Thursday, 28 February 2019

Return of the Pelicans

On Thursday, 21 February, my husband informed me when I woke, that there had been approx 30 pelicans on the golf ponds. He had kindly decided that I needed a sleep-in, so didn't wake me. Yes, he is very thoughtful but .......

On Saturday morning, I was putting my boots out to air, [7am] after my early morning walk and was thrilled to discover a few pelicans on the ponds. The camera was quickly grabbed, a check of any advancing golfers made and a dash to the water's edge, hoping that there would be no wayward balls.

What a thrill when I looked up to see the sky filled with these majestic birds soaring on the thermals before drifting down to land gracefully amongst their friends. The light was such, that even with my trusty but small, Sony HX90V, 30X zoom, it was impossible to focus, so I pointed the camera to the sky and clicked furiously hoping I wouldn't just find sky when I downloaded the images.



Coming into land from the north.

All incoming flights have landed. Time now to refuel.

Refueling was steady for 20 mins or more and then some unexpected flights occurred in groups of 10 - 15 each time, on a southerly flight path.

A group of ducks made an almost unnoticed landing.

A change of perspective as the remaining pelicans settle to feeding.

Percival, from our Australian children's story book, "Storm Boy", decided it was time to stretch his wings on land. The flock gradually followed suit. So funny to watch their ungainly land legs make it to the grass verge.

Contentment reigned for 25 mins or so.

Traffic control must have given the okay then, as again, squadrons of pelicans took to the air in sequence.

And then there were three.

Oops, two!

They slowly returned to the pond, enjoying the serentity that now reigned.

The ducks seemed totally unperturbed whether lazing on the ponds shoreline, swimming or resting on the grass.

The cororant was glad of the peace and quiet as he sunned himself and finally, some hour or so later, I  happily walked back to the house and a very late breakfast.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my walking groups had an early morning walk at the Wynnum Wetlands. These are the lovely birds spotted.

Black-winged Stilt

Such an amazing sight - 20 30 black swans feeding at sea. I loved having my 30 X zoom, otherwise there would have been no images of these graceful creatures.

The busy spoonbill.

Great Egrets

At the end of last week, Cyclone Oma was bearing down on the coast of SE Queensland. Thankfully she was down graded but she still managed to whip up the seas. 
These seagulls at Victoria Point were looking quite stunned.

The corellas, in the nearby park, were huddling in the canopy of the jacarandah tree.  Unusually, not a sound was heard from them.

Last week was the super full moon. I was delighted to discover that a bird was also watching this sensational moon rising.

Later - view across the ponds.

Walking back to the house was rather special too.

The following night the Hungry Hikers chose to head to Surfers Pardise for our annual visit to the Sand Sculpture  Festival AND moonrise. 
The seagulls were as mesmerised with the moon as we were.

I uploaded thispost last night. This morning, Friday 1 March, the pelicans were spotted flying in again. Of course I couldn't resist going down to watch.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Those pelicans are amazing! How wonderful they landed so close to home. You've been seeing lots of cool birds lately. My photographer neighbor would love it.

  2. Super pictures, but the 4th and 5th from the end look like ONE amazing picture. The pelican even seems to be looking up as the others are flying in... I love these monochromes!!!!

  3. The shots at the end are particularly lovely. I have found a bird to photograph this week :-(

  4. What a great bird post, Helen. So many pelicans so close to your home. I had to smile at the photos of the pelicans lowering their "landing gear" as they approached the pond. I also love the closeup shots you got to take. We see brown pelicans when we go to S California. I like seeing them dive bomb the ocean for a meal of fish. I've managed to take some close up shots of them on one of the piers where people fish - they hang around in case there is a handout.

  5. Always love to see Pelicans on our travels. The photo of the one coming into land, spindly legs splayed is great

  6. Great series of shots of various birds, Helen, but I am especially heartened by your reaction to the arrival of the pelicans. They are magnificent birds and I don't know how anyone could ever tire of seeing them. It is good to see that you have not lost your sense of wonderment at these fabulous spectacles of nature.

  7. What a delight to see your photos! Love love those pelicans. And that moon - gorgeous!!

  8. Thank you all, for your lovely comments. The white swan for many, many years was my favourite bird but the pelican has overtaken this love, especially when they feed in their graceful ballet style.