Ken Ostermiller

57 posts

What’s New–Current

New
Ohio Birding Day Hikes

Battelle Darby Teal and Harrier Trails
Cowan Lake Trails
Deer Creek State Park Trails
Forked Run State Park Trails
Geneva State Park Trails
Goll Woods Trails
Kendrick Woods Trails
Marion Tallgrass Trail Holland Road Trailhead
Salt Fork State Park Trails
Shawnee Prairie Trails
The Ridges Trails
Wolf Run State Park Trails

Updates

Harrison County

In order to make them work better with the new Clendening Lake Road Trails day hikes, we have made some adjustments to hotspot names located on the Buckeye Trail in this area.
Clendening Lake–Buckeye Trail, North of Brushy Fork Bay
Formerly there were two hotspots, Clendening Lake–Buckeye Trail North Side East and Clendening Lake–Buckeye Trail North Side West. We have combined these and added Brushy Creek Bay to better identify the location.
Clendening Lake–Buckeye Trail, South of Brushy Fork Bay
This was formerly Clendening Lake–Buckeye Trail South Side. The new name more clearly identifies the location.

What’s New–June 15, 2019

Irwin Prairie

New
Ohio Birding Day Hikes

Augusta-Anne Olsen Trails
Barnes Preserve Trails
Blackhand Gorge Marie Hickey Trail
Buck Creek State Park Prairie View Trails
Burnet Woods Trails
Caesar Creek Gorge Trail
Clendening Lake Road Trails
East Fork Lake Trails
Frohring Meadows Trails
Gilmore Ponds Trails
Glacier Ridge Trails
Glen Helen Preserve Inman Trail
Holmes County Trail Depot Station to Walmart
Hubbard Valley Trails
Hueston Woods Sycamore and Pine Loop Trails
Ira Road Beaver Marsh Towpath Trail
Irwin Prairie Trail
Killdeer Plains Old County Highway 75
Lake Erie Bluffs Trails
Lake Medina Trails
Lawrence Woods Trails
Meadowbrook Marsh Trails
Munroe Falls Tallmadge Meadow Trail
Pickerel Creek Pump House Dikes
Pike Lake Trails
Rocky River Nature Center Trails
Sandy Ridge Wet Woods and Marsh Loop
Sheldon Marsh Trails
Station Road Trails
Stillwater Prairie Trails
Tar Hollow Logan Trail
Wilderness Center Pond Trail
Wintergarden Woods Trails
Wooster Memorial Park Spangler Trail

Ohio Birding Day Hikes, a new feature of the website, is under development.

I need your help. I would like to add at least one Birding Day Hike for each county in Ohio. I would like to add hikes suggested by Ohio birders. Please use the contact form to let me know if you have a good hike in your county that we should add.

Mohican State Park Covered Bridge

New eBird Hotspots

Portage County

Shaw Woods Park
Thanks to Jessica Winchell for suggesting this hotspot in Portage County.

Ross County

Tar Hollow State Forest–Logan Trail
This new hotspot is located where the Buckeye Trail intersects the Logan Trail in Tar Hollow State Forest. Submit checklists to this hotspot if you hike the Tar Hollow Logan Trail day hike.

Updates

Ashland County

Mohican State Park–Covered Bridge
Mohican State Park–Pleasant Hill Trail
Added photos to these two hotspot pages.

Medina County

Hinckley Reservation–Redwing Cabin Picnic Area
Thanks to Alex Garrote for providing photos and tips for birding this new hotspot.

Photo by Alex Garrote

Preble County

Hueston Woods State Park–Sycamore and Pine Loop Trails
This hotspot was set up for the Sycamore Trail and we have added the Pine Loop Trail to it. The Pine Loop Trail is adjacent and together they make a 2-mile hike in this section of the park.

Warren County

Caesar Creek Gorge
This hotspot was previously named “Caesar Creek SP–Gorge Trail Loop.” The trail is actually within the Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Area and may be access from the state park on the east or from the state nature area parking on the west. This hotspot may be used for checklists when hiking the Caesar Creek Gorge Trail.

What’s New–June 8, 2019

New Feature

Clear Fork Mohican River
Mohican State Park
Ohio Birding Day Hikes

Ash Cave Trails
Beaver Creek Vondergreen Trail
Brandywine Gorge Trail
Buzzardroost Rock Trail
Caldwell Nature Preserve Trails
Chippewa Inlet Trail North Loop
Christmas Rocks Trails
Cincinnati Nature Center Redwing Loop
Clear Creek Fern, Hemlock, Cemetery Ridge Trails
Clear Creek Lake Trail
Clear Fork Mohican River Loop
Fort Hill Trails
Lamping Homestead Trail
Mill Creek Gorge Trail Loop
Monroe Overlook Trail Loop
Quail Hollow Loop

Ohio Birding Day Hikes, a new feature of the website, is under development.

I need your help. I would like to add at least one Birding Day Hike for each county in Ohio. I would like to add hikes suggested by Ohio birders. Please use the contact form to let me know if you have a good hike in your county that we should add.

New eBird Hotspots

Columbiana County

Beaver Creek State Park–Vondergreen Trail
This hotspot was added in Beaver Creek State Park to accept checklists on the Vondergreen Trail day hike. This state park is in the Little Beaver Creek Important Bird Area.

Geauga County

Veterans Legacy Woods
Thanks to Cory Chiappone for suggesting this hotspot at a newly opened Geauga County Park which was formerly the Wicked Woods Golf Course.

Greene County

Garland Reserve
Thanks to Lee Funderburg for suggesting this new hotspot.

Mahoning County

Mill Creek Park–East Gorge Trail
This new hotspot in the Mill Creek Park was added with the new Birding Day Hikes feature to accommodate checklists submitted on the Mill Creek Gorge Trail Loop hike.

Medina County

Hinckley Reservation–Redwing Cabin Picnic Area
Thanks to Alex Garrote for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Hinckley Reservation and the Rocky River-East Branch Important Bird Area.

Updates

Clark County

Tecumseh Trail
We have moved the marker for the hotspot to the entrance of the Tecumseh Trail in Smith Park to make the coordinates easier to use with finding the location using a GPS or smartphone.

Franklin County

Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus
Updated page with a “birding map” from the Green Lawn Cemetery webpage.

Johnson Woods Nature Preserve
Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Wayne County

Added photos to these pages.
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area–Angling Road
Johnson Woods Nature Preserve
Wecht Road

New Maps

Added maps showing all the hotspots in these state parks or wildlife areas.

Butler County
Preble County

Hueston Woods State Park

Clark County

Buck Creek State Park

Clermont County

East Fork State Park

Cuyahoga County

Bedford Reservation

Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area

Lucas County

Maumee Bay State Park
Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area

Marion County

Big Island Wildlife Area

Ottawa County

East Harbor State Park

Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area

Wayne County
Holmes County

Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area

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
Blachleyville
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

Updates

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.

Updates

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

Updates

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.

Updates

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.