Rarities
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Here we will have some pictures of "rare birds." That does not necessarily mean they are going extinct, but that they are rare here in our neck of the woods. Some may have links to their own pages with additional images. Some may have identification features called out or discussed.

If you see something rare, better get a picture, or else (and maybe even still) certain "experts" (some real some not) will tell you what you really saw (they often think). When you say "Woodcock," they say Snipe. It's how they are. Character defect I suppose. I got a buddy who was in Alaska and his group led by a crack top expert saw muskox. When they told the guy who is the father of modern ridiculous bird record rejection, he responded "how do you know they weren't Caribou?" He is hard-wired that way.

It is really how a certain segment of bird record folk think. Not all of them, just some of them, and they are more common in some areas than others, but better get a picture to be safe.

At least with some of the new digital cameras it is easier for the average person to stand a fightin' chance of getting some kind of docu shot! The key marks must show so as to claim an irrefutable identification. Then they'll argue about them pixels till the cow jumps over the moon.   :):):)

If you find something unusual, take some notes, right then, describing everything you can about the bird, best done while watching it. Draw it, the roughest thumbnail sketch can be very telling and informative. Take a picture, or record audio (some phones can do this), better yet get video with sound. Documenting it is the key, the job, and task at hand for a rarity.

The first image below is a great example of just how awful and poor an image can be, and still be of documentation value. I sent this to a top TXpert who replied "Wood Stork." Just like a bird in the hand might sometimes be worth two in the bush, a hundred or two fuzzy pixels can be worth a page of notes. Almighty irrefutable evidence.

Wood Stork

Wood Stork taken through binoculars with old digital camera,
a first Uvalde Co. record at Utopia July 11, 08
In an emergency any image will do.
P.S., this was my very first digi-bin shot,
which is digital camera held up to binoculars.



When all else fails draw what you saw. It will help to include even a crude thumbnail with your description.

Rufous-backed Robin

Here's a sketch of the Rufous-backed Robin that Kathy and I saw at Ft. Inge, Uvalde, February 19, 2011, which I submitted with my description to the Texas Bird Record Committee.



Lucifer Hummingbird

Note the local common birds don't really care how rare you are, they'll kick your arse just the same. Here a common Black-chinned Hummingbird focibly removes an accidental vagrant Lucifer from a feeder.



These next five photos are new and just posted. Thanks Ken Cave and Sylvia Hilbig for sharing!

Hudsonian Godwit

This is two of three Hudsonian Godwit I found at a tank near Sabinal on May 11, 2015, this photo by Ken Cave on May 12. A Stilt Sandpiper is in front. It is the second UvCo record for Hudsonian Godwit, the first with multiple individuals. The 2006 first UvCo record is below.



Avocet

Avocet, April 24, 2015 at "Haby's wet spot" on W. Sabinal Rd.,
Bandera Co., found and photographed by Steve and Sylvia Hilbig.



Black-necked Stilt

One of two Black-necked Stilt with the above Avocet at a
flood pond in Bandera Co., April 24, 2015, photo by Sylvia Hilbig.



Roseate Spoonbill

Here is one of the two immature Roseate Spoonbill Sylvia Hilbig
photographed in Bandera Co along W. Sabinal River July 10-11, 2014.



Roseate Spoonbill

Here are both of them, a great record, and thanks Sylvia for sharing your great photos!



Following are the pix that were up the last couple years or more.

Purple Gallinule

Here's a poor digiscope of the Purple Gallinule at Utopia Park May 12, 2011



Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule at Utopia Park May 13, 2011 (2nd day) Thanks Audrey for letting me get closer!



Lucifer Hummingbird

A male Lucifer Hummingbird, the first in Uvalde County June 29, 2011, about the 10th on the Edwards Plateau.



White-eared Hummingbird

White-eared Hummingbird, July 21, 07, near Utopia second hill country, first Uvalde Co. record



White-eared Hummingbird

same female White-eared Hummingbird



Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron, juvenile, Uvalde, July 08

Tricolored Heron

This is one of the 2 immature Tricolored Herons
that spent most of fall 2009 at Utopia Park.



Cassin's Finch

Cassin's Finch, Nov. 07, near Utopia



Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird in fog 150' from porch, Dec. 9, 2013.
This bird was around through January into February.
Annual or nearly so here in winter in very low numbers.



Rusty Blackbird

Here she is in 2014, still a Rusty Blackbird, a returnee back for its second year around UvCo 360 south of town. This photo taken in our yard December 24, 2014, it continued to early March 2015.



Hudsonian Godwit

The first Hudsonian Godwit ever found in Uvalde County,
May 5, 2006, with a Wilson's Phalarope at the Uvalde Nat. Fish Hatchery.



Hudsonian Godwit

rump and tail shot



Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler, Concan March 06



Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler



(Click here to see more Rufous-capped Warbler photos)


Audubon's Oriole

Audubon's Oriole, March 1, '06, near Utopia
note green back (Scott's is black or streaked with black)
not a rarity, but rather a resident around Utopia.



American Woodcock

American Woodcock at Utopia Park on Dec. 27, '05
I prefer "Timberdoodle", the hunters' name ...



American Woodcock

Same Woodcock at UP - which was a one hour wonder



American Woodcock

Another American Woodcock (Timberdoodle) at Utopia Park Dec. 15, 2012
This one stuck around three weeks at least.



Hammond's Flycatcher

Hammond's Flycatcher north of Utopia in Bandera Co., Dec. 25. 2005
Note compact size and shape, gray head and throat contrast with
green back very short bill (reversed from distal most feathering
would only reach front of eye), long primary extension, etc.



Hammond's Flycatcher

Same Hammond's Flycatcher - Note yellow in lower belly, narrowness of bill,
and broken eyering above with slight teardrop effect behind.



White-tipped Dove

White-tipped Dove
First Uvalde Co. photo record, and one of the furthest north ever,
about 2 mi. west of Utopia June 7 to Aug. 29, 2005)



White-tipped Dove

White-tipped Dove making the ID of vulture or hawk.
April 1, 2012, no foolin', in our Seco Ridge yard, the
third to have appeared here, our first spring record.



Townsend's Warbler Townsend's Warbler

Townsend's Warbler at our bird bath Sept. 25, 2013
This was probably the 3rd Uvalde Co. record, first photos,
the other two were seen at Utopia Park fall of 2012.



Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler at Utopia Pk., fall adult male,
present August 9-18, 2009.  (taken through binocs)



junco

This is a hybrid Gray-headed x Pink-sided Junco,
seen a few times between Feb. 13 and March 31, 2012
in our winter yard junco flock.  A little talk
of the marks on the ODDITIES bird photo page.
I can find no one that knows of a prior Texas report.




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