Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is the second largest man-made reservoir, by maximum water capacity, in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet of water when full. Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It lies in parts of Garfield, Kane, and San Juan counties. The northern limits of the lake extend at least as far as the Hite Crossing Bridge. A map centered at the confluence of the Escalante River with the Colorado River gives a good view of the extent of the lake. Besides the Colorado, several smaller rivers flow into the reservoir, including the Escalante, the Dirty Devil, and the San Juan river. There are 100's of canyons with smaller springs and water sources. The reservoirs is surrounded by red rock and desert, and trees and other brush are scarce. Where springs and rivers are present there are usually Fremont Cottonwoods, willows, and other deciduous brush and trees. In some area Salt Cedar is quite prevalent providing food and cover for migrating songbirds. There are numerous access points and birding location at the reservoir including:
Various waterbirds use the lake year round. Migration sees an influx in the number of species and total amount of birds. The overall species list for the reservoir isn't very big, and as a birding destination it isn't very popular. This is unfortunate, as the reservoir is likely one of the major catchalls in the southwest ofr vagrant waterbirds, including pelagic species not normally found inland. Other reservoirs in the Colorado River drainage are proof of this, but unfortunately the distance from most people and sheer size make it an underbirded location. Some of the notable birds to show up here include: ROSEATE SPOONBILL, GLOSSY IBIS, YELLOW-FOOTED GULL, RED-THROATED LOON, the majority of Utah's YELLOW-BILLED LOON sightings, BROWN PELICAN, and LITTLE BLUE HERON. Aside from the rarities the birding is very typical of southeast Utah and the Colorado Plateau deserts. CANYON and ROCK WREN, BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, and HOUSE FINCH are all common here. The various rivers, canyons, and small migrant traps here could turn up just about any songbirds during migration.
There are various access points on the lake. The major ones include Hite Crossing, Bullfrog Marina, Halls Crossing, and Wahweap Marina. Aside from these, there are dozens of small dirt roads that access various side canyons, bays, and out of the way spots. The reservoir can be accessed from the north, south, east and west via various roads. Please consult Google maps for the best directions to the area you are interested in birding.