Friday, October 30, 2009

Algonquin Park bird report

Three noteworthy species this week were:

A first year male Eastern Bluebird at the Visitor Centre (km 43) on October
26, which tied the latest fall date ever for this species here.

A male Northern Cardinal first seen at the Visitor Centre on October 25 and
still present today. Cardinals are very rare in Algonquin Park, occurring
primarily as dispersing birds during the period from late October to late
November. They typically pause briefly at feeders, and then wander onward in
search of suitable breeding habitat. Most probably perish in this quest.

Two Chipping Sparrows at the Two Rivers Picnic Area on October
29, for our second latest date for the species in fall in Algonquin.

Ducks are being seen in larger numbers as migrants move through, such as 90
Blacks and Mallards on Smoke Lake (October 25); and 35 Ring-necked Ducks at
Opeongo Access Point (October 28).

Two Wild Turkeys along the highway just east of Found Lake (km 20) were seen
on several days this week.

The Old Airfield and Two Rivers Marsh produced seven Green-winged Teal and a
Merlin on October 26; and a Rusty Blackbird on October 29.

Small groups of Snow Buntings are regular along the highway margin this
week. There were two Lapland Longspurs calling in flight over the Trailer
Sanitation Site on October 29.

Small numbers of American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak were at the Visitor
Centre feeders. The only other winter finch reported was a single Purple
Finch at Lake of Two Rivers on October 29.

Boreal Species Info:

Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy
Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, near Wolf Howl
Pond, and at the Visitor Centre suet feeders.

Boreal Chickadee: three observed near the kettle bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on October 28.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one at Bat Lake on October 24, and one at the Old
Airfield on October 29. Try the Wolf Howl Pond area.

A Pine Marten was at the Visitor Centre suet feeders today, and may continue
to come on an unpredictable schedule.

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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