Here they come !! Neotropical Migratory Birds, shorebirds, egrets, as well as those wintering in southern North America are beginning to arrive: Some to stay; others to continue north. Of the returning birds by the end of March, Barn Swallow have been found in 9 counties and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in 6 counties. 13 more species have now been reported in all 12 counties bringing the total reported in all 12 counties to 35. Who are the new ones?
On the 1st Simon Vickers noticed Barn Owl at Heindrick’s Park in Stillwater. On the 3rd Branden Farris added Long-billed Dowitcher at Bethany-Warr Acres WTP in Oklahoma County; and Sharon Henthorn described Barn Swallow flying over the Lake Hefner Dam. On the 10th Brian Marra detected Long-billed Dowitcher at Stinchcomb WR West; Neotropic Cormorants were located in Oklahoma City at Lake Hefner by Steve Stone; at Lake Overholser by Jimmy Woodard; and in Stillwater at Boomer Lake Park by Scott Loss. Hal Yocum drove by the Bald Eagle nest in eastern OKC and found an adult Eagle feeding an eaglet bite by bite. On the 11th Steve Davis recorded Osprey at Lake Hefner; and at Lake Thunderbird SP John Tharp spotted Barn Swallow, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Cody Delano viewed Cinnamon Teal. On the 12th the Ornithology Class-OU verified Purple Martin and Tree Swallow at Lake Thunderbird SP—East Sentinel; and Matt Jung counted Yellow-headed Blackbirds along the Mustang Road.
On the 13th Joe Grzybowski saw 12 Black-backed Gulls mostly at the Kirkpatrick Turnpike borrow pit. Most were first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls but one was a Great Black-backed Gull. It stayed around at Lake Overholser long enough for several other birders to see and some to photograph it. Meanwhile, K Dean Edwards came across Tree Swallow at Lake El Reno, Jennifer Kidney heard Brown Thrasher singing in her pecan tree in Norman; and Landon Neumann confirmed Cinnamon Teal, Pectoral Sandpiper and Tree Swallow at Cushing Water Treatment Plant in Payne County. On the 14th Sean Washington discovered Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Woodland Park in Oklahoma County; and Randolph King had Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Crystal Lake in Oklahoma County. On the 16th Bill Diffin got Baird’s Sandpiper at the Yukon Parkway.
On the 17th Abigail Hobbs encountered Pectoral Sandpiper at the Big Wewoka Creek Site 11 Reservoir in Seminole County; at Lake Overholser Bill Diffin identified Barn Swallow and Braden Farris observed Tree Swallow, and at the Meridian Technology Center Pond in Stillwater Scott Loss recognized Baird’s Sandpiper. On the 18th Lori Beasley documented Pyrrhuloxia in Edmond. On the 19th Joe Grzybowski flushed Sprague’s Pipit at Ten Mile Flat in Cleveland County; and Braden Farris tallied Pectoral Sandpiper at North Yukon Parkway. On the 18th Steve Davis reported Blue-winged Teal along Drummond Road in Kingfisher County. On the 19th Cinnamon Teal were found by someone at Stinchcomb WR west and Randolph King at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point. Northern Rough-winged Swallow were located by the Ornithology Class-OU along South Jenkins, and Scott Loss at Boomer Lake Park.
The 13 additional species reported in all 12 counties are Mourning Dove, American Coot, Killdeer, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Carolina Wren, European Starling, House Sparrow, House Finch, White-throated Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and Common Grackle. Purple Finches were reported in all counties except Kingfisher.
On the 20th John Tharp identified Black-and-white Warbler and Cliff Swallow at Lake Thunderbird SP – East Sentinel; Brian Marra saw Osprey at Stinchcomb WR West; and Deanne McKinney spotted Cattle Egret at Rose Lake in Canadian County. On the 21st Landon Neumann reported Barn Swallow and Long-billed Dowitcher near Hennessy in Kingfisher County; Brian Marra discovered Lark Sparrow and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Arcadia Lake; Someone located Louisiana Waterthrush near Lexington in Cleveland County; and Lesser Yellowlegs were found by Braden Farris at Bethany-Warr Acres WTP; and Bill Diffin at NW 63rd & Kilpatrick Turnpike. On the 23rd Clay Billman flushed an American Bittern at Teal Ridge Wetland; Braden Farris counted White-eyed Vireo at Lake Stanley Draper; Joe Grzybowski noticed Pectoral Sandpiper at Ten Mile Flats and Baird’s Sandpiper at SW 149th Sod Farm; Bill Diffin verified Cliff Swallow at Lake Hefner; and Kent Andersson had Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Stillwater.
On the 24th in McClain County Randolph King added Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Purcell Lake and Barn Swallow at Goldsby Sod Farm; Larry Mays detected Sprague’s Pipit at Newcastle Park; Someone came across Whooping Crane standing around a waterhole in the wheat field near the Cimmaron River north of Guthrie in Logan County; and Zach DuFran got Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Norman. On the 25th John Tharp tallied Osprey at Lake Thunderbird – Dam. Dick Gunn encountered Yellow-throated Warbler and Tree Swallow along South Jenkins. On the 26th Trina Arnold described Osprey at Sportsman Lake in Seminole; and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were observed by Brian Marra at Stinchcomb WR East; and Rachel Wrenn in Norman. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were confirmed by Megan Migues near Stroud; Zach Poland along the Cimarron Turnpike; Zachary League at Boomer Lake Park, Tim O’Connell near Calvary; and Abdul Dominguez at Summit Lake in Cleveland County.
On the 27th Alex Harman recorded Barn Swallow and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher along I-35 near Paul’s Valley in Garvin County; Steve Stone viewed Barn Swallow along I-44 south of Chickasha in Grady County; Braden Farris had Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush and Black-and-white Warbler at the Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County. White-eyed Vireos were noticed by Chad Ellis at Konawa in Pottawatomie County and John Tharp in Norman; and Randolph King saw Cattle Egret at SW 149th Street Sod Farm in Cleveland County. In Payne County Scott Loss detected Louisiana Waterthrush at Couch Park in Stillwater, and Stan Laughin recognized Black-and-white Warbler at Ghost Hollow. In Oklahoma County Mathew Kugel added Lark Sparrow at Stinchcomb WR west; and Larry Mays spotted Baird’s Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper at Bethany/Warr Acres WTP.
On the 28th Alenka Weinhold discovered Scissor-tailed Flycatcher along the HE Bailey Turnpike near Cement in Grady County; Jerry Vanbebber came across Northern Parula at Lake Thunderbird SP—East Sentinel; Braden Farris identified Swainson’s Hawk in Oklahoma County; and Brian Marra reported Black-and-white Warbler at Arcadia Lake. On the 29th Caleb McKinney observed Black-and-white Warbler at Ninnekah in Grady County; Allen Codding encountered Solitary Sandpiper at Bethany-Warr Acres WTP; Bill Diffin had Louisiana Waterthrush at Mitch Park; and Scott Loss recognized Cliff Swallow at Boomer Lake Park. May 8th brings us Global Big Day with eBird. Can you help all 12 counties participate?
In the Central Oklahoma area during March, 162 species were reported with 28 new species which brings the year’s total to 196. 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: March 29 & 30, 2021); occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted at email@example.com. Esther M. Key, Editor.
Mar Feb Jan
Garvin 066 062 054
Seminole 073 053 035
Kingfisher 073 061 016
Grady 079 068 059
Pottawatomie 085 078 060
McClain 093 080 068
Logan 098 089 067
Lincoln 101 067 059
Canadian 147 127 116
Cleveland 151 128 119
Payne 159 138 124
Oklahoma 173 149 138
Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird. www.ebird.org