A Baltimore Oriole

A Baltimore Oriole.

Payne County rare birds for the week as follows: ongoing juvenile Snow Goose, Song Sparrow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Common Goldeneye, Say’s Phoebe, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Things are heating up in Payne County for migrants so be sure to get out if you can do so and add to our eBird counts. You could find a rarity that nobody else has.

We’ve had an exciting week at Boomer Lake Park. Everywhere one looks is a migrant or a breeding bird, which means that it is not difficult for a new birder to find something that they have never encountered before. Go out and make us all proud with your tallies!

The ongoing juvenile Snow Goose is still visiting Boomer Lake. It can be located either at Heron Cove (where it was nearly at press time on Wednesday this week), or across the water on the east side of the lake near the walk path in the company of Canada Geese. It provides excellent viewing and the grin patch is well defined at its close proximity.

Last Wednesday, April 13, we observed well over three dozen migrant Barn Swallows in the earlier morning.

Two days later, last Friday, we encountered a male Yellow-headed Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark on the Lowlands, and heard the dreaded Brown-headed Cowbird.

This Monday, April 18 or Tax Day, we counted Spotted Sandpiper, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, and a female Yellow-headed Blackbird.

At press time this Wednesday, the water was full of great birds including Northern Shoveler, 10 Pied-billed Grebes, nearly four dozen American Avocets in beautiful breeding plumage, over a hundred Franklin’s Gulls that were either on the water or southbound (what?), several Double-crested Cormorants, and heard a migrant Warbling Vireo.

You will very likely see the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher somewhere. Be alert for its “pips” and scan the area with your binoculars as it is not always in full view. Last evening, writer believes that an Eastern Kingbird or two were on the eastern edge of The Lowlands near Lakeview Road. Turkey Vultures are in the air riding the thermals as it warms during the mornings, and we have Eastern Bluebirds parenting on Heron Cove. However, don’t expect them to always be at the nest or near it. They sometimes look for ripened mulberries below the berm at The Lowlands, but they are never far, especially if it is warm enough to leave the nest cavity.

The rest of the migration list for the remainder of the month includes arrivals like Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos, Common Nighthawk, Black-bellied Plover, Whimbrel, Sanderling, White-rumped, Spotted, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Least Bittern, Tri-colored Heron, Mississippi Kite, Western Kingbird, Olive-sided and Least Flycatchers, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Bell’s and Blue-headed Vireo, Cave Swallow, Gray-cheeked, Hermit, Wood, and Swainson’s Thrush, Gray Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole, Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Palm, Wilson’s, and Orange-crowned Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Rose-breasted, Black-headed, and Blue Grosbeaks, and Lazuli, Indigo, and Painted Buntings.

Have a great spring migration!

Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater.

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