Ricketts Point – Pelican Bandits

Along Beach Rd at Beaumaris is a rocky platform that becomes exposed at low tide and is a favourite roosting spot for Silver Gulls, Crested Terns, Cormorants, Swans and Pelicans. Many other birds also stop by at times but these seem to be the main ones that are often here.

I always check the platform as I drive past and yesterday I noticed that it was visible with quite a few birds around. The carpark is only several meters from the edge of the rocks and screened by low salt bush so it is easy to get your gear ready and walk slowly onto the platform without spooking the birds. They are generally used to people and just move a bit further away. The best time to go is weekdays as the weekend and good warm weather guarantees lots of people visiting the area.

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris – at the end of my visit, two skin divers set up their hunting gear at the point tower and finally spooked the birds.

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant drying off

Little Pied Cormorant II

Little Pied Cormorant II – dry and fluffed up after preening


Australian Pelican – the short and tall of it…a few of the pelicans seemed to favour the upright resting position – I have not seen this before.


Pelican stretching or yawning


Pelican – cooling down or drying off a bit

Tagged Crested Tern

Tagged Crested Tern – many of the Crested Terns on the rocks were tagged

Tagged Crested Tern

Tagged Adult Crested Tern

Pacific Gulls

Pacific Gulls – a grey/brown juvenile (1st year)  and a Gull with almost adult plumage. It can take several years to reach full adult plumage.

Fisherman in their boat off Ricketts Point

Fishermen in their boat off Ricketts Point

Pacific Gull

Pacific Gull

The Pelicans developed an intense interest off shore and all started to watch the 1st year Pacific Gull move towards the fishing boat. One of the fishermen threw some bait or a chunk of fish to the Gull which attempted to bring it back to the rocks to consume. Several of the pelicans took off with a just a few flaps and immediately hounded the Gull in the air until it dropped the prize and one of the pelicans dived down and retrieved it. I have not seen this type of behaviour before –  it is usually the other way round  – maybe they knew the Gull was young and took advantage.


Pelicans with a sudden offshore interest.


Pelican taking off with a just a few beats of its wings


Pelican – off to harass the Gull.

One response to “Ricketts Point – Pelican Bandits

  1. Pingback: Coming in to land… | The Gap Year and Beyond

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