Let it be said--waste water treatment ponds in rural Utah are some of the best birding locations. If you read over Utah Birding Spots pages, you will hear this theme again and again when we talk about the ponds in any little town or remote corner of the state. The large pond visible at East Carbon is no exception--the only open water for miles around on the arid desert this is a trap for migrating waterbirds who find themselves in need of a place to land and refuel. The ponds are surrounded by fences, but can be viewed from a turn off at the northeast end where the gate onto the dike around them starts. Surrounded by shrubsteppe and desert the water can be buzzing with activity in the spring and fall. It is well worth any trip the 7 miles out here from US-191/6 to check out what's on the water. You can make a morning out of it by birding the sage flats on the way out, nearby Sunnyside Park, the junipers and foothills to the south, and Horse Canyon Road on your way back to US-191.
For years I have missed out on this location. I can't count the number of trips to southeast Utah where I drove past and never ventured out to East Carbon to check things out. The potential misses are huge. On two visits here during mid-April our group was treated to some great hard to get Carbon County birds like COMMON LOON, LONG-BILLED CURLEW, WHITE-FACED IBIS, WESTERN GREBE, and a variety of waterfowl including big numbers of RING-NECKED DUCK and LESSER SCAUP. Lists from others during fall migration include great shorebirds like BAIRD'S and WESTERN SANDPIPER, and both WILSON'S and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. The surrounding sagebrush is good for SAGE THRASHER and LARK SPARROW, while migrating flocks of blackbirds sticking to the edges of the ponds and sage might include YELLOW-HEADED, BREWER'S, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. I challenge you to make it out here if you are headed from Price to parts south--you shouldn't be disappointed!
From the on ramp at Exit 243 in Price, head south on US-191/6 for 13.3 miles. Turn left onto SR-123 and continue 6.9 miles till you reach the ponds on your right.