Northern Michigan Birding & Kayaking Tour
June 26 – July 1, 2022
$925 double occupancy; 6 participants (possibly 7)
Join IndiGo Birding for this summer’s northern Michigan birding and kayaking tour!
Northern Michigan in the summer offers beautiful weather and scenery, lots of public land, and gorgeous rivers to explore. This tour is designed for the outdoor enthusiast ready for some hiking and paddling. While the rivers that we will be paddling do not have extreme rapids, some paddling experience is required for all participants. In addition, I ask that all participants be vaccinated for COVID so that we can travel and interact safely. We will travel during the week to avoid some of the crowds.
By visiting in late June, we hope to catch many breeding birds still on territory. Target species include Kirtland’s Warbler, Evening Grosbeak, Upland Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo, Golden-winged Warbler, Piping Plover, and Ruffed Grouse. Other possibilities include Bobolink, Clay-colored Sparrow, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Veery, and Blackburnian Warbler. We’ll aim to find over 100 species by visiting a variety of habitats over the course of the trip.
This tour includes 5 nights of lodging: three nights at Batcke’s Manistee River Lodge on the edge of the Manistee National Forest and then two nights at Borcher’s Bed & Breakfast in Grayling along the bank of the Au Sable River. Also included is all transportation by van, entry fees, and personalized guide service in a small group setting. Breakfast is included at Borcher’s; all other food costs are not included in the cost of the tour.
Sunday, June 26
– Depart Bloomington at 7:30 a.m. I am more than happy to pick up tour participants along the travel route through Indianapolis and South Bend.
– Picnic lunch and hiking stop at Sarett Nature Center near Benton Harbor, Michigan.
– Finish drive to Wellston, Michigan in the afternoon.
– Check in to Manistee River Lodge; dinner at Northern Natural Cider House.
Monday, June 27
– Morning birding at Manistee National Forest hotspots.
– Picnic lunch.
– Kayak trip on the Manistee River near Mesick.
– Dinner in Manistee.
Tuesday, June 28
– Trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes
– Sleeping Bear Birding Trail includes birding at Arcadia Dunes, Elberta, & Betsie
– Picnic lunch at Sleeping Bear. Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company.
– Evening birding at Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve and sunset at Lake Michigan overlook.
Wednesday, June 29
– Breakfast at cabins before checkout.
– More birding in Manistee National Forest.
– Picnic lunch and afternoon birding at Hartwick Pines State Park.
– Check in to Borcher’s Bed & Breakfast.
– Dinner at Rays BBQ.
Thursday, June 30
– Breakfast at Borcher’s.
– Morning birding in the Jack Pine areas nearby in search of Kirtland’s Warblers.
– Lunch at Two Rivers Deli.
– Kayak trip down the Au Sable River.
Friday, July 1
– Breakfast at Borcher’s followed by checkout.
– Possible stops at Maple River State Game Area or Capital City Bird Sanctuary on the way home.
– Arrive in Bloomington between 6 and 7 pm
For transportation, effort will be made to include pick-up at your home if you live along the route from Bloomington through Indianapolis and South Bend. If you don’t live along the route, then personal arrangements will be made for a meeting point.
Cost is $925 per person. Double occupancy is expected. If you would like to go on the trip and have a roommate assigned to you, please let me know. To register, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with basic information and any questions you may have. A $400 deposit is needed within two weeks to confirm the registration. After June 1st the $400 deposit is non-refundable (unless I am able to fill your spot). The balance is also due via personal check on June 1st. Hope you can join!
Audubon State Park Birding Tour
May 4-6, 2022
$425 double occupancy; 6 to 9 participants
This spring’s warbler tour is heading south… to John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, KY. This beautiful state park is located just across the Ohio River from Evansville, IN. The time of year was chosen to coincide with the projected peak of songbird migration in the area. The tour includes transportation from Bloomington, stops at some of the top birding areas in southern Indiana, and 2 nights of lodging at the state park.
We will leave Bloomington on the morning of the 4th and drive to Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge for birding at Sycamore Land Trust’s Columbia Mine Preserve. After lunch we will continue to Angel Mounds State Park if time allows before checking into the cabins at Audubon State Park. At Audubon SP on the 5th we will spend time hiking trails, birding the wetlands, and visiting the nature center/museum. We will bird in the park again on the 6th before checking out and heading to the Eagle Slough Natural Area and Howell Wetlands before our drive back to Bloomington.
All entrance fees are included. Food is not included; we will have breakfasts in the cabins, picnic lunches, and dine in restaurants in the evening.
Cost is $425 per person for double occupancy. I have four 1-bedroom cabins reserved at the state park. Each cabin has a king bed and a pull-out bed. Please consider registering for the tour with a spouse, friend, or partner that would share the cabin with you. Up to 4 people could stay in one cabin, but 2 or 3 would be more comfortable. Cost for a 3rd or 4th person in a group is $275. To register, please email me at email@example.com with basic information and any questions you may have. If you live in the Evansville area and are interested in joining for part (or all) of the tour, please let me know.