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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 2 to 9 May

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (May 9, 2019) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Snow is now confined to deeply shaded areas and plowed piles, but still widespread. All smaller lakes and ponds along the Highway 60 are open. The larger lakes (Canoe, Smoke and Opeongo) still have extensive ice. The late spring is reflected in a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on May 4 which tied our third latest spring date and the persistence of AMERICAN TREE SPARROW to May 4. AMERICAN BITTERN and BARN SWALLOW (May 5) were later than average by 14 and 12 days, respectively. Other arrivals were: NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and NASHVILLE WARBLER (May 4); AMERCAN PIPIT, CAPE MAY WARBLER and PALM WARBLER (May 5); WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (May 6); and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (May 8). Nine warbler species have now been reported here this spring.

SPRUCE GROUSE observations included: one on Bat Lake Trail (May 4), two males displaying and a female calling along the Mizzy Lake Trail railbed (May 4), and one at Wolf Howl Pond (May 5). BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS are getting more conspicuous, with the following reported: one on Bat Lake Trail and two on Mizzy Lake Trail (May 4), one at West Rose Lake and one along the Swan Lake Road (May 5), and one on Lookout Trail (May 8). A BOREAL CHICKADEE was found at Wolf Howl Pond (May 5). Successful CANADA JAYS are now tending fledged young, much less attracted to people and hard to find. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

There were small numbers of PURPLE FINCH and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, but other finches were very scarce. An EVENING GROSBEAK was observed at the Visitor Centre on May 5. A RED CROSSBILL was noted along Peck Lake Trail on May 8. A single PINE SISKIN was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on May 5.

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 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:

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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