Thursday, November 20, 2008

Foggy Bottoms at Bolsa Chica

Fog covered the Bolsa Chica hiding the wetlands beneath a wet, white blanket.

As I drove towards Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve just after six in the morning, I didn't know if I would be able to take any pictures or see much of anything. The fog lay low over everything. When I got there, white fog lay over Bolsa Chica. The ground and the bridge were wet. Water drops hung on the railings of the bridge.

The damp, dripping footbridge.

The footbridge is normally crowded with photographers and their tripods, some scattered birders, and locals out for a brisk morning walk. However the fog had evidently discouraged the morning crowds. This morning there was just a moist sprinkling of people on the bridge.

American White Pelicans find a drier spot on a small island of marsh grass.

The birds appeared and disappeared into the fog. It felt like when I misplace my glasses and can't see very far--except the wetlands was covered with a slowly moving white mist that hid the usually sparkling water. Today it was white and gray as I looked out from the bridge.

Willet in the muck.

This little Willet stood bravely on his little patch of pickleweed and green gunk.

A ghostly Western Grebe fed in the mist.

The limited visibility brought strange feelings of isolation and intimacy.

Socked in.

The normally clear path that you can see all the way down was shrouded in white.

Wetlands in the fog.

Some of the birds seemed distant like this Snowy Egret below on the post.

Snowy Egret sentry.

Then he got closer.

Snowy Egret on the footbridge in the fog.

The fog seemed to thicken and white out the landscape and the rest of the bridge.

Close up of the Snowy Egret in the mist.

The slowly swirling white mist made the birds and I seem alone together inside the fog. More like a room than the landscape I knew was out there.

Snowy Egret looking out into the mist.

The footbridge had a mysterious, New England air to it.

Dripping Willet.

Everything was damp, dripping, and cold.

Two Eared Grebes come out of the white mist.

By the bridge, birds swam in and out of the fog.

Red-breasted Merganser floats by in the fog.

My camera was not always cooperative. It tended to focus on the wisps of white moisture floating by and not the subject I was trying to shoot.

Loud Forester's Tern getting ready to dive for a fish or bomb dive an Eared Grebe. It was hard to read his intentions.

This loud little guy frustrated a few photographers as he flew all around and above the footbridge.

And heading back to the parking lot, the Ring-billed Gull sitting on the railing in the fog.

A mysterious, damp morning. A fine birder's morning.

Fogged In from OC Birder Girl on Vimeo.

OC Birder Girl Links

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

A Walk at Bolsa Chica Before the Winds

American White Pelicans

Eared Grebe--Podiceps nigricollis

The Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns of Orange County

Red-breasted Merganser--Mergus serrator

Western Grebes

Willet--Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

Orange County Bird Checklists

Bird Walks and Nature Programs in Orange County

Migration--The Pacific Flyway and Orange County

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