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Lynn Lane Reservoir
Tulsa County

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From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society. This account was reviewed and updated to ensure accuracy in 2007.

The reservoir, located about 12 miles east of Peoria Ave on 21st St., is readily accessible. Arterial streets are Lynn Lane (177 E. Ave.) on the west and 193 E. Ave. (County Line Road) on the east. The site is about 5 miles north of the Broken Arrow Expressway from the Lynn Lane exit and just over 2 miles south of the 193 E. Ave. exit from I-44.

The north entrance on 21 St. is 0.8 mile east of Lynn Lane. There are 63 steps and landings from the small stream to the top of the dike. The east entrance is about half-way down the fence south on 193 E. Ave. There are no steps at this entrance and the terrain of the dike makes possible a comfortable, angled ascent and descent. (note that this entrance may not be open.)

The trail along the dike is about 2.5 miles round trip.

The reservoir is an excellent compact site to observe and identify birds at relatively close range. At capacity the reservoir holds 1.4 billion gallons. It may discharge water after heavy spring rains. However, following periods of summer heat and drought, extensive mud flats may be exposed.

Birding at the lake and the surrounding countryside is good most of the year. The typical prairie habitat is enhanced for the birder by the nearby barn, small marshy areas below the stream on the south and south­west, a deep ravine on the west, pastures, wires, and fences. Even though portions of the dike and surrounding areas are mowed periodi­cally, wildflowers are abundant. They include prairie orchid; prairie larkspur; blue false indigo; prairie parsley; milkweed; false dragon­head; pucoon-root; wild petunia; and many members of the composite family which include yarrow, basket flower, thistle, and coneflower.

March through April and October through December are peak periods for waterfowl. For those interested in studying ducks in eclipse plumage, Blue-winged Teal begin arriving in August. Many species are often close enough for one to study behavior; spring is a good time to compare Horned and Eared grebes. The concrete apron around the lake is used as a resting place for waterfowl, giving the birder an opportunity to study the entire bird or to find an unexpected species such as the rare Cinnamon Teal. Other rare species to visit the reservoir are the Red-throated Loon, White-winged Scoter, and Common Tern. The Greater Scaup is occasionally identified in rafts of Lessers. A frequent visitor during migration is the Western Grebe. Large numbers of Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, and Bufflehead often winter on the lake with smaller num­bers of other species.

Mid-July through October is the peak migration period for shorebirds. If the water level is low, exposing mud flats and aquatic vegetation, the southwestern section may attract Semipalmated Plovers, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Dunlins, Ruddy Turnstones, and both Marbled and Hudsonian godwits. Rarely a Short-billed Dowitcher may be identified in groups of Long-billed. If the water is high in spring, a search of the apron may turn up sandpipers (Spotted, Semipalmated, Least, White-rumped, Baird's, and Pectoral) and an occasional Water Pipit in spring and fall with one January record.

The area south of the reservoir usually escapes mowing and the native grasses and wildflowers provide excellent food and cover for wildlife. In winter Northern Harriers and Short-eared Owls (at dusk) search the fields for rodents. The LeConte's Sparrow, when flushed, will tumble through the grass to perch on a low wire, while the Savannah Sparrow will move ahead along the grassy lanes. Be alert in fall for a late migrating Dickcissel and for Vesper Sparrows.

On the high fence wires west of the barn five species of swallow which migrate through the Central Flyway have been found in one flock. Listen for the spring song of the Marsh Wren in the cattails where the Sora has been found. The Western Meadowlark sings here in fall and spring. The most noticeable nesters are Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, European Starling, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird, and Dickcissel.





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Copyright © 2009 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: September 21, 2009




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