Field Trip #11: Northeast Island Birding Adventure


Sunday, May 28th | 8:00 a.m. | Departing from the BIC Center

Join Terry and Andrea Grabill for a multi-location trip to three distinct sites: Gull Harbor Natural Area. Whiskey Point Lighthouse and Barney’s Lake Preserve.


8 in stock

SKU: WoW2023-FT11 Category:


Gull Harbor: This protected area is along Gull Harbor Drive east of the Whiskey Point Lighthouse (Site 2 on the BIBT Map). Most of the habitat is shoreline, cedar shrub, and marshy ponds, but there are a few wooded areas behind the open areas. This is an excellent site to observe waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and raptors. The area is used extensively by migrating songbirds in the spring and fall. During the summer months northern water snakes are active in and around the ponds. These snakes are nonvenomous and should not be disturbed.

Whiskey Point Lighthouse: This lighthouse standing at the mouth of the harbor (Paradise Bay) is visible from almost all points in St. James and is an easy walk or bike ride from the Community Center (Site 2 on the BIBT Map). Cliff Swallows nest at the lighthouse, and there is access to the shoreline that forms the entrance to Paradise Bay for observing shorebirds and waterfowl.

Barney’s Lake Preserve: This natural area surrounding Barney’s Lake on all but the south side is managed by the Little Traverse Conservancy (Site 22 on the BIBT Map). There is a parking lot across the road from the lake with a display of a map of the east trail 
system of the preserve. Common Loons have nested on the lake, and Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Caspian Terns are often seen flying over the lake. Various sandpipers, Soras, and American Bitterns have been observed along the marshy areas of the shoreline. American Woodcocks can be found along the trails above the lake, and the combination of shrubby and woodland habitats above the lake attracts many species of songbirds.

Board transportation for this trip at the BIC Center. You’ll return there at the conclusion just in time for lunch. Options include the Concession Stand at the BIC Center, the Harbour Bodega and the Shamrock (both nearby) or Dalwhinnie’s Deli (about a 20-minute walk towards the Whiskey Point Lighthouse).

Please note our cancellation policy: Cancellations made by 5:00 p.m. on April 15, 2023 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be made for cancellations after that time.


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Event Details

About the leaders for this Field Trip:

Terry and Andrea Grabill have dedicated countless hours to developing beginning birders with their “Beaver Island Group” program through Fremont Middle School. Most of Terry’s introductory birding experiences happened on Beaver Island while he was a Central Michigan University student studying at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver in 1989.  He then discovered that there were other individuals, groups even, interested in birding. He has maintained life-long relationships with these people. He and Andrea have developed young birders for 20 years with the groups they’ve brought to CMU’s Biological Station and birding events down-state.

The Beaver Island Birding Trail and Warblers on the Water events are projects of the Beaver Island Association. BIA is a volunteer organization that works to assure the environmental and economic sustainability of Beaver Island. Learn more about the BIA and keep up to date on island events at


Date: May 28, 2023

Start time: 08:00 a.m. EDT

End time: 10:00 a.m. EDT

Venue: Depart from the BIC Center

Directions: The BIC Center is across the street from the Ferry Dock.

Phone: 231-448-2022


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Donation to BIC Center & WVBI