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Prettywater Road Route

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

Begin this driving route at the Garden Center, 2535 South Peoria, in Tulsa. Drive south on Peoria to 51 St., turning right to enter the expressway just before the intersection. Cross the Arkansas River and continue west on I 44 to Exit 87B, West 51 St. Follow 51 St. west, watching for the usual field, shrub and meadow birds as the road winds through hilly, wooded areas with a few meadows and open fields with grazing cattle. At SH 97, approximately 5 miles from the exit, turn left (south) to 71 St. S. (Creek County), then right (west). Logger­head Shrikes, Eastern Bluebirds, Blue Grosbeaks, Dickcissels, Eastern Kingbirds, and Lark and Field sparrows are common in this area in summer.

There is a small stream and pond on the left 0.6 mile from SH 97 where migrating shorebirds may be found. At the stop sign 2 miles from SH 97, turn left at the bridge to check for possible White-eyed Vireos. Farther on, check the pond on the right for shorebirds. Continue south on 145 W. Ave. looking for Bobwhite, Bell's Vireos, and Orchard Orioles. Pass the Prettywater fish farm and turn right (west) on 81 St. (unmarked crossroad). There is a variety of birds appropriate to the habitat and season. Pass the Prettywater school and continue on 81 St. straight onto a graveled road. There is a pond on the left past the intersection. The graveled road becomes winding and the area is wooded and hilly. Check at the bridge over a large stream for Eastern Phoebes, Belted King­fishers, and flycatchers. Continue west and up the hill past the Circle Box Ranch. Turn right (north) at the intersection marked "Dead End" to the south but with no street identification. There will be woods on the right and a meadow and pond on the left. This graveled road will be 193 W. Ave. It will bend left, becoming 191 W. Ave. with a pond on the right, then cross a small stream. Look for Indigo Buntings in summer, Carolina Wrens and Rufous-sided Towhees in fall and winter. Turn right as soon as possible past the little bridge and go north again.

Stop at the Rock Creek crossing. There is a good place across the bridge to pull off at a roadside park which is locked. From the road it is good birding in the large trees where orioles, buntings, vireos, and tanagers can be found. Shorebirds sometimes use the shallow stream in spring and fall migrations. Turn left (west) at the "T" just beyond the bridge onto the paved road. This is 61 St. S and is the boundary of Creek County.

Turn right at the first opportunity onto 209 W. Ave. Drive almost 2 miles north to the "T" stop sign which is Coyote Trail. The traffic from here on will be fairly heavy either way. To the left, the trail winds through hills, woods, and meadows, passing Campbell Creek Road on the right, to the Keystone Expressway (SH 51). Turn right to return to Tulsa via the Keystone Dam and US 64 or continue east on SH 51 to SH 97 and drive north across the river to US 64. A shorter route is to turn right on Coyote Trail at 41 St. which curves from Coyote Trail to the left through Prattville to SH 97 and its intersection with SH 51 to Avery Drive, or cross the bridge to US 64. Avery Drive south of the river fol­lows 21 St. east across the Arkansas.

This is an excellent route for hawks in winter, warblers in spring, and a good variety of birds at all seasons.








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Last modified: October 15, 2018




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