Orange County RBA: March 21, 2019

Jeff Bray


* California
* Orange County
* March 21, 2019
* CAOC19.03.21
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@....
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Hairy Woodpecker
Gray Flycatcher
White-throated Sparrow
Palm Warbler
Hermit Warbler

A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was photographed at Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point on March 19. Ryan’s dreams of Orange County getting its first ever Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nesting record in 2019 might be true! This observer's photograph shows an adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron sitting in a nest. It’s not known if it has another Yellow-crowned Night-Heron as a mate, or if it’s shacked up with a local Black-crowned Night-Heron. Time will tell!

A HAIRY WOODPECKER was discovered at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary in Lake Forest (Modjeska Canyon) on March 10 and continued through March 16. It’s a bit of a low elevation to have that species around, although not terribly uncommon. It’s been mostly heard only, around the main office.

A GRAY FLYCATCHER continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through March 19. The Fountain Valley bird is typically seen near the northern entrance off Edinger along the golf course fence line.

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued at Irvine Regional Park in Orange through March 17. It is typically found along the path between the horse stables and the maintenance building. 

Up to two PALM WARBLERS continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through March 19. They are typically seen in Pond D. 

A HERMIT WARBLER was photographed up Silverado Canyon near Bigcone Spring on March 17. This adult male bird is likely a wintering individual, as this would be unprecedentedly early for a migrant. 



The Upper Newport Bay bird walk will take place on Sunday March 31 from 8:00am to 11:00am. Meet at the Big Canyon parking lot. 

The monthly Nature Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary will take place on April 6 from 9:00am to 10:30am. Meet at the Audubon House. 

The monthly Bird Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary will take place on April 14 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Audubon House. 


The next amazing Sea and Sage Spring Pelagic trip will take place on Saturday, May 4.  Spots are still available! If you’re interested, please e-mail Nancy Kenyon: nancykenyon@...


None taking place


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

Jeff Bray
Irvine, CA

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