Summer 2018


Although the summer was busy with nesting and juvenile birds learning survival skills, August brought important changes in bird movements and in eBird reporting protocols.  eBird updated the taxonomic order of their bird list according to the latest scientific information including revelations from DNA testing.  Check out the new order of bird listings with some moving up and others moving down.  They have also adjusted the requirements for a bird list to be available for public information.  In one central Oklahoma county 8 bird species were dropped from the primary list because the individual lists did not meet the requirements for public use. 

Sometimes it is best to create more than one list for the birding areas visited during the day.  And then Facebook got into the reporting act with two photograph postings of rare birds.  Although Kingfisher County only has 37 species reported in eBird for the year, a photograph of a very rare bird was taken by construction employees near Dover. What other interesting species were missed in this county?  And in another county a photograph of another rare bird was posted.  What an interesting end to summer.


On the 3rd in various locations in Pottawatomie County Joe Grzybowski documented Black Vulture, Broad-winged Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Bewick’s Wren and Summer Tanager.  On the 5th Roy McGraw noticed Black-crowned Night-Heron at Rose Lake in Canadian County; and Brian Stufflebeam observed Black-necked Stilt at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  On the 6th Bert Frenz had Chimney Swift, Mississippi Kite, and Great-tailed Grackle at Stroud City Park in Lincoln County.  On the 8th Steve Davis viewed Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Rose Lake in Canadian County.  On the 10th Brian Marra counted Black-chinned Hummingbird at Mitch Park in Edmond, and Bill Diffin found Neotropic Cormorant at Prairie Dog Point. 

On the 16th Ben Sandstrom spotted Great Egret, Broad-winged Hawk, and Summer Tanager at Prague Lake City Park in Lincoln County. On the 17th Emily Hjalmarson discovered Great Horned Owl near Macomb in Pottawatomie County and Barn Owl along South Jenkins in Norman.  On the 18 Bill Diffin confirmed Long-billed Curlew at Prairie Dog Point.  On the 24th John Tharp identified a Rufous-crowned Sparrow in Norman.  On the 25th Bill Diffin located Black-necked Stilt at Rose Lake. 


On the 10th in Lincoln County Jimmy Woodard detected Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow at Prague Lake City Park and Purple Martin, Baltimore Oriole, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting at Meeker Lake.  On the 14th Zachary Hemans had Snowy Egret at Liberty Lake in Logan County.  On the 20th Esther Key tallied Black Vulture at Elmore City Lake in Garvin County.  On the 24th Joe Grzybowski reported Killdeer and Least Sandpiper on Hwy 81 north of Dover in Kingfisher County. On the 30th John Hurd recognized Willow Flycatcher at Lake Hefner.  On the 31st Joe Grzybowski turned up Yellow-crowned Nigh-Heron on Hwy 9 near Riverwind in McClain County.


On the 1st Jimmy Woodard came across Wild Turkey, Great Horned Owl and Eastern Wood-Pewee at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County.  On the 2nd Ben Sandstrom got Least Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper at Purcell Lake in McClain County.  On the 4th Steve Davis had Wild Turkey, Great Egret, and Western Kingbird at Lake R.C. Longmire and White-eyed Vireo, and Great-tailed Grackle at Paul’s Valley Lake in Garvin County.  On the 11th William Diffin verified Orchard Oriole east of Rose Lake.  At Prague Lake City Park Eduardo Bergen recorded Snowy Egret on the 13th and on the 15th White-winged Dove, Greater Roadrunner and Bewick’s Wren.

According to reports on Facebook on the 15th employees at Dolese Sand Pit in Dover noticed what appeared to be a Juvenile Brown Booby sitting on some of their equipment and on the morning of the 16th it was found sitting on the ground.  It allowed them to get pretty close but flew off when they attempted to catch it.  They photographed it and reported it to a wildlife rehabber, Jessica Torres at Nature’s Vein, but the bird had moved. On the 18th it was allegedly observed near Bristow. 

On the 19th Zach Poland added Eurasian Collared-Dove and White-winged Dove in Kingfisher.  Scott Loss identified Olive-sided Flycatcher at Boomer Lake in Payne County.  On the 21st Caleb Frome – CC spotted Wood Duck, Snowy Egret, and Bell’s Vireo at Wiley Post Memorial Lake in McClain County.  On the 24th Kelly Baker photographed and posted on Facebook a Roseate Spoonbill with the American Pelicans at the canal inlet on the west side of Lake Hefner. 

On the 25th Joe Grzybowski encountered Horned Lark at Goldsby Sod Farm in McClain County.  On the 26th Zach Poland recorded a Mississippi Kite in Kingfisher; and a Western Sandpiper at John Marshall School Pond in Oklahoma City.  As August ended fall migration was beginning. On the 31st Monica Ray discovered Mourning Warbler and Semipalmated Sandpiper along South Jenkins in Norman; John Hurd recognized Mourning Warbler, Yellow Warbler and Orchard Oriole along Stinchcomb West in Canadian County; and  Hal Yocum and other regular birders at Mitch Park saw a female Yellow Warbler and a female American Redstart.  What will be seen in September? 

During the Summer of 2018 in the Central Oklahoma area 157 species were reported with 6 new species bringing the total for the year to 274.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds by making reports at  (an online database of bird distribution and abundance from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.)  Data for this report was accessed in eBird on August 30th, 2018 and at various times on Facebook and the OKBIRDS List. I can also be contacted by e-mail at  Esther M. Key, Editor.