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Ontario's Birding Hotspot: Point Pelee National Park

Program Number: 20204RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/5/2013 - 5/11/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Price starting at: $1,599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Point Pelee is a birding hotspot where thousands of migratory songbirds find refuge in the park’s habitats. Watch and listen for Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting and Wood Warblers in brilliant breeding plumage, and observe Bald Eagle, Red-headed Woodpecker and rare species like Kirtland’s Warbler and Mississippi Kite. Study plumage, voices and behaviors that distinguish one species from the next.


• Visit important birding areas including Longpoint and Rondeau Provincial Parks and Point Pelee National Park.
• Observe Wood Warblers like Chestnut-sided, Magnolia Cape May, and possibly rarer species.
• With a professional wildlife photographer, learn field techniques for taking quality bird and nature photos.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 2.5 miles over varied terrain.

So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Windsor, transfer to Simcoe,1 night; Chatham, 2 nights; Leamington, 3 nights; transfer to Windsor, independent departure.


The area around Canada’s southernmost city already had a long history of settlement by First Nations and American Indian peoples by the time European explorers reached the Detroit River. Today Windsor doubles as a key gateway to Point Pelee and as a multicultural city home to fine dining, institutions of higher learning and lovely waterfront parks.

For lodging information, call or go to
Meals and Lodgings
   Comfort Inn
  Long Point Provincial Park (Simcoe) 1 night
   Travelodge Chatham
  Rondeau Provincial Park (Chatham) 2 nights
   Pelee Days Inn
  Point Pelee National Park (Leamington) 3 nights
 Comfort Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: With a central location that accommodates any itinerary, visitors are in close proximity to all of Norfolk County's beautiful areas and events. The nearby Long Point World Biosphere Reserve features unique sand pit formations. An internationally recognized designation administered by the United Nations, Long Point Provincial Park lies within it.
  Contact info: 85 The Queensway East
Simcoe, ON N3Y 4M5 Canada
phone: 519-426-2611
  Room amenities: All guest rooms have air conditioning and cable television. In addition, some rooms have irons and ironing boards. Computer hook-ups in all rooms and free wireless high-speed Internet access in all rooms. Free weekday newspaper, free local calls, wake-up service.
  Facility amenities: Currency Exchange Free Coffee Interior Corridors Picnic Area Rental Refrigerator * Valet Cleaning Service *
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Travelodge Chatham
Type: Hotel
  Description: At the Chatham Travelodge you will learn the true meaning of warm hospitality. Your care is our affair. Our attention to the smallest details, as well as unobtrusive service, blend with a modern restful decor to make the Chatham Travelodge a great place to stay while in the area. We offer 103 spacious guest-rooms with remote controlled cable television, in-room coffee maker, in-room hairdryers, iron & ironing board, and free lobby newspapers.
  Contact info: 55 Bloomfield Road
Chatham, ON N7M 5J5 Canada
phone: 519-436-1200
  Room amenities: Travelodge Chatham offers 103 guestrooms. Televisions come with cable channels, video-game consoles, and pay movies. Dial-up Internet access is provided along with phones and free local calls. Refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers are provided. Bathrooms include hair dryers. Air conditioning, climate control, and clock radios are also included. Amenities available on request include wake-up calls. Cribs (infant beds) are also available. Rooms are accessible via exterior corridors.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Pelee Days Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Nestled in the most southern region of Canada, moments from the shores of Lake Erie, The Pelee Days Inn is a resort style hotel, with a Caribbean climate all year round provided by sun domes courtyard and indoor swimming salt water pools, in a warm and enticing atmosphere. The Pelee offers fine accommodations, exquisite dining, and a dinner theatre, plus banquet and meeting facilities.
  Contact info: 566 Bevel Line Road
Leamington, ON N8H 3V4 Canada
phone: 519-326-8646
  Room amenities: Rooms have hair dryers, coffee makers and refrigerators.
  Facility amenities: The amenities abound with two indoor heated salt water pools, two water slides, whirlpool, sauna, recreational games, pool tables, arcade gallery, garden atrium and outdoor volleyball court. Enjoy the resort style badminton on our court, mini putting green, golf courses, boating, fishing and nature walks on Lake Erie add to the Hotel's superb facilities. High speed secured wireless Internet throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Plan to arrive at the Holiday Inn & Suites (Ambassador Bridge) Windsor,ON before 2:30 pm.Your group leader/birder will meet you at the hotel in Windsor at 2:30 pm and the group will depart for Simcoe. You will be staying at Comfort Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Shuttle leaves hotel at 8:00 am; approximate arrival in Windsor, ON at the Holiday Inn & Suites is 9:30 am. Independent departures from Windsor, ON. You will be staying at Pelee Days Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A valid government issued passport is required for ALL travel to/from Canada. A US law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires those traveling to/from the United States by land & sea to also have a passport or other appropriate secure documents (NEXUS card). Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for up to date information.
  Parking availability:
Parking at train station approximately $10 per day. Parking is available at the hotel/meeting location for duration of program. You must register at the front desk with details, # days, car type, license plate. No charge. Call toll free 1 (800) 465-4329.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Long Point Provincial Park (Simcoe)
  Nearest city or town:  Windsor
  Nearest highway: Hwy 401 Trans Canada Highway
  Nearest airport:  Windsor/Detroit
  From End of Program
  Location:  Point Pelee National Park (Leamington)
  Nearest city or town:  Leamington
  Nearest airport:  Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
Travel Details

Detroit to Windsor


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Robert Q Shuttle
phone: 800-265-4948
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $40 - $45 one way (prices subject to change)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately one hour from Detroit airport to Holiday Inn Select Windsor to meet the group leader 


Robert Q Shuttle or email From Detroit Metro Airport to Windsor Holiday Inn Select 1855 Huron Church Road. At 2:30 pm your group leader/birder will meet you at the Holiday Inn Select and take you to the first hotel in Simcoe. For assistance with pre/post add on hotel accommodations, medical/travel insurance, car rentals, or to customize your extended stay please contact Maritime Travel toll free 1-888-905-5959 or by email at

Driving Directions
  From the East (Toronto) Highway 401 West to Highway 3 which turns into Huron Church Road. Turn left at Malden Road. The hotel is located on the left side of the intersection of Huron Church Road and Malden Road. Group will meet at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel in Windsor.
  From the US (Detroit) From the US: Take I-75 South Exit at Porter Street to the Bridge to Canada. Bridge exists at Huron Church Road. Turn right at Malden Road. The hotel is located on the left side of the intersection of Huron Church Road and Malden Road. Group will meet at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel in Windsor.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals to Windsor/Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, May 5)
 Afternoon: ARRIVALS: From Windsor we work our way north along the shores of Lake Erie to the Long Point Area, with our birding expert. On your way to Long Point area our birding expert will discuss some etiquette of the trails, orientation of the program and answer any questions you may have.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Simcoe.
 Evening: Following dinner, we will return to the hotel so you can prepare for your early morning birding adventure.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Birding - Long Point Provincial Park/Bird Sanctuary
(Monday, May 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast to go for our early morning birding.
 Morning: Your morning will start early with check out. BIRDING FIELD TRIP: Long Point Provincial Park. En-route to Long Point, we'll drive through the St. Williams Conservation Reserve. We'll check the pine plantations and open scrub habitats for both resident and migratory species. Hopefully, we'll see Blue-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow and Blue-headed Vireo. Later, we'll stop in at the Old Cut Field Station to observe bird-banding in process. The thick vegetation around this corner of the peninsula can be excellent for a variety of migratory species including several wood-warblers, various thrushes and Scarlet Tanager. This is also a good area for rare species like Worm-eating Warbler. If time permits, we'll visit Big Creek National Wildlife are, an extensive and productive wetland full of shy birds. With good conditions in the cattail marshes, we should see Common Gallinule, Sandhill Crane, Black Tern, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. With luck we might see Least Bittern, Virginia Rail or Sora. On the Long Point Inner Bay, we should see Osprey, Caspian Tern and Mute Swan. Guided visit of the Bird Sancturary
 Lunch: Bag lunch.
 Afternoon: BIRDING CONTINUES: Bird watching continues back on mainland, in particular the Backus Woods and Wilson's Tract. These mature woodlots attract Carolinian species and a variety of migrants. Here we hope to see Hooded Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow-throated Vireo and a number of migrant songbirds. Travel to Chatham late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Chatham.
Accommodations: Travelodge Chatham
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Birding - Rondeau Provincial Park/Tulip Tree Trail/St. Clair Wildlife Area
(Tuesday, May 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast to go for our early morning birding.
 Morning: BIRDING FIELD TRIP: Rondeau Provincial Park. Upon arrival to the park, we'll check out the visitors centre, then hike the Tulip Tree trail, with a chance to see the rare Prothonotary Warbler. Other species present include Red-headed Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a variety of migrant warblers.
 Lunch: Bag lunch.
 Afternoon: BIRDING CONTINUES: After Lunch we'll visit The St. Clair Wildlife Area, an extensive wetland harboring many shy species. Here we hope to see Least Bittern, Swamp Sparrow, Marsh Wren, Forster's Tern and possibly Yellow-headed Blackbird.
 Dinner: Dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Travelodge Chatham
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Birding - Rondeau Provincial Park/South Point Trail
(Wednesday, May 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast to go for our early morning birding.
 Morning: Early morning check out. BIRDING FIELD TRIP: We'll start again at the visitors centre to check their bird feeding station for Indigo Bunting, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and perhaps Lincoln's Sparrow. We'll then check out the South Point Trail, a mixed open habitat usually teeming with warblers and other migrating birds. Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, Eastern Towhee and other shy birds nest here.
 Lunch: Bag lunch.
 Afternoon: BIRDING CONTINUES: Before heading to Point Pelee area, we'll continue birding around Rondeau, including areas around the picnic ground, the Spice Bush Trail and/or the Pony Barns.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel in Leamington.
Accommodations: Pelee Days Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Birding - Point Pelee National Park
(Thursday, May 9)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel to go.
 Morning: BIRDING FIELD TRIP: Point Pelee National Park. We'll spend the full morning exploring the various birding trails around the tip of Point Pelee. Spring migration will be in full force, so we'll see a number of migrating warblers and other songbirds. If conditions are good, we'll get excellent looks at many different species like Blackburnian Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and with luck, perhaps a few rare species like Connecticut Warbler, Kentucky Warbler or Kirtland's Warbler. We'll pick a table where we can enjoy our meal in proximity to several birds including Warbling Vireo, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Kingbird and several migrating warblers.
 Lunch: Bag lunch.
 Afternoon: BIRDING CONTINTUES: Outside the park at Hillman's Marsh and/or the Onion Fields where we can expect waterfowl, and migrating shorebirds en-route to the High Arctic. We hope to see Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher or a vagrant from some far-off land.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
Accommodations: Pelee Days Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Birding - Point Pelee National Park
(Friday, May 10)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel to go.
 Morning: BIRDING FIELD TRIP: Point Pelee National Park. We'll start again at the tip of the park. Besides looking for migratory songbirds, we'll also check the tip for shorebirds, waterfowl, terns and gulls. At this time of year the woods will be alive with bird song. We'll take our time to get good views of as many spring migrants as possible. We should also see resident species such as Orchard Oriole, Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and hopefully Eastern Screech Owl. Mixed in with the warblers, we might see uncommon birds like Whip-poor-will, Clay-coloured Sparrow, or something exceptionally rare like Blue Grosbeak or Henslow's Sparrow. Again we'll pick a table within proximity of migrating birds. We may see raptors flying overhead like Broad-winged Hawk, Bald Eagle or Northern Harrier. Sometimes we'll see Black-billed Cuckoo, Canada Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and with luck, Mississippi Kite.
 Lunch: Bag lunch.
 Afternoon: BIRDING CONTINUES Point Pelee National Park. We'll continue birding in the park checking out areas around the visitors centre and other trails within park boundaries. There's always a few birds of interest hiding somewhere in the park.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Program wrap and presentation.
Accommodations: Pelee Days Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Departures
(Saturday, May 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: The shuttle leaves the hotel at 8:30 a.m; approximate arrival in Windsor is 9:30 a.m. Independent departures from Windsor.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Ontario Wildlife

Author: James Kavanagh

Description: A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered wildlife in Ontario. (CND284, $8.95)

The Great Lakes

Author: Wayne Grady

Description: Beautifully photographed, this timely portrait showcases the nature, history and importance of the Great Lakes, hub of industry and agriculture and home to 40 million people. Published in conjunction with the David Suzuki Foundation, dedicated to preserving the diversity of nature and quality of life. (GLK43, $29.95)

Michelin Green Guide Ontario

Author: Michelin

Description: With the same focus on driving tours, detailed maps and the Michelin star system, the venerable Green Guides are even better -- organized regionally, in color and with an overview of history, art and culture. (CND384, $19.95)

Kingbird Highway, The Story of a natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand

Author: Kenn Kaufman

Description: Kaufman's absorbing account of coming-of-age as a Wichita teenager on the road in 1973 with a summer's pay in his pocket and the goal of seeing as many birds as he could in a year. He tallied 671, impressive by any account and extraordinary if you count birds per buck. He did it all for $1,000. This cult classic was originally published in 1973. (BRD27, $14.95)

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