Early Spring Group Birding Outings
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, March 4, 9:00 a.m. Southwest Berrien Waterfowl Watching. We’ll kick off the field trip season with a search for waterfowl at favored locations in southwest Berrien County. We’ll start at the Three Oaks wastewater ponds where a variety of dabblers, divers, geese and swans have been present lately. (It’s been rockin’ as they say!) From here we’ll head to New Buffalo to check the harbor and Lake Michigan shore for diving ducks and grebes. If the lake is relatively calm, we’ll then check overlooks north of New Buffalo where flocks of diving ducks often congregate in migration. Meet at the Three Oaks ponds on Schwark Road. We’ll bring the spotting scopes!
Saturday, March 4, 6:30 p.m. Woodcock Watch at Love Creek. Join us for an easy evening on the trails at Love Creek County Park watching the crazy courtship display of the American Woodcock. Always a fun way to kick off spring and if you’ve never seen this before—well, you need to see this! Bring binoculars and dress warm for evening chill.
Tuesday, March 7, 9:00 a.m. Southwest Berrien Waterfowl Watching. A weekday repeat of our Saturday March 4 outing. Doesn’t seem like we can wrong with this! Meet at the Three Oaks ponds.
Saturday, March 11, 9:00 a.m. North County Waterfowl Watch. Today we’ll enjoy waterfowl watching at a few “north-county” locations in Berrien County. We’ll begin at Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph where we’ll be able to check Lake Michigan and the mouth of the St. Joseph River for diving ducks, grebes, gulls and others. From here we’ll head inland to the Brown Sanctuary where we’ll hope for a variety of ducks in the flooded marsh. Meet at Tiscornia Beach Park.
Tuesday, March 14, 9:00 a.m. New Buffalo Area Weekday Birding. Today our weekday birding outing will start at the New Buffalo Public Beach. After watching and scanning for lakeshore migrants we’ll head inland to check the Three Oaks ponds. Meet at the New Buffalo Public Beach.
Saturday, March 18, 9:00 a.m. Topinabee Lake Preserve and Niles Riverfront Park Birding. 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 around the corner on Weiser Road, we’ll continue on to the Niles Riverfront Park, an increasingly popular birding location along the St. Joseph River. Meet at the Topinabee Lake observation platform (on Portage Road, north of US-12).
Saturday, March 18, 1:00 p.m. Three Oaks Afternoon Birding. Afternoon provides the best light for viewing birds on the Three Oaks water treatment ponds. Join us this afternoon for a relaxed scan of the ducks and other birds present. Meet at the Three Oaks ponds on Schwark Road.
Wednesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. St. Joe Lakeshore and Riverview Park. We’ll start by checking the St. Joseph lakeshore 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 parking lot at Tiscornia Beach Park. (Daily vehicle entry fees may be in effect.)
Saturday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. North Lake Park and Vicinity. This morning we’ll check North Lake in Lincoln Township for waterfowl and early wetland species. From here we’ll either explore locations in the adjacent Grand Mere State Park or along the entrance road of the nearby Lincoln Township Beach. Meet at North Lake Township Park. (Directly west of Exit 22 on I-94.)
Wednesday, March 29, 9:00 a.m. New Buffalo Area Weekday Birding. Today our weekday birding outing will start at the New Buffalo Public Beach. After watching and scanning for lakeshore migrants we’ll head inland to check the Three Oaks ponds. Meet at the New Buffalo Public Beach.
Saturday, April 1, 1:00 p.m. Three Oaks Afternoon Birding. Afternoon provides the best light for viewing birds on the Three Oaks water treatment ponds. Join us this afternoon for a relaxed scan of the ducks and other birds present. Meet at the Three Oaks ponds on Schwark Road.
Tuesday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. Galien River County Park. For today’s outing we’ll search for early woodland and wetland migrants along the trails, walkways and boardwalks of Galien River County Park in New Buffalo Township. We’ll start with a walk on the canopy walkway and a scan from the end of the 60’ high marsh tower, before looping through the woods and down to the river’s edge via the marsh boardwalk. From here we’ll visit the beach in New Buffalo, the Three Oaks ponds—or both! Meet at the main trailhead in the parking lot.
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