Rare Bird Alert: February 23, 2012

(The Austin area Rare Bird Alert is a service of the Travis Audubon Society. This update is as of 6:15 on February 23, 2012. Send interesting sightings–complete with species name, location, and contact information–to Kenny Anderson.)

Rarities Found This Week

I just looked at Texbirds and saw the Lower Rio Grande Valley RBA and realized it was time to write up the Austin Area RBA. I did not have much time to bird this week and didn’t keep up with reports with my usual dedication. I may have missed some things, but a quick glance through the reports looks like it was either a good week to be busy or it was a busy week for many.

1 Common Nighthawk was over Tejas Camp in Williamson County on 2/19.

The same Tejas Camp trip yielded 7 Mountain Bluebird east of the parking lot on the south side of the river on 2/19. 1 bird was seen 2/22.

Continuing Birds From Previous Week

Whooping Cranes continue to astound at Granger Lake with 9 birds seen on 2/18 and 3 to 6 on 2/18,19,21, 22.

Common Merganser
lingers at a private enterprise in Williamson County with another report from 2/21.

Tundra Swan
reports continue from Salt Lake in Guadalupe County 2/16,20.

Western Grebe remains at Lake Georgetown, seen from Overlook Park 2/16,17,19.

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds continue at two private residences in Austin.

Black-bellied Plovers, 5 of them, remain at Granger Lake, last report 2/20.

Greater Scaup, a male, was re-found below Longhorn Dam in Austin on2/19.

Rusty Blackbirds are having the winter of a decade in the Austin area with continued reports from Hornsby Bend on 2/17,18. Reports continue from Witter Lane, on rainy days, in Temple in Williamson County. A single is repeatably recorded at an Utley home.

Green-tailed Towhee was seen at the Hill County Conservancy’s Nalle Bunny Run Preserve (invite only) in Travis County on 2/21.

Reports for the Austin area RBA cover a 60 mile radius, centered from the Capitol in downtown Austin. The circle extends north to Belton (Bell County), south to Leesville (Gonzales County), east to Somerville WMA (Lee Burleson County), and west to Blumenthal (Gillespie County). Bird sightings mentioned here have been filtered and scrutinized by the compiler and are believed to be genuine. When documentation or photographs were provide, 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 nollanderson@sbcglobal.net.

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

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