September 2010

Recorders Report –  September 2010
Fall migration from shorebirds to sparrows

After the long, hot, dry summer, welcome rain arrived at various times and locations throughout the month.  As the grasses greened up, the sunflowers and goldenrods brought a bright yellow glow to the landscape.  Flocks of birds gathered to begin the migration south as shorebirds, gulls, and a few sparrows arrived, some to refuel for their trip further south, others to stay for the winter.  Plants prepared a feast of nectar for the pollinating bees, butterflies and insects that hopefully will create a bountiful seed crop for the winter birds.

On the 1st Matt Jung and Bill Diffin separately walked the Coffer Dam on Lake Overholser and located Black Terns, Northern Shoveler, Chimney Swift and American Avocets.  On the 3rd at Ten-Mile Flats Brian Davis detected 30 Buff-breasted Sandpipers and 2 female Yellow-headed Blackbirds.  In Stillwater Tim O’Connell found an immature Mourning Warbler during his window-collision study.

On the 10th Joe Grzybowski was returning from discovering Cave Swallows in southwest Oklahoma when he saw White-faced Ibises and Long-billed Curlew in a flooded field east of Chickasha.  On the 11th the OCAS Weekly Birders led by Bill reported an Orange-crowned Warbler along the Coffer Dam and a Peregrine Falcon near Rose Lake, and on the 12th at Rose Lake Mary Lane sited an immature Wood Duck.  At Lake Hefner Jim Bates discovered a Ruddy Turnstone and an Osprey and the next day Ben Holt added
Semipalmated Plovers.  On the 14th along Foreman Road Jimmy Woodard found Wilson’s Phalaropes, and in Stillwater on the 16th John Polo noticed about 30 Common Nighthawks flying just over the trees.

On the 18th Jimmy birded the Yukon City Park and was rewarded with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and a Blue-headed Vireo.  On the 19th along Morgan Road Matt Jung had Savannah Sparrow, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, and at Lake Overholser Jimmy located a couple of Bonaparte’s Gulls.  On the 20th at Lake Hefner Matt had a fly-by from a juvenile Bald Eagle.  Meanwhile at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Eivvind Vamraak and Bill discovered a Black-bellied Plover, Western Sandpiper, White-eyed Vireo, Long-billed Dowitcher, Northern Harrier, and on the 21st Bill added an Orchard Oriole.

On the 25th Jimmy led the OCAS field trip to Yukon City Park and discovered a male American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler, Crackling Goose, and female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  In eastern Oklahoma City Jim Bates located a Gray Catbird at Crystal Lake, and later on the way to the grocery store, he stopped at a group of willows where he found a Sedge Wren.  At Lake Overholser Ben and Angie Holt saw an early Rusty Blackbird.  On the 26that the Yukon City Park Jimmy reported House Wrens and a Black-throated Green Warbler, and on the 27th Bill also saw the warbler and maybe a Philadelphia Vireo.

On the 28th Dick Gunn and Cecil Johnson spotted the South Jenkins’s resident white Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a power pole just off Chautauqua.  This bird was first seen in October 2004 making Thursday her six-year anniversary.  After work on the 29thas I arrived at the entrance to our subdivision in Tuttle, there was a Barred Owl patiently sitting on a post watching me watching it.  Along the east side of the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Bill found the first fall Clay-colored and Lincoln’s Sparrows, while in Mustang, Jimmy also noticed a Clay-colored Sparrow visiting his backyard.

Joe Grzybowski reports the arbor vitae are packing a cone crop this year and predicts the Red Crossbills will find them in December, if not sooner.  We could have some interesting bird watching out there for the rest of the year so check it out.  During September a total of 121 bird species were reported with 4 new additions making the Central Oklahoma area to date total at 257 species.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in reports.  I can be contacted at     Esther M. Key, Editor.