Algonquin Provincial Park

Saturday, March 17: A day spent enjoying winter birding at one of Ontario’s premier 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. Late-winter is an excellent 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. The migrants that have by-passed Algonquin Park must once again return north, of course. 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? We will also keep our eyes open 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. 

Outing notes: Here are some ideas of what to pack and what to wear during this field outing. Some snacks, plenty of water, sturdy footwear, extra socks, hand and foot warmers, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen, and favoured field guides. Please wear layered clothing.

Lunch: We will be having a sit-down meal at the cafeteria at the Visitors Centre. If you enter the cafeteria, you must purchase your lunch there; you cannot bring a pre-packed lunch into the cafeteria.

Walking: We will be birding both by foot and by car throughout the day. The hikes will range from 1-4 km in length on mostly flat terrain. In the case that there’s fresh snowfall, our walks will become a little more strenuous.

Activity Scale: Out of five stars, with five being a strenuous day, this trip sits at a 3 out of 5 for most birders. Please ensure that by signing up for this tour, you’re acknowledging that you’re capable of multiple walks throughout the day (with a total mileage of approximately 7 km of hiking).

Driving: We will be driving to various birding trails within Algonquin Park throughout the day. These will be relatively short drives.

Meet at 8:45 AM at the entrance to East Gate entrance to the park.  http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/camping/east-gate.php

Accommodations: It’s possible that some of you may want to spend Saturday night in Whitney. For those driving up Friday afternoon, I highly recommend a sit-down dinner at Mad Musher for Friday evening. The East Gate motel serves a nice, simple and hearty breakfast at 8:00 AM. For this tour, you will book your own accommodations at the motel. Please let me know once you’ve booked. East Gate Motelhttp://www.algonquineastgatemotel.com/

My plans: I will be driving up the day of the tour and returning home the same day. Carpooling is available.

Method of payment: Cash, e-Transfer or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by e-Transfer, please use eontbird@gmail.com as the recipient address; if paying by cheque, please make the cheque out to ‘Eastern Ontario Birding.’

Duration: 8 hours of birding, including a sit-down lunch at the Visitor’s Centre.

Cost: $ 70.00 per person

Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form