Join our trip leader Ann Oliver for what should be a great day of spring birding in one of our region’s best birding sites. Ann is an ASO advocate and a past board member. She is also a skilled, experienced and ardent birder and she doesn’t miss much. And that’s a good thing, because spring migration will be near peak on this date and birds should be abundant. Our destination for this trip is located in the extreme northeast corner of Warren County, Ohio. Spring Valley Wildlife Area (SVWA) is made up of 842 acres of riparian woodland, fields and brushy areas situated along the banks of the upper Little Miami River. It is noted for its excellent marsh (150 acres) and wetlands and represents one of the few remaining large wetlands in our region. The nearby Caesar Creek State Park has over 7900 acres of varied habitat including a 2830 acre lake.
Ann plans to begin the day at the swimming beach at Caesar Creek State Park and expects to find a few species that are easier to find here than at Spring Valley later in the morning. These would include loons, gulls, terns and a few shorebirds. From there Ann plans to drive directly to the nearby Spring Valley Wildlife Area.
Ann plans to spend the rest of the morning walking the trails around and through the marsh and woodlands at SVWA. The trail is a loop of over a mile but is level for the most part. Parts of the trail can be wet (we are in a marsh after all), so wear appropriate footwear. Ann has had great success attracting rails along the boardwalk in the marsh but it is likely that the boardwalk will be closed in the future. We still hope to get some good looks at Sora and Virginia Rails. Migrant and returning resident songbirds, including many species of warblers, should be plentiful, vocal and near peak on this date. Other species that can be expected on this trip include rails, bitterns, waders, shorebirds, marsh birds, terns, loons, waterfowl, several species of hawks, including eagles and osprey (both of which nest in the area) and a diverse number of song birds. If time allows, Ann may take a look at the nearby and usually productive Roxanna gravel pits as well.
This trip is scheduled for the last day of April, one day before May 1st. This is the best time of the year to get out birding, so consider joining Ann for what we expect will be a really great spring day. The trip will end sometime in the early afternoon, so pack a lunch and plan accordingly. Caesar Creek SP has plenty of restroom facilities but Spring Valley only offers primitive accommodations. Binoculars are essential on this trip. Feel free to contact Ann if you have any questions.
Directions: To get to the Caesar Creek State Park swimming beach from Cincinnati, take I-71 north to the State Route 73 exit # 45. Turn left/west onto Rt. 73 and go about 5 miles. After crossing the Rt. 73 Bridge over Caesar Creek Lake, turn right at the State Park entrance and follow the signs to the swimming beach parking lot.
Spring Valley Wildlife Area Link
Caesar Creek State Park & Directions Link