May is without a doubt the best overall month for birding in our region. It is during this month that the greatest diversity of birds and the most species are present. During May, spring migration peaks for many species heading north and summer residents have returned in force. The Oxbow and Shawnee Lookout Park, along with the lower Great Miami River valley, are a great place to find them. So birds will certainly be the focus of this morning trip.
Our trip leader, Dave Helm, is an exceptionally skilled veteran birder, naturalist and long-time ASO advocate. Dave has always been a regular visitor to these areas and knows them 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, shorebirds, migrant and resident warblers, and many other songbirds over the course of the morning. Dave plans to start around Oxbow Lake, but will move over to Shawnee Lookout where he will likely spend a good portion of the morning. Dave will also stop at Lost Bridge along the way.
Much of this trip will be on foot, but walking will mostly be easy to moderate and at a birders pace. As always, be prepared. Comfortable shoes, a hat, water, sun screen and insect repellent all may make your trip more comfortable. It goes without saying that binoculars are necessary for seeing small birds. A motor vehicle permit (residents $10 annual, $5 daily, non-residents $15 annual. $8 daily) is required at Shawnee Lookout (Great Parks). Restrooms are available at Shawnee Lookout. Feel free to contact Dave if you have any questions.
Direction to the Oxbows upper parking lot:
To reach the upper Oxbow parking area, go south on US Hwy 50 from the I-275 #16 exit. In about 200 yards, turn left (east) at the edge of the Shell/Subway (between the Shell and Waffle House) and go over the levee to where the road T’s with a fence 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.
Visit the Shawnee Lookout website for further info.
Visit the Oxbow Inc. website for further info.