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

These Dunlins were still thousands of miles away from their breeding grounds along the arctic coast. Something seemed to scare them once in a while and they took off from the island in the background, but they always returned shortly after. Their coordinated aerial maneuvers are stunning and fun to watch. Another photo I made revealed that at least two birds were already in their breeding plumage, recognizable by a conspicuous black belly patch.