Orange County RBA: January 23, 2020

Jeff Bray


* California
* Orange County
* January 23, 2020
* CAOC20.01.23

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@....


Eurasian Wigeon
Black Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Mountain Plover
Laughing Gull
Little Blue Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Zone-tailed Hawk
Lewis's Woodpecker
Gray Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Plumbeous Vireo
Brown Thrasher
Swamp Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
American Redstart
Pine Warbler

A EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Pearson Park in Anaheim through January 18.

An adult male BLACK SCOTER was found around the Huntington Beach Pier on January 13 and continued through January 22.

Up to three COMMON GOLDENEYES continued in the Santa Ana River adjacent to Yorba Regional Park in Anaheim through January 16. Two birds were seen along the San Diego Creek between Jamboree and the 73 in Irvine on January 18. Four birds were seen along the Santa Ana River between the PCH and Hamilton Ave in Costa Mesa on January 17.

A MOUNTAIN PLOVER first found at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on December 6 continued through January 22. It’s been seen most reliably inside the Least Tern nesting area at the end of the walkbridge coming from the PCH parking lot.

A LAUGHING GULL continued at North Lake in Irvine through January 17.

A LITTLE BLUE HERON continued at Talbert Marsh and around the Santa Ana River mouth through January 21.

A *TRICOLORED HERON* continued in Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach through January 21. This is a CBRC review species, meaning documentation of any sightings should be forwarded to Tom Benson at secretary@....

A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continued at Dana Point Harbor on January 18 in the usual locations around the Nordhavn building and along the shore.

A ZONE-TAILED HAWK was photographed at Aurora Park in Mission Viejo on January 20.

A LEWIS'S WOODPECKER continued at Caspers Wilderness Park off Ortega Highway, just past the entrance, through January 22.

A GRAY FLYCATCHER was found at the Quail Hill Trailhead parking lot in Irvine on January 18 and continued through January 22.

A VERMILION FLYCATCHER, rare near the coast, continued near the entrance to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in Seal Beach, also on January 21.

A BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER continued in the willows off Chrisanta north of La Paz on on January 22.  

A TROPICAL KINGBIRD continued at The Great Park in Irvine on January 18 near the Reflecting Ponds.

A PLUMBEOUS VIREO was found at Eucalyptus Park in Anaheim on January 21 and continued through January 22.

A BROWN THRASHER continued at Aurora Park in Mission Viejo through January 22 in the southeast section of the park where the large Brazilian pepper tree is growing near the top of the windy trail down to the lower section.

A SWAMP SPARROW continued at Bart Spendlove Memorial Park in Mission Viejo through January 21. It is still in the same spot that it was in in early December, the southern end of the small drainage ditch between the park and railroad tracks. It's typically seen around the large tree tobacco shortly before the cement apron.

A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE continued at Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park in Huntington Beach on January 22 in the vicinity of the playground.

An OVENBIRD continued at Goldenwest College in Huntington Beach on January 20. The bird was refound in the same general area, around the amphitheater off of Gothard and Center, west of the parking lot.

An AMERICAN REDSTART was found around the willows off Chrisanta north of La Paz on on January 18.

A PINE WARBLER was reported to continue at Good Shepherd Cemetery in Huntington Beach through January 18.



The monthly Upper Newport Bay bird walk will take place on January 26 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 February 1 from 9:00am to 10:30am. Meet at the Audubon House.

The monthly Bird walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary will take place on February 9 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Meet at the Audubon House.


The Upper Newport Bay pontoon boat trips are held on the third Wednesday of every month but are full until March. You can email Nancy Kenyon at nancykenyon@... to sign up for the February waitlist or later.

The Owl Prowls at Starr Ranch Sanctuary will start up on March 6. Reservations required. More info here:


None coming up.


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 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