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Rare Pelican Sighting of Juvenile Getting Flight Lessons
Lens: 55-300 Camera: K-30 Photo Location: Noida, India ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/1500s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Inexorable, 09-02-2014, 05:25 AM

Monsoon isn't the best season to visit a bird sanctuary, but we have one that continuously tempts us with its proximity, the Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS). Yesterday morning was clear... and the breeding season for many birds ends in September, so there was a good chance of juvenile spotting. We decided to venture out.

It turned out to be our lucky day. Pelicans are rare to sight; the species being near endangered. We hadn't seen a Pelican earlier at OBS and rampant encroachments of sanctuary land by politically backed builders makes a Pelican sighting there highly unlikely. But we spotted a Pelican family of three and observed them for an hour, in between munching on a egg sandwiches that the wife and quickly made before we ventured out.

We had just finished washing down the sandwich with some iced tea, when it happened! The Pelican family took to the air - it was time for the juvenile to get some flight lessons. In this particular case - how to locate and ride a thermal to gain height.

The parents flew ahead and behind, perhaps aerodynamically assisting the juvenile in the center. I am not an expert on birds, so I could be wrong. They flew in wide lazy circles drifting northwards for almost 5 minutes before they caught a thermal and rode it to a good height and then disappeared northwards. All this happened before our eyes! Amazing!

In the photo below the Pelican family is seen with the Lotus Temple, a New Delhi landmark, in the backdrop. It's a long shot with a very modest long lens so please don't thin IQ.



They didn't come closer than around 500m and this is the sharpest shot that I managed with my 55-300



Still gaining height they have climbed well above the Lotus temple in the photo below



They were finally riding a thermal...


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birds, camera, height, juvenile, lotus, okhla bird sanctuary, pelican, pelican sighting, photo, sanctuary, shot, temple
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