Great Egret, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, California --------  

Last Sunday, after four years of absence, I was again in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a wetland area near Huntington Beach in Southern California. This was my fourth time since 2010 and I never came back disappointed. It is a great place for bird watching and photography.

My strategy has been always to arrive on location before sunrise and to leave after the sun disappeared behind the horizon line of the Pacific Ocean. I took a lunch break for some much craved fresh seafood in the early afternoon, when the light is usually not at its best in Southern California, but returned for the warm light in the late afternoon.

I talked with a lot of people in the preserve, other photographers, bird watchers, or locals that were in for a walk along the shore of the laguna. Everybody was extremely friendly and helpful with hints where to find some particular birds. I was told we are kind of between seasons in Bolsa Chica. While some winter residents have already arrived, many are not there yet. However, I had a great time last Sunday in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Some of the birds we never or hardly ever see here in Iowa and as a result I have at least one species on my memory card that I saw and photographed for the first time. I’ll talk about this in one of my future blog posts.

The Great Egret is a bird that we see here along the Mississippi River during the summer. It was the gesture of this bird, while on the hunt for a fish, that made me choose this image for today’s blog post.