Stillwater’s rainfall for the week was at 0.89 inches, an excellent number for what has been very warm as of late.
It helped to regulate the heat just a little, but by the time nightfall hit, it hadn’t made a great deal of difference for subsequent days.
For Thursday, Aug. 19, two rare bird sightings were recorded. The first was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at a Cimarron Hill private residence, and the second was a late Western Kingbird at Boomer Lake Park.
Last Thursday August 19, Boomer Lake Park also counted Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Killdeer, Great Blue Heron, multiple Great Egrets, Turkey Vulture, Mississippi Kites, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, European Starlings, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, Baltimore Oriole, Common Grackle, Prothonotary and Yellow Warblers, and Northern Cardinals. Teal Ridge shared Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, several Little Blue Herons (mostly the young), Green Heron, Traill’s Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireos, Blue Jay, Barn Swallows, Gray Catbirds, House Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, American Goldfinch, Dickcissel, Common Yellowthroats, and good numbers of Blue Grosbeaks. Meridian Tech had Eastern Meadowlarks, Eurasian Collared-Doves, and Great-tailed Grackles, while the OSU Botanic Gardens counted Eastern Bluebirds and Red-bellied Woodpecker.
Last Friday, Teal Ridge named Cooper’s Hawk, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,s and Cliff Swallows.
Over last weekend, Sanborn Lake observed Rock Pigeons, Solitary Sandpiper, and Northern Flicker. Cushing Water Treatment Plant spied Blue-winged Teals, Northern Shoveler, Northern Bobwhite, Pied-billed Grebes, Pectoral Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpipers, White-faced Ibis, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Indigo Bunting. Teal Ridge tallied Red-tailed Hawk, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and Indigo Bunting.
This Monday the 23, Boomer Lake’s Heron Cove witnessed a flyover Purple Martin.
This Tuesday the 24, Lake Carl Blackwell counted White-winged Dove, Black and Forster’s Terns, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Orchard Oriole.
This Wednesday, Couch Park had Wild Turkey, Red- and White-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Chipping Sparrow, and Summer Tanager.
Boomer Lake Park ticked off over a dozen Chimney Swifts, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpipers, Least Flycatcher, Fish Crows, and Yellow-throated Warbler.
All in all, good varieties and numbers were counted this week!
We’ll be in a new month next week, so we’ll have a larger variety of birds to watch for, perhaps even more interesting varieties that have never been through here before. If you can, get out there to count them, as the more eyes we have, the better chances are for new discoveries.
The ornithological term for the week is “whiffling.” Though geese are generally observed flying upside down with the neck twisted 180 degrees so the head stays upright, the Lesser Yellowlegs has also been seen doing the same. It is possible that it is used for the bird to slow down faster when making a landing, but it could have other purposes. If one is fortunate enough to get photos of this unusual posture, it is both shocking and clearly out of the ordinary.
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.