Saturday, 4 February 2012

Morning birding in Algonquin

Erica and I met up with some friends to spend  the morning doing some casual birding in Algonquin Park.  My excuse was that I needed to stop by to pick up a damselfly specimen that I collected in 2006 with Brandon Holden so that I could get some other people to look at it. Regardless, it was a nice excuse to spend a few hours birding in the park, which now has considerably more bird activity then it did a month or so ago

We started the morning at Spruce Bog Boardwalk where we were greeted by some friendly Gray Jays and Pine Siskins, White-winged Crossbills, and Common Redpolls.  We walked the trail but didn't have too much else until about half-way when we had a flock of 4 Red Crossbills fly over calling.  Near the end of the trail we heard a few Evening Grosbeaks flying over - likely headed for the Visitor Centre feeders.  Here's a link to our full ebird checklist.  The sun was out and I got some shots of some of the Gray Jays:
Gray Jay at Spruce Bog Boardwalk - February 4, 2012

Gray Jay at Spruce Bog Boardwalk - February 4, 2012

Gray Jay at Spruce Bog Boardwalk - February 4, 2012

The next stop was the Visitor Centre, where we had our only Purple Finches of the morning on the driveway up.  The feeders were covered with Evening Grosbeaks, some great-looking birds!  On the way back down the driveway there was a male Ruffed Grouse displaying to at least 5 other Ruffed Grouse.  Here's our ebird checklist for the VC.
female Evening Grosbeak at VC - February 4, 2012

male Evening Grosbeak at VC - February 4, 2012
male Ruffed Grouse displaying. Check out those ruffs! VC driveway February 4, 2012

Our last stop was Opeongo Road.  We parked at Cameron Lake Logging Road where we again had Gray Jays and Evening Grosbeak as soon as we got out of the car.  For those who haven't experienced Gray Jays before, they are quite tame and today we fed a lot of food to them!  They got to enjoy crackers, bread, cheese, and summer sausage!  The reason we stopped here was to get Boreal Chickadee, and one faithfully put in an appearance just north of the logging road.  Here's the checklist for this location.
Gray Jay with a tasty treat. Spruce Bog - February 4, 2012

an awesome picture of a Boreal Chickadee! Opeongo Road - February 4, 2012

All in all, a very enjoyable morning, even if we didn't get all of the "Algonquin specialties"


  1. That male Grosbeak is a beauty

  2. I love the Gray Jays. I always find it hard to believe that they're Jays, along with Steller's and Blue; they're so polite and understated in comparison.