birdandhike.com logo
Home | Birds | Birding | Urban Las Vegas
Birding Around Duck Creek
Clark County Wetlands Park
Birding Around Las Vegas, Urban Las Vegas Valley
Duck Creek
Duck CreekDuck Creek Trailhead entrance along Broadbent Blvd.

Description

Duck Creek is part of the Clark County Wetlands Park on the east side of the Las Vegas Valley and right along Las Vegas Wash. In recent years, Clark County, in partnership with Duck Unlimited, has dredged and sculpted six ponds near the wash. The ponds attract large numbers of ducks, shorebirds, and other wetland species (e.g., grebes, herons, and rails), plus a few oddities such as Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Red-throated Pipit. This is also a good place to see dragonflies. The 0.4-mile walk out to the edge of the ponds is paved and nearly level. Dirt roads run along the west edge of the ponds and along the south end. High water, creeks, and dense vegetation prevent making a complete loop. The area was being managed to prevent tall vegetation from taking over and crowding out the birds and bird watchers, but they don't always do a very good job.

Birders can also walk out into the Lower Duck Creek area along Las Vegas Wash downstream from the Duck Creek Ponds. Wetlands restoration in this area seems to change monthly, sometimes affecting access to this area. See historic photos.

Duck Creek
Duck Creek Trailhead parking

Location

Link to Overview Map, Detailed Trails Map, or Duck Creek Ponds and Construction area map.

Duck Creek is located in the southeast corner of the Las Vegas Valley.

From downtown, drive south on Highway 93-95 to Tropicana. Exit the highway, turn left onto Tropicana, and drive east. Cross Boulder Highway and continue east until Tropicana bends to the right in a broad, 45-degree turn to the right (south). At the curve, Tropicana becomes Broadbent Blvd. Continue on Broadbent, but notice on the outside of the curve that Tropicana continues eastward to the Clark County Wetlands Park Visitor Center.

For the Duck Creek trailhead, continue southeast on Broadbent Blvd. Just past the cinder block wall on the east (left) side of the road, the Duck Creek parking lot is marked by a "Wetlands Park, Duck Creek Trail" sign. Turn into the parking area, which is a one-way loop. Park here; this is the trailhead (Site 0711).

Duck Creek
Duck Creek Trailhead sign

From the trailhead, walk east on the paved Duck Creek Trail (the Quail Run Loop Trail runs north and can be used to connect with the Wetlands Park, proper. Look for sparrows in the screwbean mesquite thickets planted along the trail. About 250 yards out, the trail forks. The better birding seems to be on the southern ponds, so stay to the right. After a total of about 0.4 miles, the paved trail ends at the edge of a very wide dirt road (Dragonfly Divide Road). The ponds are across the road. All paved trails end at Dragonfly Divide.

Bird the ponds working south along Dragonfly Divide, then swing to the east around the south side of the last pond and head east towards Las Vegas Wash, which is a total of 0.4 miles from the end of the paved trail.

After birding along the wash, turn around and walk back to Dragonfly Divide, then continue birding the west side of the ponds or walk up the dirt roads between the ponds (recently, roads between the ponds have had "closed area" signs).

Duck Creek
Duck Creek Trailhead picnic area

Hours

Always open, dawn to dusk.

Fees

None.

Specialties

This is a good place to find waterfowl, shorebirds, grebes, cormorants, herons and other species associated with water, such as Osprey.

Check the mud flats for Long-billed Dowitcher (keep an eye out for rare Short-billed Dowitcher too), Least Sandpiper, various sparrows (e.g., Vesper Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow), and the occasional Pectoral Sandpiper or other interesting migrant. Keep an eye out for Sora too. Open water attracts ducks and wading birds.

Duck Creek
Information kiosk and picnic tables at trailhead

The birding can be good, as evidenced by the list of birds seen by Las Vegas birder Randy Michal on September 27, 2009: Eared Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, White-faced Ibis, Mallard, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Gambel's Quail, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Verdin, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Abert's Towhee, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle.

Also seen that day: Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-necked Stilt, Sora, Brewer's Sparrow, Red-throated Pipit, and Common Merganser.

Duck Creek Trail
Say's Phoebe on sign near trailhead
Duck Creek
Start of Duck Creek and Coyote Howl trails
Duck Creek Trail
Accessible trail
Duck Creek Trail
Typical trail signs
yes
Duck Creek Trail sign
Duck Creek Trail
Quail Run Loop Trail sign
Duck Creek Park
Pond and Dragonfly Divide Road (view N)
Duck Creek Park
Four White-faced Ibis and a Snowy Egret
Duck Creek Park
Shallow pond
Duck Creek Park
Mud flats
Duck Creek Trail
Watch for other species too: raccoon prints in the mud
Duck Creek Trail
Watch for other species too: Dragonflies
Duck Creek
Wetlands Visitor Center in the distance
Duck Creek
Birding over one of the Duck Creek ponds
Duck Creek Park
Greater Yellowlegs in shallow water. Also watch for American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts in these habitats.
Duck Creek Park
Beyond the south-most pond, the trail runs up to Las Vegas Wash. Keep an eye out for spiny softshell turtles.
Duck Creek Park
The top of the weir. They don't show in the photo, but there are two Common Mergansers resting on the rocks, plus Brewers Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackle, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and a Green Heron. And don't forget the dragonflies!
Duck Creek Park
Hiker along Las Vegas Wash upstream from the ponds. This little-used and somewhat dangerous route connects to the southeast-most trail in the Wetlands Park, proper, but it is easier and safer to just walk north along Dragonfly Divide.
Duck Creek
Double-crested Cormorants and Mallards on a sandbar
duck creek
Canada Geese in Las Vegas Wash
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash diverted into channel (view upstream)
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash diverted into channel (view downstream)
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash in channel (view upstream)
more construction to come ...
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash at Lower Duck Creek Area (view E)
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash at Lower Duck Creek Area (view N)
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash at Lower Duck Creek Area (view NW)
Duck Creek
Las Vegas Wash at Lower Duck Creek Area (view W)
Duck Creek
Crossing a weir (view NE)
Duck Creek
Birding from a highpoint (view E)
Duck Creek
Weir at higher water (don't cross at high water!)
Duck Creek
Weir at higher water (don't cross at high water!)
Duck Creek
Biking and hiking path on east side of Las Vegas Wash (view S)
more to come ...

Table 1. Highway Coordinates (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location Latitude (°N) Longitude (°W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Verified
0711 Duck Creek Park Trailhead 36.09357 115.02321 677968 3995935 1,603 Yes

Thanks for coming to visit!
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 140823

Birding Around Las Vegas Southern Nevada Birds Guide Service Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads