Have some time to spend in the summer
Outdoor Ontario

Have some time to spend in the summer

Ally · 14 · 3020

Ally

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Hi everyone, I would like some suggestions for birding areas around GTA, maybe 2 to 3 hours hours drive from Toronto in the summer. I am terrible at reading maps, and I rely completely on GPS :P  :P, so please kindly provide the full address (Post code if you can). I will be quite lost when you say the third turn of a particular intersection. :D  :D  :D  Thank you so much in advance.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Kris Ito

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The Carden Alvar is less than a two hour drive from Toronto and offers some good birding until at least mid July, maybe longer. Here is a link with everything you need to know: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.cardenalvar
Note however that you should not drive on Wylie Road beyond the parking lot at Sedge Wren Marsh due to horrific road conditions with potholes that can seriously damage your car. Also keep in mind that there are black bears in the area so a little common sense is advised if you are traveling alone.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Ally

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Quote from: "Kris Ito"
The Carden Alvar is less than a two hour drive from Toronto and offers some good birding until at least mid July, maybe longer. Here is a link with everything you need to know: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.cardenalvar
Note however that you should not drive on Wylie Road beyond the parking lot at Sedge Wren Marsh due to horrific road conditions with potholes that can seriously damage your car. Also keep in mind that there are black bears in the area so a little common sense is advised if you are traveling alone.
Thank you so much Kris for the wonderful and thoughtful advice.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Kris Ito

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You might also find a few more ideas if you look at some of the OFO's other site guides found here:
http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/hotspots.siteguides
Of course not all of the locations listed are within easy reach of Toronto but several are.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Ally

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Quote from: "Kris Ito"
You might also find a few more ideas if you look at some of the OFO's other site guides found here:
http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/hotspots.siteguides
Of course not all of the locations listed are within easy reach of Toronto but several are.
Thank you so much for the information.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Quote from: "Kris Ito"
The Carden Alvar is less than a two hour drive from Toronto and offers some good birding until at least mid July, maybe longer. Here is a link with everything you need to know: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.cardenalvar
Note however that you should not drive on Wylie Road beyond the parking lot at Sedge Wren Marsh due to horrific road conditions with potholes that can seriously damage your car. Also keep in mind that there are black bears in the area so a little common sense is advised if you are traveling alone.
Kris is right about the potholes. I was there two weeks ago and it was very bad. Several years ago I did drive past the Sedge Wren marsh and regretted it immensely, if anything it has probably gotten worse since then. About black bears, I saw one once, luckily it was quite a distance away from the road I was walking alone. You can also get to see a Moose or two there if you are lucky, as it happened to me in one of the visits. It is a wonderful place to visit. Here's the photo of that bear that I encountered.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Ally

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Thank you for the vivid tips. If any of your guys don't mind me tag along when you are going to parks, please let me know.  :D  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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If you are planning to perambulate around the southern Ontario region you might
find more birds if you wait until mid-to-late August when the southern migration
has begun. Juvenile warblers and shorebirds are very likely to be visiting the range
of hotspots listed on various websites, such as sewage lagoons and shoreline parks
including Presquile in Prince Edward County. That way you might also avoid the
hottest and most humid weather, although all bets are off when it comes to forecasting
those conditions. Wherever and whenever you ultimately decide to break free don't
forget to pack your alarm clock because the best action is early in the morning.
If you can visit a marsh early in the morning while floating silently in a canoe you
will know what serenity feel like. Invariably, you will spend a great deal of time
just finding your way. I don't recall ever going anywhere for the first time and
achieving my intended goal. Instead of focusing on great birding I waste valuable
time in the wrong place simply because I didn't know any better. I guess what I
am trying to say is to do your homework before you leave so you begin your
expedition with confidence. Also, don't leave your camera battery at home.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Steve Hood

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I would recommend taking a short drive along Bean Road south of New Hamburg (90 minutes west of Toronto).  The best opportunities exist from the entrance to Walkers Blueberries  and travelling West to a small bridge which is less than 2km to travel.  The road has very little traffic so you can easily stop with your flashers.  I spent 2 hours there this morning with my son Ben, just driving (crawling) up and down this road with many stops where Ben took almost 500 images from inside the car.  The highlights were the 2 pairs of Red-headed Woodpeckers (and Immatures), Yellow-billed Cuckoo and many Indigo Buntings.  There were also many Kingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Orioles, Hawks and others.  If you creep along the road you can get quite close to the birds.  Here are few from this morning that Ben took.


Eastern Kingbird


Red-Headed Woodpecker


Indigo Bunting


Yellow-billed Cuckoo
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Ally

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Quote from: Steve Hood
I would recommend taking a short drive along Bean Road south of New Hamburg (90 minutes west of Toronto).  
Wow, thank you so much for that. I hope I can still get to see them when I am free again next week. :D  :lol:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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What a HOT SPOT!
That's a lot of action for one location. How did you ever discover it?
I imagine Ally will leave VERY early and get there just in time to boogie.
Wish I could go there, ...  or anywhere for that matter.
Nice close pics. It's amazing how many RHWP are being found this year
considering their numbers are on a steep decline in Ontario.
Your son is apparently quite keen at this endeavour.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Steve Hood

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I came across this place last year after multiple reports of the Red-headed woodpecker on ebird.  Last year I saw Bluebirds, Red-breasted Grosbeaks and various Flycatchers along the same road.  This year was a bit different but still exciting. Last year there was only one pair of the RHWP so it is great to see more pairs nesting in this area. We might be seeing a resurgence of the RHWP in Ontario.  The forest along this road is dense and always very wet which makes it attractive as a nesting site for many birds.  There could be many more varieties that I haven't seen yet and this is without going beyond the road.

I gave an old lens to Ben last fall and bought a cheap used body as he had shown interest in birding. This was our first extended birding trip and he had a great time.  He seems to be better at recognizing bird calls which is something I have never excelled at. As a 13 year old he will likely excel with this.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Barely a teenager is the best time to start because that is when hobbies and cerebral interests begin
to germinate. At least it's a possible commencement for such proclivities if girls, sports and peer pressure
do not consume all thoughts and energy. I was thirteen when I first got interested in photography and by
seventeen I had a darkroom using an old $35.00 enlarger and some make-shift gear. Well-made older
equipment are great tools for the neophyte and makes one appreciate the art and discipline of any hobby.
To my mind it adds piquancy and flavour to the task, something I believe contributes to a more comprehensive
understanding of whatever you are doing. I look forward to more contributions by Ben. He certainly knows
how to frame a shot and probably brings to bear more optical capability than I can currently muster.
Old gear and a young mind is certainly better than old gear and a decrepit mind. Your son's exploits have
reminded me of being thirteen years old. It feels good, albeit only for a second after which time reality intrudes
like a thunderclap.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Fantastic set of images Steve and great to hear your son's interest in birding, it means good for all of us.

 I remember traveling along the road you mentioned but never stopped to look as I was always going to a destination further away. Seeing a Red-headed wood pecker is always a treat. Last time I saw one was a few years ago in Ashbridges Bay park, nothing since.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »