Thursday, October 28, 2010


This last week Rick Dobson stayed with use for a couple of days at the Algonquin Inn , he stayed with us as his base as he was here for wildlife photography in Algonquin Park.

Whilst here Rick took advantage of our bird feeders on the grounds and of our blind that we have set up for guests and visitors to use.

Rick has generously sent me some of his pictures that he had taken at the Inn feeders,

many thanks Rick for sharing











Thursday, October 21, 2010


Just had to post this one,yesterday i had to run into town Huntsville doing some local chores,
when as i past the local Tim Hortons coffee shop i could see three large black blobs high in the trees behind the store,as i pulled in to get a better view , there was a large female and two cubs high up in the tree taking a nap....after spending the night in the dumpsters eating their fill of old donuts...

one of the two cubs

mum taking a midday nap............



Monday, October 18, 2010

Algonquin Park bird report

Three new Birding reports out today for Algonquin Park today, also of note i did spot yesterday a Red Tailed Hawk and a Snow Bunting first one this year just along from the West Gate.

Snow Bunting

A single Bohemian Waxwing was seen at the top of a tree at the West Gate on
Saturday (October 16) by Brete Griffin and his group. Two Bohemian Waxwings
were observed by Doug and Ron Tozer on Sunday (October 17) between posts 14
and 15 on the Mew Lake extension of the Track and Tower Trail. These two
waxwings were feeding on winterberry holly (Ilex) berries, along with
several robins. Some of these berries are present along the Two Rivers
Campground (now closed) side of the Airfield Marsh and could be a good place
to look for other Bohemian Waxwings.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

My wife and I spent the day in Algonquin Park, birding at the old airfield and along Mizzy Lake Trail. Activity at the airfield was low, but we did see a single male EVENING GROSBEAK near the parking area. Mizzy Lake Trail had a little more to offer, with about five GRAY JAYS near the gate off of Arowhon Road. Just south of West Rose Lake we had excellent views of a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, and on the return leg near Wolf Hollow Pond was a nearly tame male PURPLE FINCH which almost ate from our hands, and did actually land on my jacket for a few seconds. As we left, at the gate were two BOREAL CHICKADEES within a group of several BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. A single full-grown bull MOOSE also crossed the Mizzy Lake Trail, sporting a large rack of antlers.

Yesterday, October 17th, spent the day birding various sites along Hwy. 60 in Algonquin Park. Overall, somewhat quiet, but a few interesting birds. At Wolf Howl Pond area along Mizzy Lake Trail we had 2 Bohemian Waxwing fly over calling and 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker near West Rose Lake. Finches were scarce, we had 3 Evening Grosbeak and 7 Purple Finch at the Visitor Centre along with distant views of 2 Moose. At the Spruce Bog Boardwalk, 1 Boreal Chickadee was heard calling. Gray Jays were easy to find at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, Opeongo Lake Road and Wolf Howl Pond.
Good Birding, Bruce
Di Labio Birding Website
Courses and Field Trips

Friday, October 15, 2010


We just had an e-mail from James and Lea who stayed with us over the Thanksgiving weekend,
they sent us the following e-mail with photo's.

Hi Gary.

Lea and I had a great Thanksgiving weekend at Algonquin Inn. Perfect weather the whole time. On Monday morning I was down by the dock photographing the morning fog. A group of otters swam towards me then climbed up onto the floating dock to get a look at me. They put on a good show. I managed some photos - I thought I'd share them with you.

A great end to the long weekend.
Tried out your blind, too, on Saturday. Great setup! Got some good blue jay shots.
Hopefully we'll be up again next Thanksgiving.
All the best
thank you James..............great photo thanks for sharing....these guys make you smile
every time :-)))))))
The docks are just in front of our waterfront rooms,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A re post from ethan meleg

copy below is a repost from the blog of Ethan Meleg. on his recent visit to Algonquin Park and the Algonquin Inn.

Photo 1 (above): Algonquin Park fall colors detail. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 200, 1/80s @ f/8; mirror lock-up and cable release.

Sorry for the delay in posting, I've been on the road visiting family for Canadian Thanksgiving and had some internet issues... the server would not let me upload photos to blogger. All better now that I am back home and I can share more photos from my recent shoot in Algonquin Park.

Sigma Canada (distributed by Gentec International) has recently added me as one of their pro shooters and hooked me up with some great lenses. Check out their brand new website and be sure to click on the Pro Gallery to see me along with fellow Canadian photographers Darwin Wiggett and Crombie McNeil.

So far, I've got two Sigma lenses in my bag: the 12-24mm wide-angle zoom and the 300mm f/2.8 telephoto. Actually, let me clarify that.... I accidentally dropped the 12-24mm into Oxtongue River Rapids during my recent fall colors shoot. It completedly submerged for a few minutes before I perilously fished it out and sent it back to see if it can be salvaged... cross your fingers for me! In case you're counting (I am), that's two lenses I've dropped this summer/fall..... damn!

A 300/2.8 lens has been on my must-get list for some time, so this is a welcome addition to my system (in good time for my upcoming Africa trip). The Sigma 300/2.8 is razor sharp and has very fast autofocus. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it comes standard with a drop-in polarizer (and the design is better than Canon's drop in filter system). I'll be calling Singh-Ray soon to see if they have an LB warming polarizer that will fit!

And now to some photos.....

Photo 2 (above): Algonquin Park fall colors forest edge. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 200, 1/15s @ f/11; mirror lock-up and cable release. I like compressed landscapes with telephoto lenses. This is a classic situation to use a polarizer... to help improve contrast and saturation in the misty conditions.

Photo 3: Algonquin Park fall colors. Canon EOS 5D mark II, Sigma 300/2.8 lens & drop-in polarizer, ISO 400, 1/640s @ f/7.1; mirror lock-up and cable release. Even in very dull, overcast light I was pleased with the rich contrast of this lens.

While I was in the Algonquin area, I dropped in to visit my friend Gary Schultz, owner of the Algonquin Lakeside Inn (just west of the park). The feeders at the Inn were busy with activity so Gary and I caught up while shooting. I highly recommend a trip to stay at the Inn and enjoy the great shooting at the blind/feeders!

Photo 4 (above): The photo blind at Algonquin Lakeside Inn, with ower Gary Schultz on the right.

Photo 5 (above): Rusty Blackbird. Canon EOS 1Ds mark III, EF 500mm f/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor. ISO 640, 1/125s @ f/5.6. Rusty Blackbird is an elusive and rarely photographed species... this was only my second time photographing them.

Photo 6 (above): Eastern Chipmunk with cheeks full of seeds.Canon EOS 1Ds mark III, EF 500mm f/4 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor. ISO 640, 1/400s @ f/5.6.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Algonquin Park Area bird report


Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible via Arowhon Road at km
15.4): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker (three seen one day), Boreal

Old Airfield (south from km 30.6): Merlin, Horned Lark, American Pipit,
American Tree Sparrow (first of fall on October 3), Rusty Blackbird

Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray

Visitor Centre (km 43): Horned Lark, American Pipit, Purple Finch

Opeongo Road: (km 46.3) Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, Orange-crowned Warbler
(October 3)


Purple Finch: a few being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying over.

Pine Siskin: a flock of 25 was at Odenback on Radiant Lake (not accessible
by public road) on October 5.

Red Crossbill: Very small numbers are being heard calling in flight
occasionally, perhaps passing through to areas with a better cone crop.

American Goldfinch: a few heard calling in flight.

Evening Grosbeak: Six were reported at the feeder of the Algonquin Lakeside
Inn at Oxtongue Lake (on Highway 60 west of Algonquin Park) on October 1,
and may still be around.


Despite several searches, there have been no reports to date of Le Conte's
Sparrow from the Old Airfield or Nelson's Sparrow from favoured marsh and
beaver meadow sites, including the Lake Travers Marsh (end of Barron Canyon
Road on the East Side). This is the peak migration period in Algonquin for
both of these rarely observed species.

We would appreciate receiving your bird observations for our Visitor
Centre records.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

Algonquin 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). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map of
birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm until October 11,
and daily from 9 am to 5 pm for the rest of the month.


Saturday, October 2, 2010


Andrew Collett, is here today conducting a three day photography Fall colour workshop. Every year Andrew visits Algonquin Park for his workshop. As he states this one of his favorite locations to capture the best of the Fall colours in landscapes.

Andrew will be back with us at the Algonquin Inn next year again conducting two three day workshops, click on his link for details.

I asked Andrew, 'so how are the colours today?', by way of an answer check out the photo below

taken by Andrew Collett today be the judge.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Had a great afternoon out in the yard at the Algonquin inn around the Bird feeders,
Ethan Meleg drop in as well, and between us we had a great parade at the feeders.
4 Rusty Blackbirds have been here for over a week,and gave us great views as you can see below along with the fall colours which are now peaking.
feel free to drop in,

Rusty Blackbird

Imature White Crowned Sparrow

White Crowned Sparrow

Blue Jay

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird


Red Breasted Nuthatch


Friday, September 24, 2010


Updated: Friday September 24, 2010
See the detailed fall foliage report below, plus links on how to plan your own visit to Algonquin.

Report Details: A growing amount of red, orange and yellow can be observed in the Sugar Maple canopy in Algonquin Park. Fall colours are quickly strengthening with shortening daylight length, recent near freezing night-time temperatures, and the observation of several frosty mornings. The peak fall colour in the Sugar Maple canopy in Algonquin Park is expected in the next 7 to 14 days. During the past 35+ years, the earliest fall colour peak recorded was September 15, 1982, and the latest October 9, 1996. The average peak of the Sugar Maple canopy in the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor is September 27. Learn more about the history of Algonquin's fall colour peak.

At the current time, the best fall colour viewing along the Highway 60 Corridor is from the Park's West Gate (km 0.0) to about the Track and Tower Trail (km 25.0). This high elevation, Sugar Maple dominated area, within the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor, traditionally changes colour earlier than the eastern portion [for example, the Rock Lake Road (km 40.3), Opeongo Road (km 46.3), Brewer Lake (km 48.6) and the East Gate (km 56)].

See the most recent fall colour images on The Friends of Algonquin Park's Facebook page in the Fall 2010 album.

Leaf fall continues to remain low, with the exception of White Birch trees which changed colour early as a result of a wide-spread Birch Skeletonizer outbreak. Many visitors have observed the early colour change and leaf fall of the White Birch (Betula papyrifera). The yellow-brown colour observed throughout the Highway 60 Corridor and over wide areas of the Park is likely caused by the Birch Skeletonizer (Bucculatrix canadensisella). The Birch Skeletonizer is native species of moth and is part of a natural cycle of insect outbreaks. This premature leaf fall of White Birch leaves can result in the slower growth for the trees affected but essentially no mortality is observed. The last large outbreak of Birch Skeletonizer in Algonquin Park was in September 2003.

Plan now for your trip to Algonquin Park to observe the amazing fall colours.

Check back frequently for updates on the progress of Algonquin Park's fall colour change

Thursday, September 23, 2010



This winter's theme is that some finch species will irrupt into southern
Canada and the northern United States, while other species will remain
in the north. As an example, Common and Hoary Redpolls will move south
whereas Pine Grosbeaks will stay in the north. See individual finch
forecasts below for details. Three irruptive non-finch passerines are
also discussed.

Key trees in the boreal forest affecting finch abundance and movements
are white and black spruces, white birch, and mountain-ashes. South of
the boreal in the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest region, white pine
and hemlock are additional key finch trees. Other trees play a lesser
role, but often boost or buffer main seed sources. These include
tamarack (American larch), balsam fir, white cedar, yellow birch and

SPRUCE: White spruce cone crops are very good to excellent across the
northern half of the boreal forest in Canada, except Newfoundland where
crops are poor. However, spruce crops are much lower in the southern
half of the boreal forest and poor in the mixed forest region of central
Ontario such as Algonquin Park. The spruce crop is good to very good in
central and northern Quebec, but generally poor in Atlantic Canada and
northeastern United States. Spruce cone abundance is very good in the
foothills of Alberta and eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Canada,
but poor in the southern half of British Columbia and in Washington
State. A bumper white spruce cone crop in southern Yukon attracted high
numbers of White-winged Crossbills and Pine Siskins this past summer and
they may remain there through the winter. Spruce crops are generally
poor in the Atlantic Provinces, New York State and New England States.
WHITE PINE: Cone crop is spotty with scattered good to excellent crops
across Ontario. White pine crops are low in Atlantic Canada, New York
and New England States. HEMLOCK: Cone crop is poor in Ontario and
elsewhere in the East. WHITE BIRCH: Crop is poor across the boreal
forest of Canada and in central Ontario, but birch crops are much better
in southern Ontario south of the Canadian (Precambrian) Shield.
MOUNTAIN-ASH: Berry crops are generally excellent across Canada and
Alaska, but poor in Newfoundland.

Forecasts apply mainly to Ontario, but neighboring provinces and states
may find they apply to them.

PINE GROSBEAK: The Pine Grosbeak breeds in moist open habitats across
northern Ontario. It is most common in northeastern Ontario which
receives more precipitation than northwestern Ontario (Peck and Coady in
Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Pine Grosbeaks should
stay in the north this winter because the mountain-ash berry crop is
generally excellent across the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska,
except for a poor crop in Newfoundland. The feeders at the Visitor
Centre in Algonquin Park usually attract Pine Grosbeaks even in
non-flight winters. If Pine Grosbeaks wander into southern Ontario they
will find good crops of European mountain-ash berries and ornamental

PURPLE FINCH: This finch winters in the north when the majority of
deciduous and coniferous seed crops are abundant, which is not the case
this year. Most Purple Finches will migrate south of Ontario this fall.
A few may frequent feeders in southern Ontario. Purple Finch numbers
have declined significantly in recent decades due in part to a decrease
of spruce budworm outbreaks since the 1980s (Leckie and Cadman in Atlas
of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007).

RED CROSSBILL: This crossbill comprises at least 10 "call types" in
North America. Each type has its particular cone preferences related to
bill size and shape. These crossbill types may be at an early stage of
evolving into full species and some may already qualify for species
status. They are exceedingly difficult to identify in the field and much
remains to be learned about their status and distribution. Types 2 and 3
and probably 4 occur regularly in Ontario (Simard in Atlas of Breeding
Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Red Crossbill types prefer pines, but the
smallest-billed Type 3 (sitkensis subspecies of AOU Check-list 1957)
prefers the small soft cones of hemlock in Ontario. It will be absent
this winter because hemlock crops are poor. Type 2 may be the most
frequently encountered Red Crossbill in the province. Some Type 2s
should be found this winter where white pine crops are very good such as
northeastern Algonquin Park and along Highway 69 north of the French
River in Sudbury District. Possible this winter are other Red Crossbill
types associated with red pine, which has some locally good crops.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: High numbers of White-winged Crossbills are
currently concentrated in southern Yukon where the white spruce cone
crop is bumper. These may remain there this winter. This crossbill's
highest breeding abundance in Ontario is in the spruce dominated Hudson
Bay Lowlands and adjacent northern Canadian Shield (Coady in Atlas of
Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Ontario reports this past summer
came from this area where the white spruce cone crop is heavy. Some were
singing and presumably nesting. They might remain in northern Ontario
this winter if seed supplies last. Some may disperse southward as spruce
seeds run low and could appear in southern Ontario and northern United
States. However, they will be rare or absent this winter in traditional
areas such as Algonquin Park where spruce and hemlock cone crops are
very poor. Unlike the Red Crossbill, the White-winged Crossbill has no
subspecies (monotypic) or call types in North America. Its nomadic
wanderings across the boreal forest mix the populations and allow gene
flow, which inhibits geographical variation and the formation of

COMMON REDPOLL: Redpolls should irrupt into southern Canada and the
northern United States this winter. The Common Redpoll's breeding range
in Ontario is mainly in the Hudson Bay Lowlands from the Manitoba border
southeast to southern James Bay (Leckie and Pittaway in Atlas of
Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Redpolls in winter are a birch seed
specialist and movements are linked in part to the size of the birch
crop. The white birch crop is poor across much of northern Canada.
Another indicator of an upcoming irruption was a good redpoll breeding
season in 2010 with double and possibly triple broods reported in
Quebec. High breeding success also was reported in Yukon. Samuel Denault
of McGill University has shown that redpoll movements at Tadoussac,
Quebec, are more related to reproductive success than to tree seed crops
in the boreal forest. Redpolls will be attracted to the good birch seed
crops on native white birch and European white birch in southern Ontario
and to weedy fields. They should be frequent this winter at feeders
offering nyger and black oil sunflower seeds. Watch for the larger,
darker and browner "Greater" Common Redpolls (rostrata subspecies) in
the flocks. It is reliably identified by its larger size and
proportionally longer thicker bill and longer tail in direct comparison
with "Southern" Common Redpolls (nominate flammea subspecies).

HOARY REDPOLL: The breeding population in northern Ontario is the most
southerly in the world (Leckie and Pittaway in Atlas of Breeding Birds
of Ontario 2007). Careful checking of redpoll flocks should produce a
few Hoary Redpolls. There are two subspecies. Most Hoaries seen in
southern Canada and northern United States are "Southern" Hoary Redpolls
(exilipes subspecies). During the last large redpoll irruption in
2007/2008, several "Hornemann's" Hoary Redpolls (nominate hornemanni
subspecies) were found and supported by photographs. Hornemann's Redpoll
was previously regarded as a great rarity south of the Arctic, but it
may be more frequent than formerly believed. Hornemann's is most
reliably identified by its much larger size in direct comparison with
flammea Common Redpolls or exilipes Hoary Redpoll. Note that white birds
loom larger than life among darker birds and size illusions are

PINE SISKIN: Similar to the White-winged Crossbill, there are currently
high numbers of siskins in southern Yukon attracted to a bumper white
spruce cone crop. They could stay in Yukon for the winter. Siskins show
a tendency for north-south migration, but are better considered an
opportunistic nomad (Pittaway in Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario
2007). Banding recoveries show that siskins wander from coast to coast
searching for conifer seed crops. They were uncommon this past summer in
Ontario and the Northeast. Some might winter in northern Ontario where
the white spruce crop is heavy. However, siskins are currently uncommon
in the Northeast so there are potentially only very small numbers that
could irrupt south in eastern North America.

EVENING GROSBEAK: Highest breeding densities in Ontario are found in
areas with spruce budworm outbreaks. Current breeding and wintering
populations are now much lower than a few decades ago mainly because
large spruce budworm outbreaks have subsided since the 1980s (Hoar in
Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). If some come south this
winter, they will find large crops of Manitoba maple (boxelder) seeds
and plenty of black oil sunflower seeds at feeders waiting for them.


BLUE JAY: This will be an average flight year with smaller numbers than
in 2009 along the north shorelines of Lakes Ontario and Erie. Beechnut
crops are poor to none. Acorn crops are spotty, but considerably better
than last year. More Blue Jays will winter in Ontario than last winter
due to caches of acorns and other mast crops.

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH: This nuthatch is a conifer seed specialist when
it winters in the north, thus its movements are triggered by the same
crops as the boreal winter finches. The southward movement, which began
in the summer, signaled the generally poor cone crops on spruces, balsam
fir and white pine in the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest region
across Ontario and in Atlantic Canada, New York and New England States.
Red-breasted Nuthatches will be very scarce this winter in central
Ontario such as Algonquin Park. White spruce crops are excellent in the
northern half of the boreal forest, but it is uncertain how many
Red-breasted Nuthatches will winter that far north.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING: Most Bohemians Waxwings will stay close to the boreal
forest this winter because mountain-ash berry crops are excellent across
Canada, except in Newfoundland. Some should wander south to traditional
areas of eastern and central Ontario such as Ottawa and Peterborough
where planted European mountain-ashes and ornamental crabapples are
frequent. If you get the opportunity to visit northern Ontario this
winter, you may see Bohemian Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks feeding
together on mountain-ash berries. The grosbeaks eat the seeds and
discard the flesh whereas the waxwings swallow the entire berry and
sometimes eat the fleshy leftovers of the grosbeaks. The similar
coloration of Bohemian Waxwings and female Pine Grosbeaks may be
functional, perhaps reducing interspecific aggression when they feed

A winter trip to Algonquin Park is a birding adventure. The park is a
three hour drive north of Toronto. Finch numbers will be low in
Algonquin forests this winter, but the feeders at the Visitor Centre
should attract redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Grosbeaks. Gray Jays
frequent the suet feeder and sometimes Pine Martens and Fishers feed on
the suet and sunflower seeds. A high observation deck overlooks a
spectacular boreal wetland and black spruce/tamarack forest. Eastern
Timber Wolves (Canis lycaon), which until recently was a subspecies of
the Gray Wolf (C. lupus), are seen occasionally from the observation
deck feeding on road-killed Moose put out by park staff. The Visitor
Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends in winter.
Arrangements can be made to view feeders on weekdays. For information,
call the Visitor Centre at 613-637-2828. The Spruce Bog Trail at km 42.5
near the Visitor Centre and the gated area north on the Opeongo Road are
the best spots for finches, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse
and Black-backed Woodpecker.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I thank staff of the Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources from across the province designated by an asterisk* and many
others whose reports allow me to make annual forecasts: Dennis Barry
(Durham Region and Washington State), Eleanor Beagan (Prince Edward
Island), Ken Corston* (Moosonee), Pascal Cote (Tadoussac Bird
Observatory, Quebec), Mark Cranford, Samuel Denault (Monts-Pyramides,
Quebec), Bruce Di Labio (Eastern Ontario), Carrolle Eady (Dryden),
Cameron Eckert (Yukon), Brian Fox* (South Porcupine), Francois Gagnon
(Abitibi, Lac Saint-Jean, Saguenay, Quebec), Marcel Gahbauer (Alberta),
Michel Gosselin (Canadian Museum of Nature), David Govatski (New
Hampshire), Charity Hendry* (Ontario Tree Seed Plant), Leo Heyens*
(Kenora), Tyler Hoar (Central and Northern Ontario), George Holborn*
(Thunder Bay), Eric Howe*, Peter Hynard (Minden), Jean Iron
(Northeastern Ontario and James Bay), Bob Knudsen (Sault Ste Marie,
Ontario), Bruce Mactavish (Newfoundland), David McCorquodale (Cape
Breton Island), Erwin Meissner (Massey), Andree Morneault* (North Bay to
Renfrew County), Brian Naylor* (North Bay to Renfrew County), Martyn
Obbard*, Stephen O'Donnell (Parry Sound District), Fred Pinto* (North
Bay to Renfrew County), Dean Phoenix*, Rick Salmon* (Lake Nipigon),
Harvey and Brenda Schmidt (Creighton, Saskatchewan), Don Sutherland*
(Northern Ontario), Ron Tozer (Algonquin Park), Declan Troy (Alaska),
Gert Trudel (Gowganda), Mike Turner* (Haliburton Highlands), John
Woodcock (Thunder Cape Bird Observatory), Alan Wormington, and Matt
Young of Cornell University, who provided detailed information about
seed crops in New York and other eastern states. Jean Iron and Michel
Gosselin made many helpful comments and proofed the forecast.

LITERATURE CITED: Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007 by editors
M.D. Cadman, D.A. Sutherland, G.G. Beck, D. Lepage and A.R. Couturier.

Ron Pittaway
Ontario Field Ornithologists
Minden, Ontario
23 September 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


the last of this year's Loon photography workshops has just wrapped up, "Loons in the mist"

we have had great reviews and feedback on the workshops which are conducted by local professional guide and photographer Michael Burtelsen.

Micheal puts a lot work into to his workshops making sure everyone goes home with a "keeper" photo,what also really helps to the success is his local knowledge of the Lakes and his custom set up on his 19' boat with four captain chairs to ensure stability and comfort,and an electric trawling motor so as not to disturb the wildlife,check out his up and coming Moose workshops.

all of the details can be found on our web site


Friday, September 3, 2010


Here in Algonquin Park, warbler migration is in full swing. Yesterday (Sept
1st), birding along the railway bed at the Mizzy Lake Trail was phenomenal.
The birds were mainly concentrated about 200 m past the locked gate on the
railway bed. The flock was enormous. I came up with 17 species, with many


Also handfuls of the following -

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Many still on territory)

and singles of the following -

BLACKPOLL (Rare for Park)

CONNECTICUT - One of the few park records - was associating with the
abundant Nashvilles. A juvenile, with the brown hood barely contrasting with
the olive body and yellow belly. Very brief, but excellent look!

Also present were a male SPRUCE GROUSE, a pair of GRAY JAYS, and about a
half-dozen BOREAL CHICKADEES to spice things up.

This morning Justin Peter and myself birded the railway bed, and though the
numbers were down, most of the common species were observed, as well as many

'Tis the season, folks, so come on up here and enjoy the birds!


Algonquin 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.

The Old Airfield is located along the Mew Lake Campground access road, park at
a small parking lot on the left at the beginning of the Old Railway Bike Trail
and walk around the airfield.

The Wolf Howl Pond & West Rose Lake area can be accessed by driving 4.8km up
Arowhon Rd and then turning right onto an abandoned railway and follow 0.6km to
chain gate, park well to the side and walk in 1.5km to Wolf Howl and another
1km to West Rose.

Good Birding!
Lev Frid


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Had another opportunity to head on back into Algonquin Park with some Birders and Photographer friends to see if we could re find the Great Gray Owls we had seen feeding before.
We were able to locate them but they kept to the thickest part of the wooded bog area,none of my shots are worth showing here, especially after seeing one of STEVE ROSE'S shots Steve just happened to be at the right place at the right time, this is his photo.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My last post was about Great Gray Owls being sighted on the Mizzy Lake trail in
Algonquin Park,well the good news is that Michael Bertelson was able to locate them again, Michael a professional guide conducts photographic tour groups from Algonquin Inn into Algonquin Park, check out our web site for more details on Michael's tours for Loons and Moose.
the Great Grays where located way back into the bush but Michael was able to get this great shot of the not so small chick that had just been fed by the adult.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A Great Gray Owl was observed and photographed in the
Dizzy Lake area (near post 12) of Mizzy Lake Trail on
18 and 19 July. This may be the same individual that was
seen in that area on 13 June. A small population of this
boreal species is believed to breed regularly within
Algonquin Park.

The Dizzy Lake area is most easily accessed by going
backwards on the Mizzy Lake Trail from its beginning
at the junction of Arowhon Road and Highway 60 at
km 15.4. There is a map of the trail in the trail guide,
available at the trail entrance.

We would appreciate receiving your Algonquin Park
bird observations for our Visitor Centre records.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We just had Ethan Meleg stay with us for a few days whilst visiting Algonquin Park, Ethan is not only an excellent photographer but also an outstanding birder.
Ethan has stayed with us many times and has help us to better set up our birding stations so as to get the best backgrounds and perches for photography but also for attracting the most species into to our yards,from this all visitors can benefit.
Ethan has posted to his blogg his visit to the Algonquin inn and Algonquin Park,which is re posted here.......
FROM HIS BLOG which by the way is a great one to follow the link is

I'm back from a week on the road including a few days of shooting in the Algonquin Provincial Park area. It was a productive trip with some fantastic photo opportunities! Hope these look ok, I'm processing them in a weary-eyed state.

A highlight of the trip was an unusually tame moose, which walked right up to me within a meter (I was safely tucked in behind my van). At one point, I was able to lie down on the ground to shoot low level perspectives with a group of people standing behind it. What amazed me the most, however, was how foolish some people were - walking right up to it with their point & shoot cameras. The moose wasn't acting aggressively, but passing cars could easily have spooked it causing it to plough into (through? over?) the tourists. Getting run over by a moose can't be good for you. Rest assured that I would have captured the exclusive photos of 'natural selection' in progress!

Photo 1 (above): Young moose and onlookers along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park.
EOS 1Ds mark III; EF 70-200/4 lens; handheld

Photo 2 (above): Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park
EOS 5D mark II; EF 70-200/4 lens; Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad

Photo 3 (above): Sunset clouds over Lake of Two Rivers with Oxeye Dasies in foreground.
EOS 5D mark II; EF 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer & 3 stop hard edge ND grad

Photo 4 (above): Common Loon portrait (photographed from a canoe).
EOS 1Ds mark III; 500/4 IS lens & 1.4x TC; Gitzo tripod & Wimberly head sitting on canoe bottom.

For my travels in the Algonquin Park front country, I base out of the Algonquin Lakeside Inn motel just west of the park along Highway 60 at Oxtongue Lake. It's the most convenient place to stay with comfortable amenities and great access to the park. Over the years I've gotten to know the owner Gary Schultz, who is a budding (and pretty damn good) nature photography. The Inn's property is a magnet for birds, so last fall I suggested that Gary put up a photo blind and some strategically located feeders with perches. He's done a fantastic job setting up the yard for bird photography and attracting various bird species throughout the seasons. I shot Purple Finches this week - it's the best shooting I've ever had for them... unfortunately I accidentally erased my best shots because of lack-of-sleep induced stupidity. I'll be back soon to reshoot them!

Here's the best part... stay at the Inn and you have free use of the photo blind. Gary is very obliging and you can fine-tune the perches to your needs. Don't miss out on this - it's a great bird setup with tons of activity!

Photo 5 (above): Male Purple Finch at the Algonquin Lakeside Inn feeders.
EOS 1Ds mark III; 500/4IS lens & 1.4x TC

Photo 6 (above): The blind and one of the feeder setups at the Algonquin Lakeside Inn.
Shot with a Canon G11, which I keep handy to capture the behind-the-scenes photos.

a great post thanks Ethan


Saturday, May 29, 2010


This a question we still get when someone makes a reservation to stay at the Algonquin Lakeside Inn at this time of year, in fact right now is the peak time to view Moose.
Our guests on average have been seeing 4-7 Moose a day, in fact just tonight less than a mile from the Inn on hwy#60 at the entrance to Ragged Falls there is a small pond/lake and swimming across was a young bull Moose, sorry to say i just missed him as he walk off into the bush when I arrived. The good news, members of the Toronto Digital camera club that have been staying with us this weekend were able to see him and get some good pictures...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So how hot these days,in Algonquin Park mid Ontario ?.
Picture of our temperature gauge in the shade at the front door of the Algonquin Lakeside Inn

We just had a great holiday May 2/4 weekend temps are over 30+ and will continue that way for this week as well.
That's great news as the heat kills the Black Flies.....


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Two of our guests took the morning off to go fishing, and here is the proof of their success,
Kenny and Bob are part of a group that stayed with us for two days. They knew that the Lakes in the Algonquin Park area has a great reputation for quality fresh water Fish, and wanted to give it a try their first time for Northern Pike.
The group is on a cruise across Canada vacation, that started at Salt Spring Island B.C. and finishes in Halifax N.S.

Northern Pike was their target Fish so to help them with a Boat and Guide service they used a local charter service

If you ever thought of doing an across Canada tour check out their blog @ also check out their other adventures around the World on 7 other major driving tours. Great guests so glad that they stayed with us and where successful.

Friday, May 14, 2010


This visitor was not hard to find,as i stepped out of the door there he was drilling into a pine tree

I was lucky to fire off two quick shots before he took flight, now i know that we have a pair here i will have to set up for a better shot.

evidence of their work