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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 6, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

For those who have not yet gotten around to coming to Algonquin Park to see the winter birds, there is good news! Most of the finch species are still here and you did not miss winter either. It was minus 23 degrees C. in the predawn with 28 cm of snow on the ground (15 cm of it new this week) in the Park today. How lucky can you get?

Earlier in the week a few new migrants arrived, including: American Black Duck (March 30), Rough-legged Hawk (March 31), Great Blue Heron (April 2) and Turkey Vulture (April 2). Bare ground and open water were in short supply by today, inhibiting other migrants.

Below are some locations where birders observed the listed species during the past week. The Visitor Centre parking lot feeder has been shut down but birds are still coming to the feeders off the viewing deck.

-Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box. Males should start displaying again when it warms up a little.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: Opeongo Road north of locked gate (March 31; April 1 and 2), West Rose Lake area on Mizzy Lake Trail (April 2), and Mizzy Lake Trail parking lot (April 2).

-Canada Jay (Gray Jay): seen regularly at the Trailer Sanitation Station, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum Trail.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports, again.

Winter finches continued to be widespread but numbers reported are getting lower:

-Evening Grosbeak: about 15 to 25 came daily to the Visitor Centre.

-Purple Finch: a few at various locations.

-Red Crossbill: small numbers along the highway; Opeongo Road continued to produce sightings.

-White-winged Crossbill: a few along the highway and Opeongo Road.

-Pine Siskin: still the most common finch; flocks were regular at the Visitor Centre and along the highway.

-American Goldfinch: seen widely but in low numbers.

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, bookstore and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre is also open with limited services on weekdays 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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