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Monday, October 10, 2011

The Old Man And The Pelican

While cutting through Saint James Park to get to the Admiralty Arch, we came upon this big gorgeous bird that was attracting quite a crowd. It seemed to enjoy having its picture taken, shifting poses and moving its head to the side and front and tilting it up and down like a model during a photoshoot!

Alongside the gazillion of tourists and lunchtime snackers who had come to visit the park, we noticed an elderly gentleman who was seated on a bench behind the bird, gazing at it affectionately.
After snapping a couple of pics, we were out of the park and must have been gone for at least three hours before we came back in again, on our way back to the train station. To my surprise, the elderly man was still with the pelican though they were now in another part of the park. It appeared that everywhere he went, the bird followed. Those two obviously shared a special bond.

A friendship this special must have been forged over the years. I couldn't resist asking the old man if he came to the park regularly. Showing us a peanut he had fished out from  one of the 3 large plastic bags he was carrying, he explained that he traveled from Peckham to the park every 3 days to feed the pelicans. Like a proud father, he regaled us with stories of the pelicans' antics. Stroking the head of his feathered friend, he added, "This boy pelican here is very shy, unlike the girl pelican out there on the pond. She's the one who catches the fish for him."

Then he asked us, "Is this your first visit to England?" We nodded and with a salute, he greeted, "Welcome to England!"

Awwww! What a sweet old man!

* On googling, I learned that the boy pelican is Willy, as affectionately named by his fans. He's London's most photographed animal and the old man is Willy's biggest fan.


  1. Oh, how sweet! I love the old man too.

    I hope nobody hurts him. I don't like when animals are that friendly with humans--there are always jerks, you know?

  2. Hi Veronica, wonderful blog! I'll definitely be back :)

    Debbie From MBS

  3. V, that is soooo sweet! What a bond they have. :) Thanks for your posts - I always learn something new each time I visit you! E was standing net to me and saw the pelican and kept sawing, awwwww! :)

  4. I didn't know they would be tame as to let themselves be petted like that!

  5. What a wonderful touchin' story this was about the bond between man and critter. I must say that is one big pelican!

    You illustrated the story very well with your lovely pictures sweetie!!!

    God bless ya and have a beautiful week!!! :o)

  6. I'm sure that Willy has added some happy years to the old man's life. What a great example of friendship.

  7. That is a huge bird! How cool that you met some celebrities! :)

  8. Newest follower from MBC! Hope you can visit and follow me in return:)

    Kindly, refresh the page when the google friend connect does not appear:)

    Thank's and have a great day:)

  9. What an awesome story...a great memory for sure:)

  10. Aww so sweet, think I got a little teary reading about the old man and his pelican pal. Wow is he big! Happy Weds sweetie :)

  11. WOW. Hello and thank you for joining the Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop. I'm following you and hope to see you again this weekend.

  12. What a wonderful story... Love that we were able to see something so special!

  13. Amazing what you can google!!! Patsy from

  14. This cracks me up! Love the one of the older gentleman looking at the pelican . Love looking at your pictures of places I know I will never see in my lifetime!