Intertidal zones are fascinating places to observe nature as they are constantly in flux. The intertidal reef at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay is a terrific place to explore during neap tide cycles, especially during a negative tide. You never know quite what to expect, but the birds are great at this locale, and its a fun place to see them in a different setting.
Last November we took a trip there for a sunset that coincided with a large negative tide, and were greatly rewarded with some interesting wildlife. We even saw a very small octopus that was stranded in a tidal pool near shore, which was a real treat! The top two shots in this post are two of the many willets that were cruising the reef looking for easy prey to pick off. The top shot is of a curious bird that came over a rise and seemed surprised to see me. They look so crazy from straight on, don't they?
The reef was completely different this time compared to when I was last there a little over a year before that. On that trip, in August of 2009, the intertidal zone was not covered by seagrasses like it was this time. Instead, as is shown in the shots below, there was a really fascinating covering of these bulbous pods all across the reef. It was really a surreal landscape, and it was fun to photograph birds, like this black turnstone, in such a weird setting!
It also happened to be quite foggy that morning, which added another layer to this mysterious landscape. Although the birds seemed to be quite at home in this alien-like world.
Submitted as part of the World Bird Wednesday -- Follow this link to see the submissions for this week!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
A western willet scanning the mudflats at low tide for a meal. This is not the usual way I display shorebirds, but there's something that really pulls me into this particular straight-on view. I think its the eyes, and how they are unexpectedly focused forward, which is not how we usually see birds. From this perspective, the placement of the eyes makes the willet seem much more predatory than when its viewed in profile. Taken in Pillar Point Harbor during a negative low tide, with plenty of mudflat exposed.