Where We Are Birding – January

Where We Are Birding – January

Each month, our OOS Regional Directors are sharing their favorite birding hotspots in their respective regions – and beyond. These include some well-know destinations, specialty spots for specific species, and their own secret, treasured local patches. Have a favorite birding location? Reach out to your OOS Regional Director and let them know!

Amy Downing – Northwest Regional Director

Hancock County Sanitary Landfill Wetland – Hancock County

During the Hancock County CBC, OOS member Ed Ingold reported a Northern Shrike, so I headed over for my county first and found the bird within minutes guarding his territory. The landfill wetlands is Prairie, ponds, and woods with small inclines, gravel parking and without restrooms. Besides this Shrike the area is known for having most of the Ohio Sparrows, Short-eared Owls have been heard, waterfowl nest here, and a variety of songbirds can be found.

Kandace Glanville – Central Regional Director

Alum Creek State Park – Delaware County

Alum Creek State Park in Delaware county is a good spot in the winter to look for ducks, gulls, and geese. This winter it has also hosted a Snowy Owl on the dam! There are many vantage points to Alum Creek Lake, as well as a dam and a beach. Take your scope and scour the water for birds if you’re in central Ohio.

Christopher Collins – At-Large Regional Director

Wendy Park, Whiskey Island – Cuyahoga County

Wendy Park, Whiskey Island is one of the best places in the state to look for gulls! The beach provides an excellent view of the channel between the shore and the break wall. The nearby Coast Guard Station allows you to get even further out into the fray. When the ships come through, it can cause quite the frenzy with the gulls. 

Take note – it’s COLD, but worth it. You may even have a chance for Purple Sandpiper along the break wall. Scope highly recommended.

Jon Cefus – East Central Regional Director

Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area and Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area – Wayne County

In January, I’m birding in the marshlands of Wayne County to search for waterfowl, particularly dabblers. My target areas are certainly known to experienced Ohio birders, but if you are new, these areas are likely to become staples of your Ohio birding hotspots. The two primary areas to check are Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area and Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area. When there is open water due to a lack of deep freeze, these areas often hold pockets of ducks, geese, and swans foraging. As conditions get colder and water freezes over, there are often a few pockets of open water, and in these spots ducks can really accumulate. In addition to ducks, geese, and swans, you can often find other species like Red-headed Woodpecker (always an eyeful!), Sandhill Cranes, Northern Harriers, Short-eared Owls, and in many winters, Northern Shrike. See the Birding In Ohio webpage for details on how to check these areas.

Tyler Ficker – Southwest Regional Director

Armleder Park ​ – Hamilton County

Armleder Park in Hamilton County is one of my favorite spots in Ohio. There is always something to see any time of year here. Some of my most fond memories from this park are watching Short-eared Owls and Northern Harriers hunt over the fields while searching for wintering sparrows. I always start my year off here!

Melissa Wales – Southeast Regional Director

Hockhocking Adena Bikeway-Armitage Rd. ​- Athens County

The Hockhocking Adena Bikepath is a true gem for cyclists, walkers, runners, and…birders! One of my favorite stretches is the relatively new spur from Armitage Road to Columbus Road. With a beautiful bridge spanning the Hocking River and paved throughout with moderate inclines, it should be accessible for most birders.

I drive to the end of Armitage Road and cross the bike path to park in a gravel area next to the railroad tracks to access the spur. There is also bike path parking on Columbus Road. About a half mile in length, the diverse habitats here include mowed and un-mowed fields, riparian, woodlots, wetlands, and the Hocking River. In winter, it is a good patch for sparrows, woodpeckers, waterfowl, and raptors. On this January day, White-throated Sparrows stole the show against a rare and much appreciated blue sky.

Where We Are Birding – November

Where We Are Birding – November

Each month, our OOS Regional Directors are sharing their favorite birding hotspots in their respective regions – and beyond. These include some well-know destinations, specialty spots for specific species, and their own secret, treasured local patches. Have a favorite birding location? Reach out to your OOS Regional Director and let them know!

Amy Downing – Northwest Regional Director

Maple Grove Cemetery – Hancock County

My birding focus until the weather turns nasty is hiking, but there are a few spots I hit on for specialties in Hancock County, and one is cemeteries like historic Maple Grove in Findlay. Because it is totally drivable and quiet with large old trees, it’s perfect in both good and bad weather.  I’ve had Oregon-type Juncos and wintering Merlin most years, and since it is full of Sweet Gum, Larch, and large Pines I have been hoping for special northern visitors like Evening Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, and Pine Siskin.  This is totally accessible birding, and most like most cemeteries welcome all respectful visitors including birds!

Kandace Glanville – Central Regional Director

Hoover Reservoir – Delaware County

Hoover Reservoir and Hoover Dam Park in Franklin and Delaware counties are a great place to check in the fall and winter for ducks, gulls, and other water bird rarities. Having a scope is highly beneficial, as the reservoir is pretty large and there’s often rafts of ducks pretty far out. In November 2018, a rare Black-legged Kittiwake was found here by David O’Ryan Donahue. All 3 Scoter species, in addition to some other uncommon ducks as well as uncommon gulls are regularly found here.

The top walkway of the reservoir dam is flat, paved, and easy to navigate, though as far as I know, the top dam walkway is closed for construction until 2022. It’s also possible to see some of the reservoir from your car in the parking lot! There’s multiple parking lots along the reservoir, allowing for many viewpoints. From my experience as a young woman birding here, I’ve always felt very safe at this hotspot.

Diana Steele – Northeast Regional Director

Margaret Peak Nature Preserve – Lorain County

For November 2020, short-eared owls and Northern harriers have been the highlights. The owls appeared there for the first time ever on November 3, and birders have gathered at dusk every evening to watch the acrobatic show. A mown path leads from the parking lot to a packed gravel walkway through the field heading back to the ponds and a small woods. Several observation mounds and benches dot the property. During migration, many species of warblers and waterfowl visit the preserve, but the real highlights may be the breeding grassland species: grasshopper and vesper sparrows, dickcissels, and bobolinks. Vagrant rarities are always a possibility: Smith’s longspur, black-bellied whistling duck, and clay-colored sparrow have all dropped in, for a total of 202 species.

Jon Cefus – East Central Regional Director

Lake Cable (and others) – Stark County

This month, I will be searching for waterfowl. In the east central area of Ohio, there are many lakes and reservoirs, and therefore many options to choose from. Stark County has several natural lakes including Lake Cable and Sippo Lake. Over the years, Lake Cable has produced a nice variety of diving ducks including all 3 species of Scoters, and Red-throated Loons. In Wayne County, finding diving ducks is more difficult, however areas like Killbuck Marsh and Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area offer fantastic habitat for dabblers, including rare species such as Cinnamon Teal in 2018. I’ll also be keeping my eyes and ears on the sky, as we are into peak migration of Tundra Swans. Learning their flight call can payoff as a flock approaches an area to land or passes over your head on their journey southward. Seneca Lake, which touches Guernsey and Noble Counties (a Southeast Regional County), has held some remarkable numbers of waterfowl historically, including massive flocks of Loons, at times numbering into the hundreds of individuals. 

Tyler Ficker – Southwest Regional Director

Highland Stone Quarry ​ – Highland County

Highland Stone Quarry in Highland County boasts some great waterfowl numbers this time of year. With as many ducks and geese that stay there, you never know what might be mixed in!

Melissa Wales – Southeast Regional Director

Lake Snowden – Athens County

Lake Snowden in Athens County remains a late fall SE Ohio hotspot, especially for migrating waterfowl including American Coot, Northern Shoveler, Common Loon, Ruddy Duck, and Grebes (Pied-billed and Horned). The bushes around the fish ponds have been very good for sparrows including White-crowned and Vesper, and also Wilson’s Snipe.

Strouds Run State Park has an accessible gravel trail named Blackhaw just off the last parking lot on the right before you turn into the main entrance off Strouds Run Road. It winds along the lake with some large pines that have been good for Red-breasted Nuthatch. There’s a nice little deck area from which you can look for herons and Belted Kingfisher.  Following the length of the trail about a half mile to where it ends at the next parking lot will give you a chance at  Brown Creepers, Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrush.

A One-Day Fall Birding Getaway to Fairport Harbor

A One-Day Fall Birding Getaway to Fairport Harbor

Begin the day at Painesville Township Park as close to first light as possible. If the weather is uncooperative, park just to the left of the stairs for a good view of Lake Erie from inside your vehicle. Depending on the day and the wind, you could see all sorts of waterfowl streaming by including some rare treats. Check flocks of mergansers for an eider among them, have your camera ready for a flight shot of a jaeger, and be on the lookout for Brant. Morning flights of passerines can also be observed at this lakeside location with flocks of Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, Evening Grosbeaks and other winter finches flying along the lakeshore. The lucky lake watcher might even see a Cave Swallow! As you drive through the park to leave, pay close attention to the geese in the baseball fields in case there are other species with them.

Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, and Cackling Goose (Sarah Preston) at Painesville Township Park

Drive into downtown Fairport Harbor via Fairport Nursery Road. There are several pull-offs along the roadway. Small flocks of Horned Lark, Snow Buntings, and Lapland Longspur congregate in the gravel on the side of the road. Flushed by cars, they’ll fly into the grass or perch on the green chain-link fence. Snowy Owls are known to perch on the telephone poles here but also appear on the grassy hillsides. A pair of Common Ravens recently made Lake County their home and the unkindness, now totaling five, often flies around above this grassland area.

Snowy Owl (Caitlin Ambrose) and Common Raven (Sarah Preston) along Fairport Nursery Road

Warm up with a coffee and a bite of breakfast. Saturday brunch at Fairport Harbor Creamery starts at 9am offering made-from-scratch pastries like cinnamon rolls and maple sausage and cheddar brioches at the walk-up window or you can order ahead online. If it’s Sunday, go to Glazed Fairport as early as 8am for whimsically named donuts or a breakfast sammy served on a donut or biscuit.

Head toward Lake Erie on East Street to Sunset Harbor, scanning the small marina for grebes as you drive by. Park between the large blue HTP building and the harbor, another location where you can bird from within a vehicle. Inspect the Bonaparte’s Gulls for the sought-after Sabine’s, Little, and Black-headed Gulls. The small cove to the east is known to locals as Mew Gull Cove because one was found there in 1998. Survey the open area to the east for Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, and Rough-legged Hawks.

Merlin and Red-throated Loon (Sarah Preston) fly by Sunset Harbor

Go back up the hill for lunch at the Fairport Family Restaurant serving homemade soups and sandwiches such as clam chowder and beer battered fish sandwich plus a variety of specials. If it’s warm, there’s dining available on the front porch.

Take High Street down the hill to Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park. In the off-season, there is no fee to park in the main parking lot for the beach. Drive to the far eastern end to scope for ducks and grebes in the harbor.

Surf Scoters and Glaucous Gull (Sarah Preston) in Fairport Harbor

Drive back to west end of the parking lot where you will find a picnic shelter that is the perfect place from which to scope if it’s raining or snowing. The main restrooms are closed except during summer, but a porta-potty is available in the parking lot. Check the beach for shorebirds and Snow Buntings.

Beach and Boardwalk  /  Fishing Pier and Lighthouse

Drive back uphill toward town and take the first two rights to return to the harbor, arriving at the Fairport Harbor Pier and Boat Ramp. If the stop sign is out, park along the left side of road before it so you don’t have to pay to park in the boat ramp parking lot. The rocky shore along the walkway to the pier is where Purple Sandpiper have been found. Iceland and Glaucous Gulls hide among the myriad Ring-Billed and Herring Gulls. Scope the break walls for Snowy Owls, looking for an open spot with no gulls. Don’t leave without looking up-river for Long-tailed or Harlequin Ducks. Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, and Horned Larks can be camouflaged in the flat, gravel area behind the large block wall.

Purple Sandpiper (Gustino Lanese) and Harlequin Duck (Sarah Preston) near the Fairport Harbor Pier

Iceland Gull (Jim Smallwood) and Snow Buntings (Sarah Preston) at Fairport Harbor Pier

Before dusk drive back over to Fairport Nursery Road. Birders have permission to bird from the deck of the trailer on the south side of the road during non-business hours as long as they don’t enter the actual property. Search both the north and south sides of 535 for hunting Short-eared Owls that begin to appear just before sunset. It is not unusual to see multiple owls at once.

Short-eared Owls and Lapland Longspur (Sarah Preston) Fairport Nursery Road

Celebrate the day by splurging on dinner at The Pompadour, a local gem known for its bar and tapas. The space is cozy, so reservations are highly recommended for dine-in. They also accept a limited number of nightly call-in carry-out orders. Commemorate the lifers of the day with a specialty cocktail such as The Big Bad Apple or sip on a pour from their sizable selection of bourbon and other whiskeys. If you enjoy more than just seeing waterfowl, order the Duck Pastrami Sliders or if vegetarian is more your style, try the Chanterelle Mushroom Pappardelle.

OOS Board Member Monthly Spotlight – Melissa Wales

OOS Board Member Monthly Spotlight – Melissa Wales

Melissa with the Long-eared Owl “situation” on the Magee Marsh Boardwalk in 2013.

Unlike many of you, I came into birding later in life. About seven years ago, my best friend from college invited me to meet her at The Biggest Week in American Birding in Northwest Ohio. I was a little amused and a bit confused about her curious new hobby, but Maumee Bay was a convenient halfway meeting point for us between her home in Grand Rapids, MI and mine in Athens, so I said, “Sure! Why not?” What I experienced there – especially on the iconic Magee Marsh boardwalk – was nothing short of life-changing. My eyes and ears were opened to a wondrous natural world I had always intuited was around me but had never paused to pay any significant attention to. Learning that such a thing as a Long-eared Owl shared the planet with me, and getting to see it through the fancy optics of generous birders who wiped tears from their eyes at getting such great looks at their life bird, was life changing. I was hooked and my friend and I continue to joyously meet at the Biggest Week every year since (except, of course, in 2020).

I grew up in Troy on the flat, western side of the state, and moved to Athens in 1998, a Colorado native super excited to finally live in Ohio’s hill country! I have a Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg College (now University) in Music and Political Science and a Master’s in International Studies and Women’s Studies from Ohio University. I moved to Athens in 1998 where I worked for many years for a progressive, interfaith campus ministry and routinely engaged Ohio University students in service learning and action projects dealing with environmental justice and conservation issues in Appalachia including acid mine drainage in area watersheds, fracking waste injection wells, and the effects of strip mining and illegal dumping in rural areas.

When the university was exploring the possibility of building a housing development on an important green space known as The Ridges (on the campus of the historic Athens Insane Asylum) a few of us created a petition and organized successfully to save this important habitat from development, which is currently the number 3 eBird Hotspot for Athens County.

The Ridges from Radar Hill. Summer Tanagers nest here. And Henslow’s Sparrows have been found recently in the fields further down the road.

I volunteered to help Rural Action, a local nonprofit sustainable development organization, organize the very first Birds in the Hills festival in 2016 at Camp Oty’okwa in the Hocking Hills, which was a family-friendly weekend with a variety of activities for all ages. A highlight for me was a field trip to Baptist Church Road in Zaleski State Forest, Vinton Co – a notable warbler hotspot there. I have also volunteered with Rural Action’s Young Naturalist Program and a Nest Box Watch project where I monitored a grid of Prothonotary Warbler boxes in Athens County.

Melissa’s son Benjamin helping check the PROW boxes.

I’ve been a member of the Steering Committee for Athens Area Birders for several years. In non-Covid times, we hold a weekly Birds and Brews meet-up at the Little Fish Brewing Company beer garden just outside of Athens that overlooks the relatively new wetland, where we’ve had breeding Hooded Mergansers for the last few years! We have held a couple of Northern Saw-whet Owl nights with local banders and actually caught one the first year to the delight of everyone who came out.

Hooded Merganser with babies at Little Fish Wetland.

Selfie with former OOS Board member Bob Scott Placier and a Northern Saw-whet owl at Little Fish.

I have helped Athens Area Birders organize numerous public talks and field trips around Athens County over the years. Of course the pandemic has canceled every in-person event for the foreseeable future. Tuning into zoom talks and presentations has been an interesting experience and I’m hoping to have my first foray into livestreaming a bird-related event in October. I was particularly impressed with the virtual Black Birders Week earlier this summer, as it lifted up and offered important insight into the experiences of Black birders in the aftermath of the Christian Cooper incident in Central Park and the current movement for racial justice. I’m hopeful that we in the birding community do the hard work of making sure everyone who loves birds feels welcome and safe in their pursuit.

The pandemic kept me mostly birding in Athens County this year, but I did learn of an active first year Bald Eagle nest in Zaleski State Forest near Lake Hope State Park in next-door Vinton County. I made weekly pilgrimages to this nest and was thrilled to observe the two eaglets in the nest, branching, and eventually flying with the parents flying in to feed from time to time. Thrilling!

Zaleski State Forest eaglets Melissa named Liberty and Justice. Photo by Melissa.

I joined OOS as the SE Ohio Regional Director and Event Co-chair in November 2019 and hit the ground running to help plan Warblers and Wildflowers, which sadly skid to a halt in March as we realized the pandemic was going to be with us for quite a while. Hopefully it can happen in 2021! And once it’s safe to meet up again, I hope to get to know the birders and birding hotspots all around the SE Ohio region outside of Athens County. Feel free to reach out to me at melissa.wales@ohiobirds.org!

When I’m not birding or organizing bird-related events and activities, I am the mom of two teenage boys and work as the Executive Director of Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, a nonprofit performing arts venue and provider of arts education programming.

One of Melissa’s favorite birds, the Cerulean Warbler. Taken May 2020 on the Adena Hock-hocking bike path off of Glen Ebon Road near Nelsonville..

Where We Are Birding – October

Where We Are Birding – October

Each month, our OOS Regional Directors are sharing their favorite birding hotspots in their respective regions – and beyond. These include some well-know destinations, specialty spots for specific species, and their own secret, treasured local patches. Have a favorite birding location? Reach out to your OOS Regional Director and let them know!

Amy Downing – Northwest Regional Director

Litzenberg Memorial Woods – Hancock County

This time of year I make many quick stops daily in my county, but I definitely have a few fall favorites in Hancock County where I can spend hiking most of the day. One of them for arriving Sparrows and migrating Warblers is Litzenberg Memorial Woods – South. The entire park is 227 acres including North and South side of the road with various habitats of deep ravines, old growth woods, creek and river bank, wetlands, expansive grasslands, and monitored bluebird area. The more familiar section is on the north side of US Route 224 with the historic McKinniss Homestead with gorgeous barns and period garden as well as a scenic, accessible walkway into the woods. Long-eared, Great Horned, Barred and Screech owls have been seen there. On the South property, the grassland is much larger, more wild and seemingly uncontrolled the nearer you get to the Blanchard River. Understandably the often-flooded river area makes it difficult to “develop and manage” into a modernized park, which is great for wildlife and birding. I love the wildness and ever-changing landscape that our river carves out! I was there on October 1, and as I walked the wooded horse trails with many lingering wild flowers along the trail and fall colors popping I stumbled into a busy pocket of birds including Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers chasing around. There were also heated exchanges with Black-capped Chickadees (we’re in the overlap zone with Carolina Chickadees too) and White and Red-breasted Nuthatches. There have been several times in the deep woods that I’ve found Barred Owls and nesting Wild Turkeys, once watched a Great-horned Owl take a Northern Flicker in mid flight, and in one of the wetland ponds I watched Sandhill Cranes taking off. The large grassland on the South side of the road has been a hot spot for most of the Ohio sparrows including Nelson’s, Lincoln’s, and Grasshopper Sparrows. With 185 species found since the first Ebird report in 1973, it’s got much to offer birders in all seasons but is most spectacular in its fall glory.

Kandace Glanville – Central Regional Director

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park – Franklin County

I could go to this hotspot any month of the year and be rewarded with plenty of birds, but Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in Franklin county is especially good in October. The Wet Prairie Teal and Harrier Trails are one of the best places in central Ohio to find a rare “orange sparrow” – that is, a Nelson’s or LeConte’s Sparrow which are sneaky and rare through Ohio in migration in the spring and in the fall in late September and early October. You’re also likely to find large flocks of thousands of staging blackbirds, including Rusty Blackbirds. These can often be difficult to track down in Ohio, but are rather frequent at Battelle during certain parts of the year. Even in October, the Battelle wetlands could be a decent shot for some late-migrant shorebirds, or early-migrant waterfowl and Short-eared Owls!

Diana Steele – Northeast Regional Director

Lorain Impoundment – Lorain County

Into the fall and winter the shoreline of Lake Erie becomes a very attractive place to bird. Influxes of usual and unusual migrants occur in waves as the winds carry them over the water to shelter on the shore. One of the most popular places to bird the lakefront in Lorain County is known as the “Lorain Impoundment.” Built up from sludge dumped from river dredging, it’s an unlikely looking and unattractive place, but on a good day, dozens of bird species of many types can be found there. Birders have recorded 269 species altogether. It’s a rarity magnet. Most recently a Brewer’s sparrow turned up; a first state record.

Only the satellite view on Google maps shows any land where the impoundment sits. To find it, use “Lakeside Landing” or “Mile Long Pier” in Lorain as the location. Access the dike by walking up a footpath from the parking lot and from there you can walk about a mile around the sheltered water of the impoundment. Look for ducks and waterfowl both in the impoundment and out on Lake Erie. Sparrows and blackbirds hug the scrubby grasses. Warblers, hawks, falcons—and even owls—collect in the few trees.

The Port Authority is currently implementing a plan to remove invasive phragmites and plant native species.

Jon Cefus – East Central Regional Director

Mahoning River/Berlin Lake – Stark County

This month, I will be birding the mudflats of the Mahoning River/Berlin Lake area of Stark County. This area is located along State Route 225 in eastern Stark County, north of Alliance. During October, we generally access the area by way of a small parking lot on Price St. 1/4 mile west of SR 225 on the north side of the road, just across the bridge over the river. Depending on the water levels, which vary according to the amount of rainfall and the amount of water allowed to flow towards the Ohio River by way of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the areas we search could be either north or south of that parking area. You can scope areas north of the parking lot from the lot itself. As the conditions dry up, the activity works further north, then east, so conditions can change here every few days. Earlier in the season, or if large rainfall happens as was the case a few weeks ago, the better mudflats are located to the south. From the parking area, we walk across Price and enter the woods. You will see the mudflats/river area on your left. You can make your way along there south, and then to the west facing towards Deer Creek Reservoir’s spillway dam. Sometimes the best habitat is to the west in that direction, even wrapping around back to the north in a cove.

When conditions are better to the north, folks access the mudflats from a couple of rugged pulloffs north of Price on the west side of SR 225 just past Lowe Rd. Walking down to the mudflats to the west from there gives access to areas further north that are hard to scope from the parking lot on Price. You can walk all the way north to scan those areas and eventually you will see where the river turns east and you will see the causeway of SR 225 over the river. Some walk all the way to that causeway, then climb the concrete structure to access the road to walk back south to the pull offs, but that can be a long walk, and the walk up the causeway is rather steep, then you are walking back south along a busy road to your car, so be warned that this is not an easy way to go. Many walk to the north, scope for birds, then walk the mudflats back south to their car at the pull offs.

A scope is an absolute must here as are boots for muddy conditions. Be extremely careful walking on mudflats. Many an intrepid birder has lost their boot or become stuck in the mud needing help to get out. Staying closer to the woods offers less muddy conditions, and the added benefit of spotting migrant warblers and other birds along your way. Bird smarter, not harder.

Tyler Ficker – Southwest Regional Director

Fernald Nature Preserve – Hamilton / Butler County

Fernald Nature Preserve in Hamilton County is among my top hotspots for the entire state of Ohio! While there isn’t a bad time of year to visit here, October is the perfect mix of migrating songbirds and waterfowl! You can’t go wrong this time of year at Fernald!

Melissa Wales – Southeast Regional Director

Lake Snowden – Athens County

Lake Snowden is the number one birding hotspot in Athens County. Owned by Hocking College, this 675 acre recreation park offers excellent birding throughout the year. There are two ways to access the park. Coming from Athens City, take SR 50 southwest about 6 miles and turn right at Enlow Road, take an immediate left and then another left past a small farm to where the road dead ends at the dam side of the lake. There’s a small gravel parking lot on the right. The fish hatchery ponds on the left are routinely flooded and drained and offer opportunities for show birds and waterfowl. The horse trail off to the right meanders up the hill and down to the lake and is good for warblers, sparrows, and flycatchers. A walk up to the dam might reward you with mergansers and teals along the shoreline or perhaps Common Loons in the middle of the lake.

The main entrance is about a mile further down SR 50. Once inside the park, turn left into the campground and park at the horse trail entrance where you’ll enter a more mature forest patch where Red-headed Woodpeckers are found. Further in, that trail opens up to a farm field on the left and a scrubbier area on the right where Bobolinks have been seen in the fall.

Other good birding spots include the boathouse/beach area which is great for winter waterfowl. While birding Lake Snowden, be sure to keep you eyes to the skies for Bald Eagles, Norther Harriers and perhaps a Peregrine Falcon.

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