Plants & Birds, Summer Biodiversity in the Oxbow

The focus of this field trip will be two fold; exploring the diverse plant life of the Oxbow as well as its breeding birds. But rest assured that other wildlife seen will not be ignored. Our two co-leaders are more than able to find and identify all of this diversity. Dr. Denis Conover is an Oxbow Inc. board member, a UC professor, and skilled botanist and naturalist. Denis has conducted vascular plant surveys in the Oxbow since 1997 and to date has identified over 400 species, just in the Oxbow proper. Jack Stenger is an outstanding and skilled birder and life-long Oxbow Inc. advocate. He is a Ph.D. student at UC and is also the current Vice-President of the Cincinnati Bird Club. Between the two of them they will have the plants and birds covered. So why not come out and join our trip leaders. Denis and Jack, for what should be a pleasant one day short of summer morning walk in the Oxbow

The Oxbow is well known to local birders and naturalists. It is also an outstanding example of citizen conservation efforts. Oxbow Inc. was formed in 1986 by dedicated individuals to protect and preserve this bottomland/wetland habitat situated at the mouth of the Great Miami and Ohio Rivers. To date their efforts have preserved well over 1000 acres. The Oxbow is well known for the spring and fall migrations of waterfowl and other water birds, and rightly so. But the flora and fauna of the Oxbow is diverse and often overlooked during the summer months. Denis and Jack plan to spend the morning looking at the diversity of plants found in the Oxbow as well as looking and listening for the abundant bird life at the peak of the breeding season. Denis will help us discover and identify the great variety of plants and answer all of our questions and Jack will help us find many birds and also focus us onto bird song and vocalizations. Denis and Jack have wide interests in nature and other fauna seen on this trip will be duly noted.

While the walking will mostly be slow and over flat terrain, Denis says that participants should be prepared for a lot of walking and suggests wearing long pants and boots for walking in tall grass and possibly mud (it is the Oxbow after all). June can be hot, so you might also consider bringing sunscreen and water to insure a comfortable trip. You don’t need binoculars to see plants, but if you want to see birds well you will need them. There are no restrooms available in the Oxbow, but there are plenty of nearby businesses with public facilities. Figure the trip will last 3 to 4 hours. Denis says that rain will not stop the trip. If you have any questions feel free to contact Denis or Jack.

Directions:

To reach the upper Oxbow parking area from I-275, take I-275 to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana US 50 Exit # 16. Follow the long exit ramp and turn left (south/west) onto US 50. Very shortly, about 300 yards, turn left onto an unmarked road (Walnut Street), which is wedged between a Shell/Subway and a Waffle House (and is easily missed). Follow Walnut Street over the levee to where the road T’s. There will be a fence for a recycling business directly in front of you. Turn right and go to the Oxbow entrance sign. Turn left into the Oxbow. The upper parking area is immediately on the right.

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