where, when, and what to find

Seegmiller Marsh Complex & Springs Park Pond

posted by Utah Birders at
on Monday, February 23, 2015 

Springs Park from Google Street View

Seegmiller Marsh is a large wetland complex on the Virgin River that is mostly private property.  The south side of the marsh is adjacent to Springs Estate Park and Pond--and 8 acre public park.  Most birders access just Springs Park, but some birding can be done along the north edge at the marsh.  The large pond at the park is the main attraction, and is surrounded by mostly salt cedar, but some other desert scrub as well.  A paved walkway goes all the way around.  A small dirt wash on the north side leads to the marsh which has several access views at the edge of the tamarisk.  Typical wetland habitat in the marshes here make for a great wild habitat.   Future improvements include trail connection to the regional trail system via the Virgin River Trail South Trail.

Most birders are unfamiliar with Seegmiller Marsh, but if you mention Springs Park, Springs Pond, or Springs Estate most birders who have been to St. George know what you're talking about.  No visit to the south is complete without at least one stop here most of the year--although summer months are brutally hot, there are still some birds you can see easily here.  Speaking specifically about the pond, during the winter months waterfowl from the north can be found here, with overwintering geese often present.  SNOW GOOSE can be found here most winters, while ROSS'S and CACKLING have also been recorded.  MUTE SWAN are usually found here, but the free flying swans do move around a bit.  Diving Ducks including RING-NECKED DUCK are regulars, while CANVASBACK, HOODED MERGANSER, and GREATER SCAUP show up less frequently.  Year round with some looking you might be able to track down an ABERT'S TOWHEE or CRISSAL THRASHER.  GREEN HERON are resident as well but detected far less.  In the spring, fall, and summer, LESSER NIGHTHAWK are often seen flying over in the evening. The marsh side brings a whole other level of birds with a great riparian habitat that can attract various passerine species.  WILLOW FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, and BLUE GROSBEAK can all be found here during the breeding season.  COMMON GALLINULE can often be heard here at night, and for years this was the go to place in Utah to find this species.  BARN, BURROWING, and GREAT HORNED OWL have all been reported from here, while SAY'S and BLACK PHOEBE are easy finds year round.  This unassuming park is essentially one of the best urban birding sites in St. George, and very easy to bird whether you have 15 minutes or a few hours.

From I-15 exit 8/St. George Blvd go east to River Road just off the freeway. Turn right and head south for 1.8 miles across the Virgin River.  At the light, turn left and continue on 1450 South for 1.1 mile. Turn left onto Springs Drive for .2 miles.  The park will be on your left; turn in here and park.

Thanks to Suzi Holt for contributing on this location submission.

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