The Payne County rare birds for last week include Swainson’s Thrush, Blue Grosbeak, Brown Creeper, and LeConte’s Sparrow. 

October’s fall migration is lengthy, so we’ll divide up the month for the details. The arrivals for the first half of the month include Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese, Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks, Yellow Rail, Sandhill Crane, Dunlin, Herring Gull, Bald Eagle, Short-eared Owl, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Sprague’s Pipit, Pine Siskin, Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspurs, White-crowned, White-throated, LeConte’s, Swamp, and Song Sparrows, Horned Grebe, and Redhead. 

Departing Oklahoma will be Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Poorwill, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Snowy Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western and Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern, Neotropic Cormorant, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White-faced Ibis, Broad-winged Hawk, Least Flycatcher, White-eyed, Philadelphia and Red-eyed Vireos, Bank Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ovenbird, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Mourning, and Wilson’s Warblers, Northern Parula, Summer Tanager, Blue and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Dickcissel, and Eastern Kingbird.

Notable birds observed at Boomer Lake last week include a very shy Black-crowned Night-Heron, the first American Robin of fall ventured out of the neighborhoods, Barn Swallow, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, Cedar Waxwings, and over a dozen Killdeer. We also encountered several Yellow-rumped Warblers Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Stonecrest, Falls, and Hunter’s Ridge Loop also shared Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Bewick’s Wren, and Pine Siskin this Wednesday.

This Tuesday, we counted several Chimney Swifts, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Red-shafted Northern Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, House Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated and Lincoln’s Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and a Black-throated Green Warbler at Sanborn Lake.

On Oct. 6, we discovered Yellow-billed Cuckoo, several Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, more Red-shafted Northern Flickers, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Tree Swallows, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, more Pine Siskins, Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Pine Warblers, and three dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Over last weekend at Meridian Tech Ponds, we encountered American Kestrel, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Pipit, Grasshopper, Savannah, and LeConte’s Sparrows, and Eastern and Western Meadowlarks.

In the Whittenberg Park area, we located migratory Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Double-crested Cormorants, and Brown-headed Cowbirds.

The Perkins area delivered Indio Bunting and Dickcissel.

Stonecrest, Falls, and Hunter’s Ridge Loop delivered the first Bald Eagle of the season.

Cushing Water Treatment Plant counted good numbers of Least, Solitary, and Pectoral Sandpipers, the Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, and White-faced Ibis.

As predicted with the large though somewhat depleted cone crop in the northern regions, some of the irruptive birds have appeared early in the pre-winter season. Keep a watch for more, as we do know that the Purple Finch is also heading south. Whether or not they reach us for an extended period will be another story.

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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