Wednesday was another one of those drop-dead gorgeous SoCal days I have quickly become used to after relocating here on June 1 from NorCal. So, off to the beach and my daily sojourn from Carlsbad Village Drive to Cannon Road and back.
Usual wonderful sounds of waves, a hint of scattered clouds above and several walkers, like moi, and joggers. On the return trip, though, I spotted an unusual walker near the No. 32 Lifeguard station - a brown pelican!
Yes, he wasn't flying or dive-bombing fish in the nearby Pacific, he was walking like me. As I neared I could hear the young lady (her name was Jackie) asking other folks to just walk around him (I'm assuming it was a him). He wasn't going too fast but making his way to the edge of the wall the beckoning beach. Every once in a while he was snap his beak just to make sure we knew he was aware of our presence.
"I saw him across the street on the sidewalk over there," she explained, "so I went over there and discovered he had been tangled in fishing line and he had a hook on his wing."
So, how did he come to get on this side of Carlsbad Blvd.?
"He just started to go across the street and this time of day (about 6 p.m.) there is a lot of traffic. Luckily I had some people help me wave down the cars while he made it across all four lanes. Believe me my blood pressure was sky high cause I was scared that a car coming in the other lane might not see us and him and they wouldn't stop in time."
Fortunately, for Jackie and the pelican it worked out. She managed to get in touch, after repeated calls, to a wildlife rescue person at Camp Pendleton. He arrived moments later, dropped a net over the bird, then gently put it in a cloth bag and ultimately in a cage.
Off he was headed to Sea World in San Diego and rehab.
"We probably have 50 pelicans here right now," a Sea World spokesperson said on Thursday. "And yes I am sure that bird is now one of them."
We'll try to follow its rehab and see where he /she ultimately winds up and when.
Lucky for him, high blood pressure or not, there are Jackies in the world.