April 2018

Vol. 46, No. 2

Birding Miantonomi Memorial Park, Newport, Rhode Island

Wayne R. Munns, Jr.

Rhode Island, that tiny state often confused with Massachusetts or New York by people outside of New England, has two well-known spring migration traps: Swan Point Cemetery in Providence (the mecca for spring migration advocates in Rhode Island), and Miantonomi Memorial Park in Newport. Miantonomi is much smaller—about 30 acres compared to Swan Point's 200 acres—yet it attracts a diversity of migrants and rarities on rival with or even surpassing Swan Point. Local birders proudly proclaim Miantonomi, or just "Mia" as we call it fondly, the "Swan Point of the South." And we do so with good reason.

Readily accessible to the public, Miantonomi is a neighborhood park in southern Rhode Island, located on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. Bordered by Hillside Avenue to the east, Admiral Kalbfus Road to the south, Girard Avenue to the west, and Sunset Boulevard to the north, the park is easy to bird due to its convenient access, small size, and its pathways that traverse almost the entire park. One can cover all of Mia and bird well in two hours or less. But if bird activity is high, plan for three to four hours of intensive and exciting spring migration birding.

Figure 1. Map of Miantonomi Memorial Park.

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