Another breakdown! La Jolla Shores! (not to be confused with the famous La Jolla photography hotspot - this is the beach to the north!) and yes, this site is (apparently) a decent place to get some boring/standard American Crow pictures. Thankfully there was a lot more to be had.
My understanding of the site came from a few hot tips I received during my visit. The beach proper (I parked at La Jolla Shore Park) was a good place to get some breeding garb Heermann's Gulls on some sweet sandy beaches - and also - if you walked north - past a large pile of rocks - beneath the beautiful cliffs - you could shore some wicked afternoon photo op's with Whimbrel (and other large shorebirds - if you were lucky).
The hot tips were 100% correct. My first *proper* shoot was in the afternoon, when I decided that I shouldn't leave SD without getting my first good Whimbrel pics. One has to be mindful of the tides, and I was lucky to hit it bang on - and had some really sporadic-yet-incredible encounters with the Whimbrel!
That last image - although bland - is one of my favourite from the trip. I also fully realized something during this shoot (that I probably already new, but had never fully noticed) - you DO NOT need to try for Western Willet photos... You might as well try for something else, and sooner or later a Willet is going to plop down in front of you in great light (it might even chase away your intended target).
I did manage a few Heermann's Gull photos, but they weren't really my primary target. I was also a bit sad to not get any photos of the uber-tame Marbled Godwits on the beach proper - so I planned a second (morning) visit. I quickly topped off my HEEG collection:
And in similar fashion, I topped up on my Mudwit pics! This group was unbelievably tame - and thankfully quite active - so despite a fairly narrow window of shooting (with decent light between fog and then full sun) - I was able to make some fun images.
And that's about it! Time for the breakdown:
The Good: I wanted Heermann's Gulls, Whimbrel and Marbled Godwits. I had chances out the waa-zoo!
The Bad: It's a bit of a haul to the "north" beach, so be prepared. But it's totally worth it. Similar to nearly every other site I visited, the diversity was low, but I didn't care!
The Ugly: The tides! The fog! Nothing here was "ugly" but i need to write something. Be mindful of the light & tides and you'll clean up.