[Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 February 2015

Ron Tozer rtozer at vianet.ca
Thu Feb 19 20:09:18 EST 2015

Just when deep snow and apparently endless cold temperatures seemed to
suggest winter would never end, one of Algonquin's earlier signs of spring
occurred right on time to lift our spirits this week: gathering of nest
material by Gray Jays was observed.

The road-killed moose put out in the Sunday Creek valley opposite the
Visitor Centre over a week ago has still not attracted any birds or mammals,
but likely will soon. A similar carcass in a previous year was present for
two weeks before anything starting feeding on it.

A first year Northern Shrike watched birds at the Visitor Centre feeders for
about 15 minutes before flying off when chased by a Downy Woodpecker on
February 13. Young bird-predators such as shrikes have a steep learning

Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Occasional displaying by
ever-hopeful males should soon make it easier to locate this boreal phantom.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Drumming was heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on February 14 and one of these woodpeckers was seen there on February 15.

Gray Jay: Being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mew Lake Campground
and Opeongo Road (such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Up to four provided close-up photo opportunities at the
suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week. Two were seen on Opeongo
Road on February 14 and 18, and four were noted near Wolf Howl Pond on
February 15. The frequency of calling by males will increase in late
February and March and reach a peak just before winter flock breakup in
April, making the species easier to locate in the coming weeks.

Pine Grosbeak: Two were along the highway at West Smith Lake on
February 14.

Common Redpoll: The small flock of 10 to 20 birds continues at the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Hoary Redpoll: Two or three individuals were present daily at the Visitor
Centre feeders.

Pine Siskin: One was reported heard on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 15.

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

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON
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. There is access with limited services on weekdays from
9 am to 4 pm. 
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

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