Western Lake Ontario Birding Spectacle

Friday to Sunday, December 6-8: Western Lake Ontario hosts a dazzling array of early winter birds as they stage before continuing south. Countless waterfowl fill this end of the lake before ice up, with many species being well represented. We will spend plenty of time photographing, admiring and studying waterfowl, and I will be on hand to discuss the ins and outs of their identification. Loons, grebes, hawks, falcons, vultures, eagles, sparrows, lingering warblers, and rarities/vagrants are all possible during this tour. Among the more expected of the rarities, we will carefully search for Black Vulture, Fish Crow, Purple Sandpiper, Red Phalarope, Western Grebe, Harlequin Duck, King Eider, Thayer’s Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake and more. With three days of careful birding from the shoreline of Western Lake Ontario, you can be sure that we’re in some lovely experiences and new memories from the field 🙂

Guarantees: With birds, there are never guarantees, but 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 will endeavour to make the most of each tour, and the philosophy I encourage is to “take whatever the day brings.”

What to pack/What to know: Please dress for the season and be sure to check on the weather conditions ahead of the tour. Wearing a thermal base layer is a helpful way to stay warm during winter tours, especially when birding near the water. Please pack ice grippers/crampons, in case we need them for the trails. Please pack your photographical and optical equipment of your choice; if you have a spotting scope, pack it, as well. Please pack a full lunch, which you can leave in your vehicle. I recommend packing liquids and snacks, as well. During winter tours, it’s a good idea to pack extra socks (in case your feet get damp/wet), extra gloves (in case you lose a glove), extra toque (in case you lose it), and hand and foot warmers (in case you’re prone to getting cold in those areas).

Tour route: We will begin the tour on Friday morning by birding Ashbridge’s Bay Park/Woodbine Beach. We will make our way west to approximately Mississauga/Oakville throughout Friday. On Saturday, we will bird from Mississauga/Oakville to approximately Grimsby/St. Catharines. On Sunday, we will cover from Grimsby/St. Catharines to Niagara Falls. The tour will end in the vicinity of Niagara Falls.

Accommodations: Each tour participant is responsible for their own accommodation booking. Clients vary in what they look for/appreciate in an accommodation, so it’s up to each individual to find an accommodation to their preference. Please use the above Tour route as a general guide as to where you’d like to stay.

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 after the tour. 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 throughout the day.

Activity rating: 2-3/5. We will likely be walking 6-8 km throughout the day, each day. The trails/pathways will be flat.

Meet-up time and location: On Friday, December 6th we will meet at TBD

Duration: Each day, we will begin our birding at 8:30 a.m. and end the day at approximately 4:30 p.m. We will enjoy a 45 min lunch break in the warmth of our vehicles, each day, as well.

Cost: $575 per person (HST-included). Single-day options are available for sign-up, as well. The cost for a single day is $190 per person. I accept payment via e-transfer to eontbird@gmail.com. I also accept mailed cheques sent to Eastern Ontario Birding, 751 Namur Street, Embrun Ontario, K0A 1W0.

Payment due date: TBD

Register for this outing by using this sign-up form

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