Mid/Late Spring Group Birding Outings
Join us for one or more of the Berrien Birding Club outings listed below. Our groups are friendly and fun and April and May are GREAT months to be in the field! 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 to a site, please call (269) 471-2617 or send an email to email@example.com a day or two in advance.
Saturday, April 8, 7:45 p.m. Woodcock Watch at Love Creek. Join us for an easy evening on the trails at Love Creek watching the crazy courtship display of the American Woodcock.
Tuesday, April 11, 9:00 a.m. North Lake 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 land birds in migration. Meet at North Lake Township Park.
Saturday, April 15, 9:00 a.m. Topinabee Lake, the Weiser Road Marsh and Niles Riverfront 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 to the Niles Riverfront Park to explore the woodland and marsh edges along the walking paths and access road. Meet at the Topinabee Lake observation platform (on Portage Road, north of US-12).
Tuesday, April 18, 9:00 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.
Sunday, April 23, 9:00 a.m. St. Joe Lakeshore and Riverview Park. We’ll start by checking the St. Joseph lakeshore at Silver Beach and Rocky Gap County Parks for migrant loons, diving ducks and others. Then we’ll head inland to explore woodlands along the St. Joseph River at one or more locations such as Riverview Park. These wet forests are usually good for both resident woodland species and early migrants. Meet in the north parking lot at Silver Beach County Park.
Saturday, April 29, 10:00 a.m. Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Birding. Today we’ll head a bit further afield to enjoy a morning of birding at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Van Buren County. The combination of ponds and woodland edges make this a pretty ideal migration birding location! Meet in the Interpretive Center parking lot. The address is 34270 Co Rd 652, Mattawan, MI.
Sunday, April 30, 10:00 a.m. Love Creek County Park. We’ll start with a short walk from the nature center that will take us along a wetland edge and through the woods where early 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 2, 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.)
Saturday, May 6, 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.
Tuesday, May 9, 8:30 a.m. Galien River Birding Locations. Today we’ll start with another outing at Galien River County Park and then head inland to check for warblers at one or more additional locations along the Galien River, possibly including Glassman Park, the Kesling Preserve and Forest Lawn and Lakeside Roads. Meet at Galien River County Park.
Thursday, May 11, 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 13 - 29th Annual SW Michigan Team Birdathon. Wow, 29 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.
Tuesday, May 16, 8:30 a.m. Weekday Birding at Warren Dunes. As noted above, this is a good time of year to explore the Yellow Birch Trail frequently - so we are! Meet at the Youth Camp parking lot on Floral Lane.
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