Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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March 2018

Recorders Report – March 2018

Spring Begins

As the redbuds and wild plum thickets began to bloom, visions of spring and spring migrants begin dancing in birder’s head and questions arise. Which spring migrant will show up first:  Shorebirds, Warblers, NTMB (Neotropical Migratory Birds), Egrets/Herons and, yes Gulls.  How long would the Red Crossbills visit Chitwood Park in Edmond and the Red-necked Grebe stay on Lake Hefner?  And then as winter continues to linger, how will this affect spring migration? 

On the 1st Larry Mays came across Purple Martin at South Lakes Park in Cleveland County; and Richard Gunn viewed Green-winged Teal, 50-60 Greater Yellowlegs and Western Meadowlarks along South Jenkins in Norman.  On the 2nd Ben Sandstrom identified Ferruginous Hawk and Brewer’s Blackbird in Logan County; Laura Madden recognized Barred Owl and Eastern Phoebe at Spring Haven in McClain County; and John Tharp observed Wood Duck, Long-billed Dowitcher and Fish Crow along South Jenkins in Norman.  On the 3rd Scott Loss detected Purple Martin at Boomer Lake; and Esther Key watched Double-crested Cormorant and White-crowned Sparrow at Sportsman Lake in Seminole County and Wild Turkey in Pottawatomie County. 

On the 4th John Tharp reports that despite the dreary weather, he managed a couple of decent birds on Ten Mile Flats in west Norman: Prairie Falcon and a quite early Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Meanwhile, Cory Riding counted Red Crossbills at The OSU Botanical Garden; and Tim Muzny encountered Purple Martins in SW OKC.  On the 5th Bill Diffin added American Woodcock at Lake Stanley Draper; and Michael Kane spotted Little Blue Heron in Norman. On the 6th at the Audubon Field Trip in Canadian County at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge West Gate 3, Brian Marra photographed Franklin’s Gull and Johnny Walker reported Barn Swallow found by Sharon Henthorn and Sandhill Crane discovered by Bob Holbrook.    

On the 7th Mary and Lou Truex located Greater Roadrunner along I-44 in McClain County.  On the 8th Scott Loss recorded Rusty Blackbirds along Airport Road and at Boomer Lake Neotropic Cormorant while Corey Riding had Fish Crow; also, near the Jackson Elementary School in Norman Zach DuFran verified Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.  On the 9th Zach Poland got Purple Martin at Taylor Lake in Grady County.  On the 10th Caleb McKinney confirmed Canvasback at Lake Louis Burtschi in Grady County; Brian Marra discovered LeConte’s Sparrow at Arcadia Lake; and Mike Yough saw Rusty Blackbird at his home in Payne County.  On the 11th Joe Grzybowski tallied Greater Yellowlegs and Blue-winged Teal at Alex Marsh in Grady County. 

On the 13th Brian Marr found Vesper Sparrow at Lake Stanley Draper. On the 14th Chad Ellis turned up Cinnamon Teal at Rose Lake and Long-billed Dowitcher along Mustang Road; Zach Poland discovered a Prairie Falcon at downtown Oklahoma City; and Robert Harding recognized Purple Finch at his home in OKC.  On the 16th Brian Marra determined Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Stinchcomb WR; and John Moyer encountered Black-and-white Warbler at his home in Cleveland County.  On the 17th Larry Mays recorded Pine Siskin at his home in McClain County; Brian Marra documented Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper and Stilt Sandpiper at the Yukon Parkway/Mustang Road playa. 

On the 18th Mary and Lou True spotted Pied-billed Grebe and White-winged Dove at Paul’s Valley Lake in Garvin County;  Bill Diffin identified Black Vulture, Fish Crow and Chipping Sparrow at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County and Hermit Thrush at Mitch Park in Edmond; Zach Poland added Franklin’s Gull at his home in Logan County; John Tharp discovered Common Yellowthroat along South Jenkins; and Brian Marra viewed Common Yellowthroat and Marsh Wren at Lake Overholser Coffer Dam and at Stinchcomb WR a Winter Wren.  On the 19th Rachel Wrenn observed Lark Sparrow in her yard in Norman. On the 20th at the Stinchcomb WR John Hurd reported Lesser Yellowlegs and Austin Jones tallied Swamp Sparrow.  On the 21st Rachel Wrenn found Cliff Swallow at Lake Thunderbird State Park. 

On the 22nd Giff Beaton came across Red-breasted Mergansers at Lake Overholser; Jimmy Woodward had Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at the Oklahoma Zoo Park; Brian Stufflebeam noticed Snowy Plover at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point; Calvin Rees saw Barn Swallow at Lincoln Park Golf Course; and  Rachel Wrenn detected White-eyed Vireo and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher along South Jenkins.  On the 23rd Hal Yocum located Eastern Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Louisiana Waterthrush at Mitch Park in Edmond.  On the 24th Roy McGraw watched Tree Swallow at Arcadia Conservation Education Center at Lake Arcadia; Tim O’Connell turned up Louisiana Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler and Pine Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell; Mike Yough got White-eyed Vireo at his home in Payne County; John Tharp verified Northern Rough-winged Swallow along South Jenkins; and Nathan Kuhnert and Emily Hjalmarson determined Yellow-throated Warbler along South Jenkins. 

On the 25th Deanne McKinney discovered American Kestrel and Eastern Phoebe at Rose Lake; Roy McGraw located Little Blue Heron at Zoo Lake Park; Emily Hjalmarson observed Yellow-headed Blackbird at Ten File Flats in Norman and Black-and-white Warbler at Lake Thunderbird.  On the 26th Zach Poland found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at his home in Logan County; Roy McGraw recognized Baird’s Sandpiper at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point; Taylor Vance reported Yellow-throated Warbler at Boomer Lake Park; and Rachel Wrenn confirmed Orange-crowned Warbler along South Jenkins.  On the 27th John Hurd identified White-eyed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, and Cliff Swallow at Taylor Lake; and Brian Stufflebeam spotted Cliff Swallow and Common Loon at Lake Hefner. 

On the 29th Jimmy and Nadine took a spin around Lake Stanley Draper and came across Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, White-eyed Vireo and Louisiana Waterthrush.  On the 30th Bill Diffin and Brian Marra documented Little Gull in Canadian County at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge West Gate 3; Dick Gunn, Rachel and John detected Northern Parula and Vesper Sparrow along South Jenkins; and Caitlin Rottler counted Red Crossbills at Fort Reno.  On the 31st Bill Diffin identified Black Scoter at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point.  Continuing through the month Hal Yocum has reported Red Crossbills at Chitwood Park in Edmond and different birders have sorted through the hundreds of swimmers to at Lake Hefner to verify the Red-necked Grebe is still here. When will they leave?  And what will happen with the birds and the plants they feed on when the April Fools weather arrives?

During March of 2018 in the Central Oklahoma area 158 species were reported with 28 new species bringing the total for the year to 173.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by making reports at http://ebird.org.  I can also be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net .  Esther M. Key, Editor.

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