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Local Birding

Spring Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area

Directions From Peoria, go south on Route 29 through Pekin. Turn west onto the Manito blacktop (at the federal penitentiary). Follow the Manito blacktop for around 10 miles. Turn north (right) on 1000N (a county road signed for Spring Lake). Follow 1000N for about 3 miles to the Spring Lake Upland area to the north (right) or go straight for another mile to reach Spring Lake itself.

Illinois DNR Site Map

Google Map to Spring Lake

eBird: Birding Hotspot Map

Coordinates N: 40.474167  W: 89.846667

Spring Lake is a backwater area on the Illinois River that provides stopover habitat for ducks and geese during migration. It is a developed recreational site with campgrounds, hiking trails, and boat ramps. In summer it is a popular fishing spot.

Illinois DNR Spring Lake web page

Suggested Route/Stops In the Upland area, near the Orchard Day Use area, there are several trails through a mixed pine plantation and oak-hickory woodland. The trails are good for migrating warblers, vireos, and tanagers.

The drive around the lake can be productive for waterfowl, including Mute Swans which nest at the Lake. The canals that run behind the lake to the west often host waders and dabbling ducks. The farm roads to the west of the lake can be productive for snow buntings and longspurs in winter.

The Deer Run trail, accessed from the archery range parking area at the south end of the lake, can be good for warblers as well.

Commonly Seen Birds Spring/Fall -- Migrating waterfowl, wading birds, warblers and vireos. Osprey are occasional in fall.

Summer -- Nesting Mute Swans.

Winter -- Lingering waterfowl in the spring-fed areas on the east side of the lake.

Specialties Over the years, Spring Lake has regularly attracted migrating loons and scoters.
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