A few rare birds came through Payne County last week, the latest of which seems to be the Dickcissel, which may still not be finished coming through yet. 

We have also managed to see the Hooded Merganser, another great sighting. The California Gull and Nashville Warbler are also excellent birds for this time of year. As the years progress, we should be getting more unusual sightings for the year, so let’s wait with baited breath to see what is next.

Boomer Lake hasn’t had anything out of the ordinary, but we’ve still been doing well with plenty of migratory movement for the week. Tuesday the 22nd brought good numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers or what is commonly referred to as the Butterbutt, one of its best characteristics. We also had Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, the American Pipit, and several Chipping Sparrows.

Since we added 2.21 inches of rain after those sightings, even more birds managed to come in with this nonstop precipitation.

Last Saturday the 26, brought both Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, Pine Siskins, Ruddy Ducks, additional Eastern Bluebirds, American Coots, the American Goldfinch which is Commonly seen with the Pine Siskin, more Chipping Sparrows, as well as the Savannah and White-crowned Sparrow. Our Carolina Chickadees were prevalent seeking out the warblers as the normal welcoming committee, but most of them were passing through without even a second look.

Last Sunday added our first Dark-eyed Junco, and a Greater Yellowlegs was trolling the water among the Killdeer on Shorebird Jetty, while both the Carolina and Bewick’s Wrens spent some time on Heron Cove on a serious food search. We also spotted more Northern Flickers and the occasional Red-bellied Woodpecker to add to our resident bird count. 

This Monday we observed hundreds of Franklin’s Gulls, both Black and Turkey Vultures, Gadwalls, more Pine Siskins, a couple of dozen American Robins, an Orange-crowned Warbler, plenty of American Crows, and several other resident birds passing through Payne County.

Next we’ll be getting more ducks, and several other migrants arriving in the area in November which will include the White-winged and Black Scoter, Ross’ Goose, Tundra and Trumpeter Swans, Red-throated and Pacific Loon, Common Merganser and Goldeneye, Smith’s and Lapland Longspur, Long-tailed Duck, Northern Goshawk, and American Tree and Harris’s Sparrows.

The outbounds will include Blue-winged Teal, Great and Cattle Egrets, Little Blue Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, Forster’s Tern, House Wren, Grasshopper, Vesper, Chipping and Lark Sparrows, Blue-headed Vireo, Fish Crow, Peregrine Falcon, Long-billed Dowitcher, Baird’s Sandpiper, Black-bellied and American Golden-Plovers, and a few more. 

It has been a decent fall for migrants, even though we have noticed that there aren’t quite as many birds as there have been over the past several years, there are still many to observe when they are with us. However, if we can continue to eliminate our pesticide usage, plant native trees, shrubs, and plants, as well as continue to purchase shade grown coffee with Rainforest Alliance certification, we will be shifting toward the right parameters for the future. 

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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