East Fork State Park

This field trip will focus on early spring migration and particularly waterfowl.. Our trip leader, Bill Stanley, is a skilled and veteran birder and experienced naturalist. Bill is a long time ASO advocate and current board member and newsletter editor of the Cincinnati Bird Club. Many of you know Bill who has led many field trips for several local conservation organizations over the years. While East Fork State Park is a well known birding destination in the Greater Cincinnati area, few people know the area as well as Bill does. East Fork happens to be Bill’s “local patch” as he virtually lives right next door to this large 4,870 acre State Park which is located in Clermont County, Ohio.

So why not shake off some cabin fever and come out and join Bill for what should prove to be a great day afield. Waterfowl should still be near peak. The parks 2,100 acre Harsha Lake is a proven magnet for a great diversity of waterfowl and water birds and has a well earned reputation for turning up rarities. A diversity of waterfowl (ducks, geese and swans) should be seen as should loons, grebes, gulls and other water related species. Several species of raptors should be seen, including Bald Eagles. The local breeding eagles should be on nests by now but migrant eagles should also be around. Many resident species and late winter song birds should still be around and several species of early migrant songbirds such as Rusty Blackbirds and Brown Thrasher can also be expected. Signs of spring should be everywhere and Bill will not ignore the other wildlife we are certain to see.

Bill plans to cover the swimming beach, the dam area and several other locations on the south side of the park and lake. Bill will center on the lake but also plans to bird other habitats in the Park. This will entail driving to various locations around the park interspersed with several short walks and lakeside viewing. While we may walk a bit, it will be moderate and at a leisurely pace over mostly level ground and roadsides. Bill expects to stay at it until noon, but if birding is good the trip could last a bit longer. Restrooms are available in the park. Late March can still be very cold, especially when standing in a wind next to a lake, so dress accordingly. If you expect to see birds well, binoculars are essential. Scopes make the difference when viewing waterfowl on a lake so if you have one, bring it. If you don’t have a scope Bill and other birders will be more than glad to share looks through theirs. Packing something to drink and a snack is always a good idea. If you have any questions feel free to contact Bill.

Directions: We will meet at the watercraft office on the south side of East Fork State Park. To get there, enter the park from the south side as if you were heading toward the beach. The park office will be on the right. To get to the south side entrance to East Fork SP from I-275 take exit # 65, SR 125 (Beechmont Ave./Ohio Pike) and go east about 9 miles to the junction of Rt. 222. Turn left onto Bantam Rd. (opposite Rt. 222) and follow the signs to the park entrance.

Visit the East Fork State Park website for a Park map and other info at:
http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/eastfork

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