Hueston Woods State Park needs little to no introduction to Cincinnati area birders, but if you’re new to town or haven’t had a chance to check it out, this roughly 3,000 acre park built around Acton Lake (which was created by damming Four Mile Creek) attracts a variety of migrating and breeding birds. The park straddles the Butler County and Preble County lines. In addition to the open water habitat of Acton Lake, there are large wooded areas, including Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve, a 200-acre virgin forest located on the south side of Acton Lake. The shallow waters near the field trip meeting spot, where Little Four Mile Creek enters Acton Lake, attract a variety of waders, dabbling ducks, and other waterfowl, and shorebirds if conditions are right. Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, ought to be easy to find; possibly gulls, terns, Osprey, Bald Eagle, and both vulture species will be found as well. This is also an excellent place to find Pileated Woodpecker. Other highlights will include wildflowers and, if the weather cooperates, butterflies and other insects. This field trip will involve some driving to different viewing spots, as well as hiking over unpaved trails.
We’ve been eager to have Sam Fitton lead a Bird Club field trip, and are happy to have him available to lead a trip to one of Sam’s “local patches.” Originally from Hamilton, Sam now lives near Oxford. As a professional field biologist, Sam has worked for the Bureau of Land Management, and has volunteered as a habitat surveyor with the Three Valley Conservation Trust.
Sam was an important advocate on behalf of the effort to preserve the grassland habitat at the Voice of America Park. He has personally mowed and helped clear honeysuckle patches at Gilmore Ponds in an effort to open up habitat for edge-loving birds and to aid the bird banding migration station at the preserve. Additionally, Sam is an experienced bird bander and an excellent and knowledgeable field birder. We are happy to introduce Sam to the Cincinnati birding community, and look forward to this Hueston Woods field trip.