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28th Annual Algonquin Park OFO trip: 9 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 9, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

About 40 OFO members and friends enjoyed great early spring birding in Algonquin Park today. The temperature reached a balmy 16 degrees by late afternoon. The final species count reached 50, a good total for this date. Eight of them were first-of-spring sightings for the Park. All the species recorded on the trip can be seen on eBird, thanks to Kelly and Rick Stronks.

Gray Jays were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road. Many of the group got to see a Black-backed Woodpecker attracted by Barred Owl imitations near the kettle bog on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Unfortunately, the persistence of deep snow and an additional 30 cm added late last week combined to severely limit the areas we could search for Spruce Grouse, and we failed to see one.

It was a good day for raptors, including a Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, four Sharp-shinned Hawks, about 20 migrating Red-tailed Hawks and a couple of Merlins. Bird seed on the ground at the Visitor Centre attracted Fox Sparrow (3), Purple Finch (3), Common Redpoll (1), many Pine Siskins, American Goldfinches and Evening Grosbeaks, and the rarest bird seen on today’s trip, a female House Sparrow.

Thanks to the participants for a wonderful day. The assistance of Stacey Finch, Lev Frid, Amanda Guercio, Justin Peter, Dawn Sherman, Kelly Stronks and Rick Stronks with logistics and finding birds was really appreciated by everyone.


Ron Tozer
Dwight, ON

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.


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