Brown Pelican

Kayaking Estero Americano by Walter Kitundu

A friend and I kayaked to the ocean at Estero Americano a few weeks ago. The round trip is about 11-12 miles and it can be rough if the wind picks up. We were lucky to be exploring this wonderful estuary for the first time under fairly ideal conditions. On several occasions the shimmering water turned into a flock of White Pelicans that would slowly rise and pass overhead, wings hissing in the wind.

The beach was spectacular and completely empty on a Saturday. The lack of access by anything other than boats means we got the beach to ourselves.

We came across this Osprey with its attending vulture and gull. They were waiting for scraps but it seems the Osprey ate every last bit.

It was a really striking bird. It may have been the light but this bird looked really sharp. Check out that bulging crop.

It eventually relocated and then did something surprising.

It started washing its feet on the wing then it dipped its head to clean its bill as it flew.

Sorry to end on a strange semi-grisly note but I thought this young pelican feeding on the carcass of a sea lion or seal was both gruesome and fascinating. I hear their diet switches primarily to fish once the become adults but as kids they tend to eat whatever they can find.