Monday, February 20: Today, we enjoy Family Day by exploring Algonquin Provincial Park in search of overwintering boreal birds and beautiful boreal mammals. We will be exploring Old Airfield/Mew Lake Campground, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Visitor’s Centre and Opeongo Road. While at the Visitor’s Centre, we will enjoy the wonderful array of feeder birds coming and going from the feeders; get your binoculars and cameras ready. We will take whatever the day brings, but will certainly keep a close eye out for Black-backed Woodpeckers, Canada Jays, Boreal Chickadees, all sorts of “winter finches,” and Spruce Grouse. Mammals of special interest, such as moose, river otters and pine marten will be searched for, as well!
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. An Ontario Parks day pass must be obtained prior to your visit. You must use Ontario Parks’ online registration system to register.
Accommodations: Clients are in charge of their own Hotel/Motel/Air BnB/B&B selections and reservations. Whitney (east) and Huntsville (west) will be the two main reservation areas 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: I will schedule a washroom break every 90-120 minutes.
Activity rating: 2/5. We will enjoy 2-3 light hikes throughout the day, each one consisting of short walks on hard-packed snow. Total walking distance for the day will be approximately 5 km.
Meet-up time and location: 9:00 a.m. at the East Gate entrance/parking lot.
Duration: 7 hours.
Cost: $140 per person (HST-included). I do not have a preference when it comes to payment type; I accept e-transfer, cash and cheque.
Register for this outing by using this sign-up form