February 2008

Recorders Report – February 2008

The first Purple Martin arrived on February 24th at Shelly Harris’ site in Norman, and a Short-eared Owl was flushed at Sooner Lake. The Lesser Black-backed Gull(s) were at Lake Hefner most of the month, a Glaucous Gull showed up at Lake Overholser for a few days, and an American Woodcock put on a display in the Lake Arcadia area. Total bird species reported to date for the Central Oklahoma area in 2008 are 118.

Cleveland County
On the 13th near Norman, Debby Kaspari‘s Pine Warbler, which has been visiting her suet dough since mid-December, was waiting his turn when he threw back his head and warbled a set of rattling notes that shook his whole body. What a show! On various visits at South Jenkins where it almost meets the river, Matt Jung found among other species Purple Finches, Harris’s Sparrows, Brown Thrasher, a chatty Pileated Woodpecker and heard a singing Western Meadowlark, while on the 14th a Ruby-crowned Kinglet arrived at his daughter’s backyard feeder. On the 22nd Joe Grzybowski had a dark Merlin in the small park at Boyd and Wylie streets. On the 24th Shelly Harris had the first Purple Martin return to their colony site. She is planning on flipping crickets and mealworms to them if another sustained winter blast arrives before warm temperatures are here to stay.

Grady County
On the 14th a light morph Ferruginous Hawk flew over Hwy 4 between the Canadian River and Hwy 37 in Tuttle.

Payne County
On the 9th Jimmy Woodard and Jerry Vanbebber went to Stillwater searching for interesting birds. At Lake Carl Blackwell they found at least 3 Red Crossbills, Chipping Sparrows, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, and the Western Grebe. At a pond between Perkins and Cushing about half a mile north of Hwy #33 and east of Brethren Road they found two adult Trumpeter Swans. Sooner Lake was full of waterfowl including all three species of Mergansers, several Bald Eagles, a field full of Smith’s Longspurs, and Jerry flushed a Short-eared Owl. At Sooner Lake on the 19th Jim Arterburn found around 1,000 ducks including Northern Pintails, 400 Greater Scaup, a female Surf Scoter, 4 Long-tailed Ducks, and a male Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Lake Hefner
On the 7th Berlin Heck arrived from the frontier to visit Lake Hefner and reported a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 24 Least Sandpipers, 2 Great Egrets, 2 Canvasbacks, a flock of Greater Scaup, and loads of Common and Red-breasted Mergansers. On the 14th Chris Butler and his ornithology class also found the Lesser Black-backed Gull, Green-winged Teal, American White Pelican, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. On the 23rd Joe found 2 Lesser-backed Gulls, 30 Least Sandpipers, and 1 Greater Yellowlegs. A Wilson’s Snipe was found on the 26th by Matt Jung.

Lake Overholser
A Glaucous Gull was seen harassing several Ring-bill and Herring Gulls until it stole a morsel of food on the 15th by Jimmy. It was seen again on the 17th by Jimmy, Jerry and Max Fuller, and on the 19th by Nancy Vicars and the Tuesday Morning Birders.

Oklahoma Metro Area
On the 11th in his yard Matt Jung reported seeing an Orange-crowned Warblers, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and hearing an Eastern Screech Owl, and on the 27th at Eldon Lyon Park he found two Brown Creepers. On the 29th Matt went to Lake Stanley Draper and found White-breasted Nuthatch, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, White-crowned Sparrow, and Song Sparrow. John Shackford reports in previous years he has found American Woodcocks in the blackberry patch around this lake.

Alice Riddle and her husband were visiting their land near Route 66 and Hiwassee in the Lake Arcadia area around dusk when she remembered the discussions about woodcocks. The “peent”-ing drew them in, and they only had to wait a short while before a male shot into the sky, his wings twittering. They watched his large circular flight, heard his chirpy song at the height of the flight, and then watched as he plummeted back to the ground. They got to see the routine several times before it was too dark to see him. They were impressed, and it was a life bird to boot!

I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in their reports of bird species seen at home and in the field. I can be contacted by email at emkok@earthlink.net, leave a message at 405-381-9170 or mail to 4603 Pikey’s Trail, Tuttle, OK 73089. Esther M. Key, Editor.