Rare Bird Alert: December 18, 2017

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert and has been updated through 12/18/2017. 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 Month

  • A GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was a very nice find at Warbler Woods, Guadalupe County on 12/12 and has continued every day since the initial finding. This is private property and requires an access code. Visit the website (warblerwoods.org) for more info regarding latest sightings and to request access. This is a Texas Review Species.
  • Tis the season for raptors: a WHITE-TAILED KITE was located during the Georgetown CBC on 12/15 along CR 245, near the intersections of CR 243 and CR 241. This area is due south of the town of Florence, Williamson County. The bird continued through at least 12/17.
  • A HARRIS’S HAWK was found at Barkley Meadows Park in Southeast Austin, Travis County, as part of the Austin CBC on 12/16. The bird was later relocated off of Blocker Rd, just east of the SH 130 tollway, due south of the initial location on 12/17. A second bird was located with the 1st on 12/18, continuing in the same general area.
  • An adult FERRUGINOUS HAWK flew over Sayersville Rd in Bastrop County on 12/14. No recent reports but it could be working the area so keep an eye for it.
  • A ZONE-TAILED HAWK was found at Hornsby Bend, Travis County, on 12/16 as part of the Austin CBC.
  • A WHITE-TAILED HAWK was reported in Hays County on 12/17 along Cottonwood Parkway Creek on Sadler Dr, near the intersection of Wonder World Drive.
  • What appears to be an immature ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD was reported from a private residence in Georgetown, Williamson County on 12/15. No recent reports.
  • A HUTTON’S VIREO was found on the Austin CBC on the Via Fortuna hiking Trail, part of the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This is located near the intersection of Hwy 360 (Capital of Texas Hwy) and Mopac Expressway.
  • A TOWNSEND’S WARBLER was a fantastic find on 12/16, as part of the Austin CBC. It was located along the Peninsula Trail off Lakeshore Blvd but was also seen in the trees along the lake just behind the hostel at 2200 Lakeshore Blvd. The bird continues through 12/18 but appears to move around a lot more than the other two rare warblers so anyone searching would do well to check the trees along the main trail as well.
  • A CAPE MAY WARBLER was found on the Peninsula Trail off Lakeshore Blvd in Central Austin, Travis County, on 12/17. The bird was found while looking for the Townsend’s Warbler that was reported the previous day during the Austin CBC. The trail begins just east of the Hostel located at 2200 Lakeshore Blvd. The bird continues through 12/18 and has been faithful to the initial location but anyone searching should check the main trail as well.
  • Also found while searching for the Townsend’s Warbler, a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was located on the Peninsula Trail on 12/17, in the same general area as the Cape May Warbler. This species vacates North America during winter and heads to Southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America, so it was a real surprise to see one in December. The bird continues through 12/18.
  • A PYRRHULOXIA was found during the Balcones Canyonlands NWR CBC on 12/18. The bird was in the Russell Tract, which is not accessible by the general public.

Continuing Bird(s) From Previous Week

  • At least four LEAST GREBEs continue in Williamson County through 12/17 off Parksville Way and Fairweather Way.
  • A female PYRRHULOXIA continues at Reimer’s Ranch park in extreme Southwest Travis County on 12/13. The bird has been reported around the main pavilion area.
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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