Rare Bird Alert: December 20, 2012

The Austin Area Rare Bird Alert is a service of the Travis Audubon Society. This update is as of 7:35 on December 20, 2012. Send interesting sightings–complete with species name, LOCATION, and contact information–to Kenny Anderson at kennya290@gmail.com.

Exceptional Sighting:

The Austin Christmas Bird count had Fork-tailed Flycatcher as the highlight bird. On 12/15 the bird was photographed on a power wire at 8100 Colton Bluff SpringsRoad; it was associating with Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. 12/16 the bird was re-located across from McKinney Falls State Parks entrance on McKinney Falls Parkway. Again the bird was with the Scissor-tails, seen from the Right-of-Way working for insects in a ravine. Subsequent locations it has been seen are on Dee Gabriel Collins Road west of Taqueria Volcan and near the house with the Coldwell-Banker sign on McKinney Falls Parkway, between William Cannon Drive and D.G. Collins Road(north side of road). 12/15-20 Travis County

Rarities Found This Week:

A Harris’s Hawk was also found on the Austin CBC; it was seen in the Elroy area on 12/15 and 16. The bird was photographed on Fagerquist Road both days. Late in the evening of 12/15 a Harris’s Hawk was described on a pole along Highway 71 at Onion Creek. Harris’s don’t stray into the circle often, so I would like any updates on this bird.

I have only seen one Whooping Crane report from Granger Lake where 2 birds were seen on the megafield south of Alligator Road in Williamson County 12/15.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird did its job continuing in the Platt Lane portion of Hornsby Bend for the CBC. Updates came 12/14-17 from the trailhead where the bird catches insects and visits two feeders in the area.

The only Say’s Phoebe report I have heard from the 60 mile Audubon circle came 12/16 from below the Granger Lake Dam.

A Western Sandpiper was studied at Hornsby Bend on 12/15.

A Long-billed Curlew was reported on Pond 1 West on 12/14 at Hornsby Bend.

An American Bittern was on Lady Bird Lake near the Metz Park boat ramp on 12/15.

Rusty Blackbirds continue to be occasionally seen at Hornsby Bend. They are seen around 1 West, between 1 East and Pond 2, and near the CER Building. 12/15 last report.

A Curve-billed Thrasher is at Warbler Woods 1213-15 in Guadalupe County (photographed)

A White Ibis (juvenile) is working the Lower Colorado River above and below Longhorn Dam 12/15-20.

Vermilion Flycatchers: Hornsby Bend 12/15, Slough Pond/ Shallow Ford Road area in Bell County12/15, and Decker Lake in Travis County 12/18.

Reports for the Austin area RBA cover a 60 mile radius, centered from the Capitol in downtown Austin. Bird sightings mentioned here have been filtered and scrutinized by the compiler and are believed to be genuine. When documentation or photographs were provided that is mentioned, along with the other information about the bird(s) being seen. For questions or updates about birds mentioned here or to report rare or unusual bird sightings in the Austin area, please send an e-mail to kennya290@gmail.com

-Kenny Anderson, Rare Bird Alert Compiler, Travis Audubon Society

To view our archive of previous RBA reports, click here.