Clocks changed and warmer weather arrived making time outside more comfortable; but is there anything new to see? Ah yes, from Sandhill Cranes to Yellow-crowned Night Herons, birds began to return. Who would be the first to see what where? Resident birds started nesting and in a strange location owlets fledged.
On the 2nd Patti Muzny observed three Greater Roadrunners in McClain County, and near Chandler Jimmy Woodward discovered a Loggerhead Shrike. At Lake Hefner Jeff Tibbits located a blue morph Snow Goose, and Matt Jung found lots of different waterfowl including Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Herring Gull and Bonaparte’s Gull. On the 3rd Matt added Red-breasted Merganser and Common Goldeneye. At Boyd Davison Park in Payne County, Brandon Melton had Brewer’s Blackbird, while in Norman Joe Grzybowski sighted a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and along South Jenkins T K saw a Winter Wren.
On the 4th Larry Mays had Sandhill Cranes near Newcastle, while Dick Gunn checked out South Jenkins and discovered Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sandhill Cranes, and Fish Crows. Dala Grissom saw Redheads at Shawnee Twin Lakes. Jimmy Woodard heard a Purple Martin flying over his house in Mustang, and Marybeth Murphy located Common Merganser and Forster’s Tern at Lake Hefner.
On the 5th ten people arrived for the OCAS’s American Woodcock field trip led by Jimmy Woodard and Nadine Varner at Lake Stanley Draper on the northwest side near Midwest Blvd and Stanley. They were not disappointed when the first peent was heard around 6:45pm and at least 3 birds were seen doing displays. Marybeth Murphy discovered a Tree Swallow at the Lexington Wildlife Management Area.
On the 7th Alex James saw an American Pipit at Lake Carl Blackwell, and Michael Beilfuss had a Purple Finch east of Boomer Lake. On the 8th along South Jenkins, Dick Gunn observed a male Cinnamon Teal among the mixed crowd of teal. James Hubbel located a Barn Owl at the Oklahoma City Shelter near SE Grand Boulevard and SE 29th Street, and Michelle Gardner discovered an American Woodcock at the Lincoln County Wetland south of Chandler.
On the 9th Dick observed a pair of Northern Rough-winged Swallows over the pasture along South Jenkins, and at Boomer Lake Cassandra Cullin discovered a Franklin’s Gull. On the 10th Andrew West had a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak on his feeder in Stillwater, while at Lake Hefner Bill Diffin discovered a Lesser Black-backed Gull. On the 12th Alex James had a Lincoln’s Sparrow at the Teal Ridge Wetland in Payne County. On the 13th Chris Butler saw a Louisiana Waterthrush at a small ravine in 10-Acre Park in Choctaw.
On the 14th Tim O’Connell heard a flock of about 40 Sandhill Cranes fly over his house in Stillwater. Alex James checked out Lake Carl Blackwell and relocated the Red Crossbills, a Pine Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Chipping Sparrows and a Tom Turkey. On the 15th Pat Garrison saw three Black Vultures flying over South Jenkins. On the 16th in Norman Brian Davis identified an Orange-crowned Warbler, T K discovered Lesser Yellowlegs at Lake Thunderbird, and Joe Grzybowski birded South Jenkins to discover an early migrating Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. While riding a bike around Lake Hefner Patrick Schlecht counted 15 Common Loons. On the 17th Donna Mackiewicz had a Barn Swallow in Logan County between Edmond and Guthrie.
On the 18thEsther Key identified an Evening Grosbeak at her backyard feeder near Moore, while Chris Clay saw Northern Bobwhite near I-40 and US 270 in Shawnee County. In Norman Lindell Dillon reported an Eastern Bluebird laid her first egg of the season in one of his nest boxes and he also located a Great Egret in the Hallbrooke Addition. At Lake Thunderbird, Joe reports the lake is down and there are mudflats at the Twin Bridges with 9 species of shorebirds including American Golden Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird’s Sandpiper, and at the dam Tree Swallows, Purple Martins and Franklin’s Gulls.
On the 19th Mary and Lou Truex went on a birding trip and located a wetland southeast of Maud with Cinnamon Teal, at Lake Konawa a Sharp-shined Hawk and Bewick’s Wren, at Tecumseh Lake a Savanna Sparrow, at Little River wetland a Swamp Sparrow, at Purcell Lake a Rough-legged Hawk and Black-and-white Warbler, and at Lake Thunderbird’s Twin Bridges a Snowy Plover. In Tuttle Larry Mays discovered Spotted Towhee, Eastern Phoebe, Barred Owl and Redhead.
On the 20th Bill Diffin checked Bluff Creek Park just below Lake Hefner Dam where the woods were alive with birds singing and calling and discovered Northern Shoveler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper and Fox Sparrow. Meanwhile, south of Dover at a sand pit off of Hwy 81 Mary and Lou Truex had a Long-billed Dowitcher, Ruddy Duck, and Northern Pintail. On the 21st Jason Shaw located a Wood Duck in the USAO Habitat Area’s Lower Pond in Chickasha. On the 23rd Bill Diffin birded Stinchcomb WMA East and located a Black-and-White Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglet; at Lake Carl Blackwell Jack Olson saw a Yellow-throated Warbler; at Lake Thunderbird T K discovered a Louisiana Waterthrush; and in east Norman Joe located a Lark Sparrow.
On the 24th Joe made a quick sweep past Lake Hefner and was surprised to find two winter-plumage Red-throated Loons together just off the dam near the intake and at Prairie Dog Point he had a Snowy Plover. Meanwhile, along South Jenkins Dick located a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Yellow-throated Warbler. On Sanborn Lake Brandy Polo identified Hooded Mergansers.
On the 28th the first Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were seen on the west side of Oklahoma City in Mustang by Jimmy Woodward and on the east side over I-44 by Brian Davis. Mike Husak reminds us that he and Diane Landoll have been banding Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and to please notify them if you spot a banded bird at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
On the 29th Jim Bates stopped by Crystal Lake and lucked out in spotting a Long-billed Curlew. Brian Davis noticed a raptor circling over Cleveland Elementary in central Norman that sure looked like a Mississippi Kite???. On the 30th in Oklahoma City Bill Diffin located Pine Siskins at the Coffer Dam and then checked below the dam at Lake Overholser to discover returning Cliff Swallows. Jim Bates also checked the mudflats and found a single Least Tern. Dora Webb had a very large Crow/Raven visit her yard. Meanwhile along South Jenkins T K located a White-eyed Vireo.
Over the weekend Dick Gunn reports along South Jenkins there were Yellow-throated Warblers, Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, all three teal species and at Griffin Park a Great Egret. Meanwhile south of Lake Hefner between two parking lots, Pat Flanigan reports the 3 Great Horned Owl chicks fledged. When surprised employees discovered the nest, they set up spotting scopes and took pictures of the family.
During March 153 bird species were reported with 27 new species which brought the 2013 year’s total to 169 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Esther M. Key, Editor.