See Field Trips in:

2024 Field Trip Schedule

WHAT TO BRING: If the trip is scheduled to go beyond 11:00 a.m., bring a lunch. Binoculars are essential; scopes, field guides, insect repellant, layered clothing and waterproof footwear are suggested. Notice that even trips which don't have a set leader will still take place - we'll all pitch in and have a good trip anyhow.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Unless noted, all trips take place regardless of normal rain and snowy weather. However, trips will be canceled in extreme blizzard conditions.

1. Harley Ensign Memorial Boating Access Site- Leader: Joanna Pease
January 20st (Saturday) 10:00 AM

Harley Ensign, or the "DNR boat launch" to some, is a classic place to visit in the winter. Because the mouth of the Clinton River often stays open while many other bodies of water freeze, there can be thousands of overwintering ducks and gulls, with an occasional rarity mixed in. There is also the possibility of seeing Snowy Owls which often roost on buildings near the access site.

There will be a spotting scope available for viewing, but please bring your own if you have one. Meet in the parking lot at 32995 S. River Rd., Harrison Township. Dress very warmly, as it can be very cold with winds blowing across the lake.

After viewing at this site, anyone that has interest can join Joanna to walk out to the point at nearby Lake St. Clair Metropark, in the afternoon, to look for more ducks. Be sure to RSVP to Joanna by text at (313) 720-9475 or by email at so you can be notified if this trip is cancelled due to inclement weather.

2. Belle Isle: Shiver on the River - Leader: Colleen Traylor
February 3rd (Saturday) 10 AM

Belle Isle has many overwintering ducks and often some rarities, which makes for excellent winter birding. We'll meet at the first turn-off overlooking the river, immediately after Belle Isle's entrance booth. Most of the birding will consist of driving along the river and getting out of the car when there are birds to see. The trip will end at the nature center. During this particular weekend, there will be events at the Isle's Dossin Museum and the newly refurbished nature center, which you can enjoy after birding. Bring lunch, water, and dress very warmly.

Contact Colleen at (248) 627-6872, or with any questions.

View Larger Map

4. Kensington Metropark - Leader: Wade Leonard
March 13 (Wednesday) 10 AM

Come enjoy the Kensington Metropark nature trails and continue our annual tradition of hand-feeding the birds including chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and other! Everybody loves to hold the birds and see them so close! Bring seed for the birds and lunch for yourself. Insider tip: they seem to love shelled peanuts and sunflower seeds the most. Meet at the nature center parking lot. Entrance fee or annual sticker required. RSVP to Wade by e-mail If weather is inclement, make-up day will be Wednesday, March 20. Be sure to RSVP so you can be notified if the date changes.

5. Stony Creek Metropark - Leader: Joan Bonin
March 30 (Saturday) 3:00 p.m.

Stony Creek Metropark's Inwood section has an active eagle's nest that is well seen from an observation platorm. We are privileged to have Joan Bonin lead this walk, as she has been monitoring and advocating for the eagles for years and can tell us all about their history and habits. At this time of year, the eagles are on their nest and we may be able to observe them changing guard. In addition, there could be a few early spring migrants along the trail, so we will also do a little birding as we go. We will meet at the parking lot on Inwood Road right next to the cell tower (lot is on the north side of the road, west of Mound). The walk to the observation platform is approximately one quarter mile. A scope will be provided, but bring your own too if you have one. Sometimes ticks are already starting to emerge this time of year, so bring repellant. Please RSVP to Joanna Pease by email at or text at (313) 720-9475 Click for Map

6. Pine Tree Acres Landfill- Leaders: Joanna Pease and Kathleen Klein
April 27 (Saturday) 9:00 AM

The Pine Tree Acres Landfill staff has graciously agreed to allow is into the landfill property again this time to see the many species of migrants that use the site as a stopover area. The site is a certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council and has wetlands, woods, and open fields. Because of this habitat diversity, there is potential to see many different types of birds including shorebirds, hawks, warblers, gulls, and birds of open meadows. It is also fascinating to see how the landfill operates and the efforts that have been made to make it a wildlife area.

RSVP to Joanna by April 25th by text at (313) 720-9475 or by e-mail at We will meet at the main office of the landfill at 36600 29 Mile Rd in Lenox Township. This time of year, the roads at the landfill can be muddy, so we will carpool using those cars that are SUVs. The trip should end by noon.