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Brown Pelican on Seneca Lake

Published June 06, 2015
Tags: Life List Happenings, Brown Pelican, Ruddy Turnstone

When a reported Brown Pelican was being seen for the second day on Seneca Lake, I decided to take a big chance and drive the long drive out there. I knew it was a risk as the bird seemed rather elusive, taking off and flying to various parts of the lake. I had only seen my first one just a week or two before down in South Carolina - and the thought of getting this bird in New York State was pretty enticing.

The day began at Myers Point, where I saw my first Ruddy Turnstone of the year. I had missed their appearance back in Western New York when I was at McGee Marsh, so this was a nice sight.  One, lone turnstone was foraging at the water's edge along with some Least Sandpipers.

As the day went on, reports of the pelican came in here and there with, sometimes, long periods of nothing between reports. And it seemed to me that each time someone caught sight of it, no matter where I was on the lake, I was a minute late and a dollar short!  I was always just missing it!

Finally, towards the end of the long day, I met up with some other birders who had a good feeling about a spot in a boat harbor.  Apparently, Double-crested Cormorants roost in this harbor and they suspected the pelican might want to share their company at the end of the day.  Sure enough, the pelican ended up over there and we finally had a chance to catch up with the little bugger!

There wasn't much activity at this point, but I did get to see him resting in a tree along with many cormorants. It was a very nice bird to add to my state list - especially after all the day's chasing!
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Brown Pelican roosting with Double-crested Cormorant
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Look at that BILL!
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Ruddy Turnstone