Aliases: Hart's Basin
This is the best waterbirding spot on Colorado’s West Slope. When the water levels are low, exposing extensive mudflats, look for a large variety of shorebirds and waterfowl. This is one of the few nesting areas for Willet in Colorado, and American Bittern can usually be found in the summer in the marsh on the north side of the dike road. Sandhill Cranes come through in large numbers in the early spring and roost for the night in Hart’s Basin to the north of the reservoir; during the fall they come through in smaller numbers, and a few even spend the winter. The southwest corner of the reservoir plays host to a small Great Blue Heron colony. The riparian areas on the south end of the reservoir are a good place to look for sparrows, migrant passerines, and a variety of raptors. This is a good location to see a wide variety of wildlife, including muskrats, cottontails, jackrabbits, and coyotes. The nearby community of Eckert hosts a Sandhill Crane festival in March.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Sagebrush, Marsh
Directions: From Delta, drive east on CO 92 to CO 65. Take CO 65 north to Eckert and make a right on North Road. Take North Road east until you see the reservoir.
Delorme: 56 B2
Roads of Colorado: 82 C4
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: US Bureau of Reclamation and Orchard Mesa Irrigation District
Restrictions: The causeway on the north end of the reservoir has a posted speed limit of 45, and limited pull offs. Beware of traffic and be sure to pull well off the road.
Lodging: Hotels in Cedaredge
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car