The bird showed up sometime in the afternoon in Phoenix Lake.
Neighbors marveled, saying they’d not seen one before.
“It’s a huge bird. I had to call a few of the neighbors to tell them,” said Ted Fallas, a Phoenix Lake resident since 2004, whose back window overlooks the reservoir.
“We’ve had some big birds around here. … This thing is bigger than a bald eagle. It’s just amazing.”
Neighbor Jeanna Shenefelt said, “I think it is wonderful. … I’ve lived here 12 years and have never seen one.”
Rick Baird, treasurer of the Central Sierra Audubon Society, said the sighting was probably exciting to witness but not wholly unexpected.
“Its not something you’re going to see all the time. You might once or twice a year,” he said.
The pelicans would normally be seen in wildland areas farther down the hill, he said.
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties