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South Elwood 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.

Start this drive from the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 South Peoria, and drive south to I 44 (51 St. S). Turn right to enter the expressway which crosses the Arkansas River. Continue driving west to the 98B exit to US 75 to Okmulgee. Exit US 75 at 61 St. S, turning left to cross over the freeway. Continue east for 0.7 mile through wooded hills to Elwood Ave. On the left is a parking lot and the entrance to Turkey Mountain.

To continue the driving route, turn south at this corner on Elwood Ave. There is a lovely view of the valley as the road goes down the hill. Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets often fly over from the Arkansas River on the east. Seventy-first Street is a dangerous intersection and traffic picks up on the way south. Open fields and wooded areas alternate along this route, and Dickcissels, Eastern Meadowlarks, Common and Great-tailed grackles, and Eastern Bluebirds are found in summer. Field Sparrows are here all year, Tree Sparrows in winter. After crossing 96 St. look for water birds and shorebirds on the pond past the levee on the right. On the left is a wooded gully, followed by more ponds on both sides of Elwood with Eastern Phoebes and other flycatchers in summer.

The road crosses two creeks, the largest and most accessible just past the Cherokee Pipeline Station. Cross the bridge and pull off on the graveled shoulder. Check for Eastern Phoebe and Belted Kingfisher as well as wrens and other small birds in trees along the water. Farther along (0.5) is another bridge where a car can pull off, although not as comfortably.

Driving on south, look for Cattle Egrets and Great-tailed Grackles in pastures with cattle. At 181 St. S. at the fork in the road, turn left and drive east slowly for 0.7 mile to Peoria Ave., crossing a small creek. Turn right (south) on Peoria; continue to the stop sign marking 201 St., then right, driving west to Elwood again. Proceed north back to 181 St. and turn right to the "Y" where Elwood jogs. Turn left to return on the original route. The road which borders the last 2 square miles described skirts fields, pastures, ponds, creeks and woodlots. An alternate route is to drive west on 181 St. through the woods and hills back to US 75N to return to Tulsa.






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Copyright 2013 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: October 15, 2018




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