Bird watching Free activities

An Easy Bird Drive

(Last Updated On: March 8, 2016)

One of our favorite things to do is go for a bird drive. Every Sunday afternoon, and some days in between, we pack our 2 and 5 year-old into the van and take a short drive down to Utah Lake. We have only put a few dollars into this family tradition– mostly spent on birding books and binoculars– but our boys really love it. Check out our Bird Books and Binoculars entry for more information.

To take a simple bird drive here in Utah Valley that is sure to spot you some birds, go to Utah Lake west of Lindon/Orem. There are many ways to get there, but the simplest is to get off the Lindon/16th North exit in Orem, and head west. Go to Geneva road and turn north. Continue north until you reach the first light. Now turn west. This road takes you directly to the dump. When you hit the “T” at the dump, turn left (south) and follow the road as it turns across the tracks and down to the Lindon Boat Harbor. Keep your eyes peeled as this is prime birding area. Look toward the west in the shallows of Utah Lake as you follow the road south. We commonly see all types of shorebirds, ducks, and large waterbirds here depending on the time of year. We see pelicans, several types of swallows, avocets, black-necked stilts, coots, many types of ducks, 3 kinds of grebes, geese, tanagers, orioles, king birds, and the list goes on. Being somewhat savvy birders, we are disappointed to identify fewer than 20 species here. If you do the drive as listed, you’ll see waterbirds, and it will only take you 20 minutes from the time you exit the freeway.

We like to do this drive a little more thoroughly, and since we live in Lehi, there is a back road that adds to the experience. This involves nearly impossible to follow instructions, and the easiest way is to take you backwards. So, instead of going left (south) at the dump, turn right. This road takes you back toward the Pleasant Grove exit and winds down past the Alpine School District bus garage and the American Fork Boat Harbor. It will eventually wind up at the new Pioneer Crossing in Lehi.

Cormorants at Utah Lake

Pelicans at Utah Lake

Black-necked stilt in a field by the dump

American avocet in a field by the dump

Ring-necked pheasant in the field next to our house.
We took this picture out our window.
Great blue heron next to what is now Pioneer Crossing. Can you see him?