The Midwest Birding Symposium 2011: Welcome!

Share:

Lakeside/Marblehead

West Area

Download directions in PDF format >> Download directions in PDF format >> Download Adobe Reader >>

ON-SITE BIRDING GUIDES: On the mornings of Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 during the 2011 MBS there will be birding guides at each of these designated sites. These volunteer guides will lead small groups of MBS attendees in the field. If you wish to go bird watching with an MBS guide, plan to be on site early. Guides will assemble birding groups as MBS participants arrive each morning. Due to the large number of MBS attendees, we are keeping the guides/groups arrangements necessarily informal and flexible. We appreciate your cooperation.
PLEASE NOTE: some wildlife areas (not listed here as official MBS birding sites) may allow waterfowl hunting during the MBS weekend. Please obey all signs about closed hunting areas.


About the Sites

Lakeside, Ohio, is located along the shoreline in the center of the Lake Erie Western Basin. The entire area of marshlands and shoreline is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA).

The Lake Erie Western Basin offers extensive marshes and water spots that attract all kinds of wading, shore, and water birds. The woodlands surrounding these areas also attract large quantities of beautiful songbirds.

The MBS schedule will take full advantage of the fall migration season, which always brings avian surprises to the surrounding areas.

Birding site opportunities will reach out in all directions and highlight the gems in the area. PLEASE NOTE: Transportation to and from these birding sites is on your own. All sites will have volunteer guides on hand during the morning birding hours of the MBS. Links are included below to show full details, maps, and directions. All map files are available in .pdf format. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe.com.


Lakeside/Marblehead Area

Lakeside Grounds

Description

A birder doesn't even have to leave the grounds of the beautiful Lakeside community to find plenty of birds. Towering oaks and other trees provide great resting and foraging habitat for migrant songbirds that have just made the Lake Erie crossing. Lakeside's pier, jutting into the lake, often has roosting gulls and sometimes terns, and venturing to the tip of the pier gives one an excellent "sea watch" vantage point. Visiting the pier on a quiet fall evening is interesting, as one can hear the flight calls of numerous thrushes, warblers, and other passerines as they make their nocturnal peregrinations.

Our friends from Leica Sport Optics will be hosting the Leica Lake Watch on the eastern end of the Lakeside Pavilion on Friday and Saturday during the 2011 MBS. Stop by to help add some birds to the LLW list while trying out some excellent optics. The Lakeside Pavilion is at the bottom end of Maple Street, past the hotel Lakeside. If you splash into Lake Erie, you've gone too far.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

Driving

  • Directions from Lakeside: Departing from the main Lakeside gate: Turn left onto OH 163 West (East Harbor Road). Drive for 2.1 mi.
    Look for signs for the park on your left. Turn left onto Lighthouse Drive.
    Meet: in the parking lot. Look for MBS signs/guides.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 2.1 miles / 4 minutes

Features

  • Must-see picturesque Marblehead Lighthouse.
  • Excellent birding in the surrounding shrubby thickets and woods.

Description

This new, nine-acre state park features one of the most photographed landmarks along the Great Lakes: the picturesque Marblehead Lighthouse, completed in 1822. Being right on the shore of the lake, the birding can be excellent in the surrounding shrubby thickets and woods. Exhausted migrant songbirds often plunk down in these lakeside habitats, and can be admired at close range. Waterbirds passing by on the lake can be interesting, and occasionally shorebirds such as ruddy turnstone forage along the rocky shoreline.

Meadowbrook Marsh

Driving

  • Directions from Lakeside: Departing Lakeside's main gate, turn right (west) on State Route 163 (E. Harbor Road). Go about 3/4 mile, then turn left (south) at the first major left, S. Quarry Rd. (Twp Hwy 218). Continue straight south for about 2 miles on this road, which changes name to Hartshorn Road (Twp Hwy 140) after about 0.8 mile and then joins South Bayshore Road (County Rd 135) in another 0.6 mile. After about another half mile, this main road curves around toward the west (right) and changes name to East Bayshore Road. The entrance to the parking area for Meadowbrook Marsh will be on the north (right) side of the road.
    - Total distance about 3.5 miles; driving time about 8 minutes.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 4.3 miles / 8 minutes

Features

  • Meadowbrook Marsh is a new birding site for the area and for the MBS!
  • A nice freshwater estuary that is home to herons, egrets, bitterns, bald eagles, and a variety of waterfowl.
  • Large deciduous trees at Meadowbrook Marsh lure migrant birds out of the sky.

Description

The 113 acres within Meadowbrook includes a beautiful wetland marsh, forest, meadow and grassland. The wetland located on the west side of the bridge will never experience development and is home to an amazing selection of waterfowl. You may view it from the dike but please be careful as you walk along heavily traveled Bayshore Road. On the east side of the bridge you will enjoy an observation deck, 2,800 feet of ADA-accessible paved trails and another 3,000+ feet of mulched and grass trails.

Meadowbrook has a vast array of migratory birds and waterfowl, deer, muskrat, and coyote along with dozens of other natural wonders and wildlife. Our bird species include bald eagle, ring-necked pheasant, great egret, great blue heron, green heron, belted kingfisher, eastern screech-owl, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk, and, in spring and fall, migrating warblers.

In 2000, Danbury Township Trustees made an unprecedented purchase of 33 acres of forest and brook area. Township residents Tim Nash and his late wife, Sylvia, graciously donated this property known as Meadowbrook to the Township.

East Harbor State Park

Driving

  • Direction from Lakeside: Departing from the main Lakeside gate: Turn right onto OH 163 West (East Harbor Road). Drive 1 mile, look for signs to the park entrance. Follow signs to the beach or to the Lockwood picnic shelter.
  • Meet: at the end of the lakefront causeway. Turn right at the end of the causeway and drive to the far end of the parking lot. OR meet at the parking area for the Lockwood picnic shelter. Look for MBS signs/guides at both locations.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 6 miles / 8 minutes

Features

  • This was the spot where a Kirtland's warbler was found during the 2009 MBS!
  • The park contains excellent woodland and shrubby thicket habitats along the lakefront.
  • There are also marshlands and large open harbors.

Description

Hard on the Lake Erie shoreline, East Harbor offers a diverse blend of mature swamp woods, shrubby thickets, beach, marsh, and open water. The park has certainly attracted great rarities; for instance, a Kirtland's warbler appeared at East Harbor during the 2009 MBS! The sheltered large bays lure scads of waterbirds, including most of the region's regularly occurring dabblers and divers. Lots of gulls and terns frequently collect on the beach, and they are worth picking through for unusual species such as least tern, Franklin's gull, or lesser black-backed gull.

West

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Driving

  • Directions from Lakeside: Departing from the main Lakeside gate: Turn right onto OH-163 W (E Harbor Rd). Drive 4.1 mi.
    Turn left onto OH-269 S (Bridge Rd) 2.2 mi. Continue to follow OH-269 S.
    Keep right at the fork, follow signs for OH-2 W/Port Clinton/Toledo and merge onto OH-2 W. Drive 22.3 mi. Watch for signs for Magee Marsh WA. Turn right onto Park Rd 1
    Meet: At the world-famous bird trail along the lakefront.
    Cross the causeway and turn left, drive to the end of the parking lot, look for signs for the bird trail. There you will find MBS guides in their MBS hats.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 31 miles / 38 minutes

Features

  • State Wildlife Area
  • An undisputed legend among North American birding locales, the famous boardwalk ranks high on many birders' lists of favorite places.
  • 2,000 acres offer a world-famous spring warbler migrant trap on the Lake Erie shoreline.
  • Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center has an exhibit area, birders resources, and restrooms. Open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Friends of Magee Marsh gift shop with all profits going back to improve Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

Description

Perhaps the most iconic birding hotspot in the southern Great Lakes region, Magee attracts thousands of birders annually. Two thousand acres of outstanding marshes abut Lake Erie, and lure scores of waterbirds. To date, almost 340 species have been tallied at Magee--82 percent of all the species thus far found in Ohio. This may be the most reliable site away from the breeding grounds to find Kirtland's warbler, and scores of other rarities have turned up here. A highlight is the seven-acre patch of woods that harbors the world famous "Bird Trail." Migrants abound along this boardwalk, and it is a must-visit site for any birder exploring Ohio's Great Lake region.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory

Driving

  • Directions from Lakeside: Follow directions (above) to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. BSBO is located at the entrance to Magee Marsh WA, just off OH 2.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 30 miles / 30 minutes

Features

  • Songbird Banding Demonstration Friday and Saturday
    8:00-9:30 AM
  • Walking Trail
  • Area Birding Maps created by Kenn Kaufman
  • Window on Wildlife
  • Rain Garden
  • Gift Store
  • Located at the entrance to the world-famous Magee Marsh Wildlife Area; voted one of North America's top 10 birding destinations!

Description

Located in the remnants of the once vast Great Black Swamp region of Northwest Ohio, Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) is a 510(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting sound stewardship of avian resources in the Lake Erie Marsh Region. BSBO teams research with education to promote bird conservation. BSBO is the proud sponsor of the Ohio Young Birders Club!

A songbird banding demonstration will be held at Black Swamp Bird Observatory on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 from 8:00-9:30 AM. Don't miss this opportunity to learn fascinating facts about bird banding, migration in this area, and see some incredibly beautiful birds "up close and personal."

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge


Driving

  • Directions from Lakeside: Departing from the main Lakeside gate:Turn right onto OH-163 W (E Harbor Rd.) Drive 4.1 mi. Turn left onto OH-269 S (Bridge Rd) 2.2 mi. Continue to follow OH-269 S. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for OH-2 W/Port Clinton/Toledo and merge onto OH-2 W. Drive 23.8 mi.
    Turn right at the sign for the refuge. Follow signs to the trail parking Lot.
    Meet: For guided birding meet in the Ottawa NWR trail parking lot.
    For self-guided birding on the Ottawa Auto Tour, follow the signs for the Auto Tour.
  • Approximate Distance/Time: 31 miles / 38 minutes

Features

  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • The refuge's Self Guided Auto Tour will be open Friday-Sunday, September 16, 17 and 18 from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • 9,000 acres of marshes, open water, wooded coastal wetlands, and grasslands.

Description

More than 8,000 acres of Lake Erie marshes attract a dazzling variety of birds. Shorebirds can be exceptionally plentiful, and nearly every species thus far recorded in Ohio has been found here. Peregrine falcons make frequent forays through the marshes, and bald eagles are guaranteed. Trails through wooded areas offer a chance to see many migrating warblers, vireos, thrushes, and other songbirds. The modern visitors' center has fine educational displays, and a boardwalk behind the center leads through a variety of habitats. Many a rarity has also been found at Ottawa, including vermilion flycatcher, black-necked stilt, and white-winged dove.