Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds, Fun Locations

San Diego Woskhop 1/6/15

Bird PhotographyTim Boyer

This was my fourth workshop and sixth trip to the wonderful San Diego area for wintering birds, some warm weather and a lot of fun.  Here are a few images from the first couple of days.  

Pacific Ocean before sunrise
Pacific Ocean before sunrise

There's just something calming and peacful about the sunrises in La Jolla.  Every time on on the cliffs waiting for the sun to rise in the East, I keep an eye out towards the horizon on the western ocean.  There are almost always some pink and purple skies that develop just before the sun rises over the  hills.  It's kind of magical, and a wonderful sense of awe fills me up.

Brown Pelican in breeding plumage, preening in morning sunlight.
Brown Pelican in breeding plumage, preening in morning sunlight.

Brown Pelicans I could watch all day.  They might be asleep one minute then tossing their heads in the air the next, or they preen and shake their heads over the feathers on their backs that they've just preened, so the oil gets on their heads and necks.  The image below I've never seen this angle of a head throw!  That pouch looks so big!

Brown Pelican head throw to stretch it's pouch or throat.
Brown Pelican head throw to stretch it's pouch or throat.
Snowy Egret on the cliffs of La Jolla at high tide.
Snowy Egret on the cliffs of La Jolla at high tide.

Snowy Egrets aren't found on the  cliffs very often, but this one hung around for most of the morning.

Black Skimmer resting.
Black Skimmer resting.

I don't know of many birds that just plop themselves on the ground and rest like Black Skimmers do.  At first I thought they were dead or injured, but they're just taking a nap, soaking in the warmth from the sand.  Not a bad idea, really.  They are usually resting or standing together in tight groups so getting an angle where there's only one in the frame can be a challenge.

Royal Tern calling out.
Royal Tern calling out.

Amongst the Black Skimmer were some Royal Terns. They were a little more vocal then the Skimmers, don't allow much of a close approach, so use a big lens and stay back or the whole beach will clear out at once.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

I had a a chance to  photograph this Yellow-rumped Warlber in the trees by the parking lot.  One of the things I teach on my workshops is be ready, and I had the right settings preset on my camera and was able to get this shot off quickly before it flew.

Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe

The Black Phoebe I photographed coming back to the car after photograhing the Black Skimmers and the Royal Terns on the beach.

Spotted Sandpiper feeding
Spotted Sandpiper feeding

I really like taking the workshop particpants to the Scripps Pier area.  Besides the obvious landscape images of the pier there are a number of shorebirds there.  This Spotted Sandpiper really stretched itself out, nabbing bugs on the rocks.

Scripps Institute Pier aat sunset.
Scripps Institute Pier aat sunset.

I tried to get a different image this year.  So, I stepped to the  right and offsetting the view down the pilings.  The endless view is still there and it's a little more interesting then the dead down the center view.  Although I still really like last years image still.

Enjoy!   Thanks  Tim