BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Provo Airport Dike

posted by Tim Avery at
on Friday, August 8, 2014 

No Photo At This Time photo by Utah Birders


Description:
The PAD as it is commonly reffered to is a dike that surrounds the Provo Airport bordering Utah Lake.  On the outside of the dike is marsh and lake shore, with a vibrant riparian habitat along the edges of the road.  The interior has some marsh, but is mostly open spaces for the airport.  The nortwest corner passes through tall old cottonwoods along the river before it dumps into the lake. The variety of habitat in such a small area makes for an excellent birding location.

Birding:
This is a good place to get out of the car and start birding. When you continue in the car, drive slowly, being on the lookout for birds on both sides of the road. Continue south to the next stop, 0.7 miles further on, where you will be able to see Utah Lake. Here there is a road to the left blocked by a gate where a walk can sometimes be very rewarding.

The road turns west (right) then goes around the south runway approach section, then continues west to the south west corner where it turns north (again to the right). Along this stretch of road, the lake is visible on the left and the moat is on the right. There are several points along the road where you can pull off for a closer look.

The road continues north for 1.5 miles to the northern runway approach where it bends west out into the lake providing good views into the marshes. The road continues around the runway extension, then angles north paralleling the Provo River until it returns to Center Street. Here, Center Street crosses over the Provo River on a bridge that has a nesting colony of Cliff Swallows in May and June.

Migration is often bountiful here with rarities found throughout fall and spring.  Notable sightings include TROPICAL KINGBIRD, SCARLET TANAGER, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, and various eastern warblers among other things.

Directions:
To get to the Airport Dike, take the Provo Center Street exit off I-15 (#265). Continue west on Center Street towards the Provo Boat Harbor. The Airport road, 3110 West, runs south off Center street about one mile past the Geneva road intersection and is marked by a sign saying "Airport". Turn left here and go 0.9 miles to the beginning of the Provo Airport Dike..

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