Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Pelican Brief- Second Marsh, Oshawa

Doug and I went to Second Marsh yesterday morning for a few hours, and I returned again today to take advantage of the clear(er) skies for more shots of this lone American White Pelican that was first reported here on Saturday. Nice Lifer, eh??? 

He spent his time on a log resting and then preening himself, and once the hunger set in, he began to forage for small fish in the marsh by plunging his massive bill into the water. I was shocked by his size, we could see him naked eye from the path as a "big white blob" (my highly scientific term that made Doug, a retired high school teacher, cringe). Today as I arrived, I decided to see if I could see him from the road as I drove in, and I could, he's that huge!

So here goes, please bear in mind he's quite a distance away from the viewing platform, so the photos will win no awards, but are rather more for my records:

The wing span on these waterbirds is an astonishing nine feet, check this out, the black tips are a nice contrast to the white plumage and yellowish bill and pouch:

Preening session:

On the water now:

When I was editing my pics, I noticed something on the top of the bill, which is apparently (here goes, Doug!) "a fibrous epidermal plate toward the tip, that grows in the breeding season but is much reduced at other times", the theory is that it's important in displays. HUH.

Here he is fishing, with a pair of Trumpeter Swans in the foreground, to help put his size in perspective:

Speaking of other species, during any cloudy periods this morning, I removed my camera from the tripod and wandered around below the viewing platform. At one point I looked back up at the tripod, only to find this young thing looking for some "camera-time" too!


I caved for fear of a pooparazzi episode on my equipment, and quickly agreed to take its formal portrait on the railing instead, what a fine, young American Robin!

But back to the Main Event, that huge, extensible pouch can hold up to eleven litres of water!

Brunch is all done for now, so it's back to the log to clean up:

What a beautiful bird, we're all curious as to how long he'll stay around, as he's rare for here!

As I mentioned earlier, other birds kept me out of trouble during cloudy periods, including a Yellow Warbler...

...Common Yellowthroats...

...and Cedar Waxwings:

And so ends my not-so-brief Pelican Brief this week!

1 comment:

Alison said...

Just catching up on your week now. Lots of avian excitement and beautiful pics with clever and appropriate text as always.