Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pelicans and "Patriot Day"

Still stalking egrets (with little success).

I'm going to have to move along soon in order to get to the museum around sunrise and lower the big flags to half-staff in recognition of the National Day of Service and Remembrance that honors those who died in the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Hard to believe it's been 15 years.

I guess the official designation for today is "Patriot Day," but there is no consensus on exactly what "patriot" means. So "Service and Remembrance" makes more sense to me.

Then I'll drive down to the marsh pond to see how many pelicans finally showed up for the night.

One of the important questions of the day is, are the pelicans preparing to move along? Numbers were sparse when I left the marsh at sunset last evening, but arrivals still were sailing in four or five at a time.

Pelican numbers were down.

Friday night, I did a drive-through at about 6:30 and there were hundreds there. But Jill and Ann, who were coming in from the trail at nightfall Friday, reported that many had started moving away later in small groups after I left, probably heading for other ponds downstream in the greenbelt.

Although pelican numbers were down, it was a great evening for waterfowl --- I counted fully a dozen egrets, a few blue heron, Canada geese and a variety of ducks, including a diver that kept popping up to keep me entertained (although I sure that wasn't its intent).

Postscript: Lots of geese and ducks this morning, but very few pelicans (as viewed from the Pin Oak shelter).

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