Whimbrel, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, California ---------

There is no doubt that April is one of my favorite times for wildlife photography, especially birds. There is bird migration going on in eastern Iowa and many other areas in the country. I had my good share of images here in the Midwest but I chose a picture for 2017’s retrospect from the coastal wetlands in California. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve at the Pacific coast near Huntington Beach, California is a destination I have been many times before. Last year I explored another area not far from Bolsa Chica, San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County, and it led to photos of new birds and great story telling about well known species.

The Whimbrel breeds in Alaska but spends the winter months along the coast of California. I was a little surprised to find them still in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in April, but hey, I didn’t mind… The gorgeous warm light of the late afternoon sun eliminated the need for fill flash. Except for the shooting position from slightly above, which you can’t do much about in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands due to access restrictions (which I absolutely support and obey) I have been happy with the results. Having many clean shots of a Whimbrel and other new birds we don’t see here in Iowa in my files made this trip a highlight of 2017’s photography adventures.