Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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March 2016

At the end of a mild and dry winter, the bird action shifts from backyard feeders to incoming migrants.  Flocks of thousands of geese disappear and are replaced by geese couples dawdling together. When will the ducks on the lakes be joined by shorebirds and egrets?  Will the state bird arrive this month or next?

On the 1st Lindell Dillon identified a Greater Scaup in Hallbrooke Addition in Norman.  On the 3rd Brian Stufflebean spotted Bonaparte’s Gull at Liberty Lake in Logan County, and in Kingfisher County he discovered a Greater Yellowlegs at a Marsh just south of Dover along CR E0730. On the 5th Joe Grzybowski documented Baird’s Sandpiper at the Morgan Road playa and John Marshall School Pond in OKC, a Western Grebe at Lake Hefner, and a large flock of Sprague’s Pipits at the Norman Ten Mile Flats. In Lincoln County Joe Buck found a White-crowned Sparrow.  On the 6th in Garvin County near Hennepin Bob Ellis located Greater Yellowlegs, Blue-winged Teal and Pied-billed Grebe; Lindell Dillon noticed a Great Egret in Norman; and Deb Hirt recognized a Common Yellowthroat at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater.

On the 8th Brian Stufflebean came across a Yellow-headed Blackbird at Lake Hefner, and Jerry Taylor discovered an Eastern Screech-Owl in Oklahoma City.  On the 9th John Bates located a Barn Owl in the cedars by Sara Road.  On the 10th, Larry Mays had a Brown Thrasher at his home in McClain County; and Chris Butler identified Swamp Sparrow and Marsh Wren at Rose Lake.  On the 11th in Pottawatomie County Brian Stufflebean checked the Shawnee Reservoir Upper Section and tallied Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck and Song Sparrow.  Meanwhile Purple Martins arrived in Garvin County at Elmore City Lake.

On the 13th Joe Grzybowski identified American Pipit along Ladd Road in McClain County plus in Garvin County east of Maysville he found a Loggerhead Shrike, and in Foster Esther Key saw Lark Sparrow.  In NW Canadian County Daniel Robinson spotted Barred Owl, Northern Bobwhite and Northern Rough-winged Swallow.  In Cleveland County John Tharp noticed Black-and-white Warbler at the Little River State Park, and Corey Riding discovered Purple Martin at Boomer Lake Park in Payne County.

On the 15th Larry Mays reported a flock of Sandhill Crane in McClain County and Cédric Duhalde found Sprague’s Pipit at the Purina Fields in Edmond.  On the 16th John Tharp identified Tree Swallow and Cliff Swallow at Lake Thunderbird State Park North Sentinel Campgrounds.  On the 17th Joshua Cullum saw a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Little River State Park.  On the 18th Scott Loss noticed a Barn Swallow at Boomer Lake Park.  On the 19th Ricky Jones encountered Loggerhead Shrike and Lincoln’s Sparrow around Rose Lake, and Deb Hirt came across Louisiana Waterthrush and Lark Sparrow at Boomer Lake Park.

On the 20th T K saw a Barn Swallow at the North Base/Airport Area in Norman, and at Boomer Lake Park Scott Loss spotted Solitary Sandpiper, Tree Swallow and Cliff Swallow.  Andrew Barndt discovered a Snowy Egret, Purple Martin, Barn Swallow and Cliff Swallow at Lake Hefner.  A Black-and-white Warbler was located at Arcadia Lake, and Jimmy Woodard counted a Tree Swallow at Lake Overholser’s Coffer Dam.  On the 21st Andrew Barndt noticed a flock of Sprague’s Pipit at the Garrett Farmstead in McClain County and Scott Loss identified an American Golden-Plover at the Meridian Technology Center Pond in Payne County, while Emily Hjalmarson recognized a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Norman.

On the 22nd Kyle Horton spotted a White-eyed Vireo at the George M. Sutton Wilderness Park in Norman.  In Logan County on the 24th Zach Poland identified Fish Crow at Mineral Wells Park, and on the 25th he detected a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at his home. Deanne McKinney recognized a Barn Swallow at Rose Lake in Canadian County, and an Osprey at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge; while Lindell Dillon reported an Osprey at Lake Thunderbird and Joe Grzybowski turned up a Yellow-throated Warbler along South Jenkins in Norman.

On the 26th Curt Hofer found Horned Lark at the Goldsby Sod Farm, and C H Hemphill noticed a Black-and-white Warbler at a ranch in Logan County.  At the Little River State Park, John Tharp saw a Louisiana Waterthrush and Vesper Sparrow, while Caitlin Laughlin discovered a Cinnamon Teal at Sanborn Lake in Payne County.  On the 27th Christie Stoops identified an Eared Grebe at Cottonwood Creek; Scott Loss detected a Spotted Sandpiper at Boomer Lake Park; and Chris Butler recorded a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Choctaw.  On the 28th Zach verified a Purple Martin at his home in Logan County.  On the 29th Caitlin Laughlin reported the first Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at the OSU Arboretum.  But the best is yet to come in the busy migration month of April.  So get on out there, check out the birds, have fun and participate in a citizen science project !!

In the Central Oklahoma area 22 new species were reported in March bringing the year’s total to 170.  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.