Birding at Gilmore Ponds Preserve MetroparkHamilton, Ohio
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Gilmore Ponds Preserve Metropark
7950 Gilmore Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45015
DeLorme Page Number and Coordinates
(7th Edition and earlier) Page 74, B-3
Nearest Town or City
About 5 miles from downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Directions from Nearest Town or City
From Dayton: Take I-75 south to SR 129. Go west on SR 129 to Bypass State Route 4. Turn left (south) on Bypass SR 4, then right (west) on Symmes Road. The parking lot is on the right side of the road, approximately one half mile from Bypass SR 4, at the intersection of Symmes Road and Berk Boulevard. This parking lot is shared with Quality Publishing. If you drive another half mile west on Symmes to Gilmore Road, you can turn right (north) onto Gilmore and go to the Gilmore Road parking lot, approximately three-quarters of a mile or so down Gilmore Road.
About Gilmore Ponds Preserve Metropark
Gilmore Ponds is about 200 acres in size. The trails are mostly along dikes and through fields. Seasonal flooding sometimes makes sections of the dikes, particularly the northern dike along the Miami-Erie Canal, impassible. Depending on water levels, the Cattail Marsh area can be good for waterfowl, herons and egrets or shorebirds.
Open all year during daylight hours.
There are two paved parking lots; one on Gilmore Road and the other on Symmes Road.
A motor vehicle permit is required to enter the park site. Butler County residents may receive a permit fee-free. Other guests may purchase an annual permit for only $10.
Harmful Insects, Poisonous Plants, or Animals
Mosquitoes are potentially horrendous anytime between May and October, depending on water and weather conditions. Poison ivy is abundant along the trails and in wooded areas.
Restaurants in the Area
There are a number of restaurants along SR 4, south of Gilmore Ponds. Jungle Jim’s International Market (a huge supermarket) sells all sorts of food, including hot and cold, ready-to-eat meals.
Other Birding Spots in the Area
Miami Whitewater Wetlands is approximately twenty to thirty minutes away. The Voice of America Park is fifteen minutes away. In spring, a trip to Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati is worth the trip. Also, Spring Valley Wildlife Area is within a thirty minute or so drive.
Birds of Interest by Season
Typical southern Ohio wintering species can be found here. Gilmore Ponds has been the regular wintering site for one or two Saw-whet Owls since the year 2000.
Waterfowl, waders, rails, shorebirds can be found when conditions are right. Passerine migrants and breeders, including prothonotary warbler, are usually regular during this season, regardless of water conditions.
Look for breeding Prothonotary Warblers, Yellow Warblers, and the expected species found in shrubby, second-growth woodlot, and field habitats. When conditions are favorable, Black-crowned Night Herons and other wetland species may breed at Gilmore Ponds. During late summer, regionally significant numbers of Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, and Snowy Egrets can be found here, depending on water levels. Shore-birding conditions may range from poor to very good, depending on the weather and water levels.
This is an excellent area for the fall songbird migration. There is usually a good variety found here, with some species in abundance. Exploring the fields in the West Pond / Cattail Marsh areas has, in recent years, produced Virginia rail, LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. As in the summer, shore-birding varies from poor to very good, depending on weather and water levels.