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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 13, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Although a little milder this week, conditions were still more winter-like than spring-like. Ice remains thick and “to-the-shore” on lakes and there is an average of 25 cm of snow on the ground with more forecast for the coming weekend. However, some migrants pushed northward to reach Algonquin Park despite the continuing scarcity of bare ground, open water and warmth. Spring arrivals reported this week included: Song Sparrow (April 7); Pine Warbler (April 8; earliest ever by one day); Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye and Tree Swallow (April 9); Brown-headed Cowbird (April 10); and Sandhill Crane and Belted Kingfisher (April 11).

A male Spruce Grouse was seen on the plowed roadway at the north end of Opeongo Road on April 10, but reports were lacking at Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week. Canada Jays (Gray Jays) continued to be observed at the Trailer Sanitation Station, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum Trail. There were no reports of Black-backed Woodpecker or Boreal Chickadee.

Winter finches in lower numbers than earlier, including Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin and American Goldfinch, are still being seen along the Highway 60 Corridor. The first reported Common Redpolls since late February were two at the Visitor Centre and one along Opeongo Road on April 7. A few Evening Grosbeaks are coming for sunflower seed at the Visitor Centre, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked winter gate on Opeongo Road.

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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