February, weather-wise, was for the most part a great light month to be out with the creatures and critters. One day had fog set in until well into the late morning and the final weekend out for the month had an oppressive sky that seemed to keep everything down, but it was more than made up for with the previous days.
The main resident Osprey have returned and nested for the season giving ample chances to track them through the sanctuary as they took turns stretching their wings away from nesting duty. This year, there have been competitors coming in to vie for the nesting space which will hopefully mean in the upcoming year the second nesting post which was erected last year may be occupied; although the distance between the posts is closer than Osprey would nest in nature, so it is a wait and see condition if they can get over it. Having another pair of mating Osprey in the area would be a nice addition to keep us photographers hopping in tracking their movements.
With an upcoming daylight savings time change, this was the last chance to match up a sunset with a low tide until closer to the end of the year – it being a weekend was opportunistic. The weather through the week had evenings with colors showing through cloud cover giving promise to this planned outing. Cloud cover was forecast to be 60% for Saturday followed by a rain front on Sunday. This was a low percentage outing at the onset as the day progressed the clouds from the rain front were coming in faster than expected. Taking the mindset of “you will never come away with a picture if you don’t go out with your camera” — out the door it was!
The original location of Dana Point was quickly scratched off due to lack of parking to access the pocket beach which exists at the start of a sea wall to protect the marina. A quick adjustment up the coast to Aliso Beach = a beach that hasn’t been on the location list for a while. This beach has a few rocky formations which you can reach after a slog through constantly soft sands (as cliff drainage is not well controlled at this location and the sand never compacts) which are only seen at low tide. Cloud cover was spotty which would change the lighting of the scene every few minutes, and off on the horizon a race to the end of the day was being won by the clouds, so the traditional sunset shoot was out of the realm of possibility.