Owls on Amherst Island

Sunday, January 21: Today we will bird Amherst Island in search of Birds or Prey, such as Snowy Owl, Short-eared Owl,  Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier. Much rarer finds, such as Gyrfalcon and Boreal Owl will be searched for, as well.  Other birds of interest such as Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and Lapland Longspur will be on our radars. On Friday, December 29th we observed 17 Snowy Owls, 10 Short-eared Owls, 9 Rough-legged Hawks, 6 Red-tailed Hawks, 5 Bald Eagles, 2 Northern Shrike, 1 Northern Harrier and 1 Northern Saw-whet Owl while birding the island.

Outing notes: Here are some ideas of what to pack and what to wear during this field outing. Insulated winter boots are mandatory for the hike to and from Owl Woods. Snow pants are also an excellent item to pack. Snowshoes aren’t required materials in my opinion, but adventurous types may find them useful/exciting to use. Please pack a Field Lunch, some snacks, plenty of water, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen, and favoured field guides. Please dress warmly and wear layered clothing.

Lunch: Please pack plenty of snacks and a field lunch for today’s tour. We will be birding Amherst Island for most of the day.

Dinner: I am open to having dinner after our tour. Let’s keep this plan open and touch base the afternoon of the trip.

Activity Scale: Out of five stars, with five being a strenuous day, this trip sits at a 2 out of 5 for most birders. Very short walks throughout the day, but we will mostly be birding by car. We have one, longer walk scheduled. Please note that we must walk to Owl Woods from the either Front Road or South Shore Road, making the trek 2-2.2 km longer than what some birders are accustomed to. Due to the level of snowfall this season, our hike may be quite physical, even with a somewhat well-padded walking path. This walk to and from Owl Woods sits at a perceived 4 out of 5 stars in terms of difficulty. This hike will be our only long walk of the day.

Meet between 10:00 and 10:15 AM at the Millhaven ferry terminal. Carpooling to and from Ottawa is available; please be in touch. We will catch the 5:00 PM return ferry, lining up at Stella dock by 4:45 PM.

Accommodations: As we are ending our birding day at dusk, it is possible you may wish to stay the night in Kingston after the tour. There are a variety of accommodations in town, so please simply choose what’s right for you.

Method of payment: Cash or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by cheque, please make it out to ‘Jon Ruddy.’

Cost: $60.00

Duration: 7 hours

Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form