Sat/Sun, March 10-11: This weekend we will explore the shoreline and waters of Lake Ontario, from Presqu’ile Provincial Park to Toronto, Ontario. We will begin our journey in just east of Presqu’ile and will slowly bird our way westward, stopping and birding at various lakeshore sites along the way. This stretch of Lake Ontario is notorious for its incredible gull scene throughout winter and early Spring. Here, these gulls provide excellent photographic and lengthy study opportunities. We will endeavour to explore the Iceland Gull complex of Thayer’s (thayeri) and Kumlien’s (kumlieni), Glaucous Gulls, Herring Gulls, and others. In what will likely be a focused, field tutorial-style study in areas with high concentrations of gulls, we will also discuss ageing techniques. The waterfowl scene throughout this stretch of Ontario is also quite excellent with Toronto, in particular, being quite impressive. After our first day of birding, we will check in to our hotel in Oshawa. On Sunday, we will slowly make our way south and westward, to Toronto, where we will spend the day birding lakeshore sites. Here is a tentative schedule of our birding stops. Saturday: Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Cobourg Harbour, and Oshawa Harbour. Sunday: Whitby Harbour, Frenchman’s Bay, Bluffer’s Park, Ashbridges Bay Park, and Colonel Sam Smith Park.
Scouting: I will be scouting for this tour on Monday, February 26th and Tuesday, February 27th. The scout is more so a mini birding vacation! A string of warm and rainy days is occurring next week, meaning some of Lake Ontario’s ice will melt (shorelines, bays, etc.). Waterfowl and gulls will be on the move.
Outing notes: Here are some ideas of what to pack and what to wear during our outing. A field lunch, some snacks, water, a thermos full of your preferred hot beverage, hand and foot warmers, extra socks, sturdy and warm footwear, windbreaker, layered clothing, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen and favoured field guides.
Lunch & Dinner: Please pack a field lunch for our Saturday outing. I will schedule a sit-down dinner for the group for Saturday evening. On Sunday, I will plan a sit-down lunch for the group.
Activity Scale: I rate this trip at a 3/5 exertion level for most birders. No especially long hikes are planned, but two days of birding both by car and by foot will make for a moderate physical challenge.
Meeting Location: Presqu’ile Provincial Park, front entrance (parking available next to the front office) at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 10th. Carpooling to and from Ottawa is encouraged; please be in touch if carpooling is of interest.
Accommodations: You must book your accommodations. We will be staying in the Durham region on Saturday night, at the Best Western Plus Durham Hotel: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotels-in-oshawa/best-western-plus-durham-hotel-conference-centre/propertyCode.66094.html
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, please make the cheque out to ‘Eastern Ontario Birding.’
Duration: Two full days of birding along Lake Ontario
Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form