The reservoir, located about 12 miles east of Peoria
Ave on 21st St., is readily accessible. Arterial streets are Lynn Lane
(177 E. Ave.) on the west and 193 E. Ave. (County Line Road) on the
east. The site is about 5 miles north of the Broken Arrow Expressway
from the Lynn Lane exit and just over 2 miles south of the 193 E. Ave.
exit from I-44.
north entrance on 21 St. is 0.8 mile east of Lynn Lane. There are 63
steps and landings from the small stream to the top of the dike. The
east entrance is about half-way down the fence south on 193 E. Ave.
There are no steps at this entrance and the terrain of the dike makes
possible a comfortable, angled ascent and descent. (note that this
entrance may not be open.)
The trail along the
dike is about 2.5 miles round trip.
The reservoir is an
excellent compact site to observe and identify birds at relatively close
range. At capacity the reservoir holds 1.4 billion gallons. It may
discharge water after heavy spring rains. However, following periods of
summer heat and drought, extensive mud flats may be exposed.
at the lake and the surrounding countryside is good most of the year.
The typical prairie habitat is
enhanced for the
birder by the nearby barn, small marshy areas below the stream on the
south and southwest, a deep ravine on the west, pastures, wires, and
fences. Even though portions of the dike and surrounding areas are mowed
periodically, wildflowers are abundant. They include prairie orchid;
prairie larkspur; blue false indigo; prairie parsley; milkweed; false
dragonhead; pucoon-root; wild petunia; and many members of the
composite family which include yarrow, basket flower, thistle, and
through April and October through December are peak periods for
waterfowl. For those interested in studying ducks in eclipse plumage,
Blue-winged Teal begin arriving in August. Many species are often close
enough for one to study behavior; spring is a good time to compare
Horned and Eared grebes. The concrete apron around the lake is used as a
resting place for waterfowl, giving the birder an opportunity to study
the entire bird or to find an unexpected species such as the rare
Cinnamon Teal. Other rare species to visit the reservoir are the
Red-throated Loon, White-winged Scoter, and Common Tern. The Greater
Scaup is occasionally identified in rafts of Lessers. A frequent visitor
during migration is the Western Grebe. Large numbers of Lesser Scaup,
Common Goldeneye, and Bufflehead often winter on the lake with smaller
numbers of other species.
October is the peak migration period for shorebirds. If the water level
is low, exposing mud flats and aquatic vegetation, the southwestern
section may attract Semipalmated Plovers, Buff-breasted Sandpipers,
Dunlins, Ruddy Turnstones, and both Marbled and Hudsonian godwits.
Rarely a Short-billed Dowitcher may be identified in groups of
Long-billed. If the water is high in spring, a search of the apron may
turn up sandpipers (Spotted, Semipalmated, Least, White-rumped, Baird's,
and Pectoral) and an occasional Water Pipit in spring and fall with one
The area south of the
reservoir usually escapes mowing and the native grasses and wildflowers
provide excellent food and cover for wildlife. In winter Northern
Harriers and Short-eared Owls (at dusk) search the fields for rodents.
The LeConte's Sparrow, when flushed, will tumble through the grass to
perch on a low wire, while the Savannah Sparrow will move ahead along
the grassy lanes. Be alert in fall for a late migrating Dickcissel and
for Vesper Sparrows.
On the high fence
wires west of the barn five species of swallow which migrate through the
Central Flyway have been found in one flock. Listen for the spring song
of the Marsh Wren in the cattails where the Sora has been found. The
Western Meadowlark sings here in fall and spring. The most noticeable
nesters are Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Kingbird, Scissor-tailed
Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, European Starling, Loggerhead Shrike, Common
Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird, and Dickcissel.