Early Fall Group Birding Events
Join us for one or more of the Berrien Birding Club outings listed below this spring. Our groups are friendly and fun! Park entry fees may be in effect at some locations, but otherwise there are no fees required to participate. If you have questions about an outing or need directions, please call (269) 471-2617 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org a day or two in advance.
Tuesday, August 23, 8:30 a.m. New Buffalo Lakefront and Galien River County Park. We’ll start by checking from the New Buffalo Public Beach for migrant shorebirds and waterbirds. Then we’ll make the short drive to Galien River County Park to check the woodland trails, boardwalks and canopy walkway for lingering summer residents and early fall migrants. Meet at New Buffalo Public Beach.
Tuesday, August 30, 8:30 a.m. St. Joe Beach Birding. After watching for lakeshore migrants from Tiscornia Beach and the north pier we’ll walk the beach a mile north to Jean Klock Beach. This will give us a chance to watch for birds in flight and check the beaches between the two parks for shorebirds. We’ll return to Tiscornia either along the beach again or along the residential road just inland that parallels the lakeshore. Meet at Tiscornia Park. Vehicle parking fee required.
Saturday, September 3, 9:00 a.m. Fall Migration at Love Creek Nature Center. Warblers and other songbird migrants should be moving through southwest Michigan now, many en route to wintering grounds in the tropics. Today we’ll search for them on the forest edges of some of the wider trails at Love Creek, where visibility is easier. Meet at the nature center building.
Sunday, September 4, 8:30 a.m. Fall Warblers at Warren Dunes State Park. Today we’ll search for fall warblers and other migrant landbirds along the forest edges of Floral Lane and the youth camping area at the north end of Warren Dunes State Park. Meet at the Youth Camp/Trailhead parking lot on Floral Lane. (Off Red Arrow Highway, 1.5 miles north of main park entrance.)
Monday, September 5, 7:30 a.m. New Buffalo Labor Day Waterbird Watch. Sometimes the best way to see migrants along the lakeshore is to be patient and wait for them to come by. This morning we’ll do just that for an hour or two! Bring a beach/folding chair if you like and meet on the beach at the New Buffalo Public Beach. When the lakeshore birding slows down and/or the beach gets too busy we’ll head for the Three Oaks wastewater ponds to check for shorebirds on the lagoon margins.
Sunday, September 11, 8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Birds on the Beach. Join us in the Dunes Pavilion at Silver Beach County Park for a breakfast on the beach (our treat!) while we watch offshore and along the beach for lakeshore migrants. After breakfast we’ll walk the South Pier to check for birds and then drive around to the other side of the river mouth to check Tiscornia Park for migrants. Vehicle parking fee required at Tiscornia.
Tuesday, September 13, 8:30 a.m. Galien River County Park and New Buffalo Beach. Today we’re going to switch things around by starting at Galien River County Park. We’ll explore for woodland and wetland migrants along the boardwalk trails and from the Marsh Overlook Tower. Then when we’re done here we’ll head for the New Buffalo Public Beach to see what shorebirds, gulls or terns have settled on the beach or inner harbor. Meet on the Marsh Tower at Galien River County Park. (Follow signs from the parking lot.)
Saturday, September 17, 9:00 a.m. Chikaming Township Park. We’ll start today at the Chikaming Twp. Park & Preserve on Warren Woods Road. The forest edges and old fields here are good locations for fall landbird migrants. After a walk and a break for refreshments, we’ll make the short trip to the Three Oaks wastewater ponds to see what shorebirds or waders are present. Meet by the picnic shelter at Chikaming. (Follow entry road to its end.)
Tuesday, September 20, 8:30 a.m. St. Joseph Lakefront Parks. Today we’ll explore lakefront parks on both sides of the St. Joseph River mouth. We’ll check the beaches for gulls, terns and shorebirds, watch offshore over Lake Michigan and explore patches of trees and shrubs for warblers and other landbird migrants. Meet at the Dunes Pavilion in Silver Beach County Park. (Turn right at gatehouse and park in one of the north lots.)
Saturday, September 24, 8:30 a.m. Warren Dunes State Park. We’ll check the edges of the Youth Camp field, the Yellow Birch Trail and possibly some of the open dunes for fall warblers and other landbird migrants today. Meet at the Youth Camp/Trailhead parking lot on Floral Lane. (Off Red Arrow Highway, 1.5 miles north of main park entrance.)
Tuesday, Sept 27, 6:00 p.m. Member Potluck & Evening Birding at New Buffalo Twp. and Galien River County Parks. Bring an item or dish to share and meet in the pavilion of the New Buffalo Township Park (across from entrance to Galien River County Park.) After a dinner together we’ll do some easy evening birding from the trails and overlooks in the township park and across the road at Galien River County Park. We’ll conclude at dark by attempting to bring one of the resident Eastern Screech Owls into view for all!
For directions to any field trip location, please email Love Creek call (269) 471-2617 at least a day ahead of time.
Photo Credits: Lakeshore Birders, Charley McKelvy; Black-throated Blue Warbler, Matt Hysell