Where to Go, Oh, Where to Go
by Robin Tuck
The easy answer to the question "Where should I go to see
birds?" is "Go where they are." Not much help if you dont know where
they are. The experts among us tell us that "If you want to find a bird, go to
its habitat at the right time of the year, and it will be there." This sounds
easy, but in fact, takes a long time to learn.
Where I go depends on what I am really trying to accomplish. This year,
I am trying to see as many birds as I can each month. I am also trying to see the 98
species per quarter required by the contest, but I believe that will happen automatically
as I look for birds monthly. Since I want to see the same birds over again each month, my
field trips early in the month focus on seeing as many birds as I can as quick as I can.
Later in the month, I focus on specific birds by determining their habitat and going to
find them specifically. So, where do I go? Note that not all plans actually come about as
originally proposed, but we try.
My first trip last month was to (1) go up Hobble Creek Canyon (left
fork) to find Wild Turkeys, then continue up several miles to where I had previously seen
a large flock of waxwings and robins, then (2) hit the Mapleton Cemetery and look through
the Junipers, then (3) go out past Spanish Fork, on the way to Woodland Hills where the
Lewis Woodpeckers are often seen, next (4) drive through Woodland Hills, and (5) drop down
to Salem Pond where all kinds of ducks hang out. From there, (6) go to Spring Lake for
another chance at ducks, then (7) head out through Santaquin to Warm Springs where the
large cottonwoods and Russian Olives attract a number of different small birds, then (8)
out to see the Eagles past Goshin. I then wanted to (9) head out to Elberta and drive up
Redwood Road some 15 miles to see raptors and larks, then head back to Genola to (10)
LeBarrons Point. Next, toward Lincoln Point, stopping after a few miles, (11)
driving east up a dirt road toward West Mountain looking for Chuckar, continuing (12) past
the several stands of trees along the highway, then (13) on to Lincoln Point. Next,
driving through the (14) farm fields in Benjamin, stopping at the Utah Lake sportsman
accesses at (15) 4000 West and (16) Swede Lane, continuing to (17) Camelot. From there,
drive (18) past the Stauffers Thrift Store at Mountain Springs, up and around to
(19) the Airport dike mitigation project next to Kuhnis, and on to (20) the island
in the moat by Coveys. Then finish off the trip by (21) stopping at the Sams
parking lot in East Bay where Great-tailed Grackles are sometimes found.
I didnt get half of it done, but I did see 34 species on the part
I did get done. I did enjoy starting the day seeing a flock of 75 Wild Turkeys. In the
past, I have seen numerous birds at each of the stops I mentioned, so I was able to plan a
trip that I knew would be productive.
If you want a super birding trip, string together the great birding
places you already know about, grab a friend and have at it. If you are desperate, follow
- Hobble Creek Canyon (left fork). Get to Hobble Creek by
turning east on 400 South in Springville and following the main road up the canyon. Turn
to the left when the road forks above the golf course.
- Mapleton Cemetery. The Mapleton Cemetery is on the
corner of 2000 West and Evergreen in Mapleton. 2000 West is on the right about .8 miles
out Highway 89 from Springville.
- Woodland Hills highway. Drive East on 8800 South
(Spanish Fork) to 400 East (unmarked, but there are log homed on both sides of the street)
and drive South to an eighth mile before the road climbs out of the lowland, and park.
Scan the trees for Lewis Woodpeckers.
- Woodland Hills. The access road to Woodland Hills is a
continuation of Spanish Fork Main Street, named Woodland Hills Drive. Drive into Woodland
Hills, make a loop and come out the same road.
- Salem Pond. This pond is in Salem. Go to Main Street and
300 South, stopping at several spots as you drive around the pond.
- Spring Lake. Drive out Highway 198 from Payson toward
Santaquin until you come to the small community of Spring Lake, then turn South on Spring
Lake Road. You can drive around the lake on dirt roads. There is a small private fish
hatchery just to the east that might be productive to visit.
- Warm Springs. Drive on Highway 6 past Genola, turning
south on 400 West (right after crossing the rail road tracks). Parts of this road are dirt
and become quite rutted.
- Goshin. Go to Center Street and turn north and drive
about 3 miles. Examine the tree stands. Bobolinks have been seen in fields by 14000 South.
- Redwood Road, 15 miles past Elberta. Examine the power
poles and fields.
- LeBarrons Point. Follow Main Street going north
out of Genola. Drive through the orchards to a dirt road just prior to a cattle guard,
where you turn west.
- Dirt road toward West Mountain. Almost a mile north past
the LeBarron Point turn off, there is a dirt road going east almost straight towards West
Mountain. Drive to the end then get out and scan for Chuckar.
- Stands of trees along the highway. Examine closely the
several stands of trees from LeBarron Point to Lincoln Point. The brush along the road can
also be productive.
- Lincoln Point. Where the Lincoln Beach Road goes around
West Mountain. There are rest rooms here. Look for shore birds.
- Benjamin farm fields. There are lots of back roads
through Benjamin that can be productive. In the spring, a lake forms south of 6400 South
at 5800 West.
- 4000 West. This is a sportsman access to Utah Lake that
passes through some great marshes.
- Swede Lane. This is a sportsman access to Utah Lake that
passes through some waste land to a tower overlooking Provo Bay.
- Camelot. Take the Mountain Springs exit off I-15
(Springville Exit) and turn west then north. Camelot is a privately owned Scout Activity
place in a large stand of trees. Park on the frontage road and walk in. The owner has
given us permission to bird here.
- Airport dike mitigation project next to Kuhnis.
Turn into Mountain Springs and continue to Stauffers Thrift Store, turning on 2800
South. Continue to 700 East and turn north. The road parallels the rail road tracks and
passes through marshes. Park on the south end of Kuhnis and walk into the mitigation
- Island in the moat by Coveys. The mote extends
around the east side of the Provo East Bay Golf Course. There are "always"
Black-crowned Night Herons in the trees on the south end of the island.
- Sams Club parking lot in East Bay. Sams Club
is at the south end of University Avenue and attracts grackles.