Paddling with Pelicans - Kamloops Trails

Paddling with Pelicans – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  October 25, 2020 at 9:00 am

In late summer the pelicans start their migration south, stopping for a few weeks in our area’s lakes or rivers.   I expect to see them in Campbell Lake in August or September so I plan ahead to paddle with the pelicans.

Unfortunately the wind forecast was wrong and I battled stronger winds out of the west as I paddled the shoreline.   The flock of pelicans usually hangs out in a  large shallow bay on the southeast corner of the lake.

As I paddled the shoreline, some of the pelicans took to the air, doing a circuit of the lake.

The bay is shallow and muddy so boats can’t get very close to the flock, so I drifted in with only enough water to get back out and used a telephoto lens.

Another group flew across the lake.

The main group stayed in the shallows, mostly grooming themselves.

I paddled on and spotted some geese, two sandhill cranes, some ducks and a heron.    A few more pelicans cruised overhead on the way back.

Taking photos from a kayak on a windy day is not easy; it is hard to get crisp shots.    A long telephoto lens is needed with a tripod, but that is not compatible with a kayak, both hands on the paddle, and a boat rocking in the wind.   Each day is an adventure and we just get the photos that we can.    Paddling with pelicans is a treat we look forward to each year.



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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at:

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