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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 8 February

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 8, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Winter finches are being seen regularly on Highway 60, especially after snowfalls when sand and salt have been applied to the roadway. Numbers are greater along the road before traffic becomes heavier by mid-morning. Some Red Crossbills are breeding now, with both mating and courtship feeding being reported this week. One or two American Martens are still coming irregularly to feed on black sunflower seeds below the feeders at the Visitor Centre.

Here are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week:

-Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Ruffed Grouse: continue to be seen along the Visitor Centre driveway and under the feeders below the viewing deck.

-Wild Turkey: from six to nine are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, and two continue in Mew Lake Campground.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail on February 3.

-Gray Jay: look at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Logging Museum.

-Boreal Chickadee: remains surprisingly hard to find this winter; single birds at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along the Old Railway Bike Trail near Head Creek Marsh on February 3.

Winter finches continue to be widespread.

-Pine Grosbeak: scarce; two at Mew Lake Campground (February 3) and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (February 6).

-Purple Finch: a few at the Visitor Centre feeders and frequently observed along the highway.

-Red Crossbill: small flocks reported regularly along the highway, and a few at the Visitor Centre daily.

-White-winged Crossbill: observed along the highway, at the Visitor Centre, and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

-Common Redpoll: one reported at the Visitor Centre on February 3.

-Pine Siskin: flocks regularly seen on the highway.

-American Goldfinch: common.

-Evening Grosbeak: up to 35 come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.

Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.

DIRECTIONS: 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 and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm; and are also open with limited services through the week from 9 am to 4 pm. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned above) at the East Gate, West Gate or Visitor Centre. 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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