where, when, and what to find

Central Lehi Fields

posted by Tim Avery at
on Sunday, April 5, 2015 

Central Lehi Fields from Google Street View

The Central Lehi fields are everything west of the Jordan River to Redwood Road between 2100 North and Lehi Main Street on the south end.  Typically birding is confined to 3600 West form the north till you reach the go leg mid way and the road turns into 400 East until it hits Main Street.  Allred's Pond is found along the southern portion of the road while the North Lehi Fields are located on the north side of 2100 North.  The area is predominantly farm land, with several mink and hog farms as well.  At the dog leg there are two patches of trees, one running north-south, the other east-west where songbirds, and migrants can be found.  The fields here are often flooded in the spring creating a great wet habitat for the birds.  The biggest down side to this area is that the road can be busy and it is really narrow making it dangerous at times--and the smell is often unbearable because of the farms.

I have definitely submitted about 90% of the checklists for this location as I pass from the North Lehi Fields to Powell Lake or back.  The irony is the birding here is good enough to make it worthy of its own hot spot.  I've really only birded here in the early spring through May, and then a couple times in the early winter.  During the spring and winter there are often huge flocks of CALIFORNIA GULLS that have RING-BILLED mixed in.  The Ring-billed number drop dramatically as spring wear on and they are replaced by hundred of FRANKLIN'S GULLS in mid April through May.  On a couple occasions in April I have have BONAPARTE'S GULLS flyover here headed north.  The only other odd gull I have found is a HERRING GULL mixed in once.  Other off flybys include a flock of FORSTER'S TERNS likely leaving Powell Lake to head north. One of the main draws for me is when the fields flood in mid April usually through early May.  This is not natural and is done by the landowners for their crop.  It benefit birders though as generally 100's, if not 1,000's of WHITE-FACED IBIS flock in to feed.  I have found both GLOSSY IBIS and hybrid Glossy X White-faced Ibis mixed in with these flocks.  And these flocks often create a feeding frenzy which other birds join in to.  CATTLE EGRET and SNOWY EGRET have both been seen mixed in.  The crazy thing is the shorebirds that join--dozens of MARBLED GODWITS can be seen, while the occasional AMERICAN AVOCET and LONG-BILLED CURLEW show up.  At the dog-leg I have had several SOLITARY SANDPIPER--and in the early summer SANDHILL CRANE have been observed here as well.  One of the better finds here was a RUSTY BLACKBIRD near the north end among 1,000's of starlings and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS in November.  These huge winter flocks are a common sight near the farms.

From I-15 Exit 282 in Lehi take 2100 North westbound for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto 3600 West and cross the east bound lanes of 2100 North. You are now in the Central Lehi Fields.  After 1 mile the road dog legs and becomes 400 East before continuing another mile south to Lehi Main Street.

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