This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert for the weeks of 3/08/2020 through 3/15/2020. 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 email@example.com. If submitting a bird sighting, please include species name, location details, and contact information. County names below appear in italics. Abbreviations are as follows: SP = State Park; NWR = National Wildlife Refuge; NHP = National Historic Park; WMA = Wildlife Management Area; SH = State Highway; CR = County Road; WTP = Wastewater Treatment Plant.
An early BLACK-NECKED STILT was reported from Pond 1W at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 3/10. As of 3/15, Hornsby Bend WTP is CLOSED to the public until further notice.
A few early BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS appeared prior to 3/10, including 3 at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, Travis, on 3/6 and 2 at Walnut Camp (unknown access) in Williamson on 3/8.
An AMERICAN BITTERN was reported from Lake Pflugerville, Travis, on 3/13.
The first SWAINSON’S HAWK of the spring was photographed in Laneport in Williamson on 3/15.
A ZONE-TAILED HAWK was described over Hamilton Pool County Park,Travis, on 3/13. Please note that Hamilton Pool is also CLOSED to the public for the foreseeable future.
A real surprise was an immature GOLDEN EAGLE over a private ranch in eastern Bastrop on 3/14.
The resident pair of BLACK PHOEBES continued at Hamilton Pool, Travis, through 3/11.
The most recent report of the wintering SAY’S PHOEBE at Lakeway City Park, Travis, was on 3/15.
Two VERMILION FLYCATCHERS, an adult male and female, were documented at Devine Lake Park in Williamson on 3/12.
A very early GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER was heard well and repeatedly in suitable habitat at the Willis Creek Wildlife Area of Granger Lake, Williamson, on 3/15.
A HUTTON’S VIREO continues at private residence in Gonzales, with the latest report coming from 3/13. Many have been reported at various locations around Travis, with seemingly greater numbers than usual so far this spring.
An early territorial YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was described from Liberty Hill in Williamson on 3/15.
The undisputed rarity of the year, not only for the Austin Area, but in all of Texas, has been the long-staying WHITE WAGTAIL at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park, Travis. It continued through 3/15. It is most reliably observed from the bluff overlooking the river at these coordinates: 30°14’42.4″N 97°41’55.7″W.
A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE continues at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Nature Trail, Travis, as of 3/15.
The Bastrop AUDUBON’S ORIOLE on Dairy Road was last reported on 3/5.
A wintering SCOTT’S ORIOLE was reported visiting a private yard near Jonestown, Travis, thru 3/15.
Early northbound NASHVILLE WARBLERS have been reported from Blanco, Comal, and Guadalupe prior to 3/15.
A territorial male YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER returned to Commons Ford Ranch Metro Park, Travis, on 3/15.
A male PYRRHULOXIA was discovered at Emma Long Metro Park, Travis, on 3/10.