COVID-19 update: Our field trips are now proceeding as scheduled. You must REGISTER for all trips. Please arrive at least 5 minutes early — trips leave promptly at the scheduled time. Remember masks and physical distancing. Any changes or cancellation notices due to COVID or public health restrictions will be posted here and/or on our Facebook page.

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 2022-23 Season

Birding along the Lakeshore
September 3, 2022 — 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

Al Wormington Fall Bird Count
November 6, 2022 — Sunday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail Mark Cranford to register.
In support of the Hamilton Naturalists Club, we participate in a count of all the birds within our designated area which is primarily at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. We will form up into car pools and enter the park to hike the east and west side roads and some trails. Spend a couple of hours or all-day, rain or shine, the choice is yours!
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Easy, Level 3 or 4

Gulls & Wintering Birds — Niagara River
December 3, 2022 — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail Mark Cranford to register.
This should be a fun day of finding interesting birds that are overwintering in the Niagara area. This is an easy trip because we are mostly in cars, but be sure to dress very warmly as there is some standing around outdoors watching gulls and waterfowl along the river. Be sure to have a full tank of gas. Bring lunch.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Easy, Level 1

Christmas Bird Count — 60th Annual
December 17, 2022 — 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. E-mail Mark Cranford or visit the Christmas Bird Count page for further details.

Birds — Mid-Winter Waterfowl Inventory
January 8, 2023 — Sunday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail Mark Cranford to register.
Join us to count waterfowl along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The wintering ducks and their congregations by the thousands can be spectacular. We also keep an eye out for Eagles, Peregrines, and other rarities.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Fun and easy, level 1

Birds — Owl Prowl — 10 members only
January 14, 2023 — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leaders: Albert Kuhnigk & Jim Watt
E-mail Jim Watt to register.
Rating: Moderate, Level 4 as there could be some walking through snow.

Birding along the Lakeshore and⁄or Hamilton area
February 11, 2023 (NEW DATE) — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Jim Watt
E-mail Jim Watt to register.
Meeting place TBD.
Rating: Vehicles, Level 1

Fisherville area to Long Point
February 25, 2023 — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Mark Cranford
E-mail Mark Cranford to register.
This is an easy driving trip, but remember to have a full tank of gas as it is quite difficult to find a gas station in the area. Please dress warmly and bring lunch!
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Vehicles, Level 1

Hawks & Early Spring Migrants
Saltfleet & Beamer Conservation Areas
April 22, 2023 — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Joyce LeChasseur
E-mail Joyce LeChasseur to register.
Our trip starts with the Escarpment in Stoney Creek and Grimsby watching for early migrants such as Eastern Bluebirds, and Wilson’s Snipe; then onto Beamer for migrating raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures). Maybe Upland Sandpiper. This is an easy trip because we are in cars to start, but bring a lawn chair for relaxing at Beamer. Dress warmly.
Meet at Bronte.
Rating: Easy; bring lunch and a lawn chair.

Spring Wildflowers — Crawford Lake
May 7, 2023 (NEW DATE) — Sunday — 9:00 a.m.
Leader: Audrey Oswald
E-mail Audrey Oswald to register.
Note: Trip will end 1:00 p.m.
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
May 6, 2023 — Saturday — 7:30 a.m.
Leader: Mike Norton
E-mail Mike Norton 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
May 13, 2023 — Saturday — 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Donna Sheppard
E-mail Donna Sheppard to register.
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
May 26-28, 2023 — Friday to Sunday
Birds and Botany, Friends and Food
Friday evening through Sunday 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

Birds — Carden Alvar
June 10, 2023 — Saturday — 6:30 a.m.
Leaders: Joyce LeChasseur & Donna Sheppard
E-mail Joyce LeChasseur to register.
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 the parking lot at the south end of Mississauga Road (Mississauga Road and Lake St.) 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 and⁄or Rattray Marsh
September 2, 2023 — Saturday — 7:30 a.m.
Leader: Jim Watt
E-mail Jim Watt to register.
Half-day trip. A minimum of 6 participants is required for this trip to proceed.
Rating: Moderate, Level 3

Registration for Field Trips

  • Registration is required for all field trips, especially those that are dependent on weather conditions and/or have requirements for a minimum number of participants.
  • If you are planning to attend one of these trips, please e-mail (or phone) the contact person indicated at least 72 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, and of any specific guidelines that might be required in order to comply with public health guidelines.

Meeting Places

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

  • Cawthra — Carmen Corbasson Community Centre (aka Cawthra Arena) parking lot, south of the QEW in Mississauga, turn left at Arbor Court
  • Bronte — Bronte Road & QEW carpool parking lot, 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.
  • If car pooling, sharing of the driver’s gas expenses is expected.
  • 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.