Wednesday, May 10th to Saturday, May 13th: Join me, Jon Ruddy of Eastern Ontario Birding, for some incredible spring migration birding in southwestern Ontario! I will be covering some of Ontario’s top birding sites in search of a wide array of beautiful migrant birds. During spring migration in southwestern Ontario, it is more or less the norm to encounter 90-100+ species of birds per day. Stunning warblers decked out in their breeding finery, beautiful shorebirds strolling about in mudflats, gorgeous orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, flycatchers, vireos, sparrows, hummingbirds, Indigo Buntings, and so much more…are all within our view, hopefully on the daily! You’ll be given countless insights into the identification of various birds, and likely see numerous “lifers” as we slowly cover ground and search a variety of habitats for migrant birds. The pace and layout of the tours is designed to be reasonable, offering clients a balance between busy birding days and relaxed late afternoons and evenings. I can’t wait to enjoy the spring birding spectacle with you!
General Flow of Days:
Day 1 will take place at Point Pelee National Park & Hillman Marsh;
Day 2 will take place at Rondeau Provincial Park, Keith McLean CA, Erieau townsite and possibly Blenheim Sewage Lagoons;
Day 3 will take place at Rondeau Provincial Park, Keith McLean CA, Erieau townsite and possibly Blenheim Sewage Lagoons;
Day 4 will take place at Kopegaron Woods, Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee National Park.
What to pack/What to know: Please dress for the weather by keeping an eye on the forecast for the region(s) in which we’ll be birding. Pack snacks, water, coffee/tea, and be sure to pack a lunch. I recommend packing cash (bills and or coins) as items like coffee, snacks and lunches at the Visitor Centre used to be (and could still be) cash-only. Pack your field guides/reference material, as well as your camera (if you use one), binoculars and spotting scope (if you have one). I recommend also packing rubber boots, in case the trails are quite wet; living in in far eastern Ontario prevents me from checking the status of the trails ahead of our visit. We will be able to revisit our parked cars during our lunch break, so we’ll be able to leave all our various items there (vs. having to lug them around with a backpack).
Transportation: We will be travelling to-and-from the birding sites in our own vehicles. Please ensure that you have gas in your vehicle ahead of each day, and that you have a working GPS device for navigation to-and-from the sites.
Permits & Passes: You must make your own reservations and purchases for passes unless otherwise indicated below. An Ontario Parks pass (day passes or season pass) will be required to enter Rondeau Provincial Park; a National Parks pass (day pass or season pass) will be required to enter Point Pelee National Park; a municipal pass will be required to enter Blenheim Sewage Lagoons (I will provide more information at a later date in regards to how to obtain this pass); day passes or Spring Birding Pass will be required to enter Hillman Marsh.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: Clients will take care of their own breakfasts at their respective accommodations. We will have a socially-distanced outdoor lunch (either tailgate, or, on picnic tables) during the tour. Clients are in charge of their own dinner plans (including selection of the restaurant and the respective reservations ahead of visiting) after the tour, each evening.
Accommodations: Clients are in charge of their own Hotel/Motel/Cottage/Air BnB/B&B selections and reservations for this tour. I recommend booking your accommodation ASAP due to the high volume of birders in southwestern Ontario during the month of May. Core areas with all necessary amenities include Kingsville, Leamington, Chatham, Erieau, Blenheim and so on.
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 you 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: 3/5. Moderate level. We will be slowly birding by foot throughout each day. The terrain is flat and well-packed. Please note that I will be scheduling at least two short breaks and one 45 min break each day, as well.
Meet-up time and location: Day 1 meet between 6:45 and 7:00 a.m. at West Beach parking lot at Point Pelee National Park. I recommend that you get to the registration building (along Point Pelee Drive, 200 meters south of Mersea Road E) at Point Pelee National Park at between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. for check-in/purchasing your day pass. The drive from the registration building to the Visitor Centre takes approximately 10 minutes. Ultimately, we will wait for each participant to arrive, and will leave as a group from the West Beach parking lot.
Duration: Each day, we will be birding between 8 and 9 hours. Incorporated into this time will be washroom/snack/drink breaks, plus a 45 min lunch break. Our days will begin at 7 a.m. and end between 3 and 4 p.m.
Cost & Payment: $1000 per person (HST-included), not including the cost of transportation, accommodations, food and permits. Payment is made by Interac e-transfer or mailed cheque to: Eastern Ontario Birding, 751 Namur Street, Embrun Ontario, K0A 1W0.
SPECIAL NOTE: Single or multi days are available for sign-up. The cost is $250 per person, per day. To view the schedule of events, please scroll up to the “General Flow of Days” section. To sign up for an individual day, please input the corrected date in the below sign-up form, and send payment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment deadline: From March 13th onward, full payment is due upon sign up; no refunds are possible.
Register for this outing by using this sign-up form