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, 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 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 25 2019 (Saturday) Leslie Street Spit, Toronto
Leader: John Carley
Meet 8:00 am at the Tommy Thompson Park parking lot at the intersection of Leslie Street and Unwin Avenue. Late migrants, breeding birds and butterflies.
May 25 2019 (Saturday) Tiny Marsh
Leader: Kevin Shackleton
Meet 6:45 am at Tim Hortons, 68 Yonge Street South in Elmvale. Plan for a full day with a hike around the Tiny Marsh Trails, a visit to Wasaga Beach for Piping Plover, the Collingwood Harbour for late migrating waterfowl and the Collingwood Airport area for grassland species.
May 25 2019 (Saturday) Opinicon Road, Napanee Plain and Amherst Island
Leader: Chris Heffernan
Meet 7:00 am at 11 Garrett Road, Elgin. Golden-winged and Cerulean Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Indigo Bunting, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Stop at the Napanee Plain near Newburgh for grassland species such as Loggerhead Shrike. In the afternoon take the ferry to Amherst Island for shorebirds and ducks. Ferry fee required.
May 26 2019 (Sunday) Carden Alvar
Leader: Jean Iron
Meet 9:00 am 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. Driving and easy walking. Loggerhead Shrike, Upland Sandpiper, Golden-winged Warbler, Grasshopper, Clay-colored and Vesper Sparrows, and other grassland species.
June 1 2019 (Saturday) Lanark County
Leader: Ken Allison
Meet 7:30 am at the park beside the Five Span Bridge in Pakenham, about 30 minutes from Ottawa. Walking on good trails in mostly wooded areas. Eastern Bluebird, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Broad-winged Hawk plus many warbler species. Trip ends at noon.
June 1 2019 (Saturday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Leader: Dave Milsom (705-874-8531), Matthew Tobey
Meet 8:00 am at the Beach 1 parking lot in the park. Late migrating shorebirds, warblers and others. Park entry fee is required.
June 7 2019 (Friday) Rainy River
Leader: Nick Escott, Chris Escott
Meet Friday 7:00 am at the junction of Worthington Road and Hwy. 11, about 10 km east of Rainy River, 3 sideroads east of town. 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. Trip ends at noon on Saturday. Registration is required at ofo.ca. Registration closes May 1.
June 8 2019 (Saturday) Nature Journaling and Bird Sketching at Point Pelee National Park
Leader: Sarah Rupert
Meet 9:00 am at the Visitor's Centre for a day of nature journaling and bird sketching. We'll spend the morning in the Visitor Centre classroom practicing the basics of sketching. After lunch, we'll head out into the park and area to put our new skills to work. Park entry fee required. Bring a sketchbook or journal, a pencil, your lunch and a folding chair. Registration is required at ofo.ca. Maximum 15.
June 15 2019 (Saturday) Happy Valley CA and Palgrave CA, King Township
Leader: Kevin Shackleton
Meet 7:30 am at entrance to Happy Valley Conservation Area. Park at the barricade facing south. Warblers, tanagers, thrushes, Red-shouldered and other hawks, swallows, and Eastern Bluebird. Hooded warblers are possible. In the afternoon, tour Palgrave Conservation Area for Pine Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-headed Vireo, Purple Finch, Willow Flycatcher and Golden-crowned Kinglet.
June 15 2019 (Saturday) Breeding Birds of Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto
Leader: Lynne Freeman
Meet 7:30 am at the pond behind the Farmer's Market Building. Breeding habits of urban birds. Trip ends at 10:30.
June 15 2019 (Saturday) and June 16 (Sunday) Bruce Peninsula
Leader: Alfred Raab, Kiah Jasper
On Saturday meet 7:00 am at Tim Hortons in Hepworth, about 12.5 km south of Wiarton on Hwy. 6. On Sunday, meet 7:00 am at Tobermory Airport parking lot, west of Hwy. 6 on Warner Bay Road. Bruce birds include Brewer's Blackbird, Common Raven, Virginia Rail, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sandhill Crane, Upland Sandpiper and breeding warblers. Arrange accommodations.
June 22 2019 (Saturday) Birds Songs and Calls Workshop Forests and Grasslands
Leader: Ian Shanahan
Meet 1:00 pm Saturday at the Park Lighthouse. "Look for birds with your ears" is a useful guiding principle, especially during the breeding season. Join this mobile, in-field workshop to apply time-tested listening techniques in a broad range of nearby habitats. Registration required at ofo.ca. Maximum 15. Trip ends 1:00 pm Sunday.
June 22 2019 (Saturday) Photography Field Trip at Colonel Sam Smith Park, Etobicoke
Leader: Claude King, Dave Milsom (705-874-8531)
Meet 7:00 am at end car park next to the main park at the foot of Kipling Ave. All levels of photographers welcome. Those requiring photo tips for their specific camera should bring their manual. Registration required at ofo.ca. Maximum 25.
August 4 2019 (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. Early fall migrant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, shorebirds and butterflies.
August 17 2019 (Saturday) Birds of Moonbeam, Cochrane Area
Leader: Ken Williams, Angie Williams
We will meet at 9:00 am at the Travel Information centre in Moonbeam, on Highway 11 where the flying saucer is. (Yes, there's a flying saucer in Moonbeam.) Warblers, sparrows, flycatchers and possible migrating shorebirds and ducks. Trip ends at noon.
August 24 2019 (Saturday) Palgrave and Tottenham Sod Farms, Schomberg Lagoons
Leader: John Schmelefske
Meet 8:00 am at Patterson Sideroad and Hwy. 50 in the village of Palgrave. Fall migrants: warblers, flycatchers, shorebirds. Possible plovers, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and Baird's Sandpiper.
September 8 2019 (Sunday) Toronto Islands
Leader: Gavin Platt
Catch the 7:15 am Ferry to Ward's Island from the Harbourfront Ferry Terminal. You will need $7.50 in coins ($5.00 for seniors and students). Early fall migrants. The trip involves walking all day. Bring a lunch.
September 8 2019 (Sunday) Ottawa West
Leader: Jeff Skevington
Meet 7:30 am on Cassels Road, outside the gate to the Britannia Filtration Plant. Fall migrants: warblers, sparrows, waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls. Bring lunch. Trip ends at 5:00 pm.
September 8 2019 (Sunday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Leader: Ian Shanahan
Meet 8:00 am at the Lighthouse parking lot in the park. Park entrance fee required. Fall migrants, shorebirds and hawks.
September 8 2019 (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 entrance fee required. Shorebirds, waterbirds, and other fall migrants.
September 9 2019 (Monday) Fall Birding at Moosonee
Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker
Observe the birds that gather along Ontario's saltwater coast. Trip includes boat trip to tidal mudflats and a visit to Moose Factory Island. 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 $825/person based on double occupancy (single supplement $250). Price includes Moosonee accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and return train travel from Cochrane to Moosonee. Registration required with the Parkers at email@example.com. Space is limited.
September 14 2019 (Saturday) Introduction to Cochrane Birding
Leader: Rhonda Donley, Roxanne Filion
Meet 9:00 am at the Station Inn Restaurant in Cochrane. Sandhill Crane staging; Sharp-tailed Grouse, Le Conte's Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Spruce Grouse.
September 14 2019 (Saturday) Hamilton, Burlington and Vicinity
Leader: Richard Poort
Meet 8:00 am at Hutch's Restaurant parking lot at Van Wagner's Beach, Hamilton, on Lake Ontario. Jaegers, gulls, shorebirds, and fall migrants.
September 14 2019 (Saturday) Kettle Point and Inland Lagoons
Leader: Sean Jenniskens
Meet 8.00 am at the parking lot at the junction of Hwy. 21 and Lakeshore Road (County Road 7) on the way into Kettle Point. Gulls, terns, shorebirds, jaegers, at Kettle Point. Waterfowl, shorebirds at inland lagoons. Bring lunch and rubber boots.
September 15 2019 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park
Leader: Jeremy Hatt
Meet 8:00 am at the Park Visitor Centre. Entrance fee required. Birding around the Visitor Centre, the Tip, and the surrounding area. Fall migrants, raptors, seabirds, shorebirds and Monarch butterflies.
September 21 2019 (Saturday) Colonel Sam Smith Park and Western Lake Ontario
Leader: Garth Riley
Meet 8:00 am at the southernmost parking lot in the park where the road ends. Fall migrants: warblers, sparrows, shorebirds and waterfowl.
September 27 2019 (Friday) OFO Annual Convention in Hamilton
Three days of birding, workshops and evening events. Registration required at ofo.ca. Registration opens May 31. Open to OFO members and guests.
October 6 2019 (Sunday) Westmeath Provincial Park and Lac Dore
Leader: Mark Gawn
Meet 8:00 am in Cobden at the Civitan Park on the north side of Hwy. 17. Nelson's Sparrow and Le Conte's Sparrow are possible, small gulls, grebes, and loons.
October 6 2019 (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. Late migrants including sparrows, waterfowl, gulls and waterbirds. Bring lunch. Trip ends mid-afternoon. Registration required at ofo.ca.
October 12 2019 (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. 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 snacks and water.
Gulls, waterfowl and late lingering migrants.
October 19 2019 (Saturday) Durham Waterfront
Leader: Geoff Carpentier
Meet 8:00 am at Lynde Shores Conservation Area parking lot on Victoria Street, Whitby. Late migrants, raptors, shorebirds, ducks.
October 19 2019 (Saturday) Ottawa River
Leader: Tony Beck
Meet 1:00 pm at Andrew Haydon Park, east parking lot (Ottawa Beach). Ducks, geese, shorebirds, gulls. Near sunset, thousands of birds fly into Lac Des Chenes to roost. Trip ends at dusk.
October 20 2019 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park
Leader: Jeremy Hatt
Meet 8:30 am at the Park Visitor Centre. Park entry fee required. Point Pelee Tip, woods, marsh, and nearby onion fields. Fall migrants.
October 26 2019 (Saturday) and October 27 (Sunday) Fall Birding on the Bruce Peninsula
Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker
Attend one or both days. Meet 8:30 am at the parking area for the Spirit Rock Outpost and Lodge on Hwy. 6 at the north end of Wiarton. Saturday, bird Cabot Head area for Sandhill Cranes, Red- necked Grebes, scoters and other waterbirds. Sunday's birding will focus on the Lake Huron shoreline. Accommodation is available at the Spirit Rock Outpost and Lodge. Tel: (519) 534-5168. Bring lunch.
October 26 2019 (Saturday) Colonel Sam Smith Park, Etobicoke
Leader: Andrew Keaveney
Meet 8:00 am at the south parking lot at the foot of Kipling Avenue, just below Lakeshore Boulevard. Fall migrants, ducks, grebes, and gulls.
October 27 2019 (Sunday) Grand Bend, Pinery PP, Kettle Point
Leader: Donald Pye
Meet 8:30 am at Grand Bend Sobeys parking lot on north side of Huron County Rd. 81, east of traffic lights at Hwy. 21. For anyone running late, first stop will be at the beach west of Sobeys. Late fall/early winter migrants, waterfowl, gulls, jaegers, eagles and resident titmice.
October 27 2019 (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 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 3 2019 (Sunday) Cobourg Harbour and Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Leader: Ian Shanahan
Meet 8:30 am at Cobourg Harbour parking area. Rare gulls, loons, grebes and shorebirds possible. Then drive to Presqu'ile Provincial Park for late migrants, including Purple Sandpipers. Park entrance fee required.
November 17 2019 (Sunday) Colonel Sam Smith Park, Etobicoke
Leader: Andrew Keaveney
Meet 8:00 am at the South parking lot at foot of Kipling Avenue, just below Lakeshore Boulevard. Late fall migrants, winter arrivals, ducks, grebes and gulls.
November 30 2019 (Saturday) Niagara Hotspots and Gull Workshop
Niagara Falls Trip time, location and leaders to be announced. Registration required at ofo.ca. Registration opens October 1. Non-OFO members are welcome.
December 1 2019 (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. Ten or more species of gulls are possible.
December 7 2019 (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 We?ll 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.