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Birding Montcalm County: Hotspots near Edmore & Greenville

 

(A) Belvidere Township Park ★★

One of the first places where ice melts in Montcalm County, the lake next to Belvidere Township Park is a great place to search for migrating ducks in the spring. Several pairs of Mute Swans nest near the lake every year and Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers are abundant in the area.

There is a trail behind the campground leading to a secluded section of 30-acre First Lake. The Flat River begins at this point.

Directions: Click here

 

(B) 4th Lake & Campground ★

When driving north on Musson Road towards 4th Lake, birders will pass a small river that flows under the road. Stop briefly and check for swans and ducks. Then continue driving around the bend to a small lakeside park. Unfortunately, the birds are usually a long ways away—so bring a telescope. Common Mergansers are especially common in April.

After birding the 31-acre lake, drive north on Musson Road to reach a small wetland area at the bottom of a hill, where Sandhill Cranes can frequently be heard during the springtime.

Directions: Click here

 

(C) Nevins Rd Pond & Wetlands ★

A large agricultural drainage area next to Nevins Road provides an excellent place to see migrating waterfowl and sandpipers. Marsh habitat is also present. Black-bellied Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Sora have been seen in May, and Bobolinks nest in the fields nearby.

Directions: Click here

(D) Heartland Trail & Vestaburg SGA ★★

Walking east on the Heartland Trail towards the Vestaburg State Game Area presents birders with many exciting possibilities in late April and early May. Migrating warblers are abundant along the trail. From the parking lot, it is a 1.6-mile trip to reach a bridge overlooking the wetlands. The area also features a small pond, large wetland, and several creeks.

After visiting the Heartland Trail, birders should drive north a short distance on Academy Road and check Cedar Lake for birds. Horned Grebes and Ospreys have been sighted in the past. The swamp forest next to the 19-acre lake is a good place to search for warblers.

Website: montcalm.org/fmht.asp | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

 

(E) Stanton Sewage Lagoons ★

Surrounded by a short fence, the Stanton Sewage Lagoons are located on the south side of a dead end road. A short distance away, a paved bike path—The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, runs north and south. Various species of ducks and swans can be found on the ponds in the spring. Unfortunately, the ponds are difficult to approach without frightening the birds.

Directions: Click here

 

(F) Mud Lake Public Access ★

A small parking lot at Mud Lake provides birders with a place to stop and scan for ducks and other marsh birds. The 127-acre lake features a significant amount of cattails and other forms of marsh habitat. Mute Swans, Mallards, and Trumpeter Swans are commonly present feeding on the lake’s bottom.

Directions: Click here