[Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Birding Report: 3 to 10 December 2015

Ron Tozer rtozer at vianet.ca
Thu Dec 10 20:43:38 EST 2015


Single Common Loons this week on Smoke Lake, Lake Opeongo, Lake Travers
(Park's East Side) and flying near Park Lake were late. A Belted Kingfisher
at Lake of Two Rivers on the 6th was also notably late for Algonquin. These
occurrences reflect the continuing abnormally warm temperatures and open
lakes and rivers. There is no snow either, which made the all-white Snowshoe
Hare I saw today rather conspicuous.

Numerous Ruffed Grouse being seen along Highway 60 and on trails are
indicative of good production and survival of young this year.

The gate on Opeongo Road is now closed for the winter. Birders are
encouraged to walk the black spruce section north of the gate for boreal
species and finches. Ongoing work to replace the siding on the Visitor
Centre is causing only occasional disruption of birds coming to the feeders.

WINTER FINCHES:

Pine Grosbeak: Singles were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Mew Lake
Campground, and there were two along Opeongo Road, on the 6th.

Purple Finch: A few were observed at various Highway 60 locations.

Red Crossbill: A few, often singles calling in flight, were noted along the
Highway 60 Corridor this week. Some were observed at the lookout on the
Barron Canyon Trail on the Park's East Side on the 5th.

White-winged Crossbill: A large flock of 50 was reported on Opeongo Road
on the 5th.

Common Redpoll: This species is being seen regularly now, usually in small
flocks but occasionally in larger groups such as the 31 near Wolf Howl Pond
on the 8th.

Pine Siskin: Small and larger flocks continue to be seen along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: Numbers have dwindled but five were observed at the
East Gate on the 5th.

Evening Grosbeak: Three were at the Visitor Centre on the 6th, and there was
one there and another along Opeongo Road on the 7th. Forty were reported in
Whitney, on Highway 60 east of the Park, on the 7th.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:

Spruce Grouse: A male and a female were observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on the 5th, and a male was photographed near that trail's register box on
the 6th. A female and a displaying male were along Opeongo Road north of
the locked gate on the 7th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was first heard tapping as it flaked off
bark in search of wood-boring beetle larvae and was later photographed on
the east side of the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed just north of Wolf Howl Pond
on the 8th.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Look and listen for them along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail
bed and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.


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
 
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 Park's "East Side" is
accessible via Barron Canyon Road from the Pembroke area.

The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 on Highway 60 are open
on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. There is access with limited services on
weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.
 
Your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) are available at the East Gate, West Gate and
Visitor Centre.






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