Rare Bird Alert: February 1, 2013

The Austin Area Rare Bird Alert is a service of the Travis Audubon Society. This update is as of 9:30 on February 1, 2013. Send interesting sightings–complete with species name, LOCATION, and contact information–to Kenny Anderson at kennya290@gmail.com.

Rarities Found This Week:

  • A Virginia Rail was found at Lake Pfluggerville in Travis County on 1/23, the bird was relocated on 1/29.
  • An American Bittern was described at a water quality pond on Macallen Pass and Parmer Lane in Austin on 1/29.

Continuing From Previous Weeks:

  • Whooping Cranes, wintering again at Granger Lake in Williamson County, have reports this week of 3 birds on CR 352 on 1/30- and 7 birds at the lake on 1/30. Any time a Whooping Crane is sighted outside of Aransas NWR or the Rockport area, I urge you to make a formal record here. Continued presence has certainly curtailed reporting and descriptions of the places they are being seen, this is an area to get involved.
  • A Prairie Falcon was scoped on Harry Lind Road in Travis County 1/26, subsequent attempts to see it on 1/27 and 1/31 were negative.
  • A cooperative Buff-bellied Hummingbird has been seen and photographed again this week at the Platt Lane access to the River Trail at Hornsby Bend in Travis County 1/27-29.
  • Berry Springs Park in Williamson County continues to have White Breasted Nuthatches and a Red-headed Woodpecker — latest report 1/31.
  • A trip to the spillway of Mansfield Dam yielded two Common Goldeneyes and a Red-breasted Merganser on 1/26 in Travis County.
  • Peregrine Falcons are having a winter presence in the area with reports of 2 birds over Lake Pfluggerville on 1/29 and 1 bird at Roy Guerrero Park on 1/27.
  • Roy Guerrero Park in Austin has also been hosting Couch’s Kingbirds (1/26,27) and Ringed Kingfishers (1/20-27).
  • A Couch’s Kingbird has been seen in the woodlot behind Synergy Plaza North in Travis County 1/27.
  • A Curve-billed Thrasher has been photographed at Warbler Woods in Guadalupe County, latest updates 1/25-29.
  • Common Loon can be expected at Lake Buchanan, but birds on Lake Travis this winter are unusual. 2 birds were seen from Windy Point on 1/19.
  • Vermilion Flycatchers: at Hornsby Bend near Pond 2’s western side on 1/23 and at Decker Lake in Austin 1/23.

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.