May 2012

End of Spring Migration

As the final summer migrants arrived to settle in for nesting season, a storm with rain, wind and hail up to 2.5 inches arrived the last week of May disrupting the homes of both people and critters. Plants are growing like crazy creating food for insects which are then eaten by birds. Under the mulberry tree butterflies were feasting, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was seen eating a berry and one box turtle was found with suspicious red stains on its mouth.

On the 1st at Lake Overholser Matt Jung walked from the dam to the police station and observed a pair of Baltimore Orioles, an Osprey, Mississippi Kite, Spotted Sandpipers, American White Pelicans, and Double-crested Cormorants. At Ten-Mile Flat in Norman Joe Grzybowski found Horned Lark, and in Stillwater Chris Clay had an Olive-sided Flycatcher visit his yard. On
the 3rd Jennifer Kidney had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing in her Norman yard. James Hubbell at the Lake Hefner Marina saw a Caspian Tern and
reported the last White-throated Sparrow for the season.

On the 4th Jimmy Woodard and Nadine birded Yukon City Park and located a Black-crowned Night Heron, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, and Swainson’s Thrush. At the Lexington WMA James Hubbell
saw White-crowned Sparrow and Clay-colored Sparrow. On the 5th one mile east of Rose Lake Joe Grzybowski had a single Whimbrel preening and at Rose Lake about 6 White-faced Ibises. At Shawnee Twin Lakes Donald Winslow heard a Chuck-Will’s Widow. On the 6th Dick Gunn and Anais Starr walked South Jenkins in Norman and discovered Dickcissels by the dozen, Bell’s Vireo, Northern Parula, Blue Grosbeak and a Peregrine Falcon.

On the 6th Jimmy checked the Yukon City Park again and located a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron in the nest, and at the Yukon Waste Water Treatment Plant he found a group of Northern Shovelers, Wilson’s Phalaropes, and Pectoral Sandpipers. On the 6th Jennifer had a really handsome Harris’s Sparrow in her yard, Cedar Waxwings, and a Gray Catbird. On the 7th Matt checked the Rose Lake area with the expected Swainson’s Hawk perched on top of a power pole and among the cattle west of Mustang Road were Yellow-
headed Blackbirds. On the 8th in Stillwater Tim O’Connell found a Yellow-throated Vireo, and on the OSU cross country course John Polo had a Least Flycatcher.

On the 9th Mary and Lou Truex checked South Jenkins and reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo, Fish Crow, Yellow-throated Warbler, Field Sparrow, and Summer Tanager. At Lake Hefner Grace Huffman located a Cinnamon Teal.

Meanwhile Jimmy was birding Yukon City Park and discovered a migrant “wave” including a Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler and Yellow Warbler. On the 12th Dick Gunn birded South Jenkins and discovered his first ever Bobolink, and later Jennifer located a Lazuli Bunting.

On the 13th Jim Bates checked the backyard and noticed two warblers flycatching in the top of a Walnut tree, a male Yellow Warbler and a nice male Blackburnian Warbler. Meanwhile, in Couch Park in Stillwater John Polo also located a Blackburnian Warbler as well as a Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Louisiana Waterthrush, and a Barred Owl. At Lake Hefner Grace
Huffman discovered a White-rumped Sandpiper. About half a dozen gathered on South Jenkins with reports from Dick Gunn and Brian Davis for at least one Empidonax flycatcher and Northern Rough-winged Swallow. John Raeside and Anais Starr saw two Least Terns at Lake Purcell. Dwayne Elmore stopped at Drummond Flats and discovered hundreds of birds in various wetlands
scattered about the property including Western Sandpiper, over 50 Buff-
breasted Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher, Marbled Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit and White-faced Ibis.

On the 14th along South Jenkins Dick saw a kettle of Mississippi Kites (30-100), T K located a Least Flycatcher and White-breasted Nuthatch and in Oklahoma City Jim Bates had a Least Flycatcher in his yard and an Olive-sided Flycatcher at Crystal Lake. East of Lake Stanley Draper Don Maas had an Inca Dove at his home. On the 15th along South Jenkins Dick discovered half dozen Willets in the river bed. Jim Bates stopped at Crystal Lake on his way home from work and found a Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, and Rose-breasted
Grosbeak. On the 18th Matt Jung saw a Bald Eagle flying north of the dam at Lake Overholser.

On the 25th Dick Gunn discovered a Wood Thrush along South Jenkins which was only the third time he has seen the species in the area. On the 31st Sharon Henthorn reported the White-faced Ibises are still at Sara Lake.

During April 155 bird species were reported with 20 new species which increased the year’s total to 245 species discovered 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 Esther M. Key, Editor.