Rare Bird Alert: December 22, 2016

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert and has been updated through 12/22/2016. 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

  • A LONG-TAILED DUCK was observed from the south dam overlook at Granger Lake, Williamson, on 12/20. The bird was far out on the lake and observed flying even further away from the dam, towards the San Gabriel River.
  • A COMMON MERGANSER was found on 12/20 at Canyon Lake Park off Canyon Park Rd, northwest of New Braunfels, Comal County. Up to two birds were reported on 12/21 and at least one continues through 12/22.
  • A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was observed flying into Big Webberville Park from Post Oak Rd, Travis County, on 12/6. It was heading for the trees near the building by the soccer fields near the entrance. The bird has not been relocated.
  • A SAGE THRASHER was photographed during the Balcones Canyonlands CBC on 12/19. The bird was found in what appears to be private property in Burnet County.

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 12/21. 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 WHITE-TAILED HAWK was photographed along Old Bastrop Rd in Hays County on 12/1 and was relocated hunting in the same area on 12/19.
  • A ZONE-TAILED HAWK continues at Booty’s Rd Park off Bootys Crossing Rd near Lake Georgetown Dam in Williamson County through 12/19.
  • A male BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD continues at a private residence in SW Austin, Travis, on 12/18. An immature bird continues at a western Travis County residence on 12/20.
  • 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.
  • A female PYRRHULOXIA continues at Reimer’s Ranch in southwest Travis County off Hamilton Pool Rd on 12/21. The bird was near the Climber’s Canyon.
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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