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Public Event: Smooth Rock Falls: Cochrane District

  • 20 May 2023
  • 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Smooth Rock Falls
  • 23


Registration is closed

Saturday: May 20

Leaders: Rhonda Donley, Angie Williams, Ken Williams

Trip Description: Meet 7:30 a.m. at 188 Ross Road in Smooth Rock Falls. We will drive to various birding locations in the vicinity. Our goal is to find boreal birds such as Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Spruce Grouse. We will stay within cell service at least for the first hour in the event that some participants arrive late and need to locate the group. Contacts for Angie and Ken: Phone or text 905-870-8583; email Note that this date was chosen to coordinate with the trip scheduled for the Timmins area with Roxane Filion on May 21.

Who Should Come? This field trip is open to all. New birders and photographers are welcome.

Type of Trip: Search for boreal birds. Participants should bring adequate clothing, understanding that the weather, while variable, is usually much cooler than in southern Ontario. Insect repellent is recommended. Also bring a lunch, drinks and snacks. Rubber boots could be useful. If you have bear spray, bring it for safety.

Location and Directions: Smooth Rock Falls is in the Cochrane District of northern Ontario; Timmins is 102 kilometres away, making it convenient to combine the two trips on Saturday and Sunday.

Public Transportation: None.

Duration: 7:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. Rest stops and lunch breaks will occur throughout the day.

Approximate Distance: Distances driven depend on local birding info at time of the trip.

Terrain: This trip will mainly involve walking on ATV tracks, so is not suitable for those who rely on mobility aids. Conditions may be muddy.

Gradient: Uneven.

Trail Surfaces: Dirt and mud, depending on the weather.

Accessibility: Given the challenges of the tracks, participants who wish to bird from their car or in town will be accommodated, with guidance regarding good places to look for birds.

Washrooms: Once we leave Smooth Rock Falls, there are no washrooms or other amenities. Our home washroom will be available for use before and after the trip. If a wheelchair accessible washroom is required, then guests will be directed to the Esso station in Smooth Rock Falls. We are happy to help with enquiries regarding lodgings, restaurants, etc. in the area.

Land  AcknowledgementThe district of Timmins acknowledges that we are situated in Treaty 9 territory that is steeped in rich Indigenous history and that the lands on which we operate are the traditional territory of many First Nations, Metis and Inuit People today. We also acknowledge Mattagami First Nation, on whose traditional land we gather.

What You Need to Know

OFO welcomes all people who are interested in birds and birding and strives to create an inclusive, comfortable and enjoyable experience. OFO trip leaders are volunteers who generously offer their time to share their knowledge and passion for birds with others.

Beginner Birders: Most OFO trips are suitable for beginner birders. Please let the trip leaders know if you are new to birding when you arrive.

Code of Conduct and Code of Birding Ethics: Participants are expected to review OFO’s Code of Conduct and Code of Birding Ethics before the trip.

Transportation: All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the field trip. Public transit information, if available, is included in the trip description.

Meeting Time: Please arrive a few minutes before the start time. Please contact the trip leaders (if a cell number is provided) if you are running late or cannot attend.

What to Wear: Wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the weather, season and terrain. Long pants and closed shoes or boots are recommended as protection from the elements, ticks and other biting insects. In bright light, a hat with a large brim will make it easier to see birds.

What to Bring: Please bring your ID and health card, a mask, enough water for the duration of the trip, snacks, a packed lunch for a longer trip and money for park entrance and ferry fees. Depending on the season, sunscreen, insect repellant and a topical insect bite treatment such as Afterbite or Benadryl are  recommended.

Optics and Cameras: Please bring your choice of binoculars, optional scope and camera. Please contact the Field Trips Coordinator in advance by email at if you require loaner binoculars. We will do our best to provide a pair.

Leaving early: Trip leaders understand that not everyone will be able to stay for the duration of the trip. If you must leave early, please inform the trip leaders.

Rest stops and lunch breaks: Trip leaders will include rest stops and lunch breaks, but if you require additional rest stops, please inform the trip leaders, so they can accommodate your request.

Safety and First Aid: Trip leaders are volunteers. They are not trained in first aid and cannot provide medical help in the case of an accident or administer medication. When driving, please follow the rules of the road. Exercise caution when parking on the side of the road and getting out of your car.

Accessibility: OFO aims to provide accessible birding trips which are welcoming and enjoyable for all. If you have any questions about the trip, or require accommodations, please contact the trip leaders in advance by emailing Please allow a few days for a response.

Contact: Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

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