Here is the second half of October’s Oklahoma migratory arrivals: Ross’s and Cackling Goose, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Hooded and Red breasted Merganser, Whooping Crane, American Woodcock, Bonaparte’s Gull, Golden Eagle, Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks, Short-eared Owl, Purple Finch, Lark Bunting, Fox and Harris’s Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, Mountain Bluebird, and Townsend’s Solitaire.
The departures include Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Purple Gallinule, Semipalmated Plover, Stilt Sandpiper, Sanderling, Red-necked Phalarope, Sabine’s and Laughing Gulls, Caspian and Common Terns, Snowy Egret, White-faced Ibis, Swainson’s Hawk, Gray Catbird, Palm, Yellow-rumped, and Black-throated Green Warblers, Indigo Bunting, Common Nighthawk, and Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
Payne County rare birds for last week were comprised of only the late Summer Tanager.
Notable birds for the latter half of last week and this week include Boomer Lake Park’s Sharp-shinned Hawk, Franklin’s Gulls, American Coots, White-faced Ibis, juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron, Eastern Meadowlark, and Nashville, Orange-crowned, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Meridian Tech counted Barn Swallow, House, Sedge, and Marsh Wrens, two dozen Pine Siskins, Savannah, Song, and Lincoln’s Sparrows.
Cimarron Hill shared multiple migratory Blue Jays, several American Robins, American Goldfinches, Barred Owls, Wild Turkeys, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, and a Dark-eyed Junco.
Babcock Park located Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Harrier, Horned Lark, Cedar Waxwings, and an Indigo Bunting.
Lake Carl Blackwell observed Redheads, Pied-billed Grebes, several dozen Double-crested Cormorants, Osprey, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Pine Warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Chipping, Field, and Savannah Sparrows, and Spotted Towhee.
A residence on North Husband chimed in with a Blue-headed Vireo and a Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Sanborn Lake had good numbers of Blue Jays, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, House and Sedge Wrens, White-throated Sparrows, Cooper’s Hawk, and several Pine Siskins.
Whittenberg Park area shouted out American White Pelicans, American Pipit, Bewick’s Wren, multiple Brown-headed Cowbirds, several Black Vultures, Bald Eagles, and Red-tailed Hawk.
Cimarron Turnpike in Glencoe observed Swainson’s Hawks.
Cushing Water Treatment Plant counted Sora, Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, dozens of Killdeer, multiple Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher, several Wilson’s Snipes, Greater Yellowlegs Green Heron, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Vesper and Swamp Sparrows, American Pipits, and hundreds of migratory Brown-headed Cowbirds.
Yellow-brick Dr. located Greater Roadrunners and a Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Theta Pond had several flyover Chimney Swifts.
Stonecrest, Falls, and Hunter’s Ridge Loop tallied multiple Pine Siskins.
Overall, we can see that many irruptive species like Cedar Waxwings, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, and Blue Jays are becoming more prevalent or well-established in Payne County. This is in view of the fact that either cone crops have been much less than desired in the north or Boreal Forest regions. There were also numerous counts of young birds during the breeding season this year. Many irruptives will be apparent south of their normal areas all over the country this year. The western portion of the country will also be seeing irruptive birds that have not been found in over two decades like the Evening Grosbeak. This will be a winter season with prevalent irruption that might make appearances beyond their expected regions. Do stay vigilant for this.
Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater.