Rare Bird Alert: Least Grebes, Bald Eagles, and More

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert. Last update on 10/07/2019. Send interesting sightings, complete with species name, location, and contact information to Vincent O’Brien at vincentobrienbirds@gmail.com. Special thanks to Arman Moreno, previous RBA compiler, for laying out such an excellent and logical framework to guide the RBA process! Justin Bosler and myself will be alternating reporting months between the two of us. Here’s my October installment.

Rarities found this week
LEAST GREBEs were photographed at Boerne Lake, Kendall, on 10/3, and along FM 1660 in Hutto, Williamson, 10/5.  Both grebes were solo.
A second year type BALD EAGLE was reported soaring upstream at Pedernales River Nature Park (LCRA), Blanco, 10/6.
ZONE-TAILED HAWKs were photographed at two locations within the circle on 10/5.  One hawk seen in flight above the river, just south of the Bird Blind at Hornsby Bend, Travis.  Second individual was perched along the river at Big Webberville and Howard Lane, Bastrop.  The Colorado River corridor seems to be the preferred thoroughfare for this species, so it’s always worth giving any “vultures” an extra look in this zone.
A pair of juvenile MISSISSIPPI KITEs were described along Shallow Ford Rd., Temple, Bell, 10/3.
A SAY’S PHOEBE was photographed along Sayersville Rd., Bastrop, 10/6.
An interesting Eastern form of BELL’S VIREO was reported from Cullen County Park, Hays, 9/29.
HUTTON’S VIREO reported from The Preserve at Travis Creek, Travis, 10/5.
HERMIT THRUSH reported at Mills Pond at Wells Branch, Travis, 10/6.
WORM-EATING WARBLER was described at Warbler Woods, Guadalupe, 10/5.
A LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was photographed at a private residence in Marble Falls, Burnet, 10/4.
A NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH described from Lake Creek Trail, Williamson, 10/5.
Solo BLUE-WINGED WARBLERs reported from Warbler Woods, Guadalupe, 9/29, and also from Berry Springs in Georgetown, Williamson, 10/4.
A juvenile CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was photographed at a private residence, Gonzales, 10/7. And a male reported from Devine Lake and Benbrook area, Williamson, 10/6.
GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was reported from West Bouldin Creek, Travis, 10/7.  Found in weed patch covering the creek bed by the S. 6th St. entrance.
PAINTED BUNTINGs are still holding in the circle.  One female type photographed at a private
residence, Travis, 10/3.  And an adult male at Warbler Woods, Guadalupe, 9/29, that continued
through 10/6.
A female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was photographed at Commons Ford Metropolitan Park, Travis, 10/5.
Continuing Birds From Previous Weeks
A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE described and photographed at Hornsby Bend, Travis, continued
through 9/29. No new reports to date. Another individual from Witter Lane, Bell, continued through 10/2.
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD at a private residence, Bell, continued through 10/3.
RINGED KINGFISHERs present in the circle. One kingfisher along the San Gabriel River near FM 1660 in Jonah, Williamson, continued through 10/6.  And another individual near Witter lane, Bell, through 10/6.
PILEATED WOODPECKER reported from Witter Lane, Bell, continued through 9/29.
A long standing BLACK PHOEBE at Hamilton Pool, Travis, continued through 10/3.  Somewhat reliably seen at the pool, or downstream from that area. This bird had paired up with an Eastern Phoebe earlier this Spring, and was photographed occupying a nest on 4/19. Not aware of any reports of fledged hybrid young from this effort, but certainly noteworthy. Updates appreciated!
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. When documentation or photographs were provided, that is mentioned along with other information about the birds being seen. For questions or updates about birds mentioned here, or to report rare or unusual bird sightings in the Austin area, please send an email to vincentobrienbirds@gmail.com.