Note that this will be a weekday field trip, scheduled for Monday morning May 6th. Hopefully some of us that can’t make the usual weekend field trips will get an opportunity to get out on this one. The rest of us can just skip work or cut classes that day. And what a day this will likely turn out to be.
Spring songbird migration will be near peak that morning and both, residents and migrant songbirds should abound. The first week of May is a beautiful time of year highlighted by mild temperatures, leafing trees and spring blooms. Our trip leader will be Jack Stenger. Jack is an expert birder, a skilled naturalist and a long time ASO advocate. His field skills, particularly his recognition of bird calls and songs, are off the charts. With Jacks help we expect to see (and hear) many species of warblers as well as many other songbirds including flycatchers, vireos, swallows, thrushes, tanagers, sparrows, grosbeaks, buntings and orioles among others. Hawks, cuckoos, hummingbirds and woodpeckers will be present and even Wild Turkeys are likely.
Mt. Airy Forest is a large City of Cincinnati Park that consists of 1,459 acres of mostly woodlands that range from mature forest, mixed conifer-deciduous woodlands, pine groves, woodland edges, tree lined streams open park land and an arboretum. There are miles of hiking trails and roadsides, making birding access easy. Mt. Airy also acts as a “migrant trap” during spring and fall, as from the sky this large “island” of green stands out from the surrounding urban sea and thus attracts many birds.
Jack’s plan is to walk and bird around at least a few different sections of the park, beginning at the well marked and very obvious Everybody’s Tree House. Other than to move from one section of the park to another, this trip will consist mostly of walking. Most of the area is relatively flat and walking will be at a leisurely birders pace. Restrooms are available. If you expect to see birds binoculars are required. Water, a hat, sunscreen and comfortable shoes will make your walk more enjoyable. The trip will break up around noon. If you have any questions feel free to contact Jack.
Directions: Mt. Airy Forest is located at 5083 Colerain Avenue. To get to our meeting spot from the Mt. Airy Forest Colerain entrance, turn into the park onto Blue Spruce Road. Immediately turn left onto Trail Ridge Road and drive .4 tenths of a mile to the parking lot for the Tree House.
Visit the Mt. Airy Forest website for further information.