The International Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) occurred this month starting on the 13th and ending the 16th. Will all of the central Oklahoma counties report? And what a surprise the weather has been for the month with snow storm after snow storm. Will this bring surprise birds to our backyards?
North of Jones, Hollis Price was surprised to find the Evening Grosbeaks returned to her feeder and there was a male and two females. They usually showed up in the morning, and so far have stayed the entire month. She graciously opened her home so quite a few people were able to observe them.
On the 1st Chad Ellis located several duck species in Lincoln County including Northern Pintail, Canvasback, and Redhead. On the 2nd Hal Yocum reported Purple Finches and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the Hollis’ yard, and James Hubbell saw a Long-tailed Duck at Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point. On the 3rd Danielle Perryman identified a Swamp Sparrow at the Teal Ridge Wetland in Stillwater.
On the 5thScott Loss stopped at Lake Carl Blackwell to check on the Lewis’s Woodpecker and Prairie Flacon. On the 6th Jason Shaw spotted Hooded Merganser at the USAO Habitat Area in Grady County. On the 7th Nolan Craun at Tryon identified a Hairy Woodpecker in Lincoln County. In Logan County Zach Poland checked Guthrie Lake and noticed Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, and American White Pelican. Joe Grzybowski spotted the Dunlin at Lake Thunderbird’s Alameda Drive Bridges.
On the 9th Laura Madden spotted Purple Finch, Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrow in Blanchard in McClain County. Scott Loss discovered Brewer’s Blackbird along West Richmond Road in Stillwater. On the 10th Matt Jung spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch at Eldon Lyon Park; and Larry Mays found Snow Goose and Wood Duck in Tuttle. On the 11thLarry Mays birded Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County and relocated the Lewis’s Woodpecker; at Chandler Lake he saw a Spotted Towhee and in Payne County at Lake Carl Blackwell the other Lewis’s Woodpecker. Brian Stufflebean observed Black-crowned Night Herons at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
On the 13th at Lake Hefner Cameron Carver found an adult Herring Gull that could be a candidate for Vega; at Lake Thunderbird Lindell Dillon saw Black Vultures; in Pottawatomie County R E Carlberg spotted a Northern Harrier and White-crowned Sparrow; at the western Stinchcomb WMA Valerie Bradshaw identified a Cooper’s Hawk; and at Lake Carl Blackwell Nolan Craun located a Pine Warbler.
On the 14that 7:10am in Peru Noah saw his 1,000th bird of the year in his Birding Without Borders trip. At Cottonwood Creek Christie Stoops discovered Redhead and Ring-necked Duck in Logan County; Cameron Carver spotted a Dunlin along the west side of Lake Hefner; at the Claytor Ranch in Lincoln County Marli Claytor spotted a Turkey Vulture; and in western Canadian County Jeff Tibbits saw a Bald Eagle. In the evening at Lake Thunderbird Little River Marina T K spotted American Woodcock. Meanwhile, Jimmy Woodward and Nadine went looking for American Woodcocks at Lake Stanley Draper along Point 6 and were not disappointed. They also saw Wood Ducks and Sandhill Cranes. A nice Valentine’s Day.
On the 15th in Pottawatomie County Deanne Woodson saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk and Eastern Bluebird. In Logan County Divya Jaroni spotted a Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Thrasher near the Guthrie Country Club Lake. In Garvin County L Dee Oliphant identified a Field Sparrow and 36 Northern Cardinals in his yard. Shelly Ferguson saw a Tufted Titmouse in her yard in Grady County. Rick Farrar picked up an Eastern Screech-Owl at Timber Lake Estates north of Lake Thunderbird.
On the 16th with the snow/ice on the ground Steve Davis and Mary got their first Fox Sparrows for the winter. In Seminole County in Pamela Geier’s yard she identified White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick’s Wren and Pine Siskin. Pam J discovered American Tree Sparrows east of Lexington Wildlife Management Area. Christine Snitkin identified Snow Goose at Purcell Lake in McClain County. In Mustang James Carey saw Hairy Woodpecker, and in Piedmont Louise Basham had a House Finch and Northern Mockingbird.
On the 17th Larry May sighted a Hermit Thrush at Liberty Lake and Chipping Sparrows at the Summit View Cemetery in Logan County near Guthrie. On the 18th Larry Mays saw a gorgeous Ferruginous Hawk that is hanging around the fields to the northeast of SW 149th and S Western in Moore. John Marvin noticed Brewer’s Blackbirds along I-44 in Grady County.
On the 20th Robert Harding noticed an American Kestrel and Belted Kingfisher at Bell Cow Lake, and in western Canadian County Jeff Tibbits saw an Eastern Phoebe. On the 21st at Boomer Lake in Stillwater Scott Loss was able to pick out a Lesser Black-backed Gull among at least 1,000 gulls. In Purcell Phil Floyd noticed Greater White-fronted Goose and American White Pelican.
On the 22nd Joe Grzybowski was checking a flock of geese at the corner of Western and Indian Hills Road and found mostly Cackling Geese, a few Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Geese, 10 Ross’s Geese and perhaps a Cackling x Ross’s Goose hybrid. On the 23rd Laura Madden spotted a Hermit Thrush in Blanchard. On the 25th Bill Diffin checked Lake Hefner and located a Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Mergansers and at Bluff Creek Park he watched American Robins eat soapberries.
Quiz answers: Thanks to a busy bunch of birders to date species reported in all 12 counties include Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Northern Cardinal , Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, White-crowned Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and yes also making it in February are European Starling and House Sparrow. So far there are 10 species reported in 11 counties, two in 10 counties and which three counties have not yet reported Canada Goose?
For February 2015, in the Central Oklahoma area 135 bird species were reported with 6 new species bringing the year’s total to 141. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . Esther M. Key, Editor.