Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Accessible Duck Creek State Wildlife Area - Logan County
Aliases:
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This neglected SWA is among the crown jewels of northeastern Colorado, at least when it comes to quality and quantity of habitat. It has not been visited nearly enough to quantify its quality in terms of birds, however. Consider this a call to action.

The southeast part of the SWA contains a large and awe-inspiring grove of trees with thick underbrush that is just begging for a great migrant flock. This grove also has a small Great Blue Heron rookery among some of the taller trees, so please be careful not to disturb the nesting birds. This grove is visible about a quarter mile to the west of the SE parking lot.

South of this grove there is a small creek lined with dense tamarisk, willow, and Russian olive. More Russian-olive groves can be found to the south of the creek. This part of the SWA is reminiscent of portions of Prewitt SWA that have produced many a good migrant in the past. North of the creek and southwest of the big grove mentioned above is a large cattail marsh that has Virginia Rail and should have Sora, American Bittern, and Marsh Wren as well. To get to this part of the SWA, head west on the north side of the creek from the SE parking lot.

There are many juniper hedgerows running throughout the property, mostly between the north edge and the east-west canal (not to be confused with the aforementioned creek, which is farther south). Access to these hedgerows is best from the north-central parking lot, halfway along CR 64 on the northern border of the property. Look in the junipers for migrants, sparrow flocks in the winter, and possibly Long-eared and Saw-whet Owls during the colder months.

Both the western and northern edges of the property have more dense hedgerows that parallel the road and are definitely worth a look for migrants and sparrows. Be careful of the property boundaries here, especially along the western edge, where there is some private land along the road. The parking lot at the northeast corner of the SWA provides access to still more hedgerows and Russian-olive thickets, and there is a large prairie dog town just east of it that should contain Burrowing Owls.

Just west of the NW corner of the SWA, on the south side of CR 64, there is a small private pond and some good marshes along the south side of the road where one should look for ducks, rails, Yellow-headed Blackbird and Marsh Wren.

Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Marsh, Grassland/Prairie
Elevation:
Directions: To reach this SWA, take exit 149 off of I-76 (the Crook exit), and travel north from the exit ramp to US-138. From here you have two choices – you can go east on US-138 for two miles and then go north onto CR 85, which in 2.5 miles brings you to the SE parking lot, or you can go straight across US-138 on CR 81, which goes along the west side of the SWA. By following this road, you will reach CR 64 (in 2.5 miles), which goes along the north side of the SWA to the north-central and NE parking lots.
Restrictions/Hazards:
Other Wildlife:
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