May is without a doubt the best overall month for birding in our region and probably the rest of the USA as well. It is during this month that the greatest diversity and the most species are present. During May, spring migration peaks for many species and summer residents have returned in force. And the Oxbow and lower Great Miami River valley is a great place to find them. So birds will certainly be the focus of this morning trip.
Dave Helm, our trip leader, is a skilled veteran birder and naturalist and long-time Oxbow advocate. Dave has always been a regular visitor to the Oxbow and knows the area well. Dave’s experience will certainly come in handy as birds should be abundant and vocal on this date.
We should see numbers of raptors (eagles, osprey, and hawks), herons and egrets, terns (possible), shorebirds, and migrant and resident warblers and many other songbirds over the course of the morning. Dave plans to bird around Oxbow Lake, but he will likely spend a good portion of the morning at Lost Bridge and the Shawnee Lookout side of the river to take full advantage of the diverse bird life moving through the area around this date.
Much of this trip will be on foot, but walking will be easy to moderate and at a birders pace. As always, be prepared for muddy spots, especially if conditions have been wet. For your comfort you may want to consider bringing water, sun screen and insect repellent. It goes without saying that binoculars are necessary for seeing small birds. A motor vehicle permit ($10 annual, $3 daily) is required at Shawnee Lookout (Great Parks). Restrooms are available at Shawnee Lookout or nearby businesses. Feel free to contact Dave if you have any questions.
To reach the Oxbow, take I-275 to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana exit. Turn left onto U.S. 50 at the end of the exit ramp, and proceed about a hundred yards. Turn left onto an unmarked road just past the Shell station. Turn right at the “T” intersection, then left to the meeting spot at the next “T”.