Williams County Birding Drive

Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.

Williams County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

Williams County is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in the county. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Fish Creek Wildlife Area--Tract 2

Edgerton, Ohio 43517

Fish Creek Wildlife Area is in northwest Ohio, near the Indiana border, just north of US-6.

There are two tracts of the wildlife refuge, about 2.5 miles apart, on County Highway 60. Fish Creek flows through both tracts, emptying into the Saint Joseph River just south of Tract 2.

Joint Watershed Management Project

Township Highway 183 Bryan, Ohio 43506

From Tract 2 of the Fish Creek Wildlife Area, go south on OH-49 for 1.1 miles. In Edgerton turn left onto East Indiana Street and then turn right onto South Ash Street. Turn left onto US-6 east and drive 10.8 miles. Turn left on County Road 15 and go 1 mile. Turn right onto Township Highway 183.

The Joint Watershed Management Project is on the north side of Township Highway 183. The project has a parking lot and walking trail with views of the Prairie Creek Detention Basin.

The Joint Watershed Management Project was developed by the State of Ohio, Defiance and Williams Counties, and the City of Bryan.

Parkersburg Wildlife Area

Bryan, Ohio 43506

From the Joint Watershed Management Project, go west on Township Highway 183 for 0.6 miles. Turn right at the first cross street onto County Road 15 (South Union Street) and follow County Road 15 for 4 miles. Turn right onto County Road G and drive 0.5 miles. Turn left onto Township Road 1550 and 1.5 miles to the Parkersburg Wildlife Area.

This 153-acre wildlife area lies on both sides of Beaver Creek. Open land is intermixed with brushy fencerows and extensive brushy thickets covering two-thirds of the area. Two woodlots totaling 34 acres lie adjacent to Beaver Creek.

The area was purchased in 1941, primarily for use as a wildlife management demonstration area. Wildlife management activities include controlled burning, mowing, and grassland development.

This small wildlife area can be good for observing migrating warblers in the fall and spring. Woodcock may also be observed performing courtship displays in the open meadows.

Browns Recreation Lake (view from roadside only)

Montpelier, Ohio 43543

From the Parkersburg Wildlife Area, take County Road I west 1.2 miles. Turn right at the first cross street onto County Road 13 and go 1 mile. Turn left onto County Road J and go 4.6 miles. Turn right on County Road 8-50. Browns Recreation Lake is on the right in about 0.5 miles.

Browns Recreation Lake is located on County Highway 8-50 near Montpelier. Please view birds on this lake from the roadside only.

Lake La Su An Wildlife Area

9455 County Road R Pioneer, Ohio 43554

From Browns Recreation Lake, take County Road 8-50 north to County Road K. Turn right on County Road K and go 1.5 miles. Turn Left onto County Road 10 and continue 7.5 miles. Turn left onto County Road R and drive into the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area.

Thanks to the Ohio Ornithological Society for this section of the birding drive around Lake La Su An. The 6.4-mile drive circles the wildlife area using Country Road R, Country Road 5.57, County Road S, County Road 8, and then returning to County Road R. There are many eBird hotspots set up throughout the wildlife area to accept checklists as you make explore this birding drive.

There’s a lot more to be seen at Lake La Su An, much of which can be birded through a 6.4-mile driving tour with frequent stops. This trip goes through several different habitat areas, including upland fields and wooded areas and offers the possibility of finding species not generally seen by hiking around the lake.

To take this tour, turn right from the parking lot at the check station and head west on County Road R. After one mile, the road will become County Road 5.75. The road ends after 1.8 miles; turn right here onto County Road S. At the 2.1-mile mark, where the pavement ends, there’s a small swamp on the right that can be checked. At the 3.0 mile mark of the tour, there’s a parking lot on the right side of the road. If you have time, it is worthwhile to park your car here and continue walking for a while down County Road S. It’s good to remember that the property on the north side of the road is a boy scout camp and you need permission to enter. Everything on the south side of the road is part of the wildlife area. At the 3.1 mile mark, the road passes over the St. Joseph River. This is an excellent place to watch and listen. The entrance to the boy scout camp is at the 3.4-mile mark and just past that on the left is another small swamp, easily visible from the road. County Road S intersects with County Road 8 at the 3.6-mile mark. You’ll want to turn right onto County Road 8, but be sure to check out the field on the southeast corner of this intersection. After turning right onto County Road 8, continue to County Road R and turn right. You’ll pass more open fields as you return to the parking lot at the fisher’s check station. At the 6.4 mile mark, you’ll be back at the check station.