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Snowy Plover / Shorebirds Safari             Monday, July 6-7    $600  ($480)

 

This is a very unique bird safari.  Photographing these little birds is a study in patience and to a big degree, luck.  We hike down the beach in Ventura about a third of a mile before we start looking for the little birds.  Then for the next half mile we spend our time looking for them, photographing them, and shooting the California Least Terns that are in small bunches along the beach as well.  At times you don't see the little snowy plovers until they move or run - amazingly small and as well camouflaged as any bird in North America.

While much of the breeding grounds are taped off to protect the nesting sites, once hatched the little plovers and terns go wherever they want - mainly chasing their parents and begging for food.  Every few minutes the parents return with little minnows to feed their excited young.  Either by sight or squeaky calls the young open their mouths to the arriving parent, eager for the fish.  The beach is not only busy with birds - plovers, terns, whimbrels, and others, but also with joggers and their dogs, and surfers.

The non-breeding and fledgling terns seem to hang in mobile groups, flying up and down the beach in groups.  The newborn terns are larger than the plover babies, and easier to spot and photograph.  Sometimes the small minnows are as big as the chicks.  In addition to the beach we shoot nearby ponds usually covered with birds - especially the nesting pied-billed grebes, and travel up to Santa Barbara to look for the black skimmers.


Reservations

We meet in Ventura, CA at 7am.  The weather can change so dress in layers, though we should have cool mornings and warmer afternoons. There will be a sea breeze and marine layer at times.  Kneeling in moist sand to get down to eye level might require knee pads, or even a small camp chair for comfort.  Extra pants or shorts, extra tennis shoes not to valuable to get into salt water - and a hat.



California Least Tern and Fledgling
 


California Least Tern and Fledgling


Snowy Plover nestling


Snowy Plover
 


Sanderlings and Whimbrels


Snowy Plover

Black Oystercatcher
 

California Least Tern Fledgling

Least Tern feeding mate

Least Tern chicks under mom
 

California Least Tern Fishing

California Least Tern Fishing

California Least Tern and Fledgling
 

California Least Tern Fledgling

Adult California Least Tern with Fish

Pied-billed Grebe nestlings
 

Pied-billed Grebe nestlings

Pied-billed Grebe

Least Tern on Egg
 

Black Skimmers

Snowy Plover and Nestling

2020 Brent Paull Photography        1-559-909-5208        All Rights Reserved under United States and International Laws