Tuesday 27 March 2018

The Wilds of Algonquin: Part One

This past weekend I visited Algonquin Park with a group of other young birders with the Ontario Field Ornithologists (including Ethan). It was quite a lot if fun and we saw some great birds!

I arrived early Saturday morning to the Wildlife Research Station (I was late getting up, so we stayed in Dwight Friday night), and was immediately overwhelmed by the number of finches! Finches turned out to be pretty common throughout the park, and I don't think we ever really went a moment without hearing at least a siskin or a crossbill!

We birded around the Wildlife Research Station for a few hours, and we were treated to awesome sightings such as a White-winged Crossbill, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and a Merlin, which is good winter bird up there.

White-winged Crossbill

Afterwards we went to Opeongo Road to look for some Gray Jay nests with the researchers. Again, crossbills were numerous, as were Pine Siskins.

Red Crossbill

Pine Siskin

It wasn't long until we found some Gray Jays, including one on a nest.

There were some curious Red Squirrels as well.

We visited the Visitor Centre next, where the feeders were quite active. We saw Blue Jays, Pine Siskins, American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Evening Grosbeaks among other things.

Evening Grosbeak

Red-winged Blackbird

Pine Siskin

White-winged Crossbill

Red Crossbill

I was quite excited to see my first American Marten.

There were a couple Wild Turkeys in the parking lot, overwintering birds.

We checked out Spruce Bog quickly after the Visitor Centre, which revealed to be more or less quiet. At least there were a couple cooperative Gray Jays and a Purple Finch.

We checked out Bat Lake and a little bit of the Old Airfield before dinner, but were unable to find anything that we hadn't already seen.

Certainly a great first day in Algonquin!

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