Fernald Preserve has a great diversity of habitats that include grassland, weedy fields, marshes, ponds, savannah, woodland, pine plantings and riparian corridor all of which attract a great number of birds and other wildlife. Much of the 1050 acres at Fernald Preserve is open country. While this will be a general birding field trip our focus will be the grasslands and successional areas found at the preserve and the specialized species of birds that use those habitats.
Our leader, Brian Wulker, is a very skilled and knowledgeable birder and is now on the staff of Fernald Preserve. Brian knows the area inside and out so we can be sure we won’t miss much. Brian plans to spend the morning covering a number of sections of the preserve, so this trip will consist of a good amount of walking roadsides and trails, but the terrain is relatively flat and even. This trip will end by noon.
Due to the grassland and open habitats at Fernald a number of species of birds that are found there in decent numbers are scarce or absent from many other areas of the tri-state. Some of the species we expect to see include Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Eastern Kingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Chat and Orchard Oriole. There is even a good chance for both Sedge Wren and Marsh Wren. Henslow’s Sparrows have been reported nearby and if time permits Brian may make a side trip to look for them. As I said before, Fernald offers a diversity of other habitats and Brian won’t ignore any other birds or wildlife we find as we move about the area.
Restrooms and water are available at the Visitor Center. This is the middle of summer so we can expect the day to be hot. Sunscreen, insect repellant and carrying your own water will make for a more comfortable trip. If you expect to see birds you will need binoculars. Feel free to contact Brian if you have any questions.
Directions: Fernald Preserve is located in Northwestern Hamilton County. The entrance is located on Wiley Road about ¼ of a mile west of State Route 128. Follow the entrance road to where it ends at the Visitor Center.