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Birding Around Discovery Park, Pahrump
Birding Around Las Vegas, Outside the Las Vegas Valley
Discovery Park

Discovery Park Public Parking off Pahrump Valley Blvd (view N)

Description

Discovery Park, located near downtown Pahrump, is an abandoned golf course that was taken over by Red Rock Audubon and the efforts of local citizens who live on the perimeter of the park and elsewhere in Pahrump. Getting better all the time, birders have now recorded 176 species in Discovery Park.

Typical for a golf course, the area is long and narrow with paved trails that run the length of the park. Two ponds remain, as well as many trees, and local volunteers are busy planting trees and native plant gardens in the old fairways. The "roughs" remain rough too.

Discovery Park is a spot of green amid an arid piece of desert. Except for Pahrump residents, this isn't a birding destination, but rather a place to stop and do some birding before driving on to somewhere else. I like to bird Discovery Park on the way to Death Valley.

Link to eBird site checklist or area map.


Discovery Park Public Parking off Pahrump Valley Blvd (view W)

Location

Discovery Park is located about 1-1/4 hours west of Las Vegas in the city of Pahrump. The easiest way to get there from Las Vegas is to drive south on I-15, then take Hwy 160 over the mountains to Pahrump. In downtown Pahrump, turn left at a stoplight onto Highway SR-372. Drive west 0.4 miles to a round-about. Exit left onto Pahrump Valley Blvd southbound and drive 0.3 miles to Discovery Park (Table 1, Site 1859), on the right. There is no sign, but watch for pine trees and grass.

Hours

Day-use only.

Fees

None, but show your appreciation for access to the area by making a small donation to Red Rock Audubon, who have largely financed restoration of the old golf course.


Entering Discovery Park on a dirt trail (view W)

Birding Trails

The old, paved fairway path serves as a convenient loop trail for birding the area. From the parking area, a dirt trail leads west to the paved fairway path. Continuing straight, South Fairway Trail runs west between the two ponds. Turning right, North Fairway Trail runs along the north side of the old fairway.

Red Rock Audubon leads bird walks on the first Saturday of every month at 7:30-9:00 am. As they say: Come wander former fairways and happily end up in the rough as we look for migrant visitors.

Specialties

This is an area to look for resident, migrant, and breeding birds. Keep an eye out for resident species such as Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Anna's Hummingbird, Common Raven, Say's Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Verdin, Phainopepla, and House Finch. During the breeding season, watch for Black-chinned Hummingbird, Lucy's Warbler, Western Kingbird, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.


Paved trail along south side of the fairway (view W)

Information sign about trees planted in the fairway (view W)

Several species of trees planted in the fairway (view W)

Native plants -- butterfly garden (view E)

Native plants -- butterfly garden (view NE)

Several species of native plants in the butterfly garden (view NW)

South Fairway Trail approaching the ponds (view W)

South pond (view W)

North pond (view NW)
Discovery Park
American Wigeon and American Coots on the water

Semi-domestic ducks and geese looking for food (view W)

South Fairway Trail (view W)

South Fairway Trail (view W)

Birder on South Fairway Trail (view W)
Discovery Park
Vermillion Flycatchers are resident here

Fairways are growing in with shrubs and trees (view NW)

North Fairway Trail (view E)

North Fairway Trail (view E)

North Fairway Trail (view SE across North Pond)

North Pond (view SE)

Bench along North Fairway Trail (view E)

North Fairway Trail (view E)

North Fairway Trail returning towards parking area (view E)
Discovery Park
Dirt trail leads back to the parking area (view E)

Bird species (52) seen December 23, 2017

Greater White-fronted Goose, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Gambel's Quail, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Killdeer, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Anna's Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Merlin, Prairie Falcon, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, American Crow, Common Raven, Verdin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Bluebird, Crissal Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's), Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon), White-crowned Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Brewer's Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

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

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1859 Discovery Park, Pahrump 590918 4006634 36.20207 115.98868 2,670

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 171226

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