Birding and Canoe Overnight at Last Mountain Lake
Sep 16, 2016 - Sep 18, 2016
Join Sask Outdoors for a weekend of birding and canoeing at Last Mountain Lake. We will get hands on at the Last Mountain Bird Observatory where we’ll have the opportunity to see many bird species up close, plus observe catching with nets, handling and banding techniques. We’ll also learn about species identification, bird migration, threats to bird populations, and bird conservation. We’ll head out onto the lake in canoes and scour the shoreline for ducks, geese, and all sorts of birds. The north end of the lake contains the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, a bird sanctuary and protected breeding ground. Two main factors contribute to attracting such a wealth of birdlife to the area: its good habitats, as one of the most productive lakes in southern Saskatchewan; and its strategic location in the heart of the central flyway of North America. We will spend Saturday night camped out within the National Wildlife Area.
Some canoe experience is required since there will be open water crossings and we will travel >30 km round trip. SaskOutdoors is offering a canoe course if you’re interested in improving your canoe skills, see details here. If you’re unsure about your canoeing capability, contact us to talk about your skill level. This event is well suited for those with limited birding experience to those hard core bird watchers, and families with children patient enough to sit in a canoe for over 4 hours.
Friday, September 16, 2016
-6pm: People start arriving at Last Mountain Regional Park
-8pm: Night game with Observatory volunteers or potential to observe catching, handling and banding of long-eared owls and saw-whet owls.
-Sleep at the Last Mountain Regional Park
Saturday, September 17, 2016
-9am: Bird catching, banding, and releasing begins at the Observatory
-1pm: Begin canoeing
-Afternoon: Take pictures, use binoculars, explore bays, see and learn lots of cool bird stuff
-5pm: Start supper. In the evening we will enjoy the sights and sounds of the setting sun on the marsh, take some time to sketch, or read, or hike about.
-Sleep at a designated back country site with special permission or at the Area manager’s yardsite on the west shore.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
-1pm: Be back at Last Mountain Regional Park, talk about how much fun we had
Food: You provide your own food, cooking supplies, and kitchen gear. There are no fire pits at the back country site, so bring a stove and plan accordingly.
Gear: You provide your own gear. But… Sask Outdoors has tents, one stove, binoculars, GPSs, and other gear available to lend out. If you need something, check out this Loan page and indicate what you want to borrow in your registration form or contact us and we might be able to help you out if something you need isn’t listed. It might be cold, so bring a warm sleeping bag (or double up bags), warm clothes, and at least one change of clothes in case you get wet. We’ll send out a gear list following registration. Pack your gear in waterproof bags or use garbage bags inside your main bag.
Canoes: Canoes, paddles, and PFDs will be supplied. Let us know if you will be bringing your own canoe or kayak.
Wind: If it’s too windy/wavy to paddle on the lake Saturday afternoon we’ll plan to hike into the Wildflife Area, sleep at the Regional Park Saturday night, and hope that it’s calm enough in the morning for a short paddle. Wind also poses a problem for the bird catching nets, which won’t be deployed if it’s too windy.
Cost includes a donation to the Last Mountain Bird Observatory, canoe rental, camping fee, and administration fee, but not the park entry fee:
The registration fee is $50 for adult members (or $60 for non-members), $20 per child under 18 years accompanied by an adult, and free for children under 3 years.
FULL FOR 2016!