Friday, October 16, 2009


Here at the Algonquin Inn we have had today at our feeders Starlings and dark eyed Juncos, as well as the blue jays and red and white nuthatches,and a whole host of various sparrows....

Several "first of the fall" migrants have been observed recently, about on
schedule. Examples (with the average first fall date in brackets) include:

-Horned Grebe: October 10, Lake of Two Rives (October 4)

-Northern Shrike: October 14, Lake Travers (October 14)

-American Tree Sparrow: October 10 (October 8)

-Fox Sparrow: October 10 (October 5)

-Snow Bunting: October 14, Lake Travers (October 15)

Sparrows of note recently include:

-Clay-colored Sparrow: two (photos), October 10, Old Airfield

-Field Sparrow: one, October 7, Old Airfield

-Vesper Sparrow: one, October 8, Opeongo Road

-Le Conte's Sparrow: one or two, October 5 to 11, Old Airfield in long grass
at east end near Lake of Two Rivers; and one at Lake Travers marsh, on
October 14.

-Nelson's Sparrow: one, October 5, Old Airfield Marsh; and two at Lake
Travers marsh, October 8.

Winter Finch news:

-no recent reports of Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin

-American Goldfinch and Purple Finch: a few still present.

-Evening Grosbeak: 20 at Visitor Centre feeder on October 15.

Boreal Species recent reports:

-Spruce Grouse: two at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 14).

-Black-backed Woodpecker: one at Lake Travers (October 14); pair on a
utility pole opposite Leaf Lake Ski Trail, between km 54 and 55 (October
14); and a female near the parking lot at the junction of Opeongo Road and
Cameron Lake logging road (October 14).

-Gray Jay: two at locked gate on Old Railway off Arowhon Road (October 10);
five at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (October 14); and two at the junction of
Opeongo Road and Cameron Lake logging road (October 14).

-Boreal Chickadee: two at West Rose Lake on Mizzy Lake Trail (October 10).

Winter Preview:

-In response to the lack of food here, and as predicted in Ron Pittaway's
winter finch forecast, Blue Jays and Red-breasted Nuthatches are becoming
very scarce.

Good birding. As always, we would appreciate receiving your observations for
our Visitor Centre records.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

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