Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pelican Glee

Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee,
We think no Birds so happy as we!
Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill,
We think so then, and we thought so still!

It was a calm and lovely evening in Redwood Shores. We hung out by the sewer ponds for a while, hoping for one of the great fly-overs, when the tide turns and the shorebirds lift off en masse for the receding mudflats on the other side of the levee. The birds had their own ideas, and took off in dribs and drabs. No dramatic photos.

We checked in at the pond behind the Nob Hill Foods strip mall. It often yields surprises, and we were in luck. A dozen pelicans were nestled in on the island for the night, like so many white pluffy pillows, with a scattering of black cormorants for contrast.

We like pelicans. They are big, dramatic visitors. They may look funny to us, but they probably have as good an opinion of themselves as Edward Lear imagined in his nonsense song. I'm pleased to think we have so many of the same birds Lear must have seen touring Egypt nearly 200 years ago:

Herons and Gulls, and Cormorants black,
Cranes, and Flamingos with scarlet back,
Swans and Dilberry Ducks in crowds.
Thousands of Birds in wondrous flight!

Check on all but the flamingos and Dilberry ducks.