Bald Headed Eagle, Turkey Vultures, Muskrat Nests, Some Rain and a Nice Day for a Hike, Almost

Monday December 8, 2014 Jenner CA.

The day started out with some rain

It started to rain as I got up this morning, but I wasn’t going to let a little rain spoil my plans to go down to the river today. Sometimes it will rain at my house and not at Jenner, so one just has to go down and see how things are.

So, off I went in the light rain.

When I got to Jenner, Ray had just put his boat in the water and it wasn’t raining and was actually rather nice with the wind down,

And right away a bald headed eagle

I joined Ray and we headed across to Penny Island watching a bald eagle flying up the river a ways, just above the island.

As we crossed through the little channel at the east end of Penny Island we could see the eagle had landed on a log just up the river from us, so we headed on up that way to see what it was eating.

It was eating some kind of bird that we couldn’t make out. Shortly after this it took off carrying the bird off too.boldeagle

 

I saw it drop the bird just up the river which we found as we went up that way. It turned out to be an immature seagull and there wasn’t much left of it.

Landed at Paddy’s rock

We stopped here for a bit and saw that the eagle had landed on Paddy’s rock just up the river from us. Duck weed is the green stuff on the river flouting down with the current from the recent rains. The river is a little on the muddy side, but who cares.duckweed

 

Ray hung back as I approached Paddy’s rock where the eagle had landed. Of course some turkey vultures had landed also to try and get anything that the eagle might leave. It looked to me like the eagle was bathing and getting a drink of water.eagle

 

It flew off up the river as I watched, spooking some bufflehead ducks as it went.eaglefly

 

The turkey vultures moved down to where the eagle had been but found nothing, remember the eagle had already dropped the young seagull earlier.vulltures

 

We headed for Muskrat Nest beach

As I left Paddy’s rock I looked for Ray and saw him across the river headed for Muskrat Nest beach, just ahead of him to the left.ray

 

We put ashore at Muskrat. We wanted to go for a little hike up the hill to Buzzard rock. It wasn’t raining so Ray took off his rain pants so as not to get holes in them from the berry bushes, but it was a big mistake. I didn’t have my pants on either for the same reason.

Here is Ray folding up his rain pants before we started up the hill.rainpants

 

Muskrat nests

We passed by this muskrat nest, about six feet high and yes a muskrat seems to be living in it from the little fresh green twigs we found in it’s entrance.nest

 

There are lots of muskrat nests in this area. Can you spot the three nests in this picture?They blend in very well and aren’t easy to spot.muskratnests

 

And the rain started

We worked our way up the hill and it started to rain as we entered these big trees. We thought we might be able to wait out the rain if it was just a shower as it was fairly dry under the treestree

 

So, I sat down under the driest part of the trees and waited, but it didn’t let up and started raining harder and our rain pants were back in the boats. We waited some more, knowing if we headed back to the boats we would get wet and the rain would likely stop just as we got back.

Trees saturated with water, we are getting wet

Eventually, the trees saturated with water, which meant we were getting hit with some big rain drops now, so what to do? We did have our rain jackets on, so things weren’t too bad and it wasn’t too cold either, almost warm.

Here is Ray after standing around for about a half hour or so under the trees. It’s still raining.raintree

 

Time to make a move

Well, maybe the rain wasn’t going to stop and since it was now raining under the trees too, we decided to head back to the boats, about three hundred yards or so down the hill through the brush.

And the rain stopped

We got back to the boats and started putting our rain pants on and sure enough the rain stopped. That’s just the way it works. :O)

With our rain pants on over our damp pants, we were nice and warm and started heading on back. It showered on us several times, but it was still nice out.

See, it’s still nice out as we paddled on down towards the town of Jenner.jenner

 

We saw some turkey vultures near the east end of Penny Island and two of them were up on a wire with their wings out, likely drying them out.russianriver

 

Two turkey vultures drying wingsbuzzarads

 

It looked like we were the only ones on the water today as we paddled on into the boat ramp at the visitor center and took our boats out and went on home.

Even with the bit of rain we had, it was a nice day to be out on the water.

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