RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Malibu birds on the beach


malibu lagoon state beach

I know the photo above looks like a postcard from the 1940s. When I looked at it in Lightroom it was hopelessly overexposed and this was the best I could do to bump it up, but in terms of showing the area it was the best image. The whole purpose this day was to shoot pictures of birds, not landscapes, so please accept it for what it is.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach is also known as Surfrider Beach, To the left is the Malibu Sport Fishing Pier and in the background, the Santa Monica Mountains.As I know absolutely nothing about surfing, this is quoted from Wikipedia:

Malibu Lagoon is a famous right-break that had a big impact on the surfing culture in Southern California in the 1960s. Located near the Malibu Pier, it is among the most popular surf spots in Los Angeles County. The shoreline is usually triple-cornered due to the buildup of silt, sand, and cobble at the mouth of the creek. The tapering, smooth-breaking waves are recognized among surfers worldwide as the gold standard for summertime “point” surf.

Malibu Lagoon has three primary surfing areas. First Point has waves popular with longboarders[4] and shortboarders during bigger swells. Second Point is used for high performance surfing. It has a main takeoff that lines up and connects into the inside called the “kitty bowl”. Third Point has a left and right side. On the south swells most common in late August and September, surfers can ride all the way to the pier.

malibu lagoon state beach

Young Osprey

Enough about surfing and on to the birds.

When I showed up for the class I was intimidated as most of the students were sporting 600mm lenses and I had my lowly 70-300mm lens. As more people arrived I felt better to see some others with similar lenses to mine. A couple of people had rented their 600mm for the day. Why didn’t I think about that? Oh, because I rarely use my 70-300 and this was my opportunity to put it to good use.

malibu lagoon state park

Great Blue Heron

I have to admit I had a hard time focusing on the birds. I realized that if I wanted to be a professional bird photographer (I don’t) I would certainly need to invest in a 600mm lens. I had to crop in really tightly in Lightroom to make the birds a decent size.

malibu lagoon state park


Cropping that much I could see some of the birds probably weren’t in tack sharp focus… at least not enough to be in Audubon Magazine… but just fine for my blog! A tripod would have helped my unsteady hand too. I also realize to be a bird photographer you have to have patience, waiting for just the right moment. And you need to be ready. I think I’ll stick to landscapes and architecture that doesn’t move just when you have the shot set up!

Malibu Lagoon State Park

The majestic seagull

Nevertheless, I had a great day and might go back on my own another time to try again.

So please enjoy the rest of my photos from Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Click on a photo to begin the slide show.

I’ve always liked watching pelicans but now I have a new respect for them. Although they seem clumsy on land, in the air and water they are incredibly graceful.

See my other Malibu posts at:



All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

22 thoughts on “Malibu birds on the beach

  1. Wow, Ros. The birds in the sky and the sand, the beach, the surfers, the boats. Perfect setting and you got it all.


  2. What a beautiful day and spectacular photos, Roslyn! I love the young Osprey shot!


    • Thanks Jill… when I saw the Osprey on my computer I was pleased. It was really a crapshoot that day… the photos that came out well and the ones that didn’t… it was a learning experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great birds in flight shots!


  4. Awesome captures! It looks like it was a beautiful day. 🙂


  5. These are great shots. I follow a photographer who primarily does birds. She sits with a tripod for hours waiting for the right shot. I don’t have that kind of patience (nor do I have a great camera) and cats aren’t the easiest subject (except for shots of their tails and butt). You did great!


    • Thanks Kate. I’m not good at sitting still for periods of time doing nothing…. I’d rather be walking around. With the cats sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I do get those great butt shots as they run away from the camera!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Remarkable bird captures, Roslyn! Malibu is beautiful. Love these photos. 🙂


  7. I like postcards from the 1940s. Great shots! I have only been to Malibu at night for dinner. Thanks for the daylight view.


    • Thanks… I had a ton of old postcards of LA but I sold them for a song (when I was in my 20s) not realizing how valuable they were!


  8. That was lots of birds! Wonderful shots and report!


  9. With the osprey shot, you are on your way as a bird photographer. Actually you considering things, I think you’re there. Plenty of seagulls just about anywhere, but I really think that California has so much of it that seagulls pretty much represent the state. Beautiful bird pics, Roslyn.


    • Thanks rommel, I do love to see seagulls wherever I go… vicious creatures when fighting over food but majestic the rest of the time!


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