Everyone is invited to the 5 Star diner at the boat ramp.
The temptation is hard to resist as the fish is fresh and too often plentiful.
Hungry guests don’t have to travel far, most are locals.
The opening hours for the ‘all you can eat buffet’ varies from day to day. Weekends are usually busier.
There is a fishing routine revolved around the boat ramp and hungry birds know it.
Most fishermen take to the waters early mornings on their quest for dinner.
There is not much point to cramp the ramp before boaties return with their haul.
Customers don’t need to rush to get to the fishy cleaning tables.
There is ample time to finish morning toiletries.
Nothing like a good stretch.
However, there is a catch.
There is always ‘the one’. The one innocent ramp-tramp.
The one, who just sits there quietly and waits.
He who stalks the perimeter, just in case. A fisherman could pull up at any time.
How about this one? Has he got fish? Can I see a bucket?
There’s a bucket. Give it to me!
Give it to mmhhheeee!
This news isn’t new for long. Oi, he can sea bucket.
It sets off a commotion of the feathered kind, faster than the eye can blink.
An areal stampede flocks in.
Pelicanos aerialos is my latin translation for a rather classy motion.
Here they come, it’s showtime.
Houston! I have a problem!
Pelicans emerge from all directions. Almost eerie.
The landing procedure is always amusing to observe.
The feathered brakes are tilted as the landing gear prepares for touch-down.
Superbly executed on mirror waters.
Other opportunists arrived earlier and secured a favourable spot.
It appears to be a strong hierarchy within the pelican society.
Newcomers stay back and wait for their turn.
Unless, one is on top of the pecking order and gracefully push through. Pulp fiction style.
This pelican enjoys commander status.
Attention to be en-guard.
The best feeding rock is prime territory and not for the faint-hearted.
Challengers enclose the ramp perimeter as more and more fishermen are returning on their tinnies.
This pelican holds the throne until he got what he came for.
Angle and distance are calculated for the right body posture.
And goes for seconds.
His neck hasn’t even swallowed the previous catch.
No fish for YOU!
Most pelicans preferred to swallow their big catch first and paddle along with oddly shaped necks.
Maybe no one else noticed the swollen glance.
There’s no need to complain for the second row along the water’s edge.
Plenty of fish had been caught, there’s food for everyone. In a realistic but sad way.
Scraps often land in the water which causes havoc.
No effort is small enough for a fish finger.
One just needs a good head start.
A few more jumps.
Gone with it.
What seagulls lack in size, they make up for with cheekiness.
Aerial acrobatics seem to confuse the pelicans.
No other bird is as cunning as the grey heron though.
He has become a crowd favourite in-between sharp knives. Quite frankly.
Now and then, his pale cousin shows up. He’s not as adventurous as the White-faced Heron.
As for the pelicans, they need to weigh up their options between hunger and desperation, before making their move.
This will not go unnoticed. Each pelican watches out for any movements within this gathering.
Intruders are seldom welcome.
It doesn’t take long before all feathers break loose again.
A few small coalitions were established within the dirty dozens.
Dirty tricks they play.
Each pelican needs to watch his and another’s back.
Beak-theft is surprisingly common.
Even though the fish is hooked, it is still anybody’s serve.
As long that there is the slightest chance to snatch the catch, it’s all for one. Fish.
The safest strategy is to make a run for it.
The neck roll is a blow below the beak and ferocious.
I wonder if he got the message? But wait! Help isn’t far.
Bad luck, he’s the bully’s friend.
Two on one don’t seem fair.
Things that make you go ‘Hhhmmm’?
I couldn’t help to feel sorry for the bullied pelicans. It’s a tough existence within the flock as nature’s law prevails.
I haven’t witnessed such vicious behaviour before. I certainly didn’t capture it with my camera.
This adds difficulty to understand what exactly is going on. In these photographs, I didn’t aim for anything in particular.
I just zoomed into the engaged mob and pushed the button.
No doubt, that similar scenes will be repeated tomorrow.
When first guests arrive at the star diner.