American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans are actually (much to my surprise 6 years ago when I first started birding) quite common migrants through the Texas panhandle each spring and autumn and I get a lot of chances to photograph them. Back when the lake was nearly empty you could photograph them from Fritch Fortress quite easily. Now that there is more water in the lake (over twice as deep and probably 4x or more the surface area, but still only at about 25% capacity) you have to paddle to the very south end to see them up close. Occasionally they can bee seen with binoculars or a spotting scope across the lake at Blue Creek, or you can make the 30 minute drive around the lake to the other side and see them from the Blue West boat ramp . Either way it’s difficult to get good photos.  Some times one or two will fly up to the dam area, but not that often.

When I paddle out to see them they always send a scouting party of 3 or 4 birds to check me out, and then they return to the mud flats and cattails. On this particular day last week I counted at least 36 of them, it’s hard to get a good count in the cattails.


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