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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 1 to 8 November

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

Extended periods of strong winds, rain and some snow during the week appeared to reduce the birder activity. Another pelagic (“two men and a boat” this time) on Lake Opeongo, November 2, noted HORNED GREBE (1), RED-NECKED GREBE (2) and GREATER YELLOWLEGS (3). The best find of the week was a WESTERN MEADOWLARK (confirming photos of bird at Old Airfield on Nov. 2 and 3; new latest fall date for this very rare species here).

Boreal Residents: SPRUCE GROUSE (try the Wolf Howl Pond area along the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk); BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (seen along Mizzy Lake Trail railbed, Highway 60 near Pog Lake, and in Mew Lake Campground); CANADA JAY (the most reliable locations are Opeongo Road north of the winter gate and Spruce Bog Boardwalk); and BOREAL CHICKADEE (try the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed).

Winter Finches: EVENING GROSBEAK (up to 11 at the Visitor Centre on several days); PURPLE FINCH (almost gone; one, Nov. 3); COMMON REDPOLL (regular but under ten reported at any location); RED CROSSBILL (one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Nov. 6); PINE SISKIN (a few sightings of one to four birds); and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (almost gone; one or two at Visitor Centre some days).

Noteworthy observations included: GOLDEN EAGLE (Opeongo Access Point, Nov. 3), GREATER YELLOWLEGS (near East Gate, Nov. 8; new latest fall date), DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (adult at Opeongo Access Point, Nov 8; ties latest fall date), and LAPLAND LONGSPUR (nine on exposed mud, Park Lake, Nov. 3).

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 on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre is also open with limited services on weekdays 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:

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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