Rare Bird Alert: January 18, 2013

The Austin Area Rare Bird Alert is a service of the Travis Audubon Society. This update is as of 12:30 on January 18, 2013. Send interesting sightings–complete with species name, LOCATION, and contact information–to Kenny Anderson at kennya290@gmail.com.

Rarities Found This Week:

  • Whooping Cranes wintering at Granger Lake in Williamson County continue to thrill and wonder Central Texas birders. A report of all 8 seen as a fly-over at Sore Finger WMA, along with a photograph on 1/13 is truly a highlight of 2013. Other reports of a group of 2 Whooping Cranesforaging along 971and CR352 from the Travis Audubon field trip on 1/12, 3 birds on the same field 1/13.
  • An adult Zone-tailed Hawk was seen well mixed in with Turkey Vultures below the Mansfield Dam in Travis County on 1/13.
  • A Calliope Hummingbird is photographed using a South Austin feeder at a private residence 1/17.
  • 2 Harris’s Hawks are working the area north of the Formula 1 track in Elroy. Birds were first encountered on the Austin CBC and have continued to be seen/photographed near the Fagerquist and Elroy intersection. Latest reports are 1/12(photo) and 1/15.
  • A wintering Hornsby Bend Buff-bellied Hummingbird is utilizing the Platt Lane River Trail origination/trail head- and feeders placed there to keep it around. Bird is seen reliably with reports 1/1/12-17.
  • A Red-naped Sapsucker was photographed in the Carlson area on 1/13 (Travis).
  • The Hornsby Bend survey on 1/14 also tallied a female Common Goldeneye on pond 2, a Peregrine Falcon being irregularly seen working the ponds, and a lingering Vermilion Flycatcher near Pond 2.
  • A Rusty Blackbird has been seen in a mixed blackbird flock in the administration parking lot of Hornsby Bend 1/14,16.
  • Common Goldeneye, a drake was seen on the Lower Colorado River from the Colorado River Nature Preserve at 183 in Austin on 1/16- first photographed 1/1.
  • Vermilion Flycatchers are also being seen at Decker Lake’s Walter Long Park east of the boat launch 1/16 (Travis)and Berry Springs Park in Williamson County 1/17, Hornsby Bend 1/12.
  • Red-headed Woodpeckers are being seen at the Macedonia Cemetery in Williamson County 1/10 and Berry Springs Park in Williamson County 1/17.
  • Say’s Phoebes, the only two I have heard of in the area, are being seen at Granger Lake with the latest report on 1/10 from the Travis Audubon Field trip.
  • An American Bittern was seen again at Decker Lake- the bird flushed from the western most portion of the parking lot on 1/16.
  • A Summer Tanager was photographed at a Lakeway home in Travis County on 1/13.
  • A juvenile White Ibis and Couch’s Kingbirds are being seen near the Longhorn Dam area- latest word 1/12,14.
  • 2 Couch’s Kingbirds reported from Big Webberville Park in eastern Travis County 1/11. This species has become regular in Travis County as a breeding resident. Roy Guerrero Park and Big Webberville Park are two of the more reliable locations for them.

It has been a good start to the year; I would like to hear what you are finding.

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.