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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 18 to 25 October

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Oct. 26, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The cold temperatures, significant wet snowfall (Wednesday) and north winds this week coincided with first-of-fall observations of several species, including: AMERICAN TREE SPARROW (21st), SNOW BUNTING (22nd), BRANT (flock of 550 photographed over the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed on the 24th), COMMON GOLDENEYE (24th), SANDHILL CRANE (flock of 24 photographed over the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed on the 24th), and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (24th).

Sightings of birds apparently moving through the Park included a BOREAL CHICKADEE photographed going south across the Old Airfield with Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches on October 22nd.

Boreal Residents: SPRUCE GROUSE (near Wolf Howl Pond along the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk); BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (no reports; try Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate (still open); CANADA JAY (Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate); and BOREAL CHICKADEE (Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk).

Winter Finches: EVENING GROSBEAK (singles at the West Gate and Visitor Centre on October 22; and five at the Visitor Centre, today); PURPLE FINCH (only two reports this week, of one to three birds); COMMON REDPOLL (several small flocks feeding on Speckled Alder seeds on October 24 indicated increasing numbers); RED CROSSBILL (a few birds on the East Side of Algonquin but no reports from the Highway 60 Corridor); PINE SISKIN (one or two birds flying over occasionally); and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (a few still around).

Other noteworthy species: One BOHEMIAN WAXWING at Radiant Lake (no access) on October 24 indicated that this species is still moving through, and LAPLAND LONGSPURS were at the Old Airfield and the Visitor Centre this week.

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 daily from 9 am to 5 pm until October 29. 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:

Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.

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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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