The Entrance is a smallish community on New South Wales’ central coast. It is here, where the large, but relatively shallow ‘Lake Macquarie’ spills into the Pacific Ocean.
With so much water around, it is quietly assumed, that there may be pelicans here.
Yes, they are! I didn’t quite assume on how many pelicans made these waterways their home.
The more the merrier I thought.
I will have an even closer look on pelican’s appearance.
A bird’s eye view, literally.
In double vision.
Pelicans just love ‘fast food’.
Any nourishment that requires no more effort then opening the beak is highly priced.
And this is the place to be for some freebies.
The daily afternoon feeding spectacle is well marked on these pelican’s senses.
On every local pelican’s mind in fact. They weren’t shy either.
Some pelicans snapped at human spectators if they had gotten too close for comfort. As if there aren’t enough tourists on the Central Coast already, the customary pelican feeding frenzy attracts plenty of spectators.
Word of mouth got around by both parties.
I missed the feeding party for crowd safety reasons. This wouldn’t be much fun for me.
Regardless, I was more interested in the lead-up to this event.
Light conditions for photographic images were better at this time of day, too.
Pelicans near and far stood out perfectly for aperture. With corona virus restrictions eased that very same day, Covid-19 seemed already forgotten by the smarter party. And what a festivity it was along the bustling waterfront.
The pelicans on the other side, didn’t seem to care too much about the human cluster buster.
They mingled closely together just as well.
Social distancing wasn’t on these pelican’s marbles.
However, there was a different vibe at this spectacle to come.
No one could escape intriguing looks.
No matter how I raised or lowered my hand, it didn’t go unnoticed. All eyes on me. One of these human creatures could just have something tasty in their hands.
One really needed to keep a good eye out.
Humans watching the pelicans behaviour, staring with their own two eyes. It was a bizarre scenario.
Like a giant Wild West stare-off. Who is gonna draw first?
These eyes were magnetic to any quick manoeuvre.
There were signalling eyes.
And a few tired eyes.
Ying and yangs.
But most of all! Hungry eyes. Strategies were speculated.
Hidden signals were given.
All angles were covered.
As the plot thickened, there was no escape.
One just needed a buzzer!
The anticipation from participants was unmissable, the feeding stakes are set.
I should have chucked a few prawns in the midst of it and see how it would unfold. A hilarious thought.
With so many yellow beacons in the air, alien shape figures appeared in the not so far distance.
It sure looks like that on the frame.
Strange lanterns were held up in the air, moving in to all directions.
No matter where I looked, a few eye-liners glanced at me. Alfred Hitchcock could have filmed his sequel right here, right now.
A horror and a comedy movie in one! A homedy!
Some pelicans played it cool and cleaned their feathery gown.
These veterans interpreted this everyday procedure like a clockwork orange. It’s best to keep the trump to the very last minute.
Itchy spots just needed to be looked after.
There is the usual neck shuffle, a crowd’s favourite.
Other pelicans hung their beak sacks out to dry.
An insider view of a pelican’s beak opened, which I never captured before. I knew there was a reason why the have those long necks. Perfect positioning really.
This delegation secured a guaranteed spot on the main stage, if one could hold their feeding ground.
You are watched nonetheless. Make no mistake.
While the more experienced pelican group kept their cool, the flock grew quicker by the minute. The sun was setting lower over the horizon, surely dinner time isn’t too far off.
The feeding watch was well imprinted in a pelican’s mind. It gotten a bit tight around the feeding grounds meanwhile.
More and more pelicans swam across for a piece of the fish-cake.
The afternoon plumage pilgrimage has started.
The peli-caravan is on its way in uncharted territory.
But that didn’t guarantee a spot on the platform. Two dozen of early birds queued the streets already.
Parking tickets, please!
Well, my ticket expired at the same time. Way too many people cramped my social-distancing style. I should have gotten my kayak to capture this event backstage.
Fortunately, a spectacular sunset unfolded over Lake Macquarie not far from here.
The calm shallow waters guaranteed glorious sunny reflections.
With a pelican’s entrance off course.