May 2013

Beauty and the Beasts

Half of the new reports were colorful warblers plus some interesting shorebirds. But as migration slowed down and nesting season begin, it was rudely interrupted by more rain and hail, severe thunderstorms and then tornados hit multiple locations in central Oklahoma. In spite of the devastation, resident birds hatched their first batch of babies, nests were rebuilt, and the warm season plant communities finally begin growing and blooming.

On the 2nd James Hubbell saw a Green Heron at Lincoln Park in Oklahoma City. On the 3rd Jason Shaw found a Wood Duck at the USAO Habitat Area near Chickasaw. In Logan County along Cottonwood Creek just north of West Waterloo Road, Christie Stoops had a Tree Swallow; Katrina Hucks had a Nashville Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush at Martin Park Nature Center; Evan Tanner located a Worm-eating Warbler in Stillwater; and Joe Grzybowski discovered a Northern Waterthrush at South Jenkins in Norman.

On the 4th Joe Grzybowski visited the Goldsby Sod Farm and located Buff-breasted Sandpipers, American Golden-Plovers, Horned Lark and Savanna Sparrows, and Brian Davis had a Northern Harrier at South Jenkins in Norman. In Stillwater John Polo birded Couch Park and discovered a Blue-headed Vireo and Swainson’s Thrush. Then he went over to the riparian area of Babcock and was watching American Goldfinches and Chipping Sparrows when something jumped up from the forest floor just inside the vegetation to an open spot in the midstory – an Ovenbird!

On the 5th Jennifer Kidney was surprised with a visit by a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the arrival of her favorite bird, the Gray Catbird. Kent Andersson located a Sora Rail at the Teal Ridge Wetland; Maire Johnson discovered a Gray-cheeked Thrush in Stillwater; and James Bates had a Yellow-breasted Chat and Summer Tanager at Lake Stanley Draper.

On the 7th Phil Floyd located Bobolinks on 84th Street out of Lexington about three miles south of Highway 39, a few hundred yards south of the horse stables confiscated by the FBI from one of the leaders of the Mexican cartel. In Oklahoma City Dora Webb had a White-winged Dove at her feeder and Dave and Sue Woodson were sitting outside being entertained by 6 species of sparrows: Harris’s, White-crowned, Chipping, Clay-colored, Savanna and House. At Lake Hefner Jonathan Lautenbach located a Caspian Tern and a Horned Grebe.

On the 8th in Grady County near Tuttle Larry Mays located a Bewick’s Wren, Lark Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole. Dana Cole had an American Bittern at the Teal Ridge Wetland in Stillwater. On the 9th Dick Gunn bumped into Joe Grzybowski along South Jenkins and Joe promptly showed him a Sedge Wren. Later they picked up an Alder Flycatcher and White-rumped Sandpiper. At the Goldsby Sod Farm, Joe Grzybowski had Hudsonian Godwit and more White-rumped Sandpipers. In Pottawatomie County, Dala Grissom had an American Avocet and Forester’s Tern at the Shawnee Reservoir, and Valerie Bradshaw had a Western Kingbird and Yellow-rumped Warbler at the Shawnee High School.

On the 10th Matt Jung reports from Eldon Lyon Park that the Red-headed Woodpeckers have returned as well as the Great-crested Flycatcher, and Mississippi Kites. In Bethel Acres Dala had a late Harris’s Sparrow; Larry Mays had a House Wren in Newcastle; and Chad Ellis had a Common Nighthawk over the Yukon PetSmart Parking Lot. On the 11th Grace Huffman spotted a Common Loon at Lake Hefner, and T K had Black Terns, Snowy Plover and Black-bellied Plovers at Lake Thunderbird’s Indian Point Marina.

On the 12th in Seminole County Matthew Daw located a Warbling Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Michael Beilfuss found a Willow Flycatcher at Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 11th Garey Harritt checked Cushing Lake and located a female Common Yellowthroat. In Kingfisher County at the Okarche sewage lagoon Larry
Mays located Eared Grebe, Ruddy Duck and Clay-colored Sparrow. On the 12th in Logan County Donna Mackiewicz heard a Chuck-will’s-widow and Chimney Swift. Tim O’Connell had a Magnolia Warbler at the Noble Research Center, and on the 16th he discovered a Kentucky Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell.

On the 17th, 19th and 20th Bill Diffin birded Lake Overholser and located an adult Tricolored Heron and on the 20th a subadult Tricolored Heron. On the 19th Torre Hovick and John Polo visited the area near where Hwy 108 crosses over the Cimarron River and noticed a Mourning Warbler. Later John stopped at Couch Park and discovered an American Redstart and Chestnut-sided Warbler while Tim O’Connell saw a Pied-billed Grebe at Boomer Lake in Stillwater. On the 20th Sharon Henthorn saw a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Edmond near the Dog Park.

On the 21st Jim Bates checked the Canadian Valley Sod Farm at North Midwest Blvd and East Wilshire Blvd and located Stilt Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, and White-rumped Sandpiper. In Choctaw John Cleal announced they have had Red Crossbills in their yard for a week. Dick Gunn reports that B. Gunn located a Wood Thrush in their Norman neighborhood. On the 22nd Larry Mays tracked down an unfamiliar high-pitched little warbler call and found a beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler. Later Brian Moyer discovered an Eastern Wood-Pewee and Caspian Tern at Lake Overholser while Daniel Whalen located an Inca Dove at Choctaw Park.

On the 24th Jason Shaw located an American Kestrel at the USAO Habitat Area, and at the Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station Matthew Fuirst noticed Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Field Sparrow, and Yellow Warbler. On the 25th T K saw a Black Vulture at the Lake Thunderbird Indian Point Marina, and on the 28th Judy Wilbur discovered Black Terns, White-faced Ibis and Black-necked Stilts at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

As of May 29th 187 bird species were reported with 22 new species which brought the 2013 year’s total to 255 species 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.