May 2021

May was a beautiful spring month with 28 different warbler species traveling through central Oklahoma.  It is surprising how many different counties reported Bobolinks, Common Nighthawks, White-rumped Sandpipers and Eastern Wood-Peewees.  No not all of the counties reporting Bobolinks are in the first two paragraphs.  You will have to look further to find all of the fantastic sightings of May from Black-headed Grosbeaks to Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

On April 28th John Tharp noticed Common Nighthawk in Norman.  On April 29th Mike Yough encountered Eastern Wood-Pewee at Couch Park in Stillwater; Branden Farris saw Common Nighthawk in Edmond; and Mike Yough observed Chuck-will’s-widow, and Clay-colored Sparrow at Dover in Kingfisher County.  On April 30th Braden Farris spotted White-rumped Sandpiper at NW 63rd/Kilpatrick Turnpike in Canadian County; Steve Stone found Yellow-throated Vireo at Martin Park Nature Center in OKC; Brian Marra photographed a singing Prairie Warbler at Lake Stanley Draper; and Megan Migues counted Bobolink near Stroud in Lincoln County. 

On the 1st in Cleveland County John Tharp detected White-rumped Sandpiper at Ten Miles Flats and Sedge Wren along South Jenkins Avenue; and at Lake Stanley Draper Bill Diffin discovered Olive-sided Flycatcher.  In Payne County Landon Neumann recognized Bobolink at Cushing Water Treatment Plant; Scott Loss heard Black-throated Green Warbler at Boomer Lake Park, Blackpoll Warbler at Couch Park; and Mike Yough came across Yellow-breasted Chat at McPherson Preserve.  On the 2nd Valerie Boudreaus identified Painted Bunting in Yukon; John Tharp reported Lazuli Bunting in Norman; Mike Yough verified Black-billed Cuckoo at Ghost Hollow in Payne County; Chad Ellis tallied Bobolink in Jones; Les Calger got Spotted Sandpiper at Elmore City in Garvin County; Jacob Kirkland confirmed Broad-winged Hawk and Grasshopper Sparrow in Grady County; and Megan Migues added Yellow Warbler at Stroud. 

On the 3rd Jonalyn Yancy located Chimney Swift near El Reno; at Lake Thunderbird SP Lindell Dillon recorded Tennessee Warbler and Cody Delano turned up American Redstart; in Stillwater Jake Hennig had Yellow-throated Vireo at Boomer Lake Park and Caleb McKinney viewed Peregrine Falcon.  On the 4th at Lake Thunderbird SP John Tharp noticed Western Tanager; also possible sightings of Laughing Gull and Arctic Tern were had by Randy S., Cody D., and John Tharp.  At Lake Hefner Calvin Rees encountered Sanderling; and at Couch Park Landon Neumann observed Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  Black Terns were spotted at Lake Thunderbird SP by Someone, and at Lake Carl Blackwell by Scott Loss.

On the 5th in Cleveland County John Tharp counted Eastern Wood-Pewee and Acadian Flycatcher along Little Jim Road; Randolph King detected Stilt Sandpiper at Ten Mile Flats; Zach DuFran and Mary & Lou Truex described Philadelphia Vireo at Lake Thunderbird SP.  Northern Waterthrush were reported by Mary & Lou Truex at Lake Thunderbird and Landon Neumann at Couch Park.  At Lake Hefner Braden Farris had White-rumped Sandpiper; and at her feeder in Dell City Andrea Johnson photographed Black-headed Grosbeak.  On the 6th along Morgan Road in Yukon Trina Arnold described Black Tern; around Ten Mile Flats John Tharp recognized Dunlin; Joe Grzybowski came across Buff-breasted Sandpiper; and at Lake Thunderbird SP Someone had Black-bellied Plover and Yellow-breasted Chat. 

At Arcadia Lake Rod Lusey identified Whimbrel; in Logan County Brad Rose reported Bobolink in Guthrie and D&D Norris verified Swainson’s Thrush at Kairworks Garden. In Stillwater Scott Loss had the best spring migration day for Payne County in the 8 years living here. Along the Kameoka trail north of Boomer Lake he detected a possible female Black-headed Grosbeak, plus Chestnut-sided Warbler; at Couch Park with Landon Neumann Mourning Warbler; at The OSU Botanic Garden with Caleb McKinney Alder Flycatcher, Bay-breasted Warbler, and Palm Warbler.  Ovenbird was heard along South Jenkins by John Tharp and at Boomer Lake by Scott Loss.  On the 7th John Sterling tallied Bobolink east of Paul’s Valley; LaDonna Evans confirmed Baltimore Oriole at Tuttle; Bill Diffin added House Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow in Guthrie; Braden Farris located Common Nighthawk, Chuck-will’s-widow, Swainson’s Thrush at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County; Sean Washington recorded Common Nighthawk along Morgan Road in Yukon; Steve Stone turned up Bell’s Vireo at Bluff Creek Trails in OKC; and Jerry Vanbebber photographed Veery and described Magnolia Warbler at Lake Thunderbird. 

On the 8th Jeremy Ross and John Tharp documented Cape May Warbler at Lake Thunderbird SP; Bill Diffin noticed Gray-cheeked Thrush and Mourning Warbler at Zoo Lake Park; Kathleen Tucker encountered Black Tern at Lake Overholser East; Jake Kraft saw Caspian Tern at Lake Hefner; and Brian Marra observed Willow Flycatcher at Arcadia Lake. Near Maud Logan Carter spotted Cattle Egret in Seminole County and Cliff Swallow in Pottawatomie County.  Larry Mays found Dickcissel near Paul’s Valley; Burton Farris counted Northern Rough-winged Swallow in Edmond, and Joe Grzybowski detected Western Kingbird and Blue Grosbeak at Goldsby Sod Farm in McClain County.  Bill Diffin discovered White-eyed Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, and Orchard Oriole at Liberty Lake in Logan County; and Braden Farris recognized Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Peregrine Falcon, Least Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Blackpoll Warbler in his Lincoln County BBA. 

On the 9th Chad Ellis heard Bobolink at Okarche in Canadian County; William Boyes came across Least Flycatcher in Stinchcomb WR west; Someone identified Bay-breasted Warbler at Lake Thunderbird-Little River Marina and Cody Delano reported Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Lake Thunderbird SP; Mike Yough verified Buff-breasted Sandpiper and White-rumped Sandpiper at Meridian Technology Center Pond in Stillwater; and Braden Farris tallied Least Tern at Lake Hefner.  On the 10th in Payne County Scott Loss got Acadian Flycatcher at Coyle and Caspian Tern at Lake Carl Blackwell; at Lake Hefner-Stars and Stripes Park Braden Farris confirmed Northern Waterthrush; at Ninnekah in Grady County Caleb McKinney added Black-chinned Hummingbird, Least Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Orchard Oriole, and Yellow Warbler.  On the 11th Jason Shaw located Black-bellied Whistling-Duck at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; Basha Hartley recorded Gray-cheeked Thrush in Norman; and Braden Farris turned up Philadelphia Vireo at Stinchcomb WR East.   

On the 12th Hal Yocum had Blackpoll Warbler and Summer Tanager at the Educational & Conservation Area at Lake Arcadia; Jason Shaw had Common Yellowthroat at the USAO Habitat Area; Randolph King viewed Sanderling at SW149th Street Sod Farm and Bell’s Vireo at NW 63rd/Kilpatrick Turnpike; John Tharp described Common Tern at Lake Thunderbird; Joe Grzybowski noticed Least Tern at Ten Mile Flats; Mike Yough had Willow Flycatcher at Teal Ridge Wetland; and at Stinchcomb WR east Chad Ellis encountered Yellow-breasted Chat and Brian Marra saw Ovenbird, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  On the 13th while bicycle birding in Newcastle Larry Mays observed Chimney Swift, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler. Meanwhile, John Tharp described Golden-winged Warbler at Lake Thunderbird SP; Robert Harding spotted Eastern Wood-Pewee in Harrah; and at Couch Park in Stillwater Mike Yough counted Gray-cheeked Thrush and Landon Neumann found Blackburnian Warbler

On the 14th Alex Phelps detected Least Tern at Rose Lake; Brian Marra discovered Blackpoll Warbler at Stinchcomb WR West; Scott Loss recognized Wood Thrush at Legendary Lane in Payne County and Mike Yough came across Olive-sided Flycatcher at McPherson Preserve.  Jeremy Cohen identified Cattle Egret along I-44 near Chickasha; Bill Diffin reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, and Summer Tanager at Liberty Lake.  On the 15th Braden Farris verified Swainson’s Hawk along I-40 in Pottawatomie County; John Tharp heard Alder Flycatcher, and Mourning Warbler at Lake Thunderbird SP.  At Martin Park Nature Center Bill Diffin documented a female Scarlet Tanager eating mulberries; Chad Ellis tallied Golden-winged Warbler; and Grace Huffman photographed Blackburnian Warbler.  Later she got Black-necked Stilt at Bethany-Warr Acres WTP; and Nancy Friot had Chestnut-sided Warbler in Edmond. 

On the 16th in Grady County Caleb McKinney confirmed Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk at Ninnekah and American Bittern, and White-faced Ibis at Alex Marsh. On the 17th Caleb McKinney heard King Rail and Bank Swallow at Alex Marsh and Red-eyed Vireo at Taylor Lake in Grady County; Michael King added Chimney Swift in Guthrie.  Alder Flycatcher were located by Bill Diffin at Liberty Lake, and Brian Marra at Arcadia Lake.  Caleb Frome recorded Cape May Warbler and Alder Flycatcher at Lake Thunderbird.  On the 18th Bill Diffin turned up Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Blackpoll Warbler at Liberty Lake; and described Ruddy Turnstone at Lake Overholser Route 66 Park.  On the 20th Trina Arnold photographed Marbled Godwit at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point; and Mary & Lou Truex had Swainson’s Thrush at Purcell Lake in McClain County.  On the 21st Joe Grzybowski viewed Hudsonian Godwit, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on Highway 9 near Riverwind in McClain County; while Brian Marra noticed Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Crystal Lake in Oklahoma County.

On the 22nd Ben Baranowski encountered Chuck-will’s widow in south Canadian County; Scott Loss saw Least Tern at Lake Carl Blackwell; Caleb McKinney had Eastern Wood-Pewee at Ninnekah; Jacob Crissup had Common Nighthawk in Logan County; Joe Grzybowski observed Yellow-billed Cuckoo at McClain County Sod Farm.  For the month of May Bobolinks and Common Nighthawks were reported in 6 counties and White-rumped Sandpipers and Eastern Wood-Peewee were reported in 5 counties.  On the 23rd Coleman Sanders spotted Purple Martin south of Wanette in Pottawatomie County; Richard Duin found Western Kingbird at Tecumseh; Caleb McKinney counted Louisiana Waterthrush in Ninnekah; Valerie Boudreaux had Eastern Wood-Pewee in Yukon; and Braden Farris detected Laughing Gull at Lake Hefner.  On the 26th Frank Walker discovered Black-chinned Hummingbird in Union City.  On the 30th Jacob Crissup and Katie Morgan recognized Horned Lark and Dickcissel along OK#33 in Kingfisher County.  Now it is time for summer birding from Breeding Bird Atlas studies, to ???? surprise rarities. 


In the Central Oklahoma area during May, 217 species were reported with 39 new species which brings the year’s total to 297. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2021 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed May 30 & 31, 2021); occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at  Esther M. Key, Editor.


                                                                May       April       Mar        Feb        Jan                                        

Seminole                             083         080         073         053         035

Garvin                                   085         079         066         062         054

Kingfisher                            099         096         073         061         016

Pottawatomie                   104         099         085         078         060

Grady                                    136         102         079         068         059

                Logan                                    144         111         098         089         067        

McClain                                144         121         093         080         068

Lincoln                                  148         117         101         067         059

Canadian                             219         189         147         127         116

                Cleveland                            242         204         151         128         119

                Payne                                   252         214         159         138         124

                Oklahoma                           262         220         173         149         138

Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.