March 2014

Early arrivals

From ice to fire multiple changes kept weather, plant and bird watchers on their toes this month. The month started with cold, snow and ice, but by the middle of the month the warm windy weather created multiple wild fires and as flowers began to bloom, the first of spring migrant reports begin trickling in.

On the 1st John Polo went to Babcock Park to look for Rusty Blackbirds and was blitzed by at least 100 of them. On the 3rd Dick Gunn birded along South Jenkins in 5⁰F temperature with the ground covered in styrofoam snow/ice and located Swamp and American Tree Sparrows. On the 4th Scott Loss found Boomer Lake frozen again and the return of the Trumpeter Swan and Ross’s Goose. Sharon Henthorn found a Bald Eagle in a nest in Midwest City. On the 5thin Garvin County John Sterling saw a Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, and a nesting Bald Eagle, and on the 6th at Lake Overholser John Bates saw Cedar Waxwings, his Dad’s favorite bird.

On the 9th Torre Hovick discovered a Hermit Thrush at the north fairgrounds in Stillwater. On the 10th Matt Jung walked South Jenkins and found Marsh Wren and Greater Yellowlegs. On the 12th Deanne McKinney saw a large number of American Pipits feeding in the muddy area at the corner of 63rd and Sara Road. On the 13th Mark Cromwell had his Purple Martin scout show up in Perkins. On the 14th Joe Grzybowski found Baird’s Sandpiper and an estimated 10,501 Redhead Ducks, and Bill Adams discovered a Tundra Swan north of Hennepin in Garvin County.

On the 15th Steve Davis reported 6 Great Egrets at Lake Hefner. On the 17th Donna Mackiewicz had a Pine Siskin at her home in Logan County, and Phillip Leonard found an American Woodcock near Hennepin. On the 18th Alex James had a Townsend’s Solitaire at Lake Carl Blackwell and Barn Swallows on the OSU campus. On the 19th Anthony Solorio saw a Great-horned Owl nest at the corner of Britton Road and Piedmont Road and Dala Grissom reported a nest on the east side of the upper Shawnee Twin Lakes and another one nesting at Tecumseh Lake.

On the 20th Bill Diffin walked to the playa pond on the west side of Stinchcomb WMA and located Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds and a Northern Rough-winged Swallow, while John Hurd birded Lexington WMA and located a Black Vulture. On the 21st Nathan Kuhnert spotted a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher near McKinley Elementary in Norman; Tamara Srader saw a Green-winged Teal and Rough-legged Hawk near Prague in Lincoln County and Jerry Taylor had a Brewer’s Blackbird visit his home in Oklahoma City.

On the 22nd Bill Adams discovered Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Lark Sparrow, Barn Swallow and Purple Martins at Taylor Lake. Joe Grzybowski had a Chipping Sparrow in his backyard in Norman. At Lake Carl Blackwell Tim O’Connell found a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Eric Duell had a Pine Warbler. On the 23rd Jennifer Kidney spotted a House Wren along South Jenkins; Nathan Boren photographed a Yellow-headed Blackbird at Tranquility Lake off East Alameda; and Rick Roberts found a Cinnamon Teal on Massey’s Lake in northeast Oklahoma City.

On the 25th Joe Grzybowski made a quick pass by Prairie Dog Point and counted Pectoral Sandpipers and a lone Tree Swallow. Along South Jenkins, Dick Gunn had a Yellow-crowned Night Heron on the beaver pond. On the 26th Hal Yocum saw the first Louisiana Waterthrush at Mitch Park in Edmond. On the 27th a friend of Jimmy Woodward identified a Palm Warbler at her water feature in Yukon; Steve Davis and Mary spotted a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on the north side of Lake Overholser; David Latham spotted Sandhill Cranes north of Stillwater; at Lake Hefner Jack Hurd saw an American Avocet; Larry Mays found a Cliff Swallow in Mustang; and Evan Tanner had a Purple Finch at Couch Park in Stillwater.

On the 28th Jennifer Kidney had a pair of pretty little Inca Doves sitting on her bird bath in her Norman backyard, and sighted Clay-colored Sparrow along South Jenkins. At Lake Hefner Chad Ellis and Larry Mays reported Snowy Plovers and an American Golden-Plover. At Rose Lake John Hurd located Snowy Egrets and a Cattle Egret. On the 29th Jimmy and Nadine found a few spring migrants at Lake Stanley Draper which included White-eyed Vireo and Black-and-white Warbler. At Lake Thunderbird’s Alameda bridges T K found Cliff Swallows. Scott and Sara Loss walked around Lake Hefner and discovered a Forster’s Tern, Short-eared Owl, Red-throated and Pacific Loon.

On the 30th at Taylor Lake Tony Solorio discovered an Indigo Bunting and Eastern Kingbird; at Stinchcomb WMA west Larry Mays had a Lesser Yellowlegs and at Lake Thunderbird an Osprey. In Lincoln County at Meeker Lake Jimmy identified a White-throated Sparrow; John Polo found a Sedge Wren along the River Road near Ripley and Jennifer heard a Warbling Vireo along South Jenkins. On the 31st John Hurd checked the Dolese Sand Pit in Logan county and discovered Fish Crow, Osprey, Tree Swallow, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. With spring in full flower who will arrive next?

In the Central Oklahoma area 170 bird species were reported in March with 34 new species which brings the total for the year to 189. In eBird Payne and Oklahoma Counties have each reported over 140 species and Cleveland County is over 130. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at . Esther M. Key, Editor.