As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Dozens flocking to see striped sparrow

12:20 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 | Filed in: Round Rock

Richard Kostecke stood on the side of a Williamson County road for more than two hours peering on and off through a telescope. Then he quietly said, “I’ve got it.”

Right in the middle of his lens was a bird never before seen in the wild in the United States.

The striped sparrow, recognizable by a black mask-like stripe on its head, was perched on a shrub 200 feet away on a sunny February afternoon. It was 700 miles away from its home in the western mountain ranges of Mexico, said Kostecke, the associate director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Texas.
The striped sparrow has been seen mixed in with a variety of other small birds feeding on crushed pecans and other food resources, with plenty of water nearby from a Williamson County creek.

It was the second sighting of the bird for Kostecke. He was the first person to see it on Jan. 11 on County Road 428, east of its intersection with County Road 361 near Granger Lake. Since then, more than 100 people from across the country have traveled to the area to glimpse it.

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