Friday March 27, 2015 Jenner CA.
Catching the fishing cormorants
I could see Jenner had some high fog as I drove to the launch ramp today and put my boat in the water. I could also see a large group of cormorants and seagulls working their way up the river, about a half mile up ahead of me. They appeared to be on the hunt. I decided to try to catch up to them to see how the fishing was going, so I started up stream in their direction. Of course they kept moving upstream as I went. I went past Paddy’s rock where there were some more cormorants. About half of these flew off and joined the hunt of the other cormorants still moving up the river and almost to the highway one bridge.
The fog was clearing and the sun came out as I passed this big flock of cormorants.
A I was paddling along, I could see several turkey vultures eating something on the shore. I slowed to get some pictures of them. Here’s one of the turkey vultures. Note the feet. I learned from another blog, Travels-with-emma that turkey vultures poop on their legs and feet and therefore they do not put leg bands on the birds as the bands get things infected and the birds can die. Sure enough, this one seems to have some white poop on it’s feet, if you look closely.
Wild turkeys too
As I was watching the vultures another bird just up ahead caught my eye, so I moved over to see what it was. The wild turkeys were in the bushes. I took some pictures and moved on. Remember I’m trying to catch up to the fishing birds which are still up ahead and getting further away as I dallied.
I caught up to the cormorants
I paddled along and caught up with the big group of hunting birds. Just as I got to them, they started lifting off the water and heading back to Paddy’s rock. I was too late and it was over for now. Here’s a few of the cormorants. Notice some are moving off to the right.
I needed a break so I pulled my boat into a calm spot near the bridge and watched. I could see some harbor seals fishing around and some sea lions went by too as you can see here from where I was sitting. Sea lion swims by hunting along.
More wild turkeys
While I sat there, the wind was picking up which was making taking pictures much harder as the boat was getting jostled around a lot. I started back down the river when I saw the turkeys out in the grass across the river, so I headed back over there to check them out.
This tom was putting on quite a display.
I watched it strut around for a while, showing it’s stuff.
While I was watching them, they all started to fly across the river to the other side and landed in a tree by Muskrat nest beach where they also landed yesterday. I crossed over to that spot and took this picture of one of the turkeys in a fir tree.
Wild pigs on the hillside
Then I moved to my favorite spot at muskrat nest beach and sat and watched. I scanned the green hill across from me to see if I might spot any wild pigs. It’s a ways over there, so basically, I look for spots that look like rocks to see if they move. If they move, they are not rocks, but maybe pigs.
I could see a couple of spots and watched to see if they moved and they did. Here’s what I saw when I looked real close. Two big ol pigs.
Eagle fly’s by
While was watching the pigs, a bald headed eagle flew by headed up the river. It was making a bee line and interesting enough, none of the other birds were giving the alarm as they usually do? However there were a couple seagulls dive booming it. Most birds don’t seem to like the bald eagles.
Eventually, I headed down the river against the wind. I kept to the edge of the river as much as possible to avoid the wind as it was now blowing hard enough to pick up the wave action.
Harbor seals have a big fish
Just as I passed the eagle’s landing area, I heard and saw this bunch of splashing up ahead, so I pulled up to check it out as it looked like some harbor seals had a big fish.
They sure did have a big fish and seemed to be playing with it, which means they are likely already full of fish, as there seems to be plenty of fish in the estuary right now, mostly smaller ones.
I watched the seals until the fish was gone and then continued on down the river.
To the river’s mouth or not?
With the wind up, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down to the river’s mouth, but when I put my boat in today, it looked like the river’s mouth might be closed, so I was curious what it looked like.
I had a strong headwind as I paddled down the river along Penny Island’s north side. I stopped here to check it out and think about it. Do I really want to paddle all the way down there against this wind?
Well, what better thing do I have to do, so what the hey, I started paddling. It’s always good for some exercise.
River’s mouth is closing up
I had to work at it and most of the time I kept the camera put away to keep it dry. Sure enough, the river’s mouth was mostly closed. I say mostly closed as the sand dam closing it isn’t very high and high tides can still come over it. The ocean is rather rough today, so it might pile the sand even higher or the river’s water level may rise enough to break it open. No one knows.
Anyway, here is what I saw as I looked down to where the river’s mouth was usually going out. Seals and birds and a low sand dam blocking the river’s exit into the ocean.
I stayed in the area for a bit, then turned into the wind and let it carry me back up the river to the take out at the visitor center and I went on home for the day and that was my day.