April 2013

Frosty Feathers

WOW !!! Two new birds were arriving almost daily while the weather rained, hailed and frosted. With a mild winter we were ready to start our gardens, but another frost came, and another and another until on May 3rd it tied for the latest frost. But that didn’t stop the birds. Unfortunately many interesting bird sightings had to be deleted from this report. You will just have to go out and see for yourself all the bird diversity in central Oklahoma during spring migration.

On March 31st Tim O’Connell suspected he heard a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in his yard in Stillwater. On April 1st along South Jenkins Dick Gunn added a Grasshopper Sparrow and a Solitary Sandpiper, while in Kingfisher county Jack Olson saw a Greater Roadrunner. On the 2nd Jim Bates went to the sod farms at SW149th and MacArthur and found an American Golden Plover and a single Swainson’s Hawk.

On the 4th along Midwest Boulevard at the North Canadian River Bridge Jim located an Eared Grebe and south of 63rd he had three Upland Sandpipers. On the 6th Joe Grzybowski finally tracked down Sprague’s Pipits at the Embassy Suites on the North Base in Norman. Jimmy Woodward and Nadine saw two Cattle Egrets in a field near SW89th and Sara Road, and Cassandra Cullin found a Snowy Egret along Lake Overholser. Christie Stoops had Blue-wing Teal and Ruddy Duck at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County, and T K discovered a Peregrine Falcon at Lake Thunderbird, NW.

On the 7th male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were sited by Jimmy Woodward at his kitchen window feeder in Mustang and Matt Jung at Stinchcomb WMA west. Jimmy discovered Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Grady County, and James Hubbell located a Western Sandpiper at Lake Overholser. On the 8th John Polo found an Osprey in Logan County just off I-35 near Guthrie Lake, and Larry & Jan Kraemer discovered a Loggerhead Shrike near Dover in Kingfisher County. On the 9th Joe made a quick pass by Lake Hefner and noticed a Western Grebe. In Tuttle in Grady County Kristi Hendricks photographed a Lark Sparrow. Meanwhile, Jimmy reported Nashville Warbler at Yukon City Park and Broad-winged Hawks were viewed by Dick Gunn along South Jenkins and Jimmy at Lake Stanley Draper. On the 11th along South Jenkins Dick saw an Eastern Kingbird and Indigo Bunting.

On the 12th Matt Jung discovered Wilson’s Phalaropes at Lake Overholser. In Norman David Durica was checking his feeders and after closer examination he identified a possible Golden-fronted Woodpecker. In Seminole County Esther Key had Horned Larks at Wewoka Lake and a Yellow-throated Warbler at Sportsman Lake. On the 13th T K observed Black-necked Stilts and Red-eyed Vireo at Lake Thunderbird NW, and in Pottawattamie County at Shawnee Twin Lakes Dala Grissom reported an Osprey.

On the 14th at Lake Carl Blackwell Tim O’Connell and his Ornithology class located Red-breasted Nuthatch and Greater Scaup . Northern Parulas were also found by them and by John Polo at Couch Park. Meanwhile, on South Jenkins Dick Gunn, Brian Davis, Chase Swyden, Jackson Helms and Anais Starr-Raeside reported a Prothonotary Warbler, Western Kingbird, Brown Creeper, and Yellow-throated Warbler, while Joe discovered a Hermit Thrush. John Grellner had a Grasshopper Sparrow near Okarche, and Donna Mackiewicz observed Chimney Swift over her home in Logan County.

On the 15th Carol Enwall and Dick Gunn saw a Little Blue Heron and Green Heron on South Jenkins. In Logan County Donna Mackiewicz identified a Great Crested Flycatcher and Christie Stoops spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. On the 16th near Lake Overholser’s Dam Matt Jung located a White-faced Ibis and American Avocet; at Trosper Park Jim Bates discovered a Yellow-throated Vireo; and at Lake Hefner Joe viewed a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Red-throated Loon.

On the 18th at the Yukon City Park Jimmy Woodward noticed two House Wrens; along South Jenkins Dick saw Clay-colored Sparrows, and Joe heard a Warbling Vireo. On the 19th Matt Jung watched a Willet at Lake Overholser, while in Stillwater Julie Hufnagel saw a Summer Tanager. On the 20th in McClain County southwest of Newcastle Larry Mays discovered American Pipit and Cattle Egrets, while at Purcell Lake Mary and Lou Truex had a Baird’s Sandpiper and Ruddy Duck. Later in Garvin County near Lake Longmire’s Boat Ramp they found a Wood Duck, Northern Harrier, and Tree Swallow.

On the 21st in Arcadia a male Painted Bunting showed up at Alicia Riddle’s feeder, and at the Yukon City Park Jimmy found Baltimore Oriole and Wilson’s Warbler. Sharon Henthorn drove around Lake Overholser and discovered four Black-necked Stilts and a flock of Wilson’s Phalaropes. In Grady County in Chickasha Jason Shaw reported a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Meanwhile, T K had a Yellow Warbler at Lake Thunderbird’s Indian Point Marina; in Norman Jim Magovern heard a Chuck-will’s-Widow and John and Anais Raeside had a Gray Catbird in their yard.

On the 22nd Jimmy Woodward located an American Bittern at the wetlands near east Stinchcomb WMA. Jason Shaw had a Mississippi Kite in Chickasha, but Brian Davis reported an unusually early Mississippi Kite in March. T K found an Orchard Oriole at Lake Thunderbird’s Indian Point. Abbey Ramirez discovered a Dickcissel in her backyard in Stillwater. On the 23rd Hollis Price viewed a Blue Grosbeak in his yard NE of Jones. Tim Boland discovered a Pileated Woodpecker in Southwestern Canadian County near Cedar Lake located between El Reno and Hinton.

On the 24th at South Jenkins Dick spotted a Winter Wren, Red-eyed Vireo, several shorebirds including a Stilt Sandpiper and T K‘s Semipalmated Plover. In Norman a late Purple Finch visited Jennifer Kidney’s yard, and William Kaempfer located a Blue-headed Vireo near Andrews Park in Norman. Feodora Steward reported the Red-headed Woodpecker at Eldon Lyon Park has returned, while Jim Bates went to Crystal Lake and identified a Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow. In Lincoln County at Grey Snow Eagle House Kinsey Winters noticed an American Kestrel.

On the 25th at their feeders Hollis Price NE of Jones saw two Pine Siskins, while in Norman Nancy Reed noticed a Lazuli Bunting. Kent Andersson viewed a Sora Rail at the Teal Ridge Wetland in Payne County, and Maire Johnson discovered a Tennessee Warbler in Stillwater. On the 26th Chad Ellis spotted a Peregrine Falcon at Martin Park Nature Center. On the 27th Bill Diffin found the Western Grebe along Lake Hefner’s dam; T K located a Bell’s Vireo at Lake Thunderbird’s Indian Point Marina; Andrew West had a Barn Owl east of Stillwater; and Dana Cole sited a Bank Swallow at the Teal Ridge Wetland.

On the 28th near Stillwater Tim O’Connell reported Northern Bobwhite; Maire Johnson saw a Least Flycatcher; and Kent Andersson found a Common Nighthawk. Joe visited the sod farms in McClain County and was surprised to find Buff-breasted Sandpipers with some Upland Sandpipers. Along South Jenkins, T K discovered a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Joe had a Sedge Wren. So which of the 13 Central Oklahoma counties in this report so far this year has recorded the most species and which the least?

During April 195 bird species were reported with 64 new species which brought the 2013 year’s total to 233 species in the Central Oklahoma area. 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.