[Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Winter Finches
lev.frid at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 23:20:09 EST 2012
This weekend (January 14-15th) I was guiding a trip to Algonquin Park with
Janice Melendez and Ann Brokelman, and we had an amazing weekend with many
great birds under blues skies and sunshine, but especially notable was the
abundance and diversity of Winter Finches. The following were seen -
RED CROSSBILL - Two birds were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. These were of
a slender-billed subspecies (likely Type 3) adapted to feeding on Spruce.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL - Algonquin is full of this crossbill - flocks were
seen daily at Spruce Bog, Opeongo Road, Logging Museum and on HW 60.
COMMON REDPOLL - Many of these as well, almost exclusively on the ground at
roads - on HW 60 and the Visitor Centre Parking Lot.
HOARY REDPOLL - A female of the exilipes ssp. was seen on HW 60 west of
Cache Lake with a flock of Commons. Another birder reported three East of
Opeongo Road. Definitely something to watch for!
PINE SISKIN - Also numerous. Mainly overhead, but looks were had at perched
birds on Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - These were around, with a few associating with Siskin
flocks and loners overhead.
EVENING GROSBEAK - Easy to see in the morning at the Visitor Centre, also
seen at Spruce Bog and a sizeable flock on Opeongo Road.
PINE GROSBEAK - A flock of five birds were well seen on the highway near
the Spruce Bog parking lot, including two stunning adult males. Also
reported East of Opeongo Road.
We also had great, prolonged looks at a pair of BOREAL CHICKADEES in the
open on Opeongo Road, and pairs of GRAY JAYS at Opeongo Road, Cameron Lake
Road, The Logging Museum and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. No Black-backed
Woodpeckers, despite determined searching and myself obtaining a sore
throat from speaking Barred Owl!
We also saw a dark PINE MARTEN at Spruce Bog, on the suet feeder. All in
all, a fantastic, if a little frigid weekend to be out looking for birds!
Algonquin is located on Highway 60, which can be reached via Highway 400 &
11 from Toronto area, or from Ottawa taking Highway 17 to Renfrew and then
following 60. All the locations mentioned above are on the Park tabloid,
which is provided free of charge at the West and East Gates, and the
Visitor Centre, which also has recent bird sightings and feeders. Ron
Tozer's weekly birding report and other Algonquin info can be found at
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