October 2013

A New Hot Spot

As forests change from their summer green to flaming torches leading the way to winter, the final summer birds leave the area and migrating birds continue to move through while winter residents start arriving.  Three unusual birds were noted during the month with one leading to the discovery of a new hot spot and lots of new birding information for that county in eBird.

On the 2nd James Hubbell saw an Indigo Bunting near the Canadian River in West Moore.  On the 5th Sharon Henthorn checked out the Police Pond and located Northern Shovelers, Forester’s Terns and Franklin Gulls; Grace Huffman had a Wilson’s Warbler west of Will Roger’s Park; and along South Jenkins in Norman Joe Grzybowski saw Northern Rough-winged Swallow.  On the 6th Scott Loss noticed a Gray Catbird at Whittenberg Park in Stillwater.

On the 8th Chad Ellis watched a Peregrine Falcon attack shorebirds on the 11th Street Playa in Yukon.  In Logan County John Hurd spotted a Stilt Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Nashville Warbler, and Barred Owl at the Dolese Sand Pit in Guthrie.  Grace Huffman saw a Chimney Swift near Eldon Lyon Park.  On the 9th Dick Clapp and Barbara Tarbuton had the last Ruby-throated Hummingbird at their feeder, and Phillip Lyon saw a Common Nighthawk over Martin Park Nature Center.  On the 10th Dave and Sue Woodson drove around Prairie Dog Point and located Pied-billed Grebe.

On the 12th Jimmy Woodward had a big sit at their house in Midwest City. He was joined by Mark Delgrosso, Carla Brueggen and Pat Velte and they observed 45 species including Broad-winged Hawk, Osprey, Swainson’s Hawk, Fish Crow, and White-throated Sparrow.  Meanwhile in Norman Lindell Dillon reported that WildCare picked up a Golden Eagle.

On the 14th Jim Bates walked the wet field with cattails at the Will Rodgers airport after work and located a Nelson’s Sparrow.  At her home in Logan County Donna Mackiewicz noticed a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  On the 16th along South Jenkins Dick Gunn picked up an early American Tree Sparrow and a White-crowned Sparrow.  On the 17th Jennifer Kidney walked South Jenkins and spied a Black-throated Green Warbler.  Bill Adams and his Mom went to Taylor Lake just north of Marlow in Grady County and discovered a Lewis’s Woodpecker.

On the 18th at Lake Overholser’s Coffer Dam Chad Ellis had a Spotted Towhee.  On the 19th Deanne McKinney checked Lake Hefner and saw a Ring-necked Duck.  John Polo and a couple of others birded Lake Carl Blackwell and located a Bufflehead, Bald Eagle, Pectoral Sandpiper, Blue-headed Vireo, and Pine Warbler.  While Chad Ellis saw a House Wren near the String-of-Pearls Park south of Lake Overholser.  On the 20th in Pottawatomie County Jack Olson spotted a Cooper’s Hawk, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and at Lake Thunderbird’s Alameda Bridge T K discovered a Summer Tanager.

On October 21st Chad Ellis found a Marsh Wren at Dolese Youth Park, and John Hurd identified a Lesser Scaup and Eared Grebe on Lake Hefner.  On the 22nd in Norman Jennifer Kidney saw not one but two Peregrine Falcons and along South Jenkins a Winter Wren; in Stillwater Torre Hovick spotted the first Red-breasted Nuthatch; and east of Lake Overholser Chad Ellis noticed an Eastern Screech Owl.  On the 23rd John Hurd went to the Police Pond and located a Redhead Duck; in Norman Jennifer had a Bell’s Vireo briefly visit her backyard; and Dr. Chris Butler discovered a Red-breasted Nuthatch in Choctaw.

On the 24th Matt Jung went to South Jenkins and saw a Greater Yellowlegs and Harris’s Sparrow, and the next day at Norman’s North Base Joe Grzybowski and Jeremy Ross discovered a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Merlin, Western Meadowlark and several sparrow species including a Grasshopper Sparrow.

On the 25th At Taylor Lake Terri Underhill and Pat Velte and were joined by Kurt Meisenzahl and Lou Truex to observe the Lewis’s Woodpecker.  They also discovered a Loggerhead Shrike, Pacific Loon, Common Loon and Lou and Kurt saw a Bald Eagle. On the 26th Chad Ellis, Emily Hjalmarson and Brett Roberts birded Taylor Lake and observed a Marsh Wren, Cackling Goose, Horned Grebe, and Barred Owl.  In Norman along South Jenkins Joe Grzybowski and Dick Gunn located a Swamp Sparrow, and at Lake Thunderbird’s Alameda bridge TK spotted a Golden-crowned Kinglet.

On the 27th Jimmy Woodward arrived at Taylor Lake and spotted White-fronted Geese, American Wigeon, Black Vulture, American Pipit, Fox Sparrow and while going home a few Sandhill Cranes, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and on the way back to Hwy 81 Bill Adams identified a Snow Goose.  In Logan County Gailon Brehm noticed a Vesper Sparrow and Franklin Gulls, and in Norman at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Joe Grzybowski located 3 Le Conte’s Sparrows. On the 28th at Jimmy’s house in Midwest City a few Lapland Longspurs were circling overhead.  On October 30th Cissy Henig located Prairie Falcon in Oklahoma City, and a review of the species list in eBird shows that a Marbled Godwit was spotted by Grace Huffman at Lake Hefner on April 6th.

Meanwhile, on the 28th on the way to Taylor Lake T J noticed Hooded Merganser and several other duck species at the Rush Springs Sewage Lagoons.  With all the birders going to see the Lewis’ Woodpecker, the species count in eBird for Grady County jumped from 111 to 137.  So in November try a new spot in a different county.  Maybe you too can discover another hot spot and increase the avian knowledge for that area.

During October 155 bird species were reported with new species which brought the 2013 year’s total to 277 species in the Central Oklahoma area.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds and can be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net.   Esther M. Key, Editor.