May 2016

Warblers, Flycatchers and Shorebirds

Reports flew in fast and furious as migration began to end.  Mini fallouts of warblers thrilled those who were in the field in new locations, and quite a few Empidonax Flycatchers were identified.  Two really rare birds were reported and viewed by several.  One county is fast approaching 250 bird species reported for the year.  But it’s not too late, to explore new counties and discover the wonderful world of birds in Central Oklahoma.

On the 1st in Kingfisher County Eric Duell checked out Lightle Farms pasture SE of Hennessey and located several shorebirds including White-faced Ibis, American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher and Wilson’s Phalarope.   Deanne McKinney spotted a Black-bellied Plover and Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the NW 63 wetland.  Spencer Coffey noticed Bobolink at Ten Mile Flats in Norman.  In Payne County Scott Loss had a Vesper Sparrow, Bobolink, Acadian Flycatcher and Ovenbird; and at Boomer Lake Park Larry Mays saw an American Redstart.  On the 2nd Joe Grzybowski  found Semipalmated Plover at the Adkins Hill Sod Farm in McClain County.

On the 3rd Kyle Horton came across a Northern Waterthrush along South Jenkins in Norman, and Eric Duell counted an Alder Flycatcher at Babcock Park in Stillwater.  In Oklahoma City Zach Poland had an American Redstart at the Myriad Botanical Gardens; Larry Mays noticed an Orchard Oriole along the River Road; and at the Arcadia Lake Dam Ravi Sawh discovered Bobolinks.  On the 4th Caleb From identified a Blackpoll Warbler at Little River State Park;  Brian Stufflebeam found a Wilson’s Phalarope at the Warr Acres Waste Water Treatment Plant; and in Payne County Scott Loss recognized Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the Armstrong Plant Field and a Wood Thrush at Babcock Park.

On the 6th Priscilla Crawford encountered a Bell’s Vireo at the Green Valley Farms southeast of Purcell; Daniel Robinson reported Bobolink and Chuck-will’s Widow in the Rose Lake area; and Chad Ellis tallied a Lazuli Bunting at the Dolese Youth Park.  On the 7th Emily Hjalmarson counted an American Redstart at the Lake Thunderbird Dam, and Scott Loss discovered a Scarlet Tanager at Couch Park.  On the 8th at the Lexington WMA T K identified a Yellow-breasted Chat and Lazuli Bunting while in Logan county Zach Poland caught sight of a Gray Catbird and Common Yellowthroat.

On the 9th Landon Newmann noticed a Stilt Sandpiper at the NW 63 wetland; Deanne McKinney discovered a Whimbrel at the Mustang Road playa; and at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant Scott Loss identified a Western Sandpiper.  On the 10th John Tharp saw a Broad-winged Hawk near Chandler, and along South Jenkins Caleb Frome had an Alder Flycatcher and Willow Flycatcher.  On the 11th in Logan County Zach Poland spotted an Olive-sided Flycatcher. On the 12th K Tucker found a Black-bellied Plover at Lake Hefner Dam and John Bates reported a Blackpoll Warbler at Melrose.

On the 14th Black Tern were seen near Chandler in Lincoln County by Joe Buck; at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant by Ashley Love and at Lake Overholser Dam by Brian Stufflebean.  Elizabeth Pratt discovered a Cliff Swallow in Wynnewood in Garvin County.  Joe Grzybowski had a Dunlin at the Morgan Road playa and Bob Ellis detected a Western Sandpiper at the Mustang Road playa.  Bill Diffin spotted an Alder Flycatcher and Bank Swallow at Lake Overholser Coffer Dam, and Deb Hirt discerned an American Bittern at the Teal Ridge Wetland in Stillwater.  Roy Neher photographed a Golden-crowned Sparrow in Norman and several people were able to see or hear it at a later date.

On the 15th Mike Hudson saw a Blackpoll Warbler along 50th Street in Yukon.  On the 16th in Pottawatomie County Desire Spears noticed a Pileated Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch.  Zach Poland had a Blue-headed Vireo and Blackburnian Warbler in Logan County.  At Babcock Park Scott Loss located Mourning Warbler and Magnolia Warbler.  Cameron Carver documented a Philadelphia Vireo near Classen School. 

On the 17th Zach Poland had a Northern Waterthrush and Alder Flycatcher in Logan County and at the Myriad Botanical Gardens an Ovenbird and Mourning Warbler.

On the 18th at Boomer Lake Park Scott Loss noticed a Least Tern and Willow Flycatcher. In Norman Zach DuFran spotted an Inca Dove while along South Jenkins Cameron Carver identified Peregrine Falcon, Magnolia Warbler and Wilson’s Warbler. At Riley Park in Noble Rachel Wrenn discovered a Bay-breasted Warbler, Canada Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler and Philadelphia Vireo.  On the 19th Cameron Carver reported Willow Flycatcher near Classen School.  On the 20th John Tharp identified a Mourning Warbler at Riley Park.  On the 21st in Payne County Dwayne Elmore noticed a Purple Gallinule along Coyle Road and Deb Hirt recognized a Yellow-breasted Chat at Boomer Lake Park.

On the 22nd Bill Diffin reported a Swainson’s Thrush at west Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.  Ashley Love spotted a Black-bellied Whistling Duck at the Meridian Technology Center Pond.  Spencer Coffey and John Bates reported a Yellow-billed Loon on Lake Hefner.  On the 23rd at Lake Hefner Joe Grzybowski identified a Laughling Gull;  Bill Diffin came across a Whimbrel; and Cameron Carver saw a Least Tern; while at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant  Evan Tanner detected a Sora Rail.  On the 24th in Pottawatomie County Donald Winslow discovered a Common Nighthawk and Chimney Swift; in Grady County Jason Shaw spotted Mississippi Kite; and at Boomer Lake Park Deb Hirt recognized a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

On the 26th along I-35 at the Wynnewood Rest Stop Dean Gregory encountered a Northern Mockingbird; along I-44 D.D. Currie cc recorded Cattle Egret; and on the 28th along I-35 near the Wynnewood Rest Stop Bret Newton saw a Great Blue Heron.  Meanwhile, at Lake Carl Blackwell Tim O’Connell detected a Kentucky Warbler.  Next for summer fun, June brings the Breeding Bird Surveys; while migration slowly begins again in July and August.

In the Central Oklahoma area in May 217 species were reported with 27 first of the year reports bringing the year’s total to 272.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at .  Esther M. Key, Editor.