eBird Bar Charts by Season
Lorain Harbor reaches its peak as a birding hot spot from November until ice-up of the harbor and adjacent Lake Erie, which usually occurs in late December or January. Thousands of Bonaparte’s Gulls mass in the harbor, often accompanied by much rarer gulls. Likewise, scores of Ring-billed and Herring gulls gather. Good numbers of waterfowl often loaf in the harbor and staggering numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen passing by on Lake Erie.
The spoil impoundment just east of the harbor’s east pier can be good for songbirds in migration. The willows lure many species of warblers, flycatchers, and other species, and oddities such as Barn Owl can even turn up. The dense stands of giant reed (Phragmites) and smartweeds sometimes host large numbers of sparrows of several species in October. Conditions change from year to year, but if mudflats are present nearly every regularly occurring species of shorebird can turn up.
Lorain Harbor is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
The city of Lorain’s nearly 2-acre Public Boat Ramp provides six ramps and three parking lots for direct Lake Erie boating access. Entrance to the site is north of the Oberlin Avenue and First Street intersection with one-way traffic directed to exit on the drive and parking lot along First Street near the Hamilton Avenue intersection.
This site is Lorain’s oldest boat launch and is locally known as “Hot Waters” because of its location between a power plant’s warm water discharge on the west and the former ore docks to the east (now the Lorain Public Fishing Pier access site).
Restrooms at Boat Ramp (during boating season) and Black River Landing (portable toilets).