Orange County RBA: March 14, 2019

Ryan Winkleman



* California

* Orange County

* March 14, 2019

* CAOC19.03.14


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@....




Laughing Gull

Mew Gull

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Bald Eagle

Gray Flycatcher

California Scrub-Jay

Bewick's Wren

Orchard Oriole

Palm Warbler


A first-cycle LAUGHING GULL that was found on January 23 at North Lake in Irvine continued through March 9. 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 March 8.


A single second-year YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continued to Linger at Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point on March 10 behind the Nordhavn building. My Dreams of Orange County getting its first ever Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nesting record in 2019 are slowly fading...


An immature BALD EAGLE was photographed at Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach on March 10. This bird is not quite as old as Jeff, whose birthday was yesterday.


The two wintering GRAY FLYCATCHERS continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley and at Irvine Regional Park in Orange, both through March 12. The Fountain Valley bird is typically seen near the northern entrance off Edinger along the golf course fence line, whereas the Orange bird is typically around Parking Lot 2. 

A CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY was an unusual find at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on March 8. Like Bewick's Wren (see rant below), this species is rare in Huntington Beach and should always be well-documented. You can consider future documentation an ongoing gift to Jeff, whose birthday was yesterday. The bird was in the palms by the tide gate.

A BEWICK'S WREN was out of place at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on March 8. Even though this species does not get flagged in the north coastal area in eBird (because it can be commonly found in the southern, *cooler* half of the county), Bewick's Wren should always be well-documented anywhere in Huntington Beach, where it is actually quite rare, and is actually almost never supported with any documentation in eBird. Birders in Huntington Beach should make an extra effort to obtain confirmation if they think they see or hear a Bewick's Wren, or they may risk getting a dreaded email from me asking for more information or even going on Brian Daniels' blacklist for birds reported at Huntington Central Park with no documentation. Plus since Jeff's birthday was yesterday it can be a great gift to him!

An adult male ORCHARD ORIOLE was photographed in a residential yard in Anaheim on March 10.


Up to two PALM WARBLERS continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through March 11. They are typically seen in Pond D. Jeff did not see them during his field trip on March 10, despite it being his birthday week (birds don't care about your birthday).






The Bolsa Chica Bird Walk at Bolsa Chica Wetlands will take place on March 21 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Harriet Wieder Regional Park playground area.





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 was held already and the advanced workshop will be held 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. We don't include hybrids, subspecies, introduced or exotic birds, or in most cases and for no real reason, geese. 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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