Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Pelicans


We returned to Australia, from our wonderful European holiday, two weeks ago today. Having enjoyed 3 1/2 weeks of temperatures rarely below 30 C, it was a shock to the system to find our temperatures had plummeted in our absence. Several mornings after our return, it was so cold inside, [no heating] that I decided to take my breakfast outside and sit in a sunny, warm, protected corner of the garden. 

A brilliant decision as, just as I was about to sit down, I became aware that a very large number of pelicans had arrived on the golf ponds. Thankfully the fairway was empty, so I was able to grab my camera, dash down and find a safe spot to watch and snap their antics.

I counted 33 on the main pond and one lonesome bird on the pond nearest to our home.  We regularly spot one or two birds, but it was four years ago when we last had such large numbers visiting. I seem to recall that one day during that period, we had over 50 birds. This day I counted 33.


Loner or ostracised? I believe, quite content.
 

 


                    Feeding techniques.


Wow, what a catch! I was very surprised at the size of the fish.

What a struggle to get it down though!

This is the main group, in file, on the second pond.


Unlike on their previous visit, the feeding wasn't a coordinated performance like a ballet. There was no glide, circle and dive synchronization. Just every pelican for himself, but still wonderful to witness.



In this video, they appear a tad syncro, but they soon become disorganised.




These received 10 out of 10 for their effort.



An unwanted suitor, who just wouldn't give up.




The morning light on this group was special.




The message must have had got around, that the golf ponds were the 'in' place to dine. We often see one or two cormorants regularly, but never a flock. 


I don't know what signal was given, but the decision was made to join in on the pelican's feast.












Their small tummies were quickly filled.


I particularly like this photograph. The pelicans were totally oblivious to Dad and son enjoying their morning together.






After nearly 2 hours, I reluctantly returned to the house and again sat outside to eat, a now late breakfast. This too was interrupted, when the pelicans, having eaten their fill, took to the sky and glided on the thermals. I'm not sure how, on those very full stomachs. The fast shutter and zoom lens on my camera allowed me to take these snaps without moving from my chair.




Wait for me!




What a glorious winter's morning sky. I am standing on the edge of the pond closest to our home, which is just to the right of the red roofed home. Every day I am grateful that we were fortunate to find this home, eleven years ago.


To whoever is reading this post, I hope you get as much joy and excitement from seeing these amazing unique birds as I have. When playing the videos, I was surprised and delighted to hear that our wonderful morning bird chorus had also been recorded.

To all my blogging friends I am gradually catching up on your wonderful posts but as yet haven't had time to leave any comments. 

I would love to read your comments.


9 comments:

  1. The first time I saw pelicans I thought they looked like 747s gliding over the beach. While they are not uncommon where I grew up (San Francisco Bay Area) I was in my 30's before I ever saw one. Great pictures, another fine post! Glad you're back!

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    1. Thanks Bill. It took the pelicans and a day out in our wonderful Aussie countryside, to also be glad to be home.

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  2. Helen, When we spent the spring at a beach is CA, we were constantly entertained by the pelicans, gliding and diving. They look so prehistoric to me! Like dinosaur birds... Your photos are wonderful. That one pelican really caught a whopper!

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    1. Thanks Barbara. It's lovely to know we are like minded re the pelicans and I beieve, many other things. They are wonderful time wasters. I was using 'fast shutter' so until I downloaded the pics, I hadn't realised what a big fish had been caught. In fact, when I was watching him, without clicking, I thought he was not well and in pain, but then he peacefully glided off.

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  3. Amazing and wonderful to see them so close from your own garden. It does seem that they are working as a team to catch the fish. Looking forward to your write ups of your Europe trip

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  4. Welcome back! I do love pelicans. They are so graceful for their size I think. Great photos.

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  5. Wow - I'd love to see this many pelicans in real life! Amazing shots.

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  6. How fun to see all those pelicans!

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  7. Yes - I enjoyed this enormously. The only time I've seen Pelicans was on my visits to the States (twice). But I've never seen them catch an huge fish like that! What a great set of photos and a wonderful breakfast treat - how fortunate that you decided to eat outside! Thanks for that.

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