Leaser Lake ()
DESCRIPTION: Leaser Lake and the adjoining mountainside provide a variety of birding opportunities from waterfowl to grassland birds to woodland warblers.
Description adapted from Birds of the Lehigh Valley and Vicinty, available at

DIRECTIONS: Leaser Lake is in the western tip of Lehigh County. From PA 143 and PA 863 go west on PA 143 for 0.95 mile and turn right (north) on Ontelaunee Road. Go 0.6 miles and keep left. Go another 0.5 mile to the North Parking Lot on the left.

From here, there is a good view of the water surface. Acadian Flycatcher breed in the hemlocks on the north side of the lake just before the north parking lot. The trees along the roadside in both directions from the north parking lot can also be productive for migrating warblers, vireos, and other songbirds.

For less common breeding warblers along with other woodland birds, turn left (west) out of the North Parking Lot and continue on Ontelaunee Road for 0.6 mile and turn left (west) onto Springhouse Road. In another 0.5 mile, at the stop sign, turn right onto Leaser Road. Park in one of several turnoffs just past this point and walk uphill to the top of the mountain. Breeding Cerulean, Worm-eating, Hooded, and Kentucky warblers can be found in trees along the roadside.

At the top there is a series of open fields to the left. Along the Appalachian Trail there are breeding Chestnut-sided Warbler.

The area west of the lake is grasslands, which have nesting Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Vesper, Savannah, and Grasshopper sparrows.

Heading back downhill from the parking turnoffs, both Leaser Road and the unmarked third road at this intersection (Blue Mountain House Road) provide good birding. On Blue Mountain House Road, check ponds along the roadside. At 1.8 miles down this road, continue past the intersection with Slateville Road and check the fields for breeding grassland birds such as Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Vesper, Savannah, and Grasshopper sparrows. Leaser Road likewise provides good grassland birding. Utt Road, which runs between Leaser Road and Slateville Road, also has ponds and fields good for birds. Willow Flycatcher can often be found in brushy areas along this road. Follweiller Road, off of Leaser Road, provides access to the west parking area of the lake and a view of water areas not visible from the north lot.


Maps (Click on map for larger view)


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Posted: 2009-10-24 00:00:00