Cottage Grove Lake – Upper End Loop

The upper end of this reservoir has a series of developed parks and campgrounds (closed in winter) that offer a wide variety of birding habitats. The backwater at Williams Creek provides close views of waterfowl. Wilson Creek has open pine woods next to marshy and riparian areas, with nesting Osprey, Tree and Violet-green Swallows. At Pine Meadow, ponderosa pines, Douglas-firs and cottonwoods host Brown Creeper, Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees, and wintering Townsend’s Warbler with kinglet flocks. A human-acclimated Wild Turkey flock may wander through from nearby residential areas. Shortridge Park is shaded by mature Douglas-fir, hemlock and big-leaf maple. Look for Hermit and Varied Thrushes in winter. Listen for Pacific-slope and Hammond?s Flycatchers in spring, along with Cassin?s and Hutton’s Vireos and Black-throated Gray Warbler singing from oaks and madrones on the slopes above the reservoir. In winter, when water levels are drawn down, check for Least Sandpiper and American Pipit on the sparsely vegetated mudflats.

From Lakeside Park (Site B1) continue S 1 mi on London Rd to Williams Creek Rd to scan a reservoir backwater, then continue 2 mi to intersection with Reservoir Rd. Turn L (N) and go 1 mi to Wilson Creek Park. Additional stops with shoreline access are at Pine Meadows Campground and Shortridge Park, 1 and 2 mi further N, respectively. Continue 1.5 mi past Shortridge Park to return to London Rd below reservoir.