The above title notwithstanding, my first image is a late afternoon photo taken soon after we set up camp at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. I include it because it was the only occasion I had to photograph an American White Pelican (well, actually two) and a Brown Pelican together. According to published reports, these are two species that are often seen in that area. Unfortunately, the shoreline near our campsite faced southwest, i.e., into the afternoon sun, so adequately illuminated shots would have to wait until the next morning.
The next day I got to the beach just after sunrise and, just like the previous evening, I saw many birds flying over the sea and swimming near the shore. Now, however, the low sun in the east-southeast did a much better job of illuminating these birds.
Below are two photos of an American White Pelican I took in that advantageous sunlight. In the first image, streaks of sunlight reflected from the wavy water surface are seen on the wings.
I do not know if the next photo is of the same bird or not. In any case, I include it because, in contrast to the previous image, the bird’s wings are fluffed up enough to barely expose a couple of its black wing feathers. Unfortunately, I never noticed any American White Pelicans in flight during our stay, so I was unable to photograph their beautiful black and white wings, a characteristic feature of this species.
I was also able to photograph some Brown Pelicans swimming that morning. Here is a photo of one moving directly toward me, allowing a good view of the top of its bill and the front of its neck.
In this final photo (again, perhaps of a different bird), the low sun does a great job of lighting up the bird in profile.
All in all, this photo session was well worth getting up early and walking across the beach of barnacle shells and fish bones described in my previous post, Morning and Evening at the Salton Sea. Of course, I had taken the precaution of wearing my hiking boots.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.