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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 27 December 2018 to 3 January

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 3, 2019) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The influx of birders during this week of the holidays and 83 observers on the Christmas Bird Count of Dec 29 combined to produce a better idea of the birds along the Highway 60 Corridor. However, the number of species and individuals observed remained low.

A male and female BUFFLEHEAD were reported in open water at km 53 on Highway 60 (Dec 28; a new latest date for the species); and a roosting NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL being mobbed by Black-capped Chickadees and two Boreal Chickadees was found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (Dec 29).

Boreal Residents: SPRUCE GROUSE: a male was seen near the first boardwalk section of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on several days. BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: there were sightings on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Two Rivers Trail, and near the Trailer Sanitation Station. BOREAL CHICKADEE: up to three were along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, often near the suet feeder; one was heard near the Mew Lake Campground garbage facilities; and one was near the Trailer Sanitation Station. CANADA JAY: was regular at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk suet feeder, along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward, and along the Logging Museum trail.

Winter Finches: EVENING GROSBEAK: daily counts at the Visitor Centre feeders were from four to seven, and a few were attracted to seed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance as well. PINE GROSBEAK: from five to 22 were noted daily at the Visitor Centre; others were observed along the highway; and the CBC total was 52 (Dec 29). COMMON REDPOLL: only sightings were two found on the CBC (Dec 29). PINE SISKIN: a single bird was at the Visitor Centre (Dec 29). AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: five were seen each day at the Visitor Centre.

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 until Jan 6 from 9 am to 5 pm. The Visitor Centre will be open with limited services on weekdays after Jan 6 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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