September 2021

As the long hot days of summer began to cool down for the approaching fall, interesting birds were being found in Central Oklahoma.  Warblers and shorebirds from northern areas are passing though as they were returning to their southern wintering grounds while many of our summer birds are beginning to leave.  This can often reward birders with new and interesting species.

On the 1st Bill Diffin described Least Flycatcher at Crystal Lake; Joe Grzybowski came across Bell’s Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo and White-eyed Vireo along South Jenkins in Norman; D&D Norris found Brown Thrasher, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Wren at Kairworks in Logan County; and Branden Farris viewed Bank Swallow at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County.  On the 2nd Deb Hirt spotted Black-throated Green Warbler at Boomer Lake Park – Heron Cove in Stillwater. On the 3rd Braden Farris observed White-faced Ibis at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point; Brian Marra detected Prothonotary Warbler at Spring Creek Trail; Grant Dick encountered White-eyed Vireo and Yellow Warbler at McLoud in Pottawatomie County; and Braden Farris reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Prairie Prime Ranch.  

On the 4th Mike Yough photographed Short-billed Dowitcher, and Red-necked Phalarope at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant in Payne County; and Bill Diffin documented Willow and Least Flycatcher at Stinchcomb WR east.

On the 5th Mike Yough added Eastern Wood-Pewee at Lake Carl Blackwell; Steve Stone recognized Olive-sided Flycatcher at Martin Park Nature Center; Michael McCoy identified Loggerhead Shrike and Wilson’s Warbler at Mitch Park; Joe Grzybowski discovered Caspian Tern at Lake Thunderbird – Twin Bridge; Nancy Reed watched Summer Tanager and Painted Bunting in Norman; Bill Diffin recorded Stilt Sandpiper and Warbling Vireo at Stinchcomb WR west; and Brian Marra confirmed Osprey, Forster’s Tern and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County. 

On the 6th Scott Loss counted American Redstart at The Botanic Garden at OSU; Rachel Overturff got Black-and-white Warbler at Edmond; Ryan Minton had Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Yellowlegs at Riverwind Casino in McClain County; and Seth Kastner spotted Upland Sandpiper, Northern Harrier, and Eastern Bluebird at Cashion in Kingfisher County. On the 7th Scott Loss located a Mourning Warbler at Teal Ridge Wetland in Payne County; Braden Farris noticed Black-necked Stilt at Lake Hefner – Stars and Stripes Park; Curtis Stewart verified American Avocet at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds; and Abdul Dominguez saw Green Heron at Pebblebrook Park in Norman. On the 8th Scott Loss tallied Olive-sided Flycatcher and Prairie Warbler at Sanborn Lake; Michael Reichert described Chestnut-sided Warbler in Stillwater; and Cody Delano detected Least Tern at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel.  On the 9th Jimmy Woodard spotted American Redstart at Myriad Botanical Gardens; and Daniel Mitev viewed Great Egret along I-40 in Seminole County. 

On the 10th Jerry Vanbebber documented Canada Warbler at Myriad Botanical Gardens; and Megan Migues came across American Kestrel at Stroud.  On the 11th Seth Kastner added Black-throated Green Warbler at Stinchcomb WR east; and Someone encountered Northern Waterthrush on West Britton Road in Canadian County.  On the 12th Bill Diffin described Herring Gull at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds north of the dam; Brian Marra observed Blue-headed Vireo, and Blue-winged Warbler at Stinchcomb WR east; Jason Shaw reported Red-bellied Woodpecker in Chickasha; and Zac Hemans recognized Pileated Woodpecker in Guthrie.  On the 13th Bill Diffin identified Least Tern and Black Tern at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds; and  Brian Marra recorded Broad-winged Hawk at Bluff Creek Trails. 

On the 16th Brian Marra saw Ovenbird at Myriad Botanical Gardens; and Bill Diffin tallied Blue-headed Vireo, Mourning Warbler and Nashville Warbler at Stinchcomb WR east.  On the 18th Brian Marra verified Sora Rail at Lake Hefner – Bert Cooper Trails.  On the 19th Bill Diffin noticed Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Hefner – Water Treatment Ponds.  On the 20th Scott Loss watched a Peregrine Falcon fly over his yard in Stillwater.  On the 21st Scott Loss photographed a hatch year Rose-breasted Grosbeak at The Botanic Garden at OSU; and Bill Diffin had Pectoral Sandpiper at Stinchcomb WR west. On the 22nd Scott Loss got Philadelphia Vireo at Babcock Park in Stillwater.  On the 24th Alex Franzen confirmed Olive-sided Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-throated Warbler at Oliver Wildlife Preserve in Norman; and Megan Migues discovered Common Nighthawk in Stroud.

On the 25th Mike Yough counted Spotted Towhee and Wilson’s Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell; and Trina Arnold turned up Swainson’s Hawk at Hennessey in Kingfisher County.  On the 26th Brian Marra recognized Sharp-shinned Hawk at Stinchcomb WR east; William Radke counted American Avocet along Sara Road in Yukon; Kate E Magoon found Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and White-breasted Nuthatch at J&L Pecans in Garvin County; and Christie Stoops watched Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cottonwood Creek in Logan County. On the 27th Brian Marra spotted American Pipit at Lake Hefner.  0n the 28th Robert Merideth discovered Chimney Swift and Black-throated Green Warbler in Yukon.  October 9th is October Big Day, what will birders find then and during the rest of the month?


In the Central Oklahoma area during September 176 species were reported with 3 new species which brings the year’s total to 303. 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: (Accessed September 29 & 30, 2021); occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at  Esther M. Key, Editor. 



                                                                Sept       Sum       May       April       Mar        Feb        Jan                                        

Seminole                                             088         083         080         073         053         035

Garvin                                                   091         085         079         066         062         054

Kingfisher                                            124         099         096         073         061         016

Pottawatomie                                   115         104         099         085         078         060

Grady                                                    142         136         102         079         068         059

                Logan                                                    151         144         111         098         089         067        

McClain                                                150         144         121         093         080         068

Lincoln                                                  154         148         117         101         067         059

Canadian                                             220         219         189         147         127         116

                Cleveland                                            245         242         204         151         128         119

                Payne                                                   254         252         214         159         138         124

                Oklahoma                                           264         262         220         173         149         138

Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.