Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Best Places to Bird in Ontario

This past year has been an exciting one, no reason other than Mike and I are writing a book! Part of a Canadian series, we are writing the Ontario section to the Best Places to Bird [in Ontario]. Currently, only the British Columbia guide is out, however, next spring the next book within the series will be out, covering the Prairie Provinces. Our current date for publication is scheduled for spring 2019.

What essentially the guide covers is the authors pick of the best locations to bird in the province. The guidelines are fairly broad, with really only one caveat: narrow the list of top birding sites in the province and narrow it down to 30 locations (easier said than done).

We are currently half way done our first draft, and have a draft list of locations:


1 Holiday Beach and Windsor (lower Detroit River),  Harrow
2 Pelee Island
3 Point Pelee NP
4 Hillman Marsh and Wheatley (harbour, PP)
5 Lake St. Clair NWR and Mitchell's Bay
6 Rondeau PP (Blenheim, Erieau)
7 Sarnia (Point Edward, waterfront, River)
8 Kettle Point, Ipperwash, Pinery
9 MacGregor Point PP and Sauble Beach/south Bruce
10 Port Stanley -- Port Burwell
11 Long Point
12 Niagara River
13 Hamilton (Van Wagners, Lift bridge, windermere, Red Hill Creek, Toll Gate, Edgelake, Stoney Creek shoreline, Fifty Point)
14 Hamilton Harbour (RBG, Princess Point, Lasalle, Bayfront Park) and Oakville/Burlington (Bronte Harbour, Sedgewick, Paletta, Spencer Smith)
15 Mississauga (Rattray Marsh, Port Credit, Lakefront Promenade Park, Col. Sam Smith)
16 Toronto waterfront (Leslie St. Spit, Toronto Islands, Humber Bay, Ashbridge's Bay)
17 Oshawa-Pickering waterfront (Frenchman's Bay, Whitby Harbour, Thickson's Woods, Oshawa 2nd Marsh)
18 Carden Alvar
19 Algonquin PP (Hwy. 60 corridor)
20 Presqu'ile PP
21 Prince Edward County
22 Napannee Plain IBA
23 Amherst Island
24 Wolfe Island and Kingston mainland
25 Opinicon Road and Canoe Lake Road
26 Ottawa (river and Rideau)
27 St. Lawrence (Morrsiburg to Quebec)
28 Moosonee and Southern James Bay
29 Thunder Bay waterfront
30 Rainy River and area

Which leaves us wondering, are there any areas that we're missing???? It's been pretty difficult to narrow it down this much, leaving several areas that aren't covered as much as we'd like (Sault Ste. Marie, Manitoulin, more within the GTA).

We also need to come up with 1-2 photos per chapter -- does anyone have any great photos of birds that they'd like included in the book???? Generally, we've been trying to pick appropriate species for specific areas (e.g., Loggerhead Shrike for Carden Alvar).

Let us know your thoughts!

14 comments:

  1. Looks like you got all the good ones! And of course you can use any of my pics that you want!

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  2. Haha awesome man! Might have to got some of your 'tit' shots...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You may tick off some Toronto people if you accidentally leave Col Sam Smith in Mississauga....

    JC Saddington may come under pressure when they start to build on the old refinery grounds immediately adjacent to it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would suggest:

    1. Inclusion of Bronte Creek PP in your Oakville/Burlington section;

    2. Inclusion of Marie Curtis Park in Mississauga (historically under-birded but exceptional habitat diversity for an urban area and has added numerous of new species over the past couple years as birding effort has increased)

    3. Lumping Col Sam Smith Park into Toronto Waterfront;

    4. Perhaps consider lumping a couple of areas you have already listed if at all possible (i.e., Burlington/Oakville with Mississauga; or Pt Pelee PP with Hillman Marsh & Wheatley) to free up another choice or two.

    It's a very difficult job to narrow Ontario down to 30 areas and your draft looks pretty good!

    That being said, it appears (and somewhat justifiably so) the list is shoreline-centric on Lakes Ontario and Erie.

    It's a tough call to exclude, for example:

    (a) Luther Marsh and surrounding area (classified as an IBA);

    (b) Bruce Peninsula/Manitoulin;

    (c) Collingwood/Wasaga/Barrie area/Tiny Marsh/Wye Marsh/Awenda/Georgian Bay Islands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A very challenging task indeed but only three localities north of Algonquin Park? Is Algonquin P.P. really better than anywhere else in the southern mixed wood boreal?


    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks David and Michael!

    Yeah, ideally we'd include SSM, Manitoulin/upper Bruce, and Barrie/Collingwood. We might be able to knock off Sarnia or either the Napannee Plain or Canoe/Opinicon Lake Roads to fit something in.

    The ideas of fitting Marie Curtis and Col. Sam in the other areas we can do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sweet, I look forward to seeing the finished product. Feel free to use any of my photos.
    I'd like to cast a vote for Luther Marsh as a possible location! A pretty big IBA with 265 recorded species is pretty good considering how under birded it is and it being a land locked location. I've personally seen 211 there.

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  8. Looking forward to seeing this! The list looks pretty good. My photos can be used if you want.

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  9. While they are both at the top of the list, one could argue that you could leave Pelee and Long Point off (with just a cursory mention) since they are already well covered by their own location guides.

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