RBA * California * Orange County *December 8, 2016 * CAOC16.12.08
This is the Orange County, CA weekly Rare
Bird Alert (RBA) and local events summary. California Bird Records Committee
(CBRC) review species are marked with asterisks below. All documentation of
review species should be forwarded to the CBRC secretary, Tom Benson, at secretary@... .
Tufted Duck Long-tailed Duck Common Goldeneye Mew Gull Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Bald Eagle Ferruginous Hawk Short-eared Owl Williamson’s Sapsucker “Western” Flycatcher Vermilion Flycatcher Bell’s Vireo Mountain Bluebird Lapland Longspur Northern Waterthrush Black-and-white Warbler Palm Warbler Clay-colored Sparrow Summer Tanager Baltimore Oriole
A TUFTED DUCK that was found on the Santa
Ana River in Anaheim on November 20 is still being seen at the same location as
of December 7. The bird has thus far been reliably found in the vicinity of the
bridge at Lakeview, sometimes in the river itself and sometimes in the
A female LONG-TAILED DUCK was found at
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on November 24, followed by
a male on November 28. Both birds have continued to be reported together
through December 4 mostly in the area of the inner bay, where they have been
reliably seen there about 100-200 yards north of the PCH parking lot along the
western edge. The female was most recently reported alone on December 5, and
the male was observed alone on December 6.
Two COMMON GOLDENEYES continue in the
lake at Mason Regional Park in Irvine as of December 7. In addition, three
Common Goldeneyes were observed on December 1 at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
in Huntington Beach. The birds were observed in a pond near the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service trailer at the end of Graham; this area is not open to the
A MEW GULL was reported on the Santa Ana
River in Anaheim on December 4. This first cycle bird, a rarity at inland
locations, was seen in a pond west of Lakeview Avenue.
A THAYER’S GULL was reported on the Santa
Ana River on December 5. This first cycle bird, a rarity at inland locations,
was seen between Lincoln Avenue and Glassell Street.
A GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL was reported at
Carl Thornton Park in Santa Ana on December 2. This first cycle bird, a rarity
at inland locations, was seen at the pond with other gulls.
A YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was found at
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on December 1 and continued through
December 4. The bird has been observed near PCH and the tide gate.
A BALD EAGLE has been reported on the
Santa Ana River since late October and was most recently reported on December
6. While it has been reported as far west as Glassell Street and Tustin Avenue
and as far east as near Imperial Highway, it has been most reliably observed between
Tustin Avenue and Lakeview Avenue. This is undoubtedly a returning bird that
was present in the same area through last winter and may have been present in
previous winters (though this is uncertain).
A FERRUGINOUS HAWK was observed at Bolsa
Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on December 4. The light morph juvenile
bird was observed flying over the Brightwater Trail. Now that Orange County has
lost long-standing open habitat at the Great (Deception) Park in Irvine, any
Ferruginous Hawks located outside of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons
Station/National Wildlife Refuge are considered a rarity.
Two SHORT-EARED OWLS were reported at
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach on December 1, although the
birds had originally been observed earlier in the week. They were observed
flying around in Nest Site 1, the sandy area extending south from the fenced
area across the walkbridge by the PCH lot.
A WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER was found in the
gated community of Laguna Woods Village on November 26 and was last reported on
December 4. This is a private area that is accessible by invite only from a
guest within the community.
A “WESTERN” FLYCATCHER was reported at
Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley on December 5. The bird was seen
and heard in eucalyptus trees to the west of the main entrance. A VERMILION FLYCATCHER was found at Mason
Regional Park in Irvine on December 3 and continued to be reported through
December 6. The immature male bird has been reported on the western side of the
park, sometimes in the northwest corner. Another immature male bird was
reported at the nearby San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary on December 5 and 6.
While this species now occurs year-round at certain locations in the county, it
otherwise continues to be a rare winter resident in Orange County.
A BELL’S VIREO was observed at John Baca
Park on December 4. This continuing bird has wintered at this park since fall
of 2013 and is one of only about a half-dozen records of wintering Bell’s
Vireos for Orange County.
Five MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS were observed in
the vicinity of the UCI Marsh in Irvine on December 7. These birds were found
in a grassy field to the southwest of the Arboretum. This area is not open to
the public and there is no legal access without prior authorization.
A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was found on Seal
Beach Naval Weapons Station/National Wildlife Refuge in Seal Beach on December
3 and was reported again on December 5. The bird was in a mixed flock of Horned
Larks in the large agricultural fields on the eastern side of the installation,
south of Westminster Avenue. This species has been recorded annually at Seal
Beach for the last five years but is still considered a rarity in Orange
A NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was reported at
Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach on December 7. This is presumably a
continuing bird that has been reported at the park for the last several
winters. It was found away from where it is usually reported, and was in some
Brazilian pepper trees to the east of the bathroom near the Park Bench Café.
A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER that was found
at Mason Regional Park in Irvine on November 26 continued through December 6.
It has usually been observed in the northwest corner of the park. Another
Black-and-white Warbler was reported on December 7 at Carbon Canyon Regional
Park in Brea, west of the park office near the oil company facility.
A PALM WARBLER was observed on the Santa
Ana River at Lakeview in Anaheim on December 4. It was hanging around a pond at
A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continued to be
seen on December 6 with a flock of Dark-eyed Juncos at Craig Regional Park in
Fullerton.The bird was observed near the playground by the park office.
A SUMMER TANAGER continued at Mason Regional
Park in Irvine through December 4. This adult male bird was observed in the trees
in the northwest portion of the park, and has been known in the past to fly
across University to the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course. Another continuing
female-type Summer Tanager was last reported on December 6 at Mason Regional
Park in the trees to the south of the lake. A third female-type Summer Tanager
was observed at Santiago Park in Santa Ana on December 3 in sycamore trees to
the south of the lawn bowling area.
A BALTIMORE ORIOLE was found at Mason
Regional Park in Irvine on December 3 and continued to be reported through
December 6. The bird has been most reliably found along the creek running at
the northern end of the park, west of the entrance and north of the lake.
The monthly bird walk at San Joaquin
Wildlife Sanctuary will be conducted on December 11 from approximately 8 to
noon. No reservations are required. Meet in front of the Audubon House.
The next Upper Newport Bay pontoon boat
field trip will be held onDecember 21from8:15 to 11:00. If
you are interested in attending, make your reservations as soon as possible by
emailing Nancy Kenyon. See here for more details: http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org/FieldTrips/fieldtripscurrent.htm#UNBpontoon .
The annual Christmas Bird Count will
occur onDecember 17(San Juan Capistrano),December
18(Inland), andJanuary 1(Coastal). If you are interested in
participating in any of the counts this year, please refer to the official
website, determine which count group you want to participate in, and email that
area leader for more details: http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org/BirdInfo/BirdCounts/CBC/CBCbirdcounts.htm .
Sylvia Gallagher’s “More Birds of Coastal
Southern California” class will begin the first week in January 2017 and is
expected to run until May. You must enroll in advance by sending the
registration form to Sylvia. Registration began on December 5 and these popular
classes tend to fill up pretty quickly. The enrollment form is located
here: http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org/Classes/MoreBirdsCoastalSCA.pdf .
********************************************************* The Orange CountyRBAand
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 ( http://ebird.org/content/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 Doug Willick at doug.willick@... .
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) and/or "Birds of Southern
California" (Garrett and Dunn). Rarities that regularly or seasonally
occur at a particular location, such as annually wintering rarities on Seal
Beach National Wildlife Refuge, are not included in this digest, but reports of
these same species occurring at other, atypical locations throughout the county
may be included. 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 ( http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org/ ).
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 http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org/FieldTrips/fieldtripscurrent.htm . 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.