Great Sand Hills Birdwatching Tour from Saskatoon, Kindersley or Leader – 3 new options

Great Sand Hills Birding Tours

Join a guided birding tour to watch for Long-billed Curlews, Common Poorwills and many other special prairie birds that nest in the Great Sand Hills and South Saskatchewan River valley of SW Saskatchewan.

We offer 3 options for guided self-driving tours to the Great Sand Hills region of SW Saskatchewan, Canada.

Private Tours

OPTION A. 2-Day / 1-night private guided birding tour to the Great Sand Hills region.
Private tour available May to August.

OPTION B. 3-Day / 2-night private guided birding tour to the Great Sand Hills region and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.
Private tour available May to August.

Public Group Tour

OPTION C. August 5 – 7, 2024 3-day /2-night guided group birding tour to Great Sand Hills and Saskatchewan Landing Park.

Great Sand Hills Birding Tour starts in Saskatoon meeting other participants in Rosetown or Kindersley or Leader.
Participants departing Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, North Battleford, Lloydminster, Maple Creek, Medicine Hat or Calgary should plan to meet tour at Leader.

Driving distance

  • Saskatoon – Leader: 295 km
  • Regina – Leader: 395 km
  • Moose Jaw – Leader: 325 km
  • Swift Current – Leader: 153 km
  • Maple Creek – Leader: 113 km
  • North Battleford – Leader: 283 km
  • Lloydminster – Leader: 325 km
  • Medicine Hat – Leader: 168 km
  • Calgary – Leader: 402 km

Where is best place to find grassland and shrubland birds in Canada?

Join one of our 3 tour options for visiting the Great Sand Hills and surrounding prairies in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada.  Both novice and experienced birdwatchers are welcome. We will visit the best birding hotspots in this region of SW Saskatchewan.

Some of the expected bird species include: Long-billed Curlew, Upland Sandpiper, Common Poorwill, Loggerhead Shrike, Mountain Bluebird, and Yellow-breasted Chat, Western Meadowlark, Baird’s, Savannah, Vesper and Lark Sparrow. Prairie Falcon, Rock Wren, Violet-Green Swallow and Red-headed Woodpecker are possible.

The Great Sand Hills and Saskatchewan Landing Park group tour on August 5 – 7 is one of the tours in the Saskatchewan Birding Hotspots Series offered by Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours.

Transportation

All Great Sand Hills tour participants will travel in their own personal or rented car or truck.
Carpooling may be possible during the Option C group tour.

RVs and trucks pulling trailers are only feasible on Options A and B private tours.

Full electric vehicles might currently only be feasible on the Option A private tour.  There is a charging station in Maple Creek.

Carpooling

If you would like to share the costs of a group 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 birdtours@sasktel.net

Accommodation Options

Both camping and motel accommodation options are available on this Great Sand Hills tour.

Great Sand Hills Tour Itinerary

Weather conditions may result in changes to this planned itinerary.

Day 1

Great Sand Hills Tour departs Saskatoon about 8:30 am. Participants may choose to join this private tour at Rosetown, Kindersley or Maple Creek.

Some of our planned birding stops include the following sites.

  • Kindersley Regional Park
  • Kindersley Sewage Lagoon
  • South Saskatchewan River Valley south of Eatonia
  • Check In to motel in Leader
  • Afternoon and evening at Great Sand Hills (picnic supper)
  • Optional late night visit to search for Common Poorwill.

Day 2

Some of our planned birding stops include the following sites.

  • Morning visit to Estuary Ferry and South Saskatchewan River NW of Leader.
  • Check out of motel
  • Afternoon visit to Lemsford Ferry and/or Lancer Ferry region along South Saskatchewan River
  • 2-day Tour ends about 2 pm.
  • 3-day tour participants continue to motel in Kyle and spend evening in Saskatchewan Landing Park.

Day 3

Some of our planned birding stops include

  • Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park campgrounds and picnic areas in morning
  • Optional birding hike up a coulee trail to search for Yellow-breasted Chats.
  • Optional afternoon visit to Prairie Lake Regional Park south of Beechy where tour ends about 3 pm.
  • Return home.

Great Sand Hills Tour Fees

Option A. 2-day / 1-night Great Sand Hills Private Tour Fee: CAD $1490 (about US $1100, £895) for a party of 1 – 4 persons . Note fee is for your entire party (not a per person fee).
Fee includes guiding services. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included. Trip begins in Saskatoon about 8:30 am on day 1 and ends at Lemsford Ferry about 2 pm on day 2.
Save $200 if you have room in your vehicle to transport leader from Saskatoon and back.

Option B. 3-day / 2-night Great Sand Hills and Saskatchewan Landing Park Private Tour Fee: $2290  (about US $1695, £1375) for a party of 1 – 4 persons . Note fee is for your entire party (not a per person fee).
Fee includes guiding services. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included. Trip begins in Saskatoon about 8:30 am on day 1 and ends at Prairie Lake Regional Park about 3 pm on day 3.
Save $300 if you have room in your vehicle to transport leader from Saskatoon and back.

Option C. August 5 – 7, 2024 Great Sand Hills and Saskatchewan Landing Park Public Group Tour Fee: $1990 (about US $1475, £1195)  per vehicle with a party of 1 – 4 persons travelling . Note fee is for your entire party (not a per person fee. Fee includes guiding services. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included. Trip begins in Saskatoon about 8:30 am on day 1 and ends at Prairie Lake Regional Park about 3 pm on day 3.
Save $300 if you have room in your vehicle to transport leader from Saskatoon and back.

Please book your tour as soon as possible. Accommodation options are very limited in the rural areas visited on this tour.

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.

Multiple Tours Discount

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

Great Sand Hills Tour Reservation Request Form

Reservations: Complete the form below or email: birdtours@sasktel.net and provide names of clients, their addresses and requested type of tour and tour date.
Full payment due at time of booking. Payment instruction will be emailed to you after registration form is received. You may also phone Stan Shadick at 306-652-5975.

The number of participants accepted on this Cypress Hills – Grasslands Park group tour is limited. Because accommodation choices are limited in the remote areas visited on this tour, please reserve your spot as early as possible.

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

Select all that apply. Multiple Tour discounts apply.
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.
Check ALL that applyl.

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

 

See Long-billed Curlew in the Great Sand Hills

Can I bring my pet dog on this tour?

Dogs are permitted on private tours provided they are kept on a leash. Dogs are not permitted on group tours.

Covid Safety Policy on Great Sand Hills Tours

  1. Your tour leader is fully vaccinated.
  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. 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.

Some Potential Birds of Interest

We will watch for the following birds on the Great Sand Hills Birding Tour.

  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Sharp-tailed Grouse
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Western Grebe
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • California Gull
  • Franklin’s Gull
  • Common Poorwill
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Violet-Green Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Rock Wren
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Brewer’s Sparrow
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Lark Bunting
  • Baird’s Sparrow
  • Lazuli Bunting (rare)
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird

Gift Certificates Available Now

This Great Sand Hills  Birding 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 Flair, Air Canada, Westjet and their U.S. partners United and Delta.

Air Canada Star Alliance partners also include Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA, Lot, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAP, Thai, Turkish, United.

Westjet international partners include AeroMexico, Air France, Air Transat, Azores, Cathay Pacific, China, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Hainan, Hong Kong, Japan, KLM, Korean, LATAM, Philippine, Quantas, Virgin Atlantic, Xiamen.

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.

Entering Canada

CLICK HERE for government regulations for entering Canada.
My recent fully vaccinated international clients tell me there are no significant delays at the border provided they have fully completed the ArriveCan app in advance.

Great Sand Hills 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.

Monthly Newsletter

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