Thursday, December 28: Come out and enjoy some Holiday season birding! Today, we will explore 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 watch for Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, redpolls and more. We will take whatever the day brings, but will certainly keep a close eye out for Black-backed Woodpeckers, Canada Jays, Boreal Chickadees 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, 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: Note that ice grippers/crampons are mandatory items to pack with you during winter tours. 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 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). 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 Algonquin Park Visitor Centre parking lot, located at approximately km 42 along Highway 60.
Duration: 6 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.
Registration is now closed for this event.