Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birding Tour – 6 great hours with fascinating woodland and water birds

Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birdwatching Group Tour

Date: TBA

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

Curious about what bird is twittering in the bushes nearby?  Even if you are not an avid birdwatcher, this tour provides you an opportunity to learn about local birdlife near Gardiner Dam while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the area.

Join Stan Shadick of Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours for a guided birdwatching day tour to visit Gardiner Dam region and the nearby Anerley Lakes valley. Some of the special birds we will look for include: Great Blue Heron colony, Osprey, Swainson’s Hawk, Piping Plover and American White Pelicans. We should also find many ducks and marsh birds. We might even find a Long-billed Curlew.

The Gardiner Dam region has many diving birds on Lake Diefenbaker and along the South Saskatchewan River. The lake shore provides nesting habitat for the rare Piping Plover. Great Blue Herons have nested nearby. The woodlands in Coldwell Regional Park has several kinds of woodpeckers, vireos, flycatchers, warblers and sparrows. Spotted Towhees are found here. The Anerley Lakes valley may have both grassland birds and marsh birds.

This Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birding Tour may be joined at either Saskatoon or Sandy Shores Resort, Gardiner Dam. Gardiner Dam is about a 2 hour 15 minute drive from Regina.

During this Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes birding tour, your leader will identify the birds and set up a spotting scope allowing you to get the best view of the birds.

Both novice and experienced bird watchers are welcome.

A loaner pair of binoculars may be available if requested.

Self-Drive Guided Birding Tour

PUBLIC WASHROOMS: Located at Gardiner Dam and Coldwell Park.

Gardiner Dam

Where to find birds near Gardiner Dam, Canada?

Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birding Tour Itinerary

Times are approximate.

  • 8:00 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
  • 9:30 AM Tour begins at Sandy Shores Resort marina, located near the Coteau Bay boat launch west of Gardiner Dam.  We will start with a short walk to look for birds on the South Shores Resort property at Gardiner Dam and then drive to view a nearby Great Blue Heron colony. Your leader will set up a high-magnification spotting scope so that we can view the herons from a distance without disturbing them.
  • 10:45 AM We will drive to Coldwell Regional Park and walk along the park roads and trails through this wooded park looking for a variety of songbirds. Some of the birds we might find include Mourning Dove, Great Horned Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-capped Chickadee, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, Veery, Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch, Clay-colored Sparrow, Spotted Towhee and Yellow Warbler.
  • 12:00 Noon Enjoy your picnic lunch in the park or return to Sandy Shores Marina at Gardiner Dam to buy lunch.
  • 1:00 PM Meet at the Gardiner Dam Interpretive Centre parking lot.  Here we will walk along the beach looking for the rare Piping Plovers plus Western Grebe, Killdeer, Willet, Franklin’s Gull, Common Loon and other gulls and ducks. In the spruce trees near the center, we may find Merlin, Brown Thrasher and Western Kingbirds.
  • 1:45 PM Drive a short below the dam to the Gardiner Dam outflow. Here we often find Osprey, American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Western Meadowlarks, Cliff Swallow, Common Mergansers plus many other ducks.
  • 2:15 PM Our final visit will be to the Anerley Lakes valley where we hope to find some prairie birds, marsh birds and shorebirds. We might find Long-billed Curlews in this area.
  • 4:00 PM The tour ends at Anerley Lakes. You may return home on your own.

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


Participants on these tours need to drive their own personal or rented vehicle. RVs and vehicles pulling trailers are permitted on private tours. This tour may be suitable for owners of full electric vehicles if the vehicle is charged up in Saskatoon from where the estimated return distance is about 290 km.


If you would like to share the costs of a tour with other interested birders, then complete the Carpooling Section of the Registration Request Form below or email the tour name, your name, phone number and email address to

Gardiner Dam and Anerley Lakes Birding Tour Fee

July 17, 2024 Group Tour Fee: CAD $140 (about US $105, £85) per person. Fee covers expert guiding services during this 6-hour tour. Meals, transportation and accommodation are NOT included. Taxes included

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

RESERVATIONS for Gardiner Dam & Anerley Lakes Birding 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.

Spotted Towhee
by May Haga

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Can I bring my pet dog on this tour?

Dogs are not permitted on this Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes group tour.

Gardiner Dam Tour Guide

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

What to Bring

Suggested items to Bring:

  • Clothes suitable for the weather (rain coat, hat, walking shoes, etc.)
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars and camera or spotting scope (optional)
  • Ensure your vehicle has a full gas 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.
Coldwell Park
Coldwell Park by Janice Roy

Other Tours

This Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birding 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 Gardiner Dam – Anerley Lakes Birding 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.