Birds take flight above San Diego River Estuary!

Birdwatching on north side of San Diego River, not far from Pacific Ocean.
Birdwatching on north side of San Diego River, not far from Pacific Ocean.

Today I enjoyed a glorious walk. I hiked along the always life-filled San Diego River Estuary.

Beginning along the north side of the San Diego River from Friars Road, I headed west down the bicycle and jogging trail which parallels Sea World Drive. I then crossed the river over the Sports Arena Boulevard bridge and returned along the San Diego River Trail back east to Morena Boulevard.

I didn’t expect to get any decent shots of birds with my dinky little camera, but as it turned out I got lucky. While the estuary is always teeming with both migrating and native birds, most tend to gather on the small islands and mud flats a fair distance from the path.

The San Diego River estuary is one of the best birding spots in Southern California.
The San Diego River Estuary is one of the best birding spots in Southern California.
Snowy egret takes flight from river's edge, very close to pedestrian and bike path.
Great egret takes flight from river’s edge, very close to pedestrian and bike path.
Hummingbird takes a rest on a twig on a sunny winter afternoon.
Hummingbird takes a rest on a twig on a sunny winter afternoon.
Plenty of ducks and shore birds dot the living river throughout the year.
Plenty of ducks and shore birds dot the living river throughout the year.
Black-necked stilt walks through the water, perhaps watching for a meal.
Black-necked stilt walks through the water, perhaps watching for a meal.
Looking north across blue water. Mission Bay and SeaWorld lie beyond the trees.
Looking north across blue water. Mission Bay and SeaWorld lie beyond the trees.
Huge flock of seagulls takes flight from mud flat near mouth of San Diego River.
Huge flock of seagulls takes flight from mud flat near mouth of San Diego River.
A fish-hunting osprey flies above the San Diego River estuary.
A fish-hunting osprey flies above the San Diego River Estuary.

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Skaters live a fantasy on ice at Horton Plaza.

skaters live a fantasy on ice at horton plaza

It must be the holiday season, because the Fantasy on Ice skating rink has been erected in front of Horton Plaza here in downtown San Diego. I got some pics of carefree people gliding through the sunshine. I snapped this photo while standing right next to the NBC building, at Third Avenue and Broadway. You can see the Balboa Theatre in the background.

More pics:

Beginning ice skaters hang on for dear life!
Beginning ice skaters hang on for dear life!
Christmas tree next to the Horton Plaza ice skating rink.
Christmas tree next to the Horton Plaza ice skating rink.
Fantasy on Ice banners hang along Broadway.
Fantasy on Ice banners hang along Broadway.
Ice skating rink seen from upper level of Horton Plaza.
Ice skating rink in Horton Square, as seen from an upper level of Horton Plaza.