The warm temperatures of the last two days have accelerated the disappearance of ice in ponds and some small lakes along Highway 60. Open water is developing rapidly where rivers and creeks flow into larger lakes, as well. Bare ground is widespread now with snow and ice patches persisting primarily under dense conifers.
SPRUCE GROUSE was found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate. A BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was on the north side of the highway near the Leaf Lake Ski Trail. CANADA JAY sightings were mainly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road north of the gate.
A few COMMON REDPOLLS continued to be seen until nearly the end of the period. HOARY REDPOLL sightings were of two along Opeongo Road and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Mar 27. RED CROSSBILL observations were of three on Two Rivers Trail and two at Lake of Two Rivers Campground. A single PINE SISKIN was at the Visitor Centre on Mar 26.
First-of-spring migrants included: Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Eastern Meadowlark (Mar 27); Sandhill Crane, Winter Wren (Mar 30); Bufflehead (Mar 31); Eastern Phoebe (Apr 1); Northern Saw-whet Owl (Apr 3); Ring-necked Duck (Apr 4); Killdeer, American Kestrel (Apr 6); Common Loon, Northern Harrier, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Apr 7); and Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker (Apr 8).
The Visitor Centre (km 43) is closed and the feeder there was shut down on Mar 31.
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).
Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON