Here’s a Tufted Titmouse waiting for its turn at the blackoil sunflower seeds. In the winter they form a feeding group with the nuthatch, and chickadees. They will hunt for nuts and fruit together, which is pretty cool to watch.The Belted Kingfishers are everywhere lately. Every time we visit the lake we see at least one. A lot of the time I hear them first, although they have a very distinct shape. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our winter guests. Some people call them butter butts because of the yellow feathers on its rump. In this photo, you can see the yellow on its rump as well as on its side. They flit around the trees looking for insects and any remaining fruit. At Lake Thunderbird, here in Norman OK, there are wild persimmon trees. Not only do the Warblers like them the Cedar Waxwings and Robins find them easy eats in the winter. My sister-in-law is going to try to grow a persimmons tree. I’ll keep you updated on this adventure.
So I have a new term for where I’ve been going birding for years. A local photographer called it the “Cross Timbers”, hell, I was calling it Lake Thunderbird. Cross Timbers sounds so mysterious…So I did a little research. The Cross Timbers stretch from Southeast Kansas through Oklahoma and into North Texas. Washington Irving and other early travelers through this area are credited with giving this area its name. Alrighty then….Here is a Red-headed Woodpecker, it is an immature one. It’s just starting to get its red head. I think it has a piece of wood in its mouth.We’ve been seeing a lot of Northern Flickers (Red-shafted) lately. Here in Oklahoma we get both the red and yellow shafted flickers.This is where we see most of the flickers, on the ground, hunting for treats. They are very photogenic. These are the Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers.
Today I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time this season. A few years ago we were seeing tons of them on our bird walks. It was actually pretty thrilling.
More from the Cross Timbers soon….
We get to enjoy the Dark-eyed Junco during the winter months. In fact, they’re usually the first bird of winter that we see. Out of all the Sparrows I like the Junco the best… with a close second being the Lark Sparrow.
The photo above was taken yesterday at our local lake. There were a dozen, or so, Juncos in a tree. The birds were gathering to roost for the night. They all took off ( like they do) with their high-pitched call and this is the image I caught. We have such great birds here and are on the pathway of fall and spring migration.
More photos to come….
So I’ve been going to our local lake for over 14 years…A couple of times a week. I am always on the look-out for the Pileated Woodpecker. I’ve seen flashes of them and heard them from time to time. But guess what I saw last week! We watched them for 30 minutes until I needed to get to work. Best day ever!
I love our Roadrunners. When I first see them running around they always remind me of dinosaurs. They’re here in Oklahoma year round. When I take groups out birding it is always thrilling to point them out.
This little guy was busy drinking and hunting for lunch.
There was also a couple of Killdeer hanging around the edge of the lake. This is Lake Thunderbird. It is the closest lake to where I live and I enjoy going birding there. Living in central Oklahoma we get a lot of migrating birds.
I love this lake….And Oklahoma!
Here is a Painted Bunting I saw while watching a snake in a Cardinal nest.
The Bunting came in, as well as a Mockingbird and an Oriole…As if they wanted to help. The poor Cardinal pair we really going crazy. I felt really bad for the Cardinals.