Summer 2009

The Beginning of Fall Migration

JUNE: On June 8th at Lake Stanley Draper Jim Bates saw a pair of Kentucky Warblers, heard a Yellow Breasted Chat, and found White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, Pileated Woodpecker, Prothonotary Warbler and Eastern Wood Pewee. On June 9th Matt Jung found 6 Wood Ducks (3 drakes and 3 hens) with at least 9 ducklings at Rose Lake, and on the 11th he had a male Ruddy Duck on Lake Hefner. On June 14th John and Jim Bates checked the three Prothonotary Warbler boxes on the Coffer Dam road and saw one on the first nest box near the gate. In mid-June Pat Velte photographed a Common Loon at Lake Hefner. It was seen again on July 21st by Bill Diffin and August 21st by Joe Grzybowski. On June 29th Pat Velte spotted an immature Brown Pelican late in the afternoon at Lake Hefner. It was floating on the lake, flexing its wings and then took off, headed west. On July 2nd Bill Diffin found it on the west side pond at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge; Matt Jung found it at Lake Overholser on August 3rd; and Jimmy Woodward found it August 11th.

JULY: On July 6th Nealand Hill had a pair of Brewer’s Blackbirds at his back yard feeder for the past few days. Jimmy Woodard witnessed a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher popping a presumed Sharp-shinned Hawk several times in the course of about 100 yards of flight interaction. The Sharpie dipped down several times to avoid the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher but was unsuccessful in avoiding a hit. On July 18th around 9:30 am Patti Muzny saw at least six Monk Parakeets fly out of a large oak tree at the edge of her yard. Six years ago a nest was found at the corner of 89th SW and Pennsylvania, which is not far from where Patti lives. Patti feels they have nested again in this area, but has no clue as to where. On July 18th Bill Diffin found 11 species of shorebirds on a mud flat at Rose Lake. On July 30th Victor Fazio III found 8 Neotropical Cormorants at a Ducks Unlimited wetland at the north end of Lake Ellsworth, immediately south of Apache in Caddo County.

AUGUST: On August 6th Bill Diffin found 15 Black Terns south of the mud island in northeast Lake Overholser along with a large number of Forster’s Terns, one Least Tern and one Ring-billed Gull. Megan Jankowski saw two Yellow-headed Blackbirds mixed in with Red-winged Blackbirds at the Route 66 Park near Lake Overholser. On August 16th Joe Grzybowski made a detour past Lake Hefner and found 2 Willets, a Long-billed Curlew and on August 21st he found a juvenile Piping Plover along the Prairie Dog Point shore.

On August 16th Bill Diffin found two Tricolored Herons in the slough east of the retaining wall at Lake Overholser’s Coffer Dam. They were running around in the shallows fishing actively. There was a third one perched in the emergent brush out in the lake directly south of the slough. On another occasion he counted 4 of them. On August 26th Jimmy and Nadine Varner found a Tricolored Heron and Willet at the north end of Lake Overholser along with a dozen or so Forester’s Terns and a Bell’s Vireo. On August 29th Jim Bates saw two Tricolored Herons at the north end of Lake Overholser. On the 30th along Lake Hefner he found a few shorebirds including 4 Sanderlings. He reports the water level at both lakes is dropping and exposing mudflats.

On the 30th at the Teal Ridge wetland in Stillwater Vince Cavalieri and Nikki were just sitting on the boardwalk soaking up some sun and enjoying the relative quiet and solitude of the little marsh surrounded by so much of Stillwater, when all of a sudden a male Rufous Hummingbird zipped down and presumably began investigating Nikki’s bright orange shirt. It zoomed around them for about 5 seconds, hovered just a couple of feet in front of their faces giving great diagnostic looks, and zoomed away! As Vince says, it just goes to show that during migration you need to get out, because you never know what might just randomly pop by!

During the summer 125 bird species were reported making the Central Oklahoma area total to date at 275 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.