Summer and Early Fall Field Trips in the Ottawa Ontario Area

Summer - Local Excursions and Programs

SUMMER & EARLY FALL BIRDING FIELD TRIPS

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


From Beginner To Expert - Ideal For ALL Levels

“Always An Adventure”

Summer Birding Packages

3 Special Limited-time Offers Specially Designed To Fit Your Busy Schedule

  • 1) Get the entire Summer/Fall Package for only $300 (HST included) This includes ALL half-day excursions, full-day excursions, and the overnight trip to Presqu'ile Park.
  • 2) Only have time on Weekends? For only $200 (HST included) get all half-day, and full-day excursions that occur on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • 3) Only have time during Weekdays? For only $200 (HST included) get all the half-day excursions that happen during the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Offers Expire Aug 5
  • NEW - 2 "PHOTO Days"
    included as part of the regular Summer Program (see list below)

  • Registered Members Can Expect More!
  • HURRY, Space Is Limited!!!

Regular Prices (See above for "Special Offers")

Half-Day Excursions in The Ottawa Area (includes "PHOTO days")

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

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

FULL Day Excursion in The Ottawa Area

6:00am to around 6:00pm

Regular Price: $70 (HST included) per person

OVERNIGHT Excursion outside The Ottawa Area

Two Days/One Night - Regular Price: $170.00 (HST included) per person, per excursion - food, transportation and accommodations not included

Summer Program List - ALL Excursions

  1. Tuesday July 3 - Petrie Island, Eastern Lagoons & early fall migrants
  2. Thursday July 5 - Young Birds and Fall Migrants Along The Ottawa River
  3. Saturday July 7 - Petrie Island and St. Lawrence Lowland Habitats
  4. Sunday July 8 - Bluebirds, Flycatchers, Towhees and Cuckoos - Ottawa West
  5. Sunday August 5 - Young Birds and Fall Migrants - Ottawa West
  6. Tuesday August 7 - PHOTO Day - Forest & Wetland - Stony Swamp & Jack Pine Trail
  7. Thursday August 9 - Shorebirds and Early Fall Migrants - Ottawa East
  8. Saturday August 11 - King Mountain and Gatineau Park
  9. Sunday August 12 - Bill Mason Centre and Open Fields - Ottawa West
  10. Tuesday August 14 - FULL Day - Eastern Ontario and the St. Lawrence River
  11. Thursday August 16 - Lac Deschenes and the Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  12. Saturday August 18 - PHOTO Day - Gatineau Park - The Champlain Lookout
  13. Sunday August 19 - Juveniles and Adults - Migrating Shorebirds - Ottawa East
  14. Tuesday August 21 - Britannia Conservation Area - Early Fall Migrants
  15. Thursday August 23 - Lagoons, Wetlands and Fields - Ottawa East
  16. Saturday August 25 - FULL Day - Pontiac County - The Hills of Quebec
  17. Tuesday August 28 - The Ottawa River Migratory Corridor - Ottawa
  18. Thursday September 20 - Migration Along The Ottawa River - Ottawa West
  19. Sat/Sun September 22-23 - OVERNIGHT - Prince Edward County & Presqu'ile Park
  20. Tuesday September 25 - Shorebirds and Fall Migrants - Ottawa East
  21. Saturday September 29 - Gatineau Park - Fall Colours and Wildlife
  22. Sunday September 30 - The Intensity of Fall Migration - Ottawa West

Summer Program Itinerary Details - ALL Excursions

1) Tuesday July 3 - Petrie Island, Eastern Lagoons & early fall migrants

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


We start at Petrie Island to check for migrants and resident birds. In the wetlands and shorelines we might see American Bittern, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Moorhen, or Black Tern. We then continue to some of the best shorebird spots in Ottawa including Cassleman and Embrun Lagoons. During early summer, Ottawa's nesting birds are still actively tending to young. This is also when we notice the very first signs of fall migration. We'll see adult and juvenile birds. We might even see some active nests. If we look hard, we might find the season's first shorebirds moving south - typically unsuccessful nesters, or adults finished with breeding duties. We might find Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs or Lesser Yellowlegs. Less common, but possible are Wilson's Phalarope, Stilt Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher. This outing offers an excellent introduction for studying the subtle characters differentiating this challenging group. Although the plumage differences are subtle, shorebirds are very cooperative subjects.

2) Thursday July 5 - Young Birds and Fall Migrants Along The Ottawa River

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


Starting at Ottawa Beach/Andrew Haydon Park, we'll check this excellent migrant trap for shorebirds, waterfowl and gulls. This general area has consistently produced rare migratory birds, even during the ždog days of summerÓ. We should also see many juvenile birds - local young hatched this season. We'll watch to see how some show signs of independence while others stay close to their parents. From here we'll continue to other key spots along the river, mainly looking for resting birds or those that wander from their usual summer habitats.

3) Saturday July 7 - Petrie Island and St. Lawrence Lowland Habitats

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


Petrie Island has a variety of habitats accessible for good birding. Much effort has been made to preserve its wetlands, shoreline and forest for recreation and appreciating nature. It's an excellent place to observe many forms of wildlife including amphibians and reptiles. After exploring this wonderful spot, we'll continue eastward, visiting key areas along the Ottawa River. We might also venture to some of the Eastern Lagoons looking specifically for unusual shorebirds and waterfowl. We should notice many young juveniles, and the first of fall's migrants.

4) Sunday July 8 - Bluebirds, Flycatchers, Towhees and Cuckoos - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


This relaxing day will have us exploring areas around Dunrobin, and the Carp Ridge. Both areas will reveal much evidence of young birds at various stages of development. Thanks to concerned property owners and networks of bird houses, Eastern Bluebirds are relatively regular in rural settings around Ottawa. In the scrubby fields along the Carp Ridge, we'll look & listen for Black-billed Cuckoos and Eastern Towhees. In the wet meadows, we'll listen for Sedge Wren. Although these species are among our targets, many other animals should be out in full force. Blackbirds will be abundant, and juvenile hawks may also be visible. This is a wonderful time of year, and wildlife thrives outside the city.

5) Sunday Aug 5 - Young Birds and Fall Migrants - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


The area around Andrew Haydon Park will be buzzing with all kinds of birds. Full-grown juvenile ducks and geese will be marching behind their parents while young gulls will be looking for handouts. But, we'll be looking for more unusual things like early migrating shorebirds and gulls. Possibilities include Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwit, Bonapartes Gull, or a long list of other potential surprises. From here we will continue to other key spots along the river that act as consistent staging areas for weary birds wandering from their summer habitats.

6) Tuesday Aug 7 - PHOTO Day - Forest & Wetland - Stony Swamp & Jack Pine Trail

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Stony Swamp parking lot off Moodie Drive, south of Hunt Club Road (parking area P8) - $40.00 per person


Today, with camera in hand, we'll explore a few trails in Ottawa's western Greenbelt. These delightful, diverse and easy-hiking trails always deliver. Birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects and flowers, will all be present to entertain us. Throughout the morning, Tony and Nina will point out photographic opportunities, describe their approach to composition, discuss their various techniques, and always make themselves available to answer questions.

7) Thursday Aug 9 - Shorebirds and Early Fall Migrants - 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 summer progresses, so does the parade of migrating birds. The lagoons east of Ottawa are Eastern Ontario's best staging grounds for the first wave of long-distance migrants, especially shorebirds. We'll visit the most active of the local lagoons. But first, we check the forests and shallow waters of Petrie Island. We can expect migrating swallows, warblers, flycatchers and other wildlife, all in the various habitats of this excellent natural area. By the end of the day, we'll have a long list of great birds.

8) Saturday Aug 11 - King Mountain and Gatineau Park

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


The upper elevations of the Canadian Shield, in this case the Gatineau Hills, are excellent for a variety of wildlife. Most of the spring songbirds will have abandoned their rich territorial vocalizations for simple communication call notes. The dense vegetation will be filled with birds. But, locating them might be a challenge. We'll hike some of the more pleasant trails in Gatineau Park, including the King Mountain Trail, an area that brings you through several life zones offering you a glimpse of many different habitats of the park. We hope to see a variety of warblers, thrushes, raptors and perhaps a few mammals.

9) Sunday Aug 12 - Bill Mason Centre and Open Fields - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


The Bill Mason Centre, north of Dunrobin is another fine example of our local woodlands bordering wetlands. Along the boardwalk we will encounter several marsh species including Wilson's Snipe, Virginia Rail and possibly Sora. Using a variety of techniques, we hope to coax these elusive creatures into view. Other birds include Alder Flycatcher, Swamp Sparrow, and possibly a few species of raptors or a few migrating warblers. In the nearby scrublands of the Carp Ridge we'll search for Eastern Towhee, Black-billed Cuckoo, or a number of thrushes and sparrows. Other target species include Eastern Bluebird and Uplands Sandpiper.

10) Tuesday Aug 14 - FULL Day - Eastern Ontario and the St. Lawrence River

Time: 6:00am - Meet at: Petrie Island Causeway, north of intersection at Highway 17 and Trim Road (Orleans) - $70.00 per person


This trip is designed to coincide with peak numbers of shorebirds, and other bird, migrating through Eastern Ontario. Starting at the Petrie Island Causway, we'll search for early migrants, wetland species or anything wandering through this part of the world. Separated from Quebec and United States by two mighty rivers, Eastern Ontario has many different habitats that attract a lot of birds seldom seen anywhere else, or at any other time of year. We'll visit the area's best lagoons and we'll stop at various areas along the St. Lawrence River like Cooper Marsh, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and the Long Sault Parkway. If time permits we'll look for Loggerhead Shrike in the Napanee Plain, west of Kingston. Bring refreshments for the day. We will likely stop somewhere for a lunch break.

11) Thursday Aug 16 - Lac Deschenes and the Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


Lac Deschenes is this area's widest part of the Ottawa River. Like an elbow, the waterway bends here from north to east. Each fall, the relatively shallow depths beside Andrew Haydon Park and Shirley's Bay provide significant staging grounds for a variety of waterfowl, gulls and shorebirds. Further out, toward the deeper centre, the river attracts loons, grebes and diving waterfowl. Although still early in the season, this general žhotspotÓ always has the potential to attract rare migrants. To maximize our chances of finding something interesting, we'll observe the river from a variety of vantage points.

12) Saturday Aug 18 - PHOTO Day - Gatineau Park - The Champlain Lookout

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


This Photo excursion into Gatineau Park will take us up to the Western Trail of Champlain Lookout, and possibly King Mountain. Besides being one of the best habitats for songbirds, this area offers the most beautiful scenery in the entire region. The spectacular views will compete with the many woodland species and other wildlife we'll find in this dynamic setting. Throughout the morning, Tony and Nina will point out photographic opportunities, describe their approach to composition, discuss their various techniques, and always make themselves available to answer questions.

13) Sunday Aug 19 - Juveniles and Adults - Migrating Shorebirds - Ottawa East

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


Anticipating significant bird migration, in particular shorebirds, today we'll explore Eastern Ontario's lagoons. During mid August, we can expect juvenile shorebirds mingling with the adults. The lagoons are also a great place to observe waterfowl, rails, migrating swallows, and many other birds, all taking advantage of the abundant food supply in these artificial wetlands. If time permits, we'll check local agricultural lands for grassland species like Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, various blackbirds and others.

14) Tuesday Aug 21 - Britannia & Mud Lake - Early Fall Migrants

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Cassels Road, outside the gate to the Britannia Filtration Plant - $40.00 per person


Although a small number of birds might still be involved with nesting activities, the summer is mostly drawing to a close with many birds heading south. During this time, the Britannia Conservation Area is an oasis of life in a concrete jungle. Warblers, flycatchers, tanagers and swallows fill themselves with food before continuing their long journey to the neotropics. Black-crowned Night-Herons and various waterfowl come to Mud Lake to rest before the changing season. Meanwhile, the Deschenes Rapids provide refuge to gulls, cormorants and shorebirds using the river as a corridor from the Arctic to the Atlantic. Britannia is one of the most diverse natural areas in the Ottawa district. Without question, this spot can produce some of Ottawa's most exciting birding, especially in the fall. Over the years, Britannia has consistently produces rare birds like Connecticut Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Cassin's Kingbird, Gray Kingbird and Western Kingbird. What amazing vagrant will be next?

15) Thursday Aug 23 - Lagoons, Wetlands and Fields - Ottawa East

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


The end of August is a transitional time for local wildlife. Many birds have begun their migration south while some adult birds are still caring for young. In the fields around us, juvenile birds will be looking to their parents for guidance. In our many local lagoons and wetlands we'll find both young and adult birds. Shorebirds, swallows, blackbirds and others will frantically engorge on tiny invertebrates in order to fatten-up for the long journey ahead. We'll spend most of today traveling around the backroads of Eastern Ontario looking for the signs of the season. There is always potential for exciting rarities, bird-identification challenges and interesting wildlife behaviors.

16) Saturday Aug 25 - FULL Day - Pontiac County - The Hills of Quebec

Time: 6:00am - Meet at: The Information Kiosk, corner of Rue Gamelin and Promenade de la Gatineau - $70.00 per person


This full day outing explores the beautiful Gatineau range through the Pontiac Township. We will enter Gatineau Park along the escarpment of Steele Line, north of Quyon. We'll venture through the swampy wetlands around Bryson, and explore the fields around Shawville. If time permits, we'll visit scenic Calumet Island and Fort Coulonge. There is much to explore, so we will spend the entire day in this rustic part of our region. Some birds we might see include Bald Eagle, migrating warblers, Scarlet Tanager, various marsh species or something rare. Bring refreshments for the day. We will likely stop somewhere en-route for a lunch break.

17) Tuesday Aug 28 - The Ottawa River Migratory Corridor - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


Approaching the peak of fall migration, we'll check staging hot-spots along the Ottawa River - an important migratory route for birds traveling south from Canada's Arctic to the Atlantic seaboard. Starting at Ottawa Beach (Andrew Haydon Park), we'll continue to Grandview Drive, Shirley's Bay or Constance Creek. We'll see migrating songbirds in the riparian habitats of the river. We should also notice migratory gulls, waterfowl and shorebirds along the shallow shoreline. Since anything is possible at this time of year, we will pay close attention to recent postings on local birding networks, and track down any exciting reports of rare birds.

18) Thursday Sep 20 - Migration Along The Ottawa River - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


In late September, the Ottawa River acts as a refuge for migrating birds with activity increasing almost on a daily basis. Fluctuating numbers of birds appear along the shoreline as birds arrive and depart during their southward migration. Often, large flocks of Canada Geese land in the shallows. We'll study the flocks for uncommon or rare species like Cackling Goose, Snow Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose. In the vegetation lining the shores, migratory songbirds tease us with their skulking behaviour. Along sandy beaches and muddy shorelines, we'll look for unusual shorebirds, like American Golden Plover, Long-billed Dowitcher or Hudsonian Godwit. We'll also search for the first migrating high-arctic waterfowl, including Brant, Black Scoter and Long-tailed Duck. Overhead, on the water, or resting on shore, evidence of migration will surround us. Our strategy is to position ourselves at key locations in order to maximize our observations of the river.

19) Sat/Sun Sep 22-23 - OVERNIGHT - Prince Edward County & Presqu'ile Park

Time: 6:00am - Meet at: The Coliseum Theatre Parking Lot, northwest corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore - $170.00 per person


Few places in Eastern Ontario have as much potential as Prince Edward County and Presqu'ile Provincial Park for attracting birds, (and birders). With their diverse habitats, and accessible shoreline, these areas act as beacons for wayward travellers. Prince Edward Point is a world-class bird banding station. We'll spend most of our first day around the point looking for migrant songbirds and raptors. Presqu'ile Park is a significant staging area for many migrants, having status as an "Important Bird Area" designated by "Birdlife International". Several unusual species regularly show up in Presqu'ile during late September. Birds we'll look for include Little Gull, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Red Phalarope, Parasitic Jaeger, or any number of other rarities on the park's impressive list of birds.

RESERVATION DUE DATE: Aug. 15th - Send E-mail to: TonysAlwaysAnAdventure@gmail.com

20) Tuesday Sep 25 - Shorebirds and Fall Migrants - 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 unfolds, so does the parade of migrating shorebirds. The lagoons east of Ottawa are Eastern Ontario's best staging grounds for migrating waterbirds. And, we'll visit the most active of the local lagoons. But first, we check the forests and shallow waters of Petrie Island. We hope to catch the very last of the swallows, warblers and flycatchers migrating south. Meanwhile, the various habitats of this excellent natural area should harbour several species of ducks, blackbirds, sparrows, kinglets and others. There is always an excellent chance to find unusual birds in September.

21) Saturday Sep 29 - Gatineau Park - Fall Colours and Wildlife

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 end of September is usually the start of this spectacular natural phenomenon. Aside from the park's rich colour, the migrating birds should be fairly numerous. Although most of the warblers will have left, thrushes, sparrows, kinglets and raptors should be present in good numbers. There is always a chance to see unusual birds like eagles, Ruffed Grouse or even a Goshawk. We'll keep our eyes out for interesting mammals as well. While birding the park's productive trails, we'll also check various lookouts for some breath-taking vistas.

22) Sunday Sep 30 - The Intensity of Fall Migration - Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am - Meet at: Andrew Haydon East Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., West of Bayshore, East of Acres Road - $40.00 per person


As the Arctic begins to freeze, 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, Shirleys Bay, Andrew Haydon Park or the Moodie Drive Quarry Ponds. Often, the numbers and diversity of birds can be staggering with large flocks coming and going. Local farm fields provide food for thousands of geese and gulls. We'll check through the common Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls for unusual species like Cackling Goose, Ross's Goose and Greater White-fronted Goose. Out in the deeper waters of our rivers, 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 is especially true in autumn. It's a very exciting time for birders.