Beach Birds

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

On my latest trip to Mexico, I walked the beach every morning just as I have for the past five years that I’ve gone there. It’s an hour of alone-with-my-thoughts time and often those thoughts wander off to the simple wisdom contained in one of my most favorite books…Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift From the Sea.

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea.”

On every walk, the beach displays a whole new stock of wares… but this year it also brought back huge flocks of birds that had been missing for two years. Especially missed were the pelicans who usually spend much of their morning dive-bombing for food and then hanging out en masse on a rock formation off the beach point. They had been completely gone as had much of the the egret, heron and sandpiper communities.

I searched around online to find what might be the explanation and it seems that the El Nino weather pattern that caused storms and unusually warm weather had re-routed or killed the fish and much of the zooplankton so that the Pelicans… which breed in Mexico and the Channel Islands… arrived in California emaciated, disoriented and some were even found standing on the medians of the highways and in parking lots.

Now, here they are…back again in force… the pelicans eat voraciously while I walk, both of us happy to be far from highways and parking lots.


The point rock in 2011 where only a handful of pelicans congregated


The same rocks in 2012 are standing room only


Close up

Egrets keep their distance


Dive and Dine


Traveling home at the end of the day to a nest in a palm


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