Shawnee State Forest OOS 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 The Ohio Ornithological Society for the description of this birding drive.
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot in a new tab or window. You can click on the thumbnail maps below to view a larger version in a new window or tab.
Shawnee State Forest–Pond Lick Road
Begin at the intersection of OH-125 and Pond Lick Road (Forest Road 1). A good first stop is usually at the bridge just after the intersection. This is a good place for Yellow-throated and Yellow Warblers. The house on the left usually maintains feeders that often attract sparrows, juncos, and other common birds which can be seen from the road. You may also locate hummingbird feeders here in the backyard. As you continue up the road, you will come to a large stand of pine trees on the left. This is a good area for Ovenbirds, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, and Yellow-throated Warbler. Cerulean and Black-throated Green Warblers can often be heard singing on the hillside. Continuing on, the road will go through both woods and some fields. Frequent stops should be made as a variety of birds can be found in this area. The fields can sometimes have Wild Turkeys feeding in them. Further up the road, you will come to the site of a former CCC Camp. You can park in the large gravel lot on the left. There is usually a pair of Eastern Phoebes nesting under the eaves of the cabin. This area will often have a singing Pine Warbler (don’t confuse it with the chipping sparrows that also occur here) and the sycamores may provide good looks at a Yellow-throated Warbler or a Louisiana Waterthrush along the creek. Spend some time wandering this area as the edge habitat here often produces good birds. Just past the camp is Pond-Lick Lake. The brushy margins between the road and lake provide good habitat for American Redstarts and Grey Catbirds.
The hillside to the left can hold a nice variety of birds, so spend some time in this area as well. From here the road starts to wander up to the ridge. Habitat along this stretch can be good for Worm-eating Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Wood Thrush, and several Vireo species. At the top of the ridge, you will come to an intersection which can be good for Black and White Warblers and often a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker can be found here. Close your Pond Lick Road eBird checklist and open a new one for Forest Road 2.
Shawnee State Forest–Forest Road 2
Take the right fork on the road (Forest Road 2) and continue along the ridge, making frequent stops to listen for Cerulean Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. This ridge road will wind along and eventually come to a parking area with a cleared overlook. The pine trees that are still standing in the overlook area usually host a nesting pair of Pine Warblers. This overlook provides a nice vantage point for locating soaring raptors. On a good spring morning, this route will take 5-6 hours to complete and will provide great looks at a nice variety of birds.