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Algonquin Park Birding Report: April 27-May 10

*This report was originally posted by Ryan Rea on ONTBIRDS (May 10, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Warm weather continued the past two weeks here in Algonquin Park and produced a few more spring migrants. The highlight of the past couple of weeks was the discovery of a Fish Crow observed at Mew Lake Campground on May 1 (and also observed May 2 and 3 at Mew Lake Campground and Lake of Two Rivers Campground). The record, if accepted by the Algonquin Park Rare Bird Committee, will be the first Fish Crow ever recorded in Algonquin Park.

Other spring arrivals in Algonquin Park included Eastern Bluebird (April 28) and Ring-billed Gull (April 30) both arriving two weeks later than average. Wednesday, May 2 produced quite a few migrants with Brown Thrasher, White crowned Sparrow, Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Green Warbler and Nashville Warbler being first observations for the year. Last Thursday (May 3), the first Killdeer was seen which was about a month later than average likely given the persisting snow cover in Algonquin Park. Blue headed Vireo arrived about a week and a half later than usual (May 7). A few more species of warbler arrived with Common Yellowthroat, Blackburnian warbler, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, and Black-throated Blue Warbler all being being recorded on May 8 respectively. For details and recent images of how spring is progressing in Algonquin see

Algonquin Park’s boreal species were also observed over the last two weeks, including:
* Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box (a male was last seen May 9). * Black-backed Woodpecker: Lake of Two Rivers Trail (April 28) Pair seen at Cache lake (April 29). Spruce Bog Boardwalk (May 6) * Gray Jay: seen regularly at the Trailer Sanitation Station, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum Trail. * Boreal Chickadee: 1 report from Mew Lake at the old Airfield (May 2).

Winter finches continued to be widespread but numbers reported are getting lower: * Evening Grosbeak: very few continued to be seen at the Visitor Centre. * Purple Finch: a few at various locations. * Red Crossbill: small numbers along Highway 60; Opeongo Road, and the Visitor Centre continued to produce sightings. * White-winged Crossbill: a few along Highway 60 and Opeongo Road. * Pine Siskin: still the most common finch; flocks were regular at the Visitor Centre and along Highway 60.

Ryan Rea, A/Natural Heritage Education Specialist-Algonquin Park.


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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