Birding Program

2024 BIRDWATCHING EXCURSIONS

Relaxed, Fun, Exciting & Educational Excursions in the Greater Ottawa Area ~ From Beginner to Expert – Great For All Levels

We offer anything from an hour to full days and overnights. Normal half-day birding: $75.00 – Extended morning: $95.00 – Full day birding: $150.00 HST included.

A morning outing normally lasts between 4-6 hours, extended morning 7-9 hrs and a full day birding is 9-12+ hrs depending on bird activity.

Want a private outing? Contact us with your wishes and targets and we will create a customised outing for you.

May & June Birding Program

1. Saturday, May 4: Sparrows, Kinglets & Early Warblers

2. Sunday, May 5: Petrie Island & Ottawa East

3. Thursday, May 9: Migrants & Nesting Birds - Ottawa West

4. Date TBA, (Mid May): Whip-poor-will, Owls & General Nocturnal Birding (Late Evening Excursion)

5. Friday-Monday, May 10-13: SPRING Birding Weekend to Prince Edward Point & Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

6. Saturday, May 18: Plaisance Wildlife Reserve, Quebec (East of Buckingham)

7. Sunday, May 19: Richmond Conservation Area - Late Spring Migrants

8. Thursday, May 23: Gatineau Park & Eardley Escarpment

9. Saturday, May 25: Shirley’s Bay Trails & Late Spring Birds - Ottawa West

10. Sunday, May 26: BIRDATHON to the Chaffey’s Lock Area – Warblers, Cuckoos & Other Carolinian Species

11. Wednesday, May 29: BIRDATHON to the Chaffey’s Lock Area – Warblers, Cuckoos & Other Carolinian Species

12. Sunday, June 2: Scrubland & Wetland Birds - Ottawa West

13. Saturday-Sunday, June 8 & 9: Overnight to Algonquin Park

14. Wednesday, June 12: Mer Bleue - Rare Nesters of Eastern Ontario

17. Friday Evening, June 14: Sounds of The Night – Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, Mammals, Amphibians, Insects & other nocturnal wildlife

16. PRIVATE outings available upon request!

Saturday, May 4: Sparrows, Kinglets & Early Warblers

Time: 7:30 am to noon – meet at Jack Pine Trail Parking Lot, Moodie Drive. (South of Hunt Club Road) https://goo.gl/maps/FEt5bbMx3LvFUYvy9 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

By early May, the forest has sprout a green canopy. The sun’s rays have provided much energy to plants and animals alike. Insects thrive in the surrounding water and vegetation. Creatures that eat these insects have a banquet to enjoy. Meanwhile, frogs, toads, turtles and snakes, all have an abundance of food at their disposal. It’s a glorious time for all. We will walk slowly along the rich trails and varied habitats of the Jack Pine Trail keeping our eyes and ears out for any sign of life. Many songbirds will be present including the first wood warblers. Beautiful birds like Pine Warbler or Black-throated Green Warbler might delight us with their presence. White-throated Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Winter Wren, various woodpeckers, and maybe even a rusty Fox Sparrow will make appearances. Registration is to [email protected]

Sunday, May 5: Petrie Island & Ottawa East

Time: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm – Meet at Petrie Island Causeway, beside Ozile’s Marina – Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ewFSCV91WabU6EZ88 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

All around us, the sights and sounds of spring form a distinct contrast to winter’s silence. We start by checking Petrie Island for waterfowl and songbirds. After checking the island, we’ll continue along forest edges and open fields looking for the last geese migrating northward. There should be plenty of birds to study. We’ll also keep our eyes and ears out for anything unusual. We may see eagles and other raptors along the way. We might even find numbers of migrating songbirds like Rusty Blackbirds, White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and others. If time permits, we’ll check Larose Forest for the first warblers singing on territory. Registration is to [email protected]

Thursday, May 9: Migrants & Nesting Birds – Ottawa West

Time: 7:30am to noon-ish – Meet at Andrew Haydon Park West Parking Lot, off Carling Ave., and Acres Road – https://goo.gl/maps/vx4XAy6CcQ3Pqa9F9 – $75.00 per pers HST incl.

During the peak of Spring Migration, we can expect great diversity in the woodlands and wetlands surrounding Ottawa. Many warblers, and flycatchers will be moving through while local nesting birds will be tending to families or actively involved in courtship. Its a wonderful time of year with lots of song and colour. Expect to see many wonderful songbirds, the males decked in bright breeding plumage. We hope to see Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and several species of thrush and warbler. Registration is to [email protected]

Date TBA (Mid May): Whip-poor-will, Owls & General Nocturnal Birding (Late Evening Excursion)

Time: 8 PM to 11 pm – Pre-register to get your name on the roster – Meet at Hwy 416/Bankfield Park-n-Ride – https://goo.gl/maps/cQYmQfFLVWdfyUwm8 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Pre-register to get your name on the roster! The month of May is a good time to hear nocturnal wildlife. Owls like Eastern Screech, Barred and Great Horned might still be on territory somewhere in our region. Although not as common, Saw-Whet and Long-eared should also be around somewhere nearby. We’ll drive around local backroads northwest of Ottawa, periodically stopping to listen for them. When we hear them, we might try to coax them into view. We’ll also try for some early nightjars like Whip-poor-will and Common Nighthawk. Other wildlife we hope to hear/see include American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Ruffed Grouse, Coyote, Racoon, and various songbirds. To improve our chances of hearing (and possibly seeing) the owls, we need to go out when conditions are calm. Since we can’t predict when we’ll have ideal conditions, we need to monitor weather forecasts and choose a time 24 hours before the outing. We’ll then contact interested parties to confirm their participation. Please let us know if you’re interested by emial to [email protected]

Fri-Mon May 10-13: SPRING Birding Weekend to Prince Edward Point & Presqu’ile Provincial Park – SOLD OUT!

This trip has been preannounced to our clients via our Facebook Club and is now SOLD OUT

Daytrips available for $150.00 per person HST included: Friday & Saturday May 10-11: Prince Edward Point – Sunday & Monday May 12-13: Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Contact us for questions and registration to [email protected]

Saturday, May 18: Plaisance Wildlife Reserve, Quebec (East of Buckingham)

Time: 7:30 am to 1pm – Meet at The Information Kiosk (Gatineau Park Welcome Area), Promenade de la Gatineau (Gatineau Parkway), North of Tache Blvd.https://goo.gl/maps/Mwx238Wx8CS8jz7P6 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Today we head across to Quebec, and east along Hwy. 148. We will explore various open areas along the Ottawa River, and the Plaisance Wildlife Reserve. This part of the river, at the northern fringe of the St. Lawrence Lowlands, provides a significant staging area for migratory birds as they wait for their northern breeding grounds to thaw. Although most of the waterfowl have left, we might still see some diversity. We should also find migratory songbirds, and possibly a few raptors. We hope to find some Wood Warblers, Flycatchers and Sparrows somewhere in the various habitats in this remarkable park. Vehicle Fee required for Plaisance Park. Registration is to [email protected]

Sunday May 19: Richmond Conservation Area – Late Spring Migrants

Time: 7:30 am to noon – Meet at Hwy 416/Bankfield Park-n-Ride https://goo.gl/maps/cQYmQfFLVWdfyUwm8 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Mid May in Ottawa has more bird-diversity than at any other time during the season. At this time, places like the Richmond Conservation Area often supply refuge to waterfowl, rails, shorebirds and various songbirds. Although we focus on migration, the frantic nesting of resident birds will also be in evidence. We hope to see Green Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren and a number of swallows. With luck, we might encounter Sora or Least Bittern. We might also see migratory shorebirds like Pectoral Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper and possibly Short-billed dowitcher or Wilson’s Phalarope. These excellent lagoons sometimes attract rare species far away from their normal range. We’ll also check the surrounding area for open country birds like raptors or waterfowl. This is a very exciting time of year for birds. Registration is to [email protected]

Thursday, May 23: Gatineau Park & Eardley Escarpment

Time: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm – Meet at Bate Island, north side, Off the Champlain Bridge Island Park Drive: https://maps.app.goo.gl/dm9L4SPCC7KQEmN27 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

From Bate Island, we head west of the city, following the lower edge of the Eardley Escarpment and up the Eardley/Masham Road. We drive into the park from this remote southwest access point where we plan to hike a short trail leading into a mature mixed forest. This area has fewer people, and more variety of habitats than parts closer to the city. We should see a great diversity of woodland and field species including many male songbirds on territory including a few warblers and vireos. Hawks, Ravens and Turkey Vultures will use the escarpment updrafts to soar effortlessly overhead. Here, the scenery will compete with the wildlife for our attention. We hope to see Bald Eagle, Broad-winged Hawk, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Mourning Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Canada Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Alder Flycatcher, or any number of other birds and mammals. Registration is to [email protected]

Saturday, May 25: Shirley’s Bay Trails & Late Spring Birds – Ottawa West

Time: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm – Meet at Coliseum Theatre (Cineplex Cinema) – 3090 Carling Ave: https://maps.app.goo.gl/mGrETi6d4YYk2P2W9 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

The trails around Shirley’s Bay provide cover for a great variety of scrubland, and woodland species. At the end of May, many will be claiming territory, while a few will still be in transit to nesting grounds further north. In the waters of the Ottawa River, we may see the last of the season’s northern migrants including some arctic nesters such as shorebirds, loons, waterfowl or perhaps Brant and Arctic Tern. Along the vegetation lining the river, we should see migrating warblers, vireos, thrushes and others. This area has the potential of being Ottawa’s best birding hotspot in late Spring, especially when water levels are low, and visibility is good. If time permits, we’ll visit the Burnt Lands near Almonte for various sparrows, and other open country species. Registration is to [email protected]

Sunday, May 26: BIRDATHON to the Chaffey’s Lock Area – Warblers, Cuckoos & Other Carolinian Species

Time: 6am to 7pm – Meet at the Carp Park-n-Ride – Carp Road at Hwy 417 – https://goo.gl/maps/ZrzhVt5iLBUyxVfu9 – $150.00 per person HST incl.

PART One – This excursion is being conducted in conjunction with the Birds Canada Birdathon – Birding for Conservation. The Chaffey’s Lock area is one of the best spots near Ottawa to check for Carolinian species. Yellow-throated Vireo, Indigo Bunting, and Scarlet Tanager are relatively common nesters. Other species we’ll look for include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler and Eastern Towhee. If we’re lucky, we might encounter Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Red-shouldered Hawk. These Carolinian habitats are extremely rich with wildlife. Since some of these species are hard to find around Ottawa, the day can be very productive and immensely entertaining. Morning is the best time to catch these birds. Therefore, we need to start very early, and enjoy this full day out in the wilds. Registration is to [email protected]

Wednesday, May 29: BIRDATHON to the Chaffey’s Lock Area – Warblers, Cuckoos & Other Carolinian Species

Time: 6am to 7pm – Meet at the Carp Park-n-Ride – Carp Road at Hwy 417 – https://goo.gl/maps/ZrzhVt5iLBUyxVfu9 – $150.00 per person HST incl.

PART Two – This excursion is being conducted in conjunction with the Birds Canada Birdathon – Birding for Conservation. The Chaffey’s Lock area is one of the best spots near Ottawa to check for Carolinian species. Yellow-throated Vireo, Indigo Bunting, and Scarlet Tanager are relatively common nesters. Other species we’ll look for include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler and Eastern Towhee. If we’re lucky, we might encounter Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Red-shouldered Hawk. These Carolinian habitats are extremely rich with wildlife. Since some of these species are hard to find around Ottawa, the day can be very productive and immensely entertaining. Morning is the best time to catch these birds. Therefore, we need to start very early, and enjoy this full day out in the wilds. Registration is to [email protected]

Sunday, June 2: Scrubland & Wetland Birds – Ottawa West

Time: 7:30 am to noon – Meet at Coliseum Theatre (Cineplex Cinema) – 3090 Carling Ave: https://maps.app.goo.gl/mGrETi6d4YYk2P2W9 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Open habitats west of the city can provide excellent examples of some of Canada’s shyest birds. We will explore areas around the towns of Richmond and Munster. Here, we should find a variety of birds, some having just arrived on territory. Our efforts might produce Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Bluebird, House Wren, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, American Bittern, Sora and Virginia Rails. We’ll need a little luck to find creatures like Sedge Wren or Least Bittern. However, we’ll improve our chances by checking their preferred habitats. If conditions warrant, we will use tricks to entice them into view. Registration is to [email protected]

Saturday-Sunday, June 8 & 9: Overnight to Algonquin Park

Time: 6 am – Meet at the Carp Park-n-Ride – Carp Road at Hwy 417 – https://goo.gl/maps/ZrzhVt5iLBUyxVfu9 – $275.00 per person HST incl.

Algonquin Park is famous for its extensive northern forest habitats. Its large stands of spruce and pine often attract a variety of songbirds and raptors. It also harbours several northern residents that are considered rare in the Ottawa area. We’ll look for Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse, Evening Grosbeak and Black-backed Woodpecker. Interesting migratory nesters include Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and a variety of warblers like Bay-breasted, Cape May, Canada, Mourning and Northern Parula. By early June, the breeding season is well under way in Algonquin. A mixture of large lakes, boggy wetlands, boreal and hardwood forests, this is Ontario’s most accessible northern wilderness. On the lakes, we should see and hear Common Loons while mergansers, Ring-necked Ducks, Beaver, River Otter, Black Bear and Moose lurk nearby. Meanwhile, warblers, thrushes, vireos, tanager and other furtive songbirds will sing their territorial songs. Some will be on nests, while others will already have young. From our starting point, we head straight for the park, spending a few hours exploring the east side before we have lunch somewhere in the park. We check into our hotel (Whitney, Ont.) just outside the East Gate in late afternoon. We will have an early dinner, then back into the park for dusk. If conditions are good, we will stay and listen for owls, woodcock, and maybe even wolves. The following morning, we go into the park immediately after breakfast. We will spend the entire day there, hiking some of the leisurely trails, leaving the park around 5:30pm. We can expect to be back home around 8:30 – 9:00pm. Book your accommodation now! Registration is to [email protected]

Wednesday, June 12: Mer Bleue – Rare Nesters of Eastern Ontario

Time: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm – Meet at entrance to the Dewberry Trail, along the Dolman Ridge Road – https://goo.gl/maps/U3Eb8CXaCmZ2h32d9 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Today, we’ll hike the trails around the Mer Bleue looking for wetland species and open country birds. We can expect the marshes to ring with the tunes of male songbirds and furtive wetland creatures. The unique bog habitat of this special area will have many birds actively on territory including Eastern Palm Warbler and possibly Lincoln Sparrow. We hope to observe a flight of Sandhill Crane, another success story in Canada’s east. The nearby marshes and woodlands should also be active and worthy of our attention. We hope to find Chestnut-sided Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Broad-winged Hawk and many other species. Registration is to [email protected]

Friday Evening, June 14, – Sounds of The Night – Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, Mammals, Amphibians, Insects & other nocturnal wildlife

Time: 8-11 pm – Meet at the Carp Park-n-Ride – Carp Road at Hwy 417 – https://goo.gl/maps/ZrzhVt5iLBUyxVfu9 – $75.00 per person HST incl.

Much activity occurs during the warmth of a June night. This is a great time to listen for voices of nocturnal wildlife. We’ll drive local country roads, stopping periodically to listen for any clues that reveal the secretive workings of the wilderness. We hope to see some activity as well. We will likely hear a variety of frogs and birds, many still involved with the breeding process. We’ll move carefully with hopes of both hearing & seeing Coyote, Beaver, Virginia Rail, Sora, American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, possibly owls and a myriad of other forms of wildlife. Bring a flashlight in case some cooperate for us. Registration is to [email protected]

Field Trip Guidelines & Useful Info:

  • Poor weather conditions often produce the most interesting birds & wildlife. Therefore, trips will proceed rain or shine. Listen to weather forecasts and dress accordingly. Only the most severe weather conditions will postpone trips.
  • Note that customers of Always an Adventure Inc. are responsible for making their own arrangements for accommodation, transportation and payments for such arrangements is at their own expense.
  • Transportation will be by personal vehicle (make sure the gas tank is full). Some carpooling might be possible. Contact us if you need a ride
  • Some hiking should be expected in areas with active trail networks. Comfortable footwear is recommended.
  • Participants should bring their own binoculars and refreshments. Please let us know if you need binoculars. High-quality VORTEX optics can be loaned.
  • All transportation cost, ferry cost, park fees, food, accommodation and refreshments are not included in the price.
  • During times of hot weather, insect repellent and water comes in handy.
  • The trip itinerary is subject to change depending on weather patterns, current local bird activity, scouting results or any unforeseen factors.
  • Please register by email
  • Payment is by e-Transfer and should be paid within 48hrs of the outing/session. Also accepted are PayPal, cheques & cash. Contact us for more info.
  • Always An Adventure Inc. expects all participants to follow local Covid guidelines to all times
  • Always An Adventure Inc. is not to be held liable for any unforeseen circumstances that might arise during outings.
  • All participants of Always An Adventure Inc. must sign a Release of Liability Form.
  • Always An Adventure Inc. is using eBird and participants will receive the day-list per e:mail at the end of the excursion.

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