Birding Places – Natural Bridges

Among California’s greatest shows of biodiversity is a picturesque beach and riparian woodland in Santa Cruz.

Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz can be loaded with humans frolicking in the surf and lounging on the beach, yet still be a delightful place for viewing birds. Cormorants, those erstwhile sentinels to the sea, and the mighty California Brown Pelican stake out the leading edge rocks with their Gull cohorts.

A young Heermann’s Gull presides over tide pools, studying the surf line. It shows an endlessly admirable patience, then, a frenzied, poetic dashing and pecking ballet in the tide. It is the envy of other gulls, who make valiant attempts at mimicking the Heermann, but, alas, the interloper from Baja knows the secrets. Meanwhile, in the back lagoon, the stately Egret exhibits breathless patience and brilliant quickness of beak at its quick little prey.

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