October 2014

Migration Continues

October was a pleasant month with several migration surprises.  The really big surprise was the report of a Costa or Costa hybrid Hummingbird in Sand Springs thanks to an alert bird watcher who was maintaining her feeding stations.  Did it travel though Central Oklahoma going or coming? Even so we have had quite a few interesting migrants.

On the 1st John Tharp had a Common Tern at the Little River State P ark, and on the 2nd he had a Lesser Black-backed Gull and Caspian Tern there.  Jason Shaw noticed a Barred Owl at the USAO Habitat Area near Chickasha.  In Logan County on the 4th Corban Hemphill located Northern Bobwhite at a ranch.  At Lake Overholser in Canadian County Joe Grzybowski noted an American Wigeon, Black-bellied Plover, and Larry Mays had an American Golden-Plover.  At the Little River State park Rachel Wrenn saw a Least Flycatcher, while at Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point T K found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

On the 5th Jimmy Woodward had an unofficial “Big Sit” at his yard in Midwest City.  Participants were Nancy Reed, Mark Delgrosso, Teri Underhill, Pat Velte, Jack Hurd, Sharon Henthorn and Betsy Gardner.  Together they saw 43 species including a kettle of Swainson’s Hawks, Chimney Swift, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warbler and Summer Tanager.  Jonah Padberg saw a Nashville Warbler in his yard.  At the John Marshall school pond Sharon Henthorn saw her first Ruddy Duck and at Lake Overholser she found Forster’s Terns.

On the 6th Dick Gunn birded along South Jenkins and the South Canadian River and saw a couple of Pectoral Sandpipers.  Jimmy had his first Dark-eye Junco in his back yard and an Eastern Towhee.  In Mitch Park in Edmond Hal Yocum reported quite a few winter sparrows had arrived including White-crowned, Vesper, Lincoln Sparrow, and warblers included Yellow, Wilson’s and Black-throated Green.

On Hwy 81 just north of Dover in Kingfisher County on the 7th Deanne McKinney saw several fields where at least 100 Swainson’s Hawks were gathered.  Brian Muzny also saw around 50 gathered in the fields near Wayne on the 3rd and 4th.  On the 8th John Tharp had a Pine Siskin and Merlin along South Jenkins in Norman.  On the 9th Christie Stoops discovered a Virginia Rail andLong-billed Dowitcher, near Cottonwood Creek.  Mary and Lou Truex had a Peregrine Falcon along the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

On the 10th Dala Grissom found Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron and Great Egret along Belcher Road in Pottawatomie County.  On the 9th Paul Cook saw a Northern Harrier and Semipalmated Sandpiper along South Jenkins.  On the 11th at Lake Carl Blackwell Dr. Chris Butler had a White-faced ibis, Jimmy Woodard had a White-eyed Vireo, and John Polo had a Pine Warbler.  At Lake Hefner Chad Ellis identified a Western Grebe.

On the 12th John Hurd and Larry Mays birded the deep weeds around Lake Hefner canal inlet and found tons of LBJ’s including Common Yellowthroat, Swamp Sparrow, Marsh Wrens, a possible Sedge Wren and a Sora Rail as well as a bumper crop of Cockleburs. John Tharp saw a Black Vulture in Norman, and an American Pipit along South Jenkins.  At Boomer Lake Park, Tim O’Connell had a Spotted Sandpiper.

On the 14th Jason Shaw found Wild Turkey at the USAO Habitat Area; Spencer Coffey had a Black-throated Green Warbler at Lake Hefner’s Canal; Rachel Wrenn had a Gray Catbird at the Little River State Park; and Joe had a Le Conte’s Sparrow at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.  On the 15th, Steve D and Mary L had a couple of Dark-eyed Juncos in their Oklahoma City yard.  On the 17th Douglas Wood found Redhead Ducks, Horned Grebes, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel and White-throated Sparrow at the Konawa Lake Boat Ramp in Seminole County bringing the county total to 112.

On the 18th Scott Loss reported lots of birds moving over his yard in Stillwater in the early morning until 0900 including Pine Siskins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping Sparrows and best of all a Le Conte’s Sparrow.   A Winter Wren was located by John Polo at Sanborn Lake.  Mary and Lou Truex had a Great Horned Owl along I-44, and T K had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Blue-headed Vireo at Lake

Thunderbird’s Little River Marina.  On the 22nd Larry Mays noticed a Belted Kingfisher in McClain County.  Hollis Price had a Brown Creeper northeast of Jones, and on the 24th Bonnie and David McNeely watched a Brown Creeper on their Shumard Oak in Edmond.  On the 25th Joe Grzybowski had a Horned Lark along South Jenkins; T K had a Golden-crowned Kinglet at the Lake Thunderbird Little River Marina; Stan Paxton photographed a large flock of American White Pelicans on the Cimarron River near Perkins; and Corban Hemphill saw a Common Loon at Boomer Lake Park

After the cold front hit the Stillwater area on the 27th Scott Loss watched the sky for migrants and had a ridiculous movement of Franklin’s Gulls with an estimate of 15,000 birds, but likely undercounted by thousands. Other flyovers included Greater White-fronted Geese, American Pipits and about 30 Brewer’s Blackbirds and later he discovered a Short-eared Owl in Whittenberg Park.  On the 28th Jimmy Woodard spotted the first Harris’s Sparrows.  And to end the month, on the 31st Chad Ellis’ most notable bird along the west side of Lake Overholser was a Brown Pelican.

In the Central Oklahoma area 162 bird species were reported in October with 2 new species which brings the total for the year to 285.  Oklahoma County leads the eBird reports with 248 species reported to date.  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.