Rainfall for the seven-day period in Stillwater was a nominal half inch.
Payne County rare birds listed for the week include Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Parula, Ring-necked Duck, Red-naped Sapsucker, Song Sparrow, and Dickcissel.
October has another lengthy migration report, which will be divided again this month. The October first half arrivals include Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese, Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks, Western Grebe, Sandhill Crane, Dunlin, Little and Herring Gulls, Common Loon, Short-eared Owl, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Sprague’s Pipit, Pine Siskin, Chestnut-collared Longspur, White-crowned, White-throated, LeConte’s, Song, and Swamp Sparrows, Horned Grebe, and Redhead.
Departures for the same period should be Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Poorwill, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Snowy Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Semipalmated, Western, and Solitary Sandpipers, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern, Neotropic Cormorant, Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Broad-winged Hawk, Least Flycatcher, White-eyed, Philadelphia, and Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ovenbird, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Mourning, and Wilson’s Warblers, Northern Parula, Summer Tanager, Rose-breasted and Blue Grosbeaks, and Dickcissel.
Moving through Boomer Lake Park were good numbers of Mallards, inbound from both directions. Pied-billed Grebes were on the water in fresh winter plumage while a Ruby-throated Hummingbird streaked by and disappeared into the tall amber grass. Double-crested Cormorants circled the lake twice, then decided to touch down on the reflective water, while Turkey Vultures were seen in the distance upon a snag at Boomer Creek still awakening from their previous night’s slumber.
A Field Sparrow was coursing through the trees with an Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warbler, seeking their first meal of the day, while a Carolina Chickadee or two moved the air traffic making way for more hungry songbirds as they filled their hungry bellies. Most of the Yellow-rumped Warblers were wet from morning dew that appeared to be recently arrived. Common Grackles gave raspy calls and stretched upon the high wires next to the European Starlings who remained quietly near, not even giving them the time of day, while the early sun wafted over them.
Great Blue Herons squawked in disdain as they came in for a landing over Boomer Lake leaving the customary white trail behind them, while Great Egrets in the water chose more suitable locations for better meals.
Other than assorted bird calls and the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher male showing off for a female, the barely moving wind carried the sounds of the morning through the moist air.
The juvenile Northern Cardinals are growing and gaining weight while turning into soon-to-be adults just like their top of the line parents.
Another sign of procreation will soon meld into another fall that will be remembered for its priceless new arrivals that entertained us for the couple of weeks after those youngsters hid in the brambles waiting for their parents to handle their immediate needs.
As we await the new arrivals and departures with coffee in hand, it reminds writer that another winter will soon be upon us to be treasured for its seasonal fold.
Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater.