There are people that like cities and the rush of the humanity but I like the places that gets me close to nature.  Baldwin Creek and 4mi Beach is such a place for me.  This is where Baldwin Creek meets the ocean and it's about 4 miles north of Santa Cruz, CA.  This area is know for being a gull roosting spot with at time 5000 or more on the beach.  On this January morning I did find a large flock of gulls mainly California and Western but I did find Thayers, Ring-billed, Glaucous-winged, and Herring Gulls.  The best camera is the one you have with you and even with a camera phone you can capture the moment.

Photo of the Week 31: Gulls on Baldwin Creek Beach EQ: Note4    Taken: 1-21-2016 at 9:36a Settings: 4.8mm, 1/1500s, f/2.2, ISO40         Conditions: Sunny

Photo of the Week 31: Gulls on Baldwin Creek Beach

EQ: Note4    Taken: 1-21-2016 at 9:36a

Settings: 4.8mm, 1/1500s, f/2.2, ISO40         Conditions: Sunny

This area is a mix of the beach, creek with ponds, cliffs that fall straight to the ocean, and farm land so you get a mix of birds.  An uncommon bird for Santa Cruz County is the Snow Goose and I got this image as she flew by above the pond about 30m below.

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) EQ: Nikon D7200, 300mm f/2.8    Taken: 1-12-2016 at 11:59a Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/800s, f/4.0, ISO100, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

EQ: Nikon D7200, 300mm f/2.8    Taken: 1-12-2016 at 11:59a

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/800s, f/4.0, ISO100, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny

This area allows for shooting raptors at almost eye level with the high cliffs above the ocean and a large pond just inland.  This Harrier was flying lower over the fields looking for prey.  I also had a nice encounter with a Raven with a flyover as well as one on the beach.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:13

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:13

Common Raven (Corvus corax) Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO110, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 12:54

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO110, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 12:54

Winter brings storms and on this day the surf was high forcing the shorebirds to share what rock was left above the surf.  Although this was a strong El Nino year, the storms haven't amounted to much with us getting only 26" so far when the average is closer to 60" in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Brandt's Cormorant, Oystercatchers, Surfbird, Turnstone, and Sanderlings Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/800s, f/4.0, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 12:24

Brandt's Cormorant, Oystercatchers, Surfbird, Turnstone, and Sanderlings

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/800s, f/4.0, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 12:24

Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1250s, f/4.0, ISO250, +1/3EV, taken 1-26-16 11:29

Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1250s, f/4.0, ISO250, +1/3EV, taken 1-26-16 11:29

Common Raven (Corvus corax) Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1250s, f/4.5, ISO640, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:55

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1250s, f/4.5, ISO640, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:55

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:31

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Settings: 450mm (35mm eqv.), 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO100, +1/3EV, taken 1-12-16 13:31

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.

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