Orange County RBA: August 20, 2020

Jeff Bray


* California

* Orange County

* August 20, 2020

* CAOC20.08.20


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@....




Red Phalarope

Neotropic Cormorant

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Lucy’s Warbler

Northern Parula

Summer Tanager

A RUFF continued in the Santa Ana River in Anaheim through August 17, continuing to keep company with dowitchers upstream of Lakeview in the vicinity of the red brick building.

A probable *LITTLE STINT* was photographed at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine on the morning of August 17. It was seen on Pond C around 7am and never again. Many were sad…

A RED PHALAROPE was at Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach on August 15 and again on August 19. This is a rare occurrence anywhere away from the open ocean.

A cormorant showing features consistent with an immature NEOTROPIC CORMORANT was photographed in San Diego Creek south of University Avenue. While there is a decent chance that this is the county's second record of Neotropic Cormorant, there is not a consensus on the bird yet among local experts. Any additional photos that can be obtained of this bird should it be refound would be very much appreciated.

Five YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were reported this week in the county. A juvenile bird was in the pocket pond at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach from August 14 through August 19. At least 4 different birds were at Dana Point Harbor between August 13 and August 17, including 1 Adult, 1 subadult, and 2 juvenile birds. 

A LUCY’S WARBLER was at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley on August 14 and continued through August 19. Seen in the Nature Area. 

A NORTHERN PARULA was at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley on August 13 and continued through August 19. Seen in the Nature Area.

A SUMMER TANAGER at Gilman Park in Fullerton from August 17 through August 19 somehow didn't get scared off by the landscaping crew virtually clear-cutting the riparian area. 


All Sea and Sage Audubon sponsored field trips have been canceled until further notice due to cautionary measures regarding the coronavirus.


Nothing new scheduled at this time.


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 (jbray3928@...) 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 or 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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