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Birding Sanilac County: Hotspots near Sandusky

 

(A) Sanilac Petroglyphs State Park ★★

Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park is a heavily wooded nature preserve bisected by the Little Cass River. One of the park’s highlights is a one-mile long walking trail that crosses the river several times, where Green Herons and Belted Kingfishers can often be seen. Another reason to visit the park is to see its famous rock carvings or petroglyphs, which Native Americans created many years ago.

Website: michigan.gov/sanilacpetroglyphs | Map: Click here
Hours: The petroglyphs are open during the summer Wednesday to Sunday‎ from 10am to 5pm. The trails are open from 8am to 10pm, all year around.
Directions: Click here

 

(B) Minden City State Game Area ★★

A large nature preserve mostly unexplored by birders, Minden City State Game Area is a good spot to see northern species. One of the preserve’s specialties is the Lincoln’s Sparrow, which usually does not nest this far south. Other birds to search for are Purple Finches, Northern Harriers, and Alder Flycatchers.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Northern HarrierNorthern Harrier

 

(C) Delaware Park ★★

Delaware Park is a 111-acre property which protrudes into Lake Huron. Featuring a sandy beach and hiking trails which lead visitors alongside Elk Creek, the park is a pleasant place to visit. Several kinds of waterfowl can usually be spotted offshore, including Horned Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers.

Directions: Click here

(D) Tri-County Landfill ★

Tri-County Landfill is a large garbage dump about five miles east of Sandusky. After checking the landfill for gull species, drive north on Ruth Road for one mile to check the shrub habitat next to a small river for songbirds.

Directions: Click here

Herring GullHerring Gull

 

(E) Port Sanilac Sewage Lagoons ★

Surrounded by agricultural fields, the Port Sanilac Sewage Lagoons consist of four large ponds. While the lagoons are fenced off, another pond to the west can easily be accessed by a small parking area. Birds seen near the sewage ponds include Pectoral and Least Sandpipers, Ruddy Ducks, and Pied-billed Grebes.

Directions: Click here

 

(F) Port Sanilac Marina ★

Port Sanilac Marina is located in an enclosed harbor. The sheltered waters form an excellent spot to scan for diving ducks.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

White-winged ScoterWhite-winged Scoter

 

(G) Croswell Sewage Ponds ★

The Croswell Sewage Ponds consist of three large ponds located next to a river. Many kinds of sandpipers, ducks, and warblers have been sighted at the lagoons—over 100 species in all. There is a small cemetery southwest of the ponds.

Directions: Click here

 

(H) Oldford's Marina ★

Oldford's Marina is located on Lexington Harbor. The harbor’s waters become crowded with boats during the summertime—try to arrive at the marina early in the morning to look for Common Terns and of gulls.

Directions: Click here