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Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter

Each autumn, tens of thousands of shore and water birds migrate through our area from their nesting grounds in the Arctic.

Hundreds stop off to feed and refuel at the Almonte Lagoons behind the wastewater treatment plant, just west of Almonte.

Enthusiastic birders enjoy the birding facility west of Almonte. Photo M. Gauthier

MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter Open to all Birders!

Dedicated and named for former MVFN President and Champion for Nature Mike McPhail, a beautiful new bird viewing shelter overlooking the westernmost decommissioned lagoon has just been completed. For fifteen years, birders from all over the province and beyond have made this prime location, ideal for observing shorebirds and other species, one of their important viewing spots. The trail into the existing Al Potvin Observation Tower now leads on to the new MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter close to the lagoon. Many fall warbler and sparrow species may also be seen during the short walk in to the new shelter.

The MVFN Board of Directors and members are delighted with the results of the tireless efforts of the co-managers and volunteer construction crews over the past year.  We are proud to offer the public birding community a unique place to visit, spring, summer and fall.  MVFN is also very grateful to the Municipality of Mississippi Mills for allowing the shelter to be built, for the help and support they offered throughout, and to Home Hardware for their expert advice.

Besides migrating waterfowl and shore birds at the lagoon, there are woodland birds along the path, and field birds which can be seen out from each side of the path.

Directions:  from Almonte, take Wolf Grove Road (County Rd. 16) towards Middleville, 2 km. To access the path, turn right off Wolf Grove Road to Concession #8.  The path is located a few hundred meters up Concession #8, across the road from the far end of the Auld Kirk Cemetery.  Parking is permitted on both shoulders of the road, except in front of the gate.  The rather hard-to-see entrance to the pathway is marked with a small yellow sign on the right.  Please respect the “Rules of Etiquette” on the path and in the shelter.

Grand Opening and Dedication to Mike McPhail

During September open houses and at various other times, expert birders with spotting scopes will be present to help visitors observe and identify birds. Watch for notices of these and other events at the facility. You may also visit at other times, Spring, Summer and Fall, on your own. Please sign the guest book. 

NOTE: Link to current E-bird checklist for this location is at

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