Birds of La Jolla

Photographing the birds of La Jolla has become a bit of an annual event for our photo club (the Photo Section of the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter), of which I am the vice president for the 2018/2019 term. Last year we went in late December, this year in mid January.

This is a good time to see birds in their winter or breeding plumage, and in particular the Brandt’s Cormorants, who are nesting right at the cliffs, easily within “reach” of even a moderate telephoto zoom lens (I used my 70-300mm/4.5-5.6 for all of the photos below – it was the only lens I brought).

As I’m reaching a bit more clarity as to what defines the “core” of my photography, I feel these photos are a little bit outside of my main scope. Sharing the photos of these large shorebirds on my personal blog seemed to be a better fit in this instance. I do have bird photos on my website, but they’re of the inhabitants of the chaparral, and nearby Lake Hodges. To me, this separation makes sense (isn’t that the most important part?).  Here they are.

I do have two more photos, over on my main photography website, showing the birds more as a part of the landscape – I think that’s a good distinction of what I want to show where… I’m embedding them here for the sake of completeness (the images link back to my website).

“Cormorant Ridge”

Silhouettes of cormorants and a single pelican in a backlit morning haze line a steep ridge on the cliffs at La Jolla Cove, California. January 2019.
“Cormorant Ridge” — Silhouettes of cormorants and a single pelican in a backlit morning haze line a steep ridge on the cliffs at La Jolla Cove, California. January 2019.

“Preening Point”

Brown pelicans and cormorants in coastal morning haze, preening on a bluff at La Jolla Cove, California. January 2019.
“Preening Point” — Brown pelicans and cormorants in coastal morning haze, preening on a bluff at La Jolla Cove, California. January 2019.

If you like to use any of these photos, for whatever reason, please read my page about image usage. Thanks.

7 thoughts on “Birds of La Jolla

  1. I, for one, enjoy the photos, in either context. The ridge, in particular, is really beautiful. That light!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What fun, so many different looks in these photos. The juvie Brown pelican is like a contortionist, and so finely rendered. The Heerman’s and pelican – wow that’s a strange, strange look. I guess some compression due to the lens maybe increased the flatness? I love what that does, it just takes the image into a different realm. For more traditional bird photos, the cormorants napping on their nests is just superb! The details and colors in the nest, the subtle sheen on the feathers, the odd shapes the birds make, all wonderful. And I love the last photo, again for the way you caught the feathers, without intensifying that sheen, just keeping it quietly beautiful. Of course seeing the eggs makes a viewer happy, too!
    When I clicked on the embedded photos, the first one was not a landscape, it was vertical – to me anyway. But of what a beauty that is, no matter how it’s oriented, that fog is fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lynn for your wonderful feedback! The cormorant photos are a good example of what we’ve been talking about with regards to brightness, and how I learned through printing my photos that less is more. 🙂

      I guess I need to rephrase that “landscape oriented” paragraph. I mean “birds in the landscape”, as opposed to more photographed up close. 🙂 Sorry about the confusion!

      Like

      1. Ah, I thought you were talking about landscape orientation, as in, horizontal, vs. portrait or vertical orientation. I like seeing both birds in context and close-up “portraits” of them, and you have both here.

        Liked by 1 person

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