Rare Bird Alert: December 27, 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.

Rarities Found This Week:

A Fork-tailed Flycatcher continues to delight many birders near the McKinney Falls State Park entrance. It was found on the Austin CBC on December 25 and was seen this week 12/22-26. No reports from today. (Travis County) Bird is seen on McKinney Falls Parkway and Dee Gabriel Collins Road. Many observers/photos Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, up to 7 have been seen with the Fork-tailed (high number of winter birds)

A Prairie Falcon is a real find on the western portion of Loop Road in eastern Bastrop County on 12/24. A Ferruginous Hawk was reported in the same area on Loop Road in Bastrop County earlier in the week.

Whooping Cranes in Williamson County’s Granger Lake area were reported on 12/26,27 (2 and 3 birds respectively). Friendship Park was the origin of the December 26 sighting.

California Gull photographed at Black Rock Park on the western shore of Lake Buchanan in Burnett County is a bird rarely reported in the area. The same trip sounded amazing with Cedar Point yielding: 3 Dunlins at Cedar Point Recreation Center, 7 Black-bellied Plovers, 2 American Avocets, 85 Dowitcher species, and 22 Western Grebes at Black Rock Park.

2 Harris’s Hawks are being seen near the intersection of Elroy Road and Fagerquist in Travis County 12/22-27. Numerous observers/photos

A Buff-bellied Hummingbird has been frequenting the Platt Lane trail head at Hornsby Bend, now visiting two feeders. 12/21 (Travis) Many observers/photos

19 Cackling Geese is a huge number in the circle; birds were photographed above Longhorn Dam on Lady Bird Lake portion of the Lower Colorado River on 12/21. (Travis County)

A Broad-tailed Hummingbird was photographed at an Austin residence on 12/23.

A Zone-tailed Hawk was seen near the Phi Kappa Pi house on Highway 123 ~6 miles south of San Marcos in Guadalupe County (just barely over Hays County line) 12/21

Reddish Egret continues at Cranes Mill Park on Canon Lake in Comal County 12/23.

Tri-colored Heron is a strange sight in the area in December. The bird has been photographed on 12/22-25 above and below the Longhorn Dam.

A juvenile White Ibis continue in the Longhorn Dam area 12/19-23.

Up to 3 Western Sandpiper are at Hornsby Bend with last report 12/24.

Common Goldeneye: a female at Hornsby last 12/24 and a female at Lady Bird on 12/22.

Vermilion Flycatchers: Hornsby Bend bird near Pond 2 west side 12/24 and Decker Lake in Travis County 12 24-27.

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.