Date: 2/5/18 10:33 pm
From: Steve Davis <spd8109...>
Subject: Re: Canton Lake
Thanks to Larry for getting us out Saturday, despite the cold and wind. It
finally turned into a warmer, sunnier, calmer day by the time we ended the
trip at Red Rock Canyon.

And, as is often the case, thanks to those birders who left early, so the
"bird of the day"--a Barred Owl--would show up for the rest of us.

--steve d and mary l

On Feb 4, 2018 6:22 AM, "Larry Mays" <larrymays1949...> wrote:

> Twelve of us suffered chilly morning temps and a bitter, biting south
> wind to bird around Roman Nose State Park, Canton lake, and, later in the
> day, Red Rock Canyon State Park.
> For the most part, the birding was unexceptional (normal? I'm spoiled by
> a winter of rarities) but we slowly tallied a respectable list.
> At Roman Nose we got delightful looks at Fox Sparrows along with robins
> and waxwings coming in to drink. Picked out Common Yellowthroat and Swamp
> Sparrow from their snug concealment in the cattails.
> Canton Lake started with a small disappointment as the dam, where I had
> hoped to both freeze and check out the waterfowl, was closed to through
> traffic, but we consoled ourselves by dropping down to the first campground
> and getting nice looks at a reasonably cooperative sapsucker. Twitched up
> a couple Chipping Sparrows, and an expected run of juncos, cardinals and
> such.
> Worked along the east side of the lake a bit and discovered the most
> abundant species along the shore seemed to be Ring-necked Duck (almost
> exclusively males, for whatever reason). One lone Lake Guy (or Lonely Lake
> Guy) from whom I seemed unable to escape, devoured my attention while
> everyone else got to bird a bit and pick up several more species. Was
> saved by Steve who called me away, briefly, then finally we just had to
> disentangle from Lonely Lake Guy's embrace and beat a hasty retreat.
> I now know that there are dangerous hogs, a black panther or two, and
> seedy politicians prowling the area. Good stuff to know, eh?
> Back through Canton and over to the west side where, by noon,
> mercifully, the wind had died down, the sun burst out, and lunch was
> taken. One cooperative roadrunner later, we stopped for prairie dogs, and
> a look or two at the lake. Not a lot of birds, but we scraped, scooped, or
> scoped up some Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes and a cormorant or two.
> On over to Big Bend Campground and the boat ramp where Hal found us our
> first of two Bald Eagles at such a distance only an eagle-eyed guy like Hal
> Yokum could locate them. It was Jennie Brooks's first look at an Okie Bald
> Eagle, and I apologized for the fact that it looked like a tiny black dot
> topped with a tinier white dot.
> We drove a bit west from there hoping for Sandhill Cranes, but dipped on
> them.
> Back through Canton for yet another pit stop and south to...
> Red Rock Canyon State Park, where we hoped to possibly relocate a bird
> that wasn't even there to begin with (someday I will 'splain that--probably
> make a good Christmas OKCAS story). Red Rock Canyon is really a nice
> scenic little spot and well deserving of a visit just to hike around some
> which for a birder would approach blasphemy.
> We began here to disband our little caravan with some folks heading off
> to bars and other important appointments. Those of us remaining were
> entertained by a very cooperative Barred Owl which allowed us a few decent
> photos.
> I have no idea as to what our final trip count was--around 55 species,
> more or less, I think, though that's likely open to debate.
> Oh, and thanks Hal and Brian for the "thanks".
> You're welcome.
> Finished up our day at Hideaway Pizza. Food, as everyone knows is a
> birder's second passion.
> Thanks, everyone for following me around all day with such heartwarming
> obedience. You all rock--truly! We may have to do that again some time,
> after sufficient rest.
> --Larry

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