Besides being blessed with blue sky and sunshine, there was wildlife practically everywhere I turned (in spite of all the development).
Our home away from home the first half of the break
I saw a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron (a life bird!) before I even made it down to the beach from our building!
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
On the beach, there were a few people walking, and there were plenty of birds! They seem much more used to people there, and it was easier to get close to them. I tried to get to the beach as close to sunrise as possible, and some of the birds were still sleepy.
White Ibises were busy foraging for food already.
I came upon two Osprey nests along the beach, too.
It seemed every few steps I took, another beautiful bird species would catch my attention. Not quite like winter in Massachusetts where I see the same species repeatedly for months with very limited variety.
The first morning I walked on the beach, a woman was walking a ways in front of me and occasionally she was picking things up and throwing them in the water. Eventually, I caught up with her and discovered she was attempting to save seahorses which had been stranded on the sand and were being gobbled up by gulls.
Ring-Billed Gull w/ seahorse
Juvenile Brown Pelicans
Adult Brown Pelican closeup
At one point on the beach, a channel separated my section from the next. I didn't want to wade across it, but there were hundreds of terns on the other side that were very enticing! I was able to positively identify Royal Terns and Black Skimmers among them.
I was surprised to find quite a few Northern Cardinals around the buildings in the neighborhood where we were staying. These are the smart cardinals, compared to the ones at home dealing with all the snow!
Palm Warblers provided another surprise in the neighborhood. They were nearly as common as House Sparrows are at home. I only see warblers at home during spring or fall migration. It was fun to see some in the winter!