Monday, March 25, 2013

Birding at Farmington Bay Part 2

Canada geese at Farmington Bay

Leaving the Goose Egg Island area, it was only a short drive to the Great Salt Lake Nature Center.  The turnoff to the Nature Center is near the end of Glover Lane.

Road to the Great Salt Lake Nature Center

The road is marked with faded brown signs, and you can see the Nature Center from Glover Lane, so I didn't think this was particularly difficult to find.  However, Glover Lane doesn't have a lot of signage, so do watch for the turn-off.

Great Salt Lake Nature Center

The Great Salt Lake Nature Center has a large parking area, a couple of buildings, vault toilets, and a viewing deck.  Inside the Nature Center you can read information on the local birds, pick up a brochure or two, and view taxidermy mounts of birds.

Barn Owl and Short-Eared Owl

For Tundra Swan Day, the Nature Center also had tissue paper and origami instructions for folding a swan.  This is a nice little one-roomed building and only takes a few minutes to explore.

Ducks and geese adorn the walls of the Great Salt Lake Nature Center.

Being able to view a bird up close makes it easier to identify them in the field at a distance.  There are several quality mounts here, including a tundra swan.  The Nature Center is a great way for children to see the birds up close.

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Just outside the parking area is the Great Blue Heron Rookery.  This nesting site is closed to the public, but you can see the birds and their nests from the Nature Center parking area.  It was fun to see these long-legged birds on their nests.  From the parking area, we walked on a boardwalk trail that is ADA accessible. We wandered past ponds and to observation points, and although I could not always see the birds, I could definitely hear them, as well as croaking frogs. I even saw a muskrat in the water.

Observation deck near the Great Salt Lake Nature Center.

I passed Canada geese feeding in the brush, and also saw several flying overhead.  One called to them from the water, and the group honked back.

Canada geese in flight

One of the birds that was "new" for me on this visit was a redhead duck.  They look a lot like a canvasback, but have a grayer body, and a light bill.  This pair of redheads were swimming along together on one of the ponds.

Redhead ducks at Farmington Bay

The Great Salt Lake Nature Center is open from 8am to 4:30pm on weekdays, and is only open on some Saturdays. The boardwalk and center are very kid-friendly, and it is wonderful to have this expanse of open space so close to Salt Lake City.

Nesting box

From the trails, we could see various styles of nesting boxes.  I wonder who will take up residence in this box this summer?  It was a great day to visit the Great Salt Lake Nature Center, and I plan to make my way here again!

If you go:  From Salt Lake City, drive north on I-15.  Take Exit 322 (this is the Farmington/Lagoon exit).  The off ramp forks.  Take the right fork (the left fork goes to Lagoon).  Continue on the off-ramp until you reach the turn-off to the frontage road.  Turn right onto the frontage road.  This road curves, and you will be heading south parallel to the freeway.  Turn right (west) on 925 S. which is Glover's Lane.  Glover's Lane will take you to the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management area.  If you turn left on 1325 West, you will be on the road that will take you to Goose Egg Island and the Main Dike Road.  Continue on Glover's Lane to reach the Great Salt Lake Nature Center.  Turn left before the end of the road to reach the Nature Center.  You will be able to see it from Glover's Lane. 

To see more birds, including tundra swans, see Birding at Farmington Bay

1 comment:

  1. Love your bird pics; great post as always!!