October 2021

Migration is in full swing this month as the days get shorter and cooler weather arrives. Several exciting bird parties developed this month as new species and rarely seen species visited central Oklahoma.  Several birders observed groups of birds as they gathered for migration.  And then the month ended with sightings of some possible exciting winter bird species. 

On the 1st Scott Loss had a well-documented Red-naped Sapsucker at The OSU Botanic Garden; and Bill Diffin described Common Tern and Laughing Gull at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds north of the dam. Steve Davis spotted Northern Parula and Wilson’s Warbler along the Mustang Road Playas in Canadian County; and Megan Migues watched a Painted Bunting along with a Common Yellowthroat and some sparrows eating seeds, plus 8 American Kestrels sitting on a power line at Stroud in Lincoln County. In Oklahoma County Mike Hudson and Ashley Dudek found Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Overholser – Coffer Dam; and Jimmy Woodard saw Peregrine Falcon in Midwest City; while at Rose Lake in Canadian County Deanne McKinney photographed one of 2 Sora Rails seen and heard another one. 

On the 2nd in Norman Mark Howery encountered Brown Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler and Nashville Warbler; Alex Franzen added Lincoln Sparrow; and at John H Saxon Park Jacob Kirkland recognized 30 Chimney Swift. Vonceil Harmon located Greater Roadrunner, Cattle Egret and Loggerhead Shrike at Tecumseh in Pottawatomie County; Steve Stone photographed about 140 Great Egrets at Rose Lake; and Marion Homier detected Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow at Choctaw in Oklahoma County.  On the 3rd Seth Kastner counted 28 Swainson’s Hawks at Oakland-Knowles Cemetery at Crescent in Logan County; and Mark Howery reported 93 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers at the Merkle Creek Fall Roost in Norman which have been observed there since the late 1960’s. 

On the 4th Rod Lusey came across American Bittern at Arcadia Lake – Edmond Park; Scott Loss confirmed White-crowned Sparrow at OSU-Cross Country Course.  On the 5th Rondi Large had Wood Duck, and Belted Kingfisher at Wewoka Lake in Seminole County; and Hal Yocum discovered Spotted Towhees at Mitch Park in Edmond.  At the Audubon Field Trip to Mollie Spencer Farm in Canadian County Steve Davis photographed Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Northern Flicker and Abdul Dominguez got Orange-crowned Warbler and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  On the 6th Nancy Reed recorded House Wren in Cleveland County; Abdul Dominguez noticed Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Carolina Wren at Pebblebrook Park in Norman; and Landon Neumann identified Hermit Thrush at Sanborn Lake in Payne County. 

On the 7th Jason Shaw tallied Cooper’s Hawk at Austin Hall in Chickasha.  On the 8th Landon Neumann spotted Dark-eyed Junco in Stillwater; Jimmy Woodard and 21 visitors at the Annual OKC Big Sit in Midwest City recorded 43 species including Chimney Swift, Great Horned Owl and Gray Catbird. On the 9th Brian Marra, Bill Diffin and Chad Ellis documented Red-necked Phalarope at Lake Hefner – north side; Robyn Parker saw Great Blue Heron and Yellow-rumped Warbler at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; Rebecca Korn found Northern Flicker at Agra in Lincoln County; and Jacob Kirkland encountered Semipalmated Plover and American Avocet at Rose Lake. On the 10th Chad Ellis had Dunlin at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds; and Deb Hirt located Cinnamon Teal at Boomer Lake Park – Heron Cove. 

On the 12th fall arriving Dark-eyed Juncos were observed by Larry Mays in McClain County and D&D Norris at Kairworks Garden in Logan County. Joe Grzybowski added Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Green-winged Teal at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel and along South Jenkins in Norman Hairy Woodpecker and Indigo Bunting. On the 14th Bill Diffin counted Wood Duck, Forster’s Tern, Hairy Woodpecker and House Wren at Crystal Lake in OKC.  On the 15th Scott Loss documented Eastern Whip-poor-will at the Botanic Garden at OSU; Seth Kasher detected LeConte’s Sparrow at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; Steve Davis photographed Yellow-headed Blackbird at Mustang Road Playas; while Randy Soto found and Joe Grzybowski reported Common Tern at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel. 

On the 16th Scott Loss documented Pomarine Jaeger at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater; Joe Grzybowski recognized American Kestrel along Ladd Road in McClain County and American Pipit at Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County; Larry Mays came across a small wave of migrant Vesper Sparrows at Rose Lake; and Tiffany Lam confirmed White-breasted Nuthatch at Martin Park Nature Center. On the 17th Kalder Korte discovered Northern Bobwhite at George M Sutton Wilderness Park in Norman.  On the 18th Joe Grzybowski described Laughing Gull at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel; Brian McLaughlin had Cooper’s Hawk at Bluff Creek Trails; and Scott Loss identified Brown Creeper at The OSU Botanic Garden.  On the 19th Nancy Reed noticed White-throated Sparrow and Spotted Towhee in Cleveland County; Zach DuFran got Cedar Waxwing in Norman; and Bill Diffin tallied White-throated Sparrow and Lincoln’s Sparrow at Martin Park Nature Center. 

On the 20th Steve Davis recorded Wilson’s Snipe and Northern Harrier at Bethany-Warr Acres WTP.  On the 21st Rosario Douglas spotted Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Paul’s Valley in Garvin County; Christie Stoops found White-breasted Nuthatch at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County; Cody Delano reported Bald Eagle flying over Lake Stanley Draper; and Robert Martinez located Osprey and Great Horned Owl at Lake Thunderbird – Hog Creek Campground.  On the 22nd  Shawn Johnson observed Chipping Sparrow at Yukon City Park; and Bill Diffin saw Harris’s Sparrow and Spotted Towhee along the West River Trail on the south end of Lake Overholser Dam.  On the 24th Caleb McKinney counted Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler near Alex in Grady County; and Braden Farris added Spotted Towhee and Northern Bobwhite at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County.

On the 26th Nancy Reed had her first Dark-eyed Junco in Norman.  On the 27th Jane Wiewora encountered Wild Turkey at Wellston in Lincoln County.  On the 29th Bill Diffin recognized Sandhill Crane at Lake Hefner – Stars and Stripes Park. On the 30th Chad Ellis identified Savanna Sparrow and Northern Harrier at Cashion in Kingfisher County; Tabitha Olsen noticed Golden-crowned Kinglet and American Pipit at Arcadia Lake – Spring Creek Park; while Mike Yough photographed Lesser Goldfinch, LeConte’s Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant in Payne County; and Jacob Kirkland discovered Mountain Bluebird at Calment in Canadian County.     

In the Central Oklahoma area during October 170 species were reported with 5 new species which brings the year’s total to 308. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2021 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: https://ebird.org/region/US-OK?yr=all. (Accessed October 30, 2021); occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at emkok@earthlink.net.  Esther M. Key, Editor. 



                                                                Oct         Sept       Sum       May       April       Mar        Feb        Jan                                        

Seminole                             088         088         088         083         080         073         053         035

Garvin                                   091         091         091         085         079         066         062         054

Pottawatomie                   118         116         115         104         099         085         078         060

Kingfisher                            125         127         124         099         096         073         061         016

Grady                                    144         142         142         136         102         079         068         059

                Logan                                    152         152         151         144         111         098         089         067        

McClain                                151         151         150         144         121         093         080         068

Lincoln                                  157         156         154         148         117         101         067         059

Canadian                             227         225         220         219         189         147         127         116

                Cleveland                            247         246         245         242         204         151         128         119

                Payne                                   261         258         254         252         214         159         138         124

                Oklahoma                           272         265         264         262         220         173         149         138

Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.        www.ebird.org