Editor's note: Irene Amiet, a native of Switzerland who moved to Galveston eight years ago, blogs about the annual natural cycle on Galveston Island and surroundings. Bird migration patterns, sightings of turtles, marine life happenings and helpful tips for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers will all be part of her regular updates.

A guaranteed place to see white pelicans during their winter vacation along the Gulf Coast is the Mosquito Fleet berth at Pier 19 in Galveston.

Island dwellers see pelicans pretty much every day somewhere in the sky or on the water, and if not there, then at least gracing one of the many souvenir shop articles.

Earlier this week, on a clear-skied winter morning shortly after sunrise, a white pelican floating on cobalt blue waters seemed almost otherworldly.

Apart from the quiet voices of the few men working inside Katy's fish market, the place enjoyed a perfect tranquility that the birds seemed to mirror.

With advancing sunlight, the water turned from copper to silver. The breeze broke up the reflection of the shrimpers into ripples forming an abstract painting on the water's surface.

And with the return of the first shrimp trawlers, the seemingly angelic pelicans transformed into open-mouthed, greedy water gnomes, hoping for scraps and the serenity of morning had disappeared. 

(2) comments

Steve Fouga

Nice picture of the pelicans frolicking!

And yes, the mosquito fleet is probably the best spot for Islanders to see pelicans up close. The pier next to the Ocean Star Musuem makes it possible to get within a few feet of both whites and browns (and a number of other species) on pretty much any winter night.

Robert Ford

One of my favorite places to photograph. I visit the pier at least once a month.

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