January 2021

What an amazing month of Mountain Bluebirds, Purple Finches, Red-breasted Nuthatches and other unusual species.  At the time data was collected, there were two bird species seen in all 12 Central Oklahoma Counties.  Who do you think they are?  Another 19 species were seen in 11 counties.  On the other hand 24 species were seen in one county, 13 in two counties and these species are highlighted in bold. At Lake Overholser some bird species are being a bit ornery about crossing county lines in the middle of the lake and getting counted in two different counties. 

On the 1st D&D Norris detected Orange-crowned Warbler and Song Sparrow at Kairworks Garden in Logan County; Caleb McKinney found Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, and Brewer’s Blackbirds on Sooner Road in Grady County; Scott Loss identified Pine Warbler and Western Grebe at Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County; and Someone saw Spotted Sandpiper at Lake Thunderbird—East Sentinel.  At Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City  Branden Farris verified Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter and Forster’s Tern; and Trina Arnold added Eared Grebe.  In Oklahoma City Steve Davis had Lesser Goldfinch; and in Midwest City Jimmy Woodward got American Tree Sparrow.  On the 2nd Randolph King observed Northern Flicker and Greater White-fronted Goose at Guthrie Lake in Logan County; John Tharp had American Pipit at Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County; and Brian Marra photographed an out of season Grasshopper Sparrow along Spring Creek Trail at Lake Arcadia in Oklahoma County.

On the 3rd Tim O’Connell reported American Woodcocks east of Stillwater; and Jerry Taylor tallied Wood Duck at the Bethany Library Pond. In Pottawatomi County Randolph King came across White-throated Sparrow at Shawnee Reservoir—upper section, Golden-crowned Kinglet at Wes Watkins Lake, and Yellow-rumped Warbler in McLoud.  In Logan County Braden Farris discovered Fox Sparrow at Mineral Wells Park; Northern Bobwhite and Bonaparte’s Gull at Guthrie Lake; and Mountain Bluebird at Liberty Lake. In Cleveland County Patti Muzny and Nancy Vicars spotted Pine Warbler at Hog Creek Campground at Lake Thunderbird; and John Tharp encountered Vesper Sparrow, Smith’s Longspur and LeConte’s Sparrow along Wilshire Drive.  On the 4th Larry Mays had Red-breasted Nuthatch and Purple Finch at his home in McClain County; and Terry Mitchell noticed Long-tailed Duck at Lake Hefner. 

On the 5th in McClain County Joe Grzybowski encountered Cackling Goose near Riverwind; and Zach DuFran counted White-winged Dove and Red-headed Woodpecker at Purcell Lake; and at Lake Overholser Larry Mays watched Red-breasted Merganser and Common Loon.  On the 6th Hope McGaha turned up Purple Finch and Red-breasted Nuthatch on Old Hwy 18 in Pottawatomi County; and Braden Farris watched Franklin’s Gull, Black Scoter and Eared Grebe at Lake Overholser.  On the 8th Esther Key photographed Bald Eagle at Elmore City Lake in Garvin County; and Linda Jones recorded Winter Wren at Lazy J in Lincoln County.  At Lake Hefner Bill Diffin viewed Iceland Gull, California Gull; and Brian Marra confirmed Pacific Loon; while at Lake Overholser Grace Huffman located Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren, Swamp Sparrow and Larry Mays recognized Surf Scoter.   

On the 9th Braden Farris detected Horned Lark and White-throated Sparrow at Prairie Prime Ranch J in Lincoln County; Larry Mays found Ross’s Goose and Lapland Longspur at Country Club Road in McClain County; William Radke identified Wilson’s Snipe along Morgan Road in Canadian County; and Calvin Rees saw Snow Goose northeast of Piedmont.  On the 10th Teresa Blakley added Downy Woodpecker at Tuttle in Grady County; Casey Girard verified Ferruginous Hawk at Calumet in Canadian County; Ashleigh Rhea observed Rough-legged Hawk and Vesper Sparrow in Stillwater; Braden Farris got Common Merganser at Lake Overholser; and Brian Marra had Sedge Wren at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge East.  On the 12th Calvin Rees came across Loggerhead Shrike in Kingfisher County; and Larry Mays discovered Horned Lark and Fox Sparrow at the Tuttle Soccer Complex in Grady County.

On the 13th Alex Harman flushed an out of season Gray Catbird from a Pyracantha shrub at The OSU Botanic Garden. On the 14th Steve Davis photographed Red-necked Grebe at Lake Heffner.  On the 15th Jason Carlson spotted Prairie Falcon at Calumet in Canadian County.  On the 16th Mary & Lou Truex tallied Eastern Screech Owl and Hermit Thrush at Paul’s Valley Lake in Garvin County; Doug Wood noticed Long-tailed Duck, Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Snowy Egret at Lake Overholser and  Common Merganser at Lake Hefner while Grace Huffman located Short-eared Owl at Fort Reno in Canadian County.  On the 18th Priscilla Crawford recorded Black Vulture at Wewoka in Seminole County; Zach DuFran had Smith’s Longspur at Shawnee Reservoir—Lower Section in Pottawatomi County; and Grace Huffman confirmed Marsh Wren and Common Yellowthroat along South Jenkins in Norman in Cleveland County. 

On the 19th Larry Mays watched Wild Turkey and Greater Roadrunner in Tuttle; and Mike Yough viewed Say’s Phoebe and Rusty Blackbird at Lake Carl Blackwell – Dam in Payne County.  On the 20th Aaron Mechem heard a Tufted Titmouse at Warr Acres in Oklahoma County.  On the 21st at Facebook’s OK Bird Watchers Chuck Bishop posted a photo of a Leucitic American Robin in Norman.  On the 22nd Larry Mays recognized Swamp Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat at Maud Wetlands in Seminole County and Brown Creeper at Wes Watkins Lake in Pottawatomi County.  On the 23rd Jan Hansen added Northern Harrier in Kingfisher County; Jack Olson found Wood Duck at Geary in Canadian County; John Tharp detected Say’s Phoebe at Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County; Landon Neumann had Rock Wren at Lake Carl Blackwell – Dam in Payne County; Brian Marra verified American Woodcocks at Lake Stanley Draper – Equestrian Lot;  Leah Speno discovered Western Grebe at Lake Hefner; and Matt Jung observed eight Black-crowned Night-Herons behind the Fire Station at Lake Hefner. 

On the 24th Brent Barnes located Lapland Longspur along Lemon Road in Kingfisher County; and Randolph King spotted Pied-billed Grebe at Alex Marsh in Grady County.  The bird species counted in all 12 Central Oklahoma Counties this year are American Crow and Canada Goose.  On the 25th Dala Grissom found Common Goldeneye in Pottawatomi County; and Brian Marra described Pyrrhuloxia at Crystal Lake in Oklahoma County.  On the 26th Christie Stoops added Bald Eagle at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County; and Jerry Vanbebber identified White-winged Scoter at Lake OverholserOn the 28th Jimmy Woodward, Larry Mays, Jerry Vanbebber, and Christina Kolbmannbb  enjoyed a Woodcock display at Lake Stanley Draper west of the equestrian parking lot.  On the 29th Larry Chen with Marie Chappell reported Northern Harrier at Purcell in McClain County; and Brent Barnes saw Western Grebe at Lake Overholser.  On the 30th Amy Estep detected Sandhill Cranes in Canadian County.  On the 31st Scott Loss documented Ring-necked Pheasant at Lake Carl Blackwell.  Spring is on the way.  When will the first migrants arrive:  Purple Martins, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, etc.?

In the Central Oklahoma area during January, 158 species were reported. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2021 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: https://ebird.org/region/US-OK?yr=all. (Accessed: January 30 & 31, 2021). And occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net.  Esther M. Key, Editor.



Kingfisher                            016

Seminole                             035

Garvin                                   054

Lincoln                                  059

Grady                                    059

Pottawatomie                   060        

                Logan                                    067        

McClain                                068

                Canadian                             116

                Cleveland                            119

                Payne                                   124

                Oklahoma                           138


Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.        www.ebird.org