Birding by Houseboat Tour – 5 great hours with birds on Lake Diefenbaker


Birding by Houseboat Tour
Birding by Houseboat Tour

Gardiner Dam – Birding by Houseboat Group Tour

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 – CANCELLED

A joint Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours / Sandy Shores Resort event in support of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity,

Where to find birds on Lake Diefenbaker, Canada?

Join Stan Shadick of Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours and Rauncie Murdoch of Sandy Shores Resort for a guided Birdng by Houseboat tour of Lake Diefenbaker near Gardiner Dam.

Some of the special birds we will look for include: Osprey, Swainson’s Hawk, Piping Plover and American White Pelicans plus many kinds of ducks and grebes. We will visit steep cliffs along the lakeshore that have never previously been explored by birdwatchers. Potentially, this habitat might provide nesting habitat for rare Rock Wrens, Golden Eagles or Prairie Falcons.

Novice and experienced bird watchers are especially welcome. A loaner pair of binoculars may be available if requested. The leader will bring a spotting scope to allow you to view the water birds under high magnification.

You may join this Birding by Houseboat tour at either of these 2 locations.

9:00 AM Saskatoon – Western Development Museum parking lot next to the grain elevator. Carpooling will be encouraged as we drive to Gardiner Dam.

10:30 AM Gardiner Dam – Sandy Shores Resort and Marina.

Birding by Houseboat Tour Ends about 3:30 PM


  • SASKATOON (1 h 15 m to Gardiner Dam)
  • PRINCE ALBERT (2 h 35 m to Gardiner Dam)
  • REGINA (2 h 15 m to Gardiner Dam)
  • MOOSE JAW (1 h 45 m to Gardiner Dam)
  • SWIFT CURRENT (2 h 10 m to Gardiner Dam)

Self-Drive Guided Birding Tour

WASHROOM: Located on Houseboat.

Registration Information

This birding day tour is limited to a maximum of 20 persons plus the leaders.

Gardiner Dam

Birding by Houseboat Tour Itinerary

Times are approximate.

  • 9:00 AM Saskatoon participants may meet leader near the small grain elevator at the Western Development Museum parking lot off Lorne Avenue. We will drive about 110 km south of Saskatoon on highway 219 to reach Gardiner Dam,.
    Sandy Shores Marina
    Sandy Shores Resort Marina near Gardiner Dam
  • 10:30 AM Birding by Houseboat Tour begins at Sandy Shores Resort marina, located near the Coteau Bay boat launch west of Gardiner Dam.
  • We will first watch for birds in remote areas of Coteau Bay that cannot be seen from a road.
  • 11:15 AM We will then sail south along the west shore of Lake Diefenbaker to search for any interesting birds nesting in the coulees and steep cliffs.
  • 12:00 PM Lunch aboard ship.
  • 1:00 PM Look for rare Piping Plovers at Coteau Beach.
  • 1:45 PM We will explore the east shore of Lake Diefenbaker as we head back north.
  • 3:30 PM The tour ends at Sandy Shore Marina.

Join us for this leisurely driving tour.  Great for a family outing.


Participants on this Birding by Houseboat Tour need to drive their own personal or rented vehicle to reach Gardiner Dam. This tour may be suitable for owners of full electric vehicles if the vehicle is charged up in Saskatoon from where the estimated return driving distance is about 220 km.


If you would like to share the transportation costs of driving from Saskatoon to Gardiner Dam with other interested birders on the Birding by Houseboat Tour, then complete the Carpooling Section of the Registration Request Form below or email the tour name, your name, phone number and email address to

Birding by Houseboat Tour Fee

July 25, 2023 Group Tour Fee: CAD $160 (about US $120, £95) per person Fee covers expert guiding services and boat transportation during this 5-hour tour. Meals,  car transportation and accommodation are NOT included. Taxes included

TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 25% of the total tour fee will be issued to the person paying for the tour providing payment is made by e-transfer to

Tax Receipts






CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $50 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 14 days before date of tour.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 14 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place.

Registration Information

This birding day tour is limited to a maximum of 20 persons plus the leaders.
There will be a crew filming this tour. Participants will need to sign a waiver allowing photos and videos of themselves to be used.

RESERVATIONS for Birding by Houseboat Tour

RESERVATIONS: Send us your full name(s), mailing address, email address and requested tour dates.

Phone: 306-652-5975

Full payment due at time of booking. Payment instruction will be emailed to you after registration form is received.

Use landline if you don’t have a cell phone.
Mailing address needed for tax receipt.
Select all that applies.
Smoking is allowed only inside your own personal vehicle. No smoking is permitted outside during birding stops or hikes.

Please email if you do not hear back from us within 24 hours.

Western Grebe
Western Grebe
by Nick Saunders

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Can I bring my pet dog on this tour?

Dogs are not permitted on this Birding by Houseboat group tour.

Birding by Houseboat Tour Guide

Tour Guide: Stan Shadick. Click for more information about your tour guide.

What to Bring

Suggested items to Bring:

What to Bring:

  • Hat, Jacket, walking shoes and other clothes suitable for the weather.
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars
  • Bird Identification Guide (optional)
    Recommended guides:
    The Sibley Guide to Birds Second Edition
    The National Geographic Guide to Birds of North America
  • Merlin app by Cornell Lab of Ornithology (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Ensure your car has a full tank


Gardiner Dam was named in honor of federal Liberal Minister of Agriculture James G. Gardiner, who fought for its creation for many years. Construction began in 1958 and the dam was completed in 1967. Lake Diefenbaker was named after Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Coldwell Park was named after Major James William Coldwell,  leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party from 1942 to 1960.

Covid Safety Policy on Birding Tours

  1. Your tour leader is fully vaccinated.
  2. Clients must normally drive themselves in their own personal or rented vehicle. The leader will usually drive in a separate vehicle. We will use cell phones to communicate between each other during the tour.
  3. This policy may change when public health orders change or when Covid case numbers decrease.
  4. Please contact us before booking tour if you have any special requests with regard to this policy. In certain cases, if requested, leader may be willing to ride in client’s vehicle or drive client’s vehicle.

Other Tours

This Birding by Houseboat Tour may be taken in conjunction with any of the following summer birding tours.

Other Tours and Workshops: Click here to see a complete list of our upcoming tours and workshops.

Multiple Tours Discount

Can’t decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

Gift Certificates Available Now

This Birding by Houseboat Tour makes an excellent birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation gift, Mother’s Day gift, Father’s Day gift, retirement gift or special gift for a birder, birdwatcher or anyone interested in nature.

GIFT CERTIFICATES: Click here for information about purchasing a gift certificate for this tour or any of our other tours.

Proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity.