The Most Birdy Report
It appears more birds were reported this month than any other month on record. Not that the birds haven’t been here, but rather more people are sharing their sightings. It all started with Payne County’s Big Day with over 100 species reported by different groups. Then more shorebirds, warblers, and flycatchers arrived to add to the list. Surprise sightings at Lake Thunderbird, Rose Lake and Lake Hefner led to other surprises and some incredible reports.
On April 27th Joe Grzybowski identified Buff-breasted Sandpipers at the Goldsby Sod Farm. On the 3rd Tamara Srader’s parents had a Lazuli Bunting in their Lincoln County yard, while Tony Solorio and Jim saw a Sora Rail at Lake Stanley Draper. Jimmy Woodard and Nadine explored Joe B. Barnes Park in Midwest City and located Wood Duck, Black-crowned Night Heron, and White-eyed Vireo. Meanwhile on Big Bird Day, around Payne County Tim O’Connell had Yellow-headed Blackbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Prairie Warbler, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo while in Stillwater Brandy Polo found an Eastern Wood-Pewee when she, John and Natalia put in a good 20 miles birding on their bicycles.
On the 4th Jimmy spent the morning birding Logan County and noticed Eared Grebe, Horned Lark, Redhead, and Snowy Plover, while Hal Yocum discovered a Hairy Woodpecker at Rose Lake. On the 5th Jimmy had a first year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in his Midwest City Yard, and James Hubbell had a Yellow-breasted Chat at Stinchcomb WMA east gate. On the 6thJason Shaw identified an American Kestrel in the USAO Habitat Area in Grady County.
On the 7th Ricky Jones saw a Peregrine Falcon at Rose Lake, and Chad Ellis had a Common Nighthawk near Lake Overholser. On the 8th Dick Gunn found a Wilson’s Phalarope and Wilson’s Warbler along South Jenkins, and Jimmy momentarily had a male Black-headed Grosbeak in his yard. Joe stopped by the Goldsby Sod Farms and ran into a group of about 30 Bobolinks singing up a simultaneous symphony.
On the 9th Larry Mays identified three Whimbrels at the north end of Lake Overholser, and Scott Loss spotted a Yellow-throated Vireo in Couch Park in Stillwater. On the 10th T K found an American Woodcock at Lake Thunderbird’s Little River Marina, and at Lake Overholser Bob Ellis had a Caspian Tern. On the 11th Will Foster discovered a Brown Pelican on a boat dock near the Calypso Cove Café on the south side of Lake Thunderbird. The next day Joe also discovered 2 or 3 Laughing Gulls, Bank Swallows, Black Terns and a Forster’s Tern. Steve Davis and Mary saw 11 White-faced Ibis at Rose Lake, and Calvin Rees photographed the Bald Eagles at the NE 63rd Street Bridge nesting area.
On the 13th John Polo heard a Wood Thrush singing on some OSU property in Payne County, later he heard an Ovenbird at Lake Carl Blackwell and after work he found an American Redstart and Blackpoll Warbler at Babcock Park. At Rose Lake Deanne McKinney identified a Black-necked Stilt and over 500 Wilson’s Phalarope.
On the 14th Scott Loss checked out the Kameoka Trail on the north end of Boomer Lake which produced a few migrants including Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Wilson’s, Nashville, and Orange-crowned Warbler. At Babcock Park in Stillwater Evan Tanner spotted an Alder Flycatcher and Torre Hovick had a Gray-cheeked Thrush. At Lake Stanley Draper, Larry Mays had a Northern Waterthrush.
Meanwhile at Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point Sharon Henthorn noticed a Red-necked Phalarope among the other shorebirds and fishermen. While checking it out Bill Diffin saw Least Tern and Hudsonian Godwit, and the next day Kevin Groeneweg found Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, and White-rumped Sandpiper.
On the 17th In Seminole County Mary and Lou Truex located an Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder/Willow (Traill’s Flycatcher), Black Vulture and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Evan Tanner had a Philadelphia Vireo at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater; Tim O’Connell had a Kentucky Warbler and Prairie Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell; and Jonah Padberg had a Lazuli Bunting in their Logan County yard. On the 18th Jimmy birded Garvin County and beyond. At Paul’s Valley Lake he located Least Tern, Loggerhead Shrike, Prothonotary Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow; at Lake R.C. Longmire he found Black Tern, Tree Swallow, Cattle Egret; and in Midwest City a Tennessee Warbler. At Lake Hefner Bill Diffin found a Dunlin and heard a Prothonotary Warbler.
On the 21st Larry Mays found a Yellow-throated Warbler in McClain County. On the 22nd, Chad Ellis had a Canada Warbler at Martin Park Nature Center. Deanne McKinney reported Eastern Screech Owls are probably nesting in the vicinity of her Oklahoma City neighborhood. On the 26thDora Webb was sitting on her patio listening to a Swainson’s Thrush when a fox ran through her yard. At Rose Lake on the 27th Matt Jung observed a Wood Duck with 5 ducklings and several Black Terns; the end of migration and the beginning of fledglings. How many nests will successfully fledge a new generation of birds this summer?
In the Central Oklahoma area 204 bird species were reported in May with 36 new species which brings the total for the year to 278. In eBird; Oklahoma, Payne and Cleveland Counties are over 200 species but 4 central Oklahoma counties are still under 100. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . Esther M. Key, Editor.