All of them, dreary photos, really, except when you consider the subject matter and that this means we will soon be seeing these massive birds overhead. They will be on the “big” lake and in the creeks and channels. On sunny days and against a blue sky, they will create one of the most impressive sights you will ever see. They will commingle with Double-crested Cormorants, herding fish together, all the while looking like great big pillows. I am so happy that they are back!
This morning, as I made a pass through Lakeside before the sun came up, I did a double-take toward Hurricane Creek bridge. I had to get my binoculars to confirm that what I first thought might be a small white boat was actually four American White Pelicans! A little later overhead, I saw the familiar spiral pattern as a huge pod of pelicans circled overhead. This is the earliest I have ever seen them on Lake O’ the Pines. This is not to say that they haven’t arrived this early, but it does seem that every year I spot them earlier than the previous year.
Great news, this, because they will be on the lake and at Caddo through this winter and close to April. When you stop to think about it, we get to enjoy them nearly half the year, and their arrival always signals the ascent into fall temperatures and turning leaves. Winter won’t be too far behind, but I believe that the sight of these beautiful birds floating on the chilly waters will make it easier to endure any inconvenient trade-offs that Mother Nature might bring. Keep your eyes peeled and get your cameras ready for some fantastic photo opportunities!