Rare Bird Alert: October 2 – 16

This is the Austin Area Rare Bird Alert. Last update on 10/16/20.  Send interesting sightings, complete with species name, location, and contact information to Vincent O’Brien at vincentobrienbirds@gmail.com.
A male CASSIN’S FINCH was photographed at a private residence in northwest Austin, Travis, 10/15.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was noted from the dam overlook at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/16.
A CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD continued to be described and photographed at a private residence in Travis, 10/15.
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERs continued to be photographed and described from the Willis Creek area of Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/13.
A FRANKLIN’S GULL was early and photographed from Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/5.
An AMERICAN BITTERN continued at the Mueller Southwest Greenway, Travis, 10/11.
A HARRIS’S HAWK was photographed from a restricted area of Belton Lake, Bell, 10/9.
ZONE-TAILED HAWKs were active in the circle, with one continuing hawk at Granger Lake, Williamson, 10/2.  Additional solo hawks were noted from Hornsby Bend, Travis, 10/11;  Boulder Trail Park, Travis, 10/2;  Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Travis, 10/14; and a private residence in northwest Travis, 10/15.
A BURROWING OWL was photographed at Windy Point, Travis, 10/3.
A family group of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERs continue to be observed from Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, 10/4.  A juvenile bird was also photographed at Berry Springs Park, Georgetown, Williamson, 10/2.  An additional woodpecker described from the boat ramp at Webberville Park, Travis, 10/14.
MERLIN (PRAIRIE) was photographed gliding over Lake Creek Trail, Williamson, 10/11.
A family group of BLACK PHOEBEs continue at Hamilton Pool, Travis, 10/8.
A SAY’S PHOEBE was photographed near a cattle corral along Sayersville Road, Bastrop, 10/11.
A BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER was described from a private residence in Hays, 10/12.  And an additional warbler was photographed near the log bench by the creek at Yett Creek Park, Travis, 10/13.
A TOWNSEND’S WARBLER was photographed at the Gravel Crossing Wildlife Management Area of Stillhouse Lake, Bell, 10/11.
A female type HEPATIC TANAGER was observed and recorded calling along the Pogue Springs area at Reimers Ranch, Travis, 10/8.
A WESTERN TANAGER continued at a private residence, Travis, 10/3.
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.
Photo of Cassin’s Finch courtesy of Doug Greenberg