Last Friday I spent some time at Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, CA. The main reason for my visit was to try out a lens at a place where plenty of birds are found. This place is an important migratory stop as well as nesting grounds for many avian species. I really enjoy taking photos of birds, although I would not call myself a bird photographer. My lens looked like a little bug compared to the zoom lenses the other photographers had on their camera. I started walking on the wooden bridge, and the very first thing I heard from one of those people was: “Shoo ducks, go away.” Later, I also heard one photographer telling another one not to take a photo of something. He said: “Haven’t you seen all the photos online? You should only take pictures of special birds.” Both of these comments hurt me. I feel that everything is special, even common ducks are. I enjoy using photo editing tools like Photoshop and some plugins, because I can show everything special. I understand that my photography is different, and bird photographers really just need to wait for the special bird to show up. I, on the other hand, use my digital painting tools to transform the ordinary to something different.

While looking at the marsh from the wooden bridge through my view finder (similarly too many other photographers), I suddenly heard a bird singing on my right. When I slowly turned my camera toward this beautiful Common Tern, I witnessed his wonderful singing and dancing. Only one other person turned towards the bird, nobody else found him interesting enough. His morning singing and dancing captured my attention, and I created a piece showing his special movements. I hope, that upon spotting the tern you will also witness his ritual. It was the most memorable moment of my marsh visit. Well, there was one more highlight. I’ve visited this place twice in the past two weeks, and both times I spotted a shark in the shallow water. I had never seen sharks in their natural environment before.

The Morning Song
The Morning Song

Interested in visiting the place? They have public tours available.

Address: 3842 Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. There is an interpretive center here. To reach the wooden bridge you need to go to the south entrance, which is accessible from PCH (Hwy 1).


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