[Ontbirds] Birds in Algonquin Park this Week

Lev Frid lev.frid at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 16:17:31 EDT 2012

Hello Birders,

If there was a birding highlight this week besides the semi-regular Great
Gray Owl, it would be the large diversity and numbers of emberizid sparrows
moving through the Park right now.

The most common sparrows in the Park right now seem to be American Tree and
White-crowned Sparrows, while numbers of Fox Sparrows continue to grow.
Lincoln's, Savannah, Song, Chipping, White-throated, Swamp and Le Conte's
Sparrows (the one on the 15th at Travers Marsh) were also reported.

Horned Larks and American Pipits are still common in open areas, and this
is a good time to look for Lapland Longspurs amongst them - two were seen
at Beaverpond Trail on the 15th. It is not long before Snow Buntings arrive
to join them.

This is also a good time to start looking for waterfowl in the Park. A Surf
Scoter was seen at Mud Bay in Lake Galeairy on the 14th.  A Red-necked
Grebe was seen on Lake of Two Rivers on the 15th along with two Bufflehead,
and a Common Goldeneye there on the 16th. Lake Travers, on the East Side of
the Park, had a small flock of White-winged Scoters and two Red-necked
Grebes on the 15th.

Finches are starting to arrive or become more apparent in the Park - A
flock of White-winged Crossbills was seen flying over Opeongo Road on the
16th, six Red Crossbills near Argue Lake on the East Side and a solitary
Common Redpoll at Basin Depot on that date as well. Evening Grosbeaks
continue to be a daily feature in the Visitor Centre Parking Lot in the
early morning, with a flock of 13 birds there on the 16th. Two Evening
Grosbeaks were also at Tea Lake Dam this morning (18th).

Individual Bald Eagles were seen over the Visitor Centre on the 15th and
one today (18th) at West Rose Lake. We are starting to get into the time to
keep your eyes on the skies for migrating Golden Eagles and Rough-legged

Specialty Birds are as follows:

Great Gray Owl - The bird at km 21-23 has been moving around between
several wetlands in that general area, but continues to be seen almost
daily. Yesterday, in what could be the first time in the Park's history,
and entire bus of overseas tourists got to see a Great Gray Owl - hunting
in the open at km 21.5. Take care to drive slowly and pull off far enough
from the road so as not to impede traffic.

Spruce Grouse - One on the 13th at Spruce Bog, another on the 14th at
Opeongo Road, one at Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 16th and
one on the 17th on Opeongo Road south of the gate.

Boreal Chickadee - One was at West Rose Lake on the 11th, another was near
there on the 17th, and a group of fifty-six(!) students from Bracebridge
Public School observed one this morning (18th) in that locale as well. One
was also at Radiant Lake on the East Side on the 15th and one at Tea Lake
today - both atypical spots and perhaps hinting that the birds may be on
the move.

Gray Jay - Easy to see as they seek people out for food at this time of
year. Reported daily from the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail, the
Algonquin Logging Museum and Opeongo Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker - One was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 13th, and
individual birds were seen north of the gate on Opeongo Road on the 15th
and 16th.

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

Please send us any bird sightings you’ve had in the park, even of common
birds, as we continue to monitor the autumn migration.

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 Park, Ontario


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