Algonquin Park & Renfrew

Sat/Sun, October 27-28: Come out and enjoy some lovely late-fall birding at Algonquin Provincial Park and Renfrew County. On Saturday, we will hike a variety of trails along the Highway 60 corridor, searching for such classics as the Canada Jay, Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and more. Winter Finches may be possible by this date, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for reports during the days leading up to the tour. 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 Pembroke Marina, where we will set up our scopes and keep an eye on the ‘morning rush’ as waterfowl zip past, using the migration conduit that is the Ottawa River. After our visit to the marina, it’s off to open country between Westmeath and Beachburg, where we will search for Sandhill Crane roosts. By late October/early November, these roosts have swollen in size to their largest numbers of the season, with flocks of over 100 birds possible! We will bird Muskrat Lake, Lake Dore and possibly even Mink Lake to study the excellent variety of waterbirds found on these lakes at this time. The Cobden Plain should produce some raptor sightings, such as Rough-legged Hawk and Northern Harrier, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled!

Outing notes: Please be sure to pack snacks, a warm beverage of your choice, some liquids, electrolyte mix, sunscreen, windbreaker, comfortable clothing, comfortable hiking shoes, and so on. Consider a thermal underlayer if it’s going to be chilly. It’s a good idea to pack light gloves, a scarf and a toque at this time of year, as well, as it’s often quite blustery. 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. in 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. If you’re interested in driving to Whitney the day before the tour, I highly recommend East Gate Motel for your accommodations. A delicious dinner is only a walk away, at the Mad Musher, as well.

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

Spaces remaining: 4


Registration deadline for the weekend tour: Wednesday, October 24th at 10:00 PM.

Registration for Algonquin Park only: opens on Wednesday, October 24th at 10:00 PM and closes on Thursday, October 25th at 10:00 PM.