Hamlin Beach State Park, administered by NYS OPRHP, occupies slopes
on the south shore of Lake Ontario, west of Rochester. The site includes
a marsh at the east end, extensive pine woods in a camping area in the
middle of the park, and beaches protected by a series of stone jetties along
the shore. The park occupies a portion of shoreline that extends farther
north into the lake than the Rochester shore, making it a good site for
waterfowl viewing. An organized daily fall lake watch was sponsored
by the Braddock Bay Raptor Research group and operated from 1993 to
1999. Since that time, the lake watch has been carried out several days
per week throughout the fall, winter, and spring. The New York State
Ornithological Association published the results of the 1993-99 seasons in
2001. The site is a premier location for monitoring waterfowl and gulls
migrating along the lake; thousands have been recorded flying over during
migration. Annual fall migration observers record about 300,000 birds.
This is a premier spot for migrating waterfowl. In fall 1997, observers
tallied 44,167 Greater Scaup (one-day maximum of 2,850), 76,704 Whitewinged
Scoters (one-day maximum of 8,631), 12,980 Black Scoters (one-day
maximum of 11,635), 20,420 Long-tailed Ducks (one-day maximum of
4,582), 10,877 Common Goldeneyes (one-day maximum of 1,156), 31,111
Red-breasted Mergansers (one-day maximum of 7,885), 19,841 Red-throated
Loons (one-day maximum of 2,777), 16,846 Common Loons (one-day
maximum of 2,982), and 32,081 Bonaparte?s Gulls (one-day maximum of
5,750) flying over the site. Black Terns have bred here (three pairs in 1989).
The site often attracts winter finches, including Red and White-winged
Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins, and Pine Grosbeaks.
Mixed flocks Hundreds of waterfowl can be observed
sitting on the surface, feeding, resting,
and using the area as a stopover. Many
thousands are seen migrating annually.
Monitoring of waterfowl numbers should continue.