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Where to Go, Oh, Where to Go

by Robin Tuck
March  1998

The easy answer to the question "Where should I go to see birds?" is "Go where they are." Not much help if you don’t know where they are. The experts among us tell us that "If you want to find a bird, go to it’s 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) LeBarron’s 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 Stauffer’s Thrift Store at Mountain Springs, up and around to (19) the Airport dike mitigation project next to Kuhni’s, and on to (20) the island in the moat by Covey’s. Then finish off the trip by (21) stopping at the Sam’s parking lot in East Bay where Great-tailed Grackles are sometimes found.

I didn’t 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 my route.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Salem Pond. This pond is in Salem. Go to Main Street and 300 South, stopping at several spots as you drive around the pond.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Redwood Road, 15 miles past Elberta. Examine the power poles and fields.
  10. LeBarron’s 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Lincoln Point. Where the Lincoln Beach Road goes around West Mountain. There are rest rooms here. Look for shore birds.
  14. 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.
  15. 4000 West. This is a sportsman access to Utah Lake that passes through some great marshes.
  16. Swede Lane. This is a sportsman access to Utah Lake that passes through some waste land to a tower overlooking Provo Bay.
  17. 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.
  18. Airport dike mitigation project next to Kuhni’s. Turn into Mountain Springs and continue to Stauffer’s 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 Kuhni’s and walk into the mitigation project.
  19. Island in the moat by Covey’s. 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.
  20. Sam’s Club parking lot in East Bay. Sam’s Club is at the south end of University Avenue and attracts grackles.