Friday, May 10 to Monday, May 13: Join me for some incredible spring migration birding in southwestern Ontario! We, as a group, will be covering some of southern 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 on 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 “lifers” as we carefully cover ground and search a variety of habitats for migrant birds. I can’t wait to enjoy the spring birding spectacle with you!
Rarity “chasing” and listing: This tour will feature follow-ups on rare bird reports, i.e. what birders term “chasing.” Throughout each tour day, I will be keeping an eye on rare bird alerts and we will follow up on provincially significant sightings.
Tour suitability: This tour is suitable to those who consider themselves to be avid birders. We will be beginning our days at the crack of dawn, and seeking out opportunities to see rarities, whenever possible. We will be birding 9-10 hours each day, with scheduled breaks.
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 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 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 pass 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 Blenheim Sewage Lagoons permit is required in order to access the lagoons, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 weeks ahead of the tour to receive your permit; day pass 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 an 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 primarily 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 at Point Pelee National Park at TBD time and exact location.
Duration: Approximately 9-10 hours of field guiding each day.
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-day sign-ups are available at a price of $250 per person. To sign-up for a single day, please use the below registration form and specify the exact date in the date column. Thanks!
Payment deadline: On or before March 15th. (Non refundable after March 15th).
Register for this outing by using this sign-up form