Birding at Charlie's Pond

Southern Pickaway Co

Visiting this Site

Charlie's Pond

General Information

Address

At a low point about midway along the length of Radcliffe Rd, Circleville, Ohio.

County/Counties

Pickaway

DeLorme Page Number and Coordinates

(7th Edition and earlier) pg. 68: D2

Nearest Town or City

4 miles SSW of Circleville, Ohio.

Directions from Nearest Town or City

From the intersection of Routes 23 and 56 in Circleville, go about 4 miles south on 23, and take a right (west) on Radcliffe Rd. Less than a mile ahead, the wetland lies on either side of the road in a swale.

About Charlie’s Pond

Less than 10 acres in size, most of it inaccessible without trespassing, Charlie’s Pond is a small remnant of the prairies of the old Pickaway Plains. This patch of wetland includes a cattail-ringed area of open water on the north, and a swampy area with tussocks, puddles, and small trees on the south.

 
There are no trails, and the area cannot be legally explored beyond from the road without permission. Traffic is minimal, and the area can be surveyed by pulling off to one side of the road and looking around. Look for waterfowl, swallows, a few shorebirds, and blackbirds, etc. in season, and the usual denizens of agricultural areas in nearby fields. One interesting spot lies further west: take Radcliffe to its termination less than a mile ahead, turn right, and proceed a few hundred yards to a culvert where a canal extends to the right, with a marshy area on the left.
 
Waterfowl, such as mallards and hooded mergansers, have bred here, along with Virginia rails; decent numbers of shorebirds appear in migration, along with pipits, etc. The whole area was once productive for Smith’s longspurs, but none has been reliably reported here for more than 25 years.

Visiting Information

Closed hours/season

Open year round.

Parking Areas

None, but limited traffic makes it possible to pull partly off the road at spots.

Fees/Permits

None.

Restroom Facilities

None.

Restaurants in the Area

Closest restaurants are three miles north near Circleville.

Other Useful Information

This intensively farmed area, just a mile or two from the Scioto River, can still resonate with hints of the bird life of the former Pickaway Plains.

Other Birding Spots in the Area

Pickaway Co. Airport, Stage’s Pond, Deer Creek WA. An interesting area can be found by continuing west on Radcliffe Rd half a mile, then turning right and going about ¼ mi. to a place where a culvert connects a canal on the right with a ~circular wetland on the left. This area is sometimes misnamed “Charlie’s Pond”, and is often a better spot for birds.

Depending on the season, check the canal for ducks and herons, the fields for pipits, longspurs, sparrows (shorebirds in good numbers often can be seen flying in and out of invisible swales to the WSW in the fields), and the wetland for rails (king rails have nested here, as well as Virginias), soras, breeding ducks (hooded mergansers have regularly nested recently), pipits, and various shorebirds. Please park far enough off the road to allow the sparse traffic to pass, and do not trespass.

Birds of Interest by Season

Winter

Seldomly birded.

Spring

Migrant waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland species.

Summer

The expected breeding species of small wetlands and agricultural settings including Henslow’s Sparrows and Dickcissel’s. A pair of Black Rails were probable breeders in the summer of 2008.

Fall

Similar to spring.

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