Birding the Americas Trip Report and Planning Repository
Return to the Main Index

Return to the North America Index
Return to the U.S.A. Index
Return to the Nevada Index

U.S.A. -- NEVADA: Tonopah - Sage Grouse location

by George West

There was no activity at the lek areas reported in the 1995 “Winging It” article, but there were birds in another nearby location.  Here are the directions:

From Tonopah, take Route 6 east 5 miles to Highway 376, turn left and drive north about 13 miles.  Look for a paved road on the right to Belmont.  It is 28.2 miles from the junction of Highway 376 and the Belmont road to Belmont.  Drive straight through the tiny hamlet of Belmont and follow the paved road around the corner to the southeast where it turns to gravel.  From this point, drive 10.0 miles.  The road swings around and heads north up the valley.  At 10 miles, look for a short-grass clearing on the right (east) amongst the miles of sage brush.  This is where we found the "booming" Sage Grouse.  We only saw 14 males and 4 females at 0615.  We drove further up the road to the spot described in Winging it (12.3 miles past Belmont on the same road, then turn left on a narrow dirt tract for 2.3 miles, look for a water trough on the left).  Here we found many cows but no grouse.  When we returned to the lek at 10 mile, there were only 6 birds left at 0655.

Apparently it is important to be at the lek site at daybreak as the birds retreat into the brush shortly after sunrise.  We were a little late, but it was overcast which might have delayed the birds departure a bit.  We stayed at an RV park in Tonopah; there are no facilities (and hardly any people that we could find) in Belmont.

George West
Green Valley AZ and Homer, AK