St. Clair County
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Birding St. Clair County: Hotspots near Port Huron

 

(A) Burtchville Township Park ★

Burtchville Township Park is a 15-acre Lake Huron beach park that features a pavilion, a lookout deck, and a quarter-mile long walking path. Birders may want to visit Burtchville Township Park to check Lake Huron for gulls, terns, and waterfowl.

Directions: Click here

Caspian TernCaspian Tern

 

(B) Lakeport State Park ★★

Lakeport State Park is an excellent hotspot to visit while en route to other birding locations in Michigan’s “thumb.” The parks’ best birding opportunities take place during May and June when thrushes, sparrows, and warblers can be easily found.

The site is also a great hawkwatching location—every spring between 3,000 and 5,000 hawks fly over Lakeport State Park, resulting in 11 to 15 different species of raptors being counted every year. The birds are most likely to be seen from late April to early May, when a strong southwest wind is blowing.

Website: michigan.gov/lakeport | Map: Click here
Phone: (810) 327-6224
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

 

(C) Indian Trail Sewage Lagoon ★

The Indian Trail Sewage Lagoons consist of 3 large ponds, one of which is L-shaped. The lagoons can be viewed from Indian Trail and Plaza Drive. Birders have reported seeing many kinds of waterfowl and sandpipers at the ponds, including American White Pelicans and American Golden-Plovers.

Directions: Click here

American White PelicanAmerican White Pelican

 

(D) Port Huron State Game Area ★★

Providing nesting habitat for 16 species of warblers, Port Huron State Game Area offers birders a great opportunity to see the colorful birds competing for mates and territory. The only time most birders see warblers is during migration, so the state game area gives visitors another chance to see their favorite passerine. Several of the warbler species that regularly nest at the state game area are Chestnut-sided Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Blue-winged Warblers, American Redstarts, Ovenbirds, and Common Yellowthroats.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

 

(E) Fort Gratiot Bike Path & Preserve ★★

Fort Gratiot Bike Path & Nature Preserve is an 83-acre park featuring a small pond, meadows, and woodland habitat. There is also a large wetland a short distance southeast of the parking area, where Great Blue Herons and Song Sparrows can easily be found.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Song SparrowSong Sparrow

 

(F) Lakeside Cemetery ★

The Lakeside Cemetery is only about a half-mile west of Lake Huron. The cemetery recently hosted a nesting pair of Merlins. It is also a good place to search for migrant songbirds.

Directions: Click here

 

(G) Lighthouse Park & Lakeside Park ★

Positioned at the head of the St. Clair River “bottleneck”, Lighthouse Park is a great place to watch migrant birds fly overhead. Many species of waterfowl visit and rarities sometimes show up. Every so often, a fortunate birder will spot a eider or a jaeger. Bring a coat if the weather is chilly; exposure to the wind is an unfortunate necessity. After checking Lighthouse Park for birds, drive west on Garfield Road to Gratiot Ave, then go north 1 mile past Holland Ave to the entrance of Lakeside Park (43.0202, -82.4305). The park provides another place where birders can scan Lake Huron for waterfowl with their spotting scope.

Hours: The park is open from dawn to dusk. Birders may encounter more people during camping season, which lasts from May 1 through October 15.
Directions: Click here

(H) Thomas Edison Parkway Park ★

A small park on Thomas Edison Parkway provides access to the junction of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. Next to the river, there is a paved, mile-long walking trail, making the park a popular destination for joggers and bikers. There are six separate parking areas alongside the Thomas Edison Parkway, providing birders with several places to check for migrating Long-tailed Ducks and waterfowl.

Directions: Click here

Long-tailed DuckLong-tailed Duck

 

(I) Pine Grove Park ★★

A boardwalk at Pine Grove Park stretches alongside 1,500 feet of the St. Clair River, providing birders and fishermen with easy access to the water. The park also features picnic areas, playgrounds, and shuffleboard courts. Keep an eye out for rare gulls and waterfowl—Lesser Black-backed Gulls have been spotted in the past.

Directions: Click here

 

(J) Desmond Landing ★

Desmond Landing is a good spot to park and check the St. Clair River for ducks. In addition, flocks of gulls sometimes congregate on the nearby beach. The landing is an excellent place to look for hard-to-find waterfowl species. In the past, King Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Red-throated Loons, and all three scoter species have been sighted.

Directions: Click here

Red-throated LoonRed-throated Loon

 

(K) Military Street Overlook ★

Military Street Overlook is a good place to park and check the St. Clair River for waterfowl. Common Goldeneyes and Long-tailed Ducks are likely to be seen during the colder months.

Directions: Click here

 

(L) Algonac State Park ★★

Featuring a half-mile of frontage on the St. Clair River, the habitat of Algonac State Park consists of Oak Savannah forest and native lakeplain prairies. The park is a good place to search for migrating songbirds. Boat enthusiasts will enjoy watching international freighters as they travel up and down the half-mile wide river.

During the winter, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, and White-winged Scoters can frequently be seen on the river, especially when Lake Huron is mostly frozen over.

Website: michigan.gov/algonac | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Common GoldeneyeCommon Goldeneye

 

(M) St. Clair Flats Wildlife Area ★★

Located on Harsens Island, St. Clair Flats Wildlife Area is accessible only by car ferry. The best time to go birding on the island is from September to April when hawks and migrant waterfowl are common. Some of the hawks that may be seen at St. Clair Flats are Red-shouldered Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, and Northern Goshawks. Many areas are closed during hunting season.

Map: Click here
Fees: A small fee is required to cross the channel to the island.
Directions: Click here

Northern GoshawkNorthern Goshawk

 

(N) St. John’s Marsh Wildlife Area ★★

Covering more than 4 square miles in size, St. John’s Marsh is one of the largest wetlands in Michigan. A wide variety of bird species can be found within the wetlands—over 100 kinds have been sighted. Eastern Kingbirds and Common Yellowthroats are a common sighting near the marshy fields.

Unfortunately, the nature preserve has limited facilities and parking areas. There are business parking lots available for use on M-29, and an excellent parking area on Perch Road about 0.7 of a mile east of M-29.

Map: Click here
Hours: The wildlife area is open from dawn to dusk, except for during hunting season, which lasts from September 1 to December 3.
Directions:

Common YellowthroatCommon Yellowthroat