February 2013


This was a busy month with the GBBC and weather changes.  The drought continues even though water from Canton Lake began flowing into Lake Hefner and several moisture events occurred during the month. Although most of Central Oklahoma missed a winter blizzard, everyone is wondering “when will the first birds of spring arrive?”

On the 1st Donna Mackiewicz had a Brown Creeper in her yard in Logan County.  Along South Jenkins On the 2nd in Norman Dick Gunn had a Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, and on the 3rd Song Sparrows, Lincoln Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Spotted Towhee and a Turkey Vulture. On the 5th Matt Jung checked the west Stinchcomb WMA and located Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Joe Grzybowski spotted a Great Horned Owl in Logan County near I-35 and Cimarron River.

David Fenton, a Canadian visitor, regularly walked in Midwest City Regional Park and on the 7th reported a pair of Gadwalls, Eastern Bluebirds, and Harris’s Sparrows.  Along South Jenkins Matt Jung discovered Fish Crows, and TK had a Marsh Wren; while at Lake Carl Blackwell Alex James had Chipping Sparrows. On the 8th near Guthrie Larry and Jan Kraemer located a Greater White-fronted and Snow Goose, and on the 9th Garey Harritt had a nice bunch of birds at his feeders including Purple Finch and Pine Siskins.

On the 12th Jim Bates reported seeing a Prairie Falcon three times the last week on the east side of the Fair Grounds near a Coca-Cola Plant usually around 6:00 pm.  At Lake Carl Blackwell after 4 or 5 tries John Polo found some Red Crossbills as well as Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey, and on the 14th he discovered a Short-eared Owl east of I-35 north of East Seward Road.

Beginning the weekend of the GBBC on the 15th Christie Stoops had a Hermit Thrush near Cottonwood Creek in Logan County.  Doni McClain had a Red-headed Woodpecker at the Rockin HD Ranch east of Wayne in McClain County.  In Grady County Lisa Handwerker had Downy and Hairy Woodpecker at Wildwood located west of I-44 along Hwy 37.  In Oklahoma County Christy Kucera discovered a Brown Thrasher at Edmond Park.

On the 16th the OCAS field trip searched Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County and discovered American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Lesser Scaup and Common Mergansers, and at the Oklahoma Botanical Gardens Alicia Maple spotted an Eastern Screech Owl.  In Kingfisher County at Lake Elmer Esther Key had a Savanna Sparrow and Wilson’s Snipe, and near Okarche John Grellner found Brewer’s Blackbird.  In Grady County at the Ninnekay Outdoor Classroom, Connie Taylor had a Song Sparrow.  In Canadian County Dakota McNeill spotted a Redhead Duck southeast of El Reno.  In Lincoln County Jimmy Woodward found Northern Harrier and Red-shouldered Hawk.  In Cleveland County at Lake Thunderbird TK discovered a Spotted Sandpiper, and in Norman VA Ospovat locate an Inca Dove.

On the 17th Donald Winslow spotted a Cooper’s Hawk and Field Sparrow at Tecumseh Lake in Pottawatomie County and at Catalpa Cottage a Golden-crowned Kinglet. Melinda West had both a Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatch in Logan County.  In Grady County in Minco, Jaake Bodley had Yellow-rumped Warbler and Field Sparrow.  On the 18th Jimmy Woodard was making a pass around Lake Hefner and found a Red-throated Loon on the northwest corner of the lake. At final tally, reports were received from 10 of the 11 counties in Central Oklahoma.  Great Job !!!!

On the 19th Jason Heinen spotted Smith’s Longspurs at the OSU Cross Country Field in Payne County. On the 21st Hollis Price noticed about 75 Cedar Waxwings in his back yard oak tree in Jones.  At Aydelotte Gregory Mayberry had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Purple Finch.  Joe Grzybowski spotted a Ross’s Goose along Norman’s Ten Mile Flats and the Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Hefner.  On the 22nd in Newcastle, Larry Mays had a new yard bird, an American Tree Sparrow.  On the 22nd Jane Boren noticed a Black Vulture and Hairy Woodpecker in the little park east of Twin Bridge on Alameda.  Grace Huffman located Great Egrets in downtown Oklahoma City and on the 23rd Jimmy Woodward discovered Black-crowned Night Herons in northeast Oklahoma City.

On the 23rd The Cleveland County Audubon Club took a field trip to the Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station in McClain County and located both singing Eastern Meadowlark and Western Meadowlark  and later at Lake Purcell a Greater Yellowlegs and Greater Roadrunner.

Bill Diffin advised he had observed Common Loons on Lake Hefner a couple of times this week, and Joe found a Loggerhead Shrike along Indian Hills Road east of I-35.  Mary and Lou Truex saw a Rough-legged Hawk along Hwy 4 near Piedmont.  On the 24th Torre Hovick located an American Pipit at Lake Hefner.  On the 26th Dave and Sue Woodson had a nice time birding around Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point and the dam.  They were happy to report the water is flowing into the lake and now large numbers of waterfowl and other species can be observed feeding close to shore including Blue-winged Teal.  On the 27th at her home Donna Mackiewicz had a White-winged Dove and White-throated Sparrow, and along South Jenkins Dick Gunn reported three Rusty Blackbirds, a species in rapid decline.

During February 111 bird species were reported with 9 new species which brought the 2013 year’s total to 142 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