Rare Bird Alert: Cinnamon Teal, Least Grebes, and More

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert for the week of 9/22/2019 through 9/28/2019. 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 justin.bosler@gmail.com. If submitting a bird sighting, please include species name, location details, and contact information. County names below appear in italics.

Several eclipse-plumaged CINNAMON TEAL were mixed in with hundreds of Blue-winged Teal at both Hornsby Bend WTP and Lake Pflugerville, Travis, on 9/28. Only single digits were identified at each location though more could be concealed within the masses.

Single LEAST GREBES were reported from three separate locations in San Marcos, Hays, this week; Spring Lake Preserve on 9/24, fish hatchery on 9/25, and Webster Lake on 9/28. One LEAST GREBE continues on Parksville Way retention pond in Cedar Park, Williamson, on 9/23.

A SNOWY PLOVER was photographed at the south end of Lake Buchanan, Llano, on 9/23.

A male LONG-BILLED CURLEW was photographed at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 9/28. Unfortunately, as is typical of the species in fall migration, it descended to investigate the ponds but did not put down and continued south.

A molting juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE dropped in to refuel on Pond 1W at Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 9/28.

A juvenile TRICOLORED HERON was reported from Webster Lake, south of San Marcos, Hays, on 9/28.

Presumably, the same SWALLOW-TAILED KITE was observed over the Colorado River south of and over FM 973 on the eastern boundary of Hornsby Bend WTP, Travis, on 9/28 between 10:12 AM and about 2:30 PM. Fingers crossed that this individual sticks around for another day or two so that better views and photographs can be obtained.

Rare for Williamson, a female RINGED KINGFISHER has been observed on and off at the FM 1660 crossing of the San Gabriel River near Jonah, 9/22 through 9/28. A Green Kingfisher was also documented at this location on 9/22.

A SAY’S PHOEBE was photographed on a ranch near Cypress Mill, Blanco, on 9/26.

A shockingly large number of PURPLE MARTINS, about 100, continued on a roost at Crossing Point Shopping Center in Round Rock, Williamson, through 9/22.

Another SWAINSON’S THRUSH was well-documented in a backyard, this time in northwest Austin, Travis, on 9/25-26.

A solitary CEDAR WAXWING was reported from Mills Pond at Wells Branch, Travis, on 9/23.

A very rare in fall male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER was photographed at Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary, Guadalupe, on 9/26.

An exceptionally late adult male PAINTED BUNTING was reported from Berry Springs Park in Georgetown, Williamson, on 9/28. Another adult male was photographed on the same day at Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary, Guadalupe.