June was a rather miserable month to be birding in Orange County, birds were few and far between and the constant fog/smog/gloom took the pleasure out of being outdoors and complicated photography. Still my primary purpose for being there was work, and the second was to catch up with family, so perfect birding conditions would have caused a severe conflict of interest.
The last couple of days before I returned home things started to improve with the gloom lifting earlier in the day, and signs that shorebirds were starting to return south. The first arrivals were adult birds in breeding plumage. Small groups of sandpipers, godwits, whimbrels and plovers were foraging on the mudflats, nervously establishing their rights to a patch.