Braddock Bay Park has constructed a short birding platform for the convenience of birders who frequent the spot. The tower lets you see up over the reeds into the marsh beds and out into the Bay itself.
Besides the tower, they recently have created a boardwalk that juts out into the marshes so you can get a closer view of some of the species from that angle too. Some very adventurous birders actually get off the boardwalk and walk out on the reeds into the marsh but unless you are prepared to get wet and muddy, I would not advise it.
At the south end of the park there are fields where starlings and sparrows and other indigineous species congregate. The east side of the park is a woods with some trails into it but the woods are not very deep and most of the birds are woodpeckers and robins and occassionaly a hawk.
Migratory birds are various species of ducks and geese and the territorial swans (who have recently decided to become more permanent tenants). There are marshbirds and chickadees and an infrequent heron and killdeer inshore of the reed areas.
We have our annual family picnic here and also some special events (like septegenarian birthdays).
The parks has adequate parking for about 50 cars. There are pavilions that can be scheduled for use (and you better do that well in advance because they go quickly). There are picnic tables dotted around the fields and also under the eaves of the woods.
The park has swing/slide/jungle-jim for the kids. You can pound in your own horseshoe stakes and try for a ringer. Alchohol is allowed but you must purchase a permit. The pavillions have wood and charcoal pits for cooking and heating (during colder months) and two of the pavillions are completely enclosed to keep out the bugs in the summer. One of the pavillions has a full kitchen (gas stove, refrigerator, microwave) for activities that require those facilities.
The major part of the park is open fields that border on a marsh/reed shoreline to the Bay.
There is no place to swim but there is a boardwalk into the marsh for viewing and a birding tower.
This is not one of the prime birding areas in Upstate New York (because it is normally crowded with people) but you can get some good sightings in during early spring or late fall.
Along the lake shore there are many flocks of gulls and during migrations you can see mergansers, scaups, eiders, canadian geese. One of the ponds had a pair of mute swans for several seasons but they have not been seen recently.
The woods and fields have trails where you can see common birds like sparrows and finches and robins and once in a while a flicker or cardinal or gold finch. Jays are found in the stands of pine trees and a few hawks can be seen gliding over head. Very infrequently you can spot a turkey vulture.
The area makes for a pleasant hike even if the birding is sparse.
Before May and after September the $6 parking fee is not collected so you can enter the park for free.
To Get There (from Braddock Bay):
take the Lake Ontario State Parkway west about 15miles and see the signs