Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Lake Cheraw - Otero County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: Lake Cheraw is an essential stop on any trip to Otero County. This large lake can have almost anything on it, from rafts of both dabblers and divers, large shorebird flocks with a great variety, and even rarities (things like Reddish Egret, Tundra Swan, Hudsonian Godwit, and Little Gull have shown up). To thoroughly cover this reservoir, you will need to scan it from both the west end and the north end. The west end can be scanned from the causeway along SR 109, but be sure to pull completely off this busy road. Both corners of the lake near the causeway are good for shorebirds, and there are usually quite a few ducks within scanning distance from here. The small lake on the west side of the causeway usually has little to offer, but take a look anyway. Black-necked Stilt is regular on both sides of the causeway.

The north side is reached from the town of Cheraw. From this vantage point, shorebirds can be seen along the near shore, and on the shore of the island to the east. Snowy Plover has been seen in this vicinity before, and the majority of the lake not scannable from the west side vantage point should be visible from here. While you are here, the trees in the town of Cheraw may be look during migration, or possibly in the winter for feeders.

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
Directions: From US 50 on the east side of La Junta, take CO 109 north (signed for Cheraw). The lake is on the right side of CO 109, seven miles north of La Junta. To get to the town, follow the highway half a mile north and then one mile east.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Other Sites in Otero County
eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Lake Cheraw Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Lake Cheraw

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Brant (Black)2013-016 12/15/2011
Trumpeter Swan8-95-1112/30/1995
Red-necked Grebe2-96-45/17/1996 - 5/26/1996
Ruby-throated Hummingbird2014-114 07/29/2014
Snowy Plover2005-016 4/2/2005
Hudsonian Godwit19-89-125/14/1989
Hudsonian Godwit19-93-675/23/1992
Hudsonian Godwit1998-0455/14/1998
Ruddy Turnstone18-89-139/16/1989
Ruddy Turnstone19-95-285/25/1995
Ruddy Turnstone1997-0279/5/1997
Red Knot2007-057 9/11/2007
Pectoral Sandpiper2002-17812/19/2002
Short-billed Dowitcher19-87-229/5/1987
Little Gull23-89-187/23/1989 - 7/31/1989
Laughing Gull23-84-385/25/1984
Laughing Gull1998-0559/13/1998
Reddish Egret2000-0139/3/2000 - 9/17/2000
Reddish Egret2012-085 6/24/2012 - 7/1/2012
Glossy Ibis7-95-94/28/1995
Glossy Ibis2000-0174/21/2000