Category Archives: Caspian Tern


PELICANS FEEDING ON ANCHOVY FISH OR SQUID – Cormorants, sea gulls & Caspian terns, were there, too.  You can even see the school of fish or squid move as the birds follow them to feast.  The pelicans were not diving so the fish or squid was right on the surface.  Breath taking beauty.  La Jolla, California


July 2014 Art Journal - Page 91 WATERMARK

Lovely afternoon spent following the pelicans, gulls & terns feeding frenzy on Anchovy fish from Sunset Cliffs to Ocean Beach. The birds followed the fish, I followed the birds & ended up out on the OB Pier. Even the dolphins came to join in the fish party!

OB Pier looking North 7-14-2014 WATERMARK

OCEAN BEACH PIER photographed from a distance (looking north to the pier).  The Ocean Beach Pier is the 2nd longest pier on the west coast.  The end of the pier is a t-shape, which extends the pier north & south, too.

View to the beach from the very end of the pier.  See how long it is?  This is why it’s like being out in a boat when you walk out on the pier!

At my local library, I found a beautiful picture book with all the piers in California.  It was really fun to see how many piers I’ve actually been out in the state. Wouldn’t this be a fun bucket list trip?

This is a little café & bait shop on the pier.  I like how you can sit inside & the view is of the end of the pier. Something about being out on the pier makes me think of the romance of making a living from the sea, but living by-the-sea is pretty romantic, too!

Here’s the view of the t-end of the pier & looking back to shore.

Walking out onto the pier is like being out in a boat without being on a boat!  It’s quite a long walk & the view back towards the beach is wonderful.  I really like how the pier is out beyond the wave breaks & the surfers.  When you watch the waves breaking from behind them, it’s such an odd feeling & sort of reminded me like riding on a train backwards. 

What led me out to the pier was following the feeding frenzy of the pelicans, terns & sea gulls on a giant school of anchovy fish.

Birds feeding on Anchovy Fish 7-14-2014 - 6 WATERMARK

I love it when the pelicans dive into the water!  There were so many anchovy fish that the terns didn’t even have to dive.  They just swooped down & scooped the tiny silver fish in their beaks & flew off.  A meal without even getting wet!

This is a photo of one of the anchovy fish that a fisherman was using for his fishing bait.  There has been a gigantic school of anchovy fish here recently & that’s what all the birds were feasting on.  

Anchovy bait fish 7-14-2014 WATERMARK

The Ocean Beach pier is a very popular spot for fishing as the pier is long enough that the fishermen are fishing in very deep water out past the kelp beds offshore.   Being out on the pier with fishermen gave me the opportunity to see what they were catching.  I’m interested in this because I can actually see what the wild life I love is catching & eating.  (I don’t eat fish myself.) 

The first fish I saw is a Yellow Croaker fish.  The dolphins eat this fish a lot.  It’s a large fish & has a little “barbel” on the end of it’s mouth.  It’s called a Croaker fish because it makes a sort of drumming noise.  This fish is more a surf fish & the man who caught this bucket of fish caught them from the shore, not from the pier.

Bonita - top & Mackerel - bottom 7-14-2014 WATERMARK

Pacific Bonito & Pacific Mackerel fish are so beautiful.  Sea lions love Pacific Mackerel fish!  I like the turquoise sheen on them & the stripes that remind me of the patterns of water.  I researched these fish on the California Department of Fish & Wildlife website.  You can go there and look up information about fish and see a photo and drawing of the fish, too.

I felt sad for these dying fish, but the cycle of life is for all of us on this planet.  As an environmentalist, I think I have a responsibility to know as much as I can about nature.  As an artist by-the-sea & a naturalist, I want to know more about ocean life.  

This was such a lovely day to have a stay-cation by-the-sea.