January 2017

The New Year

Starting the 2017 New Year during January, bird reports were entered into eBird from all Central Oklahoma counties with 3 of them reporting over 100 species.  Cleveland County had their Christmas Bird Count on the 1st and many birders in other counties started the year with a day of birding. Meanwhile, the drought continues in central Oklahoma and lake levels are low.

On the 1st Joe Buck located a Loggerhead Shrike in Lincoln County near Chandler.  Judson Lassiter spotted a Red-tailed Hawk in Newcastle in McClain County.  Cameron Carver checked the Okarche Sewage Ponds in Kingfisher County and identified Canvasback, Common Goldeneye, Ruddy Duck and Bonaparte’s Gull.  In Canadian County Andrew Core saw Canada Geese at Rolla Lake near El Reno and at Lake Overholser Brian Stufflebean had Red-breasted Mergansers while Jerry Taylor reported Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck.  In Logan County Jeff Tibbits added a Hermit Thrush and Bewick’s Wren and Zach Poland detected a Barred Owl, Brown Creeper, and Song Sparrow at his place.  In Payne County Alex James found a Red-breasted Nuthatch at Lake Carl Blackwell; John Polo noticed a Field Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow in Stillwater, Scott Loss counted a Canvasback and Purple Finch at Whittenberg Park in Stillwater. At Lake Hefner Cameron Carver recognized Thayer’s Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Forster’s Tern; and Jerry Taylor tallied Common Loon, Horned Grebe, and Greater Yellowlegs.  At his OKC home Joe Buck turned up a Red-headed Woodpecker.  In Norman Lindell Dillon saw a Pine Siskin; Paul Cook recorded a Swamp Sparrow along South Jenkins; Zach DuFran found Le Conte’s Sparrow and Green-winged Teal south of Hwy 9; Zach Poland discovered Smith’s Longspurs near the Max Westheimer Airport; and T K documented an Orange-crowned Warbler and Pine Warbler. 

On the 2nd Mary & Lou Truex saw Hooded Merganser, American White Pelican and Red-headed Woodpecker at Taylor Lake in Grady County; Corey Riding came across a Pine Siskin in Stillwater; and Roy McGraw detected a Spotted Towhee in Mineral Wells Park in Guthrie. On the 3rd Larry May encountered a White-crowned Sparrow and Harris’s Sparrow in McClain County.  On the 4th Victor Stoll got an American Wigeon and Northern Pintail along the I-44 Norman Spur.  Don Maas discovered a Greater Roadrunner in OKC; John Hurd verified American Pipit at Lake Hefner; Zach Poland had a Lincoln’s Sparrow at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown OKC. In Norman Victor Stoll found a flock of Brewer’s Blackbirds near the Max Westheimer Airport.  On the 5th Roy McGraw tallied a Wilson’s Snipe at Lake Hefner.

On the 6th at Boomer Lake Park Deb Hirt located Common Merganser and Red-breasted Mergansers and Scott Loss identified a Thayer’s Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull.  On the 7th John McQuaig came across an Eastern Towhee at Lake Carl Blackwell and Scott Loss noticed a Greater White-fronted Goose and Ross’s Goose, and elsewhere Winter Wren.  Bill Diffin detected a Glaucous Gull at Lake Hefner; Joe Grzybowski recorded a Purple Finch at Little River State Park; and Zachary Hemans added a White-winged Dove and Lincoln Sparrow in Guthrie.

On the 8th Amanda Stubbs noticed a Red-breasted Nuthatch in Mustang; Joe Grzybowski documented a Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Overholser’s west side;  Lapland Longspur’s were seen at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge; and Timothy Cloninger spotted a Winter Wren at Martin Park Nature Center.  On the 9th Deanne McKinney turned up White-crowned and Harris’s Sparrow at 50th and Morgan Road and Nolan Craun recognized a Prairie Falcon at Lake Carl Blackwell.  On the 10th Steve Davis reported a Wilson’s Snipe and Horned Lark at Lake El Reno.  On the 11th Brian Stufflebeam had Greater White-fronted Goose and Hairy Woodpecker at Lake El Reno.  Nolan Craun turned up an American Tree Sparrow and Rusty Blackbird at Lake Carl Blackwell; Deanne McKinney verified the Great Egret at Saint Francis West Lake in OKC; and T K uncovered an Eared Grebe at the Lake Thunderbird south dam.

On the 12th John Hurd saw a Long-billed Dowitcher at Lake Hefner and Greti Landes posted pictures of a male and female Pine Warbler in her Norman yard.  On the 13th Zach Poland identified a Townsend’s Solitaire at Liberty Lake.  Carol Enwall reported an Inca Dove in Norman.  On the 15th Jenny Elton spotted a Brown Creeper, Northern Flicker and Red-bellied Woodpecker near Chandler.  At Shannon Springs Park in Grady County Jason Shaw spotted Northern Shoveler.  On the 16th CH Hemphill located Ferruginous Hawk and Merlin near Cement in Grady County.  Steve Davis identified an Eastern Towhee at Dolese Youth Park.  T K saw a Spotted Sandpiper at Lake Thunderbird Little River Marina area.  On the 17th Larry Mays identified a Greater Scaup at Lake Overholser’s Route 66 Park, and Tim O’Connell saw Smith’s Longspur at the OSU Cross Country Course. 

On the 18th Brian Stufflebeam acknowledged Black-crowned Night Herons at the OKC Zoo, and on the 19th at Liberty Lake in Logan County he got a Wilson’s Snipe.  On the 21st Jeremiah Ables saw a Great Horned Owl flying along the creek in Foster in Garvin County; Emily Hjalmarson uncovered Rusty Blackbird at Arbor Gardens Park; and Joe Grzybowski verified a Long-tailed Duck at Lake Thunderbird.  On the 22nd Brian Stufflebeam encountered Horned Grebe at Lake Overholser’s west side.  On the 23rd a Common Yellowthroat was detected along South Jenkins.  On the 26th Roy McGraw determined an Orange-crowned Warbler was in his Oklahoma City yard.  On the 27th Hillary Thompson had a Turkey Vulture along I-35 in Garvin County.  At Lake Konawa in Seminole County Larry Mays added Black Vulture, and Golden-crowned Kinglet while Valerie Bradshaw counted a Bald Eagle and Le Conte’s Sparrow.  In Pottawatomie County Elizabeth Pratt spotted a Northern Harrier along I-40 near Shawnee, and near Tecumseh Lake Valerie reported a Greater Roadrunner and Larry Mays identified a Hermit Thrush. 

On the 28th Zach Poland birded Lake Elmer in Kingfisher County and discovered Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, Brown Thrasher and Fox Sparrow and south of Kingfisher a Horned Lark.  Corey Riding documented an American Pipit at the Meridian Technology Center; Mike Yough turned up Greater Scaup at Sanborn Lake; and Joe Grzybowski uncovered a Lesser Yellowlegs at Lake Thunderbird Alameda Drive Twin Bridges.  On the 29th John Bates still has a Baltimore Oriole at his OKC yard feeder.  On the 30th Emil Younger Jr birded Pottawatomie County and located Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, and White-breasted Nuthatch. 

In the Central Oklahoma area during January 138 species were reported to date for the 2017 year.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by making reports at http://ebird.org  and can also be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net .  Esther M. Key, Editor.