Eagles, Otters, Deer, Birds, Paddling around the Russian River Estuary

Tuesday January 26, 2016 Jenner CA.

Overcast but nice

It was overcast, but the wind was down as I drove into Jenner this morning and put my boat in the water. A sea lion was barking over by Penny Island and it looked like the harbor seals and the sea lions were on the hunt for big fish coming into spawn today as they were racing around the shorelines.

Two young eagles

I crossed over the river and headed to the little channel on the upper end to decide which way to go today, up or down. I decided up was the way, so popped out the backside of the channel and immediately ran into these two young bald headed eagles. One of them was eating a bird which I think was a buffle head duck.eagles

 

I watched them for a bit. eagles3

 

Eventually the one on the left flew off and down the river. I headed on up the river and ran into this lady kayaker. I informed her there was an eagle eating a bird on the stump in front of her so she paddled over to have a look as I watched from here.jenner2

 

Video of the eagles

Here’s a short clip of the two eagles I was watching.

Eagle video

Up pop the otters

I continued on up the river and was paddling along just past Eagle’s landing when I ran into these river otters working their way down along the river’s shoreline, hunting away.otters

 

I followed them back to the Eagle’s landing area. I took this shot just before they lost me by Eagle’s landing.otter

 

I continued on up the river to the muskrat area. The wind was down so the water surface was really flat.river3

 

Muskrat area

I sat here at the muskrat area and took a break and watched for a bit, looking down the river towards the town of Jenner.muskrat

 

After a good break there, I crossed over the river to the north side to see what birds might be on that shoreline.

Lots of cormorants coming soon

I ran into these cormorants resting on Paddy’s rock.cors

 

There’s just a few cormorants here now, but after they start releasing the smelt from the hatcheries, there’ll be more than a thousand of them feeding on the fat tasty dumb hatchery fish shortly after the first of February. We’ve been dumping these dumb hatchery fish out for them for years now, so they are well trained to feed on them.

Harbor seals are hunting

I paddled past Paddy’s rock and down along the shoreline when I heard a big splash behind me. I turned to look and saw this big wake. Harbor seals were hunting for the big spawning fish, likely steelhead this time of year. I didn’t see them catch anything while I watched.waves

 

Further down along the shoreline, I ran into this snowy egret fishing away.egret

 

Close to a kingfisher

While I was taking the picture of the egret, I noticed this kingfisher sitting on a post just behind it and it hadn’t flown away yet, so I snapped away just before it flew off.fisher

 

I continued on my way down the river and ran into these golden eye ducks, which were diving to feed on something down on the bottom.golden

 

Deer on the island

I headed down along the north shore of Penny island headed to it’s lower end where I rounded a turn and ran into these two deer feeding. deer

 

Too wavy down that way

From the end of the island I looked on down to the open river’s mouth to see if I wanted to go down that way. I could see the ocean waves were ripping into the river through the mouth, so I decided not to go down that way as the waves make too much motion to deal with, with my motion sickness problem.

Here’s what it looked like looking down toward the open mouth.mouth

 

After awhile , I turned and headed back up the river to the boat ramp where I took my boat out of the water and went on home for the day. A nap was all I had in me, so that’s what I did.

Nice day.

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