Weekday Morning Birding Trip

This trip will be a bit out of the ordinary as it is scheduled during mid-week. Most of our field trips are scheduled on weekends but this trip may appeal to those who have more diverse schedules.

The 230-acre Middle Creek Park, a Boone County Parks property, is nestled in the wooded hills of western Boone County, Kentucky. Spring migration will be near peak by this date, but at least 13 species of warblers and many other song birds breed in this Park and along Middle Creek. Middle Creek Road parallels Middle Creek for about 2 miles until the road peters out near the Boone County Cliffs Preserve, a Nature Conservancy Property. We believe the Preserve is closed to the public at this time, but birding along Middle Creek Road can be phenomenal.

The whole region is forested and contains some old-growth forest habitat reliable for breeding Worm-eating Warblers which is generally rare in most of our region. Other breeding forest birds are also expected, including Broad-winged Hawk, Cerulean, Hooded and Kentucky Warblers, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush and both tanagers. Middle Creek, which flows through the area, is loaded with Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers and numerous other breeding birds. Prairie Warblers & Yellow-breasted Chats are common in adjacent successional areas.

Ann Oliver, our trip leader, is an experienced and skilled birder and long-time ASO advocate. Ann plans to spend some time walking and birding the trails at Middle Creek Park, then drive, making several stops along picturesque Middle Creek Road. Middle Creek Road is an excellent birding spot, but it is narrow and has limited space to pull off. Nonetheless we should be able to walk a good bit of this lovely secluded road.

In past years we sometimes made the steep climb up the Boone County Cliffs preserve, but as I mentioned above, the Preserve may still be closed to the public. So making that climb is not in our plans on this trip. So if the thought of that strenuous climb was keeping you from participating, rest assured that the walking on this trip would be classed as moderate, not strenuous. Note also that there are no restrooms in any of these places. If nature calls you’ll have to drive back to civilization or find a quiet spot. The trip will probably run to about noon. Contact Ann if you have any questions.

Directions to Middle Creek Park:
From I-75: from I-75 take Kentucky 18, exit # 18, at Florence and go west. When you reach Burlington, KY, continue for 6.5 miles to the Middle Creek Park entrance, which will be on your left (south side of KY 18). The entrance is just a short distance past Middle Creek Rd.
Directions from the west: Take I-275 south and cross the Ohio River. After crossing the river take the first exit, which is KY 8, exit # 11. Turn right (west) onto KY 8, which immediately becomes KY 20 after a short distance. Continue west and then south on KY 20 for about 12 miles. At the intersection with KY 18, turn left or east onto KY 18 and go about 1 mile. The entrance to Middle Creek Park will be on your right (south side of KY 18). Middle Creek Rd. is just a short distance ahead.

For directions, a map and information about Middle Creek Park (a Boone County KY Park) go to the following webpage:
http://www.boonecountyky.org/departments/parks/middle_creek_park.aspx

For further info on the Nature Conservancy’s Boone County Cliffs go to the following webpages:
http://naturepreserves.ky.gov/naturepreserves/Pages/boonecntycliffs.aspx

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/kentucky/placesweprotect/boone-county-cliffs-state-nature-preserve.xml

http://www.boonecountyky.org/departments/parks/boone_cliffs.aspx

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