Arenac-Clare-Gladwin County
  • Register

Birding Arenac-Clare-Gladwin County: Hotspots near Harrison


(A) Neithercut Woodland ★★

Featuring miles of neatly marked trails, Neithercut Woodland contains a mixture of wetlands, water, and deciduous forest. One of the 252-acre park’s highlights includes the “Freedom Trail”, which provides disabled visitors with an accessible walkway. The forest is a good place to look for Yellow-throated Vireos, Great-crested Flycatchers, and other kinds of songbirds.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here


(B) Molasses River Flooding ★★

Molasses River Flooding is a large wetland area with several trails running through it. Bird species regularly sighted at the flooding area include Common Yellowthroats, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Tree Swallows, Least Sandpipers, and Northern Pintails.

Directions: Click here

Northern PintailNorthern Pintail


(C) Saganing Nature Preserve ★★

Showcasing a large, delta wetland, Saganing Nature Preserve's position at the mouth of the Saganing River next to Saginaw Bay creates an excellent birding hotspot. Seldom maintained, the preserve’s trails are still worth a visit. Many bird species inhabit Saganing Nature Preserve, including Bald Eagles, Yellow Warblers, and Great Egrets.

There is a good chance that birders will not meet anybody else when visiting the preserve, except during the wintertime. The sanctuary is a popular destination for snowshoe aficionados.

Directions: Click here

(D) Wigwam Bay Wildlife Area ★★

Protecting nearly 1,000 acres of wetlands, Wigwam Bay Wildlife Area’s large network of gravel-covered dikes help to keep the sanctuary accessible even in the rainiest of days. The remainder of the 3,023-acre preserve consists of hardwood forest and grassy meadows.

Birders will enjoy searching Wigwam Bay for wetland species, such as Caspian Terns, Forster’s Terns, Black Terns, American Bitterns, and Least Bitterns. Yellow-headed Blackbirds are also occasionally sighted.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Yellow-headed BlackbirdYellow-headed Blackbird


(E) Santiago Road Boardwalk ★★

Santiago Road Boardwalk provides access to a large wetland area on the edge of Saginaw Bay. In recent years, birders have reported seeing many species of sandpipers from the boardwalk, including Pectoral, Baird's, Buff-breasted, Least, and American Golden-Plover.

Directions: Click here


(F) Au Gres Delta Nature Preserve ★★

Situated on the shores of Saginaw Bay, Au Gres Delta Nature Preserve protects a large wetland from future development. The preserve is currently undergoing a transformation to revert its habitat back to plains prairie. It is important for visitors to avoid disturbing the sensitive plant life by staying on the trails. Many kinds of sparrows, swallows, terns, and gulls can be found at the preserve.

Directions: Click here

Black TernBlack Tern


(G) Au Gres Public Launch ★

The grassy plains, mudflats, and open waters next to Au Gres Public Launch offer birds a reason to visit. The marina is one of the largest and busiest boat launches in Michigan, so birders should arrive early to enjoy Saginaw Bay’s tranquil beauty before people and their watercraft show up.

During the winter, water flowing from the Au Gres River into Lake Huron creates an ice-free zone where gulls and ducks often congregate. Nearby, the open meadows regularly yield sightings of Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, and sometimes even a Short-eared Owl. When springtime arrives, search the bay for flocks of mergansers, grebes, and loons.

Directions: Click here


(H) Pressprich Nature Preserve ★

Donated to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy in 2006, Pressprich Nature Preserve protects 50 acres of wetlands. The swampy habitat is a great place to find many different kinds of plants, including Blue Flag Iris, Wild Sunflowers, Fringed Gentians, and White-flowered Beard’s Tongues.

The preserve does not have any parking areas or hiking trails so birders will have to leave their car on the side of the road. Visitors should listen for Swamp Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Yellow Warblers.

Directions: Click here


(I) Northpoint Marina ★

Northpoint Marina provides birders with access to Saginaw Bay and a small wetland. In August, many kinds of sandpipers can be seen from the marina’s docks.

Directions: Click here