The Great Journey in Photography

Lose the White Shoes

Brown Pelican art

Here in the states Labor day marks the unofficial end to Summer. For me it also marks that time when things start to happen in my bird photography. By now everyone is noticing that the days are getting shorter, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, but may also feel the golden hours are getting just a little more colorful. According to NOAA:

“Because air circulation is more sluggish during the summer, and because the photochemical reactions which result in the formation of smog and haze proceed most rapidly at that time of the year, late fall and winter are the most favored times for sunrise- and sunset-viewing over most of the United States.”

The transition starts in September, weather is changing and birds are on the move. Here in Southern California birds are migrating inbound for the Winter. We were blessed with an abundance of Brown Pelicans throughout the Summer this year, and now that number has doubled in my estimation. One place that I visit on a regular basis has once again become a Winter destination for large numbers of birds. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve has had significant improvement in the last couple of years. With the exception of the rest room facilities the site is now clean, well maintained, with improved paths and fencing. The end result is clean fresh water, plenty of fish, and private areas for wildlife all of which tend to attract more birds and also lets them be a tad more friendly to humans. I must say that a couple of years ago the place was a dump, with trash and polluted water. Often it smelled of raw sewage. There is no doubt in my mind that the place became toxic to wildlife. I believe there is one school of thought that says that the foliage of the wetlands goes through natural cycles that makes the water undesirable at times, that may be true but at least for now the area is clean and fresh and migrating birds are moving in. I am seeing Big Browns, Blue Heron, Night Herons, Terns of all ilk, Ducks, Snowy and Great Egrets even the occasional Cattle Egret, Hawks, Osprey, and Turkey Vultures, all of whom seem to be just a little bit more friendly towards humans.

Early Sept. is also a great time to plan adventures for the Fall and Winter. It is never too early to book a workshop or tour and right about now is last call for many of the events available. It is also time to get the gear in order. Along with the wildlife Fall landscape photography is right around the corner. It pays to be prepared. I am looking forward to another season of great bird photography, hopefully I will be able to expand my horizons a little bit with trips to Channel Islands National Park, Bosque del Apache, and maybe even an adventure to Yellowstone, Costa Rica or Southern Florida.

Thanks so much for reading the blog. I am so happy to see that more of you are stopping by every week. I am blessed and I thank you.

You can see more of my work at


One response

  1. Very cool pelican!

    September 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

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