May 2017

Busy Birders

The last of the spring migrants and summer residents arrived during May and birdwatchers were busy observing them in all the central Oklahoma counties.  In fact, birders were so busy, all counties increased their species count for the year; some dramatically.  Only three counties are left with under a hundred species reported while three other counties are over the 200 species count.  No matter where you live or bird there are lots of opportunities to enjoy birds.

On April 28th Bill Diffin discovered Palm Warbler and Least Flycatcher at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point. On April 29th at the Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater Corey Riding found Black-bellied Plover and John Polo identified Dunlin.  On April 30th at the Meridian Technology Center John Polo noticed Hudsonian Godwit and Stilt Sandpiper; while Scott Loss spotted Bobolink in Payne County. 

On the 1st Zach Poland added Olive-sided Flycatcher at his home in Logan County; and Paige Stevens spotted Least Tern at Boomer Lake Park.  On the 3rd Caleb Frome got Hudsonian Godwit and Stilt Sandpiper at the SW 149th Street Sod Farm in Cleveland County; Larry Mays recognized Bobolink in Jones; and Kenneth Stinchcomb recorded Bobolink and Broad-winged Hawk at Tuley Bird Ranch in Lincoln County.  On the 4th Paul Cook documented Black-headed Grosbeak along South Jenkins in Norman; and Kenneth Stinchcomb verified Gray-cheeked Thrush at Lake Carl Blackwell. 

On the 5th American Redstarts were seen by John Tharp along South Jenkins and Kenneth Stinchcomb at Sanborn Lake.  Emily Hjalmarson turned up Gray-cheeked Thrush at the William Morgan Park in Norman; while Samantha Cady reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-breasted Chat south of Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 6th Frank Mayer had Cliff Swallow in Pottawatomie County and Cameron Carver saw Inca Dove, Yellow Warbler and White-crowned Sparrow in Garvin County.  Chuck-will’s Widow was encountered by Larry Mays in Grady County and Allison Thompson at Tryon in Lincoln County.  In Logan County Zach Poland had Gray-cheeked Thrush and Jeff Tibbits counted Wild Turkey and Broad-winged Hawk.  In Cleveland County Rachel Wrenn located Blackpoll Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler at Little River State Park; T K detected Yellow-breasted Chat at Lake Thunderbird’s Alameda Bridge; and Emily Hjalmarson realized Bobolink at Ten Mile Flat in Norman. 

On the 7th Dala Grissom noticed Yellow Warbler and Orchard Oriole in Seminole County; Emily Hjalmarson had Upland Sandpiper and Eastern Wood-Pewee at the Goldsby Sod Farm; John Tharp discovered Bay-breasted Warbler at Riley Park; and Least Tern was seen at the Coffer Dam at Lake Overholser.  On the 8th Nathan Kuhnert heard a Wood Thrush in Norman and it continued to be heard past the end of the month. On the 9th Paul Cook spotted Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Blue Grosbeak in McClain County; Larry Mays identified Willow Flycatcher along South Jenkins; and Bill Diffin found American Redstart at Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point.  On the 10th Deanne McKinney saw Black-bellied Plover at the Mustang Road Playa in Yukon; and Rachel Wrenn counted Olive-sided Flycatcher at the John H Saxon Park. 

On the 11th Jackie DeMarco counted Great Crested Flycatcher in Shawnee; Michael Stanley got Chimney Swift at Dover in Kingfisher County; and Scott Loss tallied Blackpoll Warbler at Boomer Lake Park. On the 12th Black Terns were seen by Deanne McKinney at Rose Lake; John Tharp at Little River State Park; and Corey Riding at Boomer Lake Park.  Caleb McKinney added Yellow Warbler and House Wren in Grady County; T K recorded Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the SW 149th Street Sod Farm; and Mitchell Jarrett encountered Chestnut-sided Warbler along South Jenkins. 

On the 13th Lexi Lindemann turned up White-breasted Nuthatch and Swainson’s Thrush in Seminole County; Seinna Leach reported Indigo Bunting at Wellston; Zach DuFran detected Bobolink at the Goldsby Sod Farm; Jonah Padberg saw American Redstart along South Jenkins and Jerry Chen had Wood Duck and Chimney Swift at Crystal Lake in McClain County. A Veery was recognized by John Polo in Stillwater; and John Tharp at Riley Park plus he saw Magnolia Warbler along South Jenkins; while Willow Flycatchers were verified by Scott Loss at Whittenberg Park and Brian Stufflebeam at Lake Overholser.

On the 16th Scott Loss located Acadian Flycatcher at Couch Park.  On the 17th Dala Grissom counted Indigo Bunting and Painted Bunting in Shawnee; Corey Riding documented Least Bittern at the Teal Ridge Wetland; and Kenneth Stinchcomb noticed Alder Flycatcher at Couch Park in Stillwater.  On the 18th Jorday Kalmeyer had Yellow-billed Cuckoo in Mustang.  On the 19th Rachel Wrenn detected Least Tern and Alder Flycatcher at Lake Thunderbird State Park; and John Tharp reported Mourning Warbler along South Jenkins.  On the 20th Scott Loss tallied Mourning Warbler in Payne County; Geoff White got Common Nighthawk in Pottawatomie County; Gray-cheeked Thrush was discovered at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County; and William Diffin spotted Olive-sided Flycatcher at the Stinchcomb WMA west. 

On the 21st Nathan Kuhnert found Acadian Flycatcher in Norman; John Tharp recognized Canada Warbler along South Jenkins; and Deb Hirt saw Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Boomer Lake Park.  On the 22nd Jamal Mack recorded Northern Waterthrush in Yukon City Park. On the 28th Eric Duell realized Black-bellied Plover and Black Tern at Lightle Farms near Hennessey in Kingfisher County. On the 30th Larry Mays verified Bell’s Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo in Amber.  And now it is time for the Breeding Bird Surveys to be conducted in Oklahoma.  Why not volunteer for one?                                                                                              

During May 2017 in the Central Oklahoma area 209 species were reported with 30 new species which increased the year’s total to 264.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by making reports at  and can also be contacted by e-mail at .  Esther M. Key, Editor.