A visit to Golden Shore Marine Preserve in Long Beach, California

West Coast Birder

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Golden Shore Marine Preserve, at the mouth of the LA River in Long Beach, is a great birding location. It is not the most picturesque of locations, being in a very urban area and with the LA river essentially making its final mile or two through a man-made culvert before emptying its exhausted self into the Pacific. However, the birds don't seem to care and the confluence of fresh and salt water seems to bring a lot of species in abundance. Here are just a few of the photos from a late spring morning at Golden Shore.

Elegant terns (Thalasseus elegans) engaging in courtship and feeding on the LA River:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/4000s 1600ISO
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Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/5000s 1600ISO
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American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus):

Southern California is the only place in the US where the American Oystercatcher is found on the Pacific side. It is much more commonly an Atlantic spccies in the country although it is much more abundant on both coasts in Mexico.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/1000s 1600ISO
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Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani):

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/2000s 1600ISO
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Black-necked Stilt ((Himantopus mexicanus):

There are a lot of black-necked stilts on the LA River at Golden Shore.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/2000s 800ISO
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It is nesting season for the stilts. It is amazing how shallow and exposed their nests are. I'm just surprised how they manage to cope with predation, both from the air and the ground, given that the river is so shallow in May.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/2000s 800ISO
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American avocet (Recurvirostra americana):

Lots of American avocets on the river, many of them with chicks. It's fun watching the chicks hide under the parent and make ti look like he/she has 8 legs! The sand was very hot as the sun got higher in the sky, so I think it was as much for protection from the sun as from predators.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/3200s 800ISO
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Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/5.6 700.0mm 1/3200s 800ISO
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Not to be outdone, there were quite a few passerines too in the bushes and trees at Golden Shore. This guy was at his vocal best.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos):

(polyglottos, what a perfect name!)

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[/url]7D2_1487-Enhanced-NR by Cascadia Images, on Flickr

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/6.3 700.0mm 1/400s 3200ISO
53384921641_980090e0f3_h.jpg
 
Not to be outdone, there were quite a few passerines too in the bushes and trees at Golden Shore. This guy was at his vocal best.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos):

(polyglottos, what a perfect name!)

53385118253_f6a0f202c6_h.jpg
[/url]7D2_1487-Enhanced-NR by Cascadia Images, on Flickr

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III ƒ/6.3 700.0mm 1/400s 3200ISO
I love this one! :D
 
Are there really bouganvillas at the Golden Shore Park...
Such a beautiful set of images Sam, especially with the little ones. Bravo!!
You make my hometown look good! I had never known of this place, and I have so often taken that freeway to the very end.
 
Are there really bouganvillas at the Golden Shore Park...
Such a beautiful set of images Sam, especially with the little ones. Bravo!!
You make my hometown look good! I had never known of this place, and I have so often taken that freeway to the very end.

Thanks, Joayne! I am trying to remember now, but I think the bougainvilleas were on the main road along the CSU Chancellor's office building. See the map below and the red oval where I think the flowers were.

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