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Old Jan 18, 2011, 11:56 PM   #1
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Default Beach Walk and What are these birds

Yesterday we visited Sea World, grimacing at the entry fee (all amusement parks in California are expensive now). We enjoyed watching the sea lion show, they are always fun. So today I go for a last early morning beach walk before we pack up to leave. And what do I see as I walk past the marina on my way to the beach?

Could have saved myself the entry fee! I wonder if he has to abide by the 15 minute rule?

I'm curious what these little shore birds are. I'm guessing they might be plovers of some sort? I couldn't quite match them up to ones in my field guide. They were quite fun to watch - they would dart back to dry sand when the waves rolled in, then rush back out onto the wet sand to dig. I first noticed them as I was heading back, walking into the sun.

After somewhat carefully walking around them, I managed to get a decently lit shot of one:

Before they decided I was getting too close and they headed further down the beach. The story of my life, taking pictures of tail-feathers!

As usual when walking on the beach, I just have to try shooting surfers. I usually walk out on the jetty to try to get closer to the action, but today the tide was in. Here's what the jetty looked like:

Even with weather sealing I didn't think I wanted to venture out. So I shot from the beach, and wished I had a longer lens. Lighting was sort-of strange. First, I was shooting during the golden hour, but it wasn't entirely that. There was quite a bit of moisture, almost a mist and that increased the yellow light.

Going up:

Making the turn:

Going down:

The K5 has a light shutter and its such a quick camera - it's very easy to take a whole bunch of shots, so I worked on feathering the shutter, taking 3-5 frames at a time. It's very difficult to take just one picture when using continuous shooting.

The surf was fun to watch. The next couple of shots were taken almost into the sun. The pier is a mile away from where I was standing, I think, and these (taken with the DA*300) are significantly cropped. You can get an idea of how it wasn't really clear and the funky lighting. I like the sea gulls in this shot, even though the surf isn't as interesting.

Here's some more interesting surf:

Another one, significantly cropped:

Do you have a preference between these three pictures? I know they aren't all that much different.

It's interesting to see how they manage this area of Oceanside. This past summer the jetty didn't seem to offer much reason for existence - while it marked a side boundary of a wetland area, the water in the wetlands was not connected to the ocean - there was sandy beach cutting it off. This morning the beach was completely gone and the surf was pounding through the wide opening, the jetty serving it's purpose of protecting the harbor and the beach I had been walking on. It sure makes one feel weak and insignificant, watching all that restless water inundating what had been a walkway only a few months ago.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 2:32 AM   #2
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My first thought when I saw those birds was 'Sand Pipers' and here they are, White Rumped Sand Pipers :


I love your surf shots (never seeing anything like that here). My favourite two shots would be #2 - the sand pipers running up the beach and #5 - the solitary surfer standing on the jetty, great shot !

Of the three surf photos I like the first one the best - better clarity and the two gulls enhance the shot, even though the waves are better in the other two.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 3:50 AM   #3
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Hi Harriet,

I think they may be "Dunlin", check out the link. ... Jack

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Old Jan 19, 2011, 6:46 AM   #4
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Some lovely photos - especially nice work on the light & waves!

They do look like some kind of sandpiper to me, but I haven't seen any in many years (not too many seacoasts in Tennessee!). Penolta will surely give you the definitive answer!
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 7:53 AM   #5
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Wonderful shots!..I am not sure of the birds..we don't get many waterbirds being landlocked but I think along your line..a plover of some sort?..Love the shot of the surfer standing up to the waves....."Bring it on!".
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 8:09 AM   #6
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Great shots -- of the three you asked about -- I really like the 1st of the 3 with the gulls in the shot. The spray coming off the waves and the haze in the background are great. I really like that photo.
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