Very nice to see a community newspaper, The Laguna Beach Independent, focus on Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, also known as Back Bay, and the birders who enjoy it. In today's
As is his custom on each month's first Saturday, Laguna Beach bird-lover John Heussenstamm follows the bend of Back Bay Drive, and pulls to the curb just before the entrance to the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. He waits for his flock to gather around 8 a.m., and once there, the bird watchers head into the reserve, with eyes peeled for congregations of waterfowl.Map courtesy of Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends
The others benefit from his knowledge and enthusiasm. Heussenstamm has been birding for 45 years, and knows each of the roughly 100 species wintering here not only by sight. For those hiding in the bushes, he can identify them by call. When he makes a good spot he gets excited, manning the spotting scope, lining up the distant bird, then encouraging the others, "Get a look at that one, quickly! That osprey is eating a fresh kill."