Start from the center of Prineville (N. 3rd and N. Main). The reservoir dam is off Hwy 126 on the south side of the road 6.1 miles from N. 3rd and N. Main in Prineville. It can be viewed from several pullouts. Check out the county park that offers views of the lake, restrooms, and an area of juniper forest that often has Red-breasted Sapsucker in the winter. The best viewing is on the eastern end of the reservoir. Spring brings water levels right up. Fall water levels drop and allow for good shore-birding.
Habitat and Birds
A large lake with surrounding rimrock. The reservoir can hold good numbers of waterfowl, including Common Loon and Western Grebe. Clark’s Grebes can be found here. In the summer, look for Tree Swallows, Canyon Wrens, Great Blue Herons, and American White Pelicans. As water levels drop, shorebirds can be seen (at some distance) on the mud flats. Scan the rimrock for Golden and Bald Eagles. Black, Caspian and Forster’s Terns are close to annual. Unusual birds seen here include Cackling Goose, Ross’s Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Mountain Quail, Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Great Egret, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ruddy Turnstone, Black Turnstone, Red Knot, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Sabine’s Gull, Franklin’s Gull, Herring Gull, Lapland Longspur, Bobolink, and Sanderling. In November, look for rafts of Surf Scoters out in the middle of the lake.