|AT RIGHT: This Grasshopper Sparrow (with that below) is one of two found together near Ketch Lake. These were the 4th and 5th records in December during my survey of sparrows in sw. Oklahoma. Presently considered accidental in winter with only two prior sight records (Tyler 2005). However, the extraordinary warm fall period may have influenced the increased presence or the species this season. There is also the consideration that this secretive species is largely overlooked and may occur in the region every winter in low densities. Future work will be needed to clarifiy the status of this species.|
20 Dec 05 Wichita Mtns W.R. CBC: Fort Sill Start: 07:50 End: 16:20 pm
Visiting: West Range covering only roadside portions of I, J and K areas including Quanah Lake, Canyon Lake, Ketch Lake.
Weather: calm; trace of snow on ground; good mast crop; 34 F;
Travel: 28 miles by car; 1 by foot Party HRS: 7.5 by car; 1 by foot
Observers: Eric Beck, Vic Fazio
Wood Duck - 32 Gadwall - 128 Mallard - 1 Northern Pintail - 1 Northern Shoveler - 1 Green-winged Teal - 5 Ring-necked Duck - 2 Bufflehead - 2 Common Goldeneye - 3 Wild Turkey - 75 (9 ad. and 66 HY) Northern Bobwhite - 6 Great Blue Heron - 1 Cooper's Hawk - 1 (imm. male) Northern Harrier - 5 Red-tailed Hawk - 7 Red-shouldered Hawk - 7 (all adults) American Kestrel - 7 Killdeer - 2 Wilson's Snipe - 1 Ring-billed Gull - 1 Mourning Dove - 259 Great Horned Owl - 3 Belted Kingfisher - 4 Red-headed Woodpecker - 17 Red-bellied Woodpecker - 43 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 3 Ladder-backed Woodpecker - 3 Downy Woodpecker - 26 Hairy Woodpecker - 3 Northern Flicker - 74 Eastern Phoebe - 4 (photo) Blue Jay - 52 American Crow - 14 Carolina Chickadee - 62 Tufted Titmouse - 32 White-breasted Nuthatch - 7 Brown Creeper - 4 Canyon Wren - 7 Carolina Wren - 25 Bewick's Wren - 11 Golden-crowned Kinglet - 12 Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 20 Eastern Bluebird - 10 American Robin - 360 Northern Mockingbird - 2 Brown Thrasher - 6 American Pipit - 5 Cedar Waxwing - 95 Yellow-rumped Warbler - 11 Eastern Towhee - 5 (4 females) Spotted Towhee - 154 Rufous-crowned Sparrow - 3 Chipping Sparrow - 5 American Tree Sparrow - 3 Field Sparrow - 384 Vesper Sparrow - 39 Savannah Sparrow - 332 Grasshopper Sparrow - 2 Le Conte's Sparrow - 2 Fox Sparrow - 10 Song Sparrow - 409 Lincoln's Sparrow - 16 White-throated Sparrow - 39 Harris's Sparrow - 109 White-crowned Sparrow - 9 Dark-eyed Junco - 889 (including ... ---- Oregon Junco - 3 ----- Pink-sided Junco - 3 Chestnut-collared Longspur - 680* Northern Cardinal - 81 Red-winged Blackbird - 2 Eastern Meadowlark – 3 Western Meadowlark - 3 Meadowlark spp. - 77 American Goldfinch - 38 Pine Siskin - 1
* studied carefully; photographs show nearly 400 in a single frame; after awaiting birds to settle we deliberately walked the crest of a hillside about 30 yards apart slowly thereby waves of easily countable flocks of 20-30 birds lifted off and peeled away downhill resulting in a fairly precise count of 670. Later, a half mile away, 10 more were added. The main fock was at the crest of a hill a half mile NE of Ketch Lake.
The Grasshopper Sparrows and Le Conte's Sparrows were within 40-70 yards of the NE shore of Ketch Lake (and only 30 yards apart allowing for protracted comparisons). Indeed, this site saw 8 species of sparrow (including one of the American tree Sparrows) recorded from a single spot.
An American Robin roost was found in the backwaters area of Ketch Lake.
The American Pipits were on a recent large burn of grasslands 3 miles west of LETRA.
Savannah Sparrows were common everywhere but numerous in the grasslands of Thompson Hill. Field Sparrows were common in every habitat type.
The Song Sparrow is the sparrow of mesquite flats; pure flocks of 30-40 birds were pished up here; although such large gatherings would also harbor a Lincoln's as well.
The Brown Creepers were together in the tall oak canopy forest immediately north of Antennae Hill. The general vicinity held all of the White-breasted Nuthatches. Most peculiar was a Canyon Wren calling from the top of this same canopy, albeit just 250 yards from a rock outcrop.
The pintail was on Quanah Lake as was the Mallard but most waterfowl were on an unnamed dam a mile east of Ketch Lake.
One flock of 67 Wild Turkey in the parking lot of the NCO area had one adult and 66 HY birds.
Shaker Hts, OH