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 in 2017, 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 in 2017 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

September 30 2017 (Saturday) Young Birders. Raptor Migration and Point Pelee in the Fall

Map for Young Birders. Raptor Migration and Point Pelee in the Fall
  • Leader: Jeremy Hatt
  • Meet at 8:00 am at the Holiday Beach Hawk Tower, Amherstburg (near Windsor). Observe migrating raptors and passerines.
  • Entrance fee at Holiday Beach. Bring drinks and lunch.

October 1 2017 (Sunday) Young Birders. Raptor Migration and Point Pelee in the Fall

Map for Young Birders. Raptor Migration and Point Pelee in the Fall
  • Leader: Jeremy Hatt, Sarah Rupert
  • Meet at 7:30 at the Point Pelee National Park Visitors Centre. Entrance fee is not required. Enjoy what many birders consider the best time for birding at Point Pelee National Park.
  • Bring drinks and lunch.

October 7 2017 (Saturday) North Shore Lake superior between Marathon and Thunder Bay (2-day trip)

Map for North Shore Lake superior between Marathon and Thunder Bay (2-day trip)
  • Leader: Nick Escott
  • Exact location(s) to be determined. Possible pre- and post- trips Oct 6 and Oct 9. If interested, please contact leader Nick Escott ngescott@shaw.ca well in advance so he knows how many people may be coming from southern Ontario. There may be a limit on how many birders we can accommodate, since overnight accommodations will be required. This trip is in memory of Alan Wormington, who loved the north shore of Superior, and organized the only OFO field trip that has ever been offered in Thunder Bay District, In October 1988.

October 8 2017 (Sunday) Westmeath Provincial Park and Lac Dore

Map for Westmeath Provincial Park and Lac Dore
  • Leader: Mark Gawn
  • Situated on the Ottawa River near Pembroke, Westmeath Park is a noted migration stopover for Nelson's Sparrow and occasionally Le Conte's Sparrow. Lac Dore, a fish-filled lake, regularly attracts many small gulls, grebes, and loons along with the occasional rarity. Meet 8:00 a.m. in Cobden at the Civitan Park on the north side of highway 17.

October 14 2017 (Saturday) Barrie

Map for Barrie
  • Leader: Jim Coey
  • Meet at the City of Barrie Dock Road Municipal Parking lot at 204 Dock Road, south-east corner of Dock Road and Plunkett Ct. We?ll look for 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? Easy walking, bring snack and water.

October 14 2017 (Saturday) Young Birders. Raptor Migration at Hawk Cliff; A joint event with the Thames Talbot Land Trust

Map for Young Birders. Raptor Migration at Hawk Cliff; A joint event with the Thames Talbot Land Trust
  • Leader: Rebecca Launchbury (TTLT)
  • Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the parking area on Hawk Cliff Rd. Take hwy 24 (Dexter Line) east from Port Stanley then south on Hawk Cliff Rd, or follow Fairview Ave south from St. Thomas. Tour Hawk Cliff woods and learn about the restoration projects in this magnificent forest. Enjoy fall raptor migration.
  • Dress for the weather and bring lunch, drinks and snacks.

October 15 2017 (Sunday) Durham Waterfront

Map for Durham Waterfront
  • Leader: Geoff Carpentier
  • Meet 8 am at 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. Go about 2.5 km to Lynde Shores on south side. Visits to Cranberry Marsh Hawk watch, Oshawa Second Marsh, Corner Marsh and Frenchman's Bay, depending on conditions and water levels.
  • Late fall migrants, raptors, shorebirds and ducks.

October 15 2017 (Sunday) Amherst Island Spring

Map for Amherst Island Spring
  • Leader: Mike Burrell
  • Meet at 7:50 am at carpool lot south of 401 at exit 593 (Camden East Road). We'll check Amherst Island (ferry fee) and some other Kingston area hotspots for late migrants including sparrows, waterfowl, gulls and other waterbirds. Trip ends mid-afternoon. Bring cash for the ferry, a lunch although we will pass a Tim Horton's on the way to Wolfe Island Ferry, and be prepared for some moderate walking.

October 21 2017 (Saturday) Ottawa River

Map for Ottawa River
  • Leader: Tony Beck
  • Birding from 1 p.m. to dusk along the Ottawa River. Meet 1 p.m. at Andrew Haydon Park, east parking lot (Ottawa Beach). Possible ducks, geese, shorebirds, gulls. Near sunset, 1000's of birds fly into Lac Des Chenes to roost. Rarities possible such as Lesser Black-backed Gull, Snow Geese, Red Phalarope, Greater White-fronted Geese, Cackling Geese.

October 22 2017 (Sunday) Grand Bend, Pinery PP, Kettle Point

Map for Grand Bend, Pinery PP, Kettle Point
  • Leader: Donald Pye
  • Meet at 8:30 a.m. at GB Sobey's parking lot on north side of Huron County Rd. 81, east of traffic lights at Hwy 21. From Hwy 402 take exit 81 Centre Road and proceed north on Middlesex County 81 via Parkhill, after jogging left at Middlesex County Rd.7. Continue on Middlesex, then Huron County Rd. 81 to Grand Bend (+/- 3 hrs. from Toronto).
  • Late fall/ early winter migrants, waterfowl, gulls, jaegers, eagles and resident titmice.

October 22 2017 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park

Map for Point Pelee National Park
  • Leader: Ellen Smout
  • Entry free to Park. Meet at Park Visitor Centre at 8:30 a.m. Birding Point Pelee Tip, woods, marsh, nearby onion fields. Fall migrants.

October 29 2017 (Sunday) Hawk Cliff and Area, South-west of London

Map for Hawk Cliff and Area, South-west of London
  • Leader: Dave Brown
  • Meet 9:30 a.m. at Hawk Cliff. From Hwy. 401 Exit 177, take Hwy. 4 south through western St. Thomas until it becomes Sunset Drive. Continue about 8 km to Union. Go east on County Road 27, Sparta Line Road. Go east one road (about 3 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 and late migrants, especially Golden Eagle.

November 5 2017 (Sunday) Cobourg Harbour, Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Map for Cobourg Harbour, Presqu'ile Provincial Park
  • Leader: Ian Shanahan
  • Meet Cobourg Harbour parking area at 8.30 am. Rare gulls, loons, grebes and shorebirds possible. Then drive to Presqu'ile Prov. Pk. for late migrants, including Purple Sandpipers.

November 25 2017 (Saturday) Young Birders. Hamilton Waterfowl

Map for Young Birders. Hamilton Waterfowl
  • Leader: Caleb Scholtens, Peter Scholtens
  • 8:30 am start. Hamilton and surrounding area. Meet at Plains Road beside Wedgewood Golf Centre near where the 403 and highway 6 meet. Hamilton is a waterfowl haven. Learn the finer points of waterfowl identification.
  • Dress warmly and bring drinks, lunch and snacks.

December 3 2017 (Sunday) Niagara River Gull Watch

Map for Niagara River Gull Watch
  • Leader: Josh Vandermeulen, Jeremy Bensette, Marcie Jacklin
  • Meet 9:00 a.m. at Sir Adam Beck Generating Station overlook on Niagara River Parkway south of Queenston-Lewiston Bridge to USA. From QEW take Hwy 405 towards USA and exit at Stanley Avenue. YOU MUST EXIT HWY 405 AT STANLEY AVENUE. Turn left, crossing over Hwy 405, then immediately right onto Portage Road which parallels Hwy 405 for 3 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

December 9 2017 (Saturday) Barrie Lakeshore

Map for Barrie Lakeshore
  • Leader: Jim Coey
  • Meet at 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 explore the Barrie lake front and parks for gulls, waterfowl and other lingering migrants car pool and easy walking. This can be a very cold outing.
  • Gulls, waterfowl and winter finches.

December 10 2017 (Sunday) Toronto Lakeshore

Map for Toronto Lakeshore
  • Leader: John Schmelefske
  • Meet 9:00 a.m. at Humber Bay Park East parking lot. Off the QEW, coming from the west, take the exit to Park Lawn. Go south. Cross Lakeshore Road, then turn right to the parking area. Off the QEW, coming from the east, exit at Lakeshore Road. Turn right onto Lakeshore Road, then left at the lights into Humber Bay Park East.
  • Winter species: ducks, gulls, waterbirds, finches, raptors.

December 10 2017 (Sunday) Young Birders. Deep Winter Birding; A joint event with the TOC

Map for Young Birders. Deep Winter Birding; A joint event with the TOC
  • Leader: Isabel Apkarian, Caroline Biel
  • Meet at 8:00 am at the entrance to Tommy Thompson Park, foot of Leslie St., south of Lakeshore Ave. Search for wintering songbirds and waterfowl. Owls are a possibility.
  • Dress warmly and bring warm clothes, drinks and snacks. The park is usually colder and windier than the rest of the city.