Hornsby Bend – December 4, 2015

A clear crisp,blue skies day In Austin Texas, the perfect day for a short trip out to Hornsby Bend to check out which birds may have stopped by for a rest while on their migratory trip South.

Hornsby Bend is a 1200 acre site situated on the Colorado River and it did not have its beginnings as a bird sanctuary, but instead was built in the 1950’s as the main water treatment facility for Austin. It has become a national recognized biosolids recycling center and is expertly managed. Here the sewage from Austin is transformed back into potable water and returned to the Colorado River. Here sludge is transformed into Dillo Dirt which is sold to gardeners throughout the area.

Hornsby Bend has been a birding hotspot for over 50 years now. The story of how the first birders found the ponds goes something like this…A young birder named G. Frank ‘Pancho’ Oatman was visiting relatives in the area over the Thanksgiving holidays when he spotted some ducks flying across the Colorado River. He began exploring and found the sewage facilities at Hornsby Bend. He spotted several different species and began spreading the word to other birders who flocked (pun intended) to the area to enjoy looking at multiple species that had never before been seen in the Austin area. Over the years, thousands of birders have visited this facility to enjoy the many birds as they drop in for a visit and rest on their migratory travels.

Check out more about Hornsby Bend at http://www.hornsbybend.org

Today I visited Hornsby with my BFF Linda who is in Austin visiting for a few days. We spotted Killdeer, starlings, mockingbirds, Gadwalls and a large flock of Northern Shovelers. My friend on the right was nowhere to be seen today however. No matter, I am sure I’ll catch him on the back side.

Happy bird searching.


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