Birding in the Saugatuck Douglas Area
Have an interest in these beautiful creatures around the Saugatuck, Douglas and Fennville area? Well you’re in luck! The West Michigan area abounds with inhabitants of many species, and you don’t have to be an avid bird watcher to enjoy them in these habitats. It’s as easy as selecting a city and park – then get searching!
S A U G A T U C K
SAUGATUCK DUNES STATE PARK
If climbing 60 feet up a sand dune to scan for migrating birds sounds like fun, do not miss Saugatuck Dunes State Park! Located on a secluded 2.5-mile strip of Lake Michigan beach, this park features rolling hills and coastal dunes. It’s a prime spot to observe migrating hawks, ducks, and shorebirds during the spring and fall!
MT. BALDHEAD PARK & OVAL BEACH
Mt. Baldhead and Oval Beach are recognized for their sandy dunes, but the less recognized treasure is what flies above these Saugatuck staples. If you head to the top of Mt. Baldhead and look up, you may be lucky enough to find hawks, vultures, and other raptors gracing the Michigan sky. It may seem like a trek – but the view is worth it!
D O U G L A S
DOUGLAS BEACH PARK
This location is a “local secret,” as it is less crowded than similar Lake Michigan beaches. Birders will enjoy searching the shoreline for waterfowl and gulls. After your search, you can enjoy a packed lunch or dinner on one of their many picnic tables.
SCHULTZ PARK & RIVER BLUFF PARK
The beautiful Schultz Park is a 20-acre nature preserve located on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. The water is relatively shallow, creating an excellent place to find shorebirds – which boast over 15 different kind of sandpipers and plovers every year. The park also has excellent amenities available, including a boat launch, picnic pavilion, restrooms, a playground and a dog park.
WADE’S BAYOU MEMORIAL PARK
A tributary of the Kalamazoo River, Wade’s Bayou’s slow-moving waters are a great place to look for waterfowl species. The area’s mudflats can be very productive for migrant shorebirds. In the past, birders recorded sighting of Red Knots, Marbled Godwits, and Baird’s Sandpipers. Also look out for terns and rails, as they are also common sightings!
F E N N V I L L E
WEST SIDE COUNTY PARK
Famous for its beautiful sunsets, West Side County Park gives visitors a place to search the shoreline for waterfowl. A wide variety of duck species have been spotted near the park’s shore including Great Scaups, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Common Goldeneyes. In addition to a plethora of species, there are also a number of modern facilities available including picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms and a playground.