September 2009

From Summer to Fall

September is the time to begin saying goodbye to the birds of summer and hello to the birds of winter. Many other species will migrate though Oklahoma from their northern breeding grounds to their southern wintering grounds while the sunflowers put on a fantastic golden show as they provide nectar for butterflies and later seeds for the wintering species.

On September 3rd Brian Davis took his youngest boy to the marina at Thunderbird and found 8 or so Summer Tanagers almost all females and one immature male along with a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pileated Woodpecker and Red-headed Woodpecker. On the 6th Matt Jung found the Tri-colored Heron at Lake Overholser and in various other parts of town a Gray Catbird, Bell’s Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Screech Owl, Forester’s Tern and Brown Thrasher.

On the 9th Brian Davis found a shorebird bonanza at Prairie Dog Point on Lake Hefner. Species included Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Sanderling, Pectoral Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs. He also found the first Caspian Tern. On the 11th he found a pair of American Avocets, a single dark ibis, a small group of female Northern Shovelers and a single Herring Gull. On the 12th Matt also reported the Caspian Tern and Herring Gull.

On the 14th Matt found a Common Yellowthroat, Warbling Vireo and a Green Heron along South Jenkins in Norman. On the 15th along South Jenkins Brian found a Northern Harrier, Osprey, Hairy Woodpecker, 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers, Least Flycatcher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Orchard Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler and Yellow-throated Warbler.

On the 16th John Polo and Jesse Burton found a window-killed Canada Warbler at the Noble Research Center on the OSU campus in Stillwater. On the 20th along South Jenkins in Norman Jennifer Kidney reported a Blue-headed Vireo and a Philadelphia Vireo. Brian Davis had a report from a friend that an adult Bald Eagle flew over Whittier Middle School in central Norman.

On the 22nd along Lake Overholser Bill Diffin Jeanette Schoof and Doug Eide found the first fall American Coot, and Pied-billed Grebe. On the 23rd in Stillwater Vince Cavalieri found a Tricolored Heron in a small pond located adjacent to the ‘mini-mall’ area on Western just north of the creek and 19th street. On the 24th on South Jenkins in Norman Brian found a House Wren, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler and Lincoln’s Sparrow. On the 25th Matt, Dick and Brian birded South Jenkins and found Tree Swallow, Chimney Swift, and Blue Grosbeak.

On the 26th at Lake Overholser Jim Bates found a single Red-necked Phalarope and 2 American Golden-Plovers. On the 26th Tim O’Connell birded the OSU Arboretum he found a Swainson’s Hawk, Magnolia Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. On the 28th Jimmy Woodard and Nadine Varner found a Peregrine Falcon perched on a brush pile near Lake Overholser’s cofferdam.

During September 130 bird species were reported making the Central Oklahoma area total to date at 278 species. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in reports of bird species seen at home and in the field. I can be contacted by email at, leave a message at 405-381-9170 or mail to 4603 Pikey’s Trail, Tuttle, OK 73089. Esther M. Key, Editor.