November 2018

Recorders Report

Fall arrivals
by Esther Key

Once again feeder watchers are being surprised by Red-breasted Nuthatches and lake observers have found rare swimmers and gulls. After the sudden hard freeze early in the month, leaves left the trees to start composting on the forest floor creating homes for the insects that birds feed on as they scratch around. Creating places in the garden beds where leaves won’t blow away but remain to create good bird habitat can be an interesting challenge for birdwatchers. 

On the 1st in Grady County Jason Shaw came across American Wigeon and Pied-billed Grebe at the USAO Habitat Area and Ben Sandstrom tallied Black Vulture and White-throated Sparrow at Lake Louis Burtschi.  In Kingfisher County Chris Butler located Red-tailed Hawk at Dover Marsh and Vesper Sparrow at Lake Elmer.  In Newcastle Larry Mays reported Orange-crowned Warbler; and in Norman at William Morgan Park Emily Hjalmarson had Winter Wren and Wilson’s Warbler.  On the 3rd at Sanborn Lake Chris Butler noticed Orange-crowned Warbler and at Rose Lake Matt Jung saw Swainson’s Hawk and on the 5th American Avocet.

On the 6th Bridger Arrington added Lincoln’s Sparrow and Western Meadowlark at South Mulhall in Logan County.  On the 7th Mercy Muigai viewed Osprey at George Sutton Wilderness Area in Norman.  In OKC on Lake Hefner Surf Scoter and Black Scoters were observed by Bill Diffin, Roy McGraw, Steve Davis, Brian Marra, Deanne McKinney, on the 8th Ben Sandstrom and later in the month by several other birders.  On the 8th Jennie Brooks photographed a dead American Woodcock found by a friend in downtown OKC; Dala Grissom verified Red-breasted Nuthatch in Bethel Acres in Pottawatomie County; and Caleb McKinney counted Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Flicker and Spotted Towhee west of Alex in Grady County.  On the 10th Patricia Isaacson spotted Ross’s Goose at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point. 

On the 11th Nancy Vicars discovered Wood Duck at OKC Zoo Lake; and Roy McGraw detected Yellow-belled Sapsucker at Tecumseh Lake in Pottawatomie County. On the 13th Laura Madden recognized Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Spring Haven in McClain County; and Scott Loss documented Western Grebe and Common Loon at Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County.  On the 14th Christie Stoops recorded Redhead Duck and House Wren at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County; and Grace Huffman, Hal Yocum and Betz Hacker encountered Northern Bobwhite, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Lincoln’s Sparrow at Mitch Park in Edmond.  On the 15th Greg Wilbert found Wood Duck at Little River State Park in Cleveland County; and Kent Andersson got Lincoln’s Sparrow at Teal Ridge Wetland in Stillwater. 

On the 16th in Garvin County Ben Sandstrom found Canvasback and Bonaparte’s Gull at Lake R. C. Longmire and Spotted Towhee and Franklin’s Gull at Paul’s Valley Lake.  In Lincoln County north of Prague Tamara Srader turned up Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Harris’s Sparrow; and at Stinchcomb WR in OKC Clarissa Sharp located Blue-headed Vireo.  On the 17th in Stillwater Justin Agan came across Marsh Wren at Teal Ridge Wetland; and Jimmy Lovett noticed Purple Finch at The OSU Botanic Garden. In Newcastle Larry Mays confirmed Purple Finch; and at Lake Hefner City Docks Ben Sandstrom identified Mew Gull

On the 18th Larry Mays spotted Red-breasted Nuthatch in Newcastle; Emily Hjalmarson recorded Swamp Sparrow along South Jenkins; Corey Barnes verified Smith’s Longspur at Meridian Technology Center at OSU; and Bill Diffin saw Rusty Blackbird at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point.  Zach Poland photographed White-winged Scoter at Lake Hefner Hobie Point and later it was seen at Prairie Dog Point by Bill Diffin, Bob and Chad Ellis. On the 19th Dustin Lynch got Greater Roadrunner near Cashion in Logan County; and Calvin Rees had Bufflehead at Lake Stanley Draper.  On the 21st Emily Hjalmarson identified Canvasback, Common Goldeneye and Hooded Merganser at Summit Lake in Norman.

On the 22nd in Garvin County near Indian Meridian and OK-7 Sam S. detected American Pipit, Fox Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; in Logan County Zach Poland observed Swamp Sparrow and Hairy Woodpecker at Mineral Wells Park and Snow Goose and Cackling Goose at his home; and in Midwest City at Soldier Creek Industrial Park Recreation Trail Jimmy Woodward tallied American Tree Sparrow.  On the 23rd at Lake Hefner City Docks Bill Diffin documented California Gull; along South Jenkins Paul Cook turned up Greater Yellowlegs and American Kestrel; in Norman Joe Grzybowski counted Red-breasted Nuthatch; and John Tharp viewed Sandhill Crane. In Payne County Scott Loss encountered Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Carl Blackwell and Neotropic Cormorant at Boomer Lake Park. On the 24th Ben Sandstrom found Eared Grebe at Lake Overholser Coffer Dam; Ben Sandifer confirmed Rusty Blackbird, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Brown Creeper at Lake Thunderbird; and Corey Riding spotted Pine Siskin and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at The OSU Botanic Garden.

On the 25th Jason Shaw added Snow Goose and Northern Shoveler at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; and Zach Poland recognized Pileated Woodpecker, American Pipit, and Cedar Waxwing at Liberty Lake in Logan County.  On the 26th Larry Mays viewed Wilson’s Snipe, Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Pipit at South Lakes Park in Cleveland County; and Bill Diffin found Lesser Black-backed Gull and Forester’s Tern at Lake Hefner Lighthouse Area.  On the 27th John Hurd observed Northern Flicker at Dolese Youth Park in OKC.  On the 28th Calvin Rees identified Ferruginous Hawk, Horned Grebe and Greater Scaup at Rose Lake; and Deb Hirt reported Ruddy Duck and Bewick’s Wren at Boomer Lake Park. Next is the Christmas Bird Counts.  How many species can be found in one day in each count circle?

During November of 2018 in the Central Oklahoma area 140 species were reported with 4 new species bringing the total for the year to 278.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2018 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed: November 30, 2018). And occasionally from Facebook and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted by e-mail at  Esther M. Key, Editor.


                                                Nov        Oct         Sept       Sum       May       April       Mar        Feb        Jan        

Kingfisher                            063         060         037         037         032         032         032         032         000

Pottawatomie                   093         091         091         089         081         072         033         032         000

Seminole                             096         096         095         090         090         042         024         014         000

Garvin                                   100         091         090         087         079         061         052         045         039

Lincoln                                  112         110         107         106         080         071         062         058         043        

McClain                                124         118         116         112         105         082         056         048         035

Grady                                    148         146         144         143         141         125         094         069         060
Logan                                    174         172         170         166         165         139         098         087         080                                        

Canadian                             203         201         200         197         194         167         109         085         074

Payne                                   238         237         236         235         233         215         138         121         115                        

Cleveland                            242*      240*      237         219         221         191         138         117         110

Oklahoma                           250         246         241         239         233         211         143         125         118                        

Number of bird species reported in 2018 according to eBird


1              Inca Dove

1              Black-necked Stilt

1              Semipalmated Sandpiper

1              White-rumped Sandpiper

1              Buff-breasted Sandpiper

1              Pectoral Sandpiper

1              Wilson’s Sandpiper

1              Eastern Screech-Owl

1              Short-eared Owl

1              Prairie Falcon

1              Horned Lark

1              Smith’s Longspur

1              Eastern Towhee

1              Yellow-headed Blackbird

14           +             226         =             240