Dec 262017
 

Barred Owl: Sighted Saturday, December 30, at 2:30pm in Burnham’s Woods (Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park) on Hwy 7, just east of Peterborough. It was sitting in one of the large hemlock trees about 40 metres from the end of the parking lot. I wouldn’t have seen it had it not flown to its perch from another location west of the trail. I was able to watch it from a distance of about 20 metres for about 10 minutes before it flew to another location.  Ross Jamieson

Barred Owl – Michael Gillespie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Algonquin Park Report

Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 10:01:48 -0500
From: Ron Tozer <rtozer@vianet.ca>
To: ontbirds <birdalert@ontbirds.ca>
Subject: [Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 December 2017
Message-ID: <A7327352-E422-4BC0-8158-F8AE6C174739@vianet.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″

This week’s extremely cold temperatures seemed at odds with evidence of breeding activity by White-winged Crossbills in the Park. A male was observed feeding a female (?courtship feeding?) near the Old Airfield, and three or four males were singing along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on December 24. Craig Benkman (in The Birds of North America, 1992) reported that this crossbill breeds during three main periods of the year which coincide with maximum availability of conifer seeds. In Algonquin, records indicate breeding in summer and fall (July to November), winter (January to March), and spring (March to June).

Snow depth in the Park now reaches about 25 cm in the open and less under conifers, making it feasible to travel in most areas without snowshoes. As usual, snow on the walking trails has been flattened down with use.

-Wild Turkey: several are coming daily to feed below the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one was seen along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 24.

Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: after several weeks with no reports, one was along Opeongo Road (December 24) and two were at Wolf Howl Pond (December 25).

Winter finches reported this week were: Purple Finch (regular at Visitor Centre feeders), Red Crossbill (small flocks on the highway; and often seen off Visitor Centre deck), White-winged Crossbill (small flocks), Common Redpoll (three along Opeongo Road on December 24 were the first reported since late October), Pine Siskin (fairly numerous), American Goldfinch (fairly numerous) and Evening Grosbeak (about 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders daily). Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.


 

Bald Eagles: Sighted Dec 30, 2017 at 7:30am. I had two Bald Eagles perching in a large tree at the waters edge on Rice Lake. A beautiful sight! Esther Ross, north side of Rice Lake, Bailieboro east 

Bald Eagle: Sighted Dec 29, 2017 at 2pm. I just saw a big, beautiful adult Bald Eagle fly north over the farm towards County Road 2.  Michael Gillespie, Fife Line, Keene

Bald Eagle (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:05 by Tyler L. Hoar
– Sandy Lake Pine barrens/Sedge marshes, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “In Black Spruce Bog area east side of largest sedge fen.”

Gray Jay in Algonquin Park – Jan. 2012 – Drew Monkman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (12)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:05 by Tyler L. Hoar
– Sandy Lake Pine barrens/Sedge marshes, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.659557,-77.8931522&ll=44.659557,-77.8931522
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41394509
– Comments: “11 of 12 were in White Pine dominated areas, 1 in Eastern Hemlock was actually singing.”

Red Crossbill – Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Slowly soared overhead at 12:56 pm”

Juvenile Golden Eagle – USFWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barred Owl (Strix varia) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.6201046,-78.1319386&ll=44.6201046,-78.1319386
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41383205

Barred Owl – Jan. 18, 2017 – Michael Gillespie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:30 by Iain Rayner
– Ptbo – Petroglyphs CBC Area D, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist:
– Comments: “Flaking bark from dead Red Pine in Petroglyphs Park N of McGinnis lake on E branch. Just S of connecting road.”

Black-backed Woodpecker – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (2)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 08:22 by Colin Jones
– CA-ON-North Kawartha (44.6205,-78.1324), Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

Red_Crossbill – male – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Female), Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (12)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.6201046,-78.1319386&ll=44.6201046,-78.1319386
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41383205
– Comments: “Several small groups”

Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) (2)
– Reported Dec 26, 2017 11:00 by Ben Evans
– The Bird’s house, Peterborough, Ontario (in village of Douro)
Map:
Checklist:

Lapland Longspur – Note rufous on wing coverts – Wikimedia

Flock of Lapland Longspurs – Wikimeda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) (1)
– Reported Dec 26, 2017 09:00 by Martin Parker
– Peterborough – 1494 Westbrook Drive, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.3048253,-78.3463812&ll=44.3048253,-78.3463812
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41335870
– Comments: “continuing individual”

Common Grackle – from The Crossley ID Guide to Eastern Birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Buntings: Today, Dec. 26, at noon. My first winter birds! A “squall” of Snow Buntings – at least 30 – flying over Hwy 28, just south of County Road 6 (Lakefield), to a field on the west side. Quite the sight!   Marilyn Freeman

Snow Buntings – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy Owl: On December 24, 09:50, I saw a Snowy Owl (probably a male) northeast of Lindsay. It was on a hydro pole along Highway 36, about half-way along the north-south stretch from Cheese Factory to the bend before Snug Harbour Road.  Alan Crook

Snowy Owl (Nima Taghaboni)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk: Despite the deteriorating mound of the deer carcass in the orchard, it did attract a Rough-legged Hawk this morning, December 24. Michael Gillespie, David Fife Line, Keene

Rough-legged Hawk (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker: On Nov 18, I reported a Red-bellied Woodpecker female and saw another female today, Dec 24, on the north shore of Buckhorn Lake at Kawartha Hideaway. It was poking under the bark of an old maple tree. Jane Philpott

Red-bellied Woodpecker (female) – Jennifer MacKenzie Dec 31, 2014

Dec 082017
 

N.B. Whenever I refer to “home”, it is between Warsaw and Lakefield, south of the Sawer Creek Wetland.

Passerines and other birds and animals.

  • A Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew over my kayak as I began to paddle up the Indian River from Back Dam Park at Warsaw on September 9th. It called twice upon landing across the river.
  • This was the last date I saw the Great Egret that I had originally discovered there on August 5th.
  • Two Red Crossbills were also seen and heard a little way up the river on that day, and others were seen and/or heard several times over the course of the fall at Warsaw, at home, and spots around Stoney Lake, Northey’s Bay Road, and Nepthon. No real “flocks” as yet, but birds numbered from one to six individuals when encountered. Most recent were six at home on December 5th.
  • An American Pipit was skulking about in a pasture south of Long Lake, NW of Warsaw, on September 28th.
  • Pine Siskins have been occasional from early October to present. With the exception of 40+ birds seen near Warsaw on November 22nd, (and not unlike the crossbills that have been around), siskin numbers remain rather low.
  • On October 26th, at Nephton Ridge, I saw my last Monarch of the year. It was #532 for 2017, which is more than double my previous highest annual count since I began counting them seven years ago. Of the 532, 31 were observed as road fatalities.
  • Also on October 26th, I heard a Greater Yellowlegs call before dawn from the starry sky above at home, and another near Nephton Ridge later that morning.
  • One Tundra Swan with nine Canada Geese was seen flying overhead at home on October 27th, 28th and 30th. A lone Tundra Swan flew over the same location on November 2nd. I wondered if it was the one who had been flying with the nine geese?
  • On September 24th, I stepped out of dense cedars into a pasture and found myself very close to two Sandhill Cranes. They seemed at ease as long as I stayed in motion, just walking about as they were. Whenever I stopped or crouched, they moved away from me.

  • The loud calling of just over 300 Sandhill Cranes in two groups on Nov. 17th was heard as the birds were heading westward over my house. I photographed each entire flock at wide angle so I could later zoom the images on the computer and get an exact count. The first flock at 2:13pm numbered 173 birds and the second group four minutes later contained 128 for a combined total of 301 cranes. These birds were very likely the same, or associated with the large groups that Bill Buddle had reported at about 2:30pm the same day over Lakefield.

  • Ed Heuvel and I saw a much smaller flock of seven birds over his house between Cottesloe and Norwood on Nov. 23rd.
  • No doubt due to the warmth of early December, two Eastern Chipmunks were seen running across Round Lake Road north of Havelock on December 4th. They had all but disappeared not too long ago, and I’ve now seen five back out just this month.
  • Another warm weather sighting was of a Leopard Frog hopping across the yard at home on December 5th. I took some photos, and half an hour later, it was nowhere to be found.

  • On December 8th 2017, Ed Heuvel reported a road-killed Virginia Opossum he had just seen along Hwy 7 south of Sherbrooke Street.

   Raptors of interest

  • On September 11th, an immature Peregrine appeared amidst twenty-four kettling Turkey Vultures NW of Warsaw. The falcon harassed a couple of the vultures before peeling off on its own, heading SW.

  • As is my habit if I am out in the yard after dark during the fall or winter, I called for owls. From about the 24th of September until about the 3rd of November, Saw-whet Owls move about during their annual fall migration. The first that responded to my calls this year was a single bird on September 29th. On October 18th, however, no less than four of the little owls showed up inside of about a minute of my first attempt at calling. One was in the spruces to the east of the yard, while the other three were surrounding me, within the small grove of apple trees where I stood. With the three of them looking at each other more than at me, I found it easy to take some photos of the two that were closest to me, (about two metres away).
  • Dates later than the average “end date” of their normal migration that I have called one in this year have been November 8th, 12th, 27th and December 1st. These likely represent one or more wintering birds, and all have been at home near Warsaw.

  • Ed Heuvel flushed a Short-eared Owl from the ground on the morning of Oct. 17th on his 40 acre property NW of Norwood while out for a walk with his dog. Ed has turned what was once a sloping old field into a thriving tallgrass prairie, having seeded it with many native prairie plant species. I thought it quite fitting for such a bird to turn up in this “new” prairie grassland habitat. Good one, Ed!!
  • Paddling up the Indian River from Back Dam again on October 21st, Angela and I saw a few good raptors during our time on the water. First was an immature Northern Goshawk flying overhead, and then, about two minutes later, an immature Cooper’s Hawk following almost the exact same “path”. A while later, paddling back downstream, Angela spotted an adult male Merlin as it perched in the dead top branches of a spruce. Driving back through Warsaw, a Red-tailed Hawk soared low over the village. We headed up Payne’s Line towards home and spotted the first Golden Eagle of the season (a sub-adult bird) slowly soaring not far from the large metal tower there. We took a few photos and headed home. The next day, I saw another (immature this time) Golden Eagle fly over, east to west, from the yard at home.

  • I was accompanied by three friends, (Drew Monkman, Martin Parker, and Ed Heuvel) on Oct. 26th for a few hours of raptor watching in the Nephton Ridge/Kosh Lake area at the east end of County Road #6. My one intent for the day was to point out to Drew, his first “Ontario” Golden Eagle. Well, unless the “eagle sp.” we saw that morning was a Golden, we did not see one. However, we were treated to 8 Bald Eagles which, apart from one 4th winter bird, all were adults. At one point, four adult Balds soared together directly overhead. A while later, two adults came along together, and after that, another by itself. Since there was such a lack of immature eagles, and the fact that four adults had come from different directions, soared a while together, and then dispersed somewhat northward… we questioned how many of them might have actually even been migrants, or perhaps local breeding birds. Additional raptors for the day were five Red-tailed Hawks, and two (one adult and one immature) Red-shouldered Hawks.

  • Just after 11:00am on Nov. 11th a group of large birds caught my eye to the north of the house. On closer inspection, I could see three Common Ravens dive-bombing an immature Golden Eagle. I watched them for several minutes before the ravens went east and the eagle, west.

  • On October 29th a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk was seen perched in a tree along County Rd #6 just west of Camp Line. It was the first of the season for me, and since, I’ve seen another eight Rough-legs between Norwood and Lakefield. Of the nine seen so far, three have been dark morph birds.
  • Having had seen no immature Bald Eagles during the autumn season as yet, on the morning of Nov. 17th, two 1st winter birds, and then a 2nd winter bird appeared soaring over my yard in a ten-minute period. They all seemed to come from the west, and once a considerable altitude was reached, they each headed off in completely different directions. I suspect that they had all spent some time feeding together, and were now dispersing. It was only two days after the annual rifle deer hunt had ended, and I wondered if they had just dined on the gut pile of a deer left somewhere by hunters.
  • The great backyard birding continued on November 26th, as no sooner had I sat in the yard with my morning coffee, an immature Northern Goshawk flew from east to west. If that wasn’t enough, my fourth Golden Eagle of the season (an adult) appeared over the forest to the east, soared two circles, and headed back east just after noon.
  • Nov. 29th an adult rufous morph Red-tailed Hawk soared over the yard. I had to run in and get the scope as it looked not like a typical Red-tail. The rusty-red undersides and the dark brown back were easily seen with the optics. It had been a long time since I’ve seen this variety of the species.
  • On the night of December 01 – 02, after calling at home for Screech, Saw-whet, and Boreal Owls, (the latter, because you never know if you don’t try), I finally stirred an Eastern Screech Owl who called for quite a while afterwards. And briefly, a Northern Saw-whet Owl answered my calls with the “tew, tew, tew” call. About an hour later, just after mid-night, while bringing in some firewood, the pair of Northern Barred Owls that live on the property year-round, began calling with hoots which soon morphed into their monkey-like “whacka, whacka, whacka” calls. Not too bad for spending a little time in the yard after dark!!
  • Just after 2:00pm on December 6th, I saw a large, pale bird far out to the east, soaring in wide circles. It appeared gull-like as it moved quite fast in the strong winds. I got the scope on it just before it passed in behind the treetops and out of my view. Revealed by the scope was the darkish under-body contrasting with entirely white undersides of the wings of an immature Snowy Owl. Unless my memory is misfiring, this would be the first of this species I have seen this century. If that wasn’t enough stimulation for one day, a little over an hour later, I saw a second Snowy for the day as it flew into strong south winds at 3:15pm. The latter bird was decidedly whiter than the first, with very few dark markings. The first bird simply would not show up in the photos I took, (too far), and the camera was nowhere near me as I watched the second owl sail past much closer. Both were heading in a north-to-south direction, lending a little support to the idea that they might have been in migration at the time.
  • On December 7th while I still lay in bed, through the window next to me, I spotted a 1st winter Bald Eagle fly past over the trees to the east. It soared briefly and then continued on in a SE direction.
  • While moving the fallen foliage around with the leaf blower on December 8th at home, I looked up, (as I find I constantly am doing these days) and saw two large, dark birds very high almost straight above me. Before I was able to grab the scope, I could see that they were eagles. Once in focus, the white bases of tails and primaries with all other plumage completely dark, identified them both as 1st winter Golden Eagles. A strong and steady SW wind pushed them NW of me. They were only about ten wingspans (about 20 m) apart and one was just a little ahead of the other. They slowed briefly once or twice, but never paused to soar while I had them in view.

1st winter Golden Eagle – USFWS

Tim Dyson – Warsaw

Dec 022017
 

 

 

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Dec 02, 2017 09:40 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Peterborough–E side Airport Rd opposite Peterborough Municipal Airport, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “perched atop ventilation ducts on roof of easternmost blue building (Flying Colours Corp) on N side airport. Record shot from 500 m to S.”

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Dec 01, 2017 07:25 by Iain Rayner
– Pigeon Lake–Sandy Point, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Truthfully in Kawartha Lakes…Sitting on green marker buoy across lake directly out from launch. Seen well through scope in good viewing conditions with limited haze. Some markings on breast, clean white head.”

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1) Yesterday afternoon, November 30, I was lucky enough to have a Snowy Owl perch on top of my house around noon. I only noticed when I heard the crows alarm-calling. I live right on George Street in Peterborough and added the observation to eBird if you’re interested in exactly where he was. He was beautiful and rested there for about 20 minutes. It was a first for me and a very timely sighting given your article!   Jenn Baici

 

Snowy Owl (Karin Laine)

Snowy Owl (Nima Taghaboni)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redhead (Aythya americana) (1)
– Reported Dec 02, 2017 11:13 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Rice Lake–Pengelly Landing, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:
– Checklist:
– Comments: “male, in with HOME in mixed flock to W of cormorant colony on island”

male Redhead – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great morning of birding in Peterborough and southern Peterborough County

The highlight of our birding outing this morning, November 29, were the waterfowl at Pengelley Landing on Rice Lake, located at the bottom of Scriven Road. They included 400 Common Mergansers, 200 Hooded Mergansers, 500 Canada Geese and 1 Common Loon. We also saw a Rough-legged Hawk on Country Road 2, just east of Bailieboro. In Peterborough, we found 2 American Coots by the Silver Bean Cafe at Millenium Park, 2 Pied-billed Grebes at the T-wharf on Little Lake, 64 American Goldfinch and 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet at Little Lake Cemetery and 24 American Robins at GreenUP Ecology Park.  The goldfinch were eating seeds from the abundant cones on the Eastern White Cedar. The robins were feeding on European Buckthorn berries.

Drew Monkman, Martin Parker and Brian Wales

Common Merganser (female), Wikimedia

Common Merganser male – Wikimedia

male Hooded Merganser – Peter Beales

Pied-billed Grebe – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk (Karl Egressy)

American Coot (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) (1) CONFIRMED
– Reported Nov 25, 2017 08:01 by Daniel Williams
– Peterborough–Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Yellow rump, faint yellow on sides, white chin/throat. Feeding along waters edge near railway bridge. Calling frequently. ”

Yellow-rumped Warbler at feeder – Nov. 28, 2014 Franmor Dr. Ptbo – Sue Prentice

Cackling Goose (Richardson’s) (Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii) (1)
– Reported Nov 26, 2017 13:46 by Martin Parker
– Rice Lake–Pengelly Landing, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “With large Canada Goose flock near shore on Rice Lake.”

Cackling Goose (foreground) – Brendan Boyd