A Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Rare birds for the week in Payne County included Piping Plover, Black Tern, American Pipit, Alder Flycatcher and Magnolia Warbler. Great sightings to all concerned.

Last week’s precipitation in Stillwater brought us a whopping 4.11 inches during the extreme rainy period, and it shows. Around the Heron Cove property, there was no place for the Spotted Sandpiper to land to obtain anything to eat from bare ground. All we heard was the familiar Pete-weet-weet-weet-weet call, and it just continued north where it would have better chances for its breakfast. It may have had to continue for a distance.

Writer took advantage of all that wonderful rain last Friday, May 6. At the Lowlands were some old friends, some of which had not been seen at Boomer Lake for quite some time. The beauty of it was the fact that all we had to do was set up and whatever it was that perturbed the birds and made them move, they ended up right next to us eventually. In attendance were the Spotted Sandpiper, a male Blue-winged Teal, several Wilson’s Phalaropes, and both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Their entertainment lasted an easy half hour. For those of you that are not aware, it is the female of the species that is larger and more beautiful than the male.

After we dragged ourselves away from the shorebird party, we had just as good a time at Heron Cove with a wonderful fallout there, too. There were Cedar Waxwings who must wait another week or so for ripe mulberries, and the Nashville, Yellow, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. There were also good numbers of Clay-colored Sparrows. The male Eastern Bluebird flew in with a meal for his family, and just as quickly departed the overactive area.

By Tuesday May 10, there were three Green Herons at Heron Cove, which leads to a belief that either we have young or we are about to fledge young. Due to the area shrub and tree growth, it is very difficult to see much of what is happening in that now private area.

The Eastern Kingbird has also moved in the surrounding area and the Western Kingbird has the distinction of being there beforehand, which is usually just the opposite case.

At nearly press time on Wednesday, writer was a little surprised to find two male Baltimore Orioles atop the same second growth tree on the east side of The Cove proper. My assumption was that since there was no altercation, the two are brothers that share surrounding territory. One is set up in the pecan tree area along Husband and Lakeview, and the other is just south of the Lakeview Road Bridge on the south end. They both are paired and have been in the area for the past two or three years. One of them used to visit near my back door and greet me with song most mornings.

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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