Orange County RBA: December 6, 2018

Ryan Winkleman


* California
* Orange County
* December 6, 2018
* CAOC18.12.06

This is the Orange County, CA weekly Rare Bird Alert (RBA) and local events summary. California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) review species are capitalized and marked with asterisks below. All documentation of review species should be forwarded to the CBRC secretary, Tom Benson, at secretary@....


Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Red Phalarope
Reddish Egret
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Mountain Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pacific Wren
Varied Thrush
Purple Finch
White-throated Sparrow
Palm Warbler

A LONG-TAILED DUCK that was found at Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach on November 11 continued through December 4, where it’s been seen in the “pocket pond" and around the tide gates and inner bay.

A COMMON GOLDENEYE was reported from the Santa Ana River at the Glassell bridge on December 3.

A RED PHALAROPE found in the ponds below Harriett Wieder Regional Park in Huntington Beach on November 30 continued through December 4. The bird was presumably blown inland by the storm last week, so if you need this on your county list and don't want to go on a pelagic trip to look for them, this may be your best bet for now.

A REDDISH EGRET photographed at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine on December 1 was only the second record ever for this location. 

A PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER was photographed at Bart Spendlove Memorial Park in Mission Viejo on December 2.

A MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE continued at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach through December 3.
At least three WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES continued at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach through December 3, where they're being seen on both sides of Goldenwest.

A PACIFIC WREN found in the Shipley Nature Center on the western side of Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on November 17 continued through December 3. The bird has been found in the northeast corner near the closed trail sign. 

Two VARIED THRUSHES were photographed at the Shipley Nature Center on the western side of Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on November 29. They were in the redwood trees along the fenceline east of the main entrance. 

Up to four PURPLE FINCHES were found around the main building of the Shipley Nature Center on the western side of Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on November 30 and continued through December 3.

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW found at the Shipley Nature Center on the western side of Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on November 4 continued through December 1. 

At least one PALM WARBLER was present at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through December 4, in the vicinity of the Pond C/Pond D border.



The CBC is right around the corner and we need volunteers. For more info on the Orange County CBC, please check the link below.

If you’re new to the count and want to help, please contact the area compilers listed below for each count circle. 

Inland count is on December 16 – Doug Lithgow - DMLithgow@...

South County count is on December 22 – Darrell Wilson - darrellwilson@...

Coastal Count is on December 30 – Bettina Eastman - bettinae24@...


The monthly bird walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine will take place on December 9 from 8:00am to 11:00am. Meet at the Audubon House.


The next Upper Newport Bay via pontoon boat will be on December 19. The trip is full, but you can email Nancy Kenyon at nancykenyon@... to be put on the wait list.

The next Orange County pelagic trip will be on January 12 from 6:30am to 3:00pm. Email Nancy Kenyon at nancykenyon@... if you want to attend the trip.


Sylvia Gallagher will be starting the class "Western Mountains and Their Birds" in January of 2019. You can see more information about the class here: Registration is now open.

Two bird banding workshops will be held at Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon in March 2019. The beginning workshop will be held on March 9 and 10 from 7:30am to 3:30pm, and the advanced workshop will be held during the same hours on March 16 and 17. For more details or to enroll, email seasonal ornithologist Robert Snowden at rsnowden@....


The Orange County RBA and events summary is produced weekly by Ryan Winkleman and Jeff Bray in collaboration with Doug Willick. Sightings of rare birds can be posted to the OrangeCountyBirding listserv, emailed directly to Jeff Bray (jbray4913@...) and/or Ryan Winkleman (rswinkleman@...), and/or submitted to eBird ( Any supporting details (descriptions, photos, audio recordings, etc.) of rare sightings that are not already disclosed on the listserv or on eBird should also be emailed to Ryan Winkleman separately for consideration to be mentioned in the current quarterly report for North American Birds.

Those sightings that are included in this summary generally include those that are considered rare (regionally or seasonally) for Orange County based on "The Birds of Orange County: Status and Distribution" (Hamilton and Willick), "Birds of Southern California" (Garrett and Dunn), and/or more contemporary changes in local or regional status and distribution. Rarities that regularly or seasonally occur at a particular location, such as annually wintering rarities on Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, may not be included in this digest, but reports of these same species occurring at other, atypical locations throughout the county may be included. All bird reports are vetted to the extent possible prior to each publication, but in the interest of sharing information, the accuracy of any given report cannot always be guaranteed, nor can the presence of any given bird for those who choose to chase after them.

Information on upcoming local events is taken largely from the Sea and Sage Audubon website ( Sea and Sage Audubon is based out of the Audubon House at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine. They sponsor a number of public field trips, special birding events, conservation lectures, and social gatherings throughout the year. Information regarding upcoming local events should be considered accurate at the time of this posting. However, for the most current information please refer to the field trip list on the Sea and Sage Audubon website at It is also recommended that you refer to that website immediately prior to engaging in any field trip to confirm that trips are still occurring. If you know of additional upcoming events that are not sponsored directly by Sea and Sage Audubon, please email Ryan Winkleman and/or Jeff Bray for inclusion. #RBA

Ryan Winkleman
Rancho Santa Margarita

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