Shorebirds are an unusual group of birds, since it is possible to find late migrants heading north in June while some of them are already returning after nesting early up north. The key to locating shorebirds is finding good habitat. This year there seems to be much better than average habitat at Wright Marsh in the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. Itís worth checking this area on a daily basis.
In addition to the good birding mentioned above, early summer is still a great time to visit Mohican State Park. There are no other places in our area quite like Mohican. A good place to start a morning of birding is the lower campground, located along SR 3 several miles south of Loudonville. There are lots of interesting birds to be found along the river. A variety of trails allow birders to explore in any direction.
Birds that usually can be found along the river in the campground or cabins areas include Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated Warbler and Northern Parula. There may be a Canada Warbler or a Worm-eating Warbler as well, although the upper campground near the covered bridge is usually more reliable for these two unusual breeding warblers. Black-throated Green and Hooded Warblers can be found throughout the park, along with lots of Ovenbirds. Kentucky, Pine, Cerulean and Black-and-white Warblers are less common but should be encountered in a morning of birding. Ceruleans have been more numerous than usual this year at the main campground.
Other warblers that usually nest at Mohican include Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackburnian, and even an occasional Black-throated Blue Warbler. Along the edges of the park you can find Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats.
Other Mohican specialties include Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch, Blue-headed Vireo, Veery, Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, Summer Tanager, Red-shouldered Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk. You probably wonít hear or see every one of these birds in one day but it certainly is possible. In recent years Golden-crowned Kinglets have also been seen in June although I havenít heard any reports this year. Bald Eagles and Ospreys usually nest next door at Pleasant Hill Lake.
Mohican is also a great place to get your exercise. The mountain bike trail will test your stamina and skill, but there are also lots of easy hiking trails. I normally have my bike along so I can bike around the different parts of the park without necessarily riding up the steep sections of road from the covered bridge. You can do whatever suits your interests - the birds are there for you right now.
Published: June 18, 2012