Fall is here and the winter birds have started to arrive. The sparrows are back in town. A variety of shorebird and other species are being found at the sandbar at Lake Hefner’s Prairie Dog Point. A first time ever in OKC bird was spotted and has stayed around for many to see. What a neat situation. Birders have found a great variety during the nice weather in October before the winter weather arrives.
On October 1st Jason Shaw discovered Spotted Towhee at Taylor Lake in Grady County; Someone tallied Black-throated Green Warbler, Nashville Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler at Lake Thunderbird SP in Cleveland County; and Michael Reichert reported Pine Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County. Steve Stone come across Virginia Rail at Lake Overholser – Coffer Dam; while Brian Marra and Grace Huffman encountered Common Yellowthroat, Nashville Warbler and Orange-crowned Warbler at Crystal Lake in OKC. On the 2nd Grace Huffman saw American Bittern and Sora Rail at Lake Overholser; Lucas Bobay detected Black-throated Green Warbler at Arcadia Lake; while at Lake Hefner, Dan Cimbaro noticed Stilt Sandpiper and Lucas Bobay observed Semipalmated Sandpiper.
On the 3rd Kimberly Harper identified Bewick’s Wren at Newcastle in McClain County; Rod Lusey viewed Spotted Sandpiper at Arcadia Lake; and Scott Loss photographed Grasshopper Sparrow and Blue Grosbeak at Sanborn Lake in Stillwater. On the 4th Rod Lusey got Lesser Black-backed Gull at Arcadia Lake; Jeremy Wrenn confirmed Cedar Waxwing at Bricktown River Walk Park; and Scott Loss added Black-and-white Warbler at San Born Lake in Stillwater. On the 5th Curtis Stewart counted Common Nighthawk at Okarche in Kingfisher County; Zach DuFran located House Wren in Norman; Megan Migues documented Reddish Egret at Lake Hefner; and Lucas Bobay recognized Black-throated Green Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 6th Someone had Lincoln’s Sparrow in Norman; and Lucas Bobay recorded Barred Owl at The Botanic Garden at OSU.
On the 7th Joe Grzybowski verified Greater Roadrunner along I-35 northwest of Purcell in McClain County; Braden Farris discovered Vesper Sparrow at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County; D&D Norris tallied Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Kairworks Garden in Logan County; Someone reported Common Yellowthroat in Norman and Lucas Bobay came across Eastern Wood-Pewee at The Botanic Garden at OSU. Hal Yocum had Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Mitch Park in Edmond; Eric Moore encountered White-throated Sparrow at Arcadia Lake; Steve Davis photographed Vesper Sparrow in OKC; and Tabitha Olsen detected Song Sparrow at UCO. At Lake Hefner Braden Farris saw Savannah Sparrow; and Devin Bosler discovered Red Phalarope.
On the 8th Chad Ellis spotted House Wren at Kingfisher City Park; and Megan Migues photographed Nashville Warbler and Dickcissel at Stroud in Lincoln County. Kate Burger tallied White-crowned Sparrow in Norman; Someone reported Peregrine Falcon at Lake Thunderbird SP – West Sentinel and heard White-throated Sparrow in Reaves Park in Norman. Scott Loss detected Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Fox Sparrow in Stillwater; and David Londe described Tennessee Warbler at The Botanic Garden at OSU. Meanwhile, Joe Grzybowski noticed Black-bellied Plover at Lake Hefner and Branden Farris documented about 80 Broad-winged Hawks and 750 Swainson’s Hawks migrating over Lake Hefner. Grace Huffman and Brian Marra also had a massive kettle of about 500 Swainson’s Hawks soaring overhead at northeast Stinchcomb WR in Canadian County. The next day on the 9th Elizabeth Pratt viewed large amounts of migrating Swainson’s Hawks between Chickasha and Lindsay. Some were sitting in the fields while others were kettling with vultures overhead. Were all these sightings the same flock?
On the 10th Brian Marra documented Northern Parula at Crystal Lake; and Aaron Mechem observed American Avocets and Long-billed Dowitchers at Lake Hefner. On the 12th Aaron Short identified Red-shouldered Hawk at Crescent in Kingfisher County; and Renee Schuette viewed Pine Siskin at OSU. On the 13th Tabitha Olsen documented Common Tern at Lake Hefner – Hobie Point. On the 14th Lucas Bobay got Horned Grebe at Lake Carl Blackwell; and Michael Reichert confirmed LeConte’s Sparrow at Teal Ridge Wetland. On the 15th Rodney East added White-throated Sparrow, Wilson’s Snipe and Greater Yellowlegs at Wewoka Woods in Seminole County; Lucas Bobay counted American Golden-Plover at Lake Hefner; Scott Loss located Eared Grebe at Lake Carl Blackwell; Michelle Spacek recognized Savannah Sparrow at Wes Watkins Lake in Pottawatomie County; and at Lake Thunderbird Jesse Pine had American Golden-Plover and Brown Creeper; while Someone recorded Swamp Sparrow.
On the 16th Don Pearson verified Long-billed Dowitcher and Pied-billed Grebe at a lake north of Hennepin in Garvin County; Grace Huffman spotted Sprague’s Pipit at Crystal Lake in OKC; Steve Stone discovered Hermit Thrush at Martin Park Nature Center; while in Norman Diana Beal tallied Chipping Sparrow; and Michael Reichert reported Spotted Towhee at Hall Park. On the 17th Sydney Austin came across Song Sparrow at John H. Saxon Park in Norman; and Joe Grzybowski had California Gull at Lake Hefner. On the 18th Steve Stone encountered Summer Tanager at Martin Park Nature Center and Semipalmated Plover at Lake Hefner; and Lucas Bobay saw Sprague’s Pipit at OSU Research Range.
On the 19th Samuel Cox detected Bald Eagle at Stratford in Garvin County; and Scott Loss noticed Common Loon at Lake Carl Blackwell. On the 22nd Michael Reichert observed Western Grebe at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; and Jennifer Kidney had Dark-eyed Junco in Norman. On the 23rd Jake Hennig identified Eastern Towhee at Mulhall in Logan County. On the 26th Jake Gerlt viewed Sandhill Crane at Yukon in Canadian County. On the 27th Michelle Spacek added Red-headed Woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch at Pink in Pottawatomie County; and Someone photographed Glossy Ibis at Lake Thunderbird SP – North Sentinel Campground.
On the 28th Rosario Douglas had Field Sparrow in Norman; Brian Marra counted Dunlin at Lake Hefner; and Ory Schultheis located Harris’s Sparrow in Edmond. On the 29th Scott Loss heard Purple Finch in Stillwater; Esther Key recorded Harris’s Sparrow in Moore; and Cameron Lang located Savannah Sparrow in the field behind the museum in Norman. At Lake Hefner Deanne McKinney recognized American Avocet while Carrie Pratt and Alex Harman documented Surf Scoter. As the weather gets colder in November, what other interesting winter birds will arrive?
In the Central Oklahoma area during October 188 species were reported with 3 new species which brings the year’s total at 300. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at: ebird. 2022 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 & 31, 2022); and occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted at email@example.com. Esther M. Key, Editor.