The Old Highland Stone Gravel Pits are a hidden birding gem. In the winter the pits host many ducks and geese as well as Sandhill Cranes. Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles are common and the pits are home to quite a few other raptors. A visit on February 1 produced many ducks, Sandhill Cranes, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagles, Eastern Meadowlarks and much more.
From the gravel pits we will continue on to Rocky Fork State Park. At Rocky Fork we will look for waterfowl and raptors. A Red-necked and Eared Grebe have been present at Rocky Fork since December 28,2019 and both were still present on February 1, 2020. With any luck they will still be there on February 15. Along with these two grebes there were also Pied-billed and Horned Grebes. Lots of ducks were there as well as three juvenile Bald Eagles and a Merlin.
Directions to the meeting place: We will meet in the parking lot of the Marathon Gas Station in Fayetteville , Ohio. From Fayetteville we will move on to the Old Highland Stone Gravel Pits near Hillsboro, Ohio. From I-275 at the Milford Parkway/US 50 Exit # 59, take US 50 east for about 20 miles to the intersection of US 68 in Fayetteville, Ohio. The Marathon Station is located on the NW corner. Meet in the Parking Lot but park away from the front doors if possible.
Note: Restrooms are available at the gas station in Fayetteville. The next restrooms are on Rt. 50 just before we arrive at the gravel pits, Hillsboro and at Rocky Fork State Park. The meeting place can be found on Google Maps: Marathon Gas