Bomoseen State Park, located on the western side of Lake Bomoseen in Castleton, offers a variety of habitats for great birding for a good part of the year. If non-birding friends and family accompany you in the summer, they can find plenty to do while you look at the birds.
In spring and summer the entrance area to the campground, the trail that runs between the parking area and a small marsh, and the picnic area are good spots for Wood Duck, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-throated and Warbling vireos, Gray Catbird, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. All nest here.
Mid to late fall, before the lake freezes, check the beach area for congregating ducks including Common Loon, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Hooded and Common mergansers, and the occasional scoter. (After you leave the park a stop at the Kehoe Fishing Access south of the park is another good spot to look for these species.)
A 1.5-mile nature trail loop leaves the north side of the entrance road just before the parking area. Turn left after crossing a road and a grassy field, where a short climb to the left takes you to a ridge from which you can catch glimpses of nearby Glen Lake. The trail is good for Hermit and Wood thrush, a variety of warblers including Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, and Canada warbler. Listen for Eastern Wood-pewee and Scarlet Tanager as well. In winter it’s fairly easy to spot Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, and Golden-crowned Kinglet.
About ¾ of a mile along the trail, on the left, if you are walking in a clock-wise direction, there is a small pond created by the old slate industry. It is a little hard to find, but it’s not far off the trail and worth the effort. Dead trees provide nesting for Tree Swallows and Great Crested Flycatchers. Wood Duck and Hooded Mergansers are often present.
Red-shouldered Hawk is frequently seen and heard at the park starting in mid-March. Osprey is often seen over the lake.
The park is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day during which period there is a $4 entrance fee. It is well worth it for the birds and the support of our Vermont State Parks.
DIRECTIONS: From Route 4A in Hydeville (west of Castleton), take Lake Road north for four miles on the west side of the lake.