From a 500 year flood to moderate drought conditions the birds experienced a great change in the weather this summer while nurturing the next generation of youngsters. On June 2nd Matt Jung found a Pileated Woodpecker at Rose Lake. On the 5th Matt and a birder from South Carolina found a Hooded Merganser hen with 6-8 ducklings in the Coffer Dam area. The next day he found a drake Northern Shoveler west of the Coffer Dam and 2 Prothonotary Warbler on the Coffer Dam. Jim Bates and his son birded Lake Draper and located a Kentucky Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. On June 14th a storm set its bull’s eye on central Oklahoma and continued to rain a 500 year flood. In 24 hours the official rainfall recorded at Will Rogers Airport with 7.6 inches while in Edmond it was 12.1 but Kingfisher received only 0.92 inch. On the 23rd Bill Diffin and Charles Douglas found an Osprey carrying a fish across Lake Hefner and heard a Gray Catbird singing.
On July 3rd another storm left almost 2 inches of rain, and then it turned hot and dry. On July 5th Jim Bates birded around Yukon and found 2 Long-billed Curlews and 2 Marbled Godwits in a field north of Wagner Road just east of the Yukon Water Treatment Plant, and at Lake Overholser there were fledglings in Prothonotary box #4 and Wood Ducks. On July 14th Joe Grzybowski stopped at Alex Marsh in Grady County and found an immature White Ibis among a few White-faced Ibises. On the 16th Matt had a Common Loon on Lake Hefner. On the 27th at Lake Carl Blackwell Timothy O’Connell had Forester’s Terns, Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Fish Crow, and Summer Tanager. On the 28th along Mustang Road Matt found 2 Greater Yellowlegs.
On August 2nd Jim Bates birded Foreman Road and found Upland Sandpipers, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, and Baird’s Sandpipers. On the 4th Bill Diffin located a flock of about 75 Buff-breasted Sandpipers north and east of the Foreman/Gregory intersection. On the 7th Matt found an Eastern Screech Owl at Eldon Lyon Park. Kim Wiar had a Swainson’s Hawk cruising over the field opposite the Healthplex on Tecumseh Road. The OCAS weekly birders led by Bill Diffin found a Spotted Sandpiper and Yellow Warbler at Lake Hefner, at Sod by Sherry a Pied-billed Grebe and Least Sandpiper; and at the North Mustang Road Playa a Long-billed Dowitcher.
Just after the May 10 multiple tornado storms a Swallow-tailed Kite was reported near Stillwater. Now on July 9th Dick Gunn, Luke McGinley and Cecil Johnson checked out South Jenkins and found a Swallow-tailed Kite. On the 10th Joe Grzybowski took some excellent photos of the bird and the assembled group located a second one. It was seen on the 11th by Terri Underhill and Pat Velte, on the 12th by Carolyn and Lindell Dillon, on the 13th by Terri and Pat and on the 26th near the Sutton Wilderness Area by Lindell and Carolyn Dillon.
On the 14th Jim Bates found American Avocets and an Osprey at Lake Hefner. On the 16th Lindell and Carolyn Dillon found an immature eagle on Red Hill in Purcell. On the 20th the Weekly Birders led by Bill Diffin found two Brown Pelicans, Black Terns, Forester’s Terns, Broad-winged Hawk and Peregrine Falcon at Lake Arcadia. On the 25th Terri Underhill in Edmond found American Redstarts, Yellow Warblers, Wilson’s Warblers, Orange Crowned Warbler and an unknown Empidonax. On the 26th Bill Diffin and OCAS Weekly Birders refound the Brown Pelican, along with Blue-winged Teal.
On the 28th Jimmy Woodard, Nadine Varner and Colleen Crank from St. Lewis found a Black Vulture at South Jenkins. On the 29th Matt Jung found a Caspian Tern on the northeast side of Lake Overholser. On the 30th Bill Diffin and Eivind Vamraak found both the Brown Pelican and the Caspian Tern. By the end of August it was hot and dry throughout the United States. NOAA recorded it at the 4th warmest summer on record. For OKC it was the 15th warmest on record and the 32nd driest.
During the summer a total of 125 bird species were reported with 5 new additions making the Central Oklahoma area to date total at 253 species. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by turning in reports. I can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Esther M. Key, Editor.