Rare Bird Alert: Feb. 1-10

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert. Last update on 2/10/20. Send interesting sightings, complete with species name, location, and contact information to Vincent O’Brien at vincentobrienbirds@gmail.com
A WHITE WAGTAIL was an amazing discovery at Roy Guerrero Park, Travis, on 2/8.  A pair of discerning local birders observed and photographed the bird from the eroded cliff, which overlooks the Colorado River, near the playground area. The wagtail was seen feeding on insects along the exposed gravel shoals of the river bank, and continued to be reported at that spot through the early afternoon of 2/9.  Eventually, rising water levels from the morning rain showers submerged most of the shoreline, and the bird flew west towards the Longhorn Dam.  A group of intrepid birders gave chase and relocated the wagtail on a pebbled island, downstream from the dam, where it was observed through the late afternoon.  The bird has not been documented since then, but may still be in the area. WHITE WAGTAILS are a native Eurasian species which occur in small numbers as a summer breeder in far western Alaska. This represents the first wagtail species of any kind documented in Texas! All updates are most appreciated!

A female GREATER SCAUP continues to be observed at Devine Lake Park, Williamson, 2/9.  And an additional pair of scaups noted at Russell Park, Lake Georgetown, Williamson, 2/8.  As well as a male scaup described from the Soil Conservation Reservoir 1, Leander, Williamson, 2/5.

A group of six SURF SCOTERs were photographed at Fort Hood, Bell, 2/7.

A HORNED GREBE was noted from Russell Park, Lake Georgetown, Williamson, 2/8.

CLARK’S GREBE continues to be described from Lake Buchanan, Llano, 2/9.

A pair of COMMON POORWILL were described counter calling in the early evening from west and east of the booth at Reimers Ranch, Travis, 2/7.

A SOLITARY SANDPIPER was photographed at Buescher State Park, Bastrop, 2/8.  And another individual photographed at Cibolo Creek and Schaefer Rd., Guadalupe, 2/7.

AMERICAN BITTERN was observed among the reeds at the northwest corner of Lake Pflugerville, Travis, 2/4.

ZONE-TAILED HAWK was described along Interstate 35, San Marcos, Hays, 2/6, and another individual noted at Highway 290 just west of Mopac 1, Travis, 2/6.

A RED-TAILED HAWK (HARLAN’S) was photographed at Buescher State Park, Bastrop, 2/9.

A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was photographed at Dairy and Earl Callahan Rd., Bastrop, 2/7.

A BURROWING OWL continues to be described from a nearby rock pile near southeast Mueller, Travis, 2/1.  All updates are appreciated!

A female RINGED KINGFISHER was photographed at Cibolo Creek and Schaefer Rd., Guadalupe, 2/7.

GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER was described from a private residence, Williamson, 2/5.

A pair of BLACK PHOEBEs have been reported from Hamilton Pool, Travis, 2/3. With one bird being photographed. It is unknown if the second bird is a newly arrived adult, or a hybrid offspring from last year’s documented pairing of the resident BLACK PHOEBE and EASTERN PHOEBE? All updates will be most appreciated.

SAY’S PHOEBE continues to be described from Lakeway City Park, Travis, 2/9.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER continues and was described from Witter Lane, Bell, 2/5.  And another juvenile male continues at the northeast corner of Pond 3, Hornsby Bend, Travis, 2/8.

HUTTON’S VIREO was photographed from the 1500 block of W. 32nd Street, Travis, 2/4. And another bird from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Travis, 2/6.

A CANYON TOWHEE was observed along CR 280-288, Williamson, 2/8.

EASTERN TOWHEE continues to be photographed along the river trail at Commons Ford Park, Travis, 2/8.

At least three RUSTY BLACKBIRDs continue to be seen at the northeast corner of Pond 3, Hornsby Bend, Travis, 2/8.

A male BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER continues to be photographed from the upper island view trail area, just south of the birding shelter at Hornsby Bend, Travis, 2/8.

A PYRRHULOXIA was photographed at Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Travis, 2/4.