Peak fall migration at Presqu’ile Park & Gull Island

Sunday, September 15: Today, we will visit one of eastern Ontario’s top migration sites in search of staging shorebirds and peak numbers of migrant songbirds! We will be wading across (more details below, in the “What to pack/What to know” section) from Owen Point to Gull Island, in search of birds. We will search for a wide variety of shorebirds, warblers, vireos, thrushes, sparrows, swallows, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, gulls, terns, herons, ducks, hawks, falcons and more! Rarities are certainly possible today, given that the timing of our tour coincides with the peak fall migration for many species. In addition to birds, migrant monarch butterflies will be staging at the park at this time of year, and we will endeavour to see and enjoy them as they flutter about.

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: We will be wading across a channel from Owen Point to Gull Island during today’s tour. The channel length is under 100 meters total. The water depth varies from year to year, from over 3 ft to under 1 ft. I will have more details on the water depth closer to the date of the tour, which I’ll post here. I recommend wearing quick-dry pants and or shorts, and wearing old running shoes/or, water shoes, for the crossing. When we arrive at Gull Island, we will take time to change our footwear (if required) and organize our gear ahead of the walk. I will come with a 35L dry bag, and can take clients’ items (up to a point) across the channel. If you’re comfortable doing so, you could also bring a backpack, to put some of your gear in. 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, which we can leave in our vehicles ahead of our hike to Gull Island. 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, along with some insect repellent and sunscreen, as well.

Permits & Passes: You will need a Daily Vehicle Permit (DVP) for today’s tour to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Please visit Ontario Parks’ online registration booking system to make your booking. Note: you can begin your booking five days out from the day of the 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 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.

Activity rating: 1/5. We will be walking along mostly flat terrain for a total distance of 2-3 km.

Meet-up time and location: 9:00 a.m. at the park store parking lot. I recommend arriving at Presqu’ile by 8:30 a.m. to check-in, and use the washroom before meeting (washrooms are available at the front entrance to the park, near the registration booth, and at Beach 1 and Owen Point Trail parking lots).

Duration: 7-8 hours.

Cost: $180 per person (HST-included). I accept payment via e-transfer to I also accept mailed cheques sent to Eastern Ontario Birding, 751 Namur Street, Embrun Ontario, K0A 1W0.

Payment due date: N/A. Please be sure to review my Cancellation Policy ahead of signing up for this tour.

Register for this outing by using this sign-up form

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