Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet Tanager. Photo by Dennis Malueg.
Birding Trail #2 The Green Circle Birding Trail:
Moses Creek Trail

Length: 2.3 miles
Crushed granite, boardwalks
Wilshire Drive parking lot (west) or Hwy. 66 Plover River Trail parking lot (east)

Map: Click here to view a map of the trail [PDF]
Section Page: Click here for more information about this trail

While it’s possible to do the Moses Creek Trail section of the Green Circle in a couple of hours, it can easily provide a full morning of great birding. Whether you experience the wonder of a dawn chorus in May or the call of a lone White-breasted Nuthatch in January, this is a trail well worth taking the time to get to know.

This section of the Green Circle has as its centerpiece an extensive length of winding boardwalk beginning at the Wilshire Drive trailhead. The boardwalk provides a comfortable and quiet path through a beautiful stand of mature mixed hardwood and white pine. In spring and summer Scarlet Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Pine Warblers frequent the forest canopy and are more often heard than seen. Ovenbirds, Veery, and Wood Thrushes may be heard nearer the forest floor. This area is great habitat for thrushes and Swainson’s, Hermit, and Gray-cheeked are regular spring and fall visitors.

The boardwalk also crosses an area of forested wetland where Chestnut-sided Warblers, Northern Waterthrushes, and American Redstarts may be found all summer. In winter the brushy shrub layer of alders and birch may hold Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and Redpolls.

After passing through a short area of red pine plantation, a second boardwalk crosses an open wetland, one of the best birding spots on the trail. Swamp and Song Sparrows, Sedge Wrens , Yellow and Nashville Warblers as well as Common Yellowthroats and Redstarts are found here throughout the summer. In spring and fall Olive-sided Flycatchers are occasionally spotted here and in winter the tamarack, birch and alders provide food for siskins and redpolls.

Further east, the trail passes through a stand of mature spruce, a winter attraction for White-winged Crossbills and Golden-crowned Kinglets and a good year-round spot for Red-breasted Nuthatches.
Where the trail threads through dry pine and oak forest, Eastern Wood Peewees and Indigo Buntings sing along the woodland openings and House Wrens and Redstarts forage in the thicker trail edge shrubs. Four species of woodpecker, including Pileated are year round residents along the Moses Creek trail and spring and fall sightings of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are common.

The Green Circle Birding Trail is sponsored by The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society (ALAS)

The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society