These guys are quick, and to freeze them in action while they are flying takes some good equipment and plenty of practice.
The white pelicans are in full action at Bolsa Chica right now. They are beautiful birds, and make great photographic subjects. They feed a little different than the brown pelicans. Instead of plummeting down from a height, the skim along along just above the water before they grab their fish.
When you first arrive look for them in the distance. They might not stay there long, and will burst away in a group if a school of fish appear for lunch.
Their white feathers make a nice contrast with the blue water. Remember not to over expose the whites (called blowing the highlights). The time to get your exposure correct is now, before the action begins.
Even though they are a large bird they takeoff fast, so be ready for your BIF (Bird in Flight) shot
They might fly in pairs, so you have your chance for a symmetry shot
If you are ready for your BIF shot you might catch one in mid-poop!
They often times skim low over the water before jumping into a school of fish
It’s is fun to photograph them sliding in for a landing
When they find a school of fish they go into a feeding frenzy
After feeding they love to congregate and talk politics
Lets hope nobody encounters this when flying in the United States. I am not sure the pilots here are as used to this as the bush pilots in Africa. They have seen this before, and make sure the coast is clear (and they do the clearing) before unloading passengers.