Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Feeding Frenzy

I don't have any photos of the feeding frenzy because as is usually the case, I don't have my camera with me when interesting stuff happens.
Anyway, I drove down to the seaplane lagoon yesterday to see how the radioactive cleanup was coming and noticed an unusual number of pelicans crashing into the water. (more on the radioactive cleanup some other time.) I thought maybe the pelicans were bulking up in preparation for their migration to where ever they go in winter, Mexico probably. But then I noticed that there were a whole bunch of other critters cruising the surface of the water in a purposive manner that they adopt when they're fishing.
Seems like some sort of small fish was in the bay in large numbers, probably to spawn and the fish eaters were following the school. In addition to the pelicans there were about a hundred cormorants, all low in the water, a bunch of unidentified ducks, a few terns, gulls and two seals. Would be cool to see this scene from below, fisheye view.
Side note - when pelicans hit the water, it splashes up in a way that always reminds me of this one particular David Hockney painting. See below for painting. I guess that is one of the marks of a good painting is that it makes you see something that you otherwise wouldn't have noticed.


Lee said...

reminds me of the gannets when I lived out east.Looked like the whole bay was exploding as hundreds of gannets circling above dove to catc herring.

Wolfgang Brinck said...

the most interesting frenzy I have seen was on the Milwaukee river in the middle of winter. Some sort of small fish, maybe smelt was coming up the river and mallards, gulls and Canada geese were all munching away. I never knew that mallards and geese ate fish. But not much vegetation around that time of year so maybe they turned carnivore more out of necessity than choice.