Varied Thrush – On January 1, my son Philippe and I went to see the rare Varied Thrush that is coming regularly to a feeder at the office of the Bark Lake Conference Centre, just west of Gooderham. This species is native to British Columbia but occasionally wanders into eastern Canada and U.S. It first appeared at the feeder on December 3. Over 200 people have now been to see it. Bark Lake is a 70 minute drive from Peterborough.

Possible Bobcat Sighting –  I was just looking up sightings on line and came across your website, so I thought I would post a sighting my wife and I had on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Beaver Narrows Trailer Park in Omemee. A friend had told me he had seen a Bobcat in October that cut across his lawn. I was skeptical until we saw it for ourselves on the day in December at roughly 10:45 am. It was by the pond near the basketball court. It was  bigger than a normal cat and the tail was very small. It was grey in colour. I pulled out my phone to get a photo but before I could do so it disappeared into a small forest. I looked for it but could not find it. I will be going back up in a few months to check on my trailer and will definitely keep an eye out for it and any footprints or scat. Charlie Kielly (

Note: Dr. Jeff Bowman at MNR/Trent University does research on bobcats and lynx, and he told me recently that he and his colleagues are looking at the bobcats’ changing distributions and expecting them to become more common in Ontario. At the same time, the lynx range is contracting northwards. Bobcats and lynx are known to hybridize as well, so that’s something else they are keeping an eye on. D.M.

A bobcat photographed in a zoo in Bonaventure, Quebec. (Drew Monkman)

Eastern Coyotes –  In the last week of December, I saw two large “huskies” in the woods beside our house. When I looked more closely I realized they were very large coyotes. I’ve seen many in the past, but these two were especially big. Ron Egan, Armour Road, Peterborough

Eastern coyote photographed at Westview Village in Peterborough (René Gareau)

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) (3)
– Reported Jan 02, 2020 11:58 by Janet Kelly
– Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Flyover calling.”

White-winged Crossbill – Paul Toman

Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) (1)
– Reported Jan 03, 2020 10:24 by C Douglas
– South Bay, Stony Lake, Hull Rd., Peterborough, Ontario
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “Small brown wren tail cocked Responded to tape.”

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) (2)
– Reported Jan 03, 2020 13:55 by Iain Rayner
– Lakefield Marsh, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Orange beak with black knob”

Mute Swan (photo: Drew Monkman)

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1) – Reported Jan 04, 2020 08:15 by Tanya Taylor – Apsley–Jack Lake Road Bog, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:  Checklist  Comments: “responded to Canada Jay call broadcasts appearing first on W side road and then flying to perch at top of spruce on E side road, finally moving back to W side and then disappearing to the S; presumably the same individual later observed visiting feeder at #459 Jack Lake Rd”

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

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (16) – Reported Jan 04, 2020 07:57 by Colin Jones – Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:  – Checklist:  – Media: 2 Audio – Comments: “At least 2 different types. A single Type 3 individual was calling as it flew overhead. A single individual, likely Type 1 or 2, was high in an Eastern White Pine before flying off (recording attached). 3 other small flocks of individuals, again likely Type 1 or 2, were noted during the day. The calls of one flock were also recorded (attached).”

Red Crossbill – Wikimedia

Cooper’s Hawk – I had a Cooper’s hawk on January 4, which perched on the fence at the rear of our unit. No photo, no camera. Fourth time sighting. Don Finigan, Raymond Street, Peterborough

Adult Cooper’s Hawk on kill (Karl Egressy)

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1)
– Reported Jan 04, 2020 08:15 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Apsley–Jack Lake Road Bog, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “responded to CAJA call broadcasts, visiting feeder at #459 Jack Lake Rd”

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) (6) – Reported Jan 05, 2020 11:00 by Linda Sunderland – Peterborough rail trail Baseline to David Fife Line, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.1504988&ll=44.2711604,-78.1504988 – Checklist: – Comments: “small flock closely observed, blue wings, rufous breast”

Eastern Bluebird – Kelly Dodge

I was surprised to see a Northern Flicker on my feeder today, January 9. First time I’ve seen one in winter. Cindy Bartoli, Westridge Blvd, Peterborough 

Northern Flicker – Cindy Bartoli

Dewworms on lawn: This morning (Jan. 11) at about 6:30 am., I was outside with our dog and a flashlight.  It was foggy, still dark, and warm with a light rain. There were dewworms all over our lawn!  I thought the ground was frozen but obviously not and it was strange to see worms out in the middle of January. Very unusual for sure. Joe Taylor, Rice Lake near Keene

Dewworm – Wikimedia

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1) – Reported Jan 08, 2020 08:54 by Dave Milsom – Apsley–Jack Lake Road Bog, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.075328&ll=44.7380608,-78.075328 – Checklist: – Media: 5 Photos – Comments: “Continuing at 459 Jack Lake Rd. Photos.”

Canada Jay at Algonquin Park – January 2015 – Drew Monkman

On December 8, my friend’s camera captured this photo of a Coyote at her cabin just north of Apsley. Marilyn Cassidy

Eastern Coyote

On January 9, 2020, this Merlin landed briefly in our yard. I was only able to get one quick picture. I believe it’s the same one that we saw a couple of weeks ago attempting to grab a bird at our feeder. Ed Kloosterman, Engleburn Street

Female Merlin – Ed Kloosterman

On January 11 at the mouth of the Ganaraska River, I photographed this Harlequin Duck It was near the walking bridge South of the train bridge.  Donald Munro, Campbellford

Harlequin Duck – Donald Munro

This Snowy Owl was seen on Sunday, Jan. 19 at sunset on a household television tower just east of the Pigeon Lake Rd./Sturgeon Rd. junction (Fox’s Corners). Alan Crook

Snowy Owl on TV tower – Alan Crook

On the afternoon of January 20, 2020, I saw a Bald Eagle fly across Ashburnham Drive  chasing a gull. I was able to pull over and watch the gull successfully evade the eagle with some very impressive flying. When the eagle gave up it flew toward Marsdale Street where it soared over the wetland for about 5 minutes before flying off to the east. Very exciting to see. Sue Paradisis

Bald Eagle (Karl Egressy)

On January 21, 2020, I took this picture of a Northern Shoveler at Cobourg Harbour. Donald Munro, Campbellford

Northern Shoveler – Donald Munro

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) (1) – Reported Jan 21, 2020 15:00 by Matthew Garvin – Holiday Inn – Otonabee, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.3183508&ll=44.2981422,-78.3183508 – Checklist: – Media: 2 Photos – Comments: “Continuing Female”

Just letting you know that on January 23, 2020, I saw a huge flock of 2000 plus Snow Buntings between the 6th line and 7th Lines on the south side of Centre Line, east of Westwood. Gene de St. Croix

Snow Buntings – January 2019 – Campbellford – Donald Munro

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) (2) – Reported Jan 26, 2020 15:48 by Iain Rayner – Katchewanooka Lake–end of Stenner Rd, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.262825&ll=44.4502641,-78.262825 – Checklist: – Comments: “Orange beak with black knob. Resting on ice”

Mute Swan – Drew Monkman

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1) – Reported Jan 27, 2020 11:29 by C Douglas – 400–482 Jack Lake Rd, North Kawartha CA-ON (44.7350,-78.0753), Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.075295&ll=44.735043,-78.075295 – Checklist: – Comments: “Continuing”

Canada (Gray) Jay -Tom Northey – Algonquin Park – March 2014

Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) (1) – Reported Jan 28, 2020 10:35 by Dave Milsom – Holiday Inn, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.3183498&ll=44.2979119,-78.3183498 – Checklist: – Comments: “continuing female swimming alone, seen off Holiday Inn : flattish head-not peaked, yellow bill, little white in wings cf to Common Goldeneye females seen earlier.”

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) (3) – Reported Jan 23, 2020 12:25 by Cathy Dueck – Hannah Road, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.3186324&ll=44.1278495,-78.3186324 – Checklist: – Comments: “Small thrush with blue back and rusty throat and chest. Flew from the brush on the north side of the road to the wires on the south side of the road for great views.”

Eastern Bluebird – Kelly Dodge

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (1) – Reported Jan 29, 2020 10:55 by Sheila Collett and Ben Taylor – Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.1319386&ll=44.6201046,-78.1319386 – Checklist:

Red Crossbill – Wikipedia

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1) – Reported Jan 31, 2020 10:49 by Mike V.A. Burrell – Apsley–Jack Lake Road Bog, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.075328&ll=44.7380608,-78.075328 – Checklist: – Comments: “Continuing bird. Within the vicinity of house 459 but never actually came in to feeders during the time I was watching them.”

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) (1) – Reported Jan 31, 2020 17:14 by Hannah Dodington – Peterborough–Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.3085044&ll=44.2939092,-78.3085044 – Checklist: – Comments: “Drake, in breeding plumage. Dark green head with shaggy crest. Thin red bill and red breast. Near COME but swimming alone”

Red-breasted Merganser on Otonabee -Tom Northey

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1) – Reported Jan 29, 2020 11:00 by Basil Conlin – Parkhill Rd at Brealy Dr, Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario – Map:,-78.3828652&ll=44.3010148,-78.3828652 – Checklist: – Comments: “”large, white owl perched on telephone wire, flew north””

Snowy Owl – Tracey Hill Road – Dec. 4, 2019 – Carl Welbourn

I was visiting my friend outside of Bancroft this past weekend (Jan. 25-26). For the last month a male Red- bellied Woodpecker has been visiting her feeders. This is an unusual sighting for my friend who has lived here over 20 years and according to our 1980 ( likely outdated) Peterson guide out of it’s typical range. Do you know if there range is expanding? I enjoy your articles in the Examiner. Thanks for your consideration. I have included a picture. Barbara Mann

Note: Yes, there range is expanding northward, but this is the first time I’ve heard of one further north than the Woodville area (Mount Julian). This sighting represents quite a jump northward! D.M.

Red-bellied Woodpecker in Bancroft – January 2020 – Barbara Mann

I have had 6 feeders out since September with a variety of seeds. In addition to the usual winter birds, the goldfinches now number over 50. As of January 27, still no siskins, redpolls, crossbills or grosbeaks – as was predicted. I did have a Sharp-shinned Hawk catch a Blue Jay. Rob Welsh, Dodsworth Island, Stoney Lake

American Goldfinches – Rob Welsh
Sharp-shinned Hawk eating a Blue Jay – Rob Welsh

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.