BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Yuba SP -- Painted Rocks

posted by Tim Avery at
on Thursday, February 26, 2015 

No Photo At This Time photo by Utah Birders


Description:
 The Painted Rocks area is located on the east side of the lake off Highway 28 between Levan and Gunnison.  This area offers a large day use area, three lane concrete boat ramp, a group campsite and 41 individual campsites with covered tables.  This campground also includes tent pads, restrooms, a garbage collection point, security lighting, potable water system, dump station, and fire pits.  This campground is easily accessible off Highway 28 between Levan and Gunnison. It is controlled from one entrance station.  Day use fees are $7 and $8 for overnight camping. For what Painted Rocks lacks in habitat, it makes up for in species.  Despite being relatively low quality habitat with very few trees for migrants, the shrubsteppe and desert here have isolated the few trees enough to make them work as a trap.  There is also a juniper woodlands component bringing in a variety of birds that would otherwise not be present.

Birding:
Although this area also receives very few birders, a few intrepid individuals have built a decent species lists with just a few visits.  As with other campgrounds on the lake the list here includes a lot of waterfowl.  I would suggest including this on a separate checklist for the Yuba Lake SP (incl. Sevier Bridge Reservoir) hot spot to keep the waterbirds on the water and the land birds as part of the campground list.  Of course this is purely a recommendation and in the end birders can make their own assumptions based off what's on the lists.  VIRGINIA'S and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER along with WESTERN TANAGER and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK have been observed during migration, while DUSKY and GRAY FLYCATCHER, JUNIPER TITMOUSE, PINYON JAY, and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER can be found during the breeding season in the juniper.  ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER has been observed in this isolated hot spot, while LARK SPARROW and SAGE THRASHER Are typical of the shrubsteppe. Take a look at the checklist to see the waterbirds observed here, as well as various raptors which use the open hunting grounds year round.

Directions:
You have to make a concerted effort to reach this campground isolated on the east side of the lake.  There are numerous ways to get here, and if you are birding on the the east side of the lake the best route is to drive to the north end of the reservoir and turn right onto Old Botham Road and go east 5.7 miles.  Turn right onto Hwy 28 and go 3.4 miles.  Turn right and drive .2 miles before taking a slight left another .4 miles till you reach the campground. Alternatively you could take Hwy 28 all the way from Nephi south to Levan and then continue till you reach the signs for the run off on your right.

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