Springs a comin’ which means we’ll soon want to get out there and bird our little hearts out. This list was compiled by the folks at Wildlife Extra in the United Kingdom, so I thought I would pass it along to give you some ideas. There was no mention of how they decided who made the top ten, and I can certainly think of a few places that should be added. Let me know in the comments which birdy Canadian locations you think should be on this list!
* George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Vancouver , British Columbia . An area of coastal marsh where more than 240 species have been spotted, and where up to 80,000 Snow geese spend the winter. Other notable species include the Saw-Whet owl, Ospreys, large numbers of Western sandpipers, Red throated Loons, Golden Eagles and Sandhill cranes.
* Churchill, Manitoba. Unique opportunity to see some Arctic specialities including the rare Ross’ Gull, Three-toed Woodpecker and Smith’s Longspur.
* Point Pelee and Long Point, Ontario. Jutting into Lake Erie from its northwest shore, Point Pelee and Long Point are two of North America ‘s primary bird migratory locations. Each spring and fall thousands of migrants pass along these two headlands and over 350 species are recorded annually.
* Niagara Falls (surprisingly), Ontario. The Niagara River and falls are acknowledged as one of the best places to watch gulls in the fall and winter. Up to 19 species have been recorded here.
* The Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec. Noted as a shelter for many duck species, migrant birds and other rare creatures including lynx and Snowshoe hares.
* Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba has many easy to reach birding sites. Species include Broadwinged and Cooper’s hawks, eagles, geese, ducks and Black-billed cuckoo.
* Machais Seal Island and Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. Located in the lower Bay of Fundy this area boasts hundreds of species including cranes, herons, eagles, puffins and terns.
* Witless Bay Ecological Reserve and Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland. Largest Atlantic Puffin colony in North America and the second largest colony of Leach’s Petrels in the world.
* The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia. Lots of nesting boreal birds and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, sea bird viewing can be excellent with Puffins, Razorbills, Black Legged Kittiwakes and Ruddy Turnstones all present in summer.
* Beaverhill Lake, Alberta. At the intersection of two ‘flyways’, this area is ‘alive’ with birds during migration. Of special note are the 100,000+ Snow Geese that pass through in spring and fall, along with Sandhill cranes and trumpeter swans.