Note: In the event of a forecast of bad weather, an email will be sent to the DRFN distribution list the evening before a trip, with trip cancellation or re-scheduling information. If you are not on the list, you may check the DRFN website or call the outing leader.


To find out about upcoming outings for Pickering Naturalists, check their website:


Upcoming Outings and COVID-19 Guidance

These are challenging times due to COVID-19. We all embrace nature and long to see our favourite wildflowers, birds, mammals, insects and other wildlife. DRFN will follow the guidance, laws and regulations of Canada, Ontario and local municipalities to limit the spread and minimize the danger.  



Next Outings


Sunday, November 26 at 10 AM

Niagara Gulls

Niagara Falls is a common destination for gulls in late fall and winter. A variety of interesting birds have been seen in the past including Lesser Black-backed, Slaty-backed, and California Gulls; Black-legged Kittiwake; Brant; Purple Sandpiper; Red Phalarope, Canvasback; Common Loons; etc.. What will this year’s surprise be?

This will be a joint outing with the Pickering Field Naturalists

Meet at Dufferin Islands in Niagara Falls (6345 Dufferin Isle Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L0S 1A0.) Basically, take the 401, 427 and QEW to Niagara Falls. Exit at McLeod Road (49) then turn left on Burning Springs Hill Road. Drive until you reach the parking spots just south of the Niagara Parkway. Your GPS, Google Maps, etc. may have you take a different route so check a map so that you’re comfortable with the route you take. The drive to Niagara Falls should take approximately 2 hours. The Niagara Festival of Lights starts on November 18 so normal access to Burning Springs Hill Road from McLeod may be closed and you may have to access via the Parkway…

Carpooling: If you would like to carpool, meet at the northwest corner of the Oshawa Go parking lot or the southwest corner of the Pickering GO parking lot (Bayly and Liverpool) at 8 AM.

Difficulty: It can be very cold, wet and/or snowy beside the Niagara River. (It can also be warm and dry…) Dress to stay warm and dry. Wear layers of clothing for flexibility. Casual walking on sidewalks will be required.

Bring water and a lunch or prepare to dine at Tim’s in Chippawa.


Sunday, December 17

Durham Christmas Bird Count.

Contact Tyler Hoar to participate

Check for weather forecast and dress accordingly. Bring appropriate clothing based on the weather forecast. Portions of the area may be slick and muddy depending on the weather so bring appropriate footwear.

If you plan to stay home, you can participate by reporting on activity at your feeder(s). Check your email for a reporting sheet and instructions.


Saturday, January 6 at 9:00 AM

Annual Winter Bird Feeder Tour and Lunch

Organized with the help of Judy Bryson.

This is our annual opportunity to check our favourite feeders in north Pickering and Whitby in search of local birds, northern visitors and those who normally would have headed south by now. After 2-3 hours we’ll return to the church basement to warm-up and have a delicious potluck.

Meet at Mount Zion United Church to drop off food. (Drive north on Westney Road past highway 7 to Concession 8 and turn right (east). Address is 3000 Concession 8 just east of Salem Road.)

Lunch participation is optional

9:00 departure for a driving tour of feeders.

Lunch around noon at Mount Zion United Church.

Attendees should consider giving a donation to fund ongoing operation of the Church.

Dress warmly!