As the redbuds begin to blossom and the bees and butterflies awaken, Dark-eyed Juncos, Ducks, Gulls and other wintering birds begin leaving, while summer nesters are arriving and others are passing through to their more northerly nesting grounds. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Barn Swallows were reported in 7 of the 12 central Oklahoma Counties. All of the other swallow species except one have arrived. A few shorebirds and warblers are beginning to show up. And so as the redbuds began to blossom, birding excitement grows.
On February 27th in Grady County along the H E Bailey Turnpike near Amber Aaron Short spotted a Short-eared Owl sitting on top of a small tree near a pond SW of the toll booth while later he came across a Barn Owl at the Cimarron Bridge in Logan County. On March 1st Michelle Spacek found Pileated Woodpecker near Pink in Pottawatomie County; and Megan Migues tallied Sharp-shinned Hawk at Stroud in Lincoln County. On the 2nd Jerry Vanbebber detected Belted Kingfisher and Hairy Woodpecker at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County; and Jim Bradford heard a group of about 100 Sandhill Cranes flying over OK-51 between Okeene and Hennessey in Kingfisher County.
On the 6th Trina Arnold added Downy Woodpecker, American Kestrel and White-crowned Sparrow at Okemah in Seminole County. On the 11th Scott Loss photographed Neotropic Cormorant at Boomer Lake Park. On the 12th in Garvin County Grace Huffman recognized American Pipit, Chestnut-collared Longspur near Maysville and Fish Crow and Eastern Phoebe at Elmore City; in McClain County at Goldsby Sod Farm Brian Marra counted Yellow-headed Blackbird; at Shawnee in Pottawatomie County Michelle Spacek got Bald Eagle; and in Payne County at Lake Carl Blackwell Alex Harman recorded Barn Swallow. On the 13th Jacob and Katie Crissup located Eastern Bluebird, Redhead and Wilson’s Snipe at Purcell Lake in McClain County; and Michael Kane viewed Barn Swallow at OKC Community College.
On the 14th Joe Grzybowski documented Sprague’s Pipit at Ten Mile Flats in Norman. On the 15th Azir Serinus identified Red-headed Woodpecker at Paul’s Valley. On the 17th Zach DuFran saw Red-tailed Hawk at Wewoka in Seminole County; and Scott Loss observed Purple Martin at Boomer Lake Park. On the 19th Amy Brewer reported Wild Turkey near Rush Springs in Grady County; Gayle Bachert confirmed Great Egret at Calumet in Canadian County; and Landon Neumann verified Black-and-white Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 20th Steve Stone turned Northern Shoveler and Blue-winged Teal south of Guthrie in Logan County; Geoff Butcher noticed Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Martin Park Nature Center in OKC; Brian Marra discovered Tree Swallow and Black-and-white Warbler at Arcadia Lake; and Cody Delano encountered Purple Martin in Norman.
On the 21st Sharon Henthorn found Cliff Swallow at Northeast Zoo Lake Park. On the 22nd Jana Singletary came across Red-headed Woodpecker and Cedar Waxwing at FireLake Golf Course at Shawnee in Pottawatomie County. On the 23rd Grace Huffman detected Purple Martin at Martin Park Nature Center. On the 24th Jana Singletary added Horned Lark at Stroud Golf Course in Lincoln County; Larry Mays noted Purple Martin in Newcastle; Brian Marra photographed Neotropic Cormorant at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; and at Lake Thunderbird Someone recognized Tree Swallow and Barn Swallow while Lindell Dillon tallied Cliff Swallow.
On the 25th Brian Marra spotted Winter Wren and Franklin’s Gull at Stinchcomb WR West; Curtis Stewart identified Yellow-headed Blackbird, Greater Yellowlegs, and Swamp Sparrow at Dover Marsh in Kingfisher County; Grace Huffman and Brian Marra heard Sora Rail and detected Virginia Rail at Lake Overholser – Coffer Dam; while in Logan County Someone located Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Guthrie and Aaron Short observed Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Summit View Cemetery.
On the 26th Matt Jung viewed a small flock of Purple Martins in Warr Acres; Steve Davis, Larry Mays and Jimmy Woodard verified Barn Swallow and Fish Crow in Newcastle and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at the Riverwind wetland in McClain County; Brian Marra confirmed Lark Sparrow at Crystal Lake in OKC; Someone recorded American Golden-Plover and Baird’s Sandpiper at Lake Thunderbird; while in Payne County Mike Yough and Landon Neumann discovered Louisiana Waterthrush at Ghost Hollow and Pectoral Sandpiper and Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Cushing WTP. Meanwhile, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were counted by Kalen Melton at Lake Hefner and Steve Davis along South Jenkins Ave in Norman. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher were noticed by Michael Kane in Stillwater and Cody Delano at Wanette in Pottawatomie County. Cliff Swallow were reported by Scott Loss at Boomer Lake Park and Curtis Stewart at Turkey Creek off Hwy 51 in Kingfisher County.
On the 27th Matt Jung saw Great Egrets at Rose Lake in Canadian County; at Lake Thunderbird Carter Stephens encountered Louisiana Waterthrush, and Joe Grzybowski recognized Yellow-throated Warbler; while in Kingfisher County Grace Huffman and Brian Marra spotted American Golden-Plover along Hwy 33, and Franklin’s Gull, Grasshopper Sparrow, Lesser Yellowlegs and Vesper Sparrow at Lake Elmer. Also Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were counted by Grace and Brian on County Line Road between Canadian and Kingfisher Counties; by David Peterson in Norman; and Stephan Ables near Elmore City. Barn Swallows were had by Phillip Ables near Elmore City, Braden Farris at Cashion in Logan County, and Megan Migues at Stroud in Lincoln County.
On the 28th Jason Shaw found Swainson’s Hawk at the USAO Habitat Area in Grady County; Nancy Reed observed Common Nighthawk near Norman; Braden Farris verified Osprey at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; Dick Gunn tallied Marsh Wren along South Jenkins; and Steve Stone noted Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Bluff Creek Trails in OKC. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were located by Tim O’Connell in Stillwater and Grace Huffman at Stinchcomb WR West. On the 30th Jake Gerlt identified Solitary Sandpiper in Mustang; Grace Huffman had Snowy Egret at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; Landon Neumann recorded Tree Swallow at Boomer Lake Park; Jake Gerlt got Purple Martin in Mustang; while Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived at Olen and Teresa Thomas’ feeder in Stillwater. On the 31st Hal Yocum reported Ruby-throated Hummingbird at his feeder in Edmond.
In the Central Oklahoma area during March 162 species were reported with 31 new species which brings the year’s total at 180. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at: ebird. 2022 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 30 & 31, 2022); and occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Esther M. Key, Editor.
Mar Feb Jan
Seminole 024 019 002
Garvin 048 029 007
Pottawatomie 062 053 037
Grady 073 067 060
Kingfisher 082 039 016
Lincoln 086 067 061
McClain 096 076 062
Logan 099 089 072
Canadian 114 097 079
Cleveland 139 119 107
Payne 147 126 122
Oklahoma 152 131 119
Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird. www.ebird.org