An Outside to Inside Approach to Birding Montrose

Graphic of Montrose Point

Graphic of Montrose Point (click to see the larger version)

You may wonder what the best way to bird Montrose is, especially if you’ve never been there before. Many of the experienced birders take an outside to inside approach. By this I mean starting at the outside areas like the beach and Dunes and working inwards to the interior areas. The reason for this is that lighting is better early in the morning in the more open areas. The interior areas are darker early in the morning and it sometimes takes a while for the birds to warm up and become active. Also, any shorebirds that were resting on the beach overnight may get flushed by early morning beachgoers, so checking the beach first thing can pay off. After birding the beach and Dunes I like to walk the peripheral areas at the east end of the Point. Again, these areas are more open and have better lighting early in the morning, and you can still scan Lake Michigan for waterbirds or look for landbirds coming in off the lake. When I’m done birding the periphery I start checking the interior, including the Magic Hedge and Butterfly Garden. By mid morning the lighting has improved and birds are more visible and active in these areas.

You’re free to bird Montrose however you like, but if you start at the beach and Dunes and check the interior areas later in the morning you’ll optimize your time there.