Friday, September 25, 2015

More Algonquin Scenes

On Monday morning, I headed over to Mizzy Lake Trail at km 15.4 on the highway 60 corridor.  It is one of my favourite since it covers a lot of different habitats, including nine small lakes.  At 11 km in length, it takes some time to cover and gives one a good workout!  (It seems to get longer each time I do it!).

Mizzy Lake in the fog

I did not get Gray Jays on this walk, but did see one Black-backed Woodpecker in a usual spot at the little bridge on the old railway bed.  I originally walked by the spot, but back-tracked on a hunch. Sure enough one of those resident woodpeckers was tapping away on a dead Black Spruce.
I think this is the same tree on which I had one two years ago!  Turns out it was the only representative of the species I saw on the whole trip.  Here is a highly cropped photo in improper lighting.

White-crowned Sparrows had not really shown up in numbers yet and I had only a handful on this trip.

Mizzy Lake is a good trail to find Spruce Grouse, but I only encountered its cousin, Ruffed.

Once again I came across some busy Boreal Chickadees.  Better looks this time.

After this walk, I headed to the park store for a hearty lunch.  For relaxation, I checked out the old airfield and finally came across some American Coppers.

I was not sure if I wanted to tackle Bat Lake Trail, but by mid afternoon I took the plunge on this 5.8 km trail.  It is demanding in spots, but a nice view of a distant lake can be had.

tree growing atop a rock

I heard one Boreal Chickadee on this walk.  I have had Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Gray Jay on this trail in the past, but no such luck this time.
Just after the start, I came across a nice mixed flock of warblers which included a 'latish' Bay-breasted.  It was too shaded for photos.

Back at the campsite, I heard yet another Boreal Chickadee, then after supper headed out to the old airfield before sunset.

Lots of birds (99% Yellow-rumped) were moving along the perimeter and the shoreline of Lake of Two Rivers.  Some Pine Warblers were included.

On Tuesday, I headed over to another favourite trail, Booth's Rock at Rock Lake campground.  This 5 km trail is a another for a good workout, but the view atop the cliff is worth it.  Unfortunately it was still quite foggy!  I encountered several Blackpoll Warblers and the only Philadelphia Vireo of the trip there, among other birds.

Black-throated Green that got away!

The last part of the trail follows the old railbed along Rock Lake which always seems good for birds.  On this trip, birds were somewhat sparse here, unlike two years ago.

After checking out some other spots around mid-day, including Big Pines Trail, I did the old airfield again while the sun was still high.  I only came across a couple more American Coppers in the butterfly department.

Regarding birds, I finally came across a few Pine Siskins at the south edge of the open area.

Before supper, I walked the nearby short Two Rivers Trail, adding a 'latish' Ovenbird to the list.

In the evening, another walk at the airfield revealed yet another Boreal Chickadee just before the sun set.  Several American Pipits were working the airfield grounds.

Wednesday morning on my way out of the park, I checked out Whiskey Rapids Trail at the west end.  I had not walked it in many years, but was always one of my favourites.  This was the first trail I ever walked in Algonquin back in ???? (lol) when I was 13 years old on a family trip.
Another Boreal Chickadee was heard across the Oxtongue River, but the whole trail was relatively quiet for birds this morning.

Later, a quick stop at Tea Lake Dam added a late Eastern Wood Peewee to the avian list.

Then, it was on to Awenda Provincial Park north of Penetanguishene.

Spruce Bog Trail Scene


  1. Great photos. Looks like the perfect time to visit Algonquin. I've never seen a Ruffed Grouse. Gorgeous bird!

    1. Thanks! I always go up this time of year.