Upper Sand Cove Reservoir is a small round reservoir in the canyon just outside Gunlock. Surrounded by open desert, shrubsteppe, and cliff habitats the reservoir is a small oasis in a barren land. It smaller sister reservoir Lower Sand Cove is just down the road. Small patches of riparian habitat are present as well, and the open water here is ice free year round.
This small off the beaten path reservoir doesn't get a ton of visitors but if you check it out you might find something interesting. During the winter AMERICAN WIGEON, REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RUDDY DUCK, and HOODED MERGANSER have all been seen here. NORTHERN HARRIER and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK have been found during the winter months as well. Spring migration brings shorebirds--while only AMERICAN AVOCET has been reported, other species definitely come through. WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, DUSKY, and GRAY FLYCATCHER have been reported during fall migration along with a variety of warblers including: MACGILLIVRAY'S, YELLOW, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and WISLON'S. The best bird to ever be found her though is obvious--in 2002 Rick Fridell found a KENTUCKY WARBLER here in August when the reservoir was empty and the migrants were feeding on flies and ants in the mud.
As you are about to enter the town of Gunlock from the south--before you go over the river, take the immediate right onto Lower Sand Cover Road and drive 6.5 miles to the reservoir on your left.