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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Apr. 27, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

As cold persisted early in the week, the few arriving migrants were at least two weeks later than average including Fox Sparrow (April 18) and Wood Duck (April 20). The first warm, sunny day (April 21) produced only one new arrival (Northern Harrier) as migration remained on hold. But even warmer southern airflow on April 22 yielded Double-crested Cormorant, Broad-winged Hawk, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The major influx of new migrants on April 23 and 24 was remarkable for the number of species reported. Monday’s birds included: Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Hermit Thrush, AMERICAN PIPIT (photo; earliest ever by 3 days), Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, Pine Warbler, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. First of spring sightings on Tuesday included: Green-winged Teal, Wilson’s Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, Common Loon, Osprey, Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and PALM WARBLER (photo; tied earliest date). Other arrivals were Horned Lark (April 25) and Pied-billed Grebe and Barn Swallow (today).

A male Spruce Grouse north of the trail register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk was seen daily from April 20 to 23, and one was getting grit along northern Opeongo Road today. Canada (Gray) Jays were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Trailer Sanitation, Opeongo Road, Logging Museum trail and Leaf Lake Ski Trail. Black-backed Woodpeckers were on utility poles at km 53, near the Spruce Bog register box, and at Trailer Sanitation. Winter finches continue to decline in numbers along the highway, but still include both crossbills and Pine Siskins. The Visitor Centre viewing deck attracted 5 to 10 Evening Grosbeaks, and a few Purple Finches, Red Crossbills and White-winged Crossbills.

Gates are closed due to flooding and other hazards on the following roads: Arowhon, Centennial Ridges, Rock Lake and Opeongo (at Cameron Lake Road). There is a maximum of about 14 cm of snow on the ground and very limited open water on lakes and ponds as of today. See:

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) until June 15. 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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