COVID-19 update: Our Monday Evening Walks are now proceeding as scheduled. Field trips are expected to resume in the fall. Updates will be posted as available. Please ensure that you register for field trips, so that trip leaders can notify you of cancellations and postponements.

No carpooling allowed. Remember masks and physical distancing.

Field Trips are scheduled on weekends throughout the year. Scheduled field trips are listed below.

Destinations may include: a provincial park or conservation area, short stops at a number of local city parks, roadside stops in rural areas to look for wintering birds or exploring a specific area such as the Niagara River or the Bruce Peninsula. Field trip leaders are members of the Club who volunteer their time and share their enthusiasm with field trip participants. This is a excellent time to ask questions and gain valuable experience in field identification.

See below for:

Cost: The cost of field trips (except Red Bay Weekend) is included in your membership fees.

Field Trips for 2020-21 Season

Christmas Bird Count — 54th Annual
December 19, 2020 — Saturday
Leader: Mark Cranford
As part of the National CBC, this traditional event provides important data on wintering bird populations. New counters are encouraged to join and will be coached by experienced birders. Come out for a few hours or all-day. See the Christmas Bird Count page for further details.

January Mid-Winter Waterfowl — CANCELLED
January 10, 2021 — Sunday
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Fun and easy, level 1

January 16, 2021 — Saturday
Leaders: Albert Kuhnigk & Jim Watt
E-mail Jim Watt or call 905-842-9721 to register.
Rating: Moderate, Level 2 as there could be some walking through snow.

Birding along the Lakeshore — CANCELLED
February 6, 2021 — Saturday
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail to register.
Meet at Cawthra.
Rating: Vehicles, Level 1

Fisherville to Long Point – CANCELLED
February 27, 2021 — Saturday
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail to register.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Vehicles, Level 1

Hawks & Early Spring Migrants — CANCELLED
April 17, 2021 — Saturday
Saltfleet and Beamer Conservation Area — Grimsby
Leader: Joyce LeChasseur
E-mail to register.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Easy; bring lunch and a lawn chair.

Spring Wildflowers — Crawford Lake – CANCELLED
April 25, 2021 — Sunday
Leader: Audrey Oswald
E-mail to register.
Note: Trip will end 1:00 pm
Admission Fee in Effect
Meet at Bronte at 9:00 a.m.
or at Crawford Lake at 9:30 a.m. in the first parking lot.
Rating: Moderate, Level 3

Migrant birds — Colonel Sam Smith Park – CANCELLED
May 8, 2021 — Saturday
Leader: Mike Norton
E-mail to register.
Note: Half-day trip
Mike Norton leads the Club on an easy walk looking for spring migrant birds through Colonel Sam Smith Park. Half-day only until noon, so lunch is optional.
Meet at Cawthra.
Rating: Easy, Level 2

Warblers & Wildflowers — Oakville – CANCELLED
May 16, 2021 — Sunday
Leader: Donna Sheppard
Note the date change (was May 15)
Note: Trip will end at 1:00 p.m.
Donna Sheppard leads this very popular trip around our area. We will be looking for spring migrants: Scarlet Tanager, Pine Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, etc. and admiring spring wildflowers. Half-day only until 1:00 p.m. No lunch required.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Moderate, Level 3

Red Bay Weekend — Bruce Peninsula — CANCELLED
May 28-30, 2021 — Friday to Sunday
Birds and Botany, Friends and Food
Friday evening through Sunday after lunch
This traditional weekend is hugely popular with club members. Enjoy a weekend (or longer) of outings and great company. See NEWSLETTER for further details.
Leaders: To be announced

Currie Tract, Halton Regional Forest
Optional extension: Robertson Tract — POSTPONED

June 6, 2021 — Sunday
New date TBA
Leader: Mike Norton
E-mail to register.
Note: Half-day trip
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Moderate, Level 3

Birds — Carden Alvar — CANCELLED
June 12, 2021 — Saturday
Leaders: Joyce LeChasseur & Donna Sheppard
Note: Early start time
The Carden Alvar is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area located east of Lake Simcoe in Victoria County and bordering the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. Much of the Carden Alvar is ranch land and the grazing cattle maintain the open habitat favoured by Loggerhead Shrike, Upland Sandpiper, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Alder Flycatcher, Wilson’s Snipe and other grassland and marsh birds…our targets for the trip. The wildflowers are also spectacular at this time of year.
Meet at Cawthra at 6:30 a.m.
(or the Kirkfield lift locks at 8:30 a.m. by special arrangement with Joyce).
A minimum of 8 participants is required for this trip to proceed.
Rating: Vehicles, Level 2

Birding along the Lakeshore
September 4, 2021 — Saturday — 7:30 a.m.
Leader: Jim Watt
E-mail Jim Watt to register.
A minimum of 6 participants is required for this trip to proceed.
Rating: Moderate, Level 3

Registration for Field Trips

  • Registration is required for some field trips, such as those that are dependent on weather conditions, involve long distance travel and/or have participant level requirements.
  • If you are planning to attend one of these trips, please e-mail the contact person indicated at least 24 hours in advance of the start date and time of the Field Trip.
  • Registration will ensure that you are notified if the field trip is cancelled and/or rescheduled.

Meeting Places

Field trips start at one of the following meeting places. Carpooling is encouraged.

  • Cawthra — Cawthra Arena parking lot, east side of Cawthra Road at Arbor Road, south of the QEW in Mississauga
  • Bronte — Bronte Road & QEW carpool parking lot, now on the west side of Bronte Road just south of the QEW in Oakville

Please pay attention to the meeting times as they vary.

Back to field trip list.

Trip Ratings

Trips are rated as to difficulty of terrain and the duration of walking involved with each outing, to assist in the decision of whether or not to participate.

  • Vehicles — Use of car is extensive. Walking on streets or well defined paths
  • Easy — Walking on well defined trails with gentle inclines
  • Moderate — Trails with medium inclines and some rough spots or obstacles.
    Hiking boots recommended
  • Difficult — Rough trails or terrain with steep inclines and natural obstacles
    (rocks or tree roots). Hiking boots highly recommended

Walking Time

  • Level 1 — very limited – one hour
  • Level 2 — two to three hours
  • Level 3 — three to four hours
  • Level 4 — over four hours

Back to field trip list.

Field Trip Guidelines

  • Trips leave sharply at the designated time. Please be at the
    departure point before the time specified and with a full gas tank.
  • SPNC encourages car pooling and sharing of a driver’s gas expenses on all field trips.
  • Beginners are encouraged to participate on field trips. Please identify yourself to the leader.
  • Do not wear bright clothing on birding trips, such as bright whites or yellows.
  • Be prepared for hazards such as rough terrain, cold, heat, rain, insects, wind, thorns, etc. Remember to bring along any items you think you might need, such as water, field guides, binoculars, etc.
  • Carry personal identification and emergency contact information, and inform leader of any special medical conditions.
  • On the highway, stay close to the car in front to avoid losing contact with the group.
  • PLEASE DO NOT GO AHEAD OF THE LEADER. When on a field trip, remember that the leader is THE LEADER. Field trips are meant for people to come together
    to share an appreciation for nature. You may leave a field trip whenever you wish, but please inform the leader.
  • It is the responsibility of every participant to minimize the risk of injury and/or damages that may result from unsafe or inappropriate behaviour, especially driving, or roadside birding where passing traffic presents a hazard.
  • All of our leaders are volunteers who give their time and expertise freely. All participants are encouraged to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. Some walks may be more rigorous than others, so please assess your ability to participate.