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White pelicans were California Delta dreaming on a winter's day

White pelicans in the California Delta fishing for blue gill Crecit Barbara L. Steinberg California Travel Insider 2014Exploring California Delta back roads brings joy at every turn. More than 1,000 miles of waterways, it is a birding, boating, fishing, motoring, biking, kayaking, mesmerizing destination.

Our wanderings went to Orwood Marina, Holland Track, Bethel Island, and beyond. Open space surrounded us. We pulled to a stop off Delta Road along Rock Slough where a flock of American white pelicans surprised us on our journey to secret recesses of California's most prized estuary. Staying close together, these large aquatic birds were "herding" their prey. Yes, herding! Schools of bluegill could not escape this feasting frenzy. We watched in amazement as they spread their wings and scooped up their dinner. Not alone American white pelicans Rock Slough Credit Barbara L Steinberg California Travel Insider 2014in our observation, other cars stopped in the middle of this narrow two-lane levee enjoying the spectacle.

My local angler-tour guide for the day, Cathy, had one-up on the pelicans and me. Her polarized sunglasses allowed for x-ray vision into the California Delta depths. An avid angler, she was positively giddy observing schools of fish. However, the pelicans were the first to point the way.

"I'll be back tomorrow!" said Cathy. Boat in tow!

If my Subaru can't get me there, 
that's a good reason not to go!
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