Tag Archives: East Loveland Nature Preserve

Notes From The Field

Back in the summer of 1998, the city of Loveland Ohio cut the ribbon on a new 21 acre nature preserve bordering O’Bannon Creek, a tributary for the Little Miami River. And for the last 19 years this little gem right in the heart of Historic Loveland has almost become a forgotten spot for the birding community. I’m one of the guilty considering how I close I do live, with this being just my 3rd, or 4th time I’ve birded this nice patch of woodlands. So with an evening free with some unusally warm weather I ventured forth for a spot of birding.

For being such a small wooded lot, when you’re by yourself it instantly becomes larger than the 21 acres. I really didn’t know what to expect, but neither was I surprised by the birds I discovered. However when you go birding in the evening birds on a whole sytart to quiet down a little. Northern Cardinals, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, American Robins were the most vocal. Even when I sit on my own front porch in the evening these birds are the most vocal.

This is a well maintained nature preserve through volunteer efforts by both the Boy Scouts and local groups. the trails are well marked and mulched with signage throughout the preserve telling you  where your located. A wooden bird blind with feeders is always nice to checkout even if the feeders were empty tonight.

A Cooper’s Hawk flies just ahead and above me, and lands quietly in a nearby tree. I pause to watch to see if a ambush is coming. The hawk seems content just to wait, but I wasn’t and moved on.

An Eastern Towhee catches my eye in the thick undergrowth. I “pished”  a few times to see if it would pop out for a photo.     Silly human.

As I walked the trail that parallels O’Bannon Creek I finally hear a Wood Warbler. An ascending trill with a hiccup at the end. Now I don’t know about you but when early spring arrives this is the time to dust off my warbler songs and reacquaint myself with these beautiful birds, especially before I head off for Magee Marsh in May. More and more species are arriving all the time and birding by ear for these warblers is key for proper identification when their foraging out of sight.

I stopped and waited for it to sing again. Northern Parula. I felt so stupid.


Notes From The Field

A week or so ago my buddy Phil asked me if I had ever heard about this nature preserve down in Loveland. Living near Loveland it came as a surprise that I’ve never heard of it. Well Phil told me that it’s called East Loveland Nature Preserve, and that it’s real close to the fire house on Route 48. So today I went exploring, and I’m certainly glad that I did. What a nice preserve!

With O’Bannon Creek flowing to the North, and East Loveland Avenue to the South, this 16 acre gem is a nice quiet retreat just a short walk from downtown historic Loveland.

Bares Run with flows under East Loveland Avenue, flows North towards O’Bannon Creek, and forms the Western border of the preserve.

Bares Run

What’s really nice about this preserve is that it’s an interpretive preserve. The trails are well marked, with signs posted along the way talking about about the various flora, fauna, geology, and the history surrounding this area. And every so often they will have a sign with a map showing where you are, even though you really can’t get lost.

A typical sign with the map showing your location.

The trails were great, even with the little rain we had last night, it only helped dampen your foot steps as you walked through the lush vegetation. Most of the trails were wide enough to allow 2 people to walk side by side.

One of the trails ran North along Bares Run till it emptied into O’Bannon Creek, then it made a right turn as it followed the creek up stream.

I found this female Northern Cardinal foraging amongst the rocks of O’Bannon Creek.

Looking East towards the rising sun along O’Bannon Creek.

Most of the time the trails were enveloped in shade, which made for a somewhat cooler walk. However the humidity was understandably higher as the sun rose . With little or no breeze to speak of the Honeysuckle vines were giving off their wonderful perfume as you passed by.

A view down onto O’Bannon Creek

As you approached the farthest point of the preserve, I came up this bridge that was a Boy Scout Eagle project.

You can see that the Scout had personalized the post, and dated it.

Mr Turtle basking in the morning sun.

I don’t know what’s the name of this bug, however they were all over. They were this wonderful iridescent blue, and difficult to get close to.

A poor picture of an Eastern Towhee.

A local woman’s group from Loveland helped in the construction of this bird blind. Even though the structure is still sound, there were signs of vandalism as boards were kicked out along the front and sides. There were also 2 feeders that have seen better days, as they looked a little forlorn and weather beaten.

There were several Bluebird boxes located throughout the preserve, however I don’t think they were occupied by anything, especially Bluebirds.

I really wanted to cover this area well, so I spent about 4 hours going over and over the same ground making myself familiar with this preserve. As the day wore on more and more people started using the preserve. There were families taking walks and others jogging. I also saw a group start into it with their fishing poles. A very nice park tucked into this suburb which I’ve passed a hundred times without ever noticing. Shame on me, but not any more.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Acadian Flycatcher
  2. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  4. Northern Cardinal
  5. Willow Flycatcher
  6. Indigo Bunting
  7. Chimney Swift
  8. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  9. Pileated Woodpecker
  10. Hairy Woodpecker
  11. Downy Woodpecker
  12. Carolina Chickadee
  13. White-brested Nuthatch
  14. Tufted Titmouse
  15. Blue Jay
  16. House Wren
  17. American Robin
  18. Crow
  19. Eastern Wood Pewee
  20. Prothonotary Warbler
  21. Yellow-throated Warbler
  22. Eastern Goldfinch
  23. Eastern Towhee
  24. Scarlet Tanager
  25. Red-tailed Hawk
  26. Turkey Vulture
  27. Northern Flicker
  28. House Sparrow
  29. House Finch