Tour date: Saturday, January 27. Thirteen hardy Canadian birders joined EOB at Algonquin Park. On Friday night, 11 of us enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Mad Musher, only a 2 min walk from the East Gate Motel. A big meal before a big day of birding is up many-a-birder’s alley! On Saturday morning, we enjoyed a sit-down breakfast at East Gate Motel (yum) and then went about packing for our trip. We all met at the east gate entrance to the park to sort our carpooling for the day. We had a five-car caravan. After worrying about the weather, we could all see that the rain was likely to hold off until the afternoon….phew!
Great birding, with 7 species of finch (Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill, Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, and Evening Grosbeak) showing nicely. Many White-winged Crossbill males were seen performing their territory display flights, which was amazing. We tallied a rare winter sighting in the park: an American Crow at the parking lot along Opeongo Road; the recent warm spell may have encouraged this wanderer into the park bounds. We missed some of our targets, including: Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee, but missing targets, especially at Algonquin, is to be expected (at least in my opinion).