April 6, 2012

All hell broke loose when the herring started spawning along the Sausalito shoreline in mid-January, with gulls, pelicans, and fishermen vying for the same catch. Here’s a shot of 2 pelicans acting like fishermen, pulling up the net! It was hard to extract the herring, but now and then one pulled loose. The fishermen got by far the most fish. Competition for herring and sardines is getting worse, with the pelicans losing out to commercial fishermen.

Feeding Frenzy at a Herring Net

Two trips to the Channel Islands in February and March resulted in a Valentine’s Day sequence of pelicans building nests and mating at Cat Canyon on Santa Barbara Island, and a sequence with Laurie Harvey counting nests from a zodiac near Frenchy’s Cove, at Anacapa. Laurie manages to fit pelican nesting surveys in with 11 other species she’s keeping track of, including Xantus’ murrelets and ashy storm petrels, who nest in sea caves and rock crevices.

Laurie Harvey

Back in San Francisco in mid-March, I screened almost an hour of rough-edited clips to 90 people at a packed Audubon event, and got good feedback. Although this was not an official rough-cut screening, the first third of the movie has a basic structure now, and the screening helped me conceptualize how “Act II” should develop. I’ve been enjoying the editing process, benefiting from all the logging and transcribing that came before.

Pelican Nests on Santa Barbara Island


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