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.
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 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!
Snowy Egrets aren't found on the cliffs very often, but this one hung around for most of the morning.
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.
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.
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.
The Black Phoebe I photographed coming back to the car after photograhing the Black Skimmers and the Royal Terns on the beach.
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.
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
A warm day and cool birds! Day 2 of my California trip I went to La Jolla, and Scripps Beach, for the pelican and the shorebirds, that can be found there.
There are also Brandt's and Double Crested Cormorants.
Just south of the La Jolla Caves, there's some beach access that often holds shorebirds. I've found Black Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-bellied Plover and Willet here. Today there was mostly gulls and a few Black Turnstones.
I finished the day at Scripps beach, and found the following birds there.
Shorebirds are my favorite group of birds, so whenever I can end the day with a few in golden light I consider it to be a magical ending to a great day. Tally: at the end of Janauray 6th, I had 10 species photographed for the new year, and to quote Robert Frost, "miles to go before I sleep", but many adventures waiting ahead of me.