Point Pelee National Park

Sat, May 12 – Mon, May 14: A three day birding trip to Point Pelee National Park and Hillman Marsh Conservation Area. This tour is more leisurely than the first two tours, with approximately 3 to 4 hours less birding per day, and a later start time each morning. Point Pelee provides truly memorable birding, and rarities literally lurk in every bush. At Pelee, it really does pay to check every bird over; you never know what you’re going to see next. In 2017, the Eastern Ontario Birding group tallied a total of 167 species of birds. My personal highlight, as a leader, was seeing a Kirtland’s Warbler with each group. I’m sure it will take years to regain my depleted birding karma over that one! Warblers, tanagers, flycatchers, vireos, grosbeaks, wrens, thrushes, sparrows, and shorebirds are just some of the bird groups you’ll learn so much (more) about during this tour. For more information about EOB’s trips to Point Pelee, please read Birding at Point Pelee National Park

Daily schedule: Each morning, we will drive to the Visitor’s Centre, and catch the tram to the tip. We will aim to catch an 8 AM tram, meaning we will leave our hotel at around 7:15 AM. We will bird the various trails near the tip, working our way N, back to the Visitor’s Centre. Typically, I schedule a snack break approximately 2 hours into our birding day. Lunch will be around 12:30 – 1:00 PM. After lunch, we can continue along with our birding, or head back to our hotels; this will depend on a few things, including the quality of birding on that particular day. I will make dinner reservations for 5:00 PM each evening, which gives us plenty of time to bird Hillman Marsh and/or Wheatley Harbour afterwards. Visiting Hillman Marsh after dinner means that the OFO Shorebird viewing event is long over once we arrive.

Outing notes: Here are some ideas of what to pack and what to wear during this field outing. A field lunch, some snacks, plenty of water, electrolyte or Gatorade mix, sturdy footwear, insect repellent, insect jacket or head net, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen and favoured field guides.

Walking: Each day, we will bird by foot for most of the day. The pace is very slow, but birding on one’s feet can be challenging. We will have approximately 60-80 min cumulative rest each day (snacks, coffee break, lunch) so that certainly does help rest the body. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear, comfortable clothing, and pack a camping stool (fold-up) for moments where sitting is possible (such as waiting on a skulking bird in dense foliage). Thousands of other birders take to this same schedule each spring, so it’s not particularly ruthless or out of the norm, but the nature and excitement of the birding does take its toll on one’s body!

Driving: We will drive from our hotels/cottages to and from the Visitors Centre at Point Pelee each day. Other birding sites in the area include Hillman Marsh and Wheatley Harbour, among others. All birding sites are within 20 min of each other, making for a very light driving load.

Accommodations: We will be staying at the Days Inn in Leamington. You must book your own reservation for this tour: http://www.daysinn.ca/hotels/ontario/leamington/days-inn-hotel-leamington/hotel-overview

Meeting Location: To be determined

Cost: $ 220.00 per person, plus the cost of food and accommodations.

Method of payment: Cash, cheque, or post-dated cheque in advance.

Duration: Approximately 6-7 hours of birding-by-foot with approximately 60-80 min of break (snack/washroom breaks and lunch break) each day. Our typical schedule was birding from 8 AM – 1 PM, then lunch break, then approximately 1.5 – 2 hours of birding after dinner.

Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form

Please note that this event is capped at 10 participants

Spaces remaining: 5

Photo: Scarlet Tanager (male). Point Pelee National Park. May 2017

Photo: The Eastern Ontario Birding group, with Jon Ruddy of Eastern Ontario Birding at center. May 2017