Kayaking with Winter Birds

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For years I’ve driven by this section of PCH and wanted to get in the water to check out the birds in the wildlife refuge.  SEVENTEEN years later, I finally did it!  I confess my initial thoughts were a mix of, “This is amazing” and “Why did it take me so long?”  However, there were so many birds I hadn’t seen before,  I mostly became filled with amazement, losing any regrets I might have had.

Here were a few of our “winners” that I could capture on film.

Brown Pelican:  IMG_0793 IMG_0794Notice the birds in the background.  The grayish red one is a reddish egret, which I’ve never seen before and are somewhat rare outside of Mexico.    Here are some close-ups of it:

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This is a Cormorant, which I’ve seen on the Santa Monica/ Malibu shoreline as well but not as close up as the kayak got us.

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Big E and I thought this shore bird was cute but we couldn’t get close enough with my camera to clearly identify it and there are too many options on the bird book to know for sure.  (I don’t trust sea water and my Canon, we used my iphone.)

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However, we just weren’t able to capture the hilarious looking Surf Scoter.  Look them up.  There were four of them, which we captured in our binoculars.  Fabulous beaks and faces!  There were also some young coots, which still had fuzzy feathers.  We thought it was a little early for young birds but we are still learning about this bird thing so we could only guess that the unseasonably warm weather led to some early babies.

We’re definitely going back but will do some investigating to find out the boundaries for the “area closed” signs. It wasn’t clear if we could travel deep into the wetlands, staying on the water or if we aren’t allowed to venture after the channel narrows.  We loved Veronica at Huntington Harbor Kayaks and recommend them because they have the closest launching point to the wetlands.

May this January being with it fun and adventure, even if it’s taken you 17 years.

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