A Year on Clear Lake-Feb 26, 2013

White Pelicans on rock jetty at Clear Lake ParkA Fun Day Was Had By All – February 26, 2013

There’s nothing like a strong wind to stir things up, and a little change to generate excitement – among the wildlife in the area, as well as, myself. I caught the first glimpse of lake bed showing at first light this morning, and I knew it was going to be a fun day. Yesterday’s wind was strong (20-30 with gusts to 40), and it stayed steady well into the night. The steady wind plus a low tide empties much of the lake’s water into Galveston Bay, leaving islands of bare lake bed and low water levels–a virtual, bird’s paradise. Today’s light wind continued to push the water out and I have to say, I’ve never seen as much exposed lake bottom as was today.

The birds have been on the move with a lot of activity by Clear Lake Park. Egrets in the middle of the lakeThe White Pelicans were out in force, gathering at the end of the rock jetty which they ended up having to share with seagulls. The Brown Pelicans were busy nearby scarfing up fish, and of course, the gulls made themselves conveniently close (like on top of the pelican’s head), ready to grab whatever they could. Seagull stands on top of pelican's head to grab whatever it canHere's a pelican after just surfacing with a full pouchAround the bend I spotted an egret foraging in the unusually shallow water in front of the lighthouse, and a little farther down more egrets hunted amid the green algae of the lake bottom. And nearby a blue heron was knee deep in the water.

As the sun sets the water is beginning to return, and life on the lake is getting back to normal, but today has been a treat for all of us. It’s interesting, though, to witness the interconnection between events–yesterday’s strong winds which gave us heck with tumbling garbage cans and flying deck furniture, laid opened the lake’s bountiful resources to the area wildlife, offering them a day’s feast. Nature and its ingenious ways never fails to amaze me.