Late Spring 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.
Saturday, April 30, 8:30 a.m. Southwest County Birding. Join us for a full morning birding southwest Berrien County hotspots. We’ll start at the New Buffalo Public Beach with a scan for lakeshore migrants and then work inland to explore backroad woodlands along the Galien River for early warblers (hopefully including Yellow-throated) and a variety of other woodland migrants. Time permitting we’ll conclude with a check for lingering waterfowl and early shorebirds at the Three Oaks water treatment ponds. Meet at the New Buffalo Public Beach.
Tuesday, May 3, 9:00 a.m. Topinabee Lake and Bertrand County Park. This morning we’ll enjoy a couple of nice birding locations in the Niles area. We’ll start at the Topinabee Lake Preserve looking for waterfowl, wetland species and others. After a stop to view the marsh and nesting Great Blue Herons around the corner on Weiser Road, we’ll continue on the Madeline Bertrand County Park. Wooded trails along the St. Joseph River and in the northern parts of the park offer good opportunities to enjoy warblers and other woodland migrants in migration. Meet at the Topinabee Lake observation platform (on Portage Road, north of US-12).
Saturday, May 7, 8:30 a.m. North Lake Park and Lincoln Township Park. Today we’ll start by checking the Grand Mere area’s North Lake Park for lingering waterfowl and other wetland species. We’ll also check the park’s woodland edges, which can be great for warblers in migration. Then we’ll make the short trip to Lincoln Township Beach to bird the entrance road. Walking this road takes us through woodlands, past a marsh, into a small dune area and ultimately to the Lake Michigan shore, so the spring bird possibilities are many! Meet at North Lake Township Park.
Sunday, May 8, 9:00 a.m. Love Creek County Park. We’ll start our Mother’s Day birding with a short walk from the nature center that will take us along a wetland edge and through the woods where warblers and other woodland migrants are likely. Then after a quick stop back in the nature center we’ll make the short drive to the park’s new “Simpson property” for additional woodland birding with some spectacular ravine views. Meet at the nature center.
Tuesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m. Chikaming Township Park and Warren Woods. Chikaming Township Park includes prairie grasslands, a small lake and woodland edges that offer a mix of good spring birding possibilities. We’ll explore several of these areas and then make the short drive to Warren Woods State Park where a walk in the mature forest to the edges of the Galien River will hopefully yield Scarlet Tanagers, woodpeckers, vireos and a variety of warblers. Meet in the front parking lot at Chikaming Township Park. (Just inside entrance and adjacent to community garden.)
Wednesday, May 11, 8:30 a.m. Galien River County Park. Meet on the Marsh Overlook Tower where we’ll watch for birds in the marsh and river below and flying past in migration. Then we’ll backtrack along the Canopy Walkway and a wooded ridge, hopefully finding warblers, vireos, tanager, orioles and others—maybe at eye level! After a short break in the parking lot we’ll head down to the Marsh Boardwalk and bird our way out the Galien River’s edge.
Thursday, May 12, 8:30 a.m. Warblers (and more) on the Yellow Birch Trail. The Yellow Birch Trail at the north end of Warren Dunes State Park is well known as one of our best warbler watching locations. It’s peak season now, so this is the time to explore this trail—frequently! Meet at the Youth Camp parking lot on Floral Lane.
Saturday, May 14 - 28th Annual SW Michigan Team Birdathon. Wow, 28 years of fun! Lots of folks will be in the field in Berrien County on this day, so get out and enjoy the camaraderie, even if you are not participating in the event.
Wednesday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. Weekday Birding at Warren Dunes. Our final mid-week birding event of the spring will be back at Warren Dunes in the vicinity of the Yellow Birch Trail and Youth Camp. This is a good time to search for later spring migrants such as Mourning and Connecticut Warblers and Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Meet at the Youth Camp parking lot on Floral Lane.
Saturday, May 21, 8:00 a.m. Southwest Berrien Birding Hotspots. This morning we’ll focus on three of best locations in SW Berrien County. We’ll start on the beach in New Buffalo watching for lakeshore migrants. Then we’ll visit Galien River County Park in search of warblers and other woodland migrants, before heading over to the Three Oaks treatment ponds to see what swallows and migrant water and shorebirds are present. Meet at the Public Beach in New Buffalo.
Saturday, May 28, 8:00 a.m. Warren Dunes State Park—South End Birding. Today we’ll explore trails and open areas near the south end of Warren Dunes State Park. Highlights from this area in past years have included Prairie Warbler and Summer Tanager. Meet at the picnic shelter parking lot. (State Park entry fee or Recreation Passport required.)
Saturday, June 4, 7:00 a.m. Allegan State Game Area Road Trip. The Allegan State Game Area is a fun area to explore in early summer, as it offers breeding birds of grasslands, wetlands and forests. For our final spring outing we’ll take a road trip here in search of a variety of birds, including Upland Sandpiper, Prothonotary Warbler and Grasshopper Sparrow. Pack a lunch and meet at the Car Pool parking area at Exit 1 (Red Arrow Hwy) on I-196.
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