Cypress Hills – Grasslands Park Birding Tour from Saskatoon, Regina, Swift Current: 7 fantastic days birding the great southwest

Cypress Hills - Grasslands Park Birding Tour

PRIVATE TOURS: JUNE - EARLY SEPTEMBER

PUBLIC GROUP TOUR TENTATIVE DATES: JUNE 10 - 16, 2023

Please submit no-obligation information request form or email birdtours@sasktel.net if interested.
No payment needed at this time.

Escorted self-driving tour

Tour starts in Saskatoon meeting other participants in Rosetown or Kindersley.
Participants departing Regina, Moose Jaw or Swift Current should plan to meet tour at Sceptre, SK.

Estimated driving distance from Saskatoon: 1800 km

Where is best place to find prairie birds in Canada?

Join a small group of birders on a special 7-day / 6-night birding tour visiting Saskatchewan's Great Sandhills, Cypress Hills and Grasslands National Park in western Canada.  Both novice and experienced birdwatchers are welcome.

We will visit the best birding hotspots in SW Saskatchewan. These habitats are the favourites of both local and visiting birders looking for prairie birds as well as sub-alpine birds.

Some of the special unique birds in the Cypress Hills region include MacGillivray’s Warbler, Dusky Flycatcher, Red-naped Sapsucker, Poorwill, Pacific Wren, Violet-Green Swallow. We also look for rare Cordilleran Flycatcher and Bullock’s Oriole found in the region in recent years. We plan to visit the west, central and east blocks of this birding hotspot.

In Grasslands National Park and other areas, we will watch and listen for Burrowing Owl,  Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle,  Long-billed Curlew, Loggerhead Shrike, Sprague's Pipit, Baird's Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow,  Lark Bunting, Chestnut-collared Longspur and Thick-billed Longspur. See sidebar for a list of potential species of interest. A checklist of Saskatchewan birds may be downloaded HERE.

We also plan to visit Saskatchewan's famous Great Sandhills where Common Poorwill, Long-billed Curlew and Lark Sparrows plus other grassland birds may be found.

This Cypress Hills - Grasslands Park tour is one of the  tours in the Saskatchewan Birding Hotspots Series offered by Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours.  This tour can easily be taken following our Duck Mountain Park Tour  and before our Best Birding Hotspots of SE Saskatchewan Tour .

Transportation: All participants will travel in their own personal or rented vehicle. If Covid returns, masks will be worn birding stops.

Accommodation Options. Both camping and hotel accommodation options are available.

Proposed Cypress Hills / Grasslands Park Itinerary

Weather conditions may result in changes to this planned itinerary.

Day 1

Tour departs Saskatoon about 8 am. Participants may choose to join the tour at Rosetown, Kindersley or Leader.

Some of our planned birding stops include the following sites.

  • Kindersley Regional Park
  • Lemsford Ferry on South Saskatchewan River
  • Sand dunes in the Great Sandhills
  • Supper at Leader
  • Overnight at a Leader hotel. Campers may wish to stay in campground.
  • Optional late evening outing to listen for poorwills in the Great Sandhills

Day 2

Some of our planned birding stops include the following sites.

  • South Saskatchewan River near Estuary
  • Junction Reservoir
  • Mason Lake
  • Supper at Maple Creek
  • Overnight at a Maple Creek hotel. Campers may wish to stay in west block or town campground.
  • Optional late evening outing to listen for poorwills in west block of Cypress Hills

DAY 3

We plan to spend the day birding in the best hotspots in the west block of Cypress Hills.

  • Cypress Hills Switchbacks
  • Fort Walsh hiking trails
  • Cordilleran Flycatcher nesting site from previous years
  • Conglomerate Cliffs in Cypress Hills
  • Overnight at a motel in Consul SK. Campers may stay at Cypress Lake recreation site.

DAY 4

We plan to drive around the region south of Cypress Hills making stops to watch and listen for grassland birds. Some planned stops include:

  • Govenlock area
  • Cypress Lake Recreation Site
  • Supper and overnight accommodation at The Resort at Cypress Hills (Centre Block).
    Campers may stay at a park campground.
  • Hike Cypress Hills Whispering Pines Trail in evening.
  • Optional late evening outing to listen for poorwills.

DAY 5

Today we will hike several easy trails within the centre block of Cypress Hills provincial park.

  • Highlands Trail
  • Whispering Pines Trail
  • Supper and overnight at the Cypress Hills resort.
  • Sunset visit to Bald Butte viewpoint

DAY 6

We will drive through the east block of Cypress Hills making many stops including the following sites.

  • Fairwell Creek
  • Jones Peak
  • Eastend
  • Overnight at a motel near Grasslands Park. Campers may stay in town or park campground.

DAY 7

We will spend most of the morning in Grasslands National Park.
In the afternoon you may return home or continue with me to the SE Saskatchewan Birding Tour.

PRIVATE TOUR FEE

7-DAY Cypress Hills - Grasslands Park Private Tour Fee: $4690 for a private group of 1 - 4 persons travelling in a single vehicle.
Fee includes guiding services. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included.
Trip begins in Saskatoon at 8 am and returns about 6 pm day 4.
SAVE $1000 if you cover leader's transportation and some accommodation costs by driving leader in your vehicle and provide him with a bedroom for his use in your shared cabin during the 2 nights at The Resort at Cypress Hills.

Tax Receipt. You will receipt a tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $100 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 60 days before date of tour.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 60 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place.

GROUP TOUR FEE

June 10 - 16, 2023 Cypress Hills - Grasslands Park Public Group Tour Fee: TBA  for a group of 1 - 4 persons travelling in a single vehicle.
Fee includes guiding services. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included.
Trip begins in Saskatoon about 8 am on June 10 and ends at Mankota, Saskatchewan about noon on June 16.

Tax Receipt. You will receipt a tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $100 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 60 days before date of tour.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 60 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place.

GROUP SHARING

Please advise us if you wish to share your vehicle with another birder or wish to carpool with another birder.

INFORMATION REQUEST FORM

The number of participants accepted on this group tour is limited.

Questions: please email birdtours@sasktel.net or phone 306-652-5975 during evenings.

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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.
Least to most expensive options.

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

 

Cypress Hills Group Birding Tour
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Trails

PREVIOUS TRIP REPORT

CLICK HERE for a trip report from the 2022 tour.

TESTIMONIAL FROM PREVIOUS TOUR

Please accept our gratitude for a wonderful six days. The time together has been unforgettable and we will treasure these memories. TK June 17, 2022

Thanks for great SK birding and a respectable number of lifers for me! EZ June 25, 2022

COVID SAFETY POLICY ON TOURS

  1. Your tour leader is fully vaccinated. For everyone's health and safety, participants must bring a paper copy showing their personal proof of full covid vaccination.
  2. Clients must normally drive themselves in their own personal or rented vehicle. The leader will normally drive in a separate vehicle. We will use cell phones to communicate between each other during the tour.
  3. Please wear a mask and maintain physical 2 meter distancing when walking outside or viewing birds through the spotting scope that I will set up.
  4. This policy may change when public health orders change or when Covid case numbers decrease.
  5. 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.

Some Potential Birds of Interest

  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Greater Sage-Grouse (rare)
  • Sharp-tailed Grouse
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Swainson's Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • California Gull
  • Franklin's Gull
  • Eastern Screech-owl (rare)
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Common Poorwill
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Cordilleran Flycatcher
  • Violet-Green Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Brown Creeper
  • Pacific Wren
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Townsend's Solitaire (rare)
  • Thick-billed Longspur
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Audubon's Warbler subspecies
  • MacGillivray's Warbler
  • Brewer's Sparrow
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Lark Bunting
  • Baird's Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Pink-sided Junco subspecies
  • Western Tanager
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Bullock's Oriole (rare)
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Red Crossbill

GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE NOW

This tour makes an excellent birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation 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.

HOW TO GET TO SASKATOON

Air: Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) is served by Air Canada, Westjet, and their partners United and Delta.

Train: Saskatoon's  Train Station is served by Via Rail's Canadian train serving Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Vancouver.

Bus: Saskatoon - Edmonton and Saskatoon - Regina bus service

Car: Saskatoon is located on Canada's Yellowhead cross-country highway plus 6 other major highways connecting with all cities in Canada and USA. If you drive, you do not need to rent a car for our tours.

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.