MEET PETE – A PARTICULARLY PECULIAR PELICAN!!
A recent visit to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, found me quite surprised by this one solitary Brown Pelican. A particularly peculiar pelican whom I shall call, Pete! As I was walking through the reserve, I noticed all of the birds were feeding a few hundred yards away – definitely out of my camera range. My 28-135mm zoom just would not bring them into range, even with a massive crop. Not only were they out of my camera range, they had migrated to an area where humans were not allowed access. Pretty smart on their part, I must say!
After several minutes of watching what was a tremendous photo opportunity slip away, I changed perspective and began to look out across the horizon in the opposite direction. Still nothing!
Ready to give up and accept the fact that I would not be shooting anything here, I turned once again to see the feeding frenzy that was taking place a few hundred yards away. Suddenly and without any apparent reason out of that frenzy of activity, a single solitary Brown Pelican broke away and began flying in my direction. It was Pete!
With my camera hanging around my neck, I quickly began to frame a shot in the rare case that Pete continued toward me. And, he did! It was as if Pete could sense my disappointment and decided to give me a brief opportunity to grab some quick shots!
There was an oddity about this situation, though. As Pete continued to approach, his attention seemed to be directed specifically at me. Our eyes met and I immediately realized he was not there to hunt for food. He never even attempted a feeding dive. Maybe there wasn’t any food. I’m not sure. He simply flew 200-300 yards to my position. Then staring at me the entire time, he flew directly over my head, and then made a pass gliding by allowing me to snap several photos.
Following the glide-by pictured above he turned, gave me this pose, and flew back to the others to continue feeding.
Was he hunting? Yeah, probably! But, why not choose to believe he saw my camera hanging around my neck and decided to give me a brief fly by!! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Thanks for stopping by!