Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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Mitch Park

LOCATION: Mitch Park – Edmond�
Contributed by Terri Underhill

35.411255 N 97.300477 W

Mitch Park 1501 W. Covell (between Kelly & Sante Fe) in NW Edmond OK.

Mitch is a 133-acre park which features several play-grounds including handicap accessible facilities, multiple use trials, basketball courts, pavilions, picnic tables, grills, amphitheater, Multiple Activity Center and sports fields with concession stand and restrooms.

bunting-male-painted-terriGetting to the park is easily accessible entering Covell from either Kelly or Santa Fe. You can take the main entrance into the park or follow the signs to the Mathis Skate Park on the east side of Mitch and north of Cheyenne Middle School. Both entrances are on Covell, along the south side of the park. Personally, I prefer to park and enter at the Skate Park since I can see and hear birds before I’ve even step foot on a trail.

During the summer months you most likely will have already seen numerous Mississippi Kites soaring before you even enter the park. The wooded areas of Edmond are ideal for nesting and therefore loved by the Kites, Red Shouldered Hawk and numerous raptors. This is the habitat they prefer to breed and raise their young in.

During the summer months the first song you’ll want to listen for is the melodious song of the Painted Buntings. The males sing from the tops of the trees along the paved trails close to the area he nests in. The city of Edmond has done a fine job landscaping with native vegetation the birds and wildlife seem to thrive on. Throughout the park are benches and feeding stations where you can sit and enjoy the birds. I sometimes take along bird seed just in case the feeding stations have been depleted from the squirrels and rabbits.

The majority of the trails are paved and a newly-opened trail bridge opened during the winter of 2005. This new bridge is a great area to observe the Louisiana Waterthrush during the summer months. The Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks also enjoy this area and can be seen and heard during their summer stay.

hotspot-mitch-smOn the east side of the bridge and about 200′ south, there’s an unmarked opening in the dense trees. This is where you can walk down to a hidden waterfall and see the wonderful red rock our state is commonly known for. If you’ve ever had the urge to step back in nature but don’t want to take a drive to the country, this is great little place to check out. This beautiful area is a bird magnet in the heat of the day when the birds and critters come to bath and drink from the cool pools of water below the slow streaming fall.

On the south end of the trails is a man-made overlook. This is a great place for getting a bird’s eye view of the trees tops from down below and even a closer look at a variety of birds. Native birds can be seen carrying nesting material in spring and later caring for their young in this densely wooded area. Mockingbirds, Thrashers, Bluebirds and many other fruit loving birds and wildlife can be seen enjoying the extremely popular fruit from the native Chickasaw Plums bordering many of the nicely paved trails. An assortment of Sparrows and many other birds use the dense thicket of Chickasaw Plums for nesting and a safe haven for their young. The thorny spurs give maximum protection against even the boldest of predators.
hotspot-mitch-map-sm

(Click
here for download / printable version of map
)

Species seen
(Number of Species: 82 as of
5-15-06)

List compiled by
Terri Underhill, Pat Velte & Susy Hall

s=summer, w=winter, a=all year, m=migrant

Northern Bobwhite (a)
Turkey Vulture (a)
Mississippi Kite (s)
Northern Harrier (w)
Red-shouldered Hawk (a)
Red-tailed Hawk (a)
American Kestrel (a)
Killdeer (a)
Rock Pigeon (a)
Mourning Dove (a)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (s)
Great Horned Owl (a)
Barred Owl (a)
Common Nighthawk (s)
Chimney Swift (s)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (s)
Belted Kingfisher (a)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (a)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (w)
Downy Woodpecker (a)
Northern Flicker (a)
Eastern Phoebe (a)
Great Crested Flycatcher (s)
Western Kingbird (s)
Eastern Kingbird (s)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (s)
Blue-headed Vireo (m)
Blue Jay (a)
American Crow (a)
Purple Martin (s)
Carolina Chickadee (a)
Tufted Titmouse (a)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (w)
White-breasted Nuthatch (a)
Brown Creeper (w)
Carolina Wren (a)
Bewick’s Wren (a)
House Wren (a)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (w)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (w)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (s)
Eastern Bluebird (a)
Swainson’s Thrush (m)
Hermit Thrush (w)
Northern Mockingbird (a)
Brown Thrasher (a)
European Starling (a)
Cedar Waxwing (w)
Tennessee Warbler (m)
Orange-crowned Warbler (m)
Nashville Warbler (m)
Yellow Warbler (s)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (w)
Louisiana Waterthrush (s)
Wilson’s Warbler (m)
Spotted Towhee (w)
Chipping Sparrow (s)
Field Sparrow (a)
Vesper Sparrow (w)
Lark Sparrow (s)
Savannah Sparrow (w)
Fox Sparrow (w)
Song Sparrow (w)
Lincoln’s Sparrow (w)
White-throated Sparrow (w)
Harris’s Sparrow (w)
White-crowned Sparrow (w)
Dark-eyed Junco (w)
Northern Cardinal (a)
Blue Grosbeak (s)
Indigo Bunting (s)
Painted Bunting (s)
Dickcissel (s)
Red-winged Blackbird (a)
Eastern Meadowlark (a)
Western Meadowlark (a)
Common Grackle (a)
Great-tailed Grackle (a)
Brown-headed Cowbird (a)
House Finch (a)
American Goldfinch (w)
House Sparrow (a)

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