Saturday, December 16: A day spent enjoying winter birding at one of Ontario’s premier fall/winter birding destinations: Algonquin Provincial Park. At this time of year, we will look and listen for a variety of finches, as well as a whole suite of boreal specialties. We will endeavour to find both Red and White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, Hoary Redpolls, Pine Grosbeak and Evening Grosbeak. One of the most sought-after boreal birds, the Spruce Grouse, will be carefully searched for today. This is a great time of year to look for Black-backed Woodpeckers and Boreal Chickadees, esp. if there happens to be a moderate southward irruption from migrants further north. This year, many Black-backed’s and some American Three-toeds irrupted south from the northern reaches of their range; will we experience some of the effects of this irruption today? December is a good time of year to look for a variety of boreal mammals, such as Pine Marten, Fisher and Red Fox and we’ll be sure to scan the sides of roads for Moose. By December, the feeders are set up at the Visitor’s Centre, attracting boreal finches right in close. The suet feeder is set up along Spruce Bog Trail, attracting Boreal Chickadees. Note that for this tour, we will be starting our day at 7:30 AM, endeavouring to hear finch flyovers on their morning “commute.” This means we will drive to Whitney the day, or at least afternoon, before the tour. I will organize a sit-down meal at the Mad Musher for Friday evening.
Outing notes: Here are some ideas of what to pack and what to wear during this field outing. Some snacks, plenty of water, electrolyte mix, sturdy footwear, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen, and favoured field guides. Please wear layered clothing.
Lunch: We will be having a sit down lunch at the cafeteria at the Visitors Centre. Under most circumstances, you cannot bring your own lunch into the cafeteria.
Walking: We will be birding both by foot and by car throughout the day
Driving: We will be driving to various birding trails within Algonquin Park throughout the day. These will be relatively short drives.
Meet at 7:30 AM at the entrance to East Gate entrance to the park. http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/camping/east-gate.php
Accommodations: Given that the entrance to the park is approximately 2.5 hours from Ottawa, it’s possible that some of you may want to spend Saturday night in Whitney. Here are some options:
East Gate Motel: http://www.algonquineastgatemotel.com/
Dream Catcher Motel: http://www.algonquindream.ca/
Bellwood Inn: http://www.bellwoodinn.ca/
Method of payment: Cash or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque out to ‘Jon Ruddy’
Duration: 8 hours of birding, including a sit down lunch at the Vistor’s Centre.
Cost: $ 70.00 per person
Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form