Saturday, May 2 – Tuesday, May 5: A four-day birding trip to Point Pelee National Park and Hillman Marsh Conservation Area. There is no experience quite like taking in spring migration at Point Pelee National Park. Overall, the birding is off-the-charts good; in fact, it is Birding Nirvana! In past years, the Eastern Ontario Birding group enjoyed superb birding where we typically observed between 180-200 species of birds! Warblers, tanagers, flycatchers, vireos, grosbeaks, wrens, thrushes, sparrows, terns and shorebirds are just some of the bird groups you’ll get to enjoy, photograph, and learn so much more about during this tour. For more information with regards to last year’s trips, please click the following link.
Daily schedule: Our typical daily schedule will consist of arriving at the Visitor Centre at 6:00 AM and taking the 6:30 AM tram. The time in between arrival and tram departure is typically used for packing gear, having a snack, using the washroom, and reviewing field guides. We will bird from 6 AM to approximately noon, with a coffee and snack break of fifteen minutes typically scheduled around 9-9:30 AM. For washroom breaks, I like to schedule a group washroom break every 90 minutes-or-so. After lunch, birders will have the option of returning to their hotels or continuing to birdwatch for several more hours, where we will endeavour to follow up on the morning’s sightings, as well as even target rarities. Between 2:30-3:00 PM each day, I will wrap up the day’s tour, in order to provide clients with some downtime before dinner. Each evening, we will enjoy a sit-down dinner as the group. Dinner is typically scheduled for 5:30 PM, which gives us time to bird Hillman Marsh or Wheatley Harbour afterwards 🙂
Duration: Each day, we will bird from 6 AM to noon. A 20-minute snack break will be scheduled in the morning (approximately 9:00 AM) along with a 60-minute lunch break around noon. If birding is productive, I will open the invitation for birders to join me for several more hours of birding Point Pelee, wrapping up the tour day by 3:00 PM. After dinner, we may visit Hillman Marsh for shorebirding. These additional outings typically last approximately 90 minutes.
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, lens cloth, lip balm, sunscreen and favoured field guides. Lunches and snacks may be left in our vehicles, which will be conveniently parked only a short distance away from the Visitor Centre, in the VC parking lot.
Walking: Each day, we will bird on foot for most of the day. The pace will be nice and slow. We will have approximately 60-80 min cumulative rest each day (snacks, coffee break, lunch). 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).
Driving: Carpool arrangements to-and-from our birding destinations will be made well in advance.
Accommodations: You must book your accommodations for this tour, and I recommend doing so ASAP. Ultimately, I am flexible as to where you choose to stay. In past years, clients have chosen Inns in Leamington, cottages in Leamington and the Days Inn and Best Western in Leamington. In 2019, I had no logistical concerns with regard to clients staying in different hotels/inns and meeting at a common destination. Please choose what is best for you, but please be sure to let me know where you’re staying, so I can make a note of it, and prepare to organize carpooling, etc. Rates vary depending upon your accommodation, but anywhere from $100 – $150.00 per night is more or less the expected cost in Leamington during the spring Festival of Birds.
Cost: $ 500.00 per person (HST included), plus the cost of food and accommodations.
Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form