Canada – Saskatchewan Autumn Birding Grand Tour: September 9 – 18, 2024

Canada Saskatchewan 10-day Autumn Birding Tour

Canada Saskatchewan 10-day Autumn Birding Tour
September 9 – 18, 2024

Guiding Fee
USD $2690 per person
CAD $3690 per person
UK £2120 per person

Join a small group birding tour to Saskatchewan, Canada during the peak of the Autumn migration season. Saskatchewan is located near the centre of North America where several bird migration flyways meet. Consequently, this bird-rich province of Canada is home to birds from both eastern and western North America.

Migration Flyways meet in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is well known as the duck factory of North America because most species of waterfowl nest in our abundant wetlands.  Many shorebirds, pelicans, geese, cranes and grebes also pause here at our lakes and sloughs during their migration. This tour includes a visit to both Redberry Lake and Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuaries. The latter was the first federal bird sanctuary established in North America.

Stretching across half of the province, the boreal forest is home to many eastern warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers and forest hawks. We will search for forest birds In Prince Albert National Park.

We will also look for riparian birds along the South Saskatchewan River valley .

The timing of the stops on this tour are designed to find migrant warblers, flycatchers and sparrows early in the tour and large concentrations of migrating geese, ducks, swans and cranes later in the tour.

We have included a 2-day overnight tour to Prince Albert National Park in order to look for boreal forest birds. For the remainder of this tour, we have planned a large number of day trips and half-day trips out of Saskatoon so that you do not need to change hotel rooms often.

Transportation: You will need to drive your own personal or rented vehicle during this tour. Car pooling may be possible.

ITINERARY

Special Birds of Interest

During this Canada – Saskatchewan Summer Birding Tour, we expect to observe over 180 species. A few special birds might include

  • Ruddy Duck
  • Sharp-tailed Grouse
  • Spruce Grouse
  • Gray Partridge
  • Eared Grebe
  • Western Grebe
  • Clark’s Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • American Avocet
  • Willet
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Franklin’s Gull
  • California Gull
  • Forster’s Tern
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Osprey
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Black-backed Woodpecker
  • Merlin
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • Western Kingbird
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Philadelphia Vireo
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Canada Jay
  • Boreal Chickadee
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Gray-cheeked Thrush
  • Lapland Longspur
  • Clay-colored Sparrow
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • Vesper Sparrow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Bay-breasted Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Palm Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler

CLICK HERE for a complete Saskatchewan checklist.

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Grasslands National Park

Day 1 – Mon. September 9, 2024: Saskatoon

Plan to arrive in Saskatoon, Canada today.

Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) is served by these airlines: Air Canada, Westjet, Flair, Porter and their numerous partners including United and Delta.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM We have scheduled a short welcoming visit to the weir on the South Saskatchewan River near the hotel to look for American White Pelicans and other river birds.

Optional: If you plan to arrive in the morning, you may wish to book a spot on our Blackstrap Birding Tour from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM on Monday, September 9.

Pelican at weir bird walk
American White Pelican
by Nick Saunders

Day 2 Tue. September 10, 2024: Saskatoon

8:30 AM Chief Whitecap Park
After breakfast, we will drive a few km to visit Chief Whitecap Park located along the riverbank just south of Saskatoon. Here we will walk the park trails through both grassland and wooded riverbanks in search for songbirds and river birds.

12:00 PM Lunch at a restaurant in Saskatoon

1:00 PM Ferry Birding Tour

During the afternoon, we will drive the back roads north of Saskatoon to look for open country birds. We will also take 2 ferry crossing of the South Saskatchewan and visit the grasslands at Fish Creek Historic Site that marks a battle site during the 1885 North West Rebellion.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

 

Ferry Birding Tour

Day 3 Wed. September 11, 2024: Saskatoon

8:30 AM Warbler Walking Tour to Factoria Riverbank

In the morning, we will hike along a trail through the wooded riverbank below the Factoria historical site, the remains of a water bottling plant at the north end of Saskatoon. The riveredge trail passes a number of springs that attract a variety of songbirds during migration.

12:00 PM Lunch at a Saskatoon restaurant

1:30 PM Holiday Park Bird Walk

Saskatoon’s Meewasin Valley Authority has converted an old paved road into a walking and cycling path. The shrubs along this trail often attract warblerrs, catbirds and other songbirds.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

 

Warbler Tour

Day 4 Thu. September 12, 2024: Saskatoon

9:00 AM Saskatoon Riverbank Bird Walk through Cosmopolitan Park

This scenic park has trails through both open grassy areas and densely wooded regions where we will watch for warblers and other songbirds.

Lunch at d’Lish cafe in historic Nutana district of Saskatoon

1:30 PM Donna Birkmaier Park Bird Walk

This gigantic city park has extensive grasslands plus several ponds and bluffs of trees that attract Red-necked Grebes, Brown Thrashers, Gray Catbirds, Western Meadowlarks and a few Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher by May Haga

Day 5 Fri. September 13, 2024: Saskatoon

8:30 AM Forestry Farm Park Bird Walk

Adjacent to the Saskatoon Zoo, this park has numerous spruce and deciduous trees and bushes that attract a good variety of migrating warblers and other songbirds.

11:30 Early lunch at a Saskatoon restaurant

1:00 PM Prairie Lakes Bird Tour

We plan to drive to visit Bradwell Reservoir and other ponds and marshes near Saskatoon in search of water birds.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
by Nick Saunders

Day 6 Sat. September 14, 2024: Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary

9:00 AM Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary

We will spend the full day visiting the famous Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary created by the government of Sir John A MacDonald to protect the numerous cranes and other water birds that frequent this site. We will pick up food for lunch and a supper to be eaten in the field. Late return to Saskatoon.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

Western Grebe
Western Grebe by May Haga

Day 7 Sun. September 15, 2024 Prince Albert National Park

After breakfast, we will check out of our hotel for a 2-day overnight visit to Prince Albert National Park. Situated in the northern boreal forest, we hope to find Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Black-backed, American Three-toed and Pileated Woodpeckers, loons and a variety of other boreal forest birds.

Once we reach the park, we plan to hike 1 or 2 of the park

Overnight at a hotel in or near this park.

Prince Albert National Park Birding Tour

Day 8 Mon. September 16. 2024 Prince Albert National Park

Breakfast at Resort

After breakfast, we will continue birding in the park and then check out of hotel.

After checkout we will bird as we drive to other birding spots in this national park

Late afternoon return drive to Saskatoon.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

 

Day 9 Tue. September 17, 2024: Saskatoon

8:30 AM Radisson Lake Whooping Crane Quest Tour

After breakfast, we will drive NW of Saskatoon to visit Radisson Lake Important Bird Area. During the migration season, this lake is famous for attracting thousands of migrating geese including Snow, Ross’s, Greater White-fronted, Canada and Cackling Geese. Hundreds of migrating Tundra Swans also are found here. We should also see some late migrating shorebirds including Black-bellied Plover and Long-billed Dowitchers.

11:30 Lunch at a restaurant in Radisson

1:00 PM Extended Pike Lake Birding Tour

In the afternoon we will walk the nature trail at Pike Lake Provincial Park looking for woodland songbirds. later, we will explore field near the South Saskatchewan River where Sandhill Cranes congregate in large flocks. If the weather cooperates, we may make a stop at a riverbank park near sunset to watch the arrival of thousands of Sandhill Cranes to their nighttime roost on sand bars.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

Dancing Sandhill Crane
by May Haga

Day 10 Wed. September 18, 2024 Saskatoon

6:30 AM breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant, Flying J Travel Center at north edge of Saskatoon

7:30 AM Redberry Lake Whooping Crane Quest Tour

We will spend the morning searching for a few early migrating Whooping Cranes north of Redberry Lake. There is a fair (roughly 65%) chance of finding some Whoopers at this time of year. More birds will arrive later in the month. We may also find flocks of geese and a few migrating Lapland Longspurs.

We also plan to visit Saskatchewan’s largest tree and visit the Regional Park at Redberry Lake. Here we may find Bonaparte’s Gulls, Hooded Mergansers and perhaps a few White-winged Scoters.

In the late afternoon, we return to the hotel where the tour ends.

Overnight: Park Town Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon including at this hotel.

Stan Shadick – Tour Leader

STAN SHADICK: GUIDE FOR SASKATOON CUSTOM BIRD TOURS

TOUR GUIDE: Your guide has many years of experience finding and observing birds throughout Saskatchewan. For over 30 years, Stan Shadick has been a birding guide for nature tours around Saskatchewan and other parts of the country that have been organized by Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours, Nature Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan Extension Division.

Stan is past president of Nature Saskatchewan as well as past president and current field trip chairman for the Saskatoon Nature Society. He is a co-editor of the reference publication “Birds of the Saskatoon Area” and contributed significantly to the recently published “Birds of Saskatchewan”.

Stan has volunteered as a regional coordinator for the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas project and helps with their bird identification workshops. He regularly contributes sightings to e-bird and currently holds the e-bird record for the most bird species seen in Saskatchewan.

Stan volunteers his time leading Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours so that all proceeds benefit the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Tour Fees

Guiding Fee: CAD $3690 per person (about USD $26900; UK £2120) due at time of booking.

Car Rental: You need to rent your own vehicle from the Saskatoon airport. A discount off the guiding fee may be available if you agree to transport the leader from Saskatoon and back at no cost to him in a non-smoking vehicle for the duration of the tour.

Accommodation: You need to book your own accommodation. A list of motel dates and phone numbers will be sent to registered guests. If you prefer, the leader will book your accommodation using your credit card.

Meals: you need to pay for your own meals.

Park Entry Fees: You need to pay for your own park entry fees.

 

TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour guiding fee will be issued to the person paying for the tour.

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.

Canada Saskatchewan Autumn Birding Tour Reservations

RESERVATIONS for Canada Saskatchewan Autumn Birding Tour: Please complete and submit the following form or email us your full name(s), mailing address, email address and requested tour dates.

E-mail: birdtours@sasktel.net
Phone: 306-652-5975

Payment instructions will be emailed to you after you complete and submit the form below.

All fees support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

If you do not have a cell phone, enter your land line.
Complete Mailing Address needed for tax receipt.
Check ALL that apply.
Smoking is allowed only inside your own personal vehicle. No smoking is permitted during meals, anywhere in shared accommodations or outside during birding stops or hikes.

If you do not hear back from us within 24 hours, then please email: birdtours@sasktel.net or phone 306-652-5975.

 

Weir Birding and Walking Tour
White Pelican by Nick Saunders

Gift Certificates Available Now

This Canada Saskatchewan Summer Birding Tour makes an excellent Christmas gift, birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation 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.

Bird Tours Gift Certificate
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Tour Guide

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

Other Tours

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

Dancing Grouse Photography Tour
CLICK PICTURE for details.
Eagle Creek Tour
CLICK PICTURE for details
CLICK PICTURE for Whooping Crane Tour details.
Northern Hawk Owl Photo Tours
CLICK PICTURE for details.

Multiple Tours Discount

Can’t decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.