Algonquin Park & Renfrew County

Sat/Sun, September 29-30: Blossoming fall colours and an assortment of beautiful boreal birds; what could be better? On Saturday, we will hike a variety of trails along the Highway 60 corridor, searching for such classics as the Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and more. A large variety of migrants will still be pouring through the area, most notably sparrows and thrushes. A road or trailside moose is a possibility today, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled. We will bird mostly the eastern part of the Highway 60 corridor in the afternoon, after first hiking some of Mizzy Lake Trail in the morning. After the tour on Saturday, we will make our way to Wilno, where we will enjoy a delicious Polish meal at the famed Wilno Tavern. After our dinner, it’s off to the Econolodge Inn & Suites in Pembroke for the night. On Sunday morning, we will make our way to Westmeath Provincial Park, where we will hike the sedge meadows in search of Nelson’s Sparrows and even keep our eyes peeled for the highly-coveted LeConte’s Sparrow, as well. After our ‘sparrow flush,’ we will bird Ross Road Marsh, as well as the Cobden Plain, then it’s off to scanning the fish-filled lakes in the region (Lake Dore, Muskrat Lake) with our scopes. Loons, grebes, Bonaparte’s Gulls diving ducks and more should be seen in good numbers. Rarities such as Little Gull, or something even rarer, are possible with the right weather conditions here, so we’ll keep our minds open!

Outing notes: Please be sure to pack rubber boots and rain pants, snacks, plenty of liquids, electrolyte mix, sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable and breathable clothing, comfortable hiking shoes, and so on. Note that I will be packing electrolyte mix for the group should you wish to sprinkle some into your water bottle. Please pack your Ontario Parks pass if you have one. For those purchasing a day pass, the cost is approximately $15.00.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: We will eat our lunches at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on Saturday afternoon; there is a cafeteria there. If you wish to pack your lunch, you must eat it outside of the Visitor Centre (i.e. at your car). We will enjoy a sit-down dinner at the Wilno Tavern Restaurant on Saturday evening. We will have a simple, fast-serve lunch on Sunday afternoon (i.e. Tim Hortons).

Activity Scale: 3/5

Accommodations: On Saturday evening, we will be staying at the Econolodge Inn & Suites in Pembroke. You must make your reservations for this tour.

Meet at 9:00 AM at the East Gate entrance to Algonquin Park. Participants looking to carpool with others may park their cars here for the day, free of charge.

Carpooling: I can drive clients to-and-from Ottawa for this tour. I am also happy to arrange carpooling for you. Please be in touch by email:

Method of payment: Cash, e-Transfer or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by e-Transfer, please use as the recipient address; if paying by cheque, you can make it out to either ‘Jon Ruddy’ or ‘Eastern Ontario Birding.’

Cost: $150.00 (HST included)

Duration: 8-8.5 hours of birding each day.

Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form


Registration deadline for the weekend tour: Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00 PM.

Registration for Algonquin Park only: opens on Wednesday, September 26th at 10:00 PM and closes on Thursday, September 27th at 10:00 PM.