On a whim yesterday I decided to go over to the Upper Newport Bay, which I could almost consider my extended backyard since I Can walk across Jamboree from my neighborhood and be looking at the head of the bay. I enjoyed going birding at such a different time of day, 5pm is a far cry from my usual birding hours, but my class schedule had me in a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays during those.
The lighting was not quite at the "magic hour" yet, but was really great, and the tide was not low, but wasn't at it's highest either so there was mud exposed enough to draw Marbled Godwits, Willets, dozens of Snowy Egrets, and some Short-billed Dowitchers - I believe they were both adults, one in alternate and one in basic plumage. This gave me ample opportunity to study them as well, because for all that I live seconds from the coast and other bodies of water, I am embarassingly bad at shorebirds. As I stayed there taking photographs of the feeding birds, more were flying in or flying by, and as I glanced up from one set of snapping photos, I saw one of the resident ospreys circling. Unfortunately I got no good photos of it.