From one extreme to another
Where was spring? April was recorded as the second coldest in Oklahoma history and then May turned around to be the hottest recorded in 125 years. Many parts of the state are lacking in rain. How are the birds handling these extremes? And the birders. Well the birders were very busy checking out every central Oklahoma County except Kingfisher. And Oklahoma and Payne Counties have both recorded 233 species to date for the year. Wow !!!
On the 1st Chris Butler confirmed four Red Crossbills stopped by his bird feeders in Choctaw; Caleb McKinney found Gray Catbird at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; Ben Sandstrom had Bobolink at the Goldsby Sod Farm in McClain County; and Bill Diffin noticed Blackpoll Warbler on Overholser Road in Canadian County. On the 2nd Hans Holbrook birded Wewoka Woods Camp in Seminole County and recorded Gray-cheeked Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Bill Diffin detected Stilt Sandpiper and Chestnut-sided Warbler at Stinchcomb WR West in Canadian County; and Zach Roy viewed Gray-cheeked Thrush at The Botanic Garden at OSU.
O the 3rd Rachel Wrenn got Common Nighthawk in Norman; Scott Loss verified Laughing Gull and White-rumped Sandpiper at Lake Carl Blackwell; Zach Poland heard Yellow-billed Cuckoo at his home in Logan County and Emily Hjalmarson had one in Riley Park as well as Black-throated Green Warbler while Caleb Frome-CC counted Gray-cheeked Thrush there. On the 4th Jeff Tibbits added Chuck-will’s-widow and Summer Tanager at Broadway and Simmons in Logan County; and Rachel Wrenn observed Acadian Flycatcher and Northern Waterthrush near the Little Axe Community Center. On the 5th Jason Shaw spotted Northern Bobwhite and Dickcissel at the USAO Habitat Area in Grady County; and Joe Grzybowski tallied White-rumped Sandpiper along Ten Mile Flats.
On the 6th John Hurd located White-rumped Sandpiper at NW63rd east of Rose Lake; Cody Barne encounter Common Nighthawk at Sanborn Lake; Scott Loss discovered Northern Waterthrush and Blackpoll Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell; Bill Diffin determined Ovenbird at the Myriad Botanical Garden in downtown OKC; William Radke recognized Common Nighthawk in Edmond; and Brian Marra reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Olive-sided Flycatcher at Arcadia Lake. On the 7th Emily Hjalmarson identified Wood Thrush at McKinley School in Norman and Blackpoll Warbler along Ten Mile Flats while Larry Mays documented Blackpoll Warbler at Arcadia Lake; and Brian Marra reported Red-headed Woodpecker at Tinker AFB. On the 8th Joe Grzybowski saw Yellow-headed Blackbird and Orchard Oriole at the Goldsby Sod Farm; and Zach Poland verified Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-breasted Chat at Stinchcomb WR west.
On the 9th Jimmy Woodward confirmed Black Tern at Rose Lake; and Robert Harding spotted Rose-breasted Grosbeak at his home north of Horseshoe Lake. On the 10th Emily Hjalmarson saw Yellow Warbler and Northern Rough-winged Swallow at the Goldsby Sod Farm; and Bill Diffin detected Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Stinchcomb WR west. On the 11th Nancy Reed noticed Red Crossbills, Lazuli, Painted and Indigo Buntings in her yard in Norman; and Patricia Velte found Tricolored Heron at Arcadia Lake. On the 12th Emily Hjalmarson viewed Yellow-breasted Chat at the Cherry Creek Park—River Trail in Norman. On the 13th Caleb McKinney viewed Common Nighthawk and Pine Siskin in Ninnekah in Grady County; and Laura Madden recorded Painted Bunting in Blanchard. On the 14th Ben Sandstrom documented Neotropic Cormorant and Summer Tanager at Lake Louis Burtschi in Grady County.
On the 15th Caleb Frome—CC came across Willow Flycatcher along South Jenkins and Rachel Wrenn had Ovenbird at Riley Park. On the 16th Andrea Johnson photographed a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Sportsman’s Lake in Seminole County; Zach Poland verified Black-bellied Whistling-Duck at Mineral Wells Park in Guthrie; John Tharp identified Least Tern, Black Tern and Scarlet Tanager at Lake Thunderbird – Alameda Dr. Bridges; Zach Poland heard Alder Flycatcher at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; and Larry Mays recognized Mourning Warbler at Joe B. Barnes Park. On the 17th Roy McGraw reported Red-headed Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Painted Bunting and Orchard Oriole at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County; and Chad Ellis watched Whimbrel at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point. On the 18th Lee Hoy got Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Nobel.
On the 19th Elizabeth and Tim Pratt counted Brown Thrasher in Paul’s Valley in Garvin County; and Austin Jones discovered Least Tern at John Marshall School Pond. On the 20th Scott Loss added Least Tern along the Cimarron River and Alder Flycatcher at Boomer Lake Park; and Brian Marra had Yellow-breasted Chat at Arcadia Lake. On the 22nd Zach Poland encountered Magnolia Warbler at Myriad Botanical Garden. On the 23rd Deb Hirt located Willow Flycatcher at Boomer Lake Park. On the 24th Larry Mays tallied Yellow-billed Cuckoo in Newcastle. On the 27th Sam S had Common Nighthawk and Lark Sparrow in Garvin County. On the 28th Emil y Hjalmarson birded an area in Pottawattamie County near OK-102 and Coon/Sand Creek northwest of Macomb and observed Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Bell’s Vireo and Black-and-white Warbler. On the 29th Bill Diffin determined Dunlin at Stinchcomb WR west. On the 30th Calvin Rees detected Willow Flycatcher at Rose Lake. As the list of new species for the year fades, welcoming and watching the nesting and newly fledged birds of the next generation begins.
During May of 2018 in the Central Oklahoma area 216 species were reported with 28 new species bringing the total for the year to 268. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by making reports at http://ebird.org. I can also be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com . Esther M. Key, Editor.