds!
Posted on January 13, 2018 at 03:19:57 PM by Alex Mills

Birds of the Galapagos Islands

Friday 19 January 2018, 07:30pm - 09:00pm

Friday, January 19, 2018

Justin Peter:

The Galapagos Islands are famous as a natural laboratory of biodiversity evolution, and some of the archipelago’s birds are among the best-studied organisms anywhere. In this talk illustrated with photographs from his three expeditions there, Quest naturalist Justin Peter will help us get acquainted with some of these birds. We’ll see what they look like, how they behave and interact with fellow Galapagos denizens, as well as gain insights into their origins through some of the latest discoveries stemming from decades of research.

Location NORTH WEST BARRIE UNITED CHURCH HALL. 464 Ferndale Drive NORTH Barrie

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 11 January
Posted on January 12, 2018 at 09:23:37 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 11, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: one was found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 4 and 10

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: nine come daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports this week.

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Logging Museum.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports despite many birders searching.

-Bohemian Waxwing: report of two briefly at the Visitor Centre parking lot on January 9.

-American Marten: two continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeders, and one was observed near the winter gate on Opeongo Road.


Winter finches are coming to seed at the Visitor Centre feeders, Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance and near the Opeongo Road winter gate.

-Pine Grosbeak: two at the Visitor Centre parking lot on January 9 and 10, and two at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 9

-Purple Finch: limited numbers continue, but a flock of 55 was at the Visitor Centre on January 10.

-Red Crossbill: seen regularly off the Visitor Centre viewing deck, along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and seeking salt and grit along the highway.

-White-winged Crossbill: reported regularly along Opeongo Road, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and seeking salt and grit along the highway.

-Common Redpoll: still scarce. One was observed along Opeongo Road on January 10.

-Pine Siskin: watch for flocks on the highway and Opeongo Road, plus at the Visitor Centre feeders.

-American Goldfinch: small and large flocks frequently noted on the highway.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 40 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, and some are now being attracted to birder-provided seed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road winter gate.


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

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on January 11, 2018 at 07:27:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were a few Pine Siskins along the trail east of Henry Marsh. Perhaps the warmer temperatures have encouraged some birds to move around a bit. The Juncos that had been staying in our yard seem to have left the area.

There were three Ruffed Grouse feeding under the bird feeders along the Chickadee Trail, but no sign of the owl today.

(Bracebridge)

 

 

Grosbeaks and Crossbills - Algonquin Prov. Park
Posted on January 10, 2018 at 12:38:50 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Norm Murr on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 10, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Good Morning

Yesterday Ian Cannell and I birded Algonquin Provincial Park and though we did not find a Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker or Boreal Chickadee we think we did fairly well anyway.

It started with 9 Common Ravens flying west together over Hwy 60 just west of the West Gate and went uphill from there.

We started finding flocks of American Goldfinches from just west of the West Gate at 8:30 am to Km 40 and by then we had totalled 675 birds in flock sizes ranging from 100 to 25 (undercounted for sure as vehicles put birds up before we could ID them) and we also added 60 more at the Visitor Centre and at the winter gate on Opeongo Rd.

Some more good birds were 2 more Common Ravens, 5 Gray Jays, 5 Red and 1 White-breasted Nuthatch, 4 Pine Grosbeaks (2 at Visitor Centre Parking Lot and 2 at Spruce Bog Trail Parking Lot), 11 Purple Finches, 4 Red Crossbills (2 at Visitor Centre Parking Lot and 2 at Spruce Bog Trail Parking Lot), 7 White-winged Crossbills (5 at the winter gate on Opeongo Rd and 2 at Spruce Bog Trail Parking Lot) and 24 Evening Grosbeaks(19 at Visitor Centre and 5 near the winter gate on Opeongo Rd) and 1 Pine Siskin only, at the Spruce Bog Parking Lot.

We also received a reliable report of 2 Bohemian Waxwings making a brief appearance at the Visitor Centre parking lot at 2 pm and a Pine Marten was reported to us that was seen at the winter gate on Opeongo Rd.

Norm Murr
Richmond Hill
Ontario, Canada

You can't see birds if you don't go out but sit and wait for others to find them.

 

 

Re(2): Northern Saw-whet Owl
Posted on January 10, 2018 at 09:51:54 PM by coreyhkh

thats awesome

 

Re(1): Northern Saw-whet Owl
Posted on January 9, 2018 at 04:21:24 PM by michaelhatton

Wow. Great find and absolutely exquisite photos! Definitely one of my all time favourite birds, and as of today not yet on my Muskoka list. Perhaps it will stay in the area.

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Posted on January 9, 2018 at 03:51:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Northern Saw-whet Owl resting in a hemlock along the Chickadee Trail east of Henry Marsh. It was discovered by Tom and Joan Forbes with a little help from several chickadees gathering in the area. It was still there when we walked back and was being mobbed by five very vocal Red-breasted Nuthatches. Here are a couple of Tom's photos...looks like the owl has caught a mouse or shrew.
photo1  photo2  (Photos by Tom Forbes) - Bracebridge

The trail is packed down, snowshoes not needed.

 

 

Northern Shrike in Uffington
Posted on January 9, 2018 at 09:56:08 AM by Doug Smith

Late afternoon Sunday a Northern Shrike visited our backyard in Uffington to scope out the bird feeders.

 

 

New visitors to the feeders
Posted on January 9, 2018 at 11:38:51 AM by BruceColes

Today had 3 red breasted nuthatches, male purple finch and a female America goldfinch. New visitors to my feeders.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles - Bracebridge Landfill
Posted on January 8, 2018 at 04:07:31 PM by John Challis

Yesterday we went out to the Centennial Park in Washago to look at the swans, just before dusk; there was a large number of goldeneyes and mergansers along with the swans. While I was watching a juvenile Bald Eagle swooped low over the ducks and hover flapped for a moment. I'm not sure why but it decided not to attempt to pick any of the ducks off; it roosted in a tree nearby and then headed off for an evening roost (maybe the Gravenhurst landfill).

 

 

Bald Eagles - Bracebridge Landfill
Posted on January 7, 2018 at 11:51:37 AM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:15 a.m. today there were three adult and two immature Bald Eagles at the Bracebridge Landfill (1091 Rosewarne Dr.), as well as about 60 Common Ravens. The view is limited from the locked gate, but every once in a while the Eagles would fly around, sending up all the Ravens. Two Wild Turkeys were feeding on some Sumac at the edge of the road near the dump entrance.

 

 

Song Sparrow
Posted on January 6, 2018 at 10:35:31 AM by tedthevideoman

We have a Song Sparrow hanging around the feeders in the backyard today....120 Meadow Heights dr. BB

 

 

Brown Creepers
Posted on January 5, 2018 at 01:34:32 PM by Leslie

Sorry for the delay in posting. January 3rd at Shoreline Drive (near Northern Produce, Bracebridge) I saw 2 brown creepers in my Japanese plum tree. I have never seen 2 creepers on the same day let alone on the same tree. It didn't last long as one chased the other off the tree before checking it over carefully. No time to grab my camera. Happy Birding in 2018 everyone!

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 4 January
Posted on January 5, 2018 at 09:08:31 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 4, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count, held this year on December 30, always provides a good early winter overview of the birds and their relative abundance. The following discussion includes the CBC totals in brackets. Red-breasted Nuthatch (720), Red Crossbill (359), White-winged Crossbill (521), Pine Siskin (418) and American Goldfinch (635) are common but not as numerous as in several other years of bumper tree seed crops. Purple Finch (122) and Common Redpoll (66) are here in limited numbers. Evening Grosbeak (34) continues to be reported only at the Visitor Centre feeders and the Pine Grosbeak (9) is present, but barely so. American Tree Sparrow (24) and Dark-eyed Junco (185; a new count high) are usually absent or rare here in winter. When they are found in numbers on the CBC our records show heavy tree seed crops and less snow than average on the ground so that fallen seeds are accessible. Black-backed Woodpecker (4), Gray Jay (13; lowest in 44 years) and Boreal Chickadee (4) were remarkably hard to find. A Merlin in the Opeongo Road area was a new species for the count; it occurs rarely here in winter, when small birds are common. A Northern Shrike mobbed by Blue Jays near the Visitor Centre feeders on January 2 was the only count week species.

Here are some spots where birders have observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: three were in black spruce south of the highway opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk and one was noted along Opeongo Road.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: four come daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two are in Mew Lake Campground regularly.

-Barred Owl: Hardwood Lookout Trail.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: the first kilometre of Highlands Backpacking Trail; Beaver Pond Trail; Highway 60 a little west of Opeongo Road; Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and Western Uplands Backpacking Trail entrance.

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Trailer Sanitation Station and Logging Museum.

-Boreal Chickadee: Opeongo Road north of the winter gate.

The two American Martens continued to come to the Visitor Centre fairly regularly to eat black sunflower seeds below the feeders.

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

 

 

The Chickadee Trail
Posted on January 4, 2018 at 02:24:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were lots of Black-capped Chickadees along the trail east of Henry Marsh, as well as the regular White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays, a couple Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, and a single Dark-eyed Junco. A Downy and a Hairy Woodpecker were also seen, but no sign of the American Tree Sparrows that had been hanging around, and no Owl. A few days ago someone had written “OWL” in the snow near the dip in the trail, but we haven’t seen it...probably one of the resident Barred Owls checking around the bird feeders for mice.

The trail is single file, hard packed, snowshoes not needed. Take Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd. for trail access...when you walk out to Henry Marsh, at the “T” in the trail, turn left for The Chickadee Trail. You can also access the trail from Kerr Park by using the snowmobile trail if not too busy, or the safer snowshoe/ski trail through the woods (not hard packed yet). Remember to take some sunflower seeds for the birdfeeders, and if you want to try and hand feed some chickadees, we find that chopped unsalted peanuts usually work best. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Posted on January 2, 2018 at 11:07:04 AM by Barrybirder4

I am new to this general area, previously from Washago so I do know a lot of people on this site. I have just finished the Algonquin Bird Count and saw the list of birds sighted at this event over the past 44 years and the Ruby Crowned Kinglet was not a listed bird.
This morning at my home on Gibson Road off 592 in Emsdale I spotted a ruby crowned kinglet feeding in a snow covered balsam. I did get a good look through 12 x 36 image stabilizer binos and I am reasonably certain this was what I saw. Apparently a rare bird for this time of year.

 

 

44th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count
Posted on January 1, 2018 at 12:29:22 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 1, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Seventy-six observers undertook this count on Saturday, December 30. Conditions were good for observing birds, but a little “brisk” at times. Temperatures ranged from minus 26 to minus 17 degrees C, with a mean of minus 22. The southeast wind that reached 10-15 kph occasionally made it cold in the open, but it was calm in the woods. Cloudy skies and periodic very light flurries persisted for most of the day. Snow on the ground was a maximum of about 30 cm and less under conifers, making walking easier than usual. Virtually all water was ice-covered.

Total Observers: 76

Total Species: 28 (average is 27)

Total Individuals: 4,704 (average is 4,579)

Birds per Party Hour: 31 (average is 25)

New Species for the Count: Merlin (see photo on Algonquin Park website)

High Count: Dark-eyed Junco: 185 (previous high: 130)

Low Count: Gray Jay: 13 (new lowest count; previous was 15): Boreal Chickadee: 4 (ties lowest)

Notable Miss: Barred Owl (not recorded only twice before, including 2016, on 43 previous counts)

Winter Finches: Good variety but numbers were lower than previous years which had a similar huge cone crop.

-Pine Grosbeak: 9 (scarce, as predicted in Ron Pittway’s Winter Finch Forecast: http://www.jeaniron.ca/2017/wff17.htm)

-Purple Finch: 122

-Red Crossbill: 359

-White-winged Crossbill: 521

-Common Redpoll: 66 (apparently just starting to move into southern Ontario)

-Pine Siskin: 418

-American Goldfinch: 635

-Evening Grosbeak: 34 (all at Visitor Centre feeders)


Complete count results are posted on the Algonquin Park website:

http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/christmas_bird_count_results_2017.php

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

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, ON

 

 

----------------

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher...huge fallout at Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on May 10, 2018 at 06:15:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a huge (in the hundreds) mixed flock of warblers and other birds singing and foraging in the wet woods north of cell 4. We have never seen so many Northern Parulas, Blackburnians, and Cape Mays at one time. There were also several Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, and Magnolia Warblers, as well as Black-throated Blue, Tennessee, Black-throated Green, Nashville, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Blackpoll, Palm, Pine, a Wilson’s, American Redstarts, Northern Waterthrush, and a singing Mourning Warbler. Other birds seen included a pair of Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Kingbirds, Warbling and Blue-headed Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles, a Green Heron, Rusty Blackbirds, and nine Bobolinks. Over two hundred Swallows were flying low over cell 4. Two male Blue-winged Teal and the continuing male Redhead were in cell 2.

There was also a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher which stayed in view for several minutes before flying back into the woods north of cell 4. We stayed for another hour, hoping it would reappear, but never saw it again.

 

 

-------------------

 

 

Re(1): Sharpie
Posted on January 7, 2018 at 02:25:00 PM by Barbara Taylor

Back again this afternoon...

 

 

Sharpie
Posted on December 30, 2017 at 02:40:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Sharp-shinned Hawk just checked out our feeders, but came up empty. It missed some Juncos and Goldfinches. The resident pair of Cardinals had already left the yard. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 December
Posted on December 29, 2017 at 02:29:52 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 29, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week’s extremely cold temperatures seemed at odds with evidence of breeding activity by White-winged Crossbills in the Park. A male was observed feeding a female (“courtship feeding”) near the Old Airfield, and three or four males were singing along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on December 24. Craig Benkman (in The Birds of North America, 1992) reported that this crossbill breeds during three main periods of the year which coincide with maximum availability of conifer seeds. In Algonquin, records indicate breeding in summer and fall (July to November), winter (January to March), and spring (March to June).

Snow depth in the Park now reaches about 25 cm in the open and less under conifers, making it feasible to travel in most areas without snowshoes. As usual, snow on the walking trails has been flattened down with use.

-Wild Turkey: several are coming daily to feed below the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: one was seen along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 24.

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: after several weeks with no reports, one was along Opeongo Road (December 24) and two were at Wolf Howl Pond (December 25).

Winter finches reported this week were: Purple Finch (regular at Visitor Centre feeders), Red Crossbill (small flocks on the highway; and often seen off Visitor Centre deck), White-winged Crossbill (small flocks), Common Redpoll (three along Opeongo Road on December 24 were the first reported since late October), Pine Siskin (fairly numerous), American Goldfinch (fairly numerous) and Evening Grosbeak (about 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders daily).

Addendum:
Common Redpoll: A flock of about 40 was observed on Opeongo Road yesterday, which may indicate that this species is starting to move southward in greater numbers.

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

 

 

kettle of bald eagles
Posted on December 28, 2017 at 01:42:17 PM by John Challis

Three bald eagles soaring over our house just now: one with full white head but blotchy wings so must be second year? Green River Dr.

 

 

Re(2): Gravenhurst Bald Eagles
Posted on December 30, 2017 at 02:50:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

There was an adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree near the Rosewarne Dr. gate at the Bracebridge Landfill around noon today. When I got out of the car it flew off across the pit, sending up a swirling black cloud of Ravens. I counted 63 of them plus two Crows. No Gulls. (gate locked...no public access)

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst Bald Eagles
Posted on December 29, 2017 at 11:26:23 AM by J. Gardner

Bald Eagles... dump bears of the avian world. J. Gardner

 

 

Gravenhurst Bald Eagles
Posted on December 28, 2017 at 08:02:45 AM by janice house

Yesterday around 11am an adult bald eagle flew over the house in the direction of the Gravenhurst landfill, a little while later another eagle flew in the same direction. Breakfast at the Bracebridge landfill....lunch in Gravenhurst? (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)

 

 

Re(1): Action at the suet feeder
Posted on December 28, 2017 at 07:38:53 AM by missyinmuskoka

I am finding the same thing with the raw suet vs the suet cakes. I don't know if all Sobey's up north sell store made suet balls or not, but the Sobey's in Gravenhurst makes their own raw ground up suet that they form into balls and put into easy to hang netting. It is cheaper than store bought, and the birds seem to favour it.
I had my first Pileated come to the raw suet just last week :)

 

 

Action at the suet feeder
Posted on December 27, 2017 at 02:49:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

The extremely cold temperatures have brought a steady stream of Woodpeckers to our yard as they take turns at the suet feeders - Downy, Hairy, and Pileated (no Red-bellied this winter). The raw beef fat seems to be visited much more than the processed suet cake. Other birds enjoying the suet are the usual Blue Jays, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, and sometimes a Brown Creeper. Today there were even some Dark-eyed Juncos eating bits of beef fat that were falling to the ground as a Woodpecker hammered away above them. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Christmas in Bent River
Posted on December 25, 2017 at 01:02:13 PM by janice house

Male red-bellied woodpecker coming to the feeder since yesterday, coopers hawk and 6 turkeys. Best Christmas breakfast ever!

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter swans, Washago
Posted on December 24, 2017 at 02:20:11 PM by John Challis

..sorry about the image size. Uploaded without checking. Here's one of Gayle feeding a few.  photo

 

 

Trumpeter swans, Washago
Posted on December 24, 2017 at 02:19:02 PM by John Challis

At Centennial Park waterfront in Washago, the swans have been congregating in large numbers, thanks to alternate sites being frozen over. Yesterday I counted roughly 117, many with wing tags, including a pair of juvenile siblings tagged T32 and T33. New behaviour: they are climbing out of the water and practically stealing corn from our hands.
I think there was also a pair of black ducks among the mallards; much darker bodies and without the visible blue and white mark on the wing secondaries.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Birds
Posted on December 24, 2017 at 01:57:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there were four Bald Eagles at the Bracebridge Landfill, all visible from the Rosewarne Dr. entrance by the locked gate. Two of the eagles were adults and were sitting atop the sand pile in the pit.

 

Birds
Posted on December 23, 2017 at 05:05:37 PM by janice house

5 Bald Eagles (1 adult for sure)at the Gravenhurst transfer station (dump), Oregon Junco in our yard, yesterday and today, got a few photos, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on December 23, 2017 at 09:57:47 AM by John Challis

There is a female red-bellied woodpecker giving our sunflower seed a workout this morning. Possibly a male here too -- they're skittish so not sure. And a hairy woodpecker is at the suet feeder too.

 

 

Sundridge Birds
Posted on December 22, 2017 at 06:33:32 PM by DBurton

Today Steve O'Donnell and I birded around Lake Bernard and saw the following of interest: Barred Owl, White-winged Crossbills, Gray Jays, Black Duck, Pine Siskins. Cone crops of spruce are abundant in the area.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 December
Posted on December 22, 2017 at 01:07:04 PM by Ontbirds

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

Two American Martens (often together) have been coming regularly to the Visitor Centre feeders to eat black sunflower seeds on the ground. They can be seen at close range from the viewing deck. Average snow depth in the Park is now about 19 cm.

-Wild Turkey: eleven (a high number for winter here) fed below the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder on December 19.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was photographed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 18.

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the locked gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports again this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. They are often in the body of thick spruce trees, hard to see and infrequently vocal.

Winter finch numbers remain relatively low, but most observers are seeing a good variety. Species reported this week were: Pine Grosbeak (a single bird on Opeongo Road, December 17 and 18), Purple Finch (regular at Visitor Centre feeders), Red Crossbill (often seen off Visitor Centre deck), White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak (highest count: 32 at the Visitor Centre on December 20).

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

 

 

Re(2): Pics
Posted on December 21, 2017 at 08:42:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

John sent this photo of the Carolina Wren and said the bird had just showed up this afternoon.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Pics
Posted on December 21, 2017 at 04:20:51 PM by Al Sinclair

I like the 1st pic. Carolina Wren! Rare in Muskoka at any time. How long has it been there?

 

 

Pics
Posted on December 21, 2017 at 02:12:39 PM by johndouglas

Things we have not seen on or under the feeder this time of the year on Three Mile Lake.

photo1  photo2

 

 

purple finch
Posted on December 20, 2017 at 10:47:16 PM by John Challis

A male purple finch showed up at our feeder today. First male, although we've had a female at the feeder regularly for several weeks. Green River Drive, Washago.

 

 

ruffed grouse
Posted on December 20, 2017 at 09:54:01 AM by John Challis

A ruffed grouse has been making sporadic appearances in the top of a poplar tree in our back yard (Green River Drive, Washago), and was back this morning. It looks to be nibbling on the buds in the newest growth. I guess the birches around here haven't been as appetizing.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst-Bracebridge (ONGB) Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 19, 2017 at 07:10:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Interesting that Red Crossbills were found at two locations. I just finished reading an article "Coming for Winter 2017–18: A Crush of Crossbills" which describes this ongoing irruption. Ron Pittaway had predicted "there will be a good showing of Red Crossbills in Ontario and the Northeast this winter" in his annual Winter Finch Forecast.

Here's a link to the article:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/a-crush-of-crossbills

 

 

Gravenhurst-Bracebridge (ONGB) Christmas Bird Count Results
Posted on December 19, 2017 at 05:16:38 PM by Al Sinclair

38th Gravenhurst-Bracebridge (ONGB) Christmas Bird Count Results
Held Sunday December 17, 2017
Observers 17
Temperature -23 to -11C Wind calm
Only fast moving water open
AM sunny PM cloudy
Snow depth 25 to 40 cm
Total species 34 (24 in Gravenhurst 31 in Bracebridge)(previous 10 years average 36.6)
Total individuals 1848 (924 in Gravenhurst 924 in Bracebridge)(previous 10 years average 2409) Note: The numbers seen in each town were double checked because of the strange coincidence.
New species found: None
New count highs: Bald Eagle 24 (20 at Gravenhurst composting site on Beiers Rd)
New Count Lows: House Sparrow 0 (Now very hard to find here especially on cold days)
Unusual species: Great Black-backed Gull (Bracebridge Landfill), American Robin (Golden Beach Rd), Red Crossbill (Santas Village Rd and Doe Lk Rd), White-winged Crossbill (Doe Lk Rd)

SPECIES
MALLARD 11
COMMON MERGANSER 3
RED-TAILED HAWK 1
BALD EAGLE 24
RUFFED GROUSE 3
WILD TURKEY 35
RING-BILLED GULL 1
HERRING GULL 26
GLAUCOUS GULL 2
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL 1
ROCK PIGEON 160
MOURNING DOVE 43
DOWNY WOODPECKER 30
HAIRY WOODPECKER 37
PILEATED WOODPECKER 5
BLUE JAY 203
AMERICAN CROW 50
COMMON RAVEN 89
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE 393
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH 43
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH 36
BROWN CREEPER 1
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET 3
AMERICAN ROBIN 1
EUROPEAN STARLING 174
NORTHERN CARDINAL 16
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW 15
DARK-EYED JUNCO 144
SNOW BUNTING 12
PURPLE FINCH 5
RED CROSSBILL 4
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL 3
PINE SISKIN 5
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH 269

 

 

Re(1): Ruffed Grouse, Bala
Posted on December 18, 2017 at 10:27:18 AM by J. Gardner

Aha! Christmas supper. J. Gardner Kidding!

 

 

Ruffed Grouse, Bala
Posted on December 18, 2017 at 09:21:23 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

For at least 3 weeks I have had a Ruffed Grouse arrive in the early morning and late afternoon to feed on the buds of the pin cherry trees beside my house. One arrived about 15 minutes ago and then a second one came in as well! Wish I knew what gender they are!

 

 

Eagles and Gulls at Bracebridge Landfill
Posted on December 17, 2017 at 02:54:23 PM by Barbara taylor

Around 1:30 p.m. today at the Bracebridge Landfill there were two adult Bald Eagles, two Glaucous Gulls, a Great Black-backed Gull, and several Herring Gulls, Ravens, Crows, and Starlings. The garbage piles in the pit have built up to the ground level now, so the birds could be seen from the Rosewarne Dr. entrance by the locked gate. A scope is recommended for a better view, as public access inside the gate is prohibited.

 

 

White-throated sparrow
Posted on December 16, 2017 at 05:09:22 PM by missyinmuskoka

I was surprised to see this guy at my feeder today.  photo

 

 

24th Huntsville Christmas Bird Count: 14 December
Posted on December 15, 2017 at 08:09:31 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

It was a magnificent sunny day with “winter wonderland” scenery! However, count results were negatively affected to an unknown extent by cold temperatures (minus 26 degrees C. at dawn to minus 15 degrees at dusk), lower than usual numbers of birds utilizing feeders, and fog rising all day off the remaining open water areas of the bigger lakes. Fortunately, the river was open and mostly fog-free. Preliminary results follow:


Total Observers: 24. Total Species: 38 (average is 39). Total Individuals: 2,530 (average is 3,032).

New Species for the Count: Snowy Owl (1). Cumulative Species Total: 92

Unusual Species: Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (1), Bohemian Waxwing (8), Cedar Waxwing (1 with the Bohemians).

Finches (mostly low numbers): Pine Grosbeak (8), Purple Finch (36), Red Crossbill (9), Pine Siskin (41), American Goldfinch (352).

Thanks to all the participants.

Ron Tozer, Huntsville CBC Compiler, Dwight, ON

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 December
Posted on December 15, 2017 at 03:05:53 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


All Highway 60 lakes are now ice-covered, with the last two freezing over on December 11 (Lake of Two Rivers) and 13 (Smoke Lake). Average snow depth is about 15 cm. The suet feeders are now in place at the Visitor Centre and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk at the trail register box.


-Northern Shrike: one at the Visitor Centre, December 9.

-Bohemian Waxwing: about five at locked gate on Opeongo Road, December 7.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road, December 7 and 10, respectively.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: one was along Opeongo Road, December 10.

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the locked gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports again this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.


Winter finches reported this week were: Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak (highest count: 32 at the Visitor Centre on December 12). Finch diversity is good but numbers reported are still relatively low.


Good birding.
Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.

 

 

Re(2): Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on December 15, 2017 at 09:59:05 PM by Al Sinclair

Yes Henry Marsh is in the circle.

 

 

Re(1): Golden-crowned Kinglets
Posted on December 15, 2017 at 02:57:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Brown Creeper along "the chickadee trail" east of Henry Marsh. Maybe they will stick around for the Christmas Bird Count...is that area in the count circle?

 

 

The annual Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count will be held this Sunday
Posted on December 14, 2017 at 11:00:20 AM by Al Sinclair

The annual Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count will be held this Sunday Dec 17. The count is sponsored by the Muskoka Field Naturalists but non-members are welcome to attend. We always can use additional counters regardless of experience. The weather should be warmer on the weekend and we expect to find 30 to 40 species. Below are more details taken from our newsletter.

From the Wakerobin:
SUNDAY, DEC. 17: Christmas Bird Count and Pot-Luck Supper – Plan to join us! Counters will meet at 9 a.m. at
the rear of the post office in Bracebridge or McDonalds' in Gravenhurst. Bring binoculars, warm clothes, field
guides, lunch (or plan a Tim Horton's stop). Assemble at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Bracebridge
between 4 and 5 p.m., for some warm-up refreshments followed by our annual pot-luck. Top last year's numbers
by joining a team and bone-up on your birding skills! If you have a question contact Al at 645-2848 or email sinclair@muskoka.com

 

 

Re(1): Snow and the Birds
Posted on December 16, 2017 at 08:39:44 AM by BruceColes

Very nice pictures, that's my goal this year to get some pictures like that.

 

 

Re(2): Snow and the Birds
Posted on December 12, 2017 at 05:52:53 PM by michaelhatton

Thank you. For my photos it is mostly luck. Really.

 

 

Re(1): Snow and the Birds
Posted on December 12, 2017 at 01:19:57 PM by jhansen

Beautiful photos!

 

 

Snow and the Birds
Posted on December 12, 2017 at 12:23:50 PM by michaelhatton

Snowy days seem to bring the birds.  photo

 

 

Re(1): red-tailed hawk, purple finch and others.
Posted on December 14, 2017 at 11:09:55 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning four Purple Finches and seven Dark-eyed Juncos showed up at our feeders, along with the regular visitors. (Bracebridge)
 

 

 

red-tailed hawk, purple finch and others.
Posted on December 10, 2017 at 11:42:12 AM by John Challis

I did a tour of the backroads east of Washago yesterday, in hopes of finding an owl or two. One BLue Jay to show for the first hour. But on the Cronk Sideroad, close to 30 Mourning Doves in a group of trees. And on the Fairgrounds Road, an adult Red-tailed Hawk roosted on a tree in a farm field.
At our feeder we've had a female Purple Finch on a regular basis for a week or so and Goldfinches have begun showing up. And today Dark-eyed Juncos appeared. Chickadees of course have been regulars.

 

 

Gravenhurst Birds
Posted on December 10, 2017 at 08:10:00 AM by janice house

We had 20+ blue jays at the feeders yesterday along with my regulars, Doe Lake Rd. At Muskoka Beach ( Taboo ) yesterday there were 4 common goldeneye and 6 bufflehead

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 December
Posted on December 8, 2017 at 01:22:15 PM by Ontbirds

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


About 30 cm of new snow arrived over the last two days. Rock Lake Road and Arowhon Road are not maintained by park staff during winter and will be gated at Highway 60 until spring.

-Ruffed Grouse: one or two are regular along the Visitor Centre driveway and getting seed below the feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: look on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, particularly near the visitor register box.

-American Three-toed Woodpecker: one was seen and heard along Opeongo Road just north of the Costello Creek Picnic Ground on December 3. This species occurs here very irregularly in winter when it irrupts southward from the breeding range.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: try Opeongo Road

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the locked gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: try Opeongo Road.

-Pine Grosbeak: still very scarce. Observed this week on Mizzy Lake Trail and Opeongo Road.

-Purple Finch: regular in low numbers, including at the Visitor Centre.

-Red Crossbill: numbers remain low. Look for them on the highway and at the Visitor Centre.

-White-winged Crossbill: regular but in low numbers.

-Pine Siskin: seen regularly, including some larger flocks.

-American Goldfinch: also seen regularly, including some large flocks.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 25 are being seen at the Visitor Centre feeders, especially in the morning.

-American Marten: at least one has been irregularly coming to eat sunflower seeds below the Visitor Centre feeders.

Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

MFN Dec 7 Meeting - cancelled
Posted on December 7, 2017 at 11:36:09 AM by janice house

Executive have decided to cancel the meeting tonight at the Grace and Speed Museum in Gravenhurst, weather issues and our speaker can't make the meeting.

 

 

Kingfisher
Posted on December 3, 2017 at 11:45:19 AM by Leslie

A kingfisher was flying low over the water at Bracebridge Bay this morning.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 30 November
Posted on November 30, 2017 at 02:49:01 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 30, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


There was much melting of the shallow snow cover this week. Large lakes are open. Winter listers should find a good variety of winter finches in Algonquin now. The winter gate on Opeongo Road is closed.

Snowy Owl: one was photographed flying southwest near dusk, high over the Old Airfield, on November 25.

Northern Shrike: single birds were on Opeongo Road (November 25) and at the Old Airfield (November 28 and 29).


Recent locations for observations of the boreal specialties are as follows:

-Spruce Grouse: Spruce Bog Boardwalk

-Black-backed Woodpecker: Old Airfield border

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed section

-Boreal Chickadee: No reports. This species is inconspicuous now, with few vocalizations.


Winter finch sightings are increasing now due to sanding/salting operations on Highway 60 and the Visitor Centre feeders.

-Pine Grosbeak: Scarce. Two were at the Old Airfield on November 25.

-Purple Finch: Regular in low numbers, including at the Visitor Centre.

-Red Crossbill: Reported regularly. Look for birds on the highway and at the Visitor Centre.

-White-winged Crossbill: Regular but in low numbers.

-Common Redpoll: No reports since late October.

-Pine Siskin: Seen regularly, including some large flocks on the highway.

-American Goldfinch: Also seen regularly, including some large flocks.

-Evening Grosbeak: Up to 20 have been at the Visitor Centre feeders, but irregularly.


Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Purple finch
Posted on November 29, 2017 at 12:09:30 PM by John Challis

As I was leaving for work this morning a purple finch broke into song in the back yard. I think that's what it was, anyway; I didn't get a visual. Nice clear song though.

 

 

Glaucous Gulls
Posted on November 28, 2017 at 03:44:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were only about 50 gulls standing on some ice in cell 2, but two of them were Glaucous Gulls. There were three Great Black-backed Gulls on the ice in cell 1 Saturday morning. We've never had gulls hanging out at the Ponds like this...must be coming in from the new Bracebridge Landfill which started up late last year (no public access though).

My little camera kept getting confused by all the glare off the dark ice today. Here's the best I could get of one of the Glaucous Gulls (at center) before both decided to leave and headed east.  photo

 

 

Golden Eagle
Posted on November 24, 2017 at 02:50:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were about 300 gulls on the ice in cell 1. They suddenly flew up all together in a big cloud of gulls, swirling around, going higher and higher, and then disappeared from sight to the east. The reason for this mass exodus was a Golden Eagle soaring in from the northwest. The gulls saw it coming long before we did.

(no sign of the deer carcass north of cell 4...yesterday there was very little left and it had been dragged away to the edge of the woods)

 

 

Pine Siskins (and deer carcass)
Posted on November 21, 2017 at 01:29:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along the "chickadee trail" east of Henry Marsh there were a few Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and the usual Chickadees and Nuthatches. (the birdfeeders aren't up yet, but the birds know the spots)

At the north side of cell 4 at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a fresh deer carcass which hadn't been there yesterday afternoon. Although we didn't see any bear tracks in the area, the carcass still had a fair bit of meat on it, so best to be cautious if walking the trail there. It looked like two deer had fallen through the thin ice in cell 4, one well out from shore. Perhaps it got tired in a struggle to get back to shore, and then was attacked by coyotes/wolves. Several Crows were helping themselves to the venison, but no other scavengers were seen nearby. (all cells were frozen over again yesterday, although it is very thin ice)

 

 

Doe Lake Gravenhurst
Posted on November 18, 2017 at 03:51:41 PM by janice house

Just got back from checking out the lake, ring necked ducks, bufflehead, hooded, common and red-breasted mergansers

 

 

Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull
Posted on November 18, 2017 at 01:34:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I went over to the Bracebridge Ponds hoping to find some waterfowl forced down by the weather, now that the cells are mostly open water again. But instead of interesting ducks, I found about 220 gulls on some remaining ice in cell 3. There was one Lesser Black-backed Gull, a few Ring-billed Gulls, and the rest appeared to be all Herring Gulls of various ages. A few gulls came flying in from the east, and one of them was an Iceland Gull (kumlieni). The bird lay on the ice for a while, then stood and preened a bit, and flew off to the southwest. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo as it was raining lightly the whole time. The only ducks seen were 24 Mallards and 15 Buffleheads. I checked South Monck Dr. on the way home, but no gulls...only found 115 Canada Geese at the golf driving range.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Late Frog
Posted on November 29, 2017 at 11:25:54 AM by John Challis

As I came home last night I nearly ran over a frog sluggishly hopping across the road. Too dark, but I'm assuming it was a green frog; we have plenty of them in the swamp by our house. (Washago)

 

 

Late Frog
Posted on November 16, 2017 at 08:08:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today I was surprised to find this small Green Frog still out and about. It was almost in a state of torpor, as it barely moved when I nudged it. (Bracebridge)

photo

 

 

Re(2): Great Black-backed Gulls
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 02:38:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Great Black-backed Gull was there again today around noon, but flew off to the northeast...to the dump? There were 146 gulls on the ice in cell 2, with several coming and going in all directions.

 

 

Re(1): Great Black-backed Gulls
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 04:18:19 PM by michaelhatton

One Great Black-backed Gull still present on the ice in cell 2 at 1:55 p.m. However, shortly after that it departed solo to the southwest. The birds remaining on the ice in cell 2 at that time were primarily Herring Gulls representing a variety of ages.

 

 

Great Black-backed Gulls
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 02:48:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Great Black-backed Gulls standing on the ice with Herring and Ring-billed Gulls in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds. Here are photos of one of them (at center), which was still there at noon. Great Black-backed Gull (3rd winter): photo  photo2

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: early November summary
Posted on November 12, 2017 at 05:21:03 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Nov. 12, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


As of today, there is a heavy covering of snow on the ground and a few shallow ponds and small lakes along the Highway 60 Corridor are ice-covered. However, it is still fall even if it felt like winter on a couple of minus 15-degree mornings this week. There were fresh Bear tracks in the snow on the Visitor Centre parking lot yesterday, for example.

Recent locations for observations of the boreal specialties are as follows:

-Spruce Grouse: Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed section

-Black-backed Woodpecker: Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed section

-Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed section

-Boreal Chickadee: Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed section


The abundant cones on most conifer species in Algonquin appear to have been significantly affected by the sustained and unprecedented period of hot days in the latter half of September. The cones opened and limited inspection suggests that many (most?) of the seeds may have been released. It remains to be seen how this will affect finch numbers this winter.

There have been recent observations of nearly all of the expected finches, but in low numbers.

-Pine Grosbeak: sightings of single birds on November 4 and 11.

-Purple Finch: regular in low numbers.

-Red Crossbill: regular in low numbers; four seen almost daily this week at the Visitor Centre. Recordings of larger-billed Type 1 and smaller-billed Type 3 confirmed by Matt Young (Cornell) recently.

-White-winged Crossbill: low numbers present, but reported less frequently than Red Crossbill.

-Common Redpoll: observations of one to four birds on October 20 and 21 but no reports since.

-Pine Siskin: low numbers but likely the most numerous finch currently; 40 at Visitor Centre on November 8.

-American Goldfinch: regular in low numbers; 17 at Visitor Centre on November 10.

-Evening Grosbeak: one to three at Visitor Centre this week.


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 services, 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

 

 

Gravenhurst Waterfront
Posted on November 12, 2017 at 05:09:16 PM by DBurton

At Muskoka Beach: Trumpeter Swan, Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Goldeneyes
At West Gravenhurst Beach: Long Tailed Duck, pair of Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Goldeneyes.
Henry Island boat launch- Buffleheads, Red-breasted Merganser, Horned Grebe.

 

 

Late Pipits and Glaucous Gull
Posted on November 12, 2017 at 01:16:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there were three American Pipits feeding along the roadway east of cell 3. There was a first winter Glaucous Gull and a few Herring Gulls, but they all flew off to the south-west. A Red-tailed Hawk was being pestered by two noisy Crows and kept flying to various perches until the Crows finally gave up and left. The Hawk ended up in the same tree where we saw it yesterday, near the Lagoon Lane gate. Seven Mallards were in the aeration pond which was the only open water as all the cells were still frozen over. A Great Blue Heron flew past heading south.

 

 

Donkey Shack
Posted on November 12, 2017 at 07:38:29 AM by FrancesGualtieri

I may have been the only person who didn't know, but the Donkey Shack has moved back to the farm, on Doe Lake Rd. Black oil sunflower seeds are $28.99 plus tax for a 50 lb. bag. Best price in town.
Frances Gualtieri
Vankoughnet

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Ponds - Buffleheads and ice
Posted on November 11, 2017 at 01:01:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Buffleheads were wise to be leaving yesterday as this morning cell 4 was completely frozen over too. There were 91 Gulls huddled together on the ice in cell 2 - all appeared to be Herring Gulls, with more gulls flying in from the north. A Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a tree near the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Bracebridge Ponds - Buffleheads and ice
Posted on November 10, 2017 at 03:32:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon the three main cells were all frozen over. Cell 4 was still open, with about 200 Buffleheads and a Scaup. Several birds were leaving though, perhaps heading out to a larger body of water. It looked like an animal had caught a Canada Goose at the west side of cell 2 overnight, with feathers blowing in the wind. A lone Canada Goose was at the Kerr Park baseball field...perhaps it lost its mate.

 

 

Oregon Junco
Posted on November 7, 2017 at 05:34:12 PM by janice house

We had a male Oregon junco in the back yard this morning, I will have to check tomorrow morning to see if he is still around and has a mate. Also had 4 red-winged blackbirds and two female common grackles. The one female only had a right eye, the other side of her head had a huge feather covered floppy growth. When she bent over to flick the leaves it would fall forward over her beak, then when she straightened up if flopped back, I have never seen anything like this before. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Long-tailed Duck
Posted on November 5, 2017 at 02:20:38 PM by Dalewenger

The Long-tailed Duck previously reported to eBird is still present opposite 126 Roe Rd, Huntsville. Out Canal Road past Deerhurst. With Approx 35 Common Goldeneye and several Buffleheads.

 

 

Re(2): Dunlin and a Snipe
Posted on November 8, 2017 at 12:36:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Dunlin was still in the same area at the north shore of cell 3 towards the west end, and a Wilson's Snipe had joined it, only about three feet away. The Coot was still in cell 1. A flock of 19 Snow Buntings flew past, but didn't appear to land anywhere.

 

 

Re(1): Dunlin - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 7, 2017 at 04:35:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today there was a Dunlin at the north shore of cell 3 near the west end. I hadn't seen one yesterday, so this may be a different bird. There were over 300 Buffleheads, about 65 Mallards, two American Black Ducks as well as a hybrid Black Duck/Mallard, a male Northern Pintail in cell 1, a male Green-winged Teal in cell 3, a Hooded Merganser in cell 4, and the lingering American Coot in cell 1. Four Golden-crowned Kinglets were near the entrance from Kerr Park. The "waste operation" by the middle intersection is ongoing during the workweek, but fortunately all the big trucks were gone for lunch, so it was relatively quiet over the noon hour.  photo

 

 

Dunlin - Bracebridge Ponds
Posted on November 5, 2017 at 02:11:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Dunlin was at the south end of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds around 12:30 p.m. today. The Coot was still in cell 1. Two Common Mergansers flew into cell 4 as it started to rain. A Lapland Longspur was calling as it circled around, but I lost sight of it as it headed towards cell 4, so couldn't tell if it landed.

 

 

Re(2): Gravenhurst Waterfowl
Posted on November 11, 2017 at 05:07:58 PM by janice house

Today there was a trumpeter swan, a loon, 150+ Canada geese, goldeneyes, buffleheads and two long-tailed ducks at Muskoka Beach

 

 

Re(2): Gravenhurst Waterfowl
Posted on November 5, 2017 at 01:49:52 PM by DBurton

I omitted Fire College Bay but it only had Mallards, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst Waterfowl
Posted on November 5, 2017 at 01:41:59 PM by DBurton

Update for this morning:

Muskoka Beach- WW Scoter, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Geese, Long-tailed Ducks, Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Loon.
Gravenhurst Wharf- Red-breasted Merganser, Buffleheads.
West Gravenhurst Beach- Long-tailed Ducks, Goldeneyes, Buffleheads.
Gull Lake- Common Mergansers, Buffleheads.

 

 

Gravenhurst Waterfowl
Posted on November 4, 2017 at 05:08:21 PM by janice house

I just got back from town, 30 plus common goldeneye, 12 plus bufflehead, 1 white-winged scoter and 2 long-tailed ducks at Muskoka Beach (Taboo). 1 red-breasted merganser at Lorne St Park, lots of herring gulls on the docks at Gravenhurst Wharf

 

 

Re(1): snow geese?
Posted on November 5, 2017 at 09:33:05 AM by Alex Mills

Did you consider Brant? They are on the move at this time of year and they have un-Canada like calls.

 

 

Re(1): snow geese?
Posted on November 4, 2017 at 03:00:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

I was hoping to find a Snow Goose today at the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range where they sometimes show up, but there was only a flock of 53 Canada Geese. (South Monck Dr., Bracebridge)

 

 

snow geese?
Posted on November 4, 2017 at 12:48:47 PM by John Challis

A large flock -- about 60 -- of geese flew over in 'v' formation just now (Washago). Not your traditional Canada goose noise coming out of them—it was almost gull like—and the in-flight profile was different. Checking the internet I'm guessing the calls were likely snow geese.

 

 

Re(2): Lapland Longspurs
Posted on November 3, 2017 at 12:57:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

The two Lapland Longspurs were still there as of 11 a.m. today - on the roadway east of cell 4 by the dumping ponds. The White-rumped Sandpiper either circled back yesterday or there is a second bird today, this time further out from the roadway on the shore west of cell 3. A Rough-legged Hawk came in from the north, circled over the ridge, then just hung in the sky for a minute, facing into the strong wind with hardly a flap, as it surveyed the area for prey. (Lots of big trucks and waste operation at middle intersection is ongoing, so best to enter via Kerr Park during the work week...hope they shut down for the weekend.)

 

 

Re(1): Lapland Longspurs
Posted on November 2, 2017 at 01:54:02 PM by Barbara Taylor

There were two Lapland Longspurs in the same general area today. As of 12:30 p.m. they were feeding on the roadway east of cell 4 by the dumping ponds. They had been feeding with American Tree Sparrows inside the dumping pond fence until flushed by a truck. There were also two late Yellow-rumped Warblers at the edge of the woods nearby. A White-rumped Sandpiper was at the west shore of cell 3, but flew off when a big truck drove past. Still ongoing waste operation by middle intersection...best to come in via Kerr Park.

Lapland Longspur photo

 

 

Lapland Longspurs
Posted on November 1, 2017 at 04:33:12 PM by DBurton

There are 3 Lapland Longspurs at Bracebridge Lagoons near the entrance to the gravelled area by cell 4.

 

 

No Avocet, first Snow Buntings
Posted on November 1, 2017 at 02:07:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

Again NO Avocet this morning, so it has definitely left after spending 11 days at the Bracebridge Ponds. First seen in the afternoon Oct. 20 by Gillian Humphries, and photos posted on the Bird Board when seen again Oct. 21. Bob Bowles reported the bird was still there in the afternoon Oct. 30. No further sightings that I'm aware of.

There is still a major sludge/effluent operation taking place at the middle intersection into cell 3, and heavy truck traffic continues. Water levels are up in cells 1 and 2 and there is too much commotion for the birds to come in to cell 3. A nice flock of 37 Dunlin flew in from the north, but decided to keep heading south. There were still five Gadwalls in cell 1 as well as the American Coot. A lone female Northern Shoveler was in cell 2. The number of Green-winged Teal was way down, with a count of 14. Three Snow Buntings were on the roadway north of cell 4. A Red-tailed Hawk soared past west of cell 4.

 

------

WW Scoters
Posted on October 31, 2017 at 05:16:54 PM by DBurton

There are currently 2 WW Scoters in the Fire College bay. Also several Red Breasted Mergansers in Gravenhurst Bay.

 

 

Horned Larks
Posted on October 31, 2017 at 03:40:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we checked the fields along South Monck Dr. and found 25 Horned Larks. They were in a recently plowed field by #1134, quite close to the road. (Bracebridge)  photo  Two birds - center and top right:photo  Two birds - far left and far right of center: photo

 

 

No Avocet, first Snow Buntings
Posted on October 31, 2017 at 12:16:23 PM by Barbara Taylor

No sign of the Avocet this morning at the Bracebridge Ponds. I checked around all four cells and even the dumping ponds. There was a sludge/effluent moving operation right by the middle intersection, truck traffic was heavy, and water levels were up in both cells 2 and 1.

There were four Snow Buntings at the gravel area north of cell 4, the first ones I've seen this fall. There were five Gadwalls, about 180 Bufflehead, four Ring-necked Ducks, and a Pied-billed Grebe in cell 4. The American Coot was still in cell 1. Twenty-eight Dunlin flew in from the north as the rain changed to sleet, graupel, snow, whatever. They briefly touched down at the north shore of cell 3, but then circled around for a while, eventually flying out of sight to the southwest.

 

 

Re(1): Brant and Avocet update
Posted on October 30, 2017 at 03:14:06 PM by michaelhatton

Shortly before noon the Avocet was observed in cells 1 and 2, though primarily in cell 2. The truck traffic, strong winds and changing water levels appear to be encouraging it to fly every few minutes, changing locations within those two cells.  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4  photo5

 

 

Brant and Avocet update
Posted on October 30, 2017 at 11:13:24 AM by Barbara Taylor

As of 10:30 a.m. this morning, Oct. 30, the Avocet was still in cell 2, but no Brant. Note that conditions have changed dramatically since yesterday. The south beach in cell 2 is shrinking rapidly as they are refilling the cell and there is a strong northwest wind. Also, the large landfill leachate truck was making multiple trips along the middle road, flushing all the birds each time it passed. The Avocet kept returning to the south end of cell 2, but many of the ducks headed off to the southwest. The American Coot was still in cell 1 and a male Pintail was in cell 2.

 

(cell 2 south beach - this is what the large middle section of beach with the point looked like this morning)   photo

 

 

Brant and Avocet - turf wars
Posted on October 29, 2017 at 07:48:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

I went back to the Bracebridge Ponds late this afternoon to check on Brian Pfrimmer's (and Ed Poropat) report of an American Golden-Plover that had briefly touched down, but then flown away. I had hoped it might have returned, but no sign of it or anything else new.

But I did observe an interesting interaction between the Brant and the Avocet. The Avocet was feeding at the east side of cell 2, minding its own business. The Brant swam at a steady pace in a direct line towards it, and when it got quite close, it opened and closed its bill. I didn't hear any sound, but that action was enough to make the Avocet move away. The Brant then proceeded to walk onto the shore and briefly nibbled on some grass there. A short time later, the Brant made two swim-bys of the Avocet when it was feeding in the south-east corner. But this time the Brant let it be. Both birds were still there as of 4:15 p.m.

Here is a photo taken when they were still sorting things out.  photo

 

 

Brant...and the Avocet
Posted on October 29, 2017 at 12:03:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

As of 11:45 a.m. the Avocet was on the south beach in cell 2 and a lone Brant was in cell 2. The Coot was still in cell 1 as well as the long-staying three Northern Shovelers. The Wigeons seem to have left.

(Oct. 29 update: Brian Pfrimmer reports the Avocet, Brant, and Coot still all there as of 1:10 p.m. An American Golden-Plover briefly touched down on the shore near the NW end of cell 1, but flew off to the east out of sight.)

 

 

American Coot...and Avocet
Posted on October 28, 2017 at 12:29:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:45 a.m. today I took a quick look at the Bracebridge Ponds from the viewing stand atop the hill at Kerr Park (it has a rain-proof roof). There was an American Coot at the west side of cell 1 near the north end. It came right out of the water and was feeding on the shore with a few Green-winged Teal. Best views of the Coot were from the trail a bit east of the viewing stand.

The American Avocet was still there, feeding along the south beach in cell 2, but from that distance, a scope is needed for a good look.

 

 

Brant in Sundridge
Posted on October 27, 2017 at 05:45:43 PM by DBurton

This morning we had 3 huge flocks numbering 100, 170, 400 Brant fly over Lake Bernard in Sundridge. I have never before seen this many Brant. Also seen during the day: all 3 Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, Horned Grebe, Black-Backed Woodpecker, White-Winged Crossbill, Pine Siskins, Bald Eagle.

Photos taken by Stephen O'Donnell:  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Woolly Bear
Posted on October 27, 2017 at 01:05:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are still a few Woolly Bear caterpillars crawling around seeking out a good spot to spend the winter. (Bracebridge)  photo

...but can they really predict the winter weather?
https://www.almanac.com/content/woolly-bear-caterpillars-and-weather-prediction

 

 

Gulls chasing tractor
Posted on October 26, 2017 at 07:46:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

Well, sort of.

The fields at the east side of South Monck Dr. were being plowed today. Many Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were flying close behind the tractor, taking turns picking up whatever edibles had been unearthed by the plow. Fun to watch, but didn't see any "good" Gulls amongst them. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Wren Species
Posted on October 26, 2017 at 01:34:18 PM by janice house

My brother is working out at Skeleton Lake this week at a neighbour's cottage. He said a wren was flitting near the dock eating spiders etc. I like to think it is the Winter Wren that nested near/under Dad's cottage this summer.

 

 

Re(2): Avocet still there
Posted on October 28, 2017 at 09:44:08 AM by Barbara Taylor

Just got a call from Janice House that the Avocet is still there this morning (Oct. 28), as of 9:40 a.m.

 

 

Re(1): Avocet still there
Posted on October 27, 2017 at 11:27:41 AM by Barbara Taylor

Avocet was feeding along the south beach in cell 2 as of 11 a.m. It had flown up to the north end and was swimming amongst the ducks for a while, so scan that area if you don't see it on the south beach.  photo

 

 

Avocet still there
Posted on October 26, 2017 at 09:15:36 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Avocet was at the south beach in cell 2 this morning as of 8:55 a.m. when I left. The three Northern Shovelers were on the beach preening for a while and then flew to the east side of cell 1 to feed. Two Common Goldeneyes were in cell 4. A Great Blue Heron was near the middle intersection when I arrived, almost hidden in the heavy fog at the time. A single American Pipit called as it flew past when the fog began to clear. (Bracebridge Ponds)

update: still there as of 3 p.m.  photo

 

 

Bracebridge Lagoons this morning
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 05:13:47 PM by astinnissen

I couldn't resist heading to the lagoons this morning to try and find the star. I was successful and found other visitors as a bonus.

Ruddy Ducks  photo

Dunlin  photo

Ring-necked Duck  photo

And the star - American Avocet  photo

 

 

Re(1): American Avocet photo
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 02:18:02 PM by J. Gardner

Wonderful shot of a wonderful creature. J. Gardner

 

 

American Avocet photo
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 12:21:08 PM by DonnaMillar

Picture is from the morning of Oct. 22  photo

 

 

Ruddy Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, Dunlin
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 11:37:37 AM by Barbara Taylor

Several new arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning. All were still there as of 11 a.m., as well as the American Avocet.

Ruddy Ducks in cell 2 (female and interesting leucistic male)
Pied-billed Grebes - four in cell 1 and one in cell 2
Dunlin in cell 1 at west side towards north end

The Avocet was swimming and feeding with the ducks at the north end of cell 2 when I arrived. Lots of loud banging from construction at the gas plant seemed to be making the bird a bit nervous and it flew back to the south beach. It had moved back near the north-east corner of cell 2 when I left at 11 a.m. Note that you would not be able to see the bird from the viewing stand at Kerr Park if it is at the north end.

Dunlin:  photo

 

 

Ruffed Grouse
Posted on October 24, 2017 at 08:24:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon traffic came to a complete stop on Tamarack Trail as we waited for a Ruffed Grouse to walk across the road. It was heading towards Killdeer Cres. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 11:39:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

Avocet at north end of cell 2 as of 11 a.m. today, Oct.25, swimming and feeding with the ducks.

 

 

Re(1): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 24, 2017 at 11:04:46 AM by Barbara Taylor

Avocet still on the south beach in cell 2 as of 10:40 a.m.  photo  finding lots to eat, going deep... photo2

 

 

American Avocet
Posted on October 24, 2017 at 10:43:29 AM by Leslie

Avocet still in Cell 2 this morning at 9.

 

 

Re(5): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 24, 2017 at 10:30:33 AM by Rick Stronks

Kelly and I saw it last evening around 6:15 pm.

 

 

Re(4): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 23, 2017 at 01:03:10 PM by Barbara Taylor

Avocet still on south beach in cell 2 as of 12:15 p.m. when I left. Also in cells 2 and 1 there were several American Wigeon, Gadwalls, Northern Pintails (male flew off but still two females), Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, couple of Wood Ducks, American Black Duck, and many Mallards. Most of the Buffleheads were in cell 4. Two Savannah Sparrows were up the middle roadway, a late Common Yellowthroat was in the cattails near the SE corner of cell 4, and a lone Rusty Blackbird was by cell 4.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(3): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 23, 2017 at 09:31:08 AM by Dalewenger

Bird was still there this morning when I left at 8:55

 

 

Re(2): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 22, 2017 at 11:43:28 AM by Barbara Taylor

Still there at 11:25 a.m.  photo1  photo2  running away from a pushy gull:  photo3

 

 

Re(1): American Avocet - still there
Posted on October 22, 2017 at 08:56:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks Gillian!!! My favourite bird!

I found the bird on the beach at the south end of cell 2 at sunrise this morning. It was feeding in the shallow water, preening, and sometimes seemed to be patrolling the beach, trying to keep Green-winged Teal and Wood Ducks from coming ashore.
Update: Janice House called to report the bird was still there at 8:45 a.m., and still there 9:20 a.m. with several observers.

photo at sunrise:  photo

 

 

American Avocet - photos
Posted on October 21, 2017 at 06:59:49 PM by GillianHumphries

An American Avocet was at the Bracebridge Ponds both yesterday afternoon and today (as of 5 pm). South end of cell 2.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club MEETING
Posted on October 21, 2017 at 02:25:59 PM by CortneyL

Good day,

Just a reminder that the Nature Club is meeting this Tuesday evening, October 24th! The topic is of particular interest in this group as Ken Morrison will be speaking about his birding trip to cuba! St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall on West Street at 7 p.m. Guests are always welcome. A $5 donation is appreciated.

 

 

American Coot
Posted on October 19, 2017 at 11:56:41 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found this American Coot at the west side of cell 1 where it was sheltered from the wind. A Pectoral Sandpiper was on the algae mat at the west side of cell 1 towards the north end. (Bracebridge Ponds)  photo

 

 

Common Yellowthroat
Posted on October 18, 2017 at 03:27:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a late Common Yellowthroat foraging in the cattails at the east side of cell 1.

Here's my complete list of 31 bird species seen:
Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 5
Northern Shoveler 3
Gadwall 2
American Wigeon 5
Mallard 45
American Black Duck 3
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 50
Ring-necked Duck 7
Greater Scaup 2
Lesser Scaup 27
Bufflehead 92
Hooded Merganser 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 10
Mourning Dove 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 1
Common Raven 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Pipit 2
Common Yellowthroat 1
American Tree Sparrow 5
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 8
Red-winged Blackbird 11
Common Grackle 1

 

 

Re(1): Gulls and Geese
Posted on October 15, 2017 at 05:17:58 PM by janice house

The gulls are still there, the immature great black backed as well very very windy.

 

 

Gulls and Geese
Posted on October 15, 2017 at 01:39:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Shortly after noon today there were over 200 Gulls on the Muskoka Highlands golf driving range along South Monck Dr. and more were flying in (probably from the dump) as we left. They appeared to be mainly Herring Gulls and some Ring-billed Gulls, but at least one immature Great Black-backed Gull was with them. A scope is needed to see many of them. Further up the road where the fields were plowed in the summer, there were at least 150 Canada Geese to the east side of the road, stretching way back into the field, with only their heads visible. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Shorebirds and Ducks
Posted on October 17, 2017 at 12:55:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Pectoral Sandpiper was still in cell 2 on the south beach. The only new duck species was a male Gadwall in cell 2. Several more Bufflehead have arrived, bringing the count to 71, all in cell 4. Other waterfowl species seen were American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, American Black Duck, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, and Canada Goose. A Great Blue Heron was hunting up the middle roadway. Two Turkey Vultures and a couple American Pipits flew past heading south. This late Monarch butterfly decided to rest awhile after fighting the strong south wind.  monarch photo

 

 

Re(1): Shorebirds and Ducks
Posted on October 16, 2017 at 03:58:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This Pectoral Sandpiper was the only shorebird seen today. It was on the south beach in cell 2 around 12:30 p.m.  photo  photo2

 

 

Shorebirds and Ducks
Posted on October 15, 2017 at 12:32:45 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today as the rain showers moved back in, there were two Greater Yellowlegs, two Dunlin, and four Pectoral Sandpipers on the south beach in cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds. There were also seven American Wigeons, four Northern Pintails, four Northern Shovelers, a few Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, American Black Ducks, Wood Ducks, about thirty Green-winged Teal, and at least fifty Mallards in cells 1 and 2. Twenty-four Buffleheads were in cell 4 along with a couple Hooded Mergansers.

 

 

Re(1): Butterflies
Posted on October 18, 2017 at 03:06:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

At the Bracebridge Ponds this morning there were four Painted Lady butterflies, a Monarch, and a Clouded Sulphur.

 

 

Butterflies
Posted on October 12, 2017 at 01:13:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are still a few butterflies flying in Muskoka. So far today I've seen Clouded Sulphur, Monarch, and a Painted Lady. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snow Geese
Posted on October 9, 2017 at 07:50:38 PM by Dalewenger

While at Thanksgiving dinner tonight my brother mentioned that he had seen 3 Snow Geese mixed in with a flock of approximately 30 Canada Geese at the Huntsville Fair Grounds. I plan on looking for the birds tomorow.

 

 

Eastern Bluebirds
Posted on October 9, 2017 at 04:00:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were two Bluebirds along South Monck Dr. north of the Muskoka Highlands golf course. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Storm Wigeon
Posted on October 9, 2017 at 03:03:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

This oddly coloured male American Wigeon was at the south end of cell 2 at the Bracebridge Ponds today. According to the Birds of North America wigeon webpage, white-cheeked birds are a natural variant, nicknamed Storm Wigeons. This fellow seemed to have more of a creamy yellow tone.  photo

 

 

Ruffed Grouse
Posted on October 8, 2017 at 07:42:27 PM by dinnynimmo

While sitting at Richwell's Port Carling having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner I looked out the window and across the road I saw 4 ruffed grouse strutting down the side of the road.

 

 

Re(2): Monarchs, Burlington
Posted on October 9, 2017 at 08:29:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

Common Green Darners and Black Saddlebags are two migrating dragonflies that sometimes get mentioned in the count notes at Hawkwatches. Here are some interesting links on the subject.

Dragonflies Migrate Like Birds, Study Says:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/dragonfly-1.html

Dragonfly Migration - A Food Chain Connection:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/fall/DragonflyMigration.html

Migratory Dragonfly Partnership:
http://www.migratorydragonflypartnership.org/index/about

 

 

Re(2): Monarchs, Burlington
Posted on October 9, 2017 at 08:12:23 PM by brendalaking

There are 8 core species of dragonflies considered to be migratory in Northeastern North America: Common Green Darner, Black Saddlebags, Wandering Glider, Spot-winged Glider, Swamp Darner, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Painted Skimmer, and Carolina Saddlebags. Other species are unidirectional. Check out the T.E.A. website at ontarioinsects.org. Click on Publications and you will find an e-publication free to download (70 pages):Migration and Unidirectional Movements of Dragonflies in Northeastern North America. You could also google "Migratory Dragonfly Partnership" for citizen scientist projects to help out our understanding of migration in dragonflies.

 

 

Re(1): Monarchs, Burlington
Posted on October 8, 2017 at 01:57:26 PM by John Challis

Is there a species of dragonfly that migrates?

 

 

Monarchs, Burlington
Posted on October 8, 2017 at 01:35:35 PM by John Challis

We are at a waterfront Diner in Burlington and are watching scores of Monarch butterflies following the shoreline.

 

 

Re(1): Surf Scoter
Posted on October 8, 2017 at 05:30:22 PM by janice house

It was still there at 1:30

 

 

Surf Scoter
Posted on October 8, 2017 at 12:18:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Surf Scoter in cell 2. It was still there at 11:30 a.m. as the rain finally stopped, so I got some distant photos. No shorebirds seen.  photo photo2

 

 

Re(3): Shorebirds - Baird's
Posted on October 10, 2017 at 09:33:59 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Baird's Sandpiper was still at the south end of cell 2 this morning, just west of the white post.

 

 

Re(2): Shorebirds - Baird's
Posted on October 7, 2017 at 04:52:37 PM by Dalewenger

Bird was still being seen at 1:00

 

 

Re(1): Shorebirds - Baird's
Posted on October 7, 2017 at 12:27:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found a Baird's Sandpiper on the mud at the south end of cell 2 towards the east side. It flushed three times when some Green-winged Teal flew off, but eventually returned to the same spot. It was feeding there when we left around 11:30 a.m. (Raining too hard for a photo.)

 

 

Shorebirds
Posted on October 6, 2017 at 02:39:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Wilson's Snipe, four Killdeer, and a Greater Yellowlegs...by the time we left, all had gone. The male Gadwall was still in cell 1. A Great Blue Heron flew in low from the north and landed on the roadway behind us by cell 4. Two Robins were eating Winterberries north of cell 4 and about twenty White-crowned Sparrows were feeding in the weeds nearby. A few Pipits were on the roadway south of cell 4.  heron photo

 

 

Re(1): and more
Posted on October 5, 2017 at 05:08:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Forgot to mention an Indigo Bunting and a Rusty Blackbird north of cell 4. The only Warblers seen were two Yellow-rumped, a Nashville, and a Common Yellowthroat. Here are a few photos from this morning.

American Pipits:  photo1  photo2

Black-billed Cuckoo:  photo

Indigo Bunting:  photo

 

 

Gadwalls
Posted on October 5, 2017 at 12:07:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

Two Gadwalls (M,F) were recent arrivals at the Bracebridge Ponds this morning in cell 1. There were also six American Wigeons, a Northern Shoveler, two Northern Pintails, several Green-winged Teal, about 20 Ring-necked Ducks, and 11 Lesser Scaup. A Black-billed Cuckoo was near the SW corner of cell 4. A few Pipits were scattered about, finding lots of bugs in the weedy edges of the roadways.

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Bluebirds
Posted on October 5, 2017 at 06:19:40 AM by J. Gardner

We had bluebird boxes for over 25 years. Always, in the autumn, there would be late flights of migrating birds, checking over the boxes, no doubt looking for next spring's rentals. J. Gardner

 

 

Re(1): Eastern Bluebirds
Posted on October 4, 2017 at 09:35:08 PM by Doug Smith

We don't usually have bluebirds stay here in the winter -- too much snow and cold. Here is a link to an article on bluebirds using nesting boxes for roosting -- http://www.sialis.org/roost.htm

 

 

Eastern Bluebirds
Posted on October 4, 2017 at 08:02:37 PM by Hoosierdaddy

After 3 successful fledgings totaling 14 bluebirds and only one box my question is about the family/families coming back. My box has been clean and idle for a month now and today I've seen 7 or 8 birds flying around the box, entering, leaving, scaring sparrows away just like they did in the spring. Do they winter over in their box or just checking things out? Mine stay during the winter here in northern indiana but was wondering if they'd use the box for shelter.

 

 

Monarchs
Posted on October 3, 2017 at 09:17:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

There are still a few Monarchs trying to fly south, although the wind today didn't help. This one briefly visited our garden before continuing on its journey. (Bracebridge)  photo

 

 

Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
Posted on October 3, 2017 at 07:28:19 PM by janice house

Tonight while sitting on the back deck waiting for supper, nice surprise.... a common grackle in the yard. This morning quite a few American pipits in the pasture across from the house.

 

 

Marsh Wren
Posted on October 1, 2017 at 04:37:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at the Bracebridge Ponds there was a Marsh Wren in the cattails at the south side of cell 4. It was singing, preening, and hiding from the camera. (the bird is dead center in the photos)  photo1  photo2

 

 

American Copper
Posted on October 1, 2017 at 03:15:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This American Copper butterfly was enjoying the warm sunshine in our garden this afternoon. (Bracebridge)  photo