Spit and Beluga Detail

The Spit offers the consistently best birding in the area in terms of species and numbers, especially for seabirds and shorebirds. The Spit road is very busy in the summer and lined with guardrails in many places, so please drive and park safely. Click on the map numbers 1 through 18 to go to the explanation.



Spit and Beluga Lake Detail


Homer Spit

1. Parking lot for foot/bike path - On the east side of the Spit, this new paved path goes from Mud Bay all the way to the “Fishing Hole”, approximately 4 miles. Offers best views of Mud Bay shorebird habitat, especially from the two viewing platforms equipped with free spotting scopes. Also popular with waterfowl, cranes, and gulls. Map

2. Parking for beach access to Mud Bay - A short distance down Kachemak Drive from the Spit Road there is a parking lot across from the airport with a gravel road that goes down to the beach. Provides access to a small sand spit that juts out into Mud Bay. Excellent during shorebird migration, especially as tide is receeding. Map

3. Lighthouse Village viewing platform - On the west side of the Spit, this viewing platform offers the best views of Mariner Park Lagoon. Especially productive during Spring and Fall migrations. Map

4. Mariner Park - Also on the west side, this public park offers camping and access to the beach. Often best place to see eiders offshore during the winter, especially at high tide. Outhouses available in summer. Map

5. "Green Timbers" - On the east side, a steep gravel drive leads to a tidal parking area. Look for a large old vehicle abandoned on the grass. Access to the outer beach of Mud Bay. Short grasslands draw plovers and longspurs. Although there is no evidence of it now, this used to be a forest before the 1964 earthquake, hence the name. Map

6. "Louie's Lagoon" - Tidal parking area, this site is marked by an old wooden platform and large antenna dish. Excellent for shorebirds. Sparrows along road. Map

7. Parking areas on shoulder - along the west side of road. Scan for shorebirds along rocky/sandy beach at low tides and for seabirds offshore. Map

8. Boardwalks - (several) along west side offer parking for beach walks and viewing platforms for offshore species. Good places to satisfy your hunger and miscellaneous needs as well. Map

9. "Fishing Hole" - Outer beaches on east side are popular with gulls at low tides. Parking for paved walkway leading back to Mud Bay. Public restrooms. Map

10. Small Boat Harbor - Take-off point for almost all boat tours and water taxis. Note large blue letters on pilings that serve as directions to the various “floats”. Public restrooms in parking areas. Map

11. Homer Spit Campground - From Jan.-Apr., someone feeds Bald Eagles here, drawing hundreds to meals of fish carcasses. Birders and photographers are welcome but you must stay in your car. Also look for Rosy Finches and rare gulls. Map

12. Ferry Terminal - Good birding views of harbor mouth and breakwaters. State ferry Tustumena is not a tour boat but can provide excellent birding. Scheduled trips from Homer to Seldovia, Kodiak, Alaska Peninsula, and Dutch Harbor. Schedules and prices at terminal, 800-642-0066, or www.akmhs.com. The Alaska Maritime NWR employs a naturalist to accompany the ferry to Dutch Harbor once a month and to Seldovia on Sun. and Mon. in summer. Map

13. Land’s End Resort - View seabirds from their outside restaurant deck or just walk the beaches. Good place to watch the birds coming and going from Gull Island in summer. Map

Beluga Lake and Slough

Waterfowl magnets during migration, these areas are also good for nesting Red-necked Grebes, gulls, shorebirds, hunting raptors, cranes and numerous songbirds:

14. Viewing platform - Located across from the Airport Terminal (on FAA Rd.), provides a great place to view the eastern end of Beluga Lake. Moose trails lead down through swampy forest for a more intimate view. Map

15. Parking lot off Landings St and Lakeshore Drive - Good view of center of lake. Best viewing in morning. These are private and business parking lots so please be considerate of residents. Map

16. Dock at Ben Walters Park - Located behind McDonald’s, a short trail leads to north side of Beluga lake. The dock is floating so avoid lots of people here. Best for evening views. Map

17. Sidewalk along Bypass Road - Follows the west side of the road between the lake and the slough. Park at a nearby business and just walk out. Outflow from the lake is usually productive. Map

18. Floating walkway/trail along Beluga Slough - Access from Bishop’s Beach parking lot (down Main St.). Connects to sidewalk along Sterling Hwy. Walkway is sensitive to people moving on it so best to go alone or in small groups. Prime spot all year. Map



This site sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Steering Committee.
Web site design by Rich Kleinleder: leder@xyz.net and Karl Stoltzfus: bay@xyz.net.
Contact them for suggestions or improvements to the site.
Photographs provided by US Fish & Wildlife Service, Rich Kleinleder & Karl Stoltzfus
copyright 2001 by USFWS