BROWN PELICANO - still at Highline!!
Pelecanus occidentalis persists, as of an hour ago anyway! Alexis and other staff members at the new visitors’ center say they have been seeing it daily since (and including) 29 May, usually at the south end near the dam. However, Bob told me he saw it yesterday at the north end in an area the boaters didn’t have access to. Alexis says we can call them to verify the bird is still being seen prior to making the trip to Highline, phone number 970-858-7208.
In answer to questions from Andrea, Brandon, Dick, and others as to why we haven’t gone sooner to verify this bird, I guess many of us thought for some strange reason that it was bogus? I had emailed my short list of local birders (those of us in Grand Valley) inquiring as to whether the bird was being seen / had been verified / and heard back that the bird was only there for a day or so and had departed, so I didn’t make the trip.
I can’t speak for other local birders, but I usually stop going out there in spring when they raise the water level and the mud flats get submerged and shorebirds, even large wading birds, don’t land. I’ve seen Great egrets show up and circle a few times without trying to land, only to continue northward or northeastward. But guess what? The water level IS down, so there are exposed mud flats at the southeast corner where the inlet is, and there were 4 snowy egrets, 16 gulls, and a few shorebirds (Killdeer and Spotted sandpipers). But of course I didn’t have my field guide with me to sort through the gulls because I had raced out of the house too quickly, eh? I hope somebody with gull experience can sort thru them and give us an ID before they depart, because there could be a gem among them. (tease tease)
I had the state parks people at Highline (rangers, etc) in the “birding loop” two years ago when the Vermillion flycatcher was there, e.g., that if anything else unusual showed up to please contact me, our local Audubon, Wild Birds Unlimited, or *somebody* who would post it to the birding community. But apparently they have a fairly high rate of turnover among their staff and I didn’t recognize any of the new folks. Anyway...
PELICANO! I hope others are able to see this bird!