Algonquin Park Birding Adventures- Day 2

6:00 AM

Continuing from our blog post "Algonquin Park Birding Adventures Day 1" the second day at Algonquin was just as great as the first. Day 2 in the morning we were successful in finding a couple of American Pine Martens. It's always a treat to see these fierce cuties. 
American Marten (Martes americana)
American Pine Marten

American Marten (Martes americana)
American Pine Marten

American Marten (Martes americana)

American Pine Marten
Driving the road we observed some Red Crossbills eating some grit and minerals off the road. After safely pulling into a turn off, I was able to get a couple of distant photos before they took off. 
Morning at Algonquin Park
Morning at Algonquin
Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Male Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Male and Female Red Crossbill

We had some more encounters this morning with Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and a couple of Boreal Chickadees.
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Black-capped Chickadee
We wrapped up our visit with a trip down the legendary Opeongo Road. We were hoping to visit with some Gray Jays, because a trip to Algonquin just isn't complete without a visit with these birds. We were also hoping to see "Turtle Rock", the inspiration behind one of our favourite paintings by Toronto Painter Dan DuBois. The painting pictured below hangs in our living room and we enjoy its company everyday :) 
Dan DuBois `Rock in Sunlight
"Turtle Rock"
Turtle Rock

While I didn't want to get my hopes up I was also hoping to see a Black-backed Woodpecker, a nemesis bird which has eluded me on every visit to Algonquin. While we were enjoying the company of a group of 8 Gray Jays and several Blue Jays, the most amazing thing happened a beautiful male Black-backed Woodpecker gracefully appear right in front of me on a small dead tree. Woohoo lifer! Surprised and exciting I accidentally scarred the bird into a nearby tree and was able to get some "record photos", but nothing spectacular. We watched the woodpecker chip away at the tree for about 15 minutes before back down the trail. What an awesome end to a great visit.
Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)
Male Black-backed Woodpecker
Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
Gray Jay

All in all we ended up seeing 19 different species of birds and a few different mammals. If you haven't done so -or- even if you have, I highly recommend a winter visit to Algonquin you never know what you will find :)

Good birding!
~Kristen Martyn

Birds
  1. Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)
  2. Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)
  3. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
  4. Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
  5. Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)
  6. Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
  7. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
  8. Common Raven (Corvus corax)
  9. Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
  10. Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus)
  11. Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
  13. Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)
  14. American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea)
  15. Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)
  16. Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
  17. Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)
  18. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
  19. Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)
Mammals
  1. American Pine Marten (Martes americana) 
  2. White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 
  3. Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

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