Orange County RBA: September 3, 2020

Jeff Bray


* California
* Orange County
* September 3, 2020
* CAOC20.09.03

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@....


Pacific Golden-Plover
Baird’s Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Neotropic Cormorant
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Swainson’s Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Black-throated Sparrow
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Lucy’s Warbler
Northern Parula

A PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER was reported from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach on September 2, where this species has wintered in small numbers for years.

A RUFF continued in the Santa Ana River in Anaheim through August 31. It is apparently moving around now and may be found closer to Imperial Highway than previously.

A BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was in the wetlands below Harriett Wieder Regional Park in Huntington Beach on August 28.

A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was in the Santa Ana River in Anaheim on August 28. Seen somewhere between Tustin and Lakeview.

A SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was in Peters Canyon Creek in Irvine on August 29 and continued through August 30. It was seen behind Harvard Community Park.

An adult NEOTROPIC CORMORANT continued at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine through September 1. Likely the same bird was seen roosting in a tree at Mason Regional Park on August 29. 

A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was at Dana Point Harbor on August 30 and a juvenile was photographed at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine on September 2 on Pond B.

Nine SWAINSON’S HAWKS were over Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach on August 31.

An adult ZONE-TAILED HAWK was photographed over the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo on August 31. This may be the same bird that has wintered in the Arroyo Trabuco for the last 5 years. 

An immature BLACK-THROATED SPARROW was photographed at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in Buena Park on August 30.

A female-type YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was photographed on Peters Canyon Creek in Irvine on August 27. 

A LUCY’S WARBLER continued in the Nature Center of Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through September 2. 

A NORTHERN PARULA continued at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley through September 2 in the Nature Center.


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


Sylvia Gallagher will be hosting the introductory visual workshop Birds of Southern California this fall from October to December. You can find out more information here:


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

Join to automatically receive all group messages.