October 2010

Beginning the Fall Invasion

Beginning October, flies, crickets and spiders were abundantly hanging out in the fields providing a good food supply for the hungry insect eating birds.  October was a warm dry month causing a lower amount of the forest fall color; however, the effect on the seed production of the prairie grasses and wildflowers is unknown.  The Lake Hefner Cleanup and the Big Sit near Lake Thunderbird were big successes.  Some unusual birds were relocated, and apparently the fall invasion of central Oklahoma has started.

On the 3rd Brian Davis saw the first fall Dark-eyed Junco along South Jenkins.  On the 4th at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Bill Diffin found Spotted Towhee and Common Yellowthroat.  Along South Jenkins on the 8th Jennifer Kidney and Cecil Johnson heard a Marsh Wren.   In Norman C J Metcalf saw a Peregrine Falcon on a light pole next to the National Weather Center.  It was spotted again on the 5th in a nearby neighborhood by Joe Grzybowski.  On the 6th Matt Jung located a Black-bellied Plover at Rose Lake.  Visitors Dan and Laurie Mooney spotted a Red-necked Phalarope at Lake Hefner.

On the 9th six birders met a Prairie Dog Point for the Lake Cleanup and found several birds including a Bank Swallow and 3 Osprey.  Jimmy Woodward had a Northern Harrier fly over on the north side of Yukon.  Matt and Jenny Foster in Blanchard are feeding Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches.

On the 10th the Wing Nuts had a Big Sit at North Sentinel Park in Norman.  Twenty-two people and 2 dogs attended for a total of 17 hours and counted 59 species of birds including a Black-throated Green Warbler, Fish Crow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Common Nighthawk and Chimney Swift.  In Yukon, Jimmy located the first White-crowned Sparrows, and at Pat Murphy Park Bill spotted a Pied-billed Grebe.  On the 11th Jennifer discovered an Eastern Wood-Pewee along South Jenkins.

On the 14that Stinchcomb Matt found a Gray Catbird and Vesper Sparrow, and Les Imboden had a Loggerhead Shrike east of Stillwater.  On the 19th in Oklahoma City, Dora Webb saw her first Northern Junco.  On the 22nd David McNeely had a Northern Goshawk briefly visit his yard in Edmond.

On the 23rd the OCAS Weekly Birders lead by Bill Diffin went west to the Fort Reno area and reported a Yellow-headed Blackbird, Horned Grebes, Vesper Sparrows and back at Lake Overholser a single Eared Grebe.   On the 24th in Yukon Park Jimmy found a Golden-crowned Kinglet and Blue-headed Vireo.  Patti and Brian Muzny heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch in a neighbor’s pine tree in southwestern Oklahoma City, and on the 25th Nancy Reed had one in her backyard in Norman.  On the 26th Tim O’Connell reports two Red-breasted Nuthatch window causalities.

On the 27th Matt Jung found a single Sandhill Crane wading along the NE mud flat at Lake Overholser, and on the 29tha Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Norman.  Terri Underhill and Pat Velte located a Brown Pelican at Lake Arcadia in Edmond perched in a dead snag, Bill found Swamp and White-throated Sparrows in the field on Hefner Road between Rockwell and Council, and Tim found Golden-crowned Kinglet, Field Sparrow, and Hooded Merganser at Lake Carl Blackwell.  On the 31st Joe Grzybowski found a few American Golden Plovers still hanging around the El Reno sod farm.  On the 30th after 8:00 pm at the OU football game Brian Davis observed a Merlin doing loops high over the field.  Even though it was after dark there were plenty of meaty moths around the lights.

To increase the September total to 124 reported species, along South Jenkins on September 16th Jennifer Kidney found a Tennessee Warbler, on the 23rd a Kentucky Warbler, and on the 24th a Lark Sparrow.  To increase the species total for the year a Ring-necked Pheasant was seen by Esther Key on Highway 4 just south of Wal-Mart at Highway 152.

During October a total of 127 bird species were reported with 1 new addition making the Central Oklahoma area to date total at 259 species.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in reports.  I can be contacted by e-mail at
Esther M. Key, Editor.