Orange County RBA: May 2, 2019

Jeff Bray


* California
* Orange County
* May 2, 2019
* CAOC19.05.02
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@....

Calliope Hummingbird
Solitary Sandpiper
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Evening Grosbeak
Green-tailed Towhee
Black-and-white Warbler

Two CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRDS were seen in Silverado Canyon on May 1. They were seen together at the end of the paved road.

A SOLITARY SANDPIPER was found at John Baca Park in Huntington Beach on April 28 and continued through May 1. It was seen in the drain basin, which is located near the north entrance to the park off of Ellis Ave. 

An adult YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was reported at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine on April 30. It was seen roosting with a Black-crowned Night-Heron. No other details provided by the observer.

An EVENING GROSBEAK was reported at a private residence in Westminster on April 29. The observer reported it was a male, seen at the water feature. There are only five accepted records of this species in Orange County: four in 1996 and one in 2009. The date of this report seems to fit a mid- to late spring time period when migrants occasionally pass through southern California (especially the deserts and mountains)—even in years when no significant irruption has otherwise occurred.

A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was reported from a private residence in Newport Beach on April 28.
A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER was reported from Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on April 30. It was seen around the “island” area. Another one was seen at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary in Modjeska Canyon on April 25.



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 will take place at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine on May 4 from 9:00am to 10:30am. Meet at the Audubon House.

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


None taking place.


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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