Date: 3/9/23 6:58 am
From: anne davis <aiwdavis73...>
Subject: Re: OKCAS field trip
Wow! Many thanks for this detailed account of your day at WMWR!

On Wed, Mar 8, 2023 at 6:59 PM Larry Mays <larrymays1949...> wrote:

> On Monday, March 6, I had the honor of escorting 12 intrepid birders;
> including a couple, Susan and Warden Jernagin, from New Jersey, to the
> Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge north of Lawton in Comanche County.
> We rallied the troops at the local (for me) Newcastle WalMart at 7:00,
> and we began birding at Robison Crossing (Lawtonka Acres) around 8:30 or
> so. There is a nice little bottomland area near there, and I had hoped to
> scrounge up some woodpeckers, but they just weren't cooperating. There were
> plenty Cardinals to go around though. We then proceeded into the little
> resort village there to check the several feeders. I had hopes for an Inca
> Dove, as they've been fairly cooperative in recent years. No incas, but we
> got Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove and White-winged Dove there as
> well as a small flock of Cedar Waxwings and a single Red-breasted Nuthatch.
> It was here, alongside the lake that we managed to see a few Harris's
> Sparrows, towhees , and a possible Audubon's race individual of
> Yellow-rumped Warbler.
> From there we began to work our way around Lake Lawtonka, and had
> several nice birds including Horned and Eared Grebes and an early Osprey.
> We stopped briefly at the Lake Elmer Thomas dam hoping for a Rock Wren
> and getting one, along with a couple of very cooperative Rufous-crowned
> Sparrows. One other thing of note: today Cindy McIntire, of Lawton, who was
> with the group, sent me a couple of photos of a very interesting flyover
> bird which she couldn't quite identify. She took the shot at the dam while
> the rest of us were looking at the wren and the sparrow. I posted the pics
> on the "What's This Bird" page on Facebook, because it is obviously a
> loon, but I can't say for certain which. Maybe some of you could have a
> look and give it your two cents.
> My plan was to then hit a spot where I'd hoped to maybe get a LeConte's
> Sparrow, but the damage to that grassland by feral hogs put a stop to that.
> Our next stop was just past the Meer's Turnoff at the little prairie dog
> town. Everyone got out and we began walking the grass there in hopes of
> possible longspurs or maybe a ...LeConte's Sparrow. We jumped at least
> one, and finally managed to surround the same or another bird, and slowly
> began tightening the circle. We finally got the bird to move up into the
> branches of some sand plums there and a lot of folks got great looks and
> photos of this elusive little bird.
> Lunch was at the Holy City where they've installed some nice new, very
> clean picnic tables. We did a quick check of the dog town, but didn't turn
> up much, though we now had both species of meadowlark calling.
> I then led everyone to the west side of the refuge where we circled a few
> gravel roads in hopes of maybe seeing Mountain Bluebirds or Ladderback
> Woodpeckers, but dipped on both species. We did get a Loggerhead Shrike
> there, but the birds were scarce.
> From there we went back onto the refuge and made stops at Sunset, the
> trail to the Narrows and Lost Lake. Passerines everywhere were few and far
> between. At the Narrows trailhead we managed to get everyone onto a
> Townsend"s Solitaire.
> At Lost Lake we finally got onto some woodpeckers--three Red-headeds, a
> Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a Northern Flicker or two. Did we get a
> downy? Can't recall.
> I think the final tally was 46 species plus the loon.
> ---Larry Mays
> Newcastle

Join us on Facebook!