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A successful bird survey … what a rich avian environment we have along the trail!

Updated: May 6

By Ian Harding

Lake Links volunteers equipped with the Merlin birding app on their smartphones were on the trail at select points at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Despite the light rain, in 15 minutes of observing at 9 locations around the trail we documented 93 bird calls and 46 different species. The spring migration is in full flow in this area and we observed 26 new species arrivals since the prior survey of April 1.

The main hot spots for birds are:

a) Matoska Park (21 species, including a great horned owl nest) on Lake Avenue in White Bear Lake

 b) Halls Marsh on Jay Street in Birchwood (16 species observed)

c) Neville Nature area on Locust/Neville in northern Mahtomedi (11 species observed)


Other bird-rich areas are:  Dwinnell Marsh, marshes on the east side of 244 by Peninsula Drive, Streetcar Park, Hamline Lake, the north end of Lincolntown Avenue, and Bellaire Beach.


The full survey results are here:

Bird logs april 1 2024 - May 4 2024 survey
Download PDF • 67KB


Equipped with the easy-to-use Merlin app you, too, can enjoy the richness of bird life along the trail. Matoska Park, Halls Marsh, Neville Nature area, and Hamline Lake all have benches to sit on to enjoy the bird life. The best time of day is before 8 a.m. (before the traffic noise builds) and during May and June when the birds are most active gathering nest material, food, etc. So slow down take a break at one of these spots and enjoy nature!


With the ongoing improvements to habitat at Streetcar Park we will be monitoring bird activity there closely to see if they enjoy the improved habitat as it develops.

Thank you to Paul and Mary Hoff, Katja Finger and entire family, Steve Hennes, Kim Weber, Cindy Rasmussen, Heidi Bennett, and Lindsay Buck for braving the rain and doing the observing.


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