Recorders Report – October 2009
Shorebirds to Sparrows
At the beginning of October previous low rainfall left sufficient mud flats for the shorebird migration while sunflowers graced the prairies with their golden radiance followed by the formation of seeds to feed migrating and winter sparrows. Midmonth rainfall began filling lakes to the delight of arriving ducks. While frost is delayed, prairie grasses wave their colorful seed heads, and forest trees turn to dazzling yellows and fiery reds just before falling leaves mulch hiding insects waiting to be searched out by birds.
On the 1st Bill Diffin found Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers on the mud flats along Lake Overholser’s Coffer Dam, and Pat Garrison and his wife saw an Osprey just south of Lake Hefner’s Stars and Stripes Park. On the 3rd near Stillwater at Lake Carl Blackwell Vince Cavalieri found a juvenile Sabine’s Gull and in the woods a Pine Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warblers, while at Sanborn Lake Timothy O’Connell found the last summer Dickcissel. At Lake Thunderbird Cynthia and Matthew Van Den Broeke found an Orange-crowned Warbler, White-eyed Vireo, and Summer Tanager.
On the 4th in Arcadia Alicia Riddle found the first Northern Junco. Cynthia saw a large group of Chimney Swifts flying high in Norman. At Lake Overholser Jimmy Woodward and Valerie Bradshaw found 200 American White Pelicans, American Avocet and a Merlin. On the 6th the Tuesday Morning Birders found 7 Rusty Blackbirds at Lake Hefner.
For The Big Sit at Lake Thunderbird on the 10th Angie Holt reports the Wing Nuts saw 47 species including a Fish Crow, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Hawk, Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck, Green-winged Teal, and Wilson’s Snipe. Polly O’Malley found the first fall White-crowned Sparrow on the 12th in Lincoln County. Bill found Vesper Sparrows at Lake Hefner, and Lindell Dillon found a Glaucous Gull in Norman.
On the 13th Brian Davis added Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Gadwall to the list of arriving ducks. On the 14th at Rose Lake the Tuesday Morning Birders found Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Field Sparrow. On the 15th John Polo and Adrian Monroe found a Blue-headed Vireo at the OSU arboretum, and in Mustang Jimmy saw a flock of White-fronted Geese with a couple of Snow Geese. On the 16th Matt Jung found an American Pipit and Western Meadowlark, and on the 18th some goslings that looked suspiciously like Egyptian Geese in Eldon Lyon Park. Dick Gunn saw Pine Siskins at South Jenkins in Norman.
On the 22nd in their Edmond yards Terri Underhill has a Rufous Hummingbird plus two Brown Creepers, and Dave McNeely has a Winter Wren. Meanwhile at Lake Hefner new arrivals were discovered on succeeding days. On the 23rd Matt found a Herring Gull; on the 24th Bill found Redhead ducks; on the 25th Matt found two Eared Grebes and at Lake Overholser a Marsh Wren.
On the 26th at South Jenkins Matt found a Song and Harris’s Sparrow. On the 27th Dick reports the white Red-tailed Hawk has returned after five years and one month. He also found a Solitary Sandpiper, Swamp Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow. On the 30th at the Coffer Dam Matt found a Dunlin and reports the mud flats at Lake Overholser are flooding over because of recent rains which brought the monthly total above normal average. At the El Reno sewage ponds Brian found newly arrived Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and Ring-necked Ducks.
During October 149 bird species were reported making the Central Oklahoma area total to date at 284 species. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in reports. I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Esther M. Key, Editor.