Irondequoit Bay North (Irondequoit, NY) – #10

Purple Sandpiper, North end of Irondequoit Bay. Tip of West Jetty. 12:26:1 © Robert Buckert2a

Purple Sandpiper, North end of Irondequoit Bay. Tip of West Jetty. 12/26/14 © Robert Buckert


On the Lake Ontario side, from the breakwalls on either side of the outlet channel, there is open water, sandy beach and small areas of rocks. On the Irondequoit Bay side, there is open water and, in winter, ice. There may be mudflats in the NW corner of the bay, if the water is low enough.


From the south take Rt. 590 North to its end at Lake Ontario, then turn right into the parking lot at Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park. From the west take Lakeshore Boulevard east to Culver Road, then Culver Road north to its end. There is a swing-bridge across the outlet that is in position for car use form November to April (it is not in position for car traffic the rest of the year).

Irondequoit Bay North map


To see reports for recent sightings go to and type in ‘Irondequoit Bay Outlet’. The parking lot is a good spot from which to observe hawk flights during spring migration and Osprey may sometimes be seen fishing in the bay waters. In winter large flocks of gulls gather on the ice in the bay, with an occasional Iceland or Glaucous Gull present. During migration there are large rafts of a variety of waterfowl in the channel, on the lake and in the bay. The outlet channel may contain ducks and grebes. The breakwall is a good place to see waterfowl in the Lake. Check the rocks along the breakwall for Purple Sandpiper November-December.

Ruddy Turnstone - Vagrant © Chuck Schleigh

Ruddy Turnstone © Chuck Schleigh


During migration and nesting season: Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Green-backed Heron, Canada Goose, Brant, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, hawks during spring migration, Osprey, Bald Eagle, American Coot, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Forster’s Tern, Belted Kingfisher, and a variety of passerines. The Mute Swan population has grown rapidly in the last few years.


King Eider, Purple Sandpiper, Red-necked Grebe, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Snowy Owl and Red Knot (’11). Turkey Vulture have congregated on the NE arm of the bay when ice fishermen clean their catch.

Irondequoit Bay Outlet - © Dick Horsey - Nov 15, 2015

Irondequoit Bay Outlet – © Dick Horsey – Nov 15, 2015


The breakwalls can be very icy underfoot during cold spells in the winter.

Parking is available on the west side of the outlet and on the north side of Lake Road further to the east.


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