BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Willard Basin

posted by Mike Hearell at
on Monday, March 31, 2014 

Willard Basin photo by Mike Hearell


Description:
This high elevation (9000' +) hotspot will find you bouncing between two counties and multiple habitats. Meadows, ponds, springs, juniper, mahogany, and stands of fir and pine, abrupt changes in habitat without large changes in elevation make this area worth the trip. As the 'crow flys' Pleasant View and Willard are the two closest towns but, Mantua is the town in which the basin is accessed.

Birding:
Although birding may be good year round, access is mainly available from late Spring through the Fall due to heavy snowfall. Mountain Bluebirds, Pink-sided Junco, Red Crossbill and Juniper Titmouse have all been observed here but the basin's DUSKY GROUSE, large numbers of CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS, nesting AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER and WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER are highlights. COMMON POORWILL and FLAMMULATED OWLS are also present at dusk.

Directions:
From I-15 take the Brigham City/1100 S. exit. Continue East on 1100 S. towards Logan and Mantua ( Hwy 89 & 91 ). Take the first Mantua exit to 100 S., continue East on 100 S. Until reaching South Main ST. Turn right onto Main which will turn into Willard Peak Rd.. After 4.1 miles stay to the right at fork, 2 miles after that you will reach a series of switchbacks (N 084 E), at the top stay on larger road to the right. 2.1 miles further and you will reach the ridge and overlook into Willard Basin, take the left downhill into the basin where at the 1.4 mile mark you will have a wide spot in the road with a small spring on the left-hand side. This is where the trails lead up to the pond and the areas best birding spots.  4x4, ATV or higher clearance vehicles are best. The quality of this road varies from year to year and can be quite rough. When conditions are dry a 2WD vehicle with good ground clearance can make the trip with some effort but would not recommend.

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