The End of the Year
December was a busy month with Christmas Bird Counts all over the state. Even so birders had time to find new birds in several of the central Oklahoma Counties. According to eBird at the end of the year four counties had reported over 200 species, another five had over 100 species, 2 had over 90 species, leaving one county at 59. In the Central Oklahoma area during December 137 species were reported with 1 first of the year report bringing the year’s total to 284.
On the 10th Tim O’Connell discovered a Brown Pelican on Boomer Lake in Stillwater, Joe Grzybowski had a Western Grebe at Lake Overholser on the Canadian County side; and Michael Novak spotted a Common Merganser at Boomer Lake Park. On the 13th Emil Younger Jr found Northern Harrier, Hairy Woodpecker, White-crowned Sparrow and Purple Finch in Pottawatomie County. On the 17th Zach Poland found Winter Wren and Orange-crowned Warbler at the Stinchcomb WMA gate 3 on North County Line Road in Canadian County.
On the 21st T K located a Red-breasted Merganser at Lake Thunderbird’s south dam. On the 25th Joe Buck noticed a Ferruginous Hawk near Calumet in Canadian County. On the 27th Judith Bowman spotted an Inca Dove at Tabletop Homestead in Garvin County, and T K found a Common Merganser at Lake Thunderbird’s south dam. On the 31st Zach Poland located a Great Horned Owl, Brown Thrasher and Tundra Swan at Lake Elmer in Kingfisher County, and Paul Cook discovered a Lapland Longspur at the Goldsby Sod Farm in McClain County.
eBird has issued an interesting challenge for the year of 2017. Can you turn in a bird report each day of the year? While January is almost over it is not too late to see how many weeks or months a bird report can be turned in each day. For a report to qualify a birder must spend at least five minutes focused on birding and record both the species seen and the number of each species. Backyards, parking lots, a neighborhood park are all qualified places. Last year as I walked the parking lot at work I was able to record 45 species on 41 checklists. So take a few minutes each day, spend time with the birds and report it in eBird. You may be surprised at what is happening.