The Australian Pelican is found throughout Australia where there is suitable habitat. They prefer large expanses of waters such as lakes, reservoirs, swamps, wetlands and rivers. The water can be fresh, brackish or saline. They are found in both coastal and inland areas where there is suitable habitat.
They tend to be highly nomadic and will respond to flooding. For example, Lake Eyre in northern South Australia fills occasionally from Queensland floods, and this will stimulate the migration of hundreds and even thousands of birds. During these events they can breed in their thousands, dispersing across Australia when the waters recede and the lake becomes a dry salt lake again.
These captive birds at Adelaide Zoo are a good subject for practising one’s photographic skills.
Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking about Australian Birds, and showing some of my bird photos, at our local Mobilong Ladies Probus Club. There were just over 100 attentive women at the meeting, they all appeared to enjoy my presentation and they even laughed at my jokes!
One of them asked me a very difficult question, one I couldn’t answer: What is a baby pelican called?
Many birds and animals have specific names for their young, eg cygnets for swans, cubs for bears and kittens for cats. It seems however that no-one has got around to giving a special name to baby pelicans. So be it.
An extensive search online has revealed that one person calls them “toddlers”, an entirely appropriate name reflecting their waddling gait when quite young. This could also be just a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, and the site where it appeared is not at all authoritative in any way.
So I guess we’ll just have to make do with “chicks” or “nestlings” like the vast majority of birds.
On our walk around Mallacoota in eastern Victoria in January we were pleased to get up close to a group of Australian Pelicans in the harbour. I was pleased to get some interesting close up shots of these lovely birds. Click on the photos to enlarge the images.
On our visit to Mallacoota in far eastern Victoria in January we went for an after dinner walk along the foreshore and estuary of the river. It was a calm, warm evening and we had a pleasant time exploring this lovely spot for the first time. We decided that this is one place we needed to revisit – and stay four or five days at the very least.
In the quiet estuary we saw many Black Swans, Australian Pelicans, a few Pied Oystercatchers and three Royal Spoonbills.
While on our walk we saw several Great cormorants as well as some Little Pied Cormorants. Two Whistling Kites patrolled the shallows in the company of a lone White-bellied Sea Eagle. I’ve not seen too many sea eagles in all of my birding, so this was something special. I was surprised though that there were not many ducks in the estuary. In fact I only recorded a few Australian Wood Ducks. Perhaps the kites and eagle had scared them off.
The inlet is an ideal haven for fishermen, and this is iluustrated by the large number of boats present in the water and on trailers in the caravan park. There are also boats offering cruises on the river, like the one shown below.
On our holiday last January we arrived in Bateman’s Bay soon after lunch. We booked into our motel, unpacked the car and went looking for a pleasant picnic area for afternoon tea and a time of relaxation. We found a lovely beach side picnic ground.
While we had afternoon tea my wife and daughter did some reading. They also debated the relative merits of several books they had both read over Christmas.
The birding was a little slow so after making a short list I wrote some poetry. You can read some of my poetry here.
On our return to the motel we were amused by an unusual perching spot for the local Australian Pelicans. Every street light along the foreshore had one or two pelicans perching or resting on it. This is somewhat unusual in my experience. It was so odd I stopped to take a few photos.