Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Search of the American White Pelican

Several years ago I visited Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Refuge during the Winter in search of the American White Pelican. I had read they were Wintering there on a website I frequent, www.bird.aba.org. I spent several hours trekking up and down the gravel and paved roads in the many wetlands that make up the refuge in search of this bird.


I photographed Trumpeter Swans roosting on a nest in the largest wetland area of Goose Pond. I also captured images of male and female Northern Shovelers, as well as American Coots and Canadian Geese. I even photographed Sandhill Cranes, and two Whooping Cranes, that had made a stop over on their way South, yet no American White Pelicans. I had decided I had failed in locating the Pelican even though I had read they had stopped over at the refuge.


Just as I was about to leave, I turned onto one last gravel road I hadn't taken yet to make my way to the far northeast side of the refuge where a large wetland was situated. As I approached the water I began to see line after line of American White Pelicans out in the middle of the wetland huddled together in groups as they often do. Other Pelicans were landing, taking off and floating on the water.


I left my car and walked quite far out along the elevated bank of the wetland getting as close as I could to the birds. They were bigger than I thought they would be and really beautiful with black tipped wings you only see when they are in flight and a large knob on their beaks. I was so glad I hadn't given up in my search.


I had found the American White Pelicans and had it been a warmer day, I would have gotten tons more images that day, but instead I only took about thirty or so in various perspectives. Still it was a treat!! I hope you enjoyed my look back at the American White Pelicans as they Wintered in Goose Pond. And least you think I have forgotten, HAPPY NEW YEAR! ENJOY!

2 comments :

  1. I'm glad you found them. they are indeed beautiful. I bet with so many it was quite noisy.

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  2. How odd that I come to your blog today and happen to look a bit. I have not been blogging much and that is why it is so strange to come here today of all days. We went down to Goose Pond today, and the Bee Keeper's marsh...I was looking for pelicans but none to be seen anywhere close. And I really don't think there were any down there because when we have seen them in previous years, we would see them flying from a distance.

    We did see Sandhill cranes east of the wetlands...in a farmer's field. We did not see the Whooping Cranes that we have seen in previous years. Someone killed a whooping crane this year near Lyons...it is just east of Goose Pond.

    BTW, these are wonderful photos. In previous years I did not get any near as good. But oh, I still remember the excitement of seeing them.

    Look here and here

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