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The Sparrow Hedge

The area between Lake Law and A.E.Sea consists of a mixture of grasses and scrublands with an old hedgerow forming its southern border. This hedgerow has been dubbed the "Sparrow Hedge" by the local birding community because of the large numbers of migrant sparrows that are attracted to it in the spring and fall. These days the whole area has become much more scrubby than in the past and is maintained in this transitional state through infrequent burning and brush cutting. There is also a small woodland found at the south end of A.E.Sea whose borders can be productive during migration.

Access to the area is facilitated by a system of trails which start at the Red Barn. The trail from the Red Barn heads east around Lake Law and splits just after it starts heading south. The west branch takes you to the south end of Lake Law and the east branch goes to the south end of A.E.Sea. Not far along the east branch a third trail splits off and heads south to the Sparrow Hedge midway between the two lakes. The three trails are connected by an east-west trail which runs along the Sparrow Hedge. That trail continues west past the south end of Lake Law and eventually ends up at Eola Rd. It also continues east to pass between Sea-of-Evanescence and A.E.Sea,where it turns north toward and eventually reaches Batavia Rd. east of A.E.Sea.

This entire area is excellent not only for spring and fall migrants but also for Northern Shrikes in the winter and unusual summer breeding species such as Bell's Vireo, Sedge Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Orchard Oriole and possibly Clay-colored Sparrow. Other species regularly found in this area during the breeding season include Willow Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Eastern Towhee. The area is most productive, however, in the late fall (late September to November) when sparrow migration is at its peak and birds such as Orange-crowned Warbler, Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Fox Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Purple Finch are found with varying degrees of regularity. Other less regular rarities are also possible and have included Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, Harris's Sparrow, and Le Conte's Sparrow.

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