Saturday, April 30, 2011

Utah Birding Hotspot: Decker Lake

Portions of Decker Lake are deep supporting diving ducks and wintering waterfowl.  Other portions of the lake are shallow and exposes mud flats which supports shorebirds.  The lake is edged by rushes and cattails in some areas, beach or grass in others. There is a trail all the way around the lake.   I was delighted to be led by fellow Utah birders to this little hotspot within easy driving distance of my office for lunch-hour visits.  I added four birds to my Utah list here as well as a handful of first-of-year (FOY) birds including Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers, Franklin's Gull, and Caspian Tern.
There were 18 Lesser Yellowlegs at Decker Lake on my first visit.  I have never seen so many in one place.  Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs can be a challenge to tell apart.  I call this a Lesser based on the bill length being just slightly longer than the head is long.  This bill is pretty straight too, whereas a Greater will show a slightly upturned bill. Also there isn't heavy barring on the flanks like one could expect on a breeding plumage Greater Yellowlegs. 
American Avocet - just a pretty as can be in this breeding plumage

View Decker Lake Park in a larger map


  1. Looks like a great place! That Avocet is GORGEOUS!

  2. @Kerri - Thanks Kerri. Avocets are so beautiful...such a graceful and sleek shape and cool color pattern.

  3. I really like that American Avocet
    picture Robert
    Great shot