November 13, 2006

Birds and the Beach

After leaving Albuquerque we headed for southern California to attend a wedding of two friends from back east. We arrived a little early so we decided to explore the coast around Malibu and Oxnard a bit. We found this beautiful little beach just off the Pacific Coast Highway and spent four hours relaxing in the sun and sand.

It's been a while since either Sonja and I have been on a "swimming" beach, so it took a few minutes to learn how to judge where to stand. Sonja took a little longer to figure it out than I did...




Did anyone else see that coming a mile away? Heh...

We also got a chance to do a little birding while on the beach. Both of us ended up with several life species that afternoon, including the Heerman's Gull:

We also had a small flock of Sanderlings in winter plumage racing the surf back and forth across the beach. If the waves got too close, they'd all jump into the air and fly back and forth for two or three minutes before settling back on the sand to do it all over again.

Here's a video of the sanderlings running around in the sand and looking like a pack of rabid mice:



We also saw quite a few Western Gulls hanging around.

Several Willets, like the one below, spent about an hour foraging with the Sanderlings and a group of Marbled Godwits. They weren't quite as entertaining as the Sanderlings, but they were still very cool to watch.

That picture actually turned out pretty good, eh? It's neat how his tracks catch your eye and lead right up to the Willet, who seems to be looking back at the camera. I'm so talented!
Here's one of the Marbled Godwits we saw:


Ok, so maybe I'm the only one that found that video entertaining. I mean, come on! It's a freakin' Marbled Godwit! What could possibly be more exciting than that?

3 comments:

Dave said...

I mean really, What IS more exciting than a Marbled Godwit? Well Harpy Eagle maybe...

P. Ollig said...

I dunno...if a Marbled Godwit and a Harpy Eagle were both foraging on the same beach I'd be hard pressed to decide which one to watch.

Now, if we were talking about, say, one of these instead...

kippur said...

Did someone say bird?

Nice montage of photos.