Rare Bird Alert: January 26, 2017

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert and has been updated through 1/26/2017. To report rare or unusual bird sightings in the Austin area, provide recent sighting updates, or inquire about location details on birds listed below, please send an email to armanmorenobirds@gmail.com. If submitting a bird sighting, please include species name, location details, and contact information.

Rarities Found This Week

  • A VARIED THRUSH was described from Pace Bend Park in West Travis County on 1/26. The bird was observed near a Live Oak behind the restrooms in Thrasher Cove but was only observed briefly and not relocated. This is the first turnout on the left as you enter the park. The bird is not yet confirmed and any follow up would be appreciated.
  • Yet another COMMON MERGANSER was discovered in the Austin Circle, this time at Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Bell County on 1/25. The bird was last observed near the pavilion about .25 miles west near the beach area.
  • A ZONE-TAILED HAWK was photographed flying right over the San Marcos Convention Center in Hays County on 1/24. Another ZTHA was photographed flying over a private residence just east of Commons Ford Park in SW Austin, Travis, on 1/25.
  • A PRAIRIE FALCON was photographed off of CR 232 between US 183 and TX 2091, south of Palmetto State Park in Gonzales County on 1/21.
  • A male RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER was photographed at Lockhart State Park, Caldwell County, near the recreation hall on 1/21.

Continuing Bird(s) From Previous Week

  • A COMMON MERGANSER continues through 1/24 in the NE portion of Pace Bend Park. Look for the signs indicating Mudd Cove/Mesquite Point. The bird has been hanging around Hagwood Cove all the way into Mudd Cove near the campground areas.
  • Two LEAST GREBES continue in Cedar Park, Williamson County, at a small retention pond off Parksville Way, most recently on 1/21.
  • A ZONE-TAILED HAWK continues at Booty’s Road Park south of Lake Georgetown Dam, Williamson County, on 1/20. The bird was perched along the San Gabriel River across from the star-gazing area.
  • A male BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD continues at a private residence in SW Austin, Travis, on 1/26 and also at another residence in South Austin on 1/21. Another bird continues at a private residence in Williamson County, most recently reported on 1/22.
  • At least two VERMILLION FLYCATCHERS continue at Pace Bend Park, Travis, near Mudd Cove/Mesquite Point, most recently on 1/25. Another bird continues at Decker Lake (Walter E. Long) on 1/21.
  • At least one GREAT KISKADEE continues at a private residence off Dickerson Rd in Caldwell County on 1/21. The long-staying bird at Berry Springs Park in Williamson County continues through 1/20.
  • A male SCOTT’S ORIOLE continues at a private property in Bastrop County, just north of Lake Bastrop and is being seen daily, last reported on 1/24.
Reports for the Austin area RBA cover a 60-mile radius, centered on the Capitol in downtown Austin. Bird sightings mentioned here have been filtered and scrutinized by the compiler and are believed to be genuine. Photo or audio documentation for species with challenging IDs will be mentioned if they are known to exist. 

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