BENICIA PELICAN LOG
October 16, 2004 (2:30pm)
R & MS drove by White Slough, saw lots of them (50?) hanging out there in the middle. Tried to find a good location to view them from, couldn’t....
October 10, 2004 (1:30pm)
Mary Susan saw 12-20 of them from Marine World Parkway (Rt. 37) in NW Vallejo - on White Slough.
August 1, 2004 (2:45pm)
None today 1:30pm, 2:30pm at Ben. State Pk. (Waterfront festival, none expected!)
July 30, 2004
Last two or three days - maybe more - looked for Pelicans at First Street and Benicia State Park - none! (Some activity in preparation for Waterfront Festival / boat races, but the Festival didn’t start until July 30th, 5pm.)
July 23, 2004 (3:50pm)
MS saw 7 in flight over the Carquinez Bridge heading toward Contra Costa.
July 23, 2004 (7:30am)
Seven on Pelican Island, foot of first.
July 22, 2004 (11am)
Ten on Pelican Island, foot of first.
(Note: During mid-June to mid-July, I didn’t log entries here. I saw fewer pelicans during this time, but I did continue to see them at First St. Not as often at the State Park. It seems there was about a week or two when I saw very few if any, but I wasn’t looking as often or as hard.)
June 22, 2004, 10:30am
Foot of First St. - 4 on Pelican Island, a few floating in for landing just beyond the Pier. And 14 flying in formation high above the Strait. Beautiful synchronized swooping. (This was the first instance of the great eye-popping sky shows this year.) [Tide was very low: 2 hours before low of -0.3.]
June 9 - June 21, 2004
Many sightings, none logged. Most days, any time of day, a few (6 or 8 at most) could be seen, either at Foot of First or Benicia State Park. Not many instances of large numbers in flight formations.
June 9, 2004 around 6pm.
None sighted, looked everywhere.
June 8, 2004
None sighted, looked downtown
June 7, 2004 midday, then 6pm
Saw two flying high over water southeast of Foot of First. Then we say 6 on the water feeding at Southampton Bay, and another Brown Pelican flying alone, landing near Dillon Point.
(June 3-6 away at Asilomar)
May 29, 2004, 3:15-4pm
MS and I saw 6 at Foot of First, 2 on P. Island, 2 on the bay, and 2 flying over the strait. Then, at Benicia State Park, we saw two more afloat on the water in S’hampton Bay. (Tide: low at 4:30pm / low water +1.0' at SF [+0.75' Ben.])
May 28, 2004, 5:30-7pm
From foot of First St., MS and I saw 5 in flight over the strait, making their way in strong wind high above, from Southampton Bay, and on toward Martinez. Took 3 pics (not very good) as they flew overhead. (Tide: just 15 minutes before a nondescript low / low water -0.6' at SF [-0.45' Ben.]) (Then we went to Benicia State Park 6:30-7pm, and saw none, which is unusual.)
May 27, 2004, 11am, 2pm, 6pm
Saw pelicans three times today. Several at 11am and 2pm downtown, then 16 of them from Benicia State Park at K Street, floating deep in Shampton Bay.
May 26, 2004, 6pm
6 on Pelican Island. Viewed them with binoculars from the church parking lot, then from Foot of First St. None in flight. (Midway between tides: about 4 hours after low, 3:25 before high / water - no extremes.)
May 26, 2004, 9:30am
MS saw 9 aloft from Rte. 780 East. They were flying north of 780, heading generally east, toward Sacramento.
May 26, 2004, 8:45am
Saw 7 from Foot of First St. One alone on Pelican Island, one floating in the bay near the boat junkyard, three high aloft beyond the pier, one aloft low near the Contra Costa shore, and one floating across the spit for a landing near the other bird in the bay near the junkyard. (Tide: 2:10 after high / high water +4.5' at SF [+4.0' Ben.])
May 25, 2004, 9am
One alone, standing on the submerged sandbar between portions of Pelican Island at almost halfway between high and low tide. (Tide: 3½ hours after high / high water +4.8' at SF [+4.27' Ben.])
May 24, 2004, 5:30pm-6:15pm
One (or 3?) flying between First St. and Martinez. Then at Benicia State Park, first one alone swimming in Southampton Bay, then a second one landing gracefully on the water near the first one. The second Pelican approached the first, and swam following closely after it, out toward the center of the Bay, then after about 30 minutes, took to flight again, heading out and around Dillon Point. (Tide: 2 hours before high / high water +4.2' at SF [+3.74' Ben.])
May 23, 2004, 3pm
After lunch at Venticello’s, MS & I walked down First Street to the point, saw 2 pelicans flying, and one on Pelican Island. One of the fliers went east and out of sight. The other one flew in circles on the breeze, and finally landed on the Island. (Tide: 2:10 before high / high water +4.2' at SF [+3.74' Ben.])
May 23, 2004, 12:30pm
Driving west on West Military, approaching West 6th, I saw a single pelican, heading east and south from approximately J Street, then out over the Strait. (Tide: 55 min. after low / low water -0.5' at SF [-0.375' Ben.])
May 22, 2004, 4pm
None at First St., but watched from Benicia State Park as 4 floated around near the pilings in Southampton Bay. (Tide: high - 11 min. / high water +4.2' at SF [+3.78' Ben.]) They took to flight just as we did, floating majestically over us and waving us a black wingtip goodbye. We thought two seemed smaller than the other two - young, or female?? They were much more active, paddling around far from where the two larger ones kept house. One of the smaller ones had the sexy bump on its beak. (We also saw the two Kites flying high over the water. Creamy white, but with a lot of black along the front of the wing and at the wingtips. The head was so white that it reflected like a headlight when flying west into the setting sun. Also saw what seemed like some smaller Kites - hard to tell really if it was the same two or others.)
May 21, 2004, 10:45am
Saw two, one just landing, on the water just beyond the muck at low tide, a little east of the circle at foot of First Street. Very low tide (30 min. after Low / low water -0.8' at SF [-0.6' Ben.]). Very active on the water. Fishing?
May 18, 2004, 10am
As Mary Susan was driving on I680South in Martinez, two came flying low from the marshlands to the east, almost right at the car, heading west and north toward Benicia.
May 17, 2004, 11am
In Benicia State Park, R&MS saw one, heading east along the Strait toward First Street, maybe beyond, and another floating alone directly across the Strait from Dillon Point, near the south shore. I talked with the Benicia State Park ranger (what’s her name?) and two non-local rangers. Our ranger confirmed that the white pelicans were early this year. One of the other rangers said that large numbers of them had been congregating in ??Sacramento Wilelife Refuge?? in Glenn County. (Our ranger also stated that the two big whitish-beige birds we’d seen last week are White Tailed Kites! These are hawks - and relatives of falcons.)
May 14, 2004, 10:20am, 7pm
Three on Pelican Island in the morning, high tide. Three on the Bay sighted from Benicia State Park from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Also saw two big fluffy white birds, perched atop a tree above the road just south of the native plant preserve in Benicia State Park. They flew off when we approached on the footpath, but stayed nearby and landed again - as if protective of a nesting site. Could not identify them from the Field Guide of Western Birds when we got home. (Identified as White Tailed Kites above, 5/17/04.)
May 13, 2004
One alone on Pelican Island. Took its picture. High tide (+30 minutes). Same bird perhaps, circling out over Southampton Bay, sighted from 9th Street.
May 12, 2004
Foot of First Street, 2 on Pelican Island. (Another one sitting on the Bay at end of K Street?)
May 11, 2004
Foot of First Street, 3 or 4 on “Pelican Island,” one floating very slowly in for a landing. Then at 9th Street, saw 3 more flying high over the Strait. And at the end of K Street, saw 4 more as “dollops of whipped cream,” floating far out in Southampton Bay.
[Note on May 4, 2004] This log should have been started long ago, but wasn’t. I’ll enter our most recent sighting (April 27, 2004), then put together a rough estimate of previous years’ sightings based on dates I wrote about them.
April 27, 2004
Benicia State Park - lone bird, flying over and landing on Southampton Bay. Bump on beak. Sighted during Karen’s visit a few days after Zannah’s & Matt’s wedding.