Ahhh Malibu…riding the waves, soaking up the sun, searching for the best piece of sea-facing real estate. It’s just another day in the life of the 200-plus species of birds who call this place home. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
, also known as Surfrider, is the saltwater marsh neighboring the beach where Malibu Creek joins the Pacific. And it’s a lively enclave for all kinds of feathered fanfare. Pad across the beach to the edge of the estuary where the large, open lagoon makes it easy to spot several bird species. Find a patch of sand facing the Santa Monica Mountains, and watch seagulls and brown pelicans vie for their favorite beach-front properties while cormorants look on silently from sunken branches. Snowy egrets stick to the corners, more interested in awaiting prey. Toward the ocean, an active lineup of terns, plovers, and sanderlings chase waves while pelicans cruise just inches above the water. Did somebody say, “pool party?”
BONUS: The Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society hosts Malibu Lagoon field trips on the fourth Sunday of every month at 8:30 a.m., tailored for newbies seeking some guidance spotting the specimens. Call (424)-744-0938 or visit the SMBAS blog.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach is at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. The lagoon and beach parking lots (for a daily fee) can be accessed on either side of the bridge at the Adamson House or at the State Beach parking lot (directions to the park). Once parked, walk towards the ocean; if you parked west of the bridge, walk east to the lagoon. If you parked on the east side of the bridge, once you hit the beach, head west. Malibu Lagoon State Beach grounds open 8:00 a.m. to sunset, seven days a week. Dog-friendly!