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trending topics in last 20 posts.
Last 5 Posts:
· Yellow-headed Blackbird in Santa Ana River (TODAY)
· Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] No Bay-breasted Warbler for me (Sep 18, 2014)
· No Bay-breasted Warbler for me (Sep 18, 2014)
· Red-Billed tropicbird seen off of Dana Point, 9/17/14 (Sep 18, 2014)
· Bay-breast continues 4PM (Sep 17, 2014)
  1. Yellow-headed Blackbird in Santa Ana River LINK
    DATE: TODAY @ 9:54pm, TODAY
    On 9-18 6:50pm, there were two Yellow-headed Blackbird at the big drop structure west of the Imperial Hwy crossing. There were with a big flock of Starlings and black birds.
    Yellow-headed Blackbird, Santa Ana River, 9-18-2014
    Yellow-headed Blackbird, Santa Ana River, 9-18-2014 Explore ychuang1's photos on Flickr. ychuang1 has uploaded 301 photos to Flickr.
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    Yellow-headed Blackbird, Santa Ana River, 9-18-2014
    Yellow-headed Blackbird, Santa Ana River, 9-18-2014 Explore ychuang1's photos on Flickr. ychuang1 has uploaded 301 photos to Flickr.
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    Mike Huang
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  3. Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] No Bay-breasted Warbler for me LINK
    DATE: Sep 18, 2014 @ 4:24pm, 1 day(s) ago
    I was at Marina View Park yesterday after Tom Wurster and Liga Auzins found the bird, but was unable to find it again with theirs or Roger Schoedl's help. I returned again this morning at 7 and looked with four other birders and, once again, could not locate the warbler. 
    Of small note, Tom and I observed a flock of 15 Japanese white-eyes (an accurate count), which appears to be a high number for the park according to current eBird reports. I also observed one western flycatcher this morning darting between an ash tree and a ficus in the southwestern corner.
    Ryan Winkleman
    On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM, Trish G trishrg62@... [OrangeCountyBirding] <> wrote:
    I arrived about noon to find a handful of other birders who had been unable to locate the bird.I stayed about an hour, until the lawn crew motored up.
    Saw about a dozen Japenese White-eye foraging in the trees.
    Trish Gussler
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  5. No Bay-breasted Warbler for me LINK
    DATE: Sep 18, 2014 @ 4:13pm, 1 day(s) ago
    I arrived about noon to find a handful of other birders who had been unable to locate the bird.I stayed about an hour, until the lawn crew motored up.
    Saw about a dozen Japenese White-eye foraging in the trees.
    Trish Gussler
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  7. Red-Billed tropicbird seen off of Dana Point, 9/17/14 LINK
    DATE: Sep 18, 2014 @ 12:39am, 2 day(s) ago
    I thought this might be of interest to the group, I am reporting this sighting for a friend, David Beeninga, who is not yet a member of this group.
    Yesterday, September 17, 2014, while on a whale-watching trip with Dana Wharf Whale Watch, David observed a red-billed tropicbird about 2 miles off of Emerald Point in south Laguna at 1:35 P.M.. It stayed in the general area and then flew off.
    Here is a link to a picture of the bird David Posted on Facebook:
    David Beeninga - Timeline Photos | Facebook
    David Beeninga - Timeline Photos | Facebook A Red-billed Tropic Bird sitting on the water next to an immature gull. We approached it a couple of times but it flew away.
    View on
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    Happy Birding,
    Wendy Miller
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  9. Bay-breast continues 4PM LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2014 @ 4:05pm, 2 day(s) ago
    Bay-breasted Warbler continues at Marina View Park, Costa Mesa 4 PM Sept 17, 2014. With mixed warbler flock in ficus tree overhanging east side of kids playground area.
    Tom Wurster and Liga Auzins
    Garden Grove
    Sent from my iPhone
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  11. Forest Roads in OC remain closed LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2014 @ 1:34pm, 2 day(s) ago
    I had a long conversation yesterday with the USFS regarding when (if, really) Maple Springs (this road name is confusing to some... after the gate, it is variously listed as both Maple Springs Road/Silverado) and other connecting roads will be opened for the public, vehicular or otherwise. As many of you who frequent the forest know, there are quite a number of gates on various roads and the USFS can gate off areas as needed.
    Per my conversation with USFS yesterday, they do not know when the Maple Springs gate will open. They are doing assessments through geo, soil, bio, archaeo, hydro and engineering etc. experts and staff. I think we should know in a week or so, but it is entirely possible that they will close the gate indefinitely and just as likely they won't. Personally, I get the feeling they might close the gate given the fire line ends almost AT the road in the forest for some distance.
    As many of you know, the area burned is extremely steep in places and I would expect that they will not be rehabbing any vegetation (or perhaps only in very few areas) because 1) Reseeding doesn't work on steep slopes and 2) The USFS doesn't have money to rehab--let alone do prevention--given they are spending almost all of their budget these days on firefighting, and 3) They generally let areas like this heal themselves which, imho, is the right approach. That said, rock falls/debris and mudflows and sheeting will likely occur this winter that could be a significant hazard to visitors and vehicles. I was told my county at last night's community meeting that small rock falls are already occurring in adjacent private property areas.
    I found a page on the USFS site that you might want to bookmark if you, like me, use the forest a lot. It is a road closure page:
    You want to pay attention to the Trabuco/Orange County District roads.
    You can get to the road maps on the USFS site by going here (note pdf):
    I walked a good distance yesterday looking at the burn area along Silverado Canyon Road below the gate and let me tell you, it is downright awful. Scary awful. The homes below these slopes are going to take a beating if/when we get rain. Likewise the creek area which I foresee accepting huge amounts of debris/mud/rock which will place even downstream residents in potential flood conditions, particularly in stream deposit cycles. County is in the process of assessing what they need to do to keep the road open and safe, so i would imagine we will be seeing a WHOLE LOT of k-rail along the upper Silverado Canyon road section in the very near future and possibly off/on road closures (which may include opening Silverado Canyon Road to residents only) if we get any significant amount of rain. They have, so far, staged large machinery near Ladd Canyon/Silverado Canyon Roads (staged atop plastic because it is near the stream, and with straw dogs to prevent runoff and to collect oily runoff). County has a lot of experience with this given the 2007 fire in Modjeska where the slopes are not nearly as steep, overall, and drainage acreage much smaller.
    As soon as county determines what needs to be done I guess we will be organizing sandbagging teams again though frankly if I owned and lived in a couple of those homes, I'd be evacuating in heavy rains despite precautions. Yes, it's that bad.
    Anyway, this winter might be the time when people start looking for owls in other places in the forest, which might be interesting if a longer drive.
    I'm doing just fine, BTW, and just helping others try to coordinate the near future--as best that can be done now. I bought well away from the creek (thank you hydrology classes), in areas with no history of slides/rock fall threat (thank you field geology and mapping classes). And while the Bay-breasted Warbler is calling me, I t I will probably not be seeing that bird this year. I miss those of you I see on the trails! See some great birds for me (you seem to be doing that!).
    I'll let you know what USFS decides in upcoming days.
    Happy birding,
    Sherry Meddick
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  13. Bay-breasted Warbler at Marina Park LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2014 @ 7:48am, 3 day(s) ago
    The BBWA was at the SW corner of the park between 0705-0720.
    Mike Sanders
    Laguna Hills
    Sent from my iPhone
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  15. Spotted Dove in Tustin LINK
    DATE: Sep 16, 2014 @ 4:02pm, 3 day(s) ago
    I just had a Spotted Dove land in my backyard. I ran for the camera but it was gone when I returned.
    David Evans
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  17. Bay-breasted Warbler LINK
    DATE: Sep 16, 2014 @ 7:58am, 4 day(s) ago
    BBWA still present this morning at Marina View Park -7:45am. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa
    Sent from my iPhone
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  19. Vermillion Flycatcher LINK
    DATE: Sep 16, 2014 @ 9:38pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Had a male Vermillion Flycatcher at second hole of Players Course at Mile Square Park on Fri - sorry for the late post. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa
    Sent from my iPhone
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  21. Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] Bay-breasted Warbler LINK
    DATE: Sep 16, 2014 @ 8:38pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Based on eBird reports it looks like several people were unsuccessful finding the bay-breasted warbler midday today. I showed up about 5 pm and found Curtis Marantz, Amin Khalifa, and another guy named Johnny in the park already. Curtis said he and Johnny had found the warbler and tracked it across the park high in the sycamores and London planes but had last seen it right at the park's edge an hour prior to my and Amin's arrivals. Over the next hour and a half we were not able to re-find the bird. Roger Schoedl showed up later as well and to my knowledge did not find it while I was there. It could have been pulling another disappearing act like (apparently) earlier in the day or it could have moved on.
    We also only observed western flycatchers while I was there, and Curtis said during the time before I showed up the only identifiable Empidonax flycatchers he had were all western.
    Ryan Winkleman
  22. -back to top-
  23. Bay-breasted Photos, interesting empid LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2014 @ 12:13pm, 4 day(s) ago
    I posted a photo online of the Bay-breasted Warbler. While I was in the park I also found an interesting yellow empid. The bird could just be a Western Flycatcher but the round eye-ring and dark wings with contrasting white wing bars has me potentially considering Yellow-bellied.
    -Tom Ford-Hutchinson
    Irvine, CA
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  25. Re: Bay-breasted Warbler LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2014 @ 10:11am, 4 day(s) ago
    Got here to see the bird when Tom was still on it.  Photo from back of my camera here:
    Jeff Bray
    Irvine, CA
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  27. Bay-breasted Warbler LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2014 @ 9:13am, 4 day(s) ago
    I'm currently looking at a adult male fall plumaged Bay-breasted Warbler (with lots of chestnut on it's flanks) at Marina View Park in Costa Mesa. I'll post pictures later.
    -Tom Ford-Hutchinson
    Irvine, CA
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  29. Fire Map for Silverado/Cleveland National Forest Burn LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2014 @ 6:08am, 5 day(s) ago
    I thought some of you might be interested in this map on the USFS site. Might want to bookmark the location, as well, because all major fire incidents in the forest will come up on here at some point, year-around, every year. I'm still trying to locate fire maps for 2007 and earlier.
    Here is the link: InciWeb the Incident Information System: Silverado Fire
    It is updated a couple times a day. Note the acreage has been reduced (again) from 1200 ac. to 968. This down from a high of 1600 acres. Yeah.
    Here's how to see what's going on on the ground:
    You start out in map view. Click the little + on the scale on the left to enlarge and you will see an orange oval shaped area form.That's the fire area. Keep enlarging. Where you see Maple Springs Visitor Center along Silverado Canyon Road is the (closed for now) Forest gate (aka Maple Springs Gate).
    From there, you can hit satellite (upper right on map) and change it so see more detail, and continue to enlarge etc. You can move the map around by grabbing it and moving in any direction.
    Silverado, thus, I believe, Black Star Canyon but not certain about Black Star, is still closed to residents with ID only. That will likely stay in place until the large machinery (utility and fire) is reduced in number, which is slowly happening. They are, as I understand it, still trying to get all the utilities up that were burned. Mandatory evacs were suspended last night about 7pm, so weary evacuated residents in that section were finally allowed back home.
    The forest gate will remain closed, likely, for at least 24 more hours. Call ahead to the Forestry Station in Corona to find out if the forest is open should you decide to visit. I think they are reachable here: (858) 674-2901
    As far as getting into the forest from Holy Jim or the 74, I have no idea what's going on on that end, so best to call. Because these roads all connect (generally driveable with a 4 wheel or a high carriage 2-wheel drive when DRY, but it's wise to have very good tires with good sidewall protection), they may have closed them, as well. My experience in the past is that when a fire breaks out W of the 74, they herd everyone towards an exit and lock everything behind them. I got locked in earlier this year, in fact, with Vic L, Betina E and Mike H. on the day of the Spring Bird Count. But help was on the way:) A prior time years ago, I just had to get out and leave my car parked inside and find a ride home. No biggie for me, but it would have been a bummer had I lived elsewhere.
    There was still a lot of air activity yesterday, but that ceased mid afternoon--or at least they were no longer flying over my house. The nose of the fire activity (that little edge on the northerly side of roadway 3S04 on the top of the satellite map version) is coming off the ridgeline and separation between Orange and Riverside counties and while it first burned downhill--then up the other side of the drainage--it is still "trending" to lower elevations heading N/NNE and into generally more sparsely vegetated areas, it appears.
    It's really great they were able to keep the fire apparently entirely to the west and north of Maple Springs/Silverado Road as the pine canyons (Pine, Lost Woman and Spruce Canyons and others more easterly) are easterly of this road. I was really concerned about that.
    Winter rains should be interesting on this forest road given expected erosion so I caution those that would venture in to find owls etc. if you are going after a rain. These roads are easily blocked by fallen trees/debris, etc. The same is true in/after Santa Ana winds. I got blocked by a fallen Alder tree in May. Cell coverage out here can be VERY spotty. My advice is to just use your head and be well prepared, call ahead and ask for conditions. I really don't advise going in during or after a decent rain (if we ever get any) particularly after a fire given the huge amount of debris that can come down in both the creek (there are well over a dozen creek crossings you have to drive through or over) and from the hillsides. I could tell you dozens of stories about water, debris and mudflows, none of them good.
    Anyway, thought you might be interested in seeing a map that's actually a bit more useful. I'm off to try to find the Virginia's Warbler which I hope will be kind by making itself obvious.
    Happy birding and think positive; supposed to be a bit cooler today.
    Sherry Meddick
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  31. Warblers LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2014 @ 3:11pm, 5 day(s) ago
    Great day at MSRP with large group of observers for warblers - Virginia's, Hermit,Yellow,Townsend's, Wilson's, Orange-crowned, Nashville & Common Yellow-throat. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa
    Sent from my iPhone
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  33. Virginia Warbler at LNRP LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2014 @ 9:57am, 5 day(s) ago
    All,I had a Virginia Warbler across from shelter 6, at Laguna Regional at the start of the path towards the lake this morning. I also had a townsends.Amin Khalifa
    Laguna Niguel
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  35. Update on the Silverado Fire (long) LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2014 @ 1:11am, 6 day(s) ago
    Thank you, everyone, for your very nice e-mails wishing me (we, here) well. It was deeply appreciated. I thought I would do a single response because I am exhausted. This will no doubt be the very last one, thankfully.
    As of this evening, Orange County Emergency Ops have said that all the fire within Silverado has been put down more or less inferring, I guess, that the remaining fire is the responsibility of US Forest Service. It is expected that Silverado Canyon Road will open tomorrow (thus, I guess, access to Black Star Canyon), but Silverado Canyon east of 33000 and up to the Maple Springs Gate will remain closed (they are still, as of tonight, under mandatory evacuation though many did not leave). They are expected to open that section to the gate to residents only some time tomorrow afternoon per ok by the incident commander. That section of the canyon area is still without power due to burned poles and lines. I do not know how long it will be open to residents only, so best to call the Forest office in Corona before chancing a trip; though in this heat, I wouldn't do it anyway. Birding has been dismal here for a while due to the drought.
    I have NEVER in 40 years here seen the absolutely relentless air strikes that have taken place in the last 36 hours. They almost never stopped, and continue even now, after dark. There were 747, 737, DC-10s and I think a C-class military cargo plane of some sort. Believe me when I tell you that watching a DC-10 drop down a canyon wall and up the other side then make a hard turn it is absolutely breathtaking. And you can imagine the sound in a canyon. Here is a video of the much smaller 737 to get an idea. This fellow flew in from the rear; the DC-10 literally scaled the hills. I don't think anyone took a breath for a full minute. It seemed like incredible flying to me though you couldn't get me on that plane. Vid with sound: 737 Over Silverado
    We lost power Friday night about 10PM. The smoke was very severe and, wisely, a lot of folks with health issues left the canyons. It was pretty bad and I considered it myself at one point, especially given the heat and our inability to cool off after hot days because you are better off not opening the windows. I froze a lot of water to help us all out. The smoke is still apparent tonight, but much better. Prevailing winds change, generally, in the afternoons from easterly to westerly and the smoke hangs lower to the ground when its cooler. Visibility at sunrise was pretty dismal and the smell was very, very strong. Ash everywhere. I have covers on my feeders so a lot of the ash was avoided in regard to the birds. My gray car is now very light gray; not so sure about the interior. When I work my way down through the layers of packing, I'll know.
    For the last 24 hours, I have seen a lot of birds moving down canyon, perhaps to avoid the smoke. Birds I normally see multiple times/day, I did not see at all today and I was outside (cooler than inside) taking helicopter pics off and on.
    Despite the fact that most of the summering hummers are gone, I still have a pair of Black-chinned females and two juvenile males, a bazillion Anna's, a female Costa's and a female Allen's. I don't know how they manage in this heat, but I went through three-plus quarts of nectar today. The Band-tailed Pigeons, which I routinely get in one to two dozen, looked very stressed, constantly mouth breathing to cool themselves. The House Finch made their usual lovely racket but almost entirely in the shade mixed in with Lesser Goldfinch, a couple of Acorn Woodpeckers and a few Oak Titmouse, and Mountain Chickadees--the latter two species being some of the most cheerful birds I can think of. I had a record four White-breasted Nuthatch yesterday and not one today that I saw or heard. Absolutely no raptors, no Turkey Vultures or Ravens, only two Western Scrub-jay. I did see 10 crows fly down canyon and saw a few European Starlings hanging out on phone lines. I have not seen or heard the Canyon Wren (or any Wren) at all, no Northern Flicker, not a single warbler. It's so noisy that the birds must be nuts. I know I am, though I am so grateful for the absolute barrage of helicopters that passed today--and will be equally grateful for hearing a pin drop at 3AM once again.
    For hours upon hours, helicopters passed one about every 35 seconds to one minute. This was constant all day beginning at first light. They fly out directly over my house. Many aspirin were taken. The DC-10 returned for a few passes as well. They wanted to knock this fire down, and they did. Not a single home was damaged, though winter will put many homes, and no doubt entire sections of Silverado Canyon Road, in peril of mud/debris flows. Fire and flood; the dynamics of a canyon.
    Because we were allowed out/in today with a driver's license ID, I had to get dog food (which I had gone to do on Friday when the fire broke out) and on the way in saw a small herd of deer climbing a very steep slope. A neighbor a street over had a mountain lion 20 feet from her door. This is not the first time for the lion there and I fear this will not turn out well. She has a small pool. Might be coming for water. I gave her the number of a mountain lion expert to call for advice. I fear a single cal to Fish and Game will result in another dead lion so trying whatever she can to not have to make that call seems a good strategy. She has a young son.
    I don't know a lot about what in the way of habitat was lost, yet, but I do know an entire mature Live Oak stand (forest in this case) was lost in a deep and very steep runoff canyon. This was also where they were backfiring. I always feel so conflicted when they burn habitat to save homes. We really don't belong in these wild places, but here we are, nonetheless. From my current understanding, Pine Canyon was spared this time (this canyon was severely burnt in 2007), but I imagine, from looking at maps, that the last of the southern-most stand of the Bristlecone is gone. I haven't been up there in a while, so I don't know if it even made it through 2007 fires or the fires before that. I believe this fire, so far, was kept entirely on the north side of Silverado Canyon Road, the ridges and canyons beyond. I can't get a clear sense, yet, of where the fire was in the forest and it is still going inside the forest. There were a lot of ridgelines bulldozed and big machines staged in many places.
    Estimates of acres burned has changed from 1200 acres to 1600 acres and back to 1200 acres. I remarked to a Forest Service fellow that if they stayed just three more days the fire could be at zero acres and wouldn't we all be thrilled. In reality, fire estimates take a lot of reworking in terms of acreage, so it is understandable but fun to think about a more positive alternative reality anyway..
    Tomorrow, assuming all goes as planned, I will be unpacking my car and trying to find the floor and furniture in the house. I know it's here somewhere. I plan to get some badly needed sleep, and with any luck at all, that Virginia Warbler at Mile Square will wait until I can get there on Monday before it continues its journey.
    I'm feeling much better. We dodged a bullet again. The environment didn't, though and a lot of wildlife was no doubt lost. Word is that the fire started in a backyard. I don't know where or how at this point and so far, that is all the Forest Service has said. There's a certain relief it wasn't arson, again, and a certain sadness--almost shame--that all of this happened at all. Oh for a perfect world.
    Again, thank you so much for all your kind thoughts and support. Me and the (very spoiled) birds sure appreciate it. Have a wonderful Sunday birding and find great things!
    Sherry Meddick
    737 Over Silverado A glimpse of the B737 dropping fire retardant over Silverado.
    View on
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  36. -back to top-
  37. Not many migrants but a "highlght" or two LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:45am, 6 day(s) ago
    Made a stop this afternoon (13 September) at Turtle Rock Nature Center, in Irvine, and found it very quiet. Very few birds (as in almost zero migrants), but had a Mountain Chickadee singing in the parking
    lot (curious if this species has begun to colonize this general area, like small numbers have in parts of south county), and also had a Summer Tanager inside the nature center. The tanager was apparently a young male (though not 100% sure), kind of an interesting,
    somewhat blotchy orangey-pink color throughout—not sure I’ve seen many Summer Tanagers that had this coloration—not solid bright red like an adult male, not the olive-yellow or orange (to pinkish)-yellow of some adult females (especially the eastern subspecies),
    or strongly blotchy reddish and yellowy-olive like a male in its second year. After watching it for several minutes it did give one series of calls, but otherwise was quiet. The bird was in a tall cottonwood, and later in an Allepo Pine just down the trail
    (within 100 feet) that goes west once you enter the trail system immediately behind the nature center building.
    In the early evening, looking at just the first series of ponds (A to E) at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Pond D was the only one with much habitat again, and it did have a lot of shorebirds (as well as
    waterfowl, etc.) in it. The only thing of note was a juvenile Ruddy Turnstone; I know there have been a few reports of this species at SJWS over the years, but this was the first I believe I’ve ever seen here, in over 30 years of birding the site (including
    prior to the establishment of the SJWS). There are several shorebird species that are regularly seen, perhaps in small to moderate numbers, along the immediate coast, some of these habitat specialists, which are extremely rare or in some cases unrecorded even
    just a short distance inland; these include Ruddy and (especially) Black turnstones, Sanderling, Red Knot, Surfbird, and a few others. On Pond C there were six or seven Red-necked Phalaropes mixing with just a few Wilson’s Phalaropes. A Least Bittern called
    several times at dusk on Pond A.
    And lastly (sorry as this is a bit long) I just have to relay a fascinating bird interaction event I got to witness this afternoon, shortly after birding Turtle Rock Nature Center. This took place at the
    pond that lies along the south side of Shady Canyon Dr., across from the SW corner of Turtle Rock Community Park, in Irvine. The water is very low currently, and a Great Egret was standing in shallow water a good 20’ out from the edge of the pond. At the
    same time a Pied-billed Grebe had a begging, very young chick following close behind it (I thought it seemed a bit late for this species to have such a young chick). Anyway, as the grebes began getting what I thought was a little close to the Great Egret
    (being the chick was so young), it soon seemed obvious the egret had locked in on the grebe chick and had ideas of grabbing it for its next meal. The egret made several slow but steady strides directly towards the adult grebe with its chick, but then stopped
    short, about 8 to 10 feet away, when the adult Pied-billed Grebe began making some pretty impressive threat displays (puffing up, wings slightly out, head down, making some calls I don’t think I’ve heard a Pied-billed Grebe make). At this point I actually
    can’t remember where the chick was (presumably somewhere behind the adult grebe) as was just fascinated by this adult grebe and egret stand-off (which certainly looked to be a mismatch). It wasn’t a very long stand-off, however, maybe just a few seconds,
    and then the Great Egret made one more slow step towards the grebe. I guess I wasn’t too surprised when the grebe made a charge at the egret, although was impressed by how fast the bird made its “defensive attack.” However, I was very surprised to see the
    grebe, when it charged the egret, grab ahold of the lower leg of the egret! Apparently the egret had not expected this sort of offensive, and it instantly tried to beat a hasty retreat across the pond. But the most astonishing part is that the Pied-billed
    Grebe ends up hanging on to the lower leg of the Great Egret (almost like in Bulldog fashion), even with the egret now DRAGGING THE GREBE along the top of the water. When they soon get to the opposite side of the pond (this being a fairly small pond), the
    grebe finally let go, and the egret was now able to fly up, where it landed in the upper branches of a willow a short distance back from the edge of the pond (where—I’m guessing—it must’ve felt a little embarrassed). I was surprised that the egret never once
    tried to ward off the grebe with its large dagger of a bill—I would’ve thought it might, but it apparently was quite intimidated by the surprising speed and aggressiveness of that grebe parent. I was also surprised the grebe just didn’t let go once it was
    obvious the egret was making a retreat. In any case, I’ll have to admit—seeing that event play out like it did—it gave me a whole lot of new respect for our unassuming little Pied-billed Grebe. Wow. (And like a dummy I had my camera on me and only managed
    to get one very blurry photo of the egret dragging the grebe across the water—doubt I’ll see that happen again).
    Doug Willick
    Orange, CA
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  39. Bank Swallow at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary??? Needs corroboration LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 4:39pm, 6 day(s) ago
    Thought I had one at 11 AM this morning. No one else was around. Too hot. Lots of swallows. This one was light brown and pure white. My only photo is badly aimed and out of focus and doesn't show any markings. This was Pond C. It was in and out, like last year. If you go there keep a lookout for a Bank Swallow.
    Prior to that I walked the San Diego Creek from the Sea And Sage driveway to Tree Hill and saw 5 - 7 Northern Red Bishops along the way, showing themselves, flying about and making noise. In addition I got a Heron 5 bragger along the creek, Great and Snowy Egrets, great Blue, Green and Black-crowned (Night) herons.
    Finally, for what it's worth, I saw an Acorn Woodpecker two days ago in Harriett Wieder Park, across the fence and pipes from the bottom of the gulch. It was looking around from the top of a snag. I swear I heard it call "where the hell are the acorns?" It took off towards the playground and I did not see it again.
    Rick Shearer
    Huntington Beach
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  41. Orange County Travels LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 1:51pm, 6 day(s) ago
    I began the day with the Yellow-crowned Night Heron eating a small crab at Bolsa Chica (photo attached).
    A quick walk through Huntington Central yielded nothing much out of the ordinary except for six photographers surrounding the male Pin-tailed Whydah.
    I then met up with Don Hoechlin at SJWS where things were pretty slow, given the hot conditions. We did see several Barn, Tree and Northern Rough-winged swallows over Pond C and the Wilson's Phalarope's were also present. We then decided to go after the Common Ground Dove and headed to Orchard Hills (all the way East on Culver). We saw a large number of turkey vultures circling there and wondered if the Silverado fire, which was close by, was responsible. Since the Orchard Hills trails are closed to the public, we decided to walk up the sidewalk where we observed several Say's Phoebes and a Western Kingbird before a single Common Ground Dove alighted ten yards in front of us, on the fence. We got good views before it flew back into the restricted area.
    Amin Khalifa
    Laguna Niguel
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  43. Re: MSRP Virginia's LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 1:09pm, 6 day(s) ago
    ?Tom Ford-Hutchinson and I re-found the Virginia's Warbler this morning around 8:30am in the same area described by Jim Pike yesterday.  It was seen with a small flock of other "usual" warblers.  Black-throated Gray, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Townsend's and Nashville.  I had one Hermit Warbler in the same area earlier in the morning as well.  
    The bird favored the tops of the trees, but I was able to get a couple of shots.
    Virginia's Warbler:
    Jeff Bray
    Irvine, CA
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  45. Ground Dove LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 12:01pm, 6 day(s) ago
    Just saw a Ground Dove with Amin Khalifa on the fence next to Orchard Hills Rd just past Portola about 1/4 mile. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa
    Sent from my iPhone
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  47. Yellow-crowned night heron LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 8:34am, 6 day(s) ago
    Just a quick update that the yellow-crowned night heron is "crabbing" with great views from the walkbridge near the Warner
    Interpretive center parking lot. Photos to follow.
    Regards, Amin
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  49. yellow-crowned Night Heron LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2014 @ 7:54am, 7 day(s) ago
    The YCN Heron is sitting in the on the rocks just in front of the Warner Ave bridge now - 0740 am. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa
    Sent from my iPhone
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-revision history-
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'. 

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