Orange County RBA: February 28, 2019

Ryan Winkleman



* California

* Orange County

* February 28, 2019

* CAOC19.02.28


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

Zone-tailed Hawk

Short-eared Owl

Gray Flycatcher

Cassin's Vireo

Purple Finch

Green-tailed Towhee

White-throated Sparrow


Palm Warbler


A young male COMMON GOLDENEYE that was found at Lincoln Basin (upstream of Burris) in Anaheim on January 27 continued through February 23.


A first-cycle LAUGHING GULL that was found on January 23 at North Lake in Irvine continued through February 27. The bird is typically found in the southern half of the lake, often close to Barranca, where it basically just sits around all day eating food that people throw to it. 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 22.

The adult Zone-tailed Hawk continued in Rancho Santa Margarita on February 27, where it was spotted shopping for cars from above over the Santa Margarita Ford dealership.

A SHORT-EARED OWL was photographed at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa on February 24. The bird appeared in the model airplane runway area at dusk.


A GRAY FLYCATCHER continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through February 24 near the northern entrance off Edinger along the golf course fence line. It dips its tail down.

A CASSIN'S VIREO was reported at Disneyland on February 21. No clue where it was, but the park is small enough that it should be super easy to find and confirm! At least the observer said he did have binoculars on him...


As many as 6 PURPLE FINCHES were reported to be continuing at the Shipley Nature Center at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach through February 26.

A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was reported to continue at Harriett Wieder Regional Park in Huntington Beach on February 26. 


A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued at the Shipley Nature Center at Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on February 22, and another "cont bird" was at Irvine Regional Park in Orange through February 26, where it has been seen in the area between the stables and the maintenance yard. 

An OVENBIRD continued at the amphitheater at Golden West College in Huntington Beach on February 24.


Up to two PALM WARBLERS continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through February 27, where they are typically seen in Pond D, where no palms are present and where they should be called Dirt Warblers.







The monthly Nature Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary will take place on March 2 from 9:00am to 10:30am. Meet at the Audubon House. 

The monthly Bird Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary will take place on March 10 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Audubon House.   


The Big Morongo Preserve field trip will take place on April 27. More details can be found here:



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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