Sunday, January 29, 2012
Pelicans at Plat I: November 30, 2011
Three white pelicans when we arrive. Soon seven more join them. Three years ago three white pelicans surprised us by hanging out and enjoying Plat I’s plentiful fish supply. The next year five pelicans came for a few weeks. This year we have ten!
I get out my sketchbook and start out sketching peeps -- least sandpipers. They are bathing near me, little tiny egg beaters whirring away, sending a fine spray of water flying. They remind me of chickadees whirring away in our bird bath.
The group of pelicans fishes their way towards some egrets. They are chasing egrets! One after another a pelican swims up to an egret. I think they were trying to pull tail feathers -- just like ravens sneak up to tweak an eagle’s tail feather! One pelican is enough to push one egret. One by one the egrets leave the area where they had been fishing and fly over to the southern section of Plat I.
Once the egrets have been cleared out peace settles in. Several common mergansers swim together. Cormorants preen along the muddy shoreline. All too soon a great blue heron gets too close to the pelican’s preferred feeding spot, it takes several pelicans flapping and chasing to move one great blue heron. The heron squawks and croaks as he splashes off, giving the pelicans 100 yards of space.
Evening's chill is seeping in. Time for us to head home.