LOCATION: Crystal Lake
Contributed by Jim Bates
35.27708 N 97.374786 W
Description: A small 60-acre city owned lake used as a special fishing area in the western Oklahoma City area. Cattail marshes are located at the NW and SW corners of the lake. Fields and brushy areas surround the lake with a wooded area on west side.
Directions: Go south from Interstate 40 at MacArthur exit about two miles and turn right on SW 15th Street (just before the bridge) and go one mile( just past a salvage yard) and turn in a gate which goes to the lake.
Alternate vantage point: Take the Rockwell Avenue exit from Interstate 40 and go south over Interstate 40 to the end of Rockwell and then walk a short distance to the west side of the lake.
Good birding areas nearby: Cedar trees south of SW 15th Street after turning off MacArthur Boulevard can have accipiters and owls in the winter (should get permission to enter).
Winter: Canvasback, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, Shoveler, Canada Goose,White-winged Scoter (rare), Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed gull, Bonaparte’s gull, Herring gull , Glaucous gull (rare). Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Common Snipe. Bald Eagle, Sparrow Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk (rare), Coopers’ Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl. Yellow-rumped warbler, Junco, Harris’ sparrow, Field Sparrow, Lincoln’s sparrow, White-crowned sparrow, Swamp sparrow, Tree sparrow, Song sparrow, Savannah sparrow, Fox sparrow, House Sparrow, Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Ruby-crowned kinglet, Golden-crowned kinglet, Cardinal, Kingfisher, Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird , Red-winged blackbird, Common grackle, Long-tailed grackle, Bewick’s wren, Carolina wren, Marsh wren, Common crow, Red-bellied woodpecker, Hairy woodpecker, Downy woodpecker, Flicker, Bobwhite, House finch, Brown Creeper, American Robin, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Goldfinch, Bluejay, Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Rock Dove.
Spring: Blue-winged Teal, Osprey, Black and White Warbler, Wilson’s warbler, Nashville Warbler, Orange Crowned Warbler, Common Redstart, Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler (rare), Blue-Headed Vireo, Chipping sparrow, Spotted sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Swainson’s Thrush, Least Tern, Eastern Kingbird, Orchard Oriole, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe
Summer: Blue Grosbeak, Dickcissel, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green-backed Heron, Snowy Egret Black-Crowned Night Heron, Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Western Kingbird, Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, Ruddy Duck, Bell’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Northern Oriole, Rough-winged swallow, Chimney swift, Purple Martin, Yellow warbler, Indigo Bunting, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Mississippi Kite, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Common crow, Turkey Vulture
Fall: Sora, Black Tern, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Forster’s Tern, Common Tern.