Beautiful American White Pelicans migrate from inland lakes and waterways to overwinter on the Coast. You are more likely to see some by the Russian River, though Rick and I once saw a pair fly over us in the town of Mendocino. Jim Garlock recently photographed some early arriving birds.
These Pelicans fish differently than Brown Pelicans. They sit on the surface of the water and lower their head to scoop up fish. Brown Pelicans dramatically plunge dive. American White Pelicans are graceful fliers, using thermals to help them on their way. You know it's autumn when these big birds arrive on the Coast.
Thanks to Jim for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see another photo of these birds, seen at Bodega Bay, here's the link: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/09/28/bodega-bay-always-picturesque/