2019—Surfin’ Bird

What a glorious week I just had in Monterey and Pacific Grove. The weather was perfectly gorgeous, just the right amount of sunshine and coastal fog. There were no crowds and views of the gorgeous Northern California coastline with its craggy rocks and crashing waves was spectacular. Harbor Seals basked in the sun on pristine beaches. Sea Lions crowded onto rock islands named for them. A Sea Otter or two floated languidly in the kelp beds, binding themselves to the massive kelp leaves while they slept. But I was there for birds, specifically, shore birds and we found them, including a few that are usually hard to find. I photographed several species I’d never seen before, despite having spent lots of time on Northern California beaches as a kid.

This is a Surfbird. We photographed this and other shore birds and gulls on Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove, where the road follows the cliff line above the waves and there is lots of space to admire the views and the birds. Once I discovered this bird was called a Surfbird, I couldn’t get that 1960’s novelty hit, Surfin’ Bird out of my head: “A-well-a ev’rybody’s heard about the bird. B-b-b-bird, b-birdd’s a word. A-well, a bird, bird, bird, bird is a word.” Perhaps it will start to resonate in your mind, as well. Enjoy!

Nikon D5; Nikkor 500mm PF; Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter. Handheld. It is so nice to be able to get this kind of reach with a lens I can hold comfortably.