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Fall - Local Excursions & Programs

FALL BIRDING FIELD TRIPS

Relaxed, Fun, Exciting and Educational Excursions in the Ottawa Area

“Always An Adventure”

Fall Birding Packages

NEW - SPECIAL LIMITED-TIME OFFER

  • 1) Get the entire Fall Package for only $230 (HST included)
    This includes ALL half-day excursions and full-day excursions.

Offer Expires October 12
Registered Members Can Expect More!
HURRY, Space Is Limited!!!

THE COMPLETE FALL PROGRAM:

This Includes All Half-Day & Full-Day Excursions

Get The Entire Fall Program for only $230 (HST included) per person

See Breakdown Below For Individual Prices and Times

  1. Tuesday Oct 2: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl, Geese & Raptors - Ottawa East
  2. Wednesday Oct. 3: PHOTO DAY - Fall Colors Gatineau Escarpment
  3. Thursday Oct 4: Woodland Trails & Open Fields, Ottawa West
  4. Saturday Oct 6: Lagoons & Open Country - Ottawa East
  5. Sunday Oct 7: Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  6. Tuesday Oct 9: The Ottawa River Migratory Corridor - Ottawa West
  7. Thursday Nov 1: Lac Deschenes & the Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  8. Saturday Nov 3: FULL DAY - Amherst Island
  9. Sunday Nov 4: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl, Geese & Raptors - Ottawa East
  10. Tuesday Nov 6: Diving Ducks, Loons & Other Waterbirds - Ottawa West
  11. Thursday Nov 8: Late Fall Migration in Ottawa East
  12. Saturday Nov 10: Chasing Rarities & Late Fall Birding - Ottawa West
  13. Sunday Nov 11: Eagles & Finches - Gatineau Escarpment
  14. Tuesday Nov 13: FULL DAY - Lac Dore & the Barron Canyon
  15. Thursday Nov 15: Late Fall Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Breakdown for Half-Day Excursions in The Ottawa Area:

All Half-Day trips start at 7:30am, and end around noon.

Regular Price: $40 (HST included) per person, per excursion

  1. Tuesday Oct 2: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl, Geese & Raptors - Ottawa East
  2. Thursday Oct 4: Woodland Trails & Open Fields, Ottawa West
  3. Saturday Oct 6: Lagoons & Open Country - Ottawa East
  4. Sunday Oct 7: Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  5. Tuesday Oct 9: The Ottawa River Migratory Corridor - Ottawa West
  6. Thursday Nov 1: Lac Deschenes & the Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  7. Sunday Nov 4: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl, Geese & Raptors - Ottawa East
  8. Tuesday Nov 6: Diving Ducks, Loons & Other Waterbirds - Ottawa West
  9. Thursday Nov 8: Late Fall Migration in Ottawa East
  10. Saturday Nov 10: Chasing Rarities & Late Fall Birding - Ottawa West
  11. Sunday Nov 11: Eagles & Finches - Gatineau Escarpment
  12. Thursday Nov 15: Late Fall Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Breakdown for PHOTO DAY Excursions:

All Half-Day trips start at 7:30am, and end around noon.

Regular Price: $40 (HST included) per person, per excursion

  1. Wednesday Oct. 3: PHOTO DAY - Fall Colors Gatineau Escarpment

Breakdown for FULL-DAY PHOTO Excursion Outside The Ottawa Area:

6:00am to approximately 6:00pm - Regular Price: $TBA (HST included) per person, per excursion - food & transportation not included

  1. Sorry, No FULL-DAY PHOTO Excursions this fall

Breakdown for FULL-DAY Excursions Outside The Ottawa Area:

6:00am to approximately 6:00pm - Regular Price: $70 (HST included) per person, per excursion - food & transportation not included

  1. Saturday Nov 3: FULL DAY - Amherst Island
  2. Tuesday Nov 13: FULL DAY - Lac Dore & the Barron Canyon

Breakdown for Overnight Excursion outside The Ottawa Area:

Two Days/One Night - Regular Price: $TBA (HST included) per person, per excursion - food, transportation and accommodations not included

  1. Sorry, No OVERNIGHT EXCURSION this fall

1. Tuesday Oct 2: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl and Raptors - Ottawa East

Time 7:30am - Meet at: Petrie Island Causeway, north of intersection at Highway 17 and Trim Road (Orleans) - $40.00 per person


By early October, harvesting has begun in our local agricultural fields. This provides us with a few clearings along roadsides where birds are easily observed as they forage through the crop stubble. Although some birds will have already passed through, we will still witness much evidence of migration. After a quick check around Petrie Island for waterfowl and songbirds, we will drive through open country east of Ottawa looking for Sandhill Cranes, various geese and various hawks. We might also encounter Lapland Longspur, or with luck, Short-eared Owl. We'll check all flocks of waterfowl for unusual species like Ross's Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose. They're out there. Finding them is often just a matter of persistence.

2. Wednesday Oct 3: PHOTO DAY - Fall Colors Gatineau Escarpment

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Information Kiosk, corner of Rue Gamelin and Promenade de la Gatineau - $40.00 per person


Gatineau Park boasts some of the best fall colours anywhere in the world. The beginning of October is typically the start of this spectacular natural phenomenon. Aside from the park's rich colour, the migrating birds should be fairly numerous. We'll check out various trails along the escarpment, as well as keeping our eyes out for interesting mammals. Throughout the morning, Tony & Nina will point out photographic opportunities, describe their approach to composition, discuss their various techniques, and always make themselves available to answer questions.

3. Thursday Oct 4: Woodland Trails & Open Fields, Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Jack Pine Trail Parking Lot, Moodie Drive. (South of Hunt Club Road) - $40.00 per person


We'll start the morning by exploring one of the local trails along Moodie Drive. Although we meet at Jack Pine Trail, we may venture over to the Stony Swamp trail network across the street. Many woodland birds should be active, like woodpeckers, migrating sparrows, kinglets and a perhaps few lingering warblers. After a short hike, we'll check local farm fields for migrating waterfowl and raptors. There could be Lapland Longspurs and American Pipits feeding in the grains and corn stubble. This is an excellent time to view a good variety of wildlife.

4. Saturday Oct 6: Lagoons & Open Country - Ottawa East

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Petrie Island Causeway, north of intersection at Highway 17 and Trim Road (Orleans) - $40.00 per person


As the fall progresses, so does the parade of migratory birds. Many geese, ducks, raptors and songbirds arrive in Eastern Ontario's open fields at the beginning of October. The local lagoons also provide suitable habitat for a variety of waterbirds. There is always a chance for shorebirds, grebes, gulls and various waterfowl. Since this is a dynamic time, bird numbers can easily change overnight. Some migrants may have left while others are arriving. We might even try to relocate interesting birds discovered during previous trips. Anything is possible in October.

5. Sunday Oct 7: Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


The Ottawa River continues with its intense flurry of bird activity. Fluctuating bird populations appear as the day progresses. Like bobbing corks, rafts of scaup, scoter and goldeneye rest on the river. In the vegetation lining the shores, migratory songbirds tease us with their skulking behaviour. Along sandy beaches and rocky shorelines, unusual shorebirds, like Red Phalarope, blend into the background with their cryptic plumage. Many high arctic birds, including uncommon ones like Red-throated Loon and Brant, begin moving through as October begins. Overhead, on the water, or resting on shore, evidence of migration will surround us. Our strategy is to position ourselves at key locations to maximize our ability to observe the river.

6. Tuesday Oct 9: The Ottawa River Migratory Corridor - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


As the north cloaks itself in ice, the Ottawa River acts as a corridor leading migrants to their wintering areas in the south. Many waterfowl feed and rest along the shallows of Constance Bay, Shirley's Bay and Andrew Haydon Park. Meanwhile, out in the deeper water, diving ducks, loons & grebes frantically feed before continuing their journey. Migratory birds occasionally fly off course, taking them far away from their normal range. This phenomenon occurs throughout the fall. So, much of the morning is spent looking for unusual species. This is a very exciting time for many local birders.

7. Thursday Nov 1: Lac Deschenes & the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


This trip explores Lac Deschenes, one of Ottawa's most dynamic staging areas. We'll use several vantage points including Britannia Pier, Scrivens Drive, Andrew Hayden Park and Dick Bell Park to make sure we cover the area carefully. Most of the birds are transients en-route to the south. We hope to see some northern birds like Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Long-tailed Duck, Brant, Red-throated Loon, Purple Sandpiper, or maybe even something more exotic. Also, a few common residents, mainly hardy songbirds or waterfowl, will still be lingering into the cooler months. If time permits, or if the river fails to entertain, we'll check fields southwest of the city.

8. Saturday Nov 3: FULL DAY - Amherst Island

Time: 6:00am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $70.00 per person


Most years Amherst Island is a haven for overwintering raptors. Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks can be common, while Bald Eagle, Northern Shrike, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl and Saw-whet Owl are often present. Although a bit early, there's always a chance to see the first Snowy Owls of the season. They're attracted to the abundant Meadow Vole population scurrying over the vast open spaces - ideal hunting grounds for many predators. The surrounding waters also attract good numbers of waterfowl like Tundra Swan and Long-tailed Duck. There are usually other birds of interest including Ring-necked Pheasant, Lapland Longspur or Red-bellied Woodpecker. We'll also stop in places near Kingston for interesting birds. Past trips have included Eurasian Wigeon and Tufted Duck.

9. Sunday Nov 4: Sandhill Cranes, Water Fowl, Geese and Raptors - Ottawa East

Time 7:30am - Meet at: Petrie Island Causeway, north of intersection at Highway 17 and Trim Road (Orleans) - $40.00 per person


In early November, our local farm fields are fully harvested. This provides completely open views from the roadside where birds are easily observed as they forage through the crop stubble. Although many birds will have already passed through, we will still see plenty of fall migrants. After a quick check of the Ottawa River for various water birds, we will drive through open country east of Ottawa looking for Sandhill Cranes, various geese and others. We might also encounter Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Short-eared Owl, or maybe even a Goshawk. We'll check all flocks of waterfowl for unusual species like Ross's Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose. If time permits, we'll check lagoons and wetlands for the last of the migrant ducks and shorebirds.

10. Tuesday Nov 6: Diving Ducks, Loons & Other Waterbirds - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


The beginning of November in Ottawa is always a good time to observe the hardiest of northern birds. Having just arrived from the Arctic, many spend time loafing or feeding in the deep water of the Ottawa River. Birds like Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Long-tailed Duck and Horned Grebe will likely be present somewhere along the river. We'll also check the water's edge for late shorebirds like Sanderling, Dunlin, White-rumped Sandpiper or, with luck, Purple Sandpiper. Our activity depends on where the birds are concentrated. We'll consider checking places like Andrew Hayden Park, Burnside Pit, Grandview Drive, Shirley's Bay or Constance Bay with hopes of observing a great deal of diversity. This is an exciting time of year with a potential for great discoveries.

11. Thursday Nov 8: Late Fall Migration in Ottawa East

Time 7:30am - Meet at: Petrie Island Causeway, north of intersection at Highway 17 and Trim Road (Orleans) - $40.00 per person


As fall progresses, it becomes more difficult to find migrants passing through our area. Regardless, a few birds will linger around Petrie Island. Sometimes early Snow Buntings, northern gulls or unusual waterfowl might feed around the sandy shoreline and shallow wetlands. There will be thousands of ducks and geese feeding in the flat, open farm fields east of the city. Rough-legged Hawks and other raptors will be hunting over these same areas. Sandhill Cranes might still be lingering in the fields around Navan. If conditions are good, we might encounter Ross's Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Golden Eagle, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Lapland Longspur. As always, we will study the birds closely looking for the unusual.

12. Saturday Nov 10: Chasing Rarities & Late Fall Birding - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


Following reports from local birders, today we'll attempt to track down any rare or unusual birds. So often, at this time of year, interesting birds come into the Ottawa area. Perhaps a Black-backed Woodpecker is consistently visiting a stand of conifers, or a Townsend's Solitaire has discovered a grove of Crab Apple. Whatever excitement is being reported, we will engage in a quest. If nothing special has been reported, we will try to find our own rarities with the hopes of generating a rare-bird alert. No doubt, good birds will be present in Ottawa's west end. We just have to find them.

13. Sunday Nov 11: Eagles & Finches - Gatineau Escarpment

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Information Kiosk, corner of Rue Gamelin and Promenade de la Gatineau - $40.00 per person


The rugged beauty of the Gatineau Escarpment offers the naturalist opportunity to see many interesting birds. At the edge of the Canadian Shield, northern finches, woodpeckers and raptors recognize habitats similar to their northern breeding grounds. Typically, they're found here more easily than in Ottawa's lowlands. We'll look for raptors using the updrafts created by the escarpment. Throughout fall and winter Bald Eagles are found regularly, while Golden Eagles require a bit of persistence. We'll spend the morning exploring the many backroads networked through the hills and lowlands.

14. Tuesday Nov 13: FULL DAY - Lac Dore & the Barron Canyon

Time: 6:00am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $70.00 per person


Lake Dore is a large body of freshwater that has consistently produced unusual migrant and stray waterbirds, especially during the fall. The Lake provides a good food supply to surface feeders, as well as diving birds. The list of exciting rarities that have shown up here is fairly long, including gems like Thick-billed Murre and Ivory Gull. November is a good time for grebes, loons, waterfowl and gulls. If time permits, we'll head north to Algonquin Park, and the Barron Canyon - a picturesque part of Ontario, and a great place for northern species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, and possibly Boreal Chickadee or Red Crossbill. This is a full-day outing, so bring a lunch. We might also make stops for food & drink en-route.

15. Thursday Nov 15: Late Fall Migration along the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $40.00 per person


With winter just around the corner, this could be our last opportunity to view migrants along the river. Depending on temperatures, local waters begin to freeze toward the end of the year. However, as long as there is some open water and open fields, birds will be there feeding. Goldeneye, Canada Geese, mergansers and other hardy fowl all seem to prefer their water cold. Many northern gulls, like Glaucous or Iceland, also use the frigid shoreline to feed and rest. Occasionally, Snowy Owls, Peregrine Falcons, or even Gyrfalcons, patrol these areas hoping to find an easy meal. As always, we will study the birds closely looking for the unusual.