American White Pelicans Returning


I went out to O. C. Fisher Dam and lake to check on the water fowl that have been returning.  The first thing that caught my eye was several American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) nearly out in the middle of the lake.  We spotted them from the top of the boat ramp, (that is 50 yards from the water).  I got my 500mm out of the van, Ann carried my tripod, and we hiked down the shoreline so I could get a little closer shot.  What was funny, but really not that unusual, was a Great Blue Heron standing amongst them. 

American White Pelicans plus a friend

Yes, I said standing out there in the middle of O. C. Fisher, in about eight inches of water.  That gives you an indication what the drought is doing to this area.  It is a shame how such a little amount of water remains.  There is not a single boat ramp available anymore.  Some ramps are nearly a quarter-mile from the water.  But I was still a good five hundred yards from the birds, so I attached my 1.4 tele-converter to make the shot.

Willet

But it does make a good area for the wading birds.  We also saw many Americn Avocets, various sandpipers, egrets, herons.  I did photograph  another lifer, number 213, but who’s counting.  🙂  It was a Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), a bird thats a little rare around here.

Well, ’till the next time,  Happy Birding!!

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6 thoughts on “American White Pelicans Returning

  1. Good work as always, Bob. Re: Water depth… Has it been abnormally dry this summer and fall or is it still a matter of the watershed soaking up a bunch before it makes it to the lake? I know TPWD was working hard to eliminate some of the natives and non-natives that were blamed (salt cedar and mesquite to name a couple), but it sounds like it has gotten much worse than it was before.

    • A little of both, Jim. We did get some heavy rains a couple of days ago that ran off, but the level only went up about 2 inches. We can see the little differences when we go out there daily. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working to eliminate the mesquite and salt cedar, but the spraying has done it’s complete job yet so there won’t be any noticeable differences in quite awhile. I would say that the elevation, or lake depth, has dropped at least 20 feet in the last year and a half.

      Thanks for writing,
      Bob

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