Western Lake Ontario

Sat/Sun, November 17-18: For those interested in seeing thousands of Bonaparte’s Gulls, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Ducks and White-winged Scoters; hundreds of Trumpeter Swans, Black Scoters, Surf Scoters and mergansers; small numbers of rarities such as King Eider, Little Gull, Black Vulture and even Purple Sandpiper, Harlequin Duck and Black-legged Kittiwake, look no further than western Lake Ontario during mid-November! Western Lake Ontario plays host to an astonishing late-fall waterfowl scene. For those used to the autumn waterfowl scene along Lake Ontario, prepare to be taken aback by the number of ducks that have funnelled into the western “cove” of Lake Ontario. We will be birding waterfront sites in Burlington, Hamilton, Grimsby, Port Dalhousie, Port Weller, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the Niagara River from Lake Ontario south to Niagara Falls. This trip is most suited to those interested in waterfowl and waterfowl ID (both resting birds, as well as birds-in-flight). Rarities beyond those described above are possible in this region at this time of year, so we’ll keep on our toes, and I’ll personally check the Hamilton Birds listserve, as well as eBird, regularly.

Tour itinerary: Friday, November 16th is our designated travel day. We are in no particular rush to get to Hamilton, though one consideration would be passing through Toronto either before or after rush-hour in Toronto. We may have a sit-down dinner on Friday evening, but if participants are staggered in their arrival time, I’d prefer to let participants arrive in Hamilton at their leisure enjoy a dinner of their choosing on their own. On Saturday, we will bird waterfront sites in Hamilton and Burlington, as well as those in the Grimsby area. Please pack a field lunch for Saturday’s tour. We will enjoy a sit-down dinner in the Hamilton area on Saturday evening. On Sunday, we will drive east, to Port Dalhousie, where we will bird waterfront sites east to Niagara-on-the-Lake, then south to Niagara Falls. We will enjoy a sit-down lunch on Sunday afternoon. There will be no group dinner planned Sunday evening.

Outing notes: Please be sure to pack snacks, a warm beverage of your choice, some liquids, electrolyte mix, sunscreen, windbreaker, layered clothing, comfortable and insulated hiking shoes, and so on. Consider wearing a thermal underlayer. It’s a good idea to pack winter gloves, a scarf/neck warmer and a toque, as well. I will pack extra ‘winter gear’ in case it’s needed.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: Breakfast is complimentary on both Saturday and Sunday morning. We will enjoy a sit-down lunch at Hutch’s restaurant at Van Wagner’s Beach on Saturday afternoon. We will enjoy a sit-down dinner on Saturday night after our birding day is complete. On Sunday, we will grab a simple lunch to-go (or have a quick sit to eat); something like Tim Hortons will be suffice!

Activity Scale: 2/5

Accommodations: On Friday and Saturday evening, we will be staying at the Comfort Inn in Burlington, located at 3290 South Service Rd., Burlington, ON, L7N 3M6, CA.

Meet at South Shell Park in Burlington at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning.

Carpooling: I can drive clients to-and-from Ottawa for this tour. I am also happy to arrange carpooling for you. Carpooling will be organised and fully organized before our meet-up on Saturday morning. Please be in touch by email: eontbird@gmail.com

Method of payment: Cash, e-Transfer or cheque the morning of the tour. If paying by e-Transfer, please use eontbird@gmail.com 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 hours of birding each day.

Register for this outing using the provided Sign-up form

NOTE: Single-day options are available. Please touch base by email!