where, when, and what to find

Cedar Hills GC

posted by Tim Avery at
on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 

Cedar Hills Golf Club from Google Street View

Cedar Hills Golf Club is an interesting location nestled against a juniper covered hillside on the east, along the foothills at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  The north side of the course is bordered by the American Fork River, while subdivisions pop up to the south and west.  Just a hop away from the mouth of American Fork Canyon, the mouth of which can be seen form the course, providing looks at the cliffs and some riparian habitat.  The open course has some shrubsteppe to go along with the juniper, but it really is mostly open fairways.  The rocky river bottom lack any substantial riparian habitat along the course except int he northeast corner.  There are 5 ponds on the course, of which most can be viewed from public roads.  While the majority of the holes are in the northwest section, the back 9 do a loop along the mountain then south around a large neighborhood before wrapping back west to the club house. This strange triangle shaped subdivision is essentially an island surrounded by golf course.

I've only been birding here once, while golfing a number of years ago--but I remember the birding was good.  On the various ponds aside from the CANADA GEESE and MALLARDS there were a good mix of late April waterfowl migrants still present including GREATER SCAUP, CANVASBACK, and COMMON GOLDENEYE.  Looking skyward here you will probably see TURKEY VULTURE and RED-TAILED HAWK along the mountains.  SWAINSON'S HAWK are present in the summer and during migration you could see any number of raptors soaring past.  WESTERN KINGBIRD and WESTERN MEADOWLARK roam the open fairways here, while WARBLING VIREO, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and SONG SPARROWS keep to the fringes where oak and other deciduous trees are more prevalent.  Along the river in the open areas BREWER'S, VESPER, and LARK SPARROW were present, while in the northeast corner where the best riparian habitat is, FOX SPARROW can be found, along with BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, and YELLOW WARBLER.  Migrant songbirds can be found in this area too, and WESTERN TANAGER, as well as other warblers might be seen.  Although not in eBird I know there are reports of YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT from the river at the mouth of the canyon.  In the summer look for COMMON NIGHTHAWK in the evening feeding over there area.  If you like birds and golf, I highly recommend playing a round here in late April through May or in the fall.  If you just want to birding you can do a lot on the edges, including scan the ponds and some of the open habitat.

Form I-15 Ext 284 at Thanksgiving Point head east on SR-92 for .2 miles.  Take the slight right onto the SR-92 express lane and go 7.1 miles.  Right before the mouth of the canyon, take a right onto Canyon Road and go south .8 miles. Turn right onto Bayhill Drive and go .3 miles.  At the traffic circle take the 1str exit onto Nielsen Blvd. After about 250' turn left onto Clubhouse Drive and continue .2 miles to the parking area.

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