[Ontbirds] Birds in Algonquin Park this Week

Lev Frid lev.frid at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 14:37:49 EDT 2012

Greetings Birders,

If the amazing show of fall colour isn't enough for you to come to
Algonquin Park, then perhaps the chance of seeing one of Canada's most
spectacular birds of prey will be.

Starting late last week and continuing through this week, we have had
multiple reports of Great Gray Owls from three or four locations in the
Park, likely involving different birds. Some have been one-day wonders in
Algonquin's backcountry observed by Park Staff. However, one first-year
bird has been observed most of this week along Highway 60 from km 21 to km
23. This bird has been enjoyed by many people, including this morning
(October 4). It is usually seen in the early morning and again in the
evening, and usually when it's overcast.

All of these owls may be residents, rather than the start of an irruption,
since this species is know to breed in Algonquin.  Only time will tell.

See an image of this Great Gray Owl at:

If you are going to try and see or photograph this owl, please keep in mind
that Highway 60 is a provincial highway. Pull completely off the traveled
portion of the highway and be mindful of heavy traffic volumes. This bird
is also located within a Provincial Park so special regulations about the
harassment of wildlife do exist and can be enforced by Park Wardens and/or
Conservation Officers. Individuals witnessing illegal or questionable
behaviour in this regard are encouraged to notify Park Staff immediately.

This week is also best to locate Nelson's and LeConte's Sparrows, both
detected annually in the Park. The weather hasn't been ideal for
observations, but watch for these species at the Old Airfield (LeConte's)
and in the Airfield Marsh (Nelson's), both accessible via Mew Lake
Campground Road. Other long grass areas and marshes may have these sparrows

Orange-crowned Warbler: A single bird was seen on September 28 at West Rose
Lake along the Mizzy Lake Trail.

Pied-billed Grebe: Two at March Hare Lake seen from the Arowhon Road on
October 2.

Finches: Evening Grosbeaks have been at the Visitor Centre Parking Lot
every day this week, and Pine Siskins continue to increase in the Park. No
crossbills were reported.

Specialty Bird Species:

Spruce Grouse: A male was displaying to a female at Wolf Howl Pond along
the Mizzy Lake Trail on the September 28, and also on Opeongo Road near the
Lake Opeongo Access Point on October 2.

Gray Jay: Birds were observed at the Algonquin Logging Museum, the Mizzy
Lake Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and at the Opeongo Road. At this time of
year, this species is increasingly easy to locate.

Boreal Chickadee: Four birds were at Wolf Howl Pond along the Mizzy Lake
Trail on September 28. A pair was seen with Black-capped Chickadees at the
kettle bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the September 30. Also try the
Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker: The fact that there were no birds reported last
week was an apparent "call to arms", as we have been flooded with reports!
There were four birds in the dead spruces at West Rose Lake on the
September 29, Spruce Bog hosted a female bird on October 1, a single bird
was at the Algonquin Art Centre on October 2, a single bird on the Opeongo
Road on October 2, and there were a pair at Bat Lake Trail on October 3.

Algonquin 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). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a
map of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 of Highway 60 is open daily until October 28,
2012, and then weekends and holidays for the winter (see the Events
Calendar for more details). At the centre you can find recent bird
sightings, information, and helpful Park Staff to assist your birding

You can also get directions to the locations, as well as updates and info
about other park events at *www.algonquinpark.on.ca*.

Good Birding!

Lev Frid

Algonquin Provincial Park, ON

Lev.frid at gmail.com


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