Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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April 2016

WOW !!  What a busy month.  Birds were migrating and birders were busy recording their visits to Central Oklahoma.  Also at the end of a monumental journey Larry Mays became the third person in Oklahoma to join the 7700 club by seeing 100 bird species in all 77 counties.  Congratulations!!!   But he didn’t stop there.  This month he and many others helped Central Oklahoma record over 70 new species for the year.

On the 1st, T K had a Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Thunderbird.  On the 2nd Christie Stoops spotted a Great Horned Owl at Cottonwoood Creek in Logan County.  On the 3rd in Blanchard Larry Mays identified an Upland Sandpiper, and in Lincoln County at Meeker Lake Dala Grissom located a Dark-eyed Junco.  On the 3rd Brian Stufflebeam reported a Brown Pelican at Lake Hefner, and on the 4th in McClain County Larry Mays noticed a Swainson’s Hawk.

On the 6th Melissa Cunningham discovered a Clay-colored Sparrow in south Oklahoma City. On the 7th a Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived at Zach Poland’s home in Logan County, and in McClain County Paul Cook located Vesper Sparrow and Brewer’s Blackbird. On the 8th Jenny Clark spotted a lingering Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Chandler in Lincoln County.  Meanwhile, in Canadian County at the NW 63rd wetland Deanne McKinney encountered an American Avocet and at Rose Lake Yellow-headed Blackbirds. T K found a Prothonotary Warbler at Lake Thunderbird, while Brian Stufflebeam identified a Say’s Phoebe at Mitch Park in Edmond.

On the 9th at the NW 63rd wetland Chad Ellis had Pectoral Sandpiper, American Golden-Plover, Snowy Plover, Semipalmated  Plover and Zach Poland saw Willet and Semipalmated Sandpiper.  Joe Grzybowski identified a Broad-winged Hawk in southeast Norman and an Eared Grebe at Lake Thunderbird.  On the 10th Caitlin Laughlin noticed a Long-billed Dowitcher at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant.  On the 11th Pamela Graber birded Purcell Lake and found Red-headed Woodpecker and Song Sparrow.  On the 12th Todd Alfes discovered a Northern Rough-winged Swallow at the NW 63rd wetland, and T K noticed a Swainson’s Thrush at Lake Thunderbird Alameda Bridges. On the 13th Zach DuFran saw a Northern Parula along South Jenkins. Todd Alfes spotted a Caspian Tern at the Lake Overholser Dam, and on the 14th a Chimney Swift at the Yukon City Park, while Rachel Wrenn verified an Eastern Kingbird and Red-eyed Vireo at the Little River State Park.  On the 15that the Little River State Park, Stan Shadick had a Great Crested Flycatcher, while at Lake Thunderbird T K got a Summer Tanager.  On the 16th Desire Spears located Pine Siskin in Shawnee. In Kingfisher County Zach Poland noticed a Swainson’s Hawk and Joe Grzybowski saw a flock of Cedar Waxwings. T K turned up the season’s last Dark-eyed Junco at Lake Thunderbird, and Scott Loss documented an American Bittern at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant and a Hooded Warbler south of Yale.

On the 17th at the USAO Habitat Area, Jason Shaw had Wild Turkey and Barred Owl, and at a ranch in Logan County C H Hemphill identified Le Conte’s Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole.  At the Yukon Wagner Road wetland Joe Grzybowski detected White-faced Ibis; at Lake Overholser Elizabeth Pratt spotted an Osprey; and at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City Todd Alfes noticed a Swainson’s Thrush.  On the 18th Corey Riding had a Marbled Godwit at the Meridian Technology Center Pond.  On the 19th Scott Loss spotted a Bank Swallow at Boomer Lake Park.  On the 20th Zach Poland came across a Green Heron at his home in Logan County, and Chad Ellis counted Sora Rail at Rose Lake.  On the 21st in Garvin County Daniel Martin noticed a Greater Roadrunner near Lindsay, while at Rose Lake Deanne McKinney got a Common Yellowthroat.

On the 22nd while driving through Pottawatomie County John Key noticed Wild Turkey and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.  Later in Seminole County at the Maud Wetlands he heard an American Bittern and Esther detected a Warbling Vireo, along Hwy 9A an Eastern Kingbird, at Lake Konawa a Yellow-throated Vireo; and at Sportsman Lake an unknown warbler.  In Logan County at Zach Poland’s home a Black-chinned Hummingbird and Swainson’s Thrush joined American Wigeon and White-throated Sparrow.  Larry Mays spotted a Cattle Egret in McClain County;  Jim McGovern discovered a Chuck-will’s Widow in Norman; Rachel Wrenn had an Orchard Oriole at the Little River SP; T K saw Hudsonian Godwit and Marbled Godwit at Ten Mile Flat; and Zack found an Acadian Flycatcher and Kentucky Warbler around Little Ax.

On the 23rd Melissa Cunningham noticed a Cinnamon Teal at the OKC Community College and Chris Butler documented a Chuck-will’s widow in Choctaw.  In Logan County Zach Poland counted a Common Nighthawk and on the 24th a Dickcissel.  While Ricky Jones recognized a Black-necked Stilt around Rose Lake; Nikki Hurst recognized a Gray Catbird in her yard in northwest Oklahoma City; and Scott Loss recorded an Olive-sided Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak and Eastern Wood-Pewee in Payne County.

On the 25th Jason Shaw spotted Chimney Swift in Chickasha and Western Kingbird at the USAO Habitat Area.  At a pond in Newcastle Larry Mays noticed a Little Blue Heron, and at the Arcadia Conservation Education Area an Indigo Bunting.  In Norman John Tharp identified a Gray Catbird and at the Little River SP Rachel Wrenn recorded a Yellow Warbler and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  On the 26th at home; in Logan County Zach Poland tallied a Mississippi Kite, and in McClain County Larry Mays recorded a Painted Bunting .  At the south range station in Payne County Ashley Unger reported a Bell’s Vireo.  On the 28th Deb Hirt recognized a Wilson’s Warbler at Boomer Lake Park.  On the 29th at Babcock Park Scott Loss saw a Blue-headed Vireo, in Newcastle Patricia Langen saw a Mississippi Kite; and at Adkins Hill Sod Farm Joe Grzybowski saw White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Phalarope.

On the 30th in Chandler Jenny Clark noticed a Red-headed Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch.  At the NW 63rd street wetland Chad Ellis detected a Whimbrel; Deanne McKinney came across a Palm Warbler; and nearby Ricky Jones discovered Sprague’s Pipit. In McClain County Larry Mays identified American Golden Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper,and Long-billed Dowitcher; near Little Ax he noticed Least Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo and Tennessee Warbler and along east Alameda an Eastern Wood-Pewee.  In Oklahoma City Jimmy Woodard reported a Summer Tanager at the Cleal residence.  In Payne County Stephen Russell found a Yellow-throated Vireo and Medhavi Ambardar a Lazuli Bunting; near west Hwy 51 Caitlin Laughlin detected a Sedge Wren and Blackpoll Warbler; in Stillwater Ashley Unger saw a Northern Waterthrush; at Boomer Lake Park Deb Hirt had a Black-throated Green Warbler and at Babcock Park Scott Loss recognized a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

In the Central Oklahoma area in April 212 species were reported with 71 first of the year reports bringing the year’s total to 242.  And now are we ready for the Big Count Day on May 14th?  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net .  Esther M. Key, Editor.