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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 18 to 25 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 26, 2019) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Significant rainfall and higher temperatures this week reduced the snow cover dramatically but there is still lots of it in shaded areas. More open water encouraged the arrival of several overdue water birds, but lakes are still mainly ice-covered except where rivers and creeks flow into them. Due to the persistence of winter-like conditions, the arrival of the following species was later than the average first record here by 9 to 20 days: Fox Sparrow (April 18); Ring-necked Duck (April 19); Common Goldeneye (April 20); Green-winged Teal (April 22); Killdeer (April 23); and Tree Swallow (April 25). The following were within one week of the average first date: Broad-winged Hawk and Common Loon (April 20); Greater Yellowlegs, Wilsonís Snipe and Pine Warbler (April 22); and Double-crested Cormorant and Swamp Sparrow (April 25).

Noteworthy observations included: a rare (last two records were in 2009 and 2017) female HOUSE SPARROW at the Visitor Centre on April 23; a somewhat late SNOW BUNTING photographed at the Visitor Centre on April 24; an early FIELD SPARROW at the Visitor Centre on April 22; and an increasingly scarce here VESPER SPARROW photographed on Opeongo Road on April 21.

Observed along Opeongo Road were a male SPRUCE GROUSE on April 23 and a female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER on April 21. Two BOREAL CHICKADEES were found on Bat Lake Trail on April 21. CANADA JAY was reported fairly regularly on Opeongo Road. EVENING GROSBEAK sightings were one (April 18) and three (April 22) on Opeongo Road, and two at the Visitor Centre (April 22 and 25). A late PINE GROSBEAK was along the highway near Lake of Two Rivers on April 20. PURPLE FINCH (one to three) and COMMON REDPOLL (up to seven) were seen daily at the Visitor Centre this week. A single WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was noted at Opeongo Access Point on April 20. Eight PINE SISKINS flew over the Visitor Centre on April 22.

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. 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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