SIGHTING DETAILS OF WHITE PELICANS (Fall Migration 2016) - Ernie Goetsch's Photos

SIGHTING DETAILS OF WHITE PELICANS --- (FALL 2016 Migration)

IL-2016-0915-3845

Sighting details of the White Pelicans


Fall Migration 2016    9/13 to 12/6/2016

Pelican Migration in Central Illinois – Lake Springfield

Sightings on Lake Springfield on the south end of the lake on the

Spring Creek cove, south of the Glenwood Middle School.


Dec 6               – 70 or more birds in the cove at 9am.  Birds LEAVE.

     1030am = Large flock of birds circling over cove. 3pm = no birds in cove.

     No birds seen on 12/7 or after. Flock gone south from area.

     Major cold front move through on Dec 7.

     High Temperature on 12/8 = 26 and 12/9 = 25, Cove froze over by 12/9.

Dec 5               – 70 or more birds in the cove at 7am.

Dec 4, Sun      – 78 birds at 345pm. 1.5 inches of snow fell 8am to 3pm.

                             34 degrees temp.

Dec 3               – more than 50s birds in the cove in the morning.

Dec 2               – more than 50s birds in the cove at 7am.

Dec 1               – 52 birds at 1035am

Nov 30            – 50 or more birds at 700am in back of cove.

Nov 29            – 83 birds at 700am

Nov 28            – 50 or more birds at 700am in back of cove.

Nov 27 , Sun  – more than 50 birds at 235pm. Flock huddled in back of cove.

Nov 26, Sat    – 91 birds at 320pm

Nov 25            – 59 birds at 140pm

Nov 24, Thu   – 25 birds at 1117am

Nov 23            – 10 birds at 405pm

Nov 22            – 39 birds at 700am

Nov 21            – 14 birds at 715am

Nov 20, Sun   – 15 birds at 400pm CST.

Nov 19            – 24 birds at 1215pm CST. 3 birds at 255pm.

                         Major cold front move through Nov18 in afternoon.

                         High temp 18th = 67 on 19th = 45, strong northwest winds.

Nov 18            – 54 birds at 7am CST.

Nov 17            – Estimated 60 birds at 3pm CST.

Nov 15            – Estimated 80 plus birds at 455pm CST.

Nov 14            – 100 birds at 338pm CST.

Nov 13, Sun   – 110 birds at 345pm CST.     Morning low temperature 31

Nov 12, Sat    – 100 birds at 1055am CST.   Morning low temperature 29

                         – 110 birds at 415pm CST.

Nov 11            – 68 birds at 415pm CST.

Nov 10            – Estimated - 50 plus birds.   Significant FROST in morning

Nov 9              – 67 birds at 455pm CST.

Nov 8              – 130 birds at 455pm CST.

Nov 7              – 130 birds at 1045am CST.

Nov 6, Sun     – 165 birds at 410pm CST.

Nov 5, Sat      – 142 birds at 510pm CDT.

Nov 4              – 101 birds at 610pm.

Nov 3              – 137 birds at 520pm.

Nov 2              – Large group of birds in northwest part on cove

                        at 610pm in dark.

Nov 1              – 140 birds at 500pm.

Oct 31             – Large group of birds still in cove.

Oct 30, Sun    – 145 birds at 400pm.

Oct 29, Sat     – 130 birds at 11am. Large group feeding in cove with

                         others flying in to feed. Video taken.

                         160 birds at 5pm.

Oct 28             – 110 birds at 300pm. 10 birds north of GMS and

                         15 scattered on the main body of the lake.

Oct 27             – 100 birds at 2-230pm. 70 birds in the cove feeding.

                         30 birds scattered around the main body of the lake.

                         15 birds after Cotton Hill Park.

Oct 26             – 80 birds at 520pm.

Oct 25             – 80 birds at 515pm.

Oct 24             – Group of birds still in the cove, noon.

Oct 23 Sun     – 100 birds at 1pm and 5pm. New group of birds apparently arrived.

Oct 22 Sat      – 8 birds at 100pm.

Oct 21             – 27 birds at 530pm. Conditions cooled off behind cold front

                        on Oct 20. Cool today, morning lows upper 30s,

                        high in upper 50s.

Oct 20            – Smaller group of birds far back in cove at 7am.

                        Turned cooler with morning rain.

Oct 19            – 100 birds at 600pm.

Oct 18 Tues  – 120 birds at 520pm. New group of birds apparently arrived today.

Oct 17           – 40 birds at 5pm.

Oct 16           – 40 birds at 830am, 32 birds at 130pm.

Oct 15 Sat    – 40 birds at 830am.

Oct 14           – 50 birds at 630pm.

Oct 13           – 70 birds at 6pm.

Oct 12           – 50 birds at 515pm.

Oct 11           – 80 birds at 530pm.

Oct 10           – 22 birds at 130pm. 60 birds at 530pm.

                       Most of the flock left area on Friday, 10/7 with only few

                       birds remaining through weekend. Then in the evening

                       on Monday, 10/10, another group arrived.

Oct 9             – 8 birds at 530pm.

Oct 8, Sat     – 5 birds at 5pm.

Oct 7             – 15 birds at 3pm and 6pm. Colder air in the area and

                       only few birds scattered around cove.

Oct 6             – 80 birds at 645pm, back in the cove.

Oct 5             – 60 birds at 645pm, very far back in the cove.

Oct 4, Tue    – 100 birds, very far back in the cove.

Oct 2, Sun    – 100 birds at 4pm and 6pm. Most far back in

                       southeast part of cove, but 15 on the lake north

                       of the Chatham road bridge.

Oct 1, Sat      – 100 birds, group feeding in cove, flying through

                        cove, at noon

Sept 30          – Group of birds far back in cove, 6pm

Sept 29          – 60 birds at 7am, 50 at 600pm,

                        Light rain NW winds, Far back in cove

Sept 28          – 50 birds at 1030am – 70 birds at 300pm, some group

                        feeding in the cove NW winds, mainly far back in cove

Sept 27          – Group of birds still far back in cove

Sept 26           – Group of birds far back in cove

Sept 25, Sun  – 70 birds at 530pm

Sept 24, Sat   – 40 birds at 1pm

                        – 50 birds at 330pm, 20 north of Chatham road bridge

                        – 70 birds at 6pm, 10 north of Chatham road bridge

Sept 23          – 120 birds at 6pm

Sept 22          – 100 birds at 6pm

Sept 21, Wed – 50 birds sighted at 7am

                         – 100 birds at 530pm

Sept 20           – 40 birds

Sept 19           – 50 birds

Sept 18, Sun  – 40 birds

September 15, 16, 17 – 20 birds were sighted.

September 13 and 14, 2016 – 3 birds each day.


Spring 2016 Pelican sightings

From March 28, 2016 to April 14, 2016, I saw the White Pelicans on Lake Springfield almost on a daily basis, mainly on the south portion of Lake Springfield and near the Lake Springfield Marina. The best day was March 29, in the cove, south of the Chatham Glenwood Middle School. On that evening, a group of about 100 birds were feeding on a school of bait fish and were eating for over an hour. I photographed them and took videos, as the group lowered their heads, scooped up the fish, and then raised their heads to swallow. Videos are on this site also. It was very fascinating to see the group of pelicans in their feeding.


In the summer, I took a trip to Starved Rock State Park in northern Illinois. This was on the Illinois River and sighted a group of 20 or more on the river, downstream of the Starved Rock Lock and Dam.


November 25, 2015

20 birds seen in the cove.


First sightings - 2013

First sightings on the lake were in April 2013. Only saw a few and only for a short time, not like those in 2016.