Rare Bird Alert: November 17, 2016

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert and has been updated through 11/17/2016. 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 COMMON MERGANSER was a very nice find at Camp Tejas (LCRA Park) in Williamson County on 11/13. The bird was most recently reported on 11/15 near the south shore of the San Gabriel River but heavy air boat traffic flushed the bird repeatedly. It appeared to return to the same location but it is unclear if it will hang around much longer. This appears to be a 2nd county record. 
  • While looking for the Common Merganser, a ZONE-TAILED HAWK was found at Camp Tejas, in Williamson County. The bird was observed at the low water crossing in with some Turkey Vultures and heading west.
  • A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was reported from Platt Lane (Hornsby Bend) on 11/16. The bird was perched on a hay bale and took off to the east. The bird was not relocated despite considerable effort.
  • On the afternoon of 11/12, two WHOOPING CRANEs were photographed over private property flying overhead with a flock of Sandhill Cranes in Bastrop County east of Buescher State Park.
  • A first cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was photographed at Temple Lake Park on Belton Lake, Bell County, on 11/14. The last positive report was from 11/16.
  • A male BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD was photographed at a private residence in SW Austin, Travis, on 11/17. This could potentially be the same individual that spent the winter at this same location.
  • Two BLACK PHOEBEs were photographed at Palmetto State Park, in Gonzales County, on 11/12. The birds were reported near the fishing pier.
  • A WESTERN TANAGER was photographed at the same residence in SW Austin, Travis, as the Broad-tailed Hummingbird. The bird was photographed on 11/13 and observed briefly, but was not relocated.

Continuing Bird(s) From Previous Week

  • An immature male SURF SCOTER continues at Hornsby Bend in Austin, Travis, and has been sighted everyday since the initial discovery on 11/10. The bird has always been reported on the western portion of Pond 2.
  • A male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD continues at a private residence in New Braunfels, Comal County, on 11/12.
  • At least one GREAT KISKADEE continue at Berry Springs Park in Georgetown, Williamson, most recently observed on 11/16. One kiskadee continues at a private residence off Dickerson Rd in Caldwell County on 11/11. The pair of kiskadees continue at Walter E. Long Park (Decker Lake) in Austin, Travis, most recently reported on 11/13.
  • One PYRRHULOXIA continues at Reimer’s Ranch Park in SW Travis County (off Hamilton Pool Rd) on 11/12. The bird was reported along the Climber’s Trail.
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.