The Ayrshire Mine property is a reclaimed coal mine of 6000 acres that consists mainly of grasslands, scattered lakes, cattail marshes, plots of planted trees, and two cemeteries. The Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area occupies 2500 acres of the western edge of the old mine property. It was purchased by the State in the late 1990s. Currently, some other areas of the mine property are being developed for homes or row crops.
Birding the Ayrshire Mine property consists of driving along the paved roads and pulling off to the side to stop and bird. In the north-south direction, the property is about four miles long, and east-west it is about three miles wide. Walking along the public roads is permitted. Birding the Blugrass FWA can be done on foot within the public access areas (see maps below in the "Links" section).
At more than 600 acres in area, the largest lake in Bluegrass FWA is located along the west edge of the property. This lake runs north-south and is crossed by Boonville/New Harmony Road and Kansas Road. Although people may be seen fishing on the lakes, they have special permits--the public is not allowed to fish here at this time.
The Pigeon Creek Bottoms is also good for birding and can be reached by taking the Boonville/New Harmony Road through the mine property. Unfortunately, the reclaimed mine property on the east side of the creek has no public roads at this time.
Typical Time to Bird Site: 1-2 Hours