Spring Arrivals and other sightings – Orange County, California from March 17 to March 22, 2015

Outside of the previous posting for the rare Dusky-capped Flycatcher a few days ago, this week brought some of the spring arrivals back into town.  Namely the Black-and-white Warbler, Hooded Oriole, Wilson’s Warbler and Pacific-slope Flycatcher to name a few.  Also, sightings of the Varied Thrush continue throughout the county and one male was seen on the local Barano Walk Trail in Mission Viejo on Sunday, March 22, 2015.  Curiosity of this Varied Thrush invasion prompted me to do some digging on the net.  I came across an excellent article that’s worthwhile reading if you are interested in the possible reasons for the Varied Thrush invasion which began last fall.  This article is by perhaps one of the most renown ornithologists in California history, Rich Stallcup.

A mid-week adventure on March 18, 2015 to Irvine Regional Park’s Educational Center allowed for excellent views of Cliff Swallows nesting, several adult Red-tailed Hawks and close range viewing of a Rufous-crowned Sparrow.  Images are shown below.

A leucistic California Towhee was seen once again at the end of Peachwood Drive in Lake Forest yesterday, March 21 along with a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  It’s getting late in the season for the Sharpie’s to be in town.  According to the book, The Birds of Orange County, the last known record for this time of year is in the April time frame.

A round up of images for this week are shown below which include their locations and dates.

Here’s a few Black-and-white Warbler photos from Hummingbird Park in Aliso Viejo on March 17, 2015.  This warbler was originally found by Jeff Bray.  Below the set of 4 Black-and-white Warbler photos is an assortment of other bird species photos taken this past week here in Orange County.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler in Aliso Viejo, CA March 17, 2015
Black-and-white Warbler in Aliso Viejo, CA
Black-and-white Warbler in Aliso Viejo, CA March 17, 2015
Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler in Aliso Viejo, CA March 17, 2015
Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler in Aliso Viejo, CA March 17, 2015
Cliff Swallow in nest
Cliff Swallow in nest on March 18, 2015
An adult Red-tailed Hawk with reptile in flight
An adult Red-tailed Hawk with reptile on March 18, 2015
Rufous-crowned Sparrow on March 18, 2015
Rufous-crowned Sparrow on March 18, 2015
California Quail
California Quail at Peachwood Drive on March 21, 2015
California Towhee (Leucistic)
California Towhee (Leucistic) Peachwood Drive – March 21, 2015
Sharp-shinned Hawk (22695)
Sharp-shinned Hawk in flight at Peachwood Drive, Lake Forest on March 21, 2015
Pacific-slope Flycatcher taken at Wilderness Glen Park
Pacific-slope Flycatcher taken at Wilderness Glen Park in Mission Viejo on March 21, 2015
Varied Thrush taken on March 22, 2015
Varied Thrush taken on March 22, 2015 on the Barano Walk Trail, Mission Viejo

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