Orange County RBA: March 28, 2019

Jeff Bray


* California
* Orange County
* March 28, 2019
* CAOC19.03.28
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@....
Mew Gull
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Gray Flycatcher
Plumbeous Vireo
White-throated Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Black-and-white Warbler
Palm Warbler

An adult MEW GULL was at Warner Basin in Anaheim on March 21.

An immature YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continued at Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point on March 24, and an adult continued at a nest at Doheny State Beach on the same date. Based on the observations of Robert McNab and Ryan Winkleman, it does not appear likely that this is actually an active nest (yet, anyway). However, we will continue to observe the bird and see if it appears that actual active nesting is occurring over time. If so, this would be the first known nesting attempt for this species in Orange County.

A GRAY FLYCATCHER continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through March 26, and another continued at Irvine Regional Park in Orange through March 24. 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 PLUMBEOUS VIREO was found at Twila Reid Park in Anaheim on March 24 and continued through March 27. If you chase it, be aware that apparently you have to stand at the pines and look up for the bird until your head falls off.

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued at Irvine Regional Park in Orange through March 27. It is typically found along the path between the horse stables and the maintenance building. 

A VESPER SPARROW was found up on the mesa portion of the Puma Ridge Trail at Irvine Regional Park in Orange on March 22 and continued through March 24. It has been loosely associating with a flock of Savannah Sparrows but is not tied to them.

A long-staying BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER continued at Aurora Park in Mission Viejo on March 27, and another bird was reported at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley, north of the Nature Center, on March 26.

A PALM WARBLER continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through March 24. It has been typically seen in Pond D. 



What is the OCSC?

The OCSC (Orange County Spring Count) is part of a nationwide migration count, similar to a Christmas Bird Count, but timed to the opposite half of the migration cycle. Again this year the OCSC is being expanded to try to capture more of the birds that migrate through the county. Sea and Sage is encouraging birders to participate anytime during the months of April and May. This will allow us to see and count more of the species that migrate through the county. Again, this year we will try to focus on the best areas for birds since comprehensive coverage of the entire county is not a realistic goal.

How you can participate:

One of the objectives of Environment for the Americas (the sponsor of the hemisphere wide count) is to enter all of the data into eBird. This means that it is very simple to participate.

All of the regularly scheduled bird counts in April and May will be included in the OCSC. The dates do not need to change.

I will also include the checklists from all of the Sea and Sage field trips in Orange County held during April and May.

Many of you already use eBird. You can enter your Spring Count data directly into eBird for any birding that you do during April and May. You don’t have to send tally sheets to anyone. All that is needed is to share the eBird check list with the Sea and Sage Audubon eBird account. (The eBird user name is sea_sage_aud).

If you don’t currently use eBird, you can sign up. It’s free!

A goal for the OCSC is to count all the “Top 100 Hot Spots” shown in eBird. It does not matter how many times a particular spot is covered. Users of the eBird data can sort that out.


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. For a livelier trip, ask trip leader Jeff if there are any Yellow-headed Parrots at Irvine Regional Park.


There is still room on the April 12th Owl Prowl at Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary. Email Nancy Kenyon at nancykenyon@....

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

Join to automatically receive all group messages.