Sunset Harbor

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Lake County

Sunset Harbor
Coordinates: 41.7582956, -81.2669554
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Tips for birding Sunset Harbor
The “off season,” when it can be surprisingly productive, is a good time to bird here. Herring Gulls seem to favor roosting on the docks, which are close, whereas Ring-billed Gulls are more numerous at the boat launch and docks at the harbor to the west. There is usually a flock of ducks close at the northwest end of the marina (Scaup most commonly but with other ducks mixed in, sometimes including scoters), perhaps due to a mussel bed. The ducks can usually be viewed from the entrance road or from the west end of the marina.

The lake is more productive for birding during the colder months (gulls, water birds) and the harbor is usually empty of boats and people at this time. There is a public restaurant, Sunset Harbor Bar and Grille, with parking between the lake and the large building. A scope can be used to view the water and there is a break wall further out, although it is pretty far and most birds moving along the lake are traveling outside of it. So, usually binoculars are good enough, and the birds of interest are close. The marina is a nice spot to check, as it is productive for the short amount of time it requires to drop in and check. The marina is sometimes referred to as “Mew Gull Marina” after a bird which spent some time here in 1998.
From Cory Chiappone

Head toward Lake Erie on East Street to Sunset Harbor, scanning the small marina for grebes as you drive by. Park between the large blue HTP building and the harbor, another location where you can bird from within a vehicle. Inspect the Bonaparte’s Gulls for the sought-after Sabine’s, Little, and Black-headed Gulls. The small cove to the east is known to locals as Mew Gull Cove because one was found there in 1998. Survey the open area to the east for Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, and Rough-legged Hawks.
From Sarah Preston, Ohio Ornithological Society