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Shades Road

Shades of Death Road in Warren County runs alongside Jenny Jump State Forest from Rte. 611 up to just above Rte. 80. Reach it from Rte 46 and Rte. 611 west toward Hope. If you want to go up to Jenny Jump Forest, continue on 611 until you see the sign for the state forest on the right. You can follow the signs to the parking area. The forest trails will get you some Worm-eating and other warblers, but if you want a greater variety of birds, turn right off 611 onto Shades of Death Road (before you come to the Jenny Jump entrance). Drive this road slowly, with the windows open, stopping where you here lots of bird song. This is a good run in May and June, when most of the breeding birds are in.

Along the wooded slopes of Jenny Jump on your left are Cerulean and Worm-eating Warblers; also N. Parula in recent years; and many of the common birds such as tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. This is roadside birding also, but unlike Old Mine Road there is not much public land, so you are limited to the road for the most part. After the farms on the lower part of Shades Road, a large wetland will be on your right. You cannot see much of it from Shades Road, but in the past, Least Bittern, Soras and moorhen have been heard from the road. Least Flycatcher breeds along here, and all 5 empidonax have been had from the road in one day, the only non-breeder being yellow-belly. Golden-winged Warbler can be had in a few openings on the right side of the road.

When you come to a very steep rocky slope just before a private pond on the left, stop and listen for Winter Wren on the rock slope, Acadian Flycatcher across the road and Louisiana Waterthrush along the stream. Still further up the road, there is a parking lot, at the Ghost Lake State Natural Area, the only public access spot. This can be a good warbler spot in May, and breeders include Yellow-throated Vireo, kingfisher, Crested Flycatcher, pewee and tanager. After you pass under Rte. 80, the road goes through more open country where you find Orchard Oriole, Willow Flycatcher, kingbird, and various swallows. The road ends in a Y. If you want more, you can go back to Jenny Jump or up to Johnsonburg.

--Rich Kane