BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Oquirrh Lake

posted by Utah Birders at
on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

Oquirrh Lake from Google Street View


Description:
Within the Daybreak community, man made Oquirrh Lake is approximately 67 acres (Because of its meandering shape, the perimeter of Oquirrh Lake is 3.4 miles.) Walking trails go all around the lake, around an island within the lake on the south end, and there are a couple of cutoffs across the lake to make walking a bit shorter. Parking is available all around the lake so there is good access. The lake is stocked with bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, rainbow trout so fishing is allowed. Boating for Daybreak residents is available during the summer. Small deciduous trees can be found all around the lake, and a small wetland is located in the southeast corner.  On the north end is an expansive beach and marina.  The master plan for the area will have the lake completely surrounded by homes on the opposite sides of the street from the lake, but the lake will be visible from all sides with no obstructed views.

Birding:
The best times to visit Oquirrh Lake are spring and fall during migration. In cold winters the lake freezes over and in the summer there are boats, kayaks, and kids playing in the water so there is little nesting activity along the shore. When I first started birding here a few years ago there were only houses on the east side of the lake. But suburbia is creeping in across all directions now so the makeup of the birding population will undoubtedly be changing. Typical waterfowl include CANADA GOOSE, AMERICAN COOT, MALLARD, RING-NECKED DUCK, CANVASBACK, REDHEAD, COMMON MERGANSER, AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, RUDDY DUCK, CINNAMON and GREEN-WINGED TEAL.  Notable waterfowl sightings include: BLUE-WINGED TEAL,RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, TUNDRA SWAN, ROSS'S GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, LESSER SCAUP, WOOD DUCK and even both WHITE-WINGED and SURF SCOTERS.

While PIED-BILLED, EARED, and WESTERN GREBE are expected, there have been reports of HORNED GREBE as well.  CASPIAN and COMMON TERNS have been reported and gulls can be plentiful on the lake during late winter and may include CALIFORNIA, RING-BILLED, HERRING, THAYER'S, and even LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

The raptor list consists of AMERICAN KESTREL, MERLIN, PRAIRIE and PEREGRINE FALCON, RED-TAILED HAWK, SWAINSON'S and ROUGH-LEGGED  HAWK, GOLDEN AND BALD EAGLES. 

Other birds of note are WESTERN MEADOWLARK, HORNED LARK, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, BELTED KINGFISHER, RED-WINGED and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, SAY'S PHOEBE, MOURNING DOVE and DARK-EYED JUNCO. Also there are BARN, CLIFF, ROUGH-WINGED and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS in the early summer morning hours.

The area can easily be birded by car, foot, or bike on the trails and various roads.

Directions:
From Bangerter Highway, turn west on either 10400 south/South Jordan Parkway or 11400 south/Daybreak Parkway. Continue west on either street about 1 mile until you arrive at the Lake. There are roads around all sides of the lake allowing for access from various points.

Thanks to Rachel LeBlanc for this location submission.

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