One of the striking features of birding west coast America is the tameness of shorebirds - great for photography - find a suitable spot, sit down and let the birds walk past merrily feeding, oblivious (or simply bold?) to the presence of humans!
This very active marbled godwit is a prime example, photographed on the beach at Santa Monica on December 31st. The image was taken using the 100-400mm lens. The godwit was feeding alongside a single willet and some wave dodging sanderling, with several pacific diver, surf scoter and brandt's cormorant offshore.
A venture onto the pier revealed several chip scavenging heermann's gull (there'll be some images of this attractive species later) and a single western grebe.