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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 19, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

This week’s freezing rain, ice pellets, snow and high winds were very disheartening for birders and everybody else, but this weather will make us that much more appreciative of spring when it does arrive …. in June! Due to the poor conditions there were fewer birders in the Park and only a few new migrants were reported, including: Common Merganser (April 12; seventeen days later than average); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (April 13; two days later than average); and American Woodcock (April 18; sixteen days later than average). There is about 38 centimetres of snow on the ground and very little open water as of today. See:

A male Spruce Grouse was seen and photographed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 12 and 13. Canada Jays (Gray Jays) were reported regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road (open to vehicles only to the winter gate). A Black-backed Woodpecker was observed near the Old Airfield on April 12. Boreal Chickadees went unreported again this week; the most recent sighting was on March 21. Winter finches were reported in much lower numbers. The Visitor Centre viewing deck is still a good location for seeing both crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks.

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 will be open daily (9 am to 5 pm) from April 21 to June 15. The Visitor Centre will be open with limited services tomorrow (April 20) 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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