Early this afternoon (Sunday, March 11th), I stopped at Carson Lake (aka Greenhead Hunting Club) south of Fallon to check out the current status of access to the different areas and the various species of birds present. As far as access, not much has changed since I was last out in early January. Water levels are still very high from last year's water diversions and access is still very limited to most of the areas. Areas that one could access include: 1.) the main road into the area, 2.) the first main left turn from the entrance road onto the Madsen Levee to the junction with the Holmes Levee, 3.) the first main right turn from the entrance road onto West Road to the where the road crosses over the canal (by the "larkspur fields" to those who know), and 4.) the road out to the Rice Unit.
At the accessible locations, signs of the upcoming Spring migration were evident as there were LOTS of birds present everywhere. A scope is needed to see and identify most of the birds. Some miscellaneous birds observed today included:
Snow Goose- ~1000 including one blue phase
American White Pelican-over 300
Long-Billed Dowitcher-over 3000
Cliff Swallow-4 first-of-season circling over one of their usual nesting locations at the culvert near the turn onto the Madsen Levee
Long-Billed Curlew-7 on the West Road
Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Killdeer, and Greater Yellowlegs
Great Egrets (21), Snowy Egret, Great Blue Herons (9), and White-Faced Ibis (3)
Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Cinnamon Teal, and Green-Winged Teal
Several thousand Gulls (Ring-Billed from what I could see)
Prairie Falcon-1 strafing the shorebirds and waterfowl north of the Madsen Levee
For those who are newer to the Northern Nevada area, my experience is that Carson Lake is one of the best, if not the best place to go birding in Spring in Nevada. It is unfortunate that it appears that water levels probably won't recede enough to access the entire area for this upcoming Spring season. But it certainly still is a worthwhile visit nonetheless.