Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shorebirds in Santa Barbara

This is actually closer to Goleta than Santa Barbara but it is within sight of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) so we'll call it even and keep Santa Barbara in the post title.  There's a nice pier and typically nice southern California beach here in Goleta and I was there killing a little time before a red-eye flight home to Ohio shooting pictures of the sunset when I noticed these shorebirds flying in formation.  They were hard not to notice because they more or less had me surrounded.  I think the were practicing touch-and-go's because they kept taking off as a group, circling, then coming back to land in just about the same place.  All around me.  It doesn't take much for me to take something's picture so that's what I did.

A really neat thing that happened a few times was the collision of the birds with a wall of air that rides just above the waves as they break onto shore.  When the flock mis-timed their take off and flew right on top of a breaking wave that invisible wall of air on top of the wave would slam into them and cause all sorts of havoc.  In some of the other frames I shot some of the birds were knocked almost upside down by the blast of air when they hit it.  They'd stumble around in the air trying to regain level flight, circle around a bit them come it for a landing trying to play it off like everything was cool.  

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