September 2020

It has been a busy month with some of the last of the summer bird lingering and the beginning arrivals of the winter birds. A few rare birds arrived, some to be seen briefly and others hung around a bit.  Will the fires out west change what species will be seen in our area this month and during the winter?  The only way to find out is for birders to take to the field and share their sightings.

On the 1st along the Turner Turnpike in Lincoln County Chris Butler spotted Common Nighthawk, at Lake Hefner – Stars & Stripes Park Braden Farris discovered Canvasback and Blue-winged Teal; at Ten Mile Flats west of Norman in Cleveland County John Tharp found Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Western Sandpiper and Zach DuFran observed Long-billed Dowitcher, while at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater Scott Loss located Yellow-throated Warbler and at Lake Carl Blackwell Chipping Sparrow. On the 2nd John Tharp detected Semipalmated Plover at Ten Mile Flats; and Yellow-throated Warbler along South Jenkins; John Moyer photographed Least Tern at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel; and Braden Farris noticed Grasshopper Sparrow near Deer Creek in Oklahoma County.  On the 3rd Scott Loss verified Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Stonecrest Falls in Stillwater. 

On the 4th Zach DuFran turned in the last reported sighting of the Vermilion Flycatcher at Lake R. C. Longmire in Garvin County; and Larry Mays counted Mississippi Kite, and Cattle Egret at his home in McClain County. On the 6th Melanie Gilbertson added Pileated Woodpecker along Coltrane Road in south Logan County; Brian Marra recorded House Wren and Northern Waterthrush at Stinchcomb WR west; Randolph King encountered Prothonotary Warbler at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel; and Frank Walker photographed Rufous Hummingbird at his feeder in Bethany.  On the 7th Mike Hudson viewed Eared Grebe at NW 63rd & Kilpatrick Turnpike in Canadian County; Someone came across Kentucky Warbler in Lexington; and Jacob Crissup confirmed Northern Shoveler at Lake Hefner – Oklahoma City Docks.  On the 8th Matt Jung identified two Osprey preening at Lake Hefner and White-faced Ibis in the Yukon Parkway west playa; Brian Marra recognized Willow Flycatcher at Arcadia Lake; and at Lake Carl Blackwell Scott Loss saw Pine Warbler and Caleb McKinney photographed  a juvenile Jaeger species.

On the 9th Caleb McKinney reported Least Bittern at Teal Ridge Wetland in Stillwater; and Scott Loss tallied Caspian Tern at Lake Carl Blackwell.  On the 10th Scott Loss documented Common Tern at Boomer Lake Park. On the 11th in Grady County Chris Butler detected White-eyed Vireo and Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Lake Louis Burtschi, and Warbling Vireo at Shannon Springs Park; while Ron Clifton noticed Wilson’s Warbler and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Rush Springs.  On the 12th Joe Grzybowski spotted Red-breasted Nuthatch at his feeder in Norman; Don Pearson found Belted Kingfisher at Elmore City in Garvin County; and D&D Norris discovered Wilson’s Warbler at Kairworks Garden in Logan County. On the 13th Linda Jones verified White-breasted Nuthatch at the Lazy J in Lincoln County; and Bill Diffin located Chestnut-sided Warbler along NW 50th in Canadian County. On the 14th Scott Loss observed Yellow-breasted Chat at The OSU Botanic Garden. 

On the 15th in Grady County Jason Shaw added Cooper’s Hawk at USAO Habitat Area in Grady County and Caleb McKinney came across Indigo Bunting and Northern Bobwhite near Alex; Cody Delano and his child watched 3 Black-throated Green Warblers at Lakeview Park in Norman; while Red-breasted Nuthatches were encountered in Norman during lunch at home by Nathan Kuhnert and in Payne County at Sanborn Lake by Landon Neumann.  Randolph King photographed a kingbird at Buck Thomas Park in Moore.  Later the photograph was reviewed and the bird was confirmed as Couch’s Kingbird.  Several birders went to see the bird but at times it would disappear so a few had to return to the location to finally find it. It continued to be seen into October.

On the 16th Dawn Lloyd identified Chimney Swift in Okarche in Kingfisher County.  On the 17th in Canadian County along South Overholser Road Bill Diffin reported Olive-sided Flycatcher and Clay-colored Sparrow; Braden Farris viewed Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge; in Norman along South Jenkins Dawn Lloyd recorded Peregrine Falcon; and at Lake Hefner – Stars and Stripes Park Braden Farris recognized Long-billed Curlew.  On the 18th Someone saw Ovenbird at Myriad Botanical Gardens.  On the 19th John Tharp saw Tennessee Warbler and Mourning Warbler along South Jenkins; Mike Yough tallied Sedge Wren at Cushing Water Treatment Plant; William Radke discovered American Wigeon at Lake Hefner – Stars & Stripe Park; and Marc Kramer located Northern Pintail at Cushing Water Treatment Plant.  On the 20th Mike Yough got Swainson’s Thrush at Sanborn Lake in Stillwater. 

On the 21st Caleb McKinney verified Swainson’s Hawk and Northern Flicker in Okarche; and Scott Loss had Horned Lark at OSU Magruder Plots.  On the 22nd Braden Farris spotted Virginia Rail  and Green-winged Teal at Lake Hefner – Edgewater Lake Preserve.  On the 23rd Michael Horn found Northern Shoveler at Arcadia Lake – Edmond Park.  On the 24th Nancy Reed watched waves of Common Nighthawks flying over her house in east Norman; and Samuel Cox turned up Greater Roadrunner at Wynnewood in Garvin County.  On the 25th Someone detected Pine Warbler in Norman; and  Braden Farris noticed Summer Tanager at Tecumseh Lake and Red-eyed Vireo and Chimney Swift at FireLake Golf Course in Shawnee. 

On the 26th Richard Hasegawa confirmed Scissor-tailed Flycatcher along the Turner Turnpike; and Mike Yough recognized American Pipit at Cushing Water Treatment Plant.  On the 27th Randolph King tallied Spotted Sandpiper and Osprey at Wes Watkins Lake in Pottawatomie County; Caleb McKinney recorded Redhead at Lake Carl Blackwell; Brian Marra observed Marsh Wren at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; Rod Lusey identified Lesser Black-backed Gull at Arcadia Lake – Edmond Park; and Elizabeth & Tim Pratt flushed Sora Rail at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  On the 29th Grace Huffman documented Parasitic Jaeger at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  On the 30th Bill Diffin encountered Ruddy Duck at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  As the trees change their leaf color, what bird species will change in our area?

In the Central Oklahoma area during September, 191 species were reported with 3 new species bringing the total for 2020 to 290. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2020 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed: September 29 & 30, 2020). And occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted by e-mail at  Esther M. Key, Editor.


                                                                Sept       Aug        May       April       March   Feb        Jan         31 BBA    8 Counties                        

Kingfisher                            111         111         087         062         056         021         010         2

                Seminole                             116         116         099         091         060         008         008         0

Pottawatomie                   121         116         099         078         058         035         027         5             

Lincoln                                  123         123         123         117         070         054         047         030         0

Garvin                                   129         129         128         093         067         053         037         003         5

Grady                                    143         142         137         111         073         068         048         0

                Logan                                    154         151         145         118         088         079         059         0

McClain                                159         159         155         130         094         073         038         0

                Canadian                             225         223         221         187         133         104         089         5

                Cleveland                            243         239         235         206         149         114         093         2

                Payne                                   250         248         244         216         154         122         111         4

                Oklahoma                           251         247         243         214         154         133         125         8


Number of bird species reported in 2020 according to eBird.