The theme of this field trip will be wintering and early spring migrant waterfowl (and other water birds) in an urban setting. It might surprise some that the Great Miami Riverfront in Fairfield and Hamilton, Ohio can be an excellent place to see waterfowl, gulls and other water birds during the cold seasons. In fact the colder the better, as the Great Miami remains at least partially open even when other local reservoirs, lakes and ponds freeze over. When these conditions exist, the river can host hundreds of water birds. During mild winters, when all of our lakes and ponds are open and free of ice, the Great Miami still sees its share of water birds and usually has a few surprises.
Our trip leader, Mike Busam, is a skilled and veteran birder, naturalist and long time ASO advocate. Bill lives in this area and has birded for many years along the Great Miami in Hamilton and Fairfield and knows the best spots and how to access them. Mike expects to find a variety of waterfowl and other water birds on this trip as well as a few raptors including Bald Eagles. A diversity of other seasonal species is also likely to be found.
Mike expects to visit several spots along the river, driving from one site to the next. But in between stops Mike also expects to walk for a good portion of the morning. Walking will mostly be along hike/bike paths or trails and will generally be level. Be warned, it will likely be cold and damp so wear good waterproof footwear and dress warmly. Binoculars will be necessary if you expect to see birds well. Restrooms are available in the area. The trip should end before noon. If you have any questions feel free to contact Mike.
Our meeting spot is located at the Riverside Natural Area, a City of Hamilton property located at 2541 River Road Hamilton Ohio. To reach the Riverside Natural Area from I-275, take the Route 4 exit #41. Go north on Route 4 for about 5.2 miles until you reach the traffic light at Symmes Road. Turn left onto Symmes Road and go about 1.3 miles to River Road. At River Road turn right. You will pass Joyce Park on the left before coming to a 3-Way intersection where St. Clair Avenue runs into River Road. Stay left on River Road. The next traffic light (about 1 mile) marks the intersection of River Road and Fairview Ave., the road that leads to Riverside Natural Area. Turn left onto Fairview Ave. and drive about 300 yards until you reach the parking lot at the site of the Hamilton Utilities Department facility.
Link to the Riverside Natural Area website
Link to an ASO description of Riverside Natural Area