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Ewing Bottoms directions

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Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Cindy White on January 17, 2007 at 17:30:30
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Jay Stenger on January 18, 2007 at 04:22:49
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Erich Baumgardner on January 18, 2007 at 11:07:18
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Debra Hausrath on January 19, 2007 at 18:14:07
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Cindy White on January 22, 2007 at 12:35:44
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Kely Mertz on January 31, 2007 at 13:16:07
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Chandra Mattingly on January 31, 2007 at 13:50:18
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Kely Mertz on January 31, 2007 at 13:56:10
Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
posted by Chandra Mattingly on February 1, 2007 at 15:06:56

Messages:

Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Cindy White on January 17, 2007 at 17:30:30
Hello all! I hope I'm not reposting something already asked, I was hoping someone here could give me directions to Ewing Bottoms. I"m hoping to get over there this Saturday. Any info or tips on that area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Cindy
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Jay Stenger on January 18, 2007 at 04:22:49



Cindy, Ewing Bottoms are located in Jackson County in south central Indiana, just northwest of the small town of Brownstown Indiana and the East Fork of the White River, about 75 miles west of Lawrenceburg IN. Ewing is a very small town, right at the northwest edge of Brownstown. Ewing Bottoms is the local name given to the low-lying floodplain along the river here and the area is comprised of large wide-open private agricultural fields that often flood. See DeLorme Indiana Atlas, page 51, F 8-9.

To get to Brownstown Indiana from Cincinnati take I-275 west to the Lawrenceburg/Greendale/US 50 (and the Oxbow) exit # 16. From the exit ramp turn left onto US 50 and go west, following US 50 for about 75 miles. You will go past Muscatatuck NWR and through Seymour IN. After passing Seymour IN, continue west on US 50 for about 10 miles until you come to Brownstown. At Brownstown look for the intersection of W. Spring St. and turn right. Follow W. Spring St. for several blocks through town. At the outskirts of town W. Spring St. changes its name to Ewing Rd. Continue straight on Ewing, cross the RR tracks and then cross the bridge over the East Fork.

From here it is just a matter of driving the county roads over this large area, watching for birds as you go along and stopping when something catches your attention. Most of these roads are gravel but easily drivable, unless they are flooded, which is always a possibility after heavy rains (like now). The occasional flooding is actually good for the birds as this creates conditions (skypools) favorable to seasonal waterfowl, shorebirds, eagles and cranes. This area is also good for field species such as a variety of hawks, Short-eared Owls, Horned Larks and occasional longspurs.

The best way to tour the area is to get a map and just explore. One route that might get you stated is this. When you cross the bridge from Brownstown turn right onto C.R. 150 W. Drive (north) 2.3 miles and turn left (west) onto C.R. 300 N. Drive .8 miles and turn left (south) onto C.R. 300 W. Drive 2 miles south to a stop sign and turn left (east) onto C.R. 100 N. Drive 1.5 miles east to go back to the bridge from where you started. You have just driven a large square. This route will take you through the areas that the cranes, harriers and Short-eared Owls are being seen. If you have the time be sure to explore the other roads in the area.

To see a good road map of the area as well as convenient satellite aerial views check out Google Maps. Just enter Brownstown IN. Hope this helps.
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Erich Baumgardner on January 18, 2007 at 11:07:18
Wayne Wauligman and I were out there on New Year's Day, following a count at Muscatatuk. We drove around the area for awhile, not seeing any cranes. As we were heading out, the cranes started flying in. So don't be surprised if you don't find them at first - they could be further upstream (or in other fields) outside of the Ewing Bottoms area.

Aside from the cranes and other birds Jay mentioned specifically, there were 100s of gulls and over 100 Killdeer. One Killdeer was nearly all white (just the forehead and breast bands were darker).

If you have the time, drive around Muscatatuk as well. It's a very nice refuge, and many good bird spots are easily accessible by car.
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Debra Hausrath on January 19, 2007 at 18:14:07
Cindy-- the route into the bottoms over the bridge in Brownstown was flooded yesterday. I had to continue west on 50 and turn north on 135 and take the county side roads in. A few said "road closed; high water," but you can go around the barriers and get closer to the birds and just u-turn to go back out. The whooping cranes were on the south end of CR 25 E near Brownsville (where the road was flooded) looking west. I have no idea how fast the waters will recede, so it all may be different tomorrow. Take 135 north; CR 300 N east and CR 25 E south. No doubt they'll be somewhere else when you arrive. (I was there from about 1:15 to 2:30 PM)
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Cindy White on January 22, 2007 at 12:35:44
Thank you to everyone who replied. Wonderful directions. At first the Whooping Crane was too far out to really see. Even with a scope, it was just a white blob. By dusk though, all three Whooping Cranes had come quite a bit closer to the road. And then started to do their courtship display along with the Sandhills. The sight (of what some other birders estimated to be in the thousands) of all those Sandhill Cranes was just amazing. I didn't find the flocks of waterfowl, just occasional flights over head. By evening the Short Eared Owls were hunting on a nearby field. Just flying back and forth about 4-5 feet above the ground. Great day! Thanks so much!
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Kely Mertz on January 31, 2007 at 13:16:07
I am thinking about heading to Ewing Bottoms from Columbus, Ohio this weekend. Looking over previous posts, it appears most folks are seeing cranes in late afternoon/at dusk. Can I assume that afternoon is the best time to go (and not morning)? Also, I am interested in any feedback anyone might have regarding visibility of birds from roadways. I do not have a scope and am hoping I can still expect to see something interesting!? Any guidance appreciated. Thank yoU!
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Chandra Mattingly on January 31, 2007 at 13:50:18
Starve Hollow lake is frozen over and the eagles have dispersed for the most part, according to the district biologist whom I spoke to Monday, Jan. 29. They will be keeping the lake low into February and I would guess the eagles will return when the lake thaws. We've found dawn is the best time to catch the most eagles flying and fishing. Then they sit a spell, fish again mid-morning and usually around noon to 1 p.m. Afternoons have been more "iffy" in our experience - we made several trips last year and one just before the temps dropped this year.
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Kely Mertz on January 31, 2007 at 13:56:10
Thank you for the response! How about the cranes at Ewing up the road?
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Re: Ewing Bottoms directions
        posted by Chandra Mattingly on February 1, 2007 at 15:06:56
Friday Jan. 26 we checked Ewing Bottoms about 2 p.m. and there were cranes way off in the middle of the fields, far from the roads, including one whooping crane, also lots of gulls. There were cranes flying in, but weren't near the numbers we saw there last February when they'd started back north. Early evening seems to be the best time for the cranes in general, with lots flying in and lots of calling between the birds. We've never tried Ewing Bottoms early in the morning, as we have always gone over for the eagles first. And I don't know what the current cold spell has done to the numbers since we were at Ewing Bottoms almost a week ago.
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Ned Keller, comments03@cincinnatibirds.com