Upcoming Field Trips

Trips will operate rain or shine. Remember to bring lunch, drinks, proper clothing, footwear, sunscreen and insect repellent. OFO encourages car pooling on all field trips. Participants are reminded that it is the responsibility of every participant on an OFO field trip to comply with the OFO Birding Code of Ethics, and to minimize the risk of injury or damages that may result from unsafe or inappropriate behaviour (especially when driving, or while roadside birding where passing traffic presents a hazard).

OFO Field Trips in IBAs

Of all the amazing OFO field trips, almost 40 of them will visit IBAs! IBAs are Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, and are designated for congregations of birds (more than 1% of their population) or species at risk (on the IUCN or COSEWIC lists). OFO will travel to around 20 IBAs including Point Pelee, Long Point, Rondeau, Skunk’s Misery, Cabot Head and others in SW Ontario, a few Kingston area IBAs like Wolfe Island, Amherst Island and Napanee, the Leslie Street Spit IBA in Toronto, and as far north as the Moose River Estuary IBA near Moosonee. These trips will let you explore marshes, lakes, rivers, forests, islands, and grasslands (Ontario IBAs are very diverse).

Like many Bird Studies Canada programs, the IBA Program is volunteer-driven, and contributions from on-the-ground observers are essential to help strengthen our database. You can help keep our records as current as possible by simply submitting a checklist to eBird when you are birding in an IBA. If stopping at multiple locations consider using the IBA Protocol (but speak to the Ontario IBA Coordinator for more details first). By doing this, you are not only having an excellent time birding, but are playing a part in the conservation of birds and their habitat. If you are interested in further helping IBAs, there are numerous opportunities. Just contact the Ontario IBA Coordinator at ontarioiba@birdscanada.org for more information. Happy birding!

Young Birders

OFO Young Birders field trips and workshops are for birders age 9 -19. The only prerequisites are enthusiasm and curiosity about birds. Parents or guardians are encouraged to attend except where otherwise indicated.

Trips will operate rain or shine. Remember to bring lunch, drinks, proper clothing, footwear, sunscreen & insect repellent as appropriate. Carpooling is encouraged for driving trips.

If you have questions, contact Lynne Freeman at lynnef.to@gmail.com or 416-671-0325 (email is better).

Trips may be added or changed so please check the field trips on the OFO web site prior to the trip.

Next Scheduled Trips and Workshops

August 15 2020 (Saturday) CANCELLED Alan Wormington Memorial Camp for Young Birders

Leader: Jeff Skevington, Angela Skevington, Ian Shanahan, Lynne Freeman

Young birders. This week-long overnight camp provides teen campers with an immersive nature experience. Campers will go birding every day, will do mothing, wolf howls, canoeing and herping. For teens aged 13 - 18. Registration required at ofo.ca. Cost $950. Maximum 14 participants. Camp ends Saturday, August 22nd. Click here to register

August 16 2020 (Sunday) Durham Region and Lake Ontario Marshes

Leader: Rayfield Pye, John Stirrat

Meet 7:30 am at the Lynde Shores Conservation Area parking lot on Victoria Street, Whitby. Exit Highway 401 at Brock Street (Exit 410). Turn left (south) onto Brock Street. Turn right (west) onto Victoria Street West. Go 2.5 km to Lynde Shores on the south side. We will visit to Cranberry Marsh, Oshawa Second Marsh, Corner Marsh & Frenchman's Bay. Early fall migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, shorebirds, butterflies.

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August 22 2020 (Saturday) Palgrave and Tottenham Sod Farms, Schomberg Lagoons

Leader: John Schmelefske

Meet 8:00 am at Patterson Sideroad and Highway 50 in the village of Palgrave. Fall migrants: warblers, flycatchers, shorebirds, possible plovers, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Baird's Sandpipers.

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August 22 2020 (Saturday) Southbound Shorebird ID Workshop

Leader: Jean Iron

Meet 8:00 am at the Owen Point Trail parking lot at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Workshop will focus on the identification, plumages and aging of southbound shorebirds. Expect to walk between viewing points along beaches to Owen Point. Scope recommended. Park entry fee required. Morning only. Water levels on Lake Ontario may change itinerary. Registration required at ofo.ca. Click here to register

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August 29 2020 (Saturday) York Region Fall Migrants

Leader: Frank Pinilla

Meet 7:30 am at the north end of 7th Concession, north of 16th Sideroad, in the Happy Valley Forest, King Township. Visits to Happy Valley area include Nature Conservancy and Love Mountain tracts; plus Schomberg Sewage Lagoons and other areas nearby.

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August 30 2020 (Sunday) Vernon Nature Area in Kenora

Leader: Carter Dorscht

Meet at 7:30am at the the parking lot for the Vernon Nature Area. We will spend the morning hiking the trails, looking for migrating songbirds. Please dress for the conditions and wear sturdy footwear. Binoculars are recommended.

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August 30 2020 (Sunday) Trees for Birders

Leader: Reuven Martin

Meet 7:30 on the north side of main parking lot at the Riverwood Conservancy, 4300 Riverwood Park Lane, Mississauga, on north side of main parking lot. Riverwood contains a wonderful selection of Ontario's native trees, and we will learn how to recognize many of them in the field. We also look at the close connections between trees and the birds that use them, and how you can use those connections to find birds and understand their behaviour. Registration required at ofo.ca. Maximum 30 participants. Click here to register

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September 6 2020 (Sunday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Leader: Ian Shanahan

Meet 8:00 am in Presqu'ile Provincial Park at the Lighthouse parking lot. Park entry fee required. Fall migrants, shorebirds, hawks.

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September 6 2020 (Sunday) Toronto Islands

Leader: Gavin Platt

Meet before 7:15 am at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal on Queens Quay to catch 7:15 ferry to Ward's Island. Ferry fee required ($7.50 in coins; $5.00 for seniors, students). Early Fall migrants. The trip involves walking all day. Bring packed lunch.

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September 12 2020 (Saturday) Hamilton, Burlington & Vicinity

Leader: Rob Porter

Meet 8:00 am in parking lot of Hutch's on the Beach Restaurant, 280 Van Wagners Beach Road on Western Lake Ontario in Hamilton. Jaegers, gulls, shorebirds, fall migrants.

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September 12 2020 (Saturday) Kettle Point and Inland Lagoons

Leader: Sean Jenniskens

Meet 8.00 am at parking lot at junction of Highway 21 and Lakeshore Road (County Road 7) on the way into Kettle Point on Lake Huron. Gulls, terns, shorebirds, jaegers at Kettle Point. Waterfowl, shorebirds at inland lagoons. Bring packed lunch. Rubber boots recommended.

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September 13 2020 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park

Leader: Jeremy Hatt

Meet 8:00 am at Visitor Centre. inside Point Pelee National Park. Park entry fee required. Bird around the Visitor Centre, and the tip before moving to surrounding area, including the onion fields. Fall migrants, raptors, seabirds, shorebirds, Monarch butterflies.

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September 14 2020 (Monday) FULL Fall Birding at Moosonee

Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker

Five day trip. This annual trip explores the bird life of Ontario's saltwater coast. Highlights will include Canada Jays, Snow Geese, shorebirds, and one or two surprises. The trip costs include a full day boat trip to the coast of James Bay. Other birding locations in Moosonee and Moose Factory Island will be visited. Trip includes an introduction to Cree culture. Trip starts Monday morning in Cochrane as the group boards the train for Moosonee. Depart Moosonee on Friday, then bird Cochrane on Saturday. Cost is $885 / per person based on double occupancy (single supplement $250). Price includes Moosonee accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and round-trip train travel from Cochrane to Moosonee. Registration required with the Parkers at mparker19@cogeco.ca. Maximum 14 participants.

September 19 2020 (Saturday) Introduction to Cochrane Birding

Leader: Rhonda Donley, Roxanne Filion

Meet 9:00 am at the Station Inn Restaurant, 200 Railway Street, in Cochrane. This trip is being organized primarily as the Cochrane extension for participants on the Moosonee trip. Hundreds of staging Sandhill Cranes; Sharp-tailed Grouse, Le Conte's Sparrows.

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September 19 2020 (Saturday) Colonel Samuel Smith Park and Western Lake Ontario

Leader: Garth Riley

Meet 8:00 am at southernmost parking lot at foot of Kipling Avenue, just below Lakeshore Boulevard. After birding Samuel Smith, we may also visit the Lakefront Promenade, Jack Darling Park, Rattray Marsh and Shell Park. Fall migrants: warblers, sparrows, shorebirds, waterfowl.

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September 20 2020 (Sunday) Hamilton Area Hotspots

Leader: Sarah Lamond

Meet 8 am at Lakeland Centre. Scan lake for rare gulls, jaegers, ducks and phalaropes. Then bird around Van Wagners Ponds for migrants. Also visit Windermere Basin and Tollgate Ponds for shore and water birds. Other spots may be birded depending on local hotline information. Bring lunch. Trip ends 4 pm.

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September 20 2020 (Sunday) Ottawa

Leader: Jeff Skevington

Meet 7:30 am along Cassels Street, outside the gate to the Britannia Water Purification Plant. Experience the diversity of Ottawa's avifauna during the peak of fall migration. Warblers, sparrows, waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls and others. Study subtle differences between similar species as we explore the Ottawa River from different vantage points. We start at Britannia and move slowly west, visiting some of eastern Ontario's best migratory staging areas. Bring packed lunch. Trip ends at 5:00 pm.

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October 4 2020 (Sunday) Westmeath Provincial Park and Lac Dore

Leader: Mark Gawn

Meet 8:00 am in Cobden at the Cobden Boat Launch. Park entrance fee required, Visit noted stopover locations for Nelson's and Le Conte's Sparrows. At Lac Dore look for small gulls, grebes, loons.

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October 4 2020 (Sunday) Amherst Island and Kingston Area Hotspots

Leader: Mike Burrell

Meet 7:50 am at the carpool lot south of 401 at exit 593 (Camden East Road). Ferry fee required. We'll check Amherst Island and, time-permitting some other Kingston area hotspots for late migrants including sparrows, waterfowl, gulls and other waterbirds. Bring a packed lunch. Trip ends mid-afternoon. Registration required at ofo.ca. Click here to register

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October 4 2020 (Sunday) Niagara Hotspots and Eastern Lake Erie Shoreline

Leader: Marcie Jacklin

Meet 8:00 am at entrance to Rock Point Provincial Park near entry kiosk. Park entry fee required. Shorebirds, waterbirds, other fall migrants.

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October 10 2020 (Saturday) Barrie

Leader: Jim Coey

Meet 9:00 am at the City of Barrie Dock Road Municipal Parking lot at 204 Dock Road, south-east corner of Dock Road and Plunkett Ct. We will look for lingering migrants in the parks and waterfowl on the lake. Lake Simcoe has had some surprising birds over the years. Who knows what will turn up? Car pool and easy walking and usually cool. Gulls, waterfowl and winter finches. Possible Pacific Loon, Little Gulls.

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October 10 2020 (Saturday) St. Joseph Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Leader: Carter Dorscht

Meet at 8:00 am at the site gate at the corner of A Line Road and Fort Road. Coordinates for the pin on the map: 46.079028, -83.911605. The sanctuary is 87 km southeast of Sault Ste. Marie. This outing includes about eight km of walking on smooth surfaces. Scope recommended. Waterbirds, raptors, late migrating songbirds.

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October 17 2020 (Saturday) Hilliardton Marsh: Saw-whets and Sandhills

Leader: Bruce Murphy

Two day trip. Meet 8:00 am both days at the Hilliardton Marsh Banding Station on Highway 569 north of Hilliardton. As the moon will be full, you will have the chance to see Northern Saw-whet Owls, Boreal Owls and, perhaps, Long-eared Owls being banded. During the day, bird local hotspots to see thousands of Sandhill Cranes and boreal specialties including Canada Jays and Boreal Chickadees. Accommodations available at one of several moderately priced motels in New Liskeard, Englehart and Earlton. Registration required at ofo.ca. Click here to register

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October 17 2020 (Saturday) Durham Waterfront

Leader: Geoff Carpentier

Meet 8:00 am at Lynde Shores Conservation Area parking lot on Victoria Street West, Whitby. Parking fee required. Late fall migrants, raptors, shorebirds and ducks.

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October 17 2020 (Saturday) Ottawa River

Leader: Tony Beck

Meet 1:00 pm at the east parking lot (Ottawa Beach) of Andrew Haydon Park on Carling Avenue. Ducks, geese, shorebirds, gulls. Near sunset, thousands of birds fly into Lac Deschenes to roost. Trip ends at dusk.

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October 24 2020 (Saturday) Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Toronto

Leader: TBA

Meet 8:00 am at southernmost parking lot at foot of Kipling Avenue, just below Lakeshore Boulevard. Fall migrants, ducks, grebes, gulls.

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October 24 2020 (Saturday) Fall Birding on the Bruce Peninsula

Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker

Two day trip. Meet 8:30 am Saturday and Sunday at the parking lot for the Spirit Rock Outpost and Lodge on Highway 6 at the north end of Wiarton. The Bruce Peninsula between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron is a corridor for migrating birds. Saturday's birding will concentrate on the Cabot Head area with concentrations of Red-necked Grebes scoters and other waterbirds on Georgian Bay and other birds migrating through the upper Bruce Peninsula. Flocks of Sandhill Cranes will be a highlight. Sunday?s birding will focus on the Lake Huron shoreline with special emphasis on Black Creek Provincial Park Reserve, Stokes Bay, Issac & Sky Lakes and the Oliphant shoreline. Bring a packed lunch. Accommodation available at Spirit Rock Outpost and Lodge. Phone: 519-534-5168.

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October 25 2020 (Sunday) Sandbanks Provincial Park, Point Petre

Leader: Jon Ruddy

Meet 8:00 am at park entrance. Enjoy fall birding along southeastern coastline of Prince Edward County. Expect range of fall migrants, plus possible late warblers, uncommon sparrows, wayward flycatchers, jaegers and more. This trip will involve a mixture of short hikes and roadside birding. Bring packed lunch. For inquiries, email eontbird@gmail.com. Park entry fee required.

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October 25 2020 (Sunday) Grand Bend, Pinery Provincial Park, Kettle Point

Leader: Donald Pye

Meet 8:30 am at Grand Bend Sobeys parking lot on north side of Huron County Road 81, east of traffic lights at Highway 21. For anyone running late, first stop will be at the beach west of Sobeys. Late fall / early winter migrants, waterfowl, gulls, jaegers, eagles, resident Tufted Titmouse. Park entry fee required.

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October 25 2020 (Sunday) Hawk Cliff and Area, South-west of London

Leader: Dave Brown

Meet 9:30 am at Hawk Cliff. From Hwy. 401 Exit 177, take Highway 4 south through western St. Thomas until it becomes Sunset Drive. Continue about eight km to Union. Go east on County Road 27, Sparta Line Road. Go east one road (about three km) to County Road 22 (Fairview Road). Head south. The 2nd road south is County Road 24 (Dexter Line) and you will meet a stop sign. Looking south, you will see the sign for Hawk Cliff. Go south on the dirt road to the lake. Park along road allowance. Raptors, waterfowl, gulls, late migrants, especially Golden Eagle.

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November 1 2020 (Sunday) Cobourg Harbour and Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Leader: Ian Shanahan

Meet 8:30 am at Cobourg Harbour parking area. Rare gulls, loons, grebes, shorebirds possible. Then drive to Presqu?ile Provincial Park for late migrants, including Purple Sandpipers. Park entry fee required.

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November 1 2020 (Sunday) Snow Geese in Eastern Ontario

Leader: Brian Morin

Meet at 9:00 a.m on Lafleche Road east of Casselman (south of Hwy 417 off Hwy 138). The sod farm has historically attracted large flocks of Snow Geese (mainly greater) in the fall. The numbers vary year to year but usually are in the tens of thousands. The flocks may also have a Ross's and occasionally a Greater White-fronted Goose. Ontario's first Pink-footed Goose was sighted here a few years ago. We will check area cornfields as well and may come up with hawks, eagles, Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs as well as early Snow Buntings. There may be a good number of gulls on the sod field, which is adjacent to a landfill. There should be a number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The outing will last from 9:00 -1:00 PM.

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November 7 2020 (Saturday) – Young Birders Choice

Leader: TBA

Young birders. Location will be chosen by the young birder's via a poll. Click here to register

November 15 2020 (Sunday) Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Toronto

Leader: TBA

Meet 8:00 am at the southernmost parking lot at foot of Kipling Avenue, just below Lakeshore Boulevard. Late Fall migrants, winter arrivals, ducks, grebes, gulls.

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November 28 2020 (Saturday) William Loane Memorial Waterfowl Workshop

Leader: Glenn Coady

Meet 8:00 at Sunnyside, on western Toronto lakeshore at the Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski monument. Join Glenn to learn to identify ducks and other waterfowl at a distance and in flight at various stops along Lake Ontario. The workshop will cover count protocols, moult stages and call recognition. Bring packed lunch, dress warmly. Scope recommended but not required. Registration required at ofo.ca. Maximum 30 participants. Click here to register

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December 5 2020 (Saturday) Port Weller East

Leader: Peninsula Field Naturalists

Meet 9:30 am at the yellow gate at the end of Seaway Haulage Road, St. Catharines, Ontario. Call Bob Highcock at 905-688-1260 or 905-327-5457. Open to all. To determine number of attendees, registration required at ofo.ca. Click here to register

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December 5 2020 (Saturday) Barrie Lakeshore

Leader: Jim Coey

Meet 9:00 am at the City of Barrie Dock Road Municipal Parking lot at 204 Dock Road, south-east corner of Dock Road and Plunkett Ct. We will look for lingering migrants in the parks and waterfowl on the lake. Lake Simcoe has had some surprising birds over the years. Who knows what will turn up? Car pool and easy walking and usually cold. Gulls, waterfowl and winter finches.

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December 6 2020 (Sunday) Niagara River Gull Watch

Leader: Jeremy Bensette, Marcie Jacklin

Meet 9:00 am at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station overlook on Niagara River Parkway south of the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge to USA. From QEW take Highway 405 towards USA and exit at Stanley Avenue. YOU MUST EXIT HIGHWAY 405 AT STANLEY AVENUE. Turn left, crossing over Highway 405, then immediately right onto Portage Road which parallels Highway 405 for three km. At Brock Monument traffic circle take first right exit, Niagara Parkway, signed "The Falls". Follow for 1.8 km to Sir Adam Beck overlook on left. Ten or more species of gulls possible.

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December 13 2020 (Sunday) Toronto Lakeshore

Leader: John Schmelefske

Meet 9:00 am at Humber Bay Park East parking lot. Off the QEW, coming from the west, take the exit to Park Lawn Road. Go south. Cross Lakeshore Boulevard, then turn right to the parking area. Off the QEW, coming from the east, exit at Lakeshore Road. Turn right onto Lakeshore Boulevard, then left at the lights into Humber Bay Park East. Winter ducks, gulls, waterbirds, finches, raptors.

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