Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani, La Jolla

I don't have the discipline to be a real bird photographer, but when seabirds (which are my favorites) walk right up to me I will of course do my best to get an image. This black oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) was walking among the sea lions on Alligator Head one recent…
February 4, 2022

Allen’s Hummingbird, Adult Male, La Jolla

I came across this gorgeous tiny male Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) while walking the coast trail in La Jolla. I had actually seen this specific bird on one particular shrub repeatedly over several days, and one an overcast morning decided to stop and take its portrait.  Cheers, and thanks for…
January 20, 2022

Cormorant Coming in Hot

Cormorants are another of my favorite birds. I've spent a lot of time underwater with them, watching as they submerge -- up to 100' deep! -- and hunt through schools of bait, or pick around among detritus on the sea floor. Photographing them in flight is not one of strong…
January 14, 2022
BirdsSan Diego

Western Grebes and Clark’s Grebes Rushing on Lake Hodges

Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's Grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) exhibit some of the most elaborate and impressive courtship behavior found in the animal world, including various vocalizations, swimming movements, the exchange of nesting material ("weed ceremony") and, most notably, the "rushing ceremony".  When grebes rush, they rise entirely out of…
March 9, 2021

Photos of California Brown Pelicans in La Jolla

Since I dive with seabirds and often have fine opportunities to observe them in and under the water, photography of seabirds holds a certain appeal and I do pursue it from time to time. However, there is really only one bird that I have been able to photograph well, primarily…
January 31, 2019
San Diego

Paradise in February: San Diego

President's Weekend was nice here. The rest of the country is freezing, yup that's pretty bad. Southern California is in the midst of a bad drought and our Sierra Nevada is missing its usual snowpack which is going to hurt in the coming months, but at least the warm winter…
February 18, 2015
BirdsLa JollaPelicans

La Jolla Birds

La Jolla birds as of this morning. I had until 8:45 before catching the end of Sarah's practice so I went down the coast highway. There were some waves in Encinitas but nothing special. Spectacular clearing mist at Torrey Pines at sunrise. In La Jolla the light changed much and…
February 7, 2015

Ring-Billed Gull, Larus Delawarensis, La Jolla

Once in a while I will photograph seagulls. I really should spend more time on them, since they can at times be beautiful in the right light and when in good condition. Unfortunately, gulls often they look like crap, and when I see them out on the water I invariably…
February 6, 2015

Heermann’s Gull, Larus heermanni

The Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni), photographed when I am out and about in La Jolla and North County. Lately I have been trying to frame seabirds against blue water, or have the ocean horizon in the image to anchor the composition and help tie the animal with the ocean. Cheers,…
February 1, 2015

California Brown Pelicans, La Jolla, December 2014

A PDF guide to photographing these pelicans: Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla. If you like these photos, you can also see lots more blog posts from past sessions photographing California brown pelicans in La Jolla. Or, I've got a gallery of some keepers on my website, but most…
December 10, 2014

California Brown Pelicans, Winter Plumage, La Jolla

The plumage of La Jolla's California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) has been especially striking this year, it seems there are more really red throats and deep brown necked adult brown pelicans on the bluffs than usual. I also find it interesting how much color variation there is in the bills…
January 20, 2014

La Jolla Bluffs, Gulls, Cormorants and Pelicans

I have not been down to the La Jolla bluffs for a couple weeks to see my favorite seabirds, the California race of the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), so I thought I would take a look this morning. I had hoped the projected swell would be up this morning, allowing…
January 18, 2014

California Brown Pelicans in Flight, La Jolla, California

The morning light along our coast has been very nice lately, not to mention our temps have been balmy while the rest of the country is in deep freeze. I've had a couple nice morning sessions photographing my favorite seabirds, the California race of the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), including…
January 6, 2014

Ghost Cormorant

A cormorant speeds home to its nest in the La Jolla seacliffs, flying just above the waves. Shot long before sunrise, this image is blurred from the long time the shutter was open.
January 1, 2014

End of the World Pelicans

I figured the Mayan World's End is coming soon, so I would go photograph some pelicans before it was all over. Here are a few new photographs of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus). Cheers, and thanks for looking! Brown pelican in flight. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over…
December 20, 2012

Braking to Land

This morning offered about 30 minutes of good light before the clouds took the sun away. Here are a few of photographs of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) returning from the ocean where they have been foraging for food, spreading their large wings wide as they brake to land on…
December 16, 2012
La JollaPelicans

Brown Pelicans

This morning I photographed brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) in La Jolla. I really don't need any more photos of pelicans but the setting is so beautiful that I keep returning. I've enjoyed these cliffs for 30 years. (We used to cliff dive off of them in college but now…
February 13, 2010
AlaskaBald EagleWildlifeWisdom

Photographing Bald Eagles in Homer, Alaska

Photographing Bald Eagles in Homer AK -- What Worked and What Didn't Bald eagle in flight, banking over beach with Kachemak Bay in background. Image ID: 22613 Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA If you have seen much of this web site,…
March 29, 2009

Brown Pelican Photo

See my Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla. This brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) is coming in for a landing on the cliffs of La Jolla, California, just after sunrise: Brown pelican in flight. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of…
September 8, 2006

Western Gull, Larus occidentalis

The Western gull, Larus occidentalis, is a large white-headed gull common along the western coast of North America. The Western gull ranges from British Columbia to Baja California. It is exclusively marine, and nests on offshore rocks and islands. While offshore it feeds on fishes and invertebrates that it can…
April 18, 2006

Psycho Bird

Check out this crazed seagull. Until today I had no idea that birds actually had tongues. Learn something new (and useful) every day it seems. Larus psychobirdus. Western gull, open mouth.Image ID: 15563Species: Western gull, Larus occidentalisLocation: La Jolla, California, USA
February 21, 2006

Pelican Head Throw

See my Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla. Here are a few photos of California brown pelicans performing the pelican head throw, also known as the pelican bill throw. It looks painful. The brown pelican lifts its large bill up, arches its neck back until the throat gular pouch…
February 1, 2006
BirdsGalapagos DiariesSeabird

Boobie Photos

For some reason many visitors to this web site have been searching for boobie photos. We simply do not understand the intense interest in photos of boobies, or in boobies in general. Boobies are just a bunch of seabirds and not even particularly rare. The blue boobies seem to elicit…
March 2, 2005

Photos of Atlantic Puffins at Machias Seal Island

Machias Seal Island is one of the best places in the world to observe Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica), and is certainly a fun place to get to. Machias Seal Island, near the US border with Canada in the Gulf of Maine, is accessed by a short boat from the easternmost…
February 27, 2005