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29th Annual Algonquin Park OFO trip: 21 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 22, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

About 40 OFO members and friends enjoyed a beautiful sunny day of early spring birding in Algonquin Park yesterday. The temperature reached 14 degrees by late afternoon, warmth not experienced here since late October. The final species count was low at 38, but good for this spring. Only one species (Northern Harrier) was a first-of-spring sighting for the Park, reflecting migration that is at least two weeks later than normal and largely stalled. But that should change soon.

A male Spruce Grouse a little north of the register box, and two Gray Jays near the kettle bog were highlights at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. A Black-backed Woodpecker photographed on a utility pole at km 53 on Highway 60 soon before we arrived (the first time!) could not be found again after two visits, unfortunately. A few raptors were moving, including a kettle of three Bald Eagles and several Red-tailed Hawks. Merlin was distantly heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the East Gate but not seen. There were great views of finches from the Visitor Centre viewing deck, including Evening Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin and American Goldfinch.

Thanks to the participants for a wonderful day. The assistance of Sharon Hockley, Justin Peter, Dawn Sherman, Kelly Stronks and Rick Stronks with logistics and finding birds was really appreciated by everyone.

Ron Tozer, 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.

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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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