7 Jul 2011

Shocked by White Pelicans

Large birds in the sky
When I was out on bird watch in the ravine not too far from my home, I caught a glimpse of some very large birds way up in the sky through the canopy of trees.   I was puzzled because of the shape of the birds, and finally decided that perhaps they were Cranes because the wings were long and dark.  At least from my field of view.  Still, these birds were in part silhouette, so I wasn't certain.

Despite the distance to the birds, which wasn't conducive to a good focus, I brought the camera up anyway to take the shots.  It took several seconds for the camera to focus.  In fact, it took so long that I didn't think it would, and was surprised when it finally did.  Still I held little hope for clear photos because my camera lens isn't a telephoto lens after all.

A closer look with the crop tool

A few minute later I saw another group of large birds, but this time, due to too much light the camera simply wouldn't focus.  Which was kind of frustrating, because this group appeared to be the same bird and seemed to be a little closer.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make the necessary adjustments to my camera for that kind of lighting.  Which is often the case.  Birds can disappear from view very quickly, even in the open sky.

Rapidly leaving my field of view

Several hours later I headed home to load my photos onto the computer.   When I finally looked at my pictures, I stared in stunned surprise at the images of the large birds that I had managed to get somehow.  I was so shocked that I asked my brother to have a look, because what I saw on the screen, just couldn't be.  At least not to my knowledge.  He confirmed it.  I had Pelicans.  White Pelicans that is, and now I was absolutely delighted.

White Pelican

No wonder these photos turned out marginally well.  The Pelican's wingspan can be anywhere from seven to nine feet in length.  This is a very large bird.  Pelicans in Alberta?  Definitely!  A little research verified it, and here I thought if I ever wanted to see Pelicans again, I would have to return to the Caribbean, or at the very least Miami.  Happily that is not so.

I love surprises like this, don't you?


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