by Tamara Denby
As the days grow shorter and the air crisp and fresh, countless varieties of birds make their way south from their summer breeding grounds to their warmer winter homes. Hummingbirds, red tailed hawks, eagles and, of course, geese gather in flocks, providing bird-lovers an opportunity to see our feathered friends in massive numbers. We are blessed to have many local gathering places for these flocks, not only in the fields surrounding our farms, homes, and businesses but also around our local lakes and rivers.
I have seen firsthand the awesome sight of thousands of geese soaring overhead, returning to the water after feeding in the fields. One of the best sites to see this wonder is Watkins Lake State Park, a designated waterfowl refuge and an autumnal home to a variety of ducks, herons, and other wildlife, this location is a nature lover’s paradise. Well worth the short drive. There are also opportunities for wildlife viewing at the Leonard Preserve, right in our village, as well as the Sharon Mills County Park, the Nan Weston Nature Preserve, and the Sharonville State Game Area.
Recently, the Manchester District Library has acquired a set of binoculars, which is available for checkout to patrons. With the birds gathering in our fields and lakes, as well as other wildlife scampering about, preparing for winter, I encourage you to take advantage of this service. Bundle up, and head out to your favorite park or nature preserve. And enjoy all the fantastic sights these last few weeks of fall deliver in our gorgeous state.
Some of the local parks offering wildlife viewing:
Leonard Preserve: N Union St, Manchester, MI 48158
Sharon Mills County Park: 5701 Sharon Hollow Rd Sharon Township
Nan Weston Nature Preserve: Easudes Rd, Manchester, MI 48158
Sharonville State Game Area: Rt3, 13578 Seymour Rd, Grass Lake, MI 49240
Pinckney State Recreation Area: 8555 Silver Hill Rd, Pinckney, MI 48169
Waterloo State Recreation Area: 16345 McClure Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118
Hudson Mills Metropark: 8801 N Territorial Rd, Dexter, MI 48130
Matthaei Botanical Gardens: 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Leslie Science and Nature Center: 1831 Traver Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105