Payne County’s only “rare” bird this week was the domestic Ruddy Shelduck that has been keeping Stillwater its home for the past few years. Since it is a feral bird, it may no longer be classified as a rarity in the United States by eBird standards. They do hold scientific value by presenting excellent sources of study for behavioral purposes.

Over the seven-day period ending last Sunday, Stillwater experienced 0.73 inches of rain.

On Nov. 20, we located three Buffleheads and five Ruddy Ducks at Boomer Lake on an unseasonably warm morning, along with a Double-crested Cormorant and a slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco. Lake Carl Blackwell had a few Ring-necked Ducks, a dozen Buffleheads, Brewer’s Blackbird, Lincoln’s Sparrow, eleven Dark-eyed Juncos, three dozen Franklin’s Gulls, a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers, and more expected pre-winter fare.

On Nov. 21, Payne County had a flyover migrant Bald Eagle and nine Smith’s Longspurs.

Nov. 22, Lake Carl Blackwell shared a Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, a Common Goldeneye, a Bald Eagle, and the two previously reported Western Grebe were still there.

Boomer Lake Park had 200 plus Ring-billed, seven Herring and a single Franklin’s Gull, eight Gadwall, and a Song Sparrow.

Last Saturday, Nov. 23, Boomer Lake Park provided wind chill at freezing temperatures as well as Redhead, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Killdeer, 16 Double-crested Cormorants, several hundred Ring-billed and a Herring Gull, five Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfisher, and seasonably common songbirds and woodpeckers.

Whittenberg Park area shared a few Horned Larks along with other scant songbirds.

OSU’s cross country Course showed Gadwall, Pied-billed Grebe, Mourning Dove, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, several Meadowlarks, Song Sparrow, and Eastern Bluebirds.

Last Sunday, Nov. 24, Whittenberg Park area observed Cackling and Canada Geese, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Greater Scaup, several Mourning Doves, Great Horned Owls, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks, Bewick’s and Carolina Wrens, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Thrasher, several sparrows, Brewer’s Blackbird, a Great-tailed Grackle, numerous Yellow-rumped Warblers, several single Smith’s Longspurs, and other seasonal residents on this nearly 60 degree day. 

Boomer Lake had a flyover Ross’s Goose amid a few Cackling Geese, along with Redhead and Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, American Pipit, Common Grackle, Yellow-rumped Warblers, assorted sparrows, goldfinches, Killdeer, Belted Kingfisher, and other seasonable representatives.

Meridian Tech sported a Snow Goose, Cackling Geese, Northern Harrier, nearly two dozen meadowlarks, and a Northern Harrier.

This Monday the 25 we experienced cooler morning temperatures at Meridian Tech to show off a Gadwall, Rock Pigeons, Smith’s Longspur, LeConte’s Sparrow, several dozen Savannah Sparrows, good numbers of Western Meadowlarks, few Eastern Meadowlarks, Red-winged Blackbirds, and normal pre-winter birds. 

Boomer Lake had a Bufflehead, seven Ruddy Ducks, several Great Blue Herons, a Tufted Titmouse, Chipping, Field, Song, and Harris’s Sparrows, as well as several Dark-eyed Juncos.

As soon as we begin getting normal temperatures for this time of year, seasonal birds will be scant. Normal wintry fronts should be coming through after Thanksgiving, so until then, happier birding.

Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding! Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater. 

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