Saturday, February 11: Today, we will explore Amherst Island & Owls Woods in search of owls, hawks and more! Northern Saw-whet, Long-eared, Barred, Short-eared and possibly Snowy Owl are all possibilities during today’s outing. Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle and American Kestrel will be searched for throughout open countryside. Additional focus points include winter ducks, Snow Buntings, sparrows and finches.
Guarantees: With birds, there are never guarantees, I’m afraid. The good news is you’ll have a professional guide at the helm with many years of experience searching for and identifying birds. As always, I endeavour to make the most of each tour, and the philosophy I encourage is to “take whatever the day brings.” Each day in the field is a treat to savour!
What to pack/What to know: Please note that ice grippers/crampons are mandatory items to pack with you during winter tours. Please dress for the season, and be sure to take a look at the forecast for the region in which we will be birding a few days out from the tour. Please pack a cooler with the food and drink of your choice. Pack your optical and photographic equipment, as well as your field guides should you wish to consult them during the tour. Please also pack your spotting scope, if you have one. Please note that a $10 ferry fee (covers both ways) applies for this tour.
eBird Checklists: I will take care of all of the checklists for the day, and share them with you when the tour is complete. Your eBird statistics will automatically update when you accept the checklist. If you are not an eBird user, that is perfectly fine; I will email the checklists when I arrive home. You’ll be able to browse through the sightings list without having to be an eBird user.
Washrooms: At present, there is a single available public washroom on the island, located at the Stella ferry terminal. I will schedule a stop at this washroom, but you may find that using the great outdoors is more convenient (at Owl Woods)/provides less of a long wait time.
Activity rating: 2-3/5. A moderate level hike to-and-from Owl Woods during the morning portion. If there’s fresh snow, the walk will be more challenging than if the snow is hard-packed. The walk distance is 5-6 km in total (an out-and-back route). The afternoon will be spent car-birding from roadsides.
Meet-up time and location: 9:00 – 9:10 a.m. at the Millhaven Ferry Terminal in order to get in line for the 9:30 a.m. ferry crossing over to Amherst Island. We will be taking the 5:00 p.m. return ferry back to the mainland, arriving back at Millhaven at approximately 5:20 p.m.
Duration: 8 hours.
Cost: $160 per person (HST-included). I do not have a preference when it comes to payment type; I accept e-transfer, cash and cheque.