I've long enjoyed seeing the large numbers of Brown Pelicans that call the area on the North Oregon Coast/South Washington Coast home in the summer/early fall. Watching them from areas south of the Columbia River has always been just so fun - they are such fascinating birds! A recent trip down to the areas between Newport and Astoria led me to use the crummy weather I was presented to change my photograph direction away from sunsets and lighthouses and look for pelicans worthy to photograph (or anything else that could cheer me up in the dreary weather!).
One nice place I found was the huge haystack right off Yaquina Head from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Early in the morning they were large numbers resting there. Finally by 8:00am the gated road was open and I was out there - imagine being the ONLY person at the Yaquina Lighthouse for 45 minutes! That was me, and on a Saturday morning to boot.
But the best location I stumbled upon was further north a bit at Devil's Punchbowl State Park. Sure the punchbowl is fun, but just taking the short path 100 yards to the south and you are greeted with a beautiful cliff band/haystack right there very close to your vantage point. Lo-and-behold, there were 15-20 Brown Pelicans hanging out here as well! This was a great location to photograph and offered nice opportunities to capture them flying as well when they came in for a landing on the rock. Upon getting back to the truck I had to tell the cold looking elderly couple who were at the punchbowl to please be sure to go see the pelicans. They came back while I was putting my gear away and were so excited they almost hugged me in thanks for passing on "my tip". How fun is that!?