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GREAT SALT LAKE BIRDING TRAILS:
AREA DESCRIPTIONS FOR SITES 21 - 25

Below are area descriptions of:
[21]  Antelope Island & Causeway
[22]  Great Salt Lake South Shore
[23]  Ogden Nature Center
[23a]  Fort Buenaventura
[24]  Ogden Cemetery
[24a]  Beus Pond
[25]  Bonneville Shoreline Trail



  [21]  ANTELOPE ISLAND AND CAUSEWAY  
This local favorite is one of the best area hotspots for rarities including three species of scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Harlequin Duck, Ruddy Turnstone, Hudsonian Godwit, Sabine's Gull, Mew Gull, Curlew Sandpiper, Red Phalarope and Snow Bunting. Late fall and early winter are best for causeway birding as hundreds of thousands Eared Grebes and Wilson's Phalaropes use the Great Salt Lake as a staging area, along with numerous other species feeding on the abundant brine flies and brine shrimp (the lake has no fish). Many species also make a short spring migration stopover. The Great Salt Lake is designated a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve.

Many habitats exist on Antelope Island, including an oasis of trees at the Fielding Garr Ranch that is especially good for passerines during spring and fall migration. On the Island, look for Northern Mockingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, and more. In addition to the large Chukar population, other summer residents include Burrowing Owl, Great Horned Owl, Horned Lark, Lark Sparrow, Say's Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, and Sage Thrasher.

Many visitors enjoy viewing the bison, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and coyotes. Allow time to see the visitor's center for information and the opportunity to purchase items. Also visit Buffalo Point where bison burgers (although it will be called a buffalo burger) are available. There is usually a ranger at the Fielding Garr Ranch to answer questions about the history of Antelope Island.

HABITATS: Open salt water, shoreline, marsh, rock outcrops, sagebrush, trees and more

FEATURED BIRDS: Chukar, Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Sanderling (fall and winter), Tree Sparrow (winter) and Sage Thrasher

SEASON: All year, but best September through November

LOCATION: From I-15 take Exit #335 (Syracuse) and go west, causeway starts about 7 miles west of Interstate.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Utah State Park

NOTES: Accessible restroom, fee area, visitor center -- other facilities include campgrounds, picnic areas, showers (needed after swimming in the Great Salt Lake), souvenir stores, and a snack bar.
(You will find more information on Antelope Island State Park HERE )
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  [22]  GREAT SALT LAKE SOUTH SHORE  
The south shore is the winter home of Pink Floyd, a Chilean Flamingo that escaped from a Salt Lake park some 12 years ago (ca. 1990). It is an excellent example of fluctuating shoreline typical of this low gradient bottom terminal salt lake. An amazing food source exists in this lake-edge environment. It is estimated that on some stretches there are 280 million adult brine flies per mile during the summer-through-fall production peak. (By the way, they don't bite.) In the nearby lake there are millions of brine shrimp, often exceeding hundreds per square meter. This shallow, food-rich environment attracts thousands of waterbirds to this and other similar shoreline areas of the lake. This habitat is most abundant on the south shore, west side and northwest end of the lake.

Birding is good along the South Shore most of the year and one of its attractions is tremendous numbers of birds, especially in the late summer and early fall. In the spring Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling, Snowy Plover, Western Sandpiper and Long-billed Curlews use the area. Summer birds are Snowy Plover, Willet, Long-Billed Curlew, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Wilson's Phalarope, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper and California Gull. Fall and winter birds include most of the above plus Least Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel (rare), Franklin Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Snow Bunting, Eared Grebe, Northern Shoveler, Green-Winged Teal, Long-tailed Duck (Oldsquaw) and three species of scoter.

Because of the abundant bird food represented by brine shrimp and floating brine fly pupae on the open parts of the lake a water excursion can be productive. There are charters available. Mid- to late summer and fall are excellent times to make a boat birding trip on the lake. Franklin Gulls, Wilson's and Red-necked Phalaropes in the tens of thousands, and Eared Grebes and ocean ducks can be seen -- the ducks especially in the late fall and winter. All colonial bird-nesting islands are protected as critical habitat and should not be accessed or disturbed.

HABITATS: Playa, shoreline and open salt water

SEASON: All year, but the best months are April, May, July, August, September, October and late November-early December

LOCATION: Take Exit #104 off I-80 (Saltair) to Great Salt Lake State Park road some 16 miles west of Salt Lake City. To the right or northwest of the Exit there is a frontage road. Drive northeast on this frontage road 1.8 miles to the former Great Salt Lake State Park Beach. This area is generally gated and locked, but you can park your car on the side of the road and then walk approximately one mile northeast to the Lee Creek area. Use old tennis shoes.

LAND OWNERSHIP: The former Great Salt Lake State Park Beach and the public shoreline is managed by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. However, much of the area near the frontage road is private property.

NOTES: The availability of restrooms is unknown
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[ONC Visitors Center]
Ogden Nature Center Carolyn Somer

  [23]  OGDEN NATURE CENTER  
Over a mile of trail within this urban park accesses several bird rich habitats. The Wasatch Audubon Society maintains feeding stations during the winter, so birders can expect many wintering seed eaters such as Evening Grosbeak, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Harris Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, and more. A visiting birder should take time to check out the unique visitor center (constructed of recovered redwood and Douglas fir from the old train trestle across the Great Salt Lake) and shop at the nature store. GREAT SALT LAKE BIRDING TRAIL maps are available in the store.

HABITATS: Re-vegetated old fields, canals, ponds, riparian, and shelterbelts

FEATURED BIRDS: Wood Duck, California Quail, Bullock's Oriole, and Black-headed Grosbeak

SEASON: All year

LOCATION: Less than 1 mile east of I-15 at Exit #347 (Ogden's 12th Street), the entrance is well marked.

LAND OWNERSHIP: City of Ogden, managed by Ogden Nature Center

NOTES: Accessible restroom, fee area, nature center
(You will find more information on the Ogden Nature Center HERE )
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[Ft. Buenaventura State Park]
Ft. Buenaventura State Park Carolyn Somer

  [23a]  FORT BUENAVENTURA  
Fort Buenaventura represents a lot of history for the Ogden area. The site of the first permanent Anglo settlement in the Great Basin was preserved as Fort Buenaventura State Park in 1979. The area supports several trails along or near the Weber River. Birding is good at all times of the year along these trails but the spring and fall migration periods are best. Look for the species you would expect in a low elevation wooded riparian area. These include American Robin, California Quail, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Black-billed Magpie, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Towhee, Northern Flicker, Bullock's Oriole, and more. For history buffs, there are many interesting things to see and do. Several mountain man rendezvous' are held each year.

HABITATS: Cottonwood gallery forests and other riparian

FEATURED BIRDS: Bullock's Oriole, Red-tailed Hawk, and California Quail

SEASON: All year

LOCATION: Take 24th Street west from Washington Blvd. in Ogden. If on I-15, take the 21st Street exit and go east to Lincoln Ave. or Washington Blvd. -- need to go east past Wall Ave. as Wall passes under the 24th Street overpass), then south to 24th Street, then west over the bridge that spans Wall Ave., railroad tracks, and the Weber River. Just on the west side of the bridge, take "A" Ave. south then turning left at the Buenaventura State Historical Monument. It is best to park by the baseball fields and walk the trails along the river -- trails go both up and down river.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Utah State Park

NOTES: Picnic tables, accessible restrooms, visitor center, historical exhibits and more
(You will find more information on Ft. Buenaventura HERE )
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  [24]  OGDEN CEMETERY  
The Ogden cemetery is one of the largest low elevation conifer "forests" in the area. Many of the high elevation coniferous forest birds winter in the cemetery. Red Crossbills and Rosy-Finches are a possibility. A population of California Quail are often seen at the northeast corner of the cemetery, also near this point is a trail leading down to the Ogden River parkway. This section of the Ogden River Parkway is often good for Cedar Waxwing, Bohemian Waxwing, American Dipper, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Hairy Woodpecker during winter months.

HABITATS: Lawn with conifer and hardwood trees

FEATURED BIRDS: Cedar and Bohemian Waxwing, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, and Golden-crowned Kinglet

SEASON: Best in winter

LOCATION: Accessed from 20th Street (2000 South), drive two blocks east of Washington Blvd. It is best to park along 20th Street and walk into the cemetery.

LAND OWNERSHIP: City of Ogden, bird only from the roads through the cemetery

NOTES: No restrooms
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  [24a]  BEUS POND  
Beus Pond is good all year long as open water is maintained. A few years back, Wood Ducks were introduced in the area and have been very successful in their nesting attempts.  Now it is possible to view free-flying Wood Ducks at most times during the year.  Spend some time walking around the pond as many more birds utilize the area. Song birds include Scrub Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Lewis Woodpecker, and more.

HABITATS:   Open water, marsh, and upland shrub.

FEATURED BIRDS:   Wood Ducks, other waterfowl and song birds.

SEASON: All year

LOCATION: Take Country Hills Drive (4200 South) east from Harrison Blvd. in Ogden.  In less than a half mile the road turns to the north and just around the bend is the parking area for the Beus Pond trails (on the right side of road).
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[Bonneville Trail View]
View of Ogden from Bonneville Shoreline Trail Carolyn Somer

  [25]  BONNEVILLE SHORELINE TRAIL  
The Bonneville Shoreline trail is the backbone for an entire trail complex east of Ogden. For more details, stop at a visitor center. The trails are largely through Gambel Oak vegetation with good birding most of the year. Several trails head up-slope through riparian vegetation, spruce-fir forests, and other mountain shrub types.

Look for Broad-tailed Hummingbird, American Goldfinch, Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Black-headed Grosbeak, and more. At a little higher elevation in the canyons look for Bullock's Oriole, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Hermit Thrush, Cooper's Hawk, and more. In the same area, good cottonwood riparian habitats exist along the Ogden River Parkway. The parkway trail can be accessed at the visitor center on Washington Blvd. (1800 South), at Kiwanis Park south of the river bridge and Monroe Ave., or at the junction of 12th Street and Valley Drive at Rainbow Gardens (store and restaurant).

HABITATS: Primarily mountain shrub

FEATURED BIRDS: Spotted Towhee, Lazuli Bunting, and Western Scrub-Jay

SEASON: All year with migration period being best

LOCATION: There are several trailheads. Our favorites are at the top (east end) of 22nd Street and 36th Street in Ogden. The trails are well marked.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Mostly public lands managed by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest at higher elevations and City parks at lower elevations.

NOTES: Many of the trailheads originate on private property or near residential areas, please respect private property rights. Most trailheads do not have restrooms.
(You will find more information on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail HERE )
(You will find more information on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail
and a map of the Ogden Trails Network HERE )
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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HOME GSL
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DESCRIPTIONS:
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