Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pelicans on the Elk River

Every winter for the past two years, we noticed the pelicans migrating to our little section on the Elk River. I counted 63 yesterday afternoon. Typically they come in the high hundreds. Last weekend Andy thought he saw some and I just couldn't believe it. I thought he was confused with the white "storks" that reside there.
On the way down yesterday, Andy and I were trying to remember when they normally came in and I was thinking it was closer to December. I don't remember ever seeing them in the middle of October. When we returned this evening I looked up one of the local newspaper articles I remember looking at last year. The pelicans were a feature story in February of this year (2012). Hmmm, they must really like this area or they know something weather-wise we don't know!

Yesterday afternoon they were swimming and feeding on the other side of the river. The water is much more shallow on that side. When TVA starts dropping the water level to winter pool it looks like an island of mud. We are on a really wide part of the river and they were just far enough away I couldn't get pictures I would be happy with. So here are a few I took from this spring. I'll be sure to update this post with some fall 2012 pictures as soon as I can.

I'll have to get some video when they join us on "our side". The sound their wings make when they slap the water as they're lifting off is amazing.

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