Funk Bottoms Birding Drive
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.
Thanks to Su Snyder for the description of this drive.
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area is made up of nearly 2000 acres, starting in Wayne County and continuing west into Ashland County. Most of the property is a lowland and is easily flooded.
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area
From the wildlife observation platform, located off OH-95, you can observe a large area of wetland, especially if you have a spotting scope. Huge numbers of waterfowl stop here during spring migration. Check the large Canada Goose flocks carefully for Greater White-fronted Goose and Snow Goose. Large flocks of Tundra Swans have also been seen here. Shorebirds, sometimes numbering in the thousands, stop when water levels are suitable. With luck, you’ll see Sandhill Cranes flying over or feeding in the fields. In winter, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, and occasionally Short-eared Owls are present. A very primitive walking trail starts at the platform but is sometimes underwater.
From the observation platform lane, turn right onto OH-95. There are only a few safe parking pull-offs on this road. Check out both sides of the road for waterfowl and shorebirds.
Continue on OH-95 and turn right onto South Elyria Road. A few miles down the road, at 3875 South Elyria Road, is a Scotts Miracle-Gro sod plant. Behind this property, Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds, and waterfowl can found. Stay out if the plant is closed. If the plant is open, you can go inside and sign in to let them know you are there. Otherwise, you will be trespassing.
Continue on South Elyria Road and turn right onto Wilderness Road. All the property along this road is privately owned. Seasonally, you may want to check out feeders at the first house. Also, check the fields on the right side of the road for Ring-necked Pheasants. A Sedge Wren was found here the spring of 2003. Further down this road, watch the lowlands on both sides for waterfowl and shorebirds.
After stopping at the end of Swartzwalder Road, go straight and merge with Funk Road which then curves to the right. Turn right onto Wilderness Road and search the fields in the winter and early spring for Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs. Please remember that this is all private property.
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area–Funk Road
Turn around at Clay Plant Road and back-track on Wilderness Road. Turn right onto Funk Road and continue on north, past the Village of Funk. Check out the marshes and flooded fields on both sides of the road.
Ashland County Road 1950
Turn left onto Angling Road. Veer to the left onto County Road 1950 and go past the golf course. Just before the crossroads at County Road 175, check both sides of the fields for shorebirds. Turn right onto County Road 175 to reach US-30, or you can turn left on County Road 175 and drive around the block, with a left turn onto County Road 2000 and another left turn onto OH-95. This will take you back into the village of Funk.