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).
Upcoming Field Trips
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 email@example.com for more information. Happy birding!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
May 27 2018 (Sunday) Breeding Bird Survey: Toronto Islands. A joint BSC, OFO and ROM event
- Leader: Mark Peck
- Meet at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at 7:00 a.m. You will need $7.50 in coins ($5.00 seniors and students). Program will run until noon. Maximum: 20 participants. Join us as we look for nests around the islands and discuss the value of breeding data for conservation initiatives. Bring binoculars and a notebook. Register on the OFO Web Site at https://ofo25.wildapricot.org/event-2872651.
May 27 2018 (Sunday) Skunk's Misery, Blenheim & Ridgetown Lagoons
- Leader: Gavin Platt
- Meet 7.30 a.m. at Newbury Hospital (Four Counties Health Services) pkg. lot just n.e. of Newbury on 5th Line/Concession Drive. Walking/driving tour. Some trails may be wet, muddy. Be prepared for mosquitoes! Cerulean, Hooded warblers, Acadian Flycatcher, BW Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker & more on territory in one of the largest remnants of Carolinian forest in Ontario. Butterflies too. Trip ends late morning.
May 27 2018 (Sunday) Carden Alvar
- Leader: Jean Iron
- Meet 9:00 a.m. in Kirkfield at parking lot of Lady Mackenzie School on the right of Kirkfield Road 6, about 0.5 km north of Kawartha Road 48. Trip consists of some driving, as well as comfortable walking. Loggerhead Shrike, Upland Sandpiper, Golden-winged Warbler, Grasshopper, Clay-colored and Vesper Sparrows, and other grassland species.
June 2 2018 (Saturday) Lanark County
- Leader: Ken Allison
- Birding from 7:30 a.m. to noon along the edge of the Canadian shield west of Ottawa. Meet 7:30 a.m. at the park beside the Five Span Bridge in Pakenham. This is about 30 minutes from Ottawa. This trip will involve a lot of walking on good trails in mostly wooded areas. Possible Eastern Bluebirds, Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Broad-winged Hawk plus many warbler species.
June 3 2018 (Sunday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park
- Leader: Dave Milsom (705-874-8531)
- Late migrating shorebirds, warblers and others. Entry fee. Meet 8:00 a.m. at Beach 1 parking lot in the park.
June 3 2018 (Sunday) Larose Forest, east of Ottawa (until noon)
- Leader: Jacques Bouvier (cell # 613-677-5140), Christine Trudeau-Brunet
- Meet 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot of Tim Hortons in Casselman. From Exit 66 of Highway 417 continue north towards Casselman for a very short distance. Tim Hortons is on the right as you head north. Explore Larose Forest for nesting songbirds and other woodland breeders. Trip ends at noon.
June 8 2018 (Friday) Rainy River (2-day trip)
- Leader: Tyler Hoar
- You need to register for this tour by May 1. Email Dave Milsom. All day Friday to Saturday noon. Meet at the junction of Worthington Road & Highway 11, about 10 km east of Rainy River (3 sideroads east of town) at 7:00 a.m. local time on June 8.
- American White Pelican, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Marbled Godwit, Sandhill Crane, Black-billed Magpie, Connecticut Warbler, Le Conte's Sparrow. Possible Great Gray Owl, Western Kingbird, Yellow Rail, Piping Plover.
June 9 2018 (Saturday) Nest Searching in Pelham (until 1:00 p.m.)
- Leader: Brad Clements
- Meet 9:00 a.m. at Smith's Christmas Tree Farm, 105 Orchard Hill Road, in Pelham, just north-east of St. Catherines. To use GPS, participants need to use 35 Orchard Hill Road. Trip limited to 25 participants. Please register at www.ofo.ca
June 9 2018 (Saturday) Happy Valley, King Township
- Leader: John Schmelefske
- Meet at entrance to conservation area at 7:30 a.m. From Highway 400, take King Road exit, go west until reaching 7th Concession. Turn right (north) to Sideroad 16. The 7th Concession veers right (east) at this point. Continue north on the 7th concession until the road dead ends. Turn around at the barricade and park facing south. Warblers, tanagers, thrushes, hawks including Red-shouldered, swallows, and eastern Bluebird. Hooded warblers are possible. P.M.: Palgrave Conservation area and Hike along Duffy's Lane. In these less mature coniferous forests and swamps we will search for different species including pine warbler, red-breasted nuthatch, blue- headed vireo, purple finch, willow flycatcher and golden crowned kinglet.
June 16 2018 (Saturday) Nest Searching at Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto (to 11:00 a.m.). A joint BSC, OFO and TOC event
- Leader: Lynne Freeman, Emily Rondel
- Meet 7:00 a.m. at the Evergreen Brick Works main parking lot. Explore nests and nestlings of common city birds and a few surprises.
June 16 2018 (Saturday) Bruce Peninsula (2-day trip)
- Leader: Alfred Raab, Cindy Cartwright
- On Saturday meet 7:00 a.m. at Tim Hortons in Hepworth, about 12.5 km south of Wiarton on Hwy. 6 and on Sunday, meet 7:00 a.m. at Tobermory Airport parking lot, west of Hwy. 6 on Warner Bay Road. Arrange accommodations early!
- Bruce birds include Brewer's Blackbird, Common Raven, Virginia Rail, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sandhill Crane, Upland Sandpiper, breeding warblers, possibly Dickcissel. Also, wildflowers & ferns.
August 5 2018 (Sunday) Durham Region & Lake Ontario Marshes
- Leader: Rayfield Pye, John Stirrat
- Meet 7:30 a.m. at Lynde Shores Conservation Area parking lot on Victoria Street in Whitby. Exit Hwy. 401 at Brock Street (Exit 410). Turn left (south) onto Brock Street. Turn right (west) onto Victoria. Go 2.5 km to Lynde Shores on the south side. Visits to Cranberry Marsh, Oshawa Second Marsh, Corner Marsh & Frenchman's Bay. Early
- Fall migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, shorebirds, butterflies.
August 25 2018 (Saturday) Palgrave, Tottenham Sod Farms, Schomberg Lagoons
- Leader: Kevin Schacklton
- Meet 8:00 a.m. at Patterson Sideroad and Hwy. 50 in the village of Palgrave.
- Fall migrants - warblers, flycatchers, shorebirds. Possible plovers, Buff- breasted Sandpipers, Baird's Sandpipers.
August 26 2018 (Sunday) Rock Point Provincial Park & Eastern Lake Erie Shore
- Leader: Marcie Jacklin
- Meet 8:00 a.m. at Dunnville Tims, 936 Broad Street East. Visiting Rock Point Provincial Park may be an option if there is good migration, so be prepared to pay entry fee. Shorebirds, waterbirds, early fall migrants.
- Shorebirds, waterbirds, early fall migrants.
September 1 2018 (Saturday) Toronto Islands
- Leader: Gavin Platt
- From Harbourfront in Toronto, catch 7:15 a.m. Ferry to Ward's Island. You will need $7.50 in coins ($5.00 seniors and students). Early Fall migrants. The trip involves a lot of walking all day long. Please bring a lunch if you plan to stay all day (some food is also available to purchase on the island).
September 6 2018 (Thursday) Moosonee (5-day trip)
- Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker
- This birding trip to Moosonee will permit one the opportunity to observe the birds that gather along the Ontario's saltwater coast to rest and feed. There is a possibility of flocks of Longspurs, numerous shorebirds, Rough-legged Hawks, and both Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrows. There could be a surprise bird as well. This trip starts in Cochrane on Wednesday morning as the group boards the Ontario Northland train for Moosonee. You will be returning on the train to Cochrane on Sunday. Details for this special outing are currently being arranged and will include four night's accommodation in Moosonee, train travel from Cochrane to Moosonee, freighter canoe trip to the mouth of the Moose River, Shipsands Island and the shore of James Bay and water taxi to Moose Factory Island. Full details including costs will be available in January. Pre-registration in advance is required:email@example.com
September 8 2018 (Saturday) Ottawa (all day to 5 pm )
- Leader: Jeff Skevington
- Meet 7:30 a.m. along Cassels Road, outside the gate to the Britannia Filtration Plant. Experience the diversity of Ottawa's avifauna during the peak of Fall migration. Expect to see warblers, sparrows, waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls and others. Study the 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 a lunch.
September 8 2018 (Saturday) Colonel Sam Smith Park & western Lake Ontario
- Leader: Garth Riley
- Meet 8:00 a.m. at the southernmost parking lot where road ends. Take Kipling Avenue south from Q.E.W. and follow it south of Lakeshore Blvd. to the end. Other locations we may bird include Lakefront Promenade, Jack Darling Park, Rattray Marsh, Shell Park.
- Fall migrants: warblers, sparrows, shorebirds, waterfowl.
September 9 2018 (Sunday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park
- Leader: Ian Shanahan
- Meet 8:00 a.m. at the Lighthouse parking lot. Park entrance fee. Fall migrants, shorebirds, hawks
September 15 2018 (Saturday) Kettle Point and inland lagoons
- Leader: Sean Jenniskens
- Meet 8.00 a.m. in parking lot at junction of Highway 21 and Lakeshore Road (County Road 7) on the way into Kettle Point. Look for gulls, terns, shorebirds, jaegers, at Kettle Point. Then inland to nearby sewage lagoons: search for waterfowl, shorebirds. Bring lunch; rubber boots for wet areas.
September 16 2018 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park
- Leader: Jeremy Hatt
- Meet 8:00 a.m. at the Visitor Centre in the Park (entry fee). Birding around the Visitor Centre, at the Tip, and in the surrounding area including the onion fields.
- Fall migrants, raptors, seabirds, shorebirds, Monarch butterflies.
September 22 2018 (Saturday) Hamilton, Burlington & Vicinity
- Leader: Len Manning
- Meet 8:00 a.m. in Hutch's Restaurant parking lot at Van Wagners Beach on Lake Ontario in Hamilton. From Niagara on QEW, exit at Centennial Parkway, go left onto North Service Road and follow to Van Wagners Beach Road to the restaurant. From Toronto on QEW, exit at Woodward Avenue, turn right at lights, then right at next lights, go under bridge, turn right onto Van Wagners Beach Road to the restaurant.
- Jaegers, gulls, shorebirds, fall migrants.
October 7 2018 (Sunday) Westmeath Provincial Park & 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 13 2018 (Saturday) Birding Simcoe Shores
- 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., at 9.00 a.m. Take 400N to Mapleview East to Yonge St N to Cox Mill (right turn) to Dock Road (right Turn). Easy walking, bring snack and water.
- 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?
October 14 2018 (Sunday) 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 14 2018 (Sunday) Amherst Island
- 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 20 2018 (Saturday) 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 21 2018 (Sunday) 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 28 2018 (Sunday) 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). For anyone running late, first stop will be at the beach (from Sobey's go west).
- Late fall/ early winter migrants, waterfowl, gulls, jaegers, eagles and resident titmice.
October 28 2018 (Sunday) Hawk Cliff & 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 4 2018 (Sunday) 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.
December 2 2018 (Sunday) 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 8 2018 (Saturday) Barrie Lakeshore
- 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. at 9.00am. Car pool and easy walking.
- We will explore the Barrie lake front and parks for gulls, waterfowl and other lingering migrants
December 9 2018 (Sunday) 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.