Rare Bird Alert: December 18, 2016

White-tailed Hawk

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert and has been updated through 12/18/2016. To report rare or unusual bird sightings in the Austin area, provide recent sighting updates, or inquire about location details on birds listed below, please send an email to armanmorenobirds@gmail.com. If submitting a bird sighting, please include species name, location details, and contact information.

Rarities Found This Week

  • In the morning of 12/17, a PACIFIC LOON was reported from Canyon Lake Park off Canyon Park Rd, northwest of New Braunfels, Comal County. The loon was far out and a scope is suggested.
  • A WHITE-TAILED KITE was photographed flying over FM 969 just east of the town of Webberville near the intersection of Post Oak Rd in Travis County on 12/10. The bird was flying towards the large field to the north of town. On 12/15, another kite (possibly the same bird?) was seen in Bastrop County also over FM 969, east of Upper Elgin Rd.
  • A ZONE-TAILED HAWK was photographed hunting and flying over the Inks Lake National Fish Hatchery in Burnet County on 12/11. Another Zone-tailed Hawk was photographed at Booty’s Rd Park off Bootys Crossing Rd near Lake Georgetown Dam in Williamson County on 12/17 and continues through 12/18.
  • A WHITE-TAILED HAWK was photographed along Old Bastrop Rd in Hays County on 12/1. Another bird was photographed flying over Lund Carlson Rd between Werchan Ln and Wells Ln in northeast Travis County on 12/10.
  • An immature BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD was photographed at a private residence in Western Travis County on 12/18.
  • A HUTTON’S VIREO was reported from Warbler Woods, Guadalupe, on 12/14.
  • A SAGE THRASHER was well described from the Slaughter Creek Preserve in SW Austin, Travis, on 12/14. The bird was seen near the middle portion of the trail, closest to LaCrosse Ave (the most southern part of the preserve). This is a one-way 5.1 mile loop trail (bikers start one direction and hikers another). There is a cutoff that shortens the loop slightly but be prepared to hike most of the trail.
  • A PYRRHULOXIA was reported at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on 12/12. Another bird was found off CR 244 in Williamson County on 12/9.
  • A female PURPLE FINCH was photographed at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on 12/12.

Continuing Bird(s) From Previous Week

  • After a brief absence, a COMMON MERGANSER was refound at Tejas Camp along the north fork of the San Gabriel River in Williamson County on 12/10 and continues through 12/18. The bird was most recently viewed from the trail about a 1/2 mile from the parking lot. It has been hanging around a domestic white duck so locating that bird first may help you spy the merganser.
  • A male BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD continues at a private residence in SW Austin, Travis, on 12/18.
  • A male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD continues at a private residence in New Braunfels, Comal, on 12/16.
  • Two GREAT KISKADEEs continue at Berry Springs Park in Georgetown, Williamson, most recently observed on 12/16. Another pair of kiskadees continue off Hunter Rd in San Marcos, Hays, on 12/17, near the intersection of Suttles Ave.
Reports for the Austin area RBA cover a 60-mile radius, centered on the Capitol in downtown Austin. Bird sightings mentioned here have been filtered and scrutinized by the compiler and are believed to be genuine. Photo or audio documentation for species with challenging IDs will be mentioned if they are known to exist. 

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