Sat/Sun March 7-8 – OVERNIGHT TRIP to Algonquin Park
Time: 6:00am – Meet at: Coliseum Ottawa Cinemas Parking Lot – $170.00 per pers. LIMITED SPACE!
Manditory registration deadline by Feb 29 to: Tonysalwaysanadventure@Gmail.com
Algonquin Park is famous for its extensive northern forest habitats. Its large stands of spruce and pine often attract a variety of finches and raptors. It also harbours several northern residents that are considered rare on the rest of the continent. Here we look for Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadees, White-winged Crossbill, Red Crossbill Evening Grosbeak and Black-backed Woodpecker. A mixture of frozen lakes, bogs, boreal and hardwood forests, this is Southern Ontario’s most accessible northern wilderness. From our starting point in Ottawa, we head straight for the park, spending a few hours exploring the east side before we have lunch somewhere comfortable in the park. In late afternoon, we check into our hotel (Whitney, Ont.) just outside the East Gate. We will have a relatively early dinner. If conditions warrant, we’ll head back into the park for dusk where we’ll listen for owls 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 through northern forests and driving along the Hwy 60 corridor. Depending on wildlife activity, we plan to leave around 3:00 or 4:00pm. Price does not include accommodation, food, refreshments, transport, park fees and other personal expenses.
Tuesday March 10: Spring Arrivals on the Ottawa River – Ottawa West
Time 8:00am, meet at Coliseum Theater Parking Lot, northeast corner, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore – $40.00 per person
By early March, the first birds of spring should be present in the Ottawa area. A few male Red-winged Blackbirds will almost certainly be on territory, typically singing near frozen cattails. Small numbers of Ring-billed Gulls will be here, a few of them highly vocal and paired off with mates. With warmer weather comes the spring thaw. Along the Ottawa River, we hope to see the ice breaking up. Gulls and waterfowl frequently congregate along the ice edge as they wait for the season to unfold. We often see Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Hooded Merganser, Wood Duck or a few northern birds like Greater Scaup or Long-tailed Duck. Although we’ve had several over-wintering American Robins, there should be some arriving and staking claim to territories with their familiar melodic phrases. The same is true for Song Sparrow. Even if migration is slow, we should still see lingering winter birds like Purple Finch or Pine Siskin.
Tuesday, March 17: The First Spring Arrivals – Ottawa East
Time 8:00am, meet at The Park & Ride Lot, northeast corner, on Trim Road (Orleans), south of intersection with Hwy. 17 – $40.00 per person
By mid-March we can expect longer days and the beginnings of a spring thaw. These conditions typically cause flooding in low-lying fields east of Ottawa. It also triggers many waterfowl, gulls and other species to push northward. If conditions are ideal, we usually get a flurry of ducks, geese, blackbirds and others arriving, sometimes in big numbers. American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds will be busy establishing territories. And, the backroads through the open fields will have a sprinkling of Horned Larks picking at gravel or food along roadsides. We’ll explore agricultural areas for raptors, Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspur, or anything unusual. If weather conditions bring warm temperatures, we might see a few early arrivals like Tree Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Phoebe or Sandhill Crane. This is the beginning of our favourite time of year.
Saturday March 21: The First Spring Arrivals – Ottawa West
Time: 8:00am – meet at the Coliseum Theatre Parking Lot, east side, 3090 Carling Ave., east of Bayshore – $40.00 per person
The first signs of spring are in the air. And, there is no better place than along Ottawa’s river courses to witness the transition of seasons. Male Red-winged Blackbirds will be belting out the familiar “Konk-a-ree” as they establish their territories in local wetlands. American Robins might be inspired to sing a few their sweet spring melodies. For certain, we’ll see adult Ring-billed Gulls in their immaculate breeding plumage, paired off with their mates. Although birds will be on the move, there will still be plenty of winter birds around. We’ll attempt to get close views of finches, waxwings, woodpeckers, raptors, white-winged gulls and waterfowl. This is the beginning of our favourite time of year.
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 and car pool. Passengers are encouraged to contribute to fuel costs. Please let us know if you need transportation.
- 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 NIKON 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 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 (go to “About us” and then “Contact us”), or through our Facebook Club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/AAAIncClub/)
- Payment is by cheque, PayPal or e-Transfer (We prefer payment by eTransfer.) Make cheque payable to “Always An Adventure Inc”.
- Morning birding excursions normally last for 5.5-6+ hours. Full day birding excursions normally last for 12 hours.
- Always An Adventure Inc. is not to be held liable for any unforeseen circumstances that might arise during outings.
- Always An Adventure Inc. might ask participants to sign a waiver depending on the day’s activities and sightings
- Always An Adventure Inc. is using eBird and participants will receive the day-list per e:mail at the end of the excursion.