Rare Bird Alert: Oct. 16 – Nov. 6

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert.  Last update on 11/6/20.  Send interesting sightings, complete with species name, location, and contact information to Vincent O’Brien at vincentobrienbirds@gmail.com.

 

GRACE’S WARBLER was an amazing discovery at a private residence, Bastrop, 11/4.  And the home owner obtained some great photographs of the bird.  This sighting may represent the most central Texas record ever, and a first for the TAS Circle if ultimately affirmed.  Any updates or further information is most appreciated.

 

A BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD was photographed at a private residence in northwest Travis, 11/3-11/6.  Another great find for the circle, and further underscores the trend of an irruptive year for western species in our area.

 

A lone ROSS’S GOOSE continued to be noted and photographed from Pond 2 at Hornsby Bend, Travis, 10/28-11/6.

 

Up to three SURF SCOTERs were observed and photographed, with at least one continuing on Pond 2 at Hornsby Bend, Travis, through 11/5.  And another group of three seen and photographed from Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/24.  An additional solo scoter  was photographed at Lake Georgetown, Williamson, 11/6.

 

HORNED GREBE was photographed and continues at Granger Lake, Williamson, through 11/1.

 

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD was photographed at a private residence, Williamson, 11/2.  Another at Warbler Woods, Guadalupe, 11/4-11/5.  And one from private property, Hays, 11/4-11/5.  An additional hummingbird from a private residence in northwest Austin, Travis, 11/6.

 

A CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD was photographed at a private residence visiting a feeder, Belton, 11/1.  And another individual continued at a private residence in northwest Austin, Travis, through 10/17.  One more individual photographed on private property, Gonzales, 11/5.

 

A VIRGINIA RAIL was photographed at Mueller Greenbelt, Southwest Greenway area pond, Travis, 11/4-11/6.

 

A pair of WHOOPING CRANEs were photographed and continued at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/24-25.

 

At least three BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs were photographed on Pond 1W, with one continuing at Hornsby Bend, through 11/6.  And another plover described from a pond along SH-304, Caldwell, 10/31-11/1.

 

AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERs continue at Granger Lake, with plovers noted from Friendship Park and the Willis Creek area, Williamson, through 10/29.  And additional plovers observed, with at least one holding at Hornsby Bend, Travis, through 11/6.  Additionally, up to three plovers were noted from the Sore Finger and Willis Creek areas of Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/24-29.

 

A DUNLIN was photographed on Pond 1W at Hornsby Bend, Travis, 10/27-28.

 

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was photographed at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/16.

 

A MAGNIFICENT  FRIGATEBIRD was photographed near FM 1854, Dale, Caldwell, 11/4.  And another bird was described and documented from Reimers Ranch Park, last seen flying on a course for Lake Travis, Travis, 11/6.

 

AMERICAN BITTERN continues to be seen and documented from Mueller Greenbelt, Southeast Greenway, Travis, through 11/3.

 

ZONE-TAILED HAWK was photographed gliding near Pond 1W at Hornsby Bend, Travis, 10/29.  Another hawk noted from the Brackenridge Field Labs area, Travis, 11/5.  One hawk photographed from Commons Ford Park, Travis, 10/18.  And an additional hawk reported from Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, 11/6.

 

FERRUGINOUS HAWKs were recently photographed in the circle.  One hawk was seen at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/16.  And a second documented report of this species from northwest Austin, Travis, 10/18.

 

BURROWING OWL was described from Skog Road in northeast Travis, 10/28.  And another individual from the Granger Lake area, Williamson, last seen on 11/4.

 

A SHORT-EARED OWL was photographed from private property, Hays, 10/29.

 

A juvenile RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was described from CR 125, Ledbetter, Lee, 10/19.

 

A male RED-NAPPED SAPSUCKER was photographed and continued at a private residence, Travis, through 11/2.  And another individual documented from Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Travis, through 10/24.

 

MERLIN (PRAIRIE) was photographed at Commons Ford Park, Travis, 10/31.

 

Up to three resident BLACK PHOEBEs continue at Hamilton Pool, Travis, 11/1.

 

SAY’S PHOEBE have been photographed and continue within the circle, with one from Commons Ford Park, Travis, through 10/28.  Another along Grand Avenue Parkway, Williamson, 11/2.  And a phoebe had been hanging around the north side of Pond 2, near Pond 1E, Hornsby Bend, Travis, 11/5.  A phoebe was also reported from Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, 11/6.  And another from Sayersville Road, Bastrop, 10/17.

 

A late ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was photographed along the barn to river trail at Commons Ford Park, Travis, 10/25.

 

HORNDED LARK continues along Wells Lane, just north of the Wells School Road, Travis, 10/24.

 

A female type MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD was photographed from Liberty Hill, Williamson, 11/3.

 

SAGE THRASHERs are making appearances in the circle, with one photographed and continuing near the dry creek bed by the Climber Trailhead parking pavilion, Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, 11/1-11/6.  Another was photographed at Friendship Park, Granger Lake, Williamson, through 10/31.

 

A CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR was observed along Wells Lane, just north of Wells School Road, Travis, 10/24.

 

A MCCOWN’S LONGSPUR was heard and seen at the Mueller Greenbelt, Southwest Greenway pond area, Travis, 11/5.

 

A CASSIN’S SPARROW was photographed from the retention ponds at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, Williamson, 11/1.

 

A NELSON’S SPARROW was photographed along the grassy shoreline of Granger Lake, Williamson, 11/2-3.  The bird was found east of the boat launch area, close to the dam.

 

LARK BUNTINGs have been observed, photographed, and continue in the circle.  One bird holding along the Pond 1W/1E berm road at Hornsby Bend, Travis, 11/3.  Another seen at Mueller Greenbelt, Southwest Greenway pond area, Travis, 11/4.  And an additional report along the Turkey Loop at Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, 11/6.

 

DARK-EYED JUNCO (GRAY-HEADED X RED-BACKED) hybrid was photographed at Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, 10/26.

 

DARK-EYED JUNCO (GRAY-HEADED) was photographed from private property, Bastrop, 10/17.

 

GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was described from Loop Road, Smithville, Bastrop, 10/30.  And a second towhee noted from Indiangrass Preserve, Travis, 11/1.  Another towhee noted from Cibolo Creek Primitive Trails, Guadalupe, 10/25.

 

A male EASTERN TOWHEE was described and continued at Commons Ford Park, Travis, 10/31-11/3.

 

A RUSTY BLACKBIRD was photographed at Hickory Creek Island, Llano, 11/3.

 

A SWAINSON’S WARBLER was photographed alive at a private residence after being attacked by a free-roaming domestic cat, Boerne, Kendall, 10/31.

 

A PALM WARBLER was photographed at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/27.  And another individual along the ponds at Mueller Greenbelt, Southwest Greenway area, Travis, 11/4-6.

 

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERs are being seen in the circle.  One noted from a private residence, Williamson, 10/19.  Another from CR 284, Williamson, 10/18.  Additional individual seen visiting a water feature at a private residence, Kendall, 10/19.  And one photographed at a private residence, Williamson, 10/20.  Yet another warbler photographed hanging around the old barn at Commons Ford Park, Travis, 10/20.  Further reports from a private residence, Round Rock, Williamson, 10/21.  One more photographed from FM 366 and the Rowe Valley Bridge, Williamson, 11/5.

 

A TOWNSEND’S WARBLER was photographed on private property, Comal, 10/19.

 

WESTERN TANAGER was noted from private property, Gonzales, 11/4.

 

PYRRULOXIAs were photographed and continue near the dry creek bed at the Climbing Trailhead pavilion, and along Turkey Loop at Reimers Ranch Park, Travis, through 11/2.  With as many as three individuals noted.

 

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was photographed at Reimers Ranch, Travis, 10/17.  Additional grosbeaks were noted from Browning Ranch Road, Johnson City, Blanco, 10/20.

 

A female type LAZULI BUNTING was photographed at a private residence, Kendall, 10/20.

 

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 studied 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. 

Pictured: Grace’s Warbler