Deb Hirt

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Payne County rare birds for the week include the Tree Swallow at Lake Carl Blackwell on June 30 and an adult and juvenile Cave Swallow on Bethel Rd. July 4.

Mesonet recorded 0.31 inches of rain in Payne County for the week.

Boomer Lake did much better than a silent bird chorus on July 5, which is surprising for the aftermath of the fireworks show on the Fourth. There were plenty of Canada Geese, Mallards, Eurasian Collared- and Mourning Doves, American Coot, Chimney Swift, Neotropic Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Black and Turkey Vultures, Mississippi Kite, excellent numbers of Purple Martins, more Cliff than Barn Swallows, Carolina Chickadee, European Starlings, House Sparrows, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, Common and Great-tailed Grackles, Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Cardinal, and American Crow. About all we missed was Green Heron. 

We have managed to encounter scant Barn and Cliff Swallows throughout the week along with continued fledged young along with the occasional Eastern Bluebird. Red-winged Blackbirds remain less common than they used to be, though Brown-headed Cowbirds are still in search of appropriate hosts.

The Gray Catbird is fledging young, as are Carolina Wrens, Northern Cardinals, and Great-tailed and Common Grackles. House Finches, Warbling Vireos, both Eastern and Western Kingbirds, and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers also add to the mix, while most young Canada Goslings are approaching adulthood and the Mallards show off their occasional youngsters.

Some Killdeer are still sitting on eggs while others have young. Bell’s Vireos still continue to raise clutches, while Eastern Meadowlarks are on the move. If fortunate, their ground nests can be found if the resident adults are observed long enough.

Summer Tanagers, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Red- and White-eyed Vireos, and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo are still easily seen within riparian areas, along with Prothonotary Warblers.

Eastern Phoebe, American and Fish Crow, both orioles, Northern Mockingbird and Brown Thrasher are in the midst of rearing fledglings, while the Green Heron young remain comfortable in the confines of their private oases.

Common Yellowthroat and the Dickcissel remain easily found in the wetland areas, while the Mississippi Kite, Purple Martin, and Blue Grosbeak entertain themselves aloft or while providing guidance for their young.

Wood Ducks with youngsters, Northern Bobwhite, Pied-billed Grebes, Northern Parula, a dozen Red-winged Blackbirds, assorted sparrows, and more continue to entertain at the Cushing Water Treatment Plant.

Wild Turkeys, the occasional Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, American Robin, and Louisiana Waterthrush can be found in the right neighborhoods with boisterous Blue Jays, Tufted Titmice, and Carolina Chickadees.

Neotropic Cormorant, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Turkey Vulture, and Belted Kingfisher lend their presence from Boomer Lake Park to greet one and all after a trying weekend.

Lone Chimney Lake hosts the most Great Egrets with American Goldfinch, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Field Sparrow.

It has been a productive week with plenty of birds for all to see. 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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