Field Trip #8: Westside birding: Barney’s Lake, Beaver Island Airport and Angeline’s Bluff Observation Platform


Saturday, May 27th | 8:30 p.m. | Departing from the BIC Center

Join Darrell Lawson and Brian Allan after dinner for a sundown birding adventure on the wild west side of the island. We’ll stop at Barney’s Lake Preserve, drive past a microwave tower that in most years becomes an Osprey nest (but, alas, not this year), stop to enjoy the broad fields near the airport and then head on to a new west-side observation platform on Angeline’s Bluff.

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SKU: WoW2023-FT08 Category:


In addition to Snipeville, stops include:

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 25 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.

Microwave tower on Sloptown Road: Ospreys typically nest on the old microwave tower along this road, but eagles have chased them away this year. When they are there, young can be seen peering over the nest in late summer, and the adults often sit on snags on the opposite side of Sloptown Road from the nest. Eastern Bluebirds can also be observed in the area.

Beaver Island Municipal Airport: [TO COME]

Angeline’s Bluff Observation Area: This recently completed observation deck offers spectacular woodlandviews with glimpses of the lake beyond. We’ll look for owls, Common Nighthawks, American Woodcock, and perhaps hear whip-poor-wills.

Dark Skies: With total darkness upon us before we return, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing dark sky canopy that covers our remote island at night. You’ll see the Milkyway stretching through the sky and more.  Learn more about the dark skies of the island and our efforts to secure recognition of part of the island as an International Dark Sky Association Dark Sky Sanctuary at

Board transportation for this trip at the BIC Center.

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:

Dr. Tim Lamey first visited the Beaver Island Archipelago for field work on High Island on Common and Caspian Terns in 1982 and 1983. Tim earned an Master’s in Biology from University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to High Island, he conducted field work in Colorado (Orioles), Texas (Great Egrets), Oklahoma (Cattle Egrets), Washington (Glaucous-winged Gulls), northern Manitoba (Ring-billed Gulls), New Zealand (Snares Penguins), and the Falkland Islands (Rockhopper Penguins). In the early 1980s he also was a counter at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve and Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.

Tim and his partner recently purchased a home on Beaver Island and look forward to moving to the island year-round in the near future.

Darrell Lawson has been birding since 2012 and has been leading field trips since 2014 for BIBT’s Warblers on the Water. He is a past president (and current vice-president) of the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society, has co-chaired the Sunset Coast Birding Trail Development team, and is a past member of the Michigan Bird Records Committee. He routinely leads field trips around Michigan.

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 27, 2023

Start time: 08:30 p.m. EDT

End time: 10:30 p.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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