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Stanley Draper Lake
Cleveland County

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From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society, supplemented in 2007 with material from the OKC Audubon Society

Drive north on E. 48 Ave. in Norman from the Alameda intersection. This is a reservoir with a paved road across the dam and dirt roads following the shoreline around the west side of the lake. Cross the dam and return, then follow the shoreline roads to the snack-bar area. On the clearings watch for Horned Larks. Along the shoreline there are migrant shorebirds. In the water, in addition to the gulls and terns, the most frequent waterfowl are Horned, Eared, and Pied-billed grebes, Common Loons, American Coots, Mallards, Pintails, Gadwalls, American Wigeons, Shovelers, teal, Redheads, Canvasbacks, Ring-necked Ducks, scaups, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, and Ruddy Ducks. Winter is the best season for this area and morning hours the best time. The best way to see it is by car and a telescope is needed.

The following, by Nancy Vicars, is excerpted from the OKC Audubon Society Stanley Draper Lake Page. Please visit their page their page for a complete account:

A wide range of habitats - lake, lake shore, marshes, dense “crosstimber” oak forest, woodland edges, roadcuts, roadside and other cut-over brushy areas, open grassland and thickets of Sand Plum, Poison-Ivy, Wild Blackberry and Sumac - attracts an exciting variety of resident and migrating birds.

Birding from the safety of your car is recommended. The low curbing along the paved perimeter road provides easy pull-outs and there are access roads to fishing docks all around the lake.

Beginning at the marina, check the playground area, boat docks, scan the lake, shorelines and the adjoining grassland. From this point, you may chose to drive the paved perimeter road by going back to the intersection of West Stanley Draper Drive & SE 104th then turn (south) left. There will be several access roads to fishing docks and The Crosstimber Campground that you may wish to explore.

Another option would be to take the first left turn onto the unimproved (red-clay) road and follow this shoreline road which would give you the best birding opportunities for wintering waterfowl as well as woodland species. Both the paved and unimproved roads along the west side will intersect near the dam located at the far south end of the lake.

After crossing the dam, you may again chose to follow the paved perimeter road which becomes East Stanley Draper Drive or the unimproved road, beginning at the intersection with Westminister Road. This unimproved road does not follow the entire shoreline but it loops around a few coves and fishing docks.

At the intersection of East Stanley Draper Drive & SE 89th, turn left (west) onto North Stanley Draper Drive and continue on this paved road for 2 miles until you intersect with Midwest Blvd., then turn left (south). Midwest Blvd./West Stanley Draper Drive will take you back to the marina.

Words of caution…do not attempt to drive any of these unimproved roads during or after it has recently rained!! These roads are very isolated and help is not likely to be available. Also, extreme caution should be observed birding in these remote areas if you are alone. Unfortunately, illegal activities have been reported in some of these areas.

Please see the excellent OKC Audubon Society Stanley Draper Lake Page for complete details on birding this area and the birds one may find.

Click here or on map for full PDF version


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




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