The Birds of Bolsa
In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
— Robert Lynd

Sometimes when I’m really stressed or just stuck, I walk. #LadyHikers is fun and about nature and tackling mountains but sometimes, I like to be amongst the still. Big Sur is like that, perfect...almost too perfect, like here is my last known location...perfectly quiet.

The closing of 2018 was very hard. I was reflecting on the cross-country move, how to keep this drive and hustle growing and really how to balance a life. In the simplest forms I was struggling to balance a new life. I was also still very new. I had one or two more-than-acquaintance-friends. Love life was decent, business was okay...not as much as I’d I googled hiking, Long Beach and zoomed out until I saw Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

200+ avian species have been identified at Bolsa Chica Reserve. Birders & photographers call this a hoppin’ spot.

200+ avian species have been identified at Bolsa Chica Reserve. Birders & photographers call this a hoppin’ spot.

So much for my peaceful reflection! I saw a gull dive bomb a duck, the gruesome murdering of a crab and the most brutal turf wars this border town dweller can recall. These birds meant business.

I really enjoy photographing birds because you never know what you’re going to see in the photos, they’re so fast. You hope, you wait, you lock eyes and wonder who’s going to make the first - and then they’re gone.

Bolsa Chica cranes.JPG

My final fowl photographee was this gull. I watched him struggle to fly with his crusty crustacean. Then drop him, then catch him, then stretch him and then land. The last photograph, he dead-eyed the camera and finished him off. I shrieked on the inside and maybe even a little on the outside.


This moment stuck me so deeply. Here I am, this one human amongst hundreds of species of things, thinking…it’s so peaceful, it’s so calm. I’ll find all the answers. Honey, no one’s got any answers, we’re all just livin’ too.

Keep moving & shaking! Don’t be the crusty crustacean in this gull’s game of life 🦀

Charlie has over 10 years experience in social media, creative copy and multimedia, including a 4-year stint in the government, making science cool and accessible to the general public. She is now the main lady behind Checkmark Creative, a marketing boutique for the small biz and freelancer, based in Long Beach, CA.