Great capture on the pictures however! Thats really being in the right place at the right time and having the camera ready! No idea what kind of bird it is but we have some savvy MiceChatters who I'm sure will know. The first thing I thought of was a kingfisher but I'm not sure if we have those in So Cal.
I agree that it looks somewhat like a Kingfisher, but it doesn't look like a Belted Kingfisher to me, which is the one I'm used to seeing that has its habitat in California. But I'm not an ornithologist by any means.
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."