Safari Information Reservations Guide: Brent Paull
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 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 busy with birds - plovers, terns, whimbrels, and others.
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, and tennis shoes you can get into salt water - and a hat.

The deposit is 50% via check, Paypal, or credit card, and the balance is due halfway between the deposit date and the safari date unless you are booking within 3 months, then full payment is due.  Check the main safari page for other information.  Spouses can ride along at no charge, but you must have your own vehicle.  Link 

This safari is 1 day long.

I've spent my 38-year wildlife photography career shooting in the American West.  The first 23 years shooting out of Utah, the past 15 years out of California.  With 1500 published photo credits, dozens of magazine covers and article, and a lifetime wandering the roads of the west, the photo safaris that I lead are all to the best locations, at the best times, during peak wildlife activity periods.  What a rush it has been.

Information Links

Safari Checklist - Link
Published Tearsheets - Link
Brent's Biography - Link  
Difficulty Level Dates
Moderate  -  Some walking in the Sand Wednesday, June 28    $250
The non-breeding and fledgling terns seem to hang in active groups, flying up and down the beach.  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.
 
This bird safari is for your longest lens, and even a tele-converter if you have one.  These birds are very small and getting a tighter image is difficult.  We keep moving looking for the right individuals to shoot, the birds that are the most active.  The feeding flights in and out are constant, so once we find active birds, the shooting is steady.  A small chair can help with the constant up-and-down.
Bonus Safari Discount Participants - maximum of 4 photographers.
Participating in four 1-day safaris  (or 4 cumulative safari days) earns you 1 free safari day that can be applied to any future safari. Image Galleries:   Shorebirds
 

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