Pelican feeding frenzy at The Entrance
There aren’t many days I’ve been able to say “there’s guts on my knee and I dropped a piece of dead fish on my own head,” but today is one of those days.
For awhile, Felix has been telling me how much he likes pelicans. Just when he sees them, but still. It’s been a theme lately. Yesterday, my dad (geniusly) suggested we take a little drive to The Entrance to watch the famed pelican feeding.
When Felix couldn’t connect to his work server today, we thought we might as well make the trip. We arrived a little early and ate a picnic lunch by the windy but beautifully sunny shore.
After an inspiring speech by a lovely volunteer (whose name escapes me) about the birds, the real fun began.
Trevor, the volunteer in charge of the fish, had a dangerous glint in his eye from the first moment he appeared with his buckets. A man who clearly loved his job, Trevor did not disappoint.
With a mischievous cackle, he threw fish remnants into the crowd of excited onlookers. Under bums, into laps, between feet and over shoulders, Trevor the fish-man always hit his mark.
“One time he threw one into a lady’s cleavage,” said the other volunteer. “She didn’t want to touch it, so I had to get it out!”
Felix got a snap in the gut and one on the shoulder, and I was covered in fish blood before the feeding had even officially begun, but it was less disgusting than I expected. The birds beaks are less painful than I expected.
But the real fun all started when Trevor started luring volunteers in to have a go. Not wanting to look weak, I decided the less scary thing would be to don a mitt and chuck some fish bodies into the hordes of giant, white birds waiting at shoulder-height around me.
Without much mishap, I decided I’d given it a good shot, and I could probably sit down again. Having already returned my glove to Trevor, I wasn’t prepared for what he did next.
Slopping a gutsy bit of fish into my unprotected hand, he said “lift it up above your head and feed the seagulls!”
I did what I was told.
It started out about as well as it could.
But then things went a bit askew.
Many of you likely know that fish are rather slippery when cut into little pieces. Fewer of you may know that I really really really don’t like seagulls. The result of the interesting combination of holding slippery fish above my head while being apparently dive-bombed by a bird that I do not like is approximately as humorous as Felix could have hoped.
“You were meant to give it to the birds! Not drop it on your bloody head!” cackled Trevor.
I’ll accept that criticism.
But I regained my composure.
Then swiftly bailed to the public toilets to purge the fish stink from my body.
If you, too, would like to be pelted with pieces of fish and very large birds for no cost at all, the pelican feedings are every day (EVERY every day, come rain, hail, public holiday, etc.) at 3.30pm by the artsy fountain on The Entrance’s main road.