Orange County RBA: February 14, 2019

Ryan Winkleman



* California

* Orange County

* February 14, 2019

* CAOC19.02.14


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@....




Common Goldeneye

Laughing Gull

Mew Gull

Common Tern


Bald Eagle

Zone-tailed Hawk

Long-Eared Owl

Prairie Falcon

Tropical Kingbird

Plumbeous Vireo

Purple Finch

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Green-tailed Towhee

Clay-colored Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Hooded Oriole

Palm Warbler


A young male COMMON GOLDENEYE that was found at Lincoln Basin (upstream of Burris) in Anaheim on January 27 continued through February 11.


A first-cycle LAUGHING GULL that was found on January 23 at North Lake in Irvine and continued through February 12. The bird is typically found in the southern half of the lake, often close to Barranca. Easy parking is in the lot off of Barranca and Lake. 


A first-cycle MEW GULL continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through February 10.

A COMMON TERN was photographed offshore on February 9 during the Sea and Sage pelagic trip. This is one of very few records of this species occurring in Orange County in winter and, according to Doug, possibly the only well-photographed one.

A different *RED-FOOTED BOOBY* than the one that has been seen along the coast recently was photographed on the oil rig Platform Edith  on February 9 during the Sea and Sage pelagic trip. 

An adult BALD EAGLE has been hanging around Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach since February 8 and was last seen on February 12. This bird, which is tagged A-96, is named Kanoa and HATCHED on Santa Rosa Island in 2014.

The South County adult ZONE-TAILED HAWK was reported over Pinecrest Park in Mission Viejo on February 10. This bird is most often seen over the Arroyo Trabuco around midday, when it typically flies over the Ford dealership.

A LONG-EARED OWL was photographed over Irvine Regional Park on February 9.

A PRAIRIE FALCON continued at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach on February 8.


A TROPICAL KINGBIRD continued along the Santa Ana River in Huntington Beach through February 9, where it was found roosting with Cassin's Kingbirds in the vicinity of Arevalos Park. The bird has been showing up around 5pm and usually hangs out on the lower hanging power lines.

A PLUMBEOUS VIREO was found in Irvine at the intersection of Alton Parkway and Paseo Westpark on February 10.

A PURPLE FINCH continued at the Shipley Nature Center at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on February 10.

At least 6 wintering LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES continued at Irvine Regional Park in Orange through February 11. These birds have been found in a mixed flock in the vicinity of the Willow Trail, typically around patches of fiddleneck.

A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE continued wintering at Harriett Wieder Regional Park in Huntington Beach through February 8.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continued at Fairhaven Memorial Park/Santa Ana Cemetery in Santa Ana through February 9. It's been very difficult to find but typically hangs out with Chipping Sparrows.

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued at Anaheim Coves Park on February 11, southeast of the church at the corner of Rio Vista and Wagner. 

A HOODED ORIOLE was reported wintering at Bartlett Park in Huntington Beach on February 9. If this bird can be refound, it would be good to confirm that it is not actually an Orchard Oriole.


Up to two PALM WARBLERS continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through February 12, where they are typically seen in Pond D.







The monthly Bird Walk at Upper Newport Bay will take place on February 24 from 8:00am to 11:00am. Meet at the Big Canyon parking lot. 





The next Upper Newport Bay pontoon trip will take place on February 20, but is currently full. You can email Nancy Kenyon at nancykenyon@... if you want to be on the waiting list, or the next one after that will be held on March 20 (which is also full! the next non-full trip is April 17...).

There are four "Owl Prowls" at Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon taking place on March 8, March 9, March 23, and March 30. Refer to this page for more information:





Two annual raptor identification workshops will be held this winter, with an introductory workshop from February 22-24 and an advanced workshop from March 1-3. Email Sylvia Gallagher at sjrgallagher@... with questions, or go here for the enrollment form:


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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