Weather was usually nice during December and many birders were out searching for the last birds of the year. There are a lot of birds to be seen in central Oklahoma; for example, during 2019 Payne County totaled 252 species. Otherwise, 57 species were counted in all 12 counties, 19 in 11 counties and 37 in one county. It is great to see birders becoming more active in all of the counties. Christmas Bird Counts were held in several counties with over 100 species seen on one day at each. Thanks to the many birders whose participation makes these continuing records possible.
On the 1st Caleb McKinney spotted Wild Turkey and Horned Grebe at Taylor Lake in Grady County; Braden Farris viewed Prairie Falcon along OK-51 near Hennessey in Kingfisher County and Common Grackle at Purcell Lake in McClain County; Rachel Wrenn found Barred Owl in Norman; Caleb McKinney observed Western Grebe at Lake Hefner Dam Road; and Steve Davis watched Lesser Goldfinch in his yard in OKC. On the 3rd Scott Loss identified Western Grebe at Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 4th Jimmy Woodward documented Red-necked Grebe near Prairie Dog Point at Lake Hefner.
On the 5th Steve Davis and Jimmy Woodard counted Hermit Thrush at Meeker Lake in Lincoln County and Common Goldeneye at Paden Sewage Ponds in Okfuskee County; Caleb McKinney with Landon Neumann recognized Rough-legged Hawk and Merlin near Orlando in Payne County; and Nancy Vicars and Patti Muzny noticed Pine Warbler at Little River SP. On the 6th Braden Farris got American Kestrel in Seminole County; and Brian Stufflebeam had Red-breasted Nuthatch at Arcadia Lake. On the 7th Jacob Crissup located Belted Kingfisher and Pied-billed Grebe at Wes Watkins Lake Campground.
On the 8th D&D Norris added White-throated Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warbler at Kairworks Garden in Logan County. In Canadian County Chris Butler encountered Short-eared Owl near Calumet; and Brian Marra with Chase Moxley confirmed Hooded Merganser, Marsh Wren, and Spotted Towhee at Stinchcomb WR. On the 10th Zach DuFran reported Sharp-shinned Hawk and Brown Thrasher at home in Norman. On the 12th Taylor Harting tallied Loggerhead Shrike and Northern Harrier on Fort Reno Road; and John Moyer came across Greater Roadrunner at Lake Thunderbird State Park. On the 13th Chris Butler discovered Bald Eagle and Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Prague Lake City Park in Lincoln County.
On the 14th Zach DuFran saw Carolina Chickadee near Goldsby in McClain County; Jacob Crissup recorded Black-crown Night-Heron plus an abnormally large flock of gulls and blackbirds hanging around a compost facility near NW 63rd & Kilpatrick Turnpike; and Larry Mays verified Marsh Wren and Red-necked Grebe at Prairie Dog Point. On the 15th Brian Marr photographed 1st winter Surf Scoter at Lake Hefner Stars and Stripes Park. On the 16th Caleb McKinney detected Red Crossbill and Fox Sparrow at Couch Park in Stillwater. On the 19th Larry Mays turned up Northern Shoveler and Ring-necked Duck in Seminole County. On the 20th Christie Stoops found Canvasback and Dark-eyed Junco at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County; and Daniel Martin added Least Sandpiper at Arcadia Lake.
On the 21st Aaron Milligan documented Pileated Woodpecker near Macomb in Pottawatomie County; Angel Carter spotted a flock of Cedar Waxwings near Blanchard in McClain County; Carol Enwall watched Pine Siskin in Norman; and Landon Neumann identified White-winged Scoter at Lake Hefner. In Payne County at Lake Carl Blackwell Mike Yough observed Common Goldeneye and Brewer’s Blackbird; and Tim O’Connell recognized Hermit Thrush and Swamp Sparrow. On the 22nd Jason Shaw noticed Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Chickasha. On the 23rd Tom Kennedy located Barn Owl near Geary in Canadian County. On the 24th Mike Hudson viewed Forster’s Tern at NW 63rd & Kilpatrick Turnpike. On the 25th Deb Hirt had Northern Pintail and Canvasback at Boomer Lake Park.
On the 26th Linda Jones discovered Harris’s Sparrow at the Lazy J in Lincoln County; Rich Glassford reported Greater Yellowlegs at Stinchcomb WR; Deanne McKinney encountered Great Egret at Saint Francis West Lake in OKC; and Sean Washington came across Black-crowned Night-Heron at OKC Zoo Lake. On the 27th Cindy Crane got Snow Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose and Canadian Goose in a field north of Piedmont. Nathan Moses counted Northern Shoveler at Kitchen Lake in Cleveland County; Matt Radford confirmed LeConte’s Sparrow in Stillwater; and Nathan Moses added Horned Grebe and Common Loon at Lake Hefner’s Dam Road. On the 28th Andrew Burnett detected Bewick’s Wren at Zion Park in Yukon; Beth Brueggen found American White Pelican at Lake Overholser; and Sam S heard Eastern Screech-Owl in OKC.
On the 29th JC Avena recorded Red-tailed Hawk along I-35 in Garvin County. In Cleveland County James Hubbell had White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow east of Lake Stanley Draper; Joe Grzybowski verified LeConte’s Sparrow, Redhead, and Common Goldeneye around Norman east; John Moyer turned up Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at home in Norman; while Patti and Brian Muzny and Nancy Vicars tallied Pileated Woodpecker at Hickory Hill Camp at Lake Thunderbird SP. On the 30th Jared Engelbert saw Greater Roadrunner in Guthrie; and Alex Harman spotted Bald Eagle at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater. And so, ends 2019; what will 2020 bring?
In the Central Oklahoma area during December 2019, 142 species were reported with 3 new species bringing the total for 2019 to 283. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at: ebird. 2019 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: http://www.ebird.org/subnational1/US-OK/region. (Accessed: December 31, 2019). And occasionally from Facebook and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Esther M. Key, Editor.
Dec Nov Oct Sept Aug May April Mar Feb Jan
Seminole 085 083 082 081 081 074 059 047 036 000
Garvin 098 097 094 093 092 079 063 060 020 019
Pottawatomie 118 118 117 116 116 104 100 076 071 054
Grady 139 129 117 117 116 116 098 074 058 046
McClain 138 138 138 137 135 130 109 075 064 051
Lincoln 146 143 142 140 135 131 113 089 068 057
Kingfisher 147 146 145 144 142 139 116 095 079 073
Logan 165 163 162 161 159 156 140 110 089 078
Canadian 206 204 203 2i 233 228 205 147 137 125
Payne 252 250 247 247 243 239 206 142 119 103
Number of bird species reported in 2019 according to eBird. Current year, region. www.ebird.org