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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.