BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Antelope Drive

posted by Tim Avery at
on Thursday, February 5, 2015 

Antelope Drive from Google Street View


Description:
Antelope Drive is the road leading from I-15 to the entrance station at Antelope Island State Park.  The road is a high traffic route that most birders traveling to the causeway use to get there.  Historically the western reaches of the road were predominantly agricultural.  In recent years the rapid expansion of Syracuse has encroached on most of this leaving very little grassland, agriculture, and open habitat.  However there remains a little bit of habitat here west of 3000 West.  Glen Eagle Golf Course is also found along this route, where several ponds and wet areas visible from the road.  Within the next decade it is possible the surrounding farm land will all be replaced with urban sprawl.

Birding:
This location isn't really a hot spot--but it gets a lot of birders.  The term hot spot is actually a poor choice of terminology that eBird adopted and we use because of them.  This is however a birding location, that lots of birders submit checklists for because of the birds they see on the way to the causeway.  Most birding done here is simply from the car.  Occasionally there are sightings of note that make it worth a quick pull to the side to scan or scope. Interestingly almost all checklists are from the spring migration period form here while summer, fall and winter checklists are rarely reported.  Spring is when the island is most visited by birders, but undoubtedly there are birders on this road every week of the year.  The most notable bird seen along the route is usually the AMERICAN CROW. Sometimes numbering in the 1,000's this species is reliably seen along this route year round. EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE are also omni-present, as are the typical urban fare.  During the spring it is not unusual to see large flocks of WHITE-FACED IBIS in flooded fields--but that may be a thing of the past with the development happening.  These same fields are often good spots for migrant CANADA GEESE.  Various raptors can be seen along the route.  During the winter months MERLIN is possible.  RING-NECKED PHEASANT is occasionally seen from the road, as are flocks of RED-WINGED, YELLOW-HEADED, and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS.  Near the intersection with 1000 west GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE are often seen near the 7-11, McDonald's, or in the Smith's parking lot.  If you notice birds while traveling to or from the island, its worth submitting a checklist to help add to the data pool for this not-so-hot-hot-spot.

Directions:
From I-15 in Davis County take exit 332 for Antelope Drive to Antelope Island. Heading west the road continues 7 miles till you reach the state park entrance.

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1 Comments:
Blogger shyloh monster said...

This THE place for American Crows!

March 10, 2015 at 6:42 PM  

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