At the distance from which we normally see California brown pelicans, they look gray, drab, and not even very brown. But close up, with either binoculars or a camera, you can see their rich colors.
This pelican was hanging out recently on the old wooden pier at the Seaplane Lagoon. Normally, pelicans migrate south in the winter. There appear to be more pelicans remaining in the area this year, especially at their favorite roosting area on Breakwater Island.
You can see the full photo gallery on this pelican on the Alameda Point Environmental Report.