Findlay Birding Drive

Ohio Birding Drives
Ohio Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.

Findlay Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots around Findlay in Hancock County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Hancock County

Findlay Water Pollution Control Center
South River Road
Findlay, Ohio 45840

From Findlay take Main Street North. Turn left onto Defiance Avenue for .6 mile. Make a slight left onto Howard Street for .2 mile. Turn left onto Broad Avenue and go .2 mile. Turn right onto South River Road. Arrive at the Findlay Water Pollution Control Center in .2 mile.

This hotspot can be used to report checklists for the treatment facilities, the grounds surrounding, the Blanchard River from Broad Avenue west to Interstate 75, and the now-closed sludge pits.

The Blanchard River at this spot is often the last open water in Hancock County in winter. The effluent into the river has never completely frozen up. In mid to late winter, huge numbers of Canada Geese can be found, as well as Mallards, a smattering of other ducks, Cackling Geese occasionally, and Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers.
From Bob Sams

Maple Grove Cemetery
1120 West Main Cross Street
Findlay, Ohio 45840

From the Findlay Water Pollution Control Center, drive southeast on South River Road toward Broad Avenue. Turn right onto Broad Avenue and go .4 miles. Turn right onto River Street and go .3 miles. Turn left into Maple Grove Cemetery. These directions take you to the back entrance to the cemetery. The main entrance is on West Main Cross Street.

Nearly 150 bird species have been reported at this cemetery.

Riverbend Recreation Area
16618 Township Road 208
Findlay, Ohio 45840

From Maple Grove Cemetery exit the cemetery by turning left onto West Main Cross Street and drive .9 miles. Turn right onto South Main Street for .1 mile. Turn left onto East Sandusky Street and go 2 miles. Continue straight onto OH-586 and drive 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Trail 241 and go .2 mile. Turn left onto Township Road 208 and go .2 mile. Turn left into the main parking area for Riverbend Recreation Area.

Hancock Park District’s first county park opened for America’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1976 providing year-round recreational opportunities. Once said to be a Native American camp along the “big bend” of the Blanchard, the area has been a patchwork of floodplain, forest, and farmland. Now a unique habitat for wildlife, the scenery at Riverbend offers recreation for fun and fitness every day.
From Riverbend Recreation Area webpage

Younger Property Grasslands
Findlay, Ohio 45840

From the Riverbend Recreation Area turn left onto Marion Township Road 208 and drive .4 mile. Continue straight onto Marion Township Road 207.

Bird the land adjacent to this road from your vehicle. Marion Township Road 207 turns left and crosses the Blanchard River. Turn right on Township Road 244 and continue to watch for birds in the grasslands.

These township roads traverse private lands. Please, view birds from the roadside only.

Findlay Reservoirs
Findlay, Ohio 45840

From the end of Township Road 244, turn right onto Township Road 205 and drive .6 mile. Turn right into the parking area and boat ramp for Reservoir #1. See the map of the reservoirs for parking with access to the dike trail in several places around the reservoirs.

Tips for specific bird groups:
Waterfowl — Use a scope from each of the boat ramps. Walking the dike between the two reservoirs is productive (and extremely cold) in poor weather.
Gulls — A scope from the boat ramp of #2 (the largest reservoir). Also, scoping from the eastern parking lot of #2 (locally known as Butternut) can be productive early in the morning.
Shorebirds — Park at #1 boat ramp and walk the small reservoir. The total distance is 1.9 miles, but practically all shorebirds (except for Spotted Sandpipers) are seen on the center dike.

Note: Dressing for the weather is especially important. This location is easily the windiest location in the county, and the weather can change quickly. From personal experience, if you are on the center dike, you cannot get back to your car quickly when rain, sleet, snow, or thunderstorms hit.
From Bob Sams

Clay Pits
Clay Pits–Strawbridge Pond
Clay Pits–West of Township Road 227
Blue Rock Nature Preserve

Findlay, Ohio 45840

From the Findlay Reservoirs, drive on Township Road 205 west for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto OH-37 west and go .8 mile. Turn left onto Sixth Street for .3 mile. Turn left onto Williams Street and drive 1 mile. Continue straight onto Township Road 227 and arrive at the Clay Pits.

There are three eBird hotspots in this area. Please, use the appropriate one to submit checklists for the birds you see.

The Clay Pits area, located immediately southeast of Findlay, is a shallow strip-mined area created to provide “Blue” clay for clay shooting targets for the Remington Company in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Now long abandoned, these strip mines represent the largest area of wetlands in Hancock County and the surrounding region.

This area is roughly bordered by County Road 180 on the east, Park Street to the west, just north of Olive Street to the north, and Township Road 201 to the south.

Please note that with the exception of Blue Rock Nature Preserve in the extreme northwest part of the area, almost all of the Clay Pits area is private property. Please respect property rights. Do not enter private properties and bird from the roadside only.
From Bob Sams