We spent most of May in Crescent City, California which is on the extreme North Coast of the state. Its an old fishing town and the park we stayed in was on the beach, between the harbor and lighthouse. We grew accustomed to the sound of the fog horn and missed it the first night away from there.
There were a variety of birds, in fact so many I decided to devote a journal page to them. Shorebirds are easier to photograph than song birds. They stand around more and are usually bigger. Most of the birds stay together in a group. I noticed the large gulls group together and the other birds tend to stay in the same vicinity but on the outskirts. There’s safety in numbers.
These birds are a joy to watch in flight. Elegant is the word that best describes them.
Great Blue Heron
This solitary bird came to the beach many nights when the tide was in. One evening I inched my way up toward it taking pictures every 10 steps or so, expecting it to leave at any time. It allowed me to get quite close, then flapped its huge wings and took off. When I turned around a young couple walking on the beach told me they had been watching me. We all had a laugh at my nerd-like behavior.
Squawking at me before it took off.
One afternoon we walked down to view St. George’s Lighthouse, which is off shore. These whimbrels were the only birds on the beach.
This Redknot was standing alone on the periphery of the gulls. I read recently that its habitat is endangered. It migrates as far as the antarctic.
A small sized gull. Not very plentiful.
These birds seemed to stay together and away from the gulls.
One evening I sat on the bluff watching these egrets. It was obvious the one on the right was a male. He tried over and over to get close to the female, but as soon as he made a move she put space between them again.
Only on rare occasions did these divers come close to shore with the other birds. At one point the winds were very high (35-40 mph) and I walked out on the sand to get photos of them. The tide was out and I was able to get fairly close. You can often spot them following the boats.
This fierce little bird must have had young nearby. On my first encounter with it I took a lot of time standing still taking photos. Later I found that when I came down the path to the beach it ran out and often fanned its tail feathers. I worried about it because people allow their dogs to run into the area where it lived and there were a couple of feral cats hanging around. I only saw it fly once and it resembled the streamlined grace of the terns. It has a sharp, shrill song.
I saw this quick little fisher when walking along the pier. It has bright orange feet and a pointed bill.
I did manage to get photos of a few songbirds.
The red spot gives this bird its name.
A family of starlings were teaching the young to fly. Right before I took the first picture the mother (on the end) had been feeding one of the chicks.
Bruce and I refer to the gulls and ravens as “The Usual Offenders.” These two took the prize.