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Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area - Kit Carson County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This is an essential stop for birders driving I-70. If you bird Kit Carson County for long, chances are 75% of your county list will come from this location. Water levels in the lake can be low in both spring and fall, making this a good location for shorebirds. Normally a few small rafts of ducks containing mostly dabblers can be found on the lake in season, but often the species that make up these rafts change with each visit.

The extensive riparian groves around the reservoir are the real reason to visit this SWA. Be sure not to neglect the trees along the creek south of the reservoir. Spring and fall can produce large migrant flocks, including eastern vagrants. Winter is a good time check for sparrows, finches, and waxwings (especially in the small juniper hedgerow in the NE corner), and flicker numbers can be truly phenomenal. Wild Turkeys occasionally cross the road near the trees.

There is also a juniper hedgerow below the dam, as well as a great riparian corridor, probably the best in the area. This area is made up of large mature cottonwoods and willows, but unfortunately cows have removed most of the underbrush. The grove has breeding Red-headed Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, and Eastern Bluebird, and this is where most of the best migrants have been found in the past. A barbed-wire fence on the east side of this area makes it looks uninviting, but the fence is not complete; you can just walk around it.

There are a couple of auxiliary locations to check while you are in the area. The first is the two small ponds just NW of the dam, accessed by a fairly passable two-track. These ponds are behind a fence and some distance from the two-track, but they can be scanned with difficulty from the edge of the public property. The ponds usually have more ducks than the actual reservoir. Cassin's and Brewer's Sparrows breed in the grasslands here as well. Another location to check is the large but privately-owned row of mature conifers on the south side of the road just west of the lake. You can't walk in them, but you can bird them from the county road.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Grassland/Prairie
Directions: Flagler Reservoir can be reached from both the east and the west. To get here from the west, take I-70 to exit 395 (the Flagler exit), and go north from the exit towards Flagler. Take your first right after the railroad tracks onto CR U and follow this road east for 4 miles to the property. From the east, take exit 405 (the Seibert exit) off of I-70, and go north from the exit into Seibert. Take a left onto the paved road across from the intersection with US-24 (called the Frontage Road on some maps), and follow this road west for 3 miles to a "T" with CR 12. Take a right (north) onto CR 12, and then an almost immediate left (west) onto CR U. Follow CR U for 3 miles to the property.

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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher2014-025 09/15/2013
Alder Flycatcher2016-10918 May 2016
Alder Flycatcher2016-11610 Sep 2016
Alder Flycatcher2017-08528 May 2017
Gray-cheeked Thrush2003-1395/7/2003
Varied Thrush2005-144 12/22/2005
Purple Finch2013-232 10/13/2013
Mourning Warbler2013-204 09/11/2013
Kentucky Warbler52-96-855/7/1996
Blackburnian Warbler2001-1595/25/2001
Pine Warbler2004-130 11/5/2004
Prairie Warbler2017-023 05/07/2017
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