Algonquin trip report Jan. 2-3
Outdoor Ontario

Algonquin trip report Jan. 2-3

Dr. John

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We'd never been to Algonquin in the winter and took the opportunity to visit this past weekend, staying in a cabin near Huntsville.


At the Visitor Centre feeders there were dozens of evening grosbeaks plus blue jays, black capped chickadees, a hairy woodpecker, and a few goldfinches.  Others saw American tree sparrows and purple finches, but we missed those.  Ravens patrolled the parking lots, presumably for leftovers from people eating outside.


The highlight of a Spruce Bog walk was a female black backed woodpecker, staying in plain sight for many minutes.  A male was apparently around, but we never saw him.  This was the first one we had seen in about 20 years (the last one was in Edmonton).  We were also mobbed by black capped chickadees and a few Canada jays, looking for handouts.  We also saw several white winged crossbills and a downy.  Various people spotted a spruce grouse, but to us it was an indiscernible silhouette in a faraway tree.


On Opeongo Lake Rd. we saw more jays, chickadees, and what were likely common redpolls.  An American marten prowled around, jumping up into the undercarriage of recently parked cars, presumably for warmth.  It was our first.


Shortsighted

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Thanks for the detailed report. Good times!    ....    drool, drool, drool.


Ally

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We'd never been to Algonquin in the winter and took the opportunity to visit this past weekend, staying in a cabin near Huntsville.


At the Visitor Centre feeders there were dozens of evening grosbeaks plus blue jays, black capped chickadees, a hairy woodpecker, and a few goldfinches.  Others saw American tree sparrows and purple finches, but we missed those.  Ravens patrolled the parking lots, presumably for leftovers from people eating outside.


The highlight of a Spruce Bog walk was a female black backed woodpecker, staying in plain sight for many minutes.  A male was apparently around, but we never saw him.  This was the first one we had seen in about 20 years (the last one was in Edmonton).  We were also mobbed by black capped chickadees and a few Canada jays, looking for handouts.  We also saw several white winged crossbills and a downy.  Various people spotted a spruce grouse, but to us it was an indiscernible silhouette in a faraway tree.


On Opeongo Lake Rd. we saw more jays, chickadees, and what were likely common redpolls.  An American marten prowled around, jumping up into the undercarriage of recently parked cars, presumably for warmth.  It was our first.


Wow, oh wow!! I took a day trip there several years ago,  fell four times, didn't even see a Canada Jay that I went specifically to see, and you saw a black backed woodpecker too!!


Dr. John

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The black backed woodpecker was very lucky.  However you should be able to see Canada jays.  The Spruce Bog walk is very popular and the birds there appear quite habituated.  The Canada jays come check out each new car that arrives in the parking lot and even an empty hand held out draws them in closer.  Other people said that they like pieces of cheese, because they are higher in fat.