Sat/Sun, April 6-7: A weekend spent enjoying some fine spring birding along Lake Ontario. Spring migrants of every shape, colour and size will be enjoyed this weekend, and the hauntingly beautiful calls of Red-necked Grebes will be filling the air all around us (but especially so at Colonel Sam Smith Park!). This is a superb time of year to study/enjoy Iceland Gulls in Toronto as they loaf about with Ring-billed and Herring Gulls at Toronto’s many lakeshore parks. All three subspecies of Iceland can be seen at this time in the GTA, with the glaucoides subspecies (the nominate subspecies, most likely visiting from Greenland) being the rarest, the thayeri subspecies i.e. Thayer’s Gull, being more common, yet still rare and the kumlieni subspecies being by far the most common. Thousands upon thousands of ducks of countless species will be along the lakeshore at this time, so get your cameras ready because photographic opportunities await. A nice collection of sparrows and swallows (Barn and Tree) will likely be seen this weekend, along with Hermit Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and more. This is a superb time of year to see birds of prey in migration and Toronto has some excellent hawkwatch sites; if winds are favourable, we will be sure to drop by a watch and enjoy the show. On that note, please pack your raptor field guides if you have them; I have many, so I’ll pack them for others. On Saturday, we’ll be birding some great sites, east to Oshawa and on Sunday, we’ll be birding some of Tommy Thompson Park (not walking far, perhaps only to the marina) and spending many hours enjoying all sorts of birds at Colonel Sam Smith Park.
Outing notes: Please be sure to pack rubber boots, rainwear, snacks, a warm beverage of your choice, some liquids, sunscreen, windbreaker, insulated hiking boots, and so on. Consider dressing in layers, with your base layer being thermal clothing. It can be quite chilly (and suddenly, quite wet) in early-April, so keep this in mind!
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: A continental breakfast is available at our hotel on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon and evening, we will enjoy sit-down meals (a basic lunch and a nice dinner). On Sunday morning, we will once again take advantage of a continental breakfast, courtesy of our hotel. Lunch on Sunday will be a simple sit-down lunch close to our birding sites. There will be no group dinner planned for Sunday evening.
Activity Scale: 2/5
Accommodations: For this tour, we will be staying at the Days Inn Wyndham Toronto East Beaches. Please note that you must book these accommodations yourself.
Travel plans: For this tour, I am planning to head to Toronto on Friday, during the afternoon. I recommend that all participants do the same :). Please note that there will be no group dinner on Friday evening, as I am anticipating a staggered arrival from those who are arriving in Toronto from out of town.
Meeting location: TBD.
Carpooling: Carpooling in the lead vehicle is available upon request. Additionally, I am happy to make carpooling arrangements for you.
Method of payment: Cash, e-Transfer or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by e-Transfer, please use email@example.com as the recipient address; if paying by cheque, you can make it out to Eastern Ontario Birding.
Cost: $150.00 per person (HST-included)
Duration: Two 8.5 hour-long birding days.
Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form