Showing posts with label Pillar Point Harbor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pillar Point Harbor. Show all posts

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Willet, focused

Willet, focused

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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Calling Plover -- Post 150!

Photograph of a plover calling out on the tidal flats in California

A plover (black-bellied, I believe) calling out along the exposed mudflats during a negative low tide at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. Our trip there on Saturday was a real treat, with a diversity of shorebirds on the flats and some nice tidepooling opportunities along the beach area. We even saw a baby octopus in one of the pools -- which I never would have noticed except for the courtesy of a family pointing it out.

Also, I started this blog in October of 2009, and this post marks the 150th so far. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view what I've uploaded, and please do consider subscribing in your reader if you haven't already. Thanks!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Against the grain

Against the grain

Even when everyone is running in one direction, sometimes its not a bad idea to take a step in the other.

Sanderlings on an overcast evening at Pillar Point Harbor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Everything about sanderlings seems to happen fast.

Sprint formation

They run across the sand fast, they change directions fast, they takeoff fast and land fast.

Fast legs

And sometimes they even come flying into the frame a little too fast.

Sanderling sprint

It would have been great to have some more space on the left of this shot, but sometimes things just happen too fast.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In the crowd

A group of sanderlings in summer plumage along the shoreline of Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. The late afternoon was overcast under a heavy fog that just seems to be around all day, every day this summer in the Bay Area. However, I don't really mind the fog as it means there's a longer window for photography both in the morning and evening, and the colors in their plumage come out nice against the bleak scenery.

In the crowd

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sanderling times two

Sanderling pair

Sanderling duos in summer colors running with the waves at Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. There was a decent sized flock of maybe 40-50 birds there last weekend, however, there were also plenty of dogs around that loved to give chase. So I had to get my shots in between the flocks being spooked and flying off to a different area before eventually being chased by a different dog and coming back to where I was.

Sanderling strut

Monday, April 12, 2010

Brants in the Rain

Brant's are a lovely saltwater goose that I've seen a handful of times along the coast, but never been able to get some nice images of. However, during a February trip to Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay I was able to spend some time with a small group of these delightful birds.


It was a dreary morning, and as it rained on me during most of my trip down the coast, I was questioning my decision to have ventured out. But as usually happens, the times you think about turning around are often great. There was a light rain while I wandered the shoreline watching the shorebirds and some buffleheads that I posted previously. I didn't even bother with this group the first time I passed by, since the previous times I've seen them at Point Reyes National Seashore, they took off as soon as they saw me (long before I even thought of trying to approach them).

Brants at Pillar Point

However, this small group was really laid back that morning, and I was able to approach them easily while they searched along the rocky shore for a meal and collected raindrops on their feathers.

Salad bar

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Marbled godwit at Pillar Point

Marbled godwit at Pillar Point (2of2)

In one of the shorebird ID books I have, they describe the marbled godwit as being the subject of many close encounters for beachcombers on western beaches, and I've found that to hold fairly true. In general, these guys seem less bothered than many other species to have people around, and this one was no exception. Every now and then it would give me a glance to ensure I wasn't doing anything fishy -- but it was mostly focused on finding breakfast.

Probing for breakfast (1of2)

In these shots, I liked that you could see the 'tongues' of all of the clams buried in the sand. Although, I had to wonder if that helped to give their position away to the many birds searching for them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Running through the rain

Running through the rain

These plovers are always surprisingly large to me, perhaps since I've most often seen the much smaller snowy and semipalmated plovers. This guy was hanging out with a handful of other shorebirds at Pillar Point Harbor. I have yet to get a really good shot of one of these, and while I was attempting to do that this one decided enough was enough, and he sprinted away. Well actually he sprinted right in front of my in order to get over to some rocks.

Black-bellied plover running

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bufflehead taking flight

A short series of a male bufflehead taking flight in Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. It was a dreary morning with dark clouds and drizzle, so the shots didn't come out super sharp -- but I always like seeing a frozen moment of a birds footsteps on the water.

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale (1of2)

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale (2of2)

Soaring away