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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 14 December

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 15, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

All Highway 60 lakes are now ice-covered, with the last two freezing over on December 11 (Lake of Two Rivers) and 13 (Smoke Lake). Average snow depth is about 15 cm. The suet feeders are now in place at the Visitor Centre and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk at the trail register box.

-Northern Shrike: one at the Visitor Centre, December 9.

-Bohemian Waxwing: about five at locked gate on Opeongo Road, December 7.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road, December 7 and 10, respectively.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: one was along Opeongo Road, December 10.

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the locked gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports again this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Winter finches reported this week were: Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak (highest count: 32 at the Visitor Centre on December 12). Finch diversity is good but numbers reported are still relatively low.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), 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. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

The Visitor Centre exhibits, bookstore and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm in winter.

The Visitor Centre is also open on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm with limited services, including self-serve hot and cold beverages plus snacks available in the restaurant.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also described at:

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The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of birds and other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. You may also post a question about birds or birding in general. You don't have to include an email address in your post. Remember to include the location of your sightings - even the nearest town or major crossroads would be fine. See the Posting Guidelines for more information and helpful tips about using the Muskoka Bird Board.

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