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
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
51). Turn right
to return to Tulsa via the Keystone Dam and US 64 or continue east on
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.