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,
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.
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.
Safari Checklist -
Published Tearsheets -
Brent's Biography -
|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.