No more pelicans


I knew it was coming; the pelicans have completely left Atascadero Lake. The writing was on the wall when the number peaked at fifteen and then dropped down to three the next day. It remained at three for a couple more days and now there are none. As far as I can tell, they first arrived this season on November 25th. I don't remember if they occupied the lake continuously since then but they were there continuously at least from December 31st through January 14th. It's still possible that they're not quite done for the season and will come back but I'm not expecting them again until late in the year.

I did my lunch break walk on Tuesday after skipping the lake on Sunday and not doing any walk at all on Monday. I noticed the coots a lot more than I have been doing since the pelicans arrived. Besides there being a lot near the pier there were several spots around the lake where there was a single coot diving for food.

The cormorants were sunning themselves on the platform and there were one or two diving around the lake.

There were eight turtles sunning themselves on their usual log.

Phyllis Ducker was holding court in the Southwest corner of the lake. Nearby there were eight ducks arranged in an arc sleeping on some flattened bulrushes.

In the Northwest corner of the lake before the Pavilion there were fifty to sixty small duck-like birds whose name I'm still trying to figure out. They were just sitting still on the water. As a more general goal I'd like to learn to differentiate all the birds that I end up calling ducks.

I looked back as I was close to the Pavilion and saw a great egret flying across the lake to land on bulrushes about thirty yards from me.