Monthly Archives: May 2019

8 posts

Focus on Funk Bottoms

Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Funk Bottoms in Wayne County has been designated by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area (IBA). This IBA consists of 2,000 acres of floodplain bottoms: intermittent wetlands and mostly scrub/shrub fields, with some permanent restored wetlands. The Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area is the main source of habitat. The adjacent areas are largely agricultural and include a peat farm. The area has an observation tower. The region undergoes extensive bottomland flooding in March and April.

There are three eBird hotspots in the Wildlife Area. All these locations are in Wayne County.

Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area–Angling Rd.
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area–Funk Rd.

There are additional eBird Hotspots in the vicinity of Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area in Wayne and Ashland counties.

Wayne County
Clay Plant Rd.
Fairview Cemetery, Shreve
Schwartzwalder Rd.
Wilderness Rd.

Ashland County
Co. Rd. 1950
Cool Springs Conservation Park
Hopkins Landing
Mohicanville Dam
Mohicanville Dam–Township Rd. 2250

All of these locations are worth visiting. One way to visit a few of them is to follow the Funk Bottoms Birding Drive. Thanks to the Ohio Ornithological Society and Su Snyder for describing this route.

Observation Tower and OH-95
The observation tower is located from an access road on OH-95. Birds can often be observed at the edge of the marsh along OH-95. This is a very busy state highway and it is not safe to stop on the roadway. There are three pull-off areas on the south side of OH-95 which can accommodate 1 or 2 vehicles. The is also one pull-off area on the north side of the highway.

From the State Highway Patrol regarding bird watching along OH-95: “Please park on pull-offs or completely off the paved road in level gravel areas on south side of the road, roadside parking on the north side is prohibited.”

Wilderness Road
While not within the wildlife area itself, Wilderness Road is adjacent to Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area. The fields and ponds on Wilderness Road west of the intersection with Elyria Road are worth checking in all seasons.

At the east end of Wilderness Road near a bridge, there are several peat pits on the north side of the road which often are drawn down in the fall to mine peat. The drawdown of water can create extensive mud flats which attract many shorebirds. Depending on water levels, the fields on the south side of the Wilderness Road near the bridge can also hold waterfowl and shorebirds.

The peat pits on Wilderness Road are privately owned by an Amish man who loves birds and birders and therefore has welcomed birders to bird from the two dirt lanes on the east and west sides of the pits. These lanes are maintained by the company mining the peat. This company has also welcomed and been extremely gracious to birders. The only requests of the landowner and mining company are that birders stay on the dirt paths, not block the roadways, and give preference and a wide berth to any workers in the area.

Further west on Wilderness Road, across from and just west of a farmhouse, the fields often flood and then dry up, producing habitat for migrating shorebirds. A scope is helpful in viewing birds all along Wilderness Road.

What’s New–June 1, 2019

New Focus On . . .

The Funk Bottoms Important Bird Area in Wayne County has offered some unusual shorebird sightings this spring. Check the latest Focus On . . . blog
Focus on Funk Bottoms

New eBird Hotspots

Greene County

Gravel Pit Road
Thanks to Gabby Loomis-Amrhein for suggesting this hotspot. The agricultural fields on Gravel Pit Road between Wildman Road and Oglesbee Road can form skypools during wet weather and host ducks, geese, and shorebirds. The roads in this area traverse privately owned lands. Please view birds from the roadside only.

Lorain County

Avondale Avenue
Thanks to Parry McKelvey for suggesting and providing a description of this hotspot in Avon Lake near Miller Road Park and south of the Avon Lake Power Plant.

Lucas County

Stranahan Arboretum
Thanks to Anthony Marino for suggesting this hotspot which is managed by the University of Toledo.

Warren County

Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area–New Burlington Road
Thanks to Lee Funderburg for suggesting this new hotspot in the Caesar Creek Important Bird Area
There is another hotspot in the wildlife area on New Burlington Road. We have adjusted the name of that hotspot to:
Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area–Burlington Ridge


Lorain County

Black River Reservation–Bridgeway Trail
Black River Reservation–Steel Mill Trail
Thanks to an observant birder, we discovered that we had two hotspots on the Steel Mill Trail which have now been combined. When the reservation was being developed the new trail was named “Bridgeway” and entered into eBird as a hotspot. Birders found Lark Sparrows nesting along this trail. In 2008 the trail was extended north. The north section was named “Steel Mill Trail” and was entered into eBird as a hotspot. The Bridgeway Trail became the name for the southern section of the trail system. Your reviewer did not realize that the older “Bridgeway” hotspot was no longer on the Bridgeway Trail and both hotspots have been been used to report the Lark Sparrows.

A new hotspot has been created for the Bridgeway Trail. The Days Dam Trailhead on East 31st Street divides the two trails. The Steel Mill Trail is north of Days Dam, the Bridgeway Trail is south of Days Dam.

Washington County

Derby Road and Buchanan Road
Thanks to Terry Bronson for providing a description and tips for birding these roads in Washington County.

Wayne County

Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area–Angling Road
The name of this hotspot has been changed to make it a sub-location in Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area. A parking area has been added on the south side of Angling Road west of Elyria Road which provides access to a formerly land-locked section of the wildlife area.

Wyandot County

Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area
Added a map with all the hotspots in the wildlife area.

Top Birding Locations in Ohio

On the home page, updated the Ohio top 35 birding locations (most species reported).

On each county page, updated the top birding locations with 100 or more species reported.

What’s New–May 25, 2019

New eBird Hotspots

Turkey Creek Metropark
Photo by Kim Nordquest
Ashtabula County

Turkey Creek Metropark
Thanks to Kim Nordquest for suggesting this hotspot, providing a photo tour, and tips for birding there. Please note that this Metropark is in Ohio but is accessed from Pennsylvania via the State Line Road.

Auglaize County

Grand Lake Saint Marys State Park–Harmons Landing
Thanks to Josh King for suggesting this additional hotspot in Grand Lake Saint Marys State Park and in the St. Marys River-Grand Lake Important Bird Area

Greene County

Glen Forest Cemetery
Thanks to Gabby Loomis-Amrhein for suggesting this hotspot in Greene County.

Zane Landing Park

Muskingum County

Lock Ten Park
Zane Landing Park
These two new hotspots are located in Zanesville.

Holmes County

Redett Road, Fredericksburg
Redett Road in Holmes County is a good place to look for grassland birds. This road traverses privately owned properties. Please view birds from the roadside only.

Ottawa County

Dodge Woods Preserve
Thanks to Carly Wainwright for suggesting this hotspot on South Bass Island and in the Lake Erie Western Basin Important Bird Area

Stark County

Berlin Lake–Teel Avenue
Thanks to Kent Miller for the tip that this is a good place to watch for nesting Prothonotary Warblers. Berlin Lake is in the Berlin Lakes System Important Bird Area.


Barnside Creamery Parking Lot
Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Ottawa County

OH-2 @ OH-19
Added photos of the view from the Barnside Creamery parking lot.

Focus on Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Photo by Susan Carpenter
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) protects over 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. CVNP combines cultural, historical, and natural resources and visitor activities in one setting. CVNP is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The park is straddles two counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, and is surrounded by 15 cities, villages and townships; 7 school districts and 2 metropolitan park districts. The National Audubon Society has designated the river corridor through the National Park as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park-Lower Cuyahoga River Important Bird Area.

If you are visiting the area for the first time and want to watch birds, it can be a confusing place. There are 30 eBird hotspots in the park itself and that doesn’t count the metropolitan park district eBird hotspots which are scattered throughout the area. How can you decide where to go?

Bird Watching at its Best

Click on the link above to view a brochure from the National Park listing 5 excellent bird watching locations in the park. Any (or all) of these locations are good places to go on a first visit to the area.

Click on map to view .pdf in a new window or tab

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Birding Drive

If you have a bit more time and want more variety, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Birding Drive provides driving directions and links to visiting 9 locations in the National Park.

Tips for birding Cuyahoga Valley National Park

For even more tips on birding in this National Park, below are links to pages on websites:
From Ohio Ornithological Society website
From Lake Erie Birding Trail website
From Cuyahoga Valley National Park website
Cuyahoga Valley National Park birdwatching brochure
From BirdWatchingDaily website

All the eBird Hotspots

Check these pages in this website:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Lists all the eBird hotspots within the National Park.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park-Lower Cuyahoga River Important Bird Area
Lists all the eBird hotspots along the Lower Cuyahoga River within the National Park and metropolitan park districts.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Website

Cuyahoga Valley National Park website
Cuyahoga Valley National Park map
Cuyahoga Valley National Park trail maps

About Google Maps on this website

Tips for using Google Maps

On most pages in this website there is an embedded Google Map showing the location of the hotspot. You can interact with most of these maps.
+ You can zoom in or out on the map to get a different view. Use the plus or minus links on the lower right of the map to zoom in or out. You can also use your mouse scroll wheel (desktop computer) or pinch with your fingers on a touch screen.
+ You can drag the map with your mouse or finger to move the map.
+ You can switch from satellite to map view by using the icon at the lower left of the map.
+ You can click on “View larger map” to open the map in a new window or tab. This will allow you to use all of the Google Map features, such as getting directions to the hotspot from your present location. If you are using your smartphone and have Google Maps app installed, this switches to the app. Very handy!

On some pages, where I wanted to add information, I have created an image of the map with the information included. You cannot zoom in or out. You can, however, click on the map to open the location in a new tab or window.

What’s New–May 18, 2019

New Feature

Google Map on almost every page

For tips on how to use Google Maps on this website check the latest blog page from About this Website:
About Google Maps on this website
There is now a Google Map embedded on almost every hotspot page. To save time in transferring this website to WordPress, I decided to put just one map on each page. I used an image of a map about the location, if available, or a Google Map. I have discovered that the Google Map has some features that are very handy, such as opening the map in a new tab or window and then getting driving directions to a location from the Google Map website or app. I have completed the process of adding a Google Map to all the pages.

Focus on . . .

Focus on Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Suggestions about how to get started with bird watching at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Photo by Marc Hannerman

New eBird Hotspots

Ashtabula County

Pymatuning State Park–Main Beach and Boat Launch
Thanks to Marc Hannerman for suggesting this additional hotspot at Pymatuning State Park and for providing photos of the main beach and the adjacent small boat launch.

Columbiana County

Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail–Washingtonville Trailhead
Thanks to Barbara James for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail and in the Little Beaver Creek Important Bird Area

Lorain County

French Creek Reservation–Burrell Homestead
Thanks to Ben Meredyk for suggesting this additional hotspot at the French Creek Reservation

Ohio State University
Mansfield Campus

Richland County

Ohio State University Mansfield Campus–Bromfield Trail
Thanks to Gary Cowell for suggesting a hotspot for this walking path on the Ohio State University at Mansfield campus.

Stark County

Berlin Lake–German Church Road Boat Launch and Mudflats
Thanks to Jon Cefus for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Berlin Lakes System Important Bird Area

Williams County

Nettle Lake Sewage Ponds
Thanks to Zachary Frieben for suggesting this hotspot near Lake La Su An Wildlife Area


Photo by Craig DeCrane
Lucas County

Foxglove Meadow Park
Thanks to Craig DeCrane for adding photos and writing a description of birding at this park.

Summit County

Richfield Heritage Preserve
Thanks to Ken Andrews for adding a section about the spring migration season to the Guide to the Richfield Heritage Preserve

What’s New–May 11, 2019

New Feature

Blog Index
This index has links to all the blog posts with many tips about this website.

New eBird Hotspots

Ashland County

Mohican State Park–Hemlock Grove Campground
Thanks to Marcia Kinnard for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Mohican State Park.

Photo by Marc Hannerman

Ashtabula County

Phil Hillman Fishing Access
Thanks to Marc Hannerman for suggesting this hotspot and providing photos and tips for birding this locaiton.

Greene County

Zimmerman Prairie State Nature Preserve (restricted access)
Thanks to Bill Schieman for suggesting this hotspot in Greene County. A written permit is required to enter this state nature preserve. Permit application must be submitted 14 days prior to the visit.

Lucas County

Foxglove Meadow Park
Thanks to Craig DeCrane for suggesting this hotspot in Toledo.

Montgomery County

Pondview Park
Thanks to Alania Trump for suggesting this hotspot in Kettering.

Stark County

Lawndell Road Southwest
Thanks to Mark Stotzer for suggesting this hotspot on Sugar Creek. There is a Bald Eagle nest near the bridge that crosses Sugar Creek. Please view birds from the roadside only and do not disturb the nest.

Summit County

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–Center Road
Thanks to Karen Gray for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Washington County

Derby Road and Buchanan Road
Thanks to Terry Bronson for suggesting this hotspot.


Cuyahoga County
Summit County

Cuyahoga Valley National Park-Lower Cuyahoga River Important Bird Area
“Cuyahoga Valley National Park” has been added by Audubon to the name of this Important Bird Area. We have adjusted the name in this website and are working on getting the IBA polygon renamed in eBird. Thanks to Ann Chase for noting this name change.

Armleder Park
Photo by Ken Ostermiller

Hamilton County

Armleder Park
Ault Park
Added photos.

What’s New–May 4, 2019

Focus on . . .

Focus on Magee Marsh
Magee Marsh attracts birders from all over the world at this time of year. Check the Focus on . . . blog for all the information about birding there.

New eBird Hotspots

Butler County

Miami University–Helen S. Ruder Preserve
Thanks to Charlie Saunders for suggesting this additional hotspot at Miami University.

Columbiana County

Grimms Bridge
Thanks to Peter Wilson for suggesting this hotspot in the Little Beaver Creek Important Bird Area.

Washington County

Wayne National Forest–Newell Run Mouth
Because we added a hotspot below for Newell Run Road, we added “Mouth” to the name of this hotspot.
Wayne National Forest–Newell Run Road
Wayne National Forest–Number Nine Road
Wayne National Forest–Peggs Fork Run
Thanks to Michael Schramm for suggesting these new hotspots in the Wayne National Forest-Marietta Important Bird Area.

Wills Creek Lake

Wills Creek Lake lies along the Muskingum-Coshcoton county line. We have added hotspots and adjusted names of others in this area to help birders know where they are birding in relation to the county line.

Muskingum County

Most of the lake is in Muskingum County. The hotspot on the lake has the county name added to help birders know that when they submit checklists to the hotspot the birds are assigned to Muskingum County. A new hotspot has been added at the boat launch on OH-83.
Wills Creek Lake (Muskingum County)
Wills Creek Lake–Boat Launch

Coshocton County

The dam near the mouth of Wills Creek is in Coshocton County and a small section of the lake south of the dam is in the county. We have added a hotspot for the dam. Please report birds seen on the lake near the dam at this hotspot.
There are also two hotspots on nearby county or township roads. Township High 145 Pond was formerly named Wills Creek Pond. The new name better informs birders where the pond is located. There is a new hotspot on County Road 7 at a similar pond. Thanks to Nathan Mast for suggesting this hotspot and for providing tips for birding there.
Wills Creek Lake–Dam
County Road 7 Pond
Township Highway 145 Pond


Lynx Prairie Trailhead
Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Adams County

Edge of Appalachia Preserve
The Edge of Appalachia hotspot pages have all been updated with new maps and photos.
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Abner Hollow Road
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Buzzardroost Rock
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Lynx Prairie
The Lynx Prairie parking and trailhead has been moved to Cline Road. We have moved the hotspot and associated checklists to this new location.
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Wilderness Trail

Whipple State Nature Preserve
A map and photos have been added to the Whipple State Nature Preserve page.

Delaware County

Hoover Scenic Trail, Plumb Road to Wiese Road
Two hotspots have been combined. Thanks to Rob Thorn for suggesting that we merge Hoover Scenic Trail and Hoover Nature Preserve–Wiese Rd. together using the name above. The Scenic Trail follows the route of the old Wiese Road and Rob pointed out that birders have been using the “Wiese Rd.” location for the whole trail for some time. I kept the road name in the hotspot to help birders who have been using it to recognize that it is the appropriate hotspot.

Medina County

Westfield Center Village Park
Added a photo to the page.