This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert for the week of 11/16/2019 through 11/22/2019. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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; WMA = Wildlife Management Area; SH = State Highway; CR = County Road; WTP = Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A LEAST GREBE was reported from Miller Creek (near Miller Creek Cemetery) off of US 290 in Blanco on 11/17. The LEAST GREBE reported from Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery in Burnet continued through 11/20.
A late GREEN HERON was photographed at Salt Lake in Guadalupe on 11/18 and continued through 11/21. An immature GREEN HERON was photographed at Tejas Camp, Williamson, on 11/20.
Very rare for the Hill Country, two adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were reported from Lake Johnson City in Johnson City, Blanco, on 11/23.
An apparent immature GLOSSY IBIS (reported as White-faced) was photographed at Lake Creek Trail near Anderson Mill, Williamson, on 11/22.
A VIRGINIA RAIL continues at the cattail wetland on Paint Creek Road, east of McDade in Bastrop, through 11/17.
A first basic AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER continued at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, through 11/23. It tends to frequent Pond 1W but also retreats to the compost piles and drying basins on occasion.
As many as two WESTERN SANDPIPERS are attempting to overwinter with the hundreds of Least Sandpipers at Hornsby Bend WTP in Travis through 11/23.
A probable adult WHITE-TAILED HAWK was reported from SH 21 near the San Marcos Regional Airport on the Caldwell/ Hays line on 11/17. An adult WHITE-TAILED HAWK continued at the intersection of Lund-Carlson and Wells Roads near Manor, Travis, through 11/22.
An apparent light-morph adult FERRUGINOUS HAWK was described from Sayersville Road in Bastrop on 11/22. It was observed both perched and in flight in a field 1.1 mi. south of the junction of CR 49 and 157.
The pioneering BLACK PHOEBE at Hamilton Pool Preserve in Travis was reported as recently as 11/21.
One immature male VERMILION FLYCATCHER has been present at the north end of Pond 3 at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, since 11/17. It was joined by a second on 11/22. The immature male VERMILION FLYCATCHER was again reported from the Sore Finger Unit at Granger Lake, Williamson, on 11/17.
A rare vagrant HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER was photographed and audio recorded on the Nature Trail at Canyon Lake, Comal, on 11/10 and continued through 11/21. It was discovered near Marker #15 initially but reported from Markers #3-5 of late.
Travis had a couple of HUTTON’S VIREOS this week, including one at Sunset Valley Nature Area on 11/19 and one well-photographed at McKinney Falls SP on 11/20.
A late push of TREE SWALLOWS was evident at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 11/20-21, with as many as 25 reported.
The GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE continued at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (limited access) in Austin, Travis, through 11/19.
Two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were well-documented at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 11/22 and were still present on 11/23.
A pair of AUDUBON’S ORIOLES were reported from Palmetto SP in Gonzales on 11/17. That same day, a game camera on private property about 8 mi. southwest of Palmetto SP documented a group of 4 AUDUBON’S ORIOLES!
Late NASHVILLE WARBLERS (2+) were reported from Hornsby Bend WTP,Travis, through 11/23 and from Mason Creek Trail and Tejas Camp in Williamson on 11/20 and 11/21.
Late or wintering SUMMER TANAGERS were reported from Allen Park and Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 11/17 and 11/20, respectively.
A wandering male PYRRHULOXIA was discovered at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 11/21 and continued through 11/23.
A rare BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was discovered at a private residence in Austin, Travis, on 11/13 and continued through 11/20 ahead of the passage of the most recent cold front.
A very late PAINTED BUNTING was reported from Lake Creek Trail near Anderson Mill, Williamson, on 11/16.
A late INDIGO BUNTING was reported from Blanco SP in Blanco on 11/18 and from Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 11/21.
An intriguing Passerina bunting, possibly Lazuli, was photographed at Tejas Camp, Williamson, on 11/20.