Map - Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

Birding by Car

Start your birding tour by car at the Summit Creek campground, checking the area near the bridge for osprey's nests. In the forest, look for Winter Wrens, Pileated Woodpeckers and Hammond's Flycatchers. Then, cross Highway #3 and proceed east towards Creston.

Turn south on West Creston Road towards the Creston Valley WMA Wildlife Centre. Check the marshes for waterfowl and the treed hillsides for Black-headed Grosbeak. At the next stop, on Lone Pine Hill and the Corn Creek Dike, Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds have been known to frequent the area, with Lazuli Bunting a rare possibility. Driving further along, look for Bobolink in the fields.

If you have the time, continue along West Creston Road until Reclamation Road is reached, and follow the road beside French's Slough south to the Dale Marsh Unit on the Canada/USA border to check for waterfowl. Retrace your trip to the intersection with Nicks Island Road. Head north to Highway #3, birding along the way. You may wish to continue north across the Highway  to check out the north part of Nicks Island Road.

Turn east on Highway #3 and continue until the first Creston turnoff is reached. The entrance to Lower Wynndel Road is found along the cut-off to Creston, passing under Highway 3 and heading north. If you reach the CNR overpass, you have gone too far...

This is the start of the "Detective Drive", and while you are birding along the road (west of the road is marsh, east of the road is forested mountainsides), keep an eye out for the landmarks noted in the guide. Just before the road forks, you will cross a bridge over one of the water courses - check the half-submerged logs on the north side of the crossing for an outstanding turtle watching opportunity.  This is a favorite sunning spot!

Both Duck Lake Road and Channel Road are excellent for birding - in late June, 1998, there was an active osprey nest on a telephone pole beside the road about half-way down Channel Road toward Duck Lake.  As Channel Road veers west, you can see the floating Forster's Tern and Western Grebe nesting platforms just off-shore in Duck Lake. Channel Road dead-ends at the start of the Six Mile Slough and Duck Lake hiking trails across the dykes. More trail access points can be reached at the end of the Duck Lake Road.

Although this ends the actual Creston Valley WMA road driving loop, you may also find some productive birding by following Highway 3A north. Turkey Vultures have been spotted near the Wynndel turnoff and the observation tower at Duck Lake is one of the best birding spots in the valley. Birds of particular interest include Cinnamon Teal and Forster's Tern. Or, take Highway #21 south. The south Creston Circle route can be productive. Wild Turkeys are often seen, and Short-eared Owls and Northern Pygmy Owls nest in the locality. Mountain, Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees are usually present.

Although you can drive all of these roads in about an hour and a half, plan on spending most of a day or more if you intend to get out and look around, stop to scope out the marshes, visit the Wildlife Centre, or try out any of the trails.

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