Monday, September 3, 2012

Dockweiler Beach State Park

March of the Whimbrels
I dropped Ben off at LAX. Hmm, pretty close to the coast... A quick scan for shorebirds?  I drove north up Vista Del Mar. I look to my left and see a large group of something. Worth checking out. I park my car, walk across the sand, and look up the shoreline. A ha!

Sanderlings! Not exactly unexpected, but I haven't been to the beach at all this summer so a pleasant sight.  I look up the shoreline some more. Oh!
Whimbrels! Never seen this many at once before. Another look up the beach. Wow!
Marbled godwits! In huge numbers! (We're lucky to see one or two a year on the East Coast). Up go the binoculars. There, between the Heermann's gulls and the Western gulls, what's that?
 Terns! What kind? I'm awful at tern identification, but they look like non-breeding royals. I was able to catch a noisy group of them flying around in chase. The leader has a fish.

 I liked the industrial backdrop. More the truth of this area than a pristine beach.

 I'm almost positive this is a group of royal terns. I think there may have been some elegants in the larger group but I don't have good photo evidence.

Such riches of whimbrels and godwits.

I managed to walk all the way around the shorebirds and took the following photo from the opposite side.
And did get this photo looking toward the north of what at least appears to be a pristine beach (mostly devoid of shorebirds too).
Well, this is the last Southern California post. Time to go discover again the riches of the East Coast.

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